Report: Andray Blatche agrees to terms with Nets

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UPDATE  Sept. 6, 9:20 am: We mention below that the deal is not yet signed, but a report by Michael Lee in the Washington Post takes it a step further.

But according to two sources close to Blatche, the 6-foot-11 forward has yet to make a decision and is also considering an offer from the Miami Heat. One person close to Blatche said, “Nothing is finalized.”

That would be agent/manager speak for “we are going to put this out there and hope someone will jump in with a better deal.” For either more than the league minimum (which this likely is) or at least a guaranteed deal, which this is not.

But for Blatche, he may have to take what is on the table. There was a reason teams did not race in after the Wizards used their amnesty on him last month. He has to prove himself.

Sept. 5, 8:14 pm: The Nets, already an interesting experiment in chemistry next season, just got a little more entertaining.

Andray Blatche will be joining them in Brooklyn, something first tweeted by Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports and confirmed by Marc Stein at ESPN. This would be a one year deal and a non-guaranteed deal — the Nets could cut him during training camp — but it is expected he would be kept on the roster.

The Wizards used their amnesty on Blatche this summer, finishing a remaking of their locker room that was considered one of the least professional in the NBA. Blatche and his up and down effort were part of that.

Blatche has been down in Houston working with former NBA coach John Lucas both on his game and trying to rehab his reputation. He has the athletic tools to be a very effective NBA player and showed that a few times in April after the Wizards were eliminated from playoff contention. Two seasons ago he averaged 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds a game, but he was never efficient on the court and was very up and down. Then last season his game took a big a step back. The Wizards decided to move on.

But for the Nets this is a good gamble. Blatche can play the four or the five. Brook Lopez and Chris Humphries will start and Mirza Teletovic and Reggie Evans are behind them, but there are minutes to be grabbed if Blatche can play well.

And he can, the question is can he do it consistently. Or will he frustrate Avery Johnson like he has so many coaches before.

Report: Gary Harris, Torrey Craig and Michael Porter Jr. not with Nuggets at Disney World

Nuggets players Gary Harris and Torrey Craig
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Nikola Jokic was delayed in joining the Nuggets after testing positive for coronavirus in Serbia.

Gary Harris, Torrey Craig and Michael Porter Jr. apparently aren’t with Denver, either.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

The Nuggets closed their facility two weeks ago after positive coronavirus tests. At least a week prior to that, a Western Conference playoff team reportedly had four positive coronavirus tests.

Are either of those events related to these absences?

The NBA has shown a disturbing lack of transparency around its restart.

When the season got suspended, Denver looked like a good regular-season team that’d face issues adapting to a playoff style. Now, who knows how the Nuggets will be when the season resumes? There’s so much roster uncertainty.

Harris is Denver’s starting shooting guard, and Craig and Porter have been rotation-level backup forwards. Both Harris (on smaller players) and Craig (on bigger players) have been defensive standouts with lackluster offense. Harris’ shooting struggles have been a major disappointment. For Craig, they’re an accepted limitation. Porter has shown flashes as a superb scorer, but he’s still raw.

Who knows if and when these three will join the Nuggets? Again, the lack of transparency has been frustrating. But Harris, Porter and Craig missing time would be a major setback for Denver.

Rockets star Russell Westbrook says he tested positive for coronavirus

Rockets star Russell Westbrook
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Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Luc Mbah a Moute didn’t travel with the Rockets to Orlando for the NBA’s resumption at Disney World.

Westbrook says he tested positive for coronavirus:

It’s good that Westbrook is feeling well. And, once he had coronavirus, it’s good he tested positive before the team departed. He can quarantine in the comfort of his own home rather than a hotel room. He didn’t risk spreading coronavirus during the flight.

When will he join the Rockets? That’s tough to say. He must clear coronavirus first, and it’s unclear how long he has had it. Then, upon arrival at Disney World, he faces an in-room quarantine. The length of that can vary.

With Harden as the centerpiece, Houston has built its secondary attack around Westbrook’s aggressive style. The Rockets’ unique center-less approach is a direct response to Westbrook’s minus outside shooting. Empowered by spacing later in the season, Westbrook has really thrived.

He’d be a huge loss. Houston could go from a championship-contending wildcard to one-man show – or less.

This revelation also raises questions about Harden and Mbah a Moute, whose late arrivals haven’t been publicly explained.

Report: Rockets’ Bruno Caboclo violates quarantine, must remain in room 10 days

Rockets forward Bruno Caboclo
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Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard and 76ers star Joel Embiid expressed doubt about players following the NBA’s protocols in the bubble.

See Rockets forward Bruno Caboclo.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

Players first arriving at Disney World is one of the most perilous times in the NBA’s plan. A player leaving his initial quarantine with coronavirus could undermine the whole operation.

The league has no practical choice but to be strict.

James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Luc Mbah a Moute didn’t arrive with the rest of the Rockets in Orlando. This makes four players who are behind in their ability to build chemistry and train with their teammates. At least Caboclo is just four days away from being four days away – major progress for him.

Houston has already clinched a playoff spot. But there’s some danger of slipping to the No. 7 seed and facing the powerful Clippers in the first round. So while they don’t have the most urgency for the seeding games, the Rockets are playing for something in the seeding games.

Lakers star LeBron James: #FreeWOJ!!

Adrian Wojnarowski
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Missouri U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley sent out a press release complaining about the NBA’s list of approved social-justice messages for jerseys.

ESPN NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski replied to the email, “F— you.” (Wojnarowski did not censor the first word.)

Wojnarowski apologized. ESPN condemned his behavior and, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, suspended him two weeks.

Several NBA players have publicly supported Wojnarowski:

Lakers star LeBron James:

Clippers guard Lou Williams:

Clippers guard Patrick Beverley:

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray:

Heat big Bam Adebayo:

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie:

Kings forward Harrison Barnes:

Pacers center Myles Turner:

Grizzlies forward Anthony Tolliver:

Wizards wing Troy Brown Jr.:

Trail Blazers guard Jaylen Adams:

LeBron’s message is particularly notable.

Obviously, he’s the NBA’s biggest star. His words carry weight.

Wojnarowski also has a long history of harshly criticizing LeBron. Here are just a few examples.

But if he can get over The Letter from Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, LeBron can probably get past anything written about him.