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  1. #16
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    James Johnson staying with Heat
    July 6, 2017


    MIAMI (AP) James Johnson is back with the Miami Heat, and has cashed in after a breakout season.

    Johnson agreed to terms Thursday night on a four-year deal that could be worth more than $60 million, a person with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it hasn't been formally announced. And that move came hours after Miami struck another four-year deal with free-agent Kelly Olynyk.

    Johnson had said for months that he wanted to remain in Miami - and based on that salary, the Heat clearly had no desire to let him go elsewhere.

    Johnson revived his career in Miami last season, averaging 12.8 points - his best, by far, in his eight NBA years. He shed 40 pounds and finished sixth in the league's Most Improved Player voting. He made $4 million last season, which was the best salary of his career.

    That'll be dwarfed by the new deal.

    Keeping Johnson and Dion Waiters, who agreed to a four-year deal Wednesday, were big priorities for Miami this summer. And they became even bigger priorities after the Heat missed out on landing Gordon Hayward, the All-Star forward who will sign with Boston.

    ''The band is back,'' Heat point guard Goran Dragic said.

    Not yet, it isn't. At least, not completely.

    Miami is still exploring ways to clear some salary-cap space in an effort to retain guard Wayne Ellington. The Heat have to make a decision on his $6.3 million option for next season by the close of business Friday, or risk him being picked up by another club through waivers.

    But Ellington's status is the last big question for the Heat this summer. The most likely Heat player to get traded to create the needed space is Josh McRoberts, who has played in only 81 games during his three injury-plagued seasons in Miami.

    McRoberts is due to make just over $6 million next season.

    And the band Dragic referred to is getting a new player in Olynyk, who spent his first four NBA seasons with the Celtics.

    A 7-foot center with 3-point range, Olynyk was mostly a reserve in Boston. He averaged 9.5 points in 278 regular-season games and shot a career-best 51 percent last season.

    Olynyk had a run-in with Heat center Hassan Whiteside in 2015. Whiteside elbowed Olynyk in the head and was suspended for a game, though tracked down Olynyk's number and offered an apology.

    And now they'll be teammates.

    ''He's a good guy,'' Olynyk said after the apology.

    The Heat value the corner 3-pointer, as many teams have in this NBA, and Olynyk could be a huge addition on that front. According to the NBA's stat-tracking page, Olynyk was 18 for 32 this past season on corner 3-pointers - and was also a strong finisher at the rim, connecting on 73 percent of his tries in the restricted area.

    Olynyk had a pair of 26-point games for the Celtics last season, including one in Game 7 of Boston's second-round playoff win over Washington.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  2. #17
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    Holiday hoping his commitment to Pelicans sways Cousins
    July 6, 2017


    METAIRIE, La. (AP) Jrue Holiday says his new five-year contract with the Pelicans thrusts him into the role of helping persuade All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to make a similar long-term commitment to New Orleans.

    ''I've already started'' lobbying Cousins, Holiday said Thursday night after signing his new contract, which his agent, Jason Glushon, has said is worth $126 million, and could balloon to $150 million with incentives.

    Up until NBA free agency began July 1, Cousins was among a number of Pelicans players urging Holiday to stay in New Orleans, where he has played since 2013.

    ''They were definitely hounding me - in a good way,'' Holiday said, jokingly adding that there ''might have even been threats.''

    ''But whatever. It was pretty much, `We want you back.' They were saying they couldn't do this without me.''

    General manager Dell Demps reiterated that Holiday was New Orleans' ''No. 1 priority in free agency.''

    ''We believe his best days are in front of him,'' Demps added.

    Demps needs to be right about the 27-year-old Holiday if the Pelicans are to amount to much in the talent-rich Western Conference.

    Holiday averaged 15.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 67 games last season. During his eight-year NBA career, the former UCLA standout has averaged 14.3 points and 6.2 assists.

    Demps has said he sees the 6-foot-4 Holiday's value in his leadership and his versatility. Holiday is proficient at either guard spot and Demps gave a nod to Holiday's defensive acumen when he described him as a consummate ''two-way player.''

    Holiday, meanwhile, alluded to a lot of unfinished business in New Orleans and the importance of the relationships he's built there.

