Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Mazone is a former Phillies farmhand that is expected to move into the Lehigh Valley rotation when Carlos Carrasco, Drew Carpenter or Rodrigo Lopez is recalled to start Thursday or Friday.
Mazone, 32, was 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA in Triple-A this season.
Former Eagles returner Brian Mitchell, who served as a guest host with the reeling Howard Eskin on WIP, claims he was let go by Red Zebra Radio was because he was too critical of Red Zebra’s sister company, the Washington Redskins.
WIP is quickly becoming the ex-Eagles station with Hugh Douglas, Ike Reese and Jeremiah Trotter already on board.
Closed circuit to Rayfield...I realize this is an Eagles town and an ex-Bird always carries a certain cachet to the locals but your once vaunted juggernaut is quickly becoming a series of amateur hours.
How about hiring a real radio professional and letting him cultivate listeners?
Patience in radio...what a novel concept.
Bastardo left in the fourth inning of his last start and returned to Philadelphia, where he saw a doctor on Monday. Pitching against Tampa Bay last Thursday, the rookie gave up six runs in the first two innings to waste a 4-0 lead.
Bastardo is 2-3 with a 6.75 ERA in five starts and has lost his past three outings. The Phillies' starters have an NL-worst 5.21 ERA and are averaging less than six innings per game.
Lefty reliever Sergio Escalona was brought up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Bastardo's spot on the roster.
The NNA and NBA Development League, the official minor league of the NBA, announced the affiliation system for the 2009-10 season Monday, including the announcement of a direct single-affiliation partnership between the Houston Rockets and Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
For the fifth consecutive year, each NBA team has one NBA D-League affiliate to which it may assign players in their first or second NBA season.
The Rockets became the first NBA team to enter into a direct single-affiliation partnership with an NBA D-League team, granting the Rockets full control over the basketball operations of the Vipers. With the move, the Rockets will be the only parent-club of the team.
In a structure similar to other minor leagues, this new partnership model, previously referred to as the “hybrid affiliation,” allows for NBA teams to secure control over and cover the expenses related to the basketball operations of an NBA D-League team, while partnering with existing local ownership, who maintain responsibility for the off-the-court business operations of the team.
“The Houston Rockets’ groundbreaking decision to enter into a single-affiliation partnership with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers further demonstrates how much of an impact the NBA D-League is having on the NBA,” said NBA D-League President Dan Reed. “With 20 percent of NBA players now coming from the NBA Development League, it's no surprise that the Rockets are the fourth NBA team in as many years to secure full control over the basketball operations of an NBA D-League team. We're very excited about this trend and the positive impact our new direct affiliation model will make on the NBA D-League, the NBA, and current and future NBA players."
“Local owner Alonzo Cantu has done a great job integrating the Vipers into the community and we look forward to working with him to build upon the success they have already achieved,” said Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey. “This unique partnership with the Vipers affords us the opportunity to play a significant role in the development of our young players while also introducing a new and exciting brand of NBA-style basketball to fans in the Rio Grande Valley. We look forward to the mutual benefits the partnership will provide both organizations.”
The NBA D-League will again have 16 teams playing in 2009-10, including two new teams playing in the NorthEast – the Maine Red Claws, who will play in Portland, Maine, and a team in Springfield, Mass. The Red Claws will be affiliated with the Charlotte Bobcats and neighboring Boston Celtics, while the team in Springfield will be affiliated with the Nets, Knicks and 76ers.
“Over the last four years, NBA teams have embraced the affiliation system and it has flourished – more than 100 NBA players have been assigned to their NBA D-League affiliate, including five who played in the 2009 NBA Finals” said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations for the NBA D-League. “Now, entering the system’s fifth season, it continues to be exciting for fans not only to watch top NBA prospects playing in the NBA D-League every night, but to follow the careers of NBA players who have benefited from their assignments.”
“We are excited to announce our affiliation with the Maine Red Claws,” said Danny Ainge, President of Basketball Operations for the Celtics. “Although our recent partnership with the Utah Flash was an extremely positive experience in every respect, having our NBA Development League affiliate just a short drive away from Boston will be an invaluable tool in the progression of our players as they strive to perfect their game and contribute at the NBA level.”
The NBA D-League continues to be a springboard for elite basketball talent, with more NBA players than ever boasting NBA D-League experience. Twenty percent of NBA players on 2008-09 end-of-season rosters had NBA D-League experience, while 29 of 30 NBA teams featured players with NBA D-League experience last season. Over the first four seasons of the NBA D-League's assignment system, NBA teams have assigned 116 players a total of 175 times to play in the NBA D-League.
“I am a true believer in the NBA D-League and it’s great to be affiliated with the Springfield franchise,” said Donnie Walsh, President of Basketball Operations, Knicks. “We have had a special relationship with the league, and we plan to continue that because it has great value to us.”
The affiliation system for the 2009-10 NBA D-League season features several noteworthy storylines:
· The Rockets begin their first season of the NBA D-League’s Vipers, having been affiliated with the team for the last two seasons. Over the last two years, Houston has assigned guard Aaron Brooks and forwards Steve Novak and Joey Dorsey to help further their development, while current Rockets Von Wafer and Chuck Hayes also honed their skills in the NBA D-League.
· The Red Claws, an expansion franchise for the 2009-2010 season will be affiliated with the Boston Celtics, the team for which Red Claws General Manager Jon Jennings used to be an assistant coach. Maine will also be affiliated with the Charlotte Bobcats.
· The San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City own their own NBA D-League teams -- the Austin Toros, L.A. D-Fenders, and Tulsa 66ers, respectively. Each squad has proven successful in aiding in the development of young NBA prospects, including Spurs center Ian Mahinmi, and Los Angeles guard Jordan Farmar.
Additionally, the NBA D-League's affiliation system is having a positive impact on recent NBA Draft picks, who are increasingly utilizing the system as a springboard to NBA success. More than 30 percent of players from the last three NBA Draft classes have played in the NBA D-League. Last season, 18 prospects from the 2008 NBA Draft played in the NBA D-League, including first-round selections Alexis Ajinca (No. 20), Kosta Koufos (No. 23), Donte Green (No. 28) D.J. White (No. 29) and J.R. Giddens (No. 30).
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league and featured 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA teams during the 2008-09 season. This Fall, two new NBA D-League teams will begin play in Portland, Maine and Springfield, Mass.-- the birthplace of basketball. Eighty-four former NBA Development League players were on 2008-09 NBA end-of-season rosters, amounting to almost 20 percent of NBA players, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the season fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.
