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Around The World: July 24

  1. Written by: DHawes22

    July 24 Video: July 23 Trail Blazers Courtside Video: Nolan Smith Discusses Concussion Video: Lillard, Leonard Discuss Summer League Video: Bost To Barton Off The Backboard

    Trail Blazers Trail Blazers Acquire Sasha Pavlovic And Draft Picks From Boston In Three-Team Trade
    “This trade is a continuation of our pursuit of assets, while at the same time helping to bolster our roster,” said Olshey. “We’re looking forward to adding Sasha Pavlovic’s veteran leadership to our squad. He’s a very experienced wing player that we feel can add depth to our rotation.”

    Trail Blazers: Video: Nolan Smith Calls Concussion a 'Blessing In Disguise'
    "But one thing that absolutely cannot be questioned is Nolan's attitude toward his career and life in general. I've never meet person, let alone an NBA player, who, regardless of the situation, is always keeping his eye on the positive. You could dump hot coffee on his lap and he'd likely tell you, "No big deal. I was a little cold anyway."

    Oregon Live: Blazers' Damian Lillard, Grizzlies' Josh Selby selected co-MVPs of NBA's Vegas Summer League
    "But his marquee performance came on Thursday, when he finished with 31 points, seven assists and three rebounds in an 84-78 win over the Atlanta Hawks. In that game, Lillard had a memorable, one-handed dunk over the Hawks'™ Keith Benson that was one of the most talked about plays in summer league."

    Oregon Live: NBA High-5: Would Brian Shaw bring the triangle offense to the Blazers?
    "It is, however, a double-edged sword of a connection. Jackson famously used the triangle offense to win 11 championships, and last year, the connection seemed to hurt Shaw, who said, "When I go out on head-coaching interviews and if I mention the word 'triangle,' it makes general managers and owners cringe."

    CSNNW: Blazers, Mavs, Bucks pursuing free agent C Joel Przybilla
    "The Joel Przybilla era might not be over in Portland. According to his agent, Bill Duffy, the Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks, and the Milwaukee Bucks are the three teams that have shown the highest level of interest in signing the free agent center."

    Portland Tribune: What's to like about Damian Lillard? How about everything?
    “The best player I’ve seen at summer league,” said one NBA executive, who asked not to be identified. “He’s not going to be a great player — he already is one,” said a scout from another team.

    Blazersedge: Transcript: Blazers Director Of NBA Scouting Mike Born Talks European Additions & Prospects
    "I think the thing with Victor is the better team that Victor plays with, the better he's going to play. If he plays with the Spanish National Team, he's a really good fit with that team because they have high level players. If you put him out in Summer League and feature him, he's going to struggle. He's been a role guy, even on some of the junior teams. He's not the type of guy to go for 25 a night just because he's going to play the right way, make the extra pass. He's going to work on defense."

    Blazersedge: Transcript: Blazers Director Of College Scouting Talks 2012 Rookies
    "He's got big hands, good command of the ball. He's able to pick the ball up off the dribble and make a pass, which is tough to do. He's very good with either hand, he can finish with either hand, he has good body control. He does a very good job of getting to the rim and slowing down, getting ready to brace for a hit, reading the angles. How quickly do I have to get it out of my hands? Is there a drop pass, a lob pass? He goes fast to get to a spot and then slows down to make the decision from there, which is a great trait to have."

    Blazersedge: Damian Lillard: The Reality
    "Damian Lillard is closer to Brandon Roy than he is to Jerryd Bayless. That's not to say he IS Roy. I don't expect he'll win Rookie of the Year (though he could well be in the discussion given his likely playing time) nor do I expect him to be a perennial All-Star and All-NBA candidate. But if you're comparing level of skill, talent, potential impact, and likelihood of success among high-level Summer League standouts--putting Bayless on one end of the scale and Roy on the other--Lillard will drift heavily towards Roy. He's multi-dimensional, a point manufacturer, he's got enough body and speed, and he's got the brain."

    Pro Basketball Talk: Damian Lillard, Tobias Harris among the NBA Summer League standouts
    "Not a lot of basketball fans knew what the Portland was picking when the Trail Blazers went with the Weber State point guard early in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft. Well, if Summer League wasn’t an aberration, the Blazers selected themselves a solid-to-spectacular player. Lillard was named a Summer League Co-MVP (along with Josh Selby of the Memphis Grizzlies) on his way to averaging 26.5 points, 5.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and at least two awe-inspiring plays in each of the four games he played. The most memorable is going to be his dunk on Keith Benson, but the pinpoint passing — exhibited here on a connection with fellow rookie Will Barton — wasn’t bad either."

