What are the Raptors doing?
Trying to win, I guess.
Despite predictions of mass tanking across the NBA next season, Toronto – which also rejected dumping the talented-but-overpaid Rudy Gay for cap relief and traded Andrea Bargnani (a move that helps with the cap and increases the Raptors’ chances of winning next season) – will sign Tyler Hansbrough to a two-year contract, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.
Hansbrough, 27, offers little upside for a rebuilding team. But for a Raptors team that went 33-26 to close last season, he can fill a very specific role.
He’ll be a bull offensively, grabbing rebounds and scoring in the paint (and perhaps shooting a few too many jumpers). Just don’t expect him to pass. Hansbrough averaged an assist every 38 minutes last season – and that was actually more frequent than the year before.
Obviously, the terms of the deal will be crucial to the Raptors, who are still in the range of the luxury-tax line. The Pacers deemed Hansbrough not to be worth a one-year, $4,135,391 contract, so it will be interesting to see how Toronto values him.
The Pacers have relied less and less on Hansbrough, and after re-signing David West, keeping Hansbrough would have been a luxury. Instead, Indiana signed Chris Copeland, who might fit better than Hansbrough did.
The Pacers should be fine without Hansbrough, and the Raptors should be a little better with him. This just came down to how each team perceived him and how much each could afford to spend.
LOS ANGELES — This isn’t new news, but a lot of NBA fans forgot it.
Last June the NBA suspended then Pistons now Lakers guard two games for “pleading guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, in violation of the law of the State of Michigan.” Those were to be the first two games of next season — the Clippers game Thursday followed by the Suns Friday.
Lakers coach Luke Walton played it close to the vest, not revealing who would start at the two in KCP’s place. The most logical answer may be Jordan Clarkson, but Walton likes him creating shots with the second unit. Other options are limited, they could go small with backup point guard Tyler Ennis or big with Corey Brewer. (Josh Hart might have been the best call, but the rookie is out with a sore Achilles.
Whoever starts it will be a blow to the defense-starved Lakers to be without their best perimeter defender.
This summer, after landing Avery Bradley, the Pistons chose to renounce the rights to Caldwell-Pope, setting him free into what was a difficult market. Even for a good wing defender who hit 35 percent from three last season, when the market dried up so did the chance for a decent multi-year deal. The Lakers grabbed him for one-year at $18 million.
Caldwell-Pope’s agent is Rich Paul, who happens to be LeBron James‘ agent (and he’s a free agent next summer), but whatever the ulterior motives this was a good signing by the Lakers. If KCP works out this season for them they would be in the driver’s seat to re-sign him next summer (although the Lakers would not have his Bird rights).
Ah yes, Hoodie Melo. The new, improved version of Carmelo Anthony that is much better than the old one, mostly because he isn’t playing for the New York Knicks. Also, he is often seen wearing a hooded sweatshirt.
Of course, as is often the case in the NBA, when a cultural phenomenon comes along there’s often plan to make money off of it following close behind. That appears to be the case here, as the Thunder announced special Hoodie Melo sweatshirts that were selling before the game against the New York Knicks on Thursday.
The sweatshirts mimic the style of a popular Jordan brand logo, Carmelo’s shoe sponsor.
Carmelo stayed true to form throughout the warm-up session before the game, taking to the floor during lineups wearing — you guessed it — a hoodie.
Of course, there was lots of intrigue during the Thursday night game between Anthony and his former team, with the first points of his career coming in Oklahoma City looking like this:
Long live Hoodie Melo. May his brand forever beat forecasted sales numbers.
The Warriors might not have Draymond Green against the Pelicans tomorrow, but Golden State will have these awesome jerseys:
Fresh. To. Death.
Just awful news for Devin Harris.
Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News
The brother of Mavericks’ guard Devin Harris died Thursday afternoon after an early-morning crash on Central Expressway, officials said.
According to police, at about 1:40 a.m. Thursday morning Bruce Harris, 38, and a 36-year-old male passenger were in their disabled vehicle in the north bound lane of Central Expressway just south of Walnut Hill. A 23-year-old male driver of an Acura sedan and a 23-year-old male passenger were traveling north bound on Central Expressway and struck the back of the disabled vehicle. The impact caused the gas tank of the disabled vehicle to rupture and catch fire. All occupants were transported to Presbyterian Hospital.