NBA Summer League 2017: Top performers, game-winners, highlights

As NBA free agency begins to slow down, basketball fans have on-court action to look forward to thanks to the NBA Summer League.

The Orlando Summer League and Utah Summer League ended last week, but the Las Vegas Summer League is in full swing, with 24 NBA teams competing for the NBA Summer League championship.
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Here’s a look at the top performers, game-winners and other highlights from the first week of summer league play.

The participants in this year’s All-Star Game will surely have fond memories 30 years from now. But they are likely to lack the wonder and the unique camaraderie that existed in the pre-interleague days, when the All-Star Game stood as the highlight of the season even for players who racked up eye-popping numbers.

(The) ’87 (highlight), for me, is the All-Star Game, said Langston, who set career-highs with 19 wins, an AL-leading 262 strikeouts, 14 complete games and 272 innings pitched. It was cool to sit in the locker room and look around and see the guys that you compete against (and) are now on the same side.

It was one of those things where you just 鈥?you never really (picture) yourself in that position, you’re sort of (freaking out), said McGwire, who won the AL Rookie of the Year after hitting a rookie-record 49 homers. You’re like, 鈥極h my gosh, I’m here with all these guys.’ And you just look at the names back there. Oh my gosh, yes.
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Darnold’s possible reasons are worth a separate deep dig entirely, especially if he has a chance to go first overall no matter how he plays this season, or even how much. (See Mitchell Trubisky, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Sam Bradford and plenty of others.)

NFL may be seeing worst advance TV ad sales in decade

Those declining NFL TV ratings last season are apparently still being felt this year, as a recent report indicates advance TV commercial sales for the 2017 season may be the worst they’ve been since 2008.
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Womens D. J. Swearinger Jersey Ad Age reports that several other factors may also be at play in the weak advance market. Some traditional advertisers have slashed their budget, and others are eyeing cuts. For example, Yahoo Sports reports that both Viagra and Cialis will end their advertising in NFL games this year (both erectile-dysfunction drugs lose their patent exclusivity protection in 2017).

One of the 14 teams to pass on the Greek Freak was the Mavericks. Considering the fact Dallas hasn’t won a playoff series since winning the NBA Finals in 2011, the Greek Freak could very well have had them in a better spot over those years. Especially this past season where they finished 33-49 and missed the playoffs altogether.

It’s a tough pill to swallow for any team that passed on Antetokounmpo but it’s even more difficult to swallow for owner Mark Cuban, who said on Sirius XM NBA radio Wednesday it was his decision to pass on him.

It was me, Cuban said. Donnie [Nelson] was like, ‘OK, I’m putting my you-know-whats on the table.’ He was doing the Sam Cassell, Nick Van Exel dance. … It’s all in. And I’m like, ‘Donnie, we have this plan.’ Because even as good as the Greek Freak has turned out to be, he was still three years away, and we wanted to try to get somebody who could help get us to the top right there and then. Didn’t turn out that way, it is what it is, that happens.

The Bucks of course drafted Antetokounmpo with the 15th pick and the rest is history. This past season he was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive and All-NBA team and was named the league’s most improved player scoring 22.9 points, grabbing 8.8 rebounds and tallying 5.4 assists per game.

That led to the big Thursday reveal of Lonzo’s first signature shoe.

Everybody knows by now what LaVar is charging. Everybody knows all the jokes that inspired. The reviews of the shoe itself are pretty good. Some have claimed they would buy it. Others have claimed they can’t wait for the shoe to flop and end up in the discount bin, and for Lonzo, and LaVar and the entire Ball lineage to end up on food stamps. (Which is a wonderful wish to have for a teenager, by the way, on the sole premise that his father gets on your nerves.)

But everybody was, and is, talking about it.

LaVar, as it also has been pointed out, is getting more mileage for himself and his son with less effort and expense than anyone could ever imagine from what was once an anonymous, nondescript dad of a ballplayer.

If this was his viral marketing plan, then amidst all our vein-popping fury, we’re not giving him enough credit for how he played it all … and played us.

You don’t even have to go back that far to see a recent parallel: LeBron James forming a management company and becoming the string-puller instead of the one being pulled … and having his business partners being patronizingly described by Phil Jackson as his “posse.”

Compared to that, what LaVar Ball is trying is even more extreme. He has no history of being a negotiator, manufacturer or CEO. He set an insanely high price for his son’s shoe deal — likely on purpose, in hindsight — saw them reject it, then set out on his own.

This is a tough contract to evaluate. Ingles is one of the best role players in the NBA, a player capable of hitting 44 percent of his 3s in addition to defending up and down the lineup. He can make plays for teammates with his tremendous vision, as well as rebound and get the break going on his own due to his ball-handling ability. Ingles is the kind of player who just helps you win games on the fringes, pure and simple. He can fit with just about any lineup, and he can make a positive impact due to his wide breadth of skills.

The Cavs pulled away despite starting guard J.R. Smith missing the second half with a hamstring injury.

Isaiah Thomas wasted no time showing he would be a factor against the Bulls Sunday night despite facing a terrible family tragedy. He finished with 33 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Game 2: Pacers at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. ET, TNT (Cavaliers lead 1-0) — The Pacers almost escaped with a win on the Cavs’ home floor in Game 1 Saturday. They obviously don’t want to return to Indianapolis in a 2-0 hole. After losing the No. 1 seed in the East late in the season to the Celtics, the Cavs are playing with a chip on their shoulder. If the Pacers don’t get a hold Monday this could be a quick series.

Connor Barth Youth Jersey Monday’s win provided far less drama than Saturday’s nail biter, which saw Indiana’s C.J. Miles miss a potential game-winner at the buzzer. Monday’s game was close at halftime, but the Cavs were firmly in control for most of the second half.

Marcedes Lewis Youth Jersey The Cavs pulled away despite starting guard J.R. Smith missing the second half with a hamstring injury.

Monday’s nightcap had even less drama as the Spurs cruised to their second straight win over the Grizzlies with a 96-82 victory at AT&T Center.

Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was impressive from start to finish in San Antonio’s 96-82 dismantling of the Grizzlies. Leonard scored 37 points on 9-of-14 shooting and yanked down 11 rebounds. He also made all 19 of his free-throw attempts to easily surpass Tim Duncan’s team record (15) of most free throws attempted without a miss. Leonard fell just shy of Paul Pierce’s NBA mark of 21 free throws made without a miss in 2003.

Should Celtics trade or keep No. 1 pick?

The Boston Celtics are in a great place right now.

Not only are they fighting for a chance to upend the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals, they were also awarded the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft.

Taking full advantage of the payout stemming from Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett’s move from Boston to the Nets, the Celtics find themselves with yet another draft-day conundrum: keep the pick or package it for a proven star.

Tyler Ennis Womens Jersey Last year, Boston fans were clamoring for president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to package his three first-round picks including No. 3 overall, which the team used to take Jaylen Brown out of California for a top-level player.

The Celtics did not make a move, and ultimately took Brown, Guerschon Yabusele out of France, and Ante Zizic out of Croatia with their three first-round picks.

While Brown made an impact this season with his athleticism and high basketball I.Q., the other two could be far removed from their chance to play on an NBA roster.

Team co-owner Wyc Grousbeck hinted Tuesday night that the Celtics may feel more comfortable keeping the pick again this year for financial reasons.

Melo has every right not to drop the no-trade clause, but Jackson continues to run to the media with hopes the public callout will convince the former Syracuse star to drop the clause and help out the Knicks. Mind you, the Knicks have done very little to help him in his time in New York, other than bring in broken down players like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah and belittle Melo throughout the process.
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it’s no wonder why their similarities could make it difficult for them to coexist on the court

If there was one president hire that would completely exemplify everything James Dolan has been about in his ownership with the New York Knicks, that hire would be Isiah Thomas.

And while Thomas has said he has no interest in the job, some sources say not to count him out.

No one knows what Jim is going to do, a source told the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola. But you’d be crazy to rule out Isiah.

Several names have been thrown out so far in the Knicks’ president search including former Cavaliers GM David Griffin and current Raptors’ GM Masai Ujiri, but considering the high regard Dolan holds Thomas in, it may be foolish to overlook that.

Authentic Mens Brendan Shanahan Jersey He’s a good friend of mine and of the organization, and I will continue to solicit his views. He will always have strong ties to me and the team, Dolan said in regard to Thomas.

Authentic Mens Quandre Diggs Jersey Like Harden, Paul is also a mean isolation scorer. When you put all of those factors together, it’s no wonder why their similarities could make it difficult for them to coexist on the court. Once a full-time shooting guard, Harden logged 98.0 percent of his minutes at point guard last season and proved himself capable of carrying them team in every way imaginable.

Paul, on the other hand, has been a point guard for his entire career and didn’t spent a minute out of position last season. Making it work for both of them in a way that helps the Rockets build on last season’s success and compete for a championship as soon as next season will take some sacrifice on both their behalves.

Derrick Rose to meet with L.A. Clippers, report says

The Los Angeles Clippers are picking up the pieces of a dreadful offseason to this point after losing both Chris Paul and J.J. Redick to free agency.

Now it seems Derrick Rose may be added to the mix in an awkward roster reboot in L.A., as ESPN reported the two sides have a meeting set for Wednesday.

Free agent guard Derrick Rose will meet with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, league sources tell ESPN.

Rose, who averaged 18.0 points per game last season with the Knicks, still has scoring ability, but his health and playing style have made it difficult to find a match this offseason.

If the Clippers can get Rose on a value deal, they may have found a fit. Rose, 28, won’t have to play heavy minutes behind Patrick Beverley, and Austin Rivers can move to a more natural shooting-guard role.

Regardless, this Clippers team will have a much different look in 2017-18.

Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/NonFootball Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List.

Norv Turner simply can’t — and won’t — stop coaching

For the first time since 1975, Norv Turner won’t be on an NFL or college staff when football season begins.
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But that doesn’t mean Turner’s coaching career is finished.
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Turner not only hasn’t shut the door on returning to the NFL in 2018. He also will remain close to the game this August as teams prepare for the regular season. The 65-year-old Turner said Tuesday night he plans on attending several NFL training camps and has accepted similar invitations from four or five colleges.

Floyd, 27, was sentenced in February to 24 days in jail and 96 days of alcohol-free house arrest for a December DUI that led to his release from the Arizona Cardinals. He finished the 2016 season with the New England Patriots before signing with Minnesota in May.

A week after signing with the Vikings, his house arrest was transferred to Minnesota, allowing the receiver to join the team at OTAs. Earlier in June, TMZ reported Floyd asked to have his alcohol monitoring ankle bracelet removed so he could avoid injuries while training.

But that meant his ankle bracelet was replaced with random breath tests. If the reports of failed tests are true, he’d be subject to additional jail time.

R.A. Dickey may be 42 years old, but the wily knuckleballer had everything working Monday. The Braves pitcher scattered three hits over seven shutout innings in a 9-0 win over the Giants. Dickey struck out six and walked just one to improve to 5-5 on the season and send the Giants to their seventh straight loss.

Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak went 3 for 4 with his 20th home run of the season to lead the Blue Jays to a 7-6 win over the Rangers.

Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger blasted a pair of home runs in a 10-6 win over the Mets. He now has 21 home runs in 51 games this season to become the fastest player in MLB history to hit 21 home runs. Bellinger finished the game 3 of 5 with four RBIs.

Bell doesn’t want to miss his payday.

Moss attempted to collect himself, and began, I really don’t know why I was treated the way I was treated on draft day, but Coach Green gave me an opportunity, man, and I told him ‘Coach, you’re not going to regret this.’

Bell doesn’t want to miss his payday. History tells us he’s only going to get one. His franchise-tag salary for this season is $12.1 million, making him (for now) the highest-paid running back in the league by far, and he deserves it. But it’s still just a tag.

The Steelers, like most teams, have taken care of their franchise quarterback, paying Ben Roethlisberger when the time has come. They took care of Antonio Brown early this offseason. There’s always been this looming possibility that they would never get around to paying big for all three. Everybody might be wrong about that, but this reminds everybody that it could be true.
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The Steelers say they’re not worried about Bell being there when he needs to be, and they shouldn’t be worried. Holding off on signing the tender and staying away from offseason workouts are his only leverage here.

SB Nation’s Titans blog, Music City Miracles, thinks this is a high point for the team’s receiving corps:

Limited Youth Patrick Corbin Jersey Rishard Matthews, Eric Decker, Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor would easily be the best combination of receivers that the Titans have ever had.
Decker can be a playmaker for the Titans and a veteran presence for the younger players. He is only 30 years old and was one of the better receivers in the league before he went down with injuries. If Decker can bounce back in a big way in 2017, then the Titans just signed a talented receiver without breaking their bank.

This rivalry’s been doing that since the first meeting in 1920.

It’s that star-crossed tournament matchup we just can’t get for some reason. Both teams made the Final Four in 1991, but for some reason we haven’t had one single tournament matchup. We’d like to see Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams get this opportunity given the two coaches have combined for eight national championships.

Better than C-W III? It’s on par. About that dislike the Cavs and Warriors fanbases feel for each other? This rivalry’s been doing that since the first meeting in 1920.

There is not a long line of suitors for Lowry otherwise. Too many of the teams with cap space — the likes of the Nets, Lakers, Kings and Pacers — are rebuilding or are preparing to rebuild with youth. Sources indicate that there’s a chance the Knicks could pursue Lowry, but he lists winning as one of his free-agent criteria, and that would eliminate New York. Furthermore, the treatment of stars Carmelo Anthony and now Kristaps Porzingis (a fellow Andy Miller client) by the Knicks have not made the organization particularly attractive to free agents.

The one team to watch could be the Nuggets, who potentially have an acre of cap space this summer and are looking to make a big-splash free-agency pickup that can help build on the success they showed last season. Denver would like to upgrade at point guard specifically, and Lowry would fit that bill.

One source with knowledge of their free-agent plans said, I don’t think anything is off the table, pointing to Denver’s surprise recruitment of Dwyane Wade last summer as a template.
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Game Mens Christian Fischer Jersey But the Nuggets alone do not make up a wide market for Lowry’s services, and that brings things back to Toronto. Lowry has been frustrated with the Raptors’ inability to break through in the East, something that is not likely to change as long as the Cavaliers stay intact. Regardless of frustration, though, Lowry won’t find many better options than sticking with the Raptors.