    Portland Roundball Society: Talking to Will Barton After His Summer League Breakout Game
    "He was giving me a lot of pointers, just telling me to keep my head up when things aren’t going good. Be aggressive and try to play my game, and not think too much out there, and just try to perform good for the team and just go out there and do my best. It’s just going to come to me and I’ve got to get my feel for the game, my first NBA games. He was telling me that he knew I had the talent and I’m going to be fine, just let it come to you."

    Hoopsworld: Barton Proves His Worth In Las Vegas
    “Yeah, there is a little something extra,” Barton said to HOOPSWORLD when asked about his motivation level. “I thought I was going to go mid-to-late first round, but it did not work out that way. I am fortunate, lucky that Portland drafted me. I am just trying to make the best opportunity of it. I am not thinking of the draft any more, I am where I am. Now it’s just about trying to be one of the best players in the NBA. It is going to take a lot of work. I’m willing to put it in.”

    Hoopsworld: Orlando and Vegas Summer League All-Stars
    "Lillard, the other Co-MVP in Vegas, is exactly the kind of point guard that the current NBA rules favor, and the sixth overall pick in this past June’s draft showed that he’s going to fit in just fine in this league. He averaged 26.5 points, 5.3 assists, and 4 rebounds in Vegas, but more importantly he made the game look easy, which is exactly what a high lottery pick is supposed to do."

    CBS: Damian Lillard: A relative unknown with 'franchise player' expectations
    "Since I've been younger, my dad made me and my brother play Horse with the left hand just to develop our left hand," Lillard said. "In college i did a lot of workouts, everything I did with my right I wanted to do with my left. Passing, ball-handling, floaters, sometimes mid-range shooting with my left hand. It's just playing in my favor now."

    Ball Don't Lie via UniWatch: Retro jerseys will return to the ’90s next season
    "I saw the Spring 2013 Adidas NBA Catalog and there are some new on-court offerings," says Chris Blackstone. "There are new jerseys for Christmas Day and for home weekend games during the second half of season, called the Winter Court jerseys. They're monochrome like the all-black Miami uniforms from the past couple years, but in team colors. Also, there are Hardwood Classic jerseys for Indiana (home from 1997-98 through 2004-05), Milwaukee (late '90s), Chicago (mid-'90s alternate), Atlanta (late-'90s road), Miami (late-'90s alternate), Sacramento (mid-'90s alternate), Phoenix (1990s alternate), Philly (early-'90s road), Cleveland (mid-'90s road), Toronto (late-'90ss home), Houston (late-'90s road), and Utah (late-'90s road)." No word on whether the NBA plans to put ads on throwbacks in 2013.''

    Ball Don't Lie: Roy Hibbert plays Laser Tag with Indiana Pacers fans
    "This weekend, Hibbert hosted the members of his Area 55 cheering section for a private game of laser tag. Hibbert says he went 3-0, which makes sense when you consider he can probably see over every barrier on the neon-lit battlefield."

    Ball Don't Lie: The Chicago Bulls have reconstructed their roster, once again
    "Yes, two years. Not just for 2012-13, as Derrick Rose sits for in upwards of 60 games as he recovers from a torn ACL. All of 2012-13 will be a wash, the Bulls will infer, as they decline to retain Kyle Korver (traded to Atlanta just days before the team was going to waive the last year of his contract, for a trade player exception the team will not use), C.J. Watson (team option declined, he's off to Brooklyn), or Ronnie Brewer (team option declined, he's off to New York). Chicago won't straight up own to the fact that Rose's injury will wipe out their chances next season, they're under no obligation to, but reasonable analysts agree that Chicago was not retaining that tax-paying triptych even if Rose was healthy heading into his fifth season next year."

    Ball Don't Lie: Amar’e Stoudemire will pay Hakeem Olajuwon $100,000 for two weeks of tutelage
    "Alan went on to remind us that Mike Woodson, the coach of the Knicks that seemed to have so much success with Stoudemire off the court last year and Carmelo Anthony working at the power forward slot, was a teammate of Olajuwon's from 1988-1991. And that the Knicks coach, perhaps wary of a Knicks career spent without his team's second-highest paid player being thought of as second rate, is trying to reinforce the ideal of Stoudemire as a post-up cat nonpareil. He's asked, according to Hahn, Olajuwon to work on Stoudemire's back to the basket game."

