Wichita State v Ohio State

Deshaun Thomas refuses to give Spurs his phone number


As my friends can attest, I’m not always the smoothest guy around. But even I know to make a little small talk before trying to score a number.

Apparently, the Spurs just rushed to the point when they were set up with Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas. Jason Lloyd of Ohio.com:

Thomas said teams asked him plenty of difficult and interesting questions during his interview process at the combine. But the most interesting, he said, was the fact the Spurs’ first question was for his cell phone number and his e-mail address. He gave them the e-mail, but not the phone number.

“I can’t go around giving it out to everyone,” Thomas said Thursday with a laugh. “Now if they want to draft me, I’d be happy to give it to them.”

Sadly, a silly little incident like this might actually hurt Thomas’ draft stock. Too many teams fear players who question authority and prefer someone who will blindly follow their commands. Ben McLemore could probably get away with safeguarding his phone number, but a marginal prospect like Thomas might get passed over because of this.

Maybe the next team that interviews Thomas will play it a little cooler. And maybe Thomas will realize giving up his phone number is worth the increased chance of going higher in the draft.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.