Author: Kurt Helin

Oklahoma City Thunder v Boston Celtics

Report: Celtics center Vitor Faverani arrested for drunk driving in Spain


Well, the Celtics are in the off-season news now, but not in a good way.

Boston’s backup center Vitor Faverani has been arrested in Valencia, Spain, on drunk driving charges, something reported by El Mercantil Valenciano and passed along here first by Celtics Blog.

According to the reports he apparently ran a red light and hit a bus, but there were no injuries. Other reports have his blood alcohol level at several times the legal limit. Sounds like it was fortunate nobody was hurt.

There has been no statement from the team yet. Once the legal process runs its course the NBA usually suspends players two games without pay for this infraction.

Faverani was the only real center on the Celtics roster last season but tore his meniscus in February and was out for the end of the season. The Brazilian big man spent time in the D-League last season and got in 37 games for the Celtics, playing okay when he did (4.4 points a game, .502 true shooting percentage). He has spent the off-season rehabbing his knees. Well, and apparently going out a little and making some bad decisions.

In wake of George injury, no other players dropping from Team USA


It’s not something they often talk about, but professional athletes — NBA, NFL, Barclays Premier League, NHL, MLB, and so on — all know that every time they lace it up they could suffer a catastrophic injury. It’s part of the risk of sport. They block it out of their minds because they couldn’t play all out if they did, but they know it could happen.

And when it does happen to someone else they are shaken, but they move on.

That’s what happened with Paul George and Team USA — every other member of the squad was shaken, but nobody is dropping out. Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN have the details in a report.

Although there is undoubtedly heightened concern within the group after watching George suffer a horrendous compound leg fracture late in Friday night’s intrasquad scrimmage, sources told that various Team USA players have talked among themselves about the need to stay together, with showing support for George ranking as one of their primary motivations.

“No one is pulling out,” one source told this past weekend.

Added one general manager who has a player on the Team USA squad: “No one on this team wants to walk away because that would seem unfair to Paul. If there is any fallout from this injury, it may not be felt until the next time invites [for Team USA] go out.”

The next time is the more interesting question. Although, if Team USA wins the World Cup this summer (it will be them or Spain, a good team playing at home) the next time they have to form a squad would be for the 2016 Rio Olympics. A gold medal can be a big part of a legacy and for guys trying to promote their personal brand (and shoes) that is a huge international platform. As we discussed before, the Olympics may not see much attrition.

But the next World Cup or some event after that… then it gets interesting.

For now, the USA will miss George’s defense and scoring, but the USA is ridiculously deep at the guard spot and on the wing. The players will move on.

Report: Shawn Marion meeting with Cavaliers Monday

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors

Shawn Marion wants to win a ring, he said that would be his top priority in signing. He also said he wanted to end his career in Dallas but notice there is no new deal struck there yet. It’s an improved roster in Dallas, but one that can at most offer him the room exception of $2.7 million.

How about Cleveland?

With LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and likely Kevin Love they will be right at the top of the East (with the Bulls). Marion — who played better than 31 minutes a game for the Mavericks last season — could be a nice bit of depth on that roster. Marc Stein of ESPN says the sides are talking.

If you want better confirmation, how about a picture?

This would have to be pretty much a minimum deal.

Marion averaged 10.4 points a game with a solid .537 true shooting percentage and he shot 35 percent from three. He’s not vintage Matrix at age 36, but he can be a solid reserve getting some points and playing some defense.

If winning a ring is what matters the Cavaliers may be the best landing spot. First they are in the softer Eastern Conference and with that super team Dan Gilbert helped put together the Cavs likely do win a ring or three in the next five years.

Dallas still wants Marion back and Indiana would like to talk to him about filling in for Paul George for a year. Other teams are lurking as well. But LeBron gives the Cavaliers a position at the front of the line — guys looking to win want to play with him.

PBT Extra: How will Paul George injury impact future of USA Basketball?

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The advantage USA Basketball has is depth. No LeBron James or Russell Westbrook or Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge or Carmelo Anthony? No problem, we just roll out the next crop of stars. And we keep on winning gold.

But when one of those stars goes down — Paul George with a horrific injury that will cost him at least a season — the questions about whether stars will keep playing for the Stars and Stripes and if teams will try to keep their best players out of the competitions becomes the story.

That’s what Matt Stroup and I discuss in the latest PBT Extra. How will everyone react to the George injury long term and could we see a change for the Olympics or other future competitions?

Suns owner Robert Sarver on Eric Bledsoe: “We think it’s a fair offer”

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Clippers

Eric Bledsoe is in a tough spot.

He wants a max extension — five years, $80 million — but the Phoenix Suns’ offer on the table is four years, $48 million. Bledsoe is a restricted free agent so any team could make and offer and force the Suns to match or let him go, but the feeling around the league was the Suns would just match so why offer and tie up your money for a few days while other guys keep signing?. Because of that no other offer came, Bledsoe never had the leverage he needed.

The two sides are at an impasse, their relationship is reportedly strained, but Suns owner Robert Sarver didn’t sound like a guy about to budge speaking to Andrew Gilstrap of

“We think it’s a fair offer. I think you could argue, you know, I mean some would say it’s maybe a little high; some would say it’s low,” the owner said. “What’s fair is important to us, and also important to him — him and his agent. It’s not necessarily us to determine what he thinks is fair; it’s him to determine that.”

About that strained relationship, the owner doesn’t see it.

“I think Eric’s a great guy. And he’ll be happy here when he gets here, whether that’s for one year or for four years or five years,” he said. “I think his agent’s trying to do the best job he can, too. And I have a pretty good relationship with his agent. It’s just part of the process. I wish it would have been resolved earlier, but it is what it is.”

First off, it was floated in this article and has been by some that Bledsoe’s agent, Rich Paul, was in over his head here. That’s a load of crap. For example No. 1, how much better did his main client LeBron James handle that move with Paul guiding him? Paul is not inexperienced, he’s worked for major agencies and gets how the contract game is played. His problem was no other team wanted to make an offer because the Suns would just match. No agent could fix that. (Now the only team with the cap space to make that kind of offer is the Sixers and they are not interested.)

The problem for Bledsoe is he comes to an agreement with the Suns now or he can play one year at the qualifying offer of $3.7 million and then be an unrestricted free agent. That’s a huge amount of risk that can be blown up by a freak injury or a host of other things.

Eric Bledsoe is in a tough spot.