    The Basketball Jones: James Johnson is keeping Brad Miller’s memory alive
    "As an avowed James Johnson hater who considers him amongst my all-time least favorite Bulls, I am doing a 180 on this and mentally high-fiving him for making a righteous decision. If the league isn’t going to mandate that No. 52 is retired by every team — a step that is inevitable, but seems to have been help up for some unknown reason — then this is the next best thing. Considering he’s had one of the most ill-conceived hairstyles of the past few years, just like Brad, it seems a nice fit."

    DIME: Report: Randy Foye Signs With The Utah Jazz
    "Utah didn’t exactly light it up from distance last season, shooting a woeful 32.3 percent, good for 27th in the league. Foye will compete with Alec Burks, Gordon Heyward and Kevin Murphy for time at the two-guard, and his $2.5 million deal will be a part of Utah’s $5 million mid-level exception. The signing of Foye comes on the heels of the acquisition of Mo Williams, also expected to help out with Utah’s dreadful three-point field goal percentage. "

    DIME: We Reminisce: Rudy Fernandez Lays A Gold-Medal Worthy Slam On Dwight Howard
    "Rudy Fernandez just didn’t work out in the NBA, something that’s easy to understand considering his greatest moment came a few months before he even put on a Trail Blazers uniform in 2008. Fernandez was four years ahead of his time when he did what every Magic fan wishes he could do right about now and dunked right in the mug of Dwight Howard in the 2008 Olympic gold medal game."

    DIME: Report: Rockets Will Get Omer Asik After Chicago Doesn’t Match
    "So again, who are the Rockets getting? His averages of 3.1 points and 5.3 rebounds aren’t, and shouldn’t, inspire confidence in fans that this was the team’s top priority in free agency. Where his value lives is in his rebounding: Last season he was third, behind Marcus Camby (22.8 percent) and Dwight Howard (21.9), in total rebounding percentage per game with 20.1 percent of all boards. His number is the sixth-highest percentage since he entered the NBA in 2010, with Camby and Howard’s last two seasons (plus a Jeff Foster sighting in 2010-11) ahead of him. His 14.9 percent on offensive boards led the league last season, and he was sixth on the defensive side."

    SLAM: Summer’s Finest
    "Toronto is not one piece away from being able to get past Miami or OKC, but very few teams are. Does that mean everyone should just give up? No, of course not. Lowry is an excellent defender and somebody who can catch fire offensively for weeks at a time. Between January and February, the only two months he was healthy last season, he averaged roughly 17/7/5 to go along with 2 steals and 2 threes per contest. He’s only 26 years old and has two years and $12 million remaining on his contract—a total bargain. They gave up a lottery-guaranteed first-round pick in exchange, but with Lowry the Raptors have a pretty good chance of sneaking into the Playoffs. They won’t be winning a title any time soon, but if you can go from being one of the East’s worst teams to Playoff contender in one move, you do it."

    ESPN: Las Vegas Summer League Awards
    "With a dearth of star rookie performances thanks to injuries (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, maybe Austin Rivers) and patriotic responsibilities (Anthony Davis), Lillard took summer league by storm with averages of 26.5 points and 5.3 assists per game. For the same reason Kyrie Irving was such a hit as a rookie, Lillard showed a similar game in his Las Vegas action. He got to the basket with great balance and turned heads with his ability to make plays."

    ESPN: Offseason Grades For All 30 Teams
    "Re-signing Batum was at the top of the Blazers' list. The cost was high, almost too high, but the cost of letting him walk to the Wolves for nothing was higher. I might have been tempted to take their offer of Derrick Williams and another first- round pick for him ... but probably agree that the Blazers made the right call on Batum."

    Sports Illustrated: Nuggets Build Team Their Own Way
    "That’s the interesting thing about Denver: It’s still fairly flexible even with all of these contracts. The Nuggets have about $62 million in payroll set for 2012-13, putting them just above the salary cap and right where Ujiri says ownership wants it for now. Assuming a small jump in the cap level for 2013-14, the Nuggets could enter next summer with something like $7 million in cap room. That’s even including Lawson’s cap hold, though a fair deal for him obviously will eat up that space. And the Nuggets have almost no guaranteed money earmarked for anyone outside this core group of players in 2015 and beyond."

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