Report: Agent for Eric Bledsoe holding firm on max contract request

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When restricted free agent Gordon Hayward signed an offer sheet with the Charlotte Hornets this summer, the Jazz were more than happy to match, because it saved them having to commit an extra contract year to retain his services.

The Suns would have similarly been thrilled to do the same where Eric Bledsoe was concerned, but due to a combination of his wanting to be paid on potential rather than results, along with Phoenix’s public promise to match any offer he received, no teams stepped up with a formal offer sheet during the free agent process.

With the opening of training camp less than a month away, Bledsoe remains unsigned. And his agent hasn’t moved an inch from his demand of a max contract extension for his client, with the threat of his taking the one-year qualifying offer becoming more and more likely to become a reality as each day passes.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Suns’ Bledsoe remains final RFA on market. Agent has held firm on max contract or no deal. He couldn’t get Bledsoe an offer sheet elsewhere.

Suns made 4-year, $48M offer — comparable to Ty Lawson and Kyle Lowry — but Bledsoe camp has been unwilling to negotiate off that number.

Bledsoe has been great when healthy, but durability with him is a real concern. He’s been sidelined by substantial injuries in two of his four NBA seasons, and has only really gotten a chance to show what he can do in part of one season, which was playing alongside Goran Dragic last year in 43 games for Phoenix.

Greg Monroe decided to bet on himself by taking the one-year qualifying offer with the Pistons, and we may see Bledsoe choose to take the very same path. But the risk is much greater with Bledsoe than it was for Monroe, who appeared in all but three games during his first four NBA seasons.

The reward, however — becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2015 — is evidently enough of a motivator for Bledsoe and his camp to hold firm on the desire for a max contract now, or else play next season on a one-year deal without the safety net of future guaranteed dollars in place.

WNBA suspends Riquna Williams 10 games for domestic violence

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NEW YORK (AP) The WNBA has suspended Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams 10 games for a domestic violence incident.

The WNBA handed down the suspension Tuesday. Williams was arrested on April 29 and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of an individual with whom she was in a relationship and the other involving a threat to another person with a firearm. Her criminal case is ongoing.

The league conducted its own investigation and consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence. Among other factors, the WNBA said it took into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, including the involvement of a gun.

The WNBA also will require Williams to participate in counseling.

Williams’ suspension will begin with Thursday’s game against the Dallas Wings.

Report: Bulls signing Luke Kornet for guaranteed $4.5M over two years

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Just three 7-footers have averaged 3.5 3-pointers per game and made 35% of them each of the last two seasons:

The Bulls will now have most of them.

Markkanen is Chicago’s top young player. Kornet will join him with the Bulls next season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’m a little surprised Kornet got more than his minimum ($3,383,360 over two years). But it’s worth taking a flier on him.

In addition to his outside shooting, Kornet has shown good timing as a shot-blocker in two seasons with the Knicks. The 24-year-old must get stronger and improve as a rebounder to play major minutes.

But the Bulls won’t have to press him into action. They also have Thaddeus Young, Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford and Cristiano Felicio as bigs.

Pistons claim Christian Wood off waivers

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The Bucks waived Christian Wood late last season to ensure avoiding the luxury tax. The Pelicans claimed him. Wood had played well in limited minutes with the 76ers, Hornets and Bucks and in the NBA’s minor league since going undrafted in 2015.

New Orleans gave him his biggest opportunity yet. In 24 minutes per game over eight games, he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds.

But the Pelicans filled their roster for next season and waived Wood.

Detroit will take advantage.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has claimed forward/center Christian Wood off waivers.

Wood’s $1,645,357 minimum salary is unguaranteed until the regular season. So, Detroit could still waive him before the season. But it seems he’ll at least go to training camp and get a shot at a regular-season roster spot.

The Pelicans also could’ve kept him through the preseason then waived him before the regular season. They seemingly did him a favor of allowing him to get somewhere he has a realistic chance of sticking.

Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond will start in the frontcourt for the Pistons. Markieff Morris and Thon Maker appear to be first in line is backups.

But don’t be surprised if Wood earns playing time. At minimum, the 23-year-old should provide nice depth at both power forward and center.

The Pistons have also now acquired four members of last year’s Bucks – Tony Snell, Thon Maker, Tim Frazier and now Wood.

Knicks: Reggie Bullock has spine injury

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Reggie Bullock had his agreed-upon salary cut by more than half with the Knicks. He’ll reportedly miss at least a month of the regular season.

All because of a mysterious health issue.

The Knicks have finally disclosed what’s happening.

Knicks release:

Reggie Bullock underwent successful surgery today at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for a cervical disc herniation. The team will plan to provide an update on his rehab and progress around the start of training camp.

Bullock is a good shooter from the wing. New York could use him. Many teams could use him.

But Bullock must get healthy first.

At this point, we probably shouldn’t expect much from him any time soon. The best indication: how eagerly his agent praised the Knicks for their handling of this situation. Again, Bullock settled for less than half his initially agreed-upon salary.