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Tex787
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NBA News

Rookie of the first trimester posted by NBA News

The NBA's much-hyped Class of 2014, as a collective, is in the midst of a thoroughly forgettable and deflating introduction to the pros. Only two rookies -- Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker -- are scoring in double figures. And that's with Wiggins leading all rookies at a mere 12.6 points per game, with Parker, after going No. 2 overall, suddenly out for the season after a knee tear that has sadly shelved him just like No. 3 pick Joel Embiid (foot), No. 4 Aaron Gordon (foot) and No. 7 Julius Randle (leg). 

So you could make the argument, in this climate, that we should have skipped this category entirely for Trimester purposes. The problem there is that some youngster is eventually going to win Rookie of the Year honors in late April or early May, no matter how underwhelming his production might be, so we're somewhat duty-bound to try to identify a leader at the one-third stage. 

Which brings us to Nikola Mirotic. 

Perhaps he's not a rookie in the truest sense after spending more than half a decade in Real Madrid's system before finally matriculating to Chicago, but what qualifies as big league production from Mirotic in the month of December -- averages of 10.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and .419 shooting from 3-point range -- is enough to put him in the lead. 

Who else could we conceivably propose here? Wiggins and Nerlens Noel have shown occasional flashes, as has Noel's Philly teammate K.J. McDaniels, but none of those more celebrated recent draftees is clearly on an upward career arc at this juncture. 

Continue reading "Rookie of the first trimester"

Sac Kings Fan

Clock is ticking on Sacramento Kings’ season posted by Sac Kings Fan

It seems like just yesterday that the Sacramento Kings were 9-6.  They were the talk of the league and for very good reasons but now they’re making headlines for the wrong reasons.

The wheels have fallen off the Kings’ bus.  Michael Malone was relieved of his duties.  The locker room has clearly taken a turn and persistent rumors of coaching changes, roster remakes and quirky additions have this team running on fumes.

Josh Smith signed with the Houston Rockets on Christmas Eve, George Karl is in limbo and the potential trade with the Brooklyn Nets for former All-Star point guard Deron Williams now on life support.  

At 12-16, Sacramento is just one really good stretch away from being back in the conversation. But where does the team go from here?  Do they reignite talks with the Nets for Williams?  Should they hire George Karl and pray he has another fix hiding in his bag?  Should they try for another blockbuster deal or should they just stand pat and let interim head coach Tyrone Corbin try to rescue the team from the spiraling drain?

Tyrone Corbin is a very solid coach that can at least get this team to the end of the season.  The same can be said about Collison as a point guard and Thompson in the paint. But solid isn’t what the Sacramento Kings are looking for.  Solid isn’t what sells tickets or gets this team out of the lottery.

Clearly there’s no plan in place.  And now the ownership and front office have put themselves in a pickle.  They have potentially thrown away a season, the fans are upset and a Hail Mary or two is in order.

Continue reading "Clock is ticking on Sacramento Kings’ season"

Houston Rockets

Corey Brewer to Rockets. posted by Houston Rockets

The Minnesota Timberwolves' wing is a little less crowded after Friday, as they've agreed to trade swingman Corey Brewer to the Houston Rockets.

Brewer, 28, is averaging 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game on 41.8 percent shooting. One of Minnesota's first players off the bench in most contests, a Brewer trade nonetheless became inevitable.

The former Florida star isn't a superstar by any stretch, but he's a smart player who knows what he is at this point in his career. Most of Brewer's best shots come in transition and semi-transition, where he's an expert at using the open floor to get to the rim. A subpar shooter from beyond the arc in his career, Brewer has almost abandoned the three-point shot entirely this season.

Minnesota's willingness to move him despite a fine start is an indicator head coach and team president Flip Saunders has come around to a full-scale rebuild. The Wolves' trade of Kevin Love to Cleveland this offseason started the project, but it seemed like Saunders was taking half-measures by signing veterans in free agency and trading for Thaddeus Young.

