NBA Lord's NBA Blog

NBA Lord's NBA Blog

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday Slam: The Sacramento Kings don't know what they are doing


     The Sacramento Kings are the most dysfunctional team in the NBA right now. The head coach George Karl hates the star player DeMarcus Cousins, the general manager Vlade Divac and owner Vivek Ranadive are trying to make both guys happy, and as a result, they have made a series of puzzling moves. The first of these moves was drafting Willie Cauley-Stein, the second was trading three players to the 76ers to clear cap space, and the third was signing Rajon Rondo. None of these moves make any sense whatsoever and truly are indicators that this franchise has no idea what they are doing.

     The biggest problem the Kings have at the moment is that it doesn't look like George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins can coexist. Karl has made it known that he wants Cousins gone and Cousins has made it known that he isn't happy with the way Karl has treated him.

     The problem with getting rid of the coach is that if they get rid of George Karl, it isn't at all clear what direction they go in terms of finding his replacement. There aren't any big name coaches available to hire and the only guys willing to take the Kings' job would be guys who are willing to be an NBA head coach purely because it pays well.

     As for getting rid of DeMarcus Cousins, doing so is even more problematic because he has been the piece that the franchise has tried to build around for the past few seasons. Getting rid of him would truly be an indicator that they are back to square one, which would be really hard to sell fans since they really never left square one to begin with.

     Probably the best way to resolve the DeMarcus Cousins/George Karl fiasco will be for both men to find a way to get along. As hard as that may be, the alternatives are much uglier for the Kings. The reality is that on paper, having both guys should be a plus for the Kings: Cousins is a budding superstar and Karl is a coach likely heading to the hall of fame. Usually that's a winning combination and the Kings have to hope that with time, both guys can work out their differences and have success on the basketball court.

     Regarding the decision to draft Willie Cauley-Stein, this was truly a bizarre move. Cauley-Stein has the potential to be a nice rim protector and defender in the paint, but offensively he is quite limited. Usually the best two way players get drafted first and then the more one-dimensional guys follow. For the Kings to take Willie Cauley-Stein with both Justise Winslow and Emmanuel Mudiay on the board is truly a head scratcher.

      Either the Kings see something in him that we don't see, or they see something in him that really isn't there. Given their recent pattern of behavior, I would say that they see something in him that really isn't there. Don't get me wrong, Willie Cauley-Stein could turn out to be a nice player, but taking him over a small forward with great two-way potential (Winslow) and a potential star point guard (Mudiay) is just insane.

     As for the deal with the 76ers, this too was a weird move. The Kings unloaded Nik Stauskas, the 8th overall pick in last year's draft, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, a future top-10 protected first round pick, and the right to swap two future first round picks to the 76ers for the rights to Arturas Gudaitis, Luka Mitrovic, and a future second round pick. All three of the players who the Kings gave up are solid players who could have been nice pieces to put around DeMarcus Cousins. Instead, they got rid of them so that they could clear cap space for the purpose of signing a big-name free agent.

     Had they landed LaMarcus Aldridge as a result of clearing all this cap space, the Kings would have certainly done the right thing. But what they ended up doing instead was sign Rajon Rondo to a one year deal worth $9.5M. Rondo was known for having issues with Rick Carlisle in Dallas and he has always been somewhat of a diva and head case.

     While there is no denying his talent, his attitude and mentality should have made him a non-option for the Kings given that they already have to deal with DeMarcus Cousins' ego and a coach who wants him gone. The combination of Karl, Cousins, and Rondo could result in a fatal explosion that wipes out the whole team by Christmas.

     All in all, there is nothing good to say about this Kings team. It appears as though they are randomly adding pieces that don't fit purely because they don't have anything better to do. It almost seems as though their plan is to add as many big names as possible and pray that it all works out. Such a strategy is certainly doomed. If the Kings really want to get better, they'll need to start drafting better and get some talented young players to build around for the future.

---Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bear Territory Tuesday: Will a shorter shot clock help Cal?


     The NCAA shot clock for men's basketball has been shortened from 35 to 30 seconds, which will create higher scoring games and a faster pace of play. As one who likes the slower pace of college basketball as a fun contrast to the faster paced NBA game, I'm not entirely happy with this rule change. However, I do think that this rule change works to the benefit of the Cal men's basketball team, which obviously makes me like it a lot better.

    The reason I like this rule change for Cal is simple:  Cal is designed to play a faster tempo game. With only two true centers on the entire roster (Kingsley Okoroh and Kameron Rooks) and a lot of shooting guards and small forwards, Cal will use a lot of small lineups this season. This means that they will have to play a faster paced tempo in order to be successful.

     There were times last season when Cal slowed it down too much and didn't use their speed and athleticism to their advantage. At times, they were too dependent on running a certain set of plays as opposed to using the flow of the game to their advantage. With the additions of Ivan Rabb, Jaylen Brown, Tyson Jolly, and Davon Dillard, and the losses of David Kravish, Dwight Tarwater, and Christian Behrens, Cal is an even smaller and quicker team than last season. As a result, they'll have to be even more aggressive in transition and really use their quickness and athleticism to their advantage.

     In order for this to really work, Cal will have to really play stingy defense and force a fair amount of turnovers. Thankfully, Cal has Tyson Jolly to help do just that. Earlier this year at Walnut Creek, I met with some of the Cal basketball coaches at a meet and greet with fans. They talked about the incoming freshmen and what they could bring to the team.

     When talking about Tyson Jolly, assistant coach Yanni Hufnagel said "He's an absolute pit bull. He can guard multiple positions 1, 2, and 3." Jolly is raw offensively, but defensively he should be ready to make an impact right away. He's like Tony Allen, whose defense really makes the Memphis Grizzlies go.

     This isn't to say that the other players on Cal won't be able to play good defense. Tyrone Wallace, Sam Singer, Ivan Rabb, Jaylen Brown, and Kingsley Okoroh should all be able to play really good defense as well. It's just that with Jolly he's more one dimensional and that's ok. If there is anything Cal would want a guy to be more one dimensional in, it would be defense and hustle. Cal will have plenty of guys to score the ball, so it really will be ok if Tyson Jolly is just out there making plays on defense and helping other guys get easy shots.

     In conclusion, if Cal is going to play to the best of their ability, they will have to play at a faster pace than other teams. With the shot clock being reduced to 30 seconds, Cal will be forced to play at a faster pace, which is exactly what they should be trying to do anyways. While it is true that all teams will be playing faster, not every team will want to play a faster tempo. But for Cal, the faster tempo really suits their player personnel. This rule change is truly a blessing. Go Bears!

---Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord for NBA news and Cal basketball updates 

Daily Dunks: 6/29-7/5

                                                   (Credit: Andy Melton. Click here for source)

Here is my Daily Dunks page for June 29, 2015 through July 5, 2015. Throughout the week, this page will be updated with news from across the NBA until a new Daily Dunks page is created for the following week.

Monday's NBA Daily Dunks

#1. The Bulls have extended a max qualifying offer to Jimmy Butler, making him a restricted free agent (Click here for details).

#2. The Nets waived guard Darius Morris (Click here for details).

