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Spurs Expected To Offer Designed Veteran Player Extension To Kawhi Leonard

Mar 21, 2018 2:55 PM

The San Antonio Spurs are still expected to offer Kawhi Leonard a max contract extension this offseason that will be worth more than $200 million.

Leonard qualifies for the designated veteran player contract extension.

Leonard's future with the Spurs is uncertain amid reports of a discord with how his quad injury has been handled.

Michael C. Wright/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Chris Paul Not Expected To Miss Time With Sore Hamstring

Mar 21, 2018 3:40 PM

Chris Paul played with soreness in his hamstring during the Rockets' win at Portland on Tuesday.

Paul doesn't expect to miss any time.

“I’m cool,” Paul said. “I’m good. I’m good. I be fine.”

The Rockets are attempting to wrap up homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.

“He’s fine,” Mike D’Antoni said. “He just felt it a little bit. Anytime I tried to take him out, he gave me the death stare. He said he’s fine. If not, we’ll let him sit for a couple games, a couple days, but he said he is fine.”

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Tags: Chris Paul, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Injury

LeBron James: Play-In Tournament For NBA Playoffs Corny

Mar 21, 2018 3:13 PM

LeBron James is opposed to the idea of the NBA adopting a play-in tournament for the playoffs.

James has also previously said he's opposed to removing conference distinctions from the playoffs.

"No, no, no," James said Wednesday. "That's wack. That's wack. Why? You got to earn your spot to be in the postseason. No consolation for finishing last. That's corny. That's corny. That's wack. To play for what? What are they playing for?"

ESPN's Zach Lowe reported last month that there is "some behind-the-scenes momentum for the idea of a play-in tournament determining the last two seeds in each conference -- to the point that two specific proposals are circulating at the highest levels within teams and the league office."

Lowe reported the play-in proposal that has generated the most discussion.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: NBA, NBA Playoffs

Hawks Sign Jaylen Morris To Multi-Year Contract

Mar 21, 2018 6:48 PM

The Atlanta Hawks have signed rookie guard Jaylen Morris to a multi-year contract.

Morris was previously signed to consecutive 10-day contracts on February 28 and March 11.

Morris is averaging 4.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 16.4 minutes in six games with Atlanta after posting 12.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 31.4 minutes in 39 appearances (all starts) earlier this season with Erie, the Hawks’ NBA G League affiliate.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Jaylen Morris, Atlanta Hawks, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Jeff Hornacek: Knicks Need More Size On Wings

Mar 21, 2018 3:48 PM

Jeff Hornacek believes the Knicks need more size on the wings.

The Knicks traded away Carmelo Anthony in September and have relied on traditional shooting guards like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to play bigger.

“If you look around at the top teams in the league, they have multiple guys in the 6-7, 6-8 range with length,” Hornacek said. “We have a lot of guys in the 6-5ish range. [We] just got to get bigger at some of those spots. … You talk about that 6-7, 6-8 guy, everybody in the league wants that guy. You don’t see those guys all over the place.’’

Hardaway said he's monitoring how the Knicks address the issue in the offseason.

“I haven’t played the 3 ever — the first time playing it for the whole year,” Hardaway said. “You go against strong guys — LeBron [James], KD [Kevin Durant], those are very hard matchups for a guy who is 6-6. It was a learning experience. You have to learn to choose your battles and use your size to your advantage. I got to watch the offseason to see how everything plays out for us.’’

“You can do it that way, but sometimes it’s tough on a young guy like Tim, who’s probably a natural 2 to have to play the 3 all year,’’ Hornacek said. “He took that challenge and did pretty well. Those two guys were able to do it, but it’s not like [GM] Scott [Perry] said [after the Anthony trade], this is our roster, let’s win a championship. It was the understanding, ‘Let’s play who we have with the talent and as years go on, you fill in different spots and go that route.”

The Knicks have experimented with using Frank Ntilikina at shooting guard.

“It creates a bigger jam,’’ Hornacek said. “With Frank able to move to the 2, it creates some problems there but it allows us to play two [point guards] together sometimes.’’

Marc Berman/New York Post

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

Manu Ginobili Not Expecting Kawhi Leonard To Return This Season

Mar 21, 2018 2:50 PM

The San Antonio Spurs have reverted back to the assumption Kawhi Leonard won't return this season.

Leonard was at the Spurs' annual team picture but didn't participate in shootaround a few minutes later.

"He is not coming back," Manu Ginobili said. "For me, he's not coming back because it's not helping [to think Leonard is returning]. We fell for it a week ago again. I guess you guys made us fall for it. But we have to think that he's not coming back; that we are who we are, and that we got to fight without him. That shouldn't be changing, at least until he is ready for the jungle."

Leonard's target date for return has been "mid-March."

Popovich said, "no, why would we do that?" when asked Monday whether there was a timetable in mind for making a decision to shelve Leonard for the rest of the season.

"He's got to be cleared by his medical staff that he's seeing," Popovich said on Mar. 14. "And until he gets cleared, we can't make a decision on when he's coming back. So once he gets cleared, then he and I can sit down and talk and see what we think about an appropriate time to come back. But that clearance has to be obtained first."

Michael C. Wright/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA Injury

Dunc'd On: HOU/POR, How Do You Stop the Rockets? MEM Buy/Sell, LAC/MIN

Mar 21, 2018 8:49 AM

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We discuss another dominant performance from James Harden in Houston's win over Portland and speculate on what strategies might slow the Rockets down. Then we look at news, including the valuation for the buy/sell provision in Memphis, Ty Lue's absence, Kyrie Irving's tendinitis, and more. Finally, we look at the Wolves' solid victory over the fading Clippers.