But a 5-19 start leaves the Timberwolves with little excuse not to see what they have in their young talent.

Getting Brewer is about the best Houston could hope to do given its salary situation. Brewer is by no means a lockdown defender, but he's a high-energy guy who consistently fights his way to a couple turnovers per game.

Offensively, he is more of a noticeable minus, where his penchant for leaking out for transition buckets can sometimes lead to some questionable decision-making. That, of course, is also an issue defensively when the opposing team gets the offensive board.

Continue reading "Corey Brewer to Rockets."


Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets Preseason Report 2014 posted by Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets reaching the first round of the playoffs, lost to Portland in an overtime game, and 0.9 seconds made all the difference. The offseason was supposed to turn things around for the Rockets, but GM Daryl Morey might have been too ambitious. Morey focused on getting Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony out of free agency. Due to this, the team ended up losing Chandler Parsons. However, the team managed to acquire Alonzon Gee and Trevor Ariza at a cheap cost. The Rockets were able to take advantage of the second round and the late pick in the first round by selecting Nick Johnson and Clint Capela. 

Even though, the Houston Rockets might have lost more than their gains; for 2014-2015, it is still considered a strong team in the playoffs. The Rockets no longer have Omer Asik, Chandler Parsons, and Jeremy Lin, as these players earned many minutes and better or equal pieces could not be bought in. For the SF position, the team bought in Trevor Ariza, who has talent; however, Parsons would have been a better choice overall. Since, the team has Dwight Howard; no efforts are made to acquire expensive and outstanding center back, which could be justified. However, Asik was a disappointment, and replacing Lin with Ish Smith for playing PG does not seem great either.

Losing Chandler Parsons, and the other exchanges, does not seem to look good for the Houston Rockets. Secondly, there are rumors of Howard and Harden drifting apart, and Howards seem to be goofing off more than usual. In fact, Greg Popovich did not spare words in reprimanding Howard for lacking focus, during the All-Star game. Howard might not lack talent, but character is also very important when you are trying to build the whole team around such a person. Howard is known to create trouble in the locker room, and could repeat the same here.

Continue reading "Houston Rockets Preseason Report 2014"


john howard

McGrady to NY helping the way for LeBron posted by john howard

New York unloaded a lot more money on Thursday in hopes of landing LeBron.

Here is what transpired: 

New York gained:  Tracy McGrady and PG Sergio Rodriguez

New York lossed:  Jordan Hill, Jarred Jeffries and draft consideratoins in 2011 and 2012

Houston gained:  Kevin Martin and C Hilton Armstrong and draft considerations from NY in 2011 and 2012 Jarred Jeffries and Jordan Hill

Houston lossed:  Tracy McGrady Cal Landry and Joey Dorsey

Sacremento gained:  Cal Landry, Joey Dorsey, Larry Hughes

Sacramento lossed:  Kevin Martin and Hilton Armstrong

New York is taking a gamble, but a good one.  What they got isn't working.  They have a lot of contracts that are going to expire and unloaded more salary.  So, they will have enough money to sign 2 free agents the maximum.  LeBron James is the first choice.  The other could be McGrady as he gets to audition for the big money for the next 30 games.  That is smart for all parties involved.  New York gets to see if McGrady is a fit.  McGrady gets to prove how good he is. And, Houston is rid of his contract and got something out of it.

Sacramento puzzled me a little here.  They unloaded Martin's salary of 10 mil per year.  But, for how good he is, that is a bargain.  Larry Hughes is up and down.  They did get some youthful talent in Landry and Dorsey, but that wasn't worth Martin.

The big winner was Houston.  They are in the playoff hunt and just got better now and for the future.  They got Kevin Martin, a guy who is immediately there go to guy.  That was SMART.  They gave up proven inside talent Landry for potential inside talent in Hill.  Hill could be better in time.  That get weaker for now, but Martin makes up for it.  Hilton Armstrong provides some size which they currently have none.  Houston did very very good today.

