Klay Thompson prefers contract extension now over more lucrative long-term deal in the future

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Klay Thompson is an important part of the Warriors future, a competent two-guard who excels on both ends of the floor, and has proven to be a more than solid backcourt partner playing alongside Stephen Curry in Golden State.

After dangling Thompson in trade talks for Kevin Love before ultimately deciding that Thompson was a better fit from a basketball standpoint for the current roster, the Warriors have a large financial commitment to make. It’ll either happen with an extension before Oct. 31, or next summer, when Thompson becomes an unrestricted free agent.

With the new broadcast rights deal not kicking in until 2016, Thompson could do what LeBron James and Kevin Love did, which is sign short-term deals with opt-outs after this season in order to maximize future earnings. But his focus is gaining financial security now, as opposed to going through multiple years of negotiations.

From J.A. Adande of ESPN.com:

If Thompson wants in on the gold rush on the horizon, he could always sign a one-year deal, then become a restricted free agent in 2016.

“It really is tempting to do all that,” Thompson said. “But I’d rather have the security right now, you know?” …

The Warriors could actually be the ones gaining security from a max deal right now. Locking in Thompson could seem like a bargain once the NBA revenues roll up in a couple of years. Early projections have the 2016-17 salary cap estimated at almost $90 million (it’s at $63 million this season). The Warriors could have their backcourt of Thompson and Stephen Curry for under $30 million combined, which would be about 30 percent of the salary cap. Compare that to the 50 to 57 percent of the cap that duos such as Kevin Durant/Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose/Joakim Noah and Dwight Howard/James Harden eat up this season, and imagine the flexibility that would give the Warriors to build around their stellar guards in 2016-17.

That last part is especially intriguing, and should have Warriors fans giddy at the mere thought of it.

Curry’s four-year, $44 million deal is an insane bargain by NBA standards, mainly because he signed it in 2012 after being limited by ankle injuries the previous season. Thompson will make significantly more than that on his next contract, but with the salary cap continuing to rise, the effect his deal will have on the future flexibility of the franchise will be minimal, at best.

Chris Paul on 2020 Olympics: My wife wants to go to Tokyo

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul feels great starring for the Thunder.

So great, he might even take on extra workload.

Paul – who helped Team USA win gold medals in 2008 and 2012 but didn’t compete in 2016 – said he’s “very serious” about playing the 2020 Olympics. Paul:

I’m excited about the opportunity. My wife is sort of calling the shots on this one. She said she wants to go to Tokyo.

I’ve been blessed and fortunate to play in 2008. I had no kids then. In 2012, my wife couldn’t come, because, four days after the gold medal game, she had my daughter.

We often hear about players missing international tournaments due to personal reasons. But that can go both ways. Paul might compete due to personal reasons.

Paul faces steep and deep competition for making the team at point guard: Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, Russell Westbrook, Kemba Walker, Mike Conley, Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White. Trae Young didn’t even make the list of finalists.

USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said players who’ve previously represented the U.S. will get favorable consideration. So, that’ll help Paul.

If he plays, Paul – who turns 35 in May – would be Team USA’s third-oldest Olympian:

Chris Paul

Age for Team USA’s first game or, in 2020, first game of the tournament

Did John Beilein’s methods lead to Dylan Windler’s season-ending injury?

Former Cavaliers coach John Beilein and Dylan Windler
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John Beilein gave the Cavaliers problems mentally.

Did he also give them problems physically – especially Dylan Windler, who’s missing his entire rookie year?

Shams Charania, Jason Lloyd and Joe Vardon of The Athletic:

Warning signs for Beilein could be traced to the Cavs’ Summer League schedule, when the rookie coach ran a collection of (mostly) G Leaguers and non-roster invites through extended practices, multiple times a day. This is precisely what Beilein would have done at Michigan, especially with an entirely new batch of players, this early in a season calendar. But players not only complained about the work, they also were drilled in games by opponents who were clearly well-rested. And this was in Summer League.

There was at least one player, though, involved in those early summer workouts under Beilein who was expecting to make a major contribution to the Cavs this season. Rookie Dylan Windler, a late first rounder, was supposed to compete with Cedi Osman for minutes on the wing. But he never played a game this season because of a stress injury in his left leg — which could be traced back at least in part to being overworked during the summer.

Would Windler have missed the season under a different coach? It’s impossible to say. Counterfactuals are complex.

But there was legitimate reason to be concerned with Beilein’s approach. Teams have learned the importance of rest. Fatigued players are more susceptible to injury.

Beilein’s longest college season was 41 games. He coached 54 games in Cleveland – and left with much of the season remaining.

Handling the grind of the NBA season was always going to be an adjustment for the long-time college coach. It probably got understated amid concern about him relating interpersonally to his players.

The Cavaliers needed practice time. They needed work to develop. That’s clearly what Beilein prioritized.

But they also needed to limit the physical toll, and it’s reasonable to question whether Beilein did enough there. Even if he was learning that the NBA is more marathon than sprint, the several months Beilein coaches the Cavs were enough to cause issues.

Bucks’ minor-league coach suspended two games for rant (video)

Bucks minor-league coach Chase Buford
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Chase Buford, who coaches the Bucks’ minor-league affiliate, went on an epic rant after the Wisconsin Herd’s latest loss. He singled out referee Matt Rafferty as a “f—ing clown” and said the officials were “bad and biased and unfair and illegal and cheating.”

Ryan Rodig of WFRV-TV:

G League release:

Wisconsin Herd head coach Chase Buford has been suspended for two games without pay for a direct and extended public attack on the integrity and credibility of the game officials.

I can’t recall an NBA coach ever getting suspended for something he said during a press conference.

I also can’t recall an NBA coach ever saying something so inflammatory during a press conference.

In 2005, then-NBA commissioner David Stern threatened to ban Jeff Van Gundy from the NBA after the then-Rockets coach criticized officiating. That incident still led to just a $100,000 fine. Twice as large as any previous fine for a coach. But still just a fine, nonetheless.

Watch entire Kobe Bryant memorial service (video)

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The public memorial for Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant featured several unforgettable moments, including:

But I can’t overstate how well done the entire event was, how heartfelt the speakers and performers were. If you missed it yesterday and are in the right headspace, it’s worth watching to get a more complete understanding of Kobe and Gianna.