VIDEO: NBA TV analysts discuss the kind of season Kobe Bryant is likely to have
NEWS OF THE MORNING
Warriors, Thompson yet to make a deal | Can Kobe be an All-Star? | Oladipo out a month | Outlaw out in New York?
No. 1: Warriors, Thompson yet to make a deal — All summer, the Golden State Warriors seemed to be in the mix for Minnesota’s on-the-block power forward Kevin Love, at times even appearing to be the front-runner. Of course, Love ended up going to Cleveland, at least in some part because the Warriors refused to give up shooting guard Klay Thompson, who they firmly believe is a big part of their future going forward. But now, with less than a week remaining in the time period where Golden State can agree to a contract extension to Thompson, Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports a disagreement over Thompson’s worth has led to some frustrations in Thompson’s camp…
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.
No. 2: Can Kobe be an All-Star? — At 36 years old, and after struggling with injuries the last two seasons, nobody is quite sure what type of production the Lakers can expect to receive this season from Kobe Bryant. Yes, he’s older and has been through a lot of injuries, but this is Kobe Bryant, a player who regularly overcomes odds and produces amazing results. According to Lakersnation , Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak appeared on television and professed confidence about what the Lakers should see out of Bryant this season…
On Friday, following the game between the Lakers and Sacramento Kings, GM Mitch Kupchak appeared on an episode of “Connected With…” on TWCSportsNet. Kupchak talked about all things Lakers along with touching on what he believes Kobe will accomplish this season:
“I think he can make the All-Star team… I think he’ll have the ability to score when he wants to score. I think he’ll be a great leader. His voice will be heard… He won’t be like he was fifteen years ago… that wirey, springy, try to dunk the ball every time… but you won’t notice it.”
Kupchak is confident Kobe will be an All-Star for the 17th time in his career and a great leader for this team filled with young players. Although the Lakers have suffered some ugly defeats in the preseason thus far, the team has bounced back recently with impressive performances against the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers.
No. 3: Oladipo out a month — Orlando’s Victor Oladipo finished last season as runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award, and he is expected to team this season with rookies Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton to lead Orlando’s rebuilding efforts. But after taking an accidental elbow to the face in practice, Oladipo had surgery late this week, and now, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, Oladipo will miss the first few weeks of the season …
Oladipo, the 2014 runner-up for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award, sustained an elbow to his head in practice on Thursday. He had the surgical procedure on Saturday.
For the Magic, Oladipo’s loss is a significant blow and adds to the burden on promising rookie Elfrid Payton Jr., who will take on a more significant role in Oladipo’s absence. The Magic have confidence that Oladipo – who averaged 13.8 points, four assists and four rebounds a season ago – and Payton will form the franchise’s backcourt for years to come.
No. 4: , Outlaw out in New York? — Just a few months ago, the Knicks struck a deal with the Sacramento Kings to bring in Quincy Acy and Travis Outlaw. But after training camp and the exhibition season, according to a report from ESPN.com the Knicks are apparently considering waiving Outlaw and his $3 million in guaranteed money so they can keep Travis Wear, a former UCLA player with a non-guaranteed deal…
Outlaw is owed $3 million this season. If the Knicks released him, they would still owe him his full salary. They also could dump him on another team via a trade.
Getting rid of Outlaw via release would open up a roster spot for another player. There is a possibility that spot would be filled by Travis Wear.
Wear, whom the Knicks signed to a non-guaranteed deal, impressed the team in training camp and the preseason.
It was widely expected Wear would end up in Westchester, too. If the Knicks get rid of Outlaw — eating $3 million in the process if he’s released — to keep Wear, it’s a sign the organization is committed under Phil Jackson to developing young talent, regardless of the financial cost.
SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Rudy Gay took an elbow to the face but did not break his jaw and should be available for the season opener … The champion Spurs have completed a “poor” preseason … Michael Carter-Williams has been cleared to return to practice six months after shoulder surgery … Dwyane Wade videobombs himself …