Continue reading "McGrady to NY helping the way for LeBron"


john howard

McGrady sweetstakes---Knicks? posted by john howard

Houston has been shopping Tracy McGrady all year and something is a about to happen.  The leading candidate is the New York Knicks.  McGrady could be a 20pt scorer again with the up tempo style of play New York has. I think he would be a perfect fit for them. 

A third team may have to be involved and latest rumor has the Wizards.  Houston might get Caron Butler from Washington and the Knicks would send much traveled Al Harrington to DC.  Sounds like a swapping of big salaries and not much improvement.  There will be other players involved and draft picks for sure.  But, the main thing is McGrady in the biggest market.  If he could stay healthy for any length of time, he could really profit well.  He might be enough of a surge to get them into the playoffs this year. 

Continue reading "McGrady sweetstakes---Knicks?"


Sabrina

Welcome Back Rip! posted by Sabrina

For starters, welcome back Rip Hamilton! With an impressive 18 points this game against the Golden State Warriors, Rip made sure his return was not overseen. Although Rip was the talk of the game, Rodney Stuckey was the point leader with an impressive 29 points this game.

Rodney Stuckey has proven that he is not a rookie anymore. He is much more consistent in his shot and now has found a place as a leader of the team. This team has definitely changed since winning the 2004 Finals, but it's a great way to start over. Stuckey has found his place and so have Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon. The three rookies all had playing time this game and showed that they have potential. Jonas Jerebko had a few amazing plays, shots and assists, and Austin Daye showed his confidence as he took a chance when he scored tonight. Jerebko and Daye are shining, but Dajuan Summers seems to be left behind. It's a question whether his lack of playing time is due to his lack of skill or adjustment to the NBA, but Jerebko and Daye are taking the spotlight.

A big question in mind was if the chemisty of the team would be broken when Rip and Tayshaun come back, but Rip has shown anyone with doubt that the Pistons can adjust and work together as a team. With Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince still out, the Pistons were able to extend their winning streak to a 5 game streak. The expected date for Ben Gordon and Tayshaun's return have not been confirmed, but it seems like they will be playing soon. Tayshaun, please come back soon. I've been saving you on my fantasy basketball team haha. The Pistons may see a positive change with all their injured players back in the line up, bringing the Pistons back to their full potential.

Continue reading "Welcome Back Rip!"


Colin Linneweber

Blazers Center Greg Oden is an unfortunate bust posted by Colin Linneweber

Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden fractured his left kneecap during a game against the Houston Rockets Saturday night at the Rose Garden.

 

Oden, 21, the first overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Trail Blazers, underwent surgery on his left patella the following day and he will be shelved for the remainder of the 2009-2010 campaign.

 

“I’m obviously disappointed having worked so hard to get where I was. This is a setback but I’ll be back. It’s in God’s hands now,” said Oden, who was averaging 11.7 points and 8.8 rebounds this season as a starter.

 

“I want to thank the fans, my teammates and everyone in the Blazers family for all of their good thoughts.”

 

Oden, an affable seven-foot giant who is likable and easy to support as a fan, apologized to his teammates once he received his diagnosis.

 

“He didn’t do anything,” said forward Lamarcus Aldridge. “People don’t understand that injuries are part of the game. We all are at risk every time we play so I think injuries are going to happen. It’s unfortunate that it’s happened to him.”

 

Many hoops analysts described Oden as a “once-in-a-decade player” after he led Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis to three consecutive Indiana Class 4A basketball championships before he graduated in 2006.

 

After Oden received his high school degree, he decided to attend Ohio State University.

 

Despite battling a serious wrist injury, Oden managed to lead the Buckeyes to the 2007 NCAA championship game where they ultimately lost to the University of Florida 84-75.

Continue reading "Blazers Center Greg Oden is an unfortunate bust"


nbahawks

Hawks soaring high on new NBA season posted by nbahawks


The Atlanta Hawks is creating a lot of buzz in the new season of the National Basketball Association.Despite their less stellar lineup, the Hawks is on top of the leader-board in the young season of the premier professional basketball league in the planet. The Hawks is currently sporting an impressive 11-2 record after they defeated the Houston Rockets 105-103 Friday night.High flying Hawks power forward Josh Smith played hero for the top team in the NBA by scoring on a put back from a miss by Hawks top point guard Mike Bibby with 0.7 seconds remaining. Marvin Williams, the starting small forward of the Hawks top scored for the team with 29 points to help defeat the Rockets, one of the top teams in the NBA Western Conference.The recent victory of the Hawks is remarkable since the Rockets are on the verge of defeating the team and hand them their third loss but the impressive play of Smith saved the youth laden ball club to escaped with a victory. Prior to his game winning shot, Smith stayed mostly from the bench due to foul trouble but he was able to returned in the waning moments of the game and lead his team to victory.The strong and impressive plays of the Hawks is getting huge praise from basketball fans and experts. During the off-season, the Hawks is not among the top contenders for the NBA crown this season due to their less star studded roster. However, despite the lack of big named players in its lineup, the Hawks still showed class and impressive talent to defeat 11 teams so far.Aside from the strong plays of its veteran players Smith, Bibby and Joe Johnson, the Hawks also get huge contribution from newly acquired NBA veteran Jamal Crawford who contribute in both offence and defence for the team. Aside from the Hawks, the run and gun Phoenix Suns is also playing good this NBA season. NBA superstars point-guard Steve Nash and power forward Amare Stoudamire are playing well to lead the Suns to an impressive record in the NBA.Fans of Hawks team can buy the tickets to watch the NBA game live.

Continue reading "Hawks soaring high on new NBA season"


Scott Shepherd

Fun With Box Scores posted by Scott Shepherd

In the NBA these days, it seems like there is a stat for everything. We’ve got PER, offensive efficiency ratings, defensive efficiency rating, and so on and so on.

It seems like every team in the league now employs their own stat guru. And while I’m not one to question the use of all these new statistics to evaluate NBA players (I actually kinda like them), I’m old school.

 

To me, all the new stats in the world can’t tell the story of an NBA game as well as the good, old fashioned box score.

 

Therefore, I’m starting a new feature today called “Fun With Box Scores”.

 

Every Monday, I’ll be posting some of the more interesting things that jumped out at me from the previous week’s box scores.

 

This week, they are, in no particular order:

 

The Cavs were +38 when LeBron was on the floor this week. They were -27 when he wasn’t.

 

Meanwhile, the Cavs were -3 when Shaq was on the floor and +19 when he wasn’t.

 

Rasheed Wallace took 8 shots on Wednesday…all three pointers. For the week, ‘Sheed attempted 36 shots. 25 of them were three pointers.

 

Danilo Gallinari was 8-16 from deep on Saturday. He was 1-6 on two-point shots. For the week he was 18-36 on three-point shots and 4-11 on two-point attempts.

 

Carmelo Anthony had 113 points in 116 minutes this week.

 

Greg Oden had 26 points in 99 minutes. He also had 19 fouls.

 

Speaking of fouls, Hasheem Thabeet had 8 in 24 minutes of play this week. In his defense, he did have four blocks, giving him a nice one block for every two fouls ratio.

Continue reading "Fun With Box Scores"

Houston Rockets News

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Report: 76ers' Joel Embiid needs 2nd foot surgery, will miss 2015-16 season (Ball Don't Li

Nearly one month after suffering a setback in the healing of his surgically repaired right foot, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will now undergo a second procedure on that foot, one that is expected to cost him the entire 2015-16 NBA season. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Sixers announced Embiid will need a bone-graft procedure of his fractured foot, confirming a report from  Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier on Saturday. The 21-year-old 7-footer, who starred for Bill Self at Kansas in his lone collegiate season before suffering a stress fracture in his lower back that kept him out of the entire Big 12 tournament and both of the Jayhawks' NCAA tournament games, was considered one of the top prospects in the 2014 NBA draft, and a potential target of the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick. One week before the draft, though, the Cameroonian center suffered a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot — a tiny bone in the middle of the foot that's "essential in proper weight transfer and force absorption during ground impact," according to Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes . That's the same bone broken by Houston Rockets giant Yao Ming, who suffered multiple fractures that would eventually prompt his retirement . It's also, however, the one broken by former Cleveland Cavaliers great Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who missed the lion's share of three seasons and underwent three separate surgeries on the bone before eventually being able to stay on the court, playing another decade and making a pair of All-Star appearances. Despite Embiid having surgery just before the 2014 draft and the daunting prospect of him becoming yet another gifted giant whose career trajectory would be drastically altered by failing feet, the 76ers tabbed him with the No. 3 overall pick . Hinkie operated under the same thought process as he had the year before, when he swung a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to snare injured Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel, who was considered by many to be a prospective No. 1 overall pick before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Noel missed his whole rookie season rehabilitating from the injury, but that was fine by Hinkie; getting nothing from his top draft choice would only aid his sink-to-the-bottom rebuilding plan, and when Noel got healthy, he'd have landed a No. 1-caliber talent at a lower price while gaining another asset (a future first-round draft pick) in the process. The Sixers handled Embiid exactly as they did Noel, holding him out for the entirety of what was to be his rookie season — even though he at times seemed athletically capable of moving on that right foot — with plans to reintroduce him to live game action during the Summer League . But last month's setback — which came amid reports that Embiid was looking "dominant" and "explosive" in workouts — kiboshed that plan. "Our priority remains providing Joel with every opportunity to ensure he has a long and successful NBA career, and as such, these findings cause us to pause and reassess his activities," the 76ers wrote in a statement last month announcing Embiid's setback. As recently as late June, following the 2015 NBA draft, Hinkie reported that Embiid "was pain free and the foot hadn’t bothered the big man in 'many, many weeks,'" according to John Gonzalez of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia : "That’s part of what makes this — maybe confusing is the right word — confusing for [Embiid], but confusing because he feels great," Hinkie said. "He says, 'I can’t believe how good I feel. I’ve felt great for a while. It’s hard to believe something could be wrong.'" This latest report suggests that something could be very wrong, and that an awful lot more than summer league suit-ups will be scuttled for Embiid, who hasn't suited up for a competitive game in a year and a half and now will be faced with spending the first two seasons of his career on the shelf. Despite spending top-six selections on Noel and Embiid in the past two drafts, the 76ers selected Duke center Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3 pick in June's 2015 NBA draft. It was rumored at the time that while Hinkie's selection was likely informed by his desire to add the highest-ceiling talent possible at Philly's draft position — and perhaps compromised somewhat by the Los Angeles Lakers somewhat surprisingly electing to pass up Okafor to take Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell second overall — the choice of Okafor could also have been made due to pessimism that Embiid will be able to shake the foot injuries and develop into the kind of franchise-tilting prospect he'd appeared to be at Kansas. To what degree such a possibility informed Hinkie's thinking remains unclear. So too, sadly, does the point at which we might actually see Joel Embiid on an NBA court. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


The 10-man rotation, starring optimism about the NBA dealing with new billions (Ball Don't Lie

