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Monday, October 15, 2018

Basketball

Warriors players baffled by Patrick McCaw’s contract decision

Warriors logo

The way Patrick McCaw has handled his contract situation has left many of his Golden State Warriors teammates baffled.

McCaw, who is entering his third season in the league, turned down a qualifying offer from the Warriors. He also has declined a two-year contract offer worth a reported $5.2 million. The second year of the deal was not guaranteed, but the first year would have given McCaw $2.5 million.

“You can’t do this after two years,” one Warriors player told The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson. “You’ve got to get the clout first. He doesn’t have the leverage.”

Another Warriors player told Thompson he supports McCaw but does not understand what the guard is doing. Warriors players reportedly are frustrated because McCaw is shutting them out and not communicating with them while holding out.

McCaw is a restricted free agent and the Warriors still hold his rights. They can match any offer he receives in free agency, but he has not signed an offer sheet with another team to force the Warriors to make a decision. The market so far has not told him he’s worth any more money than the Warriors have offered him, possibly because of concerns over his back.

Golden State has kept a roster spot open for McCaw and hope to get him back at some point. Perhaps McCaw’s patience will pay off, but for now, his strategy does not seem to be making much sense.

Kevin Durant trash talks Steph Curry after Redskins beat Panthers

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant did a little trash talking towards teammate Steph Curry after the Washington Redskins beat the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Durant, who is from the DC area, is a Redskins fan. Curry, who is from Charlotte, is a Panthers fan and even had interest in buying the team. Washington pulled out a 23-17 win over Carolina to make both teams 3-2 on the season.

Durant went on his Instagram story to gloat in a profane message. He showed himself tossing aside a Panthers-colored shoe. He then asked Curry how the rear-end whooping tasted. Curry could only smile.

Durant has long trash talked over his Redskins, so this sort of thing is nothing new. He even has expressed interest in trying to own the team one day.

Report: Jimmy Butler expected to play in Timberwolves’ season opener

Jimmy Butler

After a tumultuous offseason and an even more tumultuous week, Jimmy Butler is set to start the season right where he left it last year.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Butler is expected to play in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ season opener on Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs, as trade talks with the Miami Heat have fallen apart and not been resuscitated.

This promises to be a very awkward affair. Butler went off at a team practice last week and has made no secret of the fact that he wants to be traded, but the Timberwolves just haven’t found a deal for him that they’re satisfied with. That means he won’t get his wish ahead of the season, but he doesn’t appear likely to sit out.

Sixers issue statements about inappropriate posts by Mike Muscala’s father

The Philadelphia 76ers issued a statement on Saturday addressing inappropriate social media posts made by the father of reserve center Mike Muscala.

The statements made by Bob Muscala were repudiated by both Sixers GM Elton Brand and Mike Muscala himself, who said they were not a reflection on the center.

It was unclear what, exactly, the elder Muscala posted or whether it was deleted before the Sixers released their statement. Some on social media speculated that there was racist content involved, but it seems odd for the organization to draw attention to a matter that nobody seemed to notice to begin with.

That said, the Sixers have spent an entire offseason dealing with Twitter drama. It perhaps makes sense that they, more than any other organization, would be particularly eager to get out in front of offensive social media posts made by anyone even nominally associated with a member of the organization.

Knicks to waive Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah and the New York Knicks will reportedly finally be free of each other on Saturday.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Begley of ESPN, the Knicks will waive Noah on Saturday after he refused to take a buyout in light of a lack of interest in his services from the rest of the NBA.

This should end a months-long saga that has always looked to be headed for an inevitable ending. It has been clear for months that Noah would have no part to play in New York this season, but the Knicks were clearly looking for ways to save any money they could while getting rid of him. Ultimately, Noah’s steadfast refusal to take a buyout coupled with no apparent interest in his services led them to this step.

Paul George backs Jimmy Butler in Timberwolves saga

Paul George

Jimmy Butler has the backing of at least one star in what has become a strange saga between him and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Since Buter requested a trade away from the Timberwolves, there has seemingly been one bizarre turn after another. The situation culminated with Butler verbally challenging the team during a practice session.

Minnesota cancelled practice the following day. There was reportedly a players-only meeting and franchise legend Kevin Garnett has weighed in with his thoughts on the situation.

Paul George has also offered his thoughts on what has gone on in Minnesota. He’s seemingly one of few who is in support Butler.

The Timberwolves are in a tough situation. It will be hard to get near equal value for Butler in a trade scenario. However, keeping him on the roster likely means there will be chemistry issues that may be beyond repair. There is also the issue of Thibodeau reportedly wanting to keep Butler while owner Glen Taylor is not against trading him.

The situation in Minnesota will be one to watch until it is resolved. When that will happen is anyone’s guess at this point.

Kobe Bryant pushed Jeanie Buss to fire her brother to land LeBron

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant played a big role in the Los Angeles Lakers’ success during the 2000s and early part of this decade, and he continues to help the team in big ways even in retirement.

According to an article from The Athletic’s Sam Amick, Bryant helped ignite the front office overhaul last year that helped the team eventually land LeBron James.

Lakers president Jeanie Buss related to Amick what Bryant told her when the two got together to discuss the organization early last year.

“Jeanie, I know who we’re trying to get; we know who we’re trying to get, so that player is not going to come here with all of this s— going on. It’s not going to happen,” Bryant told her, via Amick’s article. “So if you do want to have that focus, and go after that player, then I’m telling you that you’ve gotta clean house, and you’ve gotta just reshuffle the deck and start anew. You have the new practice facility (the UCLA Health Training Center) that we’re just moving into (in the summer of 2017). We’ve got new management, and off we go. But that player is not coming here unless you do that.”

The Lakers were a mess at the time. They had some terrible contracts, a bad record, and a major power struggle at the top.

Jeanie, who had been feuding with brother Jim for years, finally decided to make big moves and fired Jim as president and GM Mitch Kupchak. Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, Kobe’s agent, were hired to take their places.

Since then the team has made many trades to clear salary cap space and revamp the roster so they could attract LeBron. The plan worked and the Lakers now seem to be on their way towards regaining franchise success.

The Mamba Mentality pays off once again for the Lakers.