dennis schroeder

Dennis Schroeder bows out of combine in Chicago, plans on skipping Eurocamp due to likely draft promise

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Dennis Schroeder is an international prospect from Germany that has been rapidly moving up draft boards. The 19-year old point guard is listed at 6’2″ with a 6’7.25″ wingspan, and the speed and flair with which he plays is already eliciting comparisons to Rajon Rondo in terms of ability, body type, and style.

Schroeder was literally a man among boys at the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit in Portland, which features top high school seniors from the United States playing against top international players 19 years of age and younger. Even though he was more experienced than his competition, he may have showed enough to impress scouts and team executives to the point where they feel they’ve seen enough.

Schroeder showed up to the Draft Combine in Chicago, but ended up not participating in any workouts. His given reason was a toothache, although that seemingly minor ailment — along with the fact that he’s expected to skip adidas Eurocamp in early June in Treviso, Italy — could lead you to believe that he already has been assured of his draft position.

From Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

I was curious, so I asked Schroeder about it. “I got an infection in my tooth,” Schroeder explained, pointing to his right cheek. “My dentist said 10 days off, so I take a break. I have had it for a month, it is really bad, it really hurts.”

Whenever someone begs out of workouts because of something like a tooth problem, there is an immediate red flag—Schroeder has, perhaps, received a promise from a team in the first round, and decided it wasn’t necessary to go through the Chicago workouts. He also told me he is not going to the June Eurocamp in Treviso, and will stay in the U.S. to work out for teams—which only further raises the suspicion that someone around the middle of the first round has told him he’s their pick.

It’s a little early to be giving out promises, especially with the Draft Lottery taking place next week. But the teams Schroeder will work out privately for have likely assured him he’ll be a late lottery pick, which makes it undesirable for him to work out publicly at the Combine or at Eurocamp without any real upside to doing so.

Report: Khris Middleton could return to Bucks before All-Star break

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 16:  Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 16, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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The Bucks projected Khris Middleton to miss about 70 games when he tore his hamstring before the season. That extended absence often leads players just to shut down for the year, but Middleton vowed to return in time for the playoffs.

He might get back far sooner than that.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, “has a chance” to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star ‎break.

Whether Middleton ultimately makes his season debut before or after the All-Star Game, he is expected to be kept on a minutes restriction as he eases way his back from the injury, sources said.

The Bucks have started Tony Snell, who has held his own as an outside shooter. But Middleton will upgrade Milwaukee on Snell’s biggest strength and provide massive defensive improvement. After a strong start, the Bucks have really struggled lately on that end.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has led Milwaukee to a 20-21 record, though the team is better than its won-loss mark indicates. The Bucks will be even better with Middleton, who will rival Jabari Parker as their second-best player and fit seamlessly.

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.