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And-Ones: NBPA, Smith, Orton

With the NBPA voting against the league’s cap smoothing proposal the salary cap is expected to increase significantly for the 2016/17 season, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes. The owners had hoped smoothing would appeal to the players because it would allow a bigger portion of the new television money to be spread to a wider group of players, Deveney notes. But now there will be nothing preventing the owners from using all the extra space next summer, which won’t benefit players becoming free agents in 2017 and beyond as much as the NBPA expects, Deveney adds.

A source with knowledge of the thinking of NBPA head Michele Roberts told Deveney, “The union should not have to police how much the owners spend. That’s not the job of the union. All of the caps that are on salaries now, the max deals and the shorter lengths and all of that, it’s all stuff that has been done to protect owners from themselves. Michele has been pretty strong on saying, hey, it’s not the job of the players to protect owners from other owners. Why should that fall on the players?

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Thunder GM Sam Presti said it was ludicrous to think that the team would consider trading Kevin Durant, Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman tweets. It was posited earlier by ESPN’s Tom Penn that OKC would likely trade Durant next season rather than risk losing him in free agency for nothing.
  • J.R. Smith is happy be a member of the Cavaliers and playing alongside his friend LeBron James, and the guard has indicated that he’d like to remain in Cleveland past this season, Joe Vardon of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. Smith, who has a player option for 2015/16 worth $6,399,750, could be leaning toward opting in for next season with an eye on a larger contract come 2016 when the salary cap is expected to increase significantly, Vardon adds.
  • The NBA is projecting that the 2016/17 salary cap will be set at $78MM, a figure that many cap analysts believe is a very conservative estimate, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • The Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons‘ D-League affiliate, have acquired center Daniel Orton, Keith Langlois of reports (Twitter link). Orton appeared in 22 games for the Sixers last season and averaged 3.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per contest. The big man was in training camp with the Wizards this season.
  • Wesley Matthews underwent successful surgery today to repair his torn Achilles, the Trail Blazers announced.
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