David Stern is so, so concerned about how players signing overseas might impact the players union. He is such an empathetic guy. Don’t think there’s anything self-centered about his comments at all. Nope. He’s not saying that hoping to divide the union. It’s only out of genuine, heart-felt concern.
But outside of D-Will, only one real star has signed overseas. The rest have been rank and file guys, and three more happened to ink deals today (four if you want to count Patty Mills.
Jordan Farmar made a last minute change and will sign with Maccabi Tel Aviv to play during the lockout. Just 24 hours ago we told you how Farmar was negotiating with Maccabi Haifa, but it’s hard to turn down Maccabi Tel Aviv, the Yankees of the Israeli league, a team constantly competing for the EuroLeague title. Haifa finished ninth in the 10-team league last year. He’ll be a hit as the American star and a Jew playing in Israel. He also has an opt-out clause to return once the lockout ends.
Ersan Ilyasova has reportedly agreed to terms with the Turkish team Anadolu Efes. The Bucks big man will join Sasha Vujacic and Patty Mills on what should stack up to be a pretty good squad in Turkey.
Antoine Wright is close to a deal with Estudiantes in Spain. Hopefully the work ethic that kept him on the bench in Sacramento will find him in Spain.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.