Moved by a documentary about people who help prevent gang violence, Joakim Noah has written a column in the Sun Times in which he quotes several young people talking about why there is violence in their neighborhoods. The quotes are fascinating and moving. Noah concludes: "I just ask that, you, the people of Chicago be aware that there is a disconnect in the city. There are kids who are at risk and these kids have a voice. They have a great understanding of the issues that face their communities and my hope is that people hear what they have to say, and we collectively try to figure out ways to help."
Daily Thunder bloggers think James Harden is twice as likely as Serge Ibaka to get a contract extension by the end of this summer.
On Two Man Game, Rob Mahoney compares Jason Terry and his replacement on the Mavericks, O.J. Mayo: "The replacement isn’t exactly ideal, largely because Terry is an exemplary spot-up shooter and a particularly skilled pick-and-roll player. He may not be your first choice to run the offense, but JET makes excellent passes coming off of screens and is an uncommonly efficient pull-up jump shooter. That combination is rarer than you might think, and while Mayo is certainly passable in both regards, he has not yet neared the offensive talents of the player whose shoes he’ll be filling, and thus shouldn’t be expected to perform in the same capacity."
Third overall pick Bradley Beal was the Wizards' Summer League MVP.
Nets Are Scorching's Mark Ginocchio has a great story about being a longtime Nets fan living in Brooklyn, which includes this exchange: "'The bartender then turned to his partner and while holding the hat and pointing to the 'Brooklyn' emblazoned on the back, 'you see this mother-effer right here? Next time you see one of these it’s going to be on my head.' He handed the hat back to me before asking where I picked mine up (Modell’s). 'Better get on the bandwagon now,' his partner said. A little more relaxed now, I said, 'I’ve actually been a fan of these guys for about 20 years now. So I’m excited to have them so close to home.' The original bartender gave me a shocked look, 'you mean, you liked the New Jersey Nets? That’s cool, whatever.'"
SI's Zach Lowe has some notes on the standouts from Summer League like Houston's Royce White: "White has created as much buzz as anyone, a credit to his intoxicating passing game from the power forward slot. And it’s addictive. White tossed multiple no-look, underhanded scoop passes at least 20 feet on Houston fast breaks, most of which led to scores or decent looks. White’s passes are productive, and he will enter the league as an elite passing power forward. He can pass from the high or low post, as well as on the move in pick-and-rolls. He sees both simple and complicated passes all over the floor." Sounds a bit like Suns-era Boris Diaw.
The Wizards could be a fringe playoff team next year, but they'll need to find a solid backup for John Wall.
The Bulls have been frugal this offseason, letting Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver and perhaps Omer Asik walk. But second year man Jimmy Butler is providing cause of optimism at Summer League.
James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom talks to one Kings scout about all things Kings, like whether Jimmer Fredette is a point guard: "Oh, I think it almost has to be."
The Painted Area with a comprehensive guide to Olympic basketball.
Antawn Jamison will provide the Lakers with some much needed frontcourt shooting, but what about that notoriously weak defense? Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano investigates: "When Jamison was paired with Anderson Varejao, his defensive rebounding rate and defensive efficiency metrics all improved. The hope is that if Jamison can be paired in the front court with a very good defensive big, he can respond similarly to what he did by playing next to Varejao. In Bynum and Gasol, the Lakers should be able to provide Jamison that partner. And, with some encouragement from his coaches and higher nightly stakes in swapping the Cavs for the Lakers, maybe Jamison will put forth a bit more effort on that side of the ball and produce results that go from bottom of the league bad to simply below average."