    A nagging lower-leg injury sidelined him for much of his first two seasons with the Pelicans. He was healthy for most of his third season, albeit while playing under minute restrictions, but a collision that fractured his eye wall caused him to miss the final weeks of that campaign.

    Last season, he missed training camp and the first 12 regular-season games while taking a leave of absence to tend to his wife, former U.S. national soccer team player Lauren Holiday, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor while pregnant. Their first child, a daughter, was born healthy, after which Lauren Holiday had surgery to remove the benign tumor. Jrue Holiday said the Pelicans' support during that time played a considerable part in his decision to stay.

    ''Obviously, my family has been through a little bit of hiccup,'' Holiday said. ''The organization and Dell, as well, has helped take care of us as a family. Coming back here was an easy choice.''

    Holiday added that he did feel he would be ''disappointing a lot of people'' he cared about if he left for another team. He added that he's seen ''a lot of good teams grow together - go through ups and downs.''

    There was a family theme to Holiday's contract signing at team headquarters. Holiday was joined not only by his wife and daughter, but also his parents, both brothers, his sister and Glushon, his agent.

    Now, Holiday said, he expects to be able to spend an entire summer training hard for the first time in several years and is looking forward to his first full training camp in more than three seasons, leading him to concur with Demps that his best basketball lies ahead.

    Holiday said he also senses that a promising stint late last season in which the Pelicans won eight of 11 games offered only a glimpse of what the Pelicans could accomplish with their All-Star front court of Anthony Davis and Cousins, the latter having been acquired in a trade after the 2017 All-Star game and still developing chemistry with his new teammates. Therefore, he didn't necessarily feel the need to leave in order to win, even though the Pelicans have made the playoffs only once - and haven't won a playoff game - in his first four seasons with the club.

    ''Once we started to jell, I was like, `Man, I could really see this going well,'' Holiday said. ''Obviously, previous years we had injuries and that hasn't helped us, but moving forward all I see is kind of how we meshed last year and how fun it was to win.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #18
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    Kings, Vince Carter ink 1-year deal
    July 6, 2017

    Free agent Vince Carter agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, according to multiple media reports.

    At 40 years old, Carter is the NBA's oldest active player.

    Last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, Carter averaged 8.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in 24.6 minutes per game.

    The eight-time All-Star ranks 22nd on the league's all-time scoring list with 24,555 career points.

    Carter, the fifth pick in the 1998 draft, was the 1998-99 Rookie of the Year with the Toronto Raptors. He subsequently played for the New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis.

    For his career, Carter is averaging 18.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

    ---------------------------

    Clippers acquire draft rights to Jawun Evans from 76ers
    July 6, 2017


    LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Clippers have acquired the draft rights to Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for cash considerations

    The 39th overall pick, Evans led the Big 12 in scoring with 19.2 points per game last season. He averaged 16.6 points, 5.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds in two seasons for the Cowboys and was the Big 12 freshman of the year in 2015-16.

    The deal was announced Thursday.

    ---------------------------


    Gay, Spurs reportedly agree to two-year deal
    July 6, 2017


    Free agent forward Rudy Gay and the San Antonio Spurs agreed to a two-year, $17.2 million deal on Thursday, according to an ESPN report.

    The second year reportedly is a player option.

    Gay posted a picture of a Spurs jersey on his Instragram account.

    The 31-year-old Gay, an 11-year NBA veteran, averaged 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 30 games with the Sacramento Kings last season before sustaining a season-ending complete tear of his left Achilles tendon on Jan. 18 against the Indiana Pacers.

    Gay opted out of the final year of his contract with the Kings before the June 10 deadline, allowing him to become a free agent.

    Gay was the eighth overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Houston Rockets. He played for the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors before joining the Kings in 2014-15.

    In 753 career games (714 starts), Gay has averages of 18.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  4. #19
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    B]NBA notebook: Nowitzki close to two-year deal with Mavericks
    July 6, 2017
    [/B]

    The Dallas Mavericks are in the process of finalizing a two-year, $10 million deal with Dirk Nowitzki, ESPN reported Thursday.

    The Mavericks declined Nowitzki's $25 million team option on his existing contract, but there was never a doubt that the Mavs would re-sign Nowitzki, considered the greatest player in the team's history.

    Dallas reportedly plans to re-sign restricted free-agent Nerlens Noel, and the team's moves suggest the Mavericks may not be pursuing any high-salary free agents.

    The 39-year-old Nowitzki, who was the NBA MVP in 2007, played in 54 games last season, all as a starter, and averaged 14.2 points, his lowest since his rookie season in 1998-99.

    --The Los Angeles Clippers have reached agreement with Serbian guard Milos Teodosic on to a two-year, $12.3 million deal, ESPN.com reported.

    The flamboyant 30-year-old Teodosic is considered a creative playmaker. He had to pay an expensive contract buyout with CSKA Russia to move to the NBA this season.

    Teodosic was named to the all-EuroLeague first-team three times and was the EuroLeague MVP in 2010. Teodosic averaged 16.3 points and 6.5 assists while shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 38.6 percent on 3-pointers while playing for Moscow last season.

    --The Memphis Grizzlies showed their appreciation to Zach Randolph by announcing that the veteran forward/center will be the first player in franchise history to have his No. 50 jersey retired.

    The Grizzlies announced the move in an open letter to Randolph, two days removed from the two-time All-Star ending his eight-year tenure with the club by agreeing to a two-year, $24 million deal with the Sacramento Kings.

    Randolph ranks first in franchise history in rebounds (5,612) and is second behind Mike Conley in points (9,261). The 35-year-old excelled in a reserve role last season, averaging 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds.

    --The Houston Rockets signed free agent forward P.J. Tucker and re-signed center Nene.

    In his first season as a Rocket, Nene appeared in 67 games with eight starts, while averaging 9.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game.

    Tucker averaged 6.7 points, 5.8 rebounds 1.4 steals in 81 games for the Suns and Raptors last season.

    --The Detroit Pistons signed free agent guard Langston Galloway.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the club for Galloway, but ESPN reported the contract was for three years and $21 million.

    Galloway averaged 7.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 74 games last season with the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings.

    --The Chicago Bulls re-signed forward-center Cristiano Felicio.

    The move had been reported several days ago, but the team has now made it official. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but multiple media outlets reported the deal is for four years and worth $32 million.

    In his two seasons in Chicago, Felicio averaged 4.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.0 minutes per game while shooting 57.3 percent from the field. Last season, he averaged 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game with a field goal percentage of 57.9.

    --The Denver Nuggets signed rookie forward Tyler Lydon to a multi-year contract.

    Denver selected Lydon with the 24th overall pick after trading down in the first round of last month's draft. The 21-year-old Lydon joined third-year forward Trey Lyles in the draft-night trade with the Utah Jazz for the rights to the 13th overall pick, which was Donovan Mitchell.

    Lydon averaged 11.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.6 blocks in 71 career games with the Orange.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  5. #20
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    East conference odds update
    July 25, 2017


    Last Friday, shocking news came down that Kyrie Irving had asked the Cavaliers to trade him. The former No. 1 pick whose clutch 3-pointer in Game 7 of the '16 Finals helped LeBron James make good on the promise to end Cleveland's title drought has made it known he is done playing with the King. He wants to go his own way.

    Scorching the earth by putting it out there that he was interested in a new environment where he can be more of a "focal point" in issuing this trade demand seems like a calculated move in order to reach a point of no return, especially since there's noise out there that Irving believes James made the request public knowledge.

    Finger-pointing and gossip is popping up everywhere on social media, and even LeBron's estranged stepfather has decided to get mixed up in it.

    This drama packs the trifecta of leaks, ambition and back-stabbing, which combined with the lack of direction Dan Gilbert put on full display in mishandling his GM situation, has thrown everything into chaos. After being spurned by Chauncey Billups due to a low-ball offer, the Cavs boss finally promoted assistant GM Koby Altman to replace David Griffin, whose ill-timed departure was the domino that started this all.

    Altman has been in charge since but isn't at fault for this whose situation devolvng into a debacle. Although he's been a part of the team's front office since 2012, Altman in an incredibly tough spot given all that has transpired. An inability to land Paul George from Indiana in a deal that would have moved Kevin Love to Denver has damaged any sense of camaraderie among a "Big 3" that is 1-for-3 against the Warriors in the Finals, so the fact Cleveland remains favored to win the East is a slap in the face to everyone else in the conference.

