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Donatas Motiejunas At Odds With Rockets Over $6M In Lost Incentives

Dec 7, 2016 3:17 PM

Donatas Motiejunas won't report to the Houston Rockets because of a difference of nearly $6 million from the offer sheet he signed with the Brooklyn Nets.

Motiejunas signed a four-year, $37 million offer sheet with the Nets that the Rockets matched. The Rockets only had to match the principal terms of the offer sheet of $31 million. 

The $6 million difference was to be paid to Motiejunas via incentive clauses if he played for the Nets.

Houston's options are to keep their first-refusal exercise notice open and wait for Motiejunas to report. If he doesn't report, Houston can pull the offer Thursday and Motiejunas would become a restricted free agent. If they don't pull the offer, it would expire automatically March 1.

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Tags: Donatas Motiejunas, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Phil Jackson: Carmelo Can Play Jordan, Kobe Role In Triangle If He Doesn't Hog Ball

Dec 7, 2016 10:41 AM

Phil Jackson said Carmelo Anthony can play the "role that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played" in their teams' triangle offenses, but he believes that Anthony sometimes breaks a team rule by holding on to the ball for too long.

"Carmelo a lot of times wants to hold the ball longer than -- we have a rule: If you hold a pass two seconds, you benefit the defense. So he has a little bit of a tendency to hold it for three, four, five seconds, and then everybody comes to a stop," Jackson said in an interview with CBS Sports Network that aired Tuesday. "That is one of the things we work with. But he's adjusted to [the triangle], he knows what he can do and he's willing to see its success."

Jackson's comments were prompted by a question about whether Anthony can fit in the triangle offense. Jackson made it clear he believes Anthony can.

"He can play that role that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played," Jackson said. "It's a perfect spot for him to be in that isolated position on the weak side, because it's an overload offense and there's a weakside man that always has an advantage if the ball is swung."

Ian Begley/ESPN

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kawhi Leonard Still Figuring Out Nuances Of Being Go-To Scorer

Dec 7, 2016 11:10 AM

Kawhi Leonard has scored 30 or more points on six different occasions so far this season compared to just four 30-point games over the first five seasons of his career.

"By this point in his career, he's a confident player," Gregg Popovich said. "He knows he has a green light. We call his number now and then, but he does a lot of this stuff on his own, and he's getting pretty good at pick-and-roll. So he just advances his game every year a little bit in some different fashion, and tonight he did the same thing: pulled up, knocked down a couple 3s. He just has confidence that they're going to go. Special, special young man."

"We're gonna keep going to him, and he knows that, too," Danny Green said. "I guess at the beginning of the game, he kinds of finds a rhythm or kind of finds out what kind of night it's gonna be to adjust to what he needs to do, how the defense is playing. He's done a good job of that, pacing himself, not forcing it, kind of getting others involved at the same time, kind of keeping the defense off balance, keeping them honest; not just looking to score every time, but facilitating as well."

Despite the green light and big role within the San Antonio Spurs' offense, Leonard is still navigating the freedom.

"I'm still trying to get my teammates involved more," Leonard said. "Having a green light doesn't mean you just shoot every possession. You just get the defense drawn to you, two guys, and pass it to the open man. I'm just learning through the double-teams, through people forcing me a certain way and help being there. Just still a process for me."

Michael C. Wright/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Warriors, Clippers, Jazz In Top-10 In Both Offensive, Defensive Efficiency

Dec 7, 2016 1:27 PM

With nearly all 30 teams having played at least 20 games to start the 16-17 NBA regular season, we're roughly at the quarter mark.

The Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz are the only three teams in the NBA to rank in the top-10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

At the 1/8 mark, the Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls ranked in the top-10 in both categories.

Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Warriors, Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Clippers and Spurs finished in the top-10 on both sides of the floor. 

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Tags: NBA

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Kevin Durant: I Value My Shots A Little More Now

Dec 7, 2016 12:01 PM

Kevin Durant is averaging 27.0 points on just 16.9 shots per game while also averaging career bests in rebounds (8.4), steals (1.48) and blocks (1.76).

"He's even better than he was billed to us," said Warriors assistant coach Bruce Fraser, Durant's frequent workout partner. "He can go out and get 50 easy. He's that good. And in our environment, no one would get upset.

