Derrick Rose says he won’t recruit free agents to play with him in Chicago

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Recruiting has always been a way of life in college sports, but free agents on the professional level have historically made decisions based more on money, location, and chances of winning (usually in that order) over everything else.

But the league has shifted in recent years. There was a time when superstars relished the opportunity to compete against one another in order to win a championship; now, it seems as though many would like to try to land on teams that are as stacked with talent as possible.

The best players want to be wanted when it’s their turn to choose where to play in free agency, and recruiting has definitely become a thing now in the NBA. As recently as this summer, we saw Dwight Howard embark on a multi-team tour to receive pitches by the resident star players already in place in those cities.

Chicago has one of the game’s brightest stars and a former MVP in Derrick Rose, and seems to have all the pieces in place to attract high profile free agents. But don’t expect Rose to engage in the type of recruiting that Chandler Parsons did in bringing Howard to Houston — that’s just not his style.

From Rappler.com (via ESPN Chicago):

“I don’t recruit. If anyone wants to play with me, I don’t mind playing with … it could be anyone in the NBA, but as far as recruiting, I never did and never will,” Rose said.

It is worth noting, however, that Rose has recruited in the past — he helped bring Kirk Hinrich to Chicago, and admitted as much last year.

This comes down to personality, though, and Rose has always been more of a hard worker who keeps to himself than he has been a gregarious team ambassador.

Even so, don’t believe for a second that Rose wouldn’t have a conversation with someone like Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James if in fact either of them showed an interest in playing for the Bulls. Those talks would take place — just don’t expect Rose to be the one initiating them.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.