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ESPN Draft Express

ESPN Acquires Draft Express

And another top flight site bites the dust. Jonathan Givony has provided 14 years of reliable independent information about the NBA Draft and draft prospects from North America and around the world. However, he’s moving to ESPN and the site, DraftExpress.com will no longer be updated

We’re proud to announce that Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz will be joining ESPN as NBA Draft analysts. DraftExpress.com will remain on the web with all of our existing archive, but will not be publishing any new content moving forward. All articles, rankings, mock drafts and event recaps moving forward will be published on ESPN.com. Thanks to everyone that has contributed to DraftExpress, and the millions of readers who have visited our website diligently over the past 14 years.

Hopefully ESPN allows Givony the freedom to keep doing what he’s been doing and not drown him in corporate politics.

 

 

 

NBA Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving

Cavs Kyrie Irving Wants Out Of Cleveland

Brian Windhorst, ESPN Senior Writer reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving wants to be traded.

Kyrie Irving is ready to end his run with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as league sources told ESPN that the guard has asked the team to trade him.

“Kyrie and I had a meeting with Cavs leadership where we discussed many different scenarios in reference to Kyrie and his future with the team,” Irving’s agent Jeff Wechsler told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “The basis of those discussions and what went on in those discussions are between the Cavs and us. We are respectfully going to keep those private.”

James was informed of Irving’s request and was blindsided and disappointed, sources said.

ESPN reports that this may be connected to the loss of general manager David Griffin last month whom Irving had a good relationship with and a long standing desire by Irving to have “his own” team.

If Irving is traded, the change has the potential to dramatically shift the power structure in the NBA East. It definitely has implications for LeBron James’ pending free agency next summer.

 

Featured image courtesy of Paul Saini
Instagram:  @fylmm.lifestyle and  @paul_saini

 

NBA Boston Celtics Jae Crowder and Utah Jazz Gordon Hayward

Celtics Pursuing A Sign And Trade For Gordon Hayward

The Celtics still don’t have enough salary cap space to sign Utah Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward to the max contract they promised, so they’ve been running around looking for someone to take on Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder and/or Avery Bradley and leave them with enough room to complete the deal as reported by Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN One of the better options, if the Jazz and Hayward will agree, would be a sign and trade for one of the players they are trying to move and possibly some of the other “assets” the Celtics could be forced to dump.

The Boston Celtics have been aggressively trying to create enough salary-cap room … by discussing trades involving Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley

The Jazz and Celtics discussed on Wednesday the possibility of including Crowder in a sign-and-trade agreement for Hayward

The amount the Celtics are short could be as low as $300,000 if they can jump thru enough less painful flaming hoops than giving away one of their players that has actual real trade value.

even if the team renounced the rights to Jonas Jerebko, James Young and Gerald Green, waived Jordan Mickey, left 2016 first-round pick Guerschon Yabusele in Europe this season and traded Demetrius Jackson’s partially guaranteed contract and Terry Rozier, Boston … is still about $300,000 short of his max.

From a practical standpoint, when teams know you are trying to dump a contract to create room to complete another deal, they are going to take advantage, but Boston does have the assets to grease just about anything if they want to.

A trade with a third team to create space or a sign and trade with the Jazz can accomplish the same thing. This will just come down to finding the “best” way to get it done.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

NBA Boston Celtics Gordon Hayward

Gordon Hayward Admits He’s joining The Celtics

So what we were waiting for was Utah Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward to write a thank you piece in The Player’s Tribune. Hayward and his agent could have saved all of us a lot of grief if they just said this upfront instead the, in hindsight, bizarro response that was handed out.

After seven years in Utah, I have decided to join the Boston Celtics. – Gordon Hayward

Would it have been so hard to say we’ve made a decision and will be announcing it later today?

Okay, that’s done. Maybe this unlocks a few more options and gets free agency and the trade market into full swing.

 

NBA center Amir Johnson former Pistons Raptors Celtics

Former Raptors Big Amir Johnson Gets Paid Again

No one in Toronto blamed Raptors fan favorite Amir Johnson for taking $24 million from the Boston Celtics two years ago and the popular big man has found himself another big pay day this summer. The Philadelphia 76ers have used some of their excess cap space to give Johnson another $11 million for next season.

Johnson saw his minutes decline in Boston last season to average just 20.1 while his production dropped to 6.5 points and 4.6 rebounds. However, the 30-year-old is known as a great teammate, community ambassador and willing mentor, so he should fit in well on a very young 76ers team.

76ers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo had traded for Johnson in 2009 when he ran the show in Toronto. Johnson has played for the Pistons, Raptors and Celtics.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

Indiana Pacers Paul George

Thunder Win, Paul George Heads West

In hindsight it’s obvious, the Pacers didn’t want Paul George to stay in the Eastern Conference, so it’s off to the Oklahoma City Thunder in return for guard Victor Oladipo and second-year big man Domantas Sabonis.

In effect the Thunder have managed to trade the assets they got for Serge Ibaka last summer from the Magic for George this summer. Thunder general manager Sam Presti knows how to deal.

 

 

 

NBA analyst Adrian Wojnarowski

NBA News Breaker Adrian Wojnarowski Goes Dark

The NBA’s leading news breaker Adrian Wojnarowski has gone dark pending the start of his new relationship with ESPN that starts at midnight on July 1st as reported by Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch.

Adrian Wojnarowski has gone dormant since Thursday at 3:29 p.m. ET. This is intentional. SI.com has learned that Wojnarowski will not report any new NBA information until the start of his ESPN contract, which comes at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. No trades, no signings, no speculation until then.

The last WOJ tweet was,

As Wojnarowski is almost always the first to report on anything NBA, may his twitter feed start humming again real soon.

 

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan

ESPN Wasting No Time To Forget Toronto Exists

It took no time at all for ESPN to forget Toronto even exists as they forecast the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will meet in the NBA Finals again next year.

Sure the Cavs and the Dubs are heavy favorites no matter what any other team does this summer, but what the ESPN Forecast panel is predicting can only be called bizarre and insulting.

The third place 51-win Raptors don’t even get a sniff ahead of the Bucks team (4.4%) they eliminated from the playoffs, a 49-win Wizards team (2.2%) who they took two of three games from during the regular season or the dysfunctional Pistons (2.2%) who didn’t even make the playoffs.

This panel are either making a ton of assumptions about the inability of Raptors president Masai Ujiri to keep the key pieces of his roster together or, more likely, they just forgot Toronto has an NBA franchise.

The assumptions required to believe the Celtics will win the East next season are not any easier to make happen than those required for the Raptors to be back in the top three of the Eastern Conference.

The Wizards largely face the same challenges this summer that they faced last summer to take another step.

The Bucks are an up and coming team, but do they break thru next year?

The Pistons? Stan Van Gundy wouldn’t predict his team wins the East next year.

It might not be easy for the US based ESPN to remember “We The North” exists, but they could at least look at last year’s standings for some background info before forecasting next year.

There is no one in Toronto that shouldn’t take the Pistons being given a better chance than the Raptors to win the East as anything but a huge insult. Even the Hawks, Bulls, Pacers and Heat should be questioning how the Pistons are getting more respect from ESPN than they are.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NBA D-League Mississauga Raptors 905 Edy Tavares

Cavs Grab Shot Blocker Edy Tavares From Raptors 905

A Cleveland Cavaliers team that has been searching desperately for any kind of big man help is about to sign the Toronto Raptors D-League affiliate 905 center Edy Tavares to a multi-year deal.

Tavares is coming off a first round playoff game with the Raptors 905 where he blocked 8 shots on the Cavs D-League affiliate Canton Charge.

“(Edy Tavares) has unbelievable talent,” Raptors 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse said after the game. “The way he protects the rim for us. For the most part he just went up there and used his length. He has unbelievable timing.”

