Tag: LeBron James

Toronto Raptors v Cleveland Cavaliers

Report: Tristan Thompson won’t accept less than max from Cavaliers, his agent thinks Raptors will offer it next summer


Tristan Thompson reportedly rejected a five-year, $80 million contract offer from the Cavaliers.

So just how much does he want?

Apparently, $94,343,125 – a max contract – and not a penny less.

Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report:

A league source tells me that his agent, Rich Paul, has already made it clear to the Cleveland Cavaliers that Thompson will not sign a long-term deal unless it is a max deal. And otherwise, he is prepared to sign a one-year qualifying offer with the additional knowledge, according to the source, that Paul believes that he can get a max deal with the Raptors next summer.

I don’t think Thompson is worth a max contract in a vacuum, even accounting for the skyrocketing salary cap. He’s an excellent rebounder, versatile defender and can score near the rim. But he has little shooting range and doesn’t protect the rim as well as he should.

Of course, Thompson and Cleveland don’t operate in a vacuum.

If the Cavaliers lose Thompson, they won’t have cap space to sign a near-equal outside replacement. They can keep Thompson only because they have his Bird Rights. That gives Thompson considerable leverage, only somewhat related to his production.

So does his relationship with Paul, who also represents LeBron James. The Cavaliers surely want to keep LeBron happy, and LeBron said Thompson should spend the rest of his career in Cleveland.

Maybe Thompson would ultimately settle for less than the max before the Oct. 1 deadline to accept the qualifying offer, but there’s little reason to do so now. Thompson should posture that he wants the max. Maybe the Cavs will blink first. If Thompson compromises, he should wait a month to do so. (Knowing that, Cleveland will be loathe to up its offer any time soon.)

Simply waiting will get Thompson further than this Toronto threat. Maybe the Raptors are interested in Thompson, a native Canadian. They could improve at power forward, but they don’t project to have enough cap space to offer Thompson the max. The easiest way for them to clear salary is DeMar DeRozan opting out, but that would create a hole on the wing that should take precedent over a power forward upgrade.

Plus, a max for Thompson next summer – when the new national TV contracts kick in – will be much higher. It’s one thing for the capped-out Cavaliers to pay him more than $94 million. It’s another for a team with cap room to pursue any free agent to pay him more than $89 million over four years.

If Dan Gilbert is willing to spend the real dollars – and it seems the Cavaliers owner is – paying Thompson the max is justifiable cap-wise. Paul knows this, and he’s clearly not giving the Cavs a break. Paul has already threatened that, if Thompson accepts the qualifying offer, the forward will leave Cleveland next summer. If Paul is floating the Raptors as a potential destination, that’s probably just an attempt to worry the Cavaliers a little more.

Maybe the Cavaliers, to avoid losing Thompson for nothing, just give him the max now.

If they don’t, Paul will surely try a different method to convince them to do it.

D’Angelo Russell on Tracy McGrady tweet: “Some Lakers fans are spoiled”

2015 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

You probably remember the “controversy.”

Lakers No. 2 pick and hope for the future face of the franchise (they hope) D’Angelo Russell tweeted out this:


To which Kobe Bryant responded:

That tweet plus less kind ones from a lot of Lakers fans had Russell back peddling quickly.

Russell spoke to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News recently about some things — including his Summer League struggles — and one of the topics was that tweet. Russell took a pretty rational approach to it.

“There’s a lot of spoiled Lakers fans. I wasn’t downgrading Kobe at all,” Russell said Saturday in an interview with the Los Angeles News Group. “I was just watching a highlight tape of Tracy McGrady and I got excited. I tweeted and the whole state of California went crazy.”

He’s right. There are plenty of spoiled Lakers fans. Take it from someone who used to run a Lakers’ blog, there is a segment of that fan base that isn’t happy unless the Lakers win two NBA titles a year.

That said, those people don’t like to be called out. Russell will hear from them soon.

More than that, what happened to Russell with this tweet speaks to a mindset online, particularly on Twitter — people have their favorites and see any attempt to raise anyone else up as a direct challenge to their established order. You can’t say LeBron James will go down as one of the game’s all-time greats without some fool bringing how he’s no Michael Jordan. As if saying LeBron is amazing is somehow an insult to MJ. Same thing here. Vintage Tracy McGrady was a joy to watch and a fantastic player, it’s fair to wonder how we view him if not for injuries at the end of his career, and if you want to say maybe he should be considered in the GOAT conversation that is not a direct insult to Kobe or MJ or Wilt or whoever.

But reasonable discussions on twitter are too often hard to find.

Usain Bolt pays homage to LeBron James with victory celebration



Usain Bolt anchored the 4×100 relay and won another gold for Jamaica at the World Championships this weekend — but this time he celebrated using LeBron James’ signature move — the high knee, hand pump move.

Bolt had a pretty good meet in Japan, winning the 100 meters, the 200 meters, and the 4×100 — three golds.

Bolt joins Cam Newton in paying homage to LeBron with his celebration. I have a feeling these two will not be the last to do this.

You can own Michael Jordan’s original uniform from Space Jam

space jam

What else were you going to do with $15,000 or so?

We’ve all seen Space Jam, we’ve all tried to love it — but now you can own part of it. Michael Jordan’s actual uniform from the movie is up for auction. From online auction site invaluable.com (hat tip Eye on Basketball):

Michael Jordan uniform from Space Jam. (Warner Bros., 1996) Screen worn complete basketball uniform including (1) XL AIS brand mesh, red, white and blue-trimmed sports jersey with “Tunesquad” logo on the front and signature number “23” emblazoned on the back and (1) matching pair of size 38 shorts. Worn in the climactic showdown between Michael Jordan’s “Tunesquad” and the “Monstars”. With signs of wear and minor staining. In production used fine condition.

Bidding opens on Oct. 1, so you’ve gut until then to come up with at least the $10,000 opening bid.

Owning this may be better than seeing Space Jam 2 with Lebron James, if that project comes together.

Friday night video fun: Best hustle plays of 2014-15 season

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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In two months, we’ll be watching real NBA regular season games.

Until then, we will have to go to YouTube to get our fix. Over at NBA.com, they put together a mix tape of the best hustle plays of the 2014-15 season and nothing will make you jones for a game that matters like these kinds of plays.

It’s not a coincidence you see stars like Chris Paul, LeBron James, Tim Duncan and Russell Westbrook in a highlight package like this. But don’t worry, there’s some Matthew Dellavedova, too.