Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Boston has interest in the Hornets’ point guard due to the strong possibility that Kyrie Irving will sign with another team, the New York Times’ Marc Stein says. The Observer talked to two NBA sources Tuesday who confirmed the report.
With free agency beginning Sunday evening, the Hornets face the challenge of managing their payroll in a way that will allow them to make a competitive offer to Walker without surpassing the NBA’s projected luxury-tax threshold.
In addition to Walker, the Hornets have two free agents — Jeremy lamb and Frank Kaminsky — who were in the rotation last season. Paying Walker a maximum-salary contract would put the Hornets in the vicinity of next season’s tax threshold — about $132 million. Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said twice following the draft that the Hornets do not intend to be a taxpayer in the coming year.
Walker has said the Hornets are his first priority in approaching free-agency, but he also has said he intends to meet with other teams.
Michael Jordan may be worth $2 billion, but he ain’t paying the luxury tax for a non-contending team. He’s lucky Kemba Walker is on record saying he’d take less than super-max money (5 years, $221 million) to stay in Charlotte and help the team build out a competitive roster.
It’s likely Charlotte will counter with the “standard” max of 5 years and $190 million, still $50 million more than Boston, Dallas or other competing teams can offer.
So what’s all the hub-bub then?
Well, Kemba has also said he’ll meet with other teams and that leaves the door open a crack.
Maybe, he’d rather play with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward instead of Frank Kaminsky, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bismack Biyombo.
Maybe, he wants to win a playoff series for the first time in his career.
Never underestimate the “grass is greener” mentality.
I’m still not sold on Kemba being the right guy for the Celtics. The last thing we need is another guy stifling the emergence of Tatum and Brown. We also need bigs,
Page 2: Where Kyrie Irving is fawning over Brooklyn’s infrastructure
Per Adrian Wojnarowski:
“Theres an infrastructure there. Caris LeVert, and Jarrett Allen, and Joe Harris. Players that have shown that they can get a team into the playoffs. Management, there’s a coach there, those things have made it attractive, and it’s to the point now where the Knicks have to start looking at other contingencies to sell Kevin Durant in coming to them.”
Oh, give me a break with this one. Imagining Kyrie talking about how he likes the Net’s infrastructure is enough to make me gag profusely. This is all starting to feel the exact same way it did when he arrived in Boston two summers ago. He butters everybody up, keeps himself in check for a few, and then lashes out at the most inopportune time possible.
I could rant and rave about Kyrie Irving all day long but I’ll refrain. All things considered, this seems like a pretty big blow to the Knicks. All season long the story was “two max slots” and that they had Kevin Durant AND Kyrie in the bag this off-season. If Kyrie isn’t the Robin to KD’s Batman then things get a whole lot murkier in NY, especially if Kyrie’s team of choice is the team just over the bridge from the Knicks.
The rest of the links
Herald – Smart vows bigger leadership role