Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks

Thursday And-1 links: Heat looking at Harrellson, Birdman

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Here is our regular 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) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like James T. Kirk loves green women.

• The Miami Heat need some depth up front. On Thursday former Knick and Rocket Josh Harrellson worked out for the Heat on Thursday. Chris Andersen also has let the Heat know he is interested in a deal. Any deal would be for the league minimum as that is all the Heat can offer this far over the cap. There also will not be a lot of minutes — Miami is going small ball with Chris Bosh at the five and likely playing Udonis Haslem there as well. But they want some size on the bench besides Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman.

• Lakers fans, watch this video from BBallBreakdown.com (love their work) of how your offense will look with Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol… then stop drooling. This is going to be a very good offensive team once they find their groove. For them (as it was in the last title runs) the question is will they defend well enough?

• Lakers fans, Kobe Bryant turned 34 Thursday. SLAM celebrated by picking out his 34 best dunks.

• Who were the most unlikely 50-point scorers in a game in NBA history? Here’s a pretty good list. I didn’t remember Tony Delk doing that at all.

• Here’s a link to a video of Jeff Green talking about his return to Boston.

• Wizards fans looking for a detailed scouting report on Martell Webster, here you go.

• Former Raptors head man Jay Triano is getting the job as the head man of the Canadian national team.

• Royce White is a writer. But the Rocket doesn’t write about basketball.

• Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren is on the Sixers radar as they keep looking for a new general manager for next season.

• Rodrigue Beaubois is working out with boxing this offseason.

• Who wouldn’t want a Manu Ginobili bobblehead?

• Maya Moore is leading the WNBA in jersey sales this year. She’s a star.

• Jumaine Jones signed to play with Bnei Herzliya in Israel.

• I loved this poll on RealGM of what NBA writers would make good GMs. First, happy not to be on it. Second, Jason Givony of DraftExpress.com with ESPN’s Larry Coon as the capologist might not be bad (Sebastian Pruiti will be a scout for them), but the rest of these guys… not moves a smart owner makes. With no offense intended to Woj.

• ESPN’s Bill Simmons should not be a GM, but he might be part of the ESPN pregame show (NBA Countdown) next year. And that could work.

Jose Calderon retires from Spanish national team

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11:  Jose Calderon #8 of Spain moves the ball against Nigeria during the Men's Basketball - Preliminary Round Group B Nigeria vs Spain on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1 on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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Jose Calderon has won three Olympic medals – silver in 2008 and 2012 and bronze this year.

Just three men’s basketball players have won more:

  • Carmelo Anthony (three golds and a bronze for Team USA)
  • Gennady Volnov (a gold,* two silvers and a bronze for the Soviet Union)
  • Sergey Belov (a gold* and three bronzes for the Soviet Union)

Calderon, who turns 35 next month, won’t catch them.

O. Cauchi of Sportando:

Veteran point guard Jose Calderon has officially announced his retirement from Spanish NT.

Calderon barely played in Rio. Spain is stacked at point guard with Sergio Rodriguez, Ricky Rubio and Sergio Llull.

The Lakers aren’t as deep at the position with D'Angelo Russell and Marcelo Huertas. Calderon might have a bigger impact in Los Angeles – especially if he’s not saving himself for Eurobasket 2017.

Craig Sager, awaiting another bone-marrow transplant, says ‘I continue to live life full of love and full of fun the only way I know how’

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13:  Honoree Craig Sager accepts the Jimmy V Award for Perserverance onstage during the 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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Craig Sager skipped the Rio Olympics to prepare for a bone-marrow transplant.

As he awaits that procedure, the famed sideline reporter provided an update on his outlook.

Sager, via I.J. Rosenberg at AJC.com:

“I have met life’s challenges by climbing the Great Wall of China, riding with the bulls in Pamplona, sailing the Pacific Ocean with Ted Turner, jumping out of airplanes over Kansas, hang gliding off the cliffs of Mexico, bungee jumping atop a tower in San Antonio, and swimming with the sharks in the Caribbean.

“I have run the bases with Hank Aaron after No. 715, thrown out the first pitch at Wrigley Field, graced the cover of ‘Sports Illustrated’, and received the Jimmy V perseverance Award at the ESPY’s. I have covered eight Olympiads, dozens of Super Bowls, 24 Masters, and NBA games too numerous to count.

“I continue to live life full of love and full of fun the only way I know how.”

Fight on, Craig.

Report: Pistons signing Trey Freeman to partially guaranteed contract

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31:  Trey Freeman #20 of the Old Dominion Monarchs shoots between Reid Travis #22  and Anthony Brown #21 of the Stanford Cardinal during the NIT Championship semifinals at Madison Square Garden on March 31, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
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The Pistons will start Reggie Jackson at point guard, and they signed Ish Smith to provide better backup at the position.

The competition for the third point guard spot is heating up.

With Lorenzo Brown and Ray McCallum already signed to unguaranteed deals, Detroit is adding undrafted Old Dominion guard Trey Freeman.

Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops:

The Pistons have just 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. The final spot will very likely go to a point guard.

Brown and McCallum should be favored in the competition, because they’re more NBA-ready. A president/coach, Stan Van Gundy is more prone to covet the player who can step in immediately.

Freeman’s partial guarantee is likely designed to entice him to play in the D-League for a low base salary. The Pistons can waive him in the preseason and then assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, though he’d become an NBA free agent.

Freeman is working to become a better distributor after playing as a go-to scorer in college. A solid mid-range shooter, he must extend his range beyond the arc. It’d also help if he got to the rim more, and it seems he has the bounce to do that.

For an undrafted player, he has nice tools. They’ll probably just need to be refined in the D-League.

But even if that’s the intention, Freeman at least gives himself a chance first of upsetting Brown and McCallum in the race for third point guard.

Watch the New York Knicks top 10 plays of last season

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) gets a high five from forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in New York.  The Knicks won 102-94. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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With 32 wins and missing the playoffs, last season wasn’t exactly what the Knicks hoped for. However, last season also came with hope in the form of Kristaps Porzingis.

And there were highlights. Check out the team’s Top 10 plays, courtesy NBA.com.

It starts with some Derrick Williams moments, and ends with a Jose Calderon game winner, but there are moments from players the fans actually like in between.