2009-10 NBA DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE TEAM AFFILIATIONS
Albuquerque Thunderbirds (NM)
New Orleans Hornets
Austin Toros (TX)
San Antonio Spurs
Bakersfield Jam (CA)
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Dakota Wizards (Bismarck, ND)
Erie BayHawks (PA)
Fort Wayne Mad Ants (IN)
Idaho Stampede (Boise, ID)
Portland Trail Blazers
Iowa Energy (Des Moines, IA)
Los Angeles D-Fenders (CA)
Los Angeles Lakers
Maine Red Claws (Portland, ME)
Reno Bighorns (NV)
Rio Grande Valley Vipers (TX)
Sioux Falls Skyforce (SD)
New Jersey Nets
New York Knicks
Tulsa 66ers (OK)
Oklahoma City Thunder
Utah Flash (Orem, UT)
When a pair of superstars from my youth, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, passed away last week, I started to fear that I may have turned that corner.
And trust me...that's a bad part of town.
NBA free agency is a lot like life. It can give a team plenty, but it's also adept at swiping things without notice.
This year's version of the NBA's Hot Stove kicks off at midnight eastern on July 1.
The league's general managers will quickly begin jockeying for position as they try and pull the trigger on various signings and trades, maneuvers that could keep them from rounding a scary corner that leads directly to the unemployment line.
With that in mind, here are the latest rumblings around The Association...
FALLEN GIANT?A couple weeks ago, Houston Rockets general manger Daryl Morey boldly claimed his club was the second-best team in the NBA. It was a defensible position. Despite being without Tracy McGrady and Dikembe Mutombo and then losing Yao Ming during their series with LA, the Rockets gave the champs a tougher time than either Denver or Orlando.
Now, Houston might have trouble making it back to the playoffs next season after a grim report surfaced Monday claiming Yao may never play again due to his broken left foot.
According to YAHOO! Sports, the Rockets and Yao's reps are frightened over his future. "The realization has hit them that this is grave," one NBA general manager told YAHOO!
For now, the Rockets are expecting Yao to need a full season before being able to return to basketball due to a troubling re-fracture of his navicular bone.
"It sounds like he's missing most of next season, if not the entire 82 games," another league exec told Yahoo! "That's all that [the Rockets] will concede quietly, but they know it's probably much worse."
WHAT'S WRONG WITH MINNY?It looks like Ricky Rubio, the fifth overall pick in Thursday's draft, wants no part of the Twin Cities and will try to force a trade.
Rumors have already surfaced that Minnesota turned down a deal with Houston that would have sent the lightning quick Aaron Brooks and defensive stalwart Shane Battier to Minneapolis, meaning Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn is serious about luring Rubio to the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
"I think (Kahn) understands he has a gold nugget," Shea said. "The price of gold is always going up. He's only 18, so Rubio's stock will go up next year. (Kahn) drafted so many point guards because of this. He's in the driver's seat. He doesn't have to trade him to the first suitors."
In an online letter to the Wolves' fans, Kahn said he's willing to wait one or two years on Rubio. A surprising tactic considering that the team has had trouble giving away $7 dollar tickets since the disastrous trade that sent the face of the franchise, Kevin Garnett, to Boston.
I guess the Minny fans can hope the Mall of America or the impending arrival of Brett Favre will change Rubio's mind.
WEST COAST GUYYou would never know it by the way he plays on the floor, but Andre Miller has wanted out of Philly since the day he arrived in the City of Brotherly Love as part of the Allen Iverson deal in December of 2006.
A west coast guy, Miller, who is an unrestricted free agent, wants back on the left coast badly. A sign-and-trade deal could have Miller on his way to Portland for a package that would include Steve Blake.
The scenario makes sense. The Blazers think they are a true point guard away from being a serious contender, while Blake played for new Sixers coach Eddie Jordan in D.C. and could hold down the fort while Jrue Holiday develops in Philly.
NO NEED FOR CONCERN IN SALT LAKEThe Jazz are concerned that Oklahoma City may be ready to make a run at restricted free agent forward Paul Millsap. Troy Weaver, the former director of player personnel in Salt Lake City, is now an assistant general manager with the Thunder, and Okie City is expected to have in the neighborhood of $11 million in salary-cap space. The thinking is that the Thunder could offer a contract in the neighborhood of five years and $65 million to Millsap, one of the league's top-tier rebounders and emerging stars.
Jerry Sloan need not worry, however. It's unlikely Thunder general manager Sam Presti will make a major splash. Presti wants ample space to lock up Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook over the next few years, and essentially brought in two significant "free agents" late last season when he signed center Nenad Krstic and traded for defensive stopper Thabo Sefolosha.
"We've been fortunate to create some (salary cap) flexibility," Presti told The Oklahoman. "But at the same time, we'll continue to be methodical about decisions on how we build our team."
THAT'S AMARE IN OAKLANDThe Amare Stoudemire-to-Golden State deal unraveled after last Thursday's draft, when the Warriors balked at parting with the No. 7 overall pick Stephen Curry. The Warriors remain interested, however, and still have Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli on the table. Meanwhile, Stoudemire wants a contract extension when he is eligible later this summer, and his agent will be looking for a maximum-salary deal, averaging more than $20 million per season.
"This is all normal business," Suns basketball chief Steve Kerr told the Arizona Republic. "I don't see any of this as out of the ordinary. We love Amare. He's been an incredibly productive player for us. He's going to weigh his options, and he has the right to do it."
Stoudemire is an All-Star-level player but he's no max-contract guy and Curry strikes me as a one-dimensional NBA player. Shipping Amare off to Oakland for the underrated Biedrins and a pair of players that still have upside in Wright and Belinelli might not be the worst thing Kerr could do.
A KIDD IN BIG DFuture Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd, an unrestricted free agent, is a lot closer to the end of his career than the beginning, but that doesn't mean he's not going to generate a lot of interest on the open market.
Kidd, who made $21 million last year, is expected to get overtures from a number of teams including Cleveland, Portland, Boston, New York and the world champion Lakers.
Most of those teams are hamstrung by the salary cap, however, and will try and convince Kidd to play for the mid-level exemption, which will be between $5 million and $6 million.
The Mavericks can pay Kidd anything they want, and that's why the smart money has the multi-time All-Star returning to Dallas, absent a sign-and-trade deal.
MJ WANTS FELTONCharlotte Bobcats managing partner Michael Jordan isn't very fond of speaking to the media, but he did address the impending free agency of talented guard Raymond Felton.
"I don't see any situation where he's not with us," Jordan told the Charlotte Observer. "I anticipate us keeping Raymond Felton, without a doubt."
Felton can see plenty of "situations" and "doubts."
Several teams are expected to make a run at the North Carolina product come Wednesday. Felton is also open to extending his career in tobacco country, but only if the money is right.
"Of course I want to stay in Charlotte. It's close to home, close to UNC," Felton said at his recent basketball camp. "I want to be there, but we got to reach an agreement with some things. It's just one of the things where it is a business for them and it is a business for me. I want to go wherever they want me."
RIP RIPS CURRYRip Hamilton's days in the Motor City are still in question. A blockbuster trade that would have sent Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince (among others) to Boston for Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo fizzled, but it's no secret that the star shooting guard hasn't been on the same page with coach Michael Curry since he was benched after the team acquired Iverson early last season.
Fences will have to mended for Hamilton to remain in Auburn Hills next season.
"As far as the relationship being strained, it was a difficult season," Curry told the Detroit Free Press. "Was Rip very upset that he had to come off the bench? He was very, very upset. He was upset that he had to split time with (Allen) Iverson. He was upset that Iverson was here and Chauncey (Billups) wasn't. Rip was upset with a lot of things this year, but I don't put much stock into what that means with our relationship."
SHOT IN THE DARK-OWhen you are 7-feet tall and skilled, you are going to get plenty of chances in the NBA. Darko Milicic got another one when the New York Knicks acquired the big man from Memphis on draft day.
Milicic, the second overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by Detroit, right behind LeBron James and ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, just turned 24 and Knicks president Donnie Walsh is hoping the tutelage of an offensive specialist that knows the ins and outs of the European game, Mike D'Antoni, can ignite the Serb's career.
"There's three or four coaching staffs that really haven't gotten anything [out of Milicic], so we're not saying, 'Oh we can't'" D'Antoni told the New York Post. "Just sometimes in a person's career it's the right time. He's having a kid, he's married, maybe he's settled down. He's in the last year of a contract. We'll get the best out of him that he has. Is it good enough? We don't know. It's a shot in the dark."
A shifty running back with a knack for finding the end zone, McCoy amassed 3,365 total yards from scrimmage and 36 total touchdowns during a productive two-year career at Pittsburgh. McCoy registered 2,816 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns on 584 carries (4.8 yards per carry), while catching 65 passes for 549 yards and one score.
A second-team All-America selection in 2008, McCoy become just the third player in school history to post multiple 1,000-yard rushing campaigns, joining Tony Dorsett and Curvin Richards. McCoy also broke an NCAA record for most touchdowns by a player in their freshman and sophomore seasons, topping the old mark of 34 scores by WR Larry Fitzgerald (2002-03), also a product of Pittsburgh.
McCoy also enjoyed a storied career at Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, PA, where he became one of the most prolific rushers in Pennsylvania high school history. He twice earned first-team, all-state honors from the Associated Press and was selected state player of the year as a junior.
The Eagles have now come to terms with seven of the eight members of their 2009 draft class.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Makes sense. Miller is a west coast guy and the Blazers think they are a point guard away from being a serious contender, while Blake played for Eddie Jordan in D.C. and could hold down the fort while Jrue Holiday develops.
Seven months after the AFL canceled their 2009 season, a plan to relaunch in 2010 has still not been formulated.
"I would love to see the AFL come back," Chicago Rush part-owner Mike Ditka told the San Jaose Mercury News. "But if you ain't heard anything by now saying they will, I don’t see them coming back because there were too many weak sisters."
Rush primary owner Alan Levin told the newspaper that time has already run out for the league to return in 2010, citing the lack of allocated players and the fact most coaching staffs have disbanded.
"It’s too late to commit to a 2010 season because we don’t have enough time to properly prepare," Levin said.
The AFL recently hired its third commissioner since last summer, Mark Lewis, but has not officially announced the move and AFL Players Association president James Baron has decried the lack of leadership from the league office.
"We’re looking for leadership and integrity from the owners, and there’s not a lot of that coming out of there right now," Baron said. "I’d like to be as optimistic as possible that we’ll play next year. But there is nothing to this point that would indicate that’s going to happen."
“My contract was up and they decided not re-sign me after 12 awesome years," Baldinger said in an e-mail to Laura Nachman. "A lot financially was involved. In addition to hosting playbook for NFL Network and working for Comcast locally and with Sporting News Magazine/Radio. I took a job with upstart Compass Media doing NFL games on radio. First game is Dallas v. Tampa Bay on September 13.”
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Temple's Dionte Christmas has accepted an invitation from the Sixers to join their summer league team in Orlando.
Christmas will join Sixers pick Jrue Holiday and last year's first-round pick Marreese Speights on the summer league roster.
The Sixers are combining with the New Jersey Nets to form a team for the Orlando Pro Summer League, to be played July 6-10 at the RDV Sportsplex in Orlando, Florida.
Joining that trio of players as the Sixers representatives in Orlando are guard Blake Ahearn and forwards Gary Forbes, Rob Kurz and Marcus Slaughter.
Ahearn (6-2/190) has played a total of 15 games in the NBA for San Antonio and Miami, averaging 5.2 points, 1.4 assists and 1.3 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game. He was named First Team All D-League this past season and took home D-League Rookie of the Year honors in 2007-08. Ahearn led the D-League in 3-pointers made last season on 43.1% shooting.
Forbes (6-6/221) played his final two seasons at Massachusetts after starting his collegiate career at Virginia. He joined Julius Erving as the only players in UMass history to score 1,000 points in two seasons. After going undrafted last year, Forbes spent time playing overseas and in the D-League this past season.
Kurz (6-9/232) signed as a rookie free agent with Golden State last summer and went on to appear in 40 games with five starts for the Warriors, averaging 3.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 11.1 minutes per game. He attended Germantown Academy and William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia.
Slaughter (6-9/220) was an early entry candidate in the 2006 NBA Draft out of San Diego State after earning First Team All-Mountain West Conference honors as a junior. Most recently, he has played in Germany and France. Last summer, Slaughter played for Charlotte in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
The Sixers will depart for Orlando on Thursday, July 2 and will conduct a three-day mini-camp leading up to their first game on Monday, July 6.
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Jeanie Buss was there and talked about the festivities on Twitter...
"Hef was there w/twins but I would rather have seen him with his former flame the gorgeous Holly Madison one of Kendra's bridesmaids."
"Saw some of the Philadelphia Eagles including star Donovan McNabb. ESPN's J.A. Adande was showing his moves on the dance floor."
The rising Puerto Rican fighter was certainly dominant Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall's Adrian Phillips Ballroom when he retained his 122-pound title for the fourth time with a ninth-round TKO victory over the previously undefeated Olivier Lontchi.
Lopez (26-0, 24 KOs) sent Lontchi (18-1-2, 8 KOs) to the canvas in both the second and ninth rounds before the Cameroon native, who fights out of Montreal, retired on his stool after the ninth with sore ribs.
There were some chinks in the armor, however.
Lontchi may have been out of his league against Lopez but he was clearly the quicker fighter and frustrated Lopez by trying to get tight to the body by leading with his head. In fact, Lopez spent most of the first round complaining to referee Ala Huggins.
A right hook midway through Round 2 floored Lontchi for the first time but Lopez failed to follow up. Lontchi started to gain confidence from there but seemed content to play defense, counter
Lopez when he could and jump on his bicycle. It wasn't winning Lontchi rounds but he was winning over the partisan crowd a bit since most expected him to check out early.
A big exchange on the ropes in Round 7 generated a standing ovation from the sparse crowd of under 1,000.
A hard left by Lopez sent Lontchi back to the canvas in the ninth but he was unable to finish him again.
