Patrick Beverley to Re-Sign with Clippers on 3-Year, $40M Contract

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 02: Patrick Beverley #21 of the LA Clippers participates in the announcement of a major gift to renovate nearly 350 public basketball courts in the city at Jim Gilliam Recreation Center on April 02, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Adam Pantozzi/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers and guard Patrick Beverley agreed to a three-year, $40 million contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Beverley’s agent, Kevin Bradbury, told Wojnarowski the news. Beverley also confirmed it himself with a tweet.

The 30-year-old spent the last two seasons with the Clippers. He averaged 7.6 points and 3.8 assists in 2018-19 after being limited to 11 games in 2017-18 because of microfracture surgery.

“I like to go out there, put my game on the line and that’s more than just talking,” Beverley said in August, per Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints. “I’m feeling really, really strong, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life and we’re going to see soon.”

The 2017 All-Defensive team member was among the Clippers’ vocal leaders in their surprise postseason appearance last season:

“We are the best team in L.A. I know Lawrence Frank didn’t give you guys exactly what you wanted to hear but I’ll tell y’all right now, we are the best team in L.A. for sure. We are going to give our best effort every night and we are making the playoffs. The makeup of our team, the depth of our team, we are fortunate to be playing for a great city like L.A.”

Beverley spent his first five NBA seasons with the Houston Rockets, developing a reputation as a defensive menace. He’s also improved his game every year offensively and turned into an underrated three-point shooter. His 38.0 career three-point percentage is above league average, though his scoring has dipped a bit this season.

Microfracture surgery is a big concern. We’ve seen careers be completely derailed and guys come back as lesser versions of themselves after the procedure. He is still not fully himself despite staying mostly healthy this season.

However, Beverley is still a thorn in the side of opponents, and he will help round out the Clippers’ starting lineup.

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The 3rd Chapter Begins: What Move to Nets Means for Kevin Durant’s Legacy

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant paces around the bench during the first half in Game 3 of the team's first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, April 18, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Seconds after free agency began Sunday evening, Kevin Durant made official what had been reported an hour earlier after gaining momentum for the past week: He and Kyrie Irving will, in fact, team up in New York, as had been rumored for the better part of a year.

The curveball is the team. As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the two superstars will be joining the Brooklyn Nets, not the New York Knicks.

It was the counterintuitive choice based on all the noise that’s been circulating around the NBA for the last year. But it was ultimately the one that made the most sense for the next chapter Durant wants to write.

Durant had been linked to the Knicks for most of this past season. For months, Golden State Warriors staffers had operated under the assumption that he was gone this summer. The notion that he would be suiting up at Madison Square Garden next year appeared to be as much of a foregone conclusion in behind-the-scenes league circles as LeBron James’ imminent signing with the Los Angeles Lakers was thought to be during the 2017-18 campaign.

In a perfect world, Durant would make historic MSG—the Mecca—home by lifting a franchise from the dead. The Knicks would resurface as the focus of the basketball world, and KD would position himself to earn a championship unlike any he captured in Golden State.

But the devastating ruptured Achilles tendon Durant suffered in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals changed everything. Any team signing him this summer was now making a move for the 2020-21 season rather than building an instant contender.

TORONTO,ONTARIO - JUNE 10:  Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors tries to get the crowd to show their respect for an injured Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toro

Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Despite suffering the worst injury a basketball player can endure, Durant’s pedigree is enough to make a max contract worth the gamble. The Warriors, by all accounts, were prepared to offer him a five-year, $221 million deal, and the Nets got it done for the most money they could put on the table: four years and $162 million.

Durant would be one of the greatest players in the history of the sport if he retired today. Even at age 30 and coming off an Achilles injury, he has more than earned the benefit of the doubt that his days as a high-level performer won’t be over.

