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Friday, June 23, 2017

Stories by Grey Papke:

Deputy commissioner Mark Tatum cracks up as fans start yelling picks (Video)

Things tend to get a bit silly late in the second round of the NBA Draft, and the 2017 edition was no exception.

As is customary, numerous reporters, generally led early on by The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, tweeted out upcoming selections well ahead of when they were announced on stage. That continued in the second round, with Wojnarowski’s colleague, Shams Charania, spoiling numerous picks before deputy commissioner Mark Tatum was able to announce them.

As the arena began to thin out, a few fans at Barclays Center pulled out their phones and checked Twitter — and decided they, too, could beat Tatum to the punch.

Tatum openly cracked up upon hearing one fan scream out No. 52 pick Edmond Sumner’s name — a selection that had been shared on social media by Charania.

The group doing it seemed to be having the time of their lives.

Twitter users have gotten used to picks in both the NBA and NFL Drafts being spoiled before their official announcement, though the NFL has taken steps in the past to raise the suspense for TV viewers. This is probably the first time it’s happened to those in the arena, though.

Thunder fans dig up Terrance Ferguson’s pro-Warriors tweets

The Oklahoma City Thunder used their first-round pick on a pro-Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors fan.

The Thunder made Terrance Ferguson, a 19-year-old swingman who opted to pass on college and play professionally in Australia for a year, the No. 21 overall pick. It seemed like a solid choice for Oklahoma City — a young, quick wing player with a quality shot.

That is until, in what is becoming a draft night tradition, some of Ferguson’s old tweets surfaced.


Report: Rajon Rondo buyout ‘a possibility’ for Bulls, Dwyane Wade will opt in

Rajon Rondo

The Chicago Bulls may be about to blow it all up.

Sam Amick of USA Today reported that, in light of the Jimmy Butler trade, the Bulls have not yet approached Rajon Rondo about a buyout, but it is “a possibility.”

In addition, despite earlier reports, Dwyane Wade will opt into the second year of his deal and take his $24 million.

The Bulls will have some decisions to make. Rondo has a team option with a $3 million buyout, while Wade has no interest in being part of a rebuilding effort at this stage of his career. The Bulls are clearly trending that direction, though, so there will be a lot of talk about buyouts and trades in the days and weeks to come.

Jimmy Butler’s trainer rips Bulls on Twitter after trade

Jimmy Butler Chicago Bulls

It remains unclear what Jimmy Butler thinks about being traded by the Chicago Bulls, but one member of his inner circle doesn’t seem sorry to see him go.

Travelle Gaines, Butler’s personal trainer, sent a scathing tweet shortly after Butler’s trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves was made official, and he pulled no punches against Chicago general manager Gar Forman.

Notably, Gaines sent the tweet from Paris, where Butler is currently staying.

Obviously, there’s no way of knowing whether Gaines’s views are at all representative of Butler’s. The guard himself, it is said, wanted to stay in Chicago. Whatever the case, there is clearly some ill will in Butler’s camp toward Forman, team vice president John Paxson, and the organization as a whole.

Report: Dwyane Wade has yet to officially opt into Bulls deal, may leave

Dwyane Wade Bulls

The Chicago Bulls look to be on the verge of a full rebuilding effort, and it may signal the end of Dwyane Wade’s short time there.

HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy reported that Wade’s decision to opt into the second year of his Bulls contract is purely verbal at this point, and he may change his mind in light of the team’s decision to trade Jimmy Butler.

Wade had been planning to opt in, but that was before the Bulls traded Butler to Minnesota on draft night. He’d be leaving $24 million on the table, but you have to figure that the guard doesn’t want to sit through a rebuilding year at the age of 35.

Lonzo Ball: Lakers can make playoffs next season

In many ways, Lonzo Ball and his father LaVar are very different. LaVar is outspoken and likes to rock the boat, where the No. 2 overall pick is more reserved and lets his play do the talking.

One area where they have something in common, though, is confidence — and Lonzo, like his father, thinks the Lakers are capable of making the playoffs in 2018.

Lonzo is a bit less bullish than his father, so he’ll be forgiven for a quote like this. Might as well aim high, although Luke Walton is already hard at work managing those expectations.

Markelle Fultz hilariously botches his Instagram ad

No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz fell into the trap of the poorly-edited Instagram ad on Thursday night.

Hours after landing with the Philadelphia 76ers, Fultz, who has a partnership with Tissot, posted an ad about his new city and customized watch.

Just one problem: he forgot to personalize the script.

The post was swiftly deleted and a corrected version followed shortly thereafter.

Fultz gets a pass for this one. He’s had a busy and eventful evening, and has shown in the past that his Instagram does feature plenty of original material.

Report: Celtics trade talks about Paul George have stalled

Paul George

Any progress made by the Boston Celtics toward a Paul George trade appears to have halted, according to reports.

The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that talks between the Celtics and Indiana Pacers, which had been making progress, have stalled.

Wojnarowski had reported earlier in the evening that talks between the two teams were gaining momentum. For whatever reason, those talks have stalled — perhaps for the same reason the Celtics were ultimately unable to consummate a Jimmy Butler deal. It doesn’t sound like anything is close in general on the George front.

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