Ask anyone not wearing a wine and gold jersey – or not named Steve Kerr – and you’ll hear the same conclusion about the NBA Finals that tip off at Oracle Arena on Thursday night: The Golden State Warriors, and not the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, are the favorites.
This confuses Cavs big man Tristan Thompson, whose team finished 16 games behind the Warriors in the regular-season standings but still holds the Larry O’Brien trophy after overcoming the 3-1 deficit to win it all last year.
“We’re the champs, so I never knew from the top of the mountain you could be an underdog,” Thompson said on Wednesday. “But hey, it is what it is. It makes it good for TV. Gets you guys more hits and views. It’s all good. However you guys eat, that’s fine with me.”
Source: Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports
Sources: Rudy Gay to Decline Player Option with Spurs
San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay is declining his 2018-19 player option to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, league sources tell ESPN.
Gay is turning down a salary of $8.8 million in order to hit free agency.
The 31-year-old veteran signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the Spurs last offseason, and the deal contained a player option on the second year.
Source: Chris Haynes of ESPN
Sources: Clippers Prepared to Offer Tobias Harris, 12th or 13th Pick for Kawhi Leonard
It’s also unclear if the Spurs would be willing to trade [Kawhi] Leonard to the Lakers or any other team. If they are, other teams might have more significant assets to offer, especially given that the Lakers do not have a lottery pick this year. They will select 25th in next week’s draft, a pick they got in a trade with Cleveland.
The Clippers have more to offer than the Lakers. They would be willing to create a package with forward Tobias Harris and the 12th or 13th pick in this year’s draft, according to a source not authorized to speak publicly.