After pairing DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, the Pelicans accommodated a squeezed-out Terrence Jones‘ desire to play by attempting to trade him. Finding no takers, New Orleans released him. He signed with the Bucks but lasted less then a month before they waived him.
In other words, the writing was on the wall.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Jones’ NBA minimum – which I’m not sure he could have gotten guaranteed – is $1,709,538. So, this isn’t a bad fallback for him.
But the 25-year-old former No. 18 pick has NBA talent. It’s on him to put it all together. If he does so quickly enough, he might even add to his 2017-18 salary by returning stateside after the Chinese season ends in the spring.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey made the case that picking MVP is hard, so maybe we just shouldn’t do it anymore.
Suffice it to say, Clippers forward Blake Griffin disagrees.
Morey might argue that the championship is determined by a defined system – the teams with the eight best records in each conference entering the playoffs, a tournament with 15 best-of-seven rounds then a champion crowned at the end.
But MVP is chosen by a defined system, too. Voters selected by the NBA submit an ordered list of five players. The player with the most voting points wins.
And others lose, which most of us – James Harden super fan Daryl Morey excepted – are OK with.
When Diamond Stone entered the NBA draft a year ago, he looked like a first-round pick.
Now, the Hawks are paying him to go away.
The No. 40 pick last year, Stone signed a two-year guaranteed contract with the Clippers. After acquiring Stone in a trade, Atlanta is willing to eat his $1,312,611 salary.
Atlanta never necessarily wanted Stone. The Clippers had to deal him (and Jamal Crawford) to match Danilo Gallinari‘s salary in a sign-and-trade. The Hawks got a first-round pick for taking the unwanted players, bought out Crawford and have now dropped Stone.
Atlanta also has enough centers with Dewayne Dedmon, John Collins, Mike Muscala and Miles Plumlee.
But the timing is curious.
As long they’re paying Stone anyway, why not bring him to training camp and assess his value further? It’d cost the same amount to waive him in October. Stone is limited by his lack of explosiveness and mobility, but he has some interior skills. At just 20, he still could develop into a useful NBA player.
Do the Hawks have other moves lined up to fill their 20-man offseason roster? Was this a favor to Stone to give him a head-start on finding his next team?
The top of the 2018 NBA draft looks impressive with Michael Porter, Luka Doncic, Mohamed Bamba and DeAndre Ayton. It could get even stronger if Marvin Bagley reclassifies – which would weaken the 2019 draft.
But the 2019 draft class is getting a reinforcement with hyped Canadian prospect R.J. Barret now planning to enter college in 2018 instead of 2019.
Barrett in USA Today:
I have officially decided to reclassify to the 2018 class.
On my recruitment, I will say that the schools that are showing the most interest are Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon, Texas and UCLA. A few more have reached out and those schools are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, USC, UConn and UNLV.
Barrett will have just turned 19 at the time of the 2019 draft and will compete with players like Zion Williamson for being the No. 1 pick.
A 6-foot-7 wing, Barrett is extremely polished for his age. His jumper is only emerging, and he still must develop his athleticism. But his size and skill certainly make him an intriguing prospect.
As the rest of the NBA moves to Nike uniforms, the Michael Jordan-owned Hornets are making a slightly different change.
Charlotte will wear Jordan Brand uniforms, as shown today:
These are pretty similar to the Hornets’ previous uniforms, but the iconic Jumpman logo makes them much cooler.