Dan Feldman

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Report: Warriors sell jersey ad for $60 million over three years

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The Warriors were reportedly seeking at least $15 million annually for their jersey ad, which was 50% more than any team has received. The Cavaliers will draw about $10 million per year.

Well, Golden State is getting a bit more than that.

Darren Rovell of ESPN:

The Golden State Warriors signed the largest of the NBA ad patch deals this week, selling the space on its jersey for the next three years to Japanese tech holding company Rakuten.

Sources say the deal is worth $20 million a year

Did Kevin Durant really have to take a discount for the Warriors’ owners to afford this roster?

Wizards confident in how John Wall will develop during super-max extension

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The NBA’s new designated-veteran-player rule hasn’t exactly worked as intended.

DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler, Paul George and Kyrie Irving have all been traded before eligible to sign a designated-veteran-player contract. Though each situation is unique, teams might be leery of paying the super max well into a player’s 30s. If eligible, players would likely demand the maximum available salary, though. And, obviously, not all players are enticed by the possibility of a super-max deal, anyway.

But the Wizards signed John Wall to a designated-veteran-player extension, which projects to be worth a whopping $169 million over four years.

Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic:

In brokering this deal, the Wizards had to project how Wall’s game will develop over the course of the next five or six years. That’s a long time, but as team president Ernie Grunfeld explained in detail, they feel very comfortable about Wall’s future.

“Thirty is still very young in the NBA nowadays. But we’ve seen John grow every single year. He’s improved every year he’s been in the league. The last four years he’s been an All-Star. This past year he was an elite-level player making the All-NBA team. He’s improved his shooting, he’s improved his knowledge of the game. The game has really slowed down for him. His first two or three years he was just up and down the floor trying to get to the basket and get layups. Now he reads the floor and he reads the situations and makes the right plays at the right times,” Grunfeld said.

There are three primary reasons a designated-veteran-player extension makes more sense for Wall and the Wizards than most cases:

1. Wall is particularly young for someone with his experience level. He was just 19 when drafted. Players can’t receive a designated-veteran-player salary until their ninth season, when many of them are already or close to declining. Wall’s extension will kick in for his 10th season, when he’ll be just 29.

2. Wall’s extension added just four years to his contract. A designated-veteran-player extension must bring a player’s contract to a total of six years. Because Wall still had two years left on his deal (not possessing a player option on his rookie-scale extension), his latest extension added just four years at the super-max salary. That’s far less risky for the team. It would have been risky for Wall to wait until next summer to sign, as he’d have to make another All-NBA team to remain eligible for the super max.

3. Washington already committed to max contracts for Otto Porter and Bradley Beal that run through the first two seasons of Wall’s extension. Ian Mahinmi is still on the books for more than $15 million during the first. Even without extending Wall, the Wizards might not have had significant cap flexibility. Better to keep their franchise player.

Will Wall be worth $47 million at age 32? Probably not. Will he be worth $44 million at age 31? I wouldn’t take that bet.

But Washington might get enough surplus value during the first two years of the extension, when Wall projects to earn $38 million and $41 million, to make it worthwhile. More importantly, players of Wall’s caliber aren’t easily attainable. Even if his salary outpaces his production, the Wizards couldn’t simply find a fair-value replacement who even nears Wall’s output. There’s simply value in having him.

Suns’ offseason a snoozer

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The Suns made their usual bids for stars.

Also, as usual, Phoenix came up empty.

Then… nothing.

The Suns had the NBA’s quietest offseason. They drafted Josh Jackson (No. 4) and Davon Reed (No. 32) and re-signed Alan Williams to a completely reasonable three-year, $17 million contract. Otherwise, they mostly stayed quiet.

Alex Len remains a restricted free agent, and Phoenix has enough cap room to do something big – especially if it includes renouncing Len. But at this point in the summer, fireworks are usually finished.

