For years, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams talked about teaming up. They realized these kinds of super teams are the only way to compete with the Heat in the East.
And it almost came together. Williams was in Brooklyn (well, New Jersey soon to be Brooklyn) and Howard was trying to force a trade there, but the Magic screwed it up by not wanting Brook Lopez (or to send Howard where he wanted to go). Then Howard really screwed it up by waiving his early termination option — once he did that he lost a lot of trade leverage. Brooklyn’s management got tired of screwing around with it, went and got Joe Johnson and kept Lopez.
Williams is reportedly not thrilled with Howard waiving his leverage and not coming to Brooklyn.
Dwight Howard doesn’t care. Here’s his quote, thanks to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, via Sulia:
“That’s my decision. It’s my life so if he’s upset because I made a decision for me, so be it. If he doesn’t want to be friends because I’m on another team, then so be it. There’s no need to smooth things over, you know?”
Howard is in a position not to care because did okay for himself in the end. After getting over the whole Shaq footsteps thing, he landed on a loaded team that can contend now and plans to rebuild around him in the coming years. And in a major media market. And he’s still near a Disney resort.
D-Will, he’s on a Nets team off to a nice start in the East (6-2), but still a team nobody really trusts in going all that far when the pressure really comes. But it’s another good landing spot, even if we question their roster construction.
And do you really think at the end of the day they’re not friends anymore?
Craig Sager couldn’t be in Rio covering the Olympics for NBC, his cancer wouldn’t allow it. That didn’t stop Team USA from reaching out to him before they left. Or from Nike designing a sweet pair of shoes for him.
Now there is good news on his battle against leukemia — he will have a third bone marrow transplant, according to his son Craig Sager II.
This is fantastic news for a man and family who have been through a lot. Hopefully, this treatment is a step forward for Sager, a man beloved by everyone around the NBA.
The Oklahoma City frontcourt is crowded. Enes Kanter and Steven Adams will start, and they will have Nick Collison, Ersan Ilyasova, Domantas Sabonis, and now Joffrey Lauvergne behind them.
Which likely means Mitch McGary‘s done as a member of the Thunder, according to Royce Young of ESPN.
McGary has battled injuries his two seasons in the league and got on the court for only 72 minutes total last season for the Thunder (he played in more games and put up solid numbers in the D-LEague). He was not part of the future there regardless. He’s an undersized five trying to play the four and what he brought as a rookie — energy — was not enough as a sophomore.
McGary will make $1.5 million this season. He may be tough to move because he’s suspended for the first five games he’s eligible to play next season for failing the league’s drug policy (five games is the standard suspension for testing positive for marijuana three times). Maybe a team looking to develop players will give him a shot, but there is little trade value for him.
If you can knock down a 19-foot shot, then a 15-footer should be easier. Right?
Apparently that — and just basic muscle memory — is the latest attempt to improve Dwight Howard‘s free throw shooting. And, he seems to be knocking down those shots.
It’s not hard to see the logic in this approach.
The challenge is form and reps are not the problems for Howard — or DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond or others — when it comes to hitting free throws. Anyone who says “why don’t they just practice the shot” doesn’t pay attention, these guys put in a lot of work on the shot. Pregame and in practice (I’m Los Angeles based), Jordan probably hits 65 percent from the line. At least.
The problem is mental. That can be a tougher hurdle to clear. Maybe taking 19 footers and knocking them down will have Howard feeling more confident at the stripe this season.
But we’re going to need to see it to believe it. Just like we’re going to have to see a rejuvenated Howard in Atlanta before we believe this season will be different from the last few.
Until this season, Jason Thompson had never been to the playoffs. He spent seven seasons in Sacramento before getting traded to the Warriors last offseason, and then signing with the Raptors midseason when Golden State waived him to make room on the roster for Anderson Varejao. His NBA days appear over, at least for now. International basketball reporter David Pick reports that Thompson has agreed to a deal to play in China.
Since the CBA’s season ends in March, Thompson could theoretically join an NBA team for the stretch run next year. But he didn’t appear to have much interest on the free-agent market this summer.