Steve Fisher agrees to new deal

The 69-year-old coach just started his 16th season with the Aztecs.

      
 

 

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Hawks win again, deal Knicks 5th straight loss (Yahoo Sports)

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks shoots against Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks on November 10, 2014 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Two nights after the best game of his NBA career, Dennis Schroder had one that was even better.


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Beck/Bucher: Would You Rather Give a Max Deal to Klay Thompson or Kawhi Leonard?

Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard are two emerging NBA superstars that can be looked at as franchise cornerstones, certainly worthy of hefty contracts.

With Thompson signing a rich extension with the Golden State Warriors and reigning Finals MVP Leonard still without a deal, we asked our NBA experts who is the better investment.

Ric Bucher and Howard Beck join Adam Lefkoe to debate that topic in the video above.

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Wolves give Rubio 4-year, $56M deal (Yahoo Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 30: Ricky Rubio #9 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the game against the Detroit Pistons on October 30, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ricky Rubio is getting a four-year, $56 million contract extension from the Minnesota Timberwolves.


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AP Source: Jazz, Burks agree on 4-year, $42M deal (Yahoo Sports)

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 29: Alec Burks #10 of the Utah Jazz handles the ball against the Houston Rockets at EnergySolutions Arena on October 29, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

From his second season to his third in the NBA, Alec Burks doubled his scoring and assist averages and improved his field goal percentage as well. It’s clear that the Utah Jazz expect the improvement from the 23-year-old to keep on coming. Burks agreed to a new four-year, $42 million contract extension on Friday that could be worth $45 million after incentives, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The Jazz later confirmed the signing, but didn’t release the terms.


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AP Source: Jazz, Burks agree on 4 yr, $42M deal (Yahoo Sports)

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 29: Alec Burks #10 of the Utah Jazz handles the ball against the Houston Rockets at EnergySolutions Arena on October 29, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the Utah Jazz have agreed with guard Alec Burks on a four-year, $42 million extension that could be worth $45 million after incentives. The person requested anonymity because an official announcement had not been made. Burks was the 12th overall pick in 2011. He averaged 14.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in his third season in the league last year and is off to a nice start this season with 16.5 points on 50 percent shooting in the Jazz’s first two games.


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With the NBA’s new TV deal comes issue of money sharing

NBA commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t want to worry about a possible lockout, but it’s out there

      
 

 

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Durant struggling to deal with injury (Yahoo Sports)

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - OCTOBER 14: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Chesapeak Energy Arena on October 14, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Richard Rowe/NBAE via Getty Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Thunder forward Kevin Durant says he has been antsy since finding out he will miss the early part of the season with a broken bone in his right foot.


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Durant signs endorsement deal with Neff (Yahoo Sports)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — NBA MVP Kevin Durant has added action sports accessory brand Neff to his rapidly growing list of endorsement deals.

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NBA Rights Deal Gives Rockets More Fuel, Competition in Future Free-Agency Talks

Not long after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s long fly ball sailed foul this summer, he pledged to keep swinging. Opposite-field singles are not his style. 

Soon, nearly the entire NBA will swing for the fences too. A free-agent frenzy like no other looms on the horizon thanks to the NBA’s new media rights deal and corresponding salary-cap increases. 

Recently, the Rockets haven’t needed salary-cap spikes to seek the best free agents or biggest deals available. Morey scored the free agent of 2013 in franchise center Dwight Howard, before whiffing on a home run swing for Chris Bosh this past offseason.

That led to the stunning decision to let Chandler Parsons flee to Dallas. Morey claims the Rockets’ championship chances are better with Trevor Ariza at just over half the price, giving Houston salary-cap flexibility in lieu of a strong roster virtually locked in place.

While making his case for flexibility, Morey has pledged Houston won’t shy away from the next long-shot superstar acquisition.

“Sometimes you have 11 and you double down and you get two,” he said after the smoke cleared following Bosh’s decision and Parsons’ departure. “It doesn’t mean it was wrong to double down.”

