Kurt Helin

Report: Ty Lawson to meet with Kings after missing flight, being late to shootaround


Ty Lawson is trying to change his reputation in the NBA. This is a guy who brings a couple of DUIs in recent years and a reputation as a partier — including showing up to practice with alcohol on his breath. That hurt him in free agency, but Lawson has said that was untrue and didn’t reflect who he is as a person or player.

The Kings — an organization looking to change it’s reputation, too — gave him a shot, needing a backup for Darren Collison (who will miss the first eight games of the season, suspended for a domestic abuse plea deal). However, Lawson’s contract was not guaranteed. He can be let go and the Kings owe him nothing.

Now this, via Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sacramento Kings guard Ty Lawson will have to meet with team officials to explain himself after missing the Kings’ recent flight to Kentucky for an exhibition game, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that Lawson was late to a Kings shootaround in Las Vegas earlier this week, then missed the team’s East-bound trip before Saturday night’s Sacramento/Washington preseason game at the University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena, which represented a homecoming of sorts for Kings star DeMarcus Cousins and Wizards counterpart John Wall.

The Kings attributed Lawson’s absence from the lineup in Lexington to “personal reasons.” He has since returned to Sacramento, sources said, and faces an uncertain future with his new team after the week’s events.

The Kings are an organization trying to turn the corner — both on the court and with their reputation off it. They may not be as lenient with a player who they see as setting back that effort, but it depends on the details of what happened (which we do not know).

Lawson, who struggled in stops in Indiana and Houston last season, has played well for the Kings this preseason, shooting 64.3 percent (9-of-14, 1-of-2 from three), and dishing out 13 assists to seven turnovers. For comparison with the other backup point guards, Jordan Farmar is shooting 47.1 percent overall but is 5-of-11 (45.5 percent) from three, plus has 11 assists and eight turnovers; Isaiah Cousins has played less than those two and is just 0-of-1 from the field, looking less impressive in his limited minutes.

None of those three reserve guards has a guaranteed contract, and all could be carried into the season then released (the contracts do not become fully guaranteed until January).

Report: NBA, players’ union to meet Wednesday to continue promising CBA talks

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This is the best of news for NBA fans — momentum is building toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, something that would bring years of labor peace to the NBA. After the last pizza-in-hotel-lobby filled lockout, this would be a welcome change of pace.

Following multiple reports of a new deal coming before either side can opt out of the old one on Dec. 15, now we find out the two sides will meet in New York on Wednesday, followed by the owners meetings the following two days. Via Ian Begley of ESPN.

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have a meeting scheduled for Wednesday in New York – one day before the league’s annual Board of Governors session — as they inch closer to striking a new labor agreement, according to league sources.

The meeting is the latest signal, sources told ESPN.com, that a new deal to avoid a work stoppage is looming in the near future.

Sources say there is rising optimism on both sides of the bargaining table that the basic framework of a deal can be achieved as early as this month.

Those owners’ meetings almost certainly will involve Commissioner Adam Silver laying out in some details the outline of this CBA. As long as the owners sign off on this — which is likely, the new TV deal is lining their pockets like never before — it will just be a matter of crossing the “Ts”, and the deal will be done. Eventually, the rank-and-file players will have to vote to approve the new CBA, they likely approve the deal for the same reason the owners will.

What we know is that the revenue split between the owners and players remains the roughly 50-50 split agreed to in the last CBA — that’s always the biggest obstacle. There was talk some players might want to battle to get back some percentage of revenue lost in the last deal, and that some owners wanted to increase their share, but in the end this is fare and cooler heads seem to have prevailed.  We also know the players are pushing or a fund to help retired players who need it with medical and other expenses, that seems to have traction with the league as well.

Hopefully, this gets done and we can just focus on basketball.

Knicks’ camp invitee Chasson Randle suffers left orbital bone fracture


With Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings ahead of him, Chasson Randle was a long shot to make the Knicks’ roster as a third point guard — especially considering the team already has 15 guaranteed contracts on the books (the max they can carry into the season) and Randle was not one of them. Although, with Rose and Jennings histories you can make a case they may want a third point guard on that roster.

Now comes this setback.

For some perspective, the orbital bone fracture is the one Derrick Rose suffered a season ago. He was sidelined about three weeks then had to play with a mask for some time after that.

Most likely, the former Stanford star Randle will be cut, and Phil Jackson will bet on Justin Holiday to cover the point when Rose and Jennings can’t. Hopefully, that bet goes better than Jackson’s “Rose’s rape trial will not be a distraction” gamble.

Grizzles are launching, hitting more threes — especially against Rockets’ defense

Associated Press

Last season the Memphis Grizzlies launched 18.6 threes per game (25th in the NBA), hitting 33.1 percent of them (29th in the NBA).

New Coach David Fizdale is changing that.

So far this preseason the Grizzlies are averaging 28.8 threes per game and hitting 34 percent of them. The Grizzlies made 17 threes against the Rockets Saturday night, and they were coming from everyone.

For example, Marc Gasol is 6-of-13 from three this preseason. It’s going to be interesting to see how this carries over to the regular season for the Grizzlies.

Memphis won the game 134-125, handing Houston its first loss of the preseason.

Watch Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant combine for 41 as Warriors beat Lakers 112-107


New Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton’s first matchup against Golden State, where he won a championship as an assistant in 2015, went about as expected – with a Warriors’ rout.

Klay Thompson scored 24 to lead the Warriors to a 112-107 win over the Lakers in Las Vegas.

Kevin Durant added 17 points as Golden State (4-1) shot 54.3 percent from the field. Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and David West did not play.

Nick Young led the Lakers with 17 off the bench on 6 for 9 shooting while No. 2 overall pick Brandon Ingram scored 12 off the bench.

Los Angeles (2-4) was outscored 54-30 in the paint. Lou Williams and Metta World Peace did not play.