UCLA’s Lonzo Ball is going to go in the top three in the upcoming NBA draft (probably second, but the lottery results could have a say in that).
The fact that his father LaVar Ball is talking out of his… er, saying ridiculous crap — that he would’ve beaten Michael Jordan one-on-one, Lonzo will be better than Stephen Curry, that Lonzo will play only for the Lakers, that his sons combined deserve a $1 billion shoe deal, plus LaVar is beefing with Charles Barkley — is not going to impact Ball’s draft status. Talent wins out, and Ball has it. Teams see the father as a distraction that can be dealt with (although some organizations are better at that than others).
However, LaVar’s ramblings are not helping his sons either, if you ask Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who was on ESPN Chicago Radio’s “Waddle & Silvy” show Thursday (hat tip to The Sporting News for the transcription).
“The fact that everybody keeps talking about him, he seems to be accomplishing whatever he’s trying to accomplish, because the things he says are so outlandish. But he keeps getting headlines, and I guess that’s what he wants.
“I don’t think it’s helping his kids,” Kerr continued. “I think it’d be better for them if they can just play and have fun and not have to hear that every day, but whatever. It’s all part of him.”
LaVar is trying to accomplish pushing his clothing line brand (named after his sons, and Lonzo is not projected as the best of the three). At least that’s how it appears from the outside (I have not met the man). The father apparently sees marketing opportunities based off of his sons and is starting to try to capitalize on that. In an unprofessional and sloppy way, but that’s what it looks like.
LaVar’s rantings are not going to impact the draft status of elite players, but you can be sure the teams thinking about taking him will have a plan with the PR/marketing/basketball sides to deal with LaVar and not let him become a distraction.
John Wall had a designated player super max contract sitting in front of him (figuratively) since July 1, but he wanted to wait and see what the Wizards would do this summer, and talk to his family about a decision that could lock him in Washington for six years.
He saw the Wizards spend — they matched a max offer sheet for Otto Porter. He also looked around the East and decided this is where he wanted to be. He agreed to the extension on Friday, a story broken by David Aldridge of TNT/NBA TV.
This is a four-year, $170 million extension that kicks in after the two-years, $37.1 million left on Wall’s current deal.
Wall has developed into one of the top five point guards in the NBA, averaging 23.1 points per game last season while making his first All-NBA team (the third team, which he thought was a let down). He is a strong defensive point guard and still arguably the fastest guy in the league with the ball in his hands. He and Bradley Beal have formed one of the more formidable backcourts in the NBA.
Wall is now getting paid like an elite point guard, and he is just entering his prime.
Jayson Tatum was one of the standouts at Summer League.
The No. 3 pick of the Boston Celtics, Tatum came into the draft considered the most NBA-ready player of the class. He showed that at Summer League — he is a fluid athlete who knows how to knock down mid-range shots (and gets to his spots), he has great footwork for a young player, and can attack the rim. He tends to take and make difficult shots, but that will get harder against NBA-level defenders, and he didn’t often play-make for others. That said, he averaged 17.7 points and 8 rebounds per game.
Check out his best plays from Summer League, and if you’re a Celtics fan try not to drool too much.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
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.
Peculiar is not a word that comes up often in NBA talk. Not sure it comes up much of anywhere unless a Four Non-Blondes song is on the ’90s station, but especially in NBA talk it doesn’t come up. Until this week. First, there was this cryptic comment from Kyrie Irving earlier in the week about the state of the Cavaliers.
“Like I said, we’re in a peculiar place. The best thing we can do is handle things with class and professionalism.”
Friday it leaked that Kyrie Irving has asked to be traded from the Cavs. Which led to Kevin Love using the word “peculiar” in a tweet.
If you’re unfamiliar, “kick some rocks” is an impolite way of telling someone to leave, or take a walk (kicking rocks on the dirt road).
Fun times in Cleveland. Kobe Altman must be having a fun week in his new job.