LeBron's rooting interest in the Chris Paul ordeal. Also, Freemasonry.

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LeBron_Chris Paul.jpgIf we’ve learned anything from free agency this summer, it’s that NBA superstars are a part of some secret, underground, Freemason-esque society. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh have been conspiring to team up for the last 15 years, and only now, with all of the planets in perfect alignment in their orbits and all three stars unrestricted free agents, could their vision finally be made a reality.

Of course, Chris Paul was in on everything. He too is a part of the superstar fraternity, and as such, LeBron has fully endorsed Paul’s decision to attempt to force his way out of New Orleans, with a caveat. It seems that even relationships formed in super secret underground lairs have their limits, and according to Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, James would prefer it if Chris Paul stayed in the Western Conference, to make for a better rivalry.

I’m sure this has absolutely nothing to do with the possibility of Paul ending up in Orlando (improbable though it may be), and teaming up with Dwight Howard to cut James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh down in the conference finals. Nope, nothing to do with that at all.

LeBron just wants to make a better rivalry by putting Chris Paul miles and miles away rather than in his own backyard, by playing him two or three times a season rather than four, and in a completely different division that wouldn’t have the two highly-competitive stars battling it out for regional supremacy. This all makes perfect sense.

There’s no question that having Chris Paul, regardless of what team he’s on, in the NBA finals against LeBron, Wade, and Bosh would make for a fantastic show. However, there’s plenty more to James’ wish than simply wanting to meet Paul on the league’s biggest stage, and to ignore his more selfish interests here would be foolish.

Report: Wizards signing Donald Sloan

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The Wizards look like they solved their backup-point-guard problems with Tim Frazier.

But they also looked like they solved their backup-point-guard problems with Trey Burke and then Brandon Jennings last year – and look how that turned out.

So, even after trading for Frazier, Washington is still trying to increase stability behind John Wall.
CSN Mid-Atlantic:

The Wizards added some depth to their backcourt on Thursday by signing veteran guard Donald Sloan to a one-year deal, CSN’s Chris Miller confirmed on Thursday night.

The 29-year-old Sloan has played for the Hawks, New Orleans Hornets, Cavaliers, Pacers and Nets in a five-year NBA career. He spent last season in China.

Sloan isn’t much of a scorer, and he’s only a decent distributor. But he makes up for it with all-around adequacy, highlighted by his rebounding for his position.

The veteran will compete with second-year Sheldon Mac, whose salary is just $50,000 guaranteed, to be Washington’s third point guard.

Report: Knicks sign Nigel Hayes to partially guaranteed deal

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Nigel Hayes became a cult hero at Wisconsin for bringing a “BROKE COLLEGE ATHLETE ANYTHING HELPS” sign to GameDay and soliciting Venmo donations, challenging the stenographer in a press conference and “accidentally” calling a stenographer beautiful in front of a hot mic.

After going undrafted, Hayes and his colorful personality are headed to New York, where Knicks fans are starving for fun.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Could Hayes stick into the regular season? The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one more spot for a player on an standard contract. Chasson Randle has an unguaranteed salary that becomes partially guaranteed around the time training camp opens. The Knicks could also sign other players, though they’re down to just minimum exceptions.

Hayes – a 6-foot-8 forward – has a chance, but he’s most likely ticketed to New York’s minor-league affiliate after being waived by the parent club.

Who is betting favorite to win Rookie of the Year? Lonzo Ball? Ben Simmons? Depends.

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The Rookie of the Year race is wide open heading into next season.

It’s that way every year — if you had predicted Malcolm Brogdon was going to win a year ago, you would have been laughed out of the building — but this coming season has a lot of talent at the top of the board who could win. Lonzo Ball, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum all have a real shot — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Who is the better favorite? Depends on where you do your betting.

The William Hill’s Nevada sportsbook (which works with a number of Las Vegas casinos, such as the SLS), has this (hat tip ESPN):

Lonzo Ball 9-5
Ben Simmons 5-2
Dennis Smith Jr. 4-1
Markelle Fultz 13-2
De'Aaron Fox 8-1
Jayson Tatum 8-1

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas has Simmons as the betting line favorite at 9-4

The online betting site Bovda.lv has this line

Lonzo Ball 9-4
Dennis Smith 3-1
Ben Simmons 5-1
Jayson Tatum 5-1
Markelle Fultz 8-1

Traditionally, Rookie of the Year goes to a guy who has the ball in his hands, is aggressive, and puts up raw numbers. It celebrates scorers.

This year a whole lot of guys can fit that bill, more than are mentioned here. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Check out the first NBA 2K18 trailer (VIDEO)

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The NBA season is coming… and that means NBA 2K18 also coming.

To whet the appetite of you gamers out there, check out the first trailer for the upcoming game, with music by Mobb Deep.

You can pre-order the game now.