June 13, 2016, 10:31 am
Hello friends, welcome to another wholesome edition of Last Week This Morning, a food review quiz show unlike any other! Whoops, wrong serialized thing on the Internet. This is a weekly NBA doodad, but if you happen to know what deep dark Internet show I referenced above, drop me a note on Twitter and I’ll mail you a $10 Chipotle gift card. I am a man of the people.
The Junk Whisperer
Side note, I’m not completely sure what the heading of this section is supposed to mean. I don’t actually know what ‘the (insert anything here) whisperer’ phrase tells you about that person, but right here, right now, today, in this column, it means Draymond Green likes to hit people in the junk with whatever appendage is closest to the targeted junk.
I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I am a very naïve NBA fan, and a hopeless optimist. To this day, I’m not comfortable saying that Draymond Green has purposefully junkshotted anyone. I’m not in his head, and it’s so far from anything I would ever consider doing that I cannot rationalize someone as successful as Draymond Green doing it, either. It’s below a player of his caliber, it’s below anyone, really, so that is sort of where I stand on that whole thing in the ‘real’ world.
In the fake NBA world, the one where crazy nonsense happens on a regular basis, I am ALL IN on junk hating Draymond. A lot of people hate Draymond Green, and I always use ‘hate’ loosely. Very few people actually hate Draymond Green; most people ‘hate’ him to benefit their engagement in all things NBA. We need heroes and villains. If everyone were a ‘good’ guy, none of this would be nearly as fun. A little professional wrestling never hurt anyone.
Draymond Green is a wonderful villain, a welcomed villain, a necessary villain. So while I’ll admit that I don’t think Draymond Green is a bad guy here, in this very serious basketball column, on Twitter you will find me promoting his villainous behavior, retweeting his nutshots with the eyes emoji, and so on and so forth, because it’s fun, and that is what it’s all about anyway, right? I wouldn’t watch if it wasn’t fun.
Underhanded Free Throws
I was listing to Bill Simmons’ podcast with Malcom Gladwell earlier this week, and they discussed one of Simmons’ favorite topics, the underhanded free throw, and more specifically, why DeAndre Jordan and other poor free throw shooters don’t try it.
I cannot, for the life of me, understand how this is a real discussion two very intelligent people can have. Am I totally missing the logic here? It’s taken DeAndre Jordan 8 years in the NBA shooting free throws using his regular form to get his free throw shooting UP to 43%. It’s actually improving! On what planet would attempting a new method he has spent zero time working on result is a better free throw percentage?
For a guy like Simmons, with highly respected NBA analytic buddies like Daryl Morey and everyone else involved with the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference, the probability of this actually working for DeAndre Jordan, or anyone who has spent over 20 years doing something the correct way, seems incredibly slim, if not completely impossible.
Don’t get me wrong, watching DeAndre Jordan shoot underhanded free throws would make for an excellent Vine, but no, no way. It wouldn’t work.
To say I was happy about the news that DeMarcus Cousins had earned a spot on the United States’ Olympic roster would be an understatement. With that being said, ‘earned’ may not have been the most accurate word there considering the shocking number of NBA stars and Team USA mainstays who straight up declined their invitation.
A lot the USA’s top talent is staying home. James Harden and Russell Westbrook, to name a couple. Some players have referenced the need for rest and recovery, which I can respect, and others have expressed some fear about their safety in Rio, also legitimate. I think it takes an incredible amount of restraint to say ‘no, I need to stay home’ because playing Olympic basketball sounds like the greatest thing imaginable, but again – that is the naïve NBA fan in me.
At any rate, I think Team USA is going to be a lot more interesting in Rio than they have been in quite some time, mostly because of the unknown. In all likelihood, USA will be the favorites, but the team is going have a different look. We’re going to see different matchups. If they in gold, we’re going to see new medalists. I’m looking forward to it, and you should too.
July 21, 2019, 10:09 amAnthony DavisPF, Los Angeles Lakers
When asked by Chicago Tribune reporter K.C Johnson on how he'd feel about wearing a Bulls jersey someday, Anthony Davis said that "If the opportunity ever presents itself and when that time comes, I’d definitely consider it.”
