Eric Freeman

  • Dion Waiters does weird tongue stuff, gets really creepy at Summer League

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 42 mins ago

    The NBA's various Summer Leagues are pretty commonly accepted as facsimiles of the league itself, glorified scrimmages that hold our interest for the presence of exciting rookies and other young players among guys who are playing for professional opportunities in the D-League or overseas. Yet these factors are not a problem for Summer League — rather, they're sort of its whole draw. After a drama-filled season, draft, and early free-agent period, it can be a relief to watch essentially meaningless basketball games featuring potential stars in a stress-free environment. We all need time to sit back and take things less seriously than usual.

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    That goes for NBA veterans in attendance, as well. When the Oklahoma City Thunder took on the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday in Orlando, shooting guard Dion Waiters joined new head coach Billy Donovan on the sidelines. Waiters saw that he was on camera and proceeded to make everything really weird:

    Or this:

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  • LeBron, Dwyane, CP3, and Melo engage in world's greatest wine toast

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 5 hrs ago

    Like us everyday working slobs, NBA players need vacations to recharge and prepare for the rigors of their jobs. The differences, of course, are that they make millions of dollars per year, can afford untold opulence, and pretty much have to take those trips during league-mandated offseason breaks.

    However, these world-class athletes still value the basics, like friendship. Take, for instance, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony. This quartet grew up together from their AAU days into professional stardom, and like any tight-knit group they sometimes like to vacation together, in this case in the Bahamas. It's just that, when they take photos of themselves, they're a little more notable than when Chad, Zander, and Kolton show off their nascent dadbods on a rented boat in the middle of a Midwestern lake.

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    Let's break it down, from left to right:

    ALERT! SPECIAL BONUS BANANA BOAT PHOTO!

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  • 13 remaining free agents who can help NBA teams

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The first few days of the NBA's 2015 free agency period have proceeded at a breakneck pace, with several teams already having emerged as the biggest winners and losers of the offseason. However, while the San Antonio Spurs' acquisitions of LaMarcus Aldridge and David West and the minor splashes made by the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks will surely continue to stand out months from now, there are several notable players left on the market to set contenders, playoff squads, and lottery participants up for 2015-16.

    Here are 13 of the most notable remaining free agents, all of whom could make impacts next season.

    LeBron and the LeBron-Adjacent

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    Stuck in Restricted Free Agent Purgatory

    A long-term commitment to Kanter could hinder OKC more than it helps. They have little to lose by waiting out this process and seeing if Kanter agrees to sign a less lucrative contract.

    Unattached Elders

    Useful Role Players

  • Marc Gasol re-ups with Memphis in the most predictable news of the summer

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The Memphis Grizzlies and Marc Gasol have formalized an agreement we all knew was coming. As reported by Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, the 30-year-old All-NBA First Team center and the Grizzlies have reached a five-year, $110-million contract that includes an early termination option between the fourth and fifth seasons. If Gasol does not exercise that option (or leave the franchise through other means), he will stick with the team through the 2019-20 season, at which point he will be 35 years old.

    Tabbed as one of the best available 2015 free agents for several years, Gasol opted not to consider long-reported interest from teams including San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks and took no meetings with prospective suitors. Similarly, there was little doubt that the Grizzlies would offer him anything but a five-year max-level deal. As Woj noted in his report, Gasol attended high school in Memphis while his older brother Pau played for the Grizzlies and considers the city his home. The only question was when this deal would be reported or announced.

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  • LaMarcus Aldridge solidifies Spurs' contender status, eases transition to future

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 3 days ago

    Congratulations to the San Antonio Spurs, now quite clearly the biggest winners of the 2015 NBA free agency period. As reported by Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, four-time All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge will join the five-time champions on a four-year, $80-million contract with a player option for the final season. While the Portland Trail Blazers were expected to lose Aldridge, the Spurs beat out a host of suitors, including the de facto runner-up Phoenix Suns.

    Aldridge confirmed the news in a tweet Saturday:

    I'm happy to say I'm going home to Texas and will be a Spur!! I'm excited to join the team and be close to my family and friends.

