Archive for August 4th, 2013

While they won’t be playing for Canada in next month’s FIBA Americas tournament in Venezuela, give this country’s two newest NBA players credit for showing up.

No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett and No. 13 selection Kelly Olynyk are in Toronto for this week’s Canada Basketball camp, lending whatever they can to the group of players assembled.

“It’s tough — I always wanted to play, especially with (this) great group of guys,” said Bennett after watching practice at the Air Canada Centre on Friday. Bennett is still recovering from a shoulder injury, and with Olynyk on the shelf as well, their respective pro teams in Cleveland and Boston would have likely had serious reservations if the frontcourt players had suited up in the maple leaf.

“Everyone wants to be here,” said Olynyk. “It’s really nice to see that everyone is so keen to represent their country and do it as a team.”

Reported by John Chick, special to the Toronto Sun

Greg Oden is a nice addition for Miami Heat

The Miami Heat did it again.

They won the competition for Greg Oden, another free agent multiple teams were chasing. And they got him to take less money than was being offered elsewhere. This has happened time and time again over the past four summers and it’s a central reason they’re two-time champs who are the oddsmakers’ favorite to do it again.

Because they got Oden at their price and on their terms — assuring Oden that he’ll be brought along slowly with an eye toward the playoffs, above all else — the Heat have set this up as an all-reward, no-risk transaction.

Oden’s story is well known. The five knee surgeries, the no games since December of 2009, a grand total of 82 games since being drafted No. 1 in 2007. Because of all that there is hardly any meaningful way to project what Oden will be for the Heat this season.

In an effort to put some sort of perspective on him, stories about Oden’s return have recently included what his player efficiency rating was for a 21-game stretch in 2009. This, of course, has virtually no value now. Even the workouts Oden had for various teams recently, which were controlled by him and done at relative low speed, hold little predictive value.

Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com

Basketball blog