Report: Celtics express willingness to take salary dumps

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When a team no longer wants to pay a player, Sam Hinkie is on speed dial.

The Philadelphia 76ers have made trades for Jared Cunningham, Andrei Kirilenko, Ronny Turiaf, Travis Outlaw, Marquis Teague, Keith Bogans Hasheem Thabeet – not a single one of whom has played for the 76ers this season.

Philadelphia takes and waives (or attempts to flip) these players so their previous teams don’t have to. The previous team gets cap relief and/or a trade exception, and the 76ers get a draft pick for their trouble.

But the Celtics want to make clear Philadelphia doesn’t have this market cornered.

Zach Lowe of Grantland:

Boston has been calling around the league over the last week, reminding GMs that Philly isn’t the only team with salary space to rent out as we approach the February 19 trade deadline.

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Thanks to the Celtics own flurry of trades, they have several trade exceptions to absorb players:

  • $12,909,090 (Rajon Rondo)
  • $5,000,000 (Brandan Wright)
  • $2,439,840 (Austin Rivers)
  • $1,334,092 (Kris Humphries)
  • $625,280 (Jameer Nelson)
  • $507,336 (Dwight Powell)

Those exceptions can’t be combined, so they’re not quite as flexible as Philadelphia’s cap space. But there are enough of them in varied sizes that it probably won’t matter.

The 76ers have one big advantage over Boston: They’re probably still below the salary floor. Any shortfall is charged to the team and divided among its players, so Philadelphia has to spend that money anyway. Might as well spend it in a way that convinces another team to surrender a drat pick, no matter how low.

For the Celtics, the added salary would be a real cost. So, they’ll likely be more particular about accepting dead weight – especially as they near the luxury-tax line, which they’re about $12 million shy of.

But this could be a good way for Danny Ainge to add to his treasure trove of drat picks. The Celtics aren’t trying to win this season anyway, so accepting an overpaid player with a pick attached carries only as much downside as the length of the player’s contract and the real costs associated with it.

This competition between the 76ers and Celtics is good for the rest of the league. It should drive down the cost of dumping bad contracts.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia and Boston will continue to stock up for the future.

Nets will reportedly give away 10,000 Kyrie Irving jerseys vs. Knicks

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The Brooklyn Nets will be without Kevin Durant for the majority if not all of next season. In his place they will have to make do with the young squad they have nurtured into a potential playoff threat… and Kyrie Irving.

Irving is one of the latest players to join the Nets, coming over from the Boston Celtics in a move that Brooklyn fans hope will be the start of a potential championship run in New York.

To that end, the Nets appear as though they will be giving away a pretty significant gift early in the season in Brooklyn. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily nNews, the Nets will give away 10,000 Irving jerseys on October 25th as Brooklyn it takes on their crosstown rivals in the New York Knicks.

Via Twitter:

Giving away an entire jersey is a pretty big outlay.

The Nets certainly want Irving to know that he is important to them, and for fans understand that he is going to be just as revered as Durant in the coming years.

Rudy Gobert says France’s bronze medal ‘means everything’

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Some countries, like the United States, don’t really care about the World Cup. The 2019 FIBA World Cup in China was perhaps evidence of that, with Team USA not even bothering to medal.

For countries like France and players like Rudy Gobert, the World Cup is a chance to show that their nation is one that is coming forth as a place to be reckoned with when it comes to basketball development.

France recently took home third place in the 2019 Cup, and for that the Utah Jazz center was grateful. Speaking to reporters after their win over Australia, Gobert said that grabbing the bronze “means everything” to him and to France.

Via Twitter:

That’s some pretty moving stuff from a guy in Gobert who we know is someone who wears his emotions on his sleeve.

Bernie Sanders says LeBron James is the GOAT over Michael Jordan (VIDEO)

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Everyone has an opinion about who is the greatest player of all time between Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Most folks still seem to pick Jordan, although it’s been hard to argue with the type of player that James is in a vacuum outside of measurements like championship rings.

In any case, we now have one more person who has tossed their opinion into the ring of public consciousness. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has now said that he believes that LeBron is the GOAT thanks to his public service.

Via Twitter:

“I think LeBron has been willing to do what a lot of athletes are not and get involved in the political process, put money into education, and I respect that.”

James has certainly done a lot politically, socially, and as an activist. He’s supported things like entire schools, and he’s been on the bleeding edge of NBA activism against things like police brutality.

Jordan has also done his part, including a recent pledge for $1 million in funds to aid Bahamanian hurricane relief. Folks like to bag on MJ for his purported “Republicans buy sneakers, too” comment, but it’s unclear whether he actually ever said or felt that.

In either case, it appears that we know who Sanders thinks is the GOAT. Next someone should ask Elizabeth Warren if she would have taken Kobe or Shaq in 2004.

Watch Zion Williamson snap the head off a golf club (VIDEO)

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As any good golfer can tell you, the key to getting a pure ball flight is figuring out the idea of compression. Instead of scooping the ball off the ground, the idea is to hit the ball first and use the ground to compress the dimpled object between the earth and the clubface.

And while New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson probably isn’t concentrating on his golf game heading into his first NBA season, it looks like the idea of compression isn’t lost on him.

As the Pelicans held a golf event this week, Williamson was filmed snapping the head off of an iron while taking a shot off the tee box.

Via Twitter:

It’s hard to tell from this angle, but it looks like Williamson has a pretty solid swing. I’m extremely jealous of the amount of lag he has at the return parallel position on the downswing.

Someone get this guy a stiffer shaft or something. I can only imagine the kind of havoc Williamson is going to inflict on NBA rims this year if this is how the man golfs.