Dan Feldman

AUBURN HILLS, MI - APRIL 24:  Andre Drummond #0 of the Detroit Pistons works on free throws prior to playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in game four of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the Palace of Auburn Hills on April 24, 2016 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Andre Drummond resists underhanded free throws


Andre Drummond was “open” to shooting underhanded free throws, Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy said.

Well, Drummond has found a technique he says works for him – and it apparently isn’t underhanded.

Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant:

Drummond continues to work on free throws, along with his footwork, though he dismisses any suggestion he should try shooting them underhand.

“I’m just really just continuing to work on back-to-the-basket stuff,” he said, “and working on getting better from the foul line. I’m going to stick with the formula I have now.”

Drummond has made 38% of his free throws in his four-year NBA career, never shooting better than 42% in a season. He has tweaked his form several times without ever finding sustained success.

Will this new method work? I doubt it. Drummond clearly faces major mental and mechanical issues at the line.

But it’s worth trying whatever he believes will work. If he’s not sold on underhanded free throws, those won’t work either. He needs to be confident in his plan – even if it’s not the one the curious public longs for him to try.

Report: Nuggets signing D.J. Kennedy, who just won $2 million The Basketball Tournament

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: D.J. Kennedy #1 of the St. John's Red Storm celebrates the win against the Duke Blue Devils  at Madison Square Garden on January 30, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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You know that open basketball tournament with a $2 million grand prize for the winning team?

The Nuggets apparently do.

Fresh off winning $174,000 in leading his team to its second straight The Basketball Tournament victory, D.J. Kennedy is headed to Denver.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Nuggets already have 15 players – the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries plus JaKarr Sampson and Axel Toupane. That works against Kennedy sticking.

But Denver also lacks its own D-League affiliate. So, the Nuggets aren’t signing Kennedy just to waive him and assign his D-League rights. Maybe they’re considering deals that’d open a roster spot.

Kennedy, a strong wing, went undrafted out of St. John’s in 2011. He has played in the D-League and overseas since.

I’m not sure how he’d fit in Denver, which already has Danilo Gallinari, Gary Harris, Will Barton, Wilson Chandler, Mike Miller, Jamal Murray and Malik Beasley. But there’s a shortage of quality wings around the NBA as the league gets smaller. If he plays well in the preseason, Kennedy could draw interest from other teams.

Team USA basketball players try their hand at volleyball on Rio beach (video)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14:  (L-R) Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler and DeAndre Jordan of the United States Men's Basketball team attend a Women's Quarterfinal match between the United States and Australia on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Beach Volleyball Arena on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The U.S. men’s basketball team isn’t just watching beach volleyball from the stands.

Several players – including Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, DeAndre Jordan and Draymond Green – went to a Rio beach to play:

Reminder: Durant said it’d take him six months – the same amount of time the American handball coach estimated for LeBron James in that sport – to become the world’s best beach-volleyball player.

Stan Van Gundy: Pistons open to extending Reggie Bullock’s contract

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 17: Reggie Bullock #25 of the Detroit Pistons celebrates after hitting a three point shot during the second half of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on April 17, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pistons 106-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption ***Reggie Bullock
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Pistons owner Tom Gores said he’s willing to pay the luxury tax to extend Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s contract.

What about Detroit’s other extension-eligible shooting guard, Reggie Bullock?

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

No talks have begun, but Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy told the Free Press last week an extension is possible for Bullock, who was acquired in July 2015.

Bullock isn’t as accomplished as most players who receive rookie-scale extensions. But, occasionally, teams find common ground with a reserve entering the fourth-year of his rookie-scale contract.

The problem with Bullock is he just hasn’t played much – 10 minutes per game in 116 games in three years with the Clippers, Suns and Pistons. He fits the rough outline of a 3-and-D player, but he hasn’t shown either skill enough to prove his NBA value.

Detroit might learn more about him this year. After the Pistons traded Jodie Meeks to the Magic, the door is even more open for minutes behind Caldwell-Pope, though Bullock will also have to compete with Darrun Hilliard, Michael Gbinije and maybe even Stanley Johnson if Detroit plays big.

With the 2017-18 luxury tax looming, the Pistons will probably want another season to evaluate Bullock. But if he’s willing to accept less in exchange for security, Detroit could make a value play and agree to an extension. After all, the 2017-18 tax won’t be calculated until April 2018. That leaves plenty of time to make a trade to duck under the tax line.

Brazil hopes for Team USA matchup after eliminating Nigeria

Brazil's Nene Hilario (13) celebrates with teammates after a basketball game against Nigeria at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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It was too late to salvage Marcelo Huertas‘ assist.

But Nene saved Brazil’s medal hopes.

Despite missing a dunk set up by a no-look between-the-legs pass from Huertas – which rivaled Milos Teodosic for the pass of the tournament – Nene was otherwise splendid in a late run that keyed Brazil’s 86-69 win over Nigeria in their final group-play game Monday.

If Argentina beats Spain – 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Network and streaming here – Brazil will finish fourth in Group B and face Team USA in the quarterfinals. If Spain wins, Brazil is eliminated.

Nigeria is done with this loss.

Brazil pulled away with a 14-2 run in the fourth quarter. The possession after his missed dunk during the spurt, Nene intercepted a backcourt pass and finished that flush. A short time later, he led a fastbreak and shoveled the ball to Huertas for an easy layup rather than scoring himself.

Nene finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block. Huertas added 12 points and 11 assists.

Brazil was just too tough on the offensive glass for Nigeria. Brazil grabbed 20 offensive rebounds to Nigeria’s 23 defensive rebounds, and that was mainly the difference in a game that stayed close until the fourth quarter.

Josh Akognon scored 16 points for Nigeria, which improbably entered the day with a chance to advance thanks to an upset of Croatia.