NBA Draft profile: Kenneth Faried tries harder than you

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After a recent workout of potential draftees Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan summed up Kenneth Faried perfectly:

“He does everything hard. He ties his shoes hard.”

If you watched him during the NCAA Tournament playing for Morehead State as they were knocking off Louisville and screwing up your brackets, you thought the same thing. He is not polished, probably never really will be, but he busts it hard on every play for every loose ball He wants every rebound worse than you do, which is why he had a modern day record 1,673 boards in college.

The guy who comes to my mind when I see him — Ronny Turiaf. Not terribly skilled but every team could use a big man to come in off the bench and bring that kind of energy. DraftExpress is more kind and thinks his high end is Udonis Haslem in a few years, or he could be Louis Amundson.

He is long and explosive — 6’8” with a 7-foot wingspan, he has the athleticism to get to balls around the rim. He should be able to rebound well at the NBA level. He should be a solid defender in the paint.

His offense can best be described as raw. A lion’s lunch on the Serengeti raw. He has his base moves out of the post, and in college he was athletic and long enough he didn’t need more. In the NBA he’ll need counter moves he doesn’t have yet. He is not scoring you points save on put backs and dunks.

But in a draft where every player has question marks if you know you are going to get energy and rebounding is that worth drafting him over guys who may have higher potential ceilings but are less likely to reach it? Some think so.

DraftExpress has him going No. 20 to the Timberwolves (a good energy change of pace from Kevin Love), Chad Ford at ESPN thinks he falls to 21 and the Portland Trail Blazers. But our NBC man Steve Alexander at Rotoworld has an interesting fit — the Phoenix Suns at 13. May not happen, but athleticism, all that energy and good rebounding are things the Suns could use.

He is basically an assured first round pick, and whichever team gets him the fans will fall in love with him and his energy quickly. He is destined to be a fan favorite.

Warriors pose for photos with Jahlil Okafor’s dad’s ‘FREE JAH’ shirt

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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Jahlil Okafor‘s father has not been shy about speaking out on his son’s behalf. NBA players are advocating for the 76ers to grant Okafor, who’s out of the rotation and on an expiring contract, his desired trade or buyout.

When both join forces…

Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry appear to really enjoy Chukwudi Okafor’s shirt. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily calling on Philadelphia to do anything. But they hadn’t to know how it’d be perceived.

It’s easy to predict free agents will avoid the 76ers as a result of the Okafor situation, but few anticipate getting stuck similarly. Players overwhelmingly value money, winning, role and location. If Golden State’s stars are applying any external pressure, it shouldn’t really move Philadelphia more than anything that has already been said and done.

A couple of Lonzo Ball’s triple-double assists look dubious (video)

Harry How/Getty Images
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Lonzo Ball draws outsized attention because his father, LaVar Ball, lures onlookers and because the rookie plays for the high-profile Los Angeles Lakers.

So, when Lonzo gets a triple-double – like his 11-points, 16-rebound, 11-assists game against the Nuggets yesterday – it draws scrutiny.

Mo Dakhil of The Jump Ball:

The NBA defines an assist as a “pass that directly leads to a basket. … An assist can be awarded for a basket scored after the ball has been dribbled if the player’s pass led to the field goal being made.”

I wouldn’t describe either of those passing as leading directly to a basket. Ball’s teammates each hold the ball for a moment after receiving the pass then take two dribbles against set defenses.

But assists are subjective, and the Lakers aren’t alone in offering a home-court scorekeeping advantage.

Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice

So, criticize/laugh at the Lakers. But your favorite team probably manipulates assists in its favor, too.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.