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Arizona State’s Jahii Carson officially declares for NBA Draft


Another underclassman — and another one likely to go in the second round — has declared for the NBA Draft.

Arizona State point guard Jahii Carson announced his intentions Wednesday through the university.

“After discussing all my options with my family, teammates and coaches, I have decided to enter the 2014 NBA Draft,” Carson announced. “My time at ASU has helped me mature as a student, athlete and person and has prepared me to take this next step in my career. I cannot thank Coach Sendek enough for allowing me to be a part of such an incredible Sun Devils community and I look forward to cheering on my teammates and all their future success.”

Carson is expected to go in the second round, along with players such as Jordan Clarkson of Missouri, Russ Smith of Louisville and Shabazz Napier of UConn (who may have played himself into the bottom of the first round with his NCAA tournament).

At 5’11” Carson is undersized but brings that NBA teams will like is speed, according to PBT’s draft expert Ed Isaacson of and Rotoworld.

“Great speed and tough to contain one-on-one,” Isaacson told PBT. “He became a more consistent 3-point shooter this year (39.1 percent). Can be a good distributor, but also has control problems. He had to be the dominant offensive player for ASU, he could be a better point guard with more talent around him.”

Because of his size there are questions about how well he can defend at the NBA level.

But some team likely takes him and between Summer League and training camp he’ll get a chance to prove himself.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.