Kurt Helin

Ronny Turiaf

Ronny Turiaf hopes for another shot in NBA next season

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Ronny Turiaf played in only two games, 19 total minutes last season before he was shut down for the year due to hip surgery.

At age 32 with 10 NBA seasons behind him, can Turiaf get another shot in the NBA? He wants one he told French publication L’Equipe, via Sportando.

Ronny Turiaf, who missed the entire season with a hip injury, wants to play again in the NBA and continue his career in the league. The French big man has played 473 games in the NBA averaging 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds. “One of my dreams while I was a child was to live in the USA. It is ten years since I am in the NBA. Why not continue here?” Turiaf said to L’Equipe.

The why not is simply that he may not have a slot. Turiaf is an energy big off the bench, but teams prefer younger (or less expensive) guys to fill that role. That said, if (or, really, when) a team suffers an early injury and goes looking for a big they can trust, Turiaf may get a call.

I’m biased here, Turiaf is one of my personal favorite players around the league. After needing heart surgery before he could play a minute after being drafted by the Lakers, it gave him a great perspective on just how fortunate he was to be in the league. HYou have to love the guys that just hustle and look like they are having a good time on the court.

 

Report: Orlando to acquire Shabazz Napier from Miami in trade

Sacramento Kings v Miami Heat
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The guy Miami drafted in 2014 because LeBron James wanted him (Pat Riley tried to deny that), then LeBron bolted town. Napier struggled as a rookie in Miami. He averaged 5.1 points, 2.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds a game. He was given a real chance to backup Goran Dragic after the trade deadline, but quickly fell out of favor and had appeared once in the Heat’s last dozen games before he was shut down for the season due to a sports hernia.

Now he is on his way to Orlando. The Magic are finalizing a trade to get Nappier, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.

The Orlando Magic will acquire Miami Heat guard Shabazz Napier for a protected future second-round pick, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Include the luxury tax and the Heat save $5.8 million on this deal, plus they had 17 guarnateed contracts, so now they are only one over the max. That said, the Heat gave up two second rounders to get Napier, now get just one back in this deal.

The Magic are going to give Napier a chance as a third point guard behind Elfrid Payton and C.J. Watson.

They didn’t give up anything of note for him it’s a reasonable gamble for the Magic. And if you want some hope Magic fans, watch this video of Napier in Summer League. (Second-year guys tend to do better there, but still this is a ray of hope.)

[nbcsports_video src=https://www.youtube.com/embed/kVQ4El-8DT8?rel=0 width=620 height=349

Blazers coach Terry Stotts says no hard feelings toward LaMarcus Aldridge, “we move on”

Portland Trail Blazers Team Practice
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Trail Blazers fans will not be so forgiving. Boos will rain down on LaMarcus Aldridge next time he sets foot in the Rose Garden.

While the NBA business model is built on fans having deep emotional ties to a franchise, players and team management knows it’s a cold-hearted business.

As last season moved along the Trail Blazers knew more and more that Aldridge was going to bolt town as a free agent (he eventually joined the San Antonio Spurs to become a contender there). Now that it’s over Damian Lillard wished Aldridge well, and now Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said essentially the same thing, talking to the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn.

“I knew it was going to be a close decision — it wasn’t an easy decision for him and it came down to the last minute,” Stotts said. “I certainly respect his decision and it was a difficult one. And personally I thanked him for the three years I was here with him. He earned the right to be a free agent and we’re certainly going to miss him. But we move on.”

What else was Stotts going to say? He looks bad ripping Aldridge and that would get the attention of agents who might want to send their client to Portland in the future. Stott’s attitude is what you see around the league — it’s a business. You move on.

Portland secured Lillard with a max deal this summer to be their foundation to rebuild around — he certainly speeds the process.

Now it becomes about drafting, finding young talent, and player development in Portland. They made some nice moves this summer, getting Mason Plumlee and taking a shot on Noah Vonleh, who looked good at Summer League. It’s a different role for Stotts and staff, but if they do it well, Portland is positioned to bounce back much more quickly than other teams trying to rebuild right now.

Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry among latest big names headed to Team USA mini-camp

New Zealand v USA
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Guys want to play in the Olympics.

There is injury risk — just ask Paul George. Players don’t get as much summer downtime to rest their bodies in the offseason. It doesn’t matter. The chance to represent the USA — and grow their personal brand on a massive international marketing stage like the Olympics — has players lining up for the chance to play in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. (Oh yea, Rio is another reason guys are lining up.)

That means those players will be at the Team USA mini-camp in Las Vegas in early August. We knew Carmelo Anthony would be there even though he cannot fully participate, now you can add Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to the list. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN had the Griffin news.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin will participate in next month’s USA Basketball minicamp in Las Vegas and hopes to play in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a league source told ESPN.

Griffin is one of those guys who has had injury issues with Team USA. Remember in 2012 he was likely to make the London Olympics roster but tore his meniscus in training camp after stepping on John Wall’s foot during practice. His back injury sidelined him two years ago from the FIBA World Cup.

Then there are the Warriors stars.

The camp also will be crowded with guys like Jimmy Butler of the Bulls trying to earn a roster spot. Stein says as many as 40 guys could be at camp, including Bradley Beal, Mike Conley, Gordon Hayward and Mason Plumlee. It’s an important place to make an impression. Players with a long Team USA history and enough talent don’t need to attend — if LeBron James or Kevin Durant want to play in Rio, they are in no matter what they do this summer.

Whoever makes the cut for Mike Krzyzewski’s team, the USA will go to Rio the heavy favorites to win the Gold Medal again. Spain — if both Marc Gasol and Pau Gasol go — will again likely be the biggest challengers.

Draft, trades, free agency: How teams constructed their roster (via Bobby Marks)

150726 gs warriors
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If you haven’t been following Bobby Marks this summer on Twitter… you call yourself an NBA fan? The former Brooklyn Nets front office executive has been bringing first-hand, insightful front office thoughts and knowledge to the Twitter table all through free agency. He’s now an NBA must follow.

Sunday morning he put up a series of tweets showing how every team has built its roster using three categories: Draft, trades, and free agency. (For clarification, he counts draft-day trades of rookies as part of the draft.) I thought this was too good not to pass along.

One big takeaway — the draft matters. A lot.

Sure, much of the Spurs contending roster came via free agency, but look who is in the draft column — Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili. The Clippers are not where they are without drafting Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The Warriors drafted Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The Thunder drafted Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Yes, the Cavaliers got LeBron James via free agency but does he come if they don’t draft Kyrie Irving? Maybe the most extreme example is the Pelicans, they have only one drafted player on the roster — Anthony Davis.

Fans love trades, and you can get cornerstone pieces that way (James Harden, Chris Paul, Marc Gasol, Carmelo Anthony, etc.). Free agency is exciting and sometimes big names like LeBron, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, or LaMarcus Aldridge move teams. But the draft is where most teams that have a cornerstone player got them. Winning the draft and holding on to those guys is what matters more than anything else.