Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin fined for emulating former Timberwolves guard Sam Cassell


(via @cjzero)

Late in Saturday’s Timberwolves-Bulls game, Kevin Martin pulled up for a 3-pointer in the final couple minutes that gave Minnesota the lead.

It was the type of shot that takes cojones – and Martin wanted ensure everyone knew it.

But the Timberwolves eventually took the loss, and Martin took a fine as the NBA continues its crusade against the Sam Cassell dance.

NBA release:

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin has been fined $15,000 for making an obscene gesture during the Timberwolves’ 106-105 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, Nov. 1, at Target Center, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.


Martin’s actions occurred with 1:37 remaining in the fourth quarter of the game.

Can’t players on Minnesota, where Cassell spent his best individual season, get an exemption?

Byron Scott on vetoed Chris Paul-Lakers trade: “Sometimes you want to say, ‘Damn it, David Stern’”


Byron Scott was coaching the Cavaliers when New Orleans agreed to trade Chris Paul to the Lakers for Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic and a first-round pick (that became Royce White).

And Scott was coaching the Cavaliers when David Stern vetoed the trade.

But Scott, a lifelong Lakers fan who now coaches the team, reacted and is still reacting like Lakers fans everywhere.

Scott, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN:

“Yeah, sometimes you want to say, ‘Damn it, David Stern,'” Scott said before his team faced Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Friday.

“Yeah, you think about it. When they made the trade before David hexed it, I was like, ‘Wow That’s going to be fantastic.'”

At the time of the vetoed trade, Stern was both NBA commissioner and New Orleans’ acting controlling owner. Despite claiming he vetoed the trade in his capacity as owner, Stern probably couldn’t have completely separated his responsibilities.

The problem wasn’t Stern vetoing the trade, a decision justifiable – at the time, at least – on basketball terms. The problem was Stern putting himself in position where his conflict of interest was so glaring.

But Lakers fans don’t want to hear about that. They just want Chris Paul. Count Scott, who coached Paul in New Orleans, among that group.

If trade went through, maybe Scott would be coaching a better version of the Lakers right now – or maybe he wouldn’t be coaching his favorite team at all. Mike Brown could still be in the lead chair.

Every rookie-contract team option and extension decided by Friday


Friday was the deadline for a few contract items for first-round picks on the rookie scale.

Third-year options had to be exercised for second-year players, and fourth-year options had to be exercised for third-year players. Any player whose rookie-scale option was declined becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season.

It was also the deadline for fourth-year players to sign extensions that begin in 2015-16. Eligible players who didn’t sign extensions can, at their teams’ discretions, become restricted free agents this summer.

Remember, the salary scale for first-round picks is determined by the year they sign, not the year they’re drafted (those are usually the same).

Here’s how all those decisions were made around the league:

Third-year options

Draft Pick Drafted by Current team Player 2015-16 salary Option
2013 1 CLE MIN Anthony Bennett $5,803,560 Exercised
2013 2 ORL ORL Victor Oladipo $5,192,520 Exercised
2013 3 WAS WAS Otto Porter $4,662,960 Exercised
2013 4 CHA CHA Cody Zeller $4,204,200 Exercised
2013 5 PHO PHO Alex Len $3,807,120 Exercised
2013 6 NOH PHI Nerlens Noel $3,457,800 Exercised
2013 7 SAC SAC Ben McLemore $3,156,600 Exercised
2013 8 DET DET Kentavious Caldwell-Pope $2,891,760 Exercised
2013 9 MIN UTA Trey Burke $2,658,240 Exercised
2013 10 POR POR C.J. McCollum $2,525,160 Exercised
2013 11 PHI PHI Michael Carter-Williams $2,399,040 Exercised
2013 12 OKC OKC Steven Adams $2,279,040 Exercised
2013 13 DAL BOS Kelly Olynyk $2,165,160 Exercised
2013 14 UTA MIN Shabazz Muhammad $2,056,920 Exercised
2013 15 MIL MIL Giannis Antetokounmpo $1,953,960 Exercised
2013 17 ATL ATL Dennis Schröder $1,763,400 Exercised
2013 18 ATL NYK Shane Larkin $1,675,320 Declined
2013 19 CLE BRK Sergey Karasev $1,599,840 Exercised
2013 20 CHI CHI Tony Snell $1,535,880 Exercised
2013 21 UTA MIN Gorgui Dieng $1,474,440 Exercised
2013 22 BRK BRK Mason Plumlee $1,415,520 Exercised
2013 23 IND IND Solomon Hill $1,358,880 Exercised
2013 24 NYK NYK Tim Hardaway $1,304,520 Exercised
2013 25 LAC LAC Reggie Bullock $1,252,440 Exercised
2013 26 MIN OKC Andre Roberson $1,210,800 Exercised
2013 27 DEN UTA Rudy Gobert $1,175,880 Exercised
2013 29 OKC PHO Archie Goodwin $1,160,160 Exercised
2013 30 PHO GSW Nemanja Nedovic $1,151,760 Declined

No. 16 pick Lucas Nogueira signed with the Raptors this summer, and No. 29 pick Livio Jean-Charles, whose rights are held by the Spurs, has yet to sign in the NBA.

Fourth-year options

Draft Pick Drafted by Current team Player 2015-16 salary Option
2012 1 NOH NOP Anthony Davis $7,070,730 Exercised
2012 2 CHA CHA Michael Kidd-Gilchrist $6,331,404 Exercised
2012 3 WAS WAS Bradley Beal $5,694,674 Exercised
2012 4 CLE CLE Dion Waiters $5,138,430 Exercised
2012 5 SAC POR Thomas Robinson $4,660,482 Declined
2011 5 TOR TOR Jonas Valanciunas $4,660,482 Exercised
2012 6 POR POR Damian Lillard $4,236,287 Exercised
2012 7 GSW GSW Harrison Barnes $3,873,398 Exercised
2012 8 TOR TOR Terrence Ross $3,553,917 Exercised
2012 9 DET DET Andre Drummond $3,272,091 Exercised
2012 10 NOH NOP Austin Rivers $3,110,796 Declined
2012 11 POR POR Meyers Leonard $3,075,880 Exercised
2012 12 HOU OKC Jeremy Lamb $3,034,356 Exercised
2012 13 PHO MIL Kendall Marshall Third-year option declined  
2012 14 MIL MIL John Henson $2,943,221 Exercised
2012 15 PHI ORL Maurice Harkless $2,894,059 Exercised
2012 16 HOU   Royce White Third-year option declined  
2012 17 DAL BOS Tyler Zeller $2,616,975 Exercised
2012 18 HOU HOU Terrence Jones $2,489,530 Exercised
2012 19 ORL ORL Andrew Nicholson $2,380,594 Exercised
2012 20 DEN ORL Evan Fournier $2,288,205 Exercised
2011 20 MIN HOU Donatas Motiejunas $2,288,205 Exercised
2012 21 BOS BOS Jared Sullinger $2,269,260 Exercised
2012 22 BOS   Fab Melo Third-year option declined  
2012 23 ATL ATL John Jenkins $2,228,025 Declined
2012 24 CLE LAC Jared Cunningham Third-year option declined  
2012 25 MEM PHI Tony Wroten $2,179,354 Exercised
2012 26 IND PHO Miles Plumlee $2,109,294 Exercised
2012 27 MIA   Arnett Moultrie $2,049,633 Declined
2012 28 OKC OKC Perry Jones $2,038,206 Exercised
2012 29 CHI   Marquis Teague $2,023,261 Declined
2012 30 GSW GSW Festus Ezeli $2,008,748 Exercised

