We already told you that when asked during the rookie photo shoot who their favorite player in the league was, the majority of incoming NBA players said Kobe Bryant.
But those rookies to be were asked a lot more, too — and it was the Celtics Kelly Olynyk and the Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum who scored high.
Historically the NBA rookies have been pretty hit and miss with their predictions in the annual survey, but there are some interesting insights this year in the survey results, which were posted by John Schuhmann over at NBA.com.
Asked who would be Rookie of the Year, Portland’s McCollum and Orlando’s Victor Oladipo tied for the top spot. Olynyk finished third while Utah’s Trey Burke finished fourth. (I predict Burke one, Oladipo two, I like McCollum but he will be playing behind Damian Lillard so is he going to get enough minutes to really win this?)
As for who would have the best career, Oladipo and Olynyk tied with McCollum third. The winner of the most athletic rookie was Tony Mitchell of Detroit in a landslide (47.2 percent).
Best playmaker went to Burke with 47 percent of the vote followed by Michael Carter-Williams of the Sixers. Best shooter went to Ben McLemore of Sacramento, followed by the Clippers Reggie Bullock, then tied for third was McCollum and Tony Snell of the Bulls.
Oladipo won best defender (which seems a good call), followed by a tie between Solomon Hill of the Pacers, Nerlens Noel of the Sixers (who shows up little on this survey) and Peyton Siva of the Pistons.
The Timberwolves surprisingly led the Spurs by nine at halftime last night, which takes us to Shabazz Muhammad‘s mid-game interview.
We’re doing a great job on defense, Wiggs, myself, everybody. It’s a tough team, especially Kawhi and the guys. So, we’re doing a really good job and everybody’s collective – Collective Bargaining Agreement.
To be fair, I can’t even imagine what type of nonsense I’d spew in the midst of a taxing workout or a high-pressure situation – let alone something that qualifies as both.
Unfortunately for Muhammad, Minnesota eventually fell to San Antonio, 100-93. But hopefully, he can laugh at this moment. He should, at least.
hat tip: reddit user cjsplash
Wednesday a couple of forwards expected to go in the first round of June’s NBA draft said they plan on making the jump to the NBA.
As expected, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Cal’s Ivan Rabb made their decisions official.
Duke announced Tatum’s decision.
Tatum is expected to be a top-five pick, DraftExpress.com currently has him as the No. 4 pick. The 6’8″ wing can flat-out score the rock, which is why teams are intrigued, as Rob Dauster of NBC’s College Basketball Talk told us in a recent podcast. However, teams wonder if he can create shots for others and not just himself, and if he’s going to be a good defender at the NBA level. He has the physical tools to do be a good defender, but will he put in the work game in, game out?
Rabb is a 6’10” sophomore who has a great NBA build and athleticism to spare, but at the NBA level everyone is a great athlete. Rabb doesn’t have a great perimeter game and needs to develop one and be a consistent defensive force to be a difference maker (or have a lengthy career) at the NBA level. DraftExpress.com has him going 22nd in this draft, and his stock seems to have fallen over the course of the season.
This season, for the first time in 46 years, no NBA coach will be fired during the season (nobody is getting canned at this point).
However, once the off-season starts, there will be a few changes.
Alvin Gentry in New Orleans and Fred Hoiberg in Chicago are the names most mentioned, but there will be an unexpected firing somewhere around the league. Some GMs are on the hot seat also (Rob Hennigan in Orlando leads that parade).
I get into all of it in this latest PBT Extra.
It was obvious this was coming. Get in a shoving match “fight” in the NBA and you get a fine. However, actually throw punches and…
Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Chicago’s Robin Lopez each have been suspended for one game by the NBA “for throwing punches at one another during an altercation,” the league announced. What that works out to is a $120,715 hit for Lopez and a $111,364 ding for Ibaka.
Also, Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire earned a $15,000 fine shoving the Bulls Nikola Mirotic and “acting as other than a peacemaker as part of the same altercation.”
This all came out of what seemed a rather innocuous play. Ibaka and Lopez were battling for rebounding positioning, it went on for a second after the ball went through the hoop, Ibaka caught Lopez with a little chicken wing elbow in the back, Lopez spun, and, boy, that escalated quickly. Lopez’s punch missed, while Ibaka’s caught Lopez in the hair more than the body.
Both men got technicals and were ejected.