Napheesa Collier To Be Named WNBA Rookie Of The Year

Napheesa Collier of the Minnesota Lynx

The WNBA will announce Napheesa Collier as Rookie of the Year today, Kent Youngblood of Minnesota’s Star Tribune reports, crowning the UConn product as the best in a draft class with no shortage of impact players.

Collier filled the stat sheet for the Minnesota Lynx in her first year in the W and was the only rookie to participate in the All-Star Game. Collier didn’t fill score at quite the same rate as Rookie of the Year runner up Arike Ogunbowale but she contributed efficiently and across the board for a playoff contender.

Collier averaged 13.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting .361 from beyond the arc and playing workhorse minutes. Her emergence as a first-year star allowed the Lynx to claw their way back to the postseason in 2019 despite the retirement of Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore’s sabbatical.

Collier, who was drafted No. 6 overall last April, received 29 of the 43 votes for the award while Ogunbowale received the remaining 14.

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Report: NBA Proposes Harsher Tampering Consequences

The NBA has proposed to increase the penalties for tampering and cap circumvention, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.

Tampering with players and/or team personnel would carry a maximum fine of $10 million under the proposal. The previous maximum was $5 million. Unauthorized agreements would result in a $6 million fine for a franchise and a player would be issued a $250,000 fine for being involved.

In addition, the league will begin cracking down on player-to-player tampering by increasing enforcement. It will also require a team governer to certify that no unauthorized benefits were offered or provided and the league will conduct investigatory audits of five teams, annually, which will be chosen at random.

The NBA is in an era where player movement dominates the offseason and the league is arguably as healthy as its ever been. However, that hasn’t come without concerns over tampering and free agency. The relocations of Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard are among those that have drawn speculation of tampering.

The NBA Board of Governors will meet on September 20 to vote on the proposed guidelines. If approved, the legislation would become effective immediately.

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Michael Jordan Sells Equity Stake In Hornets

michael jordan all-star game

Michael Jordan, who owns the Hornets, is selling part of his club. According to a team press release, Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim have bought into the franchise as minority partners.

“While I will continue to run the Charlotte Hornets, make all decisions related to the team and organization, and remain the team’s NBA Governor, Gabe and Dan’s investment in the franchise is invaluable, as we continue to modernize, add new technology, and strive to compete with the best in the NBA,” Jordan said in the press release.

“Both Gabe and Dan are industry standard-setters and proven leaders, with a belief in philanthropy and a passion for the game of basketball. They share my commitment to Charlotte and the Carolinas, and I look forward to working with and learning from them.”

The move is subject to league approval, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer relays. It’s unclear how much Plotkin and Sundheim will pay to become part-owners. It’s also unclear exactly what the ownership percentage will be. Prior to the agreement, Jordan owned 80% of the team.

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Golden State Warriors Roster Count: 2019 Training Camp

Alfonzo McKinnie of the Golden State Warriors

After a wild NBA offseason, training camps are fast approaching. Teams around the league are scrambling to iron out their rosters and will have plenty of decisions to make before rosters condense at the start of the regular season.

Below is a list of the contract types the Golden State Warriors have heading into training camp. This resource will be updated as players are signed and waived. Check back often to see if your team’s roster configuration has changed.

Golden State Warriors

Total Roster Count 17
Guaranteed 13
Non-Guaranteed 2
Two-Way Deals 2
Exhibit 10 Deals 0
Guaranteed Contracts Non/Partial Guaranteed
Stephen Curry Alfonzo McKinnie
Klay Thompson
D’Angelo Russell Two-Way Contracts
Draymond Green Damion Lee
Kevon Looney Ky Bowman
Willie Cauley-Stein
Jordan Poole Exhibit 10 Deals
Jacob Evans Devyn Marble
Omari Spellman Andrew Harrison
Alec Burks Juan Toscano-Anderson
Glenn Robinson III
Alen Smailagic
Eric Paschall

For a complete list of all the NBA teams and links to each team’s roster breakdown, check out our 2019 NBA Training Camp Index. Follow the curators of this database, Chris Crouse and Austin Kent, on Twitter.

