Dan Feldman

Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (9) dunks against Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) during the first half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, June 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
AP Photo/Eric Risberg

2016 PBT Awards: Sixth Man of the Year

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Kurt Helin

1. Andre Iguodala

2. Tristan Thompson

3. Enes Kanter

This was the toughest award to hand out this season. Early on it seemed that Manu Ginobili and Iguodala had separated from the pack, but both suffered injuries and missed time. To me, Ginobili missed too much time, but Iguodala did not (even though he missed his games late). I know Iguodala doesn’t want this award, but he settles down the Warriors second unit and is key to the devastating “death lineup.” I know Jamal Crawford will get a lot of votes, but not mine: the Clippers are 6.9 points per 100 possessions worse when Crawford is on the court compared to sitting, and even the Clipper offense e is better when he is out. I understand the noise in those numbers but I can’t get past what often feel like empty stats from Crawford.

Sean Highkin

1. Andre Iguodala

2. Tristan Thompson

3. Cory Joseph

Iguodala doesn’t want this award and has been very vocal about that, but he gets the nod here. When you’re a part of the famous “death lineup” on the greatest regular-season team of all time, that’s enough to me. Thompson will be starting at center for the Cavs in the playoffs, but he’s anchored them off the bench and helped them get the best record in the East. And Joseph has given the Raptors some much-needed backcourt depth and solid play at both ends of the floor.

Dan Feldman

1. Tristan Thompson

2. Andre Iguodala

3. Enes Kanter

Iguodala and Manu Ginobili, in that order, were the NBA’s best reserves when on the court this season. But they missed so much time to injury. On my sliding scale that weighs both contributions per minute played and total contributions, that allowed Thompson to pass Iguodala and Kanter to pass Ginobili.

Bulls GM Gar Forman on trading Jimmy Butler: ‘We’ve got to explore all options’

Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler shakes hands with general manager Gar Forman during a news conference Thursday, July 9, 2015 in Chicago. The Bulls took what they believe is a big step, announcing a maximum five-year contract for their All-Star shooting guard on Thursday. They are hoping Butler can build on a breakout season, form a dominant tandem with Rose and help them emerge from the Eastern Conference after they came up short last season. Butler's deal is worth $95.5 million. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT CHICAGO TRIBUNE; CHICAGO SUN-TIMES OUT; DAILY HERALD OUT; NORTHWEST HERALD OUT; THE HERALD-NEWS OUT; DAILY CHRONICLE OUT; THE TIMES OF NORTHWEST INDIANA OUT; TV OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES
Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune via AP
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Could the Bulls actually trade Jimmy Butler this summer?

Chicago’s top basketball executives – Gar Forman and John Paxson – didn’t shoot down the rumor.

Not even close.

Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:

When given the opportunity to boldly declare Butler as the untouchable piece, they left the door open to other ideas.

“I would say, I think John made it pretty clear we’ve got to take a look at everything,” Forman said. “We’ve got to explore all options and I don’t think there’s anything that’s off the table when you have a disappointing year like this. With that said, obviously Jimmy has had a fantastic year. From where he was to where he’s gotten to, he’s become a very, vey valuable player for us.”

“There’s one untouchable guy I’ve ever been around, Michael Jordan,” Paxson said. “So that’s how I’ve always looked at it.”

This still strikes me as management trying to send a message – both to Butler (who some believe has changed during his path to stardom) and his teammates (some of whom believe he gets preferential treatment). There’s nothing preferential about a trade you don’t want. It might even be humbling.

This is also a good way to evaluate Butler’s value around the league. That knowledge could come in handy.

And it’s possible the Bulls get an offer that knocks their socks off. Pushing to trade Butler would be a mistake, but they shouldn’t keep him at all costs if another team covets him to a ridiculous degree.

I doubt Chicago will sell low on Butler for the sake of change, and given the amount of lowball offers floated when a star becomes even somewhat available, that means he’ll probably remain a Bull.

Michael Jordan congratulates Warriors: ‘Basketball is always evolving’

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan pumps his fist as he watches his team against the Washington Wizards in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. The Hornets won 101-87. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Klay Thompson and Draymond Green said Michael Jordan encouraged him to break the Bulls’ record.

So, it’s no surprise Jordan handled the Warriors going 73-9, topping Chicago’s 72-10 mark, with such class.

Jordan’s manager Estee Portnoy:

This is a welcome change from the 1972 Dolphins, who – champagne toasts or not – still brag about their undefeated season at a grating level. At least Mercury Morris does, and he presents himself as speaking for the team.

Good for Jordan, whom nobody would accuse of lacking competitiveness, for seeing the bigger picture. The Warriors are great for basketball, and their season doesn’t erase the Bulls’. If anything, it should make a new generation of fans appreciate just how hard it was for Chicago to win 72.

As the Bulls’ best player took the high road, so did their most prominent fan.

President Barack Obama:

Yup, Obama sure enjoys these Warriors.

73! Warriors break Bulls’ record

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A few high fives. Some pats on the back. A word of encouragement here and there.

The Warriors remained relatively stoic after clinching a 73-9 record – breaking the 72-10 mark of the 1995-96 Bulls – with a 125-104 win over Memphis on Wednesday.

Draymond Green thanked the crowd after the historic victory, ending his speech with a simple message:

“Now, let’s go get this championship,” Green said.

73? The Warriors already looked focused on the next 16.

Their challenge now – repeating as NBA champions – begins with a first-round series against the Rockets. Golden State doesn’t want to become the next 16-0 New England Patriots or 116-win Seattle Mariners, record-setting teams in the regular season that fell short in the postseason.

But if the Warriors complete a title run, they’ve staked a strong case as the best team in NBA history. They’ve done all they can so far, posting the league’s best-ever record:

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Like many of their wins this season, the Warriors cruised tonight. Curry scored 46 points and boosted his single-season 3-pointers record to 402 with 10 tonight – in three quarters.

For all the debate about whether Golden State should rest its players or push for wins down the stretch, early domination took care of that question against Memphis. Most of the Warriors’ starters – Curry, Green and Andrew Bogut – sat the entire final period. A huge win for the history books was pretty mundane for those involved.

Just how they wanted it.

“We’ll be fresh for this weekend,” Curry said.

Stephen Curry makes 400th 3-pointer of season

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Stephen Curry promised, if he reached 399 3-pointers this season, he’d start chucking for 400.

No need for desperation.

Curry made his 400th 3-pointer early in the third quarter as the Warriors seek their record-setting 73rd win. The Golden State guard continues to expand his single-season 3-pointer record, which broke his own mark, which broke his own mark:

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Curry entered the game eight 3-pointers from 400 – a longshot for anyone else. But Curry has now made eight 3s in a game 16 times this season – more than every player on the league’s other 29 teams combined. Only Klay Thompson (five games with 8-pointers) did it more than twice.

Curry made six 3-pointers in the first quarter, including a bomb just inside the half-court logo early in the shot clock that started a run of three Curry 3s on three consecutive possessions:

He reached 399 late in the second quarter but missed a pair of attempts on the final possession of the first half.

Then, it took only one Warriors possession for Curry to hit the magic 400.