Michael Carter-Williams knows where he can find the bright future of the Philadelphia 76ers.
It’s not at NBA games, where he’s the last significant positive contributor standing from last year’s tank job. It’s at places like the draft and the World Cup.
Carter-Williams went to Brooklyn for the draft and had a mixed experience. He looked shocked when Philadelphia drafted point guard Elfrid Payton at No. 12, unsure of his own future during an interview and then relieved when Payton was traded for forward Dario Saric.
In fact, Carter-Williams is so excited about Saric, he travelled to Spain – with teammates Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid – to watch Saric in the World Cup.
A trio of the biggest future stars for the Philadelphia 76ers – Michael-Carter Williams, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid – flew across the Atlantic Ocean to come to the Croatia-Puerto Rico game at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup to support a fourth future cornerstone of the organisation – Croatia’s Dario Saric.
“We came out here to support Dario. He’s a great player. It’s my first time seeing him and I’m very impressed and excited about the future and having him be a part of what we’re building in Philadelphia,” said Noel
76ers general manager Sam Hinkie and coach Brett Brown (who’s also impressed with Saric) are at the World Cup, too. Philadelphia’s talent is more concentrated in Spain now than it will be on the court during the NBA season.
I really like the 76ers’ upside, but it will take time to get everyone healthy (Embiid) and signed (Saric). Then, it will take longer for the core to develop chemistry. This nice gesture by Carter-Williams, Noel and Embiid will only accelerate the process. Slowly, but also as quickly as possible, everyone is getting on the same page.
Now, it might take three – rather than four – more years for Philadelphia’s tanking to really pay off.
I love the drive by dunk challenge (if you prefer, the #drivebydunkchallenge), it would be the best thing on NBA Twitter this summer, if it wasn’t for Kyrie Irving.
But the best one yet comes from Boston’s Jaylen Brown.
He steals the ball, and the best part is the guy who comes over like he’s going to stop Brown from throwing it down.
The Nets went 20-62 then traded their best player (Brook Lopez) for a worse player (D'Angelo Russell). Brooklyn’s biggest free-agent signing this summer (Otto Porter) plays for the Wizards. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert are nice developmental pieces but hardly seem on the verge of breakthroughs.
Still, Nets guard Jeremy Lin expects big things next season.
He set expectations in an Instagram Live video (hat tip: AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today):
We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.
The Nets are on the right track given their asset constraints. Though worse than Lopez now, Russell – eight years younger and on a low-paying rookie-scale deal – is more valuable. Brooklyn made the favorable swap by absorbing Timofey Mozgov‘s awful contract, a wise use of assets considering the difficulty of attracting free agents. An aggressive offer sheet for Porter was a reasonable swing in that situation, as well.
But that’s all helpful in the long run. In the short term, the Nets are almost certainly stuck as lousy. Maybe they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but even that is a huge longshot.
Not that Lin cares what I say.
When you think of Summer League basketball, sharp defensive rotations is not the first thing that comes to mind. Defense, in general, tends to be an after thought.
But there were some great blocks.
Here are the top 10 blocks from the Las Vegas Summer League. Enjoy the flashes of defense from Vegas.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.
Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.