Archive for the ‘ NBA players ’ Category

Andrew Wiggins Kansas Dunk Jabari Parker Duke NBA draft

Editor’s Note:

This is a guest post by Ron of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.Com. For more fantasy basketball updates, you can follow Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page or like it on Facebook.

The 2014 NBA Draft is one of the most talked–about of the last decade and it is also considered to be loaded with stars. Most GMs, especially from teams which are not currently active in the postseason, are already planning their next moves during the post season. We already know which players will be at the top spots of the upcoming NBA draft. What we don’t know just yet is what impact those players can have in your fantasy team. Let’s examine the top prospects of the upcoming draft from a fantasy perspective.

Andrew Wiggins

Wiggins is a controversial player with no doubt. He has received loads of criticism during his college days and although he was rumored to make it to the top of the draft, at present this doesn’t seem to be the case. However, Wiggins can still have a big impact to your fantasy team. He averaged 17.1 PPG and 5.9 RPG during his last season in college and although we might see those numbers dropping a bit when he enters the NBA, he is still considered to have tons of potential. As a fantasy owner, if you decide to draft him, you will most probably not regret it.

Jabari Parker

Parker is one of the top prospects for the upcoming draft and he has made it to the top of the list of several draft analysts. He stands lots of chances to make it to the No.1 of the 2014 NBA Draft. He seems to be the most NBA – ready player of his class, maybe together with Joel Embiid. Last season he averaged 19.1 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 47.3 FG% and 35.8 3P%. If those numbers seem too good to be true for a 19 – year old kid, you will be surprised to hear that most analysts project Parker to record around 20.0 PPG as soon as he enters the league. So is there any question about his potential?

Joel Embiid

Another very capable youngster who will enter the NBA through the upcoming draft and the best center of his class is Joel Embiid. Health will always be an issue for Embiid and in fact, his injury issues might be the only thing stopping him from making it to the top of the 2014 draft. However, if he manages to stay healthy, he will certainly make his impact felt in the upcoming draft. Last season he averaged 11.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.6 BLKPG and 62.6 FG%. Will these numbers fall once he makes it to the NBA? For sure, as he will have to match against the best centers in the league. But still, he will be a good fantasy option at center.

Julius Randle

Randle is characterized by many as a double – double machine. He is a very strong forward who averaged 15.0 PPG, 10.4 RPG and 50.0 FG% last season. You should expect him to stay close to these numbers once he enters the league. He is a player to watch for your fantasy team.

Quicker to the Ball

Pacers Wizards NBA Playoffs 2014

By Marcus Shockley

For the life of me, I can’t figure out what has happened – and, continues to happen – to the Indiana Pacers.

By all rights the Pacers should have already won a title. Over the past two seasons, they consistently outplayed the Miami Heat, but just couldn’t close the deal when it was in their grasp. This is not to take anything away from the Heat; they got the job done when it mattered and the Pacers didn’t. But that’s all history, anyway.

Let’s talk about right now.

The Pacers have a team that is deep, physical, and built to win in the grueling postseason. Everyone is well aware that they stumbled down the home stretch of the regular season, and had to fight to keep their number one seed in the playoffs.

In the first round, the Atlanta Hawks – the eighth seed – pushed the Pacers to brink of elimination, and frankly, looked better than the Pacers for most of the series. Only via a gutty fourth quarter performance by David West in game seven are the Pacers in the second round. After their poor performance in the first round, no one would be surprised if they were eliminated in the second, as they take on the Wizards. The Wizards are not really young, but they do have two very young elite talents in the backcourt.

The first game looked like what most of us would expect, given what we’ve seen so far from both of these teams. The Wizards looked better than the Pacers, even playing on Indiana’s home court. John Wall and Bradley Beal looked unstoppable, especially Beal, and the Pacers look like they don’t even want to be there. Pacers fans have to be discouraged and in a bit of shock of what they are seeing unfold right in front of them.

To be clear, the Wizards have some talent, but it’s not the kind of team you would expect to look like they clearly outmatch the number one seed. One the surface, they have elite wings in Wall and Beal. Nene is a top center and they have depth in the post with Gortat and Drew Gooden. Trevor Ariza has done some nice things. But no one would expect that they (or, frankly, the Hawks) would be making the Pacers look like they shouldn’t have even have made the playoffs.

