Marvin Williams

Jazz could get Marvin Williams back from Achilles early in season

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Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke was doing a Google hangout/chat talking all things Utah when he dropped in an interesting little nugget:

Reserve forward Marvin Williams could be back from his Achilles injury by training camp or early November, a couple weeks into the season.

Williams is in the last year of his contract and will make $7.5 million, and he is going to want to put up numbers and get paid a little. How he does that coming off a severe injury remains to be seen.

The question with Williams is fit —Locke thinks he should be more of an undersized backup four than a three. The problem is floor spacing — he shot 32.5 percent from three last year and nobody is going to follow a stretch four out to the arc who can’t shoot better than that (he shot 38 percent from deep two seasons ago). Last season he grabbed more rebounds and got to the line more in his limited time as a power forward but the shooting held his game back (he shot 42.3 percent overall and doesn’t finish all that well inside). The drop off from Derrick Favors to Williams is pretty steep.

At the three the Jazz can roll out a few guys depending on matchups, but there will be a heavy dose of Gordon Hayward there and again the drop off to Williams is pretty steep. And if he can’t space the floor knocking down shots his value drops fast. Also, he will be slowed defensively a little coming off this injury.

Williams will get a chance this season because the Jazz are not going to be good and Tyrone Corbin is going to be searching for lineups that work (or at least don’t suck). But what Williams does with this chance remains to be seen. He needs to be better than last season.

LeBron James talked Justin Bieber out of performing at Donald Trump’s nominating convention

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 29: Justin Bieber drinks champagne at the podium during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 29, 2016 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images
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With the Republican National Convention being held in Cleveland, you knew there was going to be a LeBron James influence.

It apparently kept Justin Bieber away from Donald Trump and Co.

TMZ

Justin Bieber got a $5 million offer to perform at a Republican event during the GOP Convention, but turned it down after his manager considered quitting and LeBron James urged him to reject it … sources tell TMZ.

That’s a lot of money for a single gig. This either speaks to the power of LeBron’s words — or the embellishment of Bieber’s value.

Watch Bulls’ Dwyane Wade press conference live (video)

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Dwyane Wade playing for a team other than the Heat will be strange.

You can get your first glimpse of that weirdness today, when the Bulls introduce Wade at 3 p.m. Eastern.

If the above video doesn’t load, click here to watch the press conference.

Russell Westbrook laughs off Kevin Durant question (video)

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, right, gestures after scoring as forward Kevin Durant stands by during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Thunder won 117-113. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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How does Russell Westbrook feel about Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder for the Warriors?

Westbrook has been silent on the signing, leaving Durant and anonymous sources to speak on his behalf — and the NBA world hungry for his response.

The first glimpse:

Feel free to read way too much into that laugh.

(hat tip: reddit user esoh)

Phil Jackson: ‘Today’s players simply lack the skills to play the triangle’

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson speaks to reporters during a news conference in Greenburgh, N.Y., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Derek Fisher was fired as New York Knicks coach Monday, with his team having lost five straight and nine of 10 to fall well back in the Eastern Conference playoff race. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photo/Seth Wenig
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See whether you can follow this timeline:

1. Knicks president Phil Jackson stated his commitment to the triangle offense entering the 2015-16 season.

2. Jackson in a December interview published today, via Charley Rosen of Today’s Fastbreak:

Today’s players simply lack the skills to play the triangle. They know how to play one-on-one, catch-and-shoot, and they’ve mastered crossover dribbles, spins, playing off of screens and step-back shots. They don’t know how to execute things like inside-reverse pivots and other basic footwork. They have no sense of timing or organization. They don’t really know how to play five-on-five basketball. It’s strictly generational.

That’s why Fish {Derek Fisher} wants to uptempo the offense. And why he spends a half-hour before practice doing lots of skills work.

3. Jackson fires coach Derek Fisher, who — according to interim coach Kurt Rambis — resisted the triangle.

4. Jackson said the Knicks would continue to run the triangle and even ran a triangle camp for New York players.

5. Jackson hired Jeff Hornacek, who has little triangle experience, and said the new coach wouldn’t have to run the triangle.

¯_(ツ)_/¯

Maybe Jackson, relying on his December thoughts, finally changed his mind about the triangle. Maybe he believes players can still be taught triangle skills and actually plans to have Hornacek use the system.

Or maybe the Knicks are just rudderless.