Shams Charania reports,

Tavares, a 7-foot-3 center, plans to sign a three-year contract with the Cavaliers on Wednesday, league sources said. Tavares has been a critical part of the Raptors 905’s championship contention in the D-League, averaging 10.9 points and 7.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks for the season.

Raptors 905 have advanced to the NBA D-League East Finals, but in the process they lost Alex Toupane to the New Orleans Pelicans after he scored a franchise record 41 points in the 905’s first ever playoff game. Now they are about to lose their starting center to the Cavs.

 
 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors DeMarre Carroll PJ Tucker Serge Ibaka Patrick Patterson collage

Magic Have Four Raptors On Their Radar This Summer

In the oops of all oops, an agent of an Orlando Magic player inadvertently tweeted out a list of the guys the team would like to target this summer by trade or in free agency and it looks like four current Toronto Raptors players are squarely in their sights.

CBS Sports NBA captured the image before the Magic realized what they’d done and Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reported on the team’s embarrassment.

Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said the lists are “not indicative of plans” and were “simply listing options, including some of which other teams have inquired about.”

Orlando Magic tweet

Included on the lists are the Toronto Raptors DeMarre Carroll, P.J. Tucker, Patrick Patterson and Serge Ibaka.

This lists are long and undoubtedly very preliminary, but they do give an idea of what the Magic could be going after in draft day deals and in July. This isn’t April 1st, are we sure this was an accident?

 

 

 

NBA Sacramento Kings DeMarcus Cousins Kings DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins Would Flourish In The Right Place Says DeRozan

It’s a question that crosses the mind of nearly every NBA GM, coach and fan, would the Kings DeMarcus Cousins get his act together in a better environment than Sacramento? ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz goes into detail about Cousins and his checkered history with the Kings. It’s worth the read.

IF THE FATAL flaw of the Kings is instability, nowhere is it more evident than in the vibrant lazy Susan of coaches. Cousins was drafted in June 2010, which means all before his prime — and without changing teams — he has already played for Paul Westphal, Keith Smart, Mike Malone, Ty Corbin, George Karl and now Dave Joerger.

From a Toronto Raptors perspective, his Olympic teammate DeMar DeRozan believes Cousins would flourish in the right place and that’s tantalizing information to receive right before the NBA trade deadline.

“You put him in the right type of environment, a winning environment in the right organization, he would flourish without a doubt,” Olympic teammate DeMar DeRozan says. “Even in the position he’s in now, he hasn’t been to the playoffs, but he’s still the best big man in the league. Sometimes the other chips just don’t fall into place for you to take off when you want to take off. I think he’s going to get to that point once he gets in the right situation.”

Once again Cousins is a hot trade topic ahead of the NBA trade deadline and if DeRozan is to be believed, maybe pursuing the “best big man in the league” shouldn’t be something to be afraid of.

 

 

 

NBA Sacramento Kings DeMarcus Cousins

Sacramento Kings DeMarcus Cousins May Be In Play

Warm up all those fantasy trade rumors, according to Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee, the Kings are sending out mixed messages about the availability of everyone’s favorite trade target at center DeMarcus Cousins. He is most definitely in play.

Within the past two weeks, three different team executives complained the Kings once again were sending mixed signals. Divac was receptive to moving Cousins, while Ranadive was still meddling and still leaning toward keeping Boogie.

The plan of attack should be obvious by now. General manager Vlade Divac should be immersed in conversations with those of his peers intrigued by Cousins and burning up his cellphone battery working over the skeptics. Celtics. Lakers. Cavs. Mavs. Suns. Magic. The list surely will expand before Feb. 23, with Boston, L.A. and Phoenix armed with an array of young assets to facilitate a prudent, deliberate, long overdue Kings rebuild.

This is the way big deals get done. The Kings have to maximize their return in any deal for Cousins as they know, on the right team, Cousins could be the difference between pretender and NBA Finals contender. He is that talented, so teams will bid against one another to get him.

As painful as it will be to part ways with Cousins, Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive and Divac must surely know by now that all the salary cap space in the world isn’t going to bring a max free agent that could take their team into contention. Not with a revolving door coaching policy, a decade in the NBA Draft Lottery, and all that bad press their organization seems to get from just about every NBA player that’s been fortunate enough to escape to another team.

While the Kings could tear this thing down to the wood and do a total rebuild through the draft, that may not be necessary. If the Kings have proven anything over the past decade it’s they aren’t very good at picking and developing talent.

Yes they will absolutely want first round draft picks, but more importantly, the players they get back in any trade for Cousins had better be young, proven, NBA level talent. They need players with potential who can be inserted into a starting lineup right now. It’s not like they don’t need upgrades at every single position outside of Cousins.

Any deal has to be a homerun.

The biggest problem the Kings will have in trying to extract full value for Cousins is his ridiculously low $17 million salary, but it won’t be hard to find parts to add in order to get that number up.

While a broken down Rudy Gay might be challenging to pawn off on another team, Arron Afflalo and his $12.5 million deal is only guaranteed for $1.5 million next year and he’s a guy another GM could be talked into taking. Divac has pieces he can use.

So NBA GMs should start looking at their starters, key rotation players, rookies and draft picks to see if they’ve got enough to make Ranadive and Divac feel like winners as they let the “best center in the game” walk out their door and in all likelihood help some other team become an NBA Finals contender. Rationally they can’t say no to a good deal and they shouldn’t have any trouble convincing other people that Cousins was never going to fulfill his promise in Sacramento anyway.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 Featured image courtesy of Larry Millson

 

 

 

FIBA Team Canada Anthony Bennett

Canadian Anthony Bennett To Join Fenerbahce In Turkey

Former number one overall NBA draft pick from Canada Anthony Bennett will join FIBA club team Fenerbahce In Turkey after bring cut by the Brooklyn Nets earlier this week as reported by Sportando.

Bennett was originally drafted by the Cavaliers in 2013 and traded the next summer along with Andrew Wiggins to Timberwolves for Kevin Love as part of a three-team deal. He was waived by Timberwolves the next summer and signed as a free agent by the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors waived him in March and he was signed as a free agent by Brooklyn in July.

Bennett played in 23 games with the Nets before being waived on January 9, 2017. He had played in 151 games and 1,905 total minutes averaging 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in the NBA over parts of four seasons.

As a freshman at UNLV in 2012-13, Bennett averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds.

The biggest winner out of this move may be Canada Basketball as Bennett will learn the FIBA game ahead of this summer’s international play.

 

 Featured image courtesy of Larry Millson

Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James

ESPN Favors Toronto To Represent The East In The NBA Finals

Apparently last year’s 56-win season and trip to the Eastern Conference Finals by Toronto wasn’t an aberration, it was just part of a trend as the Raptors led by their two All-Stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have continued the journey this season and are presently favored to represent the East in the NBA Finals this year by ESPN.

ESPN’s Ben Alamar writes,

The Raptors have ridden their offensive prowess to the No. 2 spot in ESPN’s Basketball Power Index and currently have the best chance to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals at 48 percent.

After playing their final game of calendar 2016, ESPN projects the Raptors to win 58 games this season, one fewer than the Cavs, but their Analytics team gives Toronto a 12.1 percent chance at an NBA title compared to just 8.9 percent for Cleveland. The Warriors continue to dominate projections with a 64.3 percent chance of winning it all this year.

While LeBron James and the Cavaliers will have a lot to say about how the rest of this season and the playoffs play out in the East, to this point Toronto has the top two offensive rated five-man units and the first and third best net rated five-man units in the entire league. So just maybe the objective analytics at ESPN is on to something.

 

Featured image courtesy of Paul Saini
Instagram:  @fylmm.lifestyle and  @paul_saini

 

NBA Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan Jonas Valanciunas Kyle Lowry 2016 media day

NBA News: Toronto Raptors Are Contenders

Surprisingly, though, it is the Raptors who enter play on December 27 as the NBA’s top-ranked team in offensive efficiency—not the Warriors, not the Cavaliers and not the Spurs.

