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Barstool NBA Notebook: Whiteside On The Trade Block, Grizzlies May Have A Head Coach, One And Done & More

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This is a new daily series I plan on launching with half the league in the offseason. The NBA offseason tends to be one of the more wild one at the professional level, so this will be your cheat sheet to see what’s going on. This will be everything from coaching changes and interviews, contract deals, trades, etc. We’ll avoid game recaps, but rather focus on the other aspects to the league and game. You’ll be able to find it all right here. If there’s something you want changed with this set up or any ideas, let me know @barstoolreags

The Heat are in a weird position with Hassan Whiteside. There are two ways to look at his game. One that shows he averaged a double double the last two years with a solid PER this past season. Or the other that was on full display during the Sixers series. One that showed he couldn’t stay on the floor when the Sixers went small without Embiid and then one that got absolutely killed by Embiid’s return. Throw in the fact he’s expected to make over $24 million the next two seasons, that’s a lofty salary for a guy like that. So with that in mind, it’s been reported that the Heat are going to look to trade Whiteside. The question will be a) who would want to take on that sort of contract and b) what else will they have to throw into the deal in order to make it work? Will they have to throw in first round picks? Will they have to throw in a Bam Adebayo? There’s a lot that would have to happen here, but expect to hear Whiteside’s name quite a bit.
Grizzlies will likely keep J.B. Bickerstaff as head coach
The Grizzlies already had a pretty busy offseason with the ownership group and who was keeping the team, etc. Now, with a possible coaching search, the Grizzlies seem to be content to keep J.B. Bickerstaff as head coach. Marc Stein was on the Dunc’d On Podcast when he talked about how everyone is operating as if Bickerstaff will be the head coach. Bickerstaff, the son of Bernie Bickerstaff, took over as interim head coach when the Grizzlies fired David Fizdale. He was also the interim head coach in Houston when the Rockets fired Kevin McHale back in the 2015-16 season. The Grizzlies are in a weird spot after reports came out last week about how they essentially chose Marc Gasol over David Fizdale and are in that basketball purgatory I talk about. They aren’t going to compete for a title, but Conley and Gasol are good enough, when healthy, to win enough games to keep you in the back end of the playoffs. They’ll have a chance in this draft though to land a wing – someone like a Luka Doncic, especially if they end up with a top-3 pick as expected.
Tony Parker wants to stay in San Antonio
The Spurs are in a spot they aren’t used to this offseason. They have to have a sit down meeting with their star while there are a bunch of people either becoming free agents or likely going to be signed to a deal where they have qualifying offers next season. One of those players is Tony Parker, who has said he’d like to continue his career in San Antonio. However, it will have to come at a discounted rate. He made over $15 million this past season – something that he obviously won’t get going forward as he takes a reduced role in the rotation, especially with the growth of Murray. Parker has talked about how he wants to play 20 seasons in the NBA, which would be 3 more. I do expect the Spurs to sign him to a cheaper deal.
Mike Budenholzer is now a free agent
Clem talked about this a bit last night, but I wanted to touch on this again. The fact that Bud is now a free agent is absolutely huge, especially if you’re a Knicks fan. Now, I don’t know why the Bucks wouldn’t just sign Budenholzer, but that just seems too logical. So Bud seems ready to go to the Knicks, mostly because they are competing. That was part of the problem with the Hawks this past season and likely the next year or two. They were in full on tank mode and that’s not something Budenholzer wanted to do. The Knicks, while they should be in tank mode, do actually try to win games, giving Budenholzer a chance to coach again. If you’re a Knicks fan this also means you’ll get to keep pick 37, the one that you likely would have had to trade to get him away from Atlanta to begin with.
Jimmy Butler’s knee cost him the fourth quarter
It’s no surprise that Jimmy Butler’s knee ended up being a problem during the playoffs. He somewhat rushed back from the meniscus injury to play the last few games of the season as the Wolves were trying to make the playoffs. Butler also played a ton of minutes pretty quick, which obviously is just going to take a toll on your knees. Well, it all sort of showed last night when Butler was held out of the fourth quarter against the Rockets. Thibs said in his press conference, after Butler denied answering a question about it, that Butler’s knee was ‘sore and they were using caution.’ Butler is under contract next season before having a player option for the year following, so it makes sense to be cautious with a knee, especially when you plan on building around KAT and Butler in the west.
NBA responds to commission on college basketball
I talked at length about the commission on college basketball yesterday, but the key piece from an NBA standpoint is the plea to end the one and done. The problem with that is the one and done likely won’t change until 2020 at the earliest. The other important thing is the ability for players to return to college if they don’t go drafted-  which could actually help the NBA because right now there aren’t enough spots in the NBA or G-League for everyone. Essentially though the NBA is worried about the NBA and looking at the one and done, you can look at it two different ways. One, it helps protect the owners of NBA teams. They give an extra year for scouting departments to do their thing and get reports on a player. Ending the one and done could also lose some interest in players. It’s true that some of these big time freshmen get even bigger due to college basketball and being on ESPN/CBS/FOX every week for the entire year. That’s not to say that people wont be intrigued, but there are Kentucky/Duke fans that tune in to the NBA just to see how their former players are doing. That said, I don’t get the talk about how college basketball will end once the one and done does. We’ve seen this before. We’ve lived in a world where there is no one and done. College basketball was fine and the NBA was fine. I expect the same, no matter what.