Shannon Brown, Jared Dudley

Shannon Brown not happy about recent string of DNP-CDs


The Suns are unquestionably in a rebuilding mode, and after trying (but mostly failing) to win games during the first half of the season by putting the players on the floor who would give them the best chance to do so, the team is now focused on the future and developing its young talent.

That meant that a serviceable backup point guard in Sebastian Telfair was sent packing at the trade deadline, after he began to ride the bench in favor of rookie Kendall Marshall getting those minutes instead.

Now, it’s Shannon Brown’s turn.

Brown deserves to be on the court, given his talent level in relation to others on the roster who are getting that playing time. And understandably, he’s not happy with the new role the team has placed him in.

From Craig Grialou of

“It bothers me every night,” he said. “It bothers me from when the first time I didn’t play.”

“It hurts. It is what it is though. I understand it’s a business and I can’t take it too personal.”

Brown said he was talked to “but nobody gave me no real answer. They just sent me around the world and come back to nothing. I talked to them but they say all the stuff that in the end doesn’t justify why or give me a good reason of what’s going on.”

“It ain’t easy. I definitely think it’s undeserved. There’s a lot of things I could say but I’m going to just stay professional about the whole situation and let the season play out.”

It’s tough to blame either side here, although if what Brown said about not being able to get a straight answer as to the reason for his diminished minutes playing time, then management could have handled things a bit better.

But then again, Brown has been around — Phoenix is his fifth NBA team, and he’s now in his seventh season. He should know the reason he’s sitting; the Suns know what they have in Brown, they need to see more of guys like Marshall, Wesley Johnson, Marcus Morris, and even Michael Beasley to a certain extent to see where they go from a roster standpoint in the future.

Brown is under contract through the end of next season for a very reasonable $3.5 million. If the team goes into a full-blown youth movement to completely start from scratch, it would be very easy to move Brown — and his expiring contract — somewhere where he’d be more content.

Byron Scott isn’t thinking about next year’s draft

Byron Scott
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A month into the season, the Lakers the only team in the Western Conference that can absolutely be written out of any hopes of playoff contention. They’re in an awkward position with the upcoming draft: they still need talent long-term, and they owe their pick to the Sixers if it’s outside of the top three. Not surprisingly, Byron Scott isn’t thinking about it at all.

Via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

With the Lakers fielding the NBA’s second-worst record, how much effort will the franchise put in retaining its top-3 protected draft pick?

“I don’t think about that whatsoever,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “I probably won’t until April. That’s something I can’t control.”

The Lakers are in a precarious position. They appear likely bad enough to lose a lot of games. But will they lose enough to land in the top three? Otherwise, the Lakers owe Philadelphia their first-round pick as part of the Steve Nash trade.

“It’s impossible to think about the team, try to get our young guys better, the team better and also thinking about a pick,” Scott said. “That’s six months away and you might not even get it.”

Given Scott’s mentality, it’s not at all surprising that he isn’t thinking about the draft. But with his insistence on playing Kobe Bryant and Lou Williams more crunch-time minutes on this dismal Lakers team than D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, it’s pretty laughable that he talks about wanting to develop their young players.

Scott may not be thinking about the draft, but with the position the franchise is in and the likelihood that they lose their pick, he should be.

Report: Jahlil Okafor stopped for driving 108 MPH three weeks ago

Jahlil Okafor, Derrick Favors

Jahlil Okafor‘s first month in the NBA has been eventful for all the wrong reasons. Early Thanksgiving morning, he was caught on video getting into a fight with a heckler in Boston. Then, a report surfaced of another altercation from October, in which Okafor apparently had a gun pulled on him. Now, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Okafor was recently pulled over in Philadelphia for driving 108 miles per hour:

Four sources independently confirmed to The Inquirer the 76ers center was pulled over on the Ben Franklin Bridge around three weeks ago for 108 miles per hour. Anything over 40 m.p.h. is considered reckless driving.

108 miles per hour in a 40-mile zone isn’t a minor speeding infraction—it’s incredibly dangerous. It might be possible to write off any of these incidents by themselves—particularly the one where he had a gun pulled on him, which doesn’t seem to have been his fault at all. But together, the Boston incident and this speeding report aren’t a good look at all for Okafor. He’s had a solid start to the year for the Sixers, but off the court has been another story.

Harrison Barnes could be out “a few weeks” with ankle injury

Harrison Barnes
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The Warriors’ Friday night 135-116 win over the Suns was bittersweet: Harrison Barnes suffered a sprained left ankle in the third quarter and left for the remainder of the game. He missed Saturday night’s blowout win over the Kings as well, which extended the Warriors’ best-ever start to the season to 18-0.

Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton didn’t have an answer for how long Barnes will be out, but he said it could be a few weeks.

Via’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss:

“He’s being evaluated [Saturday]. We haven’t gotten the results back yet,” interim head coach Luke Walton told reporters before Saturday’s game. “It’s all speculation. It could be a few weeks. It could be a week.

“We’re not going to rush him back because we want to be healthy for later in the season and we don’t want lingering injures, so we’ll have him take his time.”

Losing a starter is never good news, but the silver lining for the Warriors is that they have enough depth and enough of a cushion to be able to take their time and not rush Barnes back. Saturday night, Walton opted to keep Andre Iguodala in his usual sixth-man role and instead start the little-used Brandon Rush in Barnes’ place. Rush responded with a 16-point performance, shooting 4-of-5 from the three-point line. If they can keep getting that kind of production out of their reserves, the Warriors will be able to withstand the loss of Barnes just fine.

Emmanuel Mudiay with the no-look, behind-the-head assist (VIDEO)

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Emmanuel Mudiay is still a work in progress on the court — he’s a rookie, what did you expect? — but he has the court vision and flair you cannot teach.

As evidence, I present this pass from Saturday night, where in transition Mudiay goes with the no-look, behind-the-head dish to Darrell Arthur for the dunk.

The Nuggets dropped this game to the Mavericks 92-81 and have lost six in a row.