There will be an NBA Draft on June 23, when the hopes and dreams of franchises will be pinned on teenagers. Teams will pump up their new players, fans will become excited…
And then the lockout.
And those rookies are not sure what is going to happen.
That’s what they told the Associated Press during the recent NBA Draft Combine that ended Friday in Chicago.
“We know for sure there’s a lockout,” San Diego State forward Kawhi Leonard said Friday. “Nobody knows right now how far it will go or what’s really going to happen. I’m just staying focused on myself and try to get better.”
“Right now you’re just thinking about getting drafted and getting on a team.” said (Florida’s Chandler) Parsons, projected as a second-round pick. “It all depends on what situation you’re in – when you get picked, where you get picked, what that organization wants you to do and what your agent wants you to do.
“I’m going to have to sit down with my agent and decide what to do – where to work out, where to live and how to live. It’s going to be a different experience.”
It’s going to be interesting, during the lockout teams are not going to be able to have contact with their draft picks. Some will workout, work on their game, get better. Some will remain the same. And some… well, character and work ethic may matter more in this draft than any in recent memory.
James Harden had a historic season in Houston.
Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.
Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.
That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.
Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.
Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.
The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.
Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.
Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:
I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.
Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.
But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.
Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction
On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.
The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.
Now, we know when.
The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11
After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.