The Sixers posted a pretty interesting graphic on their website to entics season ticket buyers, and the internet a’sploded with something we kind of already knew: the team with the No. 2 pick in the draft seems set to select (gasp) the seemingly clear-cut second best prospect in the bunch. This is all very shocking, I know, so try to contain your excitement.
That said, if the Sixers already have their minds made up, they don’t seem to mind keeping up appearances and going through the typical pre-draft motions. According to the Associated Press, the Sixers worked out highly touted prospects Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins on Friday.
Perhaps just as importantly, general manager Ed Stefanski left open the door for more roster moves before Thursday’s draft, even after Philly sent Samuel Dalembert to Sacramento for Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes:
Stefanski did not rule out the possibility of making another move before or during the draft. “We are going to keep looking to see if we can tweak this even more,” Stefanski said. He
wouldn’t say if trading down in the draft was a “tweak” he was
considering, but both Favors and Cousins believe they are in play to be
the Sixers’ selection at No. 2.
“I think I do [have a shot],” Favors said. “But if I don’t, whatever team I get picked by, I’m going to go in and work hard.” Cousins also said he thinks he could be a good fit for Philadelphia. “They need a big man,” said Cousins. “When I saw [the Dalembert] trade, that really opened my eyes.”
Turner should still be considered the favorite to be selected at No. 2, but don’t let a fair bit of Photoshopping remove Favors and Cousins as possibilities. Both are still in play, and with Dalembert out of the picture, the Sixers could definitely add another big.
Now that former Heat assistant David Fizdale has accepted the Grizzlies’ head coaching job, he’s starting to put together his staff. One name to keep an eye on, according to John Martin of ESPN 92.9 in Memphis: J.B. Bickerstaff, who served as the Rockets’ interim coach this season after the team fired Kevin McHale in November.
The Rockets were a chemistry disaster this season, but Bickerstaff is highly regarded around the NBA in coaching circles. He was a candidate to keep the coaching job in Houston when the Rockets’ front office began their search, but he withdrew his name from consideration when he started receiving interest around the league as a lead assistant. It sounds like Memphis is one of the teams going after him, and he’d be a good hire for Fizdale’s staff.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr called Thompson “ridiculous.” That may be an understatement.
Thompson had 41 points, hit an NBA record 11 three-pointers in a playoff game, and the Golden State Warriors don’t force a Game 7 without him.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob may have had the best response, he drops to his knees and does the “we’re not worthy” bow before Thompson in the hallway postgame. (As there are reports a return trip to the Finals again could be worth $40 million to the franchise, Lacob should be bowing to Thompson for making that even possible.)
Hat tip Eye on Basketball.
The Bucks have a promising young core — led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, John Henson, and Kris Middleton — but one that took a step back this past season. Setbacks can mean changes in the power structure of an organization, and there are changes coming to Milwaukee.
However, not in the coaching ranks — Jason Kidd isn’t going anywhere, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
The Bucks are moving toward a contract extension with Kidd as coach, league sources said.
There will be changes further up the ladder.
John Hammond, the GM who was the architect of the current roster, has just one year left on his current contract, and the Bucks are bringing in Utah’s Justin Zanik as a GM in waiting, according to Wojnarowski.
Zanik, an assistant general manager with Utah, will join the Bucks with a similar job title – and an agreement that he will eventually become the successor to Milwaukee GM John Hammond, sources said.
Zanik has constructed a strong reputation within the league as a front-office executive and previously a player agent. Milwaukee was aggressive in pursuing him to eventually lead the franchise’s basketball operations.
The key is can Zanik and Kidd work together — Kidd has consistently pushed for more power in personnel decisions.
Bucks owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry have been aggressive since buying the team, and you can expect Zanik will be under orders to get this team back to the playoffs and back on an upward trajectory. That may just take time as all their young talent comes together. Well, that and they have to figure out how to make Greg Monroe fit with everyone else.
“Klay Thompson was ridiculous. His shooting was some of the most incredible shooting you will ever see.”
That was how Warrior coach Steve Kerr described Thompson’s night — a playoff record 11 three pointers on his way to 41 points, sparking Golden State’s Game 6 win on the road. It wasn’t just the threes, it was the degree of difficulty on some of those shots — he was just in the zone. Not the Blake Griffin commercial zone, the real one.