NBA players are looking to do things during the lockout other than workout and improve their Halo 3 skills. Well, some of them are, some just want to get better at Halo.
Which leads to this interesting note out of the Sports Business Journal (via SLAM):
Armed with its star-studded NBA client list, Wasserman Media Group is proposing a basketball exhibition tournament in China as the agency explores moneymaking options for its players should there be an extended lockout … Wasserman in April began floating a plan to bring 15 to 20 of its NBA clients to China for a two-or three-week tournament if there is a work stoppage.
The idea would be mixed teams of NBA stars with the best of the Chinese players in a tournament of games that would tour parts of China.
This is still in the “throw the line in the water and see if we get some nibbles” stage of development, but it’s the kind of thing with the kind of agency behind it that could pull something together. That said, there are a lot of major hurdles to clear, from insurance for the players to dealing with the Chinese Basketball Association.
There are 45 current NBA players represented by Wasserman, including current league MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls. Other guys under the umbrella (held up by Arn Tellem) are Joe Johnson and Al Horford, Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol.
Go ahead and shake your head if you want, but if this lockout stretches into December you might be trying hard to find a stream of these games just to get your NBA fix.
DeMarcus Cousins had a bitter exit from the Kings, but that won’t be the last they see of him.
Cousins’ Pelicans will host Sacramento tomorrow night.
Not that Cousins rushed to talk about the matchup.
Justin Verrier of ESPN:
Cousins is pretty funny when joking with the media, and his smile is contagious. Just listen to all the laughs Cousins generates as he goes through his shtick.
Bonus points to Cousins for eventually breaking down and providing real answers. Some of his relationships in Sacramento were clearly meaningful to him, and he wanted to acknowledge those — even if he’d prefer just to get past this awkward game and all the talk it invites.
Lauri Markkanen is 7-foot and made 42% of his 3-pointers this season.
That combination alone will have NBA teams drooling, and the Arizona freshman will capitalize.
Evan Daniels of Scout:
Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen is declaring for the NBA Draft and is expected to sign with an agent, multiple sources told Scout.
Markkanen seems pretty certain to get picked in the lottery, likely in the top 10.
Calling him a good shooter for his height undersells him. It’s not just he shoots so efficiently from deep, it’s that he can generate 3-pointers in so many ways — pick-and-pops, spot-ups, off off-ball screens and even running pick-and-rolls himself. Having the height to shoot over defenders is his most noticeable asset, but don’t undersell his mobility.
Markkanen also finishes well at the rim and offensively rebounds at extremely impressive clip for someone who spends so much time on the perimeter. Those interior skills instill belief he will eventually become a suitable defender.
There are a couple red flags. He’s old for a freshman, turning 20 before the draft. He leaves plenty to be desired defensively, especially due to his lack of strength.
But his size and shooting are tantalizing. That’s plenty for now.
Watch for Collin Sexton in the 2018 NBA draft.
In the meantime, the Alabama commit had all eyes — include Dwyane Wade‘s — on him with this pass in the McDonald’s All-American Game last night.
Carmelo Anthony scored just nine points on 12 shots in the Knicks loss to the Heat last night — well below his season averages of 22 points on 19 shots per game.
Anthony, via Ian Begley of ESPN:
“I see the writing on the wall. I see what it is,” Anthony said late Wednesday night. “I see what they’re trying to do, and it’s just me accepting that. That’s what puts me at peace. Just knowing and understanding how things work. I’m at peace with that.”
Is Anthony talking about just the Knicks’ final dozen games of this season, when they’re clearly interesting in testing less-proven players? Or is he referring to his entire tenure in New York?
Anthony has said he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause if the Knicks want to rebuild, and they’ll reportedly try again to trade him this offseason. Perhaps, this is Anthony indicating he’s warming up to the idea of allowing a trade.
Anthony’s and Kristaps Porzingis‘ timelines are barely compatible, if at all. It’d make sense for the Knicks to go in a different direction.
Could Anthony be at peace with that?