Rob Mahoney for the NY Times on Team USA: “That is where Colangelo and Krzyzewski should opt for Harden’s experience in navigating an offense with two of the most ball-dominant scorers in the N.B.A. with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Harden has a seemingly innate understanding of how to balance and play off superstar-caliber players, and while Gordon did an admirable job with Team USA in 2010, he may be nudged out by a highly similar — though slightly superior — player.”
Interesting exchange on Twitter last night as Nate Jones tweeted something about Eric Gordon getting a max deal and what that would mean for James Harden on the market. KD tweeted back: “he not hittin the market.”
Sam Presti yesterday on free agents: “As we’ve gone through the free-agent process, we’ve had several conversations about different players,” Presti said. “We’re looking at evaluating all of our options. I won’t comment specifically on whom we’re having conversations with, but we are looking at different ways to improve the team. … But we’ve talked to several different guys. A part of free agency is constantly evaluating your team and making a lot of phone calls.”
Darnell Mayberry on Scott Brooks: “In Brooks, going back to that very first night in New Orleans, players see a coach they can identify with, a man who has walked in their shoes and tasted the success as a player they are now striving to achieve. They respect Brooks and, more importantly, respond to him and his ways. Brooks is the biggest “player’s coach” you’ll find. By trusting them, he’s gotten the most out of their abilities. It’s a recipe that has worked wonderfully over the past three-plus seasons, as Brooks has compiled a 174-125 record. In his three full seasons, Brooks has led the Thunder to 152 victories, the third most in the NBA over that span.”
Deron Williams is staying in Brooklyn, which has major ramifications on the Western Conference.
Micky Arison on owning an NBA team: “This is a hobby of passion, it’s not a business.”
More Arison: “The reality is we’re not a big market team,” Arison told CNBC. “Minnesota is a larger market than Miami. Where we find ourselves struggling is our local TV revenue is smaller than big markets and despite sellouts we’re only seventh or eighth in gate revenues. Obviously our payrolls are up and our revenues are not because of the limitations of our market.”
Dennis Velasco of TBJ with some late draft grades: “This could end up being a great pick for the Thunder. During the beginning of Jones’ freshman year, he was actually projected to be the first overall selection in many mocks. He has that much talent. However, there was a perceived dip in skill this season for Jones, who actually played out of position most of the season. It’s difficult to project what Jones will do with the Thunder as it will be dependent on where they play him. Since Kevin Durant will man the three, you’d have to assume that Jones will play the four, which could mean the eventuality of Serge Ibaka being let go when he becomes a free agent after next season. That would be a mistake, but Jones is so talented that it would be a mistake not to start him. Time will tell, but this is easily a low risk-high reward pick at the end of the first round. It’s easy to love this pick, value-wise.”