I rated Hunter a high second-rounder. The forward rebounds very well and can capably guard multiple positions. His offense is a work in progress. He’s hardly a can’t-miss prospect, but he’s worth this small gamble.
As Sacramento’s roster stands now, Hunter would likely make the regular-season roster. The Kings have 16 players, including David Stockton (unguaranteed). Considering most teams carry three point guards and he’s behind Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison and Seth Curry, Stockton is the most likely cut. Sacramento could also consider waiving Duje Dukan or even Seth Curry (guaranteed minimum salaries) if both Stockton and Hunter play well in training camp.
The Kings also have the $2,814,000 room exception (Carlos Boozer?), which could push Hunter down the totem pole. If they waive him, they could assign his D-League rights to their affiliate.
Either way, at this cost, Hunter is a nice addition.
Andre Drummond went off, Klay Thompson had highlight of night in Team USA scrimmage
It was a meaningless exhibition that had less defense then your Saturday morning pickup game at the Y. Or a Chinese league game. Or a Summer League game. If you catch an NFL preseason game this weekend, you’ll see more defense. I think you get the point.
Still, there were some entertaining moments out of the USA Basketball exhibition game Thursday night in Las Vegas — and everybody got out healthy, which is what really matters.
Andre Drummond seemed to take things more seriously and had 27 points and 16 rebounds. I kept thinking of Apollo Creed’s trainer in Rocky: “He doesn’t know it’s a damn show! He thinks it’s a damn fight!” Aside that DeMarcus Cousins made some plays on his birthday, Victor Oladipo and Blake Griffin made some plays, and a good time was had by all.
The guy who had the roughest night? DeMar DeRozan. The Raptors wing missed a lot of jumpers on a night when nobody was contesting them. Then Klay Thompson did this to him.
I didn’t know Thompson had that in him, although he may want to work a little on the alley-oop pass at the end.
PBT’s Fast Break news, notes from around NBA: Dwight Howard to sit out Houston opener
Even in the middle of the off-season there are so many news and notes around the NBA we can’t keep up with all of them, so here is a collection of short thoughts and news items we couldn’t plug in anywhere else.
• We learned this week with the new NBA schedule that the Houston Rockets open the season Oct. 28 against the Denver Nuggets, but Dwight Howard will have to sit that game out as a suspension for crossing the flagrant foul threshold during last season’s playoffs.
• Stephen Jackson says he is the best NBA player alive — on the mic. And by the way, he says Kobe Bryant’s rap career was “horrible.” Which frankly may be kind.
• Jackson may be able to rap a little, but can he lip-sync to Whitesnake like Nick Young?
• The Atlanta Hawks are about to hire former NBA player Malik rose as their manager of basketball operations, according to multiple reports.
• How much trouble is the Hawks’ Mike Scott in for his arrest on drug charges? Like 25 years in jail worth of trouble. There were drugs in a car where he was a passenger that was stopped by police, then Scott told police the drugs were his and his brother (the driver) did not know about them.
• What will be interesting with the Scott case is how the Hawks and league handle it. He is innocent until proven guilty, and Georgia law calls for the drugs in his possession (marijuana and Molly) to be tested before a court date is set, which takes a couple months. Meaning after the NBA season starts. Do they play him?
• Michael Jordan testified in court this week against now-defunct Chicago-based supermarket chain Dominick’s. The chain ran a 2009 ad for steaks using a picture of Jordan without his permission — Jordan and his attorneies are incredibly protective of his brand, and he sued the chain for $10 million. The worst part, just two people used the coupons to get steaks at the stores. There is no verdict yet.
• Chicago is one of America’s great food towns, and the Bulls (and Blackhawks) are teaming up with Levy Restaurants (the “hospitality partner) at the arena) to bring some of that food to the United Center. Trendy Chicago eateries such as Big Star, Publican Quality Meats, Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, Leghorn Chicken, Lillie’s Q, LQ Chicken Shack, Frontier, Lottie’s Pub and The Pony will have food at concession stands in the arena. This is brilliant. If you want a boiled hot dog and a Bud Light you can still get it, but now you have options.
• Levy runs the food operations at a number of NBA arenas, and they have been great at bringing in local flavor in a lot of places. Maybe the best arena food is at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where you can get grub from Brooklyn Bangers, Paisano’s Meat Market, Blue Marble Ice Cream, Café Habana, Buffalo Boss, and Nathan’s. That is a fantastic job of capturing local flavor.
• A little news about a former NBA player taking the cash in China.
Shavlik Randolph signed w Liaoning in China. 3yr deal worth $7-8M (depending on bonuses) w NBA out after each season, according to source.