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Around The World: June 15

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    June 15

    Photo via Michael Albans/AP

    Trail Blazers: Mock Draft Database

    Draft Express: Pre-Draft Measurements Video: June 15 Damian Lillard Workout

    Trail Blazers: Why Damian Lillard Could Be The Man For Portland At No. 6
    "The more I started to shoot, to get a lot of reps up, the more I started to make a lot of shots," Lillard said. "And then I started to hold myself to a standard, like, 'All right, I'm going to make 10 shots, but I'm only going to give myself 12 shots to make 10. And if I don't, then I'm going to stand in this spot until I make 10 of 12.' I think that's when I started to be a shotmaker."

    Trail Blazers: Ford: Blazers Taking Lillard, Lamb In Newest Mock Draft
    "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. Harrison Barnes and Jeremy Lamb would also be in the mix here."

    Oregon Live: 2012 NBA draft: Should the Trail Blazers draft Austin Rivers? (poll)
    "That scoring ability is the glaring strength of his game and something he embraces, but he will become a more unselfish playmaker as he learns to play within the team, and not handling the ball with more off ball action. Has the look of a Stephen Curry type player if that passing ability was absent and he was premiered as a shooting guard instead. Can initially see him being used in a Jamal Crawford type roll as a scorer off the bench who is called upon to isolate and score, but moving forward has ‘go to’ potential as a teams best scorer and shot maker. The upside is there, and he’s worth taking a chance on if your offense is stagnant or a team needs to bolster second unit scoring right away."

    Oregon Live: Blazers Insider: Neil Olshey knows Blazers fans want answers, but he doesn't have any yet
    "Clearly point guard is a need, and it is going to be addressed," Olshey said. "But right now, I can't answer which vehicle we will use to address it. But once we address it and acquire it, you will know," the direction the franchise has taken."

    Oregon Live: 2012 NBA draft: John Henson talks about his predraft workout for the Trail Blazers (video)
    "Henson, the two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, is projected as a lottery pick by the majority of NBA mock drafts. The 6-foot-11 Henson led the Tar Heels in rebounds (9.9) and blocks (2.9) per game last season and his 279 career blocks rank as the second-most in school history."

    Columbian: Canales deflects focus to Blazers pre-draft workouts
    "Either way, Moultrie said "perfect fit" is more important to him than specific selection, and that as long as he is with the right team "I could go No. 1 or 60." Asked what player he would compare his game to, Moultrie responded, "I don't like to compare myself to other players."

    CSNNW: Damian Lillard: Fitting in with the Blazers and other NBA workouts
    "Damian Lillard (PG, Weber St.) talks about how he would fit in with the Blazers, what teams he's working out for and if Portland is a realistic destination for him."

    CSNNW: Damian Lillard: My Pitch to Blazer Fans
    "Weber St. PG Damian Lillard makes his pitch to Trail Blazer fans about why Portland should select him in the upcoming 2012 draft."

    Blazersedge via Sports Illustrated: Reports: Brian Shaw Linked To Blazers Coaching Job
    "I'm told that Brian Shaw has not pulled himself out of the running for the Charlotte job, FWIW. Stay tuned. No final decision expected today. That being said, Shaw has legit interest in both the Portland and Orlando jobs. If I had to put one ahead of the other, it'd be Blazers. "

    Blazersedge: 2012 NBA Draft: Portland Trail Blazers Trade Up for Bradley Beal?
    "No doubt the Blazers would love to have Beal in the fold but they probably have questions as well. The new vogue in the NBA is running two near-point guards in your starting lineup. Name the great full-sized shooting guards in this league right now and your list will be short. Nevertheless, the Blazers have had their fill of offensive-minded tweener guards over the last few years. Beal is better than any of them but that won't add length to his frame. Nor will lanky, athletic NBA defenders allow him the space he needs to get off a shot or drive. A NBA scout once told me that the biggest adjustment for new NBA players was the smaller court. It isn't physically smaller, but the size and speed of defenders leaves so little space compared to college that players are required to speed up their game while making better decisions and employing more exacting fundamentals. That's a tricky combo. The only thing that saves you from mistakes (sometimes) is pure athleticism, which Beal doesn't have. The Blazers also have a pretty good shooter and defender at shooting guard in Wesley Matthews. Beal could trump Matthews if Beal had a proven blow-by ability but that's exactly what he's lacking. In some ways he'd be a serious upgrade, but how much and how soon? Plus you have to figure in opportunity cost, losing whatever assets you traded to move up in order to get the young fella. If he was a little longer, had a little more proven dribble drive, this guy would be a no-brainer for Portland. As it is he's part amazing, but also part risk and part compromise. How much risk the Blazers assess and how much compromise they're willing to make will go a long way towards determining whether Beal is worth trading up for."

    Slam Sports: Rivers says all the right things in T.O.
    "Rivers said between himself, his father and his agent, the trio has scheduled just five workouts. Toronto was No. 2. He will also visit Washington, Portland and Cleveland. He has already been to New Orleans.“I have kept up with teams that fit me and the Raptors are one of those places and that’s why I’m here,” Rivers said. “I think I fit in this program well. I like the way they play. I like the new coach, I like how he gets after it on defence. As far as offensively, they like to get up and down and go at them and that’s something I like to do.”

