According to the Associated Press, Los Angeles Clippers guard Baron Davis will miss the team’s upcoming three-game road trip due to back spasms. The Clippers are coming off an embarrassing blowout at home against the Golden State Warriors, and have only won three games in March. The Clippers only have one more game on the road after this road trip, a game in Sacramento on April 8th.
Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman of NBC Sports break down all of it in this latest podcast: Who were the winners and losers, who were the sleepers, and what it means heading into free agency this summer.
As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.
Chris Paul sacrificed $10,083,055 last season by opting in to facilitate a trade to the Rockets rather than opting out and signing somewhere for a max salary.
But here’s a rumor otherwise.
From what I’m told, there is tension now between Houston and Chris Paul. Because there was definitely some type of handshake, wink wink, “we’re going to max you out” last summer. But here’s the thing: Now, they’re not so sure. Houston, with good reason, doesn’t want to do that. But they’ve got an out, because they have new ownership. So, Daryl Morey can go to Chris Paul and be like, “I want to do it, but we’ve got the new owner doesn’t want to give you five years, four years.”
Former Rockets owner Leslie Alexander committed to big expenditures. New owner Tillman Ferttita has talked about his spending limits – for good reason. He sunk so much of his personal wealth into buying the team. He might not be able to afford outrageous luxury-tax bills.
Paul’s max projects to be about $205 million over five years. Already 33, he almost certainly won’t produce enough on the court to justify that amount. Players that age just decline and face greater injury risk.
But the downside of not paying him that much could be losing him. Even playing hardball could offend him given the circumstances that brought him to Houston. The Rockets are contending. A bad contract a few years down the road would be worth it if they win a title, and Paul is instrumental to that push.
This could be a delicate situation, and Morey can probe at least a little if he chooses. Would Paul be understanding of the ownership change? What options will Paul have better than a large, but sub-max, contract from the Rockets? Would Paul take a discount if Houston got his friend LeBron James?
But push too hard, and would Paul bolt to play with LeBron on the Lakers?
There has been too much insistence that Paul re-signing with the Rockets was assured to completely trust Broussard’s report. But it’d also be a mistake to completely ignore the possibility talks have broken down.
Let’s pick up with the No. 16 pick in last night’s NBA draft.
The Suns were on the clock and planning to pick Donte DiVincenzo. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
But then 76ers called Phoenix about trading No. 10 pick Mikel Bridges for the No. 16 pick and a future first-rounder. The teams agreed to the deal (causing this heartbreaking moment), and the Suns picked Zhaire Smith for Philadelphia.
The next three picks:
17. Donte DiVincenzo, Bucks
18. Lonnie Walker, Spurs
19. Kevin Huerter, Hawks
Atlanta general manager Travis Schlenk on 95.7 The Game, via ESPN:
“Last night, for instance, we had the 19th pick, and we’re coming down and we’re actually talking to Milwaukee on the 17th pick, talking about trading up to get a guy we like,” Schlenk said. “There’s were a couple of guys we felt really good about on the 19th pick, obviously Kevin [Huerter] was one of them, and it leaked who Milwaukee was going to take.
“So, all of a sudden, we were able to pull back out of that deal and keep the draft pick instead of packaging picks to move up because we knew that, two guys on the board we felt really good about and only one team in between us, so that was beneficial to us last night.”
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports and Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported the Bucks picking DiVincenzo at 9:18 p.m.:
The pick became official at 9:22 p.m.:
Clearly, Atlanta wanted Huerter or “Mystery Player Not Named Donte DiVincenzo.”* Once they learned Milwaukee would take DiVincenzo at No. 17, the Hawks knew at least one of Huerter or “Mystery Player Not Named Donte DiVincenzo” would be available at No. 19.
*I think there’s a good chance it was Walker, whom San Antonio picked No. 18.
That saved the Hawks an asset(s) and cost the Bucks an asset(s), though perhaps Milwaukee couldn’t have gotten DiVincenzo at No. 19. Maybe the Spurs would’ve selected him at No. 18.
Still, the Bucks didn’t protect their internal plans well enough. Maybe that’s an organizational flaw. But this also could have been a fluky sequence of events. Perhaps, after hearing Phoenix would take DiVincenzo, someone in Milwaukee felt comfortable sharing that the Bucks wanted him. Then, when he surprisingly fell, it was too late. The information was already out there – allowing Atlanta to stand pat.
But I didn’t appreciate how deep their bond went.
Appearing on Bleacher Report’s live draft show, Rozier was asked to predict the Celtics’ No. 27 pick. So, Rozier called Ainge to ask. Shockingly, Ainge answered – with Boston on the clock. Almost certainly not knowing the call was public and live, Ainge revealed the likely selection:
Good thing the Celtics stuck with Robert Williams. That would have been extremely awkward otherwise.
As is, it was only a little awkward. Williams said today he doesn’t like to be called Bob.