June 27, 2016, 9:35 am
The Memphis Grizzlies are getting proactive in hopes of retaining their point guard.
The team debuted a slick video (at 11:11, no less) that talks about what Conley means to Memphis basketball and how his All Heart aura fits into the team’s mythos.
Conley is a free agent this summer, and while he’s been connected to several teams including the San Antonio Spurs, Memphis will try its damnedest to keep the Ohio State product in the fold. While these types of publicity moves don’t mean too much basketball wise, it has to be cool to be the subject of a video that has your teammates and friends speak glowingly about you. A Justin Timberlake cameo is probably alright too.
The video features comments from Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen pertaining to Conley’s importance to the city and franchise. If nothing else, it serves as a nice reminder of all the things the foundation of the Grizzlies roster has accomplished together.
With a new coach and franchise centerpiece Marc Gasol returning from a devastating injury, the Grizzlies will be faced with some fascinating decisions that will have a massive impact on the team’s short and long term future. Losing Conley would probably necessitate a rebuild in Memphis, which would be a shame considering the achievements and personality of the Grit and Grind Grizzlies.
The fact that these types of videos are coming out means that free agency is upon us, even though no contracts can be signed until Friday. The recruiting season is about to begin in earnest, so giddy up.
May 23, 2020, 9:43 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported that the NBA has entered "exploratory conversations" with Disney on restarting the season at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said the NBA and NBPA have discussed with Disney on restarting the season in late July. Marc Stein reported on Friday that it is looking increasingly likely that games will resume in July, and it appears that the stage for the rest of the 2019-20 season is likely to be Orlando.
May 23, 2020, 9:32 pmLaMelo BallPG, International
The Knicks have LaMelo Ball as their top-rated point guard for the 2020 NBA Draft.
The Knicks have a need at point guard and Ball is considered the point guard with the highest upside in this draft. He had poor shooting numbers in his 12 games in the NBL this past season, shooting .250 from deep and .375 from the field. He is a gifted passer though and averaged 6.8 assists per game in 31.3 minutes, adding 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals. If Ball was drafted by the Knicks, he could help younger players RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson get easier looks. Ball will likely be given an opportunity to run the offense by the team that drafts him and he could put up big assists numbers. He also has an impressive steal rate in limited play in Australia, but his shooting percentages are a big concern.
May 23, 2020, 9:15 pmBradley BealSG, Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said “There are no Beal Sweepstakes and that’s why he re-signed with the Wizards.”
Bartelstein continued to say “Brad re-signed with the Wizards because he wanted to stay in Washington and the Wizards wanted to keep him there.” Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported earlier in the week that the Nets had internal discussions with the Wizards for Beal. A trade out of Washington would likely hurt Beal’s fantasy value, but it’s not worth putting too much stock into trade rumors for Beal in dynasty leagues.
May 22, 2020, 9:13 pmJonathan IsaacPF, Orlando Magic
Jonathan Isaac, who sustained a serious left knee injury in January, said his knee is "feeling strong" and that he has been squatting increasingly more weight recently.
Isaac also said recently that he's open to returning if and when the NBA season is resumed and as long as the Magic organization is on-board with it. He has been running on an anti-gravity treadmill and indicated that his knee feels "110 percent" after more than four months of rehab. Isaac is a huge part of the Magic's future and it remains to be seen whether or not they will take the risk.
Source: John Denton on Twitter
May 22, 2020, 8:59 pmStephen CurryPG, Golden State Warriors
Certain NBA franchises in highly-restricted areas due to COVID-19 are inquiring with league officials about heading straight to the proposed "bubbles" rather than heading to an alternate location to train, completing a quarantine, then going to the bubble and completing a second quarantine period, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
The idea behind this is to avoid quarantining twice, first for a training period and then for again when they reach the bubble. Since players on these teams are (theoretically) already under heavy self-quarantine restrictions, this could potentially come to fruition. It seems like a realistic proposition at this point, although everything is still in a planning stage as far as an NBA return is concerned. Only time will tell and there are rumblings that teams are preparing to recall the majority of their players on or around June 1. It seems like some definitive announcements might finally be somewhat imminent.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
May 22, 2020, 8:43 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
According to Marc Stein, NBA teams are likely going to be limited to "bring (roughly) 35 players/coaches/staff into a 'campus' environment if the 2019-20 season…resumes in July."
The continuation of the season is looking increasingly likely to happen in July. Those travel parties of 35, notably, have not mentioned the players' families (or anybody's family members, for that matter). There will undoubtedly be further developments as the situation materializes.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 22, 2020, 8:15 pmDonovan MitchellSG, Utah Jazz
Jerry Sloan, former coach of the Jazz and a member of the Hall-of-Fame (as a coach), passed away at the age of 78 on Friday due to complications in his battle against Parkinson's Disease.
Before his illustrious career on the sidelines as a coach for the Jazz, Sloan had a solid run as a player. He made two All-Star games and was a six-time All-Defensive selection. As a coach, he racked up 1,223 victories and an impressive total of 20 playoff berths. Sloan guided the Jazz to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in the late 1990s with a roster headlined by Karl Malone and John Stockton. Unfortunately for the Jazz, they were twice beaten by Michael Jordan and the Bulls in their final two titles of the "second three-peat," which is a hot topic of conversation at the moment with the final two episodes of the Jordan documentary "The Last Dance" (where Sloan is featured throughout) airing just last Sunday. Rest in peace, Jerry Sloan.
May 22, 2020, 5:23 pmAlexey ShvedG, International
Spanish national basketball coach Sergio Scariolo feels that Alexey Shved will receive offers to return to the NBA this offseason.
Shved is currently playing in Russia where he is the focal point of Khimki, but the possibility remains that the 31-year-old may want to test himself against NBA competition before his body gets past its prime. For what it's worth, Scariolo predicted that Shved would stay in Russia where he is already comfortable.
May 22, 2020, 4:08 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
Marc Stein is reporting that teams are being told they'll be able to bring a total of 35 people into a "campus" environment if the season resumes.
The 35-person party is a rough estimate at this time. Stein noted that NBA travel parties routinely exceed 50 individuals, indicating that this will not be a simple arrangement to plan for. Players, coaches and staff will all go into that figure. Stein also mentioned that it is increasingly expected that the season will resume in July. We still have a long way until the calendar gets there, but the NBA clearly has this goal in mind.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 22, 2020, 3:55 pmJonathan IsaacPF, Orlando Magic
Jonathan Isaac shared that his sprained left knee is feeling strong as he continues to rehab the 4-month old injury.
Isaac's rehab has been going smoothly to date, and he also put his highest squat rack weight up since sustaining the injury. Moreover, Isaac appeared on an anti-gravity treadmill for the first time this week. Everything is still heading in the right direction, indicating that the playoffs are still a possibility if Isaac's rehab continues going well.
Source: John Denton on Twitter