JD Shaw (HoopsRumors) first reported that the Thunder are bringing Markel Brown in for training camp, which was confirmed via team release. Two spots left on the summer roster.
Dan Devine (The Ringer) pours more cold water on those revived Chris Paul/Miami Heat trade rumors: “Even if (Jimmy Butler is) willing, it’s reasonable to wonder whether the upgrade Paul might offer is worth the risk of taking on his long-term financial obligation. Dragic’s $19.2 million contract comes off the books next summer, but the real target date for the Heat to make a big splash is 2021, when the deals of James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, and Dion Waiters all fall off, too—just in time, as luck would have it, for one of the most star-laden classes in recent memory to hit the market. Are Pat Riley and Co. willing to bet that Paul, at age 36, will choose to decline his $44.2 million player option that summer, allowing the Heat to maintain maximum flexibility to hunt the franchise’s next cornerstone star?”
Ben Golliver (Washington Post) places Billy Donovan among the coaches with the hottest seats this season: “Donovan has some talent to work with, namely Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari and Steven Adams. He’s also built goodwill with the Thunder’s front office during his four seasons at the helm, remaining a good soldier despite frequent roster turnover and the departures of major stars. This is a tricky situation to gauge from the outside. Donovan doesn’t face any real pressure to win given the summer’s fireworks, but the opportunity to coach a contender is what drew him to the NBA from the college ranks in the first place.”
ESPN’s Top-100 has concluded, with Paul coming in at #32. To celebrate, let’s watch him do some standing hurdles in a Thunder t-shirt:
Adam Silver spoke with Sam Amick (The Athletic) to offer a little context from the leauge on the recently-passed tampering measures: “There needs to be — maybe more important, even, than the penalty — a true stigma around cheating. …There’s something unique about sports, (and) I think no one wants to be viewed as having had to cheat to win. And I think what we saw was that it was a slippery slope over time, and people no longer saw themselves as violating our rules. They saw certain practices around tampering, around signings, as business as usual, rather than inappropriate conduct. So a lot of what we’re trying to do is make a cultural shift in this league, and I believe we can do that successfully because I believe teams want to compete on a level playing field. I think part of the attraction of being involved in a sport is that — in a highly complicated, complex world — that there’s still objective truth to sports. You win or lose, and you do it on the level.”
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