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Around The World: June 13

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    June 13

    Trail Blazers: Mock Draft Database

    Draft Express: Pre-Draft Measurements Video: June 13 Pre-Draft Workouts Part One

    Trail Blazers: Why Damian Lillard Could Be The Man For Portland At No. 6
    "He wowed at the draft combine and measured very similar in size and athletic ability to Derrick Rose.While Lillard isn't nearly the same prospect as Rose, the Blazers need a point guard and Lillard has the potential to be very, very good. Taking him at No. 6 is no longer a reach."

    Trail Blazers: Ford: Blazers Taking Lillard, Lamb In Newest Mock Draft
    "If the Blazers get Lillard at No. 6, they'll be tempted to go ahead and reach for a young big like Leonard. However, this might also be a great opportunity to fill out their backcourt with another guard. Lamb has great length for his position, is a smooth athlete and, combined with Lillard, would give the Blazers a powerful scoring punch. Don't count out Austin Rivers and Dion Waiters here, either; I hear Portland's new GM, Neil Olshey, is a fan of both."

    Trail Blazers: Fan Blog: Analyzing The Blazers/Cavs Rumor
    "If I was Olshey and the Cavs came to me with this trade offer would I do it? Yes. Barnes and Beal have higher ceilings and less question marks than Lillard, who played his entire career in the Big Sky Conference and sat out a year due to injury, and Drummond who many scouts and draft analysts say is very raw, similar to a poor man's Andrew Byum (i.e. Bynum when he came into the league, not 2010-2012 Bynum). At this stage in the re-tooling plan, I think the best strategy is to acquire one sure-fire 'A' or 'B' player as opposed to two players who might have ceilings that high."

    Trail Blazers: Olshey: Team Narrowing Down Draft Targets
    "Like I said, we'll do our due diligence, we're doing our workouts, we've got a tone of film and background information, physiological, we've done all the live scouting, we've got the analytics. Right now, we're just kind of digging in. At least now we're kind of comparing apples to apples. We've funneled it down to probably three or four guys at each selection and we're going to look at the best aggregated results in the organization between the two picks."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers second Wednesday predraft workout is full of lottery targets
    "The second group features: North Carolina forward John Henson; Baylor forward Perry Jones III; Kentucky forward and Jefferson High School alum Terrence Jones; Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger; Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague; and Marquette point guard Darius Johnson-Odom."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers: First of two Wednesday predraft workouts lacks heavy hitters
    "The group includes: Quincy Acy, a forward from Baylor; Bradford Burgess, a guard/forward from Virginia Commonwealth; Reggie Hamilton, a guard from Oakland; Kevin Murphy, a guard from Tennessee Tech; John Shurna, a forward from Northwestern; and Mitchell Watt, a forward from Buffalo."

    Oregon Live: 2012 NBA draft: Should the Trail Blazers draft Meyers Leonard? (poll)
    "Coming in, I understand my role is more to be a defensive presence, impact the game with my athleticism, block shots, run the floor, get people open, finish around the rim on the offensive end," said Leonard."

    Oregon Live via Sporting News: Knicks, Blazers among teams impacted by NBA hearing on Bird rights
    "That’s because an arbitrator will hear arguments from the league and the NBPA on the state of free-agent rights for waived players. The union says those players—specifically, the L.A. Clippers’ Chauncey Billups, the Portland Trail Blazers’ J.J. Hickson and the Knicks duo of Steve Novak and Jeremy Lin—should have their Bird rights transferred to their new teams. That would allow those teams to re-sign the players without using salary-cap exceptions."

    CSNNW: Blazer Psychologist: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on his experience
    "The final video from the collection of interviews Chris Haynes gathered in Chicago and the NBA Combine, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist talks about his interview with the Trail Blazers psychologist."

