Tuesday Bullets

August, 21, 2012
8/21/12
5:24
PM ET
Mason By Beckley Mason
ESPN.com
Archive
  • What can Oklahoma City get for James Harden?
  • On ESPN Dallas Radio, Mark Cuban says Jason Kidd won't have his number retired in Dallas: "'I’ve always said my prerequisite was that you played on a championship team for the Mavs. I’d say Jet’s got a shot, Dirk’s an obvious, but as of right now I wouldn’t put J. Kidd up there.'" It raises an interesting question. Kidd's a surefire Hall of Famer who should have his number retired somewhere. Maybe New Jersey -- err -- Brooklyn?
  • Anthony Davis's "high brow" art.
  • Is San Antonio headed for trouble? After winning 50 out of 66 games last year (the equivalent of a 62-win season in a normal year) and the top seed in the West, ESPN's experts dropped them to 54 wins for 2012-13. Bradford Doolittle (Insider) went even further, projecting 50 wins for the Spurs: "The league's most consistent franchise is once again displaying an amazing amount of continuity by bringing back about 98 percent of its minutes from last season, although DeJuan Blair has been rumored to be on the trade market. Still, the Spurs overachieved a bit last season based on their point differential, and their aging core is one year older, which means wilting playing time projections for Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili."
  • Chris Palmer profiles the Oklahoma City Thunder as title contenders (Insider). Though the Thunder, like the Heat, should be in the title conversation come Spring 2013, Palmer notes that the way each team chose to improve is consistent with the contrasting methods used to build the teams originally: "Two of the Thunder's best attributes are youth and length. So naturally they went out and got two young, very long players. But it isn't likely that Perry Jones or Hasheem Thabeet will play much of a role in the Thunder's quest to unseat the Heat. Jones, a 6-foot-11 power forward/center out of Baylor, took a precipitous draft-day tumble to the bottom of the draft board thanks to a report "red-flagging" his knee, which many NBA team doctors believed could have long-term ramifications. It didn't stop the Thunder from snatching him up with the No. 28 pick overall in essentially a no-lose situation. If Jones' knee doesn't hinder his development or proves to be a non-factor in the coming years, he could be the steal of the draft. Miami, on the other hand, reloaded by bringing in a batch of quality long-range bombers, including future Hall of Famer Ray Allen (the NBA's all-time 3-point leader) and Rashard Lewis(career 3-point percentage of .388) to go along with Shane Battier and Finals Game 5 hero Mike Miller. While Allen is a significant pickup, it remains to be seen if the roster moves will actually translate to a better Heat team. With improvements to the individual games of OKC's big four (we'll see come November), it could be argued that the Thunder actually had the better summer despite fewer noteworthy transactions."
  • A look at the top players from the 2009 draft, and what kind of contract extensions they could command as they near the end of their rookie deals.
  • HoopIdea has received dozens of ideas for how an end of season tournament could be used to determine draft order, but this one, from The Glorious Extra Pass is one of my favorites. It's simple, but nuanced enough to still heavily favor the worst teams.
  • Tom at Celtics Town breaks down Boston's 3-point shooters, an integral part of its offense, and includes this note: "Though percentage-wise, Rondo probably shouldn’t be shooting threes, his attempts are likely to be more beneficial than Jeff Green’s, even though Green’s numbers are better. Rondo’s three point attempts help keep the defense honest. Green’s 3PAs indicate that the defense has been doing a good job of taking away better looks."
  • Kevin Durant can't miss. Even when he's paid to.
  • On A Wolf Among Wolves, Zach Harper tells the tale of visiting Michael Beasley's estate sale: "As I ventured out of the dining room to possibly explore the other two levels of the house, a framed poster caught my eye. It was this Yale poster, which left our group completely perplexed as to why this would be in Beasley’s possession. Was he a big fan of the Ivy League schools? Was he more of a Yale guy than a Harvard man? Did he just think it was classy to have this poster? I had so many questions and one of them was definitely, 'did I want to spend $15 on this poster?' The other question being, 'can I convince my lady this is a great addition to our new loft?'"
  • If Derrick Rose tries to leave Chicago someday to play with another superstar, don't blame Miami, says Stan Van Gundy, blame Boston.
  • The Pistons need guards. Is nominal small forward Austin Daye the answer?
  • How Atlanta can replace Joe Johnson's isolation scoring without making major changes to its offensive system
  • Metta World Peace hams it up (and wins a race) on a kids show.
Beckley Mason is an NBA contributor for ESPN.com.

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