This is a Happy Hour of sorts for the league’s worst teams, the end of a draft era that changes next year when the value of sustained failure will take a major hit because of reformed rules.
This is the last, best chance to take advantage of the current system. But tankers beware: The league is watching more closely than ever.
A Feb. 21 memo sent by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to all 30 teams explaining the [Mark] Cuban fine made that much abundantly clear.
“Over the past several seasons, discussions about so-called ‘tanking’ in the NBA have occurred with some frequency, both in the public discourse and within our league, and you as governors have taken steps to address the underlying incentive issues by adopting changes to our draft lottery system that will go into effect next year,” Silver wrote in the letter which was obtained by USA TODAY Sports. “Throughout this period, we have been careful to distinguish between efforts teams may make to rebuild their rosters, including through personnel changes over the course of several seasons, and circumstances in which players or coaches on the floor take steps to lose games.
“The former can be a legitimate strategy to construct a successful team within the confines of league rules; the latter — which we have not found and hope never to see in the NBA — has no place in our game. If we ever received evidence that players or coaches were attempting to lose or otherwise taking steps to cause any game to result otherwise than on its competitive merits, that conduct would be met with the swiftest and harshest response possible from the league office.”
Report: Chris Paul Out for Game 6 with Right Hamstring Strain
Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul will miss Saturday’s Game 6 of the Western Conference finals at Golden State with a right hamstring strain, the team announced Friday.
Paul will travel with the Rockets to Oakland, California, for the game, coach Mike D’Antoni said, and will be re-evaluated after the team returns to Houston.
“It’s obviously not something we wanted,” D’Antoni said before Friday’s practice. “I hate it for him above all. He’s practically won us the past two games. But it’s a great opportunity for other guys, and we have plenty to choose from. We’ll be ready.”
Report: Andre Iguodala Questionable for Game 6
Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala is considered questionable for Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets, the team said Friday.
Iguodala, who has missed Games 4 and 5, has a left lateral leg contusion. The Warriors host Game 6 on Saturday and are trailing 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
“He’s dying to play, but he’s not healthy enough,” coach Steve Kerr said Thursday. “We’ll just continue to take it day-to-day.”
Ryan McDonough: ‘Overwhelming likelihood’ Suns Keep No. 1 Pick
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said there’s an “overwhelming likelihood” that the team will keep its No. 1 overall pick and not trade it away.
McDonough made the comment Friday after the first of what will be many pre-draft workouts of players on the Suns’ practice court.
The leading candidates for that No. 1 pick in June’s NBA draft almost certainly will be worked out privately, with the exception of Luka Doncic, the European sensation who still is playing in Spain.
Source: Associated Press via ESPN