July, 10, 2012
By Beckley Mason
- How much is the skill of shot-blocking worth in the NBA? How about scoring 25 points per game? Ryan Weisert of Valley of the Suns provides a buyers guide, priced per skill, for the 2012 free agent frenzy.
- Players can officially sign contracts with new teams starting Wednesday at midnight eastern time. Might want to bookmark this page to help you keep who's coming and going.
- Our Brian Windhorst on Perry Jones III, who impressed in a big way in his first Summer League game: "Jones had 16 points and eight rebounds, and showed off a wide-ranging display of ability: step-back jumpers, long-range shooting, hard defensive rotations, running the floor and a deft passing touch. If you'd never seen him before and didn't know what the general scouting report was, you'd never scribble down 'poor motor' in your notes. According to his teammates, he's been that way since the team started practicing last week. 'That whole talk about his motor, I don't know who started that but that was a bad rumor,' Thunder point guard Reggie Jackson said. 'The guy loves playing hard.' In fairness, let's see how he goes through a full season before making such judgments. But no matter the qualifiers, there just aren't many 6-foot-11 players who move as freely as Jones. He forgot where he was defensively at times, a classic young player mistake, and he had some trouble finishing in traffic against the other big bodies at the rim. He also shined as the most talented player on the floor, and that's something you don't often hear about the 28th pick."
- SI's Seth Davis tweets: "NBA scout told me today his team’s docs believe Perry Jones’s knees will only hold up for 3-4 years in the league. Explains why he dropped."
- Blake Griffin's "power layup" is mighty powerful.
- Undrafted point guard Maalik Wayns (Villanova) also played well, and could be a smart investment for a team looking to develop a backup point guard.
- Older players are getting paid in a big way.
- As Steve Nash heads to Los Angeles and Ray Allen to Miami, Ethan Sherwood Strauss writes on HoopSpeak about loyalty from the athlete's perspective: "Many of these guys have been dealing with the wants since sentience. It doesn’t take a boy genius to figure that your AAU coach might have an angle, especially if he has a gleaming Mercedes. The college coach comes next. He’s all sweater vests and sanctimony, but perhaps he’ll pay your AAU coach via an NCAA sanctioned 'scrimmage.' He’ll do it just for a shot at you, because you’re the goods. It’s a cynicizing life, spent playing a beautiful game. And on to the fans of pro sports teams, the ones who only care about you insofar as what you can do for them. Quite a few South Florida citizens seamlessly transitioned from celebrating Mike Miller’s incredible Finals three point barrage to openly investigating how he could be replaced going forward. What would an amnesty accomplish? Can Riley convince the broken toy to retire? The love is so conditional, and conditions can easily cause the affection to ferment into a hatred dark and addled. When Miami’s LeBron first returned to Cleveland, he appeared before a large 'Like father, like son' sign, because some idiot wanted to mock and hurt James over growing up without a dad. Such ugly displays are indivisible from the love that precedes them. It’s a lot of misplaced emotion, funneled towards someone the fan recognizes as human in the most shallow of senses."
- Almost every player on this list of the best corner 3-pointer shooters in the NBA played on good teams. Coincidence? I think not.
- A nice roundup of what's been going on at Summer League in Orlando.
- Some trepidation about the fat contract Ersan Ilyasova is about to sign in Milwaukee.
- Some well-considered suggestions for how to amend the charge rule.
- Andrew McNeill of 48 Minutes of Hell on the Spurs savvy offseason moves, which now include signing Boris Diaw to a 2-year, $9 million contract: "STOP THE SANITY! The Spurs can’t just keep signing good deals for both themselves and their players, can they?"
- My review of long time SI writer Jack McCallum's new book Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever. Rob Mahoney chats with McCallum about the book on Pro Basketball Talk.
- Clipper guard Eric Bledsoe played well in the playoffs, but he may once again start next season stuck behind Chauncey Billups and an aging combo guard.
- Tomas Satoransky, a Czech rookie who will suit up for Washington next year, shows off his range at Wizards mini-camp.