Kurt Helin

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Rumor: Looking for another wing, Bucks have talks with Hornets about Jeremy Lamb

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With Khris Middleton out until well after the All-Star Game following surgery to repair a torn hamstring, the Bucks have been rumored to be in the market for another wing player. Rashad Vaughn is going to get a lot of run as will Jason Terry, plus rookie Malcolm Brogdon will get a chance. But even as a committee, that is a steep drop off from Middleton.

Over at the blog of Racine Journal-Times Bucks beat writer Gery Woelfel, he takes a stab at wings the Bucks may consider trading for. While there is a lot of interesting speculation about guys like Ben McLemore and Nick Young, there is this nugget:

There have been whispers the Bucks and Hornets have had conversations about a deal in which the Bucks would get Lamb and big man Spencer Hawes for Greg Monroe.

The Bucks have been looking to move Monroe since the middle of last season, and this would represent a great haul for him. Lamb is a solid wing who gave the Hornets more than 18 minutes a night off the bench and 8.8 points a game. He’s not a great threat from three, he needs to work on his defense, but he’s a solid NBA rotation player.

I’m not sure why Charlotte would do this deal. Yes, Monroe is an upgrade over the Cody Zeller/Roy Hibbert rotation they have up front now, but is it worth giving up Lamb in the process? Lamb is on an affordable contract for two seasons after this, while Monroe can opt out and be a free agent next summer, then potentially walk away from Charlotte.

Just know that there will be more Bucks trade rumors, between Monroe and the wing spot they are active right now.

 

LeBron James, some Cavaliers were at Kanye West show, hung with him in Cleveland

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Team bonding exercises are important in training camp — do things off the court where the players develop chemistry. Teams go bowling or go to dinner or…

Go to a Kanye West concert. Then hang out with the star himself. Together they run this town.

Via USA Today’s Alysha Tsuji (and Eye on Basketball)

We know that Tristan Thompson, Richard Jefferson, Dahntay Jones, and the unsigned J.R. Smith were all there — but was Iman Shumpert? He’s naked in Kanye’s “Fade” video, but he can’t make the show?

After the show, the whole clique got together.

Derrick Rose makes odd statement about “penitentiary work outs”

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Sometimes Derrick Rose phrases things poorly. Or at least oddly.

The latest in a long line of those phrases came Saturday. Tuesday the Knicks tip-off their preseason schedule in Houston, but also Tuesday the civil trial where a woman is accusing Rose and some companions of rape starts in Los Angeles. Rose plans to fly with the Knicks to Houston, and it is possible this just gets settled out of court (it would be far from the first case settled at the last minute).

Rose was asked about staying in shape if he has to spend time in Los Angeles at the trial, and that’s where the odd answer came, in, via Marc Berman of the New York Post.

“No, I do penitentiary workouts, bro. I be in my room doing pushups, sit-ups. I got it from Lamar Odom. From when I played in my first World Championship team. The way he prepped himself before games, it was kind of like mini-workouts before the game.”

Anyone who travels and wants to stay in shape gets what Rose is trying to say — there are plenty of exercises that can be done in a hotel room. You don’t need much room for planks. Stretching and flexibility work can be done anywhere.

This reminds me of the “I want to walk at my son’s graduation” comment — his underlying meaning makes a lot of sense, but the phrasing of it seems odd.

One other thing we know about Rose: He doesn’t read about or care what anyone thinks of what he says. He’s not obsessed with his image. He knows who he is.

We’ll see if Rose is playing in Houston on Tuesday. Rose and the Knick are going to be one of the more interesting teams to watch on the court — and how all those pieces fit together — this season.

Kevin Durant was booed every time he touched the ball Saturday, that’s his new reality

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Kevin Durant and the Warriors don’t have to like it, they may not understand it, but this is going to be their reality on the road this season:

Boos.

During the introductions and every time Durant touched the ball Saturday night — in a preseason game in Vancouver against the Raptors — the crowd was not saying “boo-urns” they were full-throated booing. The other Warriors were roundly cheered by the fans excited to have the NBA back in the city (even if it is preseason), but Durant was greeted like a traitor in a town that doesn’t even have an NBA team. (If you want to argue there was a mix of cheers and boos you can, but the boos sounded louder.)

Durant himself shrugged at the reaction to his leaving Oklahoma City to form a superteam, as reported by Monte Poole at CSNBayArea.com.

“I heard more cheers than boos, to be honest,” he said. “But I was just so locked in, trying to get ready for the game, I wasn’t really focused on (the reaction) or listening too hard for any boos or anything. I heard the cheers, though.”

Stephen Curry was just confused by the reaction, as he told Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, but he’s going to have to get used to it.

“It’s just funny,” Curry said. “I highly doubt anybody in this arena was affected by (Durant’s free-agent decision). It’s just funny kind of buying into a narrative that doesn’t really make sense. It probably won’t be the last time. But he handles it well and at the end of the day it’s just about playing basketball.”

Playing basketball is something Durant and the Warriors didn’t do terribly well in this preseason game, falling to the Raptors 97-93. The Warriors looked like a team still trying to fit the puzzle pieces together (which they are). Durant had nine points on 2-of-9 shooting, and with three turnovers.

The Warriors will figure things out and get better. The boos, however, aren’t going away this season. Golden State needs to embrace its new role as villains, whether it thinks it earned that reputation or not.

Fred Hoiberg allows Dwyane Wade to stop practice, call out teammates

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As a rookie NBA coach last season, Fred Hoiberg was seen as a friendly players’ guy who got walked all over by his players at times. Jimmy Butler begged Hoiberg to coach the team harder.

This season, Hoiberg doesn’t have to yell at his players — Dwyane Wade is doing it for him.

Hoiberg gave carte blanche to Wade to stop practices and call out teammates’ mistakes, and Wade is taking full advantage, reports Nick Friedell of ESPN.

“The coaching staff really doesn’t need to say much because before you know it, every time I turn around D-Wade is stopping the play and he’s cursing guys out as well,” Bulls power forward Taj Gibson said. “And it’s great and our young guys are understanding to it. They’re still in here early; they’re staying late. And they understand what we need to do and that’s really good for us early.”

“Yeah, that was so harsh, Taj,” Wade said. “I read that. I wouldn’t say cussing out. I would say getting my point across — tough love. But good love. I would stop practice if I see something. We got to police each other. And I want people to do the same to me. There are certain times I’ve done things that I need to be better at, and you’ll hear Rondo say something to me or Jimmy say something to me. And I want it to be like that with everybody. I don’t want it just be us three always talking. I want everyone to feel confident that they can maybe not yell at everybody but pull a guy aside and say, ‘Hey, D, you should’ve been there on this.’ We want to get everyone comfortable with that. I’ve been around a long time. If I see something that I think we can nip in the bud early, you want to nip it in the bud.”

Players holding each other accountable could be the start of the Bulls developing the culture they need to become more than a .500ish team. This team has some young players who need to be taught how to be a professional in the NBA. All of it are reasons for Bulls fans to have some optimism.

The big questions about these Bulls still linger: the lack of shooting and floor spacing, the defensive questions, and how Hoiberg is going to handle the team once there is tension amongst Rajon Rondo, Jimmy Butler, and Wade?

But at least Wade is helping set a tone.