The Suns could have made a late splash by trading for Kyrie Irving. They didn’t push too hard, logical considering they’re unlikely to win enough during the final two seasons before Irving’s player option to justify the cost of acquiring him.

Phoenix wanted the type of offseason the Denver had, landing a star like Paul Millsap while its payroll was low. When that didn’t happen, the Suns settled for the type of offseason the Heat couldn’t have – rolling over cap space, setting up to tank again and trying again next summer.

Aside from overspending on lackluster veterans, there just wasn’t much else for the Phoenix to do.

The Suns already have promising young players (Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, Tyler Ulis and Derrick Jones. Jr.). They have veterans to set a tone (Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley). They even have a few between players who could be part of the next winner in Phoenix or get moved before that (Eric Bledsoe, T.J. Warren and Alan Williams).

It was a bummer that Brandon Knight got hurt, but he was unlikely regain positive trade value. Davon Reed’s injury was also a bummer, but I didn’t have the highest hopes for him, either.

Getting Jackson at No. 4 was treated by many as a boon. But I always projected a player of that caliber to be available.

This offseason just didn’t move the needle in any way.

The Suns did very little, and as long as they don’t offer Len a huge contract or do something else wild, that was fine given the circumstances. High draft picks and cap flexibility are always good to have.

Offseason grade: C

Jaylen Brown rapped and produced song to prepare for defending LeBron James

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LeBron James‘ and Kevin Durant‘s collaboration had a short run as the hottest unheard track performed by an NBA player.

Next up? Maybe the song Jaylen Brown wrote and rapped to ease his nerves before the Celtics’ then-rookie guarded LeBron James in last year’s Eastern Conference finals.

Avery Yang of SportTechie:

He finally settled on an unorthodox solution — to create a three-minute, 31-second rap song that he rapped, produced and composed himself, one that would boost his self-esteem and get him past the urge to vomit before games in nervousness. Brown listened to the song, entitled Building Blocks, several times before all five games of a playoff series in which he held his own against James defensively.

Game day and it’s time to focus in. … Is you ready, I can feel you breathing heavy, keep it steady. I just gotta pretend that I got it all together when I don’t. Probably wanna throw up but I won’t … just breathe. —Jaylen Brown, Building Blocks

Breathe in, breathe out, listen to my voice breathe in, breathe out. (Expletive) you ain’t got a choice, breathe in, breathe out. I can feel my hands sweaty, I can feel my legs heavy. —Jaylen Brown, Building Blocks

LeBron shot 79% while Brown was on the court in the Eastern Conference finals.

Stephen Curry voices support for Colin Kaepernick

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Stephen Curry saw his favorite NFL team come to his neck of the woods, when the San Francisco 49ers hosted the Carolina Panthers yesterday.

The Warriors superstar used the occasion to express support for Colin Kaepernick, who has not been signed after kneeling during the national anthem last season.

First, Curry posted “freekaep” on Instagram. Via NBC Sports Bay Area:

stephkap.jpg

Then, Curry expanded. Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer:

Said Curry of Kaepernick: “He definitely should be in the NFL. If you’ve been around the NFL, the top 64 quarterbacks, and he’s not one of them? Then I don’t know what game I’m watching.

“Obviously his stance and his peaceful protest when he was playing here kind of shook up the world,” Curry said, “and I think for the better. But hopefully he gets back in the league – because he deserves to be here and he deserves an opportunity to play. He’s in his prime and can make a team better.”

Curry said, though, that he hoped most of all that from Kaepernick’s protests that “all that he’s gone through in the past year actually leads to some awakening.”

Remember when it seemed Curry tried to avoid controversy? That sure has changed.

Kaepernick is one of the top 64 quarterbacks in the world. He’s not necessarily a starter, but teams need backups – and, as Week 1 showed, many need better backups. That Kaepernick is unsigned shines a bright light on the myth that sports are some great meritocracy. Kaepernick worked hard, grinded and became one of the very best at what he does. He’s jobless because of his political views. Period.

Good for Curry for speaking out.