NBA Rumors: Roy Hibbert Trade Rumblings Continue Pacers’ Subtle Culture Shift

August 12th, 2014 by Tyler Conway No comments »
When the Indiana Pacers allowed Lance Stephenson to exit stage Charlotte this summer, the whole situation seemed unsettlingly narrow-minded. Larry Bird and Pacers brass allowed a 23-year-old near All-Star and two-way menace to bounce over a couple million bucks—pittance for a player who was already destined to be the summer's best bargain. And it wasn't just that the Pacers let Stephenson walk over cash. It was how they did it. As they cried poor in negotiations with Lance and his representatives, Indiana was steadily spending money on other talent. C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez signed deals to put the Pacers dangerously close to the luxury tax as they were allegedly negotiating to retain Stephenson. It was a full D-Generation X move right in Stephenson's grill. While I remain befuddled by the whole ordeal from a basketball standpoint, Bird's overall goal is becoming apparent. On Sunday, reports from Matt Dery of New Detroit Sports 105.1 and Sportando indicated the Pacers have ...

2015 NBA Mock Draft: Dog Days Edition

August 12th, 2014 by Jonathan Wasserman No comments »
It's never too early for a mock draft, and with events like the LeBron James Nike Skills Academy and Adidas Nations all wrapped up, we actually have a better sense of who might be poised for breakout seasons.  The 2015 class isn't as strong at the top or deep at the bottom as 2014's, but the lottery is likely to be dominated by one-and-done freshmen and international projects.  To avoid irrelevant debate, the draft order reflects last season's final regular season standings. The Milwaukee Bucks finished with the worst record in 2013-14, so they get the first pick in the 2014-15 mock draft.  And any trades that have been made in the past involving 2015 draft picks were taken into account. Begin Slideshow

Greg Monroe to Sign Qualifying Offer with Pistons: Latest Report, Analysis

August 12th, 2014 by Tyler Conway No comments »
Stan Van Gundy's first big personnel move as Detroit Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations had long been expected to be deciding upon Greg Monroe's future with the franchise. Well, Monroe is reportedly taking the decision out of Van Gundy's hands.     The restricted free agent informed the Pistons Tuesday that he will accept their one-year, $5.479 million qualifying offer rather than accept a long-term deal, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Monroe, 24, has played his first four seasons with the Pistons after being taken No. 7 overall in 2010.  His decision comes after more than a month of negotiations with the Pistons about a long-term contract. Long thought of as a nuclear option—Monroe is turning down tens of millions of dollars in guaranteed cash—it's also a bold power play by his agent, David Falk. By signing Detroit's offer sheet, Monroe can hit unrestricted free agency next summer. He will also have the ...

Is Rudy Gay a Desperate or Inspired Pick for Team USA at 2014 FIBA World Cup?

August 12th, 2014 by Grant Hughes No comments »
Rudy Gay is that odd sort of player who polarizes fan bases and leaves no room for qualified opinions or middle ground, which is part of the reason his late-stage addition to Team USA is so fascinating. Featuring a game simultaneously loved and hated, observers either prize Gay's ridiculous combination of size and athleticism or view his shot selection and tunnel-vision passing as a scourge on effective offense. What's so confounding about Gay is his ability to prove both camps right within the span of a few plays. There's little consensus about the guy, save this: He's on the team, per Marc Stein of ESPN: Kevin Durant and Paul George are out, and other big wings like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony never showed up in the first place. The fact that Gay was added to the camp roster at all means he's likely to advance through the next round of cuts. So, did Team ...

Sacramento Kings Unveil New Retro-Inspired Jerseys for 2014-15 Season

August 12th, 2014 by Tristan Thornburgh No comments »
The Sacramento Kings will be paying homage to the teams of the late 1990s and early 2000s with their new jerseys for the 2014-15 season.  The team's home and away jerseys will have an "an arced, silver-lined wordmark taken from the team's primary logo with a centered number on the front and back of the jersey," according to the team's website. These look pretty similar to the jerseys that Jason Williams, Chris Webber and Co. wore during a fond time in the team's history. The Kings' black jerseys will remain the same. Nik Stauskas, the Kings' first-round pick in the 2014 NBA draft, sported the new jerseys at the 2014 NBA rookie photo shoot. What do you think? [NBA.com/Kings]Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

How Important Will Brad Richards Be to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2014-15?

