Kurt Helin

Adam Silver

Adam Silver on free agency moratorium: “Is there a better system?”

9 Comments

Understandably, Mark Cuban isn’t the biggest fan of the NBA’s free agency moratorium right now — DeAndre Joran told him he was coming to Dallas, then during that window changed his mind and re-signed with the Clippers. Cuban is ticked, and he’s got issues with the system.

Cuban isn’t alone, there are other teams around the league who have concerns about the system — there were a lot of dominoes that fell based on Jordan’s verbal commitment.

The NBA’s competition committee, and after them the owners, are going to take a look at adjusting the moratorium. But getting something done is not that simple. Here is what Adam Silver said on NBA TV from Summer League (hat tip Eye on Basketball for the transcription).

But on the other hand people have to remember one of the reasons for the moratorium was it used to be a guy could go from being a player under contract to all of a sudden at 12:01 signing with a new team. And people would say, ‘How in the world would that happen if he had been under contract and wasn’t supposed to be talking to other teams?’ So everyone agreed we needed a period of time in which more than either the player’s existing team or some team that somehow miraculously had had a conversation with him without having it directly — you needed an opportunity where other teams would have a chance to talk to that player. And now, what happened in this case was, of course, his own team — and I don’t know what the facts there are, and I’m sure we’ll ultimately spend more time looking into it, but at least as reported, DeAndre Jordan, through the moratorium period, reached out — that’s the report at least — and had second thoughts about leaving.

I will say it’s an imperfect system, there’s no question about it. The question is, ‘Is there a better system?’ And that’s something that the league office, and in discussion with our owners, we’re always looking to do things better. It so happens we have an owners’ meeting here in Las Vegas on Tuesday, we have a competition committee [Monday]. And there’s no doubt we’ll spend time talking about it to see just that, if there’s a better way. And on top of that, it also is part of our collective bargaining agreement as well. So even if we say, ‘Yeah, here’s a better way of doing it,’ we can’t unilaterally change it. It has to be changed through a collective bargaining process.

Silver said he has talked to Cuban and he understood the system, that nothing was binding.

All they have to do to change it is get the majority of GMs to agree, then get the owners to agree, then get the players union to agree.

Good luck with that.

Paul George on if he wants to play in the Olympics next summer: “Of course”

Team USA Showcase
6 Comments

You could understand if Paul George were a little bit hesitant about playing for Team USA again. He was wearing the Team USA jersey in Las Vegas just a little less than a year ago when exhibition game he suffered as gruesome a leg injury as you will see. One that cost him most of the last season.

Does he want to put that jersey again next summer and try to earn a roster spot for Rio De Janeiro? David Woods of the Indy Star asked.

“Of course,” he said. “I’ve had a dream of lifting that gold medal. That’s definitely motivation.”

As for the incident, George has moved on.

“It almost seems like it happened ages ago,” he said of the broken leg. “I forget sometimes it was only less than a year. It hasn’t really been in the back of my mind anymore. I’m kind of beyond that phase. That’s the good thing.

“I’m not going to work, having flashbacks or thinking about coming down wrong. I’ve just been out on the court playing, just working out.”

If George is back to his vintage self, he likely makes that Team USA squad.

His versatile style of play, his defense, his ability to hit the three, the fact he can finish in transition all fit perfectly with Coach K’s up-tempo, “overwhelm them with athleticism” style of play.

For the good of the league and NBA fans everywhere, I hope he is back to form next season. Then in the summer of 2016 we can unleash him on the rest of the world.

Report: Nuggets talked Danilo Gallinari trade with Boston Celtics

Danilo Gallinari
14 Comments

Denver is looking to shake up their roster.

Danny Ainge is as active looking at trades as any GM out there.

So it shouldn’t be a shock that the two sides have talked about a trade this summer. Denver would love to ship out Ty Lawson, but Boston isn’t interested in another point guard (they have Marcus Smart and just drafted Terry Rozier). But Danilo Gallinari on the other hand… from Steve Bulpet of the Boston Herald.

Not sure I would get on this happening. Notice the past tense in the tweet.

No doubt Gallinari is on the trade block. A number of teams, including Memphis, have had interest. When healthy he is a dangerous scoring four. After a couple seasons of injuries near the end of this past season Gallinari was starting to look like his old self — he averaged 19 points a game and shot 39.1 percent from three, plus grabbed almost five rebounds a game.

He’s also in the last year of his deal, so he’s not going to burden anyone’s cap space going forward.

Still, this feels more like talk than anything else.

Denver wants to make moves; they just need to find a dance partner. And someone who will give them anything of quality back for Lawson.

Brilliant impression of Russell Westbrook reactions/expressions (VIDEO)

New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder
5 Comments

That is brilliant.

Russell Westbrook is one of the most entertaining NBA players not only because of his freakish athleiticm and skills, but because the guy plays as emotional a game — he wears it on his sleeve. And he expects everyone around him to be that into it.

Make sure you stick around for the last impression, when he doesn’t get a high five from a guy.

Westbrook did, and he liked it.

Rumor: Sense around league is Kevin Durant likely to stay in Oklahoma City

Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder
50 Comments

LeBron James. Kawhi Leonard. Kevin Love. Marc Gasol. DeAndre Jordan. Draymond Green. Jimmy Butler. Dwyane Wade. Brook Lopez. Goran Dragic. Danny Green.

Every one of those top free agents this summer re-signed with their own team — security and taking the cash on the table were the themes of the summer. Even the restricted guys (Leonard, Green and Butler) didn’t meet with other teams, they were never really on the market. LaMarcus Aldridge was the outlier, bolting Portland to contend in San Antonio.

What does that portend heading into the much-discussed free agent summer of 2016, when the salary cap spikes and every team will be flush with cash?

Don’t bet on Kevin Durant leaving OKC.

Executives around the league expect him to stay put, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.

Most league execs informally polled here at Summer League expect Durant to stay in Oklahoma City when he hits the market next summer. There are only a handful of teams that can legitimately think they’re an option. The Lakers, the Mavs and the Wizards (in Durant’s hometown) are in the mix, for starters. The Knicks? I mean, I guess, in theory.

I will say I’ve heard there is some pressure within Durant’s circle to consider the Knicks, but will they have a roster that he wants to come to?

Oklahoma City has always been the frontrunners, and the owner has signed off on paying the tax this year to show his commitment to winning (that came with matching the Blazers’ Enes Kanter offer). Durant likes the city, the team is a legit title contender, and as we have seen this year the lure of a big market alone is not near enough to draw a superstar.

The NBA season between now and Durant’s decision is a lifetime, and a lot of things could change. But it’s good to be in front of the race now, and Oklahoma City is that.