    Yahoo! via Draft Express: Y! Sports/DraftExpress 2012 NBA Mock Draft No. 2
    "The Trail Blazers had a disappointing season, partially because of injuries and partially because of the lackluster performance of their backcourt. Offseason acquisitions Raymond Felton and Jamal Crawford both struggled to live up to expectations, while Wesley Matthews regressed somewhat after a promising sophomore season. Both of the top point guard prospects, Damian Lillard and Kendall Marshall, will get extended looks here, but we're hearing that it's Dion Waiters who has caught the eye of new GM Neil Olshey. Many teams around the league are now speculating that it's Portland who actually gave Waiters a guarantee he'll be selected if he drops to here, causing him to cancel all of his remaining workouts."

    Ball Don't Lie: Gerald Wallace may opt out of his contract, which means he might stay with the Nets, which means trouble
    "Because re-signing Wallace, long term, would be a pointless maneuver. All-Star Nets guard Deron Williams hasn't decided where he's going as a free agent just yet, we're more than sure, but his supposed relationship with Wallace shouldn't change a dang thing. The Nets, in full on rebuilding mode, do not need to be committing to someone like Wallace, even if we appreciate his game. Not when he's a 30-year old, possibly making five-years and $30 million for a team that hopes to win 30 games. Not when Wallace, master of the all out and at times dangerous (to himself) play, has averaged 36.6 minutes a contest since Sacramento Kings GM Geoff Petrie gifted him to the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2004 expansion draft."

    Ball Don't Lie: Tony Parker suffers eye injury during Drake-Chris Brown NYC nightclub brawl
    "I was there with a bunch of friends when a fight broke out. They started to throw bottles about ... I got it all," Parker told a news conference. "The cornea has been touched. I can't do anything for seven days ... But I was lucky. The injury won't prevent me from competing the Olympics in any way," he added."

    Ball Don't Lie: Serge Ibaka blocks all of Miami’s Big 3, but his aggression costs him late (VIDEOS)
    "To be fair to Ibaka, there's not much more he can do there; once Wade split Harden and Sefolosha, he was the last line of defense at the rim. He was victimized by a good James screen up top, a slick drive by Wade and clever offensive engineering. Still, there's something sort of appropriate about Miami's Big 3 coming together on that possession to get a measure of vengeance on the man who's turned them all back earlier in the game, and it helped Miami walk out of OKC with a 1-1 split."

    Ball Don't Lie: Fair or foul? Kevin Durant, defended by LeBron James, misses game-tying shot as Heat take Game 2 (VIDEO)
    "Thunder fans have a legitimate gripe about Durant not getting two free throws there. Ditto for ceding two points on what looked like an illegitimate second-quarter goaltending call on Serge Ibaka. But if they allow themselves to take Durant's two free throws, Ibaka's two points, add them up to get four, see that that's the same as Miami's final margin of victory and decide that OKC got jobbed, then they are insane. The Thunder lost this game because they started out 1 for 12 from the floor, ended the first quarter shooting 5 for 20, gave up 27 first-quarter points and trailed by 12 after 12 minutes."

    SLAM via CSNNE: Brandon Bass to Become an Unrestricted Free Agent
    “Oh absolutely,’ his agent Tony Dutt said when asked if Boston was his client’s first choice. ‘Without question, he would love to go back.’ The decision to not pick up the final year of his contract, worth $4.25 million, is driven by Bass’ desire to sign a long-term deal with the C’s. Following Boston’s Game 7 loss to Miami, he told reporters about his desire to return next season to Boston. ‘I would love to be back here,’ he said at the time. ‘The fans here are unbelievable."

    SLAM: ‘Covering Those Guys, It Was the Luckiest Gig I Ever Got’
    "The game itself does not live up to the mythology. It was more—I think [Mike] Krzyzewski had the best take on it. It wasn’t the actual basketball that was played. It was how seriously these guys took it. That doesn’t exactly come across in the video. It’s not the most compelling game. If you watch four minutes of the Oklahoma City Thunder run up and down the court, you’ve seen better basketball. This thing has sort of a ragged scrimmage feel to it. On the other hand, as a historical document, it’s sort of like you have some sort of moving picture of the Declaration of Independence being signed. And even though it’s not very interesting, it’s interesting simply because of the people who are in the photo."

    ESPN: Daily Dime
    "I missed the shot. I think I shot a good shot. That's a shot I shoot all the time. I just missed."

    ESPN: Greatest playoff runs: Nos. 21-25
    "I moved Portland up the list because there was so much competitive balance in the league at the time; beating three 50-win teams doesn't seem like a big deal, except that the Lakers' 53 led the league. Portland wiped out the teams with the league's three best records en route to the title."

    Sports Illustrated: Draft notes: Drummond a mystery man; big Cavaliers workout looms
    "I've worked hard on my offensive game the past couple of months, and I'm still working on it to this day," he said. "I've definitely built a back-to-the-basket game. My face-up game is a whole lot better. My jump shot is a whole lot better, I'm shooting better free throws and I'm just trying to become a well-rounded player."


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