Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins, Milwaukee’s Jabari Parker and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid will forever be linked as the top three picks of the 2014 NBA Draft. What binds them today has been their strong play to start the season, the first in which all three are playing in the NBA at the same time. Here is a closer look at each player’s early-season performance:

Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves (No. 1 pick): The 21-year-old swingman has continued to add to his offensive game in his third season. Wiggins ranks 10th in the NBA in scoring (25.7 ppg), highlighted by a career-high 47-point effort against the Lakers on Nov. 13. The five-point increase from last season features impressive progress as a perimeter shooter, with Wiggins hitting an NBA-high 48.9 percent of his three-pointers. The outside touch has complemented his slashing ability, which has him among the top 10 in free-throw attempts for the second season in a row.

jabari parker

Jabari Parker, Bucks (No. 2 pick): After missing 57 games in his rookie season, Parker rebounded to average 14.1 points in 76 games last season. The 21-year-old forward has built on that performance this season, ranking second on the team in scoring (19.5 ppg) and minutes (32.8 mpg) and third in rebounding (6.4 ppg). He already has five 20-point games this season after needing 35 games to post his first 20-point effort in 2015-16. Parker has made 10 three-pointers in 2016-17, three fewer than he sank in his first two seasons combined.

Joel Embiid, 76ers (No. 3 pick): Embiid has wasted little time showing what he can do when healthy, making the most of his 22.0 minutes per game. The 22-year-old center from Cameroon leads all rookies in scoring (18.0 ppg), rebounding (7.6 rpg) and blocked shots (2.2 bpg), the first rookie with those numbers through nine games since Shaquille O’Neal in 1992-93. Embiid, a 7-footer, has also hit half of his 20 three-point attempts, including three made triples in a career-high 26-point outing against the Suns on Saturday.

– Via NBA News

Pelicans waive Archie Goodwin

Pelicans waive Archie Goodwin

That was quick. The New Orleans Pelicans waived guard Archie Goodwin today.

Originally signed by New Orleans on Nov. 7, Goodwin, 6-5, 205, appeared in three games for the Pelicans, averaging 5.0 points in 10.0 minutes per contest.

The Pelicans roster currently stands at 14.

This is the 4th year of Goodwin’s NBA career. His first three seasons were spent with the Suns. Last season, with Phoenix, he averaged 8.9 points in 19.5 minutes per game.

Kings to change frontcourt lineup

Kings to change frontcourt lineup

Sometimes, a coach doesn’t need advanced statistics or analytics to make a decision.

The only numbers Dave Joerger needs to see change are 4-9, the Kings’ record, including four straight losses.

Joerger plans to scrap the big lineup that has opened games most of the season, with DeMarcus Cousins and Kosta Koufos in the frontcourt. Cousins will play center, and Joerger will try to figure out which lineup works best around Cousins for Sunday’s game against the Toronto Raptors.

“That hasn’t been working,” Joerger said of playing big. “That’s not working so it’s not about being big or small.”

– Sacramento Bee

InsideHoops.com Quick Take: Offensively, barely anybody in the league can guard Cousins. That’s really not an exaggeration. Defensively, including just general court awareness, Cousins needs improvement. As for the Kings in general, their offense is decent but their defense has been miserable so far this season.

Clippers assign Diamond Stone to D-League

The L.A. Clippers have assigned center Diamond Stone to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA D-League.

Stone has appeared in three games for the Clippers this season.

Stone, the 40th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, played one season at the University of Maryland, where he was named the AP Big Ten Newcomer in 2016. The Milwaukee native averaged 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 35 games (all starts), helping lead the Terrapins to the Sweet Sixteen.

Bucks assign Rashad Vaughn to D-League

The Milwaukee Bucks have assigned guard Rashad Vaughn to the Westchester Knicks of the NBA Development League, pursuant to the flexible assignment rule, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Vaughn has appeared in nine games for the Bucks this season and averaged 6.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game.

The NBA D-League’s flexible assignment system enables the eight independent NBA teams to assign players to the NBA D-League for development or rehabilitation from injury. Upon receipt from an independent NBA team, the NBA D-League will identify any NBA D-League team willing to accept the assigned player. The assigning independent NBA team will then choose the destination for assignment between those teams. If no NBA D-League team is willing to accept the assigned player, he will be assigned to one of the hybrid affiliate teams pursuant to a lottery.

Devin Booker ejected, then squeezes in a quick autograph signing

Usually, NBA players are reprimanded for not leaving the court in a timely manner.

Suns guard Devin Booker received nationwide praise for how he did it after receiving his first career ejection Wednesday night at Denver.

Booker was caught off guard when he was ejected for receiving his second technical foul of the game – and the season. Official Eric Lewis gave Booker and Denver power forward Kenneth Faried a double technical foul with 17.8 seconds remaining in the Nuggets’ 120-104 victory at Pepsi Center.

Booker thought he was about to shoot a free throw before being told he was being ejected after also getting a technical foul late in the second quarter from official Kevin Cutler. Booker gave the official a thumbs up as he walked off the court. As security escorted him toward an exit tunnel, Booker stopped to give a boy an autograph and fist-bumped a man.

Arizona Republic

InsideHoops.com Quick Take: We dig it.

Donald Sterling and the NBA are no longer entangled in any form other than in history books.

The former owner of the Clippers and the NBA have settled all remaining legal disputes, according to Sterling’s attorney, Bobby Samini.

By settling, any funds that were held in escrow from the sale, indemnifying the NBA from legal action taken by Sterling, can be released.

OC Register

Andrew Wiggins putting up huge stats

Andrew Wiggins a dominant offensive player lately

Andrew Wiggins is starting to become the player everyone expected him to be. Dubbed a prodigy in high school, the Timberwolves wing was always supposed to be an NBA superstar, the type of player who can carry the weight of a franchise.

Now, at the tender age of 21, yet two years into his professional career, he appears to set fulfill every expectation.

Wiggins has averaged 33 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in his past six games, shooting 51 percent from the floor and 53 percent from three-point range. He ranks eighth in NBA scoring at 27.4 points a game, and is the league’s leader in three-point shooting at 54 percent…

Wiggins has been aggressive nearly every night, as shown by his 94 free-throw attempts, ninth-most in the NBA.

St Paul Pioneer Press

The Dallas Mavericks have signed free agent guard Jonathan Gibson. And in a related move, the Mavericks also requested waivers on forward Quincy Acy.

Gibson (6-2, 185) was a standout for the Mavericks at the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and received an invite to Mavericks training camp in Dallas. He averaged 7.1 points, 3.0 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 14.8 minutes in seven preseason contests with the Mavericks.

The native of West Covina, Calif., spent last season with the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles in China. He averaged 42.0 points in 36 games with the Eagles. In addition to his incredible scoring production, he registered 6.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting .509 from the field, .413 from behind-the-arc and .861 from the free throw line in Qingdao.

Gibson went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft after four successful seasons at New Mexico State where he averaged 11.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 131 career collegiate games. In his senior season with the Aggies, Gibson averaged 17.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 34 games on his way to All-WAC Second Team honors.

Gibson will wear No. 3 for the Mavericks.

Acy (6-7, 240) was originally signed by Dallas on July 20, 2016 and saw action in six games this season. He averaged 2.2 points and 1.3 rebounds in 8.0 minutes per game.

Pacers having rebounding problems

Here’s the Indianapolis Star with some insight on the Pacers, whose lack of size is probably hurting their ability to rebound the ball:

Roy Hibbert, David West, Andrew Bynum. None of those Indiana Pacers’ trees of yesteryear will come striding through the Bankers Life Fieldhouse doors anytime soon — at least not in a Pacers uniform.

But the truth is any one of them could help this team in one of their biggest areas of need: rebounding.

Entering Friday, the Pacers are 23rd in the league in total rebounding — averaging 42.3 per game — and have been out-worked on the glass in 10 of 12 games. That’s led to a differential of minus-4.7 per contest, the fourth lowest ratio in the league.

It should not come as much of a surprise to the Pacers or their fans that Indiana has struggled to pull down missed shots. With team President Larry Bird’s offseason emphasis on making this team a sleeker, faster unit, the roster was hit with an almost inevitable consequence.

Players got small. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, the Pacers entered the season the third-shortest team in the league.

Lakers assign Ivica Zubac to D-League

The Los Angeles Lakers have assigned center Ivica Zubac to the Los Angeles D-Fenders, it was announced today.

Zubac was selected by the Lakers with the 32nd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and has appeared in three games for the team this season.

