August 24, 2016, 9:27 am
While we at hoop-ball have been putting together the ultimate draft guide, the NBA news has been quite slow. Bare with me as I’ll try to make this as entertaining as possible to compensate for the lack of meaningful news. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get into Tuesday’s action.
You know the drill, start off with the smaller stuff and end with a bang.
Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal ‘dislike’ each other on the court at times on the court. Beal believes both players are ‘alphas’ — in basketball lingo, this basically means they always want to run the court and have it done their way. It’s not a major issue but they’ll need to sort this out if they ever intend to make a serious run in the playoffs.
The Cavs have zero interest in trading Kevin Love. Another big man’s stats destroyed by LeBron. Similar to Bosh, the season averages and overall performance has seemingly declined. Poor K-Love. His efficiency metrics are pretty similar compared to his days in Minnesota, but he’s no longer scoring 26 per game — hence the hate around the league.
Blake Griffin reportedly has zero interest leaving LA in 2017. Griffin is an offensive gladiator but has battled injuries as of late. The Clippers always seem ready to contend but Griffin gets mad and punches a staff member. HULK SMASH. Gotta love players focused on winning the finals.
Paul Millsap ‘is not going anywhere’. Damn. As a Celtics fan, I’ve been wishing for a Millsap trade since day one. I think he remains one of the most undervalued players in the league because his game isn’t too flashy. He contributes all over the floor and he really deserves a team to make a deep playoff run. Sadly the Hawks won’t provide that for him this year. Sigh.
Finally, we can witness Hakeem Olajuwon 2.0. Embiid is ‘on track’ to play in the preseason. I don’t actually consider him the second coming of Olajuwon but he drew the comparison out of college by some. He should be fun to watch plus he has an interesting personality so that’s something to look forward too. Embiid will start at some point this year but he needs a Okafor/Noel trade — which is on the horizon. Get ready for some nice post moves and a few massive dunks because Embiid is about to tear up preseason. As long as he doesn’t break his foot for the 89th time.
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June 5, 2020, 2:01 pmJonathan IsaacPF, Orlando Magic
Jonathan Isaac (left knee) has been running on a low-impact treadmill for about two weeks now.
Isaac went down at the beginning of January with what was thought to be a season-ending injury, involving a posterior lateral corner injury and a medial bone contusion — i.e., a severe sprain and a bone bruise. At that point he was set to be re-evaluated in 8-10 weeks, and while we're well past those timelines, Isaac does appear to be moving along in his recovery. It remains to be seen if he'll be available for Orlando's postseason chase or if the Magic would even bother risking his bright future at this point.
Source: The Athletic
June 5, 2020, 1:26 pmEvan FournierSF, Orlando Magic
Evan Fournier (right UCL sprain) is fully recovered.
Fournier was supposed to be looking at an "extended absence" when he first went down in March, slamming the brakes on what was a top-70 season. The fact that he's healthy again will be a huge lift to the Magic, who currently occupy the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. They only need to hold off the Wizards to earn a playoff berth but also have an outside chance at jumping over the Nets to take the seventh spot.
Source: The Athletic
June 5, 2020, 1:21 pmKevin DurantSF, Brooklyn Nets
Kevin Durant (Achilles) will not return to the court this season, per Anthony Puccio.
There were whispers that KD might be able to get back on the floor given the extra few months of the season, and especially after he's started to appear in workout videos, but it has been repeatedly speculated that Durant would not return during the 2019-20 season under any circumstance. There's no sense in having Durant shake off the rust in an intense setting, even if he may be capable of contributing right now. Brooklyn's eyes are rightfully on next season as far as serious contention goes.
Source: Anthony Puccio on Twitter
June 4, 2020, 2:00 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
The Board of Governors has approved the NBA's 22-team format to restart the 2019-20 season.
The vote was 29-1. It was widely expected that the format would get the go-ahead, even though more than one team didn't fully support the proposed plan, and the NBA has at least settled on what the season will look like once it's able to resume. They have also set the draft lottery for August 25 and the draft for October 15. The biggest hurdles remain anything that has to do with COVID-19, and to this point the league has yet to say anything about those challenges, but there is plenty of forward momentum these days.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 3, 2020, 9:23 pmEnes KanterC, Boston Celtics
Sean Deveney reported that "multiple agents say not all players are on board with an NBA return".
One agent said, "Most of the guys are excited, fired up, they want to get back out there. Those are 95 percent of the conversations I have had". There are players that feel the money is not worth putting themselves and their families at risk. Enes Kanter weighed in on the topic, saying "there are some other team's players out there, that they don't want to play. They're like, 'It's just a game. I'm not going to risk my life". It is likely that the high-profile players will still play, but it looks like some role players may not be willing to take the risk to join their team when the NBA season resumes.
June 3, 2020, 4:39 pmDerrick RosePG, Detroit Pistons
The Pistons announced that they plan to reopen team facilities on Thursday, allowing voluntary individual workouts while following all the social-distancing guidelines.
Although the Pistons' season is likely over as they are not one of the 22 teams that will continue to play if the Board of Governors vote to ratify the plan on Thursday, this will allow players to stay in shape for the 2020-21 season which is expected to start in December.
Source: James Edwards III
June 3, 2020, 11:41 amZion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Pelicans, Blazers, Suns, Kings, Spurs and Wizards will be the six non-playoff teams resuming action when the NBA restarts.
This makes complete sense, as they're the only non-playoff teams that can sniff the postseason. Woj backs up an earlier Shams Charania report about a potential play-in tournament for the final playoff spot in each Conference as well. If the ninth seed trails the eighth seed by more than four games when the league's truncated regular season wraps up, the eighth seed makes the playoffs. If the deficit is under four games, however, the two teams will compete in a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for the ninth.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 3, 2020, 11:36 amLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the NBA will have an eight-game regular season for the purposes of playoff seeding upon its return while Shams Charania reports that there will be a play-in tournament for the eighth seed.
This applies to the NBA coming back with 22 teams, as the league's bottom eight are well out of playoff contention and bringing them to Orlando would only negatively affect the league's pursuit for player safety. As for the play-in tournament, Charania describes it as such: "If the ninth seed is more than four games behind the eighth seed, the eighth seed earns the playoff spot; if the ninth seed is four or fewer games behind, then the eighth and ninth seed will enter a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for ninth." Expect another announcement about the league's format in the coming days.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 2, 2020, 10:02 pmCorey BrewerSF, Sacramento Kings
Corey Brewer, a veteran of eight different NBA teams, is still hoping to sign another contract before he calls it a career.
Brewer, 34, seems to think he has enough in the tank for one final stint in the NBA. “We had some talks with a few teams, but nothing really happened. My agent is still working on it, so we’ll see,” Brewer said. “I feel like I can still help a team and I feel like I have a few good years left. But you never know, man." Brewer has not suited up for an NBA team this season and, with a waning jump shot and increased age, his chances of securing another pact in the NBA are pretty unlikely.
June 2, 2020, 9:47 pmDeMarcus CousinsC, Los Angeles Lakers
Kings broadcaster Grant Napear stepped down from his position with the Kings on Tuesday after he said 'All Lives Matter..Every Single One!' when asked about his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement during a Twitter interaction with former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.
This is the first domino to fall in American professional sports in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement, even if it's a relatively insignificant one. Napear said of himself and the interaction, "I’m not as educated on BLM as I thought I was. I had no idea that when I said 'All Lives Matter' that it was counter to what BLM was trying to get across," he said. "I’m in pain. I’m 60 years old and I still have a lot to learn." The Kings will evidently have to find a new play-by-play man for their radio broadcasts to accompany Doug Christie when games resume.