NBA free agency decided to transcend time as we know it

NBA free agency decided to transcend time as we know it

Adam Silver makes a lousy Santa Claus – well, except for the fact that he can slip easily down a chimney.
But excuse him his thin, reedy ho-ho-hos and his lack of facial hair that looks like a bleached rhododendron and his posture as a coat rack with  $750 shoes. He’s the front man for the NBA’s “Adderall Christmas In July” promotion, and even though he’s not providing the presents any more than the fictional Skippy J. Claus fellow does, someone has to get credit for this glorious insanity.
Paul George to Oklahoma City (WHAT?). Blake Griffin staying in Los Angeles (THE HELL YOU SAY!). Ricky Rubio is traded to Minnesota to make more room for a big score by Minnesota (WT COMPLETE AND UTTER F?). Andre Iguodala now being courted by more teams that actually exist, to the point where he may not be a Warrior at all by the start of summer league (WELL I’LL BE A SON OF A BI . . .).
This is year’s worth of business in a few hours, and the trade deadline hadn’t even begun yet. It is as if the NBA has decided to transcend time as we understand it and work at warp speed to keep your attention.
And it’s brilliant. Not sustainable, I grant you, unless Silver can convince his 30 bosses to move up the 2018 free agency season up a year to completely destroy baseball and half of football along the way. But brilliant.
Of course, the Golden State Warriors can take some credit for this MDMA-fueled festival of roasted money, but they may end up being off-season losers if Iguodala sees the kind of money and term that blows the Warriors’ salary-cap strategy out of the sea.
And who saw that coming?
Hell, who saw any of this coming? I mean, over time, sure, Griffin would go somewhere and George would be in a new home and Rubio and Iguodala blah-blah-blah-de-blah-blah, but it is as if the NBA took the entire summer and said to its 30 billionaire constituents, “Do your business by the Fourth, because we’re closing until October.”
And it’s as if the owners, who don’t need a lot of reasons to hurl money around to impress their colleagues with their fiscal drunkenness, complied with a vengeance.
In other words, Gordon Hayward is now the last turkey in the shop, public appeal-wise. Whether he stays in Utah, goes to Boston or decides to give Maccabi Tel Aviv a whirl for snicks and giggles, his future pales (no pun intended – okay, maybe a bit) in comparison to what has happened since the Warriors had their parade.
And Kyle Lowry? A fascinating afterthought, all things considered.
And LeBron James in 2018? I would put your pink slip on the notion that he might try to become the first player in any team sport to play for two teams simultaneously – just to have that engraved on his Hall of Fame plaque.
(In fairness, I would put your pink slip on a race between two paralytic hens, but that’s a different matter entirely).
The point is, put simply, the NBA is beating the hell out of summer. It is rendering the NFL Combine the ridiculous running of mesomorphs in their underwear that it actually is. It is obliterating Astros Summer. Cristiano Ronaldo would have to meet Lionel Messi in an internationally-televised duel to even make the crawl.
The facts as they fly are even outrunning the rumor mill, which usually dominates the free agency period because there is usually a lot more free-flying fertilizer this time of year than actual mulch. That is an amazing feat given our ability to ceaselessly yammer nonsense on demand.
Whoever had this idea to go all-in on moving every player at once deserves a serious big-time-stylee raise, if only to ruin the assumptions that the league would go radio silent for a year or so until this Warrior fetish ran its course. Those are clearly blown to smithereens now, alongside the horrifying concept of a Ball Family Summer. The league murdered that, revived it and then killed it again, and we are eternally in your debt for that.
So with that, we shout out the traditional toast, “SOCIABLE!” and raise our glasses to you, Silver Claus. You may not wear the suit well, and you may not have even had much of a hand in this Ritalin-crazed shopping spree, but damn it, someone’s got to take credit for breaking the Warrior-rooted ennui of the recent past and future and the tanking conspiracies that fill in the spaces between hot Kevin Durant takes.
If those things still exist, that is.

It's official -- Steph Curry will return vs Hawks, Dennis Schroder awaits him


It's official -- Steph Curry will return vs Hawks, Dennis Schroder awaits him

OAKLAND -- At a time when the Warriors could use a boost, they’ll get Friday night when Stephen Curry rejoins the lineup as they face the Atlanta Hawks.

The Warriors (53-18) have been shorthanded for two weeks, and still they’ll be without three of their four All-Stars. Curry’s return after a six-game absence, however, will send a jolt of energy through the team and the crowd at Oracle Arena.

