Syracuse forward Southerland dunks against Michigan in the second half of their NCAA men's Final Four basketball game in Atlanta

James Southerland gets a training camp invite from the Bobcats


James Southerland is a 6’8″ forward who averaged 13.3 points per game in his senior year at Syracuse, while knocking down almost 40 percent of his shots from three-point distance.

Southerland went undrafted, though he had an offer from the Spurs to take him late in the second round if he agreed to spend this season playing overseas, instead of earning a salary at the end of the San Antonio bench.

He played for the Sixers at the Orlando Summer League and for the Warriors at the Las Vegas version, but didn’t get a ton of opportunity in terms of minutes in either situation, and his shooting didn’t live up to the numbers he displayed in college.

Players who can shoot with Southerland’s size are going to get multiple looks from NBA teams, however, and he’ll at least get a shot to prove himself beginning with the invite he received to training camp with the Charlotte Bobcats.

From Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer:

Southerland will come to training camp at UNC Asheville on an unguaranteed contract and he’ll have a challenge making the team. The Bobcats have plenty of power forwards. They drafted Cody Zeller fourth overall and re-signed Josh McRoberts. They have Jeff Adrien on an unguaranteed deal and recently signed Anthony Tolliver, also to improve their shooting.

What often happens in training camp is that players who show initiative and work ethic (along with the requisite skill set) get noticed, and even if a spot isn’t necessarily available on the team they’re in camp with, coaches around the league talk, and the hard work can potentially pay off with a chance to ultimately play somewhere else.

Sixers to retire Moses Malone’s number next season

Darryl Dawkins, Moses Malone

Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.

There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?

LeBron James with two-handed halfcourt bounce pass for assist (VIDEO)

LeBron James
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Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:

Kobe gets great introduction, loud ovation in Philadelphia

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Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game —  but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.

In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.

Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.

That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.

Rumor: Nets testing trade waters for Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic, Otto Porter Jr.
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If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.

First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.

Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.

Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.

Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.