Kurt Helin

Orlando Magic v Detroit Pistons

Pistons’ Brandon Jennings says when healthy he’s fine with being sixth man


When Brandon Jennings went down with a torn Achilles last season, Stan Van Gundy traded for Reggie Jackson, who came in and played well, developing some pick-and-roll chemistry with Andre Drummond. SVG liked what he saw and gave Jackson an $80 million contract this summer, making him the point guard of record in Detroit.

What happens when Jennings gets healthy and comes back?

Jennings says he is good playing a sixth-man role. At least that’s what he told CSN’s Jabari Young and Vincent Goodwill on their Point Game podcast (hat tip Matt Moore at Eye on Basketball).

“Bringing in Reggie Jackson was smart. I’m supposed to be out, really, for nine months, and they need a point guard. …

“My main thing is just to get healthy. Hey, if I have to come off the bench and be the sixth man or whatever, I’m fine with that. Man, I just want to play basketball again. I just want to get back on the court and have fun.”

One idea Van Gundy has floated is to have Jennings and Jackson play together, having Jennings be a sixth man who subs in for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (or Jodie Meeks, whoever starts at the two). In that scenario Jennings is more of the two guard on offense because he is the much better three-point shooter and can space the floor, while on defense Jackson is the better player and can guard the two spot if that is a tough matchup.

Both Jennings and Jackson were effective as Piston point guards last season (their PERs were almost identical at 19.8 and 19.7). It’s a good problem to have, so long as it doesn’t start causing divisions within the team.

I’m much higher on Detroit going into this season than many others, I think they can be a playoff team in the East. Especially if these two can blend into a two-headed monster in the backcourt.

Derrick Rose spokesperson calls lawsuit alleging rape “outrageous,” a “shakedown”

Chicago Bulls V Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Three

A woman saying she was a former girlfriend of Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has filed a lawsuit against him featuring some very serious and troubling allegations — that he and a friend had drugged and gang raped her. These came without criminal charges — she had not gone to the police about the alleged incident two years ago — but certainly were serious charges she made through a civil lawsuit seeking damages (read: money).

Derrick Rose responded through a spokesperson and called it all BS (in so many words. Via the tweets of Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal.

The plaintiff’s allegations are completely false and without any factual basis. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete. Mr. Rose was in a non-exclusive, consensual sexual relationship with the plaintiff for over two years. The plaintiff expressed no complaints about Mr. Rose until various lawyers began to surface and demand that the plaintiff be paid millions of dollars. This is the third lawyer the plaintiff has retained in this matter. Two years have passed since Mr. Rose ended the consensual relationship with the plaintiff and her claims are as meritless now as they were two years ago. We have complete confidence that the case will be dismissed and that Mr. Rose will be vindicated. This lawsuit is outrageous.

The Bulls also issued a statement, and decided to stay out of this.

As I noted in the story we did on the woman’s lawsuit, I would caution jumping to any conclusions. None of us were there, we don’t know what happened or didn’t happen. The story has the potential to be spun toward a couple of stereotypes — the entitled athlete or the gold digging woman — and real answers are rarely that simple.

The elusive truth — which likely feels very different to the two people involved — could fall anywhere on a large spectrum.

With Rose, he knows the reality of being a star athlete in this country — if he plays well, these allegations will pretty much be forgotten or ignored by fans.

Report: Clippers, Glen Davis still talking about potential deal

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game Two

The Clippers have an improved front line rotation. Of course Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan will start (and get the most minutes), but now behind them will come Josh Smith and Cole Aldrich. Brenden Dawson is in the mix. Plus, Paul Pierce can play some four (and Griffin some five) if the Clippers want to go small and run even more. Doc Rivers has options.

Does Rivers need Glen Davis, too?

Big Baby has been mulling playing overseas, but his people and the Clippers are still talking, reports Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

The Clippers have 14 guaranteed contracts on the books (Dallas has a full 15, they would be offering a partially guaranteed deal as they did JaVale McGee). Many teams leave the 15th slot open, allowing them flexibility in trades and signings as the season goes forward.

Do the Clippers need one more big at the end of the bench more than that flexibility? Davis averaged 12.2 minutes a game last season, and that would drop to spot duty this season — Davis would be at the end of the bench and out of the regular rotation. That’s where he lands on most rosters at this point in his career — he’s the “break glass in case of emergency” big.

But for now, Doc and the Clippers are still thinking about it.

Andrew Wiggins throws it down and J.J. Barea ends up in poster (VIDEO)

Andrew Wiggins presented with 2014- 2015 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award

Canada and Puerto Rico met in the finals of the Tuto Marchand Continental Cup, which is essentially a tune-up for FIBA Americas, which starts next week (that event is a 2016 Rio Olympics qualifier).

What we learned in this game is that if Canada’s Andrew Wiggins wants to dunk, Puerto Rico’s J.J. Barea will not be able to stop him. Not even close.

Wiggins finished with 20 points and Canada won 78-72, picking up its first Continental Cup. There is a lot of hype in Canada that for the first time since 2000 their national team could make the Olympics — the top two finishers at FIBA Americas in Canada get their cards punched for Rio. Canada (with eight NBA players) looks like a team that could make it. Especially if Wiggins keeps doing that.


LeBron James sells Miami home for cool $13.4 million

LeBron James

LeBron James’ Miami home was a little nicer than yours (or mine). It was right on the water in the Coconut Grove area, with six bedrooms and eight-and-a-half bathrooms, a game room, a theater, a wine cellar, a pool, and it came with stunning views.

Of course, what with his return to Cleveland and all, he didn’t have much use for it, so he put it on the market.

Turns out, it also was a tad more expensive than your place — LeBron sold it recently for a cool $13.4 million, reports Darren Rovell at ESPN.

James originally put the 12,178 square foot home in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood on the market for $17 million in October. The price was dropped to $15 million in March and was eventually sold for $1.6 million less.

LeBron still turned a $4.4 million profit, based on what he paid for it when he took his talents to South Beach. Which is good, I was really worried about LeBron’s financial standing and lifestyle.

Considering the lower cost of housing, can you imagine what $13.4 million buys you in Akron?