We are all waiting for the big pieces in this summer’s free agent period to choose their destinations. Destinations for Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are up in the air, not to mention LeBron James.
But separate from the elite are the guys who are going to help fill out rosters, especially for championship-contending teams. The salary cap crunch many teams find themselves in thanks to outrageous spending during the summer of 2016 has tempered our expectations for what might happen come the end of the moratorium on July 6th.
The mid-level exception and taxpayer mid-level exception will be important weapons as teams try to round out their rotations heading into 2018-19. Then again, some players might just take a huge discount. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, one player who might be willing to take a pay cut is Jamal Crawford.
The former Minnesota Timberwolves bench scorer recently opted out of his $4.5 million contract and is free to sign where he likes this summer. Crawford, 38, is a veteran hunting for his first ring, and apparently could head to the champion Golden State Warriors on a league minimum deal.
There is some mutual interest between the Warriors and Jamal Crawford in a potential minimum deal, sources say. He might want more than the minimum. It’s unclear if the Warriors will use their mini-midlevel exception, but if they do, it likely will not be on Crawford.
Crawford is a good fit for Golden State’s system, and perhaps would bring a more dynamic and intelligent offensive punch then former wing backups like Nick Young. The Seattle native played in 80 games last year for Tom Thibodeau, and his advanced numbers are still relatively in line with his career averages.
If you are thinking that the beginning of free agency will be boring, it’s probably best to look at minutiae — like a potential Crawford deal — to get yourself into understanding just how this summer will shape this season and the one after.
What most people remember about Patrick McCaw‘s last season was the fall on March 31 that almost ended it and ended his NBA career.
He was almost paralyzed by that fall — when on the stretcher leaving the court he said he couldn’t feel his legs — and didn’t recover and get cleared to get back on the court until Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against Houston. Throwing a rusty young player into the mix against that level of basketball was never ideal, so he played a limited role for the Warriors the rest of the way.
But Golden State wants him back — they tendered the qualifying offer to him that makes McCaw a restricted free agent.
Besides the back injury and an earlier fractured wrist, McCaw had a sophomore slump on the court as well. He is a good perimeter defender with a 7-foot wingspan, but on the other end of the court he struggled — shooting 23.8 percent from three and with a true shooting percentage well below the league average at 47.7 — and so his minutes went to Nick Young and others.
Because of that, there isn’t going to be a massive market of teams trying to poach McCaw from the Warriors — and Golden State wants him back. They see a guy who fits their style, who can make a leap forward in his third year, and who will come at an affordable price as the costs of the top end of the Warriors’ payroll skyrockets. Expect the Warriors to keep him, no team is going to come in over the top and steal him away.
Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.
Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.
Young, via TMZ:
“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”
Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:
Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.
The 2017-18 NBA season is over, and the Golden State Warriors are champions once again. What that means the offseason is here, and for many fans that is the best time of the year. The summer in the NBA the past few years has given us some incredible stories. For many, this past postseason was rather boring, and the outcome was all but decided.
And so it is time to dig into our postseason favorites, starting with the 2018 NBA Draft. We here at Pro Basketball Talk would like to announce the start of our weekly mail bag, which will run each week on Wednesday mornings.
The first of mailbag will run this Wednesday, the day before the draft. Questions can be submitted via Twitter or by sending us an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The draft is obviously the big focus for many fans as we approach this next week, and much about the situation for many teams heading up into the event in Brooklyn is murky. If you have a burning question about the draft, now is the time to ask it.
Of course, you are encouraged to ask any kind of question you want to hear about from the Pro Basketball Talk crew such as:
- Where is LeBron going?
- Is a hotdog a sandwich?
- Has Nick Young put his shirt back on yet?
- Will Jordan Bell run out of Hennessy ever again?
- Where will Kawhi Leonard play next season?
All of these questions are fair game, and more.
We are looking forward to the kind of queries you need answered on a weekly basis as we roll through the summer in anticipation for the start of the 2018-19 NBA season.
If you’re Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, or anyone else in the Lakers front office, and you’re trying to recruit the biggest free agents on the market this summer — LeBron James, Paul George, etc. — part of your pitch is that these young Lakers core guys are mature enough to make big leaps with their game next season and turn this into a playoff team (or more).
So the dis track Lonzo Ball dropped on Kyle Kuzma this week was not a help. That followed a season of social media shots at each other — playful shots, the pair remains friends — but the intensity was increasing.
The Lakers told the two it was time to back off, reports Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
The Los Angeles Lakers have spoken to Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma about toning down their social media roasting of each other following a rap diss track that Ball released on Kuzma this week….
Sources said the team spoke to both players and that there are no lingering issues and that both players agreed to tone down the joking insults on social media. After dealing with a social media fiasco involving the D'Angelo Russell–Nick Young video in 2016, the Lakers wanted to make sure to nip things in the bud before the potential of anything escalating.
Young adults often don’t know where the line is on these kinds of things, and they cross it more easily. Wise move by the Lakers to step in now.
Especially if they want to go big game hunting this summer in free agency.