Celtics guard Marcus Smart has won the NBA’s Hustle Award for 2022/23, the league announced in a press release (story via Brian Martin of NBA.com). The 29-year-old also won the award last season, becoming the first back-to-back winner, and has now been the recipient three times in the past five seasons.
This is the seventh season for the Hustle Award, which was created in ’16/17, Martin notes. It is a merit-based award reflective of NBA.com’s hustle stats, including charges drawn, loose balls recovered, deflections, box outs, screen assists and contested shots.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report takes a look at the best guards available on the 2023 free agent market and their potential landing spots. Pincus thinks a team with cap room might try to pry restricted free agent Austin Reaves from the Lakers with a large offer sheet, but he thinks L.A. will ultimately match.
- John Hollinger of The Athletic, who used to work for the Grizzlies and was part of the front office that drafted Dillon Brooks, believes the small forward can still be a positive contributor for a number of teams as long as he can toe “The Line” between “competitive and crazy.” Teams over the cap but below the luxury tax line could offer the impending free agent the full mid-level exception, and Hollinger points to the Bulls, Hornets, Mavericks, Kings, Trail Blazers and Hawks as clubs that could use defensive help on the wing. As for teams with cap room, the Pistons, Rockets, Pacers and Jazz might be interested in Brooks if they miss out on pricier targets, according to Hollinger.
- UConn guard Jordan Hawkins has been invited to the NBA draft combine, which takes place later this month, according Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter link). Considered one of the best shooters in the 2023 class, Hawkins is a potential lottery pick, currently ranked No. 13 on ESPN’s big board. As Zagoria previously reported, Hawkins will be joining a couple of his teammates (Andre Jackson and Adama Sanogo) at the combine.