"You can see our guys trying to get KD the ball more at times. But he's chosen to blend in, learn and try to do it the right way."

Said Steve Kerr: "I knew he was good. He's kicked our ass for years. I just felt our style of play would suit him. He was brilliant in OKC, but the way they play, there's a lot more isos. It was sort of take turns: Russell (Westbrook) would go, then KD would go. I think KD understands he's going to have the ball in his hands less [with Golden State], but he'll be in more advantageous positions to score. I think he's really embracing the style. I think he likes making plays for other guys, and vice versa. It's a fun way to play."

Said Kerr: "He's playing more 4 here than he played in OKC, so we're asking him to anchor the paint at times. It doesn't come naturally to him. He's really more of a guard than he is a big. But he's adapting, and he's getting better. When he's locked in, he's an all-league defender. But it's an awful lot to ask a guy to score 27, 28 a game and be locked in for 48 minutes."

"I look at it like, if I shoot 15-16 shots a night, 13 of 'em gotta be solid, and the rest can be some pull-up 3s or fadeaways that I kind of work on that I wouldn't mind if I make or miss those," Durant said. "I look at those other shots like heat checks -- just trying stuff.

"But I know what our offense is. So when I get those shots that I get, I know that I gotta be patient with 'em. And I know I also gotta be ... they're precious. I think, my shots now, I value them a little more than I did before 'cause I might not shoot 30 shots whenever I want. And that's not a bad thing. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. That's just how we play here ... especially when you got two other guys on the perimeter that can go off and score 30 any night as well.

"It's a different situation. When I won MVP in 2014, I was playing differently. I had the ball in my hands a lot more. I was playing the point forward role, more like how LeBron [James] plays in Cleveland. And it was fun, but it was a lot. I had to do a lot out there on the floor. And I got rewarded for that by winning MVP, but it taught me a lot about the game. That was a huge year for me.

"I felt like I made Thabo Sefolosha better. I made Kendrick Perkins better. I made Serge Ibaka better. And it wasn't because I was just scoring. I think my leadership ... we were down. Russell was out most of the year, so I had to step into a different role. I felt like that was one of the better years for me all around. This year, I just feel like I'm trying to fit in but also still be myself. I know that I can't just run and go grab the ball and clear everybody out. Coach wants me to sometimes, but it's not going to be like that most of the time."

Marc Stein/ESPN

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Dunc'd On: DMo Refuses to Report, ORL/WAS, CHI/DET, NYK/MIA, PHX/UTA, PHI/MEM

Dec 7, 2016 3:14 AM

News, including the Donatas Motiejunas refusal to report after having his restricted free agent offer sheet matched, and where he and the Rockets go from here. We hit on some other injury and CBA news, and then discuss John Wall's 52 points in a loss to Orlando, Detroit handling Chicago, New York pulling away from a depleted Miami Heat

With host Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) and Danny Leroux (@DannyLeroux).

Click to subscribe via RSS feed or iTunes.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, Dunc'd On

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RealGM Radio: Royce Young On The Thunder

Dec 7, 2016 4:24 PM

Host Danny Leroux (@DannyLeroux) and Royce Young of ESPN (@royceyoung) go in-depth on the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The two break down Russell Westbrook’s incredible start to the NBA season, their defensive success (5:43), Cameron Payne’s status (9:47), how they can get better (28:44), Billy Donovan as a tinkerer (32:51), Domantas Sabonis’ rookie season (37:34) and much more.

Sponsored by Shari’s Berries (http://www.berries.com/), Blue Apron (http://blueapron.com/RealGM) and Audible (http://www.audible.com/trynow)

Subscribe to RealGM Radio on iTunes or via the RSS feed

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Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, RealGM Radio

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Chris Bosh More Likely To Wait Until 17-18 For NBA Return

Dec 6, 2016 7:53 PM

Chris Bosh has the mindset of being more likely to attempt a comeback before the 17-18 season than return at some point this season, according to a source within the league connected to Bosh.

Bosh failed his physical with the Miami Heat in September and Pat Riley subsequently said his career with the franchise is likely over.

The Heat will attempt to remove Bosh from their salary cap though that will require him to be medically forced into retirement. An independent doctor will rule on Bosh's medical condition.

Bosh has two additional seasons remaining on his contract with the Heat that he signed in 2014 as a free agent.