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Shaun Livingston Retires From The NBA

Fifteen years after being drafted, Shaun Livingston is calling it a career, as he announces on his Instagram.

“After 15 years in the NBA, I’m excited, sad, fortunate and grateful all in one breath. Hard to put into a caption all of the emotions it takes to try and accomplish your dreams. I wasn’t supposed to be here.

Anybody that has beat the odds understands the mental and emotional strain it takes to inspire yourself on an uphill war, let alone inspire others. “The injury” gave me a chance to find and prove to myself [and the world] that I wouldn’t be defined by my circumstances. With my time in the League what I will be most proud of is the fact that my character, values and faith were tested, and I persevered…”

Livingston was selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2004 draft and suffered a catastrophic knee injury early in his career. That could have forced him to call it quits but he rehabbed and altered his game, becoming a trusted veteran off the bench.

The point guard won three championships as a key member of the Golden State Warriors. He totaled 833 games played during his NBA career.

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Dwane Casey Played Major Role In Bringing Joe Johnson To Detroit

The Pistons won the Joe Johnson sweepstakes, signing the 7-time All-Star to a one-year deal. Many factors brought Johnson to Detroit, though Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press hears that coach Dwane Casey was instrumental in selling Johnson on the team.

It’s unclear what pitch Casey gave Johnson while recruiting him, though I’d speculate that he told the veteran that there is a chance to make the rotation among other narratives. The team has a need for a scorer on the wing, as we previously detailed.

The franchise had previously agreed to bring scoring forward Michael Beasley to camp, though the former No. 2 overall pick will no longer join the team. Ellis reports hears from a source that while Beasley could find his way onto a training camp roster, it’s unlikely that it will be in Detroit.

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Knicks Have Not Given Up On Frank Ntilikina

It’s no secret that the Knicks had been shopping Frank Ntilikina since the offseason began. However, his play during the 2019 FIBA World Cup could have a dramatic impact on which NBA city he calls home this upcoming season.

Heading into the 2019 offseason, I spoke with a rival executive who explained that Ntilikina’s contract simply didn’t provide much upside for a team trading for him. It had less to do with the 21-year-old’s talent than it had to do with the fourth-year option on his rookie deal. Whichever team acquired him would have make a decision on his $6.2 million option (for the 2020-21 season) by October 31, leaving just a couple weeks of regular season play to evaluate Ntilikina’s fit.

If a team declined that option and Ntilikina flourished in his new environment, he’d become a free agent and could potentially walk after just one season with the team. The incumbent team would be limited in what it could offer Ntilikina, as franchises are not allowed to turn down the fourth-year option and offer the player more than what the amount was in free agency (in this case $6.2 million).

Alternatively, the team could pick up the $6.2 million 2020-21 option and take the risk that Ntilikina would further develop and grow into a player worthy of his lofty salary. Through two years of NBA play, there wasn’t much optimism around the league that the point guard would do that.

With a promising 2019 FIBA World Cup on his resume, a rival team may feel more confident taking the second option and that could raise his value in a trade. Yet, with Ntilikina flashing some of the potential that made him a top-10 pick, the Knicks may be less inclined to move him.

General Manager Scott Perry reportedly hasn’t given up on Ntilikina though Frank Isola of The Athletic hears that there’s a minor schism within the Knicks’ front office. Perry’s hand-picked scouts and executives have different opinions than that of the employees remaining from the Phil Jackson era.

“That’s always been the case,” a former Knicks executive told Isola. “They keep a lot of people from different regimes and that causes some friction.” Isola notes that from all accounts, team president Steve Mills and Perry share a healthy working relationship and that Mills remains one of owner James Dolan’s closest confidantes.

The Knicks had hopes for a flashy summer filled with star acquisitions. Instead, they’ll embark on another rebuilding year and New York’s failed blueprint provides the team with another opportunity to see if Ntilikina can earn a long-term role on the team. Whether the Knicks decide to keep the French point guard or move him, they are undoubtedly in a better position now than they were weeks ago with the 21-year-old showcasing his ability on a world stage.

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