Theres a school of thought out there among some Warriorsfans in which things really begin to come together during the 2012-13season.The Warriors finally have a center, and Andrew Bogut is apretty good one when hes healthy. Stephen Curry, fingers crossed, willhopefully return and his right ankle will be completely healed.And theres also the matter of the Warriors draft pick. Ifthe Warriors get a break or during the NBA lottery, theyll end up getting atop-seven pick and be able to add to their talent pool.In other words, things seem to be locking in.But theres a wild card out there, and unknown that couldwind up throwing a monkey wrench into the plans. That wild card is MichaelMalone.Malone, of course, is the Warriors top assistant coach andhes sure to get a few sniffs come this offseason. But hes more than just theWarriors No. 1 assistant. Malone is considered one of the best young assistantcoaches in the game and it seems only a matter of time before he becomes a headcoach.And if this is Malones time to get a head job, then theWarriors will be negatively impacted.As far as assistant coaches go, few if any have moreinput and influence than Malone. If you sit outside a practice at the Warriorsfacility, it is Malones voice mostly heard echoing within the gym.When the Warriors are in a tight game, and need a bucket, itis Malone who draws up the plays in the huddle. When head coach Mark Jacksonpaces the sidelines, it invariably is Malone who approaches him with asuggestion or gives him advice.The Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic, Portland TrailBlazers and L.A. Clippers, and maybe another team or two, figure to have headcoaching openings this offseason.And its likely Malone will be a candidate in one or more ofthose places. It sure seems like Malone could have a busy summer. There alreadyhas been a report that the Magics Dwight Howard wants Malone to be Orlandoshead coach. And there is a history between Clippers point guard Chris Paul andMalone, both of whom were in New Orleans.In other words, the Warriors have all their importantplayers signed and under contract for next season. The big unknown, however, iswhether their top assistant coach will return.
The Washington Wizards' long-term future is now a lot clearer, as superstar point guard John Wall agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $170 million. David Aldridge first reported the news.
Wall, 26, re-ups with the Wizards through the 2022-23 season. By the time it expires he will be 32 years old, meaning the Wizards have locked him up for the majority if not all of his prime.
Wall was able to earn the dollar amount he did in part because of his selection to third team All-NBA for the 2016-17 season. Under the recently installed collective bargaining agreement, honors like All-NBA and Defensive Player of the Year allow players to earn more money on contract extensions.
The Wizards drafted Wall first overall in 2010 out of the University of Kentucky. In his seven NBA seasons since, Wall has blossomed into one of the NBA's best players with career averages of 18.8 points, 9.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. He has been an All-Star in each of the past four seasons and is a one-time All-Defensive team selection.
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On Friday afternoon, news broke that Kyrie Irving reportedly requested a trade from the Cavs.
Shortly thereafter, a Twitter account with over 296,000 followers tweeted the following:
Hi @KevinLove, how are things— InsideHoops.com NBA (@InsideHoops) July 21, 2017
A little over an hour later, Kevin Love responded:
Life is amazing. No complaints. Things are a little peculiar. But no complaints. Now go kick some rocks 🙌🏼 https://t.co/Tz62YyGeYt— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) July 21, 2017
On Tuesday night, Irving told Sports Illustrated the Cavs are "in a very peculiar place."
In the weeks between Cleveland's Game 5 loss to the Warriors and the start of free agency, Love was reportedly on the trading block.
The Cavs and GM David Griffin "mutually" parted ways three days before the NBA Draft.
Cleveland is finally finalizing a deal with assistant GM Coby Altman to become the permanent general manager, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
LeBron James can opt out and become a free agent next summer, and there is already speculation about where he may go.
Man. The last six weeks in Cleveland have been wild...
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller