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Chances Celtics, Jaylen Brown reach contract extension reportedly ‘pretty slim’

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The bill is coming due in Boston.

For years Boston was the team with promising young players and a treasure chest of draft picks. Now all those trade chips have been cashed in through a series of moves that didn’t pan out as well as Celtics’ fans hoped — and the bill is starting to come due on the picks they kept.

Starting with a potential rookie contract extension for Jaylen Brown, the two sides have until Oct. 21 to reach a deal. Although it is not likely to happen reports Sean Deveney at Heavy.com.

According to a league source, “the chance is pretty slim” that Brown signs a long-term deal with the team in the coming month. Around the league, the expectation is that Brown and the Celtics won’t come to a deal.

Brown would still be under contract for this season, at $6.5 million (that would be the case even with the extension). He would become a restricted free agent next summer, which means Boston would still control his rights and be able to match any contract offer he received.

There are a few key reasons an extension is unlikely. First, Boston with Danny Ainge has not been a team that agrees to a lot of extensions of rookie contracts. They didn’t with Kelly Olynyk, they took their time with Marcus Smart, and this summer rather than keep Terry Rozier he was packaged in a sign-and-trade with Charlotte for Kemba Walker.

Second, Boston is a capped out team the next couple of years. For example, they are $13 million below the tax line this season, and next season they will be flirting with it again (unless Gordon Hayward opts out of his $34.2 million final year then bolts the team, something that seems unlikely). Whatever salary the Celtics agree to for Brown could have them paying the tax.

Finally, there is the biggest obstacle: What is the salary figure for a Brown contract extension? The two sides are not going to see eye to eye on that.

To provide a little context, Brown had a somewhat down season early on (didn’t every Celtic) but bounced back later last season and averaged 13 points and 4.2 rebounds a game shooting 34.4 percent from three. However, in stretches, he looked much better than that, including having a strong run with Team USA this summer at the FIBA World Cup.

The Celtics are not going to give Brown a five-year, $168 million max extension, which is what Ben Simmons in Philadelphia and Jamal Murray in Denver got. The only other rookie extension agreed to so far this summer is Caris LeVert with the Nets for $52 million over three years, or $17.3 million a year average.

Boston may be open to re-signing Brown at a LeVert number, around $17 million or $18 million a year, but Brown certainly thinks he’s worth north of $20 million (especially after his strong FIBA performance). Brown may even believe that if he has a good season, then hits the restricted free agent market next summer in a very down free-agent class, some team may offer a max to try to poach him. Brown may want to bet on himself.

Everyone is going to let this play out, a deal is unlikely. But it’s something to watch as the season moves along — and remember Jayson Tatum becomes extension eligible next summer, too.

Rockets to add Spurs buyout DeMarre Carroll, free agent Jeff Green

Spurs forward DeMarre Caroll
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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that DeMarre Carroll and the San Antonio Spurs have agreed to a buyout. Carroll will then sign with the Houston Rockets:

ESPN’s Tim McMahon added in a subsequent report that the Rockets will bring in free agent forward Jeff Green:

Green will first sign a 10-day contract with the Rockets, so he can get used to their system and see if there is a fit, Woj reported.

Carroll signed a three-year, $20.65 million contract as part of a sign and trade from the Brooklyn Nets to the Spurs this past summer. That agreement was part of a three-team trade that saw San Antonio send forward Davis Bertans to the Washington Wizards. The 10-year veteran is owed $7 million for this season, $6.65 million for 2020-21 and $1.35 million guaranteed for 2021-22. San Antonio will incur a cap hit for each of the three seasons as part of the buyout process with Carroll. How much of a cap hit will depend on how much money Carroll gave up as part of the buyout agreement.

Carroll was added via sign and trade after Marcus Morris spurned the Spurs in free agency. Morris had originally agreed to sign with San Antonio, but backed out after the New York Knicks offered him $15 million as a free agent. The Spurs moved on to Carroll as a backup plan, but he was never able to crack the rotation. He’s played only 135 minutes over 15 games with San Antonio.

Green was with the Utah Jazz earlier this season, before being waived to create a roster spot for Rayjon Tucker. The 11-year veteran Green averaged 7.7 points per game in 30 appearances with Utah. The Rockets will be the ninth different franchise Green has played for.

In Houston, Carroll and Green will join Mike D’Antoni’s small-ball crew as big man depth. Carroll and Green will likely back up P.J. Tucker and Robert Covington up front. Their experience at both forward spots will give the Rockets additional depth for their playoff run. Carroll and Green are also likely be to asked to play some center, as Houston has downsized dramatically at that position, including trading Clint Capela at the trade deadline.

NBA players’ union votes to support formation of G-League union

Kyrie Irving
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Better pay. Better working conditions. Not to be treated as disposable parts by their employers.

The players in the G-League want the same thing out of a union that auto workers, teachers, and (most obviously) NBA players do. As had been expected (talks had been going on for a while), on Monday the National Basketball Players Association (the NBA players’ union) voted to support the formation of a G-League union, a story broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The G-League players are expected to support this. Sources have told NBC Sports that team and league officials will not oppose the players unionizing, they believe there will be benefits, too.

The primary issue will be pay. Most players in the G-League earn a $35,000 salary, unless they’re an elite high school prospect, or on a two-way contract (which means they are tied to an NBA team and can be called up for 45 days a season). Some players make more through an Exhibit 10 contract with a team — meaning they go to training camp with a team, then get a bonus ($50,000 or so) if they sign with that team’s G-League team.

Other issues would include freedom of player movement, work benefits, and giving the players a voice in other matters like discipline issues.

The NBA continues to push toward each of its teams having a minor-league affiliate. Right now, only the Trail Blazers and Nuggets do not. As the G-League grows, it’s understandable the players want a larger voice in how things are run.

In other news out of the players’ union meeting, Kyrie Irving was voted in as vice president, replacing Paul Gasol. Via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Chris Paul remains the union president.

Check out Dr. Dre’s Kobe Bryant tribute

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CHICAGO — In a weekend filled with spectacular tributes to Kobe Bryant, this one stood out.

Legendary rapper, songwriter, record producer, and businessman Dr. Dre — a guy who grew up in Los Angeles — released a tribute that stood out (and was highlighted on TNT). Dre did this with Gibson Hazard and Jackson Bannon.

Kobe’s public memorial service takes place Feb. 24 at Staples Center.

Giannis Antetokounmpo on team’s All-Star plan: Attack James Harden

Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden
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CHICAGO – James Harden has griped about Giannis Antetokounmpo winning Most Valuable Player last year.

After his team lost to Harden’s in the All-Star game Sunday, Antetokounmpo got in a dig at Harden.

“Offensively, we were just trying to find whoever James Harden was guarding,” Antetokounmpo said of his team’s strategy late. “That’s who we thought we’d have the opportunity to score on.”

Harden is not a good defender. But this is playing right into his hands. He’s at his best in isolation, especially in the post. He faces far more difficulty when run through actions off the ball or trying to keep up in transition.

Down the stretch, Harden defended more effectively than usual. Not great, but above his usual standard. Good enough for LeBron James‘ team to win.

At least, as Giannis previously noted, the MVP trophy is at his house.