It’s officially the dog days of August. We’re at the point of the NBA offseason where we’re so far away from the peak of NBA free agency that it looks like a blur, yet still a ways away from NBA Training Camps opening that it’s not close enough to bring in excitement.
I’m not sure what the basketball junkies would do without the FIBA World Cup this year.
Still, there’s enough news on the dial to get us through the roughest of moments. Here are this morning’s NBA whispers that are making their way around the league.
Jermaine O’Neal will either play for the Golden State Warriors or he will retire. That’s it – Hoops Rumors
“It’s been a fantastic run,” the six-time All-Star said, while adding that he’d ask his 8-year-old son for input. “You never picture your last game being one where you can’t be effective in a Game 7. That’s a tough pill to swallow.”
O’Neal went on to thank his teammates in Golden State for “injecting life back into [his] soul” and said that he would consider a front office job with the Warriors if he doesn’t continue his playing career. You never know what might happen if an attractive contender comes calling, but as far as we know, it’s a two horse race between the Warriors and retirement at this point for O’Neal. With a long, accomplished career, plenty of cash in the bank, and a young family at home, no one would fault O’Neal for calling it quits this summer.
Reggie Jackson ready to make eight-digit figures in the near future – Hoops Rumors
Two point guards in Phoenix might be instructive in looking at Jackson’s potential market. Isaiah Thomas is a scoring machine who took off in his third year as a pro, fighting his way off the bench in a crowded Sacramento backcourt. He was rewarded with a four-year, $27MM contract this summer. Eric Bledsoe exploded as a starter in his first year with the Suns, but health concerns and Phoenix’s vow to match any offer sheet have kept him from generating anything near the max contract he wants. The Suns’ offer to Bledsoe currently sits at four years and $48MM. My estimation is that Thomas’ lower ceiling, limited more than Jackson’s due to size and age, means his deal is near the low end of what Jackson could secure. Bledsoe’s offer seems to be a price ceiling for Jackson. Again, this is all just my speculation, but I would expect Jackson to fetch between $7MM and $10MM annually.
Is Miami still an attractive landing spot for future free agents – South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The question was in response to how Wade and Chris Bosh have to come through to make the Heat a free-agency destination in 2016. Yet the greater issue is, regardless of where Wade and Bosh stand in the overall player ratings, the notion that the “Heat culture” is enough to sway players. I think that took a blow with LeBron James’ departure and it will be interesting to see if the aura of the cult of Pat Riley, Micky Arison and the Heat itself still is a drawing card.
John Calipari still would have rejected Cavs even if he knew LeBron James was coming – Courier-Journal
Despite reports that he was in serious talks with Cleveland – and ultimately turned down the Cavs earlier this summer – Calipari was “not as (close) as everybody thought” to leaving for the NBA. But James, who Calipari has said he’d love to coach, had not made his decision at that point.
Would that have made a difference?
“No. No. I don’t think so. Because he and I have a great relationship, but it’s not based on me coaching him,” Calipari said. “We’ve got a relationship. I’ve known him for years and years. We’ve always been friends. But it was never based on that. I’ve said that. I’ve had a chance to coach Derrick Rose, John Wall and DeMarcus (Cousins), Anthony Davis and Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist). And I’m leaving names off, but I’ve coached some of the best players in basketball, and it is a thrill. There’s nothing better than that. Especially when those guys are all good guys.