Contract extensions

Draft Pick Drafted by Current team Player Extension
2011 1 CLE CLE Kyrie Irving Five years, $89 million-$98 million
2011 2 MIN SAC Derrick Williams No extension
2011 3 UTA UTA Enes Kanter No extension
2011 4 CLE CLE Tristan Thompson No extension
2009 5 MIN MIN Ricky Rubio Four years, $55 million
2011 6 WAS   Jan Vesely Fourth-year option declined
2011 7 SAC CHA Bismack Biyombo No extension
2011 8 DET MIL Brandon Knight No extension
2011 9 CHA CHA Kemba Walker Four years, $48 million
2011 10 MIL NOP Jimmer Fredette Fourth-year option declined
2011 11 GSW GSW Klay Thompson Four years, $70 million
2011 12 UTA UTA Alec Burks Four years, $42 million-$45 million
2011 13 PHO PHO Markieff Morris Four years, $32 million
2011 14 HOU PHO Marcus Morris Four years, $20 million
2011 15 IND SAS Kawhi Leonard No extension
2011 16 PHI ORL Nikola Vucevic Four years, $54 million
2011 17 NYK NYK Iman Shumpert No extension
2011 18 WAS   Chris Singleton Fourth-year option declined
2011 19 CHA ORL Tobias Harris No extension
2011 21 POR   Nolan Smith Third-year option declined
2011 22 DEN DEN Kenneth Faried Four years, $50 million
2011 24 OKC OKC Reggie Jackson No extension
2011 25 BOS   MarShon Brooks Fourth-year option declined
2011 26 DAL UTA Jordan Hamilton Fourth-year option declined
2011 27 NJN   JaJuan Johnson Third-year option declined
2011 28 CHI MIA Norris Cole No extension
2011 29 SAS SAS Cory Joseph No extension
2011 30 CHI CHI Jimmy Butler No extension

No. 23 Nikola Mirotic signed this season and not for scale.

Thaddeus Young appears to get knocked out after taking inadvertent elbow to the head (VIDEO)


Scary scene near the end of the first half in Saturday’s contest between the Bulls and the Timberwolves.

Thaddeus Young takes an inadvertent elbow to the head from Jimmy Butler, and appears to lose consciousness as he falls awkwardly to the floor.

From Phil Ervin of Fox Sports North:

It was an eerie scene after Minnesota’s starting power forward took a hard, inadvertent elbow to the head from Jimmy Butler shortly before halftime Saturday night. After sitting groggily in front of the Wolves bench well into the break, Young eventually got up and walked to the training room under his own power.

He didn’t return.

There wasn’t an update immediately available, but it’s more than likely Young will need to pass the league’s concussion protocol before being cleared to return to action.

[via EOB]

Ricky Rubio agrees to 4-year, $55 million contract extension with Timberwolves


The decision of whether or not to extend Ricky Rubio was an interesting one for the Timberwolves.

Initially, the team offered four years and $48 million, which seemed to be more than a fair price for a point guard who averaged 10.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 9.6 assists last season — and that was with Kevin Love still in the fold to handle the bulk of the responsibilities offensively.

Rubio’s camp balked, however, and rather than see what kind of offers he may receive as a restricted free agent next summer, Minnesota decided to go even higher in order to lock up Rubio now before things could potentially get crazy.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio has reached agreement on a four-year, $55 million-plus contract extension, a league source tells Yahoo Sports.

The deal could be worth an extra $1 million if Rubio hits certain incentives, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.

There’s a lot Rubio does right; he has above-average court vision, which results in superior passing that consistently allows him to find teammates for open looks. He excels with dribble penetration, which opens up additional passing lanes that make things easier for him while capably running the team’s offense.

The glaring issue with Rubio, of course, is his inability to make shots at a high percentage. He shot just 38.1 percent from the field last season, which was a career best through his first three NBA seasons.

But Minnesota is a market that needs to lock up homegrown talent at any price. Kevin Love bolted in free agency the moment he got the chance, and free agents aren’t ever going to see the Timberwolves as a desirable landing spot. Rubio can be a franchise cornerstone to pair with the newly-acquired Andrew Wiggins, and for that reason, this extension was a bargain for Minnesota, and a fair one for Rubio to accept.