CLEVELAND One day after Charles Barkley said the Atlanta Hawks need to “take somebody out” on the Cleveland Cavaliers to make their Eastern Conference semifinals series competitive again, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue admonished TNT’s popular NBA analyst for his stance.

“I don’t think there’s any place in our game to take someone out if they’re playing well,” Lue said on a conference call with reporters Thursday. “I think you can take it upon yourself to play harder and do things to stop it or stop a team from playing well.

“But when it gets into trying to hurt guys or trying to take guys out, that’s just not right. Hopefully the referees will keep an eye on it and make sure it’s a clean game. We don’t mind if it’s a physical game, but clean and everything that they do and we do is basketball related. I don’t believe in taking guys out and trying to hurt guys because a team or a player is playing well.”

Charles Oakley, a Cleveland native and a former playing opponent of Barkley’s, also took exception to what the Hall of Famer said.

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routed the Hawks on Wednesday, winning 123 98 while hitting an NBA record 25 3 pointers for any game, playoffs or regular season with 25 to take a 2 0 series lead.

LeBron James, however, shook off Barkley’s comments.

“That’s Chuck being Chuck,” James said Friday. “At the end of the day, I don’t think that has anything to do with the game of basketball. It’s not for our game. I think for us and for those guys, we want to bring a physicality to the game. But as far as taking someone out, I think that over exceeds what our league is all about.

“You never want to try to jeopardize anyone being injured. So I don’t think, for us, we’re not going to have that on our mind. We’re going to still play our physical style of play, both offensively and defensively, and I think the referees will do a great job of taking care of the game. That has nothing to do with basketball.”

Barkley’s opinion, said during the TNT broadcast, wasn’t the only controversy to come out of Game 2.

The previous record for 3 pointers made in a game was 23, shared by the 2012 13 Houston Rockets and 2008 09 Orlando Magic, with both doing it in the regular season. Cleveland was 22 for 34 from long distance through three quarters on Wednesday, then shot 3 for 11 from there in the fourth quarter as players tried to set the mark.

“That’s something that the players felt like it was within their grasp, they wanted to go for it,” Lue said. “I mean, records are made to be broken, I don’t see anything wrong with it. We didn’t do anything malicious. We were up 40 points and we got our starters out with four minutes to go in the third quarter.

“We got LeBronout with 2 minutes to go in the third quarter. So I don’t think we did anything to rub it in their face or anything like that. We played the guys who don’t get a chance to play a lot, and they felt good on the floor and they wanted to go for the record.”

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said Thursday that he has more important things to worry about than Cleveland’s late pursuit of the record.

“I am more focused on what we’re doing, what we need to do going forward,” he said. “That’s kind of just somewhat unimportant to us. I know some things have been said. But at the end of the day, I don’t think I need to make any comments.”

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2016 NBA Draft No. 1 pick, guard Ben Simmons is showing potential to run point for the Sixers with his precise passes and all around game in the 2016 NBA Summer League.

2016 NBA Draft No. McConnell camped underneath the basket that became another easy basket.

Including the part about Brown strategizing to reduce some of the immediate workload, not wanting Simmons to face more pressure than is already hurtling at him as the first selection in the June 23 Draft and a new reason for hope for an organization anxious for tangible optimism while helping to carry the flag for basketball in his native Australia. Not just the expected role of a unique threat as a 6 10 point power forward who can grab a defensive rebound and lead the break, as he did before finding Luwawu Cabarrot, or use the court vision already superior to many veteran ball handlers, showcased on the frozen rope assist to McConnell. Point guard.

Just not right away. Simmons has enough to learn with the normal rookie learning curve, especially as a No. 1 pick who will be the focus of opposing defenses, and the ball will be in his hands a lot by any definition, as it was Monday. Extra hot spotlight, point forward and foundation of the 76ers future is enough for now.

think the point guard position is the hardest position to play in the NBA as a first year player, let alone as a person that nba jerseys from china
played a four man his whole life, Brown said. would be all over the place. It seems quite reckless to do it, almost unfair. I hope to continue to be ambitiously creative at tapping into what he really can do, and in my heart of hearts I think he can do it. probably coming eventually, in other words. Point guard Ben Simmons.

gets all twisted on what their version of a point guard is, Brown said. I say point guard I mean point guard. You got the ball. You could call him Isiah Thomas, the old Isiah Thomas of my generation. You could call himChris Paul. I mean point guard point guard. There are times I think that he can be a point guard. Not Draymond Green. Not LeBron. Not Lamar Odom. That a point forward. I walk both lines at different moments. To start him off, we play him as a point forward. the ways the 76ers could eventually put opponents in matchup hell with two bigs in traditional roles plus a mobile 6 foot 10 playmaker with a high basketball IQ, a tight handle and the kind of presence after a one and done at LSU that prompted one NBA executive to offer praise that way he plays, the game slows down for him. And now imagine when 2014 lottery pick Dario Saric makes the jump from Turkey and Philadelphia has a 6 10 small forward who is projected to become a good passer.

