Kelly Oubre Jr. takes a shot at Suns owner Robert Sarver on the way out


Kelly Oubre Jr. bounced around this offseason. He was traded from Phoenix to Oklahoma City in the Chris Paul deal, but before he even had time to unpack his bags in OKC he was flipped to the Golden State Warriors. Oubre is being asked to fill some big shoes on both ends of the court with the Warriors, he is the replacement for Klay Thompson (who is out for the season with a torn Achilles).

Oubre was introduced as a Warrior on Monday and did a media tour, including a stop on the “Damon, Ratto & Kolsky,” show on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco. One of the questions Oubre was asked was what it will be like playing for Joe Lacob and a Warriors ownership willing to spend (Golden State will be deep into the luxury tax this season) as opposed to playing for Robert Sarver in Phoenix, an owner with a reputation for pinching pennies and sticking his nose into basketball operations. Via Nick Friedell of ESPN:

“You just hit the nail on the head… I can play for an owner — somebody who actually cares about the organization and not just the perception of the organization on the media end of it. It’s all about the foundation for me, man. You have a beautiful foundation, can build a beautiful [future].”

Oubre likely speaks for a lot of former Suns players about Sarver — and a lot of Suns fans.

Saver’s Suns have missed the playoffs for 10 straight seasons, and he has stepped up and taken the blame for that. During his tenure, Sarver has done things like put goats in his GM’s office and has been heard yelling in the background of trade calls. He has clashed with agents, and the culture he built was at the heart of why the organization drafted Deandre Ayton over Luka Doncic (not that Ayton is a bad player, he should have a breakout season with CP3 feeding him the rock, but he’s no Doncic).  And that’s just the stuff that is public; there is more.

The Suns did take on salary this offseason in a smart move, bringing in Chris Paul to be the floor general and provide the more intense locker room culture the franchise needs. The Suns are still nowhere near the luxury tax, but they look like a team ready to break that playoff drought (and optimism is high after their 8-0 run in the bubble). There are rumors around the league Suns star Devin Booker is frustrated with Sarver and has eyes elsewhere, although everyone denies that publicly. True or not, the fact that it’s easy to believe it’s possible says plenty about Sarver’s ownership and the steps the Suns need to take to keep their best player long term (Booker is in only the second year of his rookie contract extension, but in today’s NBA the clock is always ticking with stars).

Steven Adams inks two-year, $25.2 million extension with Grizzlies

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Steven Adams signed a two-year, $25.2 million contract extension with Memphis, which will keep him tied to the team through the 2024-25 season. ESPN’s Adrian Wojanrowski broke the news on Saturday.

Adams has been crucial to the Grizzlies’ recent success. He’s coming off his first season with the team, where he averaged career-highs in rebounds (10.0) and assists (3.4). He also helped them lock up the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference and make it to the Conference Semifinals, where they lost to the eventual-champion Warriors 4-2. Despite the improved numbers, a lot of his value is from intangibles that don’t show up in the box score.

Adams spent the first seven years of his career with the Thunder before being traded to New Orleans in the four-team deal that sent Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee. Adams was moved again to Memphis in a package for Jonas Valanciunas.

Adams has found a new home with a young Grizzlies team that is looking to win a championship. The team is built around Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane, but Jackson Jr. is expected to miss time after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left foot. Memphis will rely on Adams more than ever to begin the season.

Watch Curry, Klay in 3-point shooting contest in Japan. Yeah, they’re good at this.

NBA Japan Games Saturday Night
Jun Sato/WireImage

The NBA went to Japan to promote the brand, play a few games in a huge market — Japan specifically but Asia as a whole — and put on a show.

Is there a better show than Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson draining 3s? Here they are in a 3-point contest during a basketball exhibition (there were some pro dunkers) in Tokyo on Saturday.

Stephen Curry, was there any other possible outcome?

It’s preseason and they are the defending champs — they should be having fun, playing with some joy.

Thompson took part in the shooting contest but is not playing in either of the exhibition games in Japan as the Warriors ease him back into play this season. It’s a marathon of a season and the Warriors need the best version of Klay starting in April, not October.

Report: Pelicans, Nance agree to two-year, $21.6 million extension


Larry Nance has been a stabilizing influence in New Orleans since coming over mid-season as part of the trade for CJ McCollum. Nance is a versatile player who can play the four or the five, knocks down his threes, is very strong on the glass, can be a disruptive defender in passing lanes, and fits in — and he has the veteran attitude of work this team needs.

So the Pelicans have reached an extension to keep the 29-year-old around for two years past this coming season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

This is a signing that should make Pelicans fans happy. Importantly, it makes CJ McCollum happy — they are tight and this is something McCollum wanted to see. The money on this deal seems fair, about the league average for a solid rotation player.

Nance is the kind of veteran this team needs considering its young core of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram (just turned 25), Herb Jones, and guys like Trey Murphy III, Jose Alvarado, and others. Nance compared it to the young Lakers teams he was on, but noted that team lacked the same level of veteran leadership this Pelicans team has.

We may see more Nance at the five lineups — small ball with Zion at the four — to close games this season in New Orleans, that could be their best lineup because Nance can defend but also spaces the floor for Zion on offense. Coach Willie Green has a lot of different players and matchups to experiment with.

And now he has the stability of Nance for a few more years.

Durant tired of talking Nets dramatic offseason: ‘I didn’t miss any games’


No team had an offseason quite like the Brooklyn Nets. First, they would not give a long-term extension to Kyrie Irving, which sent the star guard looking for a new team (but there were no offers that worked for everyone, so he opted in with Brooklyn). Then Kevin Durant asked for a trade, and to gain a little leverage reportedly threw down an ultimatum of him or the coach and GM. No trade could be found — how much the Nets wanted one is up for debate — so he is back in Brooklyn. And all that is not even getting into the return of Ben Simmons, a trade for Royce O’Neal, or anything else.

The Nets drama and how they move past it has been the talk of training camp. The only talk at training camp, it feels like.

When asked Friday if there were any inaccuracies in the reporting of the Nets summer he would like to clear up, Durant sounded weary of rehashing the summer.

The only thing that will start to move the conversation in a new direction is the Nets playing and winning games (they open the preseason Monday against the 76ers). And even those wins will have the shadow of the offseason cast over them. Durant and Irving made this bed.

Part of the fascination is the Nets remain the team hardest to predict in the league. They arguably have the most talented roster in the league and, if everything comes together just right, they can contend for a title. It’s also possible the wheels fall off early and by Christmas the Nets are looking to trade Durant again. Both things feel possible (even if reality most likely lands somewhere in the middle).

That uncertainty about the Nets’ future is the drama that will keep eyeballs on them — which also means more questions about this past offseason. Durant can choose not to answer them, but the questions aren’t going away.