Kurt Helin

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Stephen Curry on re-signing with Warriors: “It’s hard to see myself anywhere else”


Stephen Curry‘s steal of a contract comes to an end this summer and he will be an unrestricted free agent.

Notice how you haven’t heard any stories about teams clearing cap space to chase Curry this summer? That’s because you can’t find a person around the league that thinks he’s going to leave Golden State. Sure, his agent will get calls, but they have about as much chance of success as me calling Margot Robbie.

Curry wasn’t going to completely paint himself into a corner, but he said as much speaking to the Wall Street Journal.

Although he says “curveballs happen all the time,” it should relieve millions of people in the Bay Area that Curry feels that he is home. “It’s hard to see myself anywhere else,” he says.

The Warriors can offer Curry the most money — safe to say he’s a max player, which will start for him at about $28.8 million annually — and he is playing on a contending team, for a strong organization, it one of the world’s great cities/regions, with an amazingly strong fan base. He’s going to bolt all of that because…

Curry will get a deal done minutes after the clock flips over to July 1 next summer. Same with Kevin Durant in Golden State (he can and will opt out to get a larger, longer deal that starts at $33.5 million a year). What that means for the Warriors ability to keep Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and other free agents is a different question.

By the way, don’t be shocked if, once past his prime, Curry plays the final couple seasons of his career in his hometown of Charlotte. But that’s not happening this summer.

Dwyane Wade: “I hate the two-minute reports”

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David Stern was old-school dictatorial about it — the league always backed the referees’ in-game decisions, and fines rained down on any coach/player/executive to dared criticize them.

Adam Silver is more modern and transparent: The fines are still there, but now the league releases a “two-minute report” breaking down the calls in the final two minutes of games that are within five points at the two-minute mark of the fourth. (Those reports always existed, Silver just had them scrubbed up and released.) If the referees miss a call or blow one, the report calls them out. And they miss a fair amount (not as many as fans want to think, but some).

Dwyane Wade hates the reports. His words, not mine. From Vincent Goodwill at CSNChicago.com.

“I hate them. I hate the two-minute reports. I’ll go on record saying it again,” Wade said following practice Monday at the Advocate Center. “It’s bad for our game to come back with those two-minute reports…

“It’s in the game. It’s the call that’s been made on the floor, we’re mad at it then,” he said. “Let’s move on. I hate the two-minute report that comes back and says, ‘We should’ve called this’. We lost. It’s not making none of us feel better by saying ‘See, I told you.’ We lost the game. I hate them. I’ve said that multiple times.”

There are plenty of coaches/players/executives who feel the same way as Wade — if you’re not going to go back and change the outcome (and that’s not going to happen), then why publish the reports? Human error is part of the game, live with it.

At the Finals last year, Silver defended the reports.

“We’re in the second year of our Last Two-Minute Reports, and I still remain strongly behind them,” Silver said last June. “Now, I understand the criticism from some of the teams that, ‘What’s the point? Why are you telling the world that this call was decided incorrectly? May have gone in our favor, may not have. Nothing can be done about it after the fact.’

“My view, first of all, in terms of building confidence in the public, they want to see consistency. So they want to understand if we call something a foul, why we called it a foul, and we often give explanations for why we believe something was a foul, whether it was correctly called or incorrectly called. So it’s our hope that you take the Last Two-Minute Reports together with using a certain amount of replay that we’re building to build trust and integrity in the league.”

That’s Silver’s world-view summed up: While Stern preferred secrecy and just ignored conspiracy theorists, Silver wants to confront it all head on. Not that the tinfoil hat brigade is going to believe him, but he’s not going to hide when mistakes are made just to protect an image (within reason).

Silver works at the pleasure of the NBA owners — if they want the two-minute reports gone, they will be gone. But unless they pressure Silver to make a change, the reports are likely here to stay, regardless of what Wade thinks.

As if we need it, another report Boston still hunting for another star


Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics got their first gold star this summer, convincing Al H0rford to join their solid young core. That was step one in returning Boston to contender status (well, probably step two, hiring Brad Stevens was step one), and it has worked when Horford has been healthy — they are 5-2 in games he plays this season. They are vastly better when he is on the court.

