Draft Hornets Basketball

Report: Anthony Davis severely sprains ankle, out of Olympics

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And Team USA loses another potential big man for the roster.

Recent No. 1 pick Anthony Davis severely sprained his ankle in a workout for the Hornets, which leaves him very unlikely to be ready when USA Basketball opens training camp Friday (July 6) in Las Vegas and he is now out for the games, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network.

Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated added USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo heard about the injury yesterday but didn’t know the severity of it at the time.

Apparently, pretty severe. And certainly the Hornets do not want to take any risks with their new face of the franchise. He should be fully recovered before the start of training camp, but whether he plays at Summer League may also be up in the air.

Team USA is really thin along the front line for the Olympics. Already Dwight Howard was out due to his back injury, LaMarcus Aldridge pulled out early due to injury, then last week Chris Bosh removed himself as he tries to recover from his abdominal injury suffered during the playoffs.

That leaves Tyson Chandler as the starting and only true center on the team. Expect to see Kevin Love get a lot of time at the five. It also means the special workout coach Mike Krzyzewski is having before the start of camp with Lamar Odom and Blake Griffin matters even more. No word on if a new big like DeMarcus Cousins or Roy Hibbert will be added to consideration for the team.

For most of the Olympic tournament going small with Love at the five and LeBron James at the four will be fine for Team USA. That whole “LeBron as power forward” thing overwhelmed NBA teams, no international teams will have an answer. But when Team USA runs into the world’s second best team, Spain (likely facing off for the gold medal) it will matter. Spain stars Marc and Pau Gasol and brings Serge Ibaka off the bench. They have real size with skill.

Team USA will also be without Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Chauncey Billups do to injury.

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In a separate note, young 76ers guard Jrue Holiday has been added to the USA Select team. That is the team invited to Team USA training camp as practice partners for the London-bound team. It is also where Team USA officials get a close look at guys they may want to play for Team USA in future tournaments.

Kings’ Rudy Gay suffers apparent torn left Achilles tendon, would be done for season

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This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.

Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.

Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.

Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. Those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings,  and with that team’s playoff chances have taken a hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers). Don’t be surprised if the Kings look to add a scorer at the trade deadline.

Gay was not happy in Sacramento and said he planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.

That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.

Zaza Pachulia lays out Russell Westbrook, stands over him (video)

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Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.

Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.

Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.

Report: 76ers’ Ben Simmons sitting entire season still on table

TARRYTOWN, NEW YORK - AUGUST 07:  Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers poses for a portrait during the 2016 NBA Rookie Photoshoot at Madison Square Garden Training Center on August 7, 2016 in Tarrytown, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?

It just won’t die.

Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.

Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.

76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.

It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.

Roy Hibbert passes ball into hoop, reacts with perfect facial expression (video)

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The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.

Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).