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Derrick Rose was still on his old-TV-money contract extension in 2015, when players began to reap the rewards of a rapidly escalating salary cap. Then with the Bulls, Rose brought up his 2017 free agency and expectation that he’d earn a major payday.
Turns out, Rose settled for a one-year minimum contract with the Cavaliers last summer.
Rose, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN :
“I get a chance to reintroduce myself back to the league. I get to bet on myself. That was one of the reasons I came here, I get to bet on myself. And I’m from Chicago, I’ve got that hustling side; it’s in me, man. Next time you’ve got to pay me, you’ve got to pay me double, so it’s fine with me.”
Rose is earning $2,116,955 this season. Doubling that would put him around the full room exception. Players to receive that last offseason: Ron Baker , Jamal Crawford and Aron Baynes .
I can get behind Rose on this. If he plays well this year, the injury-prone, weak-defensive, poor-outside-shooting point guard might just get the room exception in free agency next summer.
Markelle Fultz was already causing concern with his shooting form.
Now, the No. 1 pick is sparking alarm with his Shaq-esque free throws, seen above in the 76ers preseason game yesterday.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer :
Fultz has been dealing with soreness in his right shoulder, which caused him to miss Friday’s preseason game, but he “can’t recall” when he first felt the pain. After Monday’s game against the Celtics, he said the shoulder has been hurting “on and off.” “I talk to trainers when it bothers me, and they get right to it and start working on it,” Fultz said. “When it’s not, I’m happy. Either way, I’m happy and I just go out and play.”
After Fultz left the locker room, I asked him if the shoulder issue motivated him to revise his free throw mechanics, to minimize the pain he feels when he raises his arm. Fultz said, “Yeah, for the most part. I’m just trying other things to make free throws. At the end of the day, that’s not an excuse for me. I’m just out there hooping.”
The big question: Is Fultz developing bad habits while playing through his shoulder injury?
If he’s just pushing up free throws for now so he can play and hone other parts of his game, OK. It’s the preseason. Heck, Philadelphia could probably afford him playing through that flaw in the regular season.
But if Fultz is screwing up his stroke, that’d be a major concern – especially if it flows into his shooting from the floor. If that’s the case, the 76ers should sit him.
It’s almost impossible to tell which is the case from afar and maybe even from the inside while Fultz’s shoulder is still bothering him. The 76ers just have to hope they’re handling this correctly.
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Last season, it was Giannis Antetokounmpo — we all knew he was an athletic freak, we all knew he was good, but Jason Kidd put the ball in his hands and he broke out as a player to become an All-Star and an All-NBA player. Other players such as Nikola Jokic in Denver and Rudy Gobert in Utah had their moments breaking out, even if they didn’t pull in all the accolades of the Greek Freak.
Who will it be this season? Who is about to have their breakout year? Here are our top five players to watch.
1) Karl-Anthony Towns , Minnesota Timberwolves. I can hear you saying, “he’s already broken out” as a 25.1 points and 12.3 rebound per game player last season as an NBA sophomore. He’s showing up in Gatorade ads with Michael Jordan , that’s the definition of breaking out. Yes, basketball and sports fans know Towns is amazing (he just missed making the All-NBA third team), but he is exactly where Antetokounmpo was one season ago — on the cusp of greatness and blowing up into the casual sports fans consciousness. Towns can add to his offensive game (although with Jimmy Butler and the added talent on the Timberwolves roster his counting stats likely don’t climb much), but what really has to happen is he has to get better and be more focused on the defensive end. Do that, lead the Timberwolves to the playoffs (in a season Minnesota is on a lot more nationally televised games) and Towns can have the same kind of breakout year the Greek Freak had last season.
2) Myles Turner , Indiana Pacers. He’s an impressive young player about to get a big opportunity. Last season he averaged 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game — and that was with Paul George as the focal point of the offense. George is now in Oklahoma City, the Pacers are rebuilding, and they see Turner as one of their core players going forward — he’s going to get the rock a lot. Turner good on the pick-and-roll with the ability to pop out and hit a jumper, he works hard off the ball, he has a strong post game, he’s good on the glass, and he’s just 21. If he can improve, and stay efficient with all the extra touches, Turner could have a big year on a team taking a step backward.
