Hello and welcome to the Evening News.
As the Finals continue, we’ll keep you updated every evening. What’s happening today?
Here’s the latest from around the league:
Monta Ellis offered extension
According to Charles Gardner of the Journal Sentinel, the Milwaukee Bucks recently offered Monta Ellis a two-year extension through 2015-2016. The deal would require Ellis to opt in to his $11 million player option for next season and would total nearly $36 million over three years.
Ellis signed a six year, $66 million contract when he was a member of the Golden State Warriors. He has until June 20 to decide whether to opt in to the final year of his contract. If Ellis rejects the deal, he will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
While an annual contract of $12 million would be a slight raise from his current deal and would compare extremely favorably to the $5.2 million Louis Williams (a similar player) received from Atlanta annually last season, Ellis believes he can make even more money on the open market.
Yahoo! Sports reported recently that the Sacramento Kings’ new ownership group covets Ellis’ scoring abilities and will likely pursue the 27-year-old if he does become a free agent.
Ellis was Milwaukee’s leading scorer last season with 19.2 points per game along with 6.0 assists. He also finished fourth in the league with 2.1 steals per game.
Pistons close to hiring Maurice Cheeks
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Detroit Pistons are preparing to offer their head coaching job to Oklahoma City assistant Maurice Cheeks.
League sources confirmed that contract negotiations should begin shortly.
Cheeks had been competing with Nate McMillan for the position. Detroit’s ownership group has come to an agreement that Cheeks is their man.
He was a four-time all star in the 1980s and starred on the 76ers’ 1983 championship team.
Cheeks had been serving as an assistant for Scott Brooks with the Thunder for the past four seasons. Before that, Cheeks was a head coach for both the Portland Trail Blazers and the Philadelphia 76ers. He coached Portland in the midst of the team’s “Jail Blazer” era and later went on to guide the 76ers to the 2008 playoffs.
Flip Saunders tells Kevin Love he is staying put
On ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, Kevin Love sat-in as a guest and publicly asked Minnesota’s new president of basketball operations, Flip Saunders, about his future with the team over the phone.
“So, I have to get this out of the way. There has been a lot of speculation out there and just so we’re clear, I am not getting traded,” Love said after Saunders was introduced.
“You are not being traded. Does that make you feel better?” Saunders replied. “Maybe now people will stop calling me.”
For months, experts had been speculating that Kevin Love would be made available for trade this summer. The Timberwolves are coming off of a largely disappointing and injury plagued season with Love playing in a career-low 18 games.
Love had been disgruntled with the organization after the team’s former general manager, David Kahn, refused to give the two-time all star a coveted five-year max contract in 2012.
Love also acknowledged that he is “definitely past” any anger he once felt toward the organization.
Still, Love has the power to opt out of his current deal in 2015. And if the Timberwolves don’t show drastic signs of improvement, Love will probably leave.
Love told SportsCenter today that the Wolves have to “continue to keep building the right path.”