Tag: Milwaukee Bucks

New Orleans Pelicans v Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo was confused when Anthony Davis talked smack, called him “kid”


The amount of trash talk thrown around during any given NBA game can be stunning. Nearly everybody is talking. Some of them in a constant stream of consciousness.

Anthony Davis threw a little smack at Giannis Antetokounmpo last season… which left the Greek Freak confused. He recounted the situation in a blog he has at EuroHoops (at tip user sinisterbathala at NBA Reddit).

(Davis) was trying to post me and I was using all of my strength, I didn’t let him. He turns around, shoots off balance and scores. As we were running side-by-side, he says to me: “You can’t guard me young fella!” As we were running together towards the Bucks’ offense, I process it and think about it. Dude, what are you talking about? You’re only a year older than me!

Well, more like 19 months older, but who’s counting? Davis has been in the league one more season than Antetokounmpo.

However, when you have two All-Star appearances and a gold medal in your three NBA seasons — not to mention a PER of 30.8 past season that was more than double Antetokounmpo’s number — you get to talk a little smack. So if Davis wants to call a peer “kid” he can go right ahead.

I’m looking forward to years of Davis and Antetokounmpo battling each other and talking smack back-and-forth. They could be doing that on much bigger stages in a few years.

Trail Blazers guarantee Allen Crabbe’s contract for next season

LV Celtics v Trailblazers

Allen Crabbe impressed at the Las Vegas Summer League — 15.5 points a game (second best on the Trail Blazers) on 53 percent shooting overall and 43 percent from three. Coach Terry Stotts was going to have to take a long look at Crabbe and how he might fit in the new Portland rotation.

Then he went down with a nasty sprained ankle that would sideline Crabbe at least a month.

But the Blazers saw enough from the games he did play to lock Crabbe down for next season, reports Jabari Young at CSNNW.com.

The Trail Blazers have informed Allen Crabbe his contract will be guaranteed for the 2015-16 season, CSNNW.com has learned….

“It’s always good to know that your [contract] is going to be guaranteed so it just makes you focus on continuing to work hard for the rest of the summer and get prepared for training camp,” Crabbe told CSNNW.com on Friday. “I’ve got a clear mind just knowing that I’m going to be on the roster next year.”

This is a $947,000 contract, so it is certainly a good value move by Portland.

Crabbe got in 51 games last season and looked good on the defensive end (filling in for Nicolas Batum at times). That earned him some trust from Stotts, but Crabbe didn’t show much offensive punch. Which is why the development he showed at Summer League mattered — he is getting better at his weaknesses.

If he keeps showing improvement at both ends, Crabbe can work his way into the guard rotation with Damian Lillard, Gerald Henderson and C.J. McCollum. Even if he’s on the fringes of the rotation, at Crabbe’s cost it’s worth keeping him around to see if he can grow into a solid rotation guy.

NBA lands in Africa trying to put down roots, which is all about youth programs, infrastructure

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Under David Stern and now Adam Silver, the NBA has tried to grow its brand across the globe and establish itself as the world’s premier basketball league. That has meant games and outreach to Europe, China, South America, India and the Philippines.

Now the NBA has landed in Africa for the first-ever NBA game on that continent — a Team Africa vs. Team World exhibition featuring some of the biggest names in the league Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa. Chris Paul, Luol Deng, and Marc Gasol will be there, as will be native Nigerians and NBA players Al-Farouq Aminu and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Twenty NBA players in all are taking part, along with coaches Gregg Popovich of the Spurs and Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks.

“It’s incredible to see all these guys here,” said Raptors GM Masai Ujiri on a conference call Thursday.

“It’s an honor to be part of this,” said Bismack Biyombo, the new Raptors center and native of the Congo, on the same call. “Growing up here in Africa you watch an NBA game every now and then, or when someone had one recorded.”

Much of the talk about growing the sport in Africa has seemed to focus on the NBA brand — bringing an NBA preseason or maybe even regular season game to the continent. That’s a long ways away — Saturday’s exhibition will be in a 4,000-seat arena — but it’s a possibility.

“We’ve definitely had discussions, but they are elementary in some ways…” Ujiri said. “(The Raptors) would definitely be a team that would be very, very interested.”

The real test, however, is not bringing another NBA game to Africa, but finding ways to grow the sport at a grassroots level in Africa.

“The reason you see African nations (doing well internationally) in soccer — or football — now is that we played at a young age,” Ujiri noted. “You just had a ball and two rocks to be the goals, as I used to play growing up.”

Growing youth basketball will mean building infrastructure — in the USA we just expect to see even pocket parks in cities with a basketball hoop. They are ubiquitous, as are youth hoops programs. All of that is lacking in Africa, where soccer but not basketball is part of the culture.