Monday was obviously just a first step, against a lot of competition who won see an NBA rotation in 2016 17, when the final score didn matter, but 10 points on 2 for 9 shooting, eight rebounds and five assists with just one turnover against the Celtics was important anyway. It was the next step, when Simmons got a chance to test whether he will be able to measure the court the same way he did at LSU or whether he has a big transition ahead.

think it will change, he said. it not as easy as college because these are pro athletes. I think there going to be a lot of opportunities where I can find guys like I did today in the season. was a successful pseudo debut in that way. He rebounded, he pushed the ball, he found open men, sometimes while playing with a true point guard, McConnell, making him point forward Ben Simmons. For now.

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On Sunday, the Heatmade guard Briante Weber the fifth Sioux Falls prospect they called up since entering into a single affiliation partnership with the Skyforce in 2013. One of those prospects, Tyler Johnson,has become a key piece for Miami future. Center Hassan Whiteside alsoplayed a gamefor Sioux Falls after being called up from the Iowa Energy last November.time I talked to the staff in Sioux Falls, they said, is a Miami Heat guy,’ Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters Sunday. heard that enough over the weeks that the way he was playing and his impact on the success of the team, he became a guy we wanted to invest time into because he has a lot of those kind of qualities. been a momentousseason for the Skyforce as a team and a career changing stretch for Weber individually. Duringlongtime Heat staffer Dan Craig first season as head coach, Sioux Falls posted a 40 10 record during the regular season a new NBA D League record. The team then swept the Westchester wholesale basketball jerseys
Knicks, 2 0, in the first round of the playoffs to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.Weber spent the first two months of the season rehabbing from a torn ACL and MCL suffered last January, when he fell 12 steals shy of becoming the NCAA all time career leader. He returned at the NBA D League Showcase nearly one year after the the injury and averaged 10.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.1 steals over 28 games, including 16.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists in nine games as a starter.”The first thing I did [after the injury] was look for my mom. I was calling for my mother and then, me being me, I thought it was nothing, because I had never been seriously injured. I thought it was something I could walk off and get back out there. I was about 10 seconds away from running back on the court until my leg gave out so I was like yeah, that’s something major. If that wasn’t the most humbling experience that I ever encountered Yeah, that was exactly what it was. It humbled me. It made me work harder than I ever had to, just because I had to get back to the level that I play at, and the way I play is pretty much chaos. The talk was that I was gonna get drafted. Then, when that happened, I had to backtrack ’cause I was thinking too far ahead. I had to live in the moment. It was like a jail sentence. I called it the ‘Free Breezy’ trial. It made me work harder than I ever had to, just because I had to get back to the level that I play at, and the way I play is pretty much chaos. injury prevented Weber from getting drafted and perhaps donning a Heat uniform even sooner. He attempted to join Miami for training camp, but failed his physical. After being signed and waived by the Heat, he was acquired by the Skyforce as an affiliate player in November.In March, he enjoyed a 10 day stint with the injury plaguedGrizzlies, leading them to an overtime win in his debut. His Heat stint could last much longer than 10 days.when you have somebody that so dynamic as a ball thief, sometimes that can translate to excess gambling, Spoelstra said. when I watched his edits from college and then even this year in Sioux Falls, he has the tough balance of being able to be a bulldog, pesky defender, but also to be extremely disruptive and to force turnovers. I find that very unique.

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“It’d be really dangerous for him to enter the draft, in my opinion,” another scout said.But even the scout who would caution Diallo to declare this year concedes that it’s plausible a team would draft him in the first round based off his reputation and his motor, and thus in what’s considered a thin draft class, Diallo is a candidate to leave after one year at KU.The circumstances surrounding his time at Kansas have definitely muddied the scouting report. He was put behind schedule because of an NCAA investigation that forced him to miss KU’s exhibition games and the first five regular season games. That was a time when Diallo may have had a chance to play through mistakes against lesser competition and get comfortable in KU’s system.Since gaining his eligibility, Diallo has struggled in a structured setting and has yet to gain the trust of KU coach Bill Self, getting beat out for minutes by two upperclassmen who will likely never play a minute in the NBA. His status in KU’s rotation could change, but it’s possible he never gets consistent playing time this season, and that leaves much to the imagination of scouts.Let’s take a look at what we know now based off a small sample size at Kansas.Since Diallo hasn’t played many minutes, it doesn’t make much sense to pay attention to his averages. The advanced numbers suggest that Diallo is an excellent defensive rebounder and a solid shot blocker.It’s hard to put too much stock in those numbers either, however, because of the limited sample size.John Rieger USA TODAY SportsThe one thing that Diallo has authentic jerseys wholesale
proved, even in limited minutes, is that he plays extremely hard and has what’s often described as a high motor. That’s evident in the way he runs the floor in both directions.Diallo has good speed for his size, and the combination of running hard and being faster than most the guys he’s matched up against should lead to easy buckets.Brian Ach/Getty ImagesThat was on display last spring in the high school all star game circuit, where Diallo won MVP in both the McDonald’s All American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic, averaging 22 points and 10.5 rebounds in the two games.It’s not surprising that Diallo did well in those free flowing settings, but that’s not exactly real basketball.On the offensive end, Diallo is still very raw, but there are a few things to get excited about. He’s shown off a developing mid range shot at KU. It doesn’t look great coming off his hand and his shot is flat, but it goes in enough to suggest he can be a threat in that area of the floor.”He’s coachable, so you’re hoping that his skill set will extend beyond being simply a roller and finisher around the basket,” the first scout said.Diallo has the quickness and length to be a factor on the defensive end as well. He’s able to block shots as a help defender and also has had a few impressive blocks against his man trying to score in the post.Diallo’s defensive rebounding is the area of the game where he’s most ready to contribute at both the college and pro level. He rebounds outside of his area and is aggressive going after rebounds.Diallo’s inability to learn KU’s offense (see video above) or understand defensive concepts are what has kept him from getting on the floor.”He plays really, really hard. He tries to defend but he’s like playing center field all the time,” the second scout said. “He’s operating outside of their scheme defensively, which gets the team in trouble. He’ll wildly flail for a steal or blocked shot and puts his teammate in a rotation that he’s not prepared for.”

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Columnist Kevin Sherrington held a chat earlier this week to answer questions about the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks and local college sports. Here are some highlights:

Question: Thoughts on [Kevin] Durant leaving a ready made title contender for the team his couldn’t beat and what that means for the league (at least) next year?

Sherrington: Well, I think it tells you all you need to know about the NBA. Of all the leagues, it’s easily the most player driven. I think it’s foolish to say, oh, a guy would never go there because that’s a big rival. There’s no such thing in the NBA. These guys are all pals, especially the superstars. They’re the most well adjusted athletes on earth.

Having said that, I get why Durant does this. He’s got an option after this year. He’s been hurt a lot lately. No guarantees anywhere, but I wasn’t surprised that Golden State came back and beat OKC last year. It’s a better team. If Durant wins a title with GS, all the pressure’s off with his career. He can do what he wants after that.

Question: With the Mavs always striking out on the big names, why not just come into the offseason trying to go for the second tier guys?

Sherrington: Well, essentially, that’s what they do. They aim high and then settle. I really can’t fault them for doing that too much. They always find nice parts. What you have to ask yourself is why do these free agents jerseys for cheap
skip the Mavs? Easy enough. Not on one of the coasts, and the resident superstar is in the twilight of his career. San Antonio got [LaMarcus] Aldridge because the Spurs have more good parts, and it’s the best organization in the league. The Mavs would do well to mimic the Spurs more often.

Sherrington: Don’t know about that. Going to be hard for him to get minutes with [Andrew] Bogut and [Dwight] Powell and [Salah] Mejri in the way. Bet he spends a lot of time in Frisco.

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Point guard is one of the most significant positions on the floor in the NBA. Shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center all carry great importance as well, but having a point guard that’s able to lead your team could put you at a supreme advantage over your opponent.

The point guard is designed to be the general of the floor. He’s the one that dictates the tempo, rhythm and flow of the offense and makes the offense work. Without a point guard that has the responsibility of seeing the court better than anyone else on the court, offenses will find themselves out of rhythm many more times than a team that relies on a shooting guard or a small forward to lead the offense.

On defense, they carry just as much importance, as they’re meant to use their agility, quickness and timing to either use their quick hands to stop a possession before it starts or to intercept the ball in the passing lane to start a fast break. They’re part of the first line of defense, and they’re meant to disrupt the opposing point guard to the best of their abilities as not to allow the opponent’s offense to find a rhythm.

Still, Lucas didn’t need the awards or All NBA team nominations to become one of the league’s top point guards in the late 1970s, as he would average as much as 16 points and nine assists per game in only his third season. He would go on to average a career high in assists at nearly 11 per game despite only starting in 39 games and playing in 29 minutes per night.

Miami Heat fans may disagree with this ranking, as Bibby recently greatly let the team down in the postseason, but that’s beside the point.

Bibby saw his best years come as a member of the Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies, as he would average his career wholesale nba jerseys
high in assists with the Grizzlies and in points with the Kings. He came a few games away from leading the Kings to their first ever NBA Finals appearance in 2002 before possible interruption from the NBA played a part.1991 Most Improved Player

Setting the record for the most assists in a game with 31, current Milwaukee Bucks coach and former Orlando Magic point guard Scott Skiles set a record that may never be broken.

Skiles was a solid point guard in the 10 years he spent in the NBA, as he would average as many as 17 points per game in 1991 and as many as nine assists per in 1993. He would greatly help the development of a young Magic team that featured Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway, and it showed, as he would set the standard for passing. Aside from being a member of the All Rookie First Team in 2000, Andre Miller has never been on any All NBA team, an All Star team or even considered for an MVP despite being one of the league’s iron men and one of its most solid floor generals.

In terms of being an iron man, Miller has missed six games over a career that started in 1999. He has never missed more than two games in a season and recently broke a streak of three consecutive seasons of playing in 82 games this past year when he was forced to sit out a game.

Aside from being the Cal Ripken Jr. of the NBA, Miller has always been recognized as a solid point guard that can score when called upon and find his teammates for easy scores.

Not too well known by the average NBA fan, former Washington Bullet and Detroit Piston Kevin Porter would be a teammate of some of the league’s top post players in Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld and Bob Lanier.

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Kobe Bryant is nearing the end of his farewell tour. Tim Duncan, if he is indeed human, is nearing the end of his run. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have entered the second halves of their careers. But thanks to an influx of dynamic youth, the future of the NBA is as exciting as ever.The last few drafts (as well as the one coming this summer) have restocked the league’s talent pool with several who have the potential to be stars. As the old guard is phased out, these are the players who will capture our attention for years to come.The Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic is the prototype for new 5s. He can handle the ball on the perimeter and shoots and passes like a guard.Among the 68 players Jokic’s height (6’10”) or taller who are qualified for the minutes leaderboard this season, he’s third in assist percentage. His of 35.3 ranks in the upper half of players his size who’ve attempted at least 50 treys.Oh, and he does the things a big man typically does too. Among rookies, cheap nba jerseys
he’s second in rebounds and fifth in blocks per 36 minutes.His all around game and stat stuffing production have even led ESPN’s Jeremias Engelmann to declare Jokic this year’s best rookie. “Simplyput,” Engelmann wrote. “When he’s on the floor, he has been the best rookie, and by a large margin large enough for him to be my pick for rookie of the year.”Skill of the Future: Volume three point shootingfrom the 1Point guards who can shoot aren’t new, but point guards who can effectively launch in volume from deep are.Steve Nash, perhaps the sweetest shooting 1 of all time, averaged a career high 4.7 three point attempts per game during the 2007 08 season. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving has averaged that many or more in four of his first five seasons. To be able to do it effectively, you need smart defenders with length and athleticism.No one embodies those three traits on the defensive end as much as the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard. He can shut down a point guard’s drive off a pick and roll, stymie a wing with a close out as soon as he catches the ball and hold a big man at bay in the post.And he doesn’t just do it on the defensive end. Leonard is averaging 21 points and his three point percentage of 46.2 ranks second in the NBA.His dominance on both sides of the ball is why he led the league in Real Plus Minus until recently being overtaken by Stephen Curry.And it’s why tweets like the following from fellow Spur Kyle Anderson aren’t crazy: “Good win tonight. always fun to watch/be apart of! That man Whi is looking like the best player in the league!! MVP”Skill of the Future:Playmaking 4At the moment, Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker’s game is probably more traditional than futuristic, but the ingredients are there for him to be a versatile 4 who can create for himself and others.And since a much needed lineup change for the Bucks in Milwaukee, Parker is showing signs of becoming just that.Since Jason Kidd sent Michael Carter Williams and Greg Monroe to the bench (the latter eventually returned to the starting lineup) on February 9, Parker is averaging 18.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 50.3 percent from the field.His combination of size and athleticism has been on brilliant display over the last 20 games, as he stalks the baseline on drives by teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo. Their chemistry inside has led to plenty of glimpses of the future in which Antetokounmpo draws multiple defenders in the paint before hitting Parker for a baseline jumper or dropoff for a dunk.

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It is often said that it doesn’t matter who starts, but who finishes.Throughout the history of the league, this saying has proven to be quite true indeed. Each year, the top teams have one thing in common, a strong bench.Typically, the first one off the bench sets the tone for the rest of the game, and the truly great ones tend to end the game playing a major role in the outcome of the game.They typically aren’t nearly as celebrated and only in the past 30 years have they been recognized at all. But make no mistake about it, the sixth men of the league have been just as important as those that proceeded them.Here are the Top 10 sixth men of all time.10. Jason Terry1 of 10I’ll admit, part of the reason Jason Terry is on this list is because his Mavs won the title this year. Had they not, I think Ben Gordon would have merited serious consideration for this spot.But it is hard to argue with his numbers. Since he became a primary sixth man in 2008, he has consistently been over 15 points per game while delivering clutch three point shooting and lightning quickness.The interesting thing about Terry is that he was actually a pretty successful player as a starter, but it took going to Dallas and their coaching staff having better options at point guard to move him to the sixth man spot. But he truly is becoming one of the great ones before our eyes.Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesI will admit, I took plenty of criticism for leaving John Starks off of my “Most Underrated” list. And although I still maintain that it is impossible to be considered underrated when playing in New York, Starks’ career was nonetheless noteworthy.Though he was only a sixth man for about half of his career, that is where he was his most effective, helping to lead the Knicks to a number of deep playoff runs.Starks was the perfect fit on his team, a very good perimeter defender, a three point specialist on offense and an athletic marvel in the open court.Starks was a one time All Star, one time Sixth Man of the Year winner and a one time second team All Defensive team selection.Though known as a trash talker, his 17 points per 36 minutes did the real talking.8. Eddie Johnson3 of 10True, Johnson was not a primary scorer on a lot of winning clubs. And true, he didn’t have the name brand recognition of others on this list.But what he was, however, was a tremendous scorer off the bench.From 1986 until the end of his career in 1999, Johnson became a super sub. Over that course of time, he averaged over 14 points per game eight consecutive seasons with a high tide mark of 21.5 in 1989. He did that in just under 30 minutes per game.He was a solid three point shooter, but above all, he could get his shot off against anyone. The Chicago Bulls drafted Kukoc in 1990 but it took nearly four years and Michael Jordan’s retirement to bring the 6’10” swingman to the states.Though he never lived up to the lofty expectations placed on him, he was a tremendous talent that was known for his flawless passing ability, deft left handed touch and range that exceeded the three point line.Kukoc’s style fit in perfectly with the Bulls’ triangle offense, helping them win their second three peat of titles in the 1990’s.Kukoc won NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 1996. For his career, cheap basketball jerseys from china
Kukoc averaged 16 points, six rebounds and five assists per 36 minutes.Also perhaps one of the most underrated players of all time, Ricky Pierce was, like Vinnie Johnson, the epitome of instant offense.

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The NBA introduced a new Official Game Ball for play beginning in the 2006 07 season, featuring a new design and a new material to offer better grip, feel and consistency than the current leather ball. But how does the composite material stack up to the leather which was used during the NBA’s first 60 seasons? Current and past players give their take:

“It will be great to get a ball that just feels the same no matter where you are and then it’ll really give you that comfort that you need, either home or awayI think the grip is nice . I’ll be able to do more tricks with it, so I’m excited about the grip of it. It feels really good.”

“When you play in different cities, the ball may be a little newer or may be a little worn out, but this ball right here, it seems like it’s going to stay the same, so that’s a positive thing. No matter what city you play in, it will be the same ball.”

2005 06 NBA Rookie of the Year Chris Paul

“This is a great ball. If I had this ball back when I played, there would have been a lot more poster ized guys.”

Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins

“This is a beautiful ball. It’s easier to control. I’d take this one any day.”

Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler

“It took quite a while to break in a leather ball. It would probably take at least a month before you would feel really comfortable shooting and dribbling the basketball. For me it authentic jerseys for cheap
was love at first sight. When I embraced the ball I immediately felt the difference. It’s going (to give you) a great feel, great gripgreat for shootingit’s just a no brainer. It’s a much better basketball than the leather ball.”

Former NBA All Star Mark Jackson

“This has much better grip. The composite gives it a more comfortable feel. I dribbled probably eight or ten different balls and they all felt exactly the same, which is really key as a player you want to have the same feel dribbling the ball, and as a shooter, to have that grip, to be able to feel the grooves and your hands and finger tips on the ball and not have it slid off a little bit that is really important. I really like the ball. I think it is a big improvement over the last one.”

Four time NBA champion Steve Kerr

“We didn’t like to play with a new one because the new one was real slippery. It (the new ball) feels good in my hands. I’m sure being as old as I am that I can still shoot it.”

Hall of Famer George Gervin

“Most of the guys like to get an older ball, got a lot of feeling to it; it’s soft, something you can play with, something you can grip, something you might want to finger roll and get a rebound with. A new ball, it’s very difficult to shoot with, because it’s still got that sliding feeling. This ball here you can feel, it feels good; feels like you got something real soft, nice, something you can play with and get an opportunity to get a better shot.”

Hall of Famer Moses Malone

“I think the grip is a lot better of course, I’m used to playing with the old NBA balls that are leather and they get a little slippery. This one seems to hold its grip a lot better. I like it when the ball gets wet and the game gets going. I think it is going to be a lot better; I think the players are going to like it a lot better.”

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Now we know the picks have swapped. The Sixers will pick at No. 3 in the 2017 NBA draft with the Kings’ pick. Sacramento will choose at No. 5 and also No. 10 following the DeMarcus Cousins trade. Here’s a brand new mock draft.

Yes, that’s right: the Kings are chasing Wes Matthews, Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis. Matthews is an excellent fit as a top notch defender and deep shooter. He also tore his Achilles tendon in March and is seeking at least $15 million per season. Rondo is reportedly looking for a one year deal to rehab his value which tells you EXACTLY how his season went. And Ellis . well, let’s just say that an offense featuring Monta Ellis and Rudy Gay might set the analytics movement back a decade, okay?

All three have some problems. Better yet, the Kings aren’t even the frontrunner for any of them but Rondo! It’s quite possible that the Kings could strike out with Matthews, who wants to win and has talked with the Mavericks and Raptors, and Ellis, who met with the Pacers. Then what? Rondo shouldn’t break $10 million (God help us if he wants the max). Do you keep chugging down the free agent list to fill that other $16 million in cap space?

You can’t just sit on it. Not after giving up Stauskas, a future first and two pick swaps for it. You can’t sit on it given that just about every other team in the NBA will have enough cap space for a max player a year from now when the salary cap rises 30 percent. You can’t sit on it because if you do, chances are you’re going to continue to be a bad basketball team, and oh look, now you don’t even have your own pick every other year.

Why now? The Sixers weren’t exactly chomping at the bit to use their cap space. Go recruit the free agent targets first, then swing the trade to officially open up space. Agents are smart, even if us louts on the Internet can’t grok how you have the space to offer Matthews $65 million over four years, you can explain your rock solid Hinkie Surprise to the agents. Nope, the Kings just went ahead with the trade and now are trying to poach the free agents. The cart isn’t just before the horse here: the cart has lapped the horse. The horse might be in Vlade Divac’s stables back in Belgrade. The horse may not even exist.

Some are downplaying the importance of the pick and pick swaps in this deal. One argument is that the Kings are horrible at drafting players anyway, so who cares? Well yes, being bad at the draft is a problem! Unfortunately it is the most rock solid method to rebuild in the NBA. Rebuilding is hard with high picks. It is even more difficult without picks altogether.

Hickson was a full blown disaster and actually got waived at midseason. That authentic jerseys for cheap
pick (now owned by Chicago) was quite well protected. It’s now protected in the top 10. The Kings have been garbage enough to retain it in order to pick guys like Stauskas. If it’s not conveyed by 2017, it will become a second round pick.

The argument back in 2011 was that if the Kings lost the pick between 2012 and 2017, it meant the Kings were actually pretty good (or at least not abjectly terrible) and no one would care about the loss of a mid to low first pick. If the Kings never conveyed the first, it would’ve meant that things went horribly wrong and the pick would be beside the point because of all of the other suffering happening in the fan base.

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