Author: Dan Feldman

Donatas Motiejunas, Terrence Jones, Andrew Wiggins

Report: Rockets won’t extend Terrence Jones or Donatas Motiejunas


The Rockets have a pair of promising young power forward in Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas, but they’re seemingly always looking to upgrade that position in particular.

They’ll remain flexible to do so.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Houston Rockets and forwards Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas are bypassing contract extensions before the Nov. 2 deadline, unable to gain traction in discussions, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

One reason not to extend Jones or Motiejunas: It’s unclear which is more worth a major investment. Both have played well when healthy, but neither has clearly surpassed the other. Houston might not want to give big deals to two players at the same position.

So, the Rockets will get another season to evaluate and then handle the pair in restricted free agency.

Plus, the low cap holds of Jones ($6,223,825) andMotiejunas ($5,720,513) offer at least the chance of flexibility. Either player probably would’ve commanded an extension with a higher starting salary, which would have served as the cap number next summer. Now, Houston can hold the players at the lower amounts and then exceed the cap to re-sign one or both.

Houston might not have cap space regardless of Jones’ and Motiejunas’ cap hits, but Ty Lawson‘s 2016-17 salary is fully unguaranteed and Dwight Howard can opt out. There’s at least an outside chance this matters, even if it’s just to tick the Rockets just above mid-level exception money available.

In the meantime, Jones and Motiejunas will have an intriguing internal battle to earn a major offer from Houston next summer. Jones (15 points and six rebounds) got a head start in the opener with Motiejunas still out due to a back injury suffered last season. Once Motiejunas gets healthy, though, it’s on – unless the Rockets line up a way to land a star power forward. That won’t be easy, but it’ll be a little easier without tying up Jones and Motiejunas on extensions.

LeBron James says Kevin Love is Cavaliers’ offensive focal point

Kevin Love, LeBron James

Kevin Love was ticketed for a  bigger role in the Cavaliers’ offense this season.

But just how big on a team that also has LeBron James and eventually Kyrie Irving?

LeBron, via Joe Vardon of

“We’ll use Kevin however he wants to be used,” James said. “I told you Kevin is going to be our main focus. He’s going to have a hell of a season. He’s going to get back to that All-Star status. He’s the focal point of us offensively.

“I know I can go out and get mine when I need it,” James continued. “But I need Kev to be as aggressive as he was tonight, and when he rebounds at the level he did tonight, the shots will automatically fall for him.”

This is a change of tone from last season, when LeBron said Love needed to demand the ball more and questioned Love’s confidence to shoot.

It’s as if LeBron learned all those self-created weird public feuds hurt more than they helped.

LeBron and Love famously chatted poolside over the offseason before Love re-signed, and it seems that talk could do both good. Love looks more aggressive, not a natural mindset when it’s so easy to defer to LeBron. Also credit David Blatt for putting Love in better position to succeed rather than just having him spot-up beyond the arc, as happened too often last season.

Love led the Cavaliers in points (17) and shots (14) in their win over the Grizzlies last night. He also scored 18 points on 17 shots in an opening-night loss to the Bulls, though the offense ran more through LeBron in that one.

This is a nice balance. How long will LeBron let it last, especially once Irving returns from injury? LeBron dictates how Cleveland plays.

Right now, that means a major role for Love, but that’s subject to LeBron’s patience.

DeMarcus Cousins matches personal SEASON best with four 3s in opener


DeMarcus Cousins made four 3-pointers in 2012-13, his high for a season.

The Kings center matched that last night alone.

Cousins shot 4-for-5 from beyond the arc in Sacramento’s loss to the Clippers, entering the game 11-of-69

If Cousins keeps producing like this – he also had 32 points, 13 rebounds and three assists – we’ll have to take him more seriously as an MVP candidate.


Jodie Meeks suffers Jones fracture

Jodie Meeks
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Auburn Hills, Mich. – Jodie Meeks missed the Pistons’ first 22 games last season with a back injury.

He made it into Detroit’s second game this season, but he’s again headed for the inactive list.

Meeks suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot in the Pistons’ 92-87 win over the Jazz on Wednesday.

This is the same injury that kept Kevin Durant out about seven weeks last season. A similar timeline would cost Meeks about 25 games – more than the 22 he missed last season.

Detroit can’t really rely much more on starting shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who has played 37 and 36 minutes in two games this season. Tonight, Reggie Bullock saw minutes after Meeks went down, but Bullock lacks the outside-shooting prowess of Meeks.

This leaves the Pistons without both their primary backup guards, as Brandon Jennings is also injured. Not great for a bench that has lagged behind the starters during Detroit’s surprising 2-0 start.