On Pro Bball Report recently: Raptors draft issues, NBA Salary Cap projections, Leandro Barbosa loves the Warriors, LeBron James sort of endorses Tristan Thompson, Willie Cauley-Stein to the Knicks, Bulls fire Tom Thibodeau and more.
President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri will expound on the merits of developing one’s own players and the importance of draft picks whenever the topic comes up, however, what doesn’t get much discussion is the fact that the back-to-back Atlantic Division winners are all full up with players that aren’t quite ready for prime time.
Thanks to a new National TV deal set to start in 2016-17, the projected NBA Salary Cap and maximum player salaries are set to skyrocket over the next few seasons. It should be obvious that everything anybody believed before about salary expectations in the NBA is now completely obsolete.
“It’s different, but I’m taking the role the old guys did when I was the young player – and I like it, especially when the guys listen to you. When you come up to talk to them, especially Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, they are All-Stars and when (I) come up they really stop and listen to (me), so for me, it is very nice and I love that,” Barbosa said.
Is the Cleveland Cavaliers love affair with Kevin Love finally coming to an end? Is LeBron James now endorsing Tristan Thompson as his team’s future at power forward? Maybe, sort of. “Tristan should probably be a Cavalier for his whole career,” James said. Probably?????
If President Phil Jackson does what he says, the Knicks will be taking Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein with the fourth overall pick and they’ll be pretty happy about it.
Throw this announcement in the crazy things that happen in pro sports pile, the Chicago Bulls have formally announced they’ve fired head coach Tom Thibodeau. All Thibodeau did in Chicago was win. With an overall record of 255 wins and 139 losses, Thibodeau averaged 53 wins a season.
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For years the rumblings coming from Toronto have suggested that if the Raptors acquired a Canadian player it would have to be the right player. Merely signing one of the now numerous Canadians coming out of the US college ranks, playing in Europe, the NBA D-League or available off of the NBA reject pile wasn’t in the cards unless they could be a viable part of the roster and the future of the team. This year might be different however.
It seems that ever since the Denver Nuggets signed forward Kenneth Faried to his four-year $50 million extension last October there have been rumblings about President Josh Kroenke having second thoughts. Losing can to that to an organization.
It will be very tough to pry any of these First or Second All-Defensive Team free agents away from their current teams by trying to offer them more money or better terms, their current GMs will ensure that tactic doesn’t work. However, there is a list of pending free agents that were also recognized for their defensive prowess that could be poachable by teams with salary cap space, deep pockets and a strong belief that defense wins championships.