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Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Harden: I'm The Best All-Around Player In The NBA

During a promotional event, James Harden declared himself the best all-around player in the NBA.

"I'm the best all-around basketball player in the NBA," said Harden.

While Harden has become one of the NBA's best scorers and was an All-NBA First Team selection in 2014, he has received criticism for his lack of commitment on defense.

Via Royce Young/ESPN

Tyler Ennis Sees Crowded Suns' Backcourt As 'Good Thing'

The Phoenix Suns have a clear logjam at point guard with Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, Tyler Ennis and presumably an eventually re-signed Eric Bledsoe.

Ennis doesn't see the fight for minutes as a detriment to the development of his career. 

“I think, as a young guy, it’s a good thing,” Ennis said on Monday.

“You’re able to go in and learn from people, I think in the long run it’s definitely going to help me.”

Ennis spent just one season at Syrcause.

“Anywhere you go in the league, you’re going to compete for minutes,” said Ennis. “There are so many point guards, good point guards. It’s going to be good for me to learn from those guys.

“I think I bring a different dynamic than those guys do, being a pass-first guy, too. Me being able to score the ball as well as pass is something that’s a plus as well, I think.”

Via Doug Smith/Toronto Star

Raptors Encouraged By Bruno Caboclo's Summer Work

Bruno Caboclo has spent the summer in North America working on his game and body, along with his grasp of the English language.

“The big thing is we’ve got to get him playing,” said Toronto Raptors assistant coach Jama Mahlalela, who has worked extensively with Caboclo this summer.

“We have to get him in games to see, how can it transfer. We’ve done a summer of skill work. His skills, from where they were, are so improved it’s amazing.

“But it’s not a summer of playing every single day against NBA skill. That’s going to be the next little piece, and we’ll get the month of September to get that worked out.”

Via Doug Smith/Toronto Star

Thunder Have NBA's Most Difficult Scheduled Based On Opponents' Rest

The Oklahoma City Thunder have the most difficult schedule in the NBA in terms of having less rest than their opponents, according to data from Ed Kupfer.

The Thunder play just 10 games against teams with no rest days, while the Utah Jazz have nearly 30.

The Los Angeles Clippers rank second in difficulty based on opponents' rest.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors have the fewest games with less rest than their opponents.

Via Kyle Wagner/Deadspin

Durant Has Played 930 More Total Minutes Than LeBron In Past Five Years

Kevin Durant's withdrawl from USA Basketball appeared to be a confession, and the Oklahoma City Thunder star admitted he was mentally and physically exhausted.

No player has logged more combined regular season and playoff minutes over the past three seasons than Durant, who has played 10,924 minutes. LeBron James sits in second with 10,811, even with three straight trips to the NBA Finals in that window.

Over the past five seasons, Durant’s 15,064 minutes also pace all players and are 930 more than James, who is No. 2 on that list.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said last October that he likes to keep Durant’s minutes between 38 and 40. The Thunder could be forced to look into monitoring Durant's minutes with more frequency.

“As we go forward there’s no question that’s something we want to look at and understand,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said about Durant’s minutes at the end of the season. “Not only for the long term, but to also make sure we are getting the most out of the minutes that are played during one particular game or another…I can’t tell you what comes of it.”

Via Darnell Mayberry/The Oklahoman

Celtics Building Patiently After Failing To Produce Offseason 'Fireworks'

The Boston Celtics were unable to make a major move this offseason, failing in their efforts to trade for Kevin Love.

Wyc Grousbeck alluded to "fireworks" back in March when describing the Celtics' offseason plans.

“I said we’d try for fireworks and we tried,” Grousbeck said. “I’m reasonably content that first of all we tried as hard as we could and second of all we added some good pieces. But we have maintained our draft picks and we’ve maintained more building in the future as opposing to firing all the bullets now.

“We’re going to have to go the more patient route.”

The Celtics lacked the necessary assets to trade for Love, but instead have acquired Marcus Smart, James Young, Tyler Zeller and Marcus Thornton this offseason.

“How happy do I look?” said Grousbeck. “We were all patient, everybody, the fans were patient in the early 2000s and we have to believe they know how to build in the NBA isn’t a quick flip of the switch. In almost all cases, it is years of preparation in this league.