#3. Bulls shooting guard Kirk Hinrich exercised his option to remain with the team (Click here for details).

#4. The Magic waived guard Ben Gordon (Click here for details).

#5. Draymond Green will meet with the Warriors first in free agency (Click here for details).

#6. Marc Gasol is only meeting with the Grizzlies in free agency (Click here for details).

#7. Hawks shooting guard Kyle Korver will undergo an elbow procedure on Tuesday. He is out indefinitely (Click here for details).

#8. LaMarcus Aldridge will meet with several teams (Click here for details).

#9. Pero Antic won't return to the Hawks. He is signing with Fenerbahce in Turkey (Click here for details).

#10. Grizzlies rookie power forward Jarell Martin has a stress fracture in his foot, which will cause him to miss summer league (Click here for details).

Tuesday's Daily Dunks: 

#1. Anthony Davis and the Pelicans have agreed on a 5 year, $140M extension (Click here for details).

#2. Luke Ridnour got traded again. This time to the Raptors (Click here for details).

#3. The Spurs and small forward Kawhi Leonard agreed on a 5 year, $90M extension (Click here for details).

#4. The Trail Blazers and small forward Al-Farouq Aminu agreed on a 4 year, $30M deal (Click here for details).

#5. Odds look good Jimmy Butler stays with the Bulls (Click here for details).

#6. Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzinigs (hip tightness) is questionable for summer league (Click here for details).

#7. Thaddeus Young is finalizing a 4 year, $50M deal to stay with the Nets (Click here for details).

#8. Brook Lopez has agreed to a 3 year, $60M deal to stay with the Nets. Third year includes a player option (Click here for details).

#9. Power forward Nikola Jokic is finalizing a 3 year deal to come over to join the Nuggets (Click here for details).

#10. The Bucks waived Shawne Williams and Caron Butler (Click here for details).

Tuesday's WNBA results: 

Fever 92 Sun 84. Liberty 89 Sky 81. Mercury 85 Stars 78. Storm 74 Shock 69.

Wednesday's NBA Daily Dunks:

Note: There were a TON of free agency happenings today. So what I'll do is highlight the key happenings and then provided links to some other feeds that are tracking like everything that's going on.   Also, check my twitter feeds, Facebook page, and my Google Plus page.

#1. Draymond Green is staying with the Warriors on a 5 year, $85M deal (Click here for details).

#2. Iman Shumpert is staying with the Cavaliers for a 4 year, $40M deal (Click here for details).

#3. The Grizzlies agreed to a 3 year, $18M deal with power forward Brandon Wright (Click here for details).

#4. Tyson Chandler signed a 4 year, $52M deal with the Suns (Click here for details).

#5. Paul Pierce agreed to a three-year, $10M deal with the Clippers (Click here for details).

#6. Jimmy Butler and the Bulls have agreed on a 5 year, $90M deal (Click here for details).

#7. Kevin Love is staying with the Cavaliers on a 5 year, $110M deal (Click here for details).

#8. Paul Millsap is staying with the Hawks on a 3 year, $58M deal (Click here for details).

#9. The Cavaliers re-signed Tristan Thompson on an $80M extension for 4 or 5 years (Click here for details).

#10. DeMarre Carroll is going to the Raptors on a 4 year, $60M deal (Click here for details).

#11. Sports-Kings.com has a great NBA free agency tracker (Click here to see it).

#12. RealGM.com has a great free agency tracker (Click here to view it).

#13. InsideHoops.com has a great free agency tracker (Click here to see it).

Thursday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. Monta Ellis has agreed to a 4 year, $44M Deal with the Pacers (Click here for details).

#2. Wesley Matthews has agreed to a 4 year deal with the Mavericks (Click here for details).

#3. Tristan Thompson and the Cavaliers did not get a deal done. They are still far apart (Click here for details).

#4. Damian Lillard agreed to a 5 year, $125M extension with the Trail Blazers (Click here for details).

#5. Omer Asik and the Pelicans agreed to a 5 year, $60M deal (Click here for details).

#6. Dwyane Wade has agreed to a one year, $20M deal with the Heat (Click here for details).

#7. The Bucks are trading Jared Dudley to the Wizards (Click here for details).

#8. Greg Monroe agreed to a 3 year, $50M deal with the Bucks (Click here for details).

#9. Arron Afflalo agreed to a 2 year, $16M deal with the Knicks (Click here for details).

#10. The Kings traded Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, and Nik Stauskas to the 76ers (Click here for details).

#11. Sports-Kings.com has a great NBA free agency tracker (Click here to see it).

#12. RealGM.com has a great free agency tracker (Click here to see it).

#13. InsideHoops.com has a great free agency tracker (Click here to see it).

#14. Sportando.com has a nice recap of ALL the day's happenings (Click here to see it).

Thursday's WNBA scores: 

Sky 77 Sun 74. Fever 73 Mystics 50. Mercury 86 Shock 55. Sparks 86 Stars 81.

Friday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. The Memphis Grizzlies may be looking to move Kosta Koufos via sign and trade (Click here for details).

#2. The Knicks and center Robin Lopez have agreed on a 4 year, $54M deal (Click here for details).

#3. The Pacers and forward LaVoy Allen agreed on a multi-year deal (Click here for details).

#4. Derrick Williams and the Knicks agreed on a two year, $10M deal (Click here for details).

#5. Patrick Beverley is staying with the Rockets on a 4 year, $25M deal (Click here for details).

#6. Rajon Rondo is signing with the Kings on a one year, $10M deal (Click here for details).

#7. Gary Neal is going to the Wizards on a 1 year, $2.1M deal (Click here for details).

#8. Corey Brewer is re-signing with the Rockets on a 3 year, $24M deal (Click here for details).

#9. DeAndre Jordan is going to the Mavericks on a 4 year, $80M deal (Click here for details).

#10. The Kings and shooting guard Marco Belinelli have agreed on a 3 year, $19M deal (Click here for details).

#11. Tobias Harris agrees to a 4 year, $64M deal to stay with the Magic (Click here for details).

#12. Sportando.com has a great page with all the free agency happenings from the day (Click here to view it).

#13. RealGM.com has a great free agency tracker (Click here to view it).

#14. InsideHoops.com has a great free agency tracker (Click here to view it).

Saturday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. The Pacers are finalizing a trade to send Roy Hibbert to the Lakers (Click here for details).

#2. The Magic have sent Kyle O'Quinn to the Knicks via sign and trade (Click here for details).

#3. The Kings have agreed to a 4 year, $33M deal with Kosta Koufos (Click here for details).

#4. Jeremy Lin is considering signing with the Mavericks (Click here for details).

#5. Bismack Biyombo has agreed to a two-year, $6M deal with the Raptors (Click here for details).

#6. LaMarcus Aldridge is signing with the Spurs on a 4 year, $80M deal (Click here for details).

#7. Dante Cunningham has agreed to a 3 year, $9M deal with the Pelicans (Click here for details).

#8. Richard Jefferson is re-signing with the Mavericks (Click here for details).

#9. Becky Hammon is the head coach of the Spurs' summer league team (Click here for details).

