O.J. Mayo broke down in tears when he heard the NBA was going to ban him for at least two years for a failed drug test, and he surely would have cried even harder if he had known the embarrassment, loneliness and aimlessness that would follow.
After July 1, 2018, Mayo will be eligible to apply for reinstatement to the NBA. Per league guidelines, both the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association must approve his return, and the two sides can consider a host of factors to weigh that decision, including the circumstances surrounding Mayo’s dismissal, his personal conduct during the ban, his character and morality, whether he has completed a treatment program, and whether he’s a “suitable role model for youth.” Mayo must also be able to “demonstrate by proof of random urine testing” that he has not failed any marijuana or drug tests for a year prior to his reinstatement application.
“I want to go back to what I left [in Milwaukee],” Mayo said, when asked for his dream destination. “I was real close with Jason Kidd. That was the best relationship I had with a coach besides [Dwaine Barnes]. I had great relationships with Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and Khris Middleton. I was comfortable there. I felt like I let them down, cheated them for two years. They paid me $8 million to be, in my eyes, a subpar player. They invested millions of dollars for me to be on top of my s—, and when you’re not on top of your s—, it shows. I’ll be 30 next summer. If they just give me the chance, I can make it up. I owe them.”
His checklist is coming together. The ankle is no longer a hindrance. Johnson says Mayo’s rhythm, shooting touch and handle are NBA-ready, leaving his full-court conditioning as the only open basketball question. Gaines marvels at Mayo’s physical transformation, noting that he’s quickly closing in on his ideal playing weight.
Source: Ben Golliver of The Crossover
Sources: Timberwolves Want Jimmy Butler Dealt Quickly
Against the displeasure of Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau, owner Glen Taylor has mandated that a deal needs to be negotiated to trade disgruntled All-Star forward Jimmy Butler in the next several days, league sources told ESPN.
Butler has likely worn the Timberwolves uniform for the final time, because Taylor has no interest in bringing Butler into the team’s training camp and threatening a bigger circus than already exists within the franchise.
Thibodeau has been willing to coach the Timberwolves through the dysfunction that has surrounded his star players, but Taylor has sided with Butler and agreed that the four-time All-Star should be away from the Wolves for the foreseeable future, sources said.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Sources: Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns Agree to Super-Max Extension
In a deal that cements him as the franchise’s long-term cornerstone, Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns has agreed to a five-year, $190 million super-maximum extension, league sources told ESPN.
Towns’ agent, Leon Rose of CAA Sports, informed the organization of Towns’ intention to sign the extension on Saturday night, sources said. The Timberwolves report for media day on Monday and begin training camp on Tuesday.
The super-max deal includes the ability for Towns to earn 30 percent of the Timberwolves’ salary cap with the fulfillment of reaching one of the three All-NBA teams, or being voted league MVP or Defensive Player of the Year this season.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Sources: Timberwolves Want to Move Gorgui Dieng in Jimmy Butler Trade
The Wolves would like to dump Gorgui Dieng in any [Jimmy] Butler deal, league sources say. Dieng is a backup set to earn $48 million over the next three seasons. Good luck, and thanks to the summer of 2016! Swallowing Dieng will be a non-starter for almost everyone, even if a few suitors could do so while still maintaining one max-level cap slot for this summer. (Minnesota could in theory find a third team to take Dieng, but things get tricky as more teams enter a deal.)
Source: Zach Lowe of ESPN