Dan Feldman

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Report: NBA to implement rest rules that come with consequences for violators

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In November, NBA Adam Silver commissioner stated a preference for teams resting players at home – but added a rule probably isn’t the answer. By June, Silver was talking about rest guidelines.

Now, it appears the league is enacting rest rules.

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

NBA owners are expected to approve player-resting rules in September designed to cut back on teams benching healthy players for regular-season games, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

The rules will be in place by the start of the 2017-18 season and there will be consequences for teams that do not adhere to the rules.

The NBA is a cooperative of 30 teams. They share revenue and need each other to form their entire system. When one team rests players – particularly stars – to gain a long-term competitive advantage, the other teams suffer.

So, I understand the league’s desire to limit rest.

But how will this be enforced? There’s a fine line between a player being injured and resting. What was previously described as rest will just be called a sore back or some other non-descript injury. Will the NBA really investigate all those?

The league is already controlling what it should – increasing off days, particularly around nationally televised games. Reducing the incentive to rest players will help.

But actual requirements about when teams can rest players? That seems only arbitrarily enforceable at best.

Report: Kyrie Irving went consecutive days during playoffs without talking to Cavaliers teammates

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Kyrie Irving‘s trade request, to a borrow a word from him, is peculiar.

The second-best player on the NBA’s second-best team requesting a trade? That’s so far outside the norm.

So, there has been plenty of energy devoted to trying to understand Irving’s disconnect with the Cavaliers.

James Jones – who played the last three years in Cleveland then got hired by the Suns, who are in Irving trade talks – should have insight.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN on The BBall Breakdown Podcast (hat tip: reddit user Ivan_Pavlovich):

I think I reported this on SportsCenter this week. He saw Kyrie Irving in the playoffs this year – in between the first round, when they beat Indiana, and the second round, when they played Toronto – go consecutive days without speaking to a teammate at practice.

On that stage. It’s one thing to say people go through their ups and downs in the regular season. But when you get to the playoffs, “when the main thing is the main thing, and we’re brothers, and we’re pulling together to get this thing done” – even at that level, there were still things that made him sullen or reclusive from his teammates.

Winning cures most ills. It obviously doesn’t cure all ills. Irving reportedly considered requested a trade after the Cavs won the 2016 title.

We don’t know all the context of Irving’s silence. Was he protesting or just locked in? Either way, this seems like a poor way of fostering a bond within the team.

Anyone considering trading for Irving ought to consider his attitude, but this is just one vague incident. The rest of this story and other cases would reveal more.

Thunder’s Patrick Patterson out 4-6 weeks after knee surgery

patrick patterson
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The Thunder getting Patrick Patterson for taxpayer mid-level exception was one the summer’s best signings.

There’s a catch, though.

Thunder release:

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Patrick Patterson underwent a successful arthroscopic procedure today on his left knee, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced.

The proactive procedure was performed by Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, California. Patterson will be re-evaluated in 4-6 weeks.

This timeline should have Patterson healthy well before the regular season starts, Oct. 17. He likely starts at power forward.

If there are any snags, Oklahoma City could go big (Enes Kanter) or small (Jerami Grant, Doug McDermott, Kyle Singler or Paul George – though George doesn’t like to play power forward).

Report: DeMarcus Cousins getting his highly anticipated return to Sacramento on national TV in October

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
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DeMarcus Cousins said he “can’t wait” to play the Kings in Sacramento.

The Pelicans center can mark his calendar.

Carmichael Dave of KHTK Sports 1140:

Cousins, for good reason, thinks the Kings did him dirty. It’ll be fun to watch such an emotional player try to extract revenge – especially when he knows a national Thursday-night audience will be watching.

Timberwolves unveil new uniforms (video)

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The Timberwolves released their much-anticipated new uniforms, and to the chagrin of many, they match the leak.

Photos from the team’s website:

Nike Technology Jersey Integration

Minnesota Timberwolves Association Edition Jersey Back

It’s a little weird the Timberwolves went to the trouble of adding lime green to their logo then barely using the color in their main uniforms. That would’ve helped.

Still, going against the grain, I like these. They’re both simple and a little different. I don’t want all teams wearing cookie-cutter designs nor do I want something garish. Minnesota successfully, if unexcitingly, walked that line.