Barry Jackson/Miami Herald

Tags: Chris Bosh, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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J.R. Smith's MRI On Left Knee Shows No Damage

Dec 6, 2016 5:29 PM

J.R. Smith underwent an MRI on his left knee that showed no structural damage.

Smith is expected to be day-to-day.

Smith injured his knee in Monday's win by the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Toronto Raptors.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Tags: J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Injury

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Andrew Bogut Out Two Weeks With Bone Bruise In Knee

Dec 6, 2016 4:50 PM

Andrew Bogut has been diagnosed with a minor bone bruise in his right knee and will miss approximately two weeks.

Bogut's future with the Mavericks is uncertain as they attempt to work their way back into the playoff picture.

Bogut was acquired in the offseason via trade and is on an expiring contract.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Tags: Andrew Bogut, Dallas Mavericks, NBA, NBA Injury

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Kevin Garnett Pitched TV Show On Attending College, Living In Dorm
Kevin Garnett was the first high school to NBA star of the current era.

Chris Mannix/The Vertical

Tony Parker Could Miss Extended Time With Knee Injury
Tony Parker is averaging 9.7 points and 4.3 assists in his 16th season.

ESPN

Jason Kidd: Giannis Could Become Combination Of LeBron, Dirk
Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing a mix of point guard, both forward spots and even center on defense in some lineups.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Elton Brand Hired By 76ers As Player Development Consultant
Elton Brand will be heavily involved in assisting the players in every facet of their on- and off-court development, in addition to other responsibilities within the basketball operations department.

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LeBron James Not Interested In Meeting With Phil Jackson About Comments
LeBron James says he has no interest in discussing Phil Jackson's "posse" comments while he's in town this week to play the Knicks.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Donatas Motiejunas Won't Report To Rockets
The Rockets can leave the current deal open or return Donatas Motiejunas to restricted free agency.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Otto Porter Expected To Receive Max Contract Offers In Free Agency
Otto Porter has begun living up to his billing as the third overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft this season, averaging 14.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.0 steals in 34.7 minutes per game.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Spurs, Warriors Tried To Trade Up In 2011 For Jonas Valanciunas
The Warriors and Spurs walked away from the 2011 NBA Draft with Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Klay Thompson Scores 60 Points In 29 Minutes On 11 Dribbles
Klay Thompson touched the ball 46 times and dribbled just 11 times on his 21 field goals.

Tom Haberstroh/ESPN

Rockets Match Donatas Motiejunas' Four-Year, $37M Offer Sheet
The Rockets have matched the offer sheet Donatas Motiejunas signed with the Nets.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Adam Silver Named SBJ's Most Influential Person In Sports Business
Adam Silver ranks first on Sports Business Journal's 50 Most Influential people in sports business list for the second time in three years.

Sports Business Journal

NBA PER: LeBron James Drops To 19th
LeBron James has finished no worse than sixth in PER in every season since 04-05 and finished first or second in eight separate seasons.

RealGM Staff Report

Mavs May Trade Andrew Bogut Closer To Deadline If Out Of Playoff Hunt
Andrew Bogut could fetch a first round pick from a contender.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Jose Calderon Out 2-4 Weeks With Strained Right Hamstring
Jose Calderon is averaging 4.7 points, 2.6 assists, and 2.2 rebounds in 13.9 minutes per game while shooting 41.7% from three-point range.

RealGM Staff Report

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Russell Westbrook Named NBA Players Of The Week
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Russell Westbrook have been named the NBA's Players of the Week.

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Dave Joerger: DeMarcus Cousins 'Has Grown In How He Handles His Business'
The player-coach partnership DeMarcus Cousins has forged with Dave Joerger could be the best of his career.

Paul Flannery/SBNation

Grizzlies Sign Toney Douglas
Toney Douglas was with the Cavaliers during the preseason.

RealGM Staff Report

Rockets Were Al Horford's Second Choice In Free Agency
Al Horford met with four teams at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta during free agency.

Adam Himmelsbach/Boston Globe

NBA Efficiency Differential: Raptors Jump From 8th To 3rd
The Raptors jumped from eighth at +3.6 to third at +9.1 since last week.

RealGM Staff Report

Rajon Rondo Suspended One Game By Bulls For Conduct Detrimental To Team
Rajon Rondo will miss Monday's game against the Blazers.

RealGM Staff Report