June 25

The Rockets Reportedly Have A ‘Serious Chance’ At Landing Chris Paul This Offseason

Hosted by: http://uproxx.com/dimemag/chris-paul-houston-rockets-nba-free-agency-rumors/

You can make a pretty good case that the best player to enter free agency this offseason is Chris Paul. There were plenty of rumblings about what would happen if Paul hit the open market, and news dropped on Friday that Paul was indeed going to opt out of his contract and look around.

While every team would probably love to acquire Paul, one of the more intriguing options is the Houston Rockets. It’s been rumored as a potential destination, and Chris Haynes of ESPN reports that there is something to these rumblings other than just simple speculation.

Haynes went even further by saying the Rockets are going to go after Paul hard, and also mentioned that the team is trying to free up some money to acquire his services. The whole “freeing up some cap space” thing has been around for a while, with guys like Patrick Beverley and his two-year contract being a prime candidate for a move.

Of course, the looming question with Houston’s pursuit of Paul is how he’d mesh with James Harden, who had an MVP-caliber campaign in 2016-17 by becoming the point guard in the Rockets’ offense. Both guys would probably be fine — Paul is the best pure point guard in the NBA and sets his teammates up better than basically everyone, while Harden will find a way to score in basically every situation — but it’s still something that will be in people’s minds.

Paul’s free agency is going to be one to watch. The Clippers have the inside track from a money/years perspective, but teams like Houston and San Antonio could offer the 32-year-old point guard a better chance at winning his first ring, especially if Blake Griffin leaves Los Angeles. Regardless, Paul is going to be in really high demand, and it’s possible that no team makes a harder push for him than Houston.

(Via Bleacher Report)

June 24

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Suspended 2 Games For DUI

Hosted by: http://www.slamonline.com/nba/kentavious-caldwell-pope-suspended-2-games-dui/

Caldwell-Pope was pulled over for going 45 in a 25 mph zone at 2:50 a.m. on March 29.

Per press release:

Detroit Pistons’ guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been suspended for two games without pay for pleading guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, in violation of the law of the State of Michigan, the NBA announced today.


Caldwell-Pope’s suspension will commence with the next NBA regular season game that he is eligible and physically able to play.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Hits Game-Winner Against Toronto

The post Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Suspended 2 Games For DUI appeared first on SLAMonline.

June 24

Jimmy Butler Posted A Touching Farewell To Bulls Fans On Instagram

Hosted by: http://uproxx.com/dimemag/jimmy-butler-heartfelt-goodbye-chicago-bulls-fans-instagram/

The Jimmy Butler era is over for the Chicago Bulls, even if the organization probably didn’t get enough in return for a superstar in his prime. The Minnesota Timberwolves will be the beneficiary of the trade that sent Butler away from the only city he has known as a professional athlete, but before leaving, Butler released a heartfelt goodbye to Chicago on his Instagram feed.

Butler thanked the city and its fans for providing motivation to improve, and frankly, his career trajectory is extremely rare in the leap he took while playing for the Bulls. Beyond that, Butler made sure to thank Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and his family for “taking a chance” on drafting him, and he finished things off by promoting the unsung heroes of the Bulls organization.

In short, Butler did a tremendous job in publicly acknowledging what the city meant to him, and his comments live in stark opposition to that of Travelle Gaines, Butler’s trainer. Earlier in the week, Gaines ripped Gar Forman and the Bulls front office in brutal fashion, forcing Butler to distance himself from the comments.

Still, this was the best possible way to take the edge off the negativity surrounding his exit and promote the positive that is Jimmy Butler’s meteoric rise. Many team-player relationships don’t end amicably, and this one may not have, but Butler went out on a high note.

June 23

Report: Bulls Trade Jimmy Butler To The Timberwolves

Hosted by: http://www.slamonline.com/nba/report-bulls-trade-jimmy-butler-wolves/

Woj had it first:

Stay tuned for more!


The post Report: Bulls Trade Jimmy Butler To The Timberwolves appeared first on SLAMonline.

June 23

Dwyane Wade Won’t Let The Jimmy Butler Trade Impact His Ability To Make $24 Million

Hosted by: http://uproxx.com/dimemag/dwyane-wade-chicago-bulls-contract-jimmy-butler-trade/

Dwyane Wade is in for a massive payday. The Bulls’ star has a player option on the final year of his contract, one that would pay him around $24 million. It looked like Wade was all set to opt into that final year, largely because that is a ton of money. Don’t take our word for it — Wade straight up said he opted in because that’s a hefty payday.

But something big happened on Thursday night during the 2017 NBA Draft when Chicago traded Jimmy Butler for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and the No. 7 pick, which turned into Arizona big man Lauri Markkanen. In the eyes of many people, Chicago got fleeced, and it looked like Wade didn’t want anything to do with the team for a while.

Because he didn’t formally opt in yet, Wade had the flexibility to back out of the arrangement. Early reports indicated he was going to do just that.

But listen, $24 million is a lot of money. Wade knows this, and for that reason, he ain’t going anywhere.

Wade’s been around for a long time. He has made a fortune in the NBA, but $24 million is still $24 million. He has had all the success someone can want, so good on you for making that money, Dwyane Wade. Plus hey, if things get hairy, he can always try to negotiate a buyout with the organization.

June 22

Phil Jackson on Kristaps: ‘As Much As We Love This Guy, We Have To Do What’s Best For The Club’

Hosted by: http://www.slamonline.com/nba/phil-jackson-kristaps-much-love-guy-whats-best-club/

Tuesday morning, reports surfaced that the New York Knicks were open to trading Kristaps Porzingis, sending Twitter into a frenzy. The following day, Jackson confirmed that the rumors were in fact true, and that the team has been fielding calls:

Phil was apparently not happy that Porzingis skipped his exit meeting back in April:

Nonetheless, he doesn’t seem too worried about the anxiety he’s causing New York fans:

Here’s the full video with the above comments:

Furthermore, Woj reported that the Knicks are chasing a top-four pick to select Kansas’ forward Josh Jackson.

Wow. Stay glued to SLAM for updates.

Report: Phil Jackson Not Ruling Out Possibility of Trading Kristaps Porzingis
Report: Frustrated With Knicks Dysfunction, Kristaps Porzingis Skipped His Exit Meeting With Team

The post Phil Jackson on Kristaps: ‘As Much As We Love This Guy, We Have To Do What’s Best For The Club’ appeared first on SLAMonline.

June 22

Phil Jackson Explained Why He’s Seriously Considering Kristaps Porzingis Trade Offers

Hosted by: http://uproxx.com/dimemag/phil-jackson-kristaps-porzingis-knicks-trade-rumors-comments-video/

Of all the things Phil Jackson has done since taking over as the Knicks’ president of basketball operations, taking Kristaps Porzingis at No. 4 in the 2015 NBA Draft is far and away the best decision he’s made. Two years after landing a 7’3 unicorn of a player who still has two years left on his rookie deal before restricted free agency, the Knicks are legitimately considering potential trade options.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported on Wednesday night that the Knicks were looking for a package that included a top 4 pick in this year’s draft in an effort to land Josh Jackson out of Kansas. Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that the desired package was a top 4 pick and a strong asset in return for Porzingis.

While those reports were swirling, Jackson was holding a live interview on MSG Network with Al Trautwig, and not only did he not deny those rumors; he even tipped his hand a bit as to what might be enough to intrigue the Knicks.

We’re getting calls. You know as much as we value Kristaps and what he’s done for us, when a guy doesn’t show up at an exit meeting everybody starts speculating on the duration or his movability from the club. So we’ve been getting calls. We’re listening, but we’re not intrigued yet at this level. But, as much as we love this guy, we have to do what’s good for the club.

When pressed on what would be good for the future of the club, Jackson laid out some parameters for what may be enough value for Porzingis.

Future. What it brings? Does it bring us two starters and a draft pick, or something even beyond that? It’s something we have to look at going down the road. We know what he is. He’s a unicorn and he’s special.

Jackson seemed to still be a bit perturbed about Porzingis skipping his exit interview with the Knicks and noted that it’s not something he’s ever seen before on a team he’s been around.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a player over 25 years of coaching, maybe 30, not coming to an exit meeting. So, it’s not happened to me. I know it happens to other people and other players and his brother and his agent have downplayed it. Still, it’s a chance for a person to express themselves, and I had a great relationship with Kristaps over the last two years. So, it was kinda surprising.