    A fractured group remains the best bet to reign, if only because the King has proclaimed that he's not going anywhere until next summer.

    Both Irving and Love are aware that James, who definitely is consulted on personnel matters, has been willing to part with them if it improves the chances of adding to his ring collection. Everyone knows that the league is a business, but it's still impossible not to take things personally when you're a star of that magnitude but find yourself powerless in LeBron's orbit.

    Irving, despite having two years remaining on his contract, wants out now. James is staying put, controlling his future thanks to a no-trade clause on his deal that expires next summer, leaving open a possible departure via free agency. No one else outside of Gilbert himself can realistically feel secure of their position on the Cavs. Love is in limbo, powerless to stop his name from being linked to one trade rumor after another. The team even fired their cap expert. That's not a great work environment.

    After opening at 2-to-5 (-250) at Westgate Superbook, the walking soap opera that is Cleveland remains favored to win the Eastern Conference, but is now down to 4-to-7 (-175) after spending most of July at 1-to-2 (-200).

    Will these be the best odds available to bank on LeBron reaching his eighth consecutive NBA Finals? That's going to depend on one of two variables.

    Either James has to find away to smooth things over with his betrayed teammates or Altman has to hit the ground running in executing trades that will keep the Cavs atop the East throne despite losing arguably the conference's second-best player. That first possibility has a strong chance of coming to fruition despite the current friction because competing for another title is certain to be in the running for best situation for both Irving and Love, but damage has been done that will need to be overcome and may linger even if everyone remains in place.

    How can James help appease the bruised egos of his teammates if he's unsure of his own future going forward? Teams will line up to make offers both Irving and Love, but the Cavs will no longer be dealing from the position of strength they would've been working with had this news not gotten out there. That's one reason to discredit the allegation that LeBron's camp leaked the Irving information, because his group is nothing if not calculating, methodical and bright.

    James was said to be blindsided by Irving's desire to play elsewhere. LeBron giving his permission to include the team's All-Star point guard in trade discussions were likely viewed as a betrayal. Derrick Rose agreed to sign on Monday, giving the Cavs a potential replacement.

    If things can be worked out, the former MVP could prove to be a dynamic weapon off the bench.

    The Cavs have time on their side but have badly bumbled this offseason. They're currently a 4-to-1 (+400) bet to win the 2017-18 title, but moving in on that would be akin to setting money on fire given the volatility of their situation. The Warriors have Clevleand shook, thrown into a state of disarray. Even if they come out of the East, the Cavs would almost certainly be an NBA Finals underdog again.

    Boston, which was 4-to-1 to win the East when odds were released on June 24, is now sitting at 5-to-2 (+250) as the most likely successor should the Cavs crumble. The Celtics went from +400 to +300 after successfully courting Utah's Gordon Hayward, but their inability to land George kept them from making a more significant dent on Cleveland's perceived advantage.

    The odds on Washington (+1200), Milwaukee (+1500), Philadelphia (+1500), Toronto (+2000) and Miami (+2000) getting out of the East haven't been affected much over the past few weeks, but recent events definitely make it more appealing to pick a favorite and take a shot at a large payday.

    John Wall has been locked up long-term by the Wizards, who also paid handsomely to ensure improving wing Otto Porter stayed put. The Bucks have a talented young group returning, while the 76ers are getting a lot of love since they're adding a pair of No. 1 picks to the Joel Embiid-led mix in Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz. The Raptors will have continuity as an advantage after keeping Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka in the fold, while the Heat hope to build on last year's progress over the season's second half. None of those are championship-caliber teams, but the East could wind up wide open if things break badly for the Cavs.

    If Dwight Howard's back holds up and he's angry enough at being given away by his hometown Hawks, Charlotte (+10000) should emerge as the long shot worth dropping a few bucks on. The Hornets return Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Frank Kaminsky, Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller in addition to No. 11 draft pick Malik Monk and newly acquired former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams.

    That's a deep group. Michael Jordan's team would ordinarily be a first-round casualty against the Cavs we've come to know and respect, but if the three-time reigning East champs are disbanded, one could seemingly make a case for anyone.

    Well, almost anyone. Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago and Orlando are all 400-to-1 (+40000) to win the conference and an NBA-worst 1000-to-1 (+100000) to capture a championship.