3) Jusuf Nurkic , Portland Trail Blazers. He may be exactly what Portland needs. Last season he looked like it — he played just 20 games for the Blazers before an injury but averaged 15.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.9 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game and the went 14-6. When he was on the floor with the Trail Blazers they a top-10 offense (110.6 points per 100 possessions) but more importantly they were decent defensively (105.4 per 100 allowed, middle of the NBA pack), and when on the floor the Blazers outscored teams by 5.2 points per 100. Can he replicate that? Can he stay healthy for a full season? If so, Nurkic could have a monster season.
4) Rodney Hood , Utah Jazz. Gordon Hayward and George Hill are gone, and someone is going to have to create offense for Utah this season. Enter Hood. Utah GM Dennis Lindsey said this summer “We believe Rodney Hood can be a primary scorer.” Two seasons ago he showed promise along those lines when he averaged 14.5 points a game and did so fairly efficiently, but that stagnated a little last season as he battled injuries. Even last season, he was very good as a pick-and-roll ball handler but he was looking to score not get others involved. Now he has to prove he can orchestrate an offense, not just get himself buckets. Bottom line is Hood is going to get the opportunity to break out, the Jazz need buckets and Hood is going to be asked to create them.
5) Clint Capela , Houston Rockets. This is a right place/right time selection. All the attention will be on the backcourt of Chris Paul and James Harden , but those guys need someone they can throw lobs to, and Capela is that — he’s very good as the role man, last season averaging 1.14 points per possession when he got the ball back. Capela also works hard off the ball. Last season, as Harden was having an MVP-level season, Capela had career-bests of 12.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, and he shot 64.3 percent. He’s going to get a lot of easy looks this season. Most importantly, the Rockets need a defensive backstop on this team and Capela can be that, the guy like Gobert, Hassan Whiteside , or DeAndre Jordan who cleans up the messes of others. Do that, on a team that’s going to get a lot of exposure, and Capela will be a breakout player.
Derrick Rose says he recorded video to recruit LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh in 2010
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose are all teammates with the Cavaliers.
They could have joined forces sooner.
LeBron and Wade considered the Bulls in 2010 free agency before choosing the Heat, who also signed Chris Bosh . Then Chicago’s big-name player, Rose said he refused to recruit those stars, though.
Now, Rose is telling a different tale.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN :
“Oh yeah, yeah, I tried,” Rose said after shootaround Tuesday. “People always said that I didn’t recruit. I tried to recruit. I put out the video, but, it wasn’t for me to say that. I felt like it was for the organization to say that.”
Rose said he filmed a video in which he recruited the big three to join him on a Bulls team that had a young core of Luol Deng , Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah already.
When asked why this revelation was just coming to light now, Rose replied, “I just wanted to see who had my back,” presumably referring to members of the Bulls front office that could have corrected the perception that Rose was hands-off by telling the media about the video that was filmed.
Rose said he is unaware if the video was ever viewed by James, Wade and Bosh.
“(The Bulls) didn’t say anything about it,” Rose said. “They sent it, I don’t know if they really actually looked at it or played the video, but, I made the video, but at the time it really wasn’t for me to say that.”
Rose clearly didn’t want to alienate his Chicago teammates by openly recruiting outside free agents, a noble sentiment. The Bulls would have had to shed salary to clear room for two max free agents, let alone three.
But what did Rose expect the narrative to be when he said things like “as far as recruiting, I never did and never will”?
Bulls management had similar incentives to show loyalty to incumbent players. Rose probably would have been ticked if someone from the front office discussed the video publicly.
Rose chose to hide his recruiting efforts, which might have improved team chemistry but also painted him a star uneager to share the spotlight. It’s nice that he set the record straight now, but after he extracted all the positives of his misleading statements, there’s no reason to feel bad he also dealt with some negative perception.
Nuggets retiring Fat Lever’s No. 12
Tim de Frisco /Allsport