As for the relationship between Porzingis and the Knicks, things don’t sound great. Jackson said he’s tried calling but hasn’t spoken on the phone with Kristaps, although he noted they’ve communicated in other ways.

Well I’ve reached out. We’ve communicated, not through voice or anything, although I’ve tried to call. But, yeah, it’s gotta be — and they say no worries, he’s working hard. And there are plenty of pictures of him on the internet working hard and working at it, so, yeah, we’ll get it back.

The quote about the “doing what’s good for our club” in particular sent Knicks fans into a frenzy, as most point out that keeping the young, budding star who is as unique a player as we’ve seen enter the NBA in recent years is almost assuredly the best thing for the club. However, Jackson seems to think that there may be a package out there, likely involving the chance to take Josh Jackson, that would improve the Knicks moving forward more than keeping Kristaps.

Knicks fans were already furious with Jackson when the first rumors came out, and this public acknowledgement that he’s considering trading Porzingis will only fuel that fire. The Celtics, who have been rumored to be thinking about trading out of the No. 3 spot, as well as the Suns at No. 4, seem like the two top candidates for a possible Porzingis trade as each have the desired pick and other assets to meet Jackson’s reported demands. We’ll find out on Thursday night if either are willing to pony up and try to get the unicorn out of New York.

June 21

Hawks Trade Dwight Howard to Charlotte

Hosted by: http://www.slamonline.com/nba/hawks-trade-dwight-howard-to-charlotte/

The big fella has reportedly been traded to Charlotte.

The Hornets are said to be sending Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and a pick to the Hawks.

The post Hawks Trade Dwight Howard to Charlotte appeared first on SLAMonline.

June 21

The Clippers Are Considering Trading DeAndre Jordan In An Effort To Get Younger

Hosted by: http://uproxx.com/dimemag/deandre-jordan-los-angeles-clippers-trade-rumors/

In the midst of a frenzy before the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers are largely flying under the radar, at least when compared to the enormity of their offseason. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are unrestricted free agents facing massive paydays and, given the way that the Clippers have constructed their roster, “Plan B” does not appear to be in place if either (or both) walk out the door in July.

With that said, Chris Haynes of ESPN brings word that the Clippers have been poking around with regard to trade interest in their “other” star, big man DeAndre Jordan. The report indicates that Los Angeles has “gauged the market” on Jordan, including a conversation with the Phoenix Suns that revolved around the No. 4 pick in the draft and veteran big man Tyson Chandler.

The Suns reportedly declined that offer from the Los Angeles side but it could signal something of a retooling effort from Doc Rivers and company. Jordan has two years remaining on a (very) reasonable contract but, if Griffin and/or Paul were to leave, he would be easily the best asset for the Clippers to leverage in order to stock the cupboard for the future.

Haynes’ report also indicates that, if anything, the buzz around Jordan being on the trade market would only increase if and when one of the big guns leaves in free agency and that could be a more reasonable thought in the wake of teams like the Spurs clearing the decks. Years of mishaps on the periphery of the roster have really cost the Clippers in terms of flexibility and, with that, it makes sense that they would at least look at the possibility of dangling Jordan to the highest bidder.

June 20

Cavaliers and GM David Griffin Part Ways

Hosted by: http://www.slamonline.com/nba/cleveland-cavaliers-david-griffin-part-ways/

The Cavs and owner Dan Gilbert released a statement thanking Griffin for his time in Cleveland:

“On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Griff for his leadership and many contributions during his time here, including most recently, his role in the franchise’s first NBA Championship.”

The Cavaliers, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, did not consult with LeBron James about the decision, despite LeBron’s public wishes for Griffin to get an extension:

According to Woj, Chauncey Billups is being considered for the job and expected to meet with the Cavs soon:

The Cavs have reportedly been in contact with the Pacers about a potential Paul George deal as well.

Report: Dan Gilbert Unresponsive to Magic’s Request to Interview David Griffin

The post Cavaliers and GM David Griffin Part Ways appeared first on SLAMonline.