This is the NBA — anything can happen. Anything. It’s why the NBA wins the summer with its free agency.
Still, few people around the league expect Kawhi Leonard will remain in Toronto next summer, the money is still on him ending up in Los Angeles. Leonard said he will keep an open mind, and don’t underestimate the fact the Raptors can offer five-years, $190 million in a max deal, the most any other team can offer is four years and $141 million — Leonard is coming off missing most of a season due to injury, security may matter more to him than people think.
Danny Green, who is making the move from San Antonio to Toronto with Leonard, said on the latest episode of his Inside the Green Room podcast that he wouldn’t be shocked if Leonard stayed.
“I don’t know where his mind is at for the future. I can’t predict or tell you. I can just tell you that the city of Toronto is gonna be hard to turn down after being there. I’ve been going every summer for the past 10-plus years. It’s a great city and the fans are amazing. … I’m getting a great amount of feedback, a great amount of love and all types of different stuff from the fans. So it’s gonna be tough for him to turn down.”
Toronto has a large and passionate fan base, which may surprise Leonard. They should win a lot — and if Leonard is back to his MVP form they can challenge Boston for the top spot. Leonard does not like bright lights on him or drama around him, the Lakers always have the brightest lights and usually more drama than TNT (and they know drama). The Clippers can be that way too, while Toronto has a chance to make things go smoothly. Plus, did we mention $49 million more guaranteed?
Leonard probably still leaves, the Raptors have given themselves a shot. That’s all they can ask.
Jimmy Butler is in Philadelphia.
Carmelo Anthony is in Houston, but not for much longer.
And the Lakers have Tyson Chandler and a three-game winning streak — there is never a dull moment in the NBA. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports welcomes in Eric Pincus, who covers the Lakers for Bleacher Report plus is a salary cap expert you have seen on NBA TV, to talk about it all. The pair talk about what the Sixers need to do next to capitalize on their window with Butler, are there landing spots for Carmelo Anthony, and then a deep dive on the Lakers: What is the team doing right? Does Lonzo Ball fit with LeBron James? What about Brandon Ingram? And who is the next big star the Lakers will be able to add to their mix?
We want your questions for the podcast, and your comments, email us at PBTpodcast@gmail.com. As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.
Markelle Fultz has had few more vocal backers than Drew Hanlen, who trained the 76ers guard over the offseason.
Hanlen said Fultz would be an All-Star this season if 100%. With Fultz still struggling to shoot, Hanlen said Fultz wasn’t fully healthy.
But Fultz contradicted that, calling himself generally healthy. Fultz also rebuffed Hanlen’s assertion Fultz had the yips, as Fultz stressed his problems were due to injury.
Apparently, they became even more divided.
Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype:
Hanlen brought himself plenty of fame through his work with Fultz. This moves Hanlen back closer to the anonymity of most trainers.
More importantly, it suggests Fultz needs yet another plan for fixing his shooting form.
Many in Houston are convinced Carmelo Anthony is done with the Rockets.
If so, where will he play next?
Like when he was a free agent just a few months ago, speculation has centered on teams with his banana-boat buddies. Chris Paul and the Rockets already tried. But LeBron James‘ Lakers and Dwyane Wade‘s Heat seem viable.
Marc J. Spears on ESPN:
I am hearing that not the Lakers. I think the Lakers are done.
The Lakers already have scoring power forwards in Kyle Kuzma and Michael Beasley, and LeBron can obviously play that position. I’d rather have the incumbents than Anthony.
So how about Miami? Wade has been Anthony’s most outspoken backer, after all. But the Heat also have a superior offensive power forward in Kelly Olynyk, and Justise Winslow and Derrick Jones Jr. provide a fair amount of depth at the position.
Really, this is probably the wrong conversation. Maybe there is a bad team or two with a deficiency so glaring, Anthony is worth a roll of the dice. But he might just be finished as an NBA player, regardless of the fit.
The Clippers had been in control of the game against the Warriors, up 11 midway through the fourth quarter, but that’s when the run everyone had been waiting on came. The Warriors closed the gap behind Klay Thompson becoming a tough shot maker, and when Lou Williams missed a tough fade-away long two with :06 seconds left, Golden State had the chance to escape with a win.
Draymond Green got the rebound. Kevin Durant was clapping his hands calling for the ball. No timeout to set up a play was called, and Green decided to do it all himself, pushed the ball upcourt and… fumbled it away without a shot.
Durant was pissed on the bench after that.
Here are some better looks, notice Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins were the peacemakers.
After the game, Durant — who fouled out in overtime — left without speaking to the media. Green refused to discuss it.
It’s a long season, these kinds of spats happen to every team, and the Warriors will get over it. This is not the first family squabble they have had. But this just feels like one to file away in the memory bank and recall next July when decisions will be made about the future of this roster.