Houston is making a bold attempt to overtake the Warriors (a plan that could include other big moves). The Clippers are launching into rebuilding.
Kurt Helin breaks down what it means for both teams.
Chris Paul is making a stopover in Oklahoma City. The Clippers sent him there to make the Paul George trade work, but the competitive 34-year-old point guard doesn’t want to be part of a long rebuilding project. He wants to be traded again before the season starts.
His preference? Miami, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. There CP3 would team up with Jimmy Butler. Miami is open to the idea, but what has hung the entire thing up is the discussion of picks, Windhorst said on ESPN’s SportsCenter on Monday night (hat tip NESN).
“When you talk about him potentially going to the Miami Heat, which is his preference, one thing I’ve been told in the talks; the fact that the Thunder hold the two of the Heat’s first-round picks in the future — unprotected 2021, protected 2023 — makes this a difficult conversation because the Heat want those picks back,” Windhorst said. “The Thunder have expressed an interest in giving one of those picks back but they would want another pick farther off into the future. So I do think that these teams have a lot to talk about.”
Oklahoma City is rebuilding and the mountain of picks they have compiled through trading George and Russell Westbrook — 16 potential first rounders through 2026, including their own, enough to make Danny Ainge think they have too many picks — is at the heart of that plan. While the Thunder can afford to give one or two up, they don’t want to.
Miami is saying that to take on Paul’s remaining three-years, $124 million, they want a sweetener. Which is what every team would ask for.
Which brings us to another problem for the Thunder: There is not much of a market for Paul. Miami is the only name really mentioned in negotiations. There is speculation about other potential landing spots, and no doubt some feeler calls have come into Sam Presti in OKC, but the Heat seem to be the only team going down the road of serious talks.
There are other challenges to getting this trade done. For example, the Thunder would love to shed salary (they are still $3.7 million into the tax) but the Heat are hard-capped after the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade and cannot absorb any more salary.
The Heat may be the place Paul ultimately lands but finding a deal that works could take some time to bring together.
Brandon Clarke made his mark in Las Vegas.
The No. 21 pick in June out of Gonzaga, he averaged 14.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game in leading the Grizzlies to the championship game, and for that he was named the Las Vegas Summer League MVP.
(That award has been won by Damian Lillard, Blake Griffin and John Wall, but also Josh Shelby and Glen Rice Jr. Most winners of the award had good careers as role players — Randy Foye, Jerryd Bayless, whatever Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart become — but it’s a mistake to think it’s a precursor of NBA dominance.)
Clarke wasn’t done, he had 15 points and 16 rebounds in the championship game, leading the Grizzlies past the Timberwolves 95-92. Memphis is your 2019 NBA Summer League Champions.
Memphis raced out to a 15-point lead early in the title game.
Minnesota was led by Kelan Martin with 19 points.
The first rule of NBA ownership: Don’t talk about NBA ownership.
Or the business you do as an owner until it becomes official, even if by then everyone else has known for days and already moved on from the topic.
Monday was an expensive day for two of the NBA’s owners of teams in Texas. Mark Cuban was fined $50,000 for leaking information from the league’s Board of Governor’s meeting about the new coach’s challenge — even though everybody knew what was going to happen — before the meeting officially ended. Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported this story and had maybe the best quote of the summer to go with it.
The NBA office fined Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $50,000 after he admitted to leaking information from last week’s Board of Governors meeting to a reporter, sources told ESPN…
“I appreciate the irony of your reporting on a fine that someone should, but won’t, get fined for leaking to you,” Cuban told ESPN.
Sources said Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive expressed concern that information about the vote to allow coaches’ challenges was being reported while the meeting was still in session. Cuban immediately admitted that he had leaked the information, sources said.
Well played, Cuban.
This is a letter of the law fine, but was it a big deal that this got out? The vote was all but assured, a formality, but Cuban gets fined for telling people? Thanks, Vivek.
From the same “is this really a big deal” file we have the fine Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta got on Monday, $25,000 for talking about the Russell Westbrook trade before it was official. Even though everybody was talking about it. From Mark Stein of the New York Times.
Here is the oh-so-damaging quote:
Again, I get Fertitta crossed the official line because the trade had not gone through yet, but does that line really need to exist in these cases? It feels like the silly hat thing at the NBA Draft.
Damaging or even interesting information was not divulged in either case. The fines were not steep because of it, but the NBA’s process of what is and is not allowed around trades and free agency — and the odd Board of Governors meeting — seems behind the times.
The Memphis Grizzlies don’t want to just waive veteran Andre Iguodala, they want to get something back in return. That is just turning out to be challenging.
The Clippers and Rockets are still interested, but both teams are at a stalemate, something Shams Charania of The Athletic broke down in a new video.
The story in a nutshell:
• The Rockets are interested, but Iguodala’s $17.2 million would take the team deep into the luxury tax (Houston is currently just shy of the tax line). Charania says any deal likely would involve a sign-and-trade, which implies Iman Shumpert, probably with a draft pick attached.
• The only Clippers’ salary that lines up cleanly is Mo Harkless (with some other players), but Los Angeles doesn’t want to give him up.
Memphis can afford to be patient and say they will just bring Iguodala into training camp, that they are willing to start the season with him.
This may take some time to get done and could ultimately involve a third team. Maybe Dallas gets back in the conversation, or other teams look at their roster and decide they want the veteran wing. This also could be something that drags into training camp, there are no easy answers lined up or the deal would be done already.