Hubie Brown

And-Ones: Superteams, Cook, Williams

With the 2018 NBA Finals now officially wrapped, the offseason has begun. Now, Ken Berger of Bleacher Report writes, players and teams around the league will waste no time scraping away for ways to conquer one of the sport’s greatest rosters. One of those options? Find a way to form an even more powerful superteam.

Berger writes about the rise of the modern superteam era, one that he says traces back over a decade to when the Celtics brought All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen aboard to team up with Paul Pierce and win a title. A feeling of futility matched up against those Hall of Famers, Cavaliers forward LeBron James says, contributed to his decision to in turn team up with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade with the Heat.

More recently, it was what Berger calls a flaw in the salary cap system that allowed the Warriors to add Kevin Durant mere months after setting the all-time record for regular season wins. A boost in broadcasting revenue after the 2011 lockout precipitated a massive spike in the salary cap.

At the time, Berger writes, league commissioner Adam Silver pushed to spread the increase out over several seasons but the player’s union fought to keep the increase in one lump sum. The result? A $24MM salary cap increase that allowed the Warriors to sign a fourth superstar without giving up any major roster pieces.

There’s more from around the league:

  • Former Heat swingman Daequan Cook has signed an extension to return to Ironi Ness Ziona in Israel, international basketball reporter David Pick tweets. Cook last saw NBA action in 2012/13.
  • Though it’s only been seven years since he was drafted with the No. 2 pick, Derrick Williams has seen the NBA landscape around him do an about-face with regard to how it values the hybridization of player positions. Keith Langlois of Detroit’s official team site writes about how the journeyman forward auditioning for the Pistons is hoping that being a “tweener” can help him land another gig in the league.
  • Legendary hoops analyst Hubie Brown suffered a knee injury prior to Game 4 of the NBA Finals and wasn’t able to broadcast over the radio, an ESPN report says. There’s no indication that the 84-year-old’s injury was self-inflicted after letting his emotions get the best of him.

And-Ones: Watson, Love, Seattle, Isiah, Draft

Earl Watson would like to coach the Jazz next season, and he’s picked up the endorsement of restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, as both Watson and Hayward tell Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. Watson, who played with the Blazers this year, hasn’t ruled out playing again next season, but if he becomes Jazz coach, he’ll target Hubie Brown as an assistant, he says. Here’s more from around the league with an altered title picture now that Serge Ibaka is expected to miss the rest of the playoffs.

  • Kevin Love will have some say in who coaches him next season on the Wolves, owner Glen Taylor confirmed to Charley Walters of the Star Tribune. President of basketball operations Flip Saunders has spoken with eight candidates, but he hasn’t endorsed any of them to Taylor, Walters adds.
  • Taylor also said the Wolves lost “a couple million” dollars this year, Walters notes in the same piece.
  • Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who partnered with Chris Hansen on an ill-fated bid to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle, is open to purchasing any NBA team, but wouldn’t necessarily bring them to the Emerald City, as he tells Shira Ovide of The Wall Street Journal. He says he wouldn’t move the Clippers out of Los Angeles if he bought them.
  • Isiah Thomas and the Pistons are in preliminary talks about a deal for him to purchase a minority share of the team, reports Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News.
  • Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey and Cavs GM David Griffin have said they’re open to trading their respective first-round picks for players who can help immediately, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.
  • Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson has political aspirations that would make him reticent to accept the post of executive director of the players union, but the job increasingly appears to be his if he wants it, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.
  • Hawks and Cavs officials will meet with draft prospect Alessandro Gentile of the Italian league, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia reports. The swingman is No. 66 in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings and 100th with Chad Ford of ESPN.com.