July 25, 2016, 7:53 am
With the core changing in Houston, James Harden has remained as the constant at the center of everything the Rockets do. That goes for both the good and the bad.
Speaking with NBA.com’s Lang Whitaker, Harden talked about D’Antoni’s system, the team’s defensive reputation and touched on his new teammates.
Harden said that he’s been watching tape of D’Antoni-run teams and is eager to get going. While scoring didn’t seem to be the problem in Houston it’s hard to deny that D’Antoni knows how to coach up an offense. While we won’t see the return of Seven Seconds or Less, there could be some seriously fun nights for the Rockets. Harden also said that his new coach is prepared to get things clicking already; not just for The Beard but for new acquisitions Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon as well.
As far as those new guys, Harden had an interesting take: their arrival will allow him to better exert himself on defense this year. The logic here is that they’ll take some of the offensive burden away from Harden, meaning he can save some energy for the other end of the floor. While it’s nice that he’s talking about a commitment to both sides of the game, we’ll believe it when we see it. Gordon and Anderson are hardly good defenders in their own right, and even if Harden sees a drop in usage it’ll be hard for the Rockets to work with three bad defensive guys on the floor at any given time.
To be fair to Harden, he did lead the league in minutes played and had a sky high usage rate. It just doesn’t seem like the new arrivals will help him out all that much.
The Rockets have an entirely new coaching staff so it’s certainly possible to see some defensive uptick in the aggregate if not on an individual level. They have Memphis’ former defensive coach Jeff Bzdelik in the fold now and while it’s always tough to separate the coaching from the personnel, it’s hard to argue with his track record.
One thing to note from the interview is Harden’s repeated mention of preparation. While it’s not an outright shot at previous coaching staffs, it does seem to be something that wasn’t necessarily emphasized.
Coming off a listless year, the Rockets will take any improvement they can get.
July 17, 2019, 4:12 pmReggie BullockSG-SF, New York Knicks
Newly signed wing Reggie Bullock (back) underwent successful surgery for a cervical disc herniation on Wednesday.
Bullock signed a two-year contract with the Knicks a day before undergoing a special surgery in New York. The Knicks will update the media regarding Bullock's timetable around the start of training camp. With the rotation unknown and the lack of knowledge regarding his timetable, Bullock is best left undrafted in standard leagues.
Source: Knicks PR on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 3:55 pmTyler LydonPF, Sacramento Kings
Tyler Lydon has officially signed with the Kings.
Lydon was a 2017 first-round pick of the Nuggets but failed to show value in his time in Denver. The Kings will take a chance on Lydon who has only played 96 minutes in his first two seasons. For now, he can be ignored from a fantasy perspective.
Source: Sean Cunningham on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 3:25 pmJulian WashburnSF, Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have waived Julian Washburn.
Washburn was acquired in the Andre Iguodala trade. Last season he appeared in 18 games with the Grizzlies, making three starts, while averaging 2.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.7 steals in 14.1 minutes per night. Expect him to land in some team's training camp.
Source: Warriors PR on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 3:08 pmTacko FallC, Boston Celtics
Danny Ainge said that Tacko Fall's development is a "high priority" for the Celtics.
Fall is on an Exhibit 10 contract and figures to spend his time in the G-League this season. With an 8'2" wingspan and 10'3" standing reach, it's not hard to see why Boston is going to try and coax everything they can out of Fall's game. There's definitely some serious upside as a shot-blocker if he ever cracks the NBA, but until that happens he's not on the fantasy radar.
Source: Chris Forsberg on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 2:50 pmJared HarperPG, Phoenix Suns
Jared Harper has agreed to a two-way contract with the Suns, per The Athletic's Gina Mizell.
Harper was a standout with Auburn last season and averaged 10.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in four Summer League tilts with Phoenix. There's minimal fantasy impact here as the Suns already have four point guards on the roster.
Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 2:06 pmDevin RobinsonSF, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have signed Devin Robinson to an Exhibit 10 contract.
The Raptors are filling out their training camp group, and Robinson will be among a number of players fighting it out for the final spot on the roster. The Florida product has only appeared in eight NBA games in his first two seasons, and the Wizards chose not to extend him a qualifying offer for this season after he was arrested over a fight with pro football player Jalen Mills. Robinson played with the Blazers in Summer League, putting up 9.6 points and 5.0 rebounds in five games. The owner of some historic combine numbers, Robinson is yet another interesting, raw product for Toronto's development staff to work with.
Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 2:02 pmEnes KanterC, Boston Celtics
The Celtics have officially inked Enes Kanter to a contract.
Danny Ainge referred to Kanter as part of the team's Plan A this summer, and the Celtics picked him up on an affordable two-year deal worth $10 million. The second year is a player option so we should see a very motivated Kanter this season. He's going to start at center for the Celtics, and while his defensive deficiencies may limit his minutes, we're expecting 25 mpg or more. That's more than enough for the big man to deliver middle-round value.
Source: Boston Celtics
July 17, 2019, 1:59 pmCameron PaynePG, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors and Cameron Payne have agreed to a two-year deal, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
There are partial guarantees on the first season, and Payne will be looking to carve out work as the third-string point guard. This now puts the Raptors at 16 guaranteed contracts with Chris Boucher and Malcolm Miller set to join the group in the near future. Payne averaged 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.7 steals in three Summer League games with the Mavs.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 17, 2019, 1:55 pmAustin RiversPG, Houston Rockets
The Rockets have re-signed Austin Rivers and Danuel House.
Houston looked to be running it back with the same group but instead has simply swapped one star guard for another, which means that Rivers and House still figure to play important roles off the bench. There's standard-league potential in the case of injury, but neither should be expected to exceed top-200 value. Rivers probably has more upside should he come into a starting role while House's ability to chip in a wider variety of stats might make him the more appealing deep-league play over the long run.
Source: Houston Rockets
July 17, 2019, 11:51 amDragan BenderPF, Phoenix Suns
Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops is reporting that Dragan Bender has a verbal commitment to join EuroLeague champions CSKA Moscow on a multiyear deal.
The report adds that the former No. 4 pick will take the offer unless there is an intriguing offer to him from an NBA team in the 11th hour. Bender was linked to the Cavs and the Raptors but he hasn’t been able to generate much interest in the market and the move to Europe might be the optimal choice for him now.