Report: Morris twins said they’d take discount to stay together

3 Comments

Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris, twins and Suns, want to keep playing together.

You could have guessed that by how they played together growing up, played together at Kansas and urged Phoenix to put them together.

But you don’t need to guess. They’ve straight up said it.

As both enter the final years of their rookie-scale contracts – and are currently extension eligible – a key question has emerged: Would they accept lower salaries to stay together?

Zach Lowe of Grantland:

The brothers told teams before the 2011 draft that they would take less money to stay together, sources say

That was part of Lowe’s excellent breakdown of the extension worthiness of Tristan Thompson, Nikola Vucevic, Jimmy Butler, Alec Burks, Brandon Knight and Markieff Morris. The whole thing is worth reading.

As far as the Morris twins, Phoenix should be talking extension with them. There’s no guarantee they’ll still take pay cuts to stay together, but it’s worth asking. And if they would, that gives the Suns plenty of leverage.

Neither Morris twin has shown enough to warrant a large extension, though both have shown promise through three NBA seasons. Many players in their positions would rather wait until free agency rather than get stuck on a long-term below-marker deal.

But if the brothers really want to stay together, now is the time for both to lock up deals. If they become free agents next season, too many variables come into play. Will the Suns extend Marcus a qualifying offer? (Markieff will definitely get one.) How much will other teams offer? Will Phoenix match?

Right now, the Morrises can negotiate in tandem with Suns general manager Ryan McDonough. They can say either both players get extensions or neither do, and he can offer less money in exchange. It could be very clean and easy, at least as far as negotiating two contracts simultaneously goes.

Next summer, it would get even more complicated.

So, if the Morris twins are still willing to accept lower salaries, between now and Oct. 31 is the best time to get it done.

PBT Podcast: Lakers’ talk with Eric Pincus (plus Butler, Carmelo news)

Associated Press
1 Comment

Jimmy Butler is in Philadelphia.

Carmelo Anthony is in Houston, but not for much longer.

And the Lakers have Tyson Chandler and a three-game winning streak — there is never a dull moment in the NBA. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports welcomes in Eric Pincus, who covers the Lakers for Bleacher Report plus is a salary cap expert you have seen on NBA TV, to talk about it all. The pair talk about what the Sixers need to do next to capitalize on their window with Butler, are there landing spots for Carmelo Anthony, and then a deep dive on the Lakers: What is the team doing right? Does Lonzo Ball fit with LeBron James? What about Brandon Ingram? And who is the next big star the Lakers will be able to add to their mix?

We want your questions for the podcast, and your comments, email us at PBTpodcast@gmail.com. As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.

Report: Markelle Fultz and Drew Hanlen no longer speaking, let alone working together

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
3 Comments

Markelle Fultz has had few more vocal backers than Drew Hanlen, who trained the 76ers guard over the offseason.

Hanlen said Fultz would be an All-Star this season if 100%. With Fultz still struggling to shoot, Hanlen said Fultz wasn’t fully healthy.

But Fultz contradicted that, calling himself generally healthy. Fultz also rebuffed Hanlen’s assertion Fultz had the yips, as Fultz stressed his problems were due to injury.

Apparently, they became even more divided.

Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype:

Hanlen brought himself plenty of fame through his work with Fultz. This moves Hanlen back closer to the anonymity of most trainers.

More importantly, it suggests Fultz needs yet another plan for fixing his shooting form.

Rumor: Lakers not signing Carmelo Anthony

Harry How/Getty Images
7 Comments

Many in Houston are convinced Carmelo Anthony is done with the Rockets.

If so, where will he play next?

Like when he was a free agent just a few months ago, speculation has centered on teams with his banana-boat buddies. Chris Paul and the Rockets already tried. But LeBron James‘ Lakers and Dwyane Wade‘s Heat seem viable.

Marc J. Spears on ESPN:

I am hearing that not the Lakers. I think the Lakers are done.

The Lakers already have scoring power forwards in Kyle Kuzma and Michael Beasley, and LeBron can obviously play that position. I’d rather have the incumbents than Anthony.

So how about Miami? Wade has been Anthony’s most outspoken backer, after all. But the Heat also have a superior offensive power forward in Kelly Olynyk, and Justise Winslow and Derrick Jones Jr. provide a fair amount of depth at the position.

Really, this is probably the wrong conversation. Maybe there is a bad team or two with a deficiency so glaring, Anthony is worth a roll of the dice. But he might just be finished as an NBA player, regardless of the fit.

Kevin Durant argues with Draymond Green after failed final shot attempt

Associated Press
3 Comments

The Clippers had been in control of the game against the Warriors, up 11 midway through the fourth quarter, but that’s when the run everyone had been waiting on came. The Warriors closed the gap behind Klay Thompson becoming a tough shot maker, and when Lou Williams missed a tough fade-away long two with :06 seconds left, Golden State had the chance to escape with a win.

Draymond Green got the rebound. Kevin Durant was clapping his hands calling for the ball. No timeout to set up a play was called, and Green decided to do it all himself, pushed the ball upcourt and… fumbled it away without a shot.

Durant was pissed on the bench after that.

Here are some better looks, notice Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins were the peacemakers.

After the game, Durant — who fouled out in overtime — left without speaking to the media. Green refused to discuss it.

It’s a long season, these kinds of spats happen to every team, and the Warriors will get over it. This is not the first family squabble they have had. But this just feels like one to file away in the memory bank and recall next July when decisions will be made about the future of this roster.