<span class="vcard">Kurt Helin</span>

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban: If players want to get rid of max contracts they have to give up guaranteed contracts

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Here are two things the NBA owners would LOVE to win in 2017 when the league and players negotiate the next Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA):

• A hard salary cap.

• Do away with guaranteed contracts.

As evidence, I bring you Mark Cuban, speaking with Jeff Caplan of NBA.com, responding to Kevin Durant’s suggestion there shouldn’t be a max contract limit.

“If you give up guarantees,” Cuban said. “It’s a trade-off….

“It was discussed during the lockout time among owners, but never got anywhere. So it was just one of those trial balloons,” Cuban said. “I’m not offering this as a negotiation, I’m not suggesting it, all I’m saying is that was something we discussed before, and max contracts are always big question, guarantees are always a big question. But we have two years before that’s even an issue, so no point discussing it now.”

If the owners want to draw a line in the sand on either the hard cap or guaranteed contracts, well, hope you weren’t expecting a 2017-18 contract.

I don’t think it comes to that. The reason is there is just so much money on the table that right now, with the new television deal, that both sides will be willing to compromise. Team franchise values are going up, more revenue is coming into the teams, and half of that revenue goes to the players in an ever-increasing pool. Don’t risk killing the golden goose.

At least I hope so. But I don’t like betting on rich and/or uber rich people willing to put aside their greed for the greater good.

Andrew Wiggins with 18 points, three blocks, looks good in debut (VIDEO)

Minnesota Timberwolves v Indiana Pacers
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Here’s what should make Minnesota fans happy — Andrew Wiggins put up 18 points on 11 shots in his rookie preseason debut but he didn’t do it with high flying dunks or circus shots, he did it with hustle, smart spacing and knocking down jumpers. Those are the things that sustain a player — the dunks will come, as will the spectacular plays, but if he is making the steady, routine plays the Timberwolves are in a much better spot.

For the record Wiggins had 18 points (4-of-11 shooting, 8-of-10 from the line as he drew fouls when attacking) plus four rebounds, three assists, and three blocks. I would like to see Wiggins finish more inside (his only bucket inside eight feet was the offensive rebound putback in the video above) but that should come with time.
Not flashy, but a very nice debut for the rookie.
By the way, the Pacers beat the Timberwolves 103-90, although few things are as meaningless as the final score of a preseason game.

Suns’ Alex Len re-fractures finger, will miss some time

Phoenix Suns Media Day
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Last season Alex Len was the No. 5 pick of the Suns but missed half of his rookie season after he had ankle surgery. Then in summer league he broke his pinky finger on his right hand.

Now he has re-fractured that same finger, but in a different place, the Suns announced on Tuesday. The injury happened in practice when Len went to dunk and Tyler Ennis tried to block the shot, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. That’s just unlucky.

The Suns gave no timetable on Len’s return, other than that he will be re-evaluated next week (Oct. 15). He could return with a split on the finger at that time.

Len is expected to back up Miles Plumlee at the five spot this season, although the Suns like to go small and will play some Markeiff Morris at the five (with a three-guard lineup).

Ray Allen’s agent says client has not signed with Cleveland, not even sure he will play this season

2014 NBA Finals - Practice Day And Media Availability
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Rumors started flying out of Cleveland this morning — with apparently some local writer “confirming” it — that Ray Allen had signed with LeBron James and the Cavaliers and would soon join the team in training camp.

Nope.

Not yet anyway.

My sources said there was nothing there as of this morning (hence no stories at PBT), something just a number of respected NBA writer also tweeted out. But internet rumors have more lives and improbably comebacks than Freddy Krueger. So now Allen’s agent Jim Tanner of Tandem Sports tweeted out this statement.

If Allen signs anywhere it will be with Cleveland, to chase a ring with LeBron.

But as far back as this summer I had heard Allen was undecided on whether he wanted to go through the grind again, and if he wanted to leave his Miami-based life and family to chase a third ring at age 39. He might, but it was far from a sure thing with a lot of factors he had to consider. Allen’s skills showed decline last season but he can still make the corner three like it’s a layup.

Don’t be shocked if Allen waits until mid-season, skipping the grind of training camp and games in 2014, jumping on board for the second half of the season and the playoffs. That option is certainly in front of him, he’s not coming back for the cash.

Five-year old boy with leukemia breaks ankles, dunks for Jazz in scrimmage (VIDEO)

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That, ladies and gentlemen, is JP Gibson.

The 5-year-old battling lymphoblastic leukemia was signed to a one-day contract with the Utah Jazz and took part in the team’s blue and white scrimmage Monday (along with taking part in a full Utah Jazz day). And the kid showed some moves, just breaking the ankles of Steve Novak, blowing by Dante Exum and throwing it down by using Rudy Gobert as a human trampoline (or crane, I guess).

That is a great moment. And a very classy move by the Jazz.