Indiana frosh Vonleh leaving Hoosiers for NBA Draft

Noah Vonleh (USATSI)
Indiana freshman forward Noah Vonleh scored eleven.3 factors per recreation this season for the Hoosiers. (USATSI)

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Indiana’s Noah Vonleh informed on Sunday that he’ll enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

“It will suck leaving faculty without an NCAA Match,” Vonleh, a 6-foot-10 freshman, stated by telephone. “However I’ve to do what’s best for me.”

Vonleh averaged 11.3 factors and 9.0 rebounds this season for the Hoosiers, who missed the NCAA Match for the primary time since 2011. NBA sources have advised that he is assured to go within the lottery, and that the top 5 of the draft is a risk.

“I’ve heard the fourth pick to the twelfth pick is wide open,” Vonleh stated. “[I feel I’ll be chosen] anyplace in that range.” has Vonleh going seventh total.

The 18-year-outdated ahead was a 2013 McDonald’s All-American.

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Aussie Exum, possible top 5 pick, headed to NBA

Dante Exum is arguably the best guard prospect in June's NBA draft.

(Adidas)Dante Exum is arguably the best guard prospect in June's NBA draft. (Adidas)
Australia native and potential top-five pick Dante Exum has hired an agent and will enter the NBA draft, ESPN. com reported Tuesday morning. "We are excited to be working with Landmark Sports, " the Exum family said in a statement given to Chad Ford of ESPN. "Our family felt The Landmark Team represented our style and manner of treating people, and in doing businesses. We also all shared a common commitment to achieving excellence in all things. The fit is just great and we are really pleased to now begin the work. "

After meeting with multiple agents over the past couple of months, Ford is reporting that Exum decided to hire Rob Pelinka and Brandon Rosenthal of Landmark Sports Agency.


Exum, a 6-foot-6 point guard, played on the AAU scene a couple of summers ago in Las Vegas, demonstrating his playmaking skills and ability to get into the lane and finish for himself or create for teammates. He impressed nearly anyone who watched him. Exum also played well at the U17 World Championships that summer.

Exum continued that momentum with a very good performance in the Nike Hoop Summit game last April. He finished with 16 points and two assists, outplaying an USA backcourt that included Andrew and Aaron Harrison, as well as Kasey Hill. At the U19 World Championships last summer, Exum cemented himself as an elite NBA prospect, averaging 18. 2 points and totaling 34 assists in nine games.

He is projected by most outlets and mock drafts as a top-five pick, competing with Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart for the title of best guard in the draft. Based on ceiling and potential, Exum might have the edge.

There was a slight chance he would play college basketball before going pro, with his five finalists including Indiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan and Oregon. However, Exum is going straight to the NBA.

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Aussie phenom Exum declares for NBA draft

Australian phenom Dante Exum has decided to declare for the 2014 NBA draft, his family and agent told ESPN. com on Tuesday.

Exum has agreed to hire agent Rob Pelinka and Brandon Rosenthal of Landmark Sports Agency. Pelinka's clients include Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Andre Iguodala and Andre Drummond.

Dante Exum

Australian phenom Dante Exum has hired an agent and will enter the 2014 NBA Draft. "We are excited to be working with Landmark Sports, " Cecil, Desiree and Dante Exum said in a statement to ESPN. "Our family felt The Landmark Team represented our style and manner of treating people, and in doing businesses. We also all shared a common commitment to achieving excellence in all things. The fit is just great and we are really pleased to now begin the work. "

Exum and his family met eight different agents in Melbourne over the past month and narrowed their decision to Pelinka on Tuesday morning.

"We are thrilled and honored to be working with Dante and his family, " Pelinka said in an statement to ESPN. "As the NBA continues to expand its brand around the world, we feel like Dante's international story comes at a perfect time. We also believe that, with continued hard work and focus, Dante is destined to be a 'franchise' point guard in this next generation of great NBA players. "

Exum is widely regarded as a top-five draft pick by NBA scouts and GMs. He is currently ranked No. 4 in ESPN's Top 100 and is ranked as the No. 1 point guard on the Big Board.

Exum's star rose with a terrific Nike Hoop Summit performance in April followed a big performance last summer at the FIBA U-19 championships, where he averaged 18 points and nearly four assists per game. He had a 33-point game against Spain in the quarterfinals and a 28-point game vs. Lithuania in the bronze-medal game.

Exum returned to Australia this fall to finish his high school career and led his team, Lake Ginninderra, to the national schools basketball title last week. Exum had 15 assists in the championship game.

Exum can play both guard positions and has the ideal blend of athleticism and skill. However, scouts believe that ultimately he'll be a NBA point guard with elite size as he is very quick with the ball and gets to the rim almost effortlessly.

His jump shot is still a work in progress – the primary weakness in his game. If he were playing college ball in the U. S., many NBA scouts believe he would be a serious contender for the No. 1 overall pick.


2014 NBA Draft Preview

nba draft prediction & preview

The 2014 NBA Draft has been talked up for quite a while now. Expected to produce a crop of players with the talent to compete with previous years like 1996, 2003, and 2007, this draft has NBA implications that are expected to manifest once the “future stars” turn pro.



Although the draft is still months away, we’d like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the most top-rated prospects that are expected to shake hands with the commissioner come June 26th.


When the season began, the highest rated prospect was Kansas Wing Andrew Wiggins. Touted to have the highest ceiling out of any college player due to unrivaled athleticism, Wiggins has averaged nearly 16 points to lead his Jayhawks team while also grabbing six rebounds a game. The freshman phenom is still projected to be drafted in the top 3, but a teammate of his could also be joining him.


Fellow Jayhawks freshman Joel Embiid, a seven-footer out of Cameroon, has emerged on the scene and now holds the top spot on Chad Ford’s Big Board. Clearly the top Center prospect in the nation, Embiid has averaged a respectable 11 points and 7 rebounds a game to go along with 2.6 blocks.



Embiid isn’t the only big-man prospect, as Kentucky Power Forward Julius Randle is averaging a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds a game for a star-studded Wildcats roster. Despite Randle’s production, the Wildcats have struggled this season, having lost four overall including last night’s overtime loss to Arkansas.



Kentucky produces a hefty crop of NBA talent year after year, and 2014 is no different. Joining Randle in the draft this year could be several of his teammates. Though early lottery prospect Andrew Harrison has fallen off this map with inconsistent play this season, starters James Young and Willie Cauley-Stein remain in Chad Ford’s top 20. Young, a lefty Small Forward, has shown his worth as a perimeter scorer, and Cauley-Stein is close to averaging a double-double with 9 points and 8 boards as well as nearly 4 blocks a game.


Another player expected to be selected in the top 3 come June is Duke Small Forward Jabari Parker. Parker has been considered the most complete prospect of any, and the Blue Devils freshman is anchoring their roster with 19 points and seven rebounds a game. Though he has struggled of late, shooting under 40 percent in each of the last five games, Parker has the most NBA-ready game of any draft prospect.


This draft is heavy on wing and frontcourt talent, but there are still a few Point Guard prospects that could make their way into the top 5. The first of these is Australian Point Guard Dante Exum. Standing 6 foot 6 and boasting a wingspan of 6 foot 9, Exum is a tall guard with the ability to impact the game in many ways. He hasn’t been playing as regularly as the college boys, which could work in his benefit as his stock steadily rises.


The best Point Guard prospect on American soil is Oklahoma State sophomore Marcus Smart. Quite a contrast to Exum, Smart is a bulkier guard standing 6 foot 4 and weighing 220 pounds. He exploded on the season last year as a freshman and has continued to put up excellent numbers, averaging 18/5/4 along with 2.6 steals a game to lead his Cowboys team.


Three more freshman are featured in Chad Ford’s top 10, starting with Arizona tweener Forward Aaron Gordon. An explosive leaper that has often been compared to fellow Wildcat Derrick Williams and Clippers All-Star Blake Griffin, Gordon leads the Wildcats in rebounding with eight boards a game and chips in 12 points. The biggest knock on Gordon’s game is his lack of a definite position, as his 6 foot 8 frame is too short to compete with elite Power Forwards in the NBA.


Following Gordon is Indiana Power Forward Noah Vonleh. A more typical 4-man with a 6 foot 10 frame, Vonleh has averaged 12 points and 9 rebounds for a Hoosiers team that lost Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller to the draft in 2013. Vonleh has flown under the radar, but his tremendous upside should land him in the lottery come June.


The last of our freshman phenoms is Point Guard sensation Zach LaVine out of UCLA. Though he had little-to-no exposure before the season started, LaVine has been quietly contributing 13 points off the bench for a deep Bruins lineup. He lacks NBA strength, but LaVine’s potential is what should launch him up the draft board.


The list of NBA prospects doesn’t end here. Other players to watch are Croatian Forward Dario Saric, Duke Shooting Guard Rodney Hood, Michigan State SG Gary Harris, Louisville Forward Montrezl Harrell, Syracuse Forward Jerami Grant, Kansas Wing Wayne Selden Jr., and UCLA Point Forward Kyle Anderson. Look for this year’s NCAA Tournament to help uncover the hidden gems and players with the strongest killer instinct. 

Ex-Tar Heel Hairston pursues D-League stint

P.J. Hairston

Several NBA executives believe P. J. Hairston could play his way into the first round of the NBA draft with good results in the D-League.
Hairston, 21, released a statement to several news outlets Friday in which he said he has enrolled in an online course at North Carolina and also has submitted paperwork for the NBADL.

"I am pursing an opportunity to play basketball in the NBA's Developmental League, and submitted my paperwork this afternoon, " Hairston said in the statement.

The 6-foot-6 swingman will not be eligible to be called up by an NBA team this season. He will be eligible for the NBA draft in June.

"I am excited to continue to pursue my degree at UNC while also pursing my dream of becoming a professional basketball player, " Hairston said.


Hairston was expected to be North Carolina's go-to player this season after averaging 14. 6 points per game in 2012-13, but he did not play in a single game after an investigation into potential rules violations for his use of rental vehicles tied to former felon and party promoter Haydn "Fats" Thomas.


The school did not seek reinstatement for Hairston. Tar Heels team spokesman Steve Kirschner said earlier this week that Hairston wasn't enrolled for spring semester classes according to the university registrar's office.


""We are displeased with the University of North Carolina's decision not to submit the necessary paperwork to the NCAA requesting to have P. J. reinstated, " the Hairston family said in a statement late last month released following the announcement. "This process has been long, and for to end without having a final decision from the governing body is a shame. "


Added North Carolina coach Roy Williams in a statement: "I am extremely disappointed for P. J., his family and our team as he will no longer be playing basketball at North Carolina. P. J. made mistakes and I was very disappointed by his actions and now he is suffering the very difficult consequences. He is not a bad kid; he just made some mistakes. "


According to several NBA executives, Hairston could play his way into the first round of the NBA draft with strong play in the NBADL. One NBA general manager told ESPN. com that Hairston is considered a fringe first-rounder.


Glen Rice Jr., who was dismissed from Georgia Tech, took a similar path a year ago. Rice increased his stock from a player who would have likely went undrafted, played well in the Development League, and was taken 35th last June by the Washington Wizards.


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Smart, Oklahoma State run over Memphis

Good’s Big Evening Lifts Oklahoma State


STILLWATER, Okla. – Oh positive, Marcus Good definitely noticed Kevin Durant sitting courtside in Gallagher-Iba Arena. And he put collectively quite a efficiency for one of the NBA’s most gifted scorers.

Good scored a career-high 39 points, and No. 7 Oklahoma State raced past No. eleven Memphis for a 101-eighty win Tuesday evening in a one-sided matchup of top teams.

Durant was considered one of many basketball followers throughout the nation involved to see Sensible’s return to the nationwide stage after he bypassed the NBA draft following the Cowboys’ early exit from last season’s NCAA event.

Sensible responded by scoring 26 points in the first half. He finished eleven-of-21 from the ground and hit five three-pointers whereas simply passing his earlier profession excessive of 28 points, set final season in opposition to Oklahoma.

“We noticed Kevin Durant, and we simply needed to go out there and placed on a present,” Sensible mentioned.

Nick King had 23 points for Memphis, and Shaq Goodwin finished with thirteen. The Tigers (1-1) shot forty one.2 % (28-of-68), together with a mixed 2-of-20 performance from guards Michael Dixon Jr. and Geron Johnson.

The Tigers had played simply once before the journey to Stillwater, a ninety five-sixty nine residence win over Austin Peay. They usually gave the impression to be unwell prepared for their first hostile road setting.

Extra specifically, they weren’t prepared for Sensible – who added 5 steals, four rebounds, four assists and a pair of blocks in an impressive all-around efficiency.

“Oklahoma State was simply the better crew tonight,” Dixon mentioned.

“Our apologies for not playing Memphis basketball; we simply could not make photographs.”

Markel Brown added 20 points and Brian Williams had 15 for Oklahoma State (4-0), which is averaging 102 factors per recreation.

Surprisingly, Sensible didn’t even enter the game as the leading scorer for the Cowboys.

In truth, the sophomore was third on the Oklahoma State staff – behind sixth man Phil Forte and Brown – with a mean of 13.7 factors by means of the staff’s opening three blowout victories.

Sensible, nevertheless, played up to the competitors within the Cowboys’ return to the national highlight after last season’s crushing loss towards Oregon in the NCAA match.

“We simply wanted to show all people that we weren’t backing down, and that’s what we did tonight,” Sensible mentioned.

In front of Durant, a host of NBA scouts and Oklahoma Metropolis coach Scott Brooks, Good scored 12 of the Cowboys’ first 14 points. His final basket throughout the opening stretch was a dunk on the break that put Oklahoma State forward 14-7.

The Tigers did their greatest to stay close, rallying to tie it at 16 after again-to-back baskets by King, however they’d no reply for Good within the first half.

“Oklahoma State, they just kicked our butt,” Memphis coach Josh Pastner said.

“When (Good) scores like that, he could be the best player in college basketball.”

With the Cowboys up 17-sixteen, the 6-foot-4 guard went on a one-man scoring binge that labored the group into a frenzy.

Good scored the following 12 points for Oklahoma State – together with three 3-pointers and a trio of free throws after he was fouled on a 3-level attempt – to put the Cowboys up 29-20. In all, he scored 24 of Oklahoma State’s first 29 points.

“That’s simply Marcus,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford mentioned. “He’s going to be ready when he needs to be ready… I knew he was going to be able to play, I knew that from the beginning.

“I did not know he was going to go out there and get 39. That is not all the time what we need from him, however we’ll take it.”

The Cowboys led 50-32 at halftime and stretched their lead to as many as 34 factors in the second half – comfortably answering their first challenge of the season and reminding the country why Good was a consensus preseason All-American.

Sensible’s fifth 3-pointer lifted Oklahoma State to a 64-43 benefit, giving him a profession-finest 31 factors.

“I was just feeling it tonight,” Good said. “My teammates found me and gave me the ball at times when I wanted it in order to get my shot off.”


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Coach K: ‘Shame on whoever’ tanks in NBA

Mike Krzyzewski Can’t Fathom Tanking


Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle starred on a national stage Tuesday evening, providing glimpses at what promises to be a loaded NBA draft class in 2014.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, nonetheless, would not assume NBA teams should tank in an try and land one of many talented freshmen.

“As an American, I would not like to think that an American staff would wish to lose or create conditions the place you’d wish to lose,” Krzyzewski said following Duke’s 94-83 loss to Wiggins and Kansas.

KrzyzewskiAs an American, I would not like to assume that an American staff would want to lose or create situations the place you’d wish to lose. I am unable to even fathom – I am unable to go there. I can’t believe that that would happen. Maybe I’m naive and I’ll go read a fairy tale after this.

- Mike Krzyzewski, on NBA groups tanking for draft lottery place

“I can not even fathom – I can’t go there. I can not imagine that that might occur. Possibly I’m naive and I’ll go read a fairy tale after this.”

The hovering draft stocks of Wiggins, Parker and Randle have led to widespread hypothesis that some NBA groups will intentionally lose video games this season to extend their possibilities of a high lottery pick within the 2014 draft.

Normal managers and scouts from all 30 NBA groups had been in attendance Tuesday for the college hoops doubleheader, named the Champions Traditional, on the United Heart in Chicago.

Wiggins scored 22 factors – including sixteen within the second half – within the Jayhawks’ win. However Parker also was spectacular for Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils, finishing with 27 points and 9 rebounds within the nightcap.

Randle, the highest-rated freshman for No. 1 Kentucky, turned in a dominant performance in the opener, recording 27 points and 13 rebounds within the Wildcats’ seventy eight-74 loss to No. 2 Michigan State.

“The hype, it was big. I just tried to block it out,” Wiggins said. “The names on jerseys don’t say Parker and Wiggins; it says Kansas and Duke. At the finish of the day, it’s not one participant that’s going to win; it is one group.”

Miami Heat celebrity LeBron James took to Twitter after Tuesday evening’s games, hinting that the star trio made quite an impression.

Hall of Famer Magic Johnson additionally tweeted concerning the proficient freshmen.

Wiggins, Randle and Parker are ranked first, second and fourth, respectively, within the newest NBA draft Huge Board from ESPN’s Chad Ford. However Krzyzewski nonetheless can not condone any teams intentionally dropping to procure more draft lottery pingpong balls.

“If that is taking place, disgrace on whoever is doing it,” Krzyzewski mentioned.

