Tag: Kyle Singler

2015 NBA Draft

Phil Jackson questions whether Duke players live up to expectations in NBA


The Knicks drafted Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 pick, and the early returns are positive.

But they also surely considered a couple players from Duke – Jahlil Okafor (who went No. 3 to the 76ers) and Justise Winslow (No. 10 to the Heat).

Would New York have chosen either? Knicks president Phil Jackson implies he had concerns simply because of their college team.

Jackson on Okafor, via Charlie Rosen of ESPN:

Jackson thinks he might not be aggressive enough. “Also, if you look at the guys who came to the NBA from Duke, aside from Grant Hill, which ones lived up to expectations?”

Let’s take a comprehensive look rather than cherry-picking players who could support either side of the argument.

We obviously don’t know yet whether Okafor, Winslow and Tyus Jones (No. 24 this year) will live up to expectations. Jabari Parker (No. 2 in 2014) looked pretty good last year, but he missed most of the season due to injury. It’s far too soon to make any judgments on him.

Otherwise, here are all Duke players drafted in the previous 15 years:

Lived up to expectations

  • Rodney Hood (No. 23 in 2014)
  • Mason Plumlee (No. 22 in 2013)
  • Ryan Kelly (No. 48 in 2013)
  • Miles Plumlee (No. 26 in 2012)
  • Kyrie Irving (No. 1 in 2011)
  • Kyle Singler (No. 33 in 2011)
  • Josh McRoberts (No. 37 in 2007)
  • J.J. Redick (No. 11 in 2006)
  • Luol Deng (No. 7 in 2004)
  • Chris Duhon (No. 38 in 2004)
  • Carlos Boozer (No. 34 in 2002)
  • Shane Battier (No. 6 in 2001)

Didn’t live up to expectations

  • Austin Rivers (No. 10 in 2012)
  • Nolan Smith (No. 21 in 2011)
  • Gerald Henderson (No. 12 in 2009)
  • Shelden Williams (No. 5 in 2006)
  • Daniel Ewing (No. 32 in 2005)
  • Dahntay Jones (No. 20 in 2003)
  • Mike Dunleavy (No. 3 in 2002)
  • Jay Williams (No. 2 in 2002)
  • Chris Carrawell (No. 41 in 2000)

That’s 12-of-21 – a 57 percent hit rate.

By comparison, here are players drafted from North Carolina in the same span:

Lived up to expectations

  • Harrison Barnes (No. 7 in 2012)
  • John Henson (No. 14 in 2012)
  • Tyler Zeller (No. 17 in 2012)
  • Ed Davis (No. 13 in 2010)
  • Tyler Hansbrough (No. 13 in 2009)
  • Ty Lawson (No. 18 in 2009)
  • Wayne Ellington (No. 28 in 2009)
  • Danny Green (No. 46 in 2009)
  • Brandan Wright (No. 8 in 2007)
  • Brendan Haywood (No. 20 in 2001)

Didn’t live up to expectations

  • Reggie Bullock (No. 25 in 2013)
  • Kendall Marshall (No. 13 in 2012)
  • Reyshawn Terry (No. 44 in 2007)
  • David Noel (No. 39 in 2006)
  • Marvin Williams (No. 2 in 2005)
  • Raymond Felton (No. 5 in 2005)
  • Sean May (No. 13 in 2005)
  • Rashad McCants (No. 14 in 2005)
  • Joseph Forte (No. 21 in 2001)

The Tar Heels are 10-for-19 – 53 percent.

Nobody would reasonably shy from drafting players from North Carolina, and they’ve fared worse than Duke players. Making snap judgments about Duke players just because they went to Duke is foolish.

Jackson is talking about a different time, when aside from Hill, Duke had a long run of first-round picks failing to meet expectations:

  • Roshown McLeod (No. 20 in 1998)
  • Cherokee Parks (No. 12 in 1995)
  • Bobby Hurley (No. 7 in 1993)
  • Christian Laettner (No. 3 in 1992)
  • Alaa Abdelnaby (No. 25 in 1990)
  • Danny Ferry (No. 2 in 1989)

Then, it was fair to question whether Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching yielded good college players who didn’t translate to the pros. But there have been more than enough counterexamples in the years since to dismiss that theory as bunk or outdated.

Count this as another example of Jackson sounding like someone who shouldn’t run an NBA team in 2015.

To be fair, the Knicks had a decent offseason, at least once you acknowledge they couldn’t land a star (which was kind of supposed to be Jackson’s job, right?).

The questions Knicks fans must ask themselves: Do you trust Jackson because of the moves he has made or worry about the next move because of what he has said?

Report: Thunder trading Perry Jones III to Celtics

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks

After re-signing Kyle Singler and Enes Kanter, the Thunder have been trying to shed salary by moving some of their end-of-bench players. According to the Boston Herald‘s Steve Bulpett, they’ve reached a deal to trade former first-round pick Perry Jones III to the Celtics, along with a future second-rounder in exchange for a protected 2018 second-rounder from the Celtics.

Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman reports that the pick the Thunder are sending to Boston is a 2019 second-rounder from Detroit, which they acquired in the Reggie Jackson trade at the deadline.

The Thunder aren’t getting anything back in the deal outside of the pick — it’s entirely a salary-dumping move for them. Jones is set to make around $2 million next season, and shedding his salary will save them around $7 million in luxury tax. According to Mayberry, the roster spot created by the trade will likely go to 2014 first-round pick Josh Huestis, who spent last season in the D-League.

Jones hasn’t done much in his first three years in the league. He played 55 games last season but averaged just 4.6 minutes per game. Still, there’s no downside to this deal for the Celtics. They get a free second-round pick out of it and the outside chance that Jones might show something in a new environment. The Thunder needed to save money and they were able to cut salary without giving up one of their own picks. It’s a trade that makes sense for both sides.

Report: Thunder reach deal five-year, $25 million deal to keep Kyle Singler

Oklahoma City Thunder v Minnesota Timberwolves

Kyle Singler has one elite NBA skill — he can shoot the three ball. He is a career 37.8 percent from deep and has ridiculous range.

Aside that, his game is still a work in progress. But the Oklahoma City Thunder are willing to make a bet on the rest of that game.

The Thunder and Singler have reached a five-year deal, reports Adrian Wojnaroski of Yahoo Sports.

Singler never quite found a groove in Detroit, and Stan Van Gundy — who loves shooters – was willing to let him go in the Reggie Jackson trade. Singler’s game can seem awkward, but at times it’s effective.

The key here for the Thunder is they got him at a fair price — $5 million a year is easy to either absorb or move, depending on how things go.

Thunder trade Jeremy Lamb to Hornets for Luke Ridnour

Jeremy Lamb, Arron Afflalo

Luke Ridnour has been making the rounds in the first few days of this offseason, becoming the modern-day 2009 Quentin Richardson. He was traded from Orlando to Memphis yesterday for the rights to former second-round pick Janis Timma; then from Memphis to Charlotte this morning for Matt Barnes;and now, the Hornets have used him as a trade chip to acquire Thunder guard Jeremy Lamb, both teams announced Thursday afternoon in separate press releases.

From the Thunder:

The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired guard Luke Ridnour and a conditional 2016 second round draft pick from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for guard Jeremy Lamb, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Ridnour (6-2, 175), a 12-year NBA veteran, has played in 830 career games (493 starts) with five teams, averaging 9.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.00 steals in 26.1 minutes. The University of Oregon product spent the 2014-15 season with the Orlando Magic, appearing in 47 games and averaging 4.0 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 14.5 minutes. Ridnour was acquired by the Memphis Grizzlies on June 24, 2015 before being traded to Charlotte in a separate transaction earlier today.

Lamb appeared in 47 games (eight starts) for the Thunder in the 2014-15 season, averaging 6.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.5 minutes. In three seasons with the Thunder, Lamb saw action in 148 games (eight starts) and averaged 7.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 15.7 minutes.

From the Hornets:

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has acquired guard Jeremy Lamb from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for guard Luke Ridnour and a conditional 2016 second-round draft pick.  The Hornets acquired Ridnour earlier today from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for forward Matt Barnes.

“Jeremy Lamb is a quality young wing player who we believe has the talent to help our team,” said Cho.  “We look forward to adding him to our rotation next season.”

The Thunder had been shopping Lamb, among other bench players in recent days, in order to get far enough under the luxury tax to be able to comfortably re-sign restricted free agents Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler. Trading Lamb sheds $3 million from their books for next season and nets them an additional second-round pick. For Charlotte, it’s a free look at a former lottery pick for a year. It comes on the heels of the Hornets’ trade for Nicolas Batum on Wednesday night. Lamb will come off the bench behind Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Thunder GM Presti reiterates he plans to re-sign Enes Kanter

Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz

Oklahoma City liked what they saw from Enes Kanter this season.

Well, at least on the offensive end. The Thunder have wanted more scoring out of the center spot for a while (Kendrick Perkins was not that guy) and Kanter averaged 18.7 points and 11 rebounds a game after he was traded to OKC. He had an All-Star level PER of 24.9 after the trade. He was also his usual revolving door self on defense, something that Serge Ibaka helped mask, at least until Ibaka went down injured.

Speaking with Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman about the future, Thunder GM Sam Presti left no doubt that the team planned to re-sign the restricted free agent Kanter this summer and keep him in blue and white.

Enes is someone we are committed to seeing in a Thunder uniform moving forward.

Other teams can make offers to Kanter, he can sign them, but it sounds as if the Thunder would just match.

The Thunder paid the tax for the first time this season and keeping Kanter (along with potentially re-signing Kyle Singler) would ensure paying it again next season.

However, with the salary cap about to spike thanks to the influx of television money, the Thunder can pay Kanter and others, re-sign Durant next summer (if they can) and still not be taxpayers. They have a lot of flexibility that way.