Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com: “After more than two years of planning, the Cleveland Cavaliers believe they have LeBron James legitimately listening to their pitch to leave the Miami Heat and return to his home state in free agency, according to sources close to the process. There has yet to be a firm indication that James actually is ready to leave Miami after four years and two championships with the Heat, but sources told ESPN.com that the four-time MVP is increasingly considering the Cavaliers as an option as he moves into the final stages of deciding which team to sign his next contract with.”
Jordan White for ESPN.com on Summer League: “When the Thunder selected Huestis in the late first round, it was one of the more puzzling picks of the draft, especially with some of the other, presumably better talent still on the board. The Stanford product didn’t do much to shed those doubts, going just 1-for-6 from the field, including 0-for-4 from deep. Worse, defense is supposed to be Huestis’ calling card, but he didn’t inspire confidence on this end either. Some thought Huestis would be Thabo Sefolosha’s replacement as the Thunder’s three-and-d guard, but he has yet to show he’s capable of doing either of those here in Orlando.”
Here’s a stupid thing from Mark Whicker of USA Today: “It’s increasingly difficult to list all the ways that the NHL makes more sense than the NBA. Fewer timeouts. Willingness to win on the road. Cramp prevention. Pat Foley. We could go on. Perhaps the most jarring example is free agency. While LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol and Luol Deng are playing an extended game of freeze tag that has emulsified a half-dozen franchises, the NHL wrapped it up in 48 hours or so last week and was on the first tee posthaste.”
You wanted P.J. Hairston? Upset the Thunder didn’t draft him? Well, he punched a high school kid in a pickup game over the weekend.
Darnell Mayberry: “It’s a formula that has worked well for the Thunder, helping OKC reach the conference finals three of the past four seasons. The team also has long looked at the decision as a simple strategy that helps maximize the talent on the roster by balancing the first and second units with offense and defense. For example, with Sefolosha starting the Thunder always could call on James Harden/Kevin Martin/Reggie Jackson/Jeremy Lamb off the bench. Plugging in Roberson next season would preserve that approach, with Jackson and Lamb available to punish second-team defenses.”