• Will Pistons come to regret Reggie Jackson contract?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

    Monday afternoon on the Sports Animal, Traber or Eschbach, I forget which, asked a good question. Which NBA player has gotten the most ridiculous contract so far. Their answer was Reggie Jackson. Which goes along with some theories I’ve heard nationally, too. The Pistons gave Jackson a five-year, $80-million contract. That’s $16 million a year. I answered Kevin Love. The Cavaliers are giving Love $22 million a year, one month after proving they were just as good without him as with him and maybe even better. Love is a great player; he can score and rebound with the best of them.

  • Could the Thunder be headed for a division change?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 8, 2015

    The Milwaukee Bucks are threatening to move to Seattle or Las Vegas. If the Bucks move — and I hope they don’t; I like Milwaukee — I hope they go to Seattle. Much better destination spot. The Milwaukee owners say if ground isn’t broken in 2015 for a new arena, the league will buy back the Bucks and move the franchise. Let’s suppose it does move. Either to Seattle or Vegas. Hard to imagine how the Bucks could be kept in the Eastern Conference. Seattle and Vegas aren’t exactly Eastern cities. They would have to be settled in the West. Which means a franchise would be shipped to the East. Those hands you see raised are every franchise west of Palm Springs. Life in the East is

  • OKC Thunder: Mitch McGary using Summer League to show improved shot

    Darnell Mayberry | Published: Tue, Jul 7, 2015

      Mitch McGary continues to impress at the Orlando Pro Summer League. As the days go on, the second-year Thunder forward is showing that he’s not just slimmer and more agile. He’s also flashing some high-level passing skills and an improved mid-range jump shot. McGary finished with just seven points and five rebounds as the Thunder fell 80-63 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. But he again wowed those watching with his ability to find the open man on time and on target and knock down open shots from outside. “He’s a more confident shooter than he was last year,” said

  • OKC Thunder: Billy Donovan wants to make things easier for stars Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook

    By Darnell Mayberry | Published: Tue, Jul 7, 2015

    ORLANDO — At his introductory press conference, Thunder coach Billy Donovan briefly described the style of play he seeks to bring to Oklahoma City. Its basic principles, he said, centered on player movement, ball movement and making the extra pass. In other words, Donovan wants to bring more structure to what historically has been an isolation-heavy offense. But achieving that goal and, more importantly, sustaining it could be a trying task without restricting Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, two of the best and most creative one-on-one offensive players in the game. Donovan, however, has no intention to stifle his

  • Too early to worry about Enes Kanter's status

    Jon Hamm | Updated: Tue, Jul 7, 2015

    Enes Kanter remains unsigned and fans are starting to become concerned. Here's a look at one path Kanter could take, and how history could show how his situation will play out.

  • Marcus Smart talks leadership, improvement following Celtics' summer league opener

    Published: Tue, Jul 7, 2015

    The Boston Celtics didn't win, but former Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart played well in his first game of the NBA Summer League on Monday in Utah. Smart had a game-high 26 point and eight assists and added five rebounds and two steals for the Celtics in the 100-86 loss to the Utah Jazz. In his second summer league appearance, Smart is also assuming the role of team leader. "It felt good. Just on the defensive end getting out there, I think that rubbed off on guys like James Young, R.J. Hunter, Terry Rozier," Smart said. "They got after the ball, they were diving after loose balls. I think that's the way I need to be." Smart told Celtics.com that after battling injury his rookie year, he's starting to feel better. His health, combined with a year of experience, has helped him going into summer league for the second time. "Everything's slowed down for me a little bit more. I'm just trying to attack, get to the rim a little bit more," Smart said. "My ankle's feeling a little better and now I can explode and just try to create a little bit for others." Smart and the Celtics face the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday night.

  • Report: Celtics trade Gerald Wallace to Warriors for David Lee

    Published: Tue, Jul 7, 2015

    The Boston Celtics are getting David Lee from the Warriors in exchange for Gerald Wallace. Following the Warriors winning the NBA championship, Lee and the team each expressed interest in finding the 31-year-old a new team. The move sends Lee back to the Eastern Conference, where the 6-foot-9 power forward started his career with the New York Knicks in 2005.

  • Bucks president says team could move to Seattle or Las Vegas

    Published: Tue, Jul 7, 2015

    Milwaukee Bucks president Peter Feigin told Wisconsin lawmakers Monday that time was of the essence in approving $250 million in public funding for the proposed arena in downtown Milwaukee or the NBA will move the team to "Las Vegas or Seattle," according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. If the construction of a new stadium doesn't start in 2015, Feigin says the NBA will buy back the team for $25 million profit. The Bucks' ownership group of Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan purchased the team for $550 million in May 2014. In their purchase agreement, a provision was included that said construction for a new arena would start this year. And if it doesn't, Seattle could get a team back for the first time since the then-Seattle SuperSonics left in 2008 to come to Oklahoma City. "The NBA does not want the Bucks to extend the lease in an inadequate facility," Feigin said.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Billy Donovan talks Kevin Durant, new assistant coaches

    BY DARNELL MAYBERRY | Published: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    Donovan’s relationship with Durant, perhaps his most important in his first season, appears to be off to a great start. Durant said Saturday that the time they’ve spent together in recent weeks has brought them closer, and Donovan echoed those same sentiments Monday.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Semaj Christon turning heads at the Orlando Pro Summer League, looking to take the next step in his career.

