John Wall has agreed to the designated player veteran exception with the Wizards, meaning the All-Star guard is on board for a a four-year, $170 million extension starting in 2019, David Aldridge of NBA.com reports. Including the final two years and $37 million left on his current deal, Wall is set to earn $207 million through 2023.
Per Dave McMenamin of ESPN on The BBall Breakdown Podcast:
I think I reported this on SportsCenter this week. He saw Kyrie Irving in the playoffs this year – in between the first round, when they beat Indiana, and the second round, when they played Toronto – go consecutive days without speaking to a teammate at practice.
On that stage. It’s one thing to say people go through their ups and downs in the regular season. But when you get to the playoffs, when the main thing is the main thing, and we’re brothers, and we’re pulling together to get this thing done – even at that level, there were still things that made him sullen or reclusive from his teammates.
Irving approached Cavs owner Dan Gilbert in July and asked to be traded, though there have been no offers so far that Cleveland would truly consider as an option.
Despite setting career highs last season with 25.2 points per game and a 47.3 field goal percentage, the 25-year-old is hoping to move on from Cleveland in an effort to escape the shadow of LeBron James.
Reduction in single-game road trips over 2,000 miles by 67 percent; there are only 11 of them on schedule.
And before you write off those early years as Irving being a youngster trying to carry an awful roster, keep in mind what happens to his current team when LeBron leaves the floor.
At 25, Irving is just a year younger than Bryant was in 2004 when the Lakers handed him the keys to the kingdom and traded away O’Neal, the most dominant force in the game at the time much like James is today. And he’s got the same insane confidence/cockiness at three inches shorter and about 25 pounds lighter.
In a 2012 Team USA scrimmage, before injuries robbed Bryant of his powers, Irving was willing to bet $50,000 he could beat the future Hall of Famer in a game of 1-on-1.
That’s not to say Jackson will become a shutdown defender overnight or nearly as good as Green, as they are different in terms of position and play. But Jackson displayed flashes of brilliance playing only one year with new teammates, and the fact that he compares somewhat favorably to a senior deeply immersed in Tom Izzo’s system shows the 20-year-old is just scratching the surface.
The Suns finished dead last in the West last season. They are attempting to build a foundation for the future in order to eventually compete in a loaded conference. Trading for Irving isn’t going to fix everything that’s wrong in Phoenix, but it could send them down a dangerous path for years to come depending on what the team is willing to give up. The Cavs might be willing to bring down the asking price once the season approaches and that locker room becomes a little more tense. For now, the Suns shouldn’t be in a rush to make a move.
That’s why Irving and Jackson haven’t gone anywhere yet.
2K Sports has announced that Lonzo Ball will be wearing the Big Baller Brand in NBA 2K18.
His approach. He is an all-out player. I can see him being your first big man off the bench right away in the league. He is not going to short you on hustle. But he does have some skill, too. He can shoot the ball and he is very intelligent as a rebounder.
Love to see him be a stretch-4, he showed some flashes of that in college. But he needs to be quicker with his outside shot and a lot more consistent.
I saw him have two bad games, really. And both times he bounces back and was really good the next time out. He has an effortless shot, and he should be able to get on the floor right away. He can stretch a defense.
He needs work defensively, but I think a lot of that is between the ears, just understanding NBA defense. Offensively, you don’t see him put it on the floor much, just about all his shots come off of teammates creating.
It’s how Mason Sr. was able to rise from a third-round pick in 1988 (the draft was reduced to the current two-round format the next year) out of tiny Tennessee State to an All-Star and All-NBA level player. Mason Sr. just wanted it worse than his competition. His son is applying that same type of pressure in different spheres.
That wasn’t always the case with Mason Jr., who admitted to relying on his God-given talent more often than his toils during his playing days. Exposed to the spoils of the NBA nightlife as a teenager in the twilight of his dad’s NBA career, Mason Jr. has been almost everywhere and done almost everything. His experiences have provided a platform from which to warn youngsters still working to fulfill their dreams. They’re also what keeps him motivated these days.
Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague. That’s about as formidable of a top four as there is in the league with the exception of the Golden State Warriors.
This team’s roster as it currently stands could get them to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. With that said, it makes a lot of sense to lock down the roster as it is. To do that the Timberwolves may need to give Wiggins a contract extension and soon.
Phil Jackson is out as president, but the franchise’s strategy hasn’t changed much. A stalemate has ensued as sources indicate Anthony only wishes to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Rockets. Not even Cleveland, which is in turmoil, is good enough for Anthony as the Cavaliers are dealing with Kyrie Irving’s trade demand.
At the least now the Rockets can focus on getting Anthony, as they know no other team is jockeying for position on the 10-time All-Star, and maybe finding another team to make a trade work.
On the surface, it doesn’t appear the Rockets have the assets to make the trade on their own unless they were to trade James Harden or Chris Paul, which of course makes no sense and they would never do.
What they have to do is find out what they can give up and see what they can give to other teams to get in on the action.
For now though, if any Anthony trade will go down, it appears he will go to Houston, if he goes anywhere.
In a span of a month, the Cavaliers have managed to do something that carried the air of impossibility as the last NBA year limped to a close. Cleveland has set up next season to be, blessedly, an interesting one.
Even as Golden State easily won this year’s NBA Finals, the running question throughout the five-game series was just how many times fans could be expected to get excited for a Warriors-Cavaliers championship matchup. A meeting of the two next June was all but inevitable, the only question being whether we’d get the same pairing in 2019, too.
The big picture is much more important for the Suns than any short-term concerns, though. Irving has two years left on his current contract (with a player option for 2019-20), he could end up as a very expensive rental. It has been reported Irving’s preferred destinations include San Antonio, New York, Miami and Minnesota. Irving doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract, so the Cavs can hand him to the highest bidder, but the other 26 teams not on that list must realize there’s a strong chance Irving plays out the deal and then walks.
Imagine how the Suns would look if Irving bailed on that player option after two seasons. A star player is gone, a valuable first-round pick is gone and a potential franchise cornerstone is shining next to LeBron. That last possibility is the one that would really haunt Phoenix.
Jackson is the exact type of player NBA scouts salivate over. He’s a long, athletic wing with a high capacity to grow on offense as well as versatility and switchability on defense. He showed promise in Summer League, averaging 17.4 points and 9.2 rebounds in five games. While there are questions about his shot mechanics (42.5 percent from the field in those Summer League games), his skill, motor and impact in his one year at Kansas can’t be ignored, particularly on the defensive end. He even stacks up well against 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green coming out of college.