HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Time To Fear The Bulls Again?
By Bill Ingram
The thing that Chicago Bulls fans have been waiting to hear for roughly a year and a half finally came on Saturday.
“I think I am a 100 percent,” All-Star point guard Derrick Rose told CSN Chicago. “I’m doing almost everything. I’m squatting, running, lifting almost every other day, just being back on the court after you have an ACL injury, you’re kind of hesitant at first about how you step, what way you should step, learning how to run, accelerate, accelerate while you run and while you’re slowing down. For me, I’m reacting right now where all I have to think about is if I have to get to a spot, I’m going to get there no matter what. It kind of feels good having that feeling again.”
It will certainly feel good for Bulls fans to see him having that feeling again, as before the injury Rose was one of the NBA’s true unstoppable forces. His team, by extension, was the one team that many believed could challenge the Miami HEAT for Eastern Conference supremacy.
NBA Draft Pick Debt Review
By Eric Pincus
The 2014 NBA Draft is highly anticipated with potential stars like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart, Julius Randle and Dante Exum expected to be in the class.
Through previous trades, 14 of the 30 picks in that draft may have already changed hands. Of course, the draft order will be determined by record and most of the swaps are heavily protected.
Pelicans Add Talent and Expectations
By Alex Kennedy
Everything you know about the franchise in New Orleans will change next season.
The team name, jerseys and color scheme will all be different. The Honeybees – the franchise’s dance team – is no more. Hugo, the team’s mascot, will surely be replaced. The New Orleans Arena will no longer be dubbed the Hive because, well, that wouldn’t make any sense. We’ve seen the last of the New Orleans Hornets as we know them, and the last of those teal, purple, gold and white jerseys.
While change is difficult, it’s not necessarily a bad thing in this case. The Pelicans are ushering in a new era, and the changes are positive ones that should pay off in the long-term. No, I’m not talking about the superficial switches like the moniker and uniform. I’m referring to the franchise’s personnel moves – the bold acquisitions that made the Pelicans’ offseason one of the most intriguing in the league. Amid all of the organization’s rebranding, the basketball operations staff did a makeover of their own.
Extension Time For The Class Of 2010
By Steve Kyler
The 2010 NBA Draft class has been eligible to sign rookie-scale contract extensions for most of the summer. So far we’ve seen two deals get done: John Wall and the Washington Wizards and Larry Sanders and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Teams have until October 31 to reach an extension or they face the possibly of free agency setting the price next July. In some cases that is exactly what NBA teams want to do, because negotiating a contract extension now, typically, is negotiating against yourself.
Last year a large number of deals got done in the 11th hour and some of those deals turned out to be bargains. Golden State signed Stephen Curry to a four-year, $44 million deal only to have him explode last season, which would have surely changed his market value this past summer and would have added money to that deal.
That’s often the debate teams have on giving out extensions. Can they get a better financial deal now versus letting a team with cap space set a price significantly higher later?
Latest From The Unemployment Line
By Lang Greene
We’re just under two weeks away from when the majority of NBA teams open their doors for training camp. However, despite the season rapidly approaching, there are quite a few veteran free agents remaining on the market just waiting for a phone call and an opportunity to make a roster.
Last season, Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin were forced to watch the early portion of the campaign from their couches before signing with Miami and New York respectively. Both guys paid huge dividends for their clubs and were ultimately rewarded with new deals this summer.
The names below aren’t flashy and some of the guys may be a bit past their primes, but all of these guys could potentially contribute in the right role or situation.
The Impact of George’s Potential Deal
By Yannis Koutroupis
That collective sigh of relief that you heard Wednesday afternoon came from the entire state of Indiana upon hearing All-Star swingman Paul George’s definitive statement that he’ll have a contract extension in place with the Pacers before the start of the regular season.
George is eligible for a five-year extension worth an estimated $78 million. In order to give George a five-year extension, the Pacers have to make him their designated player. October 31 is the deadline for an extension to be completed, otherwise George would become a restricted free agent at season’s end – given that the Pacers would obviously issue a $4.4 million qualifying offer to ensure they have the right to match any offer.
George has voiced his desire to be a max player and considering the strides he made last season, averaging 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists, he’s worthy of a deal either at the max or very close to it.
Pacers ownership has a mandate in place against going over the luxury tax threshold, though. So as management negotiates an extension with George, they have to be very mindful of staying out of the luxury tax.
2014′s First-Time All-Stars
By Joel Brigham
With just a week to go before the start of training camp for some teams, buzz for the upcoming NBA season is as frenetic as it’s been since the craziest part of free agency wrapped up back in July. Part of that buzz is trying to decide which players will break out this season, but for those players who have on some level already broken out, the next step is getting named to an All-Star team.
Last year, Lang Greene wrote this gem about potential first-time All-Stars, and of the 11 guys he suggested, four ended up being named to the team: Kyrie Irving, Joakim Noah, Tyson Chandler and James Harden. Some others, like Josh Smith, John Wall and Rudy Gay, were terrific guesses, but there was no way that, out of 26 potential All-Star roster spots, 11 of them were going to make it. Somebody had to fall short, even if it’s a borderline crime that they did (see: Stephen Curry).
This year’s list of potential first-time All-Stars includes a lot of players who have either deserved the opportunity before or that seem on the cusp of seriously breaking through in 2013-14, but remember to temper your enthusiasm about these guys; not a single one of these gentlemen is getting in as a starter, and a considerable number of the 16 reserve slots are going to be filled by guys who have already been there.