Renaldo Balkman

Germany, Italy, Others Finalize World Cup Rosters

We’re just two days away from FIBA’s 2019 World Cup officially tipping off, and more national teams have officially set their 12-man rosters for the event, including a pair of countries whose squads will feature multiple NBA players.

Team Germany made its final cut this week, dropping Wizards youngster Isaac Bonga from its roster. Even without Bonga on the team, there are plenty of familiar faces for NBA fans — Dennis Schroder (Thunder), Daniel Theis (Celtics), and Maxi Kleber (Mavericks) will represent Germany in this year’s tournament.

The Italian national team, meanwhile, will be led by Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari and Spurs sharpshooter Marco Belinelli. Former NBA forward Gigi Datome and 2014 second-round pick Alessandro Gentile are also part of Italy’s squad.

Here are more details on teams that have established their 12-man World Cup rosters:

And-Ones: Cavs, D-League, Temple

Not surprisingly, three of the NBA’s four unbeaten teams reside in the Western Conference, where the Warriors, Rockets and Grizzlies are all 3-0. The East’s lone unbeaten is the franchise that’s won the last four conference championships, but it’s nonetheless surprising to see the Heat back atop the conference standings after they lost LeBron James this past summer. While we wait to see if Miami will continue to reign without King James, here’s the latest from around the league:

  • The Cavs feel like they made concessions in their final extension offer to Tristan Thompson, which exceeded $48MM over four years, but neither side has any hard feelings in the wake of the failed negotiations, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.
  • NBA teams kept the D-League rights to 47 players cut during camp this year, the D-League announced, listing all of them. The Mavs, Warriors and Suns used all four spots available to each NBA team to reserve the rights to such players, so they can’t keep the D-League rights to anyone they waive during the regular season, unlike the rest of the teams in the NBA. Renaldo Balkman, Bernard James, Doron Lamb, Hasheem Thabeet, Peyton Siva, Malcolm Lee and Earl Barron are this year’s “affiliate players” with NBA experience.
  • Garrett Temple refrains from drinking, smoking and tattoos, and he’s convinced the straight-arrow approach has helped him win jobs during his career, as Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post observes. Injuries to others have thrust Temple into the starting lineup for the Wizards, who re-signed him this summer for two years at the minimum salary.

Mavs Sign, Waive Renaldo Balkman

The Mavs have signed and waived Renaldo Balkman today, as indicated by Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). The swift moves were almost surely made to secure D-League rights to the 30-year-old forward, as teams around the league are utilizing the provision to do so in the days leading up to the regular season.

Balkman hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2011/12 season, and spent time with Dallas in training camp last year before being cut prior to the season. He has career averages of 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest over six seasons.

Trade Retrospective: Carmelo Anthony To Knicks

There are only eight more days until Andrew Wiggins can officially be traded, and Kevin Love can put on a Cavaliers jersey, which would complete the biggest trade of the summer. But the trade doesn’t guarantee that Cleveland will hoist a Championship banner next year, or that the Timberwolves will break their string of missing the playoffs.

I’ve been taking a look back at past blockbuster deals, and how they worked out for both sides involved. So far I’ve recapped the deals that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers; Deron Williams to the Nets; and Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. Next on the docket is the February of 2011 trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks.

Anthony pushed for the trade during the 2010/11 season primarily because of the new CBA in the works that would reduce the maximum contract amount he would be able to re-sign for. With the labor agreement ending June 30th, 2011, and uncertainty surrounding what the next pact would look like, it was in Anthony’s best financial interests to sign an extension as part of an extend-and-trade transaction with the Knicks rather than wait for free agency.

The cuts didn’t end up being quite as harsh as the players had feared. As part of the trade, Anthony signed a three-year, $65MM extension with the Knicks. The maximum amount he could have signed for under the new CBA as a free agent would have been approximately $58MM. The first-year salary would have still allowed for a maximum of 105% of his prior salary. It was after that first year, where the annual increases dropped under the new agreement, going from the previous CBA’s 8% maximum increase, down to 4.5%. It’s worth noting that since Anthony opted out of his contract’s final year, he only gained roughly $3MM over the course of that deal than if he would have simply signed with New York as a free agent.

The trade involved New York, the Nuggets, and the Timberwolves. Let’s begin by recapping the pieces involved.

  1. The Knicks received Anthony; Renaldo Balkman; Chauncey Billups; Anthony Carter; and Shelden Williams from Denver. They also received Corey Brewer from Minnesota.
  2. The Timberwolves received Eddy Curry; Anthony Randolph; and $3MM from New York. They also received a 2015 second-rounder from Denver.
  3. The Nuggets received Danilo Gallinari; Wilson Chandler; Raymond Felton; Timofey Mozgov; the right to swap first-round picks in 2016; a 2014 first-rounder (No. 12 overall); a 2012 second-round pick (Quincy Miller); a 2013 second-round pick (via Golden State); and $3MM cash from the Knicks. Denver also received Kosta Koufos from Minnesota.

For the Knicks the big prize was obviously Anthony. Team owner James Dolan had been seeking a big name player, but had struck out in trying to lure LeBron James to New York the prior year, and the team had to settle for Amar’e Stoudemire instead. Dolan’s biggest fear was that Anthony could end up with the rival Nets, which would have been a blow to his ego, as well as threaten the Knicks’ position as the No. 1 team in New York.

The knock on ‘Melo has always been the same: he’s a ball-stopper who doesn’t make the players around him better. He had also led the Nuggets out of the first round of the playoffs just once (2008/09) during his tenure in Denver. Anthony may have broken the first-round curse of the Knicks back in 2012/13, but the criticisms still remain.

Anthony has been a stat-sheet filler for the Knicks during his time in New York. Here are his numbers by season since the trade:

  1. 2010/11: In the final 27 games after the trade, he averaged 26.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 3.0 APG.
  2. 2011/12: 22.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 3.6 APG. His slash line was .430/.335/.804.
  3. 2012/13: 28.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 2.6 APG. His slash line was .449/.379/.830.
  4. 2013/14: 27.4 PPG, 8.1 RPG, and 3.1 APG. His slash line was .452/.402/.848.

If you look at the trade based on Anthony’s statistical production, then it’s hard to argue that the deal was a failure. The Knicks hadn’t made the playoffs since the 2003/04 campaign, and their record since that year leading up to the Anthony acquisition was 173-319. Since the deal, the Knicks have made the playoffs three of the four seasons ‘Melo has been with the franchise. Their record during this stretch is 169-143.

As the team’s star player, Anthony gets a lot of heat for the Knicks’ failure to advance past the second round. I personally feel that while Anthony isn’t necessarily the problem, he hasn’t been the solution either. The front office hasn’t been able to pair him with the right group of players who maximize his talents and hide his deficiencies. The team has also suffered from poor point guard play throughout Anthony’s tenure, which is a major reason for the team’s disappointments.

But Anthony hasn’t been able to elevate those around him either. LeBron had less talent around him during his first stint in Cleveland, yet he was able to make it to the NBA Finals, losing to the Spurs in 2007. The Knicks and their fans had better hope that the triangle offense and arrival of Jose Calderon will help Anthony take his play to the next level, seeing as he isn’t leaving anytime soon. Anthony recently re-signed with the team for five years and $124MM.

Renaldo Balkman was originally drafted by the Knicks back in 2006. He was traded to the Nuggets in 2008, in what was essentially a salary dump. His second stint in New York lasted all of 17 games, where he averaged 2.0 PPG, in parts of two seasons. Balkman was released on February 17, 2012, to make room on the roster for J.R. Smith, who was signed as a free agent after playing in China. Balkman hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since. His only claim to fame since leaving the NBA was an incident where he choked a teammate during a game in the Philippines.

Chauncey Billups was a good pickup for the Knicks. At the time of the trade, he was averaging 16.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 5.3 APG. He finished out the season strong for New York, putting up 17.5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 5.5 APG. But in December of that year the Knicks used the Amnesty Provision to waive Billups in order to clear enough cap space to sign free agent Tyson Chandler. Some would argue, myself included, that New York would have been better served in the long run to have amnestied Stoudemire instead.

The Clippers claimed Billups off of waivers for the bargain price of $2MM, leaving the Knicks on the hook for the remaining $12.2MM the player was owed for that season. Billups provided Los Angeles with 15.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 4.0 APG that year.

Anthony Carter was essentially a throw-in, and finished the season with the Knicks, averaging 4.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 2.3 APG. Carter became a free agent at the end of the season and signed with the Raptors. He appeared in 24 contests, averaging 2.0 PPG, 1.4 RPG, and 1.4 APG. He was waived by Toronto on March 15, 2012. He hasn’t played in an NBA game since, and is now an assistant coach in the NBA D-League.

Shelden Williams appeared in 17 games for New York, averaging 3.9 PPG and 2.9 RPG. The Knicks didn’t re-sign him at the end of the 2010/11 season. Williams then signed a one-year deal with the Nets, and appeared in 58 games for New Jersey, averaging 4.6 PPG and 6.0 RPG. That was Williams’ last season in the NBA, and he last saw action over in China.

Corey Brewer was waived by the Knicks without ever appearing in a game for them.  Two days later, once Brewer cleared waivers, he signed a three-year, $8MM deal with the Mavericks. Brewer was part of Dallas’ championship team that season, averaging 5.3 PPG and 1.8 RPG. He was then traded that December to the Nuggets along with Rudy Fernandez in exchange for a 2016 second-round pick.

Brewer played well for Denver, averaging 8.9 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 2011/12, and 12.1 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 2012/13. He then left Denver as a free agent, signing a three-year, $15MM contract to return to the Wolves. Brewer averaged 12.3 PPG and 2.6 RPG last year for Minnesota.

Minnesota was involved to help the Knicks make the salaries work for matching purposes. They took on Eddy Curry‘s expiring deal, and they bought out his contract without him ever playing a game for them.  Curry signed with the Heat in December of 2011, appearing in 14 games, averaging 2.1 PPG that year.

Anthony Randolph was supposed to be a big part of New York’s future when he was acquired as part of the sign-and-trade deal that sent David Lee to the Warriors. But he remained buried on the Knicks’ bench, averaging 2.1 PPG and 2.4 RPG, in just 7.1 minutes a night. He fared slightly better after the trade, averaging 7.4 PPG and 3.6 PPG to finish out the year.

After the season, Randolph left Minnesota and signed a three-year, $6MM deal with the Nuggets. He didn’t log many minutes in Denver either, averaging 4.3 PPG and 2.6 RPG in his two seasons with the Nuggets. He was then traded during the 2014 NBA Draft in the deal that sent the rights to Doug McDermott to the Bulls, and netted Denver the rights to Gary Harris.

This brings us to the Nuggets, and how they have fared since the trade. In Anthony’s eight seasons in Denver, the team’s cumulative record was 388-268. Since the trade, they have gone 131-99, with two playoff appearances, losing both series in the first round. Injuries have certainly taken their toll, and they’re the main reason the team missed the playoffs last year.

The centerpiece of the trade from Denver’s side, was Danilo Gallinari. The Nuggets were hoping that he could replace Anthony as the team’s primary scorer, and they were banking on his potential to make the trade work in their favor.  It hasn’t quite worked out that way as injuries have mounted. He missed half of the 2011/12 season and the entire 2013/14 season.

Gallinari’s numbers in Denver are:

  1. 2010/11: 14.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 1.6 APG. His slash line was .412/.370/.772.
  2. 2011/12: 14.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 2.7 APG. His slash line was .414/.328/.871.
  3. 2012/13: 16.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 2.5 APG. His slash line was .418/.373/.822.
  4. 2013/14: Missed entire season.

It remains to be seen how Gallinari will fare this coming season, but it’s hard to count on him as a cornerstone thanks to his injury history. He originally came into the league with a history of back problems, which slowed him his first season in New York. Denver better hope he can return to form, seeing as they signed him to a four-year, $42MM extension in January of 2012.

Wilson Chandler was the other significant piece the Nuggets acquired, and he has also been bitten by the injury bug during his time in Denver. He missed half of the 2011/12 season when he signed with a team in China during the NBA lockout. Since Chandler didn’t have an out-clause in his contract, he couldn’t return to the NBA until after the Chinese playoffs ended. Once he was permitted to return to the NBA, he signed a five-year, $37MM deal with the Nuggets, but Chandler only appeared in eight games that season before suffering a labral tear in his left hip.

Chandler’s numbers since arriving in Denver are:

  1. 2010/11: 12.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 1.6 APG. His slash line was .419/.347/.810.
  2. 2011/12: 9.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 2.1 APG. His slash line was .392/.250/.833.
  3. 2012/13: 13.0 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 1.3 APG. His slash line was .462/.413/.793.
  4. 2013/14: 13.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.8 APG. His slash line was .416/.348/.724.

Prior to the trade, Raymond Felton was enjoying a strong first season in New York, thriving under then-coach Mike D’Antoni‘s system. In 54 games, Felton averaged 17.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 9.0 APG.

Once he arrived in Denver, Felton was relegated to backing up Ty Lawson, which didn’t sit well with Felton. After the season he requested a trade, and was dealt as part of a three team trade with Dallas and Portland during the 2011 NBA Draft. In return the Nuggets received Andre Miller and the rights to the No. 26 pick Jordan Hamilton.

Miller played well during his 2+ seasons in Denver, averaging 8.4 PPG and 5.3 APG. He was dealt to the Wizards last season after a falling out with coach Brian Shaw over his playing time.

Hamilton was also dealt last season, being sent to the Rockets in exchange for Aaron Brooks. During his time in Denver, Hamilton averaged 5.5 PPG and 2.7 RPG. Brooks played well after he trade, appearing in 29 games, and putting up 11.9 PPG and 5.2 APG. Brooks signed a one-year, minimum-salary deal with the Bulls this summer.

Felton hasn’t enjoyed the same success that he did under D’Antoni. His one season in Portland was marred by Felton arriving out-of-shape after the lockout ended, and he averaged 11.4 PPG and 6.5 APG during the 2011/12 season.

That was Felton’s only season in Rip City. He was sent back to the Knicks in a sign-and-trade deal along with Kurt Thomas in exchange for Jared Jeffries; Dan GadzuricKostas PapanikolaouGeorgios Printezis; and a 2016 second round pick. Felton’s new deal with New York was for four years and $14.86MM with a fourth-year player option.

Felton’s second stint in New York came to an end when he was dealt along with Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks in exchange for Jose Calderon; Samuel Dalembert; Wayne Ellington; Shane Larkin; and the No. 34 (Cleanthony Early) and No. 51 (Thanasis Antetikounmpo) picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.

The Nuggets used the 2012 second-rounder they obtained in the Anthony trade to select Quincy Miller at No. 38. Miller hasn’t done much to impress in his short career, averaging 3.1 PPG and 1.5 RPG in two seasons.

The 2013 second-round pick they obtained was sent to the Magic as part of the Dwight Howard to the Lakers trade, which was then used to select Romero Osby. The 2014 first rounder Denver received from the Knicks was also packaged in this deal, which the Magic later used as part of the 2014 draft-night swap that netted Orlando the rights to Elfrid Payton.

As a part of the Howard deal, the Nuggets received Andre Iguodala, who averaged 13.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 5.4 APG in his one season in Denver. Iguodala was shipped to the Warriors in a sign-and-trade after the 2012/13 season for Randy Foye. Foye had a decent season last year, averaging 13.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 3.5 APG for the Nuggets.

The final player that Denver received from the Knicks was the one who almost scuttled the deal, Timofey Mozgov. The talks almost broke down when New York was adamant at first about not including the 7’1″ center. Mozgov has always been viewed as a player with upside, but he has never quite realized that potential. Mozgov did have his best season as a pro last year, averaging 9.4 PPG and 6.4 RPG. He is 28 years old though, and he may have already reached his peak as a player.

The Nuggets also received Kosta Koufos from the Wolves in the deal. In his two seasons in Denver, Koufos averaged 6.8 PPG and 6.1 RPG. He signed a three-year, $9MM extension on January 25, 2012, but was traded last June to the Grizzlies for Darrell Arthur and the rights to the No. 55 Joffrey Lauvergne. During the 2013/14 season with Denver, Arthur averaged 5.9 PPG and 3.1 RPG.

The Anthony trade hasn’t quite worked out for either side like they had hoped. ‘Melo has put up fantastic individual numbers in New York, but the sheer amount of assets the franchise gave up to acquire him surely set them back. It could set New York back even further depending on how the draft picks work out in 2016 since Denver has the right to switch places with the Knicks.

For the Nuggets, the team played better after Anthony departed, making up for the loss of their star by having exceptional depth and athleticism on their roster. But injuries have certainly taken their toll, with both Gallinari and Chandler missing significant time.

Looking back at this trade, I’d have to call it a draw. New York got the best player in the deal, but Anthony hasn’t been able to improve the franchise’s fortunes yet. He just turned 30, and the near-max contract he just signed will limit the Knicks’ future options in constructing a winning roster around him before he hits his decline phase.

The Nuggets’ depth has translated into wins when everyone was healthy, but it’s rare in this league to win a championship without at least one star player on the roster, an asset the Nuggets do not currently possess. If they can remain injury-free, they should be a playoff team next season, but it’s doubtful that they can overtake the upper-echelon teams in the brutal Western Conference.

Kevin Love certainly shares some comparisons with Anthony, seeing as he also takes heat for not making those around him better, as well as being a poor defender. The big difference though is Anthony didn’t join a team with players of LeBron or Kyrie Irving‘s talent level. Time will tell if Love can silence his critics, which ‘Melo is still trying to do.

Mavs Waive Balkman, Ebanks, Kennedy, Melo

5:02pm: The Mavs have waived Renaldo Balkman, Devin Ebanks, D.J. Kennedy and Fab Melo, the team announced via press release. The move makes official the news about Balkman that he himself revealed earlier today, and leaves Mickey McConnell as the team’s only camp invitee left. McConnell, a 24-year-old guard, was the only player without NBA experience that Dallas brought to camp, but it appears as though he might have made the strongest impression. Still, it seems unlikely he’ll remain with the club through the end of the week, since the Mavs would have to cut someone on a fully guaranteed deal to keep him.

It’s the second time in two months that Melo has hit waivers, after the Grizzlies let him go in late August. That was shortly after Memphis acquired him from the Celtics, and it appears the NBA career of the center whom Boston drafted 22nd overall in 2012 is in jeopardy. Ebanks turned down a $650K offer from China to sign with the Mavs, so perhaps he’ll head overseas, if the Chinese club is still interested. An Italian team had interest in Kennedy before he indicated he would prefer to sign in the NBA, so he could be headed for international ball, too.

Balkman admits his violent incident while playing in the Philippines last year could make some front offices squeamish, but his camp stint with the Mavs, where coach Rick Carlisle counted him as a welcome presence, could help his chances of returning to the NBA at some point. All four players the Mavs waived today were on non-guaranteed deals, so the team isn’t on the hook for any of their salaries.

4:57pm: Renaldo Balkman has told Puerto Rican radio station TAB Deportes 101.3 that the Mavs have let him go (Twitter link; translation via Sportando). The team has yet to officially announce the move, but the subtraction would be no surprise, since he’s one of five players with non-guaranteed deals on the Mavs, who have 15 others on fully guaranteed contracts, as our roster counts show.

Mavericks Sign Renaldo Balkman

SEPTEMBER 30TH: The Mavs have officially announced the signing via press release.

SEPTEMBER 25TH: The Mavericks have reached an agreement on a non-guaranteed contact with free agent Renaldo Balkman, reports Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas.  Balkman, who was said to be considering Dallas' offer as of earlier today, was the 20th pick of the 2006 NBA draft by the Knicks. 

Balkman will fill the Mavs' 20th and last roster spot for training camp and certainly fits the profile of the type of "active defensive-minded bodies" the team is said to be interested in.  However, it will take some manuevering for Balkman, or any other Mav without a guarantee, to make the team considering Dallas already has 15 players with guaranteed deals on the roster.

Balkman, 29, last appeared in the league in 2011/12 with New York, where he played in only 14 games.  Last season he averaged impressive numbers (25 PPG and 13.4 RPG) in the Philippine Basketball Association before he was banned for a year in March after choking a teammate.  His career NBA averages are 4 PPG and 3.5 RPG over six seasons out of South Carolina.

Read more

Free Agent Updates: Barron, Balkman, Wright

As free agents continue to land on NBA training camp rosters or with international teams in advance of the coming season, let's round up a few of today's items on new signings and players still on the market….

  • Free agent big man Earl Barron has signed with China's Qingdao DoubleStar, agent Derrick Powell tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Barron reportedly drew interest from the Pelicans, Sixers, Pacers, and Jazz, and had been hoping to sign with the Knicks. However, New York decision-makers were said to be split on whether or not to add the former Memphis Tiger.
  • Ex-Knick Renaldo Balkman is considering accepting a training camp invite from the Mavericks, according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. The Mavs, who have one open roster spot left for camp, are hoping to bring in "active defensive-minded bodies" to fill out their preseason roster, says Sefko.
  • Former first round pick Antoine Wright is set to sign with a club in Poland, according to a report passed along by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Wright played in the D-League last season and most recently appeared in the NBA in 2010/11.
  • Shams Charania of spoke to former Clippers forward Bobby Simmons, who says he's still aiming to make an NBA comeback. As our international player movement tracker shows, Simmons didn't play in the NBA or anywhere else last season.

Read more

Odds & Ends: Dwight, Bulls, Deron

Amidst the buzz surrounding the 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame induction a little over a week ago, you may have heard legendary Brazilian basketball player Oscar Schmidt proclaim that he could have been one of the best 10 players ever if he had joined the NBA. In hindsight, it's interesting to ponder some of the 'what ifs' and how they may have altered the landscape and history of the league.

One could think about how the NBA would have been different if Larry Bird didn't fall five spots to the Celtics during the 1978 draft, if Kobe Bryant hadn't fallen to number 13 in 1996, or if Michael Jordan hadn't retired before the 1993/94 season to name a few. Regardless, there are plenty of other possibilities to consider.

Jonathan Abrams of Grantland sheds light on one particular what-could-have-been, chronicling the rise and fall of Korleone Young, a promising 6'7" small forward who like Kobe, Tracy McGrady, and Kevin Garnett before him attempted to make the jump from high school to the NBA in 1998. In his comprehensive piece, Abrams supplements Young's story with commentary from several people who had crossed paths with him along his journey, including Young's prep-school rival Al Harrington, former Pistons head coach Alvin Gentry, and former Pistons assistant (and current Bucks GM) John Hammond, who had this to share based on what he'd seen in practices: 

"We used to talk about the way in which (Young) defended (then-star) Grant Hill on a daily basis. We used to say it tongue-in-cheek but [also] somewhat seriously: 'No one defended Grant Hill in this league as well as Korleone Young."

With that aside, let's round up the rest of tonight's miscellaneous links from the NBA:

  • Sam Amick of USA Today writes about how Dwight Howard has found greener pastures in Houston and why the rest of the NBA will have to lament the reality that another Western Conference contender has been born. 
  • A handful of HoopsWorld panelists put together a season preview of the Bulls for 2013/14. With much of the team's success hinging on how much Derrick Rose can return to form, three writers pick Chicago to finish second in the Central Division, while two have them running away with the division title. 
  • Nets guard Deron Williams was spotted at his charity dodgeball event earlier today with a walking boot over the same ankle that had been giving him problems last season, though he insisted that the boot was just precautionary: “As long as I’m ready (for the season opener), that’s all that matters to me…If it was up to me, I would be playing right now. I can walk fine. It doesn’t hurt. It’s just protecting me from myself” (Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News). 
  • Eddie Sefko of SportsDayDFW says that with Dirk Nowitzki healthy, the Mavericks won't take a backseat to anybody in the league in terms of talent at the power forward position. 
  • Tommy Dee of Ridiculous Upside presents a scouting report of free agent big man Hassan Whiteside, who had recently drawn reported interest from the Knicks, Heat, and Bucks
  • Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside explains why the NBDL will continue to develop front office executives at a much more efficient rate than players at this point, mentioning that while prospective staffers can work to rise up the ranks while committed to a specific NBA franchise, the players can be called up at anytime and by any NBA team regardless of D-League affiliation. 
  • HoopsWorld's Moke Hamilton held his weekly chat with readers earlier this evening, offering his thoughts on why he thinks the Knicks will repeat as Atlantic Division champions, why teams might be shying away from Renaldo Balkman, the Western Conference playoff race, and the Warriors' ceiling among other topics.  
  • Jim Eichenhofer of continues his countdown of reasons why New Orleans fans should be excited about training camp, placing the offseason progress made by the team's quartet of sophomores – namely Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers, Brian Roberts, and Darius Miller – at number 13. 

Odds & Ends: Pistons, Kings, Draft, Balkman

Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game reported in March that the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas is adopting a tournament-style format this year, and the league confirmed the news today. The games will take place between July 12th and July 22nd, and while the move promises excitement, the contests won't necessarily have much meaning. Damian Lillard won the circuit's co-MVP honors last summer to kick off his Rookie of the Year campaign, but the other co-MVP was Josh Selby, who's been out of the NBA since March. While we wait to see how the revamped summer league shakes out, there's plenty of other NBA news: 

Odds & Ends: Korver, Magic, Stoudemire, Balkman

A few Tuesday evening odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • Kyle Korver will hit unrestricted free agency this summer, and he's looking forward to going through the process, as he tells Lang Greene of HoopsWorld. "It’s nothing to dread about it," Korver said. "Your wife wants to know where she’s going to live next year and I do too, obviously…. It’s an exciting time but right now you have to take care of the games you have in front of you and let July take care of July." I examined Korver's free agent stock last week.
  • With Dwight Howard returning to Orlando for the first time since being traded last August, Tom Ziller of notes that the package acquired by GM Rob Hennigan and the Magic in that deal is no longer being questioned.
  • As David Lee and the Warriors faced the Amare Stoudemire-less Knicks last night, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News tweeted that ex-Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni wanted the team to re-sign Lee in the summer of 2010 rather than pursuing Stoudemire.
  • Pointing out that Robert Sarver and the Suns were also willing to offer Stoudemire a max contract in 2010, but only if he met certain minutes-played thresholds, Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic says the Suns made the right call.
  • Renaldo Balkman's lifetime ban from the Philippines' professional basketball league has been reduced to one year, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes.