Cleveland Cavaliers v New Jersey Nets

Deron Williams denies Nets must get Howard to keep him


UPDATE 6:29 pm: Deron Williams has come out and denied the report that it’s Dwight Howard-or-bust if the Nets want to keep him.

Williams took to twitter to answer the claim.

I would love to know who Adrian Wojnarowski source is bc he knows more about what I’m thinking then I do, maybe they can help me decide?

These things are always shades of gray, not black and white. Like life itself. Of course, if the Nets could get Howard it really would help make up William’s mind.

12:02 pm: Deron Williams apparently wants to win now. Not three years from now, not waiting for Anthony Davis to develop, but now.

The Brooklyn Nets have a 7.5 percent chance of winning the lottery tonight, but even if they do that’s not enough to keep Deron Williams, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

If the Brooklyn Nets win the No. 1 pick in the NBA’s draft lottery on Wednesday night – and the chance to secure Kentucky center Anthony Davis – it won’t be enough for Williams to sign a contract extension, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

“It’s Dwight Howard or bust,” said a league source who has spoken to Williams.

Which would make things really, really interesting if the Nets did get the top pick. They would then have to choose the slower but potentially longer-term reward of building around Davis — considered one of the best big men to come out of college in a decade and a likely franchise cornerstone — or flipping him to Orlando (with other parts) for Dwight Howard and the chance to be contenders now.

If the Nets land the second or third pick — they have a 25 percent chance of landing in the top 3 — then the idea of trying to flip it is easier. At least from their end. Until the Magic get a general manager everything in Orlando is up in the air.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.