Kings to make a play for Aaron Brooks?

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One of the big questions after the Kings’ draft-day moves was “Who is going to get the ball to all these guys?” They traded for John Salmons (21% usage)  to go with Marcus Thornton (25% usage), and Tyreke Evans (25 percent usage), then drafted Jimmer Fredette, who’s not a playmaker and who’s biggest contribution is scoring and ability to create his own shot. So who’s going to, you know, pass these guys the ball? Or is Sacramento just going to run the Oklahoma City Thunder offense of a zillion ISOs?

Well, according to the New York Daily News, they have a plan for who to get to run the show… except it doesn’t make any sense:

With Jimmer Fredette’s addition to a backcourt featuring Tyreke Evans, Sacramento doesn’t have a playmaker, but the answer might come in free agency, whenever that is. The Kings plan on making a pitch for the Suns’ Aaron Brooks, who is restricted. Phoenix made him a qualifying offer on Thursday.

via Timberwolves GM wanted to lure Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski to Minnesota to coach Ricky Rubio project.

Can you guess the diminutive point guard’s usage last year? If you guessed 26%, higher than any of the high-usage guards they brought in, you are correct! But wait, it gets better. Brooks’ assist percentage was 28.9%, which is 28th among guards in the league. Now, Brooks’ assist percentage did spike to 35.3% in Phoenix, but since there is an inflation due to Phoenix’s system which propels players’ offensive digits, you have to back off of that somewhat.

Brooks is a shifty player that believes in his own scoring ability and works best as a change-of-pace guard off the bench. In this scenario, due to the Suns’ ability to match any offer for Brooks, the Kings would have to pay through the nose to get a point guard to distribute to the four scoring guards they have on roster (ignoring the fact that in his rookie year when asked to play point guard, Tyreke Evans actually did pretty well), when that player actually tends to shoot more than the others and hasn’t shown a great ability to create shots for others.

Step 3: Profit!

It’s almost hard to see why the players wonder how much of the league’s financial problems are due to teams’ own decision making.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.