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.

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.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.