If you missed any of this past week’s top stories from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Here are some of the more noteworthy stories from the last seven days.
Despite being medically cleared to return, Spurs All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard may not play the rest of this season, per head coach Gregg Popovich. Leonard, who missed the first two months of the season with a lingering quad injury, was shut down by the team after appearing in just nine games. As we relayed earlier this season, Leonard’s prolonged absence has caused stress within the Spurs organization, and the deteriorating relationship between the team and its star player could affect his decision when free agency arrives in 2019.
The Mavericks have one of the worst records in the NBA, and with no shot at making the playoffs, owner Mark Cuban has admitted that it would be in the team’s best long-term interest to keep piling up losses this season. Cuban further admitted to telling some of the Dallas players during a recent dinner that losing is the team’s best option. The NBA was none too pleased with Cuban, fining the outspoken owner $600K for his comments.
In even more bad news for what became a terrible week for the Mavericks, the team has hired outside counsel to investigate allegations of a corrosive workplace culture involving misogyny and sexual harassment. Sources have made it clear that Cuban was not involved in any sexual harassment himself, though most believe it hard to imagine that a hands-on owner would be unaware of such issues surrounding his franchise. For what it’s worth, Cuban strongly condemned the situation, calling it “abhorrent.”
A plethora of 10-day contracts were signed this past week, with nine different teams adding to their roster.
- The Magic signed former first-round pick Rashad Vaughn.
- The Knicks signed Troy Williams, who was waived by the Rockets earlier this month.
- The Trail Blazers signed former lottery selection Brandon Rush.
- The Cavaliers signed rookie Marcus Thornton to his first NBA contract.
- The Wizards signed a former player of theirs – point guard Ramon Sessions.
- The Hawks signed rookie and former Maverick Antonius Cleveland.
- The Pelicans signed rookie Walter Lemon Jr.
- The Suns signed Shaquille Harrison – and waived Josh Gray to open a roster spot.
- The Pacers signed G League veteran Trey McKinney-Jones.
The Suns and Mavericks are among the teams viewed as potential offseason suitors for Magic power forward Aaron Gordon. And while both Phoenix and Dallas should have plenty of cap space to make a compelling offer, Gordon will almost certainly be made a restricted free agency by Orlando, meaning they will be able to match any offers.
Here are 10 additional headlines from last week:
- The Hawks and veteran forward Ersan Ilyasova, 30, are nearing an agreement on a buyout.
- The Hall of Fame announced 13 finalists for 2018, including likely first-ballot hall-of-famers Ray Allen, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash.
- Lakers newly-acquired big man Channing Frye underwent an appendectomy and will be out for the foreseeable future.
- Brazilian center Tiago Splitter, overcome by hip issues over the last few years, announced his retirement.
- The Hornets and soon-to-be former general manager Rich Cho will officially part ways at the end of this season.
- Despite only being the sixth-seeded team at the time of his injury, Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis believes New Orleans was a legitimate title contender with a healthy DeMarcus Cousins.
- The NBA will return to Seattle for the first time since 2008 when the Kings and Warriors play next preseason at KeyArena.
- While still in its infancy, the NBA has discussed a postseason play-in tournament to determine the bottom two playoff seeds in each conference.
- In addition to the 10-day contracts signed above, the Mavericks are planning to sign Scotty Hopson to a 10-day deal.
- The Warriors, Timberwolves, and Thunder are all keeping an eye on a potential Joakim Noah signing in the event he reaches free agency.
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