Poole, Herro, Brogdon early betting favorites for Sixth Man of the Year

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Sixth Man of the Year is one of the most challenging awards to predict preseason for one simple reason: The players often best in this role get bumped up to starter (sometimes to cover an injury, sometimes to get more minutes).

That is the case with some familiar names at the top of this year’s preseason Sixth Man of the Year odds. For example, the reigning award winner, Tyler Herro out of Miami, wants to start this season and may well get a chance.

NBC’s partner at Points Bet has its preseason odds out for the 2023 Sixth Man of the Year award and there are a lot of familiar names at the top of the list with Herro. Here are the top 12:

Jordan Poole (Warriors) +400
Tyler Herro (Heat) +650
Malcolm Brogdon (Celtics) +1000
Bones Hyland (Nuggets) +1400
Jordan Clarkson (Jazz) +1800
Spencer Dinwiddie (Mavericks) +2000
Norman Powell (Clippers) +2000
Brandon Clarke (Grizzlies) +2200
Anfernee Simons (Trail Blazers) +2500
Kevin Love (Cavaliers) +2500
Immanuel Quickley (Knicks) +2500
Bogdan Bogdanovic (Hawks) +2500

A few quick thoughts on that list:

• Poole deserves to be the favorite. He very well could take home the award.

• Jordan Clarkson has won Sixth Man of the Year before and is always a good bet to be in the mix as a volume scorer off the bench, but his chances to win will depend on where he gets traded. He may be the next Jazz veteran on the move.

• As noted above, Herro wants to start and likely will get the chance in Miami.

• Kevin Love finished second in the voting last season, and his team is about to be in a much bigger spotlight and win a lot more games. He has accepted his role and is a real threat to win this award.

• Bones Hyland is a sneaky good call if he can make a leap in his second season. He certainly is going to get the opportunity.

• Norman Powell might be my pick, leading a good Clippers bench on a team that will win a lot of games, but how many games will he start this season? It could be a lot of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard can’t stay healthy.

Nuggets’ Murray, Porter Jr. look healthy heading into season

Jamal Murray Attends Melbourne NBA Store Opening
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The Denver Nuggets are slept-on title contenders.

They might have been the trendy pick to win it all a couple of years ago after the team made a mid-season trade to land Aaron Gordon — that was a team with Nikola Jokic coming into his own and on his way to winning his first MVP — but then Jamal Murray tore his ACL. He missed those playoffs and all of last season. On top of that, Michael Porter Jr. missed most of last season in Denver with back issues.

Now Murray and Porter Jr. are back and healthy.

We know that about Porter Jr. thanks to a leaked video of a recent run with NBA players.

While we should take all summer workout/game video clips with a heavy dose of salt (things can be edited to look better than they are), in this case Porter Jr. is moving well and looks sharp in the clips. Like someone ready for an NBA season.

In Murray’s case, he talked about his health with news.com.au in Australia (hat tip Hoopshype).

“I feel good,” he said.

“Just getting stronger rehabbing throughout the summer and just trying to prepare for the season. Yeah, feeling good.

“I mean it’s not going to be 40 minutes to start, but I expect myself to be back at full power at some point during the season.”

In another recent interview, Murray talked about making the decision not to play in the postseason for Denver last season, saying he was still thinking about the injury on the court, and it would have slowed him. Now he says he is working past that.

If Murray and Porter Jr. are and can stay healthy through the season, Denver will enter the playoffs with a roster capable of challenging Golden State, Memphis, and the Los Angeles Clippers at the top of the West. The Nuggets have a lot of work to do, and a lot of chemistry to rebuild, but on paper they can compete with anyone.

At least they can now that Murray and Porter Jr. are healthy.

Facundo Campazzo still hoping for another chance in NBA

Memphis Grizzlies v Denver Nuggets
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Facundo Campazzo wants to stay in the NBA.

After spending two seasons as a backup point guard in Denver, “Facu” is a free agent. Campazzo has said before he wants to stay in the NBA, and he echoed that speaking to the Argentinian newspaper “La Nacion,” as transcribed by EuroHoops.net.

“I want to stay in the NBA, I think I showed that I can compete when I’m good. When they give me confidence and I feel part of the rotation. In fact, in the playoffs the first year I was a starter, except for the last game. And in the regular season, I played a lot. But be careful, I’m not saying no to Real Madrid. What I am saying is that my attention and my energy are focused on the NBA. My first option is that. That is the message. I feel like an NBA player and I want to stay at that level. Because anything can happen, because it is uncertain, you improve, and you have every motivation to evolve. That’s kind of the way of thinking. Real Madrid is the biggest club in Europe and being part of that club, helped me to be in the NBA. But the reality is that I want to focus on staying in the United States.”

