No surprise that Kevin Durant takes less money to stay with Warriors

To some, it almost seemed too good to be true. Would the Super Golden State Warriors set aside their egos, take less money, and keep a potential dynasty together?

Stephen Curry has agreed to a five-year, $201 million contract with the Golden State Warriors. Curry becomes the first player to sign a “supermax” contract in the NBA. The contract is the biggest in NBA history as Curry is expected to make $40 million a year. Once Curry agreed his contract there was one other All-Star that still needed to be locked in in Golden State.

Kevin Durant was the absolute difference maker in pushing the Warriors over the top to regain the throne from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both Durant and Curry had an exceptional Finals each the top two scoring leaders against Cleveland. Curry averaged 26.8 points (44-percent from the field), 9.4 assists, and 8 rebounds in the 2017 NBA Finals. Durant averaged 35.2 points (55-percent from the field), 5.4 assists, and 8.2 rebounds in the same Finals. Durant agreed to a two-year, $53 million deal with the Warriors on Monday. It is projected that Durant skipped out on an additional $9 million as a part of the sacrifice to keep the All-Star core together for Golden State. It also made way for the Warriors to resign Andre Iguodala to a three-year, $48 million deal.

Who is to say that a loss of $9 million less hurts KD pockets? A recent article from Forbes explains that Durant ranks third in the last 12-months in shoe revenue from Nike. The research reportedly advises that Durant collected $25 million from Nike royalties in the past year. Per Forbes, Durant raked in $60.6 million 2017 so far between his NBA contract and endorsements. Curry only managed $47.3 million between his NBA contract and endorsements. Of course, Curry can pass Durant in the next year with his new supermax NBA deal however, the ultimate breadwinner would still be KD.

The reality happens to be that Durant honors that Curry is the frontrunner in Golden State. The two-time MVP, one time unanimous, and record holder for most three-point field goals made in a single season is now the breadwinner. The selfishness of the Warriors is an even scarier thought. It may seem that arguably Durant is the best player on the Warriors and let’s pay him as one right? Again, this shows the bigger picture that this Golden State team has in mind for themselves. Throw the selfishness out the window and let’s talk wins and rings.

The Warriors are winners of two of the last three championships. They have dominated the closest competitor in the Cavaliers but also sending the NBA in a frenzy. After trading for Chris Paul last week, Houston’s General Manager, Daryl Morey explains, the NBA is a “weapons race”.

The Warriors remain fully armed and their culture in Oakland is fully committed the most important part: Strength in Numbers

How does Chris Paul to the Rockets affect the Celtics?

Jerry West has arrived in LA in a big way. Just a few weeks ago Jerry West arrived and was willing to say what no one else in the Clippers organization was willing to admit, the current core had maxed out their potential. This move gives the Clippers a clear direction, the Clippers are going to rebuild. Signing Blake Griffin makes no sense at this point; if they were to re-sign him the Clippers would just be treading water to try to put a marketable team on the floor. Jerry West is too smart of an executive to do that. This move also shows that the Clippers are willing to make sign and trades without receiving equal value in return. Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and what will end up being a late first round pick for Chris Paul?? Come on, that’s highway robbery.

If I’m Danny Ainge I am getting on the phone with Doc Rivers right now and seeing if the Clippers would be willing to work out a similar sign and trade for Blake Griffin. I understand that Gordon Hayward and Paul George are the first options but if the Celtics are able to shed some salary by trading for Blake Griffin and not have given up as much as you would if you were to trade for Paul George you have to at least explore that option. Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer reported that there is some doubt among NBA executives and agents that Blake will get max money on the open market given his injury history. If the Celtics can operate sign and trades for both Paul George and Blake Griffin and Blake agrees to take slightly under max money it might give them enough cap relief to keep a player like Avery Bradley around. Or they could sign Gordon Hayward and then sign and trade for Blake. Either way, it’s a situation definitely worth exploring for Danny,

Blake also has a higher upside than Gordon Hayward. When Blake Griffin is healthy he is undoubtedly a better player than Gordon Hayward. That health is a big if though. Blake is also a better fit on the roster. Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, and Jason Tatum all play SF. Even with the NBA roster expanding next season that is just way too many small forwards, and this scenario is assuming Jae Crowder is gone in some sort of trade. A starting lineup of IT, Avery, PG13, Blake, and Horford is flat out scary. The Celtics would likely need to deplete their bench to do this but if they are going to beat a team like the Warriors it might be a risk worth taking.

Clippers trade Chris Paul to Rockets

The Houston Rockets will acquire All-Star LA Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul.

The Rockets will send Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams to the Clippers in exchange for Paul.

Paul originally planned to opt-out of his contract to  be come a free agent this summer. However, due to the trade Paul will now opt-in and become a member of the Rockets.

Source: The Vertical 

Phil Jackson and Knicks mutually agree to part ways

The New York Knicks and Phil Jackson have mutually agree to part ways.

