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Around The World: June 25

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    June 25

    Trail Blazers: Mock Draft Database

    Draft Express: Pre-Draft Measurements Video: June 25th Pre-Draft Workouts

    Trail Blazers: Report: Portland To Pick Dion Waiters At #6?
    "Lillard would make an awful lot of sense here if he's not taken by Sacramento, but the Blazers, who still need to replace the retired Brandon Roy, might not be able to pass on Waiters."

    Trail Blazers: Report: Steve Nash's Shortlist Includes Trail Blazers
    "From what I have heard from these people, and they could be wrong, but these are coming from some pretty legitimate sources, it is a three-team race for Steve Nash in free agency: Portland, Phoenix and Toronto," Smith explained."

    Trail Blazers: Ranking The Shooting Guards
    "Perhaps this is a stretch, and I realize that he played mainly the small forward position for the Dawgs, but shooting guard is the best place for him in the NBA, and that’s where most scouts see him. I also believe that no other player has increased his stock more, during this pre-draft workout time, than Ross. Execs always say they look at a player’s entire body of work, but it’s very difficult not to get infatuated with certain players when they’re working out in your team’s gear, right in front of you. Ross has taken full advantage of this. Ross’ offensive game is already NBA-ready, and he’s got range that should be able to handle the deeper arc. He’s explosive as well."

    Trail Blazers: Sammies Inducted into Oregon Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
    "The Oregon Jewish Museum recently established a Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and four Sammies (members of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity at the University of Oregon) were the first four men inducted."

    Oregon Live: 2012 NBA draft: Point guard Damian Lillard focuses on goals, not hype
    "Most kids today, they love the limelight and can't wait to make money, can't wait for the fame," Weber State coach Randy Rahe said. "All that is the furthest thing from Damian's mind. All he wants to do is play basketball and prove he belongs. And that's why I think he's going to make it."

    Oregon Live: 2012 NBA draft: Kendall Marshall gets straight to the point -- he's a passer
    "Since I've been playing, I've always enjoyed passing, I've enjoyed getting guys involved," Marshall said. "It's just always the type of player I've been. I feel like we are a better team when you keep your teammates happy. Ultimately, that's what I try to do -- be a good team player."

    Oregon Live: 2012 NBA draft: Perry Jones III's potential is sure to tempt Blazers
    "To me, he is the second-most talented player (to Kentucky's Anthony Davis) in the draft in terms of his physical ability and long-range potential," said Fran Fraschilla, a former college coach who is an ESPN analyst. "That doesn't mean he is going to end up being the second-most productive player in the draft, it just means the kid has enormous potential that needs to be unlocked."

    Oregon Live: 2012 NBA draft: For Jared Sullinger, success is the only stat that matters
    "I've got a chip on my shoulder," Sullinger said. "Everybody thinks that just because I'm not the type of guy who jumps out of the gym, and because I'm only 6-foot-9, that I don't have a chance to play in this league. I just need to find my niche."

    Oregon Live: 2012 NBA draft: Jeremy Lamb Q&A
    "I have length. I have the jumping ability. I can shoot the ball; I can handle the ball, so it's a lot of different things to my game. I think that's a big difference."

    CSNNW: Blazers to keep both lottery picks; Olshey meets with Freeland
    “We will acquire the two best players for the franchise at six and 11,” Olshey said."

    Rip City Project: Portland Trail Blazers’ Guide To This Off-Season
    "One of the favorites for Portland’s second lottery pick, Rivers has a confidence that’s mistaken for cockiness, and backs it up with a superior shooting stroke and ball handling skills that can lull the stickiest defenders to sleep. Waiters is a more athletic, slashing guard who gets to the rim with ease and is touted as the second best guard in the draft behind Florida’s Bradley Beal. He doesn’t have the stroke that Rivers has, but he more than makes up for it with his elite explosiveness."

    Blazersedge: Wolfson: Timberwolves To Offer Brandon Roy A 2-Year Contract?
    "Wolves assistant coach Bill Bayno, who got to know Roy well when he worked on the Portland bench in two separate stints in the last few years, has been the driving force in Minnesota's interest. He's done enough to convince head coach Rick Adelman that the risk is worth it. The last hurdle, sources say, was to convince president of basketball operations David Kahn. That apparently recently happened."

    Blazersedge: Transcript: Blazers GM Neil Olshey Talks NBA Draft, Trades, Joel Freeland
    "The Draft is a player acquisition vehicle. That's what it is. We will acquire the two best players for the franchise by using 6 and 11. I may walk back in there and have three voicemails that completely change my mind. But right now, what we're going to get 6 and 11 in this Draft will set up the best course of action for us going forward. That's not to say that two minutes after the Draft you don't do something. I think right now, relative to where we want to go, we have a better chance of getting there using 6 and 11 than just doing one offs to bring guys in and conveying the picks."

    NBA: Aldridge: Blazers Eye Syracuse G Dion Waiters At No. 6?
    "But Syracuse's Dion Waiters is coming on like a freight train, with sources insistent that he'll be gone somewhere between No. 6 (Portland) and No. 8 (Toronto) after earlier rumors had Phoenix making a promise to take Waiters at 13. The Kings could shake loose a few additional assets if they let it be known they're looking hard at Waiters, whose offensive skills continue to have NBA types drooling. "His talent, it's exceptional," one scout said Saturday. "There's no guard in the Draft that can do what he does."

    Ball Don't Lie: Houston might be attempting to move up in the draft to trade for Dwight Howard
    "The plan, according to ESPN, is for the Rockets to attempt to secure both Sacto and Toronto's selections in return for their assets — possibly Lowry to Toronto (for the eighth selection in the draft) and Sacramento's top five pick in exchange for both of Houston's selections. The Rockets would then flip those two higher picks (and possibly Samuel Dalembert, whose contract is only partially guaranteed for next season) to Orlando for Howard. Even without Howard committing to signing a contract extension with the Rockets."

    Ball Don't Lie: LeBron James posed for a wedding photo with a random couple
    "In all honesty, what LeBron did here was pretty minor — my guess is it took him less than a minute to take the photo, shake some hands, and move on with his day. Nevertheless, it was a nice gesture and the sort of thing that will only make him look better. Who knows, maybe he'll even start randomly kissing babies and handing out free sandwich coupons for Quizno's. That's what politicians do these days, right?"

    Ball Don't Lie: Danny Ferry, the Hawks’ newest GM, is still trying to get over the summer of 2005
    "That same summer, Ferry unknowingly signed off on the next five years of his Cavaliers run with his own big offseason splash. In moves that most — including yours truly — agreed with completely, Ferry tossed big money at Hughes, Marshall and Ilgauskas in an attempt to give soon-to-be third-year stud LeBron James a versatile and veteran core to work with. All were entering their prime and Hughes was coming off an All-Star season that saw the 26-year-old score 22 a game while getting to the line a ton and posting a Player Efficiency Rating over 21. Seemingly a working man's Scottie Pippen, Hughes also led the NBA in steals per game and averaged a combined 11 rebounds/assists."

    Ball Don't Lie: Taj Gibson posterizing Dwyane Wade is a cake now (VIDEO)
    "Given all that's happened in the interim — the Heat taking that series en route to an NBA Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the 161-day NBA lockout and subsequent 66-game sprint to the postseason, injuries to Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah leading to Chicago's first-round exit at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami's run through the East to its second straight Finals and a five-game victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder that gave Wade his second NBA championship — that 13 months seems like it might as well be 13 years. But Bulls fans haven't forgotten, and neither has Gibson's friend/employee Floyd Johnson, who contracted Chicago cake shop TipsyCake to immortalize the rise of Taj using sugar, eggs, flour and, of course, fondant in celebration of Gibson's 27th birthday (which was Sunday, June 24, so I hope you got him something)."

    The Basketball Jones: Video: Jamal Crawford hits summer league game-winner, walks off the court
    "Nonetheless, as far as hilariously-soundtracked clips from random gyms go, this is a good start. It’s also the most Jamal Crawford thing possible, dribbling out the clock, shooting a long, contested shot and then just walking off like it’s no big deal. The only thing that could make this more Jamal Crawford is if he got fouled while shooting."

    The Basketball Jones: Lil B lifts curse on Kevin Durant, will let Thunder win title
    "Even though Kevin Durant is totally right and Lil B is super wack, this seems like a legitimate cause for why the Thunder have failed to win a title in every season since Lil B placed the curse. After all, the Chicago Cubs haven’t won a title in 105 years, largely because they didn’t let a goat attend a game at Wrigley Field once upon a time."

    SLAM: Will Barton, No. 24 (Mock)
    "So why isn’t he as highly regarded as the other aforementioned shooting guards if his averages were higher? Most people didn’t get a chance to see Barton, or Memphis for that matter, as much as they did get the chance to see the other wings. In addition, one criticism that I’ve always heard about Barton is that his lanky frame will not allow him to thrive at the next level. But anyone that was witness to this year’s NBA Finals might recall that the same type of criticism surrounded Kevin Durant when he got drafted."

    SLAM via Oklahoman: James Harden Believes a ‘Dynasty’ is Being Built in OKC
    “This is something special here,” Harden said. “A dynasty is being built here. So we’re winning we’re having fun and we’re brothers. The other stuff, you can’t buy it.” Harden said his close friendships with his teammates is an extremely important factor in his decision as well. “This team is like a family,” Harden said. “Like, we’re really brothers. We hang out most of the time every single day. You won’t find any other team like this. I love it here.”

    ESPN: Rockets set sights on moving up in draft
    "What’s clear from the Rockets’ end, sources say, is the player they’re fondest of in the upper reaches of the draft: UConn big man Andre Drummond. Many scouts believe Drummond has the second highest upside of any player in the draft behind consensus No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis, but the 7-foot, 279-pounder would almost certainly still be available at No. 5. "

    Sports Illustrated: Key Questions For NBA Draft
    "As such, Portland has an intriguing pick at No. 6, where Lillard is a legitimate possibility. If the Blazers opt to fill their glaring need for a point guard rather than go with Drummond and deal with the endless Greg Oden comparisons, then that noise you'll hear will be the Golden State brain trust screaming in agony over its decision at No. 7. The team's owners are pushing for a big man. Drummond has more upside than anyone not named Anthony Davis in the draft, but he's also incredibly raw and potentially unreliable for the first few years. The pressure comes from the perception of Drummond's value, as every team that passes on him runs the risk of looking silly if he pans out sooner rather than later."

    Sports Illustrated via CNBC: Anthony Davis trademarks brow
    "According to CNBC’s Darren Rovell, Davis has filed a trademark for the phrases “Fear the Brow” and “Raise the Brow” earlier this month. Davis has become well known in the last year not only for his skill on the basketball court and winning a national championship with the Kentucky Wildcats in his first year, but also for his distinctive unibrow."


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