August 12th, 2014 by Steve Silverman No comments »
Nobody is expecting perfection or even an All-Star performance when Brad Richards dons his Indian head jersey and skates on United Center ice for the first time as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks this fall. However, that doesn't mean he won't be manning an important role for head coach Joel Quenneville and the organization. The Blackhawks have been looking for a No. 2 center for several seasons. While they have had tremendous success with two Stanley Cup titles and an additional appearance in the Western Conference Final during the last five seasons, they have not found a center who could consistently and adequately handle the job on the No. 2 line. General manager Stan Bowman signed Brad Richards during free agency with the hope that he could fill that role for at least one season better than has been done in recent years. Players like Dave Bolland, Andrew Shaw, Marcus Kruger and Michal ...

Why Kevin Love’s Best Role Is as a Superstar Sidekick

August 12th, 2014 by Stephen Babb No comments »
The history books will blame everyone but Kevin Love for the failures of the Minnesota Timberwolves. From Ricky Rubio's shooting woes to ill-fated draft picks like 2009's Jonny Flynn, there are plenty of directions in which to point fingers. But a realistic assessment of Love's past and future suggests that he deserves his share of accountability as well. This guy was never built to lead his team from the depths of sustained mediocrity. Those kind of heroics aren't in his DNA. So it's fitting that Love's career will in many ways mimic that of LeBron James' former teammate, Chris Bosh. Love and Bosh both began their careers with big numbers on middling teams. Bosh spent his first seven seasons with the Toronto Raptors before deciding his best title prospects lay with the stars aligning in Miami. Love has given six seasons to the Timberwolves, similarly accruing gaudy statistics on a club going nowhere. Now, like Bosh, ...

Doc Rivers Contract: Latest News and Rumors on Negotiations with Clippers

August 12th, 2014 by Matt Fitzgerald No comments »
Amid a landmark, positive day for their franchise, the Los Angeles Clippers are the topic of more good news on Tuesday.    Now that the Clippers have officially been sold to new owner Steve Ballmer for $2 billion, according to a statement on their team website, head coach Doc Rivers is reportedly ready to enter negotiations on a new contract soon. Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski has the scoop: Ballmer shared his thoughts on joining forces with Rivers when the sale went through Tuesday. "The topic of conversation with Doc earlier was to focus in on what does it take and how can I help support him in achieving our mutual mission and in a pretty intense way continue to improve, be tenacious," said Ballmer, per The Associated Press' Beth Harris, via The Boston Globe. "If we do all that, good things will come our way." Interim Clippers CEO Dick Parsons doubted Rivers would remain in L.A. if Donald ...

What the Knicks Winning an NBA Championship Would Mean for New York City

August 12th, 2014 by Jim Cavan No comments »
There are certain cities and certain sports whose relationship occupies a space somewhere between the fervent and the fanatical. Think football in Pittsburgh, hockey in Montreal, baseball in Boston. But it’s basketball in New York that may boast the deepest roots of all. From playground legends to the players who made a mecca of Madison Square Garden, “the city game” has struck sparks through streets and boroughs for over a century, its rhythm and pace a perfect reflection of the Big Apple’s frantic grace. So after the New York Knicks finally captured the hearts and minds of America’s grandest town, first in 1970 and once again three years later, the subsequent yearning for more hardwood heraldry about the hallowed rafters was predictably painful. Which is why, despite the bevy of challenges the team now faces, the next Knicks title would bring about a city celebration that never sleeps. Appropriate, then, that the titanic task ...

Which Eastern Foes Present Toughest Challenges to Chicago Bulls Next Season?

August 12th, 2014 by John Wilmes No comments »
The Chicago Bulls enter the 2014-15 with their most talented roster of the Tom Thibodeau era—but they’re far from indestructible.  The Eastern Conference has improved alongside the Bulls, and there are a number of teams capable of stopping them en route to the NBA Finals. LeBron James and his newly loaded Cleveland Cavaliers are only the beginning of the East’s depth this season. While Chicago has Derrick Rose, the best point guard in the conference when healthy, and a loaