The Dallas Mavericks signed free agent Yogi Ferrell last Saturday in desperation. Another 10-day contract player, Pierre Jackson, went down with a hamstring injury, and the Mavericks already were depleted at guard. Deron Williams has missed four straight games with a toe injury, J.J. Barea is continuing to miss time with a calf injury — the third time he’s hurt it this season — and on Friday, Devin Harris missed the game with illness, too.
Wins and losses aren’t the point with these teams as much as player development. Give the Wolves the edge in the player development department, as well as on the scoreboard.
In a matchup of Western Conference bottom-feeders, lots of points were scored, youth was served (at least on one side), and it was easy to see why both teams are far from being competitive. The Timberwolves pulled it out 115-108 behind strong performances from youngsters Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, each of whom scored more than 20.
Zach LaVine could have been one of those NBA restricted free agents who hangs around on the market until August or even later, unable to find a team willing to risk winning a bid for him with an offer sheet and unable to convince his team from buckling and pay big dollars. Restricted free agency is a huge benefit to teams with young players coming off their rookie deals, and LaVine looked to be the latest victim of the rule. His pain would be the Chicago Bulls’ gain as, in the long run, they’d be able to keep LaVine on a more reasonable deal.
Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia was not taken aback after seeing the replay of his hard foul on guard Russell Westbrook with seconds to go in the half of Wednesday’s 121-100 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“You just move on,” Pachulia said according to ESPN’s Royce Young. “If he got hurt, that’s fine too. It’s part of the game.”
The Warriors are keeping their championship core together.
Zaza Pachulia will return to the Warriors on a one-year, $3.5 million deal, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick. Pachulia will play in his 15th year in the NBA and his second with the Warriors after winning the NBA Finals in 2017 as the starting center for Golden State.
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