The latest on the Suns-Markieff Morris situation

Here’s the Arizona Republic reporting on Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris, who wanted to be traded but apparently will do his job and play as expected until that happens:

The latest on the Suns-Markieff Morris situation

Despite Eric Bledsoe’s impressive summer commitment, Tyson Chandler’s leadership and defensive addition and Brandon Knight’s stress-free re-signing, any summer shine from the Suns has been clouded by Markieff Morris’ falling-out with the franchise. That disdain could be the dominant display again Monday when Morris is the prominent figure during Suns media day in Phoenix.

Upset that his twin, Marcus, was traded to Detroit in early July without warning and just as their contract extensions began, Markieff did not get his wish to be traded this summer and will participate Monday as he pledged to do if his trade request was ignored.

After returning to Phoenix last week for a court hearing, Morris remained in town but trained at Grand Canyon University rather than with Suns teammates.

Raptors sign Anthony Bennett

Raptors sign Anthony Bennett

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed free-agent forward Anthony Bennett.

As a former first overall NBA Draft pick, Bennett has been a bust so far in the NBA. He will have to prove his value in the league fairly soon, or else he may wind up having to play overseas in the future.

Bennett, 6-foot-8, 245 pounds, averaged 5.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 15.7 minutes in 57 games last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He scored in double figures on eight occasions, including a stretch of four consecutive games. He recorded a career-best 20 points, with career highs of three steals and 32 minutes, November 21 versus San Antonio.

Bennett has appeared in 109 career NBA games, averaging 4.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 14.3 minutes. He grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds at Philadelphia as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 18, 2014.

The native of Toronto was the first Canadian-born player selected with the top pick in the NBA Draft when he went number one overall to Cleveland in 2013. He was dealt August 23, 2014 to Minnesota in a three-team trade.

Bennett was named Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year following his lone collegiate season at UNLV. He averaged 16.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 27.1 minutes in 35 games (32 starts). He shot .533 percent from the field, including a team-best .375 mark from the three-point line.

Heat sign John Lucas III and Trey Kelley

Heat sign John Lucas III and Trey Kelley

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed guards John Lucas III and Tre Kelley. We assume these are non-guaranteed deals for training camp.

Lucas, a seven-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 237 career NBA games (eight starts) and averaged 4.8 points, 1.5 assists, 1.0 rebounds and 12.3 minutes while shooting 38.4 percent from the field, 34.5 percent from three-point range and 76.8 percent from the foul line. He split last season between the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association and the Detroit Pistons of the NBA. He appeared in 28 games with the Fujian Sturgeons and averaged 26.3 points, 7.0 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 1.25 steals and 43.5 minutes while shooting 46.8 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 89.5 percent from the foul line. He recorded double-figure assists five times and recorded eleven 30-point games, including a season-high 42 points against Chongqing FD on January 25. He appeared in 21 games with Detroit and averaged 4.7 points and 2.9 assists in 13.0 minutes of action while shooting 40.4 percent from the field, 31 percent from three-point range and a perfect 5-of-5 from the foul line. He dished out a season-high six assists on three separate occasions and scored in double-digits twice. Lucas previously was a member of the HEAT during the 2009 preseason before being waived on Oct. 22, 2009.

Kelley, who previously participated in training camp with the HEAT in 2008, has appeared in 103 NBA Development League games (63 starts) and averaged 14.3 points, 4.8 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 1.02 steals and 31.5 minutes while shooting 45.8 percent from the field, 42.5 percent from three-point range and 81.3 percent from the foul line. Additionally, he has appeared in nine NBA D-League postseason games (all starts) and averaged 16.8 points, 6.8 assists, 2.1 rebounds, 1.00 steals and 37.5 minutes while shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 84.4 percent from the foul line. Kelley split last season between Pertevniyal of the Turkish Basketball League and Sigma Barcellona of the Italian Serie A2 League, appearing in 31 total games (all starts) and averaged 15.9 points, 5.4 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.19 steals and 33.0 minutes while shooting 47.5 percent from the field, 41.6 percent from three-point range and 81.3 percent from the foul line.

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 20.

Grizzlies fill training camp roster

Grizzlies fill training camp roster

The Memphis Grizzlies today announced the team has signed free agents Yakhouba Diawara (ya-KOO-ba dee-a-WA-ra), Ryan Hollins, Michael Holyfield, Lazeric Jones and Daniel Nwaelele (wah-LAY-lay).