Simply? The Raptors are benefiting from continuity and chemistry. Dwane Casey, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are in their fifth season together and the pieces around them—Jonas Valanciunas, Terrence Ross, Cory Joseph and DeMarre Carroll—fit within their system.

A few days after the Cavs scored one of their biggest wins of the season by defeating the Warriors, the Raptors enter play on December 27 trailing them by one game in the standings.

 

Source: Basketball Insiders Moke Hamilton

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan and Sacramento Kings Rudy Gay 2016 by Larry Millson

Is The Kings Rudy Gay Showcasing Himself For A Trade?

There have been lots of reports that the Kings Rudy Gay has subtly or not so subtly been hoping for a trade to a contender as the veteran forward recently turned 30-years-old and Sacramento has spent the past decade as a Lottery Team with no one giving them a chance to break the futility streak this season. However, he isn’t moaning or complaining directly, instead a better description of what Gay has been doing is showcasing himself by being on pace for the best shooting percentages (50 percent from the field, 45 percent from three), points scored (22.6 per game) and free throw attempts (6.6 per game) of his career.

“I don’t like talking about my personal goals,” Gay told Pro Bball Report. “I’m a team guy. I feel that nobody can win a game by himself, you got to win it together. Personal goals are B.S. to me. Obviously if you do the right things, you’ll get what you want.”

After a decade in the NBA and playing for three different organizations, Gay knows players are always being evaluated and scouted by the 29 other teams in the league you aren’t currently playing for. Everyone knows if you are doing the right things.

So after missing the front half of a back-to-back on Saturday in Milwaukee due to a painful rib cartilage strain, Gay dragged himself on to the court in Toronto on Sunday to showcase/prove he can play through pain and produce versus last year’s Eastern Conference Finalists. Gay went 9-19 (47.4 percent) from the field and 2-5 from three-point range to score a game-high (tied with DeMar DeRozan) 23 points in 35.4 minutes. The Kings were a team best +12 points with Gay in the game and pulled out a surprising 96-91 victory over the final three minutes.

An NBA career as a proven points producer, Gay is currently at the top of his game and other teams will have noticed.

Gay knows the Kings should improve as the season progresses, it just takes time after every significant change to figure out how to play as a team and Sacramento is on their ninth head coach in 11 seasons.  Gay himself has endured four different head coaches in his 3.7 seasons with the team. The obvious contrast is the tenure and success of the Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, now in his sixth season in Toronto, and the team’s core of DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross. Plus, Patrick Patterson who came to Toronto as part of the trade for Gay in 2013.

“We are one of those teams that has had a lot of change,” Gay said. “A lot of different scenarios we have to deal with, a lot of different teammates. Whereas you have Toronto where they have had their core for at least their third, fourth year? Maybe longer than that. Fifth year, it is Kyle Lowry’s fifth year here. We don’t have that luxury. So we are just trying to get better as quick as possible.”

Stability is often the hallmark of a good team, not only early in the season, but as the year progresses as well. Even the recent run of “super teams” have tended to struggle and underachieve until the players and coaches got to know each other better. The ever revolving door in Sacramento likely means their struggles will continue.

The speculation that Gay will opt out of the final year of his contract at the end of this season shouldn’t come as a surprise. He’s only slated to earn $14.2 million and as a 30-year-old player, this summer is likely his best chance at locking down his last lucrative long term deal. The Kings know this – actually everyone knows this. No speculation necessary.

Plus, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if his first choice in free agency is to play for a team that’s more stable and has a better chance at winning. Thus the speculation that the Kings should try to get something for Gay by the trade deadline rather than risk losing him for nothing in July. Money can only ease the pain of losing only so much and it remains uncertain if this version of the Kings can start winning enough to attract or keep players like Gay.