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Bleacher Report . Howard Beck brings sunshine through the cloud cover provided last week by the words of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts : "While more money might create more reasons to fight, the opposite could also be true: It might convince everyone not to mess with a good thing. And there are an increasing number of voices on both sides who believe the latter axiom just might win the day." ( NBA.com's David Aldridge struck an optimistic tone, too, noting that both "sides will likely continue talking in August, in private, and talking is always better than not talking.") PF : Houston Chronicle . Brian Smith talks to former star point guard, addict, coach and recovery guru John Lucas, who has "been contacted" by theHouston Rockets to work with Ty Lawson, whom the Denver Nuggets traded to Houston shortly after being arrested for his second DUI in six months. (That's one element of the outcome that many observers, including CBSSports.com's Ken Berger , hoped would result from Lawson's move to Houston.) SF : RealGM . Smart stuff from Jonathan Tjarks on the Rockets' nice problem to have —a super deep squad chock full of players in their primes —and how it still could be a problem: "This season, for the first time in the Harden era, everyone on the roster is going to have to sacrifice." SG : The Triangle . Zach Lowe on the Orlando Magic's $64 million bet on Tobias Harris, and the challenge of evaluating "good stats on a bad team" players. PG : PistonPowered . Mike Davidson wonders what exactly it'll take for Reggie Jackson's brand new five-year, $80 million deal with the Detroit Pistons to start looking like the "bargain" that head coach Stan Van Gundy predicts it will wind up being. 6th : Silver Screen and Roll . Drew Garrison goes to the videotape to take a look at what D'Angelo Russell did well and poorly in his Las Vegas Summer League debut for the Los Angeles Lakers. 7th : The New York Times . Michael Powell discusses NBA corporate welfare not from the perspective of the Milwaukee Bucks' ongoing arena deal saga , but rather from the vantage point of the reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. 8th : The Oregonian . Mike Richman reports that despite a drastic offseason overhaul that's been marked by a major increase in youth and athleticism (and a significant decrease in experience), Terry Stotts doesn't plan to alter the way his Portland Trail Blazers approach things on the defensive end. 9th : The Triangle . Jason Concepcion on the different ways in which international front-office executives, scouts and coaches evaluate players during Summer League. 10th : SportsNet and The Toronto Star . Michael Grange and Doug Smith on Anthony Bennett, the much-derided former No. 1 overall draft pick who's yet to live up to his lofty draft position with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, showing out for the Canadian national team at the 2015 Pan-Am Games and finally looking like he's having fun playing basketball again. More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Report: 76ers' Joel Embiid needs 2nd foot surgery, will miss 2015-16 season (Ball Don't Li

Nearly one month after suffering a setback in the healing of his surgically repaired right foot, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will now undergo a second procedure on that foot, one that is expected to cost him the entire 2015-16 NBA season. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Sixers announced Embiid will need a bone-graft procedure of his fractured foot, confirming a report from  Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier on Saturday. The 21-year-old 7-footer, who starred for Bill Self at Kansas in his lone collegiate season before suffering a stress fracture in his lower back that kept him out of the entire Big 12 tournament and both of the Jayhawks' NCAA tournament games, was considered one of the top prospects in the 2014 NBA draft, and a potential target of the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick. One week before the draft, though, the Cameroonian center suffered a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot — a tiny bone in the middle of the foot that's "essential in proper weight transfer and force absorption during ground impact," according to Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes . That's the same bone broken by Houston Rockets giant Yao Ming, who suffered multiple fractures that would eventually prompt his retirement . It's also, however, the one broken by former Cleveland Cavaliers great Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who missed the lion's share of three seasons and underwent three separate surgeries on the bone before eventually being able to stay on the court, playing another decade and making a pair of All-Star appearances. Despite Embiid having surgery just before the 2014 draft and the daunting prospect of him becoming yet another gifted giant whose career trajectory would be drastically altered by failing feet, the 76ers tabbed him with the No. 3 overall pick . Hinkie operated under the same thought process as he had the year before, when he swung a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to snare injured Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel, who was considered by many to be a prospective No. 1 overall pick before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Noel missed his whole rookie season rehabilitating from the injury, but that was fine by Hinkie; getting nothing from his top draft choice would only aid his sink-to-the-bottom rebuilding plan, and when Noel got healthy, he'd have landed a No. 1-caliber talent at a lower price while gaining another asset (a future first-round draft pick) in the process. The Sixers handled Embiid exactly as they did Noel, holding him out for the entirety of what was to be his rookie season — even though he at times seemed athletically capable of moving on that right foot — with plans to reintroduce him to live game action during the Summer League . But last month's setback — which came amid reports that Embiid was looking "dominant" and "explosive" in workouts — kiboshed that plan. "Our priority remains providing Joel with every opportunity to ensure he has a long and successful NBA career, and as such, these findings cause us to pause and reassess his activities," the 76ers wrote in a statement last month announcing Embiid's setback. As recently as late June, following the 2015 NBA draft, Hinkie reported that Embiid "was pain free and the foot hadn’t bothered the big man in 'many, many weeks,'" according to John Gonzalez of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia : "That’s part of what makes this — maybe confusing is the right word — confusing for [Embiid], but confusing because he feels great," Hinkie said. "He says, 'I can’t believe how good I feel. I’ve felt great for a while. It’s hard to believe something could be wrong.'" This latest report suggests that something could be very wrong, and that an awful lot more than summer league suit-ups will be scuttled for Embiid, who hasn't suited up for a competitive game in a year and a half and now will be faced with spending the first two seasons of his career on the shelf. Despite spending top-six selections on Noel and Embiid in the past two drafts, the 76ers selected Duke center Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3 pick in June's 2015 NBA draft. It was rumored at the time that while Hinkie's selection was likely informed by his desire to add the highest-ceiling talent possible at Philly's draft position — and perhaps compromised somewhat by the Los Angeles Lakers somewhat surprisingly electing to pass up Okafor to take Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell second overall — the choice of Okafor could also have been made due to pessimism that Embiid will be able to shake the foot injuries and develop into the kind of franchise-tilting prospect he'd appeared to be at Kansas. To what degree such a possibility informed Hinkie's thinking remains unclear. So too, sadly, does the point at which we might actually see Joel Embiid on an NBA court. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


