Here’s a look back at the original analysis generated by the Hoops Rumors staff this week..
On this date in 1961, Wilt Chamberlain kickstarted a streak of 126 consecutive games with 20 or more points. The streak, which included the legendary 100-point game and a seven-game streak of 50+ points per game, ended on January 19, 1963.
Got a great basketball blog post that you want to see featured on Hoops Rumors? Send it to Zach at HoopsLinks@gmail.com. Here’s this week’s look around the basketball blogosphere…
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The Lakers will waive Jeremy Tyler so that he can sign a deal in China, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Wojnarowski adds that the forward will not dress for tonight’s preseason game.
Tyler, 23, has spent time with the Warriors, Hawks and Knicks since being drafted by Charlotte in the second round of the 2011 Draft. Over 104 games, Tyler owns career averages of 3.6 points and 2.6 boards over 104 games in his NBA career.
With Tyler out of the picture, the Lakers now have an 18-man roster with 13 guaranteed deals. Keith Appling, Jabari Brown, Wayne Ellington, Ronnie Price, and Roscoe Smith have non-guaranteed pacts and are vying for the last spots on the final roster.
The patience of new coach Quin Snyder is appreciated by the younger Jazz players, writes Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake Tribune. Snyder has been accepting of mistakes as he tries to bring a faster pace to the Utah offense. Monson writes that Snyder is using turnovers as opportunities for teaching, rather than berating players or pulling them from games. The up-tempo style is also a hit with players, including Derrick Favors, who said, “I like it. We’re moving the ball, looking for each other.” More out of the Northwest Division..
- The Trail Blazers have a difficult roster decision to make this week, writes Mike Tokito of The Oregonian. Camp invitees Darius Morris and Diante Garrett are in the running for a regular season roster spot, but keeping one of the point guards would force the team to cut or trade a player with a guaranteed contract. “At the end of this trip, it’s time to make some decisions,” coach Terry Stotts said.
- Thunder coach Scott Brooks told Nick Gallo of NBA.com that injuries have created a “golden opportunity” for four young players to showcase their skills in a battle for the final opening-night roster spot. Brooks said Michael Jenkins, Richard Solomon, Lance Thomas and Talib Zanna have all been impressive in camp. “They’ve been competing hard,” Brooks said. “I’m happy. (GM Sam Presti) has done a great job of bringing four guys in who are very competitive and are going to fight for that last spot.”
- It has only taken two preseason games for Nuggets rookie center Jusuf Nurkic to make an impression, according to Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post. Denver coach Brian Shaw said opposing coaching staffs have told him how impressed they are with Nurkic’s physical play and how aggressively he pursues the ball. With JaVale McGee recovering from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his tibia, Nurkic is expected to start the season as the Nuggets’ backup center.
Earlier this week we learned that the Wolves have gotten inquiries on a few players, including forward Chase Budinger. The Pistons, Rockets, and other clubs have shown interest in the 26-year-old and with plenty of small forwards under contract, it stands to reason that Minnesota could consider moving him. More from the week that was..
2:12pm: The Kings confirmed that they have waived the trio.
8:43am: The Kings intend to waive Sim Bhullar, Deonte Burton, and David Wear, Sean Cunningham of News 10 Sacramento reports (Twitter link). Burton and Wear were in camp on non-guaranteed minimum salary deals, but Bhullar had a partial guarantee of $35K on his pact which Sacramento is on the hook for unless another team submits a waiver claim. These moves will reduce the Kings’ preseason roster count to 15, with 13 of those agreements being fully guaranteed. No announcement from the team has been made yet.
When Bhullar was signed by the Kings it marked the first time a player of Indian descent joined the NBA. The 7’5″ big man had declared for the NBA draft in mid-April, shortly after he and New Mexico State were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Bhullar averaged 10.1 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 2.4 BPG in 24.4 MPG while shooting 62.1% from the field as a freshman and 10.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 3.4 BPG, while shooting 64.8% as a sophomore.
The 23-year-old Burton spent summer league with the Wizards after going undrafted, averaging just 1.8 points in 17.3 minutes per contest, but he put up much better numbers as a senior with the Nevada Wolf Pack this past season, chipping in for 20.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 4.4 assists against 2.0 turnovers in 38.6 MPG.
Wear, a 6’9″ 23-year-old, spent time in the summer league with the Bulls, averaging 4.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game across five appearances. He didn’t log impressive numbers at UCLA, going for 6.5 PPG and 3.8 RPG in 22.9 MPG. His playing time decreased each successive year after he saw 28.4 MPG as a sophomore. Wear transferred to UCLA after spending his freshman year at North Carolina.
OCTOBER 19TH, 2:10pm: The Wolves confirmed the exercising of the options via Twitter.
OCTOBER 16TH: The Wolves are set to pick up their 2015/16 rookie scale team options on Anthony Bennett. Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad, as Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities hears (Twitter link). Bennett’s option will add more than $5.8MM to the team’s books for that season, while Muhammad will make in excess of $2MM and Dieng will be due nearly $1.5MM, as seen on our Rookie Scale Team Option Tracker. Minnesota has until October 31st to make the decisions official.
Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick from 2013, came to the team in the Kevin Love trade after a thoroughly disappointing rookie campaign. He went 0 for 15 from the floor over his first four games, and the 6’8″ forward wound up shooting just 35.6% in 12.8 minutes per game across 52 appearances last season. Still, he holds promise, as does Muhammad, the 2012 McDonald’s All-American MVP who was the 14th pick in that same 2013 draft. Muhammad saw just 7.8 MPG in 37 contests for Minnesota, which sent him on D-League assignment during the season. Dieng was the lowest pick among the three, at No. 21, but he probably had the best rookie campaign, grabbing 5.0 rebounds per night in 13.6 MPG over 60 games.
The options on all three would bring the team’s commitments to more than $36.4MM for 2015/16, but there are several decisions that stand to make that figure go up. The team is reportedly willing to shell out at least $48MM over four years in an extension for Ricky Rubio, while player options for Thaddeus Young, Chase Budinger and Corey Brewer total nearly $20MM put together.
The Kings announced that they have picked up the 2015/16 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract. The move was something of a formality as it was widely expected.
The guard averaged 8.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 26.7 minutes per contest as a rookie last season. On the surface, the two guard didn’t have a hard time adjusting to the pros as he saw time in all 82 games in 2013/14. McLemore’s name was brought up in trade rumors more than once last year, particularly in connection with Celtics star Rajon Rondo. Nothing came from those talks, however, and McLemore could prove to be an integral part of the Kings’ future.
The Cavs announced that they have waived guards Chris Crawford and Stephen Holt. The Cavs’ roster now stands at 16.
Crawford appeared in five preseason games for the Cavs, averaging 2.4 points and 1.6 assists in 7.6 minutes per game. Cleveland signed Crawford late last month to a one-year, non-guaranteed pact. The Memphis product, who was with the Rockets in summer league, averaged just 8.7 PPG as a senior after putting up 10.4 PPG in his junior season.
Holt’s release was expected as David Pick of Eurobasket.com reported yesterday that he was headed to the Cavs’ D-League affiliate. Holt, also signed in late September, played in two preseason games and averaged 3.0 points in 2.3 minutes per game. The 23-year-old went undrafted out of Saint Mary’s back in 2012 after averaging 10.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 2.4 APG for his collegiate career.
This marks the second time in the past few weeks that the Cavs have waived Crawford. The guard was waived to make room for the club’s acquisition of Keith Bogans and collected on his $20K partial guarantee. When Bogans was traded to the Sixers, he was then re-signed to the non-guaranteed deal that was terminated today.
Avery Bradley credits the D-League as a huge factor in his success playing for the Celtics, explains Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. “I was able to learn a lot up [in Maine],” says Bradley. “I didn’t take it as punishment at all. That’s one thing I do remember. At first I was disappointed, and being a young guy, it’s kinda overwhelming at first [in the NBA] seeing all the superstars, all the guys you watch watch on TV, and now you’re practicing and I had the injury. I got down on myself a lot, but the D-League gave me a chance to get that confidence back.” Bradley hopes to take his game to new heights after signing a new four year, $32MM deal this offseason.
Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- While many experts have picked the Celtics to finish near the cellar of the Eastern Conference, Jeremy Gottlieb of Boston.com sheds some optimism on Boston’s upcoming season. While Gottlieb admits that the idea of the Celtics contending for a playoff berth is far-fetched, he cites the presence of coach Brad Stevens, the potential financial motivations of some of the players on the roster, such as Rajon Rondo and Evan Turner, and the weakness of the Eastern Conference as reasons not to underestimate this team.
- Although the Celtics were never in contention to acquire Kevin Love due to a lack of an ability to create a package that Minnesota coveted, co-owner Wyc Grousbeck is confident that GM Danny Ainge will turn the franchise’s assets into a winning team, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. “I’ve got confidence that with all these picks and these young guys and our willingness to spend money that we can get there,” said Grousbeck. “We’re a patient group. We will take a multiyear plan if that’s what it takes. But I think this June there could be some fireworks. I think this June we’ve got so many pieces to this puzzle that we might be able to shake loose a real piece or two for this team going forward. So, I’m hoping it’s sooner rather than later.”
- Magic forward Maurice Harkless is playing with more confidence this year, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Coach Jacque Vaughn has praised Harkless for his continued development. “There’s some areas that he’s improving, and he still can improve some more. But overall his confidence and feel on the floor has definitely grown,” said Vaughn.