“You gotta get the superstars, so you’ve got to build up the assets to get them and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Via Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

LeBron: I Don't Plan On Leaving Cleveland Again

LeBron James is planning on spending the rest of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers despite a contract that allows him tremendous flexibility.

“I don’t plan on going anywhere,” James said Friday night during the Welcome Home LeBron event at InfoCision Stadium. “I don’t have the energy to do it again.” 

James can become a free agent after either of the next two seasons.

“At the end of the day I’m a businessman as well,” James said, “and I know what’s going on in our league.”

James is also looking forward to playing with Kevin Love.

“I always told him he was going to be the reason we won the gold medal,” James said “He played a huge role for us. “I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully it happens and everything is done right from the league rules. It’s a great piece.”

Via Jason Lloyd/Akron Beacon Journal

Celtics, Mavericks Were Also Interested In Bruno Caboclo

The Toronto Raptors were hoping to select Tyler Ennis with the No. 20 overall pick, but he was selected by the Phoenix Suns at No. 18.

The Raptors could have gambled on waiting to select Bruno Caboclo at No. 37, but there was a chance of another team taking him. Both the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics were interested in Caboclo.

“In my room, there was no debate,” Masai Ujiri said. “Instead of going through the stress of trying to get him at No. 37, we decided to get the guy we really liked now.”

Caboclo showed flashes of his potential during Summer League and will be on the Raptors' roster next season. Ujiri is also not a fan of stashing players overseas.

“When a guy goes overseas you don’t get to monitor him as closely, to see if he is getting stronger, to see all of what he is doing,” Ujiri said. “Keeping him here, we can do that. When he needs playing time, send him to the D-League. He can play in NBA practices, he can go through a training camp and after the year we will wait to see where he is and what more he needs to develop.”

Via Chris Mannix/Sports Illustrated

Nets Sold Kyle Korver To Cover 2003 Summer League, Purchase Copy Machine

The then-New Jersey Nets picked Kyle Korver with the 51st overall selection in the 2003 NBA Draft and sold his draft rights to the Philadelphia 76ers for $125,000.

The cash covered the Nets' Summer League bill and they spent the leftover money on a new copy machine.

Korver developed into one of the NBA's most valued swingmen.

“We gave away a good player for summer league,” says Rod Thorn, the Nets GM at the time. “It was just one of those things we had to do. At least, that’s how I rationalized it.”

“The game over the last four or five years has become so much more suited to the way he plays today,” says Jerry Sloan, who coached Korver in Utah.

Multiple current GMs say passing on Korver in the draft ranks as one of the worst mistakes of their respective careers.

Via Zach Lowe/Grantland

McGary Encouraged By Fit With Thunder

Mitch McGary sees being drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder as a strong positive despite falling to the 21st overall pick.

McGary should immediately see quality minutes on a title contender.

“This is the fit for me and I’m happy overall with where I ended up,” McGary said. “Hopefully we have a bunch of veteran big guys that I learn from, Nick Collison, Kendrick Perkins, Serge [Ibaka] and even [second-year center] Steven [Adams]. He taught me how to play defense against [Brooklyn’s] Mason Plumlee [in the summer league.] It helped out.”

Via Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Falk: Trading Turner Wasn't Blockbuster For 76ers

Evan Turner's agent, David Falk, believes the 76ers didn't make an expecially strong trade in dealing his client to the Pacers.

Jazz See Dante Exum Playing In World Cup As Development Opportunity

Dante Exum should get a lot of minutes for Australia in the World Cup of Basketball next month.

Saunders Increasingly Interested In Trading For Wiggins, Bennett

Flip Saunders is becoming increasingly interested in the Cavaliers' offer of Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and future first round picks for Kevin Love.

Lakers Pencil In Carlos Boozer As Starting Small Forward

Carlos Boozer has played power forward throughout his 12-year NBA career.

Carmelo Struggled To Choose Between Knicks, Bulls

Carmelo Anthony believes the Knicks aren't too far away from becoming a contender.

Parsons Left Rockets In Part For Bigger Role

Chandler Parsons averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game last season.
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