After a disappointing four seasons in Brooklyn, Deron Williams has the opportunity for a fresh start with his hometown Mavericks. He agreed to a buyout with the Nets in July and signed a two-year, $11 million deal with Dallas. He knows he has a lot to prove, and according to those who have seen his workouts in Dallas, he’s off to a good start.
We’ll see if it sticks. Every year since he was traded to the Nets has promised to be the year he finally returns to his circa-2008 Utah form, and it never happens. He’s been solid in stretches in Brooklyn, but he’s never been able to stay healthy, and by now it’s clear he simply isn’t the same player he was six years ago when it was a legitimate conversation whether he or Chris Paul was the best point guard in the NBA. Unfortunately, with all their other injury concerns, Dallas needs him to be that player if they’re going to challenge for a playoff spot.
The Jazz drafted Olivier Hanlan No. 42, but they didn’t have a roster spot for him this season. So, the former Boston College guard signed in Lithuania.
Team Canada apparently didn’t have room for him, either.
Canada announced its roster for FIBA Americas, and Hanlan was the final cut.
It’s remarkable that Canada can afford to drop a player drafted to the NBA, but the country’s basketball team has come a long way in a short time. The Canadians will have nine NBA players:
- Andrew Wiggins
- Cory Joseph
- Kelly Olynyk
- Anthony Bennett
- Nik Stauskas
- Robert Sacre
- Andrew Nicholson
- Dwight Powell
- Melvin Ejim
Aaron Doornekamp, Phil Scrubb and Brady Heslip round out the 12-man roster.
The top two teams in FIBA Americas – besides Brazil, which got an automatic bid as host nation – will qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The next three teams, again excluding Brazil, advance to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Canada is definitely a threat this year and next. With such a young team, its future might be even brighter.
Maybe with a little seasoning, Hanlan will eventually make the squad.
Then again, he’ll also have to fend off the next generation of Canadian basketballers, players like Trey Lyles and Jamal Murray.
A few years ago, it would have seemed incomprehensible Canada could afford to cut a player drafted by an NBA team.
Soon, Canada might form its roster completely from NBA players.
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.