NBA AM: All In For Kentucky Draft Picks
Mass Exodus: The NBA Draft pool will get a little deeper today, as Kentucky big man Anthony Davis is expected to officially enter the 2012 NBA Draft. A press conference scheduled for later today will feature Davis and four of his championship teammates including Terrence Jones, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Doron Lamb and Marquis Teague.
All are expected to announce their entrance into the 2012 NBA Draft Class.
Davis is a lock to the be the top overall pick in June’s NBA Draft, while Kidd-Gilchrist could go in the top 5 based on how the draft lottery plays out. Terrance Jones is a likely lottery pick, with Doron Lamb and Teague being likely first round picks in the first 25 selections.
Kentucky won the National Championship earlier this month and has a star-studded recruiting class lined up featuring Nerlens Noel, a 6-10 205 lbs freak athlete from Tilton, New Hampshire.
Noel is considered the best big man prospect in the nation, meaning Kentucky may not miss Anthony Davis as much as you might think.
Kentucky has also received commitments from Alex Poythress a 6-8 small forward from Clarksville TN, Willie Cauley-Stein a 6-11 center from Olathes, KS and Archie Goodwin a 6-4 shooting guard from Sherwood AR.
The Wildcats are still in the mix for 2013 uber forward Chris Walker, who is still weighing his options between the University of Florida, Florida State, Ohio State and Kansas.
You Call It – Executive Of The Year: With the NBA season coming to a close in roughly a week, we have covered a lot of ground on your votes for the the major post-season awards.
Last week you guys named Kyrie Irving from Cleveland the Rookie of the Year.
James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder ran away with the Sixth Man of The Year vote.
And yesterday, with a late day surge in voting, Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova came from out of nowhere to lead the Most Improved vote.
Ersan Ilyasova – Milwaukee (51%, 806 Votes), Andrew Bynum – LA Lakers (19%, 300 Votes), Jeremy Lin – New York (13%, 206 Votes), Ryan Anderson – Orlando (10%, 165 Votes), DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento (4%, 65 Votes), Alonzo Gee – Cleveland (1%, 22 Votes), Jarrett Jack – New Orleans (2%, 14 Votes)
So let’s get the next one out of the way. There were lots of transactions and moves this year, so which executives got the job done?
It’s All About The Name: The NBA officially announced that New Orleans and its new owner Tom Benson would be hosting the 2014 NBA All-Star game as part of the deal the NBA reached with the city and state on the new arena lease that’s required to close the deal with Benson.
Since being named the owner of the Hornets, Benson, who also owns the New Orleans Saints, has more than suggested he’d like to see the name of his franchise changed to something that better suits the city and its history.
Benson has affections for the “Jazz” name that once belonged to the New Orleans, however it seems highly unlikely that the NBA is going to allow a name “transfer” and sources say the Miller family that own the Jazz are not interested in a name change either.
“We want to change the name from Hornets . . . . to something that means New Orleans and Louisiana. The ‘Hornets’ doesn’t mean anything,” Benson said to reporters yesterday.
NBA Commissioner David Stern did hint that changing the name of the team in New Orleans is a possibility, but that it would have to come from a pool of new names.
“It belongs to Utah,” Stern said. “I wouldn’t make it such an important point. There are many things that are indigenous to the area. I’m sure there will be some wonderful nicknames.”
The process of changing a team name is not easy; it does require a fee being paid to the league, and for the Board of Governors to approve any such change.
It typically takes two years for a name change to take effect unless there are some other circumstances to fast track it. The Sonics became the Thunder in less than a year, mainly because of a hastily-reached settlement to get the team to Oklahoma City.
If the New Orleans franchise is allowed to drop the Hornets moniker, there has been speculation that Michael Jordan and the franchise in Charlotte would be interested in obtaining the name as the Bobcats, which were named after former owner Bob Johnson, has never connected in the Charlotte community quite like the Hornets did in the early nineties.
So it seems the Hornets’ days in New Orleans may indeed be numbered, but in favor of a new name that better connects to the New Orleans community.
Got any ideas on what Benson should name the team? Drop them in the comment section below.
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NBA Chats: There are three NBA chats scheduled for today starting with HOOPSWORLD’s Anthony Macri at 11am. Coach Macri works with NBA players year around with developing and improving their games and will do his best to answer your questions. Senior NBA writer Eric Pincus will hold down his weekly NBA chat at 4pm EST. Eric covers the Western Conference from LA with the Lakers and the Clippers. Stephen Litel will wrap up the day with his weekly NBA Chat at 8pm EST. You can always find the next upcoming chat here: Upcoming NBA Chats. If you are looking for a completed chat, check the Chat Archive.