Is Rudy Gay showcasing himself in the hopes of promoting a trade? That would be a fair interpretation, but when he was in Toronto playing for a team that wasn’t enjoying much success at the time, he always came across as a team guy that tried to do the right thing.

A showcase of putting up career best numbers this season is the right thing for both Gay and the Sacramento Kings now. Someone will be watching, Boston? Indiana? Miami? Houston? OKC? Toronto?

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

Featured image courtesy of Larry Millson

 

 

 


 

 

NBA San Antonio Spurs LaMarcus Aldridge

The LaMarcus Aldridge Spurs Honeymoon Is Over

It started last season according to Jabari Young of MySanAntonio.com, LaMarcus Aldridge wasn’t happy with how things were turning out with the Spurs. He wasn’t going to be the focus of the franchise, not then and not after future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan’s retirement. The honeymoon between the All-Star power forward and his new team might have been over almost before it began.

Last season, there were rumblings in NBA circles that Aldridge wanted to be traded before the All-Star break.

Those close to the situation suggest Aldridge may not be happy at the moment. The belief is the Spurs pitched him on becoming the center of their offense when they recruited him in 2015, and that hasn’t occurred.

Kawhi Leonard is becoming the face of the Spurs franchise and the center of their offense, plus Aldridge still has to deal with fame, reputation and impact of Tony Parker and the non-retirement of Manu Ginobili. The Spurs have always represented themselves as a team that doesn’t care who gets the glory/attention and if Aldridge isn’t happy playing out of the limelight, San Antonio may not be the best fit. Leonard out-polled Aldridge 782,339 votes to 268,003 in the 2016 NBA All-Star voting and Aldridge only received about half (498,131) of the votes he got playing in Portland the year before.

To make matters worse, Kevin Durant jumped ship in OKC to solidify the Warriors position as the dominant team in the Western Conference and making every other franchise, even the 67-win Spurs, mere pretenders to come out of the West. Reduced personal stats, no chance at being voted in as an All-Star and little chance at contending for an NBA title isn’t what the 30-year-old 23 point 10 rebound star Trail Blazers power forward foresaw a year ago.

Basketball Insiders Steve Kyle explains,

Aldridge is being pushed into the No. 2 role (and sometimes No. 3) depending on how the Spurs play.

That’s becoming a source of frustration, mainly because the Spurs are not going to be the championship contender Aldridge thought he was joining and he won’t be the focal-point guy who becomes an All-Star.

All this is beginning to fire up the rumor mill about a possible trade, but there is no hard evidence the Spurs have started down that path – yet.

It’s safe to say the Spurs are not remotely looking at moving Aldridge, but it seems equally safe to say that is not a long-term designation.

If and when the Spurs and Aldridge decide it’s time to part company, there will be no shortage of suitors. Pretty much every team that had cap space took a run at signing Aldridge as a free agent last summer and those same teams and more would try to land him again.

Aldridge is on a team friendly contract based on this past summer’s madness. He is owed $20.5 million this season, $21.4 million next year and has a player option (at 33-years-old) for $22.3 million in 2018-19. However, as every GM in the Association should be aware, if R.C. Buford wants your guy, he probably thinks he’s winning that trade and he probably is – buyer beware.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 



 

 

NBA Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons

76ers Are Cursed: First Overall Pick Ben Simmons Breaks His Foot

So much for worrying about the Philadelphia 76ers having too many big men and not enough minutes to go around. This team is cursed. The NBA’s 2016 first overall draft pick Ben Simmons has a broken bone in his right foot and it goes without saying, he’s out indefinitely.

This is just the latest in a string of setbacks for the 76ers as they try to rebuild from the ashes of recent disastrous/deliberately tanked seasons.

Sixth overall pick in 2013 6’11 Nerlens Noel missed his first season with a torn ACL. Third overall pick in 2014 7′ Joel Embiid missed his rookie season because of a stress fracture to his right foot and has yet to play a game because of foot surgeries. Then their third overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft 6’11 Jahil Okafor managed to get six games past the All-Star break before his season was prematurely cut short by season ending knee surgery.