#10. C.J. Watson is joining the Magic on a 3 year, $15M deal (Click here for details).
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Saturday's NBA Summer League scores: 

Heat 92 Pacers 76. Magic (White) 87 Pistons 76. Magic (Black) 75 Clippers 74. Thunder 76 Hornets 74. Grizzlies 81 Nets 73.

Heat small forward Justise Winslow had 15 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Pacers center Myles Turner had 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Hornets forward Frank Kaminsky had 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 steals.



---Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord for NBA news and like my Facebook page NBA Lord Nation 



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2015 NBA Mock Draft: Rounds 1 & 2


     The wait is finally over! My two round mock draft for the 2015 NBA Draft has finally arrived! I want to give a special shout out to NBADraft.net and DraftExpress.com for helping me with my mock draft. Without NBADraft.net's amazing database of players, notes, and analysis on prospects, my mock draft wouldn't be what it is. Without the amazing YouTube videos by DraftExpress.com, which break down the strengths and weaknesses of nearly every prospect, I wouldn't have known the prospects nearly as well. After reading my mock draft, please check out the mock drafts on both websites and also make them your go-to destinations for everything NBA Draft related!

     Before I dive straight into my mock draft, I would like to explain how I am making my predictions. I am making my predictions using the following criteria: Best player available, team needs, what I think the team should do with the pick, and what I think the team will likely do with the pick. There is no weight or scale to which I give each of these areas of criteria. They are merely four factors that I consider before I make my prediction for the draft selection. 

     Also, it should be noted that my mock draft will not factor in trades which could of course shake up the entire draft. Doing so would be maddening and turn my mock draft into a frenzied guessing game with no rhyme or reason to it whatsoever. But all the same, do keep in mind that there will be trades. They are just as much apart of the draft process as anything else. But unfortunately for those of us creating mock drafts, it is tricky to factor them into the equation. And now, without further intro, here is my mock draft! Enjoy! 

FIRST ROUND

#1. Minnesota Timberwolves---Kentucky freshman center Karl-Anthony Towns (7-0, 250 lbs): Karl-Anthony Towns is undoubtedly the most talented prospect in this entire draft. He has great size for an NBA center, sporting a 7'3.5" wingspan, which makes up for the fact that he isn't the most explosive leaper. He moves really well on the floor and can do a wide array of things from an offensive standpoint. 

     He can knock down a shot from anywhere on the court to stretch the defense, grab an offensive rebound for a put back, and knock down his free throws. In addition, he is a solid passer. As for his defensive abilities, he isn't the most athletic guy, but his length is fantastic and he was able to block 2.3 shots per game during his freshman season. 

     Towns seems to be a guy who can do it all. He can score, he can rebound, he can block shots, and he isn't a liability at the foul line (81.7% foul shooter). Out of all the players in this draft, he seems to be the most sure thing in terms of turning into a fine NBA player. I don't see any way the Timberwolves pass on him. Especially since reports say they have already told him he's going #1. 

#2. Los Angeles Lakers---Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor (6-11, 270 lbs): The Los Angeles Lakers would be very foolish to pass on Jahlil Okafor given his physical tools and abilities. The difference between Okafor and Towns is that Okafor is a more traditional big man. He's more physical, tough, and strong down on the block, but he lacks the offensive versatility that Towns possesses. 

     If one were to pick Okafor over Towns it would be because of his defense and rebounding. Okafor is bigger, stronger, and has an even more impressive wingspan (7'5"). There really is no concern about him getting bossed around in the paint by NBA big men. He seems to have the physical body to successfully battle down low with anybody in the NBA. He should have no problem grabbing rebounds and blocking shots from day one. 

     While Towns is the more offensively talented player, Okafor was actually the more efficient of the two, posting a +20.526 NBA efficiency rating to Towns' +15.84. While it is nice that Towns has more of the offensive pieces and versatility, it needs to be understood that big men are primarily supposed to battle down low, get rebounds, and block shots. Okafor does those things better, which means that the Lakers really shouldn't feel all that bad should they get Okafor instead of Towns. 
     

#3. Philadelphia 76ers---Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis (7-1, 220 lbs): If the Philadelphia 76ers are going to remain consistent with their "Go big or go home" draft philosophy, they will draft Kristaps Porzingis. He is promising big man with a ton of upside due to his athleticism, length, and mobility. He runs the floor really well and loves to crash the offensive glass. Like Karl-Anthony Towns, he has the potential to be a versatile offensive threat and has shown the capability to score the ball from beyond the arc. 

     He needs to improve his all around polish and become more refined, but that should be expected given that he is still growing into his body and is only 19 years of age. If there is anybody in the NBA past or present who I can compare him to, it is a bigger version of Andrei Kirilenko. Like Kirilenko, he has a high motor, has great length, and has tremendous offensive upside. If he lives up to his potential, he could be the best player in this entire draft. 

     The only reason the 76ers would pass on him is if they feel that somebody else had more potential than him. That is certainly possible, but unlikely. The other guys who the 76ers would consider ahead of Porzingis simply don't have the same upside and potential that he has. So, unless the 76ers decide to change their entire drafting philosophy, they will roll with the big man from Latvia. Note: Click here to view a great article about the 76ers' drafting philosophy. 


#4. New York Knicks---Ohio State freshman point guard D'Angelo Russell (6-4, 195 lbs): D'Angelo Russell is rated the best point guard in the draft, edging out Emmanuel Mudiay. Russell has great size for a point guard and is able to both score and distribute the basketball to his teammates, averaging 19.3 points per game and 5.0 assists last season. He also has tremendous upside on defense, getting 1.6 steals per game and has the size and length to become an effective defender in the NBA. 

     Probably his biggest strength is his ability to be effective in the pick and roll due to his size, ball handling, passing, and scoring. Out of the pick and roll, he can do a wide variety of things really well. He can attack the basket, find the roll man cutting to the basket, or he can pull up for a jump shot. 

     It's not entirely clear how well he fits with the triangle offense since the triangle traditionally doesn't feature dynamic point guards. But all the same, he has the size to play the shooting guard position if needed and ball movement is vital to any offensive scheme. Unless Phil Jackson has some crazy plan that we are unaware of, I see the Knicks taking D'Angelo Russell. 

#5. Orlando Magic---Duke freshman shooting guard Justise Winslow (6-6, 222 lbs): Justise Winslow is a dynamic swingman who plays really well on both ends of the floor. He has great size, strength, and length for his position, and should be able to make an impact right away with his defense. The Orlando Magic already have two point guards with Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton, so it would be very odd of them to draft Emmanuel Mudiay unless they make a trade. 

     Assuming they want to keep Oladipo and Payton, Justise Winslow makes the most sense for the Magic to draft. He can play the small forward position alongside both guards and instantly be inserted into the starting lineup. He would give them a fantastic defender on the perimeter and also a swingman who can score the basketball (12.6 points per game and 41.8% from three-point range last season). 

     One thing I did consider was how he would fit with Aaron Gordon, but I don't think that should be a concern. For one thing, it isn't at all clear that Aaron Gordon will pan out, and secondly, Gordon can slide over to the power forward position. If Gordon can live up to his potential, the Magic could really be cooking with gas defensively since Gordon was also praised for his high motor and intensity on defense coming out of Arizona. 

