Ball Don't Lie

  • Huge DeRozan deal solidifies Raptors' return to relevance

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie2 hrs ago

    The Toronto Raptors had the franchise’s best-ever season in 2015-16, winning a record 56 games and reaching the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time. They began a critical 2016 free agency period by locking up a homegrown All-Star for the long term, though perhaps at the expense of their long-term flexibility.

    As reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical, shooting guard DeMar DeRozan quickly agreed to terms to remain with the Raptors for five years and approximately $139 million. That dollar amount has not yet been finalized due to other offseason factors for Toronto, but DeRozan will certainly be under contract at a very high salary through his age-31 season in 2020-21.

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  • Kyrie Irving plans to razz Warriors on Team USA about the Finals

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago

    One of the coolest things about USA Basketball is that it allows players who spend most of their careers as rivals to be teammates. Plus, unlike the All-Star Game, international basketball acts as a competitive atmosphere. Star players can take on new roles — just remember Kobe Bryant as a defensive specialist in 2008, or Carmelo Anthony’s discovery that he would have been the greatest EuroLeague player ever.

    At the same time, national team participants do not cast off their usual associations just because they wear the same uniform for about a month. For instance, Kyrie Irving is still the same person who beat new teammates Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Harrison Barnes in the NBA Finals two Sundays ago.

    Irving knows as much. In fact, he attends on reminding those Golden State Warriors that his Cleveland Cavaliers beat them whenever he gets the chance. From an interview with ESPN’s Mike and Mike on Tuesday morning (via SB Nation):

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