Friday night was the last night of preseason basketball. And we say goodbye without much sadness because it means no more games with key players sitting out for “general soreness” or coaches experimenting with lineups or guys destined for the D-League racking up 30 minutes a game. We’re ready for games that matter.
But we say goodbye with a couple entertaining plays. Above… note to the Hornets defense: If you don’t get between LeBron James and the basket bad things happen. Very bad things.
Below, well, if Gerald Green can carry some of his preseason play over the regular season the Pacers just got better. Green can still just get up like few others on the wing.
Ex-Sacramento Kings executive to plead guilty to siphoning $13.4 million from the team
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Court records show a former Sacramento Kings top executive has agreed to plead guilty to siphoning $13.4 million from the team to buy Southern California beachfront properties.
Federal prosecutors in Sacramento, California, on Wednesday filed charges and a plea agreement signed by former chief revenue officer Jeffrey David admitting to forging the team president’s signature to divert sponsorship payments to a bank account he controlled. Court records show the properties have been sold for $14.8 million, and the team is expected to recoup the stolen funds.
David is expected to plead guilty to wire fraud and identity theft in January and faces at least two years in prison, court records show.
David’s lawyer, Mark Reichel, didn’t return a call for comment.
The Sacramento Bee first reported the plea deal Wednesday.
Report: Dirk Nowitzki will make season debut Thursday against Suns
Of course, sending Nowitzki back onto an NBA floor against Phoenix is perhaps the easiest test he could have as he comes back from an injury. The Suns are god-awful, and Nowitzki will need some time to readjust to playing at full speed (or at least at whatever speed he normally plays at).
The 40-year-old German star should be able to help the Mavericks as a bench contributor this season. Hopefully with Nowitzki on the floor Dallas can solidify their potential playoff berth.
Rumor: Pistons among teams considering Markelle Fultz trade
Let’s be clear, nothing is close on any Sixers trade of Fultz right now. Teams are just testing the waters.
It’s an interesting idea for Detroit, the chance to add a player who was a high draft pick — but only if they think he’s healthy and can get over his mental hurdles (his agent said there aren’t any, it’s all physical, and most of the league laughed at that). Also, the sides need to find a trade that works. Fultz, as a No. 1 pick, is not cheap, he makes $8.3 million this season and is guaranteed $9.7 next season, then $12.3 million the season after that (unless whatever team has his rights and just cuts bait on that last season).
The Pistons are flirting with the luxury tax line right now, their $123.3 million payroll is just about $500,000 below the tax line, so Detroit will not be taking on any salary in any potential trade. They also sent out last year’s first-round pick in the Blake Griffin trade, so they can’t trade this year’s, and likely would not include a pick anyway. A deal centered around Ish Smith or Langston Galloway plus Zaza Pachulia works (after Dec. 15 when Pachulia becomes available to trade). Both provide guard depth and Galloway offers Philly some shooting (34.9 percent taking 65 percent of his shots from three this season). Reggie Bullock also could be part of a trade.
There are options. Right now the Pistons are among the teams kicking the tires on a trade, but we are a long way from it actually happening.