“One thing to come out of this will be more camps, more clinics, more games, more youth competition, and from that you get into infrastructure, and building more courts,” Ujiri said, adding that what the NBA needs to help do is “coach the coaches” who will help teach the game.

“We’ve worked with kids the past few years here, and I worked with kids in the Congo the last few weeks, and the potential is here,” Biyombo said. “The problem we all have is we started playing basketball late. That’s why we’ve been trying to build courts around the country.”

The game Saturday is just one step in that direction, but exposing the youth of Africa to the highest levels of the game is a start. Now comes the hard part of building that youth infrastructure.

The words that kept coming up in everyone’s press conferences was the potential of the market and the youth in Africa.

“There is talent there,” Ujiri said of Africa. “It’s how this motivates them and the opportunities it creates for them.”

“I want (African youth) to use basketball as a way to gain an education because all of them are not going to make it to the NBA,” Biyombo said. “I want to show them they can reach their dream with a lot of hard work.”

“Africa is a continent with huge potential and many different levels,” said Pau Gasol, who also will take part in the game and spoke with the media Thursday. “It has a lot of struggles, but it’s worth investing the time and the effort and the energy to give this country and this continent a chance, and I think a lot of players are coming out and obviously have come out already, but there’s potential that a lot more younger players can come out and be ready and become great basketball players and have an opportunity to have a great life for themselves and their families.”

Heat sign Josh Richardson

Josh Richardson, Spencer Dinwiddle

Miami traded Shabazz Napier to the Magic and Zoran Dragic to the Celtics not only because the Heat wanted to reduce their luxury-tax bill, but because they wanted to clear roster spots.

One had clearly been reserved for Miami’s second-round pick, Josh Richardson.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Josh Richardson — the 40th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft — has agreed to terms on a three-year, $2.5 million contract with the Miami Heat, league sources told RealGM.

Richardson’s deal is fully guaranteed for the first season and partially guaranteed the second year, sources said.

Richardson’s minimum salary over a three-year contract would be $2,414,475. Perhaps, he’s getting a little more than that. More likely, this report just contains generous rounding.

Even if Richardson is on a minimum contract, capped-out Miami had to use the taxpayer mid-level exception to sign him. The minimum-salary exception can be used on contracts just up to two years. This deal will give the Heat Richardson’s full Bird Rights if he completes it. Plus, Miami can make Richardson’s a restricted free agent in three years.

If Richardson got the minimum, the Heat would have $2,850,907 of the MLE remaining. The Heat could use that to add another veteran. They already have the regular-season limit of 15 players and are surely reluctant to increase their tax bill, but Tyler Johnson (partially guaranteed) and James Ennis (unguaranteed) could be waived. Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen are also on the block.

Richardson’s defense is ahead of his offense. The shooting guard out of Tennessee passes well for his position and has improved his shooting stroke. His plus athleticism makes it easier to bet on his development.

The Heat clearly found it important to keep him around.

Stan Van Gundy: Pistons feared Reggie Jackson taking qualifying offer


Why did the Pistons give Reggie Jackson $80 million over five years when he was a restricted free agent with no other obvious suitors?

The answer probably starts with Greg Monroe.

A restricted free agent last summer, Monroe accepted the Pistons’ qualifying offer. He played out the season, became an unrestricted and then bolted for the Bucks this summer.

Did the Pistons fear Jackson following the same path – taking the qualifying offer and opening the door to him leaving?

Stan Van Gundy, via NBC Sports Radio:

That was a scenario that we couldn’t have happen. That was really the one.

I think all the teams like us would tell you, when you’re a team that’s been battling below .500 for a number of years, the free agent market, quite honestly, is not kind to you.

We couldn’t afford to lose Reggie. So, yeah, that was certainly a big part of our thinking.

Monroe was the best player ever to accept the qualifying offer. Basing future decisions on that outlier would be a mistake.

That said, there are substantial differences between Monroe’s and Jackson’s situations.

Most importantly, the salary cap will shoot up next season. There will be a lot of money available, and Jackson would have had a good chance to get a sizable portion of it as a restricted free agent.

Jackson has also meshed better with Detroit’s franchise player, Andre Drummond, than Monroe did. The Pistons were certainly more willing to pay Jackson than Monroe.

But the Pistons also had plenty of leverage.

Would Jackson really have taken the qualifying offer ($4,433,683) if the Pistons offered him $65 million over five years? That’s a huge risk for Jackson to take, even if the upside exists. For the Pistons, that extra $3 million of cap flexibility per season could have come in handy.

They apparently didn’t want to find out the answer to that question.