Consequences of the new, tighter CBA include…
A number of teams are trying to trade into the later parts of the first round — and there are teams there willing to move those picks — then draft a European player not ready for the NBA and stash him overseas for a few years. All to save money.
It’s one of the things you can count on him this draft. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com and Marc Stein of ESPN lay it out.
The second round of the draft — particularly late in the second round — has long had some of this. Teams take a flyer on a guy who may never come over to the NBA (and may never be good enough) but that they don’t have to pay, or even pay to develop. In the first round we’re talking guaranteed roster spots and contracts, so if the player stays overseas you save a little of that money.
Which means during the draft tonight, at around pick 20 or so start to watch for trades that mean nothing. Yes, there are teams like the Knicks trying to get into the first round to get their guy (P.J. Hairston or Tyler Ennis) or even move up in the first round to make their star happy (the Heat chasing Shabaz Napier).
But mostly what you’ll see is a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.
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The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a center— desperately at times, they brought JaVale McGee into training camp to get a look. They will start Zaza Pachulia and behind him it’s probably Samuel Dalembert once he gets healthy.
Which is why Dallas may be the team interested in Larry Sanders — Mark Cuban is a guy known for giving second chances in the league. But there have been no talks, yet, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.
Larry Sanders has been out of the game since his buyout last February trying to deal with his personal demons and may well not be ready to return. He may never return.
His couple seasons with the Bucks were filled with drama and issues. There was the nightclub brawl left him with an injured thumb in need of a surgery. There were the charges of animal cruelty. There was a five-game drug suspension. There was missed time for personal reasons. There was the 10-game suspension for marijuana use (he failed at least four tests to get there) — then that suspension was extended past the 10 games. In the end, he agreed to a buyout to get space away from the game to deal with his personal issues.
He may or may not be ready to return from that. He may or may not ever be ready. But if he decides to give it a try, NBA teams will be waiting. Maybe Dallas.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka are healthy — just how good will the Thunder be?
The bold prediction in this PBT Extra preview with Jenna Corrado is that the Thunder will win 60 games, something they have not yet done. I wouldn’t bet on them hitting that number — with a new coach, and them making sure Durant and Westbrook get rest coming off injuries, plus the fact they’re in the deep West, that number may be high.
I think they have a better chance to come out of the West than win 60 games. I think they have a good shot to come out of the West.