Report: J.R. Smith’s contract has less guaranteed money over two years than player option would’ve presented over one

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J.R. Smith officially re-signed with the Cavaliers, and we already knew some terms of the deal – two years, starting at $5 million, player option.

Though he will make less than the $6,399,750 he could have gotten by opting in next season, it appeared Smith might have saved face by getting more money overall with his 2016-17 player option. It probably wasn’t a better deal than opting in, but it was was arguably a better deal than opting in. That’s something.

But it’s getting harder and harder for Smith to justify his decision given the results.

While all $6,399,750 of his player-option season would have been guaranteed, just $4.1 million of his new deal – counting both years – will be.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

The big issue is how difficult the incentives are to reach. With easy benchmarks, this deal might be practically fully guaranteed.

It’s also worth noting the $2.1 million “guaranteed” to Smith for his second season might not actually be guaranteed.

Contracts with a player option dictate what happens to protected compensation – commonly called guaranteed money – for the season following the option if the player is waived before the option is exercised. Smith’s contract could say he doesn’t get any of that money if Cleveland waives him before he opts in. Given the other details we know, I suspect the contract does say that.

If it contains that clause, Smith can’t opt in until after the 2016 NBA Finals. Otherwise, if things start to go south, he could rush to opt in before the Cavaliers waive him. (Though if they make the Finals and want to waive Smith before the 2016-17 season, that could create an interesting race for filing paperwork. Could there be a scenario where they waive Smith during the Finals to ensure he can’t opt in before they waive him?)

Another thing we can deduce: Smith’s salary increases from this season to the following one. The percentage of base salary that is protected in an option year must match the season prior. Because we know Smith’s guaranteed money increases, his salary must also.

Kawhi Leonard just destroyed Boston’s Daniel Theis on dunk

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Daniel Theis‘ play as a rim protector is one of the reasons Boston has a top-10 defense this season. He has anchored the Celtics’ defense in the paint.

Kawhi Leonard is a two-time Finals MVP, and if he wants to go to the rim nobody is stopping him. Theis found out the hard way.

After the game, Leonard was asked about the dunk and he responded in about the most Kawhi way possible.

This was the first game Leonard and Paul George played together and they combined for 42 points, and they both made key play down the stretch of a 107-104 overtime win.

It took Luka Doncic 25 minutes to put together 35-point triple-double (VIDEO)

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DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 33 of his 35 points in the first half and had yet another triple-double to help the Dallas Mavericks rout the short-handed Golden State Warriors 142-94 on Wednesday night.

Doncic fell a point short of matching Dirk Nowitzki’s team record set Nov. 3, 2009, against Utah. In just 17 minutes, Doncic was 10 for 11 from the floor, making 6 of 7 3-pointers, and hit 7 of 8 free throws.

The second-year star from Slovenia had 22 points, five assists and five rebounds in the first quarter alone. He played only 25 minutes total, but still managed 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Doncic was coming off a 40-point triple-double Monday night against San Antonio, and has an NBA-best seven triple-doubles in 14 games this season.

The Mavericks never trailed and tied a franchise record with 22 3-pointers while sending Golden State to its worst loss since a 1973 playoff game.

The Warriors, who ended a seven-game losing streak by beating Memphis on Tuesday night, are an NBA-worst 3-13. Their five-year run of at the top of the NBA has collapsed under a weight of injuries, with Draymond Green out Wednesday because of right heel soreness.

With Green out, Golden State dressed only eight players, none of whom suited up for the team last season when it made the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive year.

Eric Paschall led the Warriors with 22 points.

Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 for Dallas. Kristaps Porzingis had 14 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth-straight double-double.

 

Bulls’ Otto Porter Jr out 2 weeks with bone bruise in foot

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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls say forward Otto Porter Jr. has a bone bruise in his left foot and will be reassessed in two weeks.

The Bulls say a second MRI on Tuesday revealed the bruise, something “not apparent” on the first MRI.

“He had a second scan, and something showed up that didn’t show up on the first scan,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen told NBC Sports Chicago. “That’s tough, tough for him, feel bad for him. But we’ll treat him and move on.”

Chandler Hutchison had been filling in Porter’s spot in the rotation, but he is out indefinitely now with sore shins.

Porter, averaging 11.2 points in nine games, has been sidelined since he sprained his left foot at Atlanta on Nov. 6.

The Bulls were 4-10 with three straight losses heading into Wednesday’s game against Detroit.

Timberwolves’ new alternate uniforms resemble Minneapolis Lakers

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The Minneapolis Lakers’ history belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers. That’s why the Los Angeles Lakers claim the five championships the franchise won in Minneapolis and have worn light-blue Minneapolis throwbacks.

But Minnesota’s current NBA team – the Timberwolves – appear to be borrowing from that legacy.

The Timberwolves’ new alternate uniforms look awfully similar to the Minneapolis Lakers’ throwback:

Of course, the Timberwolves’ explanation contains no mention of the Minneapolis Lakers. The Timberwolves say the icy cool yet sky blue color … reflects the blue waters that are ubiquitous throughout the cities, namely the Mississippi River, which is outlined on the left side of the uniform.” It’s all about celebrating the Twin Cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul (MSP).

The best part: These alternates are officially branded as “City Edition” uniforms. The Timberwolves called theirs “Cities Edition.”