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.

Shaq donates a year’s rent to a paralyzed Atlanta boy

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ATLANTA (AP) — Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has donated a year’s rent in a new home to an Atlanta woman whose 12-year-old son was paralyzed in a shooting at a football game.

O’Neal tells WXIA-TV  that Isaiah Payton’s family had been living in a one-bedroom apartment that wasn’t accessible for people with disabilities.

“It’s just sad. It could have been any one of us,” Shaq told the Atlanta station. “It could have been my son. It could’ve been your cousin. She was living in a one-bedroom apartment with her two boys, so we found her a house in a nice area.”

Now they have a home in a good neighborhood. He says he’s helping furnish the home and will pay its rent for the next year.

Isaiah was shot through the spine in August after a football scrimmage between two high schools. Sixteen-year-old Damean Spear also was wounded and treated for minor injuries. Isaiah’s mother, Allison Woods, has said relearning how to care for Isaiah meant she had to leave her job, adding financial stress to her emotional turmoil.

Jazz reportedly extend contract of coach Quin Snyder, locking him down well into future

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Quin Snyder has evolved into one of the best coaches in the NBA (and my pick to win Coach of the Year this season). He’s built a development program and system in Utah that has turned Rudy Gobert into a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Donovan Mitchell into the face of a franchise, and Joe Ingles into a guy other teams covet. His players like and respect Snyder, and he has worked well with the front office of Dennis Lindsey and Justin Zanik.

So the Jazz are locking him up with a contract extension beyond the two seasons remaining on his deal. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news.

Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder has agreed to a long-term contract extension, league sources tell ESPN. Snyder had two years left on his deal, and a new contract extends multiple years beyond that term, sources said.

After upgrading the team’s talent base over the summer, locking Snyder into an extension had been a top organizational priority.

Jazz fans should be ecstatic about this.

Snyder has built a system team in Utah, one that moves the ball beautifully on offense, and that has been tough to defend in the regular season, with the Jazz winning 50 games last season. Utah has made it to the second round of the playoffs the past two seasons, but when the level of play made that leap a lot of the system gets taken away by good defenses, and the Utah offense became Donovan Mitchell against the world. It didn’t work, Mitchell (still just 22) wasn’t fully ready and there was not enough shooting around him.

This past summer, the Jazz added Mike Conley at point guard and Bojan Bogdanovic on the wing, two excellent shooters who also can create off the dribble. Expectations are high in Utah.

Whatever happens, Snyder is their coach now for a long time.

Giannis Antetokounmpo says he learned from Kawhi Leonard: “He was calm”

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Milwaukee was up 2-0 in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals on Toronto, having won those games by an average of 15 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo had scored 54 points, pulled down 31 rebounds, dished out 11 assists, and was looking every bit the MVP.

Then the games shifted to Toronto, Kawhi Leonard took over — including guarding Antetokounmpo more — and the Raptors rattled off four straight wins to take the series on their way to the NBA title. The Greek Freak still averaged 20.4 points a night in those final four games, but the buckets were much harder to come by.

Milwaukee returns this season as the Eastern Conference favorites and legit title contenders, in part because of what they learned from that loss. Antetokounmpo told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports he learned a lot directly from Leonard in that series.

“I learned a lot from him,” Antetokounmpo said. “He knocked down free throws. He was calm. When double-teams came, he was swinging the ball but getting it right back. He was aggressive. He was calm but he was on a mission.”

Leonard is the living embodiment of the old John Wooden axiom “be quick, don’t hurry.” He’s not rushed, he’s rarely forced into shots he doesn’t want to take or plays he doesn’t want to make.  That’s true of all champions on some level. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan all bring an inner calm.

If Antetokounmpo brings that to his game, the Bucks are one big step closer to a title.

Domantas Sabonis on trade rumors: ‘I know exactly how the Pacers feel about me now’

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The Indiana Pacers have started to explore the trade market for Domantas Sabonis. There are logical reasons for this: Sabonis is good (he was second in Sixth Man of the Year voting last season), yet he and the Pacers are nowhere near agreement on a contract extension, and the Pacers already paid big money for Myles Turner to be their center, how much do they want to pay Sabonis, too?

That’s sound logic if you’re in the Pacers’ front office.

If you’re Sabonis, it can feel like a slap in the face to a guy who put in a lot of sweat and passion for the franchise. That’s what Sabonis sounded like in this quote, via Scott Agnes of The Athletic.

The Pacers are not talking about the report, which started with the well connected and reliable Sam Amick at The Athletic.

Pacers’ brass needs to talk about this with Sabonis (and likely already have, behind closed doors). If the Pacers trade him, it’s likely not until after Dec. 15 at the earliest (when most players signed this summer can be included in a deal) and probably closer to the February trade deadline. That’s a lot of season to play out, and Sabonis remains a vital part of the Indiana rotation.

There is likely to be a lot of interest in Sabonis on the market. However, because he’s a center (a position teams are careful not to overspend on in today’s market) and in the last year of his rookie deal — meaning he becomes a restricted free agent next summer and gets more expensive — teams are not going to overpay for him. Right now the Pacers are asking for too much and interested teams are lowballing their offers. The sides will meet in the middle.

That middle could shift if Sabonis has a rough start to the season. Both sides need him to play well and feel comfortable, whatever is going on with the business side of his contract.