And-Ones: Surprises, EuroBasket, Australia

The Timberwolves haven’t made the postseason in 14 seasons. That could change this year, Shane Rhodes of Basketball Insiders writes, in a feature profiling five teams that could surprise in 2017/18. The Wolves have made no secret their desire to surround their promising young core with as many established veterans as possible and it’s likely to pay off in the form of a playoff appearance.

Another team Rhodes mentions is the Pelicans, who will break camp for the first time with both Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins on the roster. It’s not unreasonable, Rhodes suggests, to call Davis and Cousins the best players in the NBA at their respective positions.

Other teams that the scribe considers on the rise include the Lakers, Hornets and Pacers, the latter perhaps reeling from the loss of its superstar but still boasting plenty of versatile talent on the roster.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • There are no shortage of past, present and future NBA players on EuroBasket 2017 rosters. Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype recently made a list of them all, broken down by nationality. (We see you, Anthony Randolph).
  • The Australian National Basketball League isn’t a high profile international league like the Spanish ACB, Turkish BSL or Russian VTP leagues but it’s growing in popularity, Chris Reichert of 2 Ways, 10 Days writes.
  • The only restricted free agent to accept a qualifying offer in the NBA this summer is Mavs center Nerlens Noel. In his latest feature, Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders breaks down the unique contract type, what it means for the players who sign them and what, typically, happens next.
  • For those keeping track at home, the NBA has doled out over $2B less this summer than it did last summer. That’s a decrease of 42.6%, tweets Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal.
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