Author: Kurt Helin

Sim Bhullar

Sacramento’s Sim Bhullar makes NBA history as first Indian player in league


There wasn’t much to it, there were just 16 seconds left in a blowout game, but it happened:

The Kings’ Sim Bhullar made NBA history as first player of Indian descent ever in the Association. The D-League call up likely will get more time in upcoming games. Hopefully we’ll get to see him do more than inbound the basketball.

It may have been one small step in an undecided game, but it was a giant step for the NBA — the first player with family from one of the world’s largest and most populated countries on the planet walked on to an NBA court and had his name called.

Bhullar is a bit of a project as a big man. But from the “things you can’t teach” file he is 7’5″ and weighs north of 350. He spent most of the season with the Reno Bighorns.

Byron Scott says most of Lakers not guys “I wouldn’t want to be in a fox hole with”

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers

Byron Scott has taken shots at some of his Lakers charges and their lack of professionalism all season. This team clearly frustrates him, as it would pretty much any coach. Still, for a coach selling himself as strong at player development, there has been precious little of that with the Lakers. Save for Jordan Clarkson.

Scott’s latest shot at the Lakers’ players came after practice Monday when Scott talked about trying to teach guys and get them to grow as the season winds down. Via Broderick Turner at the Los Angeles Times.

“I got a sense of a whole lot of them I wouldn’t want to be in a fox hole with,” Scott said after Monday’s practice. “I think they’d end up shooting me in the back. So I’ve got a pretty good sense of the guys that I think are going to be around, that we will build around, build together in this process and go through it.”


This Lakers team will finish with the worst record in franchise history.

While the roster was bad from the start and then had key guys injured — Kobe Bryant and Julius Randle may have been their best players — Scott has been far from impressive at the helm. His early offense was simply too Kobe-centric and he ran Bryant into the ground (something Scott admitted). There has been a lack of creativity beyond that — the Lakers play basketball from another era of offense and get crushed for it.

There isn’t a ton of talent in Philadelphia, but those guys are playing hard and developing an identity for Brett Brown. The Celtics have a roster designed to tank but Brad Stevens has them fighting for a playoff spot out East. You see Stan Van Gundy setting things up in Detroit for the future. Utah has more talent than the Lakers but you’ve also see that talent grow over the course of the season.

The Lakers will shake up the roster some this offseason (and a lot of guys on it this year are not long for the NBA). But will we see growth? Because there are more issues with the Lakers than just the roster.

DeMarcus Cousins out Tuesday night. Is he done for season?

Memphis Grizzlies v Sacramento Kings
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There have been rumors the Kings are considering shutting DeMarcus Cousins down for the season. That said, he’s had a couple trieple-doubles recently and has looked like a beast, so would they really?

Well, they are Tuesday night. From the Kings’ official release:

DeMarcus Cousins has been added to the team’s injury report with a sore right foot and is OUT tonight against Minnesota.

This is the first game of a back-to-back for the Kings, so don’t bet on him playing against Utah Wednesday either.

I guess this means we get to see the Sim Bhuller era start in Sacramento.

In other news Rudy Gay is now probable for the Kings Thursday night, having recovered from his concussion.

Report: Jamal Crawford cleared, expected to play for Clippers Tuesday night

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers need depth. That — and the lack of flexibility with no depth — is the team’s Achilles heal heading into the playoffs.

So the Clippers need Jamal Crawford back.

And, as had been expected, they should get it Tuesday night, reports Arash Markazi of ESPN.

Crawford has been out since March 2 with a calf injury, so expected limited minutes. Still, more Crawford and less Austin Rivers is good for the Clippers.

Crawford, the defending Sixth Man of the Year award winner, averages 16.4 points per game and brings needed shot creation off the bench for the Clippers. That said he is shooting 40.1 percent, he’s going to get singled out defensively in the playoffs, and the Clippers are -7.8 points per 100 possessions when he is on the court.

He doesn’t solve all the Clippers’ problems. But he is an upgrade.

Report: Many NBA executives expect Brook Lopez to opt out this summer

Brook Lopez

Strike while the iron is hot.

It’s not just a phrase for medieval blacksmiths, it can apply to NBA free agency as well. While many potential free agents are eyeing being available come 2016 — when the salary cap will jump by $23 million or so — but if you’ve had a really good 2015, it might be better to get max now then bet on being in the same hot spot a year from now.

Enter Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez.

After years of battling injuries, he’s been largely healthy this season and been on fire since the All-Star break. In his last 10 games, he’s averaging 25.6 points per game on 60.2 percent shooting, plus he’s doing better on the boards grabbing 8.8 a game. He’s the two-time Eastern Conference Player of the Week and is the reason the Nets are likely a playoff team.

And he’s likely to strike while the iron is hot, reports Zach Lowe at Grantland.

Most execs expect Lopez to opt out and enter free agency after rampaging across the league over the last month.

Lopez will likely draw max offers, with teams thinking that what is a max salary for him this summer doesn’t look too bad a year later when the cap space spikes. (A number of guys are going to get paid this summer on that theory.)

Lopez is set to make $16.7 million with the Nets, and they will have to decide whether to pay him big if he opts out — they already have both Joe Johnson ($24 million) and Deron Williams ($21 million) on the books and will likely need to try and retain both Lopez and Thaddeus Young. They likely will not pay for all of that.

Meaning Lopez could be on the move, and some big markets might drool over the chance to add him.