Some of the teams around the league had tough decisions to make on Thursday with the talented but unproven players they have on their rosters. With the deadline approaching for rookie extensions, do you pay big money knowing those players could hit the market and sign huge offer sheets? Or do you let the season play out and hope that they don’t exceed your expectations? With Eric Bledsoe and Gordon Hayward, their respective teams have decided to take a risk.
STORY OF THE DAY:
After trading for Bledsoe in the offseason, the Phoenix Suns have failed to reach an agreement with the guard who is ready to blossom. The Utah Jazz are on the same boat after failing to lock up Hayward. The two players will now be restricted free agents when the summer arrives. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports has details:
After failing to reach an agreement on a rookie contract extension before Thursday’s 11:59 p.m. ET deadline, talented young forward Gordon Hayward will enter restricted free agency next summer, too..
Also, the Phoenix Suns and Eric Bledsoe were unable to come to an agreement on a rookie contract extension, and the young point guard will join fellow 2010 draft class members Hayward and Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe as three of the most prominent players in July’s restricted free agency period.
The sides never came close on a deal, remaining several million dollars apart, league sources told Yahoo. Hayward had been seeking a deal in the four-year, $50-million plus range, sources said.
THE HATE IS REAL:
The Los Angeles Clippers don’t like the Golden State Warriors very much. That much became clear when they wouldn’t even worship God in the same room with members of the Warriors, according to Marcus Thompson of Bay Area News Group:
It’s a long-standing tradition for Christians on both teams to have chapel together. Each NBA arena offers this service to the players, and there is usually one time and one room.
That wasn’t the case Thursday.
According to multiple sources, the Warriors were surprisingly given a separate, earlier, time for their own chapel services. The Clippers held their own private chapel.
“Man, they don’t want to have chapel with us?” one team source asked. “I never heard that before, but OK.”
Chris Paul solidified the notion that the two teams don’t really like each other, and Doc Rivers hopes it gets to a point where the two teams really dislike each other. Arash Markazi of ESPN LA has details:
“We played there last year and they were dancing and all that stuff,” Paul said. “Both teams don’t care for each other much. It is what it is.”
As intense as the rivalry has become, setting up a marquee matchup on Christmas Day, Rivers was still hesitant to call it a rivalry until the two teams meet in the playoffs.
“I don’t know if either one of us have the history of being that good yet to have a dislike,” Rivers said. “We haven’t played in the playoffs. When you play in the playoffs, then that following year it will be a dislike. Right now, we’re just uncomfortable with each other. It’s not a dislike yet, but let’s all hope that it gets there.
“Dislike is not all bad.”
The next time these two teams play? Christmas day. May Jesus bless them.
WORTH A WATCH:
Stephen Curry went on one of those crazy runs from beyond the arc on Thursday. When he gets going, there is no one quite like him in the league:
Unfortunately for Curry, Chris Paul was even better:
If you want to know whether Michael Carter-Williams’ performance against the Miami Heat was a fluke, check out this breakdown of his fundamentals from Bballbreakdown:
When Kobe Bryant initially tore his Achilles heel, Mark Jackson thought that the guard was faking the injury. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports has the story:
Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson said he thought Kobe Bryant was initially faking an injury when he tore his Achilles tendon near the end of last season.
“Even in the midst of going against him I’m in huddle I’m saying, ‘Don’t fall for the okeydoke. He’s all right. Don’t allow him to take over this game,’ not knowing that he was really hurt,” Jackson said. “That’s one regret I have. If had to do it again I would have called a timeout and allowed him to walk off the floor.”
“If I would’ve known Kobe Bryant was hurt I would’ve called a timeout,” Jackson said. “They would have not had to call a timeout. That’s how much respect I have for him.”
SOME NOTABLES FROM THURSDAY:
- Despite having a monster preseason, Derrick Rose still appears to be getting up to game speed. He hit an incredible game-winner against the New York Knicks, but scored 18 points on 23 shots and generally struggled in the paint area. Understandable, given that he took an entire year off from basketball. It also goes to show you, don’t put all your stocks into what happens in the preseason.
- Tyson Chandler looks awesome again. After struggling against Roy Hibbert in the playoffs due to a significant weight loss, the center made a huge impact against the Chicago Bulls on the glass with 19 rebounds and kept the Knicks in the game with one tap out after another. Not easy to do against the best rebounding team in the league.
- Andrea Bargnani showed that he is capable of being a useful player for the Knicks. He punished the Bulls frontcourt in the third quarter by repeatedly hitting outside jumpers. Defensively, he has a long way to go. He remains one of the worst rebounders ever for his size, grabbing just one rebound in 24 minutes.
- Chris Webber and Kenny Smith have taken playoff jabs at each other on TNT. Webber made fun of Smith’s jogging, which is light but hilarious stuff. Smith took it to another level, though, when he took a jab at Webber’s infamous “timeout” call, something we know he may still be sensitive about. It will be fun to see if C-Webb has a comeback in store.
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