What Simmons has suffered is typically called a Jones fracture and history says it can be a tricky injury to overcome. Other NBA players who have gone through this condition include: Kevin Durant, Brook Lopez, Glen Davis and Rasheed Wallace just to name a few. It hasn’t been that uncommon for complications or even a second surgery to be required.

The 76ers seem to living under a dark cloud these past few years.

 

 


 

 

Chris Bosh NBA Miami Heat

Chris Bosh Fails His Physical With The Heat

It has been widely reported that when blood clotting issues reoccur the condition will likely be chronic, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that All-Star Chris Bosh failed his physical with the Heat prior to the start of training camp as reported by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

The Heat had gone into this week expecting to clear Bosh to resume his career this season

an issue arose in blood work this week, the Heat concluded he could not be cleared to return.

A statement released Friday afternoon by the Heat said, “the Miami Heat and Chris Bosh, in consultation with team doctors and other physicians, have been working together for many months with the mutual goal of having Chris return to the court as soon as possible. Chris has now taken his preseason physical. The Miami Heat regret that it remains unable to clear Chris to return to basketball activities, and there is no timetable for his return.”

Bosh was the last of the “Big 3” that included LeBron James and Dwyane Wade who had led the Heat to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and two championships. Many pundits did not expect the Heat to reach the postseason with or without Bosh this year.

It is expected the Heat will apply for salary cap relief for the balance of Bosh’s contract per NBA guidelines.

Bosh, 32, is due $76 million over the next three seasons of his five-year, $118 million contract. And while he is expected to be paid all of that even if he doesn’t play again, there is a mechanism for the Heat to clear his substantial cap hits for the final two seasons of the contract — $25.3 million in 2017-18 and $26.8 million in 2018-19.

The Heat cannot apply to remove Bosh’s salary from its cap until Feb. 9, the anniversary of his last game.

Bosh was originally drafted by the Toronto Raptors fourth overall in 2003 and has been an All-Star every season starting in 2005-06.

 

 

 


 

 

NBA Adam Silver - web

NBA Stands Up For Tolerance In America

Taking a brave stand for tolerance, the NBA has announced the 2017 All-Star Game has been moved from Charlotte to New Orleans.

Press Release

New Orleans has been selected to host NBA All-Star 2017, the NBA announced today. The 66th NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, Feb. 19, at Smoothie King Center – home of the New Orleans Pelicans. The game was previously scheduled to be held in Charlotte, N.C.

In addition to the game, the Smoothie King Center will host the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 17 and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 18 while the NBA All-Star Practice, NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and NBA Development League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tire will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. This will mark the third time the “Crescent City” has been the site of the league’s annual midseason celebration, having previously hosted the event in 2008 and 2014.

“New Orleans is a world-class destination for sports and entertainment and we are very appreciative that the city is once again hosting our All-Star festivities,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We are grateful to Tom and Gayle Benson and the Pelicans organization and to Governor John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation for inviting us back for what promises to be another exciting and memorable celebration of the game.”

“We are grateful that the NBA has selected us to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans,” said New Orleans Pelicans Owner Tom Benson. “We have made tremendous upgrades to the Smoothie King Center and know the building will be a first-class venue to host the myriad of events associated with All-Star weekend. New Orleans has hosted the All-Star Game twice in the past nine years, and is a perfect destination for NBA fans. As we know, the NBA will engage thousands of local children and charities during this weekend. On behalf of my wife Gayle and the entire Pelicans organization, we thank Governor Edwards, Mayor Landrieu, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, SMG, and all of the others that worked so hard in a short amount of time to bring the All-Star Game to New Orleans.”

In addition, in the wake of the devastating floods that have affected tens of thousands of Louisiana residents, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have joined the Pelicans and the New Orleans Saints to provide financial and other ongoing support of the flood rescue, relief and rebuilding efforts.

