So, the Sixers are trying Evan Turner out at point guard. Yeah, it blows our mind, too.

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I’m not going to waste your time with a workup of an intro. Let’s just get into the meat on this one, okay? The Sixers were in training camp and put Evan Turner and Lou Williams in the backcourt for the second team. Makes sense. You would have thought Turner might wind up on the first team with Iggy sliding down to 3, but apparently not, and that’s cool. However Doug Collins wants his show, you know?

But what’s crazy is that the backcourt was struggling with Williams on-ball and Turner off. From the Philadelphia Inquirer, this gem from Doug Collins:

“What I saw was when Lou and Evan were together, when Lou was on the ball and Evan was off, they struggled, because Evan wasn’t sure and Lou didn’t do a very good job of getting us into our stuff,” Collins said. “Then we moved Evan to the ball and moved Lou and they both were good. So you can see where they’re most comfortable right now.

“What we’re doing with Evan is we’re mixing and matching him so he can do a little of both. But, at the end of the day, Lou’s a scorer and that’s what we’re going to have to do, put him in those kinds of positions ’cause if we put him out there to run the team, it really takes away what he does best.

I did not see that coming. I mean, sure, Turner has the potential, but he went from a 3/2 to a 2/3 and now to a 2/1 or 1/2. That’s dizzying. It’s an intriguing idea, though, considering Turner does have scoring ability through the roof but also had great assist and rebounding numbers at Ohio State. With better teammates, working him as a creator on-ball might be the best option. It goes to show how Collins is getting outside the box with the kid’s development and honestly, breathes a bit of light into a franchise that’s on unstable ground as it enters the season.

Can’t wait to see this thing in function, if they stick with it.

Quinn Cook signing two-year contract with Hawks

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The Hawks began last season with just two point guards, one fewer than most teams – especially notable because neither starter Dennis Schroder nor backup Malcolm Delaney was experienced for his role.

Schroder and Delaney return, but Atlanta is adding another option – Quinn Cook.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Cook is a borderline NBA player. He might not make the regular-season roster. He also might supplant Delaney for a rotation spot.

A 24-year-old who has spent most of the last two years in the D-League (also getting stints with the Mavericks and Pelicans), Cook is a good outside shooter. He’s also steady, if unspectacular, in his lead-guard duties.

This is a solid flier at a position the Hawks could use depth.

Knicks sign Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jamel Artis

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The Knicks signing Nigel Hayes leaked first.

But New York didn’t stop there.

Knicks release:

The New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has signed forwards Jamel Artis and Nigel Hayes and guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

Like Hayes, Artis (Pittsburgh) and Rathan-Mayes (Florida State) went undrafted this year – making them eligible to be waived and assigned to the Knicks’ minor-league affiliate. That’s likely all three’s fate.

But first, each will have an opportunity to make the regular-season roster. The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one roster spot for someone on a standard contract. Chasson Randle (unguaranteed) is the incumbent choice, but these three could supplant him.

O.J. Mayo says abusing prescription painkillers triggered NBA ban

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Last year, O.J. Mayo was banned from the NBA for at least two years due to a drug violation. Aside from stating a plan to come back, Mayo didn’t say much publicly.

Until now.

Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated:

He acknowledged smoking marijuana and abusing a prescription pain medication that triggered his two-year ban because it is on the NBA’s “drugs of abuse” list. (He emphatically denied testing positive for hard drugs like cocaine.)

Mayo also concluded that he had been “overwhelmed” by a string of difficult life events: his father, high school basketball star Kenny Ziegler, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for distributing crack cocaine, his brother was placed in juvenile lock-up, a close friend went to jail, and another was killed. “I was bred to play basketball and I thought I could balance everything,” he said. “I couldn’t.”

That’s part of an interesting feature on Mayo, who’s training for his come back. Golliver’s story makes it easy to pull for Mayo.

But the guard will be 30 when he’s eligible to apply for reinstatement, and he played lousily in his last three seasons with the Bucks.

Hopefully, Mayo has and keeps his personal life in order. But returning to the NBA will be an uphill battle.

James Harden throws alley-oop to Chris Paul, pair puts on show at Houston charity event

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What chemistry problem?

There are legitimate questions about how Chris Paul and James Harden will share the backcourt and ball with the Rockets, but none of those were on display on Sunday. That’s when CP3 joined his new teammate in Harden’s charity game (raising money for Harden’s charity, which helps children from single-family homes get a higher education), a kind of pro-am with some names thrown in to draw a crowd.

Harden and CP3 put on a show for the fans.

This is a charity event, not every team is going to defend like this or the Phoenix Suns. It’s going to be harder when the games matter.

But the Rockets are going to be entertaining to watch this season. No doubt.