“After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” Knicks owner James Dolan said via statement. “Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.”

The news comes after the fact of increase talks of the future of Carmelo Anthony’s future with the Knicks. It was reported that Anthony’s side was attempting to negotiating a buy-out however, the Knicks were not willing to honor the notion.

Throughout the season Dolan assured that Jackson would be finishing out his five-year deal despite several claims that players and coaches were not too fond of Jackson’s persistence on running the triangle offense.

Jackson was originally hired in 2014 in hopes of turning around the New York franchise based on his prior success in the NBA. He spent 11 seasons and a two time NBA Champion as a player with the Knicks.

Source: ESPN.com

Old News: The Celtics are attempting to acquire Paul George and Gordon Hayward

As Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news today that the Celtics are trying to acquire both Gordon Hayward and Paul George and the NBA world lost their collective mind. People seemed to have forgotten that Adam Kaufman had reported this nearly a week ago.

Shout-out to Adam Kaufman for breaking this story a week ago. For all my other Celtics fanatics out there Kaufman is a guy who is definitely worth following for all the latest breaking rumors and trades.  Right now it is looking like the Celtics are offering a package that includes: 2018 Lakers pick, either the 2018 Grizzlies or 2019 Clippers first round pick, Jae Crowder, and filler to make salary numbers work. This deal is reportedly contingent on both the Celtics signing Gordon Hayward with Blake Griffin as a backup plan and Paul George being willing to sign a three-year extension.

If this move were to come to fruition it would mean that the Celtics roster would undergo a major shakeup, with fan favorites like Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, and Kelly Olynk likely not all returning for next season. An added bonus to this scenario is that it allows you to keep the Nets pick in a draft that is supposed to be stocked with quality big men. Adding a quality big man to build a future core with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, while also adding Paul George and Gordon Hayward would be an absolute coup for Danny.  All those analysts who have criticized Danny for not cashing his chips in sooner (cough Jemele Hill cough) might be eating their words pretty soon if Danny’s master plan works out the way it the way it is shaping up to.

Russell Westbrook wins MVP to top NBA Player Awards

The wait is finally over in one of the most intriguing MVP races in the NBA. It was Mr. Triple-Double, Russell Westbrook running away with the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award Monday night. In the first ever NBA Player Award show, the Oklahoma City Thunder guard shed tears on stage thanking everyone and anyone he could list. With a handful of teammates in attendance, Westbrook invited them on stage to share the winning moment.

Westbrook became the first player to achieve 42 triple-doubles in a single NBA season and became the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double in a single season. He would beat out Houston’s James Harden and San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard for the crown.

The NBA also handed out a Sagar Strong award which honors the late Craig Sagar. The recipient of the award was Monty Williams who lost his wife in a tragic car accident. Williams received a colorful jacket that he donned on stage to honor Sagar. The first ever “Hustle Award” was award to Patrick Beverly of the Houston Rockets.

2017 NBA Player Award Winners

Kia NBA Most Valuable Player                              
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder                

Kia NBA Rookie of the Year
Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee Bucks    

Kia NBA Sixth Man Award                                     
Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets                                                               

Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

Kia NBA Most Improved Player                            
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks                                          

NBA Coach of the Year
Mike D’Antoni, Houston Rockets

2017 NBA Player Awards show debuts tonight

The NBA switched up the format of announcing their player awards in the postseason to hosting a live award show. The show will be hosted by Drake on TNT at 9 PM EST tonight. The featured performing act will be Nicki Minaj. Below are the nominees for the respective awards that will be handed out.

Most Valuable Player
Kawhi Leonard SF – San Antonio Spurs
James Harden PG – Houston Rockets
Russell Westbrook PG – Oklahoma City Thunder


Rookie of the Year
Malcolm Brogdon SG – Milwaukee Bucks
Joel Embiid C – Philadelphia 76ers
Dario Saric PF – Philadelphia 76ers


Sixth Man Award
Eric Gordon SG – Houston Rockets
Andre Iguodala SG – Golden State Warriors
Lou Williams SG – Houston Rockets


Coach of the Year 
Mike D’ Antoni – Houston Rockets
Gregg Popovich – San Antonio Spurs
Erik Spoelstra – Miami Heat


Most Improved Player
Giannis Antetokounmpo SF – Milwaukee Bucks
Rudy Gobert C – Utah Jazz
Nikola Jokic PF – Denver Nuggets


Defensive Player of the Year
Rudy Gobert C – Utah Jazz
Draymond Green PF – Golden State Warriors
Kawhi Leonard SF – San Antonio Spurs

NBA News & Rumors – June 24 & June 25

Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be suspended for 2 games in the upcoming season. The suspension is due to a DUI incident that Caldwell-Pope was a part of last March.

Source: NBA.com


Chris Paul has been elected to another term to serve as the NBPA President. Paul will be joined by Garrett Temple of the Sacramento Kings who is the new Vice President.

Source: NBA.com


Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting that the Cavaliers, Nuggets, and Pacers have discussed a three-way deal that includes Kevin Love and Paul George. Love would end up in Denver while George of would be in Cleveland. Stein has also advised that the discussion is happening and Cleveland is still attempting to land George.

Source: Marc Stein


The Dallas Mavericks have declined Dirk Nowitzki’s team option which was his final year of a two-year deal. Nowitzki who wants to continue to play next season will be entering his 20th season with the Mavericks. The two sides will be negotiating a new deal.

Source: Marc Stein


Ice Cube’s Big 3 League kicked off Sunday at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. The league features former NBA Players and Legends. In a 3-on-3 format similar to what you may be familiar with in your driveway, the rules also include a four-point shot. The teams will all play on the same day and also feature a tour in different arenas each week. FS1 will feature the games the day after 8 PM EST.

Source: ESPN.com

NBA News & Rumors – June 22

Jimmy Butler is headed to the Minnesota Timberwovles. Per sources Butler will be exchanged for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and No. 7 pick, league source says.


After parting ways with David Griffin this week, the Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly offered Chauncey Billups a five-year deal to become the President of Basketball Operations. Per reports, Billups met with team owner Dan Gilbert for a second straight day.

Source: NBA.com


The San Antonio Spurs have reportedly reached out to three teams about acquiring a top-10 draft pick. In return LaMarcus Aldridge is a name amid those conversations. Aldridge can opt out of his contract at the end of the 2017-2018 year which is why the Spurs are shopping him around. In this year’s playoffs Aldridge average 16.5 points a game and 7.4 rebounds, both career lows.

Source: Ramona Shelburne of ESPN


The NBA salary cap is expected to be $2 million less than expected. The cap has raised to $99 million which is only a $5 million dollar increase from last season. The original forecast was expected to be at $108 million. The luxury tax has been lowered from $121 million to $119 million.

Source: Brian Windhorst of ESPN


Check back for more updates throughout the day and follow @BaselineTimes on Twitter for the latest in NBA News.

A call to Danny Ainge: Bring in project Kristaps Porzingis

This is your moment Danny! You’ve waited and waited, year after year obtaining more assets so when an NBA superstar becomes available you are in position to strike. Kristaps Porzingis is that superstar! He gives you almost 20 ppg, protects the rim, can stretch the floor and best of all he’s only 21 years old!

Let me slow my roll a little, Kristaps isn’t a top 15 NBA player right now. He isn’t going to make the Celtics NBA title favorites, that title still belongs to the Golden State Warriors. What he does do is give the Celtics a real chance to take down the Cavs next year and gives the Celtics a franchise player to build around. He makes the team better immediately and a future core of him, Jaylen Brown, and the 2018 Nets pick sets you up to a contender for years to come. The Knicks are looking for a top 5 pick and a good young player for Porzingis. That’s a price the Celtics can meet.

 

(Celtics would also send 2017 #3 and 2018 Lakers pick in this scenario)

So in this trade the Knicks get two top 5 draft picks and Jae Crowder, a player that Phil Jackson loves. In a 2016 interview Jackson even said missing out on Crowder in an earlier trade was his biggest mistake as GM

I think the biggest mistake I made was actually this…One of the first deals I engineered when I came back to New York was to trade [Chandler] and Raymond [Felton] to Dallas for Shane Larkin, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Samuel Dalembert, plus a second-round pick that the Mavs owed to the [Boston] Celtics. In talking with Boston, I was given the option of taking that pick or else taking [Crowder]. I liked Crowder but I thought he wouldn’t get much of a chance to play behind Carmelo [Anthony], so I took the pick which turned out to be Cleanthony Early. While Cleanthony has missed lots of time in the past two seasons with us, he still has the potential to be a valuable player. Even so, I should have taken Crowder. Anyway, for all of us, making mistakes are part of the learning process.”

Here is your chance to atone for your mistake Phil! you want Jae Crowder? You got him! If Phil wants to hit the reset button getting two top 5 picks is a pretty good way to do it. Jae Crowder is also has one of the best contracts in the NBA and helps the Knicks offset the terrible Joakim Noah deal.

If the Celtics are able to sign Gordon Hayward in addition to this trade a lineup of Isaiah, Avery, Hayward, Porzingis, and Horford is one that is a significant step up from anything the Celtics put on the floor last year. It’s a lineup that makes you a legitimate contender without sacrificing the young players on the roster who you are going to build around after the Isaiah and Horford era. Players like Porzingis don’t become available all that often, in fact they barely even exist, there is a reason he is nicknamed the “Latvian Unicorn”. If he truly is available this is the type of player that Danny needs to use all the assets he has been collecting to go out and get. Make it happen Danny!