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Nikola Jokic’s agent to Nuggets: Decline team option

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The Nuggets drafted Nikola Jokic in the second round just four years ago.

He’s already good enough to lead them to the playoffs.

That the 46-win Nuggets missed the postseason doesn’t invalidate that. They just happened to play in one of the deepest conferences of all-time, and Paul Millsap missed most of the season due to injury. Jokic is already a borderline All-Star at age 23.

His unexpectedly rapid ascension creates numerous difficult questions about building for the present or future.

A big one: Should Denver exercise or decline Jokic’s $1,600,520 team option for next season?

Exercising it would keep Jokic at an extremely cheap salary next season, but it’d make him an unrestricted free agent in 2019. Declining it would make Jokic a restricted free agent this summer, and though that would mean giving him a massive raise, the Nuggets could control securing him long-term.

Jokic’s agent has advice for the team.

Nick Kosmider of The Athletic:

Jokic wants to get paid big next season, not wait another year. Denver will probably accommodate him. Letting him hit unrestricted free agency is just too risky.

The Nuggets could try to condition declining Jokic’s team on him accepting less than the max – which projects to be about $146 over five years or $109 million over fours if he signs an offer sheet with another team. Jokic might compromise.

Jokic drawing any salary even near market value could push Denver over the luxury-tax line next season. The Nuggets declining Jokic’s option could lead to them trading Kenneth Faried, Mason Plumlee, Wilson Chandler and/or Darrell Arthur (in the likely event the latter two opt in), not re-signing Will Barton and/or not using the mid-level exception.

So, Jokic’s option presents one question. Determining how much to pay him if the Nuggets decline it is a whole other, related, negotiation.

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.