Kurt Helin

Utah Jazz v Oklahoma City Thunder

Report: Lakers may bring Sebastian Telfair to camp

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The Lakers minutes at the point guard spot are pretty much spoken for. Rookie D'Angelo Russell is going to get the keys to the offense, and behind him likely will be Marcelo Huertas. Not to mention that a lot of the time Jordan Clarkson or Lou Williams will have the ball in their hands (not to mention Kobe Bryant).

But the Lakers may want to have a little more depth on hand, at least for training camp, which is why they seem to be considering bringing Sebastian Telfair, reports Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops.

If this comes to fruition — and that is far from a sure thing — it would be a training camp, make good, non-guaranteed deal.

The Lakers have just 12 guaranteed deals on the books, although Huertas is one of the guys without a guaranteed deal (and he likely makes the roster), as are bigs such as Tarik Black and Robert Upshaw. Which is to say, Telfair would have to blow everyone out of the water to make the final 15.

Telfair got in 16 games for the Thunder last year (a team desperate for help at the one once Russell Westbrook was injured). He was out of the NBA the season before that. But there are worse guys they could bring into camp.

Watch best of Pau Gasol’s 40 to beat France

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Spain is going to Rio for the 2016 Olympic basketball tournament, and they can thank Pau Gasol

He scored half of Spain’s 80 points in an overtime win over France in the EuroBasket semifinals. Gasol was the only thing keeping Spain in the game for the first three quarters, when France’s defense largely frustrated other Spanish shooters. Then when Spain needed big buckets at the end, there was Gasol with hooks in the lane, and a few timely dunks.

Bulls fans should be smiling, hoping they get to see some of this Gasol this season.

Utah’s Trevor Booker has nose surgery

Trevor Booker
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Jazz fan favorite Trevor Booker is going to be just fine and ready for the start of training camp.

The reserve big man broke his nose recently and had to have surgery to repair it, the team announced. From the official team release:

Booker underwent a minor outpatient surgical procedure today to repair a nasal fracture, which he sustained in a recent pickup basketball game. The successful procedure was performed in Salt Lake City by Dr. Richard Orlandi of University of Utah Health Care.

Booker is the backup four behind Derrick Favors and played physical defense, hit some threes, and threw down powerful slams on his way to 7.2 points and 5 rebounds a game. But what really won over Jazz fans was that he stuck up for Utah on social media when traded away Enes Kanter took shots at the organization.

All that was enough to get the Jazz to pick up his $4.8 million salary for this coming season.

In case you forgot, Booker also had the best circus shot of last season.

Curry returns to Charlotte, takes NBA trophy to Davidson

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DAVIDSON, N.C. (AP) — Stephen Curry made a surprise visit to his alma mater, bringing the Larry O’Brien NBA championship trophy along with him to show off to the Davidson College community.

The league’s MVP worked out with Davidson players, participated in a question-and-answer period with college students and even banked in a 25-foot jumper Thursday in the first shot ever attempted at the school’s new practice facility.

Curry told The Associated Press, “This is where the whole story started and I know how much the Davidson alumni and community supports me, so this is very special.”

Curry, a big Carolina Panthers fan, said he plans to pound the “Keep Pounding” drum before the team’s home opener Sunday against the Houston Texans. The Charlotte native also plans to visit to his former high school.

John Lucas III to be part of Heat training camp

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks
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Miami seems pretty set at the point guard spot on paper — but in their effort to get under the luxury tax that could change. Goran Dragic will start, Mario Chalmers is still on the bench — although he’s the guy that comes up in seemingly constant trade rumors — then behind them is Tyler Johnson and just-signed rookie Josh Richardson.

But the Heat want options, so they are bringing John Lucas III to camp. From Marc Stein of ESPN:

This was confirmed by Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. As he notes, Lucas is part of Heat lore, but because of something that happened when Lucas played for the Bulls.

It’s unlikely Lucas makes the final 15. This is more precautionary in case they do move Chalmers during camp.

Dragic is obviously going to be on the final roster, and Richardson got a guaranteed deal. In the event Chalmers was traded (and that’s not likely, he’s been on the trade block since Trump’s hair looked real and there have been no takers), it would come down to the partially-guaranteed Johnson and Lucas.

To his advantage, Lucas is an experienced NBA veteran who played with the Heat before. That said he is a bubble NBA talent. Is Lucas is better than Johnson? Not really. Johnson’s true shooting percentage and PER from his one NBA season were higher than Lucas’ career averages, plus at 23 Johnson is a decade younger than Lucas and is still improving. It makes more sense to keep him on the roster.

Lucas will get his kick at the can, and if he doesn’t stick in Miami he could impress another team looking for a third point guard.