Author: Kurt Helin

Indiana Pacers v Phoenix Suns

Report: Miami Heat, Leandro Barbosa have some mutual interest

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When last we saw the speedy Brazilian Leandro Barbosa he was playing the end of the season in Phoenix, where with Eric Bledsoe out he had become a part of a pretty good bench unit in the Valley of the Sun (until he broke his hand anyway).

But that didn’t mean they were keeping him. Barbosa is still very quick and uses that to get to the rim (in transition or the half court) where he knows how to finish. He can hit a few midrange pull ups but generally isn’t much of a shooter.

He was always going to be a late, league minimum signing if anything (he might just get a camp invite and a make-good contract), and that landing sop may be Miami, reports Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.

This might well be just a camp invite.

Miami already has that point guard combo you have loved through the LeBron James era with Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole, and now they have added LeBron favorite Shabazz Napier as the third point guard. All three of those guys are under fully guaranteed contracts for next season.

That said the Heat have just 10 fully guaranteed contracts and a couple guys (such as rookie James Ennis) who are not guaranteed but are likely to make the roster. There is a roster spot to be had, but Barbosa is going to have to show some versatility in camp.

Consider it something to watch.

Very cool, distracting LED court from Kobe Bryant’s China tour. He has no idea how it works.

Kobe Bryant Attends Lenovo Event In Beijing

I would love to play a game on that court. Just one game, before the seizures kicked in.

That is the Nike RISE ‘House of Mamba’ LED court, which was unveiled during Kobe Bryant’s recent tour through China. The court is… cool. And distracting. It makes the game into a video game.

Kobe is not so much the tech guy that he gets how this works. Right there with you, Bean.

Hat tip to SB Nation.

Dante Cunningham has all charges against him in domestic case dismissed. Now he tries to find team.

Dante Cunningham

When you’re a free agent trying to latch on to a bench role on a team, a very public arrest and court case is going to keep teams away from you.

That is what Dante Cunningham faced. The free agent who played with Minnesota last year had been arrested on some ugly domestic violence charges (choking his girlfriend), that led to him getting booed by home fans at the end of last season then no team going near him in free agency this summer.

Monday, all those charges were dismissed. His job search will now start in earnest.

The Associated Press had the details.

But Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman issued a statement on Monday saying that “based on further investigation, there is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt for the charged offense.”

“In the deepest part of my heart, I knew what happened. I knew the situation and I knew I was going to be cleared,” Cunningham told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Monday evening. “I was hoping that all would’ve been done before the season ended. But God has a plan and here I am today and just ready to go forward.”

Cunningham, 26, averaged 6 points and 4 rebounds a game in about 20 minutes a night off the bench for the Timberwolves last season. He’s a pick-and-pop big man who thrives on the long two on offense — he took 58 percent of his shots from 16 feet out to the arc. While he hit a respectable 39.2 percent of those that’s still a pretty inefficient shot and with that Cunningham is a pretty inefficient scorer. What likely lands him a contract is that he’s a pretty good defender, especially against the pick-and-roll, and he can defend the three or the four.

At this point he’ll be playing for the minimum most likely, but after this he’ll be happy just to be in the Association.

Jim Boeheim says of Carmelo Anthony, “it would have been better to go to Chicago”

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

On the court, right now, Jim Boeheim is right.

There are major other factors at play here — $47 million dollars, Phil Jackson, what his family wanted, stacks of dollar bills, Carmelo Anthony’s love of New York, and of course we’re talking about a whole lot of money — but in pure basketball terms, Boeheim is right.

Carmelo Anthony’s college coach and Team USA Assistant thinks Anthony the basketball player would have been better off in Chicago than re-signing in New York like he did because of the supporting cast,Boeheim told Ian Begley of

“Just from a basketball point of view it would have been better to go to Chicago because they’ve got better players,” Boeheim, who coached Anthony on Syracuse’s national championship team in 2003, said on Monday. “But he wanted to be in New York and he wants to see if they can turn it around there. I think that’s a great thing.”

Would Anthony had left if Jackson was not hired to right the Knicks ship?

“I would think so. He stayed because he believes Phil,” Boeheim said. “Derek Fisher, he knows the game. If you’re going to pick a coach who hasn’t coached, he would be the guy I would pick. I think he’s a great choice. I talked to Derek a little bit. I think he’s really smart. I think he’ll be a really good coach. I think they’ll show significant improvement this year. If they get a couple of guys down the road, I think they’ll be good.”

It’s just hard to argue with any of what Boeheim said.

The Bulls are the better team. They wouldn’t have had Derrick Rose (who has looked great for Team USA), Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson (if Anthony took enough of a pay cut), Jimmy Butler and others. The Bulls are committed to a defensive system that would have helped mitigate Anthony on defense. The Bulls with Anthony (and frankly without but with Pau Gasol) are contenders in to win the East along with Cleveland. The Knicks are a rebuilding project.

Anthony had said from the start — including to PBT at one point — that he wanted to stay with the Knicks but he needed to see a plan. He needed to see the vision of the future with the organization. Phil Jackson is that future. He comes in with a philosophy and a system that has won. He brings hope and a direction to the Knicks. That was enough to keep Anthony. If Jackson wasn’t there and it was Steve Mills and owner James Dolan still meddling, Anthony would be gone.

Finally, Boeheim this is a great thing. He’s right. New York needs a big star and Anthony is that. Him staying was good for the NBA in a lot of ways.

It’s Anthony Bennett’s turn to dodge questions about Kevin Love/Andrew Wiggins trade

Cleveland Cavaliers v San Antonio Spurs

By the start of next week, Anthony Bennett will almost certainly be a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. As part of a three-team trade going down this weekend that will land Kevin Love next to LeBron James in Cleveland, Bennett will wind up next to Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel in Philly.

The few times Andrew Wiggins has been asked about the pending trade he has handled it as well as you could ask a 19-year-old rookie to, saying he just wants to play and he understands the NBA is a business. Would he like to have played next to LeBron? Of course. But life takes its own path sometimes.

Now it was Anthony Bennett’s turn.

He was in Canada working out for a Team Americas tournament and said all the right things when asked about the trade by Gregory Strong of the Toronto Star.

“I’m just a young man that’s ready to work,” he said. “Wherever I end up, it doesn’t really matter to me. I just want to play basketball.”

It’s the only think he can say.

Bennett had a rough rookie season where he played as poorly as any No. 1 pick in history. Make no mistake, it was as ugly as his shot. However he showed up to Summer League in Las Vegas this year in shape and healthy, and with that came a much better performance. He looked like an NBA player, defending and hitting the boards hard. He looked like a rotation big on an NBA team, a guy you could play 15 minutes a night, which is a big step forward for him. In Philly Bennett could get a lot of run and have the chance to show some of that potential — he’s never going to live up to the No. 1 pick hype, but he can stick around in the NBA for a while.

After that up and down rookie year, does Bennett have any advice for Wiggins? The two have talked Bennett, said.

“Pretty much I just told him to work hard,” he said. “Just try not to listen to everybody. You can have one bad game, you can have one real good game. But you know, it’s just a long season full of ups and downs.”