There are three non-mutually exclusive possibilities. From most to least likely:
Paul wants people to believe three teams are waiting to offer Thompson a max contract.
Paul believes three teams are waiting to offer Thompson a max contract.
Three teams are waiting to offer Thompson a max contract.
I have HUGE doubts about the third, major doubts about the second and no doubt about the first.
But even we accept the third to be true, that means only so much. A lot can change in a year – those teams’ needs and Thompson’s performance. Just because a team now intends to offer him the max doesn’t mean it actually will.
And that’s if we believe the third to be true, which I do not.
Thompson might draw a max contract as un unrestricted free agent next summer after accepting the qualifying offer. Teams will collectively have more cap space than they know what to do with thanks to the new national TV deals. Player contracts will escalate quickly. Thompson is young and productive enough to warrant max consideration.
He’s not good enough to warrant saving a max contract for him now, though. For Thompson to get the max next summer, he’ll have to earn it this summer.
That’s why he’d probably prefer the assurance of a max deal from the Cavaliers now, even if that will pay less over five years ($94,343,125) than the qualifying offer plus a projected four-year max elsewhere next year would ($96,222,347).
How does Thompson command that max offer now? Intimate – true or not – he has better alternatives.
Report: No second bubble, scrimmages or practices for other eight NBA teams
There is growing belief among the NBA’s eight franchises not in Orlando that a second bubble site being built for minicamps and intrasquad scrimmages will not happen, sources tell The Athletic. There is pessimism about in-market minicamps for group workouts happening as well.
“There’s nothing happening,” one GM told The Athletic after a Tuesday call between the eight GMs and league officials. “It’s a shame. It’s a huge detriment to these eight franchises that were left behind.”
I’m so sick of some of these eight teams whining. They’re not playing because they weren’t good enough to qualify for the resumption. Deal with it. Every year, some teams get eliminated before others. This is different in degree, not kind.
That wouldn’t necessarily be the case for the other eight teams. Maybe there’s value in fulfilling local TV contracts, but the remaining games are a poor product. Scrimmages and practices would be even less marketable. Impending free agents especially have little reason to care about continuing.
I understand why many of the eight teams want to do something. But it’s probably just not worth it.
Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. out for season with torn left meniscus
Even with the short offseason, Jackson should be ready to play at the start of next season.
This is a serious blow to the Grizzlies, who are 0-3 in the bubble and now just lost their best player through those three games. He has been the best source of offense for the Grizzlies in the bubble, feasting on defenders who cannot match his speed.
Jackson, a 6’11” big out of Michigan State, averaged 17.4 points and 4.6 rebounds a game this season, shooting 39.4% from three. He’s still developing, but he looks like a classic modern big — can protect the rim, can post up or make plays from the elbow, and can shoot the three — who is developing a strong chemistry with Ja Morant. They could be the cornerstones of the Grizzlies’ future.
First, Jackson has to get healthy.
Watch Devin Booker drain turnaround game-winner to beat Clippers
Ivica Zubac opened the door for Booker to win it. The Suns had the ball with 31 seconds to go and the Clippers — Kawhi Leonard in particular — defended it well, forcing Ricky Rubio into a difficult, high-arcing shot he missed. Zubac did a good job grabbing the rebound, but then he hurried the outlet pass and Mikal Bridges tipped it, Deandre Ayton grabbed it, and the Suns got to reset and take one more shot.
Devin Booker took the final shot, a game-winner. That man is a problem.
Obviously, Milwaukee is way better than Brooklyn overall. But the Bucks didn’t have much incentive to chase a victory. They’ve already all but clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Starters Brook Lopez and Wesley Matthews didn’t play. Stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton didn’t play in the second half.
That created an opening for the Nets, who blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead then rallied to win.
What they lacked in talent, both teams made up for in effort – and feistiness.
Antetokounmpo was restrained from Brooklyn big Donta Hall after getting knocked down during a second-quarter tussle for a rebound: