Grizzlies first rounder Jordan Adams gets smaller guaranteed salary, weight-based incentive

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At UCLA, Jordan Adams scored at NBA-worthy levels.

He just didn’t look like an NBA player.

A little heavier and less athletic than a prototypical NBA prospect, Adams fought perception throughout the pre-draft process. He measured 6-foot-3.5 without shoes and 209 pounds at the combine, and only Kyle Anderson and (13.4) and Nik Stauskas (12.1) checked win with higher body-fat percentages than Adams (10.8).

But the Grizzlies saw through the physical concerns and drafted Adams No. 22.

However, there was a catch.

Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com:

I guess Jusuf Nurkic wasn’t the only first-round pick who didn’t received the standard fully guaranteed 120%-of-scale rookie contract. Adams’ salary can’t exceed 120% of scale, even with bonuses. So that means Adams making weight would be the only way to reach the full 120%. If he fails the test, he’ll make less.

Somewhere, former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley is shaking his head.

In 2010, Heisley tried to tie a portion of Xavier Henry’s and Greivis Vasquez’s rookie-scale contracts to incentives. As a result – on the recommendation of Henry’s agent, Arn Tellem – the players held out until mid-September.

Finally, Memphis offered them the fully guaranteed 120%. Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal:

“In the general spirit of the way (the CBA) was put together, I felt we should relent and not have a performance situation,” Heisley said. “I don’t think I was on the right side of the issue.”

Tellem told The Associated Press last month that only one player out of more than 450 since the rookie salary scale was instituted in 1995 has agreed to a performance bonus.

Was that one player Williams?

Regardless, Adams didn’t drive such a hard bargain, which could lead to problems down the road. Not only did he relinquish guaranteed money nearly other first-round pick gets, he tied his remaining salary to a trait that is hard to accurately test.

Do you really think Stauskas had such a high body-fat percentage? If he did, it didn’t show like it did with Adams and UCLA teammate Anderson.

I’m surprised Adams agreed to this. I’d be less surprised if this ends in arbitration when one side is unhappy with the results of the test.

Rumor: Patrick Beverley may meet with five teams before Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers want to bring Patrick Beverley back next season, his spark was at the heart of why this team made the playoffs and impressed with their potential.

First, however, the Clippers are going big game hunting for the likes of Kawhi Leonard and/or Kevin Durant (even with the Achilles injury). Beverley isn’t just going to sit around and wait for them, reports longtime NBA reporter Sean Deveney Tweeted.

The Bulls need a point guard and Beverley — a Chicago native — has said he is interested.

The Lakers also are reportedly big game hunting, but Beverley is the kind of guard they could use around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Phoenix and other teams have been mentioned.

Beverley is going to have options, but he loved his time with the Clippers last season, and that means something.

Pelicans reportedly pick up option year on coach Alvin Gentry

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David Griffin, the guy with the hammer in New Orleans, likes Alvin Gentry. They have a relationship that goes back to Phoenix, where Gentry was the coach and Griffin was in the front office (and was eventually GM).

Gentry also has a style of play — he wants to run and be up-tempo. That should fit very well with soon-to-be No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise the Griffin and the Pelicans want to keep Gentry around, as reported by Malika Andrews of ESPN.

This is another smart, stabilizing move by Griffin. The Pelicans want to build an athletic, fast-paced team and Gentry is the right coach for that style.  Maybe it doesn’t pan out, maybe the Pelicans ultimately need to go another direction with their coach, but right now this seems a good fit.

Report: Utah “frontrunner” to land Mike Conley Jr. if Memphis trades him this week

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Utah feels like it is close — a 50-win team two seasons in a row, an elite defense, an All-NBA center in Rudy Gobert and an elite shot creator in Donovan Michell. They look at the West next season, with a depleted Warriors team, and see an opening.

Yet when Utah fell to Houston 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs this year, it was reminded of what is keeping the team from being truly elite, and another shot creator and shooter is at the top of that list.

Enter Mike Conley Jr. He averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists per game last season, shot 36.4 percent from three, and plays strong defense. Conley would be an upgrade over Ricky Rubio at the spot.

The almost All-Star point guard out of Memphis is available via trade. He’s the kind of veteran floor general, shooter, and shot creator Utah could use. The Jazz and Grizzlies talked but couldn’t come to an agreement at the trade deadline, but the sides are talking again and conversations are “intensifying” in the run-up to the NBA Draft Thursday, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Grizzlies are intensifying talks to potentially move franchise cornerstone Mike Conley Jr., league sources told The Athletic. Memphis has been in conversations with the Jazz and Utah is a frontrunner to acquire Conley should the Grizzlies trade the point guard during draft week, league sources said.

What would be in a trade package? Certainly the No. 23 pick in this draft, plus some young players the Grizzlies like (maybe Grayson Allen, Royce O’Neal, and even someone like Jae Crowder. Reports say Derick Favors is not part of the discussion.

While anything can happen the week of the draft — and things change quickly — don’t be surprised if some version of this trade gets done.

Kawhi Leonard wins day with last laugh — his viral laugh — at end of speech

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Kawhi Leonard just won again.

He won his second NBA title leading the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first crown. He earned his second Finals MVP in the process.

Then on Monday he had the last laugh and won the Raptors’ championship parade in Toronto by ending his speech with his laugh, the same one that went viral at the start of the season.

Of course, what Leonard will do on July 1 was a cloud hanging over the parade, Leonard is a free agent this summer. Kyle Lowry at one point started a “five more years” chant during the parade, which is the maximum number of years Toronto can re-sign Leonard for.

Leonard, exactly as we all should have expected, dodged the question, while praising his time in Toronto.

Unfortunately, this was a parade marred by more serious concerns.