Report: Bucks signing Kenyon Martin to 10-day contract

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Jason Kidd has attempted to distance himself from the Nets (while still saying a lot about them) since leaving Brooklyn for Milwaukee.

But the Bucks coach can’t completely break ties with the franchise.

He’s reuniting with former Nets (and Knicks) teammate Kenyon Martin, a deal that has been in the works.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Milwaukee Bucks are signing former All-Star power forward Kenyon Martin to a 10-day contract, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Bucks have committed to add Martin to their roster this week, perhaps as early as Thursday, after letting a player go to open up a spot.

It’s hard to see whom the Bucks would drop to open a roster spot. They have a deep team, 1-15.

Nate Wolters is on a minimum contact with next season unguaranteed, and he has fallen from the rotation. But he made my All-Rookie second team just last year. It seems far too soon to give up on him.

Damien Inglis won’t play this season due to injury. But you don’t draft a young, raw player at No. 31 and waive him during his first season – unless his injury is that devastating.

Another player the Bucks took high in the second round, No. 36 pick Johnny O’Bryant III, could be a candidate if not for the same reason they’re signing Martin. They need big-man help.

Kendall Marshall is also on an expiring minimum contract. I don’t think Milwaukee would waive him, but I didn’t think the Lakers would last summer, either. I’d guess that move says more about the Lakers than Marshall, but it’s possible teams that see him up close don’t value him quite as much as outsiders do.  Considering the Bucks guaranteed Marshall’s salary for this season well before necessary, I doubt they’ll waive him.

Perhaps, they won’t need to waive anyone.

As Rob Mahoney of Sports Illustrated pointed out, Milwaukee could qualify for a hardship waiver.

The NBA allows teams to temporarily add a 16th player if three conditions are met:

1. The team has four injured or ill players.

The Bucks seem to qualify:

Sanders, whose reason for absence has been mysterious, is the only potential hiccup.

2. The injured or ill players miss at least three games.

No problem there, as long as Sanders qualifies for the first condition. Parker, Sanders, Ilyasova and Inglis have each missed more than three games.

3. The injured or ill players “will continue to be unable to perform playing services due to injury or illness.”

This will be the toughest condition to meet.

Parker and Inglis are out for the season, so that’s easy. But the Bucks have not set clear public timetables for Ilyasova’s and Sanders’ returns.

Ultimately, this will be Adam Silver’s call, and he can assign a physician to assesses the players and provide guidance.

If Milwaukee can add Martin without waiving anyone, sure, why not? He’ll add a little depth and toughness to a team jockeying for playoff position.

But if the Bucks must waive someone, I’d be against this move. Everyone on their roster is more valuable than the 37-year-old journeyman, and they’re still building toward their future. Ten days of Kenyon Martin isn’t worth even a small sacrifice in long-term outlook.

NBA makes it official, moves up free agency six hours to 6 p.m. June 30 (Eastern)

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I’d like to think this means we’ll all be able to go to bed at a reasonable hour on June 30. I also know better.

There is a frenzy of activity right as free agency opens (Tampering? There is no tampering in the NBA…), which traditionally has been as the clock turns to July 1 in New York, right at midnight. Things got so active that a lot of agents and players made sure they were in Los Angeles, even if they didn’t live there in the offseason, just so things started at the more reasonable hour of 9 p.m.

Now the NBA has made the rumors official: Free agency will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern on June 30. Six hours earlier than before.

This was done as an agreement between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association.

This is going to be a wild July with a lot of big-name free agents — Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler — and maybe a third of the players in the league on the market, plus there are a lot more teams with cap space to spend this season. It’s going to be a frenzy.

Now we know what time the wild times start.

Why does Kevin Durant respond on social media? “I’m qualified to talk about basketball”

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Every NBA player gets ripped on social media, even the guys who are not on social media. Most of the time players just ignore it, the way they ignore fans yelling stuff courtside or distant family asking them for money.

Kevin Durant, however, gets into it sometimes, even with national media members (and even had a burner account). Which always becomes a thing.

Why? Why not just ignore it? From Durant himself at practice Friday, via NBC Sports Bay Area.

“Because I have social media,” Durant said Friday… “I mean, I’m a human being with a social media account. I could see if I ventured off into like politics, culinary arts or music and gave my input, but I’m sticking to something that I know. You know what I’m saying? This is all I know. I’m actually talking about stuff that I know. I’m qualified to talk about basketball.

“So when I respond to something, especially if it’s about me personally, of course I’m going to tell you if you wrong about it. When I’m on the training table getting treatment on my calf and I see a tweet that come by and I disagree — I don’t talk to people because I’m worried about what they say, it’s just that I’m interested. So if you talking about in-game or the NBA Finals, they’re the same to me, you know what I’m saying?”

Durant seems to have more time on hands to get into these spats while he is out injured. Which likely will last into the start of the NBA Finals.

Does this mean the Drake/Durant beef is inevitable?

LeBron likes Instagram of Kyrie Irving in Lakers jersey, Internet goes berserk

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The Lakers landing Kyrie Irving in free agency this summer might be their best realistic option. It’s far, far from a lock — the Knicks, and yes Celtics, will make their pitch, too — but reuniting the pair that won a title in Cleveland is on the Lakers’ radar. (Insert your own, “you know who should coach this team” Tyronn Lue joke here.)

Fueling the speculation, LeBron James and Irving were seen hanging out together at a club in Los Angeles recently. Then Friday, this happened: Cuffthelegend posted this on Instagram and LeBron liked it.

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I like how this feels

A post shared by Savage Season 365 (@cuffsthelegend) on

(For the record, Cuffthelegend gets some stuff right, he’s not a guy who posts stuff out of nowhere.)

Of course, NBA Twitter and the web responded to this in its usual measured, thoughtful way. Some Lakers fans think the deal is done, others mock the idea altogether.

Two thoughts on Irving and the Lakers:

• Multiple reports say Irving is open to it. Irving also has a strong relationship with Kevin Durant, and Boston still plans to trade for Anthony Davis and then try to re-sign Irving (even if Boston fans are done with Kyrie). The only person who knows which way Irving is leaning right now is Irving, and there’s a good chance he changes his mind in the next five weeks anyway.

• If the Lakers are going to land a star free agent this summer, it will be because LeBron was an active recruiter. These elite players have options, and the Laker front office is not inspiring confidence of late, it will be on LeBron to win guys over.

 

Jeremy Lin: Milwaukee security guard asked for my pass to Raptors team bus

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Jeremy Lin has discussed people not believing he plays in the NBA.

It apparently still happens.

Lin, whose Raptors are playing the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals, via Bill Michaels Sports Talk Network:

After Game 2 in Milwaukee, I was trying to get to the team bus and one of the dudes in the Milwaukee arena just screams at me. He’s like, “Where do you think you’re going?!” And I’m like, “Uh, I’m trying to get to the team bus.” He’s like, “What?! Where’s your pass?” I was like, “I don’t have a pass. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have a pass.”

This happens in a lot of arenas, so I just kind of go with the flow.

It’s a fine line. Lin shouldn’t be profiled as a non-athlete because he’s Asian-American. Arena staffers should keep everyone safe by stopping unauthorized people.