    LeBron proved this past postseason that he remains at the top of his game, but not having a guy like Irving in place removes a sturdy safety net should adversity strike. Any way you slice it, Cleveland looks to be as vulnerable as it has been since James returned from his stint in Miami.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  6. #21
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    LeBron denies Irving trade claims
    July 25, 2017


    LeBron James denied a report that he is "eager" to see Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving traded after the point guard reportedly asked the team for a trade last week.

    James, on his Twitter account, re-tweeted two posts from SLAM Magazine's Twitter account with the headlines "LeBron James is reportedly 'eager' for Cleveland to trade Kyrie Irving" and "LBJ is extremely unhappy with Kyrie's trade request."

    On both tweets, James commented "#NoFacts people! Boooo!! Get another source" while adding "#EnjoyingMySummer #YouDoTheSame."

    Reports surfaced last week that Irving asked Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert for a trade after growing tired of playing alongside James and saying he wants to be more of a focal point on a team.

    Irving reportedly listed the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves as teams he would like to be traded to.

    James was reportedly blindsided by and furious at Irving's request.

    On Tuesday, the Cavaliers finalized the signing of former NBA MVP Derrick Rose to a one-year, $2.1 million deal. Rose, a three-time All-Star, could replace Irving as the Cavaliers' starting point guard if Irving is traded.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  7. #22
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    NBA notebook: Cavs officially ink G Rose
    July 25, 2017


    Free agent point guard Derrick Rose signed one-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday.

    Rose met with newly named general manager Koby Altman and other Cavs officials on Monday, just three days after meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers. He passed medical exams with Cavs doctors, Cleveland.com reported.

    Rose, 28, averaged 18 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists on 47 percent shooting from the field in 64 games for the New York Knicks last season. He was acquired in a trade with the Chicago Bulls, but the 2016-17 season ended in another injury as Rose hit free agency for the first time.

    Rose had season-ending knee surgery in April but has recovered and settled for a short-term deal in free agency.

    --LeBron James denied a report that he is "eager" to see Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving traded after the point guard reportedly asked the team for a trade last week.

    James, on his Twitter account, re-tweeted two posts from SLAM Magazine's Twitter account with the headlines "LeBron James is reportedly 'eager' for Cleveland to trade Kyrie Irving" and "LBJ is extremely unhappy with Kyrie's trade request."

    On both tweets, James commented "#NoFacts people! Boooo!! Get another source" while adding "#EnjoyingMySummer #YouDoTheSame."

    --The Golden State Warriors re-signed free agents Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia and David West, making official what had been reported over the past several weeks.

    The Warriors did not disclose details of the agreements, but the terms were reported by various media outlets.

    Curry agreed to a five-year, $201 million super-max deal shortly after the NBA's free agency period began. Durant agreed to a two-year deal worth approximately $53 million. Iguodala reached agreement on a three-year, $48 million contract, Pachulia agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract, Livingston signed a three-year $24 million deal, and West signed a one-year contract.

    -- Warriors All-Star forward Draymond Green faces a lawsuit that alleges "assault, battery and related claims based on his alleged acts of violence against a young man and woman."

    The plan to file a lawsuit was made public in a press release on Monday from Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs. She also claims Green made "misleading statements" about the suit. She said she would be filing the lawsuit Tuesday.

    The lawyer did not indicate when the incident occurred or whether anyone was arrested.

    --Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight sustained a torn ACL in his left knee that will require surgery, and he is expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season.

    The injury occurred last week while Knight was playing in South Florida. Following an examination by head team physician Dr. Tom Carter, it was determined that surgery was necessary,

    A timetable for his return will be determined at a later date.

    --The Brooklyn Nets acquired swingman Allen Crabbe from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for forward Andrew Nicholson.

    Crabbe averaged a career-best 10.7 points last season, his fourth with Portland since he was drafted in the second round by Cleveland in 2013.

    The 6-foot-9 Nicholson was acquired by the Nets from Washington during last season. He averaged 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 10 games with Brooklyn and 2.5 points in 28 games with the Wizards.

    --The Toronto Raptors signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a two-way contract.

    Brown, 26, averaged 3.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 63 career NBA games with the Philadelphia 76ers (2013-14), Minnesota Timberwolves (2014-15) and Phoenix Suns (2015-16).

