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Tyson Chandler no fan of the NBA’s age limit


Tyson Chandler jumped straight from high school to the NBA, the No. 2 overall pick in 2001. He and Eddy Curry were going to be the future of the Knicks. I don’t need to remind you how that went.

Chandler is why the owners like the age limit — he has developed into a very good NBA player, but it took time for him to get there. He had to mature, his game had to mature. NBA owners and management would love that development to happen on somebody else’s dime. Some guys never mature — see Curry — and the owners would love to have a better chance to figure that out.

Chandler, in a fascinating and wide-ranging interview at TrueHoop, says that the problem is teams see the talents but often struggle to see the person.

A lot of the young stars that have carried the torch for our league have come out of high school. Whether it’s Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, you can go on and on.

I definitely think that whole talk about high school players not being responsible is untrue. You can have guys play four years of college and not make it in this league. You can have guys go four years in college and do something crazy. We see that every day.

I think it’s more the person, the character of the person, than it is the age. It’s in human nature, to hopefully get older, and get wiser through experience. But not everybody does that. I think it’s up to the person that’s investing their time and their money in the product, and in this case the product is basketball players and young men. I think it’s up to them, the decision to decide if they want to invest their money and time in a particular young man with a particular character. You take millions of dollars to scout and make these decisions. Let them earn their check.

I agree — predicting how an 18-year-old will mature is risky, but you can get a sense of work ethic, passion, drive of the person. Kobe had it, KG had it, Kwame Brown didn’t. And you should be able to see that. Don’t tell the 18-year-old who is ready he has to do something else for a couple years because you don’t make good decisions.

That said, I think it’s more likely the age limit goes up, not down, with the new labor agreement.

Tony Parker wants to play six more seasons with Spurs

Tony Parker
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Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.

Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.

Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”

That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)

Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.

But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.

Report: Pelicans signing Greg Smith

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The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.

Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.

Enter Greg Smith.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.

But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.

Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.