The Trail Blazers have already signed Archie Goodwin and Isaiah Briscoe to unguaranteed or lightly guaranteed deals and C.J. Wilcox to a two-way contract.
Now, Portland is adding a seasoned veteran to the competition for its 15th standard regular-season roster spot – Anthony Morrow.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Portland could use more shooting on the wing, especially after dumping Allen Crabbe. Only Stephen Curry, Kyle Korver and Klay Thompson have matched Morrow’s career efficiency (41.7%) and volume (8.0 attempts per 100 possessions) while playing even half as many minutes as Morrow.
But that he’s left taking an unguaranteed minimum offer speaks to Morrow’s defensive deficiencies. There’s reason Morrow has bounced between the Warriors, Nets, Hawks, Mavericks, Pelicans, Thunder and Bulls in nine NBA seasons.
Morrow is probably the favorite to stick into the regular season, though the Trail Blazers could still sign other candidates. They could also keep just 14 players, especially because they’re still facing the luxury tax.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is maybe the NBA’s most outspoken executive.
He throws shade at opposing players and owners, jokingly challenges people to fights and can be outright provocative. Active on Twitter, Morey generates plenty of exposure.
The league apparently doesn’t always appreciate it.
Zach Lowe of ESPN on The Woj Pod:
Daryl gets fined so much more than has ever been publicly reported. Daryl is fined all the time.
The NBA sometimes fines people without announcing it. Anyone suspended for marijuana under the last couple Collective Bargaining Agreements was first fined for a previous violation, but the fines aren’t typically announced. Joe Dumars was reportedly fined $500,000 in 2010 for leaking confidential information.
I’d be surprised if Morey was ever docked that much, but it sounds as if smaller fines are just the cost of doing business.
The NBA is on track to implement rules that punish teams for resting players.
Who determines the fines, and on what basis?
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
What’s to stop teams from resting players and calling it an injury? That’s how it used to work, players missing games with “back spasms” or some other mysterious malady. Will teams really be investigated on a case-by-case basis whether their injured players are really hurt or just resting?
That’s a lot of power to hand NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Even with the best of intentions – which I believe Silver would generally have – it’d be difficult to enforce this rule non-arbitrarily.
Most times a player is “resting” involve multiple factors, including minor bumps and bruises. How much must rest factor into the equation for it to draw a fine? 100% 50%? 1%? How will these evaluations be made?
I suspect teams will generally get in line behind the spirit of the rule change and play their healthy players during nationally televised games and stagger other resting opportunities. But if anyone pushes the limit, this could get messy in a hurry.
Isaiah Thomas has been taken through the ringer lately, traded by the Celtics then having his hip injury widely scrutinized.
The Cavaliers guard got a reprieve while filming a cameo for “Law & Order: SVU.”
Joey Morona of Cleveland.com:
Thomas plays himself on the episode, which centers around a missing persons investigation, The Plain Dealer reported . The scene takes place at the Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex on the banks of the Hudson.
This is a perfect example of basketball opening doors for players. What a cool experience for Thomas.
I’m looking forward to seeing the episode.
Kristaps Porzingis initially entered the 2014 NBA draft, and the Magic – who held the No. 12 pick (which they ultimately used to trade up for No. 10 pick Elfrid Payton) – tried to entice him to remain in the draft.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
They tried to get Porzingis to stay in the draft that year. He was guaranteed at the pick they used Elfrid Payton.
Porzingis knew he could have been picked. He didn’t feel he was ready. He wanted to come over ready.
Of course, Porzingis withdrew from the draft and then declared again in 2015. Orlando, which held the No. 5 pick, was the highest-picking team known to show early interest in Porzingis. But that obviously wasn’t enough, as the Knicks grabbed him at No. 4. The Magic settled for Mario Hezonja at No. 5.
This exposes a limitation of the NBA’s lottery-reform proposal. There’d still be value in tanking down in the standings, even if the difference in lottery odds is minimal. Teams whose number combinations are not selected are still slotted in reverse order of record. That’s why New York picked ahead of Orlando, and the difference was obviously immense.
By the way, we always hear about how close teams were to drafting a future star. We never hear about the times the Magic coveted a bust but were saved when another team drafted him ahead of them.