In an NBA playoff year that been one of the best in some time, the Pacers no longer look like the dark horse. It’s somewhat baffling – is it locker room issues? Has the roster aged to a point where it looks better on paper than in reality?

Will Frank Vogel, who up until a month ago, was being heralded as one of the brightest coaching lights in the NBA, be able to keep his job if the Pacers can’t suddenly start looking like, well, the Pacers?

One thing is certain: as of this moment the Pacers cannot be considered a serious title contender and, while the Heat are the number two seed, they clearly look like the East’s strongest candidate thus far. The Pacers may be on the brink of becoming yet another team that was built for success but could never get over the hump. As a basketball fan, I’m much more excited by what Washington is doing than Indiana, and I would wager most NBA fans feel the same.

For more basketball nonsense, you can follow Marcus Shockley on Twitter, right now.

Joel Embiid Kansas basketball NBA draft

In a move that most expected after his solid year, Kansas’ Joel Embiid has declared for the NBA draft. At his news conference on Wednesday, Embiid shared his reasons for turning pro: “Looking at different scenarios and gathering info of what was best for me … either way was best for me. Talking to my mentor, it was best the choice.”

There was quite a bit of speculation leading up to this announcement that Embiid might have had a change of heart after it seemed a near certainty that he would make this move earlier in the season. Embiid suffered nagging injuries this season but still managed to average almost a double-double as a freshman. Many consider Embiid the number one pro prospect in this year’s draft with this announcement.

Want more basketball insight? You can follow Basketball Elite on Twitter, right now.

Chris Paul Booed…Again

Chris Paul Clippers

You would think that Chris Paul would be beloved in Los Angeles. After all, he’s helped make the Clippers, considered to be the worst-run organization in all of professional sports over the last 30 years, actually relevant. But, that’s not the case:

“I thought the city would have embraced him,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said of Paul. “I mean, it seems like everywhere we go, people love Chris. I don’t know why he would get booed at a Dodger game.”

Paul said he understood being the victim of the Untrue Blue. Fans booed him at the Dodgers’ game against the San Francisco Giants on Friday, he said, because L.A. remains a Lakers town. Sadly, even being shown on the Dodger Stadium video board alongside Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford couldn’t protect him from the scorn of a sellout crowd.

So what gives?

In Los Angeles, the Clippers are the “other team”. The team that isn’t the Lakers, a team that “borrows” the court of the Lakers when they need to play a home game. It’s been this way since the Clippers franchise moved into L.A. from San Diego in 1984. The Clippers have horrible ownership and have been the laughingstock of the league, well, since even their days in San Diego.

Team owner Donald Sterling lobbied the NBA to allow him to move the Clippers to Los Angeles because of poor attendance…but the reason so few people were coming out to watch the games was that the team was awful for years. Bringing the team to L.A. did nothing to solve the poor management of Sterling and the Lakers were already well established. Remember, this was during the height of Magic Johnson’s ‘Showtime’ Laker teams. Sterling had purchased the team in 1981, and was based in L.A.

So the city of L.A. considered Chris Paul an outsider. They expected him to play for the Clippers for a season after David Stern’s ludicrous move to prevent him from going from New Orleans to the Lakers, then they expected him to move over to the ‘real’ L.A. team. Since he hasn’t, they haven’t embraced him.

Chris Paul is arguably one of the most marketable players in the NBA at the moment, with national endorsements, elite play and a winning personality. But as long as he stays with the Clippers, he will probably continue to be considered the ‘away team’ on the team’s home court.

Basketball Pre-Season Roundup

Brandon Knight NBA

With both the college and NBA basketball seasons closing in, it’s time to revive our regular roundup feature, where we whip around the world of basketball and see what’s happening that’s interesting right now.

First off, Lebron James did a cool Q&A on Twitter, which makes us wonder – would MJ or Magic have done something like that? Pretty sure Magic would have, but not so sure about His Airness.

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Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks picked up the fourth-year options on Brandon Knight and John Henson, and if you need an explanation on how the rookie pay scale works, you might want to review our discussion from last week.

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Gerald Wallace prepares for the upcoming season by ignoring the media.

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Derrick Rose is not only ready physically for the season, he’s been slowly increasing his conversation as well, most recently saying that the only true rival for the Chigago Bulls right now are the Miami Heat.

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The Utah Jazz are pretty happy with Derrick Favors and have signed him to a four year contract extension.

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Doc Rivers is trying to control the home arena for the Clippers by covering the Lakers championship banners when the Clippers play a home game:

“Well, I didn’t look at it as the banner thing. I just look at it as putting our guys up…. Listen, I think this is our arena when we play,” Rivers said. “So I just thought it would be good that we show our guys. No disrespect to them. But when we play, it’s the Clippers’ arena as far as I know.”

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Finally, Hall of Fame center Bill Russell was arrested for carrying a loaded handgun into an airport inside of his luggage. No explanation was given but Russell has apologized for the incident.

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Luther Burden Dinner

Several basketball legends are coming to the aid of friend and teammate Luther “Ticky” Burden, a former ABA, NBA player and collegiate basketball star who set the FIBA World Championship scoring title in 1974, as well as helping the US win gold at the 1975 Pan American Games.

Burden, who currently resides in Winston-Salem, NC, is suffering from a life-threatening form of infiltrative heart disease known as ATTR amyloid, which will require relocation to Columbia University in New York for evaluation of potential heart and liver transplants. The treatment is expected to cost in excess of $500,000. Burden does not have health insurance.

Burden played for the University of Utah collegiately then spent time in the ABA with the Virginia Squires and in the NBA with the New York Knicks. Burden’s FIBA record remained intact until Kevin Durant broke it in 2010.

Former legends of collegiate and pro basketball, including All-Americans Skip Brown of Wake Forest and Phil Ford of North Carolina are coming together to help raise funds for Burden at a charity dinner on October 11, 2013.

The dinner will feature legendary NBA players including ACC alumni such as Chucky Brown of NC State, former NBA player and Wake Forest star Charlie Davis, Winston-Salem State head coach Bobby Collins and several more.

There will be several available auction items for sports memorabilia provided by the New York Knicks, including an exclusive autographed J.R. Smith jersey. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear firsthand accounts of some of the memorable moments in basketball history, as well attend a meet-and-greet prior to the dinner. 100% of the proceeds for this event will go directly to helping Luther Burden battle his life-threatening illness.

For more information, to purchase tickets or offer a donation, visit LutherBurdenFund.com

Fab Melo Celtics

USA Today is reporting that the Dallas Mavericks have added Fab Melo, D.J. Kennedy and guard Richard McConnell for training camp as they continue to try and tweak their roster for the upcoming season.

Mello and Kennedy spent most of last season playing in the D-League, while McConnell averaged 13.6 points per game playing in Italy.

Paul Pierce baby sunglasses

Hey, it’s Sunday, it’s still the offseason, so enjoy this photo of Paul Pierce still living the jet set lifestyle with the cool crowd.

Kevin Durant Seattle

Kevin Durant likes Seattle, and he wants them to know it.

Durant, who played his rookie season for the Seattle Supersonics before the team relocated to Oklahoma City, scored 63 points in a game at the Jamal Crawford Summer Pro-Am, in front of about 3,000 fans. According to Crawford, Durant took his own jet to play and really wanted to make sure the fans understood that he missed playing in Seattle.

Mike Miller Heat Amnesty

The Miami Heat have decided that the will use the Amnesty clause on sharp shooter Mike Miller, which may save the team more than $30 million. The savings will likely come from luxury tax payment savings. The move is not entirely unexpected, although it was only a few days after team president Pat Riley stated that the team was looking to keep the core group of players intact.

However, the Heat reportedly tried to trade Miller, not because of his play but because of the mounting cost the team incurred when adding their “Big 3″ of Bosh, Wade and Lebron James. Miller was aware that such a move might be made and is taking it in stride:

‘I understand the business side of basketball,” Miller told The Associated Press. ”It’s a combination of being very, very thankful for the opportunity that I’ve had, but it hurts that we had a chance to do something very, very special and I’d love to have been a part of it.”

It’s not entirely bad for Miller, he had battled back from injuries last season to make a positive impact in this year’s title run with the team, and despite being off the roster he will still receive his salary of $6.2 million and $6.6 million for the next two seasons. However, the Heat won’t have to count Miller’s salary towards the cap.