But according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Knicks owner James Dolan wasn’t willing to go there, which only underscores the difference between the two New York organizations. That he, or someone close to him, felt the need to put that information out there is a staggering misread of the room. If the Knicks thought that explanation would make them appear prudent, or that it would provide cover for Durant choosing an objectively better situation across town, it actually had the opposite effect.

If the Knicks passed up the chance to sign arguably the best player of his generation, even with legitimate injury concerns, it only validated every gripe the team’s fans have had about Dolan for the past two decades.  

This isn’t the first time the Knicks and Nets have competed for A-list free agents. Both were in the running for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the summer of 2010, and both ultimately struck out. In subsequent years, both franchises mortgaged their futures in win-now moves—the Knicks by trading a cadre of young players and picks for Carmelo Anthony, and the Nets by trading their next half-decade of first-round picks for past-their-prime Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

BROOKLYN, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: (L-R) Joe Johnson #7, Paul Pierce #34, Kevin Garnett #2, Head Coach Jason Kidd, Brook Lopez #11, and Deron Williams #8 of the Brooklyn Nets pose for a portrait during Media Day at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. NOTE TO U

Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Neither franchise has managed to contend after those moves, one 54-win Knicks season in 2012-13 notwithstanding. Both have felt the long-term effects of those shortsighted endeavors for years.

This time, the Nets won out with the one thing that has eluded the Knicks in that time: competence. 

Brooklyn doesn’t have the iconic arena, the world-famous brand or the mystique. What it does have is a strong roster of role players who have gotten better each year while on cheap contracts, a creative front office and a well-regarded coaching staff led by Kenny Atkinson.

The Nets’ situation offered the best of both worlds for Durant. They’re set up to compete without him—maybe not for a title, but certainly to build on a breakthrough 2018-19 campaign in which they made the playoffs for the first time in four years. Irving is an upgrade over departing point guard D’Angelo Russell, who was an All-Star in his own right. His addition, along with the improvement of youngsters Caris LeVert, Rodions Kurucs and Jarrett Allen, should put them squarely in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff pack.

That was supposed to be their progression anyway. The jump from fringe playoff team to legitimate title contender is not one that typically happens overnight, and letting Durant spend the full year rehabbing his injury will give them cover to progress organically. 

In 2018-19, the Nets were eliminated in five games by the Philadelphia 76ers after years in the lottery. The logical next step will be to win a playoff series, which they’re capable of doing with the players they’ll have on the floor next season.

For Durant, that’s crucial, as his third chapter will also be his first post-Achilles chapter. If he is even 80 percent of his former self when he returns in the 2020-21 season, it will dovetail nicely with what would have been the Nets’ ideal timeline for contending anyway.

It’s not often a team gets to have it both ways, but Brooklyn is set up nicely with Durant and Irving in the fold.

Had Durant joined the Knicks without a second star in tow, he would have been playing with a group of largely unproven youngsters including Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina and this year’s No. 3 overall pick, RJ Barrett. It would have been a far less appealing on-court situation, especially when combined with the dysfunction that has plagued the Knicks’ organization for years. 

If Durant is going to leave a dynasty, it has to be worth his while on the court. The mystique of Madison Square Garden alone wasn’t going to cut it.

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 5: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors talks with Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics after the game on March 5, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by do

Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

Durant joined the historically great Warriors in 2016 while seeking rings, and he got two of them in three years. With that he thought would come validation, but he and his Golden State teammates quickly became widely reviled for “ruining” the NBA. Fans would never love him the way they did Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, who were draft picks made by the franchise and were on board for the dynasty’s first title in 2015.

This season, considering the tensions between Durant and Green and the near-constant speculation about his future, felt like the logical conclusion of that run even before Durant’s significant injury. The controversial handling of Durant’s quad injury in the second round of the playoffs, which led many to question whether the Warriors cleared his Finals return prematurely, didn’t help matters, either.

Durant could have re-upped with the Warriors, rehabbed on their dime for a year and attempted to salvage what looked to be a dynasty on its last legs. With Klay Thompson also out for the foreseeable future rehabbing a torn ACL, Golden State isn’t expected to contend next season. But every great run has to come to an end, and at times, this Warriors team felt like the 2003-04 Lakers, 1997-98 Bulls or 2013-14 Heat. By moving on now, Durant can start fresh as he attempts to overcome the biggest hurdle of his career.

In Brooklyn, he now has the opportunity to write his own final chapter.

The Nets team he’s joining is a good one, but it’s not a 73-win juggernaut. No one will accuse him of frontrunning if he wins a title with them. They don’t have the Knicks’ name-brand recognition, but if he brings a title to Brooklyn, Durant can build that from the ground up for a Nets team that has struggled to gain a foothold in New York.

And this time, it will be his team. There’s no confusion about that, as there was when he joined the Warriors. If he was frustrated by the lack of personal credit he got in Golden State, he’ll get plenty by winning in Brooklyn. Any hardware he picks up in his third stop will mean more because he did it on his terms.

Durant and Irving joining the Nets was not the outcome anyone expected. But for the NBA, and for the third act of Durant’s story, the chance to build his own empire in Brooklyn could be the most compelling one.

Sean Highkin covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. He is currently based in Portland. Follow him on Twitter at @highkin.

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Video Shows Horse Passed Out From The Heat While Pulling Carriage

Shocking video footage has emerged that shows a horse that had passed out as a result of the heat, while strapped to a tourist carriage.

WARNING: THIS VIDEO SHOWS AN ANIMAL IN DISTRESS

The video – which is definitely not for the faint-hearted – was shot in Charleston, South Carolina on 22 June by an animal activist.

Two people rushed to help the poor creature by getting it loose from the carriage and helping it to have a drink.

Like much of Europe, the USA is also experiencing temperatures well above 30C at the minute. Temperatures in this particular bit of the United States are into the high 30s, which is probably too hot for a horse – or anyone – to be doing physically draining work in.

The footage was shared by Julie Marie Cappello and shows members of the public, as well as firefighters from the Charleston Fire Department, rushing to the aid of the stricken horse.

Credit: Facebook/Julie Marie Cappello
Credit: Facebook/Julie Marie Cappello

Narrating the video, a woman can be heard to say: “Children on the carriage. The horse is down. He should not be working. Unbelievable”.

As the horse receives help to get away from the carriage, the passengers that were in it step down. A member of the gathered crowd can be heard shouting: “Take a car, take a fucking car.”

Another person diplomatically offers: “Fuck y’all!”

The video concludes with people trying to comfort the horse by stroking and patting it. They are told that this isn’t helpful though, as the horse needs space to cool down.

As the video ends, the horse is still unconscious and people are still trying to free it from the carriage.

The video has been viewed more than 70,000 times and received several thousand comments. Most of them are agreed that the horse shouldn’t have been working and expressing their hopes that it is now OK.

Credit: Facebook/Julie Marie Cappello
Credit: Facebook/Julie Marie Cappello

Local newspaper The Post and Courier has since reported that the carriage company, Charleston Carriage Works, has opened a lawsuit against Charleston Animal Society and Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates.

The carriage operator alleges libel, defamation, and conspiracy, as well as a violation of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a federal law that stops people interfering with animal enterprises such as the Charleston horse carriages.

The lawsuit alleges that the groups used “social media to create an environment of hostility, designed to intimidate the plaintiff’s managers and employees, ruin its business, and encourage others to undertake physical acts against the plaintiff’s managers and employees.”

The also add that their employees have allegedly suffered “mental anguish and fear from the receipt of death and arson threats.”

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Julie Marie Cappello

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Report: D’Angelo Russell Signs $117M Contract with Warriors After Sign-and-Trade

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 7:  D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball against the Boston Celtics on January 7, 2019 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Brian Babineau/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are close to acquiring point guard D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Golden State would also receive Treveon Graham and Shabazz Napier, per Charania.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Russell will sign for $117 million over four years. Wojnarowski also reported the Warriors traded Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies in part to accommodate Russell’s contract.

The move comes on the same day Kevin Durant agreed to a four-year, $164 million deal with the Nets, per Wojnarowski. Kyrie Irving is on his way to Brooklyn along with Durant, which meant Russell would be on the move at some point during free agency.

Russell took his game to a new level this season, averaging 21.1 points and 7.0 assists while earning his first All-Star selection. He stayed healthy (81 appearances) and became a leader while helping the Nets finish with a winning record for the first time in five years.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Russell first joined the Nets in the summer of 2017 in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers that was mostly to dump the contract of Timofey Mozgov.

He averaged 15.5 points and 5.2 assists in his first season and could have been even better without a knee injury that cost him two months. While he had shown plenty of ability during his first two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers by averaging 14.3 points, he has become more of a complete player over the past two years.

From the Nets perspective, the restricted free agent was set to command a large new contract to keep him on the roster. The team had even considered trading him earlier in the year, reportedly including him in trade talks for Jimmy Butler, per Michael Scotto of the Athletic.

With the team already making upgrades through free agency, the Nets were able to add more assets and clear cap room going into the future.

The Warriors, meanwhile, add an All-Star to partner with Stephen Curry as Klay Thompson is set to miss most or all of the 2019-20 season recovering from a torn ACL.

From that perspective, Thompson’s absence works in Golden State’s favor since the team has a year to decide whether Russell can fit into its long-term outlook. Should Russell struggle to adapt to the Warriors’ offensive system, general manager Bob Myers could potentially gauge his trade value this time next summer. 

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Derrick Favors Reportedly Traded to Pelicans; Jazz Receive Draft Picks

Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Denver. The Jazz won 111-104. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Derrick Favors is headed to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of a trade with the Utah Jazz, per Tony Jones of The Athletic.

Jones added the Jazz will receive draft picks in exchange for the deal.

Favors has $16.9 million remaining on his deal for 2019-20, but the money was not guaranteed until July 6, per Spotrac.

The Jazz could have kept him, but they ran out of cap space after agreeing to a four-year, $73 million deal with Bojan Bogdanovic, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Bobby Marks of ESPN reported the team would have to trade or waive Favors in order to work out the deal.

By completing a trade, Utah was at least able to bring back assets in exchange for the talented player. 

Favors has spent the past eight seasons with the Jazz. The New Jersey Nets selected him with the third overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, but he appeared in just 56 games for the organization before getting dealt to Utah in the blockbuster Deron Williams trade.

The 27-year-old Atlanta native averaged 11.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while shooting 58.6 percent from the field across 76 appearances last season. Among power forwards, he ranked fifth in player efficiency rating and eighth in ESPN’s real plus-minus.

He’s come a long way since struggling to carve out a niche for himself off the Jazz bench early in his career.

He told Tony Jones of The Athletic in mid-June there was a certain shock factor that took a while to wear off after being moved so quickly by the Nets.

“I remember being overwhelmed,” Favors said. “I didn’t know what to expect because I had never been traded. I had new teammates. I had a new coaching staff. I was only 19. I just wasn’t mentally prepared for that at the time.”

The Georgia Tech product’s minutes have decreased over the past three seasons because he’s never developed an outside shot amid the rise of stretch 4s. But his numbers show he’s remained a highly effective player in a more limited role for Utah.

Since the Jazz have one of the NBA’s top centers in Rudy Gobert, they decided to left Favors go to create more financial flexibility. The team will also reportedly add Ed Davis, per Wojnarowski.

Meanwhile, New Orleans will now have an experienced frontcourt player to pair with rookies Zion Williamson and Jaxson Hayes.

With Jrue Holiday leading the way and several promising players like Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball also on the roster, the Pelicans have a chance to be a playoff contender in 2019-20 even after losing Anthony Davis.

