Report: Kenyon Martin talking to Nets, Lakers

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Things haven’t really changed that much on the Kenyon Martin front — he wants to get paid, not the league minimum but real money. And that’s not out there.

The Knicks might want him back at the minimum, but that’s not who Martin is talking to, according to Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated.

Kenyon Martin, meanwhile, isn’t so lucky. The 12-year veteran was a key reserve for the Clippers, his impact going way beyond his marginal numbers (5.2 points, 4.3 rebounds) for a team that reached the second round of the playoffs for the second time in franchise history. But sources said the 34-year-old power forward is holding up this later stage of the hiring process for frontcourt free agents, with the Lakers and the Nets among the teams he’s considering and negotiation leverage seemingly gone because so many of his colleagues seem willing to take minimum deals.

The Lakers are not offering anybody more than the minimum, team GM Mitch Kupchak said. The Nets are in the same boat.

This is what the new CBA brings.

With the harsher penalties of a stricter luxury tax kicking in next summer what you are seeing is this hitting the NBA’s middle class — teams will spend on real difference makers but if you are a role player you are going to get less money and shorter deals. Teams are not paying the tax for you, they will sacrifice a little experience and quality to save money.

Look at what one agent told Amick.

“Do I think that in the new CBA that you’re going to see a greater number of minimum wage players? Yes, there’s no doubt about it,” agent Marc Cornstein said. “I think you’re already seeing that and I think it’s a trend that will probably continue. More shorter deals and minimum deals.”

Martin is one of those guys now. He is not going to want to accept it. Neither are guys like Anthony Tolliver, Leandro Barbosa, Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus, but it is the new reality.

Final minute of Celtics-Wizards featured five-possession, 10-point, no-stoppage stretch (video)

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Crunch time of a close NBA game is awesome.

It’s exponentially better when nobody calls timeout.

The Celtics and Wizards finished with a flourish tonight, Boston coming out ahead in a frenetic final minute. The last minute included two Kyrie Irving 3-pointers (one tightly contested, one extremely deep) and a sharp drive by John Wall (who had just returned to the game from an injury).

After a flow-killing foul in the final few seconds, the Celtics won, 130-25.

More games should be like this.

Jeremy Lamb hits game-winner despite Bismack Biyombo, others Hornets prematurely running on court to celebrate

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The Hornets sure were excited for Jeremy Lamb‘s game-winner against the Pistons tonight.

Too excited.

After Lamb hit a jumper to put Charlotte up two with 0.3 seconds left, several Hornets ran onto the court. Bismack Biyombo was nearly at halfcourt as Detroit tried to inbound! He was so far onto the court, I’m not even sure officials noticed him when dinging Malik Monk – closer to the bench –for the violation.

Ashley Holder:

The Pistons made a technical free throw to cut their deficit to one, but they still had to inbound from under their own basket. Their desperation pass was intercepted, and Charlotte held on for a 108-107 win.

Several Hornets were certainly relieved.

Crazily enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this.

Suns’ T.J. Warren fined $15k for inappropriate language toward official following ejection (video)

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Everyone on the Suns seems frustrated.

In Phoenix’s loss to the Clippers on Monday, T.J. Warren got ejected. And his outburst will cost him extra.

NBA release:

Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has been fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a game official following his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

This wasn’t a lengthy exchange. Warren didn’t linger on the court complaining. He must have said something extremely harsh to warrant two technical fouls and a fine that quickly.

(Despite confusion, the foul preceding the ejection was called on Deandre Ayton, not Warren.)

Pacers star Victor Oladipo returns from 11-game absence

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When the Pacers ruled Victor Oladipo out indefinitely a couple weeks ago, it seemed gloomy.

But Indiana weathered the storm, going 7-4 without its best player.

Now, Oladipo is back. He started against the Bucks tonight.

I still think the Raptors, Celtics, 76ers and Bucks will comprise the Eastern Conference’s top tier by the end of the season. But the Pacers (17-10, fourth in East) have a chance to crash the party. They acquitted themselves well without Oladipo, and it should get only easier with their offensive focal point/top perimeter defender.