NBA Draft profile: Washington’s Terrence Ross

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Not a lot of people watched Terrence Ross last season. Because not a lot of people watched the Pac-12 last season. That’s not East Coast bias, I’m on the West Coast and I found Pac-12 ball almost unwatchable.

But there is talent there.

Meet Terrence Ross, the swingman from the University of Washington who is a borderline lottery pick heading into June. DraftExpress has him at No. 16 (I love their scouting reports), and I watched him a couple of times this season.

He is the kind of pick who walks right in and helps a team because he has a fantastic catch-and-shoot jumper (high and fast release) with range. When he sets his feet he’s sharp. He’s also athletic enough to get out on the break and attack the rim or pull up. He’s not got NBA handles yet but he’s the guy filling a lane in transition — you can picture him spotting up at the arc. Or the guy off the bench knocking down kick-out jumpers in the half court.

Plus, he can defend pretty well, something that if he proves he can really do in workouts will help his stock.

He’s got good size to play on the wing, listed at 6’7” (ask again after the combine). He’s athletic. He averaged 16.4 points per game and shot 37 percent from three. He did that with a low usage rate (19.8), which means he wasn’t shooting a lot he was just efficient when he did. On paper there’s a lot to like. The thing is, because Washington and the Pac-12 were unimpressive, teams are not totally sold yet. They want to see more.

Workouts are going to matter for Ross — what happens when he plays against the other bigger name two-guards in this draft? How does he fare against Austin Rivers or Jeremy Lamb? That will matter as scouts and GMs want to see what happens when gets challenged. But this is a guy who made a big leap from freshman to sophomore, so there is more growth in his game.

If in those workouts Ross can knock down shots like he showed much of the time at Washington, he could be a steal. Everyone needs guys who can shoot. Guys that can shoot just feel like better picks at that point than the high risk/high reward guys that rarely give you the reward you hope.

For a couple grand, Warriors fans can have Larry O’Brien Trophy visit their suite

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There’s so much money floating around the Bay Area right now thanks to another tech boom, this price almost seems low.

If you have a suite for the Golden State Warriors home games this season — and those are pretty much sold out, the Warriors draw big from the Silicon Valley crowd — you can have the NBA championship Larry O’Brien Trophy visit your suite. All for just a couple grand. From Gilbert Lee, via ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

The best part is it includes champagne… do you get to spray each other with it as you hold up the trophy? Now that would be perfect (goggles included, of course).

Have an issue with this? Why? To the victor goes the spoils. The Warriors may be able to sell this package for years.

Sixers new “Spirit of 76” court is fire

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First, the Sixers nailed the Nike “statement” jersey.

Now, they have announced a new “Spirit of 76” promotion, with seven tribute nights this season honoring the history of the franchise and of the Philadelphia area (and there is plenty of history to honor).

The best part — the “Spirit of 76” court with the bell logo.

Here is the promo vid

I just hope the Sixers team can live up to all the hype.

Wizards’ Markieff Morris to have sports hernia surgery, miss start of camp

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When the Washington Wizards open training camp next Tuesday, starting forward Markieff Morris will not be on the court.

That’s because he will have surgery to repair a sports hernia, a story broken by Candice Buckner of the Washington Post and since confirmed by Chase Hughes at CSNMidAtlantic.com.

While we don’t have details on the surgery, often recovery time for this is just a few weeks, and Morris could well be ready for the start of the season.

Morris averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds a game last season, and the Wizards offense was 5.7 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the court last season. With him out, coach Scott Brooks can lean on Jason Smith or Mike Scott for traditional lineups, but don’t be shocked if he tries a little small ball with Otto Porter and/or Kelly Oubre at the three or four.

Morris also is in the midst of a felony assault trial in Arizona (one where he does not need to attend).

Sixers enter camp with Joel Embiid not cleared for 5-on-5, Jahlil Okafor on trade block

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This is the season the 76ers make the leap from team with potential to playoff team fast on the rise.

Maybe.

That’s the plan in Philly, but there are a lot of questions for this team to answer. While a couple of these issues are answered already — Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz are cleared to play and practice with teammates — a couple big ones still hang around. At the top of the list is “how healthy is Joel Embiid?” Coach Brett Brown doesn’t even have that answer yet, reports Derek Bodner of The Athletic.

It’s this simple: The Sixers outscored opponents by 3.3 points per 100 possessions when Embiid was on the court last season, he was a dominant force defensively who scored 20.2 points a game. When he was off the court the Sixers were 11.5 points per 100 possessions worse. They need him to play and play consistently if the Sixers have playoff dreams. It’s unclear when Embiid will return, but know that the Sixers will be cautious with his minutes again when he does get cleared (he has played just 31 games in three seasons).

Does that mean more Jahlil Okafor? Maybe not, the Sixers are still willing to trade him.

The Sixers have shopped Okafor for most of a year and found no deal they like. Okafor battled knee issues last season and, after a summer working to get healthy, other teams will want to see him play a little before talking trade. If he comes to camp slimmed down and his knee looks right, it could revive trade talks. Using a back-to-the-basket game, he averaged 11.8 points a night shooting 51 percent last season, he’s efficient, and some teams could use what he does (off the bench).

It’s going to be an interesting season in Philly. Are they playoff bound?