Report: UNLV’s Roscoe Smith to declare for NBA Draft

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You remember Roscoe Smith, he was a starter as a freshman on the 2011 UConn national championship team. If you’re wondering what happened to him since, he played another season for the Huskies then transferred out to UNLV, where this past season he averaged 11.1 points and 10.9 assists a game for the Running Rebels (and he gets to watch his old team in the Final Four).

Now he has decided to go pro.

If he does he likely goes undrafted and will end up overseas or in the D-League, but it looks like he is going to go for it anyway reports the Las Vegas Sun.

Rebels junior forward Roscoe Smith will forego his final year of eligibility and put his name into the NBA Draft pool, multiple sources tell the Sun….

Listed at 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds, Smith has athleticism and a 7-foot-1 wingspan that could help him make a living playing basketball. However, he was often a defensive weakness for UNLV this season.

So an undersized four who can’t stretch the floor (20 percent from three, on the rare occasions he took a shot from there) who isn’t a great defender? He is long and he’s a very strong rebounder (one skill that translates well from college to pros), but that’s about it.

PBT’s NBA Draft expert Ed Isaacson of NBAdraftblog.com and Rotoworld said he doesn’t expect to see Smith drafted, but that he could be fun in the wide open games of Summer League. Smith is almost certainly going to at least start his career overseas.

I don’t know what Smith’s motivation was to come out. My personal belief is if you are not a lock top 20 pick you should stay in college, but Smith may have good personal reasons. I wish him luck.

Because his journey to the NBA is going to be a long, difficult one.

Report: Warriors, Jerry West nearing deal to keep him with franchise

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The Warriors decision-making process as a franchise is one of inclusion: A lot of voices in the room, a lot of discussion from different points of view, all ultimately synthesized by GM Bob Myers.

One of the most trusted voices in that room belongs to NBA legend — as a player and a front office mind — Jerry West. He was one of the strong voices against trading Klay Thompson for Kevin Love a few years back (in hindsight a move that was central to the kind of team the Warriors became). His deal as a consultant to ownership in Golden State is up after this season, and there were some rumors he could be leaving that role.

Doesn’t sound like it. Warriors’ co-owner Joe Lacob spoke to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News and made it sound like West will be around for a while.

There is a growing sense that West and the Warriors are headed toward agreeing to extend his relationship with the franchise–Lacob confirmed he and West have spoken about a new contract and have now paused the discussions until after the Finals–but nothing has been finalized….

His contract is up, as you know. We have met; we have discussed the future. And it’s really something that I’m sure at the end of the season we will return to and figure out what Jerry wants to do.

We want him back. We love him. He’s been a great contributor to the organization, someone I consider a personal friend as well. We would love him back (beyond this season), and we’ve made that known.

There had been some buzz about West returning to the Lakers, but with Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka now firmly in charge there West’s return to the team where is jersey is in the rafters seems highly unlikely.

Sometime this summer, expect a quiet announcement from the Warriors that the deal got done and West is sticking around. For their management style, he is a great voice to have in the room.

Watch Michael Jordan’s best highlight from each of his playoff runs (video)

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I’ve become a sucker for this highlight format.

Jazz deny rumored promise to draft D.J. Wilson

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Michigan forward D.J. Wilson said he’d stay in the draft only if he’d go in the first round. Yet, despite not doing any on-court work at the combine, the borderline first-rounder remained in the draft beyond the withdrawal deadline.

What gives?

Rod Beard of The Detroit News:

Kyle Goon of The Salt Lake Tribune:

NBA teams sometimes promise to draft a player. They never reveal that before the draft. So, Utah’s denial doesn’t mean much – even if it’s true.

The Jazz were the last team to give Wilson a full work out before he injured himself in a Spurs workout. So, this rumor could be based on circumstantial evidence rather than leak of a Utah guarantee.

Wilson would make sense for the Jazz, who could see their payroll bloat if they re-sign Gordon Hayward and George Hill (and maybe even Joe Ingles). They could move Derrick Favors, an interior who doesn’t exactly fit with Rudy Gobert. Wilson would give Utah another option with Trey Lyles as developing stretch fours behind Boris Diaw. (Utah could even move Diaw and count on Lyles/Wilson to emerge sooner than later.)

Watch LeBron James’ top highlight from each of his postseason appearances (video)

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LeBron James and Tony Parker are the only players to play in the last dozen postseasons.

(If you’re wondering, Manu Ginobili missed the 2009 playoffs due to an ankle injury.)

It’s fair to say LeBron was a bit more spectacular than Parker in that span. As LeBron enters his seventh straight Finals, the NBA released this awesome video showing LeBron’s best playoff highlight from each year:

There’s no entry for this year. Here’s betting it comes against the Warriors in the NBA Finals.