#6. Sacramento Kings---Guangdong point guard Emmanuel Mudiay (6-5, 200 lbs): The Sacramento Kings could go several directions with this pick, but if Emmanuel Mudiay is still available, I don't see any reason to think the Kings will pass on him. He is the best player available at this stage of the draft and he also plays a position that the Kings could use an upgrade at. 

     Like D'Angelo Russell, he has great physical tools for a point guard and is able to see over defenses to make plays for others. He thrives in transition and also plays really well in the pick and roll. His size and length (6'8.5" wingspan) should make him a fantastic player on defense as well as a really good rebounder (6.25 rebounds per game in China). 

     Probably the only concern for him is that he played in China as opposed to Division 1 for his year after high school. The fact that he went this route makes him somewhat of an enigma to teams, but the Chinese Basketball Association is one of the best professional leagues overseas. He played very well over there and appears ready to make the jump to the NBA. 

     In short, there really isn't anything he should struggle with as a point guard. He can score, facilitate, defend, and rebound to go along with his great size. In many ways, it would be a surprise to see him fall to #6, but all the same, the guys ahead of him are fantastic prospects as well. The Kings should consider themselves lucky to be picking this high because no matter who they pick, they'll be getting somebody good. 

#7. Denver Nuggets---Arizona freshman small forward Stanley Johnson (6-6, 242 lbs): Stanley Johnson has all the tools to be an elite small forward in the NBA. He has great size, strength, and mobility to go along with an ability to score the basketball (13.8 points per game, 44.6 FG%, and 37.1 3-point %). He sports a 6'11" wingspan and is really quick for his size. He should be an excellent perimeter defender in the NBA and make plays in transition since he excels at finishing through contact. 

     To be honest, I don't see much of a difference between him and Justise Winslow. Like Winslow, he is an explosive athlete who should be a great two-way player at the small forward position. The only reason why Winslow gets the nod is that Winslow was a better shooter from three-point range. 

#8. Detroit Pistons---Murray State sophomore point guard Cameron Payne (6-2, 185 lbs): There has been some talk of the Pistons trading Brandon Jennings, which would mean that they would be in search of a point guard. Cameron Payne will definitely be available at #8 and could be the guy to replace Brandon Jennings. Payne is a really good scorer (20.2 points per game) and had an impressive +20.4285714 NBA efficiency rating due to his great foul shooting (78.7 FT%) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4-1). 

     Payne seems to have the potential to be a really good point guard in the NBA. The only concern for him is his size and the lack of competition he faced at Murray State. His size forced him to shoot more floaters than he can get away with in the NBA and there are questions about his ability to finish through contact and length at the NBA level.

     But at this point in the draft, you need to be less picky and there is a lot to be excited about with Cameron Payne. His scoring ability is really a plus and he has shown NBA-range in his shooting. If the Pistons want to draft a guy who can play well in the pick and roll with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, they'll roll with Cameron Payne. 

#9. Charlotte Hornets---FC Barcelona small forward Mario Hezonja (6-8, 215 lbs): Mario Hezonja is a terrific talent with a great NBA build. He can shoot the ball, slash to the rim, and has great defensive upside because of his athleticism and body frame. He is very quick and explosive as he dunks the basketball and seems to get up with ease. He certainly will be a great NBA dunk contest candidate! His three-point percentage was solid last season (39.1%) and he shot a good percentage from the foul line (76.7%). 

     The only real concern with him is his attitude. He wasn't always willing to listen to his teammates and he has a big ego. It's unclear how well of a "team player" he can be since he doesn't project to be a first-option player in the NBA. But assuming he is able to mature and learn to be more open, he should be a great fit in Charlotte. 

#10. Miami Heat---Kentucky freshman power forward Trey Lyles (6-10, 240 lbs): Trey Lyles is the first projected lottery pick who doesn't project to be a great two-way player. Offensively, he has a lot of great tools to work with, but defensively there are some question marks. He scores the ball well, passes the ball well, and also showed the humility to be a role player at Kentucky. 

     He was willing to grab rebounds, do the dirty work, and let the offense come to him. One of his big strengths is that he moves well on offense and has great footwork. He could very well become a solid offensive player in the post with some more seasoning. 

He doesn't project to be a very good defender in the NBA since his lateral quickness isn't all that good. He also doesn't do a great job at preventing guys from getting position in the paint. But while those things are all concerns, his offensive upside makes him worth the risk. Especially since he can learn from Chris Bosh, one of the most offensively talented big men we have ever seen. To give you a better sense of what kind of player he could become, NBADraft.net compares him to Carlos Boozer. 

#11. Indiana Pacers---Texas freshman center Myles Turner (6-11, 240 lbs): Myles Turner has great size and length for an NBA big, sporting a 7'4" wingspan. He rebounds really well (6.5 rebounds per game) and blocks shots really well (2.6 blocks per game). He could be a nice replacement for Roy Hibbert in the event that the Pacers decide to part ways with him. He needs to improve his offensive polish, but he has a nice stroke and the pieces are there for him to be effective on offense as well (83.9% foul shooter). A lot of teams are interested in him, so don't be surprised if some team trades up to get him. 

#12. Utah Jazz---Wisconsin junior small forward Sam Decker (6-9, 220 lbs): The Utah Jazz don't really need anything. They have a point guard, they have a shooting guard, they have a small forward, they have a power forward, and they have a center. With that in mind, I see them taking Sam Decker because of his versatility to play a number of different positions as well as his versatility on both offense and defense.

     Decker averaged 13.9 points per game last season and shot 33.1% from three-point range, which isn't bad for a guy of his size. He is really good in transition due to his mobility and athleticism and can also shoot well off the dribble. He can do a lot of things well and be a nice role player for the Utah Jazz in the event that he doesn't quite live up to expectations. 

#13. Phoenix Suns---Kentucky junior center Willie Cauley-Stein (7-0, 242 lbs): Willie Cauley-Stein is a player who is the exact opposite of his teammate Trey Lyles. He has terrific defensive potential, but offensively he is quite limited. He averaged 1.7 blocks per game last season, but in his sophomore season he averaged 2.9 blocks per game. His potential to be an elite shot blocker (7'2" wingspan) makes him an intriguing prospect, but his lack of offensive polish after three seasons at Kentucky is why he isn't going to be a top-ten pick. 

     However, Phoenix could use his defense. They have plenty of guys who can score, but they simply lack a defensive presence inside. If Alex Len can continue to mature, they could have a nice front court that is able to collectively score the ball, rebound, and block shots. 

#14. Oklahoma City Thunder---Kentucky freshman shooting guard Devin Booker (6-6, 205 lbs): Devin Booker's main strengths are his shooting, size, and age. He uses his size well to shoot over defenders and can shoot well off the bounce as well as in catch and shoot situations (41.1% from 3-point range). Due to his size, he should be able to develop into a solid defender as well. As for his age, he doesn't turn 19 until October 30, so he is one of the youngest players in this entire draft. 

     The Thunder will certainly be getting a kid who can help them out for a very long time. He does have issues finishing at the rim and creating his own offense, but playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant should help him a ton as both of those guys do a great job creating easy looks for others. 

