Arizona v Texas

Texas’ Thompson declares for NBA draft, does Canada proud

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Trivia time: Who was the last Canadian-born player drafted in the first round?

No, not the shaggy-haired guy. If you answered Jamaal Magloire you are either Canadian or we should be worried about you. Or both. But you’d be right.

For another few weeks anyway.

Tristan Thompson, the freshman power forward out of Texas — born in Ontario! — has declared for the NBA Draft according to the Austin Statesman. He likely will go late lottery or somewhere in the mid-teens (DraftExpress has him as the No. 16 prospect).

(By the way, next time you wonder why we are skeptical when a guy says around or during the NCAA tournament that he is coming back to college we are skeptical, remember how Thompson swore in March he was returning. Or there was Kevin Durant. Or a hundred other guys.)

He’s 6’8” but with a 7’2” wingspan, which means draft experts can throw in the word “long,” which is always a favorite (up there with “motor” and “upside”). Oh, and Thompson does have a really good motor.

That length and motor makes him a good rebounder, plus he’s a good shot blocker.

Offensively, he needs work. Well, he needs a perimeter game. He could get away with being a 6’8” guy working inside in college but in the NBA he’s going to find a lot of longer arms and stronger bodies in his way. He has to develop a 15-foot jumper, and it is not there yet.

In the teens in this draft, if you get a guy who can board, that’s not bad.

Sixers’ Wilbekin hits game-winning three vs. Cavs (VIDEO)

Scottie Wilbekin
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LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:

Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.

Derrick Rose’s eye still swollen, will rejoin Bulls Monday

Derrick Rose
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Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.

Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.