Basketball Wiretap

Agents Deride Way 76ers Have Operated During Rebuild

Nov 30, 2015 2:38 PM

The Philadelphia 76ers are in the third season of Sam Hinkie's rebuilding project with no turnaround in sight.

The way they have treated players, agents and possibly other teams may be the most problematic part of the process long-term.

"Their inability to establish a rapport with agents and probably with other teams is definitely going to lead to their demise," an agent said of the Sixers' regime.

"When you're building a business culture, you're dealing with human beings," another prominent agent said. "Especially with athletes, you've got to have a rapport with these guys. It's a culture of communication and transparency, and none of that exists."

"There's nobody there, and nobody will go there," an agent said. "Nobody. Cap space won't matter. You know who'll go there? Guys that are trying to steal money."

Ken Berger/CBS Sports

Tags: Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Stephen Curry 'Definitely Feels Like Better Player Than Last Year'

Nov 29, 2015 2:55 PM

Stephen Curry is averaging 32.1 points per game, 8.3 more than last season when he won MVP.

“I definitely feel like I’m a better player than I was last year, more efficient,” Curry said. “We, as a team, are definitely better than we were last year, so we’re just trying to manage that for 66 more games and the rest of that will take care of itself.

“It was a dream come true to win one MVP, win one championship, but that fuels the fire to do it all over again. I know the process: You want to just stay in the moment as best you can, and that’s how you stay focused, that’s how you stay within yourself, and we’ve done a great job of that so far.”

Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Tags: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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JaVale McGee: I'm A Lot Smarter, More Patient In My Game

Nov 29, 2015 2:53 PM

JaVale McGee is trying to make the most of his opportunity with the Dallas Mavericks.

“I’m a lot smarter and I’m a lot more patient in my game,” he said. “In college, I was 38 percent from the 3 [point line], and when I came to summer league with the Wizards, I shot a three and made it. The next game, [coaches said], ‘Don’t shoot no threes. Just rebound and block shots.’

“I’m like, ‘Damn, y’all just limited what I have been doing my whole life.’ ”

McGee does not look back fondly on his years with the Washington Wizards.

“It was a real negative situation for me,” he said. “I’ve always been blessed to be able to go somewhere else positive. You definitely learn it’s a business. Even if it’s people ahead of you that’s playing that’s not better, they make more money than you, they’re going to play. It’s not anything personal.”

Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Tags: JaVale McGee, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Jerry West: Draymond Green Has Become Top-10 Player In NBA

Nov 27, 2015 12:23 PM

Jerry West believes Draymond Green has become one of the top-10 players in the NBA.

“We have two of the top-10 players in the league,” West told KNBR on Wednesday, knowing he didn’t need to explain Stephen Curry. “Draymond Green is the second one. He’s the most underrated player in the NBA, period. There are very few players I think anyone in our organization would trade for him. He’s just a remarkable player.

“If he’s not a top-10 player in this league, I don’t know who is.”

Green currently ranks fourth in Basketball Reference's MVP tracker for the current season, averaging 12.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.

Rusty Simmons/San Francisco Chronicle

Tags: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Lakers Working On Improving Julius Randle's Jumper

Nov 27, 2015 11:25 AM

The Los Angeles Lakers are challenging Julius Randle to improve his jumper.

Randle has always been an effective player on offense due to his strength and ability off the dribble.

“I’ve known the basics,” Randle said of his jumper.

The Lakers believe Randle's form is loose and Tracy Murray is working on refining his fundamentals.

“(A jump shot) keeps everybody honest (defensively),” Byron Scott said, “and if you have to play him for making jump shots, now it gives him the ability to do the thing we know he can do, which is get to the basket.”

Randle spent most of last year focusing on conditioning and getting comfortable again on the court after he suffered a broken leg in the 2014 season opener. The Lakers worked on his shot only in general terms.

“We didn’t go into it real extensively to say, ‘These are the things you have wrong with it,’” Scott said. “That’s the thing we can pinpoint now, where we’re watching him. Gives us a little more data to work on this year.”

Bill Oram/Orange County Register

Tags: Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Curry, Westbrook, Lowry, LeBron, Draymond Comprise RPM Top-5

Nov 25, 2015 1:03 PM

Stephen Curry leads the NBA in Real Plus-Minus after the first month of the season with a mark of 8.85.

Russell Westbrook ranks second at 7.23, followed by Kyle Lowry (6.99), LeBron James (6.43) and Draymond Green (5.68).

Paul Millsap, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler and Paul George round out the top-10.

Kristaps Porzingis ranks 52nd.


Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Vogel: Paul George Is Best Two-Way Player In NBA

Nov 25, 2015 11:16 AM

Paul George continued his excellent start to the season with 40 points against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.

“It’s tough to quantify in words,” Frank Vogel said. “I mean, he just does so much. He’s capable of going for 40, carrying the offensive load and being the best defensive player on either team. He’s a special player, and the best two-way player in the game. We’re a different team with him out there.”

George is leading the Indiana Pacers in scoring and rebounding, while ranking second in assists.

“We’re the East Coast Splash Brothers. I’m kidding. Twitter, I’m kidding,” said George after the game about himself and C.J. Miles.

Jorge Castillo/Washington Post

Tags: Paul George, Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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CJ McCollum Trying To Take Next Step With Improved Handle

Nov 24, 2015 6:40 PM

CJ McCollum's father challenged him in the offseason to improve his ballhandling.

