DeMar DeRozan wants to know where he’d get picked in 2009 re-draft

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Imagining how previous NBA drafts would play out in hindsight is always fun, an instant debate starter for basketball fans. I’m sure we’ve all wasted a countless hours analyzing questions like:

  • Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh No. 3 behind LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in 2004?
  • Do half the top-eight picks in 2013 remain in the top eight in a re-draft?
  • Where would DeMar DeRozan, originally selected No. 9, go if the 2009 picks were re-chosen?

That last question interests even DeRozan, who’s apparently a basketball fan just like the rest of us.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I think Chuck [Hayes] brought it up. We were saying that if we did my draft class over, where would guys [be picked] now,” DeRozan said on Sunday evening. “Chuck brought it up. It was kind of funny and made me think about everybody in my draft class and what they’re doing now. There are not too many that are … playing and getting a lot of minutes.”

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Stephen Curry (No. 7 in the actual draft), Blake Griffin (No. 1) and James Harden (No. 3) would definitely remain ahead of DeRozan, and Ty Lawson (No. 18) would pass him. That puts DeRozan in the 5-9 tier with Taj Gibson, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Ricky Rubio.

It would come down to team need and fit.

At minimum, DeRozan wouldn’t fall – which is a credit to how much he’s progressed this season. An All-Star, he’ll be a strong candidate for Most Improved Player.

But the draft – despite Hasheem Thabeet (No. 2) and Jonny Flynn (No. 6) being high-profile busts – wasn’t quite as weak as DeRozan implies. Just getting minutes doesn’t mean he’d necessarily move up.

Several players in the draft have put together a single strong season, and DeRozan joined that group this year. Whichever player(s) in his tier consistently produce impressive seasons will jump above the rest.

When DeRozan is re-drafting his class next year, if he’s having as strong a season as this one, he can safely put himself higher. Until then, where he belongs in the 5-9 range is up to debate.

Kevin Durant brings fan to tears with autographed shoes (video)

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Kevin Durant has become a villain to many.

Clearly not to this Warriors fan, though.

Carmelo Anthony leaves without speaking to media, will probably get fined

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Lately, Carmelo Anthony has parsed whether the Thunder are frustrated or angry and said he’s going through the roughest stretch of his career.

It didn’t get any better last night.

Anthony scored 11 points on 12 shots with three turnovers, and Oklahoma City got outscored by 21 points with him on the floor in a home loss to the Hornets. The Thunder have now lost two of three, falling to the lowly Nets and Hornets and needing overtime to beat the freefalling Grizzlies.

Royce Young of ESPN:

Anthony today:

I’m sorry. My bad. I had a FaceTime session with my son, so I skipped out on you guys yesterday. I apologize. It’s true, though. That’s true. It’s true. He had a school night.

The NBA’s media-access rules state: “All players must be available to the media for a minimum of five to 10 minutes during the postgame media access period.” It’s been a while since someone got punished for violating the policy, but Kevin Garnett was fined $25,000 for not speaking to the media after Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.

I’m sympathetic to Anthony wanting to speak to his son, who’s still in New York. But the league tends not to take these personal concerns into consideration, which is probably for the best. There’s a rule. Anthony violated it. Assessing which personal calls should supersede the rule is a can of worms not worth opening. Besides, Anthony probably could have returned to the locker room for an interview after concluding the call.

Anthony earns a lot of money. If he wanted to risk a $25,000 fine to speak with his son, I have absolutely no problem with that. But that’s probably the choice he made.

In my experience, Anthony has been forthright with the media. He spent years as the face of the Knicks, dutifully answering for problems created by James Dolan and Phil Jackson. Because he was available nearly daily while his superiors avoided interviews, Anthony was the grilled by the New York media.

I bet he expected a reprieve in Oklahoma City. Instead, the spotlight has shined on him as a problem with the underwhelming Thunder.

It’s understandable he’d rather talk to his son than reporters. But it’s also understandable the NBA wants to promote its business through the media, and the league has power to enforce its rules.

Grizzlies fan absolutely owns kids halftime scrimmage (video)

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The Grizzlies lost for the 15th time in their last 16 games, a 25-point drubbing at home against the Heat, last night.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom in Memphis.

This young fan – while playing in the halftime scrimmage – stopped his dribble, stepped on the ball, whipped off his youth jersey to reveal a Marc Gasol jersey, flexed, re-started his dribbled then drove for a basket.

Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation:

The Grizzlies don’t deserve this hero.

DeMarcus Cousins pushes Trevor Ariza after whistle, gets technical foul (video)

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For better or worse, DeMarcus Cousins is moody.

Just after getting dunked on by Clint Capela, Cousins showed his frustration by pushing Trevor Ariza after a whistle. The Pelicans center got his NBA-leading ninth technical foul – automatic suspension triggered at No. 16 – but I’m surprised this didn’t escalate beyond just that.