    Brown was selected 52nd overall in the 2013 draft by Minnesota.

    --The Orlando Magic signed second-round draft pick Wesley Iwundu.

    The 6-foot-7 Iwundu, who was the 33rd overall selection in the 2017 draft, averaged 13.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists at Kansas State last season.

    He was selected to the All-Big 12 third team by the coaches in both his junior and senior seasons.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  8. #23
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    Top Available NBA Free Agents
    August 9, 2017


    Cleveland must tend to Kyrie Irving's trade demand one way or another, so anything that transpires on that front is going to impact the NBA most.

    Beyond his situation, there remain a number quality pieces still available who could aid playoff contenders and make a difference once the final set of dominoes start to fall when teams make their closing moves.

    1. Nerlens Noel, C
    The restricted free agent is stuck in a stalemate with the Mavs on a long-term deal, but hasn't gotten the leverage he hoped for since no other team has stepped up and dangled an offer sheet in front of him. He won't turn 24 until the end of the upcoming season, but is still more tantalizing prospect than sure thing, which is why he hasn't received the big payday he hoped for. He'll likely stay put in Dallas, which is banking on him not wanting to play on a qualifying offer next season. A compromise would allow them to sign him at a team-friendly rate that will ensure flexibility with the rest of their roster.

    2. Tony Allen, G/F
    At 35, the Grindfather is now old enough to be President, but he can still move. Although no longer the elite defender Kobe Bryant was referencing when he called him the best he ever faced, there's no question he can be a major asset coming off a season where he averaged 9.1 points and 5.5 rebounds while playing the second-most minutes of his career. He can still lock you up, which makes him impactful. Although he's become part of the fabric in Memphis, he'll take a crack at earning another ring elsewhere.

    3. Nikola Mirotic, F
    Blessed with fantastic range at 6-foot-10, he's got the potential to be one of the top stretch-4s in the game and is still just 26, but last year's inconsistent season was punctuated by a brutal playoff run that killed the restricted free agent's bargaining power. He's decided to skip Eurobasket due to his unsettled contract situation and will probably remain with Chicago on his qualifying offer, but it wouldn't be surprising to see someone swoop in to try and land a bargain while his value is down.

    4. Mason Plumlee, C
    His impressive defensive metrics have failed to land him the deal he wanted, so the Nuggets are likely to end up with his services for another season after dealing Jusuf Nurkic for him since they envisioned him being a better fit next to versatile big man Nikola Jokic. Between his athleticism, defense and playmaking skills, the 6-foot-11 Plumlee is an ideal rotation player who won't be a liability on pick-and-rolls since he can move his feet, making him a valuable asset for a contender.

    5. JaMychal Green, F
    Undrafted in 2012, he worked his way into the league and made steady progress with the Grizzlies, becoming an invaluable part of the rotation last season in averaging career-highs nearly across the board. His improving shooting range has made him valuable since his motor runs high, allowing him to defend and rebound well. He's in the same situation as Noel, Mirotic and Plumlee as a restricted free agent that has been lost in the shuffle this offseason and is now victimized by the lack of money teams have remaining. The Grizzlies want him back and will likely get their wish.

    6. Andrew Bogut, C
    He'll be healthy to start the season and is likely ticketed for a role with a team that won't require him to play significant minutes until games actually matter, but the 2005 Draft's No. 1 pick is still serviceable. The Cavs envisioned him playing a valuable part in last season's title defense but he failed to last even one full minute before fracturing his left tibia. Still a strong rim protector with a fantastic IQ that makes him an asset on the offensive end, he played in 70 games for the 73-win Warriors and should be able to contribute for whoever locks him up.

    7. Alex Len, C
    He appears to be a boom-or-bust type going forward, which is why teams have been hesitant to offer the 24-year-old former No. 5 pick a long-term deal. Back-to-the-basket centers are a dying breed, but he's rebounded well for Phoenix and is a legitimate 7-footer. Perhaps a change of scenery and a fresh start would accelerate his improvement, which is what he's apparently weighing as he ponders whether or not to sign his qualifying offer to remain with the Suns. His best years are likely just ahead if he stays healthy.

