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.
• John Wall instagramed a photo of him being a model. Or trying to look chill. Or both. I’m not really sure. (Hat tip to Ben Standig at CSNWashington.com.)
• The Mitt Romney “47 percent” speech that has become the talk of the campaign the past 24 hours was secretly taped at a fundraiser at 76ers co-owner Marc Leder’s home, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. This shouldn’t be a huge shock, look at the donation patterns and players tend to donate to Democratic candidates and causes, owners and front office types tend to be conservative in political leanings.
• A fantastic bit of blogging about how Chris Paul has been the defacto GM of the Clippers this summer. I can’t imagine what could possibly go wrong with that, it’s worked so well everywhere else players have a lot of personnel say.
• Another report Brandon Roy is feeling great. Once again I say good, and I’m rooting for him, but what matters is how he is doing in March.
• Anthony Tolliver has no plans to play in Greece, save to use that threat as leverage in NBA contract talks.
• Evan Turner does not want you to worry about him being on the job (if the job is working out).
• To counter all the talk about Miami’s concerns about Dexter Pittman’s conditioning comes this report from teammates that he is “as fit as he has ever been.” Take that for what it’s worth.
• We’ve written about this here before (and may have underestimated the costs), but consider this a reminder that for the Lakers, the tax man cometh next year.
• The Pistons are going to have separate men’s and women’s fan clubs this year. Interesting.
• The Raptors have inked veteran center Jamaal Magloire to a non-guaranteed contract for training camp.
• Miami plans to invite Robert Dozier to training camp.
• Robbie Hummel underwent knee surgery on Tuesday and will be out of action for at least a month.
• Dallas signed young point guard Josh Akognon for training camp.
Is this disrespectful to the Lakers? Absolutely.
And I love it.
Chris Paul and the Clippers crushed their Los Angeles counterparts, 133-109, last night. The Clippers, who’ve won 13 of 14 in the series, have practically run out of ways to show up their crosstown rival on the court. If it now takes bench visitors, so be it.
This is the best late-blowout bench behavior since LeBron James led the Cavaliers in the water-bottle challenge in a December win over the Knicks. This would rank higher if Chris Jr. didn’t also joined the bench in the Clippers’ November win over the Mavericks, which is the pictured on this post.
You’ve probably heard of the top college point guards for the 2017 NBA draft: Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith Jr., De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. You might have even heard of French point guard prospect Frank Ntilikina.
Which point guard will be drafted next after those six?
One possibility: Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans.
Evan Daniels of Scout:
Evans looks like a second-round pick, but a dearth of point guards projected into the latter half of the first round could boost his stock.
He’s ultra quick and ultra aggressive and led the nation’s top KenPom offense. Evans relentlessly attacks the rim, often while forcing transition opportunities. That gets defenses scrambled, creating kickout-passing lanes and offensive-rebound opportunities.
However, the 6-foot Evans doesn’t finish that well at the rim – creating a major question about how he’ll translate to the NBA. The bigger defenders in the paint might limit his kickout passes, too.
His size also presents major problems defensively, though a 6-foot-4 wingspan at least helps.
Evans is good enough on jumpers to keep defenses honest, and at Oklahoma State, he had to create so much for himself. It’d be interesting to see whether limiting his burden improves his efficiency or whether his helpfulness is limited to having the ball in his hands.
My guess is the latter, and I’m unconvinced he’s good enough to demand such a role in the NBA. But the possibility is strong enough that I’d be excited about rolling the dice on him in the second round.
The Timberwolves surprisingly led the Spurs by nine at halftime last night, which takes us to Shabazz Muhammad‘s mid-game interview.
We’re doing a great job on defense, Wiggs, myself, everybody. It’s a tough team, especially Kawhi and the guys. So, we’re doing a really good job and everybody’s collective – Collective Bargaining Agreement.
To be fair, I can’t even imagine what type of nonsense I’d spew in the midst of a taxing workout or a high-pressure situation – let alone something that qualifies as both.
Unfortunately for Muhammad, Minnesota eventually fell to San Antonio, 100-93. But hopefully, he can laugh at this moment. He should, at least.
hat tip: reddit user cjsplash
Wednesday a couple of forwards expected to go in the first round of June’s NBA draft said they plan on making the jump to the NBA.
As expected, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Cal’s Ivan Rabb made their decisions official.
Duke announced Tatum’s decision.
Tatum is expected to be a top-five pick, DraftExpress.com currently has him as the No. 4 pick. The 6’8″ wing can flat-out score the rock, which is why teams are intrigued, as Rob Dauster of NBC’s College Basketball Talk told us in a recent podcast. However, teams wonder if he can create shots for others and not just himself, and if he’s going to be a good defender at the NBA level. He has the physical tools to do be a good defender, but will he put in the work game in, game out?
Rabb is a 6’10” sophomore who has a great NBA build and athleticism to spare, but at the NBA level everyone is a great athlete. Rabb doesn’t have a great perimeter game and needs to develop one and be a consistent defensive force to be a difference maker (or have a lengthy career) at the NBA level. DraftExpress.com has him going 22nd in this draft, and his stock seems to have fallen over the course of the season.