American president Donald Trump called African nations “shithole countries,” according to a senator in the immigration meeting and corroborated by other reports.
That didn’t sit well with Raptors president Masai Ujiri, who was born and raised in Nigeria.
Ujiri, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
“I don’t think it’s fair, and I don’t think it’s what inspiring leadership can be. What sense of hope are we giving people if you are calling where they live — and where they’re from — a shithole?
“We have to inspire people and give them a sense of hope. We need to bring people along, not ridicule and tear them down. This cannot be the message that we accept from the leader of the free world.
“I don’t know that just because someone lives in a hut, that doesn’t mean that isn’t a good person, that that person can’t do better, that person isn’t capable of being great. And just because it’s a hut – whatever that means – doesn’t mean it’s not a home. God doesn’t put anyone someplace permanently. I am a living testimony to that. If I grew up in a shithole, I am proud of my shithole.”
The United States should welcome people who embrace our freedoms and opportunities. Whether or not their current country is prosperous (or Norway) shouldn’t matter.
The Nets already got draft picks for taking Kenneth Faried‘s ($13,764,045) and Darrell Arthur‘s ($7,464,912) expiring contracts from the tax-avoiding Nuggets.
Now, Brooklyn will get more draft consideration for flipping Arthur for Jared Dudley‘s costlier expiring contract ($9,530,000).
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
What happens if the pick lands between Nos. 31 and 35? That determines exactly how valuable it is, but this still seems like a high price to save just $2,065,088 – especially when it’s probably just about the real money, not the cap room.
The Suns open a little more cap space, but still less than their $4,449,000 room exception. At this point, it appears unlikely they use either.
Owner Rob Sarver will appreciate the reduced payroll, and if general manager Ryan McDonough doesn’t keep the owner happy, the lost draft pick will be the next guy’s problem.
Brooklyn is already over the cap and never counted on Arthur as a player. The only cost of this trade is the real money in the difference between Dudley’s and Arthur’s salaries, and the Nets are willing to pay that for a draft pick. Good for them.
Neither Dudley nor Arthur played much last year. Maybe that’s because Dudley was on a tanking team trying to empower youth and Arthur was buried behind a deep power-forward rotation. But maybe Dudley (33) and Arthur (30) are just washed up and no longer capable of contributing at an NBA level. Getting them in different situations could reveal plenty. They’re both smart players, the type teams want to add.
The Spurs agreed to trade Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Raptors for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected first-round pick.
But the deal isn’t official until everyone involved passes their physicals.
All eyes turn to Leonard, who missed 73 games last season with a hip injury. Will he, presumably testing with Green, pass?
Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:
The pair are scheduled to appear in Toronto on Friday for physicals.
I expect Leonard to pass.
The Raptors have complete discretion, and they knew they were trading for a risk – both in terms of Leonard’s impending free agency and health. After DeMar DeRozan’s reaction would Toronto really undo this trade and bring him back?
Concerns about Leonard’s hip seem to be more about his ability to recover from regular usage and long-term soundness. I’m not sure either would show up in a single-day examination.
Leonard was cleared medically months ago, and he was reportedly considering playing in Team USA’s minicamp next week. He seems ready to go – at least to pass a physical by a team that knew of his health issues when trading for him.
But if Toronto sees a red flag that would cause them to cancel the trade, all hell will break loose. So, the stakes are high.
In 2015, DeAndre Jordan agreed to a contract with Mavericks then backed out to re-sign with the Clippers.
This won’t cause the same uproar, but Dallas has been left at the altar once again.
Yogi Ferrell won’t sign his agreed-upon deal.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Ferrell agreed to an unbelievably stupid contract. He could have accepted his fully guaranteed, one-year qualifying offer for $2,919,204. Instead, he took a lower salary for next season AND agreed to attach a cheap fully unguaranteed second season. If Ferrell plays well, the Mavericks will keep him for a relatively low salary in 2019-20. If he doesn’t, they’ll waive him at no cost.
In other words, Ferrell gave Dallas a discount for next season and all the power for the following season. There was no tradeoff. Ferrell lost in every aspect of the deal.
He and Tejada never should have accepted it in the first place. But backing out now also carries a reputation hit, especially for Tejada.
Though this reflects more poorly on Tejada, Ferrell will take more egg on his face, because he’s a public figure and gave some now-unfortunate comments.
Andy McDonnell of WANE-TV:
What now for Ferrell?
The Mavericks still have his Early Bird Rights and a low cap hold on him. They could pay him a little more without interfering with their other moves.
But Ferrell – an undersized scoring guard – is a marginal player. Dallas might not want to reengage with him after this. The Mavericks signed Jordan this year, but it took years and a special need for them to get over everything.
How about the Kings? They’re certainly not above negotiating with players who already struck deals with another team.
Philadelphia struck out going big game hunting this off-season — LeBron James, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard all ended up elsewhere. The Sixers decided to trade for Wilson Chandler (absorbing him into their cap space) and re-signed J.J. Redick, but they have continued to look for the right trade.
That could involve adding Kyle Korver.
From Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
According to a league source, the team has had discussions about trading Jerryd Bayless to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyle Korver.
That move would enable the Sixers to bring back a fan favorite who’s one of the league’s top three-point shooters. He would be an upgrade from former Sixer Marco Belinelli, who signed as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs earlier this month.
This trade is still in the talking phase.
That this was leaked means an agent of one of the teams involved wants to see the deal done and hopes leaking it puts enough pressure on one or both sides to get it done.
For the Sixers it makes sense on the court, they get out of a contract in Bayless they have tried to trade for a year, and they bring in a sharpshooter who can fit within their system and add bench scoring.
For the Cavaliers, they have to be getting a pick or picks of some kind back in this trade (probably a second round or multiple second-round picks, of which the Sixers have several besides their own in the next couple of drafts).
Something to watch as we head into the weekend, to see if this deal can get done.