The NBA’s Board of Governors and the NBPA will hold separate meetings Thursday expected to culminate with an agreement on a Dec. 22 start date to the 2020-2021 season and a reduced 72-game schedule, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.
Per Wojnarowski and Lowe, the NBPA is “planning to take a formal vote of the team player representatives,” one which is projected to lead to an official agreement on a pre-Christmas start date.
If an agreement is indeed reached, the plan would be for training camps to open on Dec. 1 following the Nov. 18 draft and subsequent free agency period, and would see the regular season run through to about mid-May.
At this point, the players and league are still negotiating a salary escrow, which Wojnarowski and Lowe report could end up being in the range of 18 per cent over the next two years.
As soon as an agreement is officially attained, the NBA will lift the moratorium period it is currently under and and allow teams to begin making trades prior to the draft.
The NBA has been set on the idea of avoiding the summer Olympics while getting as close to a full regular season in as possible, and so the early start date plus the 72-game schedule (including the annual Christmas Day takeover) will allow them to do just that while reportedly drawing in somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion in short- and long-term revenues to the league and players.
A beaming smile behind the mask says it all for Russell – F1i.com
George Russell broke out into a beaming smile that even his mask couldn’t hide when he tried out for size his Mercedes ride for next weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix.
Stepping up from perhaps the slowest car on the grid to F1’s fastest contender is a daunting task, but Russell will no doubt make the most of the unexpected but amazing opportunity to showcase his undisputable talent.
And who knows, this weekend’s one-off could be the harbinger of a full-time involvement with the mighty Mercedes team after 2021, a fantastic warm up of sorts for the 22-year-old charger.
Lakers make re-signings of LeBron James, Anthony Davis official – Sportsnet.ca
James’ deal was announced first, with the four-time MVP inking a two-year, $85 million contract through the 2022-23 season on Wednesday. The extension will take him into his age 39/40 season, and yet was a no-brainer for the Lakers, who are coming off a championship in which James was the Finals MVP.
“LeBron James is a transcendent basketball player, and human being,” said vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka in a press release. “LeBron put his trust in the Lakers in 2018, and now this contract extension paves the way for LeBron to further solidify his legacy as an all-time Lakers great. We could not be more honoured by this commitment.”
Davis, who was a free agent this off-season, signed his new deal with the Lakers only hours after James on Thursday morning, opting for a five-year contract worth up to $190 million. Many thought the 27-year-old would sign for two years with a player option for the third season, as that would have given him the most flexibility possible and allowed him to re-enter the market for his next deal having just met the criteria (10 years of service) to earn up to 35 per cent of the cap.
Instead, Davis took the largest contract he could in the present moment — a win for both sides, certainly, but one that also shows trust from Davis in the Lakers organization.
“In the Orlando bubble, Anthony Davis proved he is one of the game’s most complete and dominant two-way players,” Pelinka said of the big man. “Now, Lakers fans get to watch AD continue to grow and lead our franchise for years to come. This is truly a blessed moment for Lakers Nation.”
Both players, it seems, expect to play the rest of (or, at least, most of) their respective careers in purple and gold.
New Rockets’ coach expects Harden to be ‘all in’ this season – Sportsnet.ca
HOUSTON — New Rockets coach Stephen Silas didn’t talk a lot about James Harden and the rumours that he’s unhappy in Houston on Thursday.
But he was clear about one thing — he expects Harden to be there when the Rockets open camp this weekend.
“I’m confident that he will be all in,” Silas said. “That’s where I’m leaving it. As I said, I’ve given him the space to to do his thing. But I’m confident he’ll be here when we get started.”
Reports that Harden wants out of Houston have swirled since another early playoff exit by the Rockets when they were eliminated by the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals. It was rumoured that both Harden and Westbrook wanted to leave the team. Westbrook got his wish Wednesday night when he was shipped to Washington for John Wall and a first-round pick.
Westbrook lasted just one season in Houston playing with Harden and an unconventional small-ball lineup. Now both Westbrook and that small-ball lineup are a thing of the past, with Westbrook heading to the nation’s capital and centre DeMarcus Cousins joining the Rockets.
Silas is a longtime NBA assistant in his first job as a head coach after being hired to replace Mike D’Antoni, who told the Rockets he wasn’t returning at the end of the season. Silas said he hasn’t spoken to Harden since the trade and that he’s employed a hands-off approach with the superstar so far.
“When stuff like this kind of happens, where there’s a little indecision and stuff going on, I kind of take a step back and allow guys some space,” Silas said. “So from my perspective, my communication has been I’m giving you space. And that’s kind of where it’s been as far as my communication with him. And guys like that need that.”
Silas is excited to add a player of Wall’s calibre to his team, but admitted that he had some mixed emotions when he learned of the trade.
“If it weren’t for Russell Westbrook, I probably wouldn’t have this job,” Silas said. “So the fact that he vouched for me in the interview process was one of the first things that I thought of when the trade was made.”
Then he remembered all his years as an assistant in Charlotte when he had to plan to defend Wall four times a year.
“The second part of it is how dynamic John Wall has been in his career and some of the nightmares that I’ve had trying to defend him and pick and roll and all the pick and roll passes that he’s able to make,” Silas said.
Also on Thursday, Cousins spoke to reporters for the first time since signing with the Rockets earlier in the week. The 30-year-old said he’s healthy and can’t wait to get started after missing all of last season recovering from a knee injury.
“It was a tough task, mentally, physically, but at the same time, I was able to rest my body and it was much-needed rest,” Cousins said. “Coming back off of that, I feel incredible, my body is in a great place, my mind is in a great place and I’m just ready to get back on the floor and play the game that I love.”
He’s also ecstatic about being reunited with Wall, his college teammate at Kentucky. Cousins said he’s known Wall since he was 14 and that the point guard was a groomsman in his wedding.
“It’s an incredible feeling,” Cousins said. “It’s something me and him planned and dreamed about for a long time. So I’m pretty sure he’s just grateful for his moment as I am.”
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