Samuel Dalembert, Tony Battie

Wednesday morning one liners

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Our morning look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT).

If you want to be the smartest NBA fan on the block — or the virtual block — order the new Basketball Prospectus preview book that just came out. This is some of the smartest basketball writing you are going to find anywhere.

Samuel Dalembert is very close to landing back in Sacramento.

Catch a live stream of the Derrick Rose press conference where he rakes in the big bucks by following this link at noon eastern.

The Nets are in talks to land DeShawn Stevenson. That would be another nice short-term get.

If you can’t wait until next summer, here are your top free agents for 2012.

Baron Davis is keeping the beard in NYC. As he should.

Chris Paul’s debut with the Clippers set an NBATV ratings record for a preseason game. But yea, no way fans are coming back after the lockout.

Fewer people watched, but Richard Hamilton had a nice debut for the Bulls — 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting. I watched half of this game and Hamilton provided spacing the Bulls need. On one play the ball went into Joakim Noah in the post, Hamilton slid over to be an outlet and when his defender sagged off Noah hit Hamilton and a quick three was up and good.

Our line of the night goes to the Kings center DeMarcus Cousins: Six points, 10 rebounds, three steals — and nine turnovers.

E’Twaun Moore is making fans in Boston.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks hints James Harden may start this season, not be the sixth man. About time.

Corey Maggette is back practicing with the Bobcats, which is good for their offense since he is pretty much it.

What if, like with the English Permiere League, we let the free market determine where NBA teams can be located? (via TrueHoop)

It wasn’t all bad news Lakers fans, rookie PG Darius Morris looked good.

Robert Horry is not really fond of people calling him “Big Shot Bob” (or Rob), but he was cool with Barack Obama doing it.

Memphis has officially put in an offer sheet on Dante Cunningham.

Jannero Pargo is officially a Hawk. That should change everything.

Jerome Randle is making quite a push to get his way on to the Mavericks roster.

The Trail Blazers waived Earl Barron.

Former UConn star Jeff Adrien has signed a two-year contract with the Rockets. The first season is partially guaranteed, the second not at all.

Iranian Hamed Haddadi is expected to rejoin the Grizzlies, once his work visa is approved.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.