Odds & Ends: Wizards, Smith, Christmas, Brooks

Matt Moore and CBS Sports continued their offseason report series today by taking a look at the Washington Wizards.  The Wizards haven't made the playoffs since 2008 and have been relatively irrelevant over that time period, but they raised some eyebrows in the offseason with a series of moves that should put them in position to contend for the playoffs this coming season. 

Here are some other links and rumblings from this Sunday evening…

  • Josh Cohen from NBA.com addresses the Orlando Magic offseason by evaluating the importance of superstars in today's NBA, specifically mentioning how the Orlando franchise has thrived in recent history.
  • J.R. Smith, who signed a two year extension with the Knicks in July, said the team has the pieces in place to win it all in an interview with ESPN New York, Ian Begley writes.  Smith also conveyed his pleasure on hearing the news that the Knicks signed his younger brother, Chris Smith on August 1.  
  • Former Temple guard Dionte Christmas landed a partially guaranteed deal with the Celtics earlier this week.  Greg Payne of ESPN Boston analyzed Christmas' prospects for the upcoming season with Boston and detailed his European journey that ended with his first NBA deal. 
  • Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman writes that with the Thunder going cheap in free agency, the growth and development of head coach Scott Brooks will be of increased importance. 

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