    CSNNW: Blazer Psychologist: Meyers Leonard on his experience
    "Meyers Leonard talks about his experience with the Blazers' psychologist as well as how he compares to UNC's Tyler Zeller"

    CSNNW: Blazer Psychologist: Tyler Zeller on his experience
    "Tyler Zeller talks with Chris Haynes about his time with the Blazer Psychologist, his draft stock and the Blazers in general as we wrap up the coverage of the NBA Combine"

    Rip City Project: Dear Blazers: DO NOT SWAP PICKS WITH CLEVELAND!
    "While the options are endless at pick No. 4, losing that coveted eleventh pick is the real risk in following through with this deal. Portland would lose out on the opportunity of landing their PG of the future and, unless they plan on picking up Cuse’s Fab Melo at 24, they’d be out of luck in the running for a big man as well. Portland’s got a chance to do something really special here. With their two lottery picks, the fortune of the franchise could change in the blink of an off-season. And with their cap-space and already solid core, GM Neil Olshey has a contending team in the works as we speak."

    Grantland: Thunder Family Values
    "Welcome to Oklahoma City, Portland, Edmonton, Sacramento, San Antonio, Montreal, and many English cities in the Premier League. When you're the only team in town, every moment matters. Digging a little deeper, professional sports has a way of validating smaller American cities. When the Whalers left Hartford, suddenly there wasn't much difference between Hartford and New Haven. If the Kings leave Sacramento, suddenly the distance between Fresno and Oakland isn't that vast. Even one pro team validates a city in the following way: We matter enough to have a pro team. That's why the Oklahoma City fans showed up early, that's why they spent three hours cheering, that's why my head is ringing, and that's why my friend Nathan said, "This is like a great college crowd, but with older people."

    CBS: Sources: Magic narrow GM search to three finalists, considering two hires
    "Also, in a somewhat surprising turn of events, the Trail Blazers are expected to conduct an open head coaching search after the draft. How open that search will be remains to be seen. New GM Neil Olshey had all but stated at his introductory news conference that the team would be sticking with interim coach Kaleb Canales, who shares the same agent with Olshey. But league sources say the team plans to interview other candidates, though probably not until after the draft. It would be somewhat unorthodox, but the Blazers seem to want to get their roster settled first before interviewing potential coaches."

    Scouting Center: Eurocamp Treviso - Scouting Center intervista Nicolas Batum
    "Nicolas Batum: "Kaleb (Canales) is something special, has an unbridled passion for the sport and sends it to us players, because they train with great energy and enthusiasm. It 's our sixth man, really, it seems that both in the field with us when he's on the bench because he gesticulates, moves and lives the game like a player: he is a great coach."

    Ball Don't Lie: Behind the Box Score, where Oklahoma City struck first while Miami took notes
    "Spo isn't alone in this. Kevin Durant played nearly 46 minutes in the win, and though he had nearly a week between contests before Game 1, Game 2 is on Thursday. Game 3 is on Sunday, and though Kevin is young, he loves those long jumpers. And though Kevin can get to the line, he needs a spring in his step (and for his opponent, perhaps LeBron James from here on out?) to respect his long jumper enough to be shook by the drive. This was Brooks' freebie, a reward for his team's quick'ish elimination of the Lakers in the second round and Boston's insistence on both making the Heat wait for the conference finals to start up, and taking the series to seven games following. From here, Brooks will have to adjust."

    Ball Don't Lie: David Stern asks Jim Rome, ‘Have you stopped beating your wife yet?’ in response to lottery-fixing question in radio interview
    "Now, there's an important point to be made here. Stern, it seems, wasn't actually asking if Rome had stopped beating his wife; he was evoking a famous logic game, a rhetorical move intended to put your opponent in an untenable position. Whether you say yes or no, you are saying that you have been beating your wife. You incriminate yourself just by participating in the exercise."

    Ball Don't Lie via ESPN: Dirk Nowitzki claims that Kevin Durant ‘is way ahead’ of Dirk at the same age, and we somewhat agree
    "He's a 6-10 guy with a 7-4 wingspan who can shoot it from the parking lot. He's posting up now. In transition he's so long that, when he gets a pass from the 3-point line, it's a layup or dunk with one step. He's got the one- or two-dribble pull-up, which you need to be a great scorer, because you can't just shoot 3s or go to the basket if you want to be a great scorer, 'cause sometimes you can't get all the way to the bucket. He can go both ways, one or two dribbles and up. He's way more of a 3-man than I ever was," Nowitzki continued. "He handles the ball way better on the break than I ever did. He's got deeper range. And he's doing all this at 23. He's won the scoring title three times in a row, so that he means he won the first one at 21. I barely got through my rookie year. When I was 21, Gary Trent was still killing me in practice."

    Ball Don't Lie: Pat Riley, Alonzo Mourning do not like watching the Heat get punked (VIDEO)
    "Seems like the Miami Heat's team president and vice president of player development didn't much enjoy their visit to Chesapeake Energy Arena, what with the Oklahoma City Thunder erasing their team's 13-point first-half lead en route to an 11-point win in Game 1 of the NBA finals on Tuesday night. That's very understandable; letting a road win slip through your fingers is the kind of thing that can justifiably make you mad."

    The Basketball Jones: Glassesgate takes another turn as LeBron debunks Westbrook’s claims
    "This is hilarious. Not only is it absolutely bonkers that LeBron James and Russell Westbrook are still being asked about wearing lensless glasses, now LeBron is making sure everyone knows that he was definitely wearing lenless glasses while also being careful to not be the one who started it. There might not be anything on Earth that is worse to brag about."

    The Basketball Jones: Thunder fans were in rare form last night
    "When you are in a city that is playing for its first championship in any of the four major sports, you have to come correct for the championship round. And considering Oklahoma City painted a portion of an unused highway in Thunder colors, you can tell they were ready for their team to continue their quest for a title. That’s why you see things like a kid Carlos Boozering his face in honor of James Harden.''

    SLAM: John Henson, No. 9 (Mock)
    "What the Pistons will get in Henson is an NBA-ready defender, who is an improving offensive player. He likely won’t score in double-figures in his first year in the League, but Henson can slide in next to Monroe and be the perfect complementary post player for him."

    SLAM: License to Lillard, Ep. 1 – ‘The Beginning’ (VIDEO)

    ESPN: What's Kevin Durant's motivation?
    "Nate McMillan, who has coached both Durant and Bryant with the world championship and Olympic teams, finds them similar because "you can't picture them doing anything else. They were created for this game. "Spending time with Kobe and Durant, you know that basketball is 90 percent of what they think about all day long."

    ESPN: What must the Heat do differently?
    "Wade's the easy target here, but is he fixable? Even if his slump is injury induced, I doubt a second knee drain less than a month after the first would get the surgeon general's OK. It took an all-time performance by LeBron and a scorching-hot hand from Bosh to slay the Celtics. Given the state of their aching core, and that they actually got some scoring punch from two reserves this time, the Heat may need a dominant performance in each game to win from here on out."

    Sports Illustrated: 2012 NBA Mock Draft 2.0
    "The supremely confident Waiters is an efficient and versatile scorer who could help replace Jamal Crawford, who is expected to opt out of his contract this summer. He may have passed the likes of UConn's Jeremy Lamb, Rivers and Washington's Terrence Ross in the shooting guard category. Waiters is believed to have a promise from a lottery team, and many suspect that it's Phoenix at No. 13. (Toronto general manager Bryan Colangelo has made it clear he did not give Waiters a promise.) Pass-first North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall could be in play as well."

    Sports Illustrated: Flexible Thunder offense making history
    "It would seem unlikely that Oklahoma City, which is facing an elite defense for the first time in these playoffs, will score enough to catch that Phoenix mark. But it doesn’t matter. In an era of faster, more sophisticated defenses, the Thunder are threatening to pull off an even stronger version of what Dallas accomplished last year: proving that an all-world offense and a “pretty good” defense is a perfectly fine way to win a title in the modern NBA.The Heat came out with a clear defensive game plan on Tuesday, and it appeared to unnerve Oklahoma City for much of the first half. They had James guard Durant by not guarding Durant, using him instead on Kendrick Perkins — the giant center whose screens so often free Durant on curl plays. With James on Perkins, he and Shane Battier, Durant’s primary defender, could simply switch on those screens, negating the Thunder’s first option. That would be the pattern all night — Miami coach Erik Spoelstra having James work as an all-purpose play-buster rather than one-on-one counter to Durant, guarding whichever player the Heat considered the most threatening screener for Durant or ball-handler while Durant sat."


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