The NBA has been interested in tinkering with its jerseys in one form or another in recent seasons, and while some of the plans for the upcoming year aren’t as drastic as they’ve been in the recent past, we can expect some additional tweaks nonetheless.
One of them will be the appearance of gold patches on the backs of jerseys, which is intended to commemorate championship seasons.
It actually seems like a cool idea — until you realize that the plan is to have it in place for every team that has ever won a championship in NBA history.
[Photo via Ben Golliver, SI.com]
This is a look at the jersey for the Pistons, which features the Larry O’Brien trophy along with a 3X designation for each the team’s historical titles.
Once it becomes clear that there are more franchises that have won NBA titles than those that have not, however, the idea becomes far less interesting.
A good use of this patch would be to include it on the jerseys of the 15 players who were on the roster of the previous year’s championship team each season, regardless of whether or not they switch teams via trade or free agency the following year. (For example, Mike Miller would have had one on his Memphis Grizzlies jersey last season, thanks to being a part of the Heat’s title team in 2013.)
Simply putting the patch on the jerseys of the reigning champs each year would seem odd for the players who were newcomers, and didn’t contribute to the championship effort of the previous season — like Greg Oden in Miami, for instance.
Either way, a patch like this should commemorate something special and unique. Since it will be displayed by more than half of the teams in the league next season, its overall effect will be minimized.
This is a huge season — a contract kind of season of sorts — for Noah Vonleh in Portland. The team has an option on him next season (the third of his rookie deal), and to impress people he is going to have to earn minutes at the four in front of Al-Farouq Aminu, Moe Harkless, Meyers Leonard, and Ed Davis.
The Blazers have high hopes for Vonleh, he was a central part of the Nicolas Batum trade with Charlotte. However, watching Vonleh at Summer League — 12 points a game on 46.3 percent shooting, 8.8 rebounds a game in more than 30 minutes a night — he didn’t show the development anyone had hoped to see. He should have dominated at that level. He didn’t.
Now there another injury setback for him.
He should be good to go around the start of training camp at the end of September.
But he can’t afford a slow start in training camp (that set him back his rookie season). He needs to show what he can do from day one, or Portland is going to move on without him.
The Boston Celtics have 16 players with guaranteed contracts and NBA rules allow just 15 players on the roster. Which means if a trade doesn’t happen by the start of the season, someone is going to get cut but still paid for the season.
This doesn’t change that.
The Celtics signed guard John Holland last season (he played a total of one playoff minute for them), but the deal was not guaranteed for this season. From Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
This was expected. Holland, who has played on the Puerto Rican national team, will be looking for a new gig either in the D-League or overseas (it’s unlikely an NBA team offers more than a training camp invite) By the end of training camp, the Celtics also likely will cut second-round pick Ben Bentil of Providence, who had a partially guaranteed deal.
That will leave R.J. Hunter and James Young battling it out for the final roster spot in Boston.
Ty Lawson is headed to the Kings, as first reported on Monday. The team made the move official on Wednesday with a press release, and USA Today‘s Sam Amick offers up another important piece of information: Lawson’s deal is not guaranteed, making it essentially a make-good camp invite.
It’s staggering how Lawson went from a borderline All-Star level point guard in 2012-13 to signing a non-guaranteed one-year deal with a lottery team three years later. His off-the-court issues have contributed to that, and he didn’t produce last season in Houston and Indiana. Still, he should have a pretty good chance of making the Kings’ roster, with Seth Curry and Rajon Rondo gone and Darren Collison their only proven point guard. They need depth there.
When Ben Simmons declared for the NBA draft this spring, he signed with LeBron James‘ Klutch Sports group for representation. That association would appear to have its advantages for the No. 1 overall pick, including the opportunity to work out with James and Dwyane Wade during the offseason. Wade posted a group photo on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon:
Also, it’s pretty staggering to see Simmons standing next to James and realizing that he’s bigger and taller.