Basketball Wiretap

Raptors To Play DeMar DeRozan More At Point Guard

Jul 20, 2017 9:51 PM

Dwane Casey plans on allowing DeMar DeRozan to spend more time at point guard during the 17-18 season.

“We got to have a better mentality of ball movement, man movement and spacing,” Casey said on Wednesday while on The Andrew Walker Show on Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

“DeMar DeRozan, have him handle the ball a bit more as a point guard, a facilitator, a passer. Kyle Lowry moving the ball a bit more, spacing up. We don’t want to give our whole ‘what we’re going to try to do next year’ away, but again it comes down to passing the basketball and better spacing more so, than we know, one-on-one play.”

DeRozan played the role of facilitator while Lowry was out injured during the regular season.

“Everyone and their brother knows we want better ball movement,” said Casey.

Casey also wants the Raptors to rediscover their edge.

“We want to get that edge back, get that two-by-four I call it back on our shoulder, where you’re feeling hungry again,” said Casey. “I thought last year from a media standpoint, team standpoint, playing standpoint, coaching standpoint, front office standpoint, we got a little complacent. A little soft, so to speak. We’ve got to get that edge back to compete for a championship.”

Bryan Meler/Sportsnet

Tags: DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Clippers Expecting More Ball Movement Without Chris Paul

Jul 19, 2017 11:46 AM

With the Los Angeles Clippers moving out of the Chris Paul era, Doc Rivers expects their offense to feature more ball movement.

“Well, we’ll have ball movement,” Rivers said. “That’s one of the things, for the most part, that I’ve always preached. With Chris’ skill, you wanted to take advantage of what he could do, and he was a guy that needed the ball to make plays and he did it so well. You kind of changed to do that. If you look at my work historically, it’s been more of a ball-movement, cut basketball team, and that’s what we’re going to get back to doing.”

The Clippers ran their offense primarily through Paul and they were routinely near the top of offensive efficiency.

Broderick Turner/Los Angeles Times

Tags: Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Pelicans Plan On Starting Rajon Rondo At PG, Jrue Holiday At SG

Jul 18, 2017 11:45 AM

The New Orleans Pelicans plan on starting Rajon Rondo at point guard with Jrue Holiday at shooting guard.

The Pelicans are thin on the wing, which necessitates starting two traditional point guards.

Holiday has enough size and shooting to adequately play shooting guard.

Alvin Gentry said the Pelicans spoke to Holiday at length about this decision.

Dunc & Holder (via Mason Ginsberg/Bourbon St. Shots)

Tags: Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Knicks Prepared To Rebuild Under Steve Mills, Scott Perry

Jul 17, 2017 8:05 PM

Steve Mills and Scott Perry are preparing to rebuild the New York Knicks.

"We want to build a team that centers on that group of guys growing together, which may take longer to do. It will take longer to do," Mills said. "But I think it's something the fans of New York are ready for and will accept."

Carmelo Anthony will remain expendable but they're not in a rush to trade him.

"If Carmelo is with us, we will continue to develop our young players," Mills said. "If he's not here, we'll continue to develop our young players."

Perry is not concerned with the dynamic working under Mills.

"We've developed a friendship," Perry said. "And I have complete trust in (Mills). I think we're very much aligned in our thinking, so I'm really excited about the prospects of spending time and working with him."

The Knicks will presumably have Kristaps Porzingis as the center piece.


Stefan Bondy/New York Daily News

Tags: New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

Nets Expect To Balance Touches, Minutes Between Jeremy Lin, D'Angelo Russell

Jul 17, 2017 2:52 PM

The Brooklyn Nets don't anticipate any issues with getting Jeremy Lin and D'Angelo Russell enough minutes and enough time on the ball.

The Nets traded for Russell in June.

“I think Brad Stevens said this the other day: We don’t even look at the roster like 1-2-3-4-5. We have our smalls, our perimeters that can handle the ball. Then we have our wings, then you have your shooting bigs and your rolling bigs. It’s like, I don’t anticipate any problems," said Kenny Atkinson.

"The way we play offense, it’s very conducive to both of them getting enough touches. You look at C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard — and I don’t want to compare the players — but they end up both playing a ton of point guard. They just stagger the minutes. So believe me, there’s gonna be enough minutes, enough touches for both of those guys.

"I look at it for myself as like, we just got another really good player. Jeremy’s really good, he’s really good. Now it’s up to our coaching staff to figure out how we can use them best.”