Campazzo was a respectable backup point guard for the Nuggets who averaged 5.1 points playing about 18 minutes a game last season, but his efficiency fell from his first year in the league. His minutes and role in Denver shrunk as last season wore on due to the emergence of Bones Hyland. With Jamal Murray returning to Denver, and their drafting of guard Peyton Watson late in the first round, there isn’t a spot for Campazzo in Denver.

Another team could jump in and bring him in as a reserve guard, but rosters are increasingly settled heading into training camps. Always looming for Campazzo is a return to Europe — he was a superstar with Real Madrid leading it to two EuroLeague titles and a trophy case of domestic titles in Spain — but his clear preference is to find a spot in the NBA.

Campazzo is waiting for that NBA call as training camps get closer.

List of 34 NBA players expected to take part in EuroBasket next month

Slovenia v Serbia - Basketball Friendly
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Already in the tune-up games, Luka Doncic seems to have developed a running hook shot, while Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brothers are dominating for Greece.

There will be a lot of NBA talent playing in EuroBasket — 34 NBA players are currently set to play for their teams in the European championships next month. Thanks to Johnny Askounis at EuroHoops, we have a list of them now.

Here are the NBA players currently scheduled to play in EuroBasket:

Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Jusuf Nurkic (Portland Trail Blazers)
Croatia:
Bojan Bogdanovic (Utah Jazz)
Dario Saric (Phoenix Suns)
Ivica Zubac (Los Angeles Clippers)
Czech Republic:
Vit Krejci (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Finland:
Lauri Markkanen (Cleveland Cavaliers)
France:
Evan Fournier (New York Knicks)
Rudy Gobert (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Theo Maledon (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Georgia:
Goga Bitadze (Indiana Pacers)
Sandro Mamukelashvili (Milwaukee Bucks)
Germany:
Daniel Theis (Indiana Pacers)
Franz Wagner (Orlando Magic)
Greece:
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Tyler Dorsey (Dallas Mavericks)
Israel:
Deni Avdija (Washington Wizards)
Italy:
Simone Fontecchio (Utah Jazz)
Danilo Gallinari (Boston Celtics)
Lithuania:
Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings)
Jonas Valanciunas (New Orleans Pelicans)
Montenegro:
Marko Simonovic (Chicago Bulls)
Serbia:
Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
Slovenia:
Vlatko Cancar (Denver Nuggets)
Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
Goran Dragic (Chicago Bulls)
Spain:
Usman Garuba (Houston Rockets)
Juancho Hernangomez (Toronto Raptors)
Willy Hernangomez (New Orleans Pelicans)
Turkey:
Furkan Korkmaz (Philadelphia Sixers)
Cedi Osman (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Alperen Sengun (Houston Rockets)
Ukraine:
Alex Len (Sacramento Kings)
Svi Mykhailiuk (Toronto Raptors)

The Milwaukee Bucks have the most players in the tournament with three, led by the Antetokounmpo brothers.

 

It’s ‘go time’ for Nuggets’ Bones Hyland after team’s offseason moves

DENVER NUGGETS VS GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS, NBA
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While most of the talk about Denver this offseason was on the top of the roster getting healthy — Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. should be back after missing almost all of last season — the Nuggets shook up their bench.

Denver traded Monte Morris and Will Barton to Washington for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith. KCP should provide the wing defense the Nuggets desperately need more of, plus he can shoot the 3 (39% last season) and has championship experience (2020 Lakers).

That trade was also a big bet by the Nuggets that sophomore Bones Hyland is ready to step into a bigger role, and he knows it, he told Mike Singer of the Denver Post.

His immediate reaction once the deal was finalized?

“(It’s) go time,” he said….

“I knew what the move was,” Hyland told The Denver Post last week via Zoom. “They were already contacting me before and letting me know what was happening. After the moves even happened, the coaches called me, players called me, like, ‘Time to just go out there and be Bizzy. It’s a big opportunity for you.’ And they tell me every day, like, ‘You’re going to have a big role, big opportunity, a lot more minutes, just to just go out there and be yourself.’”

Monte Morris was arguably the best backup point guard in the NBA (and he should solidify the Wizards at the point next to Bradley Beal). For a team with championship aspirations like Denver, he can only be traded if the team believes it has a replacement lined up. Enter Hyland, who will have a sixth man role this season for the Nuggets.

Hyland averaged 10.1 points and 2.8 assists a game as a rookie last season, but he got more and more run — and showed he could handle it — as the season progressed. Hyland averaged 12.8 points a game with a 63.8 true shooting percentage (and 40% from 3) after the All-Star break, showing off the ability to get to the rim against anyone.

Denver has bet on him taking a step forward in his sophomore season off those second-half numbers. They also need him to improve on the defensive end.

He’s going to get the chance. Denver has made a big bet on him this season.