Diawara (6-7, 225) comes to Memphis after spending last season with Cimberio Varese in the Italian SerieA league. The 33-year-old spent four seasons in the NBA (2006-10) and holds career averages of 3.5 points and 1.4 rebounds in 14.0 minutes in 187 games (56 starts) with the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat. Undrafted in the 2005 NBA Draft after finishing his collegiate career at Pepperdine University, he has played six of his 10 professional seasons, including the last five, in Italy and his home country of France. The Paris native is a member of the French National Team and represented France in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Hollins (7-0, 230), a nine-year NBA veteran (2006-15), owns career averages of 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 11.8 minutes in 481 games (64 starts) for the Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings. Drafted by Charlotte in the second round (50th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft, the 30-year-old Pasadena, Calif. native enjoyed a four-year collegiate career at UCLA, leading the Bruins to the 2006 NCAA Championship Game as a senior.

Holyfield (6-11, 270) helped guide Memphis to an undefeated record and the championship at the 2015 Orlando Pro Summer League, averaging 6.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 14.3 minutes in five games (two starts). Undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft after a four-year collegiate career at Sam Houston State University, the 22-year-old Albuquerque, N.M. native was named the 2015 Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year and selected to the 2015 All-Southland Second Team after setting the school’s single-season record for blocks (86) as a senior.

Jones (6-0, 187) joins the Grizzlies after playing last season in Hungary, guiding Szolnoki Olaj to the Hungarian League Championship with averages of 11.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.7 steals in 29.1 minutes in 11 games (all starts). Undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft, the 25-year-old Chicago native has competed in Israel (2012-13) and Greece (2013-14) and participated in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas for the Sacramento Kings (2012), Chicago Bulls (2014) and New Orleans Pelicans (2015) following his four-year collegiate career at UCLA.

Nwaelele (6-5, 205) comes to Memphis after competing most recently with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, where he averaged 10.4 points, 3.6 points and 1.7 assists in 26.0 minutes in 76 games (43 starts) over two seasons (2012-14). Undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft, the 31-year-old also played professionally in Israel during the 2010-11 season. A native of Bothell, Wash., Nwaelele lettered all four years at the United States Air Force Academy, finishing his collegiate career ranked second in program history in three-point field goal percentage (.451). He spent five years in the Air Force, including two overseas deployments to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia during his years of service.

The Grizzlies roster stands at 20 players entering training camp.

Frank Kaminsky embraces his silly side

Hornets rookie Frank Kaminsky embraces his silly side

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting on talented Hornets rookie Frank Kaminsky, who will be worth watching on the court this season, and is an amusing character off of it:

Frank Kaminsky embraces his silly side

Charlotte Hornets rookie Frank Kaminsky was asked at media day Friday for one thing he’d like people to know about him.

“I’m not weird,” Kaminsky replied. “I might come off weird sometimes.”

Weird? Nah. Perhaps a better word to describe Kaminsky’s personality would be quirky. He has a dry, ironic sense of humor he often shares on his Twitter account (@FSKPart3). Fellow Hornets rookie Aaron Harrison says he appreciates Kaminsky’s silly side almost as much as Kaminsky’s basketball skills.

Kaminsky seemed to enjoy that description when it was relayed to him.

“That’s just how I’ve always been. I like having fun and joking around,” Kaminsky said. “I appreciate it when people enjoy my silliness. It’s so awkward when I make a joke and someone just stale-faces me. I get upset, actually.”

Magic paying big money to Tobias Harris

Magic paying big money to Tobias Harris

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on a talented young Magic player who now has a lot of pressure on his shoulders to earn his much bigger salary:

Magic paying big money to Tobias Harris

Tobias Harris checks in at a svelte 235 pounds, not counting, of course, the extra weight he’s carrying.

It’s quite a load.

He’s put on an additional $64 million.

Harris and the Magic can only hope it doesn’t show this season.

A huge four-year contract has made Tobias the team’s highest-paid player, surpassing Nik Vucevic’s deal.

This is all new for Harris at 23. He says all that money won’t affect him. He says he doesn’t see himself “pressing” to try to justify the count and the amount.

“It doesn’t change me or my game. I don’t play the game just for the paycheck. I play for the love and the love of winning,” Harris told me. “When I signed my deal, the next day I was back in the gym, working just as hard. It’s no time to go out and celebrate crazy. I’m blessed enough to be in this position.

“It drives me. It just shows me if you want another one, you have to work twice as hard.”

Magic hope for big things from Aaron Gordon

Magic hope for big things from Aaron Gordon

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on a key member of the Magic youth movement:

Magic hope for big things from Aaron Gordon

Almost two and a half months have passed since Gordon underwent surgery July 14 to repair his fractured jaw, and the bone now is almost fully healed. Although he has participated in the first four practices of Orlando Magic training camp, he has been forced to sit out full-contact drills and team scrimmages….

The Magic are counting on Gordon, a combo forward, to play a major role in the year ahead. At 6 feet 9 and 220 pounds, and blessed with smarts, elite jumping ability and superb quickness, Gordon arguably has more potential on the defensive end of the court than anyone else on the roster. Skiles envisions Gordon as someone who can guard opponents at four different positions, even point guards.

The team expects Gordon to be cleared for full contact at some point in mid-October — perhaps before the team’s Oct. 17 exhibition in Rio de Janeiro against the Brazilian team Flamengo. Still, even if Gordon plays against Flamengo, there would be little time left before Orlando’s regular-season opener on Oct. 28. Therein lies the concern.

None of this would be a worry if Gordon, now 20, hadn’t been goofing off after the Orlando Pro Summer League with his 25-year-old brother, Drew, who played a bit last season for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Warriors championship core returns

Warriors championship core returns

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle with a mention of the Spurs before reviewing Golden State Warriors roster changes this offseason, which were relatively minor:

The Spurs made a lot of offseason noise, adding Aldridge and David West while retaining Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, and the Warriors stood pretty much pat. They’ll report to the team’s downtown Oakland facility Monday for physicals and media day with 12 of the 15 players from last season’s championship-winning roster.

“Once the season starts, nobody cares about all of the hype and all of the talk,” Kerr said Friday. “You just go out and play. We’re the defending champs. That’s a feather in our cap, and it should give us confidence, but all of the talk means nothing.”

Gone are David Lee, Justin Holiday and Ognjen Kuzmic. Arriving are Jason Thompson, Kevon Looney and a 15th roster spot that could go to any one of five training-camp invitees.

Lee was traded to Boston for Gerald Wallace and Chris Babb, and Wallace later was swapped to Philadelphia for Thompson. He’s expected to take over Lee’s role, splitting backup minutes at center with Festus Ezeli and at forward with Marreese Speights.
Kuzmic, a developmental center, signed to play in Greece, and the Warriors have a new project in Looney.

Sunset-colored Thunder alternate jerseys

The Oklahoma City Thunder today revealed a third alternate uniform for 2015-16. The team will first wear its new sunset-colored alternates on Sunday, Nov. 1, at Chesapeake Energy Arena against the Denver Nuggets.

The new uniform’s bold color pairs with “OKC” in navy block lettering on the front to showcase the team’s hometown pride and reflect the saturated, blended colors of the Oklahoma skies at sunset.

On the back of the jersey, player names sit below the numbers. The shorts display a sunset base with navy panels down the side showcasing the Thunder logo on each leg.

“This new uniform not only features another of our primary team colors, it also reinforces the strong connection our team has to our hometown and home state,” said Brian Byrnes, Thunder senior vice president of Sales and Marketing. “The ‘OKC’ on the front of the jersey echoes the chant that rings through Chesapeake Energy Arena during Thunder home games. This sunset-colored uniform adds a fresh perspective on the identity our team has built over the past seven seasons.”

The Thunder will wear the sunset alternates for 18 games this season, including all 13 of its Sunday matchups. This marks the fifth Thunder uniform in regular rotation. The home white and road Thunder blue uniforms will remain the team’s primary options, while fans will also see the team in the navy alternates and the sleeved white uniform for select games.

Sixers waive Gerald Wallace

Sixers waive Gerald Wallace

In conjunction with the announcement of the Philadelphia 76ers 2015-16 training camp roster, the team has signed J.P. Tokoto, T.J. McConnell, Jordan McRae and Christian Wood.

In conjunction with these signings, the Sixers have waived forward Gerald Wallace.

Tokoto was selected by the Sixers with the 58th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. An ACC All-Defensive team selection, Tokoto played three seasons at North Carolina and during his junior season, he was one of four players in the ACC ranked in the top 10 in both assists and steals. Over his final two seasons with the Tar Heels, Tokoto averaged nine points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals per game.

McConnell posted averages of 10 points, five assists and two steals over his four-year NCAA career. During his senior season at the University of Arizona, McConnell led the Pac-12 in assists per game (6) and total assists (238) and was also named to the NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team.

McRae was originally acquired by the Sixers during the 2014 NBA Draft after being selected with the 58th overall pick by San Antonio. He played in 27 games for Melbourne United of the Australian National Basketball League in 2014-15, where he averaged 20 points, five rebounds and three assists per game. McRae then joined the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League, where he averaged 18 points, four rebounds and four assists in 13 games.

Wood was an early entry candidate for the 2015 NBA Draft after playing two seasons at UNLV. Wood averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds and blocked 90 total shots in his final season with the Runnin’ Rebels.

Free agency 2016 crucial for Nets

Here’s the New York Post with insight on the Brooklyn Nets, who face an uphill battle this season and like many teams in the league are very well aware how crucial 2016 free agency may be for their future:

The Nets have become a team known for slogans and catchphrases since moving to Brooklyn three years ago.

And though the team already has adopted a new one for this season, here is a helpful suggestion — one already associated with the borough — if they would like to change their minds: Wait ’til next year.

There are 82 games to play until July 1, 2016, but that’s the date the Nets are clearly focused on. That’s when — for the first time since moving to Brooklyn — they will have the ability to shop at the top of the market, thanks to what could be close to $40 million in cap space.

The problem? The Nets still have to get through the 2015-16 season, which begins with training camp Monday, before they can try to strike it rich in free agency. Though many teams in this position, like the Knicks a year ago, could afford to have a rough year and get a high draft pick, the Nets can’t, since their unprotected first-round pick next June is headed to the Celtics as part of the trade that brought Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn two years ago.

Anthony Bennett makes sense for Raptors

Anthony Bennett makes sense for Raptors

Here’s the Toronto Sun on the addition of Anthony Bennett to the Raptors:

Anthony Bennett makes sense for Raptors

Signing Anthony Bennett to a league minimum contract — something that will happen any time now, according to sources in the know — was nearly a no-brainer for the Raptors. For Bennett himself, it was less of a slam dunk, though likely still a pretty easy call. Other than possibly having to drown out some outside noise from the fanbase, Masai Ujiri and the Raptors don’t have much to lose on this low-cost gambit. Power forward is the team’s weakest position, with Patrick Patterson the presumptive starter and veteran Luis Scola slated to back him up. James Johnson and DeMarre Carroll also could see some time there, but Bennett provides another option for Dwane Casey — an above-the-rim, open court threat who starred at UNLV and this past summer for Canada. Bennett will never live up to the expectations of being drafted No. 1 overall, but he definitely has the talent and athleticism to be an NBA contributor, provided he is healthy and engaged, which granted, are not certainties based on past history.

A prove-it year for Rajon Rondo

A prove-it year for Rajon Rondo

Here’s the Boston Herald discussing former Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who now finds himself on the the Sacramento Kings, and lower on the league-wide point guard hierarchy than in the past:

A prove-it year for Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo fully had expected to be the object of a free agent bidding war and come out of this offseason with a maximum contract from a marquee team of his choosing.

Instead, the former Celtics point guard has a one-year, $9.5 million deal — a paycut of nearly $3.5 million — from Sacramento and the burden of proof squarely on his slender shoulders.

And maybe that’s the best possible outcome for Rondo under the circumstances.

Things didn’t work out in a colossal crash-and-burn manner in Dallas after he was dealt there last December. And while we’ve reported that a number of league sources lay a portion of blame for that with coach Rick Carlisle, it is incumbent upon Rondo to find a way to make this work with the Kings. That there already have been issues between George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins may not make it easy, but those who decide how to spend their team’s money when the salary cap rises next summer will very much want to know how Rondo navigates these waters.

Emmanuel Mudiay has big goals for Nuggets

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on talented Nuggets rookie guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who appears to have big potential and will be one of the rookies pays consistent attention to as the new season begins:

Emmanuel Mudiay has big goals for Nuggets

Mudiay’s not just talking about having nice seasons. He’s talking titles.

“For sure,” he said. “If you ask that to anybody, anybody is going to say ‘Yeah.’ But I actually really mean it. I’ve always kind of been the first to do certain things, so that wouldn’t be nothing new to me.

“I think if I’m blessed enough to get one here, it’s just going to be addictive. I’m just going to want more championships.”

A busy Nuggets summer, which included trading point guard Ty Lawson, ensured Mudiay will be able to start his — and the team’s — growth toward that goal immediately.

At a fresh-out-of-the-wrapper 19 years old, Mudiay has been handed the keys to the team.

When the season opens Oct. 28 in Houston, Mudiay will be just the second rookie to start at point guard in Nuggets history. Bobby Jackson, in 1997, was the first.

The L.A. Clippers announced today the team has signed free agent forward Luc Mbah a Moute and forward/center Nikoloz Tskitishvili.

A seven-year NBA veteran, Mbah a Moute has appeared in 466 career regular season games (301 starts) with Milwaukee, Sacramento, Minnesota and Philadelphia averaging 6.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 24.3 minutes. Born in Yaounde, Cameroon, the 29-year-old spent last season with the 76ers, averaging 9.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 28.6 minutes of play over 67 games (61 starts). Mbah a Moute played three seasons at UCLA, where he helped the Bruins reach three straight Final Fours. He was the 37th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Bucks.

The former fifth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, Tskitishvili has appeared in 172 career games (16 starts) for Denver, Golden State, Minnesota and Phoenix averaging 2.9 points and 1.7 rebounds in 11.3 minutes of play. The Tbilisi, Georgian native has played in Spain, Italy, Iran, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates post-NBA. The 32-year old played for Champville of the Lebanese Basketball League last season.

Mike Dunleavy undergoes back surgery

Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy successfully underwent a low back microdiscectomy procedure earlier today at Rush University Medical Center. Dunleavy had experienced some occasional back discomfort over the summer which had recently worsened. Conservative measures failed to satisfactorily resolve his symptoms, therefore, the decision was made to perform the surgery. The timing is unfortunate, but it was imperative that all conservative measures were exhausted prior to making this decision. He is expected to be out 8-10 weeks.

Wizards add five players to training camp

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guards Jaron Johnson, Toure’ Murry and Ish Smith and centers Josh Harrellson and Jaleel Roberts.

Wizards training camp begins on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at SECU Arena on the campus of Towson University. The team will hold their first three practice sessions (Sept. 29-Oct. 1) in Baltimore before returning to Verizon Center for the remainder of camp.

Harrellson (6-10, 275) is a three-year NBA veteran who holds career averages of 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 11.8 minutes in 75 career games with New York, Miami and Detroit. He was originally selected by New Orleans in the second round (45th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft and then traded the same night to New York. During the 2014-15 season, the Kentucky alum split time between the Chinese Basketball Association, playing 14 games for Chong Qing, and the Puerto Rican professional basketball league (Baloncesto Superior Nacional), playing 44 games for Guayama.

Johnson (6-6, 205) went undrafted in 2014 after spending two seasons at Louisiana Tech. The Tyler, TX native averaged 9.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 21 minutes per game during his senior campaign in 2013-14. Last season, Johnson appeared in 50 games with Rio Grande Valley of the D-League where he averaged 15.1 points, 1.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 29 minutes per game.

Murry (6-5, 195) is a two-year NBA veteran holding career averages of 2.6 points in 7.0 minutes in 56 career games with New York, Utah and Washington. The undrafted Wichita State alum originally signed with the Knicks as a free agent in September of 2013. During the 2014-15 campaign, Murry appeared in five games with Utah and Washington while averaging 1.2 points in 3.6 minutes of action.

Roberts (7-1, 225) went undrafted in 2015 after playing three years at UNC Asheville. Last season as a senior, he averaged 7.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game. Roberts was a member of the Wizards 2015 Summer League roster that competed in Las Vegas.

Smith (6-0, 175) is a five-year NBA veteran who holds career averages of 3.6 points, 2.3 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 12.3 minutes in 246 career games with Houston, Memphis, Golden State, Orlando, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. The Wake Forest product was undrafted in 2010 and signed as a free agent with Houston on August 23, 2010. During the 2014-15 season, Smith appeared in 55 games with Oklahoma City and Philadelphia, averaging 6.1 points, 3.3 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game.

The Wizards’ training camp roster currently stands at 20 players.

Celtics complete training camp roster

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed guards Levi Randolph and Corey Walden, as well as forwards Coty Clarke and Malcolm Miller. Each contract is likely non-guaranteed and just for training camp.

Randolph played in five contests for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 8.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals in 31.2 minutes per game. During his senior year at Alabama, the 6’4” guard averaged a team-high 15.4 points, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals, while also averaging 5.1 rebounds, in 35.3 minutes per game. Randolph was the first player in the program’s history to be named to the CoSIDA/Capital One First Team Academic All-District Team for three consecutive years. He was also named the 2015 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and second team All-SEC.

Walden appeared in two games for the Celtics during the Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 2.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.5 steals in 16.5 minutes per game. The 6’2” guard out of Eastern Kentucky averaged 18.6 points to go along with 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.1 steals in 34.6 minutes per game during his senior year. Additionally, Walden earned a spot on the Lou Henson All-America Team and the first team All-Ohio Valley Conference for the 2014-15 NCAA season.

Clarke, a 6’7” forward, spent the 2014-15 season playing for Hapoel Kazrin in Israel and averaged 19.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in 30.7 minutes per game over that span. As a senior at the University of Arkansas, he averaged 9.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in 22.3 minutes per game.

Miller appeared in seven games for the Celtics during summer league play and averaged 4.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game. The 6’7” forward was named to the All-Patriot League second team and averaged 14.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.6 blocks in 31.7 minutes per game during his senior year at Holy Cross.

Kobe Bryant minutes-per-game should decrease this season

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting on the Lakers, who must decide how much to use Kobe Bryant this season. The squad is mostly about the future. But Kobe’s still on the roster. And despite being close to the end of his career, he’s is still a big draw. Fans want to see him be Kobe. Which will only happen if he stays healthy.

Kobe Bryant minutes-per-game should decrease this season

[Lakers general manager Mitch] Kupchak maintained “there hasn’t been any formal discussions” with Lakers coach Byron Scott, trainer Gary Vitti, Lakers president Jeanie Buss and Bryant himself on a number of things surrounding Bryant’s workload. Kupchak said the Lakers have not decided Bryant’s minute and practice limitations as well as if he will sit in any of the team’s 17 sets of back-to-back games. Kupchak only sounded certain that Bryant would sit out in portions of any of the Lakers’ two-a-day sessions in training camp beginning next Tuesday in Hawaii.

Kupchak sounded aware that Bryant played only 41 games in the past three years amid season-ending injuries to his left Achilles tendon (April 2013), left knee (Dec. 2013) and right shoulder (Jan. 2015).

“It’s important for us to keep that in mind and see how he progresses and how he responds to training camp,” Kupchak said. “I would imagine he would not practice twice a day every day. He’s earned the right to really progress in training camp at a certain pace that works for him and works for us.”

Still, Scott has said he hopes to play Bryant in the mid 20-minute range and rest him on back-to-back games, a contrast to last season when he averaged 22.3 points on a career-low 37.3 percent shooting in 36.4 minutes.

Change of scenery may help Deron Williams

Change of scenery may help D-Will

Here’s the Dallas Morning News commenting on the Mavericks’ addition of Deron Williams and departure of Monta Ellis:

Change of scenery may help Deron Williams

Fan question: What does Deron Williams have left in the tank? Does he stay after this season?

Columnist Eddie Sefko: “That’s one of the many ifs we mentioned earlier. He signed for two years, so I’d say that will be a fair amount of time to see if he can revert to the kind of player he was a few years back. Perhaps this change of scenery will serve him well. But he’s been a curious player for a couple years and he’s never been the easiest player to coach. Perhaps this is a perfect situation for him because there won’t be a ton of pressure since this team doesn’t have championship aspirations at the moment.”

Fan question: Why did the Mavs let Monta Ellis get away? He was playing great before the Rondo trade.

Sefko: “He was scoring great. I’m not going to say he was a great player. He has holes in his game. But the Mavericks needed his scoring. You’re right about that. I think the biggest problem with Ellis is that he was the Mavericks’ best player. And if he’s your best player, the first round of the playoffs is probably your ceiling. If he’s your third-best player, then you can talk about deep playoff runs.”

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