Mickael Pietrus

Report: Pietrus has three NBA, one overseas teams after him

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With training camps set to open in a couple weeks, we’re starting to see a little movement on the veteran players still out there unsigned right now. First Matt Barnes then Josh Harrellson got signed by teams.

Now comes the report that Mickael Pietrus is in demand, via Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.

According to a source close to the situation, “Suddenly, three NBA teams have shown major interest in the nine-year veteran and two of the teams seem very motivated to get a deal done.

“Mickael also has a strong overseas option on the table that contains an escape clause. He’s considering all of his options, but he prefers to play in the NBA and he’s feeling 10 times better than last season. He’s healthy for the first time in two years.”

I don’t know who Haynes source is, but pretty clearly it is Pietrus’ agent (Bill McCandless) or someone in his circle. Pietrus and his agent have said before he would not play for the veteran minimum, but the only way to get more than that right now is to create demand. Truth be told, the players really in demand in the league already have deals, but someone is trying to create the picture of real options for Pietrus looking for a better offer.

Pietrus played for the Celtics last season and had his knee scoped this summer, but reportedly is doing well and is ready to go for camp. As soon as he signs.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.