“We’re like Shrek and Donkey.”
–Nate Robinson on him and Glen “Big Baby” Davis.
“We’re like Shrek and Donkey.”
–Nate Robinson on him and Glen “Big Baby” Davis.
LeBron James publicly courted Anthony Davis. Many free agents seemingly struck deals before free agency even began. Kawhi Leonard‘s uncle/advisor reportedly sought prohibited extra benefits from teams.
The NBA finally reached its breaking point on tampering and circumvention.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
I’m not surprised this passed unanimously. NBA commissioner Adam Silver wanted this to happen and wasn’t going to have owners vote unless he knew it’d pass. At that point, any protest-voting owners would just put themselves at odds with the commissioner. Not worth it.
We’ll see how long this crackdown lasts. I think that anonymous general manager represents many. If nobody is tampering, it’s fine not to tamper. But if some teams tamper, nobody wants to be at a disadvantage.
This could slowly creep back toward the old status quo. But if there’s a clear violator early, Silver will have an opportunity to send a message. We’ll see whether he takes it.
This should be less about which communication is or isn’t allowed. It’s about fairness.
That’s why it’s important the NBA has rules it will enforce and only rules it will enforce. That hasn’t been the case. If it is now, this will be a success.
NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman is grading every team’s offseason based on where the team stands now relative to its position entering the offseason. A ‘C’ means a team is in similar standing, with notches up or down from there.
“While we understand that some Knicks fans could be disappointed with tonight’s news, we continue to be upbeat and confident in our plans to rebuild the Knicks to compete for championships in the future, through both the draft and targeted free agents,” Knicks president Steve Mills said.
This is as close as we’ll ever get to a team apologizing for its transactions in real time.
What an embarrassment.
Instead, Durant and Irving signed with the crosstown Nets without even meeting with the Knicks. The Knicks pathetically put out word they didn’t offer Durant the max due to his injury (as if they would’ve balked had he actually wanted to come) and cancelled a meeting with Kawhi Leonard, who was never coming.
At least the Knicks remain flexible. It’s just tough to see how they turn that flexibility into winning.
Dolan said no incumbent players will become the centerpiece. New York is already acknowledging how disappointing the newly signed free agents look.
That leaves a lot of pressure on No. 3 pick R.J. Barrett, himself a disapointment.
Despite an 86% chance of not getting the No. 1 pick, Knicks fans treated Zion Williamson as a near-inevitability. He was viewed as the rightful reward for a miserable 17-65 season.
This was the wrong lottery to slip. There’s a huge drop in prospect quality from Williamson to Ja Morant to Barrett. Barrett profiles as a leading player, and maybe he’ll be good enough to fill that role on a good team. But this draft was always going to leave the third-picking team with unreliable options.
Randle (three years, $56.7 million with $4 million of $19.8 million guaranteed in year three) was the big addition in free agency. He’ll put up numbers. He’s also only 24 and has shown improvement throughout his career. Maybe he’ll develop defensively and better contribute to winning. Still, it’ll take major modifications to their games for Randle and Barrett to flourish together long-term.
Not that this team represents much of whatever the Knicks are building toward.
Portis ($15 million), Gibson ($9 million), Ellington ($8 million), Payton ($8 million) and Bullock ($4 million) look like stopgaps. After those starting salaries, each has a barely/unguaranteed second season. They all look like trade chips, though most must exceed expectations on the court to hold more than neutral value. Ellington looks like the best deal.
Really, the short contract I like most is Marcus Morris‘ (one year, $15 million). New York signed him after Bullock failed his physical and agreed to a smaller contract. I don’t know why the Knicks prioritized so many other players over Morris, who committed to the Spurs before Bullock’s spine injury gave New York more cap space.
The Knicks could really use a young player like Porzingis now. He’d provide plenty of optimism amid their listless present.
Still, New York can still come out ahead in the Porzingis trade. He was an injury-prone player on the verge of getting a max contract. The Knicks got a couple extra first-rounders.
New York is heading toward another lost season. A weak free agent class follows. It’ll take a while for the Knicks to build back up.
This summer – which the Knicks began with the best lottery position, massive cap space and a premier market – was a huge missed opportunity. Even getting past the New York noise and the misplaced expectations this franchise incites, that burns.
Offseason grade: D
Dirk Nowitzki is enjoying his retirement, and the former Dallas Mavericks star has been a real player in the NBA offseason. This summer has been great for Nowitzki, and next season Dallas will actually feature a logo on their court of his outline taking his famous fadeaway jumper.
But could Nowitzki end up owning a part of the Dallas Mavericks some day?
According to current owner Mark Cuban, that’s definitely a real possibility. Speaking with DallasBasketball.com, Cuban said that he could see that for Dirk in the future.
“Absolutely,” Cuban told DallasBasketball.com in an exclusive 1-on-1 interview. “I’ll have the convo with Dirk in the future. There is a lot of things involved to make it all work. But it would be awesome.”
Everyone seems like they are trying to get into the franchise ownership game. We know that both LeBron James and potentially Kobe Bryant want to move in this direction, and Nowitzki joining that crew would be no surprise.
No doubt Dallas fans would love to have Dirk as part of the organization moving forward, and it would be a no-brainer for Nowitzki to have that kind of revenue stream moving forward.
Kobe Bryant has been everywhere during his retirement, and the former Los Angeles Lakers star is no stranger to keeping busy. As part of his post-career endeavors, Bryant is part of a Venture Capital fund that he says is trying to help athletes plan for retirement.
Bryant and partner Jeff Stibel appeared on CNBC this week to speak about the kind of Investments they are making with their portfolio. During the conversation with host Carl Quintanilla, there came an interesting moment when Bryant appeared to indicate that he could be interested in owning an NBA franchise in the future.
The segment in question came at about 6:30 in the video above. In it, Bryant tries to dodge Quintanilla’s inquiry about a sports franchise as an investment.
QUINTANILLA: We had Jerry Jones on the other day talking about streaming rights, how that might change if get a big player bidding for NFL. He thought it might improve the valuation of the Cowboys by 50%. Does sports ownership interest either of you at this point?
BRYANT: I’ll let you answer that question because I don’t want to get myself into hot water yet.
STIBEL: So we’re going to let Carl answer that.
QUINTANILLA: Then we’re all in big trouble.
STIBEL: For us, we’re fiscally disciplined. We’re looking for great businesses, great companies and great teams. If that happens to be on the sports side, of course, we’re going to look there. There are great sports franchises. That’s not necessarily our focus. We’re trying to build a franchise here ourselves.
QUINTANILLA: I mean, are you’re smiling. Nothing at all, huh?
BRYANT: I don’t know what are you talking about.
QUINTANILLA: Media overall has to be of some interest.
BRYANT: Of course like Jeff said, it’s just important to make smart decisions. We’re not limiting ourselves in anyway whatsoever. But we will look at opportunities as they present themselves and go from there.
It seems clear that people like Bryant and LeBron James want to follow in the footsteps of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson by owning sports franchises. They are, generally, a real racket as a public concern, and it keeps former pros in the spotlight.
We don’t know if Bryant might be looking to invest in a team soon, but he is sure to be on the list of potential owners in the future should a good market come up for sale.