Why Anthony Davis probably won’t sign extension anywhere

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Anthony Davis informed the Pelicans he wouldn’t sign a super-max extension, which projects to be worth about $240 million over five years.

If Davis gets his desired trade from New Orleans, would he sign an extension elsewhere?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka plan to make an aggressive push to acquire Davis before the Feb. 7 deadline, armed with confidence that Davis wants to play for the Lakers and would sign an extension, league sources said.

GM Danny Ainge is undeterred on making a trade for Davis, even without an assurance that he would agree to an extension with the Celtics, league sources said.

Despite Wojnarowski’s reporting, it’s highly unlikely Davis signs an extension anywhere, including his desired Los Angeles. Wojnarowski often conflates an extension with a new contract, but the mechanisms are significantly different.

Davis is set to become a free agent in 2020. Any extension would kick in for the 2020-21 season.

Within six months of getting traded, the largest extension Davis could sign is just one year, $28,447,669.

If he gets dealt then waits for that six-month period to expire, he could sign an extension worth up to $145,652,065 over four years. But because he’d have to wait, the team trading for him wouldn’t immediately get the security of locking him up longer-term. And Davis would already be out of New Orleans, so an extension would no longer be a tool to facilitate his exit. Which mostly defeats the point of an extension.

At the point six months after a trade, Davis could play out the final season of his contract and get far more money. Davis’ max in 2020 free agency projects to be about $205 million over five years. Even if he leaves his prior team in 2020 free agency, his max elsewhere projects to be about $152 million over four years – still more than he could get in an extension sooner.

Here’s how much Davis could earn on a super-max extension (blue), extend-and-trade (gold), extension six months after a trade (red), re-signing in 2020 free agency (purple) and leaving his team in 2020 free agency (green). The non-super-max extension salaries are calculated. The other salaries are based on the projected 2020-21 salary cap.

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Obviously, money doesn’t mean everything to Davis. If it did, he’d sign the super-max extension with the Pelicans.

But once he gets to a new team, why not make as much money as possible? Whether or not he lands on a team he wants to re-sign with, it’s still financially prudent to reject an extension in favor of signing a fresh contract in free agency.

It’s technically possible for Davis to renegotiate his 2019-20 salary after getting traded. If he does, an extension could become viable. But a team must use cap space for a renegotiation. Will the Lakers really commit cap space to give Davis a preemptive raise in a summer they’re chasing a third star? It seems he wants to stay in Los Angeles and that wouldn’t be necessary. The Celtics probably wouldn’t have cap space, anyway. A renegotiation-and-extension seems farfetched, but that’s still the most-realistic way Davis signs an extension.

Most likely, whichever team trades for Davis must keep him into the 2020 offseason and hope he re-signs. It’s tough to see any team getting the benefit of an extension to lock him up sooner.

Watch Carmelo Anthony’s first bucket as a Trail Blazer

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That Carmelo Anthony started the first game he played for Portland speaks to why they signed him in the first place — this team is so shorthanded along the front line that the guy they just signed got thrown into the fire.

Anthony responded with a solid level of play. His first bucket was a wing three where both defenders went to CJ McCollum and left ‘Melo wide open.

Anthony played 12 minutes in the first half and had 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, and three fouls. The team was looking to keep him at around 20 minutes for his first game back.

Portland led New Orleans 54-53 at the half.

How a single computer folder and dogged HR official exposed former Kings executive’s $13.4M embezzlement scheme

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Just how close did Jeff David come to getting away with embezzling $13.4 million from the Kings while working for them? He already secured a new job with the Heat and was in the process of moving from Sacramento to Miami.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

On this Monday, walking through the Davids’ new front door is a dizzying procession of cable guys, utility workers and movers. Amid all of this, Jeff receives a phone call from a former co-worker with the Kings. Her name is Stacy Wegzyn, and she works in HR. Jeff last remembers sitting in her office in Sacramento just months earlier, being told that the Kings were going to eliminate his position. After a few pleasantries, she gets down to business. She tells Jeff she’s been going through his old files, and in doing so she found one labeled “TurboTax” that references an entity called Sacramento Sports Partners.

“I was just curious what that is and if those are documents that should go to somebody else,” Wegzyn says.

It’s a seemingly innocuous inquiry from an HR lifer. But it’s one that will dictate the rest of Jeff David’s life. If he knows that — or senses it — he doesn’t let on.

“No, no, no,” Jeff responds. “That was a … man, this is taking me back. Maybe 2015?”

Wegzyn presses on. She asks Jeff whether the documents contain anything that anyone with the Kings needs to see. Jeff assures her they can trash them because the entity isn’t around anymore. A few minutes after he hangs up, his mother-in-law, Nancy, is standing at the front door when an FBI investigator appears, asking to speak to Jeff.

If you like the NBA or true crime – let alone both – I HIGHLY recommend reading Arnovitz’s full piece. It’s riveting!

Warriors Kevon Looney cleared for on-court basketball work, will return soon

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At least someone on the Warriors is getting healthy.

Big man Kevon Looney, who played opening night and has since been sidelined with a sore hamstring and neuropathy (what the team described as “nerve-related symptoms”), has been cleared to return to on-court basketball activities, the team announced Tuesday. From the official press release:

He will participate in select practice sessions with the Santa Cruz Warriors this week and will re-join the Golden State Warriors over the weekend. We will continue to monitor his progress and will provide another update on his status on Sunday.

Looney has already been officially assigned to Santa Cruz.

This is good news for the Warriors, who have been starting Willie Cauley-Stein but desperately need more shot blocking and depth up front.

Anyone getting healthy is good news for a Warriors team that is 2-12 and has the worst net rating in the NBA (-10.4).

Carmelo Anthony to start first game for Portland, apparently thinks he’s wearing number infinity

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Carmelo Anthony will wear No. 00 with the Trail Blazers.

Why?

Apparently because 00 kind of looks like ∞.

Anthony:

Somewhere, Kyrie Irving is nodding in support.

In terms of numbers that make sense…

Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

That’s a sizable role for a 35-year-old in his first game in more than a year. But Portland needs scoring with Damian Lillard sidelined, and – at last check (though, again, a while ago), Anthony was accustomed to big minutes.

Besides, we all want ample opportunity to see Anthony back on the court after his lengthy absence.