Kristian Winfield/SB Nation

Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Jeremy Lin, Brooklyn Nets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

John Collins Used Summer League To Prove He Should Have Been Picked Higher

Jul 17, 2017 1:44 PM

John Collins fell to the Atlanta Hawks at No. 19 in the 2017 NBA Draft and he had an excellent Summer League.

Collins ranks second in Summer League in PER at 32.5.

“I wanted to prove that I should have went higher,” Collins said. “Not to say that I’m not happy with the spot I’ve fallen. I’ve fallen to great spot, a great organization, the fans love me. I have a great opportunity here, which I’m blessed for. But I want to show everybody, I feel like I should have gone number one. Maybe that isn’t realistic. But I want to prove to everybody that I should have went higher. I’ve been overlooked most of my career. So I’m kind of happy, because it gives me that same energy, that same fear and drive.”

Collins was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2017 as well as the conference's Most Improved Player.

David Aldridge/

Tags: John Collins, Atlanta Hawks, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General, NBA B-Ball IQ

Rockets Looking Forward To Playing James Harden, Chris Paul Off-Ball

Jul 16, 2017 11:42 AM

James Harden is looking forward to sharing the floor with Chris Paul. Both players have grown accustomed to playing with the ball in their hands but they will each have less responsibilities playing with each other.

"The last 13 years, he's had to dominate the ball so much because he didn't have somebody to help create plays for him," Harden said. "I know how I felt the last five years the same way, having to dominate the ball. It feels good to get a catch-and-shoot opportunity or to just run the floor and not have to worry about having to make a play every possession.

"It's going to be fun. There's no point guard, no shooting guard. We just go out there and make plays and make our team better."

Harden played a big role in convincing Paul to join the Rockets.

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Tags: Chris Paul, James Harden, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

James Harden: Everything Is Going To Happen In Houston

Jul 16, 2017 11:39 AM

James Harden will be paid $228 million over the next six seasons with the Houston Rockets.

"It's rare that you feel so welcome, that you feel like you're at home and feel like every single day you wake up to go to work and have people around you to motivate you, that push you to be better, that you love to be around," Harden said. "That's another reason I signed the extension.

"I don't want to go anywhere. I don't want to deal with free agency. I know where home is. I know where I want to be. I know where I want to retire ultimately. And I know where I want to win a championship. Everything is going to happen in Houston."

Harden's relationship with Daryl Morey, Leslie Alexander and Tad Brown has grown over the years.

"The relationship we have here in terms of him pushing me to make the team better and his ability to recruit all these players ... is the modern way I think teams are going to be built," Morey said. "To get a cornerstone player like James and have him bring everybody to the party in Houston. We think next year is going to be the best team we've had, and it's all thanks to this guy."

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Tags: James Harden, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

Jazz Focused On Building Around Rudy Gobert Instead Of Rebuilding

Jul 16, 2017 11:16 AM

The Utah Jazz are focusing on continuing to build around Rudy Gobert instead of rebuilding following the departure of Gordon Hayward.

Hayward signed with the Boston Celtics.

"We feel like we can build defensively around Rudy Gobert," Lindsey told The Tribune. "We look at him, and he's a top 10 player and unique defender. So we wanted to build a team around his talents."

The Jazz re-signed Joe Ingles while also signing Thabo Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko and Ekpe Udoh. 

"We have the chance to be very good defensively," Utah rookie guard Donovan Mitchell said. "With Rudy in the middle, that allows the guards on the perimeter to pressure their men. If we get beat, we have the big guy to erase our mistakes and challenge in the paint. It's a nice luxury to have."

Tony Jones/Salt Lake Tribune

Tags: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

Ben Simmons Envisions Himself As 'Starting Point Guard'

Jul 10, 2017 1:55 PM

Ben Simmons has heard people question whether the Philadelphia 76ers are making the correct decision to have him play point guard.

“Everybody is a coach,” Simmons said late Sunday at the NBA Summer League. “Everybody is a GM.”

Simmons is clear on how he envisions himself on the floor.

“For me, I think you can move me anywhere,” Simmons said. “But I’m a starting point guard.”

The Sixers believe Markelle Fultz, a solid shooter and another point guard, is the perfect backcourt complement to Simmons.

“I have no problem sharing the ball,” Simmons said. “He doesn’t, either. Watching him play, he can share the ball.”

Keith Pompey/Philadelphia Daily News

Tags: Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Brad Stevens Only Focusing On Three Position Types
Brad Stevens feels position categories now are ball-handler, wing or big.

Kareem Copeland/Associated Press

Suns Decide To Pivot Towards Full Rebuild
The Suns are interested in making their cap space available to team looking to create room in exchange for assets.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN