The second option is the Disabled Player Exception the Celtics can use to replace Hayward. There are narrow restrictions on the exception, most notably that the acquired player cannot make more than $8.4 million, and the contract must expire at the end of the current season whether brought in by signing or trade. Those rules mean the Disabled Player Exception’s most logical use in the context of a major trade would be as a part of a deal during this season.
This dude is brilliant. He won’t catch James Harden for MVP, even if Russell Westbrook reset the precedent for required team wins. And that’s fine. Harden deserves it. But if the 2018 Pelicans finish in similar position to the 2017 Thunder and your argument for Westbrook as a superior MVP candidate comes to down, Well, he averaged a triple-double, find a better argument.
With his two-way contract up, let’s take a moment to laud Tyrone Wallace’s improbable contributions to the Clippers’ improbable season. The very last pick in the 2016 draft — a dude who didn’t appear in an NBA game until this season — has filled gaps in makeshift Clipper lineups with heady, unselfish play.
But history has told us to hold off on the panic button. Cleveland has been here before, undergoing some existential crisis or other that seems to open a pathway for a rival to get past them in the postseason and make their way into the Finals. Yet the Cavs have won out every time, with a daunting 36-5 mark in the East playoffs the last three springs.
This season may be different. The problems of this team go much deeper than those of the recent past. But the Cavs have always managed, and they’ve now won three of their last four games. Taking a look back at how the Cavs bounced back after each of their low points in the last three years gives some hope, at least, that Cleveland is headed for an upswing.
A year ago, would Davis have leapt at that pump fake? Would he have cared quite so much about forcing a stop? It was one of those moments that stick out when a player makes another leap.