Perry Jones

Perry Jones to return to Baylor

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According to Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick, sources close to Perry Jones are saying that the Baylor freshman will return to school next season instead of declaring for the 2011 NBA Draft.

Jones’ averages of 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game were relatively modest, but he was projected to be a top-five pick in next year’s notoriously weak draft due to his combination of size, length, athleticism, and skill. Jones was suspended from last year’s Big 12 Tournament thanks to some illegal benefits, and will have to sit out the first five games of next season before he will be eligible for reinstatement by the NBA.

This is an extremely risky move for Jones. NBA teams have a lot of faith in their ability to develop raw talents like Jones on their own; any team that drafted him would have been expecting him to make serious leaps during his rookie season. If he doesn’t make those leaps with Baylor next season, his stock will free-fall, especially since the 2012 draft is expected to be much stronger than the 2011 one. If Jones does develop into the kind of player his talents suggest he could become next year, he could very well be a top-3 pick. If he doesn’t, Jones may have just cost himself a lot of money.

Watch Kobe Bryant’s entire retirement-announcement press conference (video)

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Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.

For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.