    BY DARNELL MAYBERRY | Published: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    The 55th overall draft pick out of Xavier in 2014 followed up a 14-point, 10 assist effort against Charlotte in Saturday’s opener with a 12-point, nine-assist performance in the Thunder’s 73-65 win over The Orlando Magic’s Blue team on Monday.

  • Reports: David West agrees to veteran minimum deal to play for Spurs

    Updated: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    David West walked away from $12 million guaranteed with the Indiana Pacers for a shot at a championship. The veteran power forward has reportedly agreed to play with the San Antonio Spurs for the veteran minimum $1.4 million. West had a year remaining on his deal with the Pacers, but elected to opt out to become an unrestricted free agent. Last weekend, the Spurs agreed to terms with free agent forward LaMarcus Aldridge.

  • James Harden, Khloe Kardashian photographed together in Las Vegas

    Published: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    The Kardashians are infiltrating the NBA yet again. This time, it's former Thunder guard James Harden who looks like he's getting close to a Kardashian, as he and Khloe Kardashian were photographed together in Las Vegas this weekend. TMZ reports that the two had "a romantic dinner together at Red 8 -- before going to the Chris Brown concert together." Kardashian was married to former NBA All-Star Lamar Odom.

  • Reggie Jackson and Enes Kanter remain linked

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    Reggie Jackson and Enes Kanter were involved in the same trade last February, disgruntled young players that once were looked upon as cornerstones but had fallen from favor with their franchises. Then Jackson and Kanter staged a derby determining which could be more impressive with their new teams. Jackson was good in 27 Detroit Piston games: 32.2 minutes (only 4.2 minutes more than he was playing in OKC) per game, but 17.6 points (up 4.8), 4.7 rebounds (up 0.7) and 9.2 assists (up 4.9). Meanwhile, Jackson’s shooting improved remarkably — his slash line of field goal percentage, foul shooting and 3-point percentage was .436/.796/.337 with the Pistons, .432/.861/.278 with the Thunder. Kanter’s

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant partners with Nike to renovate basketball courts across the world

    Anthony Slater | Published: Mon, Jul 6, 2015

    On Monday morning, in partnership with Nike, Thunder superstar Kevin Durant announced an initiative aimed at increasing “the number of high quality basketball courts accessible to underprivileged youth across the United States and internationally.” As a jump-off point, Durant’s charitable team will renovate and build courts in Oklahoma City, Washington D.C. and Berlin, Germany. Plans are to […]

  • Report: Reggie Jackson, Pistons agree to five-year, $80 million contract

    Published: Sun, Jul 5, 2015

    The Detroit Pistons have re-signed restricted free agent point guard Reggie Jackson to a five-year, $80 million contract, ESPN.com reports. The contract has no options for either team or player, according to ESPN.com sources. Jackson, 25, spent the first three full seasons of his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder before being dealt to the Pistons in February as part of a three-team deal that landed the Thunder Enes Kanter, Steve Novak, D.J. Augustin and Kyle Singler. Jackson was selected No. 24 overall by the Thunder in the 2011 NBA Draft and has career averages of 9.8 points, 3.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Mitch McGary has lost nearly 30 pounds on a mission to transform his body and come back playing the best basketball of his life

    BY DARNELL MAYBERRY | Published: Sun, Jul 5, 2015

    McGary credits the weight loss to cooking classes, a healthier diet and rigorous workouts. By eating better and transforming his body, McGary believes he’ll put himself in a better position to stay healthy and play the best basketball of his life.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant says, "I got to lose some weight"

    BY DARNELL MAYBERRY | Published: Sun, Jul 5, 2015

    This summer appears to be Durant’s biggest physical jump. He looks to be bigger than ever before as he lounges around the Amway Center practice court taking in the action on the first two days of the Orlando Pro Summer League.

  • Big-time free agents aren't afraid to go to small-market teams thanks to KD and Russ

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Sun, Jul 5, 2015

    LaMarcus Aldridge spurned the Lakers for the Spurs. Greg Monroe bucked the Knicks for the Bucks. DeAndre Jordan left the Clippers in the dust for the Mavs. Only a few days into NBA free agency, an interesting trend has emerged — premier players aren’t afraid to choose smaller-market teams over big-city behemoths. It’s a new NBA reality. High-revenue teams in bigger cities used to always have an edge in negotiations. That wasn’t necessarily because of the contracts they could offer either. Lots of times, it came down to endorsements that players could snag if they played in New York or Los Angeles, Miami or Chicago. The possibility for supplemental income was in the tens of millions of dollars.

  • OKC Thunder notebook: Semaj Christon hits game-winner, lifts Thunder over Charlotte in Orlando Pro Summer League play

    BY DARNELL MAYBERRY | Published: Sat, Jul 4, 2015

    Semaj Christon scored the game-winning basket on a driving layup with 20.4 seconds remaining to lift the Thunder to a 76-74 win over Charlotte on the opening day of the 2015 Orlando Pro Summer League on Saturday.

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant shows up unexpectedly at the Orlando Summer League, says surgically-repaired foot is progressing on schedule

    BY DARNELL MAYBERRY | Published: Sat, Jul 4, 2015

    Here was Kevin Durant, high volume scorer, arguably the world’s best player, walking around just like anyone else on the first day of the Orlando Pro Summer, walking around just fine after three surgeries to correct his problematic right foot.