But if they want to challenge Cleveland, Boston needs another star player.

That Ainge is hunting for said star is about as big a secret as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s breakup. That the Celtics have the picks and young players to make an enticing offer to any team who decides to move a superstar is also common knowledge — if a superstar is put on the block Boston’s assets move it to the front of the line.

But if you want more confirmation, here is Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.

From all indications speaking to team sources around the league, Danny Ainge is still after the major trades the C’s president of basketball operations knows are needed. And no doubt he’s loving each story calling the 2017 draft one of the deepest and most talent-laden in many years, understanding that such talk could raise the value of the Nets’ pick that can be theirs.

The problem isn’t Ainge being willing, rather it is who is available? So far the Kings continue to rebuff calls about DeMarcus Cousins. The idea that Chicago would move Jimmy Butler was more fantasy than reality from the start, and it’s certainly not happening now that the Bulls are playing well. Washington is a year away (at least) from starting to think about breaking up John Wall and Bradley Beal. It’s hard to imagine Larry Bird trading Paul George. Doc Rivers isn’t breaking up the Clippers’ core with them playing well.

And so it goes, with Ainge trying to be patient and the fan base feeling impatient. Welcome to life in Boston.

Report: In addition to Norris Cole, Grizzlies to look at Kendall Marshall, others with Conley out

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Point guard Mike Conley is out for at least six weeks with a fractured vertebrae (although, depending on the vertebrae, maybe he returns sooner). With that Grizzlies’ depth issues become incredibly clear: With Conley on the court Memphis is 19.3 points per 100 possessions better than when he sits. Pair Conley and Marc Gasol on the court together the Grizzlies are +7.9 per 100. Or look at it this way, with Gasol and Conley paired this season the Grizzlies are +81, without them they are -88.

Memphis’ lack of depth is going to be an issue, they will fall back on Wade Baldwin and Andrew Harrison to fill in for now. But they want more depth, and are going to look at free agents (as of Dec. 3 they can apply for a hardship and temporarily add a 16th person to the roster). Norris Cole’s name already came up.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports has more names as well.

With the possibility that the Grizzlies could apply for the exception, creating a 16th roster spot, the Grizzlies plan to start working out free-agent point guards, league sources told The Vertical. Included among the several players expected to visit the Grizzlies for tryouts: Kendall Marshall, Toney Douglas and Will Bynum, league sources told The Vertical.

Other reports say Mario Chalmers, who was playing fairly well for the Grizzlies will before rupturing his Achilles last season, will not be brought in for a workout.

Cole is playing in China but has an NBA opt-out clause. Marshall was just picked up by the Reno Bighorns of the D-League off waivers. None of these answers are very good.

The Grizzlies are 11-7 in the middle of the pack in the West to start the season, but the basketball gods have soured on them and injuries are piling up: Chandler Parsons (bone bruise), Brandon Wright (ankle) and James Ennis (calf strain) have missed games due to injury lately, while Zach Randolph was out Monday due to the death of his mother.

Memphis needs to find a way to keep its head above water for the next six weeks or so and not fall so far out of the playoff race that they can’t find their way back when healthy. That’s easier said than done.

Watch Draymond Green make two key blocks late, then dance


Give the Atlanta Hawks credit, they made the Warriors work for their 12th straight win (which is saying something, the previous 11 the Warriors had won by an average of 19.1 per game).

In the end, the Warriors got the buckets they needed from Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry (25 a piece), but it was Golden State’s defense that sealed the game. The Warriors held the Hawks to 27 percent shooting in the fourth quarter, including 3-of-10 in the paint.

Leading the way was Mr. I-really-want-DPOY Draymond Green. He blocked Dennis Schroder‘s shot on a key drive, then on the next possession did the same thing to Kent Bazemore.

And then Green danced.

The Warriors defense took a while to come around, but it is currently eighth best in the NBA overall, and over the last five games it is the best in the NBA (allowing 91.1 points per 100 possessions). Pair that with the Golden State offense and… damn this team will be tough to beat four out of seven.