Tanking might be a dirty word in the NBA today, but Chad Ford of ESPN.com tells colleague Henry Abbott that this year’s class is worth losing for. Aside from Andrew Wiggins, this year’s class features impressive prospects like Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart, Dante Exum, and Aaron Gordon. Here’s more from around the Association..
- Is Wiggins the top talent in the 2014 class? A few front office executives and scouts aren’t sure, writes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. “He’s not LeBron,” one NBA general manager said. “It’s not his fault regarding all the hype. People say he’s pretty humble. He’s a top-three pick for sure, if not No. 1.“
- While the Lakers have struggled early on in the year, offseason acquisitions Wesley Johnson and Jordan Farmar have been bright spots, writes ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Dave McMenamin. D’Antoni has kicked around the idea of promoting one of them to the starting lineup, but he fears weakening the second unit, which has been pretty sharp as a whole.
- The league is engaged in settlement talks with Ozzie and Daniel Silna to end what has long been described as the greatest sports business deal of all-time, sources tell Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. The Silnas are the former owners of the ABA’s Spirit of St. Louis. At the time of the NBA/ABA merger, the Silnas agreed to dissolve their team for a small percentage of the NBA’s television revenues. The concession didn’t seem like much at the time, but the Silnas have racked up $300MM since the late 70s and are taking in a nice chunk of change that would otherwise be shared by the league’s 30 owners.
- The NBA is using the D-League to experiment with the possibility of shortening games, explains Zach Lowe of Grantland.