Lontchi, however, couldn't answer the bell for the 10th round.
"I knew it would be difficult because I knew he was a very awkward fighter and he showed that," Lopez said. "I think he was not really fighting and not really boxing. He wasn't throwing punches and I felt like he was running and I was chasing him. I knew my strength could eventually get to him. I knew eventually my power would slow him down."
Lopez, a 2004 Puerto Rican Olympian, led 89-80 on all three scorecards when the fight was stopped.
"I got hit real hard in Round 4," said Lontchi. "He hit me really hard in the ribs. It really hurt me. He has very good combinations. He's very powerful, he hits hard and I have to give him a lot of credit."
In other action, Mexican veteran Jorge Arce (52-5-1, 40 KOs) retained his IBF International super flyweight crown when he dropped Fernando Lumacad (19-2-2) with a right cross, 35 seconds into the third round.
Yuri Foreman and Cornelius Bundrage fought to a no-contest in a 12-round IBF junior middleweight eliminator matchup when Foreman ran into an accidental head butt from Bundrage. The blow opened up a huge gash over Foreman's eye and the ringside physician was forced to stop the fight after the third round. A fight must go four full rounds before it goes to the scorecards.
Also, US Olympian Vanes Martirosyan (25-0, 15 KOs) remained undefeated after opening up a cut over the left eye of Andrey Tsurkan (26-5) in the fourth round. Martirosyan pounded Tsurkan with rights as the Ukrainian had trouble seeing out of his left eye. The fight was stopped after the sixth round.
In preliminary action, the stars were Russian middleweight Matt Korobov and powerful Puerto Rican cruiserweight Carlos Negron.
Korobov (7-0, 6KOs) crumbled California native Benjamin Diaz (9-3-2) with a vicious body shot at 1:22 of the first round. Negron (3-0, 3KOs) bested that by three seconds, dispatching Kenneth George (9-3-1) with a pair of left hooks and a straight right hand in just 1:18. George left the ring shaking his head over Negron's power.
In other bouts, Puerto Rican lightweight Hector Marengo (5-0-3) went to a draw with Angel Rodriguez (3-3-2) of Houston. Rodriguez hit harder, pressed the action and probably deserved the win, however.
North Jersey's Miguel Torres (13-0) stayed undefeated with a lackluster unanimous decision over Mexico's Humberto Tapia (13-11-1) in a super lightweight bout, while another North Jersey super lightweight, Jeremy Bryan (11-0), also stayed unblemished with a unanimous decision over Josh Beeman (4-3-2) of Providence.
Also, Puerto Rican featherweight Mario Santiago (20-1-1) outpointed Gilbert Sanchez-Leon of Mexico (21-7-2).
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Flyers select Simon Bertilsson, a Swedish defenseman, with the 87th overall pick.
Flyers have taken G Nicola Riopel. C Dave Lebrecque and LW Eric Wellwood in later rounds.
Flyers conclude 2009 draft by picking D Oliver Lauridsen from St. Cloud State of the WCHA.
"We are disappointed to learn about the alleged incident with a Rays fan and one of our players following Thursday night's game at Tropicana Field," the Phillies said Saturday in a statement. "We are in the process of gathering all of the details surrounding the situation. Until such information is provided, it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time."
The Rays also confirmed that the incident took place.
''At this point it is a police matter and for that reason we won't have any further comment," the team said in a statement to the St. Petersburg Times.
Lawson went No. 18 to Minnesota and was subsequently shipped to Denver, and Teague went No. 19 to Atlanta.
Phil Jasner reports that the Sixers also tried to acquire a relatively early second-round pick to get Kentucky shooting guard Jodie Meeks. The 6-4 Meeks went No. 41 to Milwaukee.
By John McMullen
New York, NY - The mantra of "change" swept Barack Obama into the White House.
Many months later it's now clear, it's business as usual in Washington.
Don't think so?
Consider this. As a senator, Obama denounced the Bush administration for holding "secret energy meetings" with oil executives at the White House. A couple weeks ago, Obama's administration rejected a Freedom of Information Act request for Secret Service logs showing the identities of coal executives who had visited the White House to discuss Obama's "clean coal" policies.
Moral of the story? The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Unless you are talking about the NBA.
Conventional wisdom says the salary cap makes it impossible to make significant personnel moves in The Association. But, that's the philosophy of the weak...the GM's that have no imagination or foresight.
Winners tend to be winners for a reason.
That's why it came as no surprise that it was the teams who feel they are on the brink of a championship that made the most noise this week...
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: The Cavs bolstered their frontcourt before the draft by acquiring 15-time All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal from Phoenix in exchange for center Ben Wallace, guard Sasha Pavlovic, Cleveland's second-round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft and cash considerations.
The move will certainly generate interest but it was the Cavs' lack of wing players that proved fatal in the East finals as the Magic spread the floor and took advantage of Cleveland's big men on the defensive end. You really think Shaq helps with that?
In an interview with ESPN during the draft, O'Neal said he was willing to do "whatever it takes" to win a fifth championship. "I was elated about the trade because I get to play with one of the greatest players to play the game in LeBron James," O'Neal said.
During the draft itself, the Cavs yawned, stayed put at 30 and selected swingman Christian Eyenga, an athletic player that will likely be stashed overseas.
"Christian is very athletic and shoots the ball very well," Cavs basketball chief Danny Ferry said. "He has the potential to be a good NBA player. We are excited to work with him, to see his development and help him grow as a player and a person."
ORLANDO MAGIC: The Magic are obviously close after falling to the LA Lakers in the NBA Finals. I would have added a defender and rebounder to help Dwight Howard but Orlando traded for yet another scorer in Vince Carter, giving up Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee.
This could mean a couple of things. The Magic may feel there is no way they can keep Hedo Turkoglu and Carter is the replacement, or the club plans on keeping Turkoglu and outscoring people.
Although nothing is set in stone, insiders say Turkoglu would like a deal similar to the $50 million, five-year package Golden State forward Corey Maggette signed last summer. In that type of scenario, it's very unlikely Orlando would be willing to pay the luxury tax it would take to keep Turkoglu.
"At this point we really don't know where Turk is," Magic president Bob Vander Weide said at Carter's introduction. "Obviously, until he gets forward into free agency, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: A traditional NBA doormat, the Clippers finally found some luck in mid-May, landing the No. 1 overall selection.
While the Clips already possess a plethora of talented frontcourt people with Zach Randolph, Marcus Camby, Chris Kaman and DeAndre Jordan all able to play the four or the five spot, it was a foregone conclusion that the team would be making room for the consensus No. 1 overall pick, Oklahoma power forward Blake Griffin.
The 6- foot-10, 250-pound Griffin combines a rare work ethic with outstanding athleticism. He lacks polish on the low post, however, and isn't a can't-miss franchise guy like a James or Howard. Griffin really needs to work on his low post skills and develop a mid-range jumper to be a true superstar. That said, he was heads and shoulders above any other prospect in the draft.
"Hopefully I can bring something they don't have," Griffin said. "When nobody expects you to do something, you have the time to work and you have the time to build. Hopefully that's what we'll do over the next year or two years, make playoff pushes and become a team that is regularly in the postseason."
SAN ANTONIO SPURS: Injuries and age took a toll on Gregg Popovich's club last season and many thought the Spurs would have to start to think about the dreaded "R" word -- rebuilding.
The Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili is still as imposing as ever when they are on the floor together but the supporting cast really lacks athleticism.
In one fell swoop, San Antonio cured that Tuesday in a three team deal that brought another All-Star caliber player to the Alamo City, forward Richard Jefferson. The Spurs sent veteran defensive stopper Bruce Bowen and forward Kurt Thomas to the Bucks, and also dealt forward Fabricio Oberto to Detroit in the deal. The Pistons sent forward Amir Johnson to Milwaukee.
San Antonio has also made a living finding diamonds in the rough during the draft and may have done it again, snaring a trio of prospects in the second round -- Pitt power forward DeJuan Blair, Miami-Florida guard Jack McClinton and French star Nando De Colo.
Blair was expected to be a mid-first round pick until being red-flagged by a number of team doctors over knee problems.
"This is the worst I've ever seen as far as doctors unwilling to put their butts on the line," said a senior executive of an Eastern conference team told Sports Illustrated. "If there's any kind of gray area, they're going to flunk the player."
After flirting with Ricky Rubio in the weeks leading up to the draft, the Sacramento Kings threw a curve ball and selected Memphis combo guard Tyreke Evans, raving about his strength and ability to get in the lane. Evans should pair with Kevin Martin to give the Kings an explosive backcourt.
In a draft filled with questionable talent, I had a feeling North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough would go higher than expected and sure enough, Indiana made the leap at No. 13. The hard-working, energy machine is no star but relentlessness is an underrated trait.
The Madison Square Garden crowd wanted Stephen Curry bad and so did the Knicks but sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Jordan Hill was a top-five talent in this draft and fell into New York's lap thanks to David Kahn's ineptness.
Rubio, originally projected as the second pick by most, "fell" to fifth and ended up on a team that drafted two other point guards (although they did trade Ty Lawson). Rubio looked like someone kicked his dog when Sacramento passed him up at No. 4 and he looked like a relative died when the Wolves selected minutes later. Kahn, the Wolves new GM, says he plans on pairing Rubio and Jonny Flynn in his new backcourt but that will be tough to do if Rubio is in Spain trying to force a trade to the Knicks.
"It's surprising that, aside from me, they choose another point guard at No. 6, but let's see what they want," Rubio told El Pais. "Right now I wouldn't rule out at all returning to Spain."
Technically, UCLA point guard Darren Collison was a reach at No. 22 by the Hornets but I doubt you will find many stars in this draft from 20-30. So, why not pick the solid role player and get a nice backup for Chris Paul?
Collison's running mate at UCLA, Jrue Holiday, fell all the way to Philadelphia at No. 17. Holiday, who played just one year with the Bruins, is a project but he was a top-10 talent. Question is, who plays point guard for the Sixers this year? Andre Miller is an unrestricted free agent and Lou Williams is a shoot first guy.
Friday, June 26, 2009
For those who think they have what it takes to join the elite ranks of an NBA Dance Team, the Philadelphia 76ers will hold open auditions for the 2009-10 Sixers Dancers on Saturday, June 27 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.)
Auditions will take place at the
Those interested in auditioning must be at least 18 years of age by June 1, 2009 and must have previous dance training. An application along with two photos (head shot and full-body shot) must be submitted at check-in. Applications along with more details on audition requirements can be found at SIXERS.COM or by calling 215.339.7610.
The final round of Sixers Dancers auditions will be held on July 13 at Chickie’s & Pete’s at 7:00 p.m. in
Jackson Five played at Spectrum: MAY 28, 1971; MAY 26, 1972; MAY 18, 1973; OCT. 12, 1979 w/LTD; AUG. 14, 1981 w/Staci Lattisaw
- Full Name: Jrue Holiday
- Position: Guard
- Height/Weight: 6-3 / 180
- Birthdate: June 12, 1990
- College: UCLA
Named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team in 2009. Selected as the 2008 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year as a high school senior.
Started in all 35 games at shooting guard playing alongside senior point guard Darren Collison. Averaged 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.5 blocks in 27.1 minutes per game. Earned Pac-10 All-Freshman Team honors. Recorded a career-high 20 points on a perfect 8-for-8 shooting in just 19 minutes vs. Florida International. Posted 12 points, a career-high 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals vs. Louisiana Tech. Had a career-high six steals vs. CS Northridge and five vs. USC. Totaled 13 points, five rebounds and four assists vs. California; 15 points, six rebounds and five assists vs. Stanford; and 13 points, five rebounds and seven assists vs. USC over a three-game span.
A four-year varsity basketball letter-winner at Campbell Hall High School. As a senior, averaged 25.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 4.8 steals. Rated the No. 1 point guard and the No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2008 by Rivals.com. Named the 2008 Gatorade National Player of the Year and Parade Magazine First Team All-America. Played in the 2008 McDonald's All-American Game, scoring 14 points and totaling five rebounds, five steals and three assists for the West Team. Also invited to play in the 2008 Jordan Brand Classic at Madison Square Garden. As a junior, named Gatorade California Player of the Year. Chosen for the Parade Magazine All-America Third Team and EA Sports All-America Second Team. Participated in the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival Blue Team as a rising senior, averaging 18.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 8.0 assists. Ranks second all-time in assists over the Festival (40) and in a game (12).
Strengths:Prototypical size at the point guard position. Long arms help him collect steals and deflections. Great upside defensively. Rebounds and blocks shots. Has a high basketball IQ and good vision. An excellent team player.
Personal: Collects shoes as a hobby. Was choir and percussion section leader of his high school's orchestra as well as team manager of the girl's varsity tennis squad. Brother, Justin, is a sophomore forward on the University of Washington basketball team.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Philadelphia Wings Team President and Owner Russ Cline announced that Dave Huntley has been named the team’s new General Manager. This will be Huntley’s second stint as Wings General Manager as he was the team’s first GM during the 1987-88 seasons. Huntley will also maintain his current Head Coach duties. “The ownership has conducted an extensive study of the positives and negatives of our organization.” said Cline. “All the players and staff participated in an open and honest evaluation of where we are today and what it will take win a league championship. We are convinced that with the right changes to the organization we can reach that goal. We determined that Dave Huntley deserves the opportunity to lead us and can do that more effectively as General Manager and Head Coach.” As the Head Coach for Wings, Huntley’s record is 17-15. In 2008 he led “I appreciate the confidence our owners have demonstrated in me in expanding my duties,” remarked Huntley. “We have identified the improvements we need to make to our team and our processes to play consistent winning lacrosse and are working to affect those changes.”
Philadelphia Wings Team President and Owner Russ Cline announced that Dave Huntley has been named the team’s new General Manager. This will be Huntley’s second stint as Wings General Manager as he was the team’s first GM during the 1987-88 seasons. Huntley will also maintain his current Head Coach duties.
“The ownership has conducted an extensive study of the positives and negatives of our organization.” said Cline. “All the players and staff participated in an open and honest evaluation of where we are today and what it will take win a league championship. We are convinced that with the right changes to the organization we can reach that goal. We determined that Dave Huntley deserves the opportunity to lead us and can do that more effectively as General Manager and Head Coach.”
As the Head Coach for Wings, Huntley’s record is 17-15. In 2008 he led
“I appreciate the confidence our owners have demonstrated in me in expanding my duties,” remarked Huntley. “We have identified the improvements we need to make to our team and our processes to play consistent winning lacrosse and are working to affect those changes.”
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
An official announcement is expected as early as tomorrow.
Citing an anonymous source, the TV station said that Favre and the Vikings have indeed come to a contractual agreement and a Vikings equipment manager has already ordered number four purple jerseys with Favre's name on them.
ProFootballTalk.com first reported the deal and has speculated the official announcement will come Fourth of July weekend, to minimize what is expected to be a media circus..
On Sunday, Favre's longtime agent Bus Cooke denied the ProFootballTalk report repeatedly called the Vikings "We" when interview om Joe Buck's HBO show.
Meanwhile, Clay Condrey was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique and replaced by LHP Sergio Escalona.
The Sixers are mired in the NBA purgatory that is mediocrity.
For the second straight season, Philadelphia played tough in the first round of the postseason until the opposition figured out it couldn't shoot the three or defend it.
General manager Ed Stefanski cured one of those ills by trading for Toronto sharp-shooter Jason Kapono but still needs to get his new coach, Eddie Jordan, some solid perimeter defenders.
It also looks like Stefanski is fed up with underachieving center Samuel Dalembert and will look to move him. Meanwhile, veteran point guard Andre Miller is a west coast guy and would like to move on.
Jason Smith will be returning from an ACL injury next season so that gives Stefanski a competent body in the middle to replace Dalembert. Replacing Miller is a much tougher task and the Sixers hope North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson or VCU's Eric Maynor is available with the 17th overall pick.
Key Players under contract: F Elton Brand; C Samuel Dalembert; F Jason Kapono; G Willie Green; G/F Andre Iguodala; F Jason Smith; F/C Marreese Speights; G Louis Williams; F Thaddeus Young
Draft picks: 1st round (17th overall).
"By bringing back the old Sixers logo, we are connecting the past with the future," said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider. "This logo evokes memories of some of this franchise's proudest moments. We also made this change because we understood how much this logo means to our fans, this franchise and to our city. The fans had a big input on this decision. We're excited and we want the entire City of
"The 76ers logo is one of the more iconic in all of professional sports and we are sure fans will appreciate the Sixers returning to their core colors and ball icon," said Christopher Arena, NBA Vice President Apparel, Sporting Goods & Basketball Partnerships.
This is the first major logo change for the Sixers since the 1997-98 season, when the logo was modernized to incorporate black, silver and gold into a stylized “76ers” wordmark that featured a predominant red and silver star to the left and a gold ball with blue stripes below. From 1963 through 1997, the Sixers' identity revolved around a “76” in red and royal blue and a star configuration above the number seven, which was an identity that defined the team through two NBA Championships. The 76 and stars were utilized within a bell symbol from 1963-77 and then the “ers” was added to the "76" and contained in a ball. The ball form of the logo is what is most recognized and most associated with the “Fo’, Fi’, Fo’” championship team of 82-83, one of the greatest teams in NBA history. The only enhancement with the new logo will be a rectangular “court” shaped enclosure around the ball logo with the city name “
The Sixers will introduce a new secondary logo and wordmark at a later date. Additionally, the team will unveil a new court design and uniforms later this summer.
Governor Ed Rendell
“The Sixers are one of the most storied franchises in the NBA, and the new logo represents the very best of the Sixers tradition. It’s great to see it making a comeback.”
Mayor Michael Nutter
City of Philadelphia Mayor
"Seeing the return of the 76ers old logo with the red, white, and blue colors brings me back to the time of growing up watching Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Dr. J, and those great teams. I am excited now, as I was then, for Sixers basketball."
“I always felt the Sixers were the patriotic team.
- as told to NBA Entertainment
“I am happy the Sixers are going back to the ‘old' logo. I like it because it is clear and clean and a simple representation of the historical value of the City of
“There are many things you can change with a changing of the times, but every now and then you have a perfect fit and the original 76ers logo is one of them. People will always relate to the original logo when thinking of the great legendary players like Dr. J, Bobby Jones, Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Darryl Dawkins, Andrew Toney, Maurice Cheeks, and all others who have contributed to the success of this great establishment.”
“The first thing that comes to mind about the logo is draft day 1981. Words will never do justice to what that logo meant. From that day on, it has been imprinted in my mind. The logo represents the beginning of my professional dreams and career. It represents the organization that had more faith in me and my abilities than I may have had in myself at the time. Most of all, it represents a total commitment towards excellence at the highest level. When I got to
“The traditional 76ers logo is back and I am so pleased. That look brings back memories of the 76ers historic past. It’s a beautiful logo filled with meaning to millions.”
Philadelphia, PA - Mock drafts are fun, but they tend to be an exercise in futility.
Even Carnac the Magnificent couldn't project the trades that are sure to go down when the bullets start flying for real Thursday at Madison Square Garden's WaMu Theater.
As the big day approaches the rumor mill has heated up, fueled by a number of major names.
One Perez Hilton wannabe is reporting that the Boston Celtics offered Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo to the Detroit Pistons for a package including Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey.
It's unlikely the C's will re-sign Allen next summer, and maturity issues surrounding Rondo have Danny Ainge flirting with the idea of moving him. Supposedly Ainge and Detroit's Joe Dumars haven't spoken, but Boston had a lower-level exec make the pitch to the Pistons over the weekend, giving Ainge a CIA-like degree of plausible deniability.
Meanwhile, the long-discussed trade that would send Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O'Neal to Cleveland remains on simmer.
"We've talked to every team," Cavs GM Danny Ferry said when queried about O'Neal by the Houston Chronicle. "We've had a lot of discussions with a lot of teams."
The Washington Wizards have been more overt about their plans and are seen as a strong bet to trade down from No. 5. The team is facing serious luxury-tax problems and needs to create roster room, making a deal more desirable.
One scenario has Washington swapping first-rounders with the Suns in a deal that would also ship Amare Stoudemire to the nation's capital and Nick Young to the Valley of the Sun. Phoenix is reportedly holding out for Caron Butler.
The Washington Post also reported that Golden State and Portland have attempted to land Butler, but Wiz president Ernie Grunfeld is playing hard to get.
"You never say never to anything. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was traded. Oscar Robertson was traded," Grunfeld told the Post. "But I've said many times, I like our players. I think we can compete with just about anybody in the league. So, we like what we have. But if the right opportunity presents itself, you always look at it."
In south Texas the Houston Rockets, who don't have any draft picks, want to join the party and are dangling the improving Carl Landry with the hopes of landing a lottery selection.
Granted, this is a down year for the draft, but Landry for a lottery pick sounds like pie-in-the-sky type stuff.
GRIZZ TO TAKE THABEET; RUBIO TO KINGS?
Memphis looks like they have finally made a decision with the No. 2 pick, and the dominos are starting to fall as a result. The Grizzlies will stay put and select UConn defensive stopper Hasheem Thabeet. That leaves Ricky Rubio's destination up in the air.
The 18-year-old Spanish point guard visited Sacramento, which has the fourth selection, on Monday and picked up a basketball for the first time since his Euroleague season ended a month ago. He wasn't all that impressive, according to reports.
"It's difficult to show them what I have to do on the court, because there are no teammates and nobody there," Rubio told the Sacramento Bee. "I can't show them what I do on the court. This workout is not my style. I need my teammates around me to play basketball. I was alone."
Makes sense, since Rubio's strength is playmaking. The Kings were more interested in the fact that Rubio was making progress on a deal with DKV Joventut that will lower his buyout to $4 million.
KNICKS MAKING EXCUSES FOR HOLIDAY
UCLA guard Jrue Holiday, who spent just one pedestrian season in Westwood but has lottery-type talent, is being given every opportunity by the New York Knicks to prove he belongs at No. 8.
Holiday was outplayed badly by Stephen Curry and Gerald Henderson, two certain first-rounders, during his first workout with the Knicks so he was given a second shot on Monday.
This time Holiday worked out with Miami's Jack McClinton, a good player but not in the class of Curry or Henderson.
BULLS WANT HENDERSON?
The Chicago Bulls have reportedly held trade talks with several teams about packaging their two first-round picks, Nos. 16 and 26, into one higher selection.
The target? Duke shooting guard Gerald Henderson.
GRIFFIN IS ALREADY NO. 1
No, not Blake Griffin. His older brother, Taylor, was already "drafted" first overall by the Harlem Globetrotters on Monday, earning an invite to the team's training camp in Sayville, N.Y.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell moves from the octagon to the tee box as the first-ever mixed martial artist to compete in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament, which will be held this July.
"You know why I love this game?” asks Liddell. “It's easier for me to get punched in the head, elbowed in face, kneed in my body and kicked in the leg than it is to hit a little ball straight twice in a row. Thanks to the American Century Championship, the country can see why I took the easy road and became a fighter instead of a golfer."
Liddell will square off against other celebrities, including Michael Jordan, Lawrence Taylor, Brian Urlacher, Alonzo Mourning and more, in the three-day, 54-hole Stableford competition, taking place from July 17-19 at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Lake Tahoe, NV.
Liddell is a retired American mixed martial artist (MMA) who predominately fought for the UFC. In 2005 Liddell won the UFC light heavyweight title and defended it four times over the next two years. In 2009, he retired with an overall MMA record of 21-7. He is credited, along with fellow UFC fighter Randy Couture, for bringing mixed martial arts into the mainstream of American sports and entertainment.
The tournament will be televised live by NBC on Saturday and Sunday July 18 and 19 from 3-6 p.m.
I'm not sure when we turned into Seattle, but the bleak weather is giving me an ominous feeling about the upcoming NBA Draft.
This year's selection pool reminds a lot of the 2000 draft that produced just two legitimate NBA stars, Milwaukee's Michael Redd, a second round pick, and Orlando's Hedo Turkoglu. the 16th overall selection by Sacramento.
The top 10 that year featured names like Stromile Swift, Darius Miles, Marcus Fizer and DerMarr Johnson. You were ahead of the game if you snared a role player like Mike Miller, Joel Przybilla and Keyon Dooling, or a one- dimensional scorer that gravitates toward losing like Jamal Crawford.
It's hard to convict this year's group just yet, but it's not too early for an indictment.
The 2009 NBA Draft looks like Blake Griffin followed by cloudy skies...
1. - Los Angeles Clippers - Blake Griffin (Oklahoma), Power Forward - Griffin combines a rare work ethic with outstanding athleticism. He lacks polish on the low post, however, and isn't a can't-miss franchise guy like a LeBron James or Dwight Howard. Think: Carlos Boozer.
3. - Oklahoma City Thunder - James Harden (Arizona State), Shooting Guard - Harden may be the most NBA-ready player in this draft and should be a steady and consistent wing player very early in his career. He has gotten a lot of attention from the Thunder and Washington Wizards. Now, the Grizzlies have put him in the mix and are apparently enamored with what a three-man rotation of Harden, O.J. Mayo and Conley could do. In the end, I think the Grizzlies go big, leaving Harden to team with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Okie City. Think: Brandon Roy.
4. - Sacramento Kings - Ricky Rubio (DKV Joventut), Point Guard - Signability issues have dropped Rubio a few spots. The Maloofs came in from Las Vegas last week to personally watch Rubio work out, and I am sure the Kings' new coach, Paul Westphal, is salivating at the thought of adding the playmaker. Think: Nash.
5. - Washington Wizards - Jordan Hill (Arizona), Power Forward - Hill has been targeted by the Wizards, and there has been quite a bit of trade talk here with Milwaukee and Dallas among the teams mentioned looking to move up. Hill was one of the most improved players in college this past year and has ideal size and length for an NBA power forward. Think: Chris Bosh.
6. - Minnesota Timberwolves - Stephen Curry (Davidson), Combo Guard - It's pretty clear that new Timberwolves basketball chief David Kahn is looking to move up, as the Wolves have glaring needs at center and point guard. A potential deal mentioned has Minnesota sending the sixth overall pick and Kevin Love to Memphis for the second pick. In that scenario, the Wolves would take Thabeet. Another rumor has Minnesota making a strong play for Rubio, offering all three of its first-round picks (Nos. 6, 18 and 28) to get it done. If the Wolves can't move, they will choose between Curry and Tyreke Evans. Evans has the bigger upside but Kahn is far more comfortable with Curry, the best pure shooter in this year's draft. Think: Allan Houston.
7. - Golden State Warriors - Tyreke Evans (Memphis), Combo Guard- The Warriors reportedly assured Monta Ellis that they wouldn't be selecting a guard, and that Hill was on their radar. But, the Arizona power forward will be long gone by No. 7 and there are no other big men worthy of this choice. Golden State likes Curry, 19-year-old point guard Brandon Jennings and Syracuse's Jonny Flynn but I am betting on Evans, the type of ball-handling combo guard that will eventually thrive in Don Nelson's scheme. Think: A more talented John Salmons.
8. - New York Knicks - Jrue Holiday (UCLA), Point Guard - The Knicks love Holiday, the UCLA freshman, but he was outplayed badly by Curry at his pre- draft workout with the club on June 10. Donnie Walsh seems to be falling for Holiday nonetheless, and is bringing him back for another workout early this week. It looks like a three-horse race among Curry, Evans and Holiday in Gotham, with Walsh trying to sell himself on the project. Think: Delonte West.
9. - Toronto Raptors - DeMar DeRozan (USC), Shooting Guard - The Raptors are intent on getting a wing player, and the candidates include DeRozan, shooting guard Gerald Henderson of Duke, small forward James Johnson of Wake Forest and Louisville's Earl Clark. An incredible leaper and explosive finisher, DeRozan already has an NBA body and if everything falls into place, he might be the best player in this draft five years down the road. Think: A young Vince Carter.
10. - Milwaukee Bucks - Jonny Flynn (Syracuse), Point Guard - Flynn has been shooting up various draft boards over the past couple of weeks. The Bucks have plenty of bodies at the point, but not the answer. Flynn could cure that problem. Think: Damon Stoudamire.
11. - New Jersey Nets - Gerald Henderson (Duke), Shooting Guard - Henderson is the type of wing player that can excel next to Devin Harris. Think: Latrell Sprewell.
12. - Charlotte Bobcats - Earl Clark (Louisville), Combo Forward - I get the feeling Larry Brown is convinced he needs a wing player with some serious offensive skills, and the 6-foot-10 Clark is a small forward who can fill it up, has great vision and strong interior passing ability. Think: Rashard Lewis.
13. - Indiana Pacers - Brandon Jennings (Lottomatica Roma), Combo Guard - Jennings struggled mightily overseas but has lottery-type skills, and would be a nice gamble at this point in the draft. Like many young point guards, Jennings needs to develop a more consistent jumper so he can take advantage of his speed and ability to penetrate. Think: Rajon Rondo.
14. - Phoenix Suns - James Johnson (Wake Forest), Small Forward - Johnson is the rare college player with a solid mid-range game and should fit in nicely now that Phoenix has reverted back to an up-tempo offense. Think: Corey Maggette.
15. - Detroit Pistons - B.J. Mullens (Ohio State), Center - Mullens has the size and soft hands to develop into a legit center and help Michael Curry start rebuilding his frontcourt. A number of sources say the Pistons have a promise in place to take Mullens, so if anyone else has designs on the big man, they will have to move up past No. 15. Think: Robin Lopez.
16. - Chicago Bulls - DeJuan Blair (Pitt), Power Forward - Blair makes a lot of sense in the Windy City and should work well with the longer and more versatile Joakim Noah at power forward. Blair's toughness and ability to rebound would fill a huge void for a team that was 20th in rebounds last year. Think: Anthony Mason.
17. - Philadelphia 76ers - Ty Lawson (North Carolina), Point Guard - Andre Miller looks like he wants out of Philly and Lou Williams is a turnover machine, so the Sixers need a legitimate point. Lawson has the speed and quickness to rival a Rondo or Harris, but his size will be a detriment on the defensive end. Think: T.J. Ford.
18. - Minnesota Timberwolves - Jeff Teague (Wake Forest), Point Guard - I'm guessing the Wolves will move up and deal one of their picks, but if they stand pat and choose quantity over quality, why not remake the whole backcourt with Teague? The Wake guard is a solid player who could team with Curry as interchangeable parts. Think: Kevin Johnson.
19. - Atlanta Hawks - Eric Maynor (Virginia Commonwealth), Point Guard - The point guard run continues as Atlanta takes the heir apparent to veteran Mike Bibby, who is a free agent and on the downside of a very good career. Think: Andre Miller with a jumper.
20. - Utah Jazz - Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina), Power Forward - A weak draft has people starting to warm up to Hansbrough. The North Carolina star is never going to be a star at the NBA level but his energy would be great for any team and a perfect fit for Jerry Sloan. Think: A more skilled Mark Madsen.
21. - New Orleans Hornets - Chase Budinger (Arizona), Swingman - The Hornets could use a weak-side shooter that can knock down the three consistently off Chris Paul's penetration. Think: A more athletic Kyle Korver.
22. - Dallas Mavericks - Terrence Williams (Louisville), Small Forward - The aging Jason Kidd is a free agent, while Jason Terry and JJ Barea are both limited on the defensive end, so you would think Rick Carlisle would like a combo guard but Williams is tough to pass up at this point. Williams is a great athlete with a solid basketball IQ. Think: Derek Smith.
23. - Sacramento Kings - Omar Casspi (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Small Forward - Casspi is a shooter that can handle the ball very well for a wing player, and anybody who can put the ball in the basket should be considered by the Kings. Think: Turkoglu.
24. - Portland Trail Blazers - Austin Daye (Gonzaga), Combo Forward - The Trail Blazers are very deep and will likely go the "best player available" route, and that's Daye. Daye's skill set and 6-foot-10 frame have NBA scouts intrigued but he does lack physical strength. The Blazers can afford to take the plunge since they have the time and talent on hand to let him develop. Anyone could use a frontcourt player that can space the floor. Think: Mehmet Okur.
25. - Oklahoma City Thunder - Wayne Ellington (North Carolina), Shooting Guard - Ellington was a great college player that projects as a 20-minute guy in the pros. Think: Aaron McKie.
26. - Chicago Bulls - Marcus Thornton (LSU), Shooting Guard - Detroit is already sniffing around Ben Gordon, so there is no guarantee the sharpshooter will be back in the Second City. Thornton would be a nice insurance policy. Think: Ronnie Brewer.
27. - Memphis Grizzlies - Sam Young (Pitt), Combo Forward - A tough, athletic guy who likes to bang in the paint and has a plus jumper. Think: Trevor Ariza.
28. - Minnesota Timberwolves - Taj Gibson (USC), Power Forward - The slender Gibson is a nice athlete with length and a soft touch around the basket, but he needs to fill out. Think: Vin Baker before the weight gain.
29. - Los Angeles Lakers - Victor Claver (Pamesa Valencia), Small Forward - The world champs are trying to re-sign both Lamor Odom and Ariza so they have no need for a guaranteed contract. In fact, GM Mitch Kupchak has already acknowledged he'll likely trade his picks or use them on foreign players who can remain overseas for at least a year. Claver is a 6-foot-9 guy who can shoot and the Lakers can stash. Think: Jorge Garabosa.
30. - Cleveland Cavaliers - DaJuan Summers (Georgetown), Small Forward - Normally there would be no use risking a luxury tax on the 30th pick so you would expect the Cavs to take a Euro player and leave him overseas. But, their implosion in the East finals puts pressure on GM Danny Ferry to get more contributors and Summers, an athletic wing player with an NBA body, may be worth a shot. Think: Dahntay Jones.