On Pro Bball Report recently: Junkyard dog Tristan Thompson, Montrezl Harrell, Justin Anderson, Expectations of a 20th draft pick, Raptors predraft workouts and mini-camp, The NBA Finals and more.
“I’ve been a junkyard dog since I came in this league,” Thompson said. “That’s my job no matter who I’m matched up against. I’m going to come in and try to outwork them. My mentality is being the hardest working guy on the court, no matter who I’m matched up against. I want to work harder than everyone else on the court. Harder than the refs, harder than my teammates. That’s just my mentality.”
“Pure intensity,” Tolzman described. “(Harrell) brings so much to the table. Instantly just walking into the gym he raises the level of the competition – just the physicality – just the pure intensity. He is a lot like a Kenneth Faried type guy that just runs the floor, bangs on the boards, he is always applying pressure to whoever is defending him.”
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Junior from Virginia was in the first group of NBA draft prospects to work out for the Toronto Raptors this year, Justin Anderson has been a superior defender on a top-ranked NCAA defensive team. An athlete with defensive credentials and a deadly jump shot, Anderson, just like Terrence Ross in 2012, fits the mold Raptors head coach Dwane Casey is looking for.
While the jury is still out on how some recent 20th picks will develop over the longer term, the past decade leaves little doubt about what realistic expectations should be and they are not very high. If a team can nab a role player at 20, they’ve done well – very well indeed.
The Toronto Raptors predraft workouts continue on Wednesday morning with two prospects from UNLV headlining the group. Bringing in freshman shooting guard Rashad Vaughn and sophomore power forward Christian Wood should keep everyone guessing about what Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri is looking for in this year’s draft as last week he took a look at small forwards Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Justin Anderson and point guard Jerian Grant.
Headlining the mini-camp players are Canadians Jordan Bachynski and Khem Birch as well as the Raptors 2014 second round draft pick DeAndre Daniels, undrafted Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft and the 2006 4th overall draft pick Tyrus Thomas.
This series could almost be described as James versus the Warriors. For all James has done to get the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals, he’ll have to do even more to bring a championship back to Cleveland. If the Warriors continue to do what they’ve done since October 29th, they’ll win this series in five games. Only the potential of huge triple-doubles from James standing in their way.
Iman Shumpert was almost the hero of the game.
COACH KERR: “I mean, I didn’t even think we were going to have overtime because I thought Iman’s follow was going in. It looked good the whole way. It was right on line. It was maybe a few inches short. But I thought the whole bench thought it was going in. So we were lucky to get overtime.”
Cleveland Sports Teams Should Never Play On June 4th
By Frank McLean
Oh and by-the-way in the title of this story it says that teams from Cleveland shouldn’t play on the June 4th. Game one of the Finals was played on the 41st anniversary of one most ugly days in Cleveland sports history.
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Thanks to a new National TV deal set to start in 2016-17, the projected NBA Salary Cap and maximum player salaries are set to skyrocket over the next few seasons. It should be obvious that everything anybody believed before about salary expectations in the NBA is now completely obsolete.
President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri will expound on the merits of developing one’s own players and the importance of draft picks whenever the topic comes up, however, what doesn’t get much discussion is the fact that the back-to-back Atlantic Division winners are all full up with players that aren’t quite ready for prime time.
“It’s different, but I’m taking the role the old guys did when I was the young player – and I like it, especially when the guys listen to you. When you come up to talk to them, especially Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, they are All-Stars and when (I) come up they really stop and listen to (me), so for me, it is very nice and I love that,” Barbosa said.
Is the Cleveland Cavaliers love affair with Kevin Love finally coming to an end? Is LeBron James now endorsing Tristan Thompson as his team’s future at power forward? Maybe, sort of. “Tristan should probably be a Cavalier for his whole career,” James said. Probably?????
If President Phil Jackson does what he says, the Knicks will be taking Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein with the fourth overall pick and they’ll be pretty happy about it.