The 10-man rotation, starring optimism about the NBA dealing with new billions (Ball Don't Lie

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Bleacher Report . Howard Beck brings sunshine through the cloud cover provided last week by the words of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts : "While more money might create more reasons to fight, the opposite could also be true: It might convince everyone not to mess with a good thing. And there are an increasing number of voices on both sides who believe the latter axiom just might win the day." ( NBA.com's David Aldridge struck an optimistic tone, too, noting that both "sides will likely continue talking in August, in private, and talking is always better than not talking.") PF : Houston Chronicle . Brian Smith talks to former star point guard, addict, coach and recovery guru John Lucas, who has "been contacted" by the Houston Rockets to work with Ty Lawson, whom the Denver Nuggets traded to Houston shortly after being arrested for his second DUI in six months. (That's one element of the outcome that many observers, including CBSSports.com's Ken Berger , hoped would result from Lawson's move to Houston.) SF : RealGM . Smart stuff from Jonathan Tjarks on the Rockets' nice problem to have —a super deep squad chock full of players in their primes —and how it still could be a problem: "This season, for the first time in the Harden era, everyone on the roster is going to have to sacrifice." SG : The Triangle . Zach Lowe on the Orlando Magic's $64 million bet on Tobias Harris, and the challenge of evaluating "good stats on a bad team" players. PG : PistonPowered . Mike Davidson wonders what exactly it'll take for Reggie Jackson's brand new five-year, $80 million deal with the Detroit Pistons to start looking like the "bargain" that head coach Stan Van Gundy predicts it will wind up being. 6th : Silver Screen and Roll . Drew Garrison goes to the videotape to take a look at what D'Angelo Russell did well and poorly in his Las Vegas Summer League debut for the Los Angeles Lakers. 7th : The New York Times . Michael Powell discusses NBA corporate welfare not from the perspective of the Milwaukee Bucks' ongoing arena deal saga , but rather from the vantage point of the reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. 8th : The Oregonian . Mike Richman reports that despite a drastic offseason overhaul that's been marked by a major increase in youth and athleticism (and a significant decrease in experience), Terry Stotts doesn't plan to alter the way his Portland Trail Blazers approach things on the defensive end. 9th : The Triangle . Jason Concepcion on the different ways in which international front-office executives, scouts and coaches evaluate players during Summer League. 10th : SportsNet and The Toronto Star . Michael Grange and Doug Smith on Anthony Bennett, the much-derided former No. 1 overall draft pick who's yet to live up to his lofty draft position with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, showing out for the Canadian national team at the 2015 Pan-Am Games and finally looking like he's having fun playing basketball again. More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

