HOOPSWORLD Week in Review
Top 5 Most Promising Backcourts
By Joel Brigham
So today we’ll take a look at which organizations have put together the most promising backcourts for their teams’ long and short terms. I’m focusing on the younger guard combinations, giving special credit to those who have done the most so early in their careers.
Just like last week, I’m defining “youth” as “players who will enter the 2011-2012 season with five or fewer years of NBA experience underneath their belts.” Teams that appear to be conspicuously missing from this list may have a vet with six or more years of experience, even if their frontcourt mate coming in is a rookie. Both guys have to be below that threshold.
Here they are, the top five most promising young backcourts in the NBA:
Coach’s Notebook: Developing A Shooting Guard
By Anthony Macri
This is the fourth part in a series of articles on offseason player development at the NBA level. Right about now, every year, players contact trainers and skill development coaches to help them take their games to the next level for the coming year. This may be even more prevalent in this “lockout-enhanced” offseason. The majority of players that contact us at the Pro Training Center are about to enter a contract year, and are looking to put themselves in the best position to maximize their value for future negotiations. For this series, I will examine how we might put together an offseason skill development plan for players at the five positions on the floor, utilizing players who will enter the free agent market in 2012 as examples. Let’s get to it…
Developing a Shooting Guard
The first thing to understand when it comes to shooting guard development is the simple idea that there is nothing we do with shooting guards that we don’t do with every other position on the floor. In fact, while teams may designate players by specific positions, we do very little of that. We teach basketball – and while certain things may be emphasized at one position that are not focused on at another, our goal to help their complete game understanding, and not be too position specific.
Celtics Face Serious Questions
By Jason Fleming
The Boston Celtics will be in an intriguing situation when the lockout lifts. With just six players under contract for 2011-12 they are already well over the 2010-11 salary cap level. Will they still be able to put together another championship run?
First off, the good. Four of those six players under contract are the starters at the 1-4 positions: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett. Combined those four are on the books for $56.6 million. The other two players under contract are Jermaine O’Neal – who at $6.2 million could be the starter at center if he can stay healthy – and second-year guard Avery Bradley ($1.5 million).
Forward Jeff Green, acquired in the Kendrick Perkins trade, is a restricted free agent with a Qualifying Offer of $5.9 million. Boston also drafted Purdue teammates JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore in last month’s draft, who could be slotted at $1.0 million (27th pick, first round) and $0.5 million (rookie minimum).
Players Working Through Offseason
By Eric Pincus
This past Sunday, NBA players and celebrities gave their support to the Baron Davis’ 2nd Annual All-Star Kickball Game held at Baron’s alma mater Crossroads High School. The proceeds for the event went to Baron’s Rising Stars of America foundation.
It was a fun summer diversion while waiting for the league and the players union to eventually reach a collective bargaining agreement. Golden State Warriors forward Dorell Wright, fresh off of the best season of his career, didn’t sound too concerned.
“I know they’re going to come up with an agreement soon and when they do, we’re going to be ready to play,” said Wright.
2006 NBA Draft Lottery: Re-Drafted
By Tommy Beer
With no end to the lockout out in sight, we have to get a little bit creative in order to feed our basketball fix. Thus, I’ll be running this series all summer, and churning out “re-drafts” from years gone by. I have already tackled the 2001 and the 2005 drafts.
Here’s how we handle the re-drafting process: Every pick will be made pretending each organization is a first year expansion franchise and has no other players on its roster, so there is no need to factor roster needs as of June 2006 into any discussion. Selections will be made simply based on pure production – i.e. best player available.
I’ll list each new pick, and then post the player that was actually selected in that original draft slot.
NCAA: The Top Lesser Knowns
By Yannis Koutroupis
Even in today’s day and age where there are more NCAA games on TV than ever there are still some players who don’t get the publicity they deserve. With over 350 D-I programs it’s hard to keep track of all the talent. For example, we recently broke down the top ten players by class and position, and yet there are still some who definitely could end up in the NBA down the line that weren’t able to crack those lists. It’s time to give those guys some love because while they may not be known as well as some of college basketball’s stars, they can definitely play.
Tony Mitchell (North Texas, Fr.) – 6’8, 220 lbs. Power Forward
Originally a highly-ranked prospect in the 2010 recruiting class, Mitchell spent his first year of college academically ineligible at Missouri. He decided to transfer to North Texas in the Sun Belt Conference and is expected to be eligible sometime close to the start of the New Year.
Mitchell, solid for Team USA’s U19 squad this summer, possesses a pro’s body with the ability to impact a game without touching the basketball. He averaged 7.6 rebounds and nearly two blocks a game in FIBA play while playing just 15 minutes a contest. He’ll be one of the premier players in the Sun Belt and a huge addition for the Mean Green.