Sam Hinkie, Nerlens Noel

Report: Nerlens Noel to sign shoe deal with Reebok


The conventional wisdom is big men don’t sell shoes, attacking perimeter do — Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Derrick Rose.

But Nerlens Noel, the center out of Kentucky who will play with the Sixers once he gets healthy (remember the knee injury last season) thinks he can be the exception to the rule.

Noel has agreed to a deal with Reebok, reports SLAM. Reebok is trying to up its NBA presence and is reportedly going to add a few other players to its roster (it already has a handful).

Rookie center Nerlens Noel has tentatively agreed to an endorsement deal with Reebok, according to sources within the company….

“I don’t think I’m just a prototypical big man,” Noel said when reached on the phone at the shoot. “I think I’ll be able to sell shoes.”

Maybe. Noel was talked about as a possible No. 1 pick because of his potential as an athletic, shot blocking big who could run the floor and fit in a more modern offense. However, on draft night he fell all the way to No. 6 where the Hornets drafted him then traded him to the Sixers as part of the Jrue Holiday deal. Philadelphia is a perfect fit — they are rebuilding and don’t mind struggling this season, so Noel can take his time getting back on the court.

When he does, he’ll be wearing Reeboks.

Other guys wearing Reebok this season are Jason Terry (Nets), Isaiah Thomas (Kings) and Jameer Nelson (Magic).

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.

PBT Extra bold prediction preview: Markieff Morris will be a happy Sun

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After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.

So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?

Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.

The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.

Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.