    8. Monta Ellis, G
    He hasn't lasted more than two years at any of his stops since leaving Golden State, and his production has dipped every season. An inability to develop a consistent jumper has hindered him, allowing defenses to play off of him and daring him to shoot. An ugly tenure with the Pacers ended with him failing to average double-figures in scoring for the first time since his rookie year. Now entering his 14th season, he turns just 32 in October and is one of the better backcourt options available as a scoring combo guard. Expect him to find a home on a playoff team on a one-year deal.

    9. Shabazz Muhammad, F/G
    One of Las Vegas' top prep talents is seeking the best fit after his rights were renounced by the Timberwolves. He's proven to be an unwilling defender and seems best suited to fill a scoring role off the bench, but concerns over clashing with teammates and low-assist numbers have damaged his market value. Considering he turns just 25 in November and should have his best years ahead of him, the Bishop Gorman product is worth gambling on and could wind up being a bargain in a new environment.

    10. Boris Diaw, F/C
    The Jazz let him go, but the 35-year-old has won a ring and brings invaluable experience to the table. He played 73 minutes last season and really struggled from 3-point range, but his ability to defend bigs and spread the floor as an elite facilitator with a basketball IQ that's all the charts makes him an attractive option for teams still loading up for a title run.

    11. Gerald Green, G/F
    He's a decade removed from winning a slam dunk contest and comes off a productive season with the Celtics, starting seven playoff games and scoring 18 points in a key Game 4 win in against the Bulls that prevented his team from falling in a 3-1 hole. He was lost in Boston's roster shuffle but shot 47 percent from 3-point range on their run to the Eastern Conference finals, so he's likely to have multiple suitors.

    12. Derrick Williams, F
    It's irrefutable that the No. 2 pick of the 2011 draft has been a bust to date, underperforming in Minnesota, Sacramento, New York and Miami before landing with the Cavs for the stretch run and putting together his most efficient numbers ever. A sub-30 percent 3-point shooter throughout his career, he shot 40 percent from beyond the arc over the final 25 games and shot 3-for-5 in the playoffs. Still just 26 years old, he's got a chance to start making some positive contributions.

    13. David Lee, PF
    The veteran opted out of his Spurs deal but could still return there after appearing in 94 games for them including playoffs. Lee has never been a good defender and his double-double days are over, but he fits San Antonio's system well and should be a reliable veteran presence wherever he ends up.

    14. Deron Williams, PG
    A 20-game stretch with the Cavs where he shot nearly 42 percent from 3-point range supplied a glimpse of the three-time All-Star's future since his days as a starter appear over. He'll be asked to take big shots and provide a stabilizing presence as a backup point guard but doesn't defend a lick and really struggled for Cleveland in the Finals, further damaging his stock.

    15. Anthony Morrow, SG
    The best long-range shooting threat remaining on the market will be a part of someone's plan to dethrone the Warriors, who have already filled their roster. If not for that, Golden State would be a perfect landing spot for a specialist who had a rough stint to close out an otherwise productive stint with Oklahoma City but should bounce back since he's a career 43 percent 3-point shooter.

    Others available: Lavoy Allen, Trey Burke, Brandon Rush, Tyler Zeller, Rodney Stuckey, Donatas Motiejunas, Randy Foye, Mike Dunleavy, Matt Barnes, Jason Terry, Thomas Robinson, Leandro Barbosa, Kris Humphries, Tiago Splitter, Dante Cunningham, Norris Cole, Alan Anderson, Jeff Withey, Adreian Payne.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  9. #24
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    NBA notebook: Paul to make Rockets debut against Warriors
    August 10, 2017


    The highly anticipated debuts of Chris Paul with the Houston Rockets and Gordon Hayward with the Boston Celtics will highlight the opening night of the NBA season, the league announced Thursday.

    Paul and the Rockets will visit the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday Oct. 17 as the second part of a doubleheader on TNT.

    In the opener, Hayward and the Celtics will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals.

    The NBA also announced its five Christmas Day matchups with an NBA Finals rematch between the Cavaliers and host Warriors on ABC (3 p.m. ET) representing the marquee contest.

    MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and MVP runner-up James Harden of the Rockets will square off on ABC (8 p.m. ET) on the Thunder's homecourt. The other contest on ABC will feature the Washington Wizards visiting the Celtics at 5:30 p.m. ET.

