Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon back, to start Thursday for Pelicans

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New Orleans has put together its young big three, the core of guys it thinks could grow into something special — Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon in the backcourt, with Anthony Davis up front.

Except we haven’t seen that combo together this preseason as Eric Gordon has battled back from ankle surgery.

We will Thursday night — Gordon will be back and he will start against the Thunder, tweets Jim Eichenhofer of

Expect there to be rust and limited minutes for Gordon tonight, but it’s a start. There is a reason that despite a rash of injuries the Pelicans gave Gordon a max deal — when healthy he has looked like one of the best young two guards in the league. We just haven’t seen him healthy much for a couple of seasons.

He also has the advantage now of not having to carry as much offensive load.

That is in part due to Davis, who has looked very good this preseason — much more aggressive and attacking off the dribble, and he’s showing confidence in his midrange jumper (even if it is not falling consistently yet).

New Orleans can be patient, it’s a process. It’s not even really about this season, it’s about showing progress — but if that progress comes fast enough the playoffs are not out of the question.

Mark Cuban suggests supplemental draft for undrafted free agents

Mark Cuban
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A lot of people around the NBA have ideas to improve the draft, free agency and the D-League, and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has never been shy about sharing his. His latest idea seems pretty logical: a supplemental draft for undrafted free agents.

Via Hoops Rumors:

“I would have a supplemental draft every summer for undrafted free agents of the current and previous 3 years,” Cuban wrote in an email to Hoops Rumors. “If you are more than 3 years out you are not eligible and just a free agent.”

The supplemental draft would have two rounds, and teams would hold the rights to the players they select for two years, Cuban added. Players can opt out and choose not to make themselves eligible, but those who get picked would receive fully guaranteed minimum-salary contracts when they sign, according to Cuban’s proposal.

“That would make it fun a few weeks after the draft and pre-summer league,” Cuban wrote. “It would prevent some of the insanity that goes on to build summer league rosters.”

It’s an interesting proposition. Most undrafted players who sign during the summer don’t get guaranteed contracts, so when deciding to enter this supplemental draft, they would have to weigh the value of having guaranteed money versus getting to decide where they sign. It’s unlikely that anything like this could happen anytime soon, because of all the hoops to jump through to get the league and the players’ union to sign off on it, but it’s a worthwhile idea that deserves some consideration in the next CBA negotiations.

Kevin Love to practice with Cavs on Saturday

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The Cavaliers’ training camp has so far been filled with bad news and uncertainty, from Tristan Thompson‘s continuing contract holdout to Iman Shumpert‘s wrist injury (which will sideline him for up to three months) to Kyrie Irving continuing to be limited. But here’s some good news: Kevin Love will fully participate in practice with the team on Saturday for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in last year’s first-round series against the Celtics.

From’s Chris Haynes:

Head coach David Blatt announced on Wednesday that power forward Kevin Love will make his first full practice debut on Saturday. The three-time All-Star has been rehabbing ever since undergoing shoulder surgery in May.

“He’s coming along real nice,” Blatt said.

On Monday Love was cleared to participate in 3-on-3 basketball workouts. Prior, he was only allowed to do individual work that consisted of absorbing contact from a pad in the post.

It’s unclear when Love will be able to play in a game, but the fact that he’s been cleared to return to practice is undoubtedly a good sign for Cleveland, and there’s hope that he’ll be able to play on opening night against the Bulls on October 27. With all the bad breaks the Cavs have caught this summer, it’s nice to see some good injury news for once.