#15. Atlanta Hawks--- Notre Dame senior point guard Jerian Grant (6-4, 200 lbs): During his senior season at Notre Dame, Jerian Grant had a knack for making big plays in key moments. He averaged 16.5 points per game and was more than comfortable being the go-to guy in the clutch. The Atlanta Hawks could use another guy with a killer instinct in tight situations and that is exactly what Jerian Grant can bring to the table. He is a capable point guard who can also slide over to the shooting guard position if needed. It's unclear how he would fit with Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder, but I think they could find a use for him. 

#16. Boston Celtics---Kansas freshman small forward Kelly Oubre (6-7, 205 lbs): Kelly Oubre is a talented swingman with a lot of upside due to his athleticism. He has great physical tools for his position and if he develops a more consistent offensive game, he could be scary. At this point in the draft, you want to look for diamonds in the rough and Kelly Oubre could be one of them. 

#17. Milwaukee Bucks---Arkansas sophomore power forward Bobby Portis (6-11, 245 lbs): With Larry Sanders gone, the Bucks could use another talented big man. Bobby Portis would be a perfect guy to fill that need because of his physical package, offensive abilities, and energy. He blocked a solid amount of shots last season (1.4 blocks per game) and he also rebounded the ball really well (8.9 rebounds per game). Lastly, he showed a capability to knock down the three ball (46.7%). His only weaknesses are his lack of really good post moves and explosiveness. He isn't the best defensive rebounder, but I think he can improve on that. All in all, he could wind up being a steal in the draft. 

#18. Houston Rockets---Louisville junior power forward Montrezl Harrell (6-8, 255 lbs): Montrezl Harrell has a terrific motor and rebounds the ball really well for a guy of his size. He is a very good athlete who can catch lobs in transition for easy dunks due to his ability to run the floor. He lacks offensive polish and there are question marks surrounding his overall upside. But the Rockets have plenty of guys who can score and they could use another scrappy big guy to grab rebounds and clean up the glass on offense. Dwight Howard can't do it all on his own. 

#19. Washington Wizards---UNVL freshman center Christian Wood (6-10, 215 lbs): If you are looking to hit a home run late in the first round of the draft, Christian Wood is your best option. He has great size and has a solid 7'2" wingspan. He averaged 15.2 points per game, 10.0 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game last season. His NBA efficiency rating was an impressive +20.6363 and he has the tools to be a really good big man in years to come. I saw him play live against San Jose State University and I was impressed with what I saw. Playing behind Nene and Marcin Gortat could do wonders for his game. 

#20. Toronto Raptors---Wisconsin senior center Frank Kaminsky (7-1, 230 lbs): Frank Kaminsky is one of the best players in this entire draft (+23.51 NBA efficiency). What brings him down is that he is one of the older players in the draft and there are questions about his upside. But I think those questions overshadow just how good he is. He moves well for his size, has tremendous offensive versatility, and has a great feel for the game which one would expect from a senior. If the Raptors are looking to add a solid player to help them compete for an Eastern Conference championship, Frank Kaminsky would be a terrific addition to their squad. 

#21. Dallas Mavericks---Louisville sophomore point guard Terry Rozier (6-2, 190 lbs): If Monta Ellis is indeed leaving the team, Terry Rozier would be a nice pick up for the Mavericks since he scores the ball really well (17.1 points per game), hits the three ball, and is a capable defender (2.0 steals per game). He is a bit undersized for even the point guard position, but he displays potential to adapt to the point guard role permanently. The Mavericks could go a lot of different directions here. It'll certainly be interesting to see what they do. 

#22. Chicago Bulls---Virginia  junior small forward Justin Anderson (6-6, 230 lbs): Justin Anderson is basically a B grade version of Justise Winslow and Stanley Johnson. He has a great physical profile, upside on defense, and the potential to become an effective scorer. He just hasn't been as consistent as those guys. But if he can be more consistent and improve his feel for the game, he could be a steal in the draft. Also, he is fairly versatile due to his size, so the Bulls could use him in a number of different ways. 

#23. Portland Trail Blazers---Utah senior point guard Delon Wright (6-5, 180 lbs):  You might be wondering why I have the Trail Blazers selecting a point guard when they already have Damian Lillard. The reason is because Delon Wright has the versatility to play the shooting guard position and is also a more prototypical point guard, who averaged 6.1 assists per game last season. He uses his size to see over defenders and he is good at distributing the ball. He can certainly help create more "flow" to the Trail Blazers' offense. 

#24. Cleveland Cavaliers---Casajol Sevilla center Guillermo Hernangomez (6-11, 250 lbs): I'm not sure if the Cavaliers want to pay a guaranteed contract to a rookie this season, so I have them taking Guillermo Hernangomez, a center from Spain who may not come over for a couple of seasons. He has a lot of potential and could be useful in a couple of seasons. 

#25. Memphis Grizzlies---Georgia State junior shooting guard R.J. Hunter (6-6, 185 lbs): The Grizzlies need more guys who can shoot the ball from beyond the arc and that is exactly what R.J. Hunter does so well. He also has good physical tools and the ability to pass the ball, so he can do other things besides hoist threes. 

#26. San Antonio Spurs---Duke freshman point guard Tyus Jones (6-1, 185 lbs): Tyus Jones is a very talented point guard who plays the point guard position the right way. He is great in the pick and roll, makes good decisions, and is a pass-first guy. He is also very confident and not afraid to take big shots. He has all the tools to be effective in the Spurs' system. The only thing that could hold him back are physical limitations, but Tony Parker should be a good mentor to help him over come those challenges. 

#27. Los Angeles Lakers---Arizona sophomore forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (6-7, 210 lbs): He has the athleticism and physical profile to be really good in the NBA. He just doesn't have the offensive polish. If he can figure out how to become a better basketball player and not just rely on athleticism, he could be really good. The reason I see the Lakers taking him is he has a ton of potential and the Lakers need more of that. 

#28. Boston Celtics---UCLA freshman power forward Kevon Looney (6-9, 222 lbs): Kevon Looney's main strength is his rebounding ability. He averaged 4.2 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes and has potential to become a solid rebounding big man. While he only averaged 11.6 points per game, he did make 41.5% of his three point shots, so offensively there might be some hope. 

#29. Brooklyn Nets---UNLV freshman shooting guard Rashad Vaughn (6-5, 200 lbs): Vaughn averaged 17.8 points per game last season and shot 38.3% from three-point range. His scoring is definitely his strength.  He has a solid NBA body frame with a 6'7" wingspan and he is really young at just 18 years of age. If can develop other parts of his game, he could wind up being really good. 

#30. Golden State Warriors---Syracuse freshman forward Chris McCullough (6-9, 200 lbs): 
If it wasn't for a torn ACL, Chris McCullough would have been a lottery pick due to his athleticism, mobility, and potential to be really good on both ends of the floor. The fact that he runs the floor really well and plays really good defense (2.1 blocks per game) leads me to believe he could be an interesting addition to the Warriors' small ball lineups.  He has a TON of upside. It's just a matter of how much the torn ACL will hurt him. 

SECOND ROUND 

#31. Minnesota Timberwolves---UCLA senior shooting guard Norman Powell (6-4, 215 lbs): NBADraft.net compared Norman Powell to Tony Allen, which means he could be a great pick this late in the draft. He plays really good defense, attacks the basket well, is really athletic, and finishes well around the rim. He lacks a quality shot and is small for his position, but pairing him with Andrew Wiggins could give the Timberwolves a really nice perimeter defensive unit. 

#32. Houston Rockets---North Carolina junior shooting guard J.P. Tokoto (6-6, 195 lbs): J.P. Tokoto is really athletic. He can jump out of the gym and is certainly an NBA-level athlete.  He definitely has potential to be really good on defense. He just can't hit a shot to save his life and he lacks offensive polish. If he can learn to play basketball and not just rely on his athleticism, he could be a steal in this draft. 
#33. Boston Celtics---LSU sophomore power forward Jordan Mickey (6-8, 240 lbs): Mickey has an NBA-level body and scored decently well last season (15.4 points per game). His NBA efficiency rating of +20.1935484 is also impressive as are his 3.6 blocks per game. Defensively, he has a ton of potential. 

#34. Los Angeles Lakers---Westchester Community College forward Luis Montero (6-7 180 lbs): Luis Montero is truly the mystery player of this draft. People who say it is Kristaps Porzingis are just too lazy to do their homework. There is a lot of info on Porzingis if you go to NBADraft.net and watch the DraftExpress videos. But as for Montero, the same cannot be said. He played at Westchester Community College, which is completely off the radar, but he mysteriously is rising up the draft boards. From what I saw on YouTube, he appears to be an NBA-level athlete with a lot of "potential." I see the Lakers rolling the dice on him in hopes that he becomes something special. 

#35. Philadelphia 76ers---Bowling Green senior power forward Richaun Holmes (6-9, 245 lbs): Richaun Homes is a big guy who is good around the basket (56.3 FG% and 8.0 rebounds per game). He also knocked down 41.9% of his shots from beyond the arc. He is an intriguing guy who the 76ers should be interested in bringing in to training camp. 

#36. Minnesota Timberwolves---Nebraska junior small forward Terran Petteway (6-6, 210 lbs): Terran Petteway can score the ball really well (18.2 points per game last season). His three point percentage 31.3% is lower than one would like, but assuming he takes better shots and plays within a system, those numbers should go up. He could be a nice fit in Minnesota as an off the bench scorer of sorts. 

#37. Philadelphia 76ers---Anadolu Efes small forward Cedi Osman (6-8, 215 lbs):  Cedi Osman has a lot of potential due to his size and length. He likely stays with Anadolu Efes for a couple more years, which means he is a draft and stash guy. A couple more years of playing overseas would do him some good. His free throws (66.7%) and three-point shooting (30.3%) need work. 

#38. Detroit Pistons---Kentucky sophomore center Dakari Johnson (7-0, 260 lbs): Dakari Johnson has great size for an NBA big man and is a very hard working player. Offensively he is rather limited, but he can still become a solid backup center in the NBA due to his impressive size. He could certainly be a good fit as a backup center behind Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. 

#39. Charlotte Hornets---Kansas freshman power forward Cliff Alexander (6-8, 240 lbs): He has all the physical tools to succeed in the NBA. He has a 7'2" wingspan, etc. The question is can he develop a good enough offensive game to become a serious threat. He is another one of those really athletic dudes with a ton of "potential". I wouldn't be surprised if somebody reached for him late in the first round. 

#40. Miami Heat---Boston College junior point guard Olivier Hanlan (6-4, 185 lbs): Hanlan can really score the ball (19.5 points per game) and he facilitates nicely, dishing out 4.2 assists per game last season. With Norris Cole gone, there might be a place for him in Miami. 

#41. Brooklyn Nets---LSU sophomore power forward Jarell Martin (6-9, 240 lbs): Jarell Martin averaged 16.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game last season. He even developed a bit of a three-point game, though it wasn't very reliable (26.9%). He would be a bit of a project, but there is potential. His NBA efficiency rating of +19.1818182 is impressive.  

#42. Utah Jazz---Oregon senior point guard Joseph Young (6-2, 185 lbs): Joseph Young won Pac-12 player of the year honors for his ability to score the ball (20.7 points per game) and step up in crunch time. Given that Dante Exum isn't the most reliable scorer and needs improvement on his shot, Joseph Young could be a nice fit as a point guard who can come off the bench and light up the scoreboard. 

#43. Indiana Pacers---Syracuse senior power forward Rakeem Christmas (6-9, 245 lbs): Rakeem Christmas had a huge senior year, scoring 17.5 points, grabbing 9.1 rebounds, and blocking 2.5 shots per game. He has a 7'3" wingspan and certainly could be a steal this late in the draft because of his physical package. The reason he is not a first round player is because he is a senior. If he was putting up these numbers as a freshman he'd be a lottery pick for sure. 

#44. Phoenix Suns---KK Partizan center Nikola Milutinov (7-0, 225 lbs): Milutinov is a hard working young man who has great physical tools to work with. He just lacks offensive polish. The fact that he won't come over for a couple of years makes him an intriguing draft and stash option for the Suns. If he starts to develop a better offensive game, he could be a nice asset for them. 

#45. Boston Celtics---Notre Dame shooting guard Pat Connaughton (6-5, 215 lbs): Pat Connaughton is an interesting prospect. He has a 44" max vertical leap, which means he is an NBA-level athlete. He has some interesting tools to work with given his athleticism and three-point shooting ability (42.3%). 

#46. Milwaukee Bucks---France center Mouhammadou Jaiteh (6-11, 250 lbs): Mouhammadou Jaiteh is a big guy with great physical tools to work with. He has good rebounding instincts and is definitely a guy worth gambling on at this point of the draft. The only concern is that he hasn't developed as much over the last two years as one would hope. Two years ago, there was discussion of him being a lottery pick. 

#47. Philadelphia 76ers---Stanford senior small forward Anthony Brown (6-7, 210 lbs): Anthony Brown is a very talented wing player who can shoot the ball from beyond the arc and attack the basket in transition. He definitely has NBA-level athleticism and was a good team player at Stanford. The 76ers could use a high character guy like Brown as they try to change the course of their franchise. 

#48. Oklahoma City Thunder---Texas senior power forward Jonathan Holmes (6-9, 245 lbs): Jonathan Holmes has a nice physical profile and is versatile on both ends of the floor. He just isn't all that explosive and he lacks upside due to his age. 

#49. Washington Wizards---Kentucky sophomore guard Andrew Harrison (6-6, 215 lbs): Andrew Harrison didn't pan out like we all thought he would at Kentucky. Still, the Wizards may feel there is enough talent there to take a small gamble on late in the second round. 

#50. Atlanta Hawks---Arizona sophomore power forward Brandon Ashley (6-8, 230 lbs):  Brandon Ashley is an NBA-level athlete with a nice 7'3" wingspan. He can knock down the three at a 33.3% clip and could prove to be a steal because of his physical tools and offensive potential. 

#51. Orlando Magic---Zalgiris Kaunas power forward Arturas Gudaitis (6-10, 255 lbs): Arturas Gudaitis is a big guy with a good NBA body. He is a good offensive rebounder and has proven capable to score the ball in the Euroleague (8.56 points per game). His problem is he really has no jump shot. Just 17 of his 394 shots were jumpers. 

#52. Dallas Mavericks---Washington sophomore center Robert Upshaw (7-0, 260 lbs): Ever since he got kicked off of Washington's team, there have been questions about his character. But there is no denying that his physical tools make him worth the risk this late in the draft. 

#53. Cleveland Cavaliers---Wyoming senior power forward Larry Nance, Jr. (6-9, 230 lbs): Larry Nance, Jr. was born in Akron, OH. That alone should make the Cavaliers draft him. Plus, he is an athletic player who can do a little bit of everything: 16.1 points per game, 7.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.2 steals, and 33.3% from three-point range were his numbers from last season. 

#54. Utah Jazz---Michigan State senior power forward Branden Dawson (6-7, 230 lbs):  Branden Dawson blocked 1.7 shots per game last season and has a high motor. The question is can he overcome his physical limitations. He isn't that big for a power forward and he lacks the skills to be a small forward. His 3-point percentage is N/A. 

#55. San Antonio Spurs---UTEP sophomore small forward Vince Hunter (6-7, 210 lbs): Vince Hunter has good springs and scored 14.9 points per game last season. He's still pretty young and might have some potential because of his body frame and three-point shooting (40% on 10 attempts). 

#56. New Orleans Pelicans---Stanford senior point guard Chasson Randle (6-2, 180 lbs): Chasson Randle can score the basketball really well (19.6 points per game) and is a high character player. The only concern with him is that he is undersized for a point guard and played more like a shooting guard at Stanford. He averaged just 3.0 assists per game last season. However, his shooting ability is enticing and he could be a good fit in New Orleans given that Jimmer Fredette hasn't exactly panned out. 

#57. Denver Nuggets---Michigan State senior point guard Travis Trice (6-1, 170 lbs): Travis Trice has the skills one would want for an NBA point guard (15.3 points and 5.1 assists per game). If he can overcome his size, he could be nice pickup for the Nuggets. They could use a backup point guard. 

#58. Philadelphia 76ers--- Iowa State senior shooting guard Bryce Dejean-Jones (6-6, 205 lbs): Bryce Dejean-Jones has a good NBA body and is an athletic finisher. Given that he is a senior he may not have much upside, but his athleticism should get him drafted. 

#59. Atlanta Hawks---Florida junior shooting guard Michael Frazier (6-5, 200 lbs): Michael Frazier's draft stock is rising and he appears likely to be drafted. His free throw shooting percentage is excellent (87.1%), indicating that he has the ability to shoot the ball. 

#60. Philadelphia 76ers---UConn senior point guard Ryan Boatright (5-11, 170 lbs): Ryan Boatright is very small for an NBA point guard, but he is lightning quick and can really score the ball (17.4 points per game). He dished out 3.8 assists per game last season and averaged 1.4 steals per game. He shows promise as a facilitator and also as a defender. 

---Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord for NBA news. Also, like my Facebook page NBA Lord Nation. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bear Territory Tuesday: Will the Golden State Warriors' success rub off on Cal basketball?



     The Golden State Warriors won their first NBA championship in 40 years last week, eliminating the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games. Andre Iguodala won the MVP of the series primarily because everything swung in the Warriors' favor once he was inserted into the starting lineup in favor of Andrew Bogut.  The Warriors' small ball lineups featuring Iguodala ended up making the difference in the series. The faster tempo created by going small was simply too much for the Cavaliers to overcome.

     If they tried to go small, the Cavaliers would get beat because the Warriors had a better small ball lineup. If the Cavaliers tried to go big, they would also get beat because the Warriors would get too many easy looks in transition. In the end, we saw the better team win even though LeBron James was clearly the best player of the entire series. It was sad to see the Cavaliers lose after all that LeBron James had done, but in the end I was happy to see the Bay Area get its first NBA title since 1975.

     The city of Oakland hasn't had a lot to cheer about over the years. The economy has been in decline, drugs and violence have been an issue, and they are on the verge of losing their pro sports teams to bigger markets (The Warriors to San Francisco and possibly the Raiders to Los Angeles). It was nice to have an NBA championship parade in the city of Oakland in light of all their struggles. It certainly brought joy, optimism, and pride to the community.

     In addition to lifting up the spirits of the city of Oakland, the Warriors' championship also appeared to inspire the Cal men's basketball team. Here are some tweets from the team.
















     It is clear from all of these tweets and reactions that the Cal men's basketball team has gotten a jolt of excitement and inspiration from watching the hometown Warriors win an NBA title. Realizing that an NBA championship team is so close to them has certainly made them realize that winning a championship in the East Bay can be done. What especially makes this hit home for Cal is the fact that the Warriors play just 11 miles away from UC Berkeley and also bear a name that represents the entire state, calling themselves "Golden State Warriors" in a manner similar to UC Berkeley calling themselves "California Golden Bears".
   
   Even though the Cal men's basketball team will have to go out and earn a national championship like every other team, the hometown Warriors can serve as an inspiration for them and be there as an example of what it takes to win a championship. The Warriors won an NBA championship because they played as a team, made sacrifices, and played hard on both ends of the floor. If Cal can do those same things and try to model themselves after the Warriors in those areas, odds are good that the East Bay will have a Final Four championship team in 2016.

---Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord and like my Facebook page NBA Lord Nation

Daily Dunks: 6/22-6/28

                                                   (Credit: Andy Melton. Click here for image). 

Here is my Daily Dunks page for June 22, 2015 through June 28, 2015. Throughout the week, this page will be updated with all the latest news, scores, and rumors from the NBA until a new Daily Dunks page is created for the following week.

Monday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. The Nets have extended a qualifying offer to Mirza Teletovic, making him a restricted free agent (Click here for details).

#2. Thaddeus Young is opting out of his contract with the Nets (Click here for details).

#3. Jameer Nelson will out out of his contract with the Nuggets (Click here for details).

#4. Dwight Howard is leaving adidas to sign with the Chinese brand Peak (Click here for details).

#5. Contrary to other reports, the Heat won't have a meeting with Dwayne Wade this week (Click here for details).

#6. The Pistons are interested in Knicks swingman Tim Hardaway, Jr. (Click here for details).

#7. Raymond Felton exercised his contract option to remain with the Mavericks (Click here for details).

#8. Paul Pierce is opting out of his contract with the Wizards. The  Clippers are a possible destination for him (Click here for details).

#9. The city of Charlotte will host the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend (Click here for details).

#10. The Lakers want to trade for Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (Click here for details).

Tuesday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. The Nuggets extended a $1.2M qualifying offer to guard Will Barton, making him a restricted free agent (Click here for details).

#2. The Kings' front office insists DeMarcus Cousins is going nowhere (Click here for details).

#3. Goran Dragic opted out of his contract with the Heat (Click here to see them).

#4. George Karl wants the Kings to trade DeMarcus Cousins according to reports. Specifically for Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried of the Nuggets (Click here for details). Keep in mind that the Kings' front office says Cousins is going nowhere.

#5. The Cavaliers picked up Timofey Mozgov's option (Click here for details).

#6. The Kings and Rajon Rondo have mutual interest in each other. The Kings are said to be shopping Rudy Gay to make a deal happen (Click here for details).

#7. The Bucks are shopping Michael Carter-Williams and John Henson to trade up in the draft (Click here for details).

#8. The Nets are trying to unload Mason Plumlee (Click here for details).

#9. The Suns have offered point guard Eric Bledsoe to the Knicks for the #4 overall pick (Click here for details).

#10. Andrei Kirilenko has officially retired (Click here for details).

Tuesday's WNBA Final Scores: 

Mystics 84 Sparks 80: Final. Mystics forward Tiffany Ruffin-PRatt had 20 points and 5 rebounds.

Wednesday's Daily Dunks: 

#1. Kevin Love is opting out of his contract with the Cavaliers. LeBron James reportedly won't recruit him back (Click here for details).

#2. The Hawks unveiled new uniforms (Click here to see them).

#3. The Grizzlies traded the rights to small forward Janis Timma to the Magic for point guard Luke Ridnour (Click here for details).

#4. The Raptors are getting their own D-League team which will play in Mississauga, Ontario (Click here for details).

#5. Ed Davis opted out of his $1.1M deal with the Lakers. He will be a free agent (Click here for details).

#6. David West is opting out of his contract with the Pacers (Click here for details).

#7. Monta Ellis has opted out of his contract with the Mavericks and will become a free agent (Click here for details).

#8. J.R. Smith has opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers, but it looks like he'll stay with the team (Click here for details).

#9. The Rockets picked up small forward Kostas Papanikolaou's $4.8M option (Click here for details).

#10. The Trail Blazers traded Nicolas Batum to the Hornets for Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh (Click here for details). The Hornets also traded Matt Barnes to the Thunder for Jeremy Lamb (Click here for details).

#11. Note: The NBA Draft is Thursday at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN.

Wednesday's WNBA Final Scores: 
Sky 100 Dream 96: Final/OT. Sky forward Elena Delle Donne had a career-high 45 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Thursday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. The NBA Draft is over (Click here to view the picks and trades from the draft).

#2. The Trail Blazers traded Arizona forward Ronade Hollis-Jefferson and guard Steve Blake to the Nets for forward Mason Plumlee and Notre Dame shooting guard Pat Connaughton (Click here for details).

#3. The Knicks traded Tim Hardaway, Jr. to the Hawks (Click here for details).

#4. The Raptors traded Greivis Vasquez to the Bucks (Click here for details).

#5. Report: LaMarcus Aldridge has told the Trail Blazers he won't re-sign with them (Click here for details).

#6. The Trail Blazers plan to pay Damian Lillard whatever he wants (Click here for details).

#7. Luke Ridnour is going to the Thunder, Matt Barnes is going to the Grizzlies, and Jeremy Lamb is going to the Hornets (Click here for details).

#8. Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson believes he is on his way to the Kings (Click here for details).

#9. After opting out of his contract wit the Pacers, David West could be heading to the Knicks (Click here for details).

#10. Roy Hibbert has exercised his $15.5M option to stay with the Pacers for next season. They might trade him before the trade deadline (Click here for details).

Thursday's WNBA Final Scores: 

Stars 76 Mercury 71. Lynx 76 Storm 73.

Friday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. The Pistons are guaranteeing Anthony Tolliver's $3M contract for next season (Click here for details).

#2. LeBron James will opt out of his contract with the Cavaliers, but he's expected to stay with the team (Click here for details).

#3. Carmelo Anthony is unhappy that the Knicks drafted Kristaps Porzingis (Click here for details). However, Carmelo has denied these reports. He says he is happy with the pick (Click here for his comments).

#4. Serbian forward Nemanja Bjelica, Euroleague MVP, is expected to join the Timberwolves for next season (Click here for details).

#5. 76ers GM Sam Hinke expects Dario Saric to join the team in the summer of 2016 (Click here for details).

#6. The Spurs rejected trade offers for Tiago Splitter (Click here for details).

#7. The Spurs reportedly are operating under the assumption that Tim Duncan comes back next season (Click here for details).

#8. Knicks president Phil Jackson says a scout called Kristaps Porzingis a "once in a lifetime player" to draft (Click here for details).

#9. Restricted free agent forward Tobias Harris wants max money and the Magic aren't likely to match (Click here for details).

#10. Cavaliers GM David Griffin says LeBron James is conferring with him daily about the team's roster (Click here for details).

Friday's WNBA Scores: 

Sun 80 Sparks 76. Sky 83 Fever 77. Dream 72 Mystics 69. Shock 71 Liberty 62.

Saturday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. The 76ers are demanding money from the Lakers for misinforming them about Andrew Bynum (Click here for details).

#2. Former Villanova power forward Jason Fraser is joining the Suns as a player development coach (Click here for details).

#3. Former Trail Blazers point guard Sergio Rodriguez is contemplating an NBA comeback (Click here for details).

#4. Kings owner Vivek Ranadive reportedly gave DeMarcus Cousins' agent permission to seek a trade (Click here for details).

#5. Greg Monroe has free agent meetings set up with a few teams. None of those teams are the Pistons (Click here for details).

#6. Cavaliers GM David Griffin is open to re-signing J.R. Smith (Click here for details).

#7. Magic rookie Mario Hezonja's contract with FC Barcelona will be bought out by Monday (Click here for details).

#8. The Celtics extended a qualifying offer to Jae Crowder, making him a restricted free agent (Click here for details).

#9. The Suns will keep Jon Leuer and pay him $1M for next season (Click here for details).

#10. Report: The Warriors will likely pick up Marreese Speights' $3.8M option (Click here for details).

Saturday's WNBA Final Scores: 

Lynx 71 Mercury 56. Stars 73 Storm 71.

Sunday's NBA Daily Dunks: 

#1. The Suns are expected to go after Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge (Click here for details).

#2. Brandon Knight reportedly will re-sign with the Suns for 5 years, $70M (Click here for details).

#3. Marc Stein reports that if point guard Brandon Knight re-signs with the Suns long-term, odds are good that the team will shop point guard Eric Bledsoe (Click here for details).

#4. The Mavericks are reportedly the most likely team to lure DeAndre Jordan away from the Clippers (Click here for details).

#5. Manu Ginobili will announce his decision on his future in an Argentine newspaper (Click here for details).

#6. Kevin Garnett will "definitely re-sign" with the Timberwolves according to TwinCities.com. TwinCities.com also adds that Flip Saunders will remain as the team's head coach (Click here for details).

#7. The Heat will not pick up Michael Beasley's $1.3M option for next season (Click here for details).

#8. Marc Gasol reportedly has no interest in joining the Lakers in free agency (Click here for details).

#9. The 76ers have been fined $3M by the NBA for not disclosing Jrue Holiday's leg fracture to the Pelicans when they traded him (Click here for details).
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#10. The Magic have declined to pick up Ben Gordon's $4.5M option for next season (Click here for details).


Sunday's WNBA Final Scores: 

Liberty 79 Sparks 70. Mystics 86 Sky 71. Shock 93 Storm 89.

---Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord and like my Facebook  page NBA Lord Nation to keep on top of the NBA