Tag: Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards v Charlotte Hornets

Report: Knicks reach deal with backup center Kevin Seraphin


The New York Knicks are loaded with big men.

Robin Lopez will start at center, with Kyle O’Quinn behind on him. Kristaps Porzingis probably starts at the four, and there are Derrick Williams and Lou Amundson behind him.

Now add Kevin Seraphin to the mix, reports Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops.

This is a solid deal for the Knicks, Seraphin is a good backup center and they got him at a fair price, he can battle O’Quinn for minutes.

Seraphin had spent his entire five-season NBA career as a reserve with the Washington Wizards. He had hoped to find a place to be a starter, but that market was not out there. Playing on a one-year deal gives him a chance to prove he deserves that next summer, and he will be in line to try and cash in when the television money floods the system.

But Seraphin needs to prove he deserves that starting role and money. The French center has yet to do so.

He’s an undersized center at 6’9″ who played 15 minutes a night last season, scored 6.6 points on 51.3 percent shooting, grabbed 3.3 boards and was solid but unspectacular. He improved last season addressing weaknesses such as not fouling, plus his passing looked better. That said he has no shooting range — nearly 50 percent of his shots come within eight feet of the rim, and while he can step out a little along the baselines he’s not exactly a floor spacer.

Because of that shooting range he’s a center only, and Lopez is the main man there. But Seraphin will be solid and get the chance to prove he is more than that.

Report: Adidas makes $200 million offer to James Harden


James Harden has been a Nike guy. While he didn’t have a signature shoe — yet — the Nike Hyperchase was pretty much his shoe.

However, Nike let their contract with Harden lapse as they tried to renegotiate and Adidas — still looking for a fulcrum, a superstar to build brand around — have jumped in with a $200 million offer, reports Darren Rovell of ESPN.

The company has submitted a bid of $200 million over 13 years to sign Houston Rockets guard James Harden, sources told ESPN.com. Nike, whose deal with Harden recently expired, has until the end of next week to match the deal or lose him…

With incentives, if the deal is consummated, Harden could very well make more from Adidas in the coming years than the Rockets. Harden signed an $80 million contract extension with Houston in 2012 that goes through the 2017-18 season.

If they land him, Adidas will make Harden and his beard the face of their basketball shoe line. Nike has been incredibly successful building its brand around stars (and great shoes) and they have long had the best in the game inked, from Michael Jordan up through LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Adidas has struggled to land stars and have that translate to shoe sales.

Despite having the NBA (jersey and apparel) deal, Adidas has slipped in recent years due to a lack of individual basketball stars. In 2012, the company signed a massive 14-year deal with Derrick Rose, only to see him miss plenty of action because of knee injuries. Its other star is Damian Lillard, whose Portland Trail Blazers aren’t really showing much promise. Endorser John Wall shows plenty of flash, but his first signature Adidas line fell relatively flat this year.

Adidas is giving up its uniform deal with the league after Nike came in with a massive bid to take it over.

While getting out of the uniform game, Adidas has shifted focus to finding the stars that can sell its shoes. They have Andrew Wiggins under contract and the Rookie of the Year shows potential to be a breakout star on an up-and-coming Minnesota team.

But Harden is an already established star with crossover appeal outside of just the basketball world — with his beard, sense of style, and being linked romantically to Khloe Kardashian, people know who Harden is who are not big hoops fans. Combine that with an MVP-level on-the-court game and this is a great gamble by Adidas.

Nike may match, Rovell says. Nike is still stung by getting outbid by Under Armour for Stephen Curry by $4 million, only to see him blow up into a superstar. They don’t want to lose another top NBA player.

Either way, Harden is about to get PAID.

Evan Turner dishes, Bradley Beal throws it down in Africa exhibition (VIDEO)

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards - Game Six
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The NBA played its first ever game in Africa Saturday and the players put on a show — it felt like an All-Star style exhibition, with little defense and lots of room for guys to show off their skills.

Giannis Antetokounmpo did try to play a little defense, tracking down Evan Turner to look for the block on the fast break, only to see Turner make a sweet dish to the trailing Bradley Beal. And Beal knew how to finish.

Still, the biggest highlight of the game was getting to see Hakeem Olajuwon doing the “dream shake” and Dikembe Mutombo playing again in the game.

Report: Derrick Rose undecided about attending Team USA minicamp

2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup - USA v Turkey

In last summer’s FIBA World Cup tournament, Derrick Rose made his return to organized basketball after missing all but 10 games of the previous two seasons with two different knee surgeries. He looked rusty in the tournament, but he has said many times that the experience helped him prepare for the Bulls’ season. Rose missed six weeks of last season after undergoing another surgery on his right knee, but a strong performance in the playoffs leaves him optimistic for next season, and he hasn’t closed the door entirely on participating in USA Basketball in the future.

ESPNChicago.com’s Nick Friedell reports that Rose is on the fence about participating in this summer’s Las Vegas minicamp:

Chicago Bulls star guard Derrick Rose is still undecided about attending Team USA’s minicamp, according to league sources.

Rose has indicated in the past that he would like to play for Team USA in the Olympics, but sources told ESPNChicago.com that he is weighing the potential benefits of taking more time off before the start of Bulls training camp in late September.

It’s unlikely that Rose will make the cut for Team USA for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 if he doesn’t participate in this summer’s minicamp. The program is loaded with other point guards, including Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, John Wall and possibly Damian Lillard, so he’ll have competition regardless, and he didn’t exactly set the world on fire in the 2014 tournament. It will be totally understandable if he decides to sit this summer out and prepare for the season. But given that this is probably his last opportunity to play for Team USA in a major tournament, that could be a tougher decision than it seems.

Report: Chris Paul to attend Team USA minicamp

Chris Paul, Ray McCallum

There’s not a major international tournament this year, but it’s still a crucial year for USA Basketball. The Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero are coming up next year, and Mike Krzyzewski and Jerry Colangelo have until then to whittle their roster down. This year’s minicamp will provide a hint as to which players are and are not in the running. Recently, it was reported that Dwight Howard is planning to attend the camp in Las Vegas. Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting that another Team USA veteran is in: Chris Paul.

Paul has won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA, in Bejing in 2008 and in London in 2012. He’ll be 31 by the time the Rio Olympics roll around, so it’s likely his last chance to add a third medal to his collection. The younger point guards like Kyrie Irving and John Wall will probably be focal points of the program by that time, but Paul will still be extremely valuable to have around for his experience.