J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers remain at an impasse: The Cavaliers reportedly are offering about $10 million to Smith, he would prefer $15 million. Years may also be at issue. But LeBron James wants the deal to get done (and he and Smith have the same agent), so eventually it will.
Smith is hosting his 10th annual golf charity outing, which is taking place in New Jersey. Smith talked about it in the Uninterrupted video above — then he had a message for media who might attend and ask about his contract status.
“I know you guys are going to ask me about my contract situation. You’ve got my agent’s number so you all can call him. Rich Paul. You all know what it is. Klutch. You dig?”
Not sure what comes out of asking Smith about it at this point anyway. The deal will get done when it gets done, possibly close to camp. He’s not going anywhere, and the Cavs want him back.
The New York Knicks have 14 guaranteed contracts set up for next season. Which means they may stand pat, but they can carry one more guy on the roster.
Caron Butler would love to be that guy he told Anthony Donahue on the 33rd and 7th podcast.
Butler is going to be open to any job offered at this point.
The real question is, do the Knicks want him?
At age 36, Butler on the court is a catch-and-shoot option, except he shot just 16.7 percent from three last season in Sacramento. Butler still has a fantastic basketball IQ, he’s still the kind of veteran a lot of teams could use in the locker room (why do you think the Kings brought him in last season?), but he’s just lost a couple of steps and isn’t the same player.
It’s tough to imagine the Knicks putting Butler in that last slot over a wing like J.P. Tokoto who they could try to develop (and already have on a partial guarantee contract).
Giannis Antetokounmpo is as close to a walking highlight factory as the NBA has right now.
So when the folks at NBA.com put together a Top 10 list of the Greek Freak’s highlights from last season, you know we’ll stop and watch.
Antetokounmpo playing point forward all season with the Bucks is going to be so much fun.
At age 34, Tony Parker‘s impressive international career is over.
But he’s not done in the NBA — he wants to go until he’s 39.
Parker was in a reflective mood after his final international game Wednesday — a loss to Spain that eliminated France from the Rio Olympics —but he told Jeff Zillgitt of the USA Today he want to play in the NBA until he is pushing 40.
“I want to end my Spurs career on a high note. I want to play five more years,” Parker said.
Parker is under contract for this season and next with the Spurs. For years his name came up in trade rumors, but nothing came close to fruition.
While he is still a good player who can dial up stretches of his vintage self, Parker has seen slippage in his game the past couple NBA seasons. Incredible quickness was always at the core of Parker’s game — on offense he could get to the rim at will, on defense he could stay in front of many guards — but he has been slowed a step the last couple seasons, due to injury and age. That process is not going to reverse itself. He relies more on a midrange game and smart play.
Parker will be sharing more responsibilities with Patty Mills at the point this coming season. But if Parker is willing to gracefully accept a smaller role, he is the kind of smart veteran player Popovich will want to keep around. Maybe for five more seasons.
Spain remains the biggest threat to the USA’s gold medal plans in Rio. Don’t take my word for it, ask Mike Krzyzewski and the USA coaching staff. Or just do a head-to-head comparison: The USA beat France by 3, Spain beat them yesterday by 25.
But Spain’s anchor Pau Gasol is battling a calf injury that could keep him out Friday, or more likely just limit him.
Here is what Spanish coach Sergio Scariolo said to the Spanish media in Rio, via Eurohoops.net.
“He is not well, I can not say for sure that he is going to play. We continue with his treatments and the truth is that we needed him right now. We hope his condition to evolve well and at least be ready to help as much as he can his teammates in the game. I can not say anything more right now.”
Part mind game? Likely. I’d be shocked if Gasol didn’t suit up for the biggest game to date in the Olympics. But if he’s limited, that would be big.
Gasol leads Spain — which has rolled Argentina, Lithuania, and France in its last three games — with 17 points per game on 51.3 percent shooting, plus he leads the Olympics averaging 8.7 rebounds a game. He’s dishing out 2.3 assists a game, too.
Gasol’s below-the-rim game is not based on explosive athleticism; it’s about a high hoops IQ and rock-solid fundamentals. Even slowed some, he could be trouble for the USA.
It’s something to watch as the game goes on Friday, tipping off at 2:45 Eastern on NBC Sports Network.