Dan Feldman

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 12:  DeMar DeRozan #10 of the Toronto Raptors runs up the court during the first half of an NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Air Canada Centre on April 12, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Report: DeMar DeRozan officially opts out

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DeMar DeRozan reportedly planned in January to opt out this offseason.

Did a dismal playoff showing give him any second thoughts?

Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

Before the playoffs, teams would’ve rushed to offer DeRozan a max contract. Now, they might deliberate a little then offer him a max contract.

That’s just the reality of this cap environment. DeRozan will earn far more next season than the $10,350,000 he would’ve made by opting in – potentially up to the max (projected to be $25,894,800).

DeRozan is a 26-year-old scoring wing with a strong track record of improvement. Yes, his defense and outside shooting raise questions – especially in the playoffs – but plenty of teams would be better of with him than whatever their consolation prize would be.

That probably includes the Raptors, who say they want to re-sign him. DeRozan sounds like he wants to return, too.

Klay Thompson gem overshadowed by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving

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Klay Thompson scored 37 points in an NBA Finals game.

The first question he received was about not keeping up with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

LeBron’s and Irving’s historic 41-point nights eclipsed Thompson’s incredible performance in Game 5, leaving Thompson in an unprecedented position.

Thompson’s 37 points are the most to rank third in a Finals game. The previous record was Chet Walker’s 33 in Game 4 of the 1967 Finals, topped by Rick Barry (43) and Hal Greer (38).

Here’s every time three players scored 30 in a Finals game, sorted by the third-leading scorer with the top two scorers on the second line:

image

Jerry West and Elgin Baylor each scored 34 – to Sam Jones’ 35 – in Game 6 of the 1962 Finals, so neither Laker was overshadowed by two players.

The last player to score 30 and get outscored by two opponents: Jason Kidd, whose 30 weren’t enough in a 2002 Game 3 loss to the Lakers. Kobe Bryant (35) and Shaquille O’Neal (35) paced Los Angeles.

As excellently as Kidd played in that game, Thompson scored seven more points. And barely anyone is talking about Thompson today.

That’s how special LeBron and Irving were.

Bryan Colangelo expresses doubt about Dario Saric joining 76ers this year

Dario Saric
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
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Dario Saric said and resaid he’d sign with the 76ers this summer. He said he promised Philadelphia he’d follow that timeline. He reportedly told his teammates he’d leave for the NBA this summer.

But Saric – the No. 12 pick in the 2014 NBA draft – might not join the the 76ers this summer.

Philadelphia general manager Bryan Colangelo, via Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com:

The timing of him coming to the NBA is still in question. I believe there’s a desire on both sides to make it happen sooner rather than later, but at the same time, the contract scenario, economics, etc., etc. all plays a part in that decision making. We’ll know soon enough whether it’s going to happen for this particular season. That’s our goal and our desire. I think in the next few weeks we’ll have more clarity.

These are not new concerns.

If Daric signs this summer, he’ll be bound by the rookie scale. That means a four-year contract worth $10,749,666 ($4,740,840 guaranteed).

If Saric signs in 2017, he could negotiate a non-scale deal with Philadelphia. With the the salary cap skyrocketing, he might get something like three years, $30 million.

So, there’s plenty of incentive to wait – but there was always plenty of incentive to wait. Why does it seem Saric just realized that? Or, if he knew before, why did he repeatedly state a plan to the contrary?

Did LeBron James leave Kevin Love hanging on high five to lecture him? (video)

TORONTO, ON - MAY 27:  LeBron James #23 and Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate late in their 113 to 87 win over the Toronto Raptors in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 27, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
Mark Blinch/Getty Images
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LeBron James appeared to leave Kevin Love hanging on high five to lecture him.

Love also might have just been demonstrating his defensive positioning.

Obviously, only one of those scenarios is funny — and it’s the one that better matches the look of exhausted despair on Love’s face.

(hat tip: Tom Ziller of SB Nation)

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving add incredible chapter to NBA Finals record book with 41 points apiece

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Doris Burke asked Kyrie Irving a couple post-game questions then turned to LeBron James.

“LeBron, thank you for waiting,” the sideline reporter said.

LeBron doesn’t often share the stage, but Irving earned his leading role.

LeBron and Irving each scored 41 points – a historic combination – in the Cavaliers’ 112-97 Game 5 win over the Warriors on Monday.

  • Last time teammates each scored more than 40? Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant in the Thunder’s second game of the season.
  • Last time teammates each scored more than 40 in a playoff game? Sleepy Floyd and Akeem Olajuwon for the Rockets in the 1988 first round.
  • Last time teammates each scored more than 40 in a Finals game? Never.

LeBron’s and Irving’s 82 combined points were the third-most by a duo in a Finals game. Elgin Baylor (61) and Jerry West (24) set the record with a combined 85 in Game 5 of the 1962 Finals.

Here’s each time two teammates combined to score at least 75 in a Finals game:

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Nobody else on that chart produced their high-scoring Finals game in LeBron’s and Irving’s lifetimes. This was truly a generational performance – with all the pressure on the Cavs, who were down 3-1, and in Oakland

LeBron was aggressive early, and it didn’t take Irving long to get going. LeBron had 25 by halftime. Irving scored 10 straight Cavaliers points in a sub-two-minute stretch of the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

This wasn’t hero ball, either. LeBron (seven assists) and Irving (six assists) got others involved, including each other. And they shot efficiently. LeBron was 16-for-30 (4-for-8 on 3-pointers), and Irving was 17-for-24 (5-for-7 on 3-pointers).

Their combined shot chart:

kyrie lebron game 5 shot chart

Finally taking his turn answering post-game questions, LeBron repeatedly called Irving’s performance “special.” And it was. A player scoring 41 points in an NBA Finals victory is a rarity.

Except tonight.