Thursday morning one liners

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Our morning look around the NBA with stories worth reading and notes that are not their own post here at PBT.

The Celtics may have been closer to getting Chris Paul than you think.

Eddy Curry is about to sign a deal with the Heat. So, you can just start sizing them all for championship rings right now. (Actually, this is certainly a make-good contract for camp.)

how u? Roger Mason is likely to sign with the Wizards.

Jamal Magloire is about to sign with the Toronto Raptors (which would make him the first ever Canadian born Raptor).

Earl Watson may well be with the Wizards as a backup to John Wall.

Marquis Daniels is about to return to the Boston Celtics.

Terrico White is being let go by the Pistons, so if anybody needs a guy who can dunk….

T.J. Ford could be backing up Tony Parker with the Spurs.

Carlos Arroyo is interested in the Knicks.

John Wall says the Wizards’ goal is to make the playoffs this year.

Dwyane Wade enters this season lean after a training program with a black belt and former military pilot.

Pau Gasol is pretty much just trying to ignore the trade rumors.

After all the talk and meetings, maybe the Nuggets end up with Nene.

You want to know why all the star free agents gravitate towards the big markets? Check out the NBA television broadcast schedule.

Check out the Wizards’ new court. I like it.

A closer look at the back-to-back-to-backs (or, stop your whining).

One thing not in the new NBA labor deal — testing for human growth hormone (although it could be approved later). Not sure it’s a big problem in the NBA, but shouldn’t there be testing for it?

Speaking of human growth, the Celtics appear to be inviting Mike Sweetney to training camp.

There are things to like about Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley. He’s up front, for one.

More and more rumors of Big Baby Glen Davis being headed to the Hornets, although the Celtics are talking to him.

Maybe Jordan Crawford finds his footing with the Warriors.

Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide says he was not drunk when he called Dwight Howard to tell him the entire city of Orlando loved him.

The Associated Press has settled a lawsuit with NBA referee Bill Spooner for $20,000, after Spooner sued because an AP writer said he made a make-up call in an NBA game. The AP writer may have misheard the one conversation in question. But make no mistake, NBA refs do makeup calls all the time.

What was it like to cover the NBA lockout on stake out in New York? Howard Beck of the New York Times tells you.

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.