Marc J. Spears
- Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports13 hrs ago
Klay Thompson reached agreement on a four-year, $70 million contract extension with the Golden State Warriors, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Thompson and the Warriors came to an agreement about seven hours before the contract extension deadline at midnight ET. The fourth-year Warriors guard would have been a restricted free agent next summer if a deal wasn't reached. Thompson's new contract includes no opt-out on either side and begins the 2015-16 season.
The four-year, $70 million contract extension Thompson landed is in the range of what is projected to be a maximum contract that he firmly wanted. Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob had been steadfast about not offering a maximum contract prior to Friday. Thompson and his camp were privately frustrated about not getting a maximum contract being prior to Friday and were prepared to go into free agency next summer, source said.
The Sacramento Kings made an unsuccessful push in hopes of trying to acquire Thompson, sources told Yahoo Sports.Sat, Nov 17:30 PM PDTLA Lakers at Golden StatePreview Game
- Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
LOS ANGELES – Three big, sharp elbows whizzed by Kobe Bryant’s head before the fourth one from Dwight Howard connected on his chin. With pound-for-pound boxing champion Floyd Mayweather sitting courtside, an angry Bryant began barking at his ex-Los Angeles Lakers teammate while both were being held back.
“I know you!”
Bryant’s words were the most fight the lackluster and already injury-riddled Lakers displayed in a 108-90 season-opening loss Tuesday night to the Houston Rockets.
Howard took the high road after the incident and now appears to have made the right decision in getting away from these Lakers.
“What do you want me to say?” Howard said about his altercation with Bryant. “I’m not going to give you nothing. That’s stupid. We won the game. That’s over with.”
The NBA, of course, had to schedule the Rockets as the opening opponent in Bryant’s first game back since suffering a season-ending knee injury in December. Howard represents a cold reminder of a crushed Lakers dream from which they might not recover for years.
Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber expressed regret to team employees late Monday for listing "hoodish" as a language he planned to learn in reply to an email commending the franchise for having five international players on this season's roster. Guber said he meant to type "Yiddish," and did not realize his mistake until it was pointed out to him by a Warriors official.
Guber's email, which was sent from his phone and obtained by Yahoo Sports, came after the NBA announced in a news release earlier Monday that the league's 30 teams will have a record 101 international players from 37 countries and territories on opening-night rosters for the upcoming season. Warriors director of media relations Raymond Ridder forwarded the league's release in an email sent through the franchise, saying, "The following is a great example of the growth of our league. There are 101 international players on NBA opening night rosters, which represents 22% of the league. We have five  international players on our roster (33%), which includes Andrew Bogut, Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezeli, Ognjen Kuzmic and Nemanja Nedovic. We've come a long way…"
LOS ANGELES – On the eve of his first official game in more than 10 months, Kobe Bryant said the NBA shouldn't expect a diminished, lesser version of himself.
"I know what I do out there in practice every day. You guys don't see it," Bryant said after Monday's practice. "My teammates know, but you guys don't see it. You haven't seen what you'll hopefully see in the regular season."
Bryant was limited to just six games last season while he recovered from Achilles tendon surgery and a fractured left kneecap. When the Lakers open the 2014-15 season on Tuesday against the Houston Rockets, he will be playing in his first regular-season game since Dec. 17.
Bryant showed some of his old scoring ability in the final three preseason games when he averaged 26.6 points. New Lakers coach Byron Scott thinks Bryant will average between 30-40 minutes per game. Scott also isn't worried about playing him in back-to-backs.
1. San Antonio Spurs (Last season’s record: 62-20): The reigning champs went just 2-5 in the preseason, but don’t appear worried. They open Tuesday with a tough test against Dallas.
2. Golden State Warriors (Last season’s record: 51-31): The Warriors have the best backcourt, deepest bench and Andrew Bogut back. It’s up to new coach Steve Kerr to make it work.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (Last season’s record: 33-49): LeBron James’ second tenure with Cleveland begins Thursday against New York. It could take time for James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving to jell.
4. Los Angeles Clippers (Last season’s record: 57-25) The Clippers will play their first regular-season game in the post-Donald Sterling era on Thursday vs. the Thunder.
5. Chicago Bulls (Last season’s record: 48-34): If Derrick Rose can play like his old self, Chicago will be an NBA power again.
6. Memphis Grizzlies (Last season’s record: 50-32): Keep an eye on center Marc Gasol, who is much leaner this season. The Spaniard lost 23 games to a knee injury last season.
7. Houston Rockets (Last season’s record: 54-28): Dwight Howard returns to Los Angeles to play the Lakers in the season opener Tuesday.
- Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
A CT scan revealed that Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay did not suffer a fractured jaw after taking a hard blow during a preseason game, a source told Yahoo Sports.
Gay was also given a precautionary concussion test that was negative.
Gay took an elbow to the face from Los Angeles Lakers rookie Julius Randle during Friday's preseason game in Las Vegas. Gay didn't return to that exhibition game. The CT scan was taken in Sacramento.
It's uncertain if Gay will be available for the Kings' regular-season opener against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
Gay also took a hard hit to the jaw while playing for USA's Basketball's gold-medal winning team at the 2014 World Championships.
More NBA coverage:
- Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
Klay Thompson's camp is frustrated that the Golden State Warriors haven't offered a maximum contract in their ongoing extension talks with Friday's deadline nearing, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Thompson is seeking a maximum deal paying upward of $15 million per season, a source said. The Warriors have improved their offer to get in the vicinity but have not offered a full maximum contract, sources said.
If Thompson and the Warriors do not come to terms on an extension by the Halloween deadline, he will be a restricted free agent next summer.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob has yet to become comfortable offering a maximum extension, sources said. A source close to Thompson said any offer shy of a max would be "absurd" considering his improvement and the influx of money to come to NBA teams from the next television contract.
Thompson averaged 18.4 points, 2.8 3-pointers, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game last season and also has a reputation as a strong defender. He helped his stock with a strong performance for the gold-medal winning USA Basketball team during the 2014 World Cup in Spain. Thompson is slated to make $3 million this season.
- Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports10 days ago
The Orlando Magic have agreed to terms on a four-year, $54 million contract extension with center Nikola Vucevic, a league source told Yahoo Sports.
Vucevic averaged 13.6 points and 11.5 rebounds during his first two seasons with the Magic after being acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers to replace Dwight Howard.
The Magic had until the end of Halloween to reach an extension to avoid Vucevic becoming a restricted free agent next summer where he would have been one of the top big men on the market.
Vucevic, who turns 24 on Friday, will make $2.9 million in the final year of his contract this season before making an average of $13.3 million per season in his new deal.
More NBA coverage:Sat, Nov 14:00 PM PDTToronto at OrlandoPreview Game
- Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports12 days ago
CLEVELAND – Prior to the Cleveland Cavaliers' first practice of the preseason, LeBron James surprised his teammates by telling them to join him in a meeting room. New coach David Blatt was anxious to get practice started, but gave James his blessing to have the players-only meeting before a ball was bounced. For about the next 30 minutes, James told every player from fellow All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to the guys just hoping to make the team what was expected during the upcoming season.
"I was looking like, 'Wow.' That's crazy that he broke down every individual thing he wants guys to do," Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters told Yahoo Sports. "He wrote down every player from the guy in training camp who may be here or may not be here. …It was unbelievable. It was great."
Said Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao: "He used to talk individually to the players before, but not like that."Fri, Oct 31Cleveland114 - 108ChicagoGame Recap
- Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports15 days ago
The Dallas Mavericks have been shopping point guard Gal Mekel and center Bernard James in trade talks, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Mavericks would prefer to keep one or two of their 15 roster spots open entering this upcoming season, the sources said. No trade for either player is currently imminent, a source said.
Dallas currently has 20 players on its preseason roster.
Mekel averaged 2.4 points and 2.0 assists in 31 games as a rookie with Dallas last season. James has averaged 2.1 points and 2.3 rebounds during the past two seasons with the Mavericks.
More NBA coverage:Sat, Nov 14:00 PM PDTDallas at New OrleansPreview Game