Kansas coach Bill Self, nevertheless, does not imagine that NBA teams are tanking games.

“I don’t assume anybody’s tanking,” Self stated Tuesday. “I know that guys like to play and compete, and I assume you’ll be able to just be sure you do not play sure guys, which I don’t assume has happened.”


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No. 2 MSU keeps Kentucky at bay

Michigan State Holds Off Kentucky

CHICAGO – As the buzzer sounded and his Michigan State teammates raced onto the court docket to celebrate, Gary Harris held his index finger aloft.

Little question about who's No. 1.

For now, not less than.

Branden Dawson tipped in a miss with lower than six seconds left, and the No. 2 Spartans hung on for a 78-74 victory over top-ranked Kentucky and its latest forged of phenoms within the first recreation of the Champions Basic on Tuesday night time.

"We wish to be No. 1 on the finish of the season," Keith Appling stated. "Not the start."

Hold playing like this and the Spartans (2-zero) are positive to be within the dialog come the tip of March.

Kentucky, too. After trailing by as a lot as 13 in the second half, wanting like the freshmen most of them are, the Wildcats (2-1) showed why there's a lot hype surrounding them. Julius Randle virtually beat the Spartans single-handedly, scoring 23 of his 27 points in the second half and making a jumper with 42 seconds left that lower Michigan State's result in seventy six-74.

However Dawson tipped in a miss by Denzel Valentine, and James Young missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

"You bought guys crying in there, which is an efficient thing," Kentucky coach John Calipari stated. "I would like it to hurt like that. I knew this is able to get their consideration. The most important factor is for those who don't do this collectively, you won't win. You may by no means be a particular staff."

This was the earliest 1 vs. 2 match-up, and first since Feb. 23, 2008, when Tennessee beat prime-ranked Memphis. The Tigers coach then? None aside from Calipari.

This sport had even more hype, principally due to the Kiddie Cats. Much has been manufactured from the children, with good purpose. The last time Calipari had a roster this star-studded, the Wildcats gained a nationwide title.

This group may be much more spectacular.

Six have been McDonald's All-People, and all are considered lottery picks in subsequent summer time's NBA draft, with Randle a risk for the general No. 1. The kids did nothing to minimize the hype in their first two video games, with Randle averaging 22.5 points and 15 rebounds, and the Harrison twins averaging in double figures. No marvel the game brought out scouts from almost every NBA group and celebrities including Nazr Mohammed and Detroit Lions defensive deal with Ndamukong Suh.

However the Spartans aren't precisely slouches, returning six of their high seven scorers. Just as necessary, massive-time video games like this are nothing new to them, with Izzo routinely scheduling the likes of Connecticut, Duke, North Carolina and Kansas earlier than Jan. 1.

"They're actually good," Calipari said. "This is the second sport out and so they go 17 assists to seven turnovers? That is unbelievable. Again, understand we're not the greatest defensive group, but 17 and seven? With these lights and all that is occurring around them? They're properly coached. They performed nicely."

Appling got here within two rebounds and two assists of a triple-double, finishing with 22 factors, and eight rebounds and assists. Harris had 20 points and Adreian Payne had 15 points and 4 rebounds for the Spartans.

Kentucky had strolled via its first two games, with Randle and the other freshmen developing large. However there's a large difference between those non-conference patsies and Michigan State, and the Spartans let the Wildcats know what they were up towards from the opening tip.

MSU shot chart

ESPN Stats & Info

Michigan State hit fifty eight.1 percent of its field goals within the first half against Kentucky.

Smothering the Wildcats defensively and leaving them flat-footed with their stunning speed on offense, Michigan State had a ten-0 lead earlier than Kentucky acquired its first bucket. The Cats had seven turnovers before the midway level of the first half, and would finish with 17.

And it was clear that, with four freshmen within the starting lineup and one other getting heavy enjoying time, the Wildcats are still getting used to each other, too. At one point, Andrew Harrison rifled a no-look cross to Willie Cauley-Stein that Cauley-Stein wasn't anticipating, and the ball sailed out of bounds.

They struggled at the line, too, going simply 20 of 36.

"They will get quite a bit better. Give them credit," Izzo said. "But I believed we played awfully well for lots of that game."

Still, the Spartans acquired in foul bother midway by the second half, and the slower tempo gave the Wildcats time to catch their breath and regroup. It also gave a seething Randle a possibility to work out his anger.

"What I beloved about him, he gritted his tooth, was ornery and nasty and he wanted to put them on his shoulders," Izzo mentioned. "For a freshman, that speaks volumes. He utterly did that. You could possibly see it and hear him. Robust kid."

Randle scored nine points in a thirteen-1 run that minimize Michigan State's result in 60-fifty nine with eight:05 left, including a "How'd he do that?" off-steadiness jumper from behind a sea of inexperienced jerseys. He and Harrison every made a pair of free throws to tie the sport at sixty six with 4:forty eight left.

But Appling drilled a 3, and Harris stripped Randle at the other finish. He took it in for a layup that put the Spartans back in entrance, seventy one-66, bringing the Michigan State fans – including Spartan in Chief, Magic Johnson – to their feet.

Randle wasn't executed simply yet, however. After Harrison's free throws Kentucky inside seventy six-seventy two with 1:33 to play, the Wildcats pounced on an Appling turnover and Randle scored on a jumper. But Dawson's tip-in sealed the win.

"I maintain reiterating: They are going to get rather a lot higher," Izzo mentioned. "But I truthfully believe so will we."


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Schroder banned a game for cousins hit

Hawks’ Schroder Suspended One Sport


Atlanta Hawks rookie guard Dennis Schroder has been suspended one game for placing DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings within the groin, the NBA announced Thursday.

The incident occurred early in the fourth quarter of Atlanta’s a hundred and five-100 win Tuesday evening as Schroder tried to combat via a screen set by Cousins. No foul was called on the play.

Cousins took difficulty with the officials, suggesting he’s being singled out by referees based on previous on-courtroom behavior that has led to a number of suspensions by the NBA and the Kings.

“I took an affordable shot to my lower area,” Cousins advised reporters after the sport. “They [the refs] simply blew it off. I assume as a result of it was me. However as quickly as something happens on the opposite finish, as a result of it’s me, they run to the digicam.”

Later in the fourth quarter, Cousins was assessed a flagrant foul for shoving Al Horford. That call was downgraded to a personal foul, but Kings coach Mike Malone did wind up pulling Cousins from the sport halfway via the fourth quarter.

Schroder, the 17th decide in June’s NBA draft, will miss Thursday evening’s sport towards the Denver Nuggets.

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MJ says Bobcats won’t tank, doesn’t believe in it

Michael Jordan is not a fan of tanking and wouldn't ask to do it.(USATSI)
Michael Jordan is not a fan of tanking and would not ask to do it. (USATSI)

Michael Jordan hasn’t exactly been a profitable staff builder when it comes to getting the workforce into the playoffs. His capacity to identify expertise when he was working the Washington Wizards wasn’t legendary for the appropriate causes (see: choose, Kwame Brown). Since purchasing majority ownership within the Charlotte Bobcats, his workforce has gone from a playoff staff to a rebuilding workforce that had the worst season in NBA history.

Whereas the Bobcats try to execute their rebuilding plan to get again into the playoffs, tanking in an effort to acquire the best odds of successful the NBA Draft Lottery is just not part of the plan. Michael Jordan informed the Related Press that he would not imagine in tanking and it is not something the Bobcats would do.

Neglect that the NBA would seemingly hand down a hefty superb and fans would most likely boycott if a crew admitted to doing that, Jordan mentioned purposely losing video games in hopes of getting a high pick in the draft isn’t any option to repair a rebuilding franchise.

The Bobcats proprietor scoffed at the idea Friday, telling The Associated Press, “I don’t know if some groups have considered that. That’s not one thing that we might do. I don’t believe in that.”

He then laughed heartily and stated, “If that was my intention I never would have paid (free agent) Al Jefferson $13 million a year.”

This is an organization that happened to lose the ultimate 23 video games of the 2011-12 regular season, which happened to be the same year that “can’t miss” prospect Anthony Davis was heading into the draft. The Bobcats ended up not getting the top pick in the lottery, settling for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the second pick. I do not think you may say/show that the Bobcats had been tanking. They were actually awful all of that season so it’s onerous to say they began tanking or they just did not have luck putting a younger roster collectively.

Whatever the purpose they were so bad, lots of people assumed it was tanking because of the extent of ineptitude the crew showed on the court docket. It’s similar to how folks anticipate to view the 76ers this 12 months. The Bobcats actually aren’t going the tanking route this season, as Jordan said after signing Al Jefferson to a giant three-year deal. It’s just attention-grabbing to attempt to discover the road between being poorly run and being intentionally run into the ground so you can rebuild.