    Put more bluntly, Aldridge was considered the top player on the free-agent market for good reason. He has consistently been one of the best scorers in the NBA, rebounds well, and plays a style that would have allowed any new team to depend on him without totally overhauling its system.

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  • Rajon Rondo gets a shot to rebuild his reputation with the ever-confusing Kings

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    Rajon Rondo's 2015 free agency was always less about finding a long-term home than it was figuring out which NBA team allowed him the best chance to avoid taking a serious paycut while simultaneously finding a chance to rebuild his waning reputation. For the eternally enigmatic 29-year-old point guard, that pursuit almost assured that he was going to end up with the Sacramento Kings. As reported by Yahoo's Marc Spears, Rondo will join the Kings on a one-year, $10-million deal that frees him up to pursue new opportunities when the cap rises in 2016.

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    Kings fans, here is Rondo's shot chart from last season. Enjoy. pic.twitter.com/hrhzNjoXAh

    It's a predictable move for a franchise that seems addicted to instant gratification. Perhaps the Kings will eventually learn that constructing a quality team requires more than chasing after one.

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  • Where do the Clippers go without DeAndre Jordan?

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    The Los Angeles Clippers learned Friday that the line between contention and also-ran status can be all too thin. With dynamic center DeAndre Jordan on his way to the Dallas Mavericks on a four-year, max-level contract below the Clippers' own offer, the West's No. 3 seed, a team that looked like a potential title favorite for a few weeks in April and May, now has serious questions about its ability to defend anyone, let alone compete with the likes of the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and Cleveland Cavaliers. No team with stars like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will ever be seriously lacking, but the loss of Jordan puts the Clippers threatens to cap the Clippers' expectations for next season and beyond. Worse yet, it's not clear where they can turn for replacements and reinforcements.

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  • Free-agent roundup: Day 2 brings Wade resolution and Aldridge adjustments

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    In case you missed these reports ...

    • The biggest news of the day found Miami Heat icon Dwyane Wade, a surprise free agent after opting out of his contract Monday, coming back to the club at one year for $20 million. That's a hefty price for a 33-year-old guard without much three-point prowess, but Wade has sacrificed max-level money several times in the past for the good of the franchise. This deal also allows the Heat to avoid the public relations nightmare of offering the best player in franchise history (adjusted for seasons played, at least) a relatively low salary while still keeping them in play to add free agent Kevin Durant next summer.

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    Several more Wednesday's deals are worthy of attention.

    Suns clear cap space, break up Morris twins

    Elsewhere

  • Report: Wes Matthews to join Dallas Mavericks on four-year deal

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 4 days ago

    One of the more intriguing situations of the 2015 free-agency season appears to be near a resolution. David Aldridge reported late Thursday night that injured unrestricted free agent shooting guard Wesley Matthews, most recently of the Portland Trail Blazers, has agreed in principle to a four-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. ESPN.com's Marc Stein added that the dollar amount will not be finalized until the Mavericks finish their attempts to sign power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and center DeAndre Jordan, the latter of whom appears to have narrowed his choice to the Mavs and Los Angeles Clippers.

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  • Free-agent roundup: Opening days don't get much more hectic

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    In case you missed these reports ...

    Well, then you missed one of the busiest days in the history of NBA offseasons. Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki said it best:

    Over/under of how many what the ... moments you had since free agency started! I say 10....

    After a relatively normal opening few hours in which several key free agents reached mostly expected agreements, the NBA exploded with a flurry of activity that started Wednesday morning and ended ... well, it probably hasn't yet, but we have to publish this article at some point. The deals came in rapid succession, so here's a brief rundown of the biggest ones to get you up to speed.

    Somehow, there were many more deals of note on Wednesday.

    The Kings flail yet again, hand Sixers more assets

    Pelicans keep Asik and Ajinca in the frontcourt

    Grizzlies land Brandan Wright, who could finally see real playing time

    Celtics hold onto, add yet more hustle-minded players

    OKC retains Singler for five years

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