Author: Dan Feldman

Marshall Henderson

Kings waive Marshall Henderson, Vince Hunter

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In filling their training-camp roster, the Kings made a splashy signing (Marshall Henderson) and a smart signing (Vince Hunter).

But neither will last to the regular season.

Kings release:

The Sacramento Kings announced today they have waived Marshall Henderson and Vince Hunter, according to Kings Vice President and General Manager Vlade Divac.

Hunter ($30,000) and Henderson ($25,000) both received small guarantees. Presumably, those were in part to entice the players to sign in the D-League. The Kings can assign them to their affiliate, the Reno Bighorns – but Hunter and Henderson will remain NBA free agents if they clear waivers.

I’d be shocked if someone claims Henderson, who went undrafted last year. At 6-foot-2, he’s an undersized shooting guard without the passing ability to become a point guard. He doesn’t score efficiently enough inside the arc, either. Plus, he’s already 25 and has a history of off-court problems. He was fun to watch at Mississippi, but NBA teams aren’t enamored.

Hunter, just 21, has a better chance of enticing a team if its end-of-roster players failed to impress in the preseason. He went undrafted out of UTEP this year, but the forward rebounds well and can defend multiple positions.

Most likely, though, both wind up in Reno.

This leaves Sacramento with 16 players, one more than the regular-season roster limit. Eric Moreland ($200,000 guaranteed) and David Stockton (unguaranteed), the only two Kings without guaranteed salaries, are probably vying for that final spot. Moreland’s bigger guarantee and Sacramento’s point guard depth ahead of Stockton (Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison and Seth Curry) suggests Moreland will win the competition.

Report: Lamar Odom opens his eyes

Lamar Odom
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The good news keeps coming for Lamar Odom.

Martin Rogers of USA Today:

Lamar Odom opened his eyes Friday morning, a person at the hospital where he remained in intensive care told USA TODAY Sports.


When asked if he wanted to see his children, the 35-year-old former NBA star communicated “Yes,” according to a source, though it is unclear if he spoke or used body language.

At least for the moment, things appear to be trending in the right direction. There will surely be more ups and downs ahead, though.

Report: Lamar Odom’s heart functioning better

Lamar Odom
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It’s not all bad news for Lamar Odom.


Lamar Odom’s condition has improved in a hugely important way … his heart is on the mend … TMZ has learned.

Sources familiar with the situation tell us, tests on Lamar’s heart Friday morning revealed his heart function is “much better.” Doctors have told Lamar’s friends and family this is a good sign of improvement, that a critical organ is responding.

Unfortunately, even if Odom’s organs continue responding better, he faces a tough road ahead.

Report: Cavaliers pull five-year, $80 million offer to Tristan Thompson

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

The Cavaliers reportedly offered Tristan Thompson a five-year, $80 million contract.

He reportedly wants the max, worth more than $94 million over five years.

But when he let his qualifying offer expire…

Larry Coon of Basketball Insiders:

The Cavs were under no obligation to leave their $80 million offer on the table, and from what I heard, pulled it as soon as Thompson’s qualifying offer expired.

In a vacuum, this is the right move.

One of Thompson’s biggest pieces of leverage was the qualifying offer – the ability to take a one-year contract and become an unrestricted free agent next year. The Cavaliers had to offer him more to protect against that outcome. If he leaves next summer with no return, that’d be a real blow to Cleveland.

Without the qualifying offer available, the Cavs have much more leverage now. Thompson remains a restricted free agent and, unless the Trail Blazers or 76ers suddenly step up with an offer sheet, has little recourse but to accept whatever Cleveland offers. If he sits out the full season, he’ll miss a year of earnings and become a restricted free agent all over again next July.

In this scenario, $80 million over five years is way to much to offer. The Cavaliers definitely don’t need Thompson right now. If they get by without him once the regular season begins, he’s far more likely to cave to a lower offer. If they need him later, they can always pay him. There’s just no reason to do so yet. He can’t force their hand without the qualifying offer.

But LeBron James looms over everything.

LeBron – who shares an agent, Rich Paul – with Thompson reportedly isn’t basing his future in Cleveland on these negotiations. He just might not care that much whether Thompson gets $80 million, $94 million or somewhere in between.

However, LeBron is keeping himself in the picture (literally). He might not look so kindly on the Cavs lowering their offer, even if it’s the right cold strategic position.

If the Cavaliers have reduced their offer, this stalemate could easily last months. LeBron might be the only person who ensures it doesn’t get that far. His influence could at least get both sides back in the same ballpark.

Warriors center Andrew Bogut breaks nose for fourth time

Andrew Bogut
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The Warriors’ biggest preseason injury make no longer be to their coach.

Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area:

Starting center Andrew Bogut sustained a broken nose Thursday night against the Houston Rockets, the Warriors announced early in the third quarter. He left the game with 50.8 seconds remaining the first half and did not return.

Bogut will be further evaluated on Friday, after which his status for the team’s upcoming road trip will be determined.

Bogut, via Ethan Sherwood Strauss of ESPN:

“It’s the fourth time I’ve broken it,” Bogut said. “I have surgery tomorrow, afternoon I hope, or Saturday morning. But I’ll miss Saturday, probably miss Tuesday, and I’ll try to play Thursday with a mask in the final preseason game. Then I’ll be ready to go.

Bogut has been through this before. I tend to trust his timeline. If he’s even considering playing in a preseason game, he should be ready for the Warriors’ Oct. 27 opener.

But I could also see Golden State being patient with the 30-year-old.

Interestingly, the Warriors have three full games (vs. Pelicans, at Rockets, at Hornets) and a partial on deadline day (vs. Grizzlies) while Festus Ezeli is eligible for a contract extension. This could be an opportunity to test Ezeli’s ability to eventually replace Bogut in the starting lineup before paying him.