Odds & Ends: Smith, Olympics, Anthony

Two of the nation's top high school prospects, Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad, have been creating some buzz in the college basketball world regarding which schools they will commit to respectively for the 2012-13 season. While Muhammad announced that he will choose UCLA, Jeff Goodman of CBS tweets that Noel has chosen Kentucky over Syracuse and Georgetown. ESPN's Chad Ford provides a look at who could possibly headline the 2013 NBA Draft (Insider link), and Noel and Shabazz top the list. With that aside, we'll keep tabs of this evening's other noteworthy stories here:
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel took some time to shed some light on Magic guard Ishmael Smith after his standout performance against the Pistons on Monday. In a separate piece, Schmitz outlines the uphill battle Orlando faces as they look to clinch a playoff spot. Six of their last eight games are against above-.500 teams, and four of those games are on the road. 
  • If Ray Allen and Dwyane Wade could have things their way, players on the USA basketball team would be compensated for their participation in the Olympics. While Allen sees it as a matter of opportunity cost, Wade focused more on the jersey sales and summer commitment aspect of it (Scott Gleeson of USA Today reports). According to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports, Team USA Chairman Jerry Colangelo responded to their comments, saying: "It’s never been discussed and it’s not even feasible in the reality of economics."  
  • Jim Cavan of the New York Times examines the emergence of Carmelo Anthony after being moved to the power forward slot as well as the role it has played in the Knicks' recent success. If New York can hang onto a playoff spot and Amare Stoudemire is cleared to play, it will be interesting to see how Anthony will translate that success at the small forward position with Amare in the lineup. 
  • The Kings team owners will make a case to the NBA Board of Governors in New York that the plan to finance a new arena in Sacramento needs more negotiating, writes Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee
  • Gilbert Arenas tells J. Michael Falgoust of USA Today that he is happy to be out of the spotlight in Memphis as he looks to move forward from his troubled past. 

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