Tag: Houston Rockets

Chris Paul, Ray McCallum

Report: Chris Paul to attend Team USA minicamp


There’s not a major international tournament this year, but it’s still a crucial year for USA Basketball. The Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero are coming up next year, and Mike Krzyzewski and Jerry Colangelo have until then to whittle their roster down. This year’s minicamp will provide a hint as to which players are and are not in the running. Recently, it was reported that Dwight Howard is planning to attend the camp in Las Vegas. Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting that another Team USA veteran is in: Chris Paul.

Paul has won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA, in Bejing in 2008 and in London in 2012. He’ll be 31 by the time the Rio Olympics roll around, so it’s likely his last chance to add a third medal to his collection. The younger point guards like Kyrie Irving and John Wall will probably be focal points of the program by that time, but Paul will still be extremely valuable to have around for his experience.

Report: Dwight Howard to attend Team USA mini-camp after all

Dwight Howard

Apparently Dwight Howard still might want a trip to Rio next summer.

USA Basketball’s mini-camp is coming up and players who do not attend are not likely to be invited to the tryouts for the Rio Olympics next summer (unless your name is LeBron, then you can pretty much do what you want). A few players frustrated with the USA Basketball process and decisions — Damian Lillard and John Wall in particular — have been hesitant in saying they would go.

Dwight Howard, on the other hand, seems to have had a change of heart, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Howard, because of his defense and mobility, would stand a good chance to make Team USA because he fits Mike Krzyzewski’s style of play. Howard protects the paint, can cover out on the perimeter on defense, and knows how to run the floor and finish on offense. Tyson Chandler was on the roster in London, Howard could slide right into that slot.

Predicting who will be available a year from now is next to impossible, there’s an entire NBA season still to be played. But if you don’t show up to the mini-camp this season you probably miss out next year, so it doesn’t hurt to show up (even for guys like Kevin Love and Kevin Durant, who cannot participate due to injury). This is the smart play for Howard.

Report: Second-rounder J.P. Tokoto will sign with 76ers, after all

Los Angeles Lakers v Philadlephia 76ers

At face value, it didn’t make much sense for No. 58 pick J.P. Tokoto to play overseas or in the D-League rather than signing with the 76ers.

Even if Tokoto had to accept the required tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed at the minimum, a team must extend to retain a draft pick’s rights – he’d be better off with the 76ers.

First of all, they might keep him. The rookie minimum probably bests offers in other leagues.

And if they waive him, he could seek an offer from any NBA team, not just the one that drafted him. He wouldn’t be stuck negotiating with just Philadelphia. Given that Tokoto fell all the way to No. 58, he might not get any other NBA offers. But, even in that worst-case scenario, he’d be in the same boat – headed overseas or to the D-League. This way, when he tried to return to the NBA, he could seek an offer from any team.

So, despite a previous report to the contrary, Tokoto will apparently sign with Philadelphia.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

We’ll see whether Tokoto just accepts the tender or signs a longer contract. The 76ers surely want to lock him up for as long as possible on a low-paying deal in case he develops. They also surely want to minimize his guarantees in case he doesn’t. So, it’s a tradeoff. They can offer more guaranteed money in exchange for lengthening the contract.

Tokoto always has the required tender, which K.J. McDaniels took, in his back pocket if Philadelphia doesn’t make a satisfying offer.

To be clear, Tokoto can attend training camp only with an NBA contract. At that point, the 76ers can either keep him or waive him. If they waive him, they’d lose his rights. Once he signs, there’s no way for the 76ers to keep his rights while he develops elsewhere unless they assign him to the D-League. But in that event, he’d continue to count against Philadelphia’s cap at his NBA salary and take up a roster spot.

Gilbert Arenas on LeBron James: “James isn’t a #1 option..and yes I (didn’t stutter)”

LeBron James

Gilbert Arenas took to Instagram to critique the best player walking the face of the earth — LeBron James — and, for the most part, there was nothing but praise.

this person comes around once in a blue moon…a man whos so physically gifted he could walk into any sport and be a HOF’ER off his natural (God given ability) last person who was this gifted in sports might have been #BOJackson

Nobody sane really questions that LeBron rivals Wilt Chamberlain as maybe the two most physically gifted players — guys far ahead of their peers — in NBA history. But we are at the point in LeBron’s career where we are comparing him to the other All-Time greats and starting to figure where he ranks in the pantheon (a process that is ongoing as LeBron is still in his peak, his legacy still forming).

That’s where Arenas dropped the bomb.

James isn’t a #1 option..and yes I (didn’t stutter) he lacks #selfishness so he will always need a go to guy like wade was or kyrie.. he lacks what jordan and kobe were..great 1 on 1 players… he needs a pure scorer beside him so he can carry the TEAM load…he gets bashed alot by media becuz he doesn’t take over like #MJ or #KB but #LBJ is MAGIC with Jordan like athleticism..so he walks into stats without trying and when forced he will give u 41 12 8…the finals was the first time in his career he was physically pushed to the limit becuz he had no one to defur to

I think Arenas has a narrow definition of a No. 1 option.

Which was evident in his game, but that’s another story.

Arenas seems to defined a No. 1 player as a guy who can take over a game in isolation settings — that is debatable in any era of basketball but particularly now in the Thibodeau/overload era where defenses stack up against isolations. Still LeBron does pretty well in those settings. Last season (per NBA.com/Stats), James ran the second most isolation sets in the NBA to James Harden (at 458) and scored .93 points per play on them. That’s not mind-blowing, but it’s in the top 25 percentile. He is very effective in that setting.

What makes LeBron different is that ability to pass out of that isolation set and find the right player at the arc or making a cut. His passing ability opens up the floor.

Arenas then says the thing that really allows us to poke a hole in his argument.

like u ppl have no idea what he could do if he had (1) season just 1 selfish season like kobe did in 2005-06 he will avg 40+ 11 9 and no one could do shit about it…it’s sad the world wont get to see Who I’m talking about becuz his legacy is built on winning.

The problem with LeBron is he wants to win more than rack up numbers? Not sure most of us see that as a flaw.

Arenas ends with more praise for LeBron.

this man could be the second best 3rd for sure player to ever play when it’s all said and done around 2020+and he didn’t even tap into his ability to be GREATEST..

I’m not sure where he ends up on the all-time rankings (which are subjective in the first place), but putting rings above numbers will not hurt his standing in my mind.

Report: Team USA uncertain whether Dwight Howard, John Wall will attend minicamp

Dwight Howard, John Wall

Damian Lillard doesn’t sound like someone who will attend Team USA’s minicamp next month.

He might not be the only one.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said camp attendance – though not necessarily on-court participation – was mandatory for players to make the 2016 Olympic team.

If Dwight Howard and John Wall don’t show up, they’re probably out for the Rio Games. They surely know that, though Colangelo’s rules are only as binding as he wants them to be. Given how he has run the program in the past, though, I wouldn’t test him.

Wall didn’t make the World Cup roster last year, and he wasn’t pleased. There was a report Howard intended to play in the 2014 World Cup and maybe 2016 Olympics, but he wasn’t even in the player pool for the World Cup.

Both Howard and Wall are talented enough to make Olympic roster. But if they don’t attend the minicamp, that’s probably the end of their association with USA Basketball.