Brandon Davies was asked about the perception that his former team, the Sixers, were tanking in a deliberate effort to land the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Davies denied that was the case amongst the players, and said, “One thing I can tell you in the locker room, we were set on winning. We were just going away. I think the games we played in showed that. We lost some close games against some really good teams.”
Here’s more from the East:
- Nets coach Lionel Hollins was disappointed that the Sixers waived Jorge Gutierrez, whom they had acquired along with Andrei Kirilenko on Wednesday, Pompey tweets.
- When the Magic drafted Elfrid Payton with the No. 10 pick in this year’s draft it appeared the plan was to play him and Victor Oladipo alongside each other, which hasn’t occured much this season, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com writes. But according to coach Jacque Vaughn, things can change as Payton continues to develop, notes Howard-Cooper. “I think overall we’ll see how this combination finds its way,” said Vaughn. “The great thing is I have my eyes, which I always listen to, and I also have stats these days, which I can look at and see how that pairing is doing. A lot of detail will go into it. But there’s no rush from the standpoint of ‘This has to happen now.’“
- The Heat‘s two young big men, Justin Hamilton and Hassan Whiteside, are beginning to impress coach Erik Spoelstra, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel writes. “They both do some nice things and they both do it in a different way,” Spoelstra said. “Justin is a very intelligent, in-the-right-place type of weak-side defender. He does a lot of things that don’t show up in a box score. He reminds me a little bit of a Shane Battier, does a lot of those intangible things. Whiteside is big and he has that great gift of blocking shots, so you know somebody is in there.”
- The Heat have assigned Whiteside and Shabazz Napier to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be the first trek of the season to the D-League for both players.
- With both the Lakers and the Knicks struggling mightily this season, and both franchises’ future prospects looking equally bleak, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony should find a way to become teammates, Paul Newberry of The Associated Press opines. Newberry does acknowledge that the players’ respective contracts would make this a difficult proposition.