But when the new rights fee deals with Disney (ABC/ESPN) and Turner (TNT, Bleacher Report, NBATV) drop crisp dollar bills into league coffers, the Rockets could face an unprecedented number of competitors ready to spend like, well, the Rockets.

Morey has in past seasons carefully built his roster to have the cap room or flexibility to trade for James Harden in 2012, to sign Howard in 2013 and to chase Bosh and Carmelo Anthony in 2014. When he regrouped from this summer’s near miss—after Bosh took the extra $30 million the Heat added to their offer at the last minute—Morey offered only short-term deals to make sure the Rockets would remain free-agent players in 2015, and especially in 2016.

Now, with the salary cap likely to jump between $25 million and $30 million for the 2016-17 season and maybe sooner if the NBA can convince the Players Association to accept a more gradual phase-in of the increased cap, all kinds of teams that would not have otherwise had the cap room to gain admittance to the free-agent dance will be able to make their moves too.

(In a league memorandum issued last week, NBA executives were barred from commenting on the next round of collective bargaining agreement negotiations or the impact of the new rights fees.)

Of course, the Rockets’ flexibility could still come in handy, offering a chance for players to team up in a Heat-like axis of power. The Rockets have just four players—Harden, Ariza, Howard and Nick Johnson—with guaranteed money for the 2016-17 season, and Howard could opt out of his deal in the summer of 2016 to take advantage of all that new cap room.

(Howard passed on a Los Angeles Lakers‘ offer $30 million richer than the Rockets could offer him in 2013. He could make up for that by starting his new deal in the rich, new landscape one season earlier.)

By then, the Rockets will have also likely committed years and dollars to point guard Patrick Beverley, a free agent after this season. They could keep forward Terrence Jones or forward Donatas Motiejunas around. For now, they have just $25.5 million, not including Howard’s $23.3 million on the books for 2016-17, when the cap could jump to the pricey neighborhood of $90 million.

But even if they choose to have only enough players under contract for a decent poker game, they would have roster spots and cap room like never before. 

They won’t be alone. Less certain will be whether teams choose to spend their money carefully in 2015 in anticipation of a free-agent class likely to be headlined by LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Howard in 2016. Even then, players might have to weigh taking the windfall that will come with the new TV deal versus waiting another year for the new collective bargaining agreement and whatever forms of riches it could bring the league’s upper crust.

For example, would Rajon Rondo seek only a one-year deal in 2015 so he can be a free agent again in 2016? Would teams offer him maximum money for just one season if they could lose him so quickly? A player like Paul Milsap, who would be a coveted free agent but not necessarily a max-contract player, could have to choose between waiting a year for the salary cap to jump or taking the offers that might be richer because teams may attempt to lock up stars with the current salary-cap structure.

Eric Bledsoe and Kenneth Faried chose long-term contracts now, contracts that might not seem quite as much of a gamble for their teams when the new world order kicks in.

Many of these questions could be answered as the NBA begins working through the new uncertainty, beginning with a board of governors meeting this month.

Morey will continue to gamble on landing big names because that is the strategy he and Rockets owner Leslie Alexander value. That would not change if the new money to spend brings more teams into the market, though the Rockets could use their flexibility and again chase multiple free agents, as they did with Bosh and Carmelo Anthony.

In the era of the short contracts, decisions in 2014, including the Rockets’ willingness to let Parsons bolt for Dallas, are not likely to bring regrets because of changes to come in 2016. More than ever, however, teams will look for guidance about how and when the rights fees will change their lives.

This could give NBA front offices, especially teams that have saved their allowance, two years of waiting to go shopping in a buyer’s market with new money burning holes in general managers’ pockets. Morey has been there before. Now, more than ever, he is certain to be back to try again.

 

Jonathan Feigen covers the Rockets for the Houston Chronicle, and can be followed on Twitter at @Jonathan_Feigen.

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