And-Ones: Papanikolaou, Popovich, Warriors

Rockets forward Kostas Papanikolaou‘s $4,591,066 salary has become fully-guaranteed today since he is still on Houston’s preseason roster past the October 4th trigger date in the revamped deal he inked. This now gives the team 15 fully guaranteed deals out of the 20 on the Rockets’ preseason roster.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The pairing of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan is nearing the end. In the past Popovich has been quoted as saying that he would retire when Duncan did, but that might have changed, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. Popovich recently said, “That’s very possible. I always said that [he’d leave with Duncan], because it’s kind of a funny line. It seems pretty logical and smart to do that. I know where my bread is buttered. But I basically made the same commitments to Manu Ginobili and to Tony Parker that when they signed contracts, they wanted to know if I’m going to be here and I tell them I am, so it’s pretty tough to go ahead and leave.” Ginobili is signed through next season and Parker is under contract through 2018, but it’s the emergence of Kawhi Leonard that might be a bigger incentive since it will keep the team’s championship window open, opines Lee.
  • During his first stint with the Raptors and head coach Dwane Casey, James Johnson had a number of confrontations that eventually led to Johnson being suspended and ultimately dealt to the Kings at the end of the 2011/12 season. Johnson is back in Toronto and under the eye of Casey, but things are much improved between them now, Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun writes. Johnson credits a stint in the D-League as what changed him, saying, “I flourished in the D-League. I am happy to say my career was bumpy but going down to the D-league made the old James Johnson not exist anymore.”
  • There’s a new regime in Golden State with Steve Kerr replacing Mark Jackson as head coach. Rusty Simmons of The San Francisco Chronicle profiled the Warriors coaching staff and what each brings to the court and to the locker room for the team.

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