    --The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will pack their bags and head across the pond to play a regular-season game at the O2 Arena in London on Jan. 11, the NBA announced.

    The contest will be the league's eighth regular-season contest in London.

    --When NBA owners meet in September, they are expected to approve rules designed to discourage teams from benching healthy players for regular-season games, USA Today reported.

    The rules will be in effect at the start of the 2017-18 season, and teams will be penalized for not abiding by them.

    The specifics of the rules and the consequences remain unknown at this point, however. Enforcing any rules regarding the resting of a healthy player may be difficult to do, starting with the problem of determining whether the player is actually healthy.

    Earlier this week, the league office announced scheduling improvements designed to provide more rest for players.

    --Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph was arrested on a felony charge of marijuana possession with intent to sell by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday night.

    The arrest was part of a disturbance that resulted in damage to five Los Angeles Police Department vehicles and one sheriff's vehicle, according to ABC-7 in Los Angeles.

    Officers reportedly encountered a group drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and playing loud music while blocking the street in the Nickerson Gardens area in Los Angeles. The disturbance escalated with Randolph being arrested at 11 p.m. PT and booked 5 1/2 hours later with bail being set for $20,000, according to police reports.

    A two-time All-Star, Randolph signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Kings this summer after ending his eight-year tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies.

    --Oklahoma City Thunder forward Patrick Patterson underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the team announced.

    Patterson, who will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks, is expected to start at power forward for Oklahoma City after agreeing to a three-year, $16.4 million contract in July.

    --The Milwaukee Bucks signed a jersey advertisement patch deal with Harley-Davidson, the team announced.

    The motorcycle manufacturer's iconic orange, white and black logo will appear on the Bucks' white, green and black jerseys. Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NBA notebook: Knicks, Rockets revive trade talks
    August 11, 2017


    Carmelo Anthony could still join the Houston Rockets after all.

    After initial talks between the New York Knicks and Rockets about an Anthony trade stalled, the teams have re-engaged in discussions to send the 10-time All-Star to the Magnolia City, according to an ESPN report on Friday.

    Anthony will only waive his no-trade clause to be dealt to the Rockets, refusing to include more teams on his list of potential destinations, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Houston is reportedly trying to find a third team to make the deal possible, and finding a way to include forward Ryan Anderson, who has three years left on his $60 million deal, is viewed as an obstacle.

    --LeBron James might be considering whether to bring his talents to Los Angeles next season, and there's a chance Kyrie Irving could be going with him. In a manner of speaking.

    Irving, who asked the Cleveland Cavaliers for a trade in July after he grew sour of playing alongside James, has his sights set on the Los Angeles Clippers as a team he would like to play for if traded.

    "(Irving) loves L.A. and he's been working out there a lot this summer," veteran NBA reporter Peter Vecsey of Patreon.com said.

    James, who owns a home in Los Angeles, is rumored to be considering teaming up with Los Angeles-area native Paul George on the Lakers next summer.

    --The Los Angeles Lakers signed forward V.J. Beachem.

    Terms of the deal were not released by the team, but ESPN reports Beachem's contract is partially guaranteed.

    Beachem, a former Notre Dame standout, was not selected in the 2017 NBA Draft. He averaged 14.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 36 games for the Fighting Irish last season.

    He played four games with the Minnesota Timberwolves during the NBA's summer league in Las Vegas.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NBA Note - Golden State Warriors Durant, Kevin
    August 13, 2017


    F Kevin Durant of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors issued an apology for comments he claims were "taken out of context" regarding the development of basketball in India. In a Q&A with Durant that appeared in The Athletic earlier this week, he was quoted as saying that the country is "20 years behind in terms of knowledge and experience." In a statement on Twitter, Durant said: "Sorry that my comments about India were taken out of context, I'm grateful for the time I've got to spend there and I'm really pissed about how my comments came off, that's my fault, should've worded that better."
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NBA Note - Los Angeles Lakers Weber, Briante
    August 14, 2017


    G Briante Weber signed with the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, the team announced. Although terms of the contract were not announced, multiple media outlets reported last week that it would be a one-year deal. Weber, 24, appeared in 20 games last season with the Charlotte Hornets and Golden State Warriors, averaging a combined 3.1 points and 1.1 assists.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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