Associated Press

Shorter season? Shorter games? Tournaments? Adam Silver says NBA considering it all.

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“Load management.”

It’s the latest term of art for rest. The NBA is trying to strike a delicate balance, knowing that players need more rest to play at their peak and reduce injuries, but at the same time, the league wants its stars on the court for more games, not sitting out for load management. In the past few years, at the urging of Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA schedule has been stretched out by a couple of weeks so that there are fewer back-to-backs, easier travel schedules, and more rest for players built into the system.

Still, plenty of players are sitting out. “Load management.”

The ultimate solution to this would be shorter seasons, which many people agree is a good idea — except for the part where the league makes less money so players, owners, everyone has to take a pay cut. Maybe the better solution is shorter games. Or, maybe play fewer regular-season games but have some European soccer-style tournaments mid-season to make up the revenue. Silver said Friday after the Board of Governor’s meeting that the league is considering all of that.

“I’m a traditionalist on one hand, but on the other hand [the 82-game schedule is] 50 years old or so, presenting an 82-game season, and there’s nothing magical about it,” Silver said.

“I think it’s on the league office to always be challenging the way we do things, to be paying attention to changing viewer habits, a changing marketplace, a new world of the way media is presented, often on smaller devices, less on screens, people having shorter attention spans, and saying, `This is an incredible game, it’s never been more exciting, the athleticism has never been greater, fantastic players coming from all around the world, but what’s the best way to put the season together?”‘

The challenge is all about money. Players and owners both like the concept of reducing games, cutting the season down to 70 (or 66, or 60) games. The challenge is that it also means fewer games for which to sell tickets or for broadcasters to show, likely leading to a drop in revenue — and nobody wants to give up their money. Which is why Silver has flirted with European-style mid-season tournaments.

“That’s why I’m particularly interested in looking at different kinds of formats – at midseason tournaments, for example, play-in tournaments – because even accepting that players have so many miles on their bodies, there may be better ways to present it,” Silver said. “Assuming guys are going to play 82 games, maybe there should be a certain number of games in the regular season and then there should be two tournaments throughout the season.”

Silver is willing to listen, ready to challenge the status quo more than most commissioners. He’s not one for playing it safe or doing things one way just because that’s always how it’s been done. That’s a good thing.

The league does need to put player health first, but as always money talks. Finding financial solutions will be the hard part.

Rumor: Patrick Beverley may meet with five teams before Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers want to bring Patrick Beverley back next season, his spark was at the heart of why this team made the playoffs and impressed with their potential.

First, however, the Clippers are going big game hunting for the likes of Kawhi Leonard and/or Kevin Durant (even with the Achilles injury). Beverley isn’t just going to sit around and wait for them, reports longtime NBA reporter Sean Deveney Tweeted.

The Bulls need a point guard and Beverley — a Chicago native — has said he is interested.

The Lakers also are reportedly big game hunting, but Beverley is the kind of guard they could use around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Phoenix and other teams have been mentioned.

Beverley is going to have options, but he loved his time with the Clippers last season, and that means something.

Pelicans reportedly pick up option year on coach Alvin Gentry

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David Griffin, the guy with the hammer in New Orleans, likes Alvin Gentry. They have a relationship that goes back to Phoenix, where Gentry was the coach and Griffin was in the front office (and was eventually GM).

Gentry also has a style of play — he wants to run and be up-tempo. That should fit very well with soon-to-be No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise the Griffin and the Pelicans want to keep Gentry around, as reported by Malika Andrews of ESPN.

This is another smart, stabilizing move by Griffin. The Pelicans want to build an athletic, fast-paced team and Gentry is the right coach for that style.  Maybe it doesn’t pan out, maybe the Pelicans ultimately need to go another direction with their coach, but right now this seems a good fit.

Report: Utah “frontrunner” to land Mike Conley Jr. if Memphis trades him this week

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Utah feels like it is close — a 50-win team two seasons in a row, an elite defense, an All-NBA center in Rudy Gobert and an elite shot creator in Donovan Michell. They look at the West next season, with a depleted Warriors team, and see an opening.

Yet when Utah fell to Houston 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs this year, it was reminded of what is keeping the team from being truly elite, and another shot creator and shooter is at the top of that list.

Enter Mike Conley Jr. He averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists per game last season, shot 36.4 percent from three, and plays strong defense. Conley would be an upgrade over Ricky Rubio at the spot.

The almost All-Star point guard out of Memphis is available via trade. He’s the kind of veteran floor general, shooter, and shot creator Utah could use. The Jazz and Grizzlies talked but couldn’t come to an agreement at the trade deadline, but the sides are talking again and conversations are “intensifying” in the run-up to the NBA Draft Thursday, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Grizzlies are intensifying talks to potentially move franchise cornerstone Mike Conley Jr., league sources told The Athletic. Memphis has been in conversations with the Jazz and Utah is a frontrunner to acquire Conley should the Grizzlies trade the point guard during draft week, league sources said.

What would be in a trade package? Certainly the No. 23 pick in this draft, plus some young players the Grizzlies like (maybe Grayson Allen, Royce O’Neal, and even someone like Jae Crowder. Reports say Derick Favors is not part of the discussion.

While anything can happen the week of the draft — and things change quickly — don’t be surprised if some version of this trade gets done.

Kawhi Leonard wins day with last laugh — his viral laugh — at end of speech

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Kawhi Leonard just won again.

He won his second NBA title leading the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first crown. He earned his second Finals MVP in the process.

Then on Monday he had the last laugh and won the Raptors’ championship parade in Toronto by ending his speech with his laugh, the same one that went viral at the start of the season.

Of course, what Leonard will do on July 1 was a cloud hanging over the parade, Leonard is a free agent this summer. Kyle Lowry at one point started a “five more years” chant during the parade, which is the maximum number of years Toronto can re-sign Leonard for.

Leonard, exactly as we all should have expected, dodged the question, while praising his time in Toronto.

Unfortunately, this was a parade marred by more serious concerns.