NBA All-Star oncourt festivities tip off Friday, Feb. 17, with the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, where the league’s top rookies and second-year players will compete in a U.S. versus World game format for the third consecutive year. On Saturday, Feb. 18, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature current NBA players showcasing their unique abilities in exciting basketball competitions, including the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, where participants compete head-to-head in a series of passing, shooting and agility drills; the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest; and Verizon Slam Dunk. The weekend concludes on Sunday, Feb. 19, with the NBA All-Star Game.

“Even in the midst of a historic crisis, I am excited that the NBA has recognized how great the City of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana are,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. “In Louisiana, one of the strongest bonds that unites all of us is our passion for sports. Not only will NBA fans be able to participate in the All-Star Game events, they will also be a part of our world-famous Mardi Gras festivities. The fan experience can’t get any better than that. While we move into the recovery phase of this disaster, I want to thank the NBA for the vote of confidence in our state to host this event and their support of the relief efforts currently underway. I want to congratulate Mayor Landrieu, the City of New Orleans, and the Pelicans for working in short order to make this all possible.”

“The NBA has been a great partner, so we are excited and honored to be selected to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Game,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Together with the staff of the GNO Sports Foundation and the hospitality industry, the dedicated members of the New Orleans police, fire, EMS, airport, permitting and sanitation departments, among others, make these major events possible. The combination of NBA All-Star with the first weekend of Mardi Gras will provide our residents, visitors and NBA fans an even more special experience. Having served as Lieutenant Governor and Mayor for the two prior NBA All-Star Games held in New Orleans, I also know the NBA is committed to giving back to our community and providing great learning experiences for our kids. The NBA and the Players Association’s generous donations to organizations responding to the devastating flooding across Louisiana is a testament to their commitment to the people of our state.”

“The Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation is honored to partner with Tom and Gayle Benson and the Pelicans as the All-Star Host Committee for an unprecedented third time in the past 10 years,” said President/CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Jay Cicero. “The strong relationships with our sports, governmental and hospitality communities allowed for a customary eight-month bid process to be compressed into a mere three weeks. The 2014 All-Star Game generated over $100 million in economic impact for the State of Louisiana and the greater New Orleans area. It’s a thrill to welcome our NBA partners back to New Orleans.”

“The NBA and New Orleans have a history of producing world-class sporting events, having most recently hosted the All-Star Game in 2014. When we learned that we had an opportunity to host next year’s NBA All-Star Game, we went straight to work to lay the groundwork for 2017,” said President and CEO of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau Stephen Perry. “Our tourism industry is second-to-none at planning and accommodating massive events like this. Within three weeks, we were able to ensure the NBA that all the pieces were in place to make the 2017 NBA All-Star Game an unforgettable experience that will combine our world famous Mardi Gras with all the excitement that the NBA All-Star Game delivers.”

The NBA will continue to honor its commitment to social responsibility during All-Star 2017 with a full schedule of NBA Cares and Jr. NBA events in and around New Orleans throughout the week. By working with local schools, government agencies and nonprofits, the NBA will engage thousands of children and families and provide important resources to community-based programs.

The 2017 NBA All-Star Game will be televised in prime time on TNT for the 15th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 32nd year of NBA All-Star coverage. The game will be broadcast worldwide in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages.

NBA ALL-STAR HISTORY IN NEW ORLEANS

New Orleans last hosted NBA All-Star in 2014, when the Eastern Conference overcame an 18-point deficit to post a 163-155 victory, snapping a three-game losing streak. Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his team-high 31 points in the fourth quarter and handed out a game-high 14 assists on his way to capturing MVP honors. Carmelo Anthony added 30 points for the East, while Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin each finished with 38 points for the West.

The 2008 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans marked the city’s first major sporting event since Hurricane Katrina. In addition to the East’s 134-128 victory and LeBron James’ MVP performance, more than 2,500 members of the NBA family participated in 10 local service projects across New Orleans as part of the inaugural NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service, now an annual tradition and a highlight of the league’s All-Star festivities.