Suns lottery pick Morris in talks with Greek team

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There are a few reasons to wonder if he will ever sign on the line that is dotted, but if nothing else this shows just how pervasive NBA players talking with overseas teams has become.

Suns lottery pick Markieff Morris is in negotiations to join Panthianakos of the Greek league, according to Marc Spears at Yahoo. Morris is a 6’10” power forward out of Kansas.

I have no doubt the talks are taking place (his agent Tony Dutt has said he is looking at overseas options for all his clients). I do have doubts that it ever gets finalized, for a couple of reasons.

One, Greek teams not exactly flush with money as their country’s economy is trying to drag the whole of Europe back into recession. They are not big spenders on the free agent market right now like they have been in previous years.

Secondly, this is a big risk for Morris. He is a first round pick, a lottery pick, which means three years of guaranteed good NBA money. Last year’s No. 13 overall pick, Ed Davis (to Toronto), made $1.9 million this past year with the Rockets. We don’t know what Panthianakos is offering, but you can be sure it is less than $1.9 million.

And if something goes wrong in Greece for Morris, if he gets injured, his NBA money and dreams can disappear. He does not have an NBA deal, he has nothing, and the Suns don’t have to sign him.

For a second round pick, a guy not guaranteed an NBA roster spot, going to Europe to get a paycheck makes sense. For a first round pick? Well, these are unprecedented times, so who knows, but don’t bet on this one.

Video Breakdown: Clippers use JJ Redick in split cut to fool Jazz at 3-point line

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The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.

One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.

We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.

Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.

If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.

For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.

John Wall wears cape to postgame press conference (video)

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John Wall has been super, averaging 27 points and 11 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 lead over the Hawks in the first-round.

Did you see Isaiah Thomas carry in Game 5? ‘No,’ says Fred Hoiberg, who walks off (video)

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Fred Hoiberg opened himself to clowning by complaining about Isaiah Thomas carrying.

So, the Bulls coach got clowned after the Celtics’ Game 5 win.

Jae Crowder leg-locks Robin Lopez (video)

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Late in the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Bulls last night, Jae Crowder leg-locked Robin Lopez – the same dirty play that caused rancor for Matthew Dellavedova in the 2015 playoffs.

Lopez blocked Crowder’s shot, but the ball went to Al Horford, who attacked the basket. As Lopez tried to rotate to contest another shot, he couldn’t move. Crowder, who’d fallen to the floor, had him in a leg-lock. Lopez freed himself just in time to foul Horford.

Adding insult to avoided injury, Lopez got hit with a technical foul for complaining about the no-call.

I bet the league issues a technical foul on Crowder, too.