It is not a shock that one of the crucial aggressive people in sports activities history would be against purposefully setting your self up to lose.

(H/T – ProBasketballTalk)

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Wonder Punter NBA Power Rankings 2013-14

Wonder Punter NBA Power Rankings 2013-14


With the 2013/14 NBA season upon us starting Tuesday night…. Let’s take a look at the Power Rankings of all 30 teams to begin the season.


1. Miami Heat- The defending champion Heat will be looking to three-peat with Lebron James in the final year of his contract.


2. San Antonio Spurs- With all the pieces still intact, the Western Conference champs are still the team to beat out west.


3. Chicago Bulls- After sitting out all of last season… Derrick Rose is back and ready to lead his team to challenge the Heat.


4. Indiana Pacers- Last years team was good, now with Danny Granger back and the addition of Luis Scola… they will be even better.


5. Los Angeles Clippers- Can new coach Doc Rivers instill the mental and physical toughness that has been lacking with the Clippers in seasons past?


6. Houston Rockets- Can the tag team of Dwight Howard/James Harden co-exist and get them to the promise land?


7. Golden State Warriors- Will one more year of experience under their belt make up for the lack of depth at the point guard and center positions? Key addition with Andre Iguodala.


8. Oklahoma City Thunder- Still no Russell Westbrook until December… until then, can they keep it together?


9. Memphis Grizzles- The addition of Mike Miller should help with a team depleted with shooters.


10. Brooklyn Nets- Can an aging Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce be the difference that Deron Williams and new coach Jason Kidd need to contend?


11. New York Knicks- J.R Smith is still on the shelve and Amar’e and Kenyon Martin are not quite ready for back-to-backs yet.


12. Minnesota Timberwolves- A full year of a healthy Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio can finally make the Wolves a playoff contender after a drought of nine seasons.


13. Denver Nuggets- Andre Iguodala is now with Golden State and no Danilo Gallinari until at least December.


14. Washington Wizards- Key addition with Marcin Gortat to fill in a true center position and move Nene to his natural forward position.


15. New Orleans Pelicans- New team nickname and two nice additions will help the Pelicans improve… Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans.


16. Dallas Mavericks- Monte Ellis was added to help give Dirk Nowitski an offensive boost… but it’s the defense I’m worried about.


17. Portland Trailblazers- LaMarcus Aldridge vows this years Blazers team will make the playoffs.


18. Detroit Pistons- Two big additions with the face of the franchise now Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings.


19. Los Angeles Lakers- Much more athletic team then last year’s team, however their season still rides on the shoulders of Kobe Bryant’s return.


20. Cleveland Cavaliers- When will Andrew Bynum play? Oh yeah #1 pick Anthony Bennett has a sleeping disorder.


21. Atlanta Hawks- No Josh Smith… it’s Al Horford’s team now.


22. Toronto Raptors- Andrea Bargnani is now a Knick.


23. Charlotte Bobcats- Should improve in the win column with new center Al Jefferson.


24. Sacramento Kings- Will DeMarcus Cousins live up to hype of a max-contract deal.


25. Utah Jazz- Young talent is nice, but no quality point guard to dish the rock.


26. Milwaukee Bucks- Can new coach Larry Drew keep the rebuilding Bucks together?


27. Boston Celtics- New coach, new faces and no Rajon Rondo.


28. Orlando Magic- Another rebuilding year.. looking towards the 2014 NBA Draft.


29. Phoenix Suns- Traded away their best player Marcin Gortat.


30. Philadelphia 76ers- Many are predicting the Sixers to challenge for the all-time worst record of 9-73 (1972-73 Sixers).

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Wizards get Gortat from Suns for Okafor, pick

The Washington Wizards, attempting to strengthen their hand for a playoff push in the Jap Convention, have acquired heart Marcin Gortat from the Phoenix Suns in a 5-player deal reached Friday.

The commerce sends Gortat and guards Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee and Kendall Marshall to the Wizards for the expiring contract of veteran massive man Emeka Okafor and a protected 2014 first-spherical pick (to No. 12).

The 6-foot-eleven Gortat, 29, averaged eleven.1 points and eight.5 rebounds per game final season for the Suns.

The move gives Washington extra of a scoring center to go along with its prized beginning backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, as well as a healthy beginning heart after losing Okafor indefinitely to a herniated disk in his neck. Gortat’s arrival also permits the Wizards – who could have as a lot as $16 million in salary-cap house next summer time – to maneuver Nene to his most popular place at energy ahead.

In a news release asserting the deal, Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld referred to Gortat as a “very consistent and productive inside presence” who “pushes us further towards our aim of becoming a playoff group.”

Gortat, in a collection of tweets Friday, said he had no onerous emotions towards the Suns and wasn’t surprised a deal happened.

Okafor, the 2004-05 NBA Rookie of the 12 months, arrived in Washington earlier than last season in a commerce from New Orleans.

The Suns, meanwhile, proceed to position themselves for a total reboot underneath new normal supervisor Ryan McDonough. The first-round pick acquired from the Wizards, if it falls outside of the highest 12, would give Phoenix as many as 4 first-rounders to work with in the a lot-anticipated 2014 NBA draft. Phoenix additionally holds the Timberwolves’ first-round choose (top-thirteen protected) and the Pacers’ first-spherical decide (top-14 protected) in addition to its personal selection.

GortatThe Wizards will get a scoring presence in the paint in Marcin Gortat to go with their prized younger backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal.

“We’re excited to add one other first-spherical pick in what is shaping up to be the perfect draft in a decade,” McDonough mentioned. “We now have a chance to make four first-round picks in 2014. Emeka Okafor is a strong veteran heart who will assist solidify our front line when and if he is ready to return from damage.”

Marshall was the 13th general selection in the 2012 draft, however the Suns had a glut of guards, including Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe.

The Suns are in talks with Bledsoe – their huge July acquisition – on a contract extension earlier than subsequent week’s Halloween deadline. That deal is expected to establish the guard as one of many workforce’s new cornerstones. There’s a growing expectation in the league that McDonough in the end will look to move properly-regarded point guard Dragic in a Gortat-model deal for more belongings.

The Wizards will waive Marshall, Brown and Lee to cut their roster all the way down to the league-most 15 gamers in time for opening evening, sources instructed ESPN.

Info from ESPN school basketball reporter Jeff Goodman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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UK’s Calipari: We’re everyone’s Super Bowl

LEXINGTON, Ky. – John Calipari served as the opening act for Kentucky’s banner recruiting class, and the veteran coach knew exactly what to say.

Talking at Massive Blue Madness on Friday evening, Calipari delighted the capability crowd at Rupp Arena with a rousing discuss more paying homage to a campaign cease than a basketball follow.

Kentucky We do not simply play faculty basketball, we are school basketball. As you recognize, we are everyone’s Super Bowl.

- Kentucky coach John Calipari

“The competitors will likely be fierce, the road will be troublesome,” he stated. “Each workforce we play can be more skilled than us. But if we turn out to be one unit, play with one heartbeat and a love for each another, we shall be unbreakable.

“With these gamers, these followers, and this teaching workers, we are going to construct on the greatest tradition in the historical past of school basketball.”

The optimistic tone for Calipari comes in the wake of final season’s catastrophe, when the Wildcats failed to make it to the NCAA tournament and lost to Robert Morris in the first spherical of the NIT.

However the expectations remain excessive in Lexington, thanks to a heralded group of recruits that may comprise a very good portion of Calipari’s regular rotation this year. The seven-man class options ahead Julius Randle, thought-about a preseason candidate for national player of the yr and a doable No. 1 draft decide in the 2014 NBA draft.

“Our largest opponent: ourselves,” Calipari stated. “At Kentucky, we are competing against ourselves day by day. We won’t let the strain and highlight of this program have an effect on you. We’re the place to help you achieve your goals.

“We do not simply play college basketball, we’re college basketball. As you recognize, we are everyone’s Super Bowl.”

Calipari said playing for Kentucky is not for everyone, and he’s assured this 12 months’s team is up to the problem.

The touted recruiting class also includes an identical-twin guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison, and swingman James Young.

[+] EnlargeJohn Calipari

AP Photograph/Timothy D. EasleyKentucky coach John Calipari fires up the crowd on the group’s Large Blue Madness event on Friday night time.

After Calipari’s speak, the Wildcats played a working-clock, 20-minute scrimmage that was principally a showboating show of dunks and three-pointers.

Kentucky’s Massive Blue Insanity – an annual occasion that marks the beginning of the basketball season – attracted several excessive-profile recruits that could be a part of the event in the future. With Washington and New Orleans playing a preseason game at Rupp on Saturday, a handful of NBA gamers additionally were in the crowd.

Washington level guard John Wall and Anthony Davis, Darius Miller and Tyreke Evans of the Pelicans all have been in attendance. Wall, Davis and Miller played for Calipari at Kentucky, and Evans was one in all Calipari’s gamers at Memphis.

Kentucky women’s coach Matthew Mitchell put on a present earlier than Calipari’s look. He was launched as “The Godfather of Soul,” and danced round as James Brown, complete with a wig and sweatsuit.

He then tore the wig and costume away and did a routine to the tune of Britney Spears’ “Child One Extra Time.”

It was another in a long line of memorable displays for Mitchell at Huge Blue Madness. In years previous, he danced to MC Hammer, Michael Jackson and “Teach Me The best way to Dougie” at the occasion.

Mitchell’s Wildcats misplaced within the Elite Eight last season for the third time in 4 years. SEC coaches voted the Wildcats to complete second within the league behind Tennessee.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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Report: PF Favors, Jazz agree to $49M extension

Favors will soon be answering questions about his new contract extension. (USATSI)
Derrick Favors will quickly be answering questions about his new contract extension. (USATSI)

When the Utah Jazz began moving towards a future without Deron Williams, the major a part of the commerce bundle they acquired for their All-Star point guard was promising big man Derrick Favors. Favors was a rookie on the time and had accomplished just fifty six video games after starring at Georgia Tech. The No. three choose in the 2010 NBA Draft was going to be a part of a rebuilding/retooling effort of the Jazz as soon as Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson moved on.

The Jazz are apparently comfortable to proceed to commit part of their future to Favors. Adrian Wojanrowski of Yahoo Sports activities is reporting that the Jazz and Favors have agreed to a contract extension for 4 years and $49 million that can preserve him in Utah via the 2017-18 season. Wojnarowski can also be reporting that there are bonus incenctives that might push the deal over $50 million.

Derrick Favors has reached agreement on a four-12 months, $49 million-plus contract extension with the Utah Jazz, league sources told Yahoo Sports activities.

The deal consists of bonus incentives that would push the bundle well over $50 million, sources mentioned.

Favors, 22, is a centerpiece of the Jazz’s future and can take over a beginning frontcourt position due to the off-season departures of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. A contract can be signed within the close to future, sources inform Yahoo.

Favors had the best yr of his career in the 2012-13 season when he averaged 9.four factors and seven.1 rebounds in 23.2 minutes. He was one of the best defensive massive man for the Jazz and sometimes found time next to either Jefferson or Millsap to provide them assist inside. When Jefferson signed with the Charlotte Bobcats this summer season and Millsap left for the Atlanta Hawks, Favors and fellow large man Enes Kanter took the reins of the future of the Jazz inside.

There are now 5 members of the 2010 NBA Draft that have signed extensions earlier than the October 31 deadline. Larry Sanders, John Wall, Paul George, and DeMarcus Cousins have all signed extensions with their respective teams. Any player from the 2010 first spherical rookie class that doesn’t signal an extension with their crew before the October 31 deadline will play out their fourth season within the league earlier than probably changing into a restricted free agent in the summertime of 2014.

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Lamar Odom checks into rehab for drug and alcohol abuse

Lamar Odom. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Photos)

Unrestricted free agent forward Lamar Odom has reportedly checked himself right into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, based on

“He realized he wants assist,” a supply told People’s Jennifer Garcia.

When this realization occurred stays unclear, however any motion based mostly on it had to have been pretty current. As TMZ notes, Odom “was seen out in public” over the lengthy Labor Day weekend after being arrested early Friday morning on suspicion of driving beneath the affect of “alcohol and/or drugs.” The 33-yr-outdated ahead was released on $15,000 bail and had his driver’s license suspended for one 12 months for refusing a chemical take a look at at the time of his booking.

The DUI arrest came on the heels of multiple studies that the 14-12 months NBA veteran — who performed last season for the Los Angeles Clippers, and who won two NBA titles and the NBA’s 2011 Sixth Man of the Yr Award with the Los Angeles Lakers — has used crack cocaine, OxyContin and Ambien lately, and had gone missing for 3 days after a reported attempt at an intervention by wife Khloe Kardashian-Odom did not take.

Odom’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, refuted those experiences, saying that Odom’s wife knew “precisely” where he was and that enjoying within the NBA for the 2013-14 season was “nonetheless very much a part of Lamar’s plans.” ESPN subsequently reported that Odom had holed up in an L.A. lodge, where several pals have been making an attempt to assist him take care of “an unspecified drug drawback.” After that, the DUI arrest; after that, the reported entry to an unspecified rehab heart. (Odom had “reluctantly agreed to go to rehab in San Diego a year ago.. though he bailed after [three] weeks,” in response to TMZ.)

Odom’s latest troubles symbolize the most recent entries in an usually-harrowing, at-instances heartening story described in a succinct sweep by the great Lee Jenkins in a 2009 Sports Illustrated feature:

The happiest Laker is the one whose father was addicted to heroin, whose mom died of colon most cancers when he was 12, who attended three excessive colleges, had his first faculty scholarship revoked earlier than the autumn semester of his freshman 12 months, became a topic of three school investigations, declared for the NBA draft, tried unsuccessfully to tug out of the draft, was picked by arguably the worst franchise in sports, violated the league’s antidrug coverage twice inside eight months and after lastly getting his life together, went house to New York Metropolis for an aunt’s funeral and wound up burying his 6½-month-outdated son, then getting robbed at gunpoint.

The off-court woes solely mounted over the years, with the summer of 2011 proving particularly tumultuous, as Odom watched his cousin die after being shot within the head and was a passenger in an SUV that was concerned in an accident that killed a 15-yr-outdated cyclist.

Shortly thereafter, Odom was included in a blockbuster commerce that will have brought Chris Paul to the Lakers and sent Odom to the New Orleans Hornets; when that deal was vetoed by NBA Commissioner David Stern, Odom, apparently feeling betrayed, reportedly demanded that Lakers basic supervisor Mitch Kupchak trade him, leading to his shipment to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for a 2012 first-spherical draft pick and an $eight.9 million trade exception. That went horribly, for any of a variety of reasons, resulting in the Mavericks sending Odom packing with no playoff share.

Odom caught back on with the Clippers last season, but he was fairly darn terrible offensively, offering manufacturing poor enough to undercut the fact that he was a official helper on the defensive end. Even when Odom’s world was in order this offseason, he’d doubtless be having a tough time finding a gradual gig for subsequent season, no matter what his last head coach has to say about what he’s got left within the tank.. and it now appears pretty clear that Odom’s world is something but in order.

Later in his 2009 SI story, Jenkins wrote that Odom had reconnected along with his father, Joe; years earlier than, Odom famous that he thought about his father’s habit throughout the early years of his career, like when he obtained a 5-game suspension in 2001, during his first stint with the Clippers, after violating the league’s anti-drug policy twice in an eight-month span. He “tearfully admitted to smoking marijuana” at the time.

“Numerous times I might think about it and say, ‘Damn, am I combating my father’s demons with this?'” Odom said in a 2003 Miami Herald interview. “I just could not control myself in L.A. I look again at it, the lifestyle that I was dwelling and the things I had access to, it might have been one thing else.”

We do not know but for sure whether Odom’s verify-in is pegged to “one thing else,” or booze, or weed, or a combination of all the above; all we all know is that he’s apparently made the decision to hit the brakes and get some help. Here is hoping that, amid the storm clouds which have long since gathered over Odom, that selection represents one thing of a silver lining.. or, for those who’d prefer a unique metaphor, a ray of light at the end of what appears like a reasonably dark tunnel.


Ioannis Papapetrou’s departure only increases the pressure on Texas coach Rick Barnes

Ioannis Papapetrou (Getty Photographs)

It’s turning into more and more clear that Texas coach Rick Barnes is going to should survive a second straight depressing year if he’ll maintain his job for years to come back.

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On the heels of a disappointing season through which Texas lost 11 Huge 12 video games and missed the NCAA event for the first time in Barnes’ 15-yr tenure, the Longhorns have now misplaced five underclassmen since March.

Rising sophomore ahead Ioannis Papapetrou, Texas’ main returning scorer, turned the latest to depart Tuesday, signing a profitable professional deal to play in his native Greece with Olympiacos BC. Papapetrou averaged 8.three points and 4.four rebounds for Texas as a freshman and led Greece’s U-20 crew in scoring at 15.9 points per sport this summer season at the European Championships.

“There is not any question that Papi wished to be right here at The University of Texas, and it was going to take something very important for him not to be right here,” Barnes said Monday evening in a press release. “And that is exactly what happened. The skilled crew in Greece approached Papi and his household again this week earlier than he was set to go away to come again to campus, and the team basically created a contract that catered exactly to his needs and the needs of his family. In the end, the contract was an excessive amount of for him and his household to say ‘no’ to of their situation.”

