We interrupt this NBA Finals collection to convey you some commentary on one of many extra attention-grabbing free brokers this summer season, Kemba Walker. Walker, you might recall, was named to the third workforce All-NBA per week in the past. That makes him eligible to obtain a gargantuan super-max deal from the Charlotte Hornets this summer season. Walker advised The Athletic’s Jared Weiss that Charlotte is “definitely: his “first priority” in free company, which doesn’t point out essentially that he will re-sign with the Hornets, nevertheless it definitely makes that appear just like the more than likely situation.

If the Hornets supply him the super-max, which maybe isn’t a foregone conclusion.

The deal can be 5 years, $221 million. Charlotte wants Walker, one of the best participant in franchise historical past. However the Hornets additionally must be reasonable about whether or not paying Walker all that cash will make it doable to construct a aggressive workforce round him. In fact, the Hornets have been unable to construct a aggressive workforce round him at a a lot decrease wage quantity largely on account of free company and commerce and NBA draft errors. Fixing these errors can be an excellent first step, and having Walker on board would enable the Hornets to probably make the most of success elsewhere on the roster.

You don’t win something by letting free brokers stroll, and so Charlotte must be cautious about attempting to persuade Kemba to take something lower than the super-max lest they kill the goodwill and ship him checkin in on his second, third, and fourth priorities. But when conserving Walker finally ends up being simpler than envisioned, it’s time to give attention to the remainder of the roster and attempt to discover methods to make sense of it.

Stress Check

A stress take a look at is whenever you apply excessive stress to some form of construction to see if it’ll maintain, to see if it might face up to excessive ranges of stress. Sport 1 was a stress take a look at for these Warriors. They misplaced the sport, however handed the take a look at. They didn’t crack. They didn’t warp. They continue to be sound.

That’s my takeaway, at the very least, from Paul Flannery’s Sunday Shootaround from Toronto, the place the Warriors point out they’re truly excited for the problem of attempting to determine tips on how to beat the Raptors.

The stress take a look at, in fact, may not be over. I really feel like I’m of the few who picked Toronto who truly thinks Sport 1 was actually, actually encouraging past simply getting the win at dwelling (an important component in simply guaranteeing you don’t get embarrassed within the collection). How Toronto performed is precisely how they must with a view to beat the unbelievable Warriors; that they had been in a position to execute with out a ton of resistance looks as if a fabulous signal.

In the event that they do it once more, that’s after we’ll see how safe the Warriors are in themselves. Nothing to fret about to date. However the stress’s solely going to rise.


Sport 2 is on Sunday at eight p.m. ET on ABC.

Zach Lowe sits down with Draymond Inexperienced to investigate 10 performs from the postseason and get into the star’s head.

I wrote about Marc Gasol.

Michael Pina on how the Raptors’ protection is constructed to cease the Warriors.

Michael Grange on the person behind the load administration of Kawhi Leonard.

How Pascal Siakam’s epic Sport 1 made life simpler going ahead for his teammates.

Alex Wong on whether or not insecure Raptors followers are lastly prepared to show the web page.

An argument from Matt Ellentuck that the Sport 1 loss doesn’t show that the Warriors want Kevin Durant.

The NBA hit Doc Rivers with a $50,000 effective for speaking about Kawhi. I actually don’t assume saying “Player X is hella good” must be a fineable offense. Getting caught speaking to his agent about him? Positive. Stating the plain in entrance of a mic? Come on.

Darius Bazley had the weirdest path to the NBA Draft: Syracuse commit, then G League prospect, then man who simply took a shoe contract and labored out all 12 months. That unusual path about to be examined.

How the Raptors slowed down Steph Curry.

Rodger Sherman ranks the Warriors’ randos.

And at last: Drake and Draymond Inexperienced, who trolled one another on the finish of Sport 1, had dinner the following evening. No beef on the menu, I guess.

Be glorious to one another.

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