Dwyane Wade sticks up for LeBron, Bosh

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Dwyane Wade will take on your villain role as a member of the Miami Heat. Bring it on.

But in the process he will stick up for his teammates.

In an interview with Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel, Wade defended LeBron James’ comments in an ESPN interview where LeBron said he did not want to be in the villain role anymore.

Wade said LeBron was being honest and that was not how the Heat were going to win two more games next season anyway (that’s how many games they fell short of an NBA title).

“I said, ‘Let me look like the mean one. You play the way you play,’ ” Wade related. “We did talk about that. We were on vacation we talked about that. We didn’t run away from losing the Finals. We looked at it and said, ‘Why did we lose? How did we lose? What can we do different? How can we be better as leaders?’

“And the one thing I kind of wanted for LeBron is to get back to being LeBron, and not trying to be somebody that everybody wanted him to be, in a sense. He seems to understand that, as well.”

Wade also defended the play of Chris Bosh, who Wade said got overshadowed and people missed what he contributed in the playoffs.

“I think he was the most consistent out of all of us, if you want to say, from each round,” he said. “I mean, I had a terrible Chicago series and LeBron didn’t have a so-hot Dallas series. Chris was kind of stable through every round, played real well.”

The question in Miami is not the big three, but who is going to be around them and will that be enough. Mike Miller will be back, eventually, and Udonis Haslem returns. But who else they bring in could be key to those last two wins.

Report: Wizards signing Donald Sloan

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The Wizards look like they solved their backup-point-guard problems with Tim Frazier.

But they also looked like they solved their backup-point-guard problems with Trey Burke and then Brandon Jennings last year – and look how that turned out.

So, even after trading for Frazier, Washington is still trying to increase stability behind John Wall.
CSN Mid-Atlantic:

The Wizards added some depth to their backcourt on Thursday by signing veteran guard Donald Sloan to a one-year deal, CSN’s Chris Miller confirmed on Thursday night.

The 29-year-old Sloan has played for the Hawks, New Orleans Hornets, Cavaliers, Pacers and Nets in a five-year NBA career. He spent last season in China.

Sloan isn’t much of a scorer, and he’s only a decent distributor. But he makes up for it with all-around adequacy, highlighted by his rebounding for his position.

The veteran will compete with second-year Sheldon Mac, whose salary is just $50,000 guaranteed, to be Washington’s third point guard.

Report: Knicks sign Nigel Hayes to partially guaranteed deal

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Nigel Hayes became a cult hero at Wisconsin for bringing a “BROKE COLLEGE ATHLETE ANYTHING HELPS” sign to GameDay and soliciting Venmo donations, challenging the stenographer in a press conference and “accidentally” calling a stenographer beautiful in front of a hot mic.

After going undrafted, Hayes and his colorful personality are headed to New York, where Knicks fans are starving for fun.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Could Hayes stick into the regular season? The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one more spot for a player on an standard contract. Chasson Randle has an unguaranteed salary that becomes partially guaranteed around the time training camp opens. The Knicks could also sign other players, though they’re down to just minimum exceptions.

Hayes – a 6-foot-8 forward – has a chance, but he’s most likely ticketed to New York’s minor-league affiliate after being waived by the parent club.

Who is betting favorite to win Rookie of the Year? Lonzo Ball? Ben Simmons? Depends.

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The Rookie of the Year race is wide open heading into next season.

It’s that way every year — if you had predicted Malcolm Brogdon was going to win a year ago, you would have been laughed out of the building — but this coming season has a lot of talent at the top of the board who could win. Lonzo Ball, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum all have a real shot — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Who is the better favorite? Depends on where you do your betting.

The William Hill’s Nevada sportsbook (which works with a number of Las Vegas casinos, such as the SLS), has this (hat tip ESPN):

Lonzo Ball 9-5
Ben Simmons 5-2
Dennis Smith Jr. 4-1
Markelle Fultz 13-2
De'Aaron Fox 8-1
Jayson Tatum 8-1

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas has Simmons as the betting line favorite at 9-4

The online betting site Bovda.lv has this line

Lonzo Ball 9-4
Dennis Smith 3-1
Ben Simmons 5-1
Jayson Tatum 5-1
Markelle Fultz 8-1

Traditionally, Rookie of the Year goes to a guy who has the ball in his hands, is aggressive, and puts up raw numbers. It celebrates scorers.

This year a whole lot of guys can fit that bill, more than are mentioned here. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Check out the first NBA 2K18 trailer (VIDEO)

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The NBA season is coming… and that means NBA 2K18 also coming.

To whet the appetite of you gamers out there, check out the first trailer for the upcoming game, with music by Mobb Deep.

You can pre-order the game now.