The Hawks (21-51), in full rebuild mode, have lost 10 of 13 since the All-Star break, including a 105-90 loss to the Kings on Thursday night in Sacramento before the lightest NBA crowd of the season due to protests in the wake of a police shooting.


Warriors by 9


Stephen Curry vs. Dennis Schroder: Under normal circumstances, this is worthy of attention, but it’s particularly intriguing with Curry making his return. Schroder, who rested Thursday night, is a defensive pest, the type of player whose presence lights a fire under opponents. Not that Curry needs it. He’s downright anxious to get back on the court.


Warriors: F Omri Casspi (R ankle sprain) is listed as questionable. F Kevin Durant (R rib cartilage injury), F Draymond Green (pelvic contusion) and G Klay Thompson (R thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Hawks: G Kent Bazemore (R knee bone bruise), F De’Andre Bembry (abdominal strain), G Antonious Cleveland (L ankle surgery rehab), F/C John Collins (L ankle sprain), G Malcolm Delaney (L ankle sprain) and G Jaylen Morris (L ankle sprain) are listed as out.


Warriors: 6-4. Hawks: 2-8.


Sean Wright (crew chief), Kevin Cutler, Rodney Mott


The Warriors prevailed in the first of two meetings this season, 114-109 on March 2 in Atlanta. They swept the two-game series last season and are 6-1 against the Hawks in the Steve Kerr era.


DEFENSIVE INTENSITY: Green’s absence robs the Warriors of their best defender and emotional leader. How do they compensate? That’s going to be tough. Expect Jordan Bell (who will start) and Kevon Looney to handle most of the minutes at PF. They’re capable and willing defenders, but neither has Green’s savvy.

THE GIFTS: Though the Warriors, even without a full roster, are much the better team, those circumstances have guaranteed nothing this season. They have a tendency to keep games close by committing costly turnovers. The Hawks are second in forcing turnovers (15.5 per game) and third in points off turnovers (18.2).

THE GUARDS: Curry’s return gives the Warriors a fourth guard, with three PGs (Quinn Cook, Shaun Livingston, Curry) and SG Nick Young. Because Curry and Quinn Cook are capable of playing off the ball, there will be several variations. Any two can be paired as a duo. The coaching staff gets to satisfy its desire to experiment.

Former agent Christian Dawkins to blame? Jordan Bell knows 'exactly what happened'


Former agent Christian Dawkins to blame? Jordan Bell knows 'exactly what happened'

So here's a story for you:

At 9:25pm on April 16, 2017, The Vertical's Shams Charania sent out the following tweet:

This angered Jordan Bell, who soon thereafter tweeted twice:

So what actually went down? It turns out that former agent Christian Dawkins -- who is a key figure in the FBI's investigation into corruption in college basketball -- may have been responsible.

Bell explained everything to Logan Murdock on the Planet Dubs Podcast.

"I was mad ... I know exactly what happened. One of the agents I met with -- the one who got in trouble. What's his name? Dawkins or whatever. Something like that. When I met with him, he was throwing me shade -- he acted like he didn't know who I was. 

"We had dinner and he's on his phone like not really paying me attention. I'm like, 'Why am I meeting with you?  You're wasting my time.' ... I kid you not, he didn't read over his (research). It had all of the top power forwards, big guys in the draft. And he was like, 'Let's just look at this.'

"And he's looking at it, and he was like, 'Oh! You're Top 3 in everything!' And he started getting excited and I was like, 'I'm cool. I'm done with this meeting.'"

Bell then explained how one of his coaches at Oregon tried to teach Bell a lesson.

The coach wanted Bell to "be a man" and contact all of the agents that he was for sure not going to sign with to let them know.

Bell didn't want to do that because he wanted to announce he was declaring for the draft on his own terms, without any information potentially leaking to the media.

But the Warriors rookie took the coach's advice and texted Dawkins to say he was going in a different direction.

"And I kid you not, like an hour later, I get an (alert) -- I'm upstairs at my coach's house -- 'I hear Jordan Bell declares for (the draft)' and I just started screaming...

"... I feel like I have to go (to the NBA) now ... when that happened, I was like, 'I really want to go back now just to prove him wrong, just to make him lose all credibility."

Bell quickly came to his senses, and at 10am on April 18, 2017, he retweeted the following message:

Interestingly -- the last line of The Vertical's story that broke the news regarding Bell reads:

Bell is projected to be the No. 38 overall pick in The Vertical’s latest mock draft by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.

The Warriors paid the Bulls $3.5 million for the rights to Bell at... No. 38 overall.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller