Dan Feldman

NBA eliminating home-road uniform designations

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Nike is taking over NBA uniform production this season. See its release of a Warriors jersey above.

But don’t call that a Golden State home jersey just because it’s white.

Nike release:

Coinciding with the introduction of the new uniforms, the NBA is eliminating its “Home” and “Road” uniform designations. Beginning with the 2017-18 season, home teams will pick which of their uniforms will be worn at all home games and visiting teams will choose a contrasting uniform within their own assortment.

Because of this change, Nike and the NBA worked together to create four core uniforms for each team, classified as “editions,” which draw from the rich heritage of the NBA and its respective franchises.

Nike and the NBA worked together to create four primary uniforms for each team, classified as “editions,” which draw from the rich heritage of the NBA and its respective franchises.

The first two editions of the NBA uniforms, which will be introduced by teams this summer and will make their on-court debut at the start of the season, are the Association and Icon editions. The two remaining core uniforms, inspired by the mindset of the NBA athlete and the communities that support their teams through thick and thin, respectively, will be revealed in the coming months.

The Association Edition, the traditional home white uniform that all 30 teams will have in their assortment, links them as members of the most exclusive basketball club in the world. It represents an achievement that most athletes have worked their entire lives to reach.

The Icon Edition, previously known as the road uniform, represents the rich heritage and iconic identity that exists within each franchise. This edition utilizes the team’s primary color, a color that dominates the closets of the most diehard fans.

Also this season, eight NBA teams will have a Classic Edition uniform that will be available in the fall. The Classic Edition celebrates some of the most iconic uniforms in league history and can be worn at each team’s discretion.

Do teams pick the white or color jersey to wear for all home games or on a game-by-game basis? If the latter, that already occurred on a limited basis. Now, teams will just have freedom to wear colors at home more often.

I hope they don’t.

I’m a traditionalist, fond of white uniforms for home teams. It’s logical, stemming back to a time teams wore dark uniforms on the road because they lacked the ability to clean them as often.

And don’t get me started on the overwrought titles for these uniforms. I’m sticking with home (white, even if the home team is wearing its road jersey), road (color, even if the road team is wearing its home jersey) and alternate.

Report: Trail Blazers struggling to find team to take Meyers Leonard in Carmelo Anthony trade

Al Bello/Getty Images
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Right now, the Knicks are holding up a Carmelo Anthony trade.

But even if New York’s new regime relents on dealing Anthony to the Rockets, there are still complications.

Houston would probably have to send out Ryan Anderson, whom nobody wants at his salary. Sure, some teams might take Anderson – with a sweetener or to unload their own bad contracts. Like the Trail Blazers, who have Meyers Leonard.

Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports:

With Anthony yet to indicate he would waive his no-trade clause to play in Portland, the Blazers’ early involvement has largely been as a third-team facilitator for New York and Houston, with the teams’ inability to find a fourth team to absorb the contract of Meyers Leonard stalling at least one version of the deal, three sources with knowledge of the talks told The Vertical.

Leonard is owed $31,786,516 over the next three years. His big-man skills have disintegrated despite being 7-foot-1, and his outside shooting isn’t threatening enough to compensate. He’s just 25, so there’s time for him to rebound (literally and figuratively). But at that price, it’s a bad bet.

The Trail Blazers have plenty of lousy contracts and face the luxury tax, so presumably, they’d unload a couple for the overpaid Anderson – who can still help on the court with his floor spacing – in this trade.

The Knicks and Rockets can keep roping in more teams. But at the end of the day, someone has to end up with the worst contract in the trade, whether that’s Anderson or Leonard. Good luck finding a taker.

Report: Spurs finalizing contract with Manu Ginobili

AP Photo/Eric Gay
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Gregg Popovich started Manu Ginobili in the Spurs’ season-ending loss to the Warriors “out of respect,” and San Antonio fans gave him a sendoff befitting his great career.

But Ginobili isn’t retiring just yet.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Ginobili, who turns 40 later this month, is the NBA’s second-oldest player (after Vince Carter). They’ll be the first players to play an entire season in their 40s since Grant Hill and Kurt Thomas in 2012-13. The last player to play even 40 games in his 40s? Dikembe Mutombo.

Though there’s no guarantee with anyone at that age, Ginobili has a chance to match Mutombo’s late-career contributions. Ginobili remains a helpful reserve, using his incredible basketball intelligence to compensate for declining athleticism. He doesn’t get to the rim like he once did, but he’s a steadier 3-point shooter and still a crafty passer.

Ginobili earned a $14 million salary last season after the 76ers drove up his price. His production now isn’t worth that much, but he previously took discounts for the Spurs, who still hold his Bird Rights. So, they can pay him anything up to the max. We’ll see how they reward him in his potential swan song.

Paul Pierce wore Nets shorts to final Celtics signing

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Paul Pierce signed with the Celtics to retire, a nice moment.

He made it much more fun.

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:

He showed up at his old haunt, the Boston Celtics practice facility in Waltham, Massachusetts, wearing a throwback Inglewood T-shirt and a pair of Brooklyn Nets basketball shorts.

“Hey Danny, see this?” said Paul Pierce, tugging at the silver and black of the Nets. “This is where you sent me!”

When the Celtics retire Pierce’s number, I hope Danny Ainge points out Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to Pierce. Heck, I hope Ainge brings back James Young for the ceremony.

Report: Cavaliers were close to trading for Jimmy Butler on day they ousted David Griffin

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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LeBron James is reportedly frustrated with the Cavaliers’ offseason.

It’s not just the moves the Cavs made, but the moves they didn’t – like trading for Jimmy Butler.

Perhaps, LeBron is being unreasonable. How often do teams as constrained as Cleveland was – deep into the luxury tax, multiple future first-round picks already owed, aging roster – trade for a relatively young star?

But the Cavaliers were pursuing Butler when they parted ways with general manager David Griffin, which certainly didn’t help their chances of nabbing the Bulls wing. Did dropping Griffin cost Cleveland getting Butler?

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

Further exacerbating James’ frustration is the Cavs were close to making a deal for then-Chicago Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler the day Gilbert decided to mutually part ways with Griffin and Redden, two people familiar with negotiations told USA TODAY Sports.

Griffin reportedly left the Cavaliers plans for a Butler trade, but Chicago obviously sent him to the Timberwolves instead.

We’ll never know what would have happened if Cleveland kept Griffin. It’s easy to imagine the Cavs beating the piddling return the Bulls got from Minnesota in a three-team trade involving Kevin Love.

But it was already easy to imagine several teams offering more than the Timberwolves did. Maybe Chicago is just that infatuated with Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen. I’m also unsure Love’s value around the league – especially to teams who could flip the young players the Bulls coveted.

How close teams were to a deal is often overstated by one side that thinks it was close to a deal. The other team might have disagreed but not fully conveyed how far it was from accepting.

But, to a certain degree, perception matters here. If LeBron believes the Cavaliers could have Butler if they kept Griffin, that’s a problem for Cleveland.