SH Blog: Ibaka extends with Thunder; A.Gasol to UCLA

We’re in the quiet period before the 2012-13 NBA season, but things are still going on. Teams are trying to fill their last roster spots, Eurobasket ’13 qualifying is taking place, many NBA teams still need help at a position or two.

Here’s all the latest news from around the basketball world:

  • First reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Thunder will sign center Serge Ibaka to a four-year, $48 million contract extension.  Ibaka, 22, could’ve been a restricted free agent next summer, and his deal now locks into place three of the Thunder’s core of young stars — Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Ibaka. Durant and Westbrook each have the maximum contracts allowed under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. This deal leaves the future uncertain for guard James Harden, who could command a maximum contract as a restricted free agent next summer. Along with the remainder of Kendrick Perkins’ three years and $27 million, the small-market Thunder will be hard-pressed to invest so much money into their payroll.”
  • Thunder GM Sam Presti got married today and was in a hurry to get off the Ibaka conference call.
  • Presti on Ibaka's deal impacting Harden's negotiations: "They're independent of one another."
    Royce Young
  • Former Wizard Andray Blatche returned to his Syracuse hometown yesterday for an event sponsored by his charitable foundation. Blatche is still looking for work, and, according to Donna Ditota of the Syracuse Post-Standard, “lives these days in Houston, where he is working out with former NBA player, coach and general manager John Lucas to polish his image and improve his body and his game.”
  • Source: Alonzo Gee and #Cavs close to deal. 9.8 mil 3 yrs. @ @ @ @ #nba
    john telich
  • John Denton of wrote a profile of Arron Afflalo, who came to the Magic in the Dwight Howard trade.  It details Afflalo’s upbringing in an unusual section of Los Angeles, his time at UCLA, and the early portion of his NBA career: “Danny and Arron lived in a little-known section of Compton where the lots are large and the area is still zoned for horses and farm animals. The area around the Afflalo’s house resembled a farm you might see miles out in the Eastern California valleys, complete with horses, chickens and other farm animals. Only, this was the heart of Compton and the mean streets were just a block away. Living on “the farm’’ taught Afflalo about responsibility and disciple and it kept him away from Compton’s most dangerous areas.”
  • Montenegro defeated Serbia today on a halfcourt three by Nikola Ivanovic. Montenegro gained independence from Serbia six years ago today, to give this win a little perspective.  Here’s the video:
  • Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe via Sulia: “For those who missed it earlier, David Falk, the agent for Jeff Green, told Boston Globe that his client’s deal with #celtics is close and should be official next week.”
  • Finally, the third Gasol brother has a place to play college ball, writes Raphielle Johnson of NBC Sports: “Adria Gasol, a 6-10 forward who played his first two years of high school basketball at Lausanne High School in Memphis, will join the UCLA program as a walk-on according to multiple reports. His older brothers Pau and Marc were two of the key figures on Spain’s silver medal-winning team at the London Olympics, and are two of the better big men in the NBA. Adria isn’t thought of as highly as Pau and Marc were before they entered the NBA, but the 6-10 Spaniard will give the Bruins some valuable front court depth in practices.”
  • Marcin Gortat needs a razor.
  • Four EuroNets are playing in Eurobasket qualifying. From NetsDaily, Mirza Teletovic scores 33.

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