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Around The World: June 26

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    June 26

    Trail Blazers: Mock Draft Database

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

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Extend Qualifying Offer To Nicolas Batum
    "Batum will become a restricted free agent on July 1, ensuring that the Trail Blazers will have right of first refusal should another team try to sign him. The move gives Portland the right to match any contract offer he will receive."

    Trail Blazers: If We Had More Players, Fewer Picks, We'd Already Have A Coach
    "I really do think that we're in a unique situation. I'll tell you this: If we had 12 players under contract right now and we had one pick in this draft, we would have hired a coach already. But you're talking about two lottery picks, the rights to a guy overseas, basically two restricted free agents and cap space ... there's just too many question marks about what this roster is going to look like."

    Trail Blazers: Haynes: Numerous Teams Interested In Trading For Jamal Crawford
    "The Portland Trail Blazers are fielding trade offers for guard Jamal Crawford and the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Boston Celtics are among the teams actively pursuing the scoring specialist intensely, a league source tells"

    Oregon Live: 2012 NBA draft: Austin Rivers has NBA-level talent, and confidence to match
    "I still have like 100 VCR tapes in my room," Rivers said. "I really love watching film. I don't know where that came from, but I can't tell you how many tapes of Dwyane Wade I have in my room. Just stealing moves, the way he plays the passing lanes, getting steals, his Euro step, the way he finishes, the way he draws contact. I know everything he does. Everything. (Last week in the NBA finals), when he was on a fast break, I knew what move he was about to do."

    Oregon Live: 2012 NBA draft: Andre Drummond, a prospect without polish
    "I think he is an intriguing prospect, and intriguing is probably a good word because there are so many question marks about him," said Miller, who coaches the Huskies' big men. "But so many people are worried that if they don't take him, he is going to end up being a very good player for somebody else. But because of his inconsistency, people are probably unsure of what they should do, because he is projected at such a high pick."

    Oregon Live: Despite internet speculation, nothing new to report between Trail Blazers, Victor Claver
    "Claver has addressed today's speculation on Twitter. According to google translate, Claver said: "I have read a lot of news today about my immediate future. It is true that my agents are listening Blazers proposals and that there is interest by both. But nothing is official yet and Valencia B will be the first to know when to take my decision."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: As countdown to draft winds down, Blazers' future remains very much a mystery
    "Would Olshey attempt something huge? There is no shortage of rumors. Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal-Times, for example, contends that the Blazers are exploring trading both picks and possibly a player or two for Magic center Dwight Howard. Realistic? Probably not. But a responsible GM would have had the conversation."

    CSNNW: Victor Claver reportedly on his way to Portland next season
    "Victor Claver has intentions of leaving Valencia Basketball and paying a $600,000 buyout to come play for the Portland Trail Blazers next season, according to @EmilovEscudero."

    CSNNW: Quotes on some possible picks
    "He's a scoring point guard who can get inside, and he's improved his three-point shooting. He's a great free throw shooter; he's versatile as a scorer; he uses the pick-and-roll well; and he can finish in traffic. When you have someone with good size, good strength, good speed and you have someone who can shoot the ball and play defense," Blake said, "that's just a great package."

    CSNNW: Looking Back: 2009 Draft
    "Cunningham completed the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers playing in a total of 119 games over two seasons. He was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats in February 2011 as part of the Gerald Wallace deal. He started 9 games before signing a three-year $7 million from the Memphis Grizzles. Cunningham averaged 5 points a game for the Grizzles during the 2011-12 season."

    CSNNW: Lillard's Trail Blazer workout was apparently a sight to behold
    ""It's the best workout we've had here since Kevin Durant," he said, echoing what others have said about that workout. Of course, the Trail Blazers didn't take Durant in the draft -- which adds a touch of irony to the situation. Portland, this time, appears to want Lillard, though.

    Blazersedge: 2012 NBA Draft: The Portland Trail Blazers and Three Bigs--Tyler Zeller, Meyers Leonard, and Jared Sullinger
    "Despite that, Leonard has the kind of potential that would make the Blazers look twice. He's more of a risk than Zeller but the reward is higher as well. It's hard to pass on 7-foot and quick. You figure with a little time in the weight room and a season or two to get used to the physical and mental demands of the league, this guy could be a legit starter. On the other hand, his attitude could undercut that development. The Blazers could roll the dice on him at #11 or try to wiggle into something lower to scoop him up. If they're looking for a center project but aren't willing to bid high on the ultimate gamble that is Andre Drummond, Leonard could be the next best thing."

    Sports Illustrated: Days before NBA draft, scouts size up Anthony Davis, Brad Beal, more
    "He's the most unselfish scoring point guard I have ever seen. He's a great kid -- a great kid. He played more like a two in college, but he played on a team where if he didn't score 24 points, they wouldn't have won a game. Who was he supposed to pass to? He has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, like he's out to prove people wrong."

    Sports Illustrated: Top five underrated draft prospects
    "He averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 50.9 percent overall and 34.6 percent from beyond the arc. His lack of strength is a concern for some teams, although Kevin Durant is the latest poster boy to show that not being able to complete any bench press reps at 185 pounds at the predraft combine (as both he and Barton failed to do) is hardly relevant to the game."

    Sports Illustrated: Top 25 NBA Free Agents of 2012
    "Nash has made it clear that his interest in returning to Phoenix hinges partly on the team's using its $23 million in cap space to add to the roster. Though he played no fewer than 74 games in his first seven years in Phoenix and appeared in 62 of 66 last season, Nash's degenerative back issue is a concern, especially with his seeking a three-year deal. "You have to wonder, if you take him out of that system and away from that training staff, will it hold up?" a Western Conference executive said. Toronto, Dallas, Portland and New York are expected to make offers."

    Ball Don't Lie: We know what Houston wants out of its draft, but what does Minnesota want with Chase Budinger?
    "Budinger doesn't go great guns, he's managed around a 14 PER throughout his three-year career, but that uptick really does make a difference. To sop up minutes with mistake-free play and improved shooting? That's a boon. And to grab an established player with the 18th pick? It's not the flashiest deal in the draft, but history points to this working as the right move. At any position, much less one Minnesota needs like it needs street salt."

    Ball Don't Lie: With Anthony Davis out of the picture, could the Charlotte Bobcats trade down in the NBA draft?
    "The Charlotte Bobcats? They're made up, almost entirely, of those bottom-five players. Which is why, in an NBA rarity, you might see the team dip down in Thursday's draft in an attempt to build up possibly the weakest roster in NBA history. And with the second overall pick a clear step down from the top pick (which the New Orleans Hornets will most assuredly use on Kentucky big man Anthony Davis), and no real distinction in draft-watchers' eyes in the difference between the prospects available with the second, third, fourth or even fifth pick, why not try to attempt to grab one of those helpers and a shot a lower rung first-rounder?"

    Ball Don't Lie: Clyde Drexler on ‘Dream Team’-era Magic Johnson: ‘Everybody would feel sorry for the guy, and he’d get all that benefit of the doubt’
    "Clyde, though, doesn't appear to be as hung up on that aspect of it. No, it seems Drexler is more perplexed at Johnson's prominence on that team, and losing out on a meaningless MVP award in perhaps the finest All-Star game any of us have ever watched."

    The Basketball Jones: The Chase Budinger trade is really all about Dwight Howard
    "Dwight Howard is the new target man. He’s a super duper star; moreover, he’s a center, a position at which Houston have so badly wanted to find an answer that they even gave Hasheem Thabeet a look. Even if he were to bolt after one year, Houston wants him, because a team with Dwight Howard is a team that won’t come in ninth. With this in mind, today they agreed to trade Chase Budinger, along with the draft rights to 2006 pick Lior Eliyahu, to Minnesota in exchange for the No. 18 pick in Thursday’s draft."

    The Basketball Jones: 2012 NBA mock draft: A final guess
    "I’m going to stick with Lillard here for the Blazers as I had in my first mock draft. Yes, Andre Drummond is still around, but despite having as much promise as Anthony Davis, Drummond is looked at with some red flags, particularly a question on whether he loves the game enough to succeed and fulfill his potential. The Blazers have already had two noteworthy big men busts in Greg Oden and Sam Bowie and I doubt they want that third strike. Besides, with Raymond Felton likely gone, Lillard makes a ton of sense. He’s rated by most as the top point guard in the draft and he can do a lot of things on the court to make life easier for LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, the two core players for the Blazers."

    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 Yahoo!: Brandon Roy Drawing Interest from Timberwolves, Bulls, Mavs and Pacers
    "Pacers executive Kevin Pritchard made a draft day deal for Roy in 2006 as Blazers GM, and his relationship could play a pivotal part in Indiana’s recruitment of Roy, sources said. Roy trusts Pritchard, and values the fact that he brought him to Portland. Nevertheless, Roy hasn’t begun the process of narrowing his list of possibilities. After Thursday’s draft, more teams could express interest in him."

    SLAM: License To Lillard, Ep. 2 – ‘Building Blocks’ (VIDEO)
    "“License To Lillard, Episode 2,” a followup to the first episode, takes the viewer through Damian Lillard’s training sessions and also features a sit-down interview with the soon-to-be rookie point guard. He discusses topics such as which NBA players he believes he resembles, the advantages of attending a small school like Weber State, the support he got from his teammates there as well as the pressures that come from being a Bay Area point guard.

    ESPN: 'NBA 2K13' cover stars selected
    "Three of the NBA's bright, young stars -- Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose -- will grace the cover of "NBA 2K13," the latest edition in a popular video game series."


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