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Jarrett Jack reportedly reaches non-guaranteed deal with Pelicans

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After knee injuries and surgeries sidelined Jarrett Jack for the better part of two seasons, he was back last season with the Knicks and showed he’s got some game left in those 34-year-old legs. He started 56 games for New York, averaging 7.5 points and 5.6 assists per night, and while his shooting has slipped (an unimpressive 48.9 true shooting percentage, and shooting 29.1 percent from three) he showed he still could have a role in the NBA.

That role may be back with the Pelicans. Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news.

Jack has a chance here, because while the Pelicans are bringing a lot of guards to camp there is only one worth trusting, Jrue Holiday. He is a borderline All-Star. After that, they are putting a lot of trust in Elfrid Payton as a point guard (to call the feeling on him around the league “divisive” would be kind), and behind them there are Ian Clark, Frank Jackson, and Trevon Bluiett. A solid veteran like Jack, asked to play a smaller role than he did in New York ( playing 25 minutes a night), could work.

The Pelicans are going to have one of the most interesting training camps in the league, because it is an actual tryout with roster spots and minutes up for grabs. They are not going through the motions in the Big Easy.

Lakers ace offseason by signing LeBron James

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NBCSports.com’s Dan Feldman is grading every team’s offseason based on where the team stands now relative to its position entering the offseason. A ‘C’ means a team is in similar standing, with notches up or down from there.

The Lakers signed LeBron James.

Offseason grade: A+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, you want more?

The Lakers followed the summer’s biggest coup – not just signing LeBron, but locking him in for three years – with a dispiriting (or, depending on your perspective, comical) set of transactions.

Los Angeles didn’t lure Paul George or trade for Kawhi Leonard. Instead, the Lakers valued playmakers as if the best course isn’t giving LeBron the ball, talked about defense as if anyone who was once a good defender or has the physical tools will defend well and treated shooting as if floor spacing barely matters.

The good news: The Lakers are penciled into this plan for only one year.

The bad news: It’s a year of 33-year-old LeBron’s eventually ending prime.

The Lakers have essentially assembled three contingents:

They’ll have a chance to prove me wrong, but I have little faith in those veterans complementing LeBron well. And most of them didn’t come cheap – Caldwell-Pope ($12 million), Rondo ($9 million), Stephenson (room exception), Beasley ($3.5 million). If anything, Caldwell-Pope – whose shared agent with LeBron, Rich Paul, might have forced the Lakers’ hand with re-signing him to a generous salary – is probably the best fit.

That puts a lot of pressure on Lakers president Magic Johnson to assess the young players. Which will become capable of contributing to winning at the highest level before LeBron’s prime ends? Which should be traded for veterans? These are not easy questions, but it’s a much more enjoyable challenge than the one Los Angeles would have faced if LeBron didn’t come.

The Lakers went 35-47 last season, their best record in a half decade. LeBron changes everything.

But there might be a ceiling on the Lakers’ progress next season. Don’t ignore the departures of Julius Randle (to Pelicans) and Brook Lopez (to Bucks). Even Larry Nance Jr. helped the Lakers build credibility before getting shipped to the Cavaliers in a midseason trade that helped open cap space for LeBron.

This isn’t the end of the road, though. After convincing Luol Deng to relinquish $7,455,933 in a buyout, the Lakers are in line for about max cap space next summer. They also still have all those valuable young players to develop or trade. The cupboard is full of ingredients around LeBron.

Now, the Lakers must just find a winning recipe.

I don’t think this year’s plan is it, but whatever missteps the Lakers made this summer, landing LeBron overshadows everything else.

Offseason grade: A+

Report: Pelicans not concerned about possibility of Anthony Davis hiring agent Rich Paul

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Anthony Davis is reportedly dropping agent Thad Foucher and strongly considering Rich Paul, who also represents Lakers star LeBron James.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

But the Pelicans, per a variety of sources, don’t seem particularly concerned about Davis exchanging agents, regardless who he hires.

They should be.