The departure of Papapetrou means a Texas staff that already shot 29.7 % from behind the arc a 12 months ago and 41.3 p.c total now will have to exchange its 4 main scorers. Sophomore level guard Myck Kabongo entered the NBA draft despite lacking the first 23 video games of last season on account of NCAA eligibility issues and promising wings Sheldon McClellan and Julien Lewis introduced in the course of the spring they intend to transfer.

Papapetrou’s departure is a bit completely different in that he wanted a proposal he couldn’t refuse before he’d leave the Longhorns, however it’s no less damaging to Texas. He was a mismatch at both forwards spots and he had the potential to supply a breakout season subsequent yr and assist shoulder the scoring burden.

Without Kabongo, McLellan, Lewis and Papapetrou, the 2013-14 Texas roster is severely undermanned.

Point guard Javan Felix confirmed flashes of promise filling in for Kabongo as a freshman, but Demarcus Holland is the lone returning taking pictures guard, a bit of a misnomer for a defensive-minded player who sank only 8 of forty six threes final season. Young large males Jonathan Holmes, Connor Lammert and Cameron Ridley are also expected again, however every of them need to make major strides next year.

Also disconcerting for Texas is the elite recruiting classes Barnes once yearly delivered have not been as widespread the previous couple years. None of Barnes’ four signees for subsequent season ranked in the prime one hundred of the Rivals 150 and the Longhorns were non-factors within the recruitment of extremely touted Kentucky-bound Texas products Julius Randle and Aaron and Andrew Harrison.

A dropping season next year would continue the downward pattern Texas has been unable to tug out of the previous five years.

Since a co-Big 12 title and an Elite Eight run in 2008, Texas hasn’t superior past the primary weekend of the NCAA tournament and it has completed greater than a tie for fourth within the Massive 12 only once. The Longhorns have been lucky to slip into the NCAA match in 2012 and they have been all however out of rivalry by the start of convention play this past yr.

With Kansas reloading with one of the nation’s high freshman classes and Oklahoma State and Baylor returning the core of NCAA event teams, Texas as soon as once more would not seem to be in position to contend in the Massive 12, which may very well be dangerous news for Barnes.

The only manner the notoriously apathetic Texas basketball fanbase stops speaking soccer long sufficient to pay attention to hoops is that if the Longhorns are both contending for a Last Four or uncharacteristically bad.

Unfortunately for Barnes, proper now it is positively the latter.


North Carolina AD: P.J. Hairston will play this year ‘but not all the games’

P.J. Hairston (Getty Images)

Even although North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston stays suspended indefinitely in the wake of his reckless driving charge last month, it seems to be a reasonably protected wager the excessive-scoring junior will suit up for the Tar Heels this season.

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North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham confirmed as a lot Thursday whereas speaking at a retreat for the college’s journalism college.

Asked whether or not Hairston would play for the Tar Heels this coming season, Cunningham responded, “Yes, however not all the video games.” North Carolina journalism professor Andy Bechtel relayed the remark via Twitter, later explaining his decision to report Cunningham’s response by quipping, “It’s the journalism college’s retreat in spite of everything.”

It’s unclear whether Cunningham intended for his feedback to develop into public or not, but there is no query Bechtel is correct they’re newsworthy. They symbolize the strongest indication since Hairston’s most up-to-date transgression that he’ll still play for the Tar Heels subsequent season if he avoids more trouble, albeit after a suspension of an undetermined size.

Hairston put his place on the North Carolina roster in jeopardy with a flurry of poor choices this offseason.

He was charged with rushing in Durham on Might 13 in a Camaro rented to a lady with ties to convicted felon Haydn “Fat” Thomas. He was charged with marijuana possession and driving and not using a license on June 5 in a GMC Yukon also rented by Thomas, though these charges had been dropped earlier this month. Then in late July, police again pulled Hairston over, this time for going 93 miles per hour in a 65-miles-per-hour zone.

The NCAA is more likely to examine the rental automobiles from Thomas to determine if Harris received extra advantages that would result in a violation. Assuming the NCAA either guidelines no violation took place or solely suspends Hairston a part of the season, it will be up to Williams and the North Carolina administration to find out the remainder of the punishment.

Williams, for his half, has grown weary of discussing the Hairston saga. Asked by the Associated Press about Hairston this week, Williams stated solely that he is “uninterested in reading about it, uninterested in talking about it” and declined to debate it further.

It’s straightforward to see why Hairston’s standing has been such a sizzling-button situation amongst fans of the Tar Heels and rival faculties. His perimeter scoring could be tough to exchange were he not to play for an extended period next season.

Hairston averaged a crew-high 14.6 points per game as a sophomore, sparking North Carolina’s late-season surge when he moved into the beginning lineup midway by ACC play. He averaged 18.2 factors in the course of the Tar Heels’ closing 13 video games, taking part in so effectively that he briefly thought of coming into the NBA draft this spring before saying in mid-April that he’d return to highschool for his junior season.


Philadelphia 76ers hire ex-Spurs assistant Brett Brown as new head coach

Brett Brown (middle) will move off the Spurs’ bench to take the reins in Philly. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Get …

The Philadelphia 76ers have hired longtime San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown as their new head coach, ending a training search that started nearly 4 months in the past when Doug Collins stepped down following a disappointing 34-forty eight season.

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Brown, 52, will receive a four-12 months guaranteed contract to steer the 76ers, in response to Sports activities Illustrated’s Ian Thomsen, who first reported the hiring on Monday. Yahoo! Sports activities NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday that the Sixers had been negotiating with Brown after meeting with him in New York final week. Brown beat out a number of different candidates for the job, together with assistant coaches Jay Larranaga of the Boston Celtics, Adrian Griffin of the Chicago Bulls, Kenny Atkinson of the Atlanta Hawks, David Vanterpool of the Portland Trail Blazers and Michael Curry, who served on Collins’ employees in Philadelphia. Brown had reportedly also been in the combine for the Denver Nuggets’ emptiness earlier this summer earlier than former Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw filled that opening.

You’d suspect the four-year guarantee reported by Thomsen was an essential a part of negotiations, given the chance that the 76ers — who are being dismantled and rebuilt by new general supervisor Sam Hinkie, a process kickstarted by the draft-night deal that sent All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for No. 6 overall choose Nerlens Noel, whose on-court docket debut stays uncertain as he continues to rehab after surgery to repair a torn left ACL, and a prime-five-protected first-spherical decide in subsequent summer’s NBA draft — will be a really dangerous basketball team for the next year or two no matter how sound a job Brown does.

The agreement — whereas not as long (or, presumably, as profitable) because the six-yr deal given to Brad Stevens by the Boston Celtics earlier this summer — gives Brown a while to develop heart Noel, fellow 2013 first-rounder/point guard of the long run Michael Carter-Williams and whichever young pieces emerge from next summer’s cache of draft picks (two first-rounders and three second-rounders at present), and see if he can coax persistently significant contributions out of the likes of former No. 2 overall choose Evan Turner and offseason commerce acquisition Royce White, whereas Hinkie and firm go concerning the enterprise of reshaping a roster low on both high-finish expertise and skilled contributors. The next competitive version of the 76ers absolutely will not look something just like the group Brown shall be teaching next year; clearly, the 4-year assure satisfied Brown to disregard the reported advice of some colleagues and stroll into a potential 60-plus-loss hit if it means a greater shot at long-time period success.

While subsequent season will mark Brown’s first campaign as an NBA head coach, it is from his first journey across the league. He is been with the Spurs since 2001 in numerous roles — including five years as San Antonio’s director of player growth — and has spent the past seven seasons on the Spurs’ bench alongside Gregg Popovich. He was anticipated to ascend to the function of Pop’s lead assistant next season after the person who previously crammed that slot, Mike Budenholzer, moved east to take the Atlanta Hawks’ head coaching job, in keeping with Woj; now, he’ll take the big chair himself.

Brown has fairly a bit of worldwide head teaching expertise, too, having won 149 games over nine seasons as a head coach in the Australian National Basketball League. He also led the Australian males’s national basketball staff to a quarterfinal appearance and seventh-place end on the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, highlighted by a 31-level blowout of host nation Nice Britain and an exhilarating win over eventual bronze medalists Russia on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by star point guard Patty Mills (whom Brown also coached with the Spurs). If he’d had longtime Aussie middle Andrew Bogut wholesome and accessible to man the center, who is aware of what kind of harm Brown’s squad may need finished?

