Tennessee freshman Tobias Harris to me symbolizes a lot of what we see in this draft — it’s a question of fit.
He says he’s a three and he seemed more comfortable there in college, but there are questions if he is athletic enough to do that on the NBA level plus he only hit 30.3 percent from three (although he hit 50 percent early in the season). Teams thought of him as a four but at 6’8” he’s a big undersized for that position (although he had a good vertical of 37 at the NBA Draft Combine. Basically, he’s a tweener.
Whatever you call him, Harris can play, but you have to put him on a team where his talents will fit in.
He’s a versatile player and averaged 15.3 points a game, most importantly he was consistent on the court for a Tennessee team that had plenty of off-the-court distractions. He also played his best basketball late, averaging 21 points a game in March.
That versatility has advantages — he is a good ball handler who makes smart decisions. He can score at the rim. DraftExpress called him one of those guys who is very good at taking what the defense gives him. Those kind of guys seem to find a way to adapt in the NBA and make an impact.
But he needs to be used properly. Put him on a fast-paced team where he can handle the ball or make the right play in transition. Put him on a team that uses a lot of motion in its half court sets (think Jerry Sloan Jazz flex sets) where his versatility and hoops IQ can be put to use.
That’s how I feel about a lot of guys in this draft — they have skills that if used in the right system can help teams. But it’s a question of how he develops over time as to how he really works out.
Steve Alexander at NBC’s Rotoworld has him going No. 18 to the Wizards (a team that plays up tempo and should play more that way next season, so there is a fit). DraftExpress says No. 19 to the Bobcats, Chad Ford at ESPN thinks No. 22 to the Nuggets (another good fit).
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.