Davis changing agents doesn’t mean he’ll leave New Orleans. I still believe, per his repeated statements, his primary goal is winning in New Orleans.

But what if the Pelicans don’t win enough over the next couple years for his liking? Would he pick a better team or remaining in New Orleans?

The status quo looked good for the Pelicans. Davis even hinting at leaving was rare. Foucher also represents Russell Westbrook, who stayed in another small market (Oklahoma City) when many thought he’d leave.

No matter whom Davis hires, New Orleans can still offer him a super-max contract extension next summer. That projects to be worth about $235 million (about $47 million annually). The max another team projects to be able to offer Davis in 2020 free agency is about $150 million over four years (about $37 million annually). Maybe that financial advantage will be enough, but it would have existed anyway.

The Pelicans certainly shouldn’t panic over Davis’ agent switch. It could mean any number of different things.

But they probably at least ought to be concerned by it. Most plausible explanations point toward him being more likely to leave – even if it’s still not actually likely – and the stakes are so high.

Anthony Davis files to leave agent, rumored to be leaning toward Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports

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This is going to start some rumors…

With two years left on his current contract, teams already lining up to try and land him as a free agent, and trade rumors (unfounded as of right now, the Pelicans aren’t interested) swirling, Anthony Davis is leaving his agent, a story broken by Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis has parted ways with longtime agent Thad Foucher, sources told ESPN.

To officially change agents, players are required to file paperwork with the players’ union and then wait 15 days. Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who represents LeBron James, among others, is a leading contender to represent Davis, sources said.

Rich Paul also represents Ben Simmons, John Wall, and numerous other players. Paul is regarded as a tough negotiator who gets his guys paid and where they want to go. The Lakers aren’t going to wait around until 2020 for their second star, but good luck stopping the rumors now.

Davis has said he wants to remain in New Orleans if they can put a winning team around him. The Pelicans should be solidly in the playoff mix in the deep West with Davis, Jrue Holiday, Nikola Mirotic, Julius Randle and the rest.

Is that enough to keep Davis happy and in the Big Easy? Stay tuned.

In surprise move, Clippers match offer sheet to Tyrone Wallace

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Most around the league expected the Clippers to move on from Tyronne Wallace when the Pelicans gave the restricted free agent a two-year offer sheet. They liked his play last season, but Wallace would give the Clippers 17 guaranteed contracts on the roster, meaning they would have to pay two people not to play (they already were going to have to do that with one). Plus, the Clippers are loaded at the guard spot Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Avery Bradley, Lou Williams, Jerome Robinson, and Sindarius Thornwell.

The Clippers are going to match the offer anyway, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

That has since been confirmed by the Clippers.

“We identified Tyrone as a versatile, competitive and tough-minded player who adds to the organizational culture,” Clippers head of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said in a statement. “Ty worked hard with our staff at Agua Caliente and Los Angeles, and his growth has been a reflection of his commitment to getting better. Together with our team’s player development program, Ty demonstrated impressive improvement and contributed meaningfully to our team last season. We are excited to welcome Ty back to the Clippers.”

Expect the Clippers to try and make a trade to cut their costs in the coming weeks, although that will come at the price of draft picks most likely.

Wallace was in camp with the Clippers last season but was cut and signed with their G-League team in Ontario, then in January got bumped up to a two-way contract. However, with all the injuries and roster changes in Los Angeles last season, Wallace got thrown into NBA action quickly — he played 31 minutes in his first game for the big club. Wallace ended up playing in 30 games for the Clippers, becoming a steady part of the rotation near the end.

Wallace looked like a guy ready for the NBA. He fits the modern game in that he’s a versatile player who can be put in at either guard spot and can defend spots one through three. He moves well without the ball. The rest of his offensive game needs work — he doesn’t have enough shooting range yet, his ball handling and decision-making need to get better — but he impressed the Clippers enough they are going to keep him.

How many minutes he can get in that rotation remains to be seen, but this is a win for Wallace because he’s getting paid.