North Carolina v Duke

Warriors sign James Michael McAdoo, Mitchell Watt


James Michael McAdoo went to North Carolina as a likely one-and-done player. He returned for his sophomore year and was viewed as a potential No. 1 overall draft pick. By the end of that season, his stock had fallen to mid-first round, and he returned to school once again.

Finally, after a lackluster junior year, McAdoo actually turned pro this year.

He went undrafted.

McAdoo caught on with the Warriors summer league team and – like Aaron Craft, who signed previously – drew a Golden State contract.

Warriors team release:

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent guard Aaron Craft, along with free agent forwards James Michael McAdoo and Mitchell Watt to contracts, the team announced today.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Undrafted free-agent forward James Michael McAdoo signed a one-year contract paying the minimum with the Golden State Warriors, his agent James Tanner told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday.

Rusty Simmons of SFGate:

Each player’s contract is partially guaranteed, depending on how long he sticks with the Warriors.

Golden State has just 13 players with guaranteed contracts. So, there’s a chance Craft, McAdoo and/or Watt, who went undrafted in 2012 out of Buffalo and has spent the last two years in Israel, could make the final roster.

Even if those three get waived, though, the Warriors could assign them to their D-League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors. Any NBA team could sign the players, but Golden State would have an inside track on developing them.

McAdoo, particularly, has a lot of raw talent. So, keeping him close could pay off if he’s a late bloomer. Most likely, though, he’s an athlete who just doesn’t have NBA-level skills.

But he – and Craft and Watt – will get a chance to prove themselves in training camp. Afterward, they’ll continue on their NBA contracts or likely have D-League jobs waiting. And no matter where they begin next season, they’ll have whatever guaranteed money Golden State offered here.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.

LeBron James: I’m healthier than a year ago


LeBron James received an injection in his back before the season.

It’s working.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

LeBron James now says he feels better than he did even a year ago.

“I feel better in the mornings; I feel better throughout the games; I feel better throughout the day,” James said before a Cavs shootaround Wednesday in preparation for their game against the Toronto Raptors. “It was a rough start to the season for me last year and for our team. Obviously the way we’ve been playing, a lot is predicated on my health and being able to lead these guys out on the floor and not from the sidelines.”

LeBron certainly looks healthier than he did at this point last year. He’s moving much better and giving more effort.

But comparing November to November means very little for the Cavaliers, who hope to play deep into June.

The key question: Did LeBron properly time his injection? There’s a limit on the number he can have in a year, and it takes time to recover after one. Cleveland doesn’t want LeBron to peak to early.

It’s good for the Cavs that LeBron feels better now, but his health in the playoffs remains the priority.

Report: Suns signing Bryce Cotton

Bryce Cotton
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Eric Bledsoe missed the Suns’ loss to the Spurs on Monday with a knee injury.

So, Phoenix is bringing in a reinforcement – Bryce Cotton.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Jazz waived Cotton before the season despite Dante Exum‘s injury leaving them with just two other healthy point guards. That says something about Cotton – but also Utah’s depth.

Cotton – who went undrafted out of Providence last year – is quick, varies his speed well and can leap. There’s reason to believe in his potential at age 23. But his 6-foot-1 frame limits him defensively, and he’s not much of a distributor.

Phoenix will rely on Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price at point guard if Bledsoe is unavailable. The Suns can also use fewer two-point guard lineups – giving more minutes at shooting guard to Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin and Sunny Weems.

Cotton provides insurance while Bledsoe is banged-up with what seems to be a minor injury. But he might have to show something to keep drawing an NBA paycheck once Bledsoe gets healthy.