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Rumor: Bulls dismayed by Kris Dunn’s work ethic this offseason

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The Bulls are reportedly open to drafting Trae Young or Collin Sexton with the No. 7 pick – even though Chicago already has Kris Dunn at point guard.

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times:

multiple sources told the Sun-Times last week that the Bulls’ coaching staff and front office have been less than impressed with Dunn’s work habits so far in the offseason, a far cry from the player they acquired from the Timberwolves in the deal for Jimmy Butler on draft night 2017.

Dunn was a workout warrior last offseason, but the sources said he has been ‘‘shortcutting’’ his way through May and early June

One source said it wasn’t a problem yet, but the Bulls want to make sure it doesn’t go in that direction.

Dunn is fine. He’s a low-end starting point guard, but at just 24, he has the potential to become more. If he’s a rebuilding team’s top point guard next season, that’s OK.

But he’s not nearly good enough for the Bulls to pass on the best prospect available, even if that player is also a point guard. Drafting Young or Sexton would bring complications, as none of those players fit well off the ball. But passing on a good player would be a far bigger problem.

And none of that has anything to do with Dunn’s work ethic. If the Bulls can scare him straight while also considering the prospects they should anyway, all the better.

Report: Jodie Meeks, still suspended, opts into final year of Wizards contract

AP Photo/John Raoux
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Jodie Meeks missed 147 games over the previous three seasons. At the conclusion of a fairly healthy season this year, he got suspended for performance-enhancing drugs. He’ll turn 31 before next season.

Think he’d like to lock into a $3,454,500 salary?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Meeks will be suspended for the first 19 games of next season, costing him $596,695. The Wizards can deduct half that amount from their team salary for luxury-tax calculations – which might keep Meeks from getting stretched.

At this point, it’s tough to rely on anything from him on the court.

Report: Draymond Green won’t take discount for Warriors, eying super-max contract

AP Photo/Tony Dejak
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How much longer will the Warriors remain elite?

It’s a luxury-tax question as much as anything.

Stephen Curry unwittingly took a massive discount on his rookie-scale extension, signed when his ankle injuries were more prominent. He said he offered to take another one last season, but for some reason, Golden State turned him down.

Kevin Durant took a discount, larger than the one necessary for the Warriors to re-sign Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, last summer. Durant doesn’t sound eager to take another one.

Klay Thompson already discussed a contract extension that would save Golden State 10s of millions of dollars. His dad sounds more cautious about that, though.

And what about Draymond Green? He’s locked up for two more seasons, so nothing is urgent. But he’ll be eligible this offseason for a three-year, $72,080,137 contract extension ($24,026,712 annually).

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

According to league sources, Green will turn the extension down when it’s offered. That’s because if he earns MVP, Defensive Player of the Year or All-NBA Team honors next season, he will be eligible for a super-max contract

Sources say Green is not expected to take a pay cut on the next go-around.

The salary cap is currently $99,093,000. It’s projected to be $101 million next season and $108 million the following season. What will it be in 2020-21, when Green’s new deal would kick in? Tough to forecast that far out, but I’ll use an estimate of $111 million.

If Green wins Defensive Player or makes an All-NBA team next season – quite plausible, considering he’s arguably the NBA’s best defender – he’d be eligible for a super-max extension projected to be worth about $225 million over five years (about $45 million annually).

Failing that, he could play out the final year of his current contract and try again to to win Defensive Player of the Year or make an All-NBA team in 2019-20. If he does, he’d be eligible to re-sign with the Warriors for that exact same amount – a projected $225 million over five years (about $45 million annually).

Even if Green completes his current contract without meeting the designated-player criteria, he could re-sign with Golden State in 2020 for a projected $193 million over five years (about $39 million annually). Or he could sign with another team for a projected $143 million over four years (about $36 million annually).

All those amounts tower over his largest possible contract extension this offseason.

However, Green will be 30 when his current contract expires. Teams, including the Warriors, might not rush to max him out at that point. Even if he becomes eligible for a super-max deal, Golden State might not deem him worth it.

Still, locking into just $72,080,137 over three years this offseason is probably selling himself short. There’s plenty of room for Green to command more than that and less than his max.

So, expect this saga to continue beyond this summer.

How thorny it gets remains unknown, but Green’s 2015 free agency could be instructive. Green seemed like a candidate for a max contract, and in hindsight, would’ve been well worth it. Talks between him and Golden State broke down the first day of free agency. By that night, he agreed to a lucrative – but sub-max – five-year contract.

Green didn’t want to get shortchanged, but he didn’t push the Warriors as hard as he could’ve, either.

Draymond Green trolls LeBron James with parade shirt

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Draymond Green appeared to poke fun last year at the Warriors’ quick 4-1 NBA Finals win over the Cavaliers with his shirt at Golden State’s championship parade.

At this year’s parade – watch it here – following the Warriors’ sweep of Cleveland, Green appears to be aiming his shirt more directly at LeBron James.

NBC Sports Bay Area:

This one has layers:

Obviously, the rings commemorate Green’s three titles.

LeBron posted the Arthur fist in November, around the time Kyrie Irving‘s Celtics were on a winning streak. Green mined that source of jokes already, wearing Arthur shoes for the Warriors-Cavs Christmas matchup.

Perhaps most biting, LeBron broke his right hand by punching a whiteboard in the locker room following Cleveland’s devastating Game 1 loss in the Finals.

Raptors playoff problems run much deeper than LeBron James

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP
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LeBron James, according to former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, corrected a Toronto player on how to run a Raptors play during the fourth quarter of a playoff game.

That’s domination.

It’s the type of domination that can send opposing franchises spinning. Toronto fired Dwane Casey and replaced him with assistant coach Nick Nurse, and many people believe LeBron is responsible for the change.

LeBron’s Cavs swept the Raptors the last two years in the second round. The year prior, Cleveland beat Toronto in the conference finals in the most lopsided six-game series in NBA history.

But if Nurse is going to guide the Raptors to the postseason heights they desire, his challenge is far wider than beating LeBron.

Toronto played nine playoff series in the last five years under Casey. In all nine – even the four wins – the Raptors underachieved based on regular-season performance.

For example, Toronto outscored opponents by 7.9 points per 100 possessions last regular season. The Raptors’ first-round opponent, the Wizards, outscored regular-season opponents by 0.6 points per 100 possessions. So, I give that series an expected net rating of Toronto +7.3. In reality, the Raptors outscored Washington by just 2.1 points per 100 possessions – a difference of -5.2.

In the other example from last year, the Cavaliers outscored regular-season opponents by just 1.0 point per 100 possessions. With Toronto’s +7.9 regular-season net rating, that’d give the Raptors an expected net rating in the series of +6.9. But Cleveland actually outscored Toronto by 15.1 points per 100 possessions – a difference of -22.0.

Here’s how the Raptors fared in every series under Casey:

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Add all the differences, and it comes to -92.3. That is by far the lowest mark for a team that made the playoffs each season in a five-year span since the NBA adopted a 16-team postseason in 1984:

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The Raptors offense has stalled in the playoffs. Kyle Lowry‘s and DeMar DeRozan‘s isolations became too predictable and easy to shut down.

Nurse has played a role in trying to fix those problems, and maybe an extra year and the top job will help him get Toronto over the hump.

The Raptors’ regular-season success is commendable, but it’s no longer enough for them. That’s evident in Casey’s firing and Nurse’s ascension. The focus is already on the playoffs.

Nurse can’t just wait around for LeBron to leave Cleveland. The Raptors’ postseason problems are much more significant than one opponent, even LeBron.