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Around The World: July 17

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    July 17 Video: Trail Blazers, Rockets Preview Video: July 16 Trail Blazers Courtside

    Ridiculous Upside: With Printezis And Papanikolaou, Blazers Win Big In Ray Felton Trade
    "In the end, Portland obtained one of the best young players overseas -- if not the best young player. Couple that with Printezis and this extends beyond a win for the Blazers. Getting them to the NBA is a story for a different time, but this is a trade that gives Rip City a concrete plan for the future."

    Trail Blazers: Video: Canales, Lillard and Leonard Post-Game
    "I really wanted to show people that I can make plays and get guy's the ball," said Lillard. "I thought I got a lot of guys shots. Any time you can come in and make the guys around you better, get them easy shots, I feel like you're doing your job quite well. Just making the right plays, and I thought I did that."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers' coaching search begins in earnest, at a Las Vegas hotel suite
    "On Monday, Olshey interviewed Golden State assistant Michael Malone, Chicago assistant Adrian Griffin and former Orlando assistant Steve Clifford as well as Phoenix assistant Elston Turner. Atlanta assistant and former Oregon State standout Lester Conner also interviewed. Up next for Olshey will be Indiana assistant Brian Shaw, Memphis assistant David Joerger, and former Orlando assistant Patrick Ewing. San Antonio assistant Mike Budenholzer and former Knicks assistant Phil Weber also are expected to get interviews."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Blazers no strangers to restricted free agency, but trade kicker is new
    "That kind of extreme front-loading is no longer allowed under the new collective bargaining agreement (the signing bonus maximum has been reduced from 17.5 percent to 10), and there are far fewer teams that are exploitable to luxury tax fears as teams have trimmed payroll in advance of the coming stiffer tax. Still, restricted free agency remains, as Blazers GM Neil Olshey said recently, a "nightmare." But that's the price you pay for failing to sew up players you really want before they get through four years of their rookie contracts. The Blazers could have signed Batum before the Jan. 25 extension deadline for 2008 draft picks (pushed back from the usual Oct. 31 because of the lockout), but the sides could not come to an agreement."

    Oregon Live: Point guard Damian Lillard off to a winning start with Trail Blazers
    "I like Meyers, man," Matthews said. "When he puts it all together, he's gonna be good."

    Rip City Project: Draft Picks Shine in 85-82 Win in First Summer League Game
    "Another pleasant surprise included Luke Babbitt’s 19 points and 10 rebounds with some deep threes and quick moves. Nolan Smith looked very aggressive in the first half, driving inside for a few power layups, but had to leave the game after turning his ankle in the first half. Post game, the prognosis for Nolan was a sore ankle, and not much more, which is a very good sign. Smith finished with 10 points."

    Oregon Live via ESPN: Trail Blazers rundown: ESPN's Bill Simmons talks Blazers and Timberwolves 'blood feud' over Nicolas Batum
    "Minnesota vs. Portland ... it's kind of a blood feud over Nicolas Batum. The league is going in a certain direction ... Nicolas Batum is someone who does two things that you need to be able to do in this league going forward. He can make threes, and he can guard wing guys. And yet, you would never think of him as somebody who would make eight figures a year... he's overpaid, but I'm actually okay with that contract. He's 20-23.... You might be buying low with him because of the way they used him. They just planted him in the corner, and he wasn't actually playing basketball that much."

    Ball Don't Lie: Grant Hill decides to choose the Los Angeles Clippers over the Lakers, O.J. Mayo has picked the Dallas Mavericks
    "None of these acquisitions could pan out. Odom was one of the NBA's worst rotation players last season, Hill will be 40 by opening night, and Crawford shot 38 percent last season in a career that has seen him nail just 40.8 percent of his shots from the floor. Each of these players' significant gifts could meld into something special, assuming the bodies stay healthy and shots are on point, and if the Clipper coaching staff develops a way to mold all three (plus Caron Butler, and potentially Chauncey Billups when he returns from his Achilles injury) into a game-shifting outfit. Provided the proper coaching is there, of course."

    Ball Don't Lie: Kris Humphries extends his stay in our living room, signs a massive extension with the Brooklyn Nets
    "Kris Humphries rebounds. He does and has done other things, off the court, but that's the extent to which we'll address that. He's also just re-signed with the Brooklyn Nets to the tune of two years, and $24 million. This is a number that baffles us slightly, even though the Nets have more or less established that they don't care how much money they spend on players. Humphries, when given minutes, has proven he can average a double-double. He's double-double'd in double seasons, actually, with last year's double-double resulting in nearly 14 points and 11 boards per game. And though Humphries is entering his ninth NBA season, he won't turn 28 until midway through 2012-13. The Nets are paying him as he enters his prime. Handsomely. Like Kris is, on the outside at least."

    Ball Don't Lie via Newsday: Carmelo Anthony now says he wants Jeremy Lin back with the Knicks
    "I hope we get it done, man," the Knicks forward said Monday night after Team USA's 80-69 win over Brazil at the Verizon Center, the team's final tuneup in the United States before heading overseas Tuesday to continue preparations for the Olympics later this month. I would love to see him back, honestly. I would definitely love to see him back. But knowing the business of basketball, it's a tough situation, kind of for both of our sides. With Jeremy, I know he definitely wants to be back in New York and [Knicks owner James] Dolan definitely wants him back. So it's just a matter of figuring it out."