With host Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA).  And if you like this pod, please donate to support Nate and Danny at  Merchandise available at

Tags: NBA, Dunc'd On

Blake Griffin: Detroit's Ceiling Is Very High

Mar 20, 2018 10:28 PM

Nearly two months after being traded by the Los Angeles Clippers to the Detroit Pistons, Blake Griffin is feeling settled with his new team.

Despite their struggles this season, Griffin believes in the future of the Pistons.

“This summer we will have a chance to really jell, figure stuff out. I think the ceiling of this team is very, very high. We have a lot of different guys who can do a lot of different things who can affect the game in a lot of different ways. Getting Reggie back (Jackson) will be huge,” Griffin said.

Griffin believes his style fits with the history of Detroit basketball.

“I was born in ’89, I wasn’t really watching the true ‘Bad Boy’ era,” Griffin said. “But the [2000s Pistons] was right in my prime of falling in love with the game of basketball and watching everything. I definitely remember all of those teams. But the thing that I really like about Detroit is this city embraces the hardnose, gritty, hardworking teams and hardworking players.

“Not a lot of cities embrace that type of mentality. That is exciting to me.”

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Tags: Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Kyrie Irving To Have 2nd Opinion On Left Knee

Mar 20, 2018 5:50 PM

Kyrie Irving will seek a second opinion on his injured left knee.

Irving will eventually need to undergo a minor surgery on his knee, but the hope has been that it would wait until the offseason.

Irving has dealt with soreness in the left knee and hasn't played since March 11th.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Injury

Mohamed Bamba Declares For 2018 NBA Draft

Mar 20, 2018 3:44 PM

Mohamed Bamba has announced he will leave Texas for the 2018 NBA Draft.

Bamba is expected to be a top-5 in the draft.

Bamba averaged 12.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Bamba also set a Texas season record for blocks with 111 in 30 games.

Associated Press

Tags: Mohamed Bamba, Texas Longhorns, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General, NBA Draft Declarations

Mavericks Expected To Sign Aaron Harrison To 10-Day Contract
Aaron Harrison is averaging 18.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 26.9 minutes per game in the G League.

Marc Stein/New York Times

Bucks Have Jeff Van Gundy, Kevin McHale On List Of Head Coach Candidates
If the Bucks do move on from Joe Prunty, the belief is they want to make a big splash with their head coaching hire.

Marc Stein/New York Times

Bucks Sign Brandon Jennings To 2nd 10-Day Contract
Brandon Jennings is averaging 6.0 points and 5.5 assists for the Bucks.

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Pistons Interested In Chauncey Billups For Front Office Role
Chauncey Billups would join Arn Tellem in the discussed scenario.

Marc Stein/New York Times

Knicks Likely To Stretch Joakim Noah After Sept. 1st
The Knicks attempted to trade Joakim Noah at the deadline after his confrontation during a January practice with Jeff Hornacek.

Al Iannazzone/Newsday

Stephen Curry Targeting Friday Return From Ankle Injury
Stephen Curry has suffered four ankle injuries this season.

Chris Haynes, Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Trae Young Declares For 2018 NBA Draft
Trae Young is projected to be selected in the top-10.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Dunc'd On: 2020 Crystal Ball: Predicting Best/Worst Teams, All-NBA, MVP & More
Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux make NBA predictions for 2020.

RealGM Staff Report

Gregg Popovich: It's Been A Frustrating Season
The Spurs have used 24 starting lineups this season as they have accrued 185 total games missed due to injury.

Michael C. Wright/ESPN

Frank Jackson Out For Season After Foot Procedure
Frank Jackson underwent successful scar tissue removal, debridement and injection to his right foot.

RealGM Staff Report

Jalen McDaniels Declares For NBA Draft
Jalen McDaniels averaged 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Kevin Love Returns From Broken Hand
Kevin Love missed the past 21 games.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

New Tax Law Could Disrupt Trades In Sports
The new law could mean owners pay more in capital gains taxes if they trade an asset for something more valuable.

Jim Tankersley/New York Times

LeBron James Spends Over $1M Per Year Caring For Body
The home facilities LeBron James has rival those of professional teams.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Joe Lacob: We'll Build Around Core Until We Decide Maybe We Shouldn't
Joe Lacob said he discusses contingency plans for endless best- and worst-case scenarios "every day" for the Warriors.

Mark Media/San Jose Mercury News

LeBron James, Russell Westbrook Named Players Of The Week
LeBron James led the Cavaliers to a 2-1 record after averaging a NBA-best 32.0 points on .569 shooting from the field, 13.3 rebounds, 9.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.3 blocks.

RealGM Staff Report

Penny Hardaway Hired As Head Coach At University Of Memphis
Penny Hardaway retired from his playing career in 2008.

Jeff Goodman/ESPN

Tyronn Lue Takes Medical Leave Of Absence
Larry Drew will serve as interim head coach while Tyronn Lue is out.

RealGM Staff Report

NBA PER: Russell Westbrook Moves Up To No. 8
Russell Westbrook has moved to No. 8 in the NBA in PER after a slow start to the season.

RealGM Staff Report

Nicolas Batum Out Several Games With Achilles Tendinitis
Nicolas Batum underwent an MRI on Sunday.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN