My latest post examines potential bargain free agents in the mode of Nate Rob or Danny Green, and I also get into free agency and the draft in my first chat.
The Adidas Eurocamp is annually a gold mine of information about European prospects and the European game in general. One of my goals was ...
I've been posting over at ESPN TrueHoop Network Indiana Pacers 8 Points 9 Seconds throughout the conference finals. My last two posts e...
The Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is invariably a great place to exercise one's basketball brain, and this year's conference was...
*The ability to throw fast passes accurately is an underrated skill; the speed of the ball in the air is critical to giving shooters an extra split second before defenders arrive. It is part of what makes LeBron James such an effective passer.
*I am of the opinion that a player should always stay in the draft if he is going to be a first-rounder, although this applies more to college players than Europeans. The draft is littered with prospects who would have been in the first round but sank by staying in school. Then consider the extra year of pro basketball and the fact that he can start the clock on a more lucrative second contract right away. There is also a solid argument that players develop better in the NBA without the distraction of school and access to pro training staffs and coaching. Moreover, going later in the draft can sometimes help because it means going to a better organization. Finally, would you rather have a guaranteed $2 million (the minimum for a 2-year first-round contract) or a 50% chance of $4 million? It seems like when you have nothing, getting a guarantee of 7 figures (with a higher upside due to starting the clock on the second contract earlier) is superior to rolling the dice on getting hurt or regressing compared to the chance of improving one's draft position.
*With Luol Deng's contract expiring and Carlos Boozer a possible amnesty candidate, the Bulls could be well under the cap in 2014, or into the luxury tax and over the “apron” (which restricts salary cap exceptions and sign and trades) by keeping Boozer and resigning Deng. The apron sits approximately $4 million above the luxury tax line.
*I saw one father constantly holding on to his son to keep him from falling.
*With 44 fouls in the 40 minute game, at least 70% of which seemed to be called off the ball, they had plenty of opportunities. Next time you want to complain about NBA refs, watch a European or college game.
*Team USA fans will remember him carving up the defense for the Brazilian national team during an exhibition last summer.
*Lorbek suffered a concussion in Game 2 but returned for Game 3. I did not hear anything about him having to pass the league's concussion tests to play.
*The USA Team did not include anywhere close to the best players in the class of 2014 because many are not done with school and many are not affiliated with Adidas AAU teams. The hope is that Eurocamp organizers will be able to provide a superior team of USA prospects in the future.
*Coaches often state that players should “never jump to pass.” The real rule should be “never jump to pass if you aren't good at it.” Robinson is good at it.
*I have always wondered about the reliability of vertical testing, and this result adds to my suspicion. It seems nearly impossible that he could be no better at jumping with one step than standing still. And I also wonder how consistent players' leaps are is, i.e. how much does a vertical vary from time to time or day to day.
*I have heard nothing to suggest that Gobert's illness was not legitimate, as he tweeted that he was in the hospital in Atlanta. However, were I the agent for Gobert or Jean-Charles I would not have played them at the Eurocamp. Gobert made about as good an impression as he possibly could have last year, while the same could be said of Jean-Charles at the Nike Hoop Summit in April. Neither really had much to gain by playing here in my view. Exum was in attendance all day and clearly would have played if healthy, especially considering he is not yet eligible for the draft.
*With Kelly Olynyk winning the “T-Rex” award at the combine, all wingspans must now be compared to dinosaurs.
*He only recently acquired a Greek passport due to the fact that his parents are immigrants to Greece.
*Incidentally, the referees in this game called no fewer than 12 travels, 10 of which were the FIBA “failing to put the ball down quickly enough” variety. Not a single one of these travels was obvious to your American writer as it occurred.