Kurt Helin

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics

Justise Winslow says he needs to adapt to physicality, schedule of NBA

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Justise Winslow looked every bit the rookie with promise in Summer League. He’s got a world of physical talent, but he isn’t quite sure how to use that yet. Plus, his shot needs work. I still think this will be an excellent pick for Miami, but they are going to have to develop him, he isn’t walking in the door polished.

What does he need to adjust to? The physicality of the NBA game and the unrelenting schedule (which he just got a couple of week taste of). That’s what Winslow told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

“More games, more physical, more back-to-back,” he said. “You have to figure out ways to fight through it.”

Winslow is fortunate to have a veteran player reach out to him, one who understands the wear and tear the NBA season takes on a player — none other than Mr. Heat Dwyane Wade.

“Everything between me and Dwyane has been helping me transition from college to the pros,” Winslow said. “We barely talk anything Heat [related]. He’s just helping me get adjusted from everything from the lifestyle to the duration of the season, how to take care of my body, diet and nutrition.”

Players will tell you the hardest adjustment is the pace of play — it is faster than college — and the physicality that goes along with it. Which ties back into what Winslow is saying — this is a marathon that grinds guys down. Winslow is learning fast that conditioning and taking care of his body is the foundation for everything else he wants to do in the league.

I love the Winslow pick for the Heat — he started to use his physicality to get to the line in Summer League. At least he did until he got a mild ankle sprain and the team wisely dialed him way back. I think in a couple of years he will fit right in with the space and pace plan in Miami.

The fact that he realizes there is a lot of work to do is a big first step.

Harrison Barnes says he hopes to stay with Warriors long term

Cleveland Cavaliers v Golden State Warriors
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The Golden State Warriors could sign Harrison Barnes to an extension of his rookie contract anytime between now and Halloween.

Will they is another question. Maybe the better question is can they agree on a price? The Warriors already have five guys on the books making more than $11 million in the 2016-17 season (when Barnes’ extension would kick in) — Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry. Barnes started all 103 regular season and playoff games the Warriors had in their championship run, and during the season he averaged 10.1 points a night shooting 40 percent from three, plus pulling down 5.5 boards a game. His versatility fits perfectly with what they do. How much is that worth?

Know this, Barnes wants to stay in Golden State. Here is what he told Diamond Leung of the Bay Area Media Group:

“I mean, we just won a championship,” Barnes said. “Of course I’d love to keep this group together for many years to come, you know what I’m saying? So that’s obvious….

“(Warriors co-owner) Joe Lacob has been obviously very vocal about keeping the team together, so therefore I’m not really too concerned about how it’s going to shake out.”

You have to be impressed with how GM Bob Myers and the Warriors front office put this roster together, not just on the court but financially. Every time someone is due to get paid, a big salary comes off the books. In Barnes case, it will be Gerald Wallace (who is supposed to be coming West in the David Lee trade expected to be finalized Monday). Beyond that, when Curry’s deal ends and they look to max him out, both Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala’s salaries come off the books. They may be able to retain Bogut and/or Iguodala, but likely at more reasonable prices.

What this means is the Warriors have the money to potentially give Barnes, but what is he worth? Green just got five-years, $82 million ($16.4 million average) while Klay Thompson got four-years, $69 million last summer ($17.25 average). Barnes should make less than those guys, but in the eight-figure range? Probably.

Another question is, will Barnes take much less? If the two sides don’t reach an agreement, Barnes becomes a restricted free agent next summer when more than two-thirds of the league will have somewhere close to max money to offer (thanks to the television deal revenue flooding in). It’s a situation ripe to see Barnes get a big deal the Warriors may not want to match.

Barnes wants to stay a Warrior, and the Warriors want to keep Barnes. But that may not be enough to get a deal done. Just something to watch.

Best crossovers of 2015 NBA Summer League (VIDEO)

Houston Rockets v Charlotte Hornets
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As NBA Summer League starts to fade in our rearview mirror, let’s take another look back at it.

Here are the best crossovers of the summer, as compiled by the fine folks at NBA.com. Who doesn’t love a good crossover? Okay, a few of these are not really crossovers, but still they are good moves and better than any other NBA action you’re going to see today. Enjoy.

Report: Nick Young “feeling comfortable” he will be on Lakers’ roster to start season

Nick Young
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The Lakers shopped Nick Young around all summer, plus went out and signed an upgraded version of what he brings to the court in Lou Williams (the sixth man gunner role).

But here it is near the end of July and Young is still a Laker. The team found no deals to its liking. Now it looks like Young will at least start the season in Los Angeles, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.

Lakers forward Nick Young recently met with general manager Mitch Kupchak, according to league sources familiar with the situation.

It is not entirely clear what Young and Kupchak addressed in their meeting. It is typical for Kupchak to meet with players to discuss both professional and private issues. But the conversation at least left Young feeling comfortable enough that he will enter the 2015-16 season on the Lakers’ roster, according to a source familiar with his thinking.

Young has three years and $15.3 million remaining on his deal (the last year of that is a player option), which is a pretty affordable contract. The issue is more the years, only Iggy Azalea seems willing to commit to Young for that long.

Young is a classic volume shooter. He averaged 13.4 points a game last season for the Lakers but shot just 36.6 percent from the floor (although he shot 36.9 percent from three and took 47 percent of his shots from there, so his true shooting percentage of .520 was close to the league average).

His style can work as a sixth man on the right team, but the Lakers upgraded that role with Williams.

Plus, having Kobe Bryant, Williams and Young on the same team but only one basketball presents a problem.

Kobe is not a fan of Young’s antics. The Lakers will keep trying to move Young, but it takes two to dance and the Lakers are still looking for a partner. So Young will be a Laker for a little while.

Tony Parker evades growling tiger on French game show (VIDEO)

BASKET-NBA-SPURS-FRA-PROA
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French game shows have not quite reached the Japanese level of crazy, but they apparently are working on it.

Tony Parker and other members of the French national team — Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum, Ronny Turiaf — are set to appear next week on Fort Boyard in their native country. It’s a show that takes place in the actual fort of the same name and is filled with fear-based challenges. Like getting past a roaring tiger. I don’t care if you’re in a vehicle a metal cage, that’s going to spike the adrenaline.

This is fun — Parker is trying to calm the animal down, Diaw is roaring right back at it (from a very safe distance).

Hat tip to Eye on Basketball for finding this.