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Report: 76ers' Joel Embiid needs 2nd foot surgery, will miss 2015-16 season (Ball Don't Li

Nearly one month after suffering a setback in the healing of his surgically repaired right foot, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will now undergo a second procedure on that foot, one that is expected to cost him the entire 2015-16 NBA season. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Sixers announced Embiid will need a bone-graft procedure of his fractured foot, confirming a report from  Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier on Saturday. The 21-year-old 7-footer, who starred for Bill Self at Kansas in his lone collegiate season before suffering a stress fracture in his lower back that kept him out of the entire Big 12 tournament and both of the Jayhawks' NCAA tournament games, was considered one of the top prospects in the 2014 NBA draft, and a potential target of the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick. One week before the draft, though, the Cameroonian center suffered a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot — a tiny bone in the middle of the foot that's "essential in proper weight transfer and force absorption during ground impact," according to Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes . That's the same bone broken by Houston Rockets giant Yao Ming, who suffered multiple fractures that would eventually prompt his retirement . It's also, however, the one broken by former Cleveland Cavaliers great Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who missed the lion's share of three seasons and underwent three separate surgeries on the bone before eventually being able to stay on the court, playing another decade and making a pair of All-Star appearances. Despite Embiid having surgery just before the 2014 draft and the daunting prospect of him becoming yet another gifted giant whose career trajectory would be drastically altered by failing feet, the 76ers tabbed him with the No. 3 overall pick . Hinkie operated under the same thought process as he had the year before, when he swung a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to snare injured Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel, who was considered by many to be a prospective No. 1 overall pick before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Noel missed his whole rookie season rehabilitating from the injury, but that was fine by Hinkie; getting nothing from his top draft choice would only aid his sink-to-the-bottom rebuilding plan, and when Noel got healthy, he'd have landed a No. 1-caliber talent at a lower price while gaining another asset (a future first-round draft pick) in the process. The Sixers handled Embiid exactly as they did Noel, holding him out for the entirety of what was to be his rookie season — even though he at times seemed athletically capable of moving on that right foot — with plans to reintroduce him to live game action during the Summer League . But last month's setback — which came amid reports that Embiid was looking "dominant" and "explosive" in workouts — kiboshed that plan. "Our priority remains providing Joel with every opportunity to ensure he has a long and successful NBA career, and as such, these findings cause us to pause and reassess his activities," the 76ers wrote in a statement last month announcing Embiid's setback. As recently as late June, following the 2015 NBA draft, Hinkie reported that Embiid "was pain free and the foot hadn’t bothered the big man in 'many, many weeks,'" according to John Gonzalez of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia : "That’s part of what makes this — maybe confusing is the right word — confusing for [Embiid], but confusing because he feels great," Hinkie said. "He says, 'I can’t believe how good I feel. I’ve felt great for a while. It’s hard to believe something could be wrong.'" This latest report suggests that something could be very wrong, and that an awful lot more than summer league suit-ups will be scuttled for Embiid, who hasn't suited up for a competitive game in a year and a half and now will be faced with spending the first two seasons of his career on the shelf. Despite spending top-six selections on Noel and Embiid in the past two drafts, the 76ers selected Duke center Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3 pick in June's 2015 NBA draft. It was rumored at the time that while Hinkie's selection was likely informed by his desire to add the highest-ceiling talent possible at Philly's draft position — and perhaps compromised somewhat by the Los Angeles Lakers somewhat surprisingly electing to pass up Okafor to take Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell second overall — the choice of Okafor could also have been made due to pessimism that Embiid will be able to shake the foot injuries and develop into the kind of franchise-tilting prospect he'd appeared to be at Kansas. To what degree such a possibility informed Hinkie's thinking remains unclear. So too, sadly, does the point at which we might actually see Joel Embiid on an NBA court. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

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