    Ball Don't Lie: Jeremy Lin moves one step closer toward leaving the New York Knicks
    "As Beck's report went up on the Times' website, Knicks owner James Dolan and team coach Mike Woodson could be seen at the Las Vegas Summer League, literally and figuratively miles away from considering bringing the point guard back. Famously, the third year of Lin's deal has a balloon payment that nearly triples the per-year earnings of its first two years, and could conceivably cost New York nearly $40 million in total for one year of play from a still-untested point guard."

    The Basketball Jones: Nas thinks Shaq is a better rapper than Kobe
    "Nas makes a good point here — not the one about Shaq having a classic hip-hop album, because haha no — but the fact that Kobe never officially released an album (“Visions” got shelved) gives Shaq the win by default. Nas might have a tin ear for beats, but at least he understands logic. Plus, when you remember that Nas’ lyrical skills are virtually unparalleled when he’s on, you realize that he’s as good of a judge as any, even if his definition of a classic record is terribly generous."

    The Basketball Jones Kris Humphries snags huge contract, zings Kanye West
    "How long has Kris Humphries been waiting to tweet something like this? Considering the Kanye song he was dissed in dropped 73 days ago, I’d say 73 days. You might be thinking that with 73 days to think about it, he might have been able to construct something that made more sense grammatically, but when you suddenly are making $12 million a year and part of it is coming from the guy that your nemesis claims he could use to get you fired, grammar is the last thing you are thinking about. It is like they always say — “Zing first, make grammar corrections later.”

    The Basketball Jones: Pick-and-Pop: Can the Brooklyn Nets make Joe Johnson cool?
    "Over the last decade, and especially the past five years, however, fans have been disavowed of any notion that a more intense, more charismatic personality bubbled underneath the surface of Johnson’s never-changing expression — the dude is a blank canvas, straight up. His on-court play reflects this, laughing (or at least chuckling softly) at the notion of “flash,” with the closest thing to a go-to move in his game being a a probing jumper in the paint. His numbers are always just good enough for him to make the All-Star team, but never good enough for him to start or even argue for big minutes. He’s hit big shots and game-winners, but I challenge you to actually remember the time and circumstance of any one of them specifically. His play does not rise to the occasion of a big game, nor does it particularly shrink either. There is no exultation in triumph, no tragedy in defeat. The most notable thing he’s ever done on the court was nearly losing an eye after a hard foul from Jerry Stackhouse knocked him out for much of the 2005 playoffs when he was with the Suns, and he only gets half-credit for that."

    DIME: How Minnesota And Portland Started A Mini-Feud In 5 Steps
    "Martell Webster was never the answer in Portland that the Trail Blazers wanted him to be. When Webster was traded to Minnesota in 2010, he wasn’t as healthy as the Timberwolves thought he’d be, either. Ever since that trade, the T-Wolves had waited, tapping their foot, for Portland to give them compensation for the trade because they claim Portland knew about the injury. Portland isn’t generally where players stay healthy, but the team claims itself it didn’t know about it. Kahn’s still waiting on this one, a year and a half later."

    SLAM via Washington Post: Washington Wizards to Waive Andray Blatche
    "“In a move that will solidify the Wizards’ desires to separate from an embarrassing period in franchise history, the team has decided to designate Andray Blatche as its amnesty player, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation. The Wizards had until Tuesday to make the decision and an official announcement is expected to come later in the day. The Wizards will give Blatche the $23 million remaining on his contract to go away, ending a seven-year relationship that began when they drafted him 49th overall in 2005."

    SLAM via ESPN1500: Timberwolves Trade Wayne Ellington to Grizzlies for Dante Cunningham
    “An official announcement should come in the near future after the paperwork is submitted to the NBA. Cunningham, 25, is set to make $2.09 million in 2012-13. His contract contains a team option for the 2013-14 season. Versatile enough to play both forward positions, Cunningham is an above-average defender. He made a very favorable in-person impression on the Wolves in March when he scored 13 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds in a Grizzlies win. He played power forward in that game. Portland originally selected Cunningham 33rd overall out of Villanova in the 2009 NBA draft.”

    ESPNLA: Lakers Making Dwight Howard Push?
    "Also, a source familiar with the Lakers' interest in Howard told's Dave McMenamin that the dialogue between Los Angeles and Orlando is "ongoing" but right now a trade would be "very tough to pull off."

    ESPN: What has grabbed you most in this stunning turn of events?
    "There is a code. Players don't trash their teammates in the media, or anything like it. Teams don't trash their players, either. But Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, and most convincingly Knicks sources cited by Stephen A. Smith are putting some ideas out there that, given the code, will curl your hairs."

    CNNSI: Jimmer's future with Kings unclear after team adds Brooks to the mix
    "It is what it is," Fredette said after the game in which he hit 10-of-21 shots. "You just go out there and play. Aaron is a really explosive scorer, a guy who can really put the ball in the basket as well. It's all about trying to get the team better, and I'm going to go out and play as hard as I can and try to get as many minutes as I can, and just help the team in any way I can. Whatever is best for the team."

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