In a couple of months, Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic will be teammates in Chicago, the two teammates trying to space the floor when Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade are on the floor together.
Friday, they will be going against each other in the biggest game in Rio — USA vs. Spain in the Olympics semi-finals. The game that has the USA coaches most concerned.
Mirotic fired the first shot at Butler on Instagram
Who will get the last word on the court?
The Milwaukee Bucks have a solid starting backcourt, with Matthew Dellavedova at the one and Kris Middleton at the two — and with Giannis Antetokounmpo as the point forward handling a lot of the playoff duties.
But behind them they Bucks are young, and they have questions at the two guard with Rashad Vaughn and Malcolm Brogdon vying for minutes.
Enter Jason Terry, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
Terry will be 39 by the time the season starts, but in a limited role he was fairly solid for the Rockets last season. He still has some playmaking skills, and he can catch-and-shoot to space the floor, hitting 35.6 percent from three last season. He’s also a little better defensively than one would expect.
In a limited role — 15 minutes a night? — he could provide some veteran stability on and off the court (and they likely can get him for the room exception). Assuming this is a one-year deal, it’s a respectable move for the Bucks. Not a game changer, but solid.
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.