McCollum's father was struck in the playoffs by how Kyrie Irving could get anywhere he wanted on the floor due to his handle.

"I always could (dribble). It was more about synchronizing it all together," McCollum says. "Finding out what dribble moves I could use to kind of be efficient and get to a spot. But I've always been able to dribble I just think I've gotten tighter with it and have a better sense of control, command."

McCollum's ability with his handle is clear in one-on-one situations.

"If you can handle the ball in this league, there's room for you," McCollum said. "Because everybody can't dribble. Everybody doesn't possess the ability to break down a defender, the ability to get into the lane and draw help. Everybody can't do that."

McCollum works on his handle before every game.

Mike Richman/Oregonian

Tags: C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Warriors Outscore Opponents 37.5-17.7 Per Game On Three-Pointers

Nov 24, 2015 12:25 PM

A big reason why the Golden State Warriors are so successful is by controlling the edges of the scoring area.

The Warriors score 37.5 points per game beyond the arc while allowing opponents just 17.7 points from there.

Stephen Curry has made 74 three-pointers so far this season and just 62 percent of them are from assists compared to 84 percent league-wide.

The Warriors lead the NBA in points per 100 possessions with 112 and fifth on defense with 97 points per 100.

Kirk Goldsberry/ESPN

Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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GMs Cite Steep Learning Curve On Defense For Duke Players Coming To NBA

Nov 23, 2015 1:20 PM

Duke players who come to the NBA often have a big adjustment to make in terms of defense due to how Mike Krzyzewski teaches that side of the floor.

Jahlil Okafor came to the NBA with questions about his defense and he has predictably struggled.

"I have had several GMs who have drafted young Duke players tell me that the learning curve between the sort of defense Coach K teaches at Duke and what they're required to play at the NBA level is pretty steep," wrote Chad Ford.

Chad FordESPN

Tags: Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia Sixers, Duke Blue Devils, NCAA, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Mark Cuban: It Will Be Tough To Have Multiple $30M+ Players On Single Team
Mark Cuban was asked about how the NBA's escalating salary cap will change the way rosters are built.

Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

76ers Considering Swap Of Positions For Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor
Moving Jahlil Okafor to power forward would take advantage of his shooting touch from the elbow, while sliding Nerlens Noel to center allows him to be more of a rim protector.

Keith Pompey/Philadelphia Inquirer

Nash: Stephen Curry Turning Into His Own Historical Category
Stephen Curry was initially compared to Steve Nash early in his NBA career, but he has created his own style of play with his handle and perimeter shooting.

Tim Kawakami/San Jose Mercury News

Bulls Have Fallen From 11th To 26th In Offensive Efficiency
After 10 games under Fred Hoiberg, the Bulls rank 26th in the NBA in offensive efficiency with 100.8 points per 100 possessions.

RealGM Staff Report

Towns Wants To Always Be Strongest, Most Intelligent, Most Skilled Player On Court
Karl-Anthony Towns has been developing his offense around the basket and he'll eventually stretch out to three-point line with regularity.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Undrafted Players Getting 38 Percent Of 76ers' Minutes
Among the 29 other NBA teams, undrafted players have accounted for just eight percent of total minutes.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Steve Kerr's Message This Season: Everything Next Level
The Warriors remain undefeated even with Luke Walton serving as interim head coach for Steve Kerr.

David Aldridge/

Celtics Trying To Balance Player Development With Competing Now
With potentially three more first round picks coming to Boston, the Celtics want to establish a foundation in which their younger players can develop without the pressure of having to perform.

Brad Stevens/Boston Globe

Byron Scott Not Playing D'Angelo Russell In 4th Quarter Regardless Of Score
D'Angelo Russell ranks 11th on the Lakers in fourth quarter minutes.

Harrison Faigen/Silver Screen & Roll

Justise Winslow Already Elite On Defense
Justise Winslow ranks tied for third in the NBA in defensive field goal percentage behind Kawhi Leonard and Ricky Rubio.

Manny Navarro/Miami Herald

NBA PER: Curry, Blake, Westbrook, Lauvergne Lead After Week 2
Blake Griffin has the NBA's second highest PER at 33.1, behind Stephen Curry's 40.2.

RealGM Staff Report

Kevin Love Wasn't The Player LeBron James Expected During First Season
The relationship of actually being teammates was not good initially and team officials now conceded LeBron James didn't treat Kevin Love very well last season.

Jason Lloyd/Akron Beacon Journal

Stephen Curry's Drive Fueled By Rivalry With Chris Paul
Chris Paul was a prodigy in North Carolina while Stephen Curry was growing up a few years younger without interest from top Division I schools.

Marcus Thompson II/San Jose Mercury News

Tim Duncan: Porzingis Was Impressive, Skill Set Is There
Kristaps Porzingis had 13 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks and three steals against the Spurs, impressing Tim Duncan in the process.

Ian Begley/ESPN

Holt: R.C. Buford Created Plan To Sign LaMarcus Aldridge
The Spurs were able to keep Danny Green, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili while signing LaMarcus Aldridge with a plan devised three years prior.

Tom Orsborn/San Antoino Express-News

Kobe Bryant: I'm The 200th Best Player In The NBA Right Now
Kobe Bryant is now 13-for-36 on the season.

Bill Oram/Orange County Register

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