Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond

Tuesday And-1 links: Plenty of small free agency updates (plus Spencer Hawes wants Blake Griffin’s number)


Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points more than German strikers like to score goals….

• Maybe the best thing I’ve read about the “trade rumor era” in the NBA. If you read one thing today it should be Bryan Curtis’ piece at Grantland.

• Andre Drummond wants Greg Monroe back with the Pistons. More importantly, so does Stan Van Gundy. That said nobody has made him a max offer yet, but that’s part of the dam that could break after the LeBron/Carmelo bottleneck shakes loose.

• In case you missed it, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had dinner at LAVO restaurant in the Palazzo in Las Vegas Monday. What you think that means says more about what you want to happen than what they actually talked about, because we don’t know. Here is what I do know: If you’re going to it Italian at the Palazzo B&B is the better option.

• Also in case you missed it, Pau Gasol met with OKC coach Scott Brooks on Monday. The Thunder have made a big push for him with both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook making personal pitches. But Gasol has a lot of options and there are questions if the urbane Gasol wants to move to Oklahoma City.

• Spencer Hawes is going to be so much fun on the Clippers.

• The Hornets had a big meeting Monday with Gordon Hayward. Hayward is trying to get someone to give him a big offer… one the Jazz likely match, which is why teams are hesitant to make the offer.

• Derrick Rose update:

• Among the players waiting on LeBron James to make a decision? Garrett Temple. He was reportedly going to get an offer from Miami but he doesn’t want to go to Miami if LeBron is not there, so he is being patient. The Wizards also are in the mix.

• Jordan Farmar talks about his decision to move down the hall at Staples Center to the Los Angeles Clippers.

• At Grantland Zach Lowe nailed the complexities of the idea players should sacrifice money to win.

• In case you missed it, San Antonio agreed to a two-year deal with guard Bryce Cotton, but it is only partially guaranteed.

• Utah hopes to retain free agent  John Lucas III, mostly as a mentor for Trey Burke and Dante Exum.

• Former Raptor and Spur Nando De Colo decided rather than ride another NBA bench he is going to take $2 million from CSKA-Moscow. Can’t blame him.

• LeBron James’ jersey from Game 1 of the NBA Finals this year — the “cramp game” — sold for $50,000 at a charity auction.

• Tony Wroten showed up at the Seattle pro-am and dropped 53, and made one defender look very, very, bad.

Before season starts, watch top 10 dunks of preseason

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Starting Tuesday night, the games matter. The dunks matter.

But before we move onto those dunks, let’s have some fun with the top 10 dunks of the meaningless preseason. They may not matter, but they certainly were fun.

Of course there are some expected highlights — can you have a dunk reel without Russell Westbrook? — but game-winning dunks always get the top slot.

Carmelo Anthony says rather than take knee during Anthem he wants action in communities

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26:  Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks looks on against the Cleveland Cavaliers during their game at Madison Square Garden on March 26, 2016 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Colin Kaepernick certainly fired up a discussion — not always the conversation he intended, but a discussion of the treatment of African-Americans in our society was part of that conversation.

No NBA player has taken that same step through the preseason, taking a knee during the national anthem (only anthem singers have done that). Some teams are locking arms during the anthem in a show of solidarity, but they stand in two orderly rows.

Carmelo Anthony explained in an interview with Bleacher Report that what he and many others want to see is the next step in Kaepernick’s protest — action in the community.

“I’m past the gestures,” New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony told B/R Mag. “I’m past that. It’s all about creating things now and putting things in motion. So, that’s what I’m on. I’m trying to get guys on board with that and help them understand that—enough of the gesturing and talking and all of that stuff—we need to start putting things in place….

“He’s done it,” Anthony said of Kaepernick. “He was courageous enough to do that. He created that. He created the kneeling and that protest. And people fell in line with that. Some people supported it. Some people didn’t. But at the end of the day, and I’m not taking nothing away from him…I just don’t think the gesturing is creating anything. I think it’s bringing awareness, but I think doing stuff and creating awareness in the communities [is more effective].”

What are those things? Players, the players’ union, the NBA itself, and it’s teams are all working to figure that out. This is not something where one blanket program fits all — what is needed in communities in New York is different from the needs in Milwaukee, is different from the needs in Sacramento. This needs to be local, with players involved.

There have already been some steps. The Bulls held a basketball tournament between police and a mentoring agency, which was followed by a panel discussion. Dwyane Wade biked with police through Miami. The Grizzlies have revived the Police Athletic League in Memphis. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, there are teams from New Orleans to Los Angeles are working to bring youth and police together to talk.

It’s a start. A good start.

There is no one magic gesture, no one simple measure that can heal the deep divides in our nation right now. There are no easy answers, and as a nation we can be too dependent on easy answers. We need to listen. We need to talk to each other, not at each other. We need to practice empathy.

NBA players can help lead that effort, that conversation. It would be the next step after a protest — to act on those steps. Good on Anthony and the NBA for attempting to go down that road.


Rockets change from earlier reports, waive Pablo Prigioni, keep Tyler Ennis

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 17:  Pablo Prigioni #9 of the Houston Rockets celebrates in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers during Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals at the Toyota Center for the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 17, 2015 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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The Rockets traded for Tyler Ennis., sending Michael Beasley away in the deal.

Which is why it was a bit of a surprise on Monday when early reports had the Rockets waiving Ennis, but either the report was off or the Rockets changed their minds.

With Patrick Beverley out injured, this leaves the Rockets thin at the traditional point guard spot. However, in practice James Harden, Eric Gordon and others will initiate Mike D’Antoni’s offense, so the bigger challenge will be defensively. Prigioni was not much help there at this point in his career.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a team snaps up Prigioni as insurance, or he certainly can make money overseas. Prigioni played last season as a backup point guard for the Clippers.

Want some dance lessons from Hassan Whiteside? We got that.

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: A portrait of Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Miami Heat on September 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Miami’s Hassan Whiteside is a lot of things: An elite shot blocker, up-and-coming NBA star who worked hard for the right to be that, a Heat cornerstone.

Dance instructor?

I’m not sold, but he’s showing off his groove in this Twitter video.

When you get a $98.6 million contract, you can do whatever you want. So he can be a dance if he wants to.