Why This May Have Been Final NBA Offseason to Rebuild Through Free Agency

October 6th, 2015 by Dan Favale No comments »
Free-agency-based rebuilds are presented with a lot of pomp and promise in the NBA, their aim simple, their appeal unmistakable. Skip the process. Sidestep the patience. Shirk the idea that reinventing an entire roster must take years and include recurrent lottery appearances. Create cap space instead. Use that flexibility to reel in established, high-impact free agents who wedge open a championship window quickly, if not right away. In the most fundamental nutshell, that's the primary pro of rebuilding through free agency: Immediacy. But this instant gratification is not guaranteed, not even to the most financially flush suitors. Cap-dependent projects may be attractive in theory, but they're loaded with more peril than promise. And now, as the league prepares for an unprecedented salary-cap boom in 2016, the glitz and glam and hope initially attached to these "overnight" rebuilds are swiftly fading.   Free-Agent Follies  History isn't inundated with successful overnight rebuilds. The 2007-08 Boston Celtics, the 2010-11 Miami Heat, ...

Stephon Marbury Calls Out Michael Jordan over ‘Kids Getting Killed for Jordans’

October 6th, 2015 by Dan Carson No comments »
Stephon Marbury is known for a few things, the foremost among them being his line of affordable Starbury brand basketball shoes.This isn't to gloss over the Vaseline snacks (warning: video contains profanity) or weeping. Those are very on-brand, Marbury-ish things. But his shoes are his legacy—a line of $15 sneakers the then-NBA guard debuted in 2006 that offered a low-cost option for people who didn't want to drop most of a week's paycheck on basketball shoes.The line folded in 2009 as Marbury's NBA career fizzled out, but as Marbury teased in an Instagram post in late September, the Chinese Basketball Association's most visible player plans to bring Starburys back on the market some time in the near future.To pump up the relaunch, Marbury's been on the media circuit talking up the shoe's quality and deriding other sneaker brands as obscenely overpriced.His latest shot across the bow at the sneaker industry comes at one ...

Kawhi Leonard Didn’t Celebrate After Signing His $94 Million Extension

October 6th, 2015 by Katie Richcreek No comments »
San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard signed a five-year extension worth $94.3 million this summer. But did he blow any of it to celebrate? "No, not at all," Leonard told reporters when asked if he lived it up after signing, via the San Antonio Express-News. Turns out the five more years part would have been the cause for celebration, not the dollar amount—you know, if he celebrated. "That's what I'm most happy about," Leonard said. "I want to play 10 or more years in this league." How Spursian of you, Kawhi. [h/t SLAM Online]Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Looking for a Sleeper for NBA MVP? Don’t Laugh, but It May Be DeMarcus Cousins

October 6th, 2015 by Kevin Ding No comments »
LA JOLLA, Calif. — The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins. "Reachable, man?" Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. "It's mine to grab." Who takes him seriously? Many haven't and still don't, especially after the summertime drama that saw him reportedly on and then off the trading block. In five previous NBA seasons, Cousins has never gotten even a single fifth-place vote for MVP, and his vertical isn't the kind to invoke visions of such a quantum leap over myriad more established superstars. But let it be known that this is not the same young big man, and there are already actions to back up the MVP-hype words of the only player in basketball who outright frightens opponents. To go with that uniquely aggressive talent is, at least for the moment, a new professionalism—the intangible that elevates star players to be so much more ...

Everything You Need to Know About the Miami Heat’s 2015-16 NBA Season

October 6th, 2015 by Zach Buckley No comments »
Last summer, the Miami Heat lost the best NBA player on the planet. This offseason, they gave themselves a chance to rejoin the championship picture. Expectations are high in South Beach for a starting five that appears razor-sharp and a second team that received some needed attention. This is an old roster, which means it's both heavy on experience and anxious to win sooner rather than later. The Heat had a throwaway 2014-15 campaign, and not only because it ended with a 37-45 record. They couldn't keep anyone healthy, as head coach Erik Spoelstra trotted out a franchise-record 31 different starting lineups and had 20 different players open at least one contest. An offseason of rest ideally brought health and stability, plus the potential finishing touches on a shadow contender. With last season's most pleasant surprise and possibly this draft's biggest steal, the Heat have recovered from LeBron James' stunning departure faster and better ...

NHL Rumors: Top Trade Buzz Regarding Brayden Schenn, Bryan Bickell and More

October 6th, 2015 by Mike Chiari No comments »
NHL teams continue to put the finishing touches on their rosters with the start of the regular season on the horizon, and that could potentially lead to some last-minute deals as organizations attempt to get something for their extra pieces rather than losing them via waivers. Organizations are somewhat restricted by the fact that only 23 players can be kept on an NHL roster, which means some difficult decisions will have to be made. At the same time, it opens the door for teams with roster space to land some talented players for what could be a discounted price. As general managers attempt to put a bow on their rosters for opening night, here is a rundown of the top players who could be on the move if the numbers don't fall in their favor.   Brayden Schenn Philadelphia Flyers fans have expected Brayden Schenn to develop into a star since the franchise selected him ...

NBA Rumors: Durant vs. Smith and Injury Talk

October 6th, 2015 by Danny Garrison No comments »
At the end of the month, the games will start to count in the NBA, so it's important to appreciate these last few weeks in which rumors and speculation rather than baskets and rebounds are allowed to fuel the conversation around the league.  Pretty soon, Stephen A. Smith will be forced to evaluate Kevin Durant's perimeter defense rather than the status of their personal relationship. And if we're being completely honest with ourselves, that's a little disappointing.  Here, we'll indulge our thirst for NBA rumors and address some less scandalous topics along the way.   The Latest on Durant vs. Smith 2015  Durant has battled a foot injury for the better part of this year, but he's discovered a new opponent ahead of the 2015 season.  Stephen A. Smith instigated the situation last week when the ESPN personality declared Durant's "primary objective" was a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016 (h/t Steve DelVecchio of ...

NBA Global Games 2015: Complete Schedule, Live Stream and More

October 6th, 2015 by Scott Polacek No comments »
The NBA is going international this season for more than just Toronto Raptors games. The Global Games consist of preseason contests and two regular-season clashes outside of the United States and Canada and features the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets from the NBA, and international clubs Real Madrid, Olimpia and Flamengo. The regular-season games will pit the Magic against the Raptors in London and the Kings against the Celtics in Mexico City. Here is a look at the complete Global Games schedule, courtesy of NBA.com, as well as a couple of notable players to watch. The NBA Global Games can be seen via live stream on the NBA League Pass here.   Players to Watch Mario Hezonja, Orlando Magic The Magic used the No. 5 overall pick in the last draft on Mario Hezonja largely based on his potential and high ceiling. He is a 6’8” guard who can post up and shoot ...

What Could Michael Jordan Have Earned in Today’s NBA?

October 6th, 2015 by Josh Martin No comments »
On Oct. 6, 1993, Michael Jordan sent shock waves through the sports world by announcing his retirement from the Chicago Bulls and the NBA. After pulling off the league's first three-peat since the 1960s, and stricken by grief in the wake of his father's murder, Jordan decided to try his hand at baseball. While Jordan left the game that made him a worldwide icon, his sojourn with the Birmingham Barons didn't cost him a penny. According to Roland Lazenby, the author of Michael Jordan: The Life, the Bulls paid him his $4 million salary during the 1993-94 season. The following year, Jordan drew $3.85 million, despite returning in mid-March. Compared to what NBA players make today, that salary, once one of the highest in the league, would hardly befit a superstar of Jordan's stature. According to Basketball-Reference.com, the average salary for the upcoming 2015-16 season will be north of $4.3 million. That number is set ...

Complete Preview and Predictions for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015-16

October 6th, 2015 by Carol Schram No comments »
The Toronto Maple Leafs may not win many hockey games during the 2015-16 season, but they should still be a fascinating team to watch. The franchise that is best known for its hapless ineptitude has hired a proven winner in head coach Mike Babcock to try to turn the situation around. This year, the intrigue will come when we see if Babcock is able to shock the Leafs out of their old habits. Will Babcock succeed in laying the foundation for a franchise that can hold its head high in the future, or will old habits die hard? Will the Leafs' turnaround begin this season, or will Toronto experience more growing pains before finally finding the path to future success? Here's a look at Toronto's offseason changes and the outlook for the year ahead.Begin Slideshow