Brown’s Boomers thrived when taking part in a tough, physical, swarming brand of defense predicated on forcing turnovers that may get Mills, crafty backcourt associate Matthew Dellavedova (who went undrafted out of St. Mary’s again in June, however has obtained a coaching camp invite from the Cleveland Cavaliers) and lefty level ahead-type Joe Ingles out on the break and within the open court docket. It stays to be seen whether Brown will favor an analogous brand of pressuring defense and uptempo offense in Philadelphia, and whether he’ll proceed his predilection toward running Spurs-style units in the half-court when things slow down, but it surely seems he’ll have a number of seasons to figure it all out. That stands to motive for a brand new-look 76ers organization that has shown, through embracing each a bottom-out youth motion and a months-lengthy coaching search, that it’s nothing if not patient.


10 other intriguing, noteworthy games worth watching on the 2013-14 NBA schedule

Sacramento Kings followers will have many reasons to cheer once they tip off this season. (Rocky Widner/Getty)

When the NBA launched the full 2013-14 regular-season schedule on Tuesday evening, intrepid Yahoo! Sports activities NBA columnist Marc J. Spears immediately made his picks for the ten must-see matchups of the forthcoming season, giving hoop fans the dates he believes most merit circling on the brand new NBA calendar. While we would by no means presume to contradict our colleague, in a slate this huge, there’s bound to be a slew of different video games value keeping track of, so why not dig a bit deeper?

Eric Freeman has discovered 10 he liked in each of the past two seasons, and this 12 months, he is invited Dan Devine along to pick a number of he is keen to look at. Here’s what they came up with:


Denver Nuggets at Sacramento Kings: Oct. 30. When the Kings final played in mid-April, their future was unsure, with the NBA’s Board of Governors but to weigh in on their potential sale to the Seattle-based ownership group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer. Might’s decision and subsequent sale to the local group headed by Vivek Ranadivé has saved the group in Sacramento, as well as given your complete franchise new hope after several years of subpar management from Joe and Gavin Maloof. It is a new day for the team and its fans.

The last few years have seen passionate assist from devoted Kings followers on game nights when it appeared as if the franchise was close to relocation. This season’s residence opener can be a different, an event outlined not a lot by desperation as the pride and optimism that comes with a fresh begin. It will likely be a starting, not the potential finish of a protracted journey. — Eric Freeman

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder: Nov. 1. As I wrote earlier this offseason, I am not totally sure that bringing in/again Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger, Corey Brewer and first-spherical choose Shabazz Muhammad (especially while subtracting Andrei Kirilenko) will make the Wolves a demonstrably better basketball team this season. I do, nonetheless, assume those acquisitions will assist make Minnesota a greater offensive workforce, especially when mixed with a completely healthy (fingers crossed) Kevin Love, a version of Ricky Rubio who’s had a full NBA offseason with out rehabbing from a catastrophic knee injury and (provided this glacial contract course of ultimately culminates in a re-signing) a healthy, rested and paid Nikola Pekovic.

I think that Minnesota team will be, if not glorious, then not less than immensely watchable on a night-to-evening foundation because of improved outdoors capturing, punishing inside-out play from Love and Pekovic, the always-appointment-viewing passing of Rubio and a new slew of active wings capable of activating offense in Rick Adelman’s nook scheme. I’m additionally willing to consider the chance that they will be better than I anticipate defensively, as they were in 2011-12 earlier than Rubio’s torn ACL despatched the team careening off the trail. At worst, they’re going to be fun; at greatest, they could be a risk. So let’s line them up against perhaps one of the best team within the Western Conference — a group led by Love’s Team USA buddy, Kevin Durant, and whose second-in-command, Russell Westbrook, is on observe to be back from the knee injury he suffered through the playoffs — and see which path these Wolves are on.

Also, I bear in mind this happening:

… and, seeing the prospect of early-season well being for all involved, I am very amped. — Dan Devine

Detroit Pistons vs. Washington Wizards: Oct. 30 (Opening Night), Dec. 28, Dec. 30, Jan. 18. At first look, this is the kind of mid-profile sport that pops up on the NBA schedule each night time, a nondescript contest between two playoff hopefuls with comparatively small margins of error (and injury). But, from one other vantage, it is a matchup that makes League Go the most effective bargains in your cable company’s order form.

This offseason, the Pistons dedicated themselves to watchability after several seasons within the aesthetic doldrums, acquiring level guard Brandon Jennings and mercurial ahead Josh Smith to affix man-youngster Andre Drummond and the skilled Greg Monroe. The Wizards, alternatively, have probably the most promising younger trios within the league in max-level point guard John Wall, capturing guard Bradley Beal, and rookie ahead Otto Porter. Their 4 matchups this season could not qualify as main games between contenders, however they provide startling potential for the random leisure that makes the NBA so watchable on a nightly basis. — EF

Andrew Bynum’s return to Philly must be fascinating. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Photographs) Philadelphia 76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nov. 8 and Nov. 9. A home-and-residence, back-to-back, Friday-and-Saturday pair that includes the staff that simply signed growth/bust lottery ticket Andrew Bynum and the group whose new CEO just needed to apologize for the previous regime buying and selling for him feels like a pretty closely emotional and compelling set. Plus, the double-dip takes place early sufficient in the season that Philadelphia can neither be mathematically eliminated from anything yet or do too much harm to their tanking strategy by winning, so they may find some compelling incentive to attempt to win. Sincere(ish) competition!

If Bynum is, as planned, able to go for training camp and capable of stay upright/cellular by way of the beginning of the season — hey, it’s nonetheless the offseason, let’s stay optimistic — this might represent the first opportunity for Sixers fans to really see the 7-foot center play stay skilled basketball, which the Wells Fargo Heart devoted will likely reward with either polite applause or hurled hunks of jagged, flaming particles. It is unlikely that eventual centerpiece/2013 lottery choose Nerlens Noel can have returned from rehabbing his torn ACL in time to do something more than watch this one from the sidelines, however even when that is all he does, as we discovered last year, there’s fun available simply watching an apparently coiffed big man trip the pine for Philly.

Also, in on-courtroom terms, it ought to be fun to see which weapons All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving brings out to combat Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams, whose 6-foot-6 body and quickness suggest an intriguing defensive prospect. My guess? Whichever weapons Kyrie desires, early, typically and repeatedly, persevering with a brutal starting to the Syracuse product’s NBA career that will see him face the Miami Heat, then need to examine Irving twice, John Wall twice, Derrick Rose (hopefully), Stephen Curry and Tony Parker inside his first two weeks as a professional. Welcome to the NBA, younger fella. — DD

Houston Rockets at Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder: Dec. 29. The James Harden trade is certain to define any matchup between these teams for the following a number of seasons, or a minimum of so long as it represents the moment at which the Thunder inadvertently turned a rival right into a contender while concurrently hurting their very own possibilities at a title. Despite no matter occasions received them up to now, though, these two groups figure to be two of the West’s top groups for the foreseeable future, longer than the aging (if also ageless) San Antonio Spurs, the Chris Paul-dependent Los Angeles Clippers, and the more tenuously successful Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies. Each rosters function young-ish stars with room to develop (or, in the case of Dwight Howard, return to prominence), and their general managers appear to have sufficient flexibility to improve their groups when vital.

The Harden trade, then, is nearly a distraction from the instant pleasure of watching two exciting, superb groups play each other several instances per season. The season’s first matchup ought to remind us that each one our chatter about storylines exists to organize us for what really issues: the video games. — EF

Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors: Dec. thirteen. Two seasons in the past, these teams finished in the draft lottery. Final season, they climbed up into the Western Convention’s top eight behind the electrical guard play of James Harden and Stephen Curry, with Houston giving the (shorthanded) Thunder a rough go of it in Spherical 1 and the Dubs turning into postseason individuals’s champs by knocking off the Denver Nuggets and scaring the daylights out of the San Antonio Spurs. This season, they’ve made arguably the 2 largest pickups of the offseason, particularly on the defensive finish, with the Rockets landing All-Star heart Dwight Howard to anchor the interior and the Warriors executing a 3-group sign-and-trade to import Andre Iguodala to lock down the perimeter. (And lest we overlook, the Warriors had been one of many few teams granted a free-agent audience with Howard, who reportedly came away very impressed with Golden State’s workers and group.)

Both ranked in the prime five in possessions per game last season, so they like to rise up and down the ground. Both ranked within the prime 11 in points per possession, too, in order that they know what to do with the ball as soon as they cross half-courtroom. They both seem to have improved across the board, supplementing their major acquisitions with smart lower-key add-ons that seem to have bolstered their benches and neatly fleshed out their rotations. And their 4 conferences last season were bookended by Houston hanging 140 on the Warriors earlier than Mark Jackson ordered intentional fouls to keep the Rockets from setting an NBA record for made three-pointers, and Curry going off for 29 points and eleven dimes as Golden State blew Houston out by 30. Draymond Green says he doesn’t like the Rockets; the sensation, we’re certain, is mutual, and I’m betting Howard hasn’t forgotten that stray elbow from Golden State energy forward David Lee while Dwight was carrying purple and gold.

