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Hall of Fame basically says Tracy McGrady never won a playoff series, also nominates Ben Wallace and Muggsy Bogues

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The Basketball Hall of Fame altered its eligibility rules last year – allowing players to be nominated four, rather than five, years after their last game.

But Tracy McGrady’s last NBA game came just three years ago. He signed with the Spurs on the final day of the 2012-13 regular season, didn’t play in the finale, but played spot minutes in San Antonio’s Finals run.

His last regular-season game was four years ago, though. Apparently, that’s good enough for the Hall.

McGrady joins Ben Wallace and Muggsy Bogues as first-time nominees for the Basketball Hall of Fame.

By nominating McGrady this year, the Hall essentially ruled his time with the Spurs didn’t count. Why are those 31 playoff minutes significant? That was the only time McGrady won a playoff series. An excellent regular-season player, that complete lack of postseason success will hinder his candidacy. When teams clamped down, McGrady had no answer.

Still, I’d lean toward enshrining McGrady. He made seven All-NBA teams while carrying a huge offensive burden and maintaining efficiency (again, during the regular season).

I’d also lean toward inducting Wallace, a four-time Defensive Player of the Year. His peak is undervalued. At his best, he was the NBA’s third-best player behind Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. (Shaquille O’Neal was between stretches of motivation, and Kobe Bryant hadn’t yet learned how to lead a team.) Though 16 NBA seasons is a nice run, too many of those after his prime were underwhelming.

Bogues? A 5-foot-3 player flourishing in the NBA is a tremendous accomplishment. But there’s a reason he’s getting his first nomination 15 years after retirement. He’s not close to Hall-of-Fame caliber.

Here’s the full list of nominees:

NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2017 BALLOT

* Indicates First-Time Nominee

North American Committee Nominations

  • Mark Aguirre (PLA)
  • Geese Ausbie (PLA)
  • Bill Bertka (COA)
  • Muggsy Bogues (PLA)*
  • Junior Bridgeman (PLA)
  • Irv Brown (REF)
  • Maurice Cheeks (PLA)
  • Terry Cummings (PLA)
  • Charles “Lefty” Driesell (COA)
  • Hugh Evans (REF)
  • Bill Fitch (COA)
  • Cotton Fitzsimmons (COA)
  • Tim Hardaway (PLA)
  • Del Harris (COA)
  • Robert Hughes (COA)
  • Kevin Johnson (PLA)
  • Marques Johnson (PLA)
  • Bobby Jones (PLA)
  • Jerry “Tiger” Jones (COA)
  • Gene Keady (COA)
  • Rollie Massimino (COA)
  • Tracy McGrady (PLA)*
  • Gary McKnight (COA)
  • Danny Miles (COA)
  • Sidney Moncrief (PLA)
  • Dick Motta (COA)
  • Swen Nater (PLA)
  • Jake O’Donnell (REF)*
  • Jim Phelan (COA)*
  • Mark Price (PLA)
  • Jere Quinn (COA)*
  • Glenn Robinson (COA)
  • Lee Rose (COA)
  • Bo Ryan (COA)
  • Bob Saulsbury (COA)*
  • Bill Self (COA)*
  • Jack Sikma (PLA)
  • Steve Smith (COA)
  • Fred Snowden (COA)
  • Harry Statham (COA)*
  • Eddie Sutton (COA)
  • Rudy Tomjanovich (COA)
  • Ben Wallace (PLA)*
  • Chris Webber (PLA)
  • Paul Westphal (PLA)

Women’s Committee Nominations

  • Leta Andrews (COA)
  • Jennifer Azzi (PLA)
  • Rebecca Lobo (PLA)
  • Muffet McGraw (COA)
  • Susie McConnell (PLA)
  • Pearl Moore (PLA)
  • Kim Mulkey (COA, PLA)
  • Harley Redin (COA)
  • Theresa Shank (PLA)
  • Marianne Stanley (COA)
  • Barbara Stevens (COA)
  • Wayland Baptist (TEA)
  • Therea Weatherspoon (PLA)

DIRECT-ELECT CATEGORY Early African-American Pioneers Committee Nominations

  • Clarence “Puggy” Bell
  • Sonny Boswell
  • Zack Clayton
  • Chuck Cooper
  • Bill Garrett
  • Inman Jackson
  • Clarence “Fats” Jenkins
  • Bucky Lew
  • Davage “Dave” Minor
  • Hudson Oliver
  • Al “Runt” Pullins
  • James “Pappy” Ricks
  • Paul Robeson
  • Eyre Saitch
  • William “Wee Willie” Smith

DIRECT-ELECT CATEGORY International Committee Nominations

  • Tal Brody
  • Jackie Chazalon
  • Vlade Divac
  • Nick Galis
  • Semen Khalipski
  • Vladimir Kondrashin
  • Toni Kukoc
  • Marcos Leite
  • Aldo Ossola
  • Amaury Pasos
  • Dino Radja
  • Manuel Sainz
  • Togo Soares
  • Ranko Zeravica

DIRECT-ELECT CATEGORY Contributor Committee Nominations

  • Marv Albert
  • Al Attles
  • Dick Baumgartner*
  • Marty Blake
  • Vic Bubas
  • Wayne Duke
  • David Falk*
  • Harry Glickman
  • Marty Glickman
  • Curt Gowdy
  • Tim Grgurich
  • Robert Indiana*
  • Mannie Jackson
  • Tom Jernstedt
  • Johnny “Red” Kerr
  • John Kline
  • Red Klotz
  • Jerry Krause
  • Bobby Lewis*
  • Jack McCloskey
  • Johnny Most
  • Dennis Murphy
  • Joe O’Toole
  • Billy Packer
  • Dee Rowe*
  • Zelda Spoelstra
  • Jim Valvano
  • Donnie Walsh
  • Frank Walsh

DIRECT-ELECT CATEGORY Veterans Committee Nominations

  • 1936 US Olympic Team (TEA)
  • 1964 State Department Basketball Ambassadors (TEA)
  • Ron Boone (PLA)
  • Sid Borgia (REF)*
  • Carl Braun (PLA)
  • Frank Brian (PLA)
  • Joe Caldwell (PLA)
  • Mack Calvin (PLA)
  • Charles Eckman (REF)
  • Leroy Edwards (PLA)
  • Leo Ferris (CONT)
  • Clarence “Bevo” Francis (PLA)
  • Buck Freeman (COA)
  • Donnie Freeman (PLA)
  • Travis Grant (PLA)
  • Bob Grody (PLA)
  • Robert Harrison (PLA)
  • Flo Harvey (PLA)
  • Dick Hemric (PLA)*
  • Cam Henderson (COA)
  • Robert Hopkins (PLA)
  • Lou Hudson (PLA)
  • Warren Jabali (PLA)
  • Jimmy Jones (PLA)
  • Charles Kenaith (PLA)*
  • Freddie Lewis (PLA)
  • Jim Loscutoff (PLA)
  • Loyola of Chicago (TEA)
  • Billy Markward (CONT)*
  • George McGinnis (PLA)
  • Ray Mears (COA)*
  • Francis Meehan (PLA)
  • Donald “Dudey” Moore (COA)
  • Willie Naulls (PLA)
  • Philadelphia SPHAS (TEA)
  • Mel Riebe (PLA)
  • Glenn Roberts (PLA)
  • Holcombe Rucker (CONT)
  • Kenny Sailors (PLA)
  • Fred Schaus (PLA)*
  • Charlie Scott (PLA)
  • Kenny Sears (PLA)
  • Frank Selvy (PLA)
  • George Senesky (PLA)
  • Paul Seymour (PLA)
  • Charles Siler (CONT)
  • Talvin Skinner (PLA)
  • Ken Suesens (PLA)
  • Tennessee A&I (TEA)
  • Dick Van Arsdale (PLA)
  • Tom Van Arsdale (PLA)
  • Willie Wise (PLA)
  • Max Zaslofsky (PLA)

PBT Extra: LeBron as MVP and other NBA postseason award predictions

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Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.

In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).

Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.

Jazz: Dante Exum undergoing surgery after shoulder injury

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Jazz point guard Dante Exum hurt his shoulder in a preseason game – an injury that immediately looked like it could be season-ending.

Though Utah doesn’t outright say Exum is done for the year, this doesn’t engender much hope.

Jazz release:

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.

After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).

The Jazz will start Ricky Rubio, and Raul Neto will be the primary point guard behind him. Wings Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles can all share facilitating duties.

Utah will probably be just fine without Exum this season, which speaks to his marginal place long-term.

Sprained ankle has LeBron James questionable for opener vs. Celtics

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — LeBron James‘ playing status for Tuesday’s season opener against Boston remains unclear.

James has been slowed by a sprained left ankle for more than two weeks and it’s still not known whether he’ll be on the floor when the Cavaliers take on the Celtics and Kyrie Irving, who asked to be traded by Cleveland this summer.

Following Monday’s practice, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said “I really don’t know” when asked if James will play.

James took part in some post-practice shooting drills with teammates. He did not speak with the media as the Cavaliers prepared for their opener, a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference finals.

James has never missed an opener in his NBA career, and teammate J.R. Smith doesn’t expect him to miss this one.

“Oh, he’s going to go,” Smith said. “He’s going to go, trust me that. I don’t care what he’s got to do, he’s going to play.”

 

Report: Richard Jefferson signing with Nuggets

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Update: The Nuggets will waive Jameer Nelson, according to Wojnarowski:

It looks like Denver will ride with the younger Jamal Murray and Emmanuel Mudiay at point guard — a risky proposition. Nelson stabilized the position in the event Murray or Mudiay weren’t ready for bigger roles. The Nuggets aren’t hedging their bets now, which puts plenty of pressure on Murray and Mudiay.

Murray should be fine eventually. Mudiay’s promise is far less certain. But this is a team trying to reach the playoffs now, and it might have to ride out growing pains from its point guards without Nelson as a safety net.

 

Richard Jefferson became a late entrant into free agency when the Cavaliers traded him and the Hawks waived him.

But the forward is landing on his feet.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Jefferson could help the Nuggets, who look primed to end a four-season playoff drought. They were set to squeeze backup small-forward minutes behind Wilson Chandler out of the undersized Will Barton and oversized Juan Hernangomez. Jefferson is far more comfortable at the position.

He’s 37 and doesn’t offer long-term upside, but he’s a savvy defender and still pretty athletic. He picks his spots well enough offensively to help on that end, too.

But Denver also has a deep roster that already had 15 players on standard contracts. There’s not an obvious cut to make room for Jefferson, though the Nuggets clearly have something planned.