Tag: New Orleans Pelicans

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Clippers

Team USA announces 34 expected minicampers: DeAndre Jordan and Michael Carter-Williams in, Derrick Rose out


Team USA started with a 28-player pool for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

That was narrowed for the World Cup with two players added, bringing the total to 30.

A few more players were added during World Cup tryouts, increasing the pool to 33.

A report last month listed seven newcomers, giving the Americans 40 known candidates for Rio.

Today, Team USA announced 34 players – including two previously unknowns – were expected to attend next week’s minicamp, which USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo called mandatory for Olympic consideration:

  • Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
  • LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs)
  • Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors)
  • Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
  • Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls)
  • Michael Carter-Williams (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies)
  • DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
  • Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
  • Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
  • DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
  • Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
  • Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
  • Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)
  • Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings)
  • Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
  • Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
  • Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • James Harden (Houston Rockets)
  • Tobias Harris (Orlando Magic)
  • Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz)
  • Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets)
  • Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
  • Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic)
  • Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks)
  • Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)
  • Mason Plumlee (Portland Trail Blazers)
  • Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
  • John Wall (Washington Wizards)
  • Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)

At this point, there aren’t many surprise inclusions. The two big ones: Jordan and Carter-Williams, neither of whom had previously been mentioned for the player pool. Jordan has emerged as one of the NBA’s best centers, and he could definitely make the Olympic roster. The road will be much more difficult for Carter-Williams, who has a strong crop of point guards in front of him.

Carter-Williams’ additions probably has something to do with the players previously in the pool who aren’t expected to attend the minicamp:

  • Tyson Chandler (Phoenix Suns)
  • Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors)
  • Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks)
  • David Lee (Boston Celtics)
  • Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
  • Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)
  • Deron Williams (Dallas Mavericks)

Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke was reportedly extended a minicamp invite but he’s not on the list of expected attendees. It’s unclear whether the report was inaccurate or Burke declined.

Lillard and Rose are the big losses. Lillard seems fed up with USA Basketball, so his no-show will be no surprise. Rose’s is a little less expected, though we saw the possibility coming. Rose played in the World Cup, and it seemed his relationship with Team USA assistant coach Tom Thibodeau helped secure him a roster spot. Since the Bulls have fired Thibodeau, maybe that distanced Rose from USA Basketball. More time off could certainly help the point guard after his multiple serious injuries.

Bottom line: This player pool is strong, and Colangelo will have no trouble assembling the best roster in the world before the 2016 Olympics. The key is finding the ideal roster – the one that best blends talent and fit. This minicamp will be mostly ceremonial, but that process will continue there.

NBA 2K16 screen shots released, and they look sharp


Our friends at 2K Sports are just starting to tease the release of NBA 2K16 — one of the few gaming franchises still going strong as that industry undergoes a shift (it’s about mobile now, like everything else).

They are doing it by releasing some screen shots out of the upcoming game. And they look sharp.



It’s the attention to detail that impresses — Curry will even chew on his mouthpiece in 2K16.

Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis — along with James Harden and, for a special edition, Michael Jordan — all will have cover editions. There will be a lot more details coming out about the game as 2K ramps up to the October release date, but the first glace caught our eye.

Report: Heat and Pelicans scheduled to play on Christmas

New Orleans Pelicans v Miami Heat

Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside.

Anthony Davis.

One of the NBA’s most-complete starting lineups or one of the league’s best players?

We’re on track to witness the debate this Christmas.

Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald:

The Heat are mainstays on the NBA’s Christmas schedule. They’ve played the last six years and 10 of the last 11.

The Pelicans, on the other hand, have just one Christmas game in franchise history – a 20-point loss to the Magic in 2008. Even if you count their time in Charlotte, which you shouldn’t, that’s the franchise’s only Christmas game.

This would be a cool old-vs.-new matchup, and Davis is perfect representation of new. He excelled last season in his first playoff appearance, and he deserves national attention again.

Can Washington get Bradley Beal to take less than a max contract extension?

Charlotte Hornets v Washington Wizards

Is Bradley Beal a max player?

The answer isn’t simple. Remember that there are levels of max player (nobody is saying Beal is Anthony Davis). Beal is both looking for an extension of his rookie deal and is certainly a core part of Washington’s future. Those kinds of guys get max money. On the down side, he was inconsistent last season and has missed time for three straight seasons due to a stress reaction in his leg. On the upside, he shot 40.9 percent from three last season, and he led Washington with 23.4 points a game in the playoffs. This is a guy invited to Team USA mini-camp this month — Mike Krzyzewski sees his value.

The sides are talking, and you can be sure Beal and his agent Mark Bartelstein are asking for the max.

But for Washington there is another complication — Kevin Durant. The Wizards need the cap space to try to bring next summer’s biggest free agent home to play in the nation’s capital (although that is a longshot), and a max deal for Beal makes that difficult, as Zach Lowe explains at Grantland.

The Wizards need about $25.5 million in room to fit Kevin Durant on a max contract, and if they sign Beal to a max-level extension, they would have almost precisely that amount left over. Playing the math that tight is dangerous, and makes it hard to fill a workable roster unless ring-chasers come aboard at massive discounts. The Wiz would be safer following the path San Antonio took with Leonard, only they haven’t built up the cachet that allowed the Spurs to say, essentially, “Trust us. Hold tight as a cheap cap hold, and we’ll make it worth your while.” Washington needs to nurture the good vibes, and that means at least coming to the table.

Beal may want his money now, and his side will surely propose a max-level extension. He hasn’t played up to that level yet, but 22 year olds with silky strokes and some grit on defense don’t readily accept less.

You can be sure this is where the negotiations are right now. The Wizards are likely offering just less than the max by a few million, just to give them some financial flexibility. Beal is asking for the max.

Will Beal take a little less for financial security, considering that stress reaction history? If he stays healthy this season, other teams will throw max money at him next summer when the system is flush with television money teams need to spend.

But is Beal going to bet on himself to stay healthy and have a big year? Or does he take a little less and four years of security?

The lesson of this free agent summer was guys went for security over potentially slightly larger paydays down the line. Don’t be surprised if Beal does the same.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was confused when Anthony Davis talked smack, called him “kid”

New Orleans Pelicans v Milwaukee Bucks

The amount of trash talk thrown around during any given NBA game can be stunning. Nearly everybody is talking. Some of them in a constant stream of consciousness.

Anthony Davis threw a little smack at Giannis Antetokounmpo last season… which left the Greek Freak confused. He recounted the situation in a blog he has at EuroHoops (at tip user sinisterbathala at NBA Reddit).

(Davis) was trying to post me and I was using all of my strength, I didn’t let him. He turns around, shoots off balance and scores. As we were running side-by-side, he says to me: “You can’t guard me young fella!” As we were running together towards the Bucks’ offense, I process it and think about it. Dude, what are you talking about? You’re only a year older than me!

Well, more like 19 months older, but who’s counting? Davis has been in the league one more season than Antetokounmpo.

However, when you have two All-Star appearances and a gold medal in your three NBA seasons — not to mention a PER of 30.8 past season that was more than double Antetokounmpo’s number — you get to talk a little smack. So if Davis wants to call a peer “kid” he can go right ahead.

I’m looking forward to years of Davis and Antetokounmpo battling each other and talking smack back-and-forth. They could be doing that on much bigger stages in a few years.