The center is expected to be in uniform when the D-Fenders host the Rio Grande Valley Vipers at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Toyota Sports Center.

The Timberwolves are off to a 3-7 start this season. Too early to panic, especially with a new coach in charge and changes that will materialize in the weeks to come. But a few things are clear: their offense looks very good, while Wolves defense needs big improvement. Here’s the St Paul Pioneer Press reporting:

Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau has acknowledged Minnesota’s offense is further along than he thought it would be. The Timberwolves are fourth in the NBA in offensive efficiency and shooting a league-best 42 percent from three-point range.

“The issue,” he said, “is our defense — and the commitment to being consistent with it.”

Among 30 NBA teams, the Timberwolves are tied for 28th in defensive efficiency. Opponents are shooting 48.1 percent from the field, the worst mark in the NBA — and that includes a 116-80 victory over Memphis for which the Grizzlies rested its best players. Both of those numbers are worse than where Minnesota finished last season.

None of that lines up with the Tom Thibodeau way. The Wolves coach has churned out top-five defenses at every stop, from his work as an assistant in Houston and Boston to his recent head coaching tenure in Chicago. This offseason, 60 percent of NBA general managers voted Thibodeau as the coach with the best defensive schemes. Defense is his trademark.

Chris Paul and the Clippers are off to an incredible start this season. And CP3’s shot has been fantastic. Here’s the LA Times with some insight:

Chris Paul had Lasik eye surgery this summer

When it comes to Paul’s early season shooting numbers — which, even for him, are standing out — the 31-year-old point guard may have an explanation.

“My brother sent me a text the other day saying my percentage is up because of my Lasik eye surgery,” Paul said at the Clippers’ practice facility on Wednesday. “I was laughing, but my doctor did the surgery, who was amazing by the way, his other clients he said their percentages actually went up the next season.”

Paul, who had the surgery this summer, is fitting that unofficial trend through 11 games. He is shooting 47.3% from three-point range, nearly 11 percentage points higher than his career average. He has been the league’s most efficient pull-up jump shooter. In a 32-point win over the Nets on Monday, he made eight of 11 shots and canned four of six three-point attempts.

Here’s NY Newsday reporting on a Knick who is turning some heads in NYC:

Justin Holiday a pleasant surprise for Knicks

Justin Holiday is proving to be more than just a player who was put in the Derrick Rose trade to make the salaries match up.

Holiday, who scored 16 points and helped spark the Knicks’ win over the Mavericks Monday, has become one of Jeff Hornacek’s most entrusted players on both ends of the floor.

“Guys earn opportunities,” Hornacek said. “What Justin has done is he’s doing everything right. We’re not having to tell him two, three times how to guard something. Tell him once and he does it. He’s got great, especially on the defensive end, concepts of where he should be.”

Wizards assign Danuel House to D-League

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that forward Danuel House has been assigned to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League, pursuant to the flexible assignment rule.

House has appeared in one game this season for Washington. He was originally signed as a free agent by the Wizards on July 15, 2016.

Nuggets sign Alonzo Gee

Nuggets sign Alonzo Gee

The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Alonzo Gee, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Gee, 6-6, 225, is a seven-year NBA veteran who has appeared in 404 career games (213 starts) for Washington, San Antonio, Cleveland, Denver, Portland and New Orleans. He owns career averages of 6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 22.2 minutes per game. He played in 39 games for the Nuggets during the 2014-15 campaign, averaging 4.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13.1 minutes. He most recently played for the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2015-16 season, averaging 4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 73 games (38 starts).

The Nuggets roster stands at 15 players.

Spurs will retire Tim Duncan jersey on December 18

The San Antonio Spurs will retire Tim Duncan’s No. 21 jersey on Sunday, Dec. 18 when the team hosts the New Orleans Pelicans at 6 p.m. CST.

Duncan will become the eighth Spurs player in franchise history to have his number raised to the rafters, joining Bruce Bowen (12), Sean Elliott (32), George Gervin (44), Avery Johnson (6), Johnny Moore (00), David Robinson (50) and James Silas (13).

