No. 1: Kerr, Warriors brush off Barkley's comments -- When they both were Turner Sports employees, Steve Kerr and Charles Barkley had a great working relationship and a mutual respect for each other. That is still true with them even as Kerr has become the Golden State Warriors' coach, but Barkley continues to be outspoken about Golden State's offense and title chances. Barkley took another shot at Golden State on Tuesday in a media luncheon, but Kerr is not letting the talk bother him. The San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau has more:
Before he became head coach of what eventually became the NBA’s most hyped team, Steve Kerr was a TNT colleague of Charles Barkley.
Kerr recognizes that part of the Hall of Famer’s job is generating interest in his show with buzz-worthy opinions. So on Tuesday afternoon, when asked about Barkley’s most recent criticism of the Warriors, Kerr was hardly contentious.
“He’s good at his job,” Kerr said of Barkley. “He’s funny. He’s controversial. I love Charles. I don’t have any complaints. It’s all part of the show.”
Barkley has long bashed Golden State for being over-reliant on jump shots. During a TNT luncheon Tuesday in Manhattan, he took credit for predicting that the Warriors wouldn’t beat a healthy Cleveland team in the Finals.
“I know it’s hard for y’all to let it roll off your tongue and say, ‘Charles was right,’” Barkley told reporters. “When I told you they couldn’t play that little small-ball and win a championship if everybody they played was healthy, they’d wear down, and they did. … (The Warriors) have the same issues: Can that type of play hold up? The one year they won, they got lucky. Everyone they played was hurt.”
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook gives Golden State 2-to-3 odds of a championship, with Cleveland second at 11-to-4.
“You shouldn’t expect anything less,” point guard Shaun Livingston said of Barkley. “That’s just what it is. He stands on his ground, and that’s what Chuck does.”
No. 2:Sixers, Noel not talking contract extension -- The Philadelphia 76ers have a glut of young talent on the roster from rookies Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric to "veterans" Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. The question for them continues to be who is (and who isn't) a part of the team's long-term future. Noel is entering his third season and is eligible for a contract extension, but according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, that may not happen just yet:
Bryan Colangelo said Tuesday that the 76ers and Nerlens Noel have not discussed a contract extension, and this season's deadline to extend contracts in the final year of a player's rookie deal is Oct. 31.
"It's not really something that we've discussed given some of the concerns that I think Nerlens has had right now," said Colangelo, the team's president of basketball operations. "There's been very little, if any, discussion with his agents about any extension scenarios.
"But, I'll just leave it at that."
Noel said on Sept. 25 that it didn't make sense for the Sixers to have three starting-caliber centers: Noel, Joel Embiid, and Jahlil Okafor. At the time, Noel said that he wasn't asking to be traded or demanding that the Sixers trade someone else. He just wanted them to hurry up and decide how they would eliminate the overcrowding situation.
A source said Noel's representatives and the Sixers did not have serious conversations before his remarks, and it's hard to determine how much Noel's concerns factor into how the situation stands.
The former Kentucky standout is heading into the fourth and final year of his rookie deal. The Sixers can still make him a qualifying offer after the season assuming there is no extension by the end of the month. He would become a restricted free agent in that scenario, enabling the Sixers to match any free agent offer he receives next summer.
Noel would become an unrestricted free agent if the Sixers were not to offer him a qualifier. He is sidelined with a left groin strain and is not expected to play in the Oct. 26 season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Wells Fargo Center.
No. 3: Report: Kings, Heat discuss guard trade -- Sacramento Kings guard Rudy Gay has seemingly been in trade talks for years now. That isn't letting up anytime soon, it seems, as BasketballInsiders.com's Michael Scotto reports that the Kings and Miami Heat are discussing a swap that would send Gay to the Heat for guard Goran Dragic:
The Sacramento Kings and Miami Heat have discussed a trade of Rudy Gay and Darren Collison for Goran Dragic, league sources told Basketball Insiders.
“Sacramento has to trade Gay,” an Eastern Conference executive told Basketball Insiders. “He’s already informed them he doesn’t like it there. They can’t let him walk for nothing.”
Gay can become an unrestricted free agent after this season since he has a $14,263,566 player option for next season. With that in mind, sources indicated that the Kings are ideally looking for a starting-caliber point guard in any trade proposal involving Gay.
At this time, Sacramento and Miami are kicking the tires on the potential trade. The trade, as it has been discussed, has various benefits for both teams should it ultimately happen.
Gay would help replace the scoring void left by forward Chris Bosh. Gay is owed$13.3 million this season with a $14.3 million player option for the following season. At 30 years old, and with the salary cap rising again this summer, Gay should surpass that $14.3 million option salary on the open market. Even if he was dealt to Miami and liked the organization, he would still be expected to opt out of the deal for those economic reasons.
By potentially shedding Dragic’s $17 million salary for next season, along with Bosh’s $25.3 million salary, Miami would clear a total of $42.3 million in cap space and have room to sign multiple free agents to max contracts this offseason.
Pat Riley has a proven track record of landing elite talent on the free agent market with salary cap space and South Beach at his disposal.
After giving up a protected 2017 first-round pick and an unprotected 2021 first-round pick to land Dragic from Phoenix, Miami would likely want more than a possible one-year rental in Gay and a backup point guard in Collison in return for the veteran point guard.
The biggest issue for Sacramento is the organization doesn’t have much leverage when it comes to trading Gay. He’s leaving and everyone knows it. The question is when?
“Sacramento can’t move Gay fast enough,” another Eastern Conference executive told Basketball Insiders.
The clock continues to tick for Sacramento.
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