Author: Kurt Helin

Felton orange jersey

Raymond Felton pleads guilty on gun charges, will avoid jail


Raymond Felton will not be going to jail.

But I would expect the NBA will come down with some kind of suspension (or at least fine) for him.

Felton was arrested last February in New York on three separate weapons charges after he allegedly pointed a gun at his wife (they were going through a divorce at the time, although that certainly is no excuse for the behavior). New York has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, but as had been expected Felton avoided jail time by pleading guilty, reports the Associated Press.

Felton pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm. He admitted he knowingly had a large-capacity ammunition magazine and a pistol without a license….

He was immediately sentenced to 500 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Rebold said Felton will be allowed to do the service outside New York.

Felton was traded from the Knicks to the Dallas Mavericks this summer along with Tyson Chandler.

As previously noted, it’s likely the NBA comes down with a little additional punishment for Felton.

Report: Mavericks void Rashard Lewis’ contract after it’s discovered he needs knee surgery

2014 NBA Finals - Game Three

Why does this keep happening to Dallas? Last year it was Devin Harris, who agreed to a deal with the Mavericks but never got to sign it because a physical showed he needed foot surgery. (That deal was re-worked and he signed with the team, then re-signed this summer).

This year it was 35-year-old Rashard Lewis, who signed his deal with the Mavericks then it was discovered he needs knee surgery.

The Mavericks decided to void Lewis’ contract and waived him, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

The standard NBA contract allows a team to void a contract if said player fails a physical within three days of signing and the team gets back to the player within another three days. Dallas met those guidelines.

The Mavericks were hoping that the additions of Lewis and Richard Jefferson would give a nice starting five (or nice starting four and Raymond Felton, if you ask Knicks fans) some veteran help off the bench. Now Dallas will be looking to replace that help in a depleted market.

Five biggest surprises from Summer League

D-League Select v New Orleans Pelicans

The Las Vegas Summer League has its champion, its MVP, and its standout players. Before we move on from Las Vegas however, let’s take a look at one more group:

The surprises.

The players we didn’t expect to perform well, or otherwise did something unexpected. Here are the five guys on my list.

• Russ Smith (New Orleans Pelicans). Summer League often becomes the world of point guards trying to get noticed by shooting the ball. Big men with good post position go hungry while guards pound the ball into the ground then cross-over, step back and fire away. Not Russ Smith, the Louisville guard playing for the Pelicans was a real floor general. Yes he scored 16 points a game but he had 6.4 assists a game as well in Vegas. There are adjustments to be made for him to stick in the league long term (more than four turnovers a game) but he was a second round pick who looks like a guy who could give the Pelicans some steady minutes at the point as a reserve.

• Glen Rice Jr. (Washington Wizards). We’ve covered the Summer League MVP more than once here at PBT, but he has to go on this list as well — we didn’t expect him to put up these kinds of numbers for Washington (25 points a game and did it shooting better than 50 percent until a rough last outing dropped him to 46.9 percent). He and Otto Porter showed some real chemistry together and look for Randy Wittman to give them a chance when the games matter to prove that pairing can have success outside Vegas.

• Ivan Johnson gets ejected. I’ve been attending NBA Summer League since it was in the Pyramid in Long Beach and I don’t remember ever seeing a player get ejected before (it may have happened, but I don’t recall it). Ivan Johnson changed that. A day after a classic interview with Basketball Insiders where he said exactly what he would do to anyone who got in front of him, Johnson (playing for the Mavericks) got frustrated with a non-call against the Hornets and used some words we can’t reprint here and that got him sent to the showers. Johnson is the one guy banned from the Korean league for life, at least nothing went that far.

• T.J Warren (Phoenix Suns). Warren was one of the best scorers in college last season but there were questions about whether his game could translate to the NBA. Well, it can if he gets out and runs in transition then scores at the basket — Warren averaged 17.8 points a game and shot 54.4 percent. Warren landed in the right place with Jeff Hornacek and the up-tempo Suns, if he gets out and runs with the bench players, and can keep finishing like he did in Vegas, he’ll get some points.

• Anthony Bennett (Cleveland Cavaliers). Another guy from our standouts list who re-appears here because, well, who expected anything out of Bennett? After missing last summer with a shoulder injury then having a historically bad rookie season for a No. 1 pick, Bennett showed up to Vegas in shape and ready to work — he averaged 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. More importantly, he was in shape enough to play hard and physical for a full quarter. He still needs a lot of polish to his game but he looked like a guy who can be a rotation big man, which is more than you would have said much of last season.

Clippers CEO: If Sterling remains owner then Doc Rivers, players, sponsors all ready to bolt


This is why the NBA will force Donald Sterling out as Clippers owner one way or another before the start of next season — he is poisonous to the Clippers and the NBA’s business model right now.

League appointed interim Clippers CEO Dick Parsons took the stand Tuesday in the California Probate Case between Donald and Shelly Sterling over the Sterling Family Trust — which owns the Los Angeles Clippers. The bottom line is if Shelly wins this case the sale of the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion will go forward, if Donald wins he will dissolve the Trust and be in position to block the sale (although the league will yank his franchise anyway).

Parsons painted a bleak picture of the Clippers future, starting with team president and coach Doc Rivers wanting out, reports the Associated Press.

“Doc is troubled by this maybe more so than anybody else,” Parsons said. “If Mr. Sterling continues as owner, he does not want to continue as coach.”

While the Sterling saga became national news during the playoffs Rivers uncomfortably stood in front of his players and worked to deflect the storm. He wasn’t having fun doing it, but he wanted to do what was best for the team. If he bolts, things could get ugly, and Parsons talked about it on the stand. Arash Markazi of ESPN tweeted this out of the courtroom.

And it wouldn’t just be Doc Rivers running for the exits if Sterling stays, noted Kim Baldonado of NBC Los Angeles and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN

This sums up the NBA’s problem with the Clippers and Sterling.

If you just said to yourself, “What if Sterling wins this case, this was a private recording made public?” know that your question is moot.

If by mid-September Shelly Sterling has not won this case and the sale to Steve Ballmer has not gone through, expect the league to take the steps to vote Donald Sterling out as owner and sell the team. Likely for less money.

It’s just bad business to have him as the owner when the season starts.

Bojan Bogdanovic officially becomes member of Brooklyn Nets. Finally.

JSF Nanterre v Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul - Turkish Airlines Euroleague

The Miami Heat drafted Bojan Bogdanovic back in 2011 with the 31st overall pick, the first pick of the second round. Miami quickly traded Bogdanovic to Minnesota, which in turn shipped him on to the then New Jersey Nets.

Bogdanovic played those last three years with Fenerbahçe Ülker in the Turkish Basketball League.

Finally, the 6’8” swingman is coming to the NBA next season — the Nets have officially announced the signing.

“Having drafted Bojan in 2011, it is rewarding to finally welcome him to the Nets,” Nets GM Billy King said in a released statement. “We obviously have a high regard for his game, and we are glad he will now bring that talent to Brooklyn.”

Adrian Wojnarowski has the details on the money, which is reasonable.

The Nets are going to look for Bogdanovic to ease the loss of Paul Pierce and play in that role. In EuroLeague competition last season Bogdanovic averaged 14.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists a game. But coming to the NBA will be an adjustment, the game is far less physical. Look for him to get some real run with the Nets as they let him learn a little on the job.