Monday’s NBA: Clippers sign ex-Piston Luke Kennard to multiyear extension

Detroit News

Tim Reynolds
 |  Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers have signed guard Luke Kennard to a multiyear contract extension.

Kennard was acquired as part of a three-team trade on Nov. 19. He averaged a career-high 15.8 points, 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 28 games for Detroit last season. The 6-foot-5 guard was selected by the Pistons as the 12th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft out of Duke.

Kennard averaged 7.3 points, 1.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds while playing 19 minutes in the Clippers’ three preseason losses. They open the season Tuesday against the NBA champion Lakers as the visiting team.

Lawrence Frank, the Clippers’ president of basketball operations, called Kennard “a fantastic fit” for the organization and said the 24-year-old’s versatility and maturity is impressive.

Silver’s safety message

The NBA found a way to get through last season amid a pandemic. Adam Silver sees no reason why the same cannot ring true again this season.

Silver, the the NBA’s commissioner, said — one day before the new season begins — that he is confident the league’s health and safety protocols will allow teams to get through their planned 72-game regular season slates even as the coronavirus problem rages across the country and the world. He did, however, warn that he expects the virus to create some problems along the way.

“I think we are prepared for isolated cases; in fact, based on what we’ve seen in the preseason, based on watching other leagues operating outside a bubble, unfortunately, it seems somewhat inevitable,” Silver said. “We’re prepared for all contingencies.”

Games could be postponed or canceled along the way, and Silver said that if the league encounters issues that cannot be controlled by what’s covered in the health and safety protocols suspending the season — just as was the case back on March 11, when the 2019-20 season was halted for 4½ months — will again be a possibility.

But the league, Silver vowed, will wait its turn to get players and others inside the NBA vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“In no form or way will we jump the line,” Silver said.

Beasley pleads guilty

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley pleaded guilty to using a rifle to threaten a family in his suburban Minneapolis neighborhood.

Beasley pleaded guilty to a felony count of threats of violence and faces 120 days in a workhouse, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop a felony fifth-degree drug possession charge.

The voicemail for Beasley’s attorney, Ryan Pacyga, was full and not accepting messages.

The complaint said a couple on a house-hunting tour last month with their 13-year-old child pulled up to the home rented by Beasley and his wife, Montana Yao, but saw it was roped off. Beasley tapped on the window of the family’s SUV, pointed a rifle at them and told them to get off his property, prosecutors said.

Police said they searched Beasley and Yao’s home and found a 12-gauge shotgun, a handgun and an automatic rifle that matched the description given by the couple in the SUV.

Police said they also found leafy marijuana in the home. Possessing marijuana in its original leafy form is illegal in Minnesota. Yao was charged with fifth-degree drug possession. Her next court appearance is Dec. 29.

Beasley averaged 20.7 points in 14 games with the Wolves this past season.

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