Originally selected by the Spurs as the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, Duncan guided San Antonio to five NBA championships and posted a 1,072-438 regular-season record, giving the team a .710 winning percentage, which is the best 19-year stretch in NBA history and was the best in all of the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB over that time. He helped the Spurs reach the playoffs in each of his 19 seasons and became the only player in league history to start and win a title in three different decades. The Silver and Black won at least 50 games in his last 17 seasons, the longest streak in league history, and posted at least a .600 winning percentage in each of Duncan’s 19 seasons, an all-time record for most consecutive seasons with a .600 win percentage in the four major U.S. sports.

In his final season with the Silver and Black, Duncan became just the third player in league history to reach 1,000 career wins, as well as the only player to reach 1,000 wins with one team. He helped the Spurs to a franchise-best 67-15 record and also became one of two players in NBA history to record at least 26,000 points, 15,000 rebounds and 3,000 blocks in his career (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).
Duncan totaled 15 All-NBA Team selections (tied for most all-time) and 15 NBA All-Defensive Team honors (most all-time), garnering both honors in the same season 15 times, the most in league history. The 1998 Rookie of the Year was named NBA MVP twice (2002, 2003) and NBA Finals MVP three times (1999, 2003 and 2005).
In his NBA career, the 15-time All-Star appeared in a total of 1,392 games and averaged 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.17 blocks in 34.0 minutes. He shot .506 (10,285-20,334) from the floor and .696 (5,896-8,468) from the free throw line.
The Wake Forest graduate is the Spurs all-time NBA leader in total points (26,496), rebounds (15,091), blocked shots (3,020), minutes (47,368) and games played (1,392), as well as third in assists (4,225). In NBA history, Duncan is fifth all-time in double-doubles (841) and blocks, sixth in rebounding and 14th in scoring.
As the only player in NBA history to play over 9,000 career minutes in the playoffs, Duncan ranks first all-time in postseason double-doubles (164) and blocks (568), third in rebounds (2,859) and sixth in points (5,172). For his career, Duncan appeared in 251 postseason contests (second all-time) and averaged 20.6 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 37.3 minutes while shooting .501 (1,975-3,939) from the field.

Along with teammates Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, Duncan is part of the NBA record for most wins by a trio in both the regular season (575) and postseason (126). Duncan and Gregg Popovich have the most wins by a player-coach duo in NBA history (1,001) and the Spurs forward finished his career in San Antonio as one of just three players in NBA history, along with John Stockton and Kobe Bryant, to spend 19 seasons with one franchise.

Brandan Wright undergoes ankle surgery

Brandan Wright undergoes ankle surgery

Grizzlies forward/center Brandan Wright underwent a successful arthroscopic debridement of his left ankle Tuesday afternoon after non-surgical interventions failed to eliminate his posterior tibialis tendinopathy.

Translation: His ankle was messed up, and surgery wound up being the best option.

The procedure was performed at the Campbell Clinic in Memphis and Wright will begin rehabilitation in Memphis immediately.

The 6-10, 230-pound forward/center has been sidelined for all 10 of the team’s regular season games this season and last appeared in the Oct. 6 preseason contest against the Atlanta Hawks.

We often hear that about NBA players suffering “concussion-like symptoms,” and perhaps being diagnosed with an actual concussion, and missing a game or two, and then returning to action. But new Celtics big-man Al Horford took a serious hit, and he’s still recovering. Here’s WEEI reporting:

Al Horford taking a while to recover from concussion

The waiting game continues for Al Horford and the Celtics.

The big man is still dealing with the lingering effects of a concussion and said after practice Tuesday that he’s not sure when he might play again.

Horford suffered the concussion when he was accidentally struck by a teammate at practice on Oct. 31. There was a glimmer of hope when he traveled with the team on the two-game trip through Indiana and New Orleans. But on Tuesday, following a light workout, he told reporters that he’s just not ready.

“I’m just not where I want to be right now, but trying to work through it,” Horford said. “This is something very new to me, so it’s just trying to get used to this.”

Nuggets waive Jarnell Stokes

Nuggets waive Jarnell Stokes

The Denver Nuggets have waived F/C Jarnell Stokes, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Stokes, 6-9, 263, signed with Denver on Sept. 15, 2016, appearing in two games and averaging 1.5 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 3.5 minutes. The third-year big man has appeared in a total of 28 career games (two starts) for Memphis, Miami and Denver, averaging 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 5.4 minutes per game. He joined Denver after being named MVP of the D-League and leading the Sioux Falls Skyforce to a championship during the 2015-16 season.

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