Add up the scoring, the speed, the sparks that have flown between the two groups and the inimitable spirit of the Oracle followers, and I am betting that Friday night matchup’s going to be value staying house to catch. — DD

Expect Andrew Wiggins to be a significant matter of dialog in 2014. (Sam Forencich/Getty)

Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic: March 2. Although much is subject to alter over the subsequent 10 months, the 2014 NBA draft seems to be the strongest on the prime since Greg Oden and Kevin Durant entered the league in 2007. It figures, then, that the league’s worst teams will interact in a similar rush to the underside to increase their lottery odds, all in the hopes of nabbing a future famous person in June.

The Sixers and Magic aren’t certain to end up as the NBA’s backside two squads in 2013-14, however they’re likely to challenge for the league’s dunce cap. As such, their closing matchup in March may have a big impact on the lottery, and by extension the next decade of basketball. (Or, you understand, possibly the team with the second decide will find yourself with the far better participant.) — EF

New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Path Blazers: Dec. 21. If not for the Pistons, the Pelicans might need entered the season as the league’s most intriguing group. A lottery squad in each of the final two seasons after Chris Paul’s departure, the Pelicans elected to make a push for respectability next 12 months by trading its prime picks in 2013 (which wound up being Kentucky middle Noel) and 2014 (a high-5 protected choice) to the 76ers for All-Star level guard Jrue Holiday. They then engineered a 3-team deal to import former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans, with visions of versatile wing lineups featuring some mixture of these two, reportedly-now-healthy maxed-out shooting guard Eric Gordon and 2012 first-rounder Austin Rivers making issues occur on the perimeter, opening up opportunities for emerging beast Anthony Davis and flooring-stretching marksman Ryan Anderson.. offered, in fact, all of it comes collectively.

Quiet as it’s saved, though, the Blazers (who’ve also missed the playoffs in each of the final two seasons) have made an identical push toward relevance, drafting exciting small-faculty combo guard C.J. McCollum to both pair with and again up reigning Rookie of the Yr Damian Lillard, and making a number of shrewd strikes (signing swingman Dorell Wright, snaring 2011 lottery choose Thomas Robinson for a pair of second-round picks, landing middle Robin Lopez within the three-teamer that despatched Evans to New Orleans) that seem to have fortified what was arguably the league’s worst bench final season.. supplied, in fact, it all comes collectively.

By the time these teams meet at the Rose Backyard, Portland will have performed 27 games and New Orleans could have performed 24. They will have had nearly three months because the begin of coaching camp to have labored out rotations, began to develop chemistry amongst all the brand new and current items, and have had the opportunity to figure out whether their respective pushes towards capital-m Mattering in the NBA playoff conversation seem ready to take off or have stalled, which is interesting sufficient in a macro sense. And from an instantaneous run-of-play perspective, the sheer array of interesting combine-and-match talents on the ground — Davis’ awkward-yet-easy apositional frontcourt box-checking, LaMarcus Aldridge’s considerably Boshian 4/5 bristling, extra ball-dealing with guards who can play the nominal one or two than you would shake a stick at, outsized threes/small-ball fours Nicolas Batum and Al-Farouq Aminu, and so forth. — to make this a enjoyable watch in and of itself that might wind up telling us one thing more about the Western playoff picture.

And if all that does not tickle your fancy, I’ve acquired 4 words for you: Robin Lopez Revenge Sport. — DD

Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks: April 16. The final evening of the 2012-13 season featured an excessive amount of excitement, with Stephen Curry setting a brand new file for 3-pointers in a season, the Los Angeles Lakers avoiding embarrassment and clinching a playoff berth, and Sacramento Kings fans doubtlessly watching their workforce for the final time. Solely time will tell what 2013-14’s finale brings, but we can bet it’s going to be magical.

One thing we do know, not less than as of this writing, is that a national TELEVISION viewers will get to benefit from the season-closing tilt between the Hawks and Bucks on ESPN. It appears as though the Worldwide Chief has banked on these squads battling for a playoff spot, and it sure looks like a doozy. Will Jeff Teague rating 20 points and switch the tide in a number of fantasy leagues? Will Ersan Ilyasova take a nap in the course of the third quarter? Will Al Horford and Paul Millsap even have to play? Keep tuned for “SportsCenter!” — EF

When Rudy returns to Memphis, neither he nor Z-Bo figure to be smiling. (Joe Murphy/NBA/Getty Photographs) Toronto Raptors at Memphis Grizzlies: Nov. thirteen. The Raptors and Grizzlies faced off once last season after the trade that despatched Rudy Gay north of the border, but the meeting took place at the Air Canada Centre — Homosexual scored 13 points on 15 pictures, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored 17 apiece and the Grizzlies earned a six-level highway win. It will symbolize Homosexual’s first journey to FedEx Forum as a visitor after 6 half of seasons and more than 8,500 factors scored in a Grizzlies uniform.. and yet, you surprise if Memphians really miss his iso-heavy, accuracy-light, volume-taking pictures wing sport as much as his prior level of productivity would seem to dictate.

As I’ve written prior to now, Memphis improved on each ends of the floor after the three-workforce deal that despatched Homosexual to the Raptors, redistributing the possessions beforehand utilized by the athletic swingman to more environment friendly gamers like Conley, Randolph and (most notably) Marc Gasol whereas persevering with to lock down on the defensive end en route to a visit to the Western Convention finals — a level of success they by no means reached with Homosexual playing a pivotal role. However would that method — ditch shot-jacking, unfold responsibility around, emphasize elevated participant and ball motion, operate extra via the 2 huge guys and rating just enough to let your clamp-down D take you residence — be lauded fairly as a lot as it has been if Memphis is not successful?

What if the Grizzlies — who look robust again after re-upping perimeter defending ace Tony Allen, snaring amnestied shooter Mike Miller and trading for regular backup huge man Kosta Koufos — get off to a slow begin in opposition to a troublesome slate that includes the likes of the San Antonio Spurs, revamped Pistons, reloaded Warriors and Jap Conference doppelganger Indiana Pacers? What if Gay — his jumper instantly scorching after long-overdue offseason vision correction surgery — gets off to a sizzling begin and has Toronto wanting like they may compete for one of many East’s lower-tier playoff spots? Might those few lingering voices that take a look at Memphis and say, “It would be good to have someone who may reliably create his personal shot,” find some extra pals? Or has the Grindhouse come far enough to rest on what it is aware of about its group’s id, salute Rudy for his service and return concerning the business of not bluffing?

I suspect I do know the reply to that question, however like every part else we’re talking about right now, we won’t actually know for positive until the season gets getting in earnest; then, all of the questions we pore over during the summer time will likely be changed by entire new units of quandaries that we’ll spend the subsequent eight months attempting to solve. It’s going to be great. — DD


North Carolina suspends P.J. Hairston indefinitely after latest traffic citation

P.J. Hairston (Getty Photos)

The one thing embattled North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston could not afford to do is precisely what he did anyway Sunday afternoon.

He acquired in more authorized bother.

Hairston was charged with rushing and reckless driving on Sunday afternoon after police pulled him over for driving 93 miles per hour in a sixty five-mile-per-hour zone, USA Right now first reported. On account of the most recent traffic quotation, North Carolina coach Roy Williams suspended the junior indefinitely late Sunday night.

Another run-in with the law for Hairston calls into question whether or not North Carolina can danger permitting him to return to the staff next season – and even whether or not he’s sufficiently dedicated to returning at all.

This is the third time Hairston has pulled over and cited for visitors violations since Could, all three in different vehicles. Hairston was initially charged with marijuana possession and driving and not using a license on June 5, however those prices have been dropped earlier this month.

In Sunday’s site visitors cease, Hairston was reportedly driving a 2008 Acura TL. It is unclear at this point who the Acura belongs to or whether it has any ties to Haydn “Fats” Thomas, the convicted felon who was connected to both of the other two rental cars Hairston was driving when he was pulled over earlier this offseason.

A traffic citation like this wouldn’t usually be career-threatening for a college participant, but Hairston needed to be good enough to realize he was on a zero-tolerance policy given his previous missteps this offseason. Between his previous arrest and an investigation into potential extra benefits violations from the rental vehicles, Hairston couldn’t give his critics anymore cause to suggest North Carolina would be taking too massive a danger by allowing him to play next season.

The one factor nonetheless working in Hairston’s favor is his perimeter scoring capability is vital to the Tar Heels’ hopes of contending within the ACC and nationally.

Hairston averaged a staff-high 14.6 factors per sport as a sophomore, sparking North Carolina’s late-season surge when he moved into the beginning lineup midway through ACC play. He averaged 18.2 factors during the Tar Heels’ ultimate 13 video games, playing so well that he briefly thought of getting into the NBA draft this spring earlier than asserting in mid-April that he’d return to highschool for his junior season.