The chances of that time coming is more likely for 2025 than 2020, but still, until Davis is firmly committed to the Lakers long-term speculation of his future will remain. It's nice to know if you're a Bulls fan that he imagines playing for his home town at some point, but don't expect him bolting LA for them after one season.
Source: Chicago Tribune
July 20, 2019, 6:42 pmKenny WootenPF, New York Knicks
The Knicks have signed Kenny Wooten to an Exhibit 10 contract.
Wooten posted 10 blocks in only 52 minutes during Summer League and possesses some serious leaping ability. He will spend most of his time in the G-League and should not be on the radar in drafts.
Source: Marc Berman of The New York Post
July 20, 2019, 3:09 pmOshae BrissettSG-SF, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have signed Oshae Brissett to an Exhibit 10 contract.
Brissett, a Toronto native, went undrafted after two seasons at Syracuse and played with the Clippers at Summer League, where he averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 17.6 minutes a night across five games. This puts Toronto's roster at 20 for the time being, so barring any further transactions the Raptors have their camp group set.
Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 2:32 pmJordan McLaughlinG, Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves have inked point guard Jordan McLaughlin to a two-way contract.
McLaughlin went undrafted in 2018 after a four-year USC career where he averaged 12.8 points, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals in his senior season. After his strong play for the G-League's Long Island Nets last season, he earned a spot on this years Wolves summer league roster where he continued to impress, leading his team to a 6-1 record. He is unlikely to get many NBA minutes this season with Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier and Tyrone Wallace on the roster.
Source: Jon Krawczynski on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 1:26 pmEmmanuel MudiayPG, Utah Jazz
The Jazz have officially announced the signing of Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green and Ed Davis.
All three project to come off the bench this season with Green and Davis part of the frontcourt second string while it is unclear if Mudiay or Dante Exum will assume the backup point guard duties. Davis is coming off a career-high 8.6 rebounds per game in only 17.9 minutes last season while Mudiay enjoyed his best year as a pro with the Knicks but all three players can be left undrafted in standard leagues for the time being.
July 20, 2019, 12:59 pmCJ McCollumSG, Trail Blazers
C.J. McCollum has withdrawn his name from the Team USA training camp and 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Following the trend, McCollumn is the fourth player to withdraw his name this week in order to focus on the upcoming season. The original 20 invites are now down to 16 with the final 12-man roster expected to be announced on August 17.
Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 12:51 pmFrank MasonPG, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have agreed on a two-way contract with Frank Mason III.
Mason did not get much opportunity with the Kings last year and sat out all of Summer League with a sore hip. He projects to spend most of his time in the G-League and called up only if Eric Bledsoe or George Hill need to miss time. The Bucks recently signed Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal and still have Bonzie Colson on one from last season so they are one over the limit. They still have an empty roster spot even after signing Kyle Korver so maybe one of their two-ways gets a standard deal instead. Otherwise, one of them will need to be waived.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 12:25 pmKyle KorverSF, Milwaukee Bucks
Kyle Korver has agreed to a one-year deal with the Bucks per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
This is not the worst landing spot for Korver but he will strictly be a backup and entering his 17th season, he should not be relevant in standard leagues. He was able to knock down 2.1 triples per game in only 20.1 minutes last season so he may have value as a specialist in super-deep leagues however.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 11:49 amChris PaulPG, Oklahoma City Thunder
Chris Paul has reportedly settled on the idea of starting the season for the Thunder.
Although Oklahoma City and Miami did not have formal discussions regarding a Chris Paul trade according to Brian Windhorst, the Thunder were willing to discuss giving back the Heat some picks but the Heat would have also wanted Paul to decline his $44 million player option in 2021-2022, which is not going to happen. The Heat want to remain flexible in the next big free agent class of 2021 and adding Paul on his current deal would take that away. Paul's usage rate will likely increase on the Thunder but keep in mind that he has missed at least 21 games in each of the three seasons before drafting him as the 9-time All-Star enters his 15th season in the league.
July 20, 2019, 11:20 amEric GordonSG, Houston Rockets
Eric Gordon withdraws from Team USA training camp for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Gordon is the third player to withdraw this week after James Harden and Anthony Davis. The original training camp list of 20 is now down to 17 and the official 12-team roster will be announced on August 17.
Source: Shams Charanis on Twitter