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Dying Woman Identifies Twin Sister As Her Killer After Being Stabbed

A woman identified her twin sister as her killer, as she lay bleeding to death on the ground, a court heard.

One witness allegedly heard Anna Ramirez, 27, say that her identical sister Amanda killed her. Amanda was later arrested and charged with aggravated manslaughter.

According to reports, Anna was stabbed in the left side of her chest after a fight broke out with her sister at their apartment block. The witness then reportedly heard Anna say: “Amanda, you stabbed me” as she lay bleeding on the floor.

Amanda Ramirez, 27, has been charged with aggravated manslaughter. Credit: Facebook
Amanda Ramirez, 27, has been charged with aggravated manslaughter. Credit: Facebook

Citing the witness statement to police, Camden County Superior Court Judge Edward McBride also reported that the unnamed witness had heard Amanda threaten Anna saying “watch what I’ll do” before the attack.

As reported by the New York Post, Amanda then went into the building and came back out with a large kitchen knife. The witness, a neighbour of the sisters, went downstairs to see what was happening, but it was too late – Anna had already been stabbed.

The witness’ claims were heard at a bail hearing for Amanda, where she apparently burst into tears when she entered the courtroom and saw her mum, friends and other members of the family.

Amanda showed remorse throughout the hearing, crying all the way through, reports say, but was not granted bail.

According to News.com.au, Anna was taken to hosptial but died less than an hour after.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for her funeral expenses.

Anna Ramirez was allegedly killed by her sister. Credit: Facebook
Anna Ramirez was allegedly killed by her sister. Credit: Facebook

It reads: “It is with great pain, grief and heart ache that we have to announce the untimely death of our beloved Anna Ramirez. God Blessed our family with Anna’s life on January 8, 1992. Born beautifully and extremely loved.

“She was a complete joy and one of the greatest gifts we have ever received. Sadly she was taken from us too soon. On June 22, 2019 our family suffered a great loss. Anna leaves behind 3 beautiful daughters a broken-hearted mother and a family that adored her.

“She was known and loved by her peers, Her humble demeanor, kindness and willingness to give with a pure heart allowed her true beauty to shine through. This is an extremely painful and unexpected tragedy. Humbly we are reaching out, asking for help to lay our beloved family member to rest, Although our true wish is to have her with us, the realization that this is impossible has settled in.

“We are asking for any help in the cost of laying her to rest, without leaving the burden of the cost to her family. We ask that if you can not donate, please share with someone that can. God bless you all and on behalf of her family we send our gratitude.”

Featured Image Credit: Facebook

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Klay Thompson Rumors: Free-Agent SG, Warriors Have ‘Done Deal’ to Re-Sign

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Denver. The Warriors won 142-111. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The situation between Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors remains unchanged on the first day of NBA free agency, according to the New York TimesMarc Stein

Stein reported the two sides “still have their done deal.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday the Warriors planned to offer Thompson a five-year, $190 million max contract once free agency officially opened Sunday.

The Warriors are poised to lose Kevin Durant. Wojnarowski reported Durant agreed to a four-year, $164 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets.

Things had been quiet on the Thompson front, which led some to wonder whether either he or the Warriors was having second thoughts about a max contract.

Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported the Warriors could potentially discuss a sign-and-trade with the Nets centered around Durant. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst speculated on The Jump that Golden State could land D’Angelo Russell as part of the Durant sign-and-trade (h/t Evan Massey of ClutchPoints).

Russell’s arrival wouldn’t necessitate Thompson’s departure, though.

Thompson is going to miss most or all of the 2019-20 season as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered during the 2019 NBA Finals. That would allow Russell to slide into the backcourt alongside Stephen Curry for 2019-20 before Golden State takes another look at his fit in the 2020 offseason.

In the likely event Russell goes elsewhere, Thompson is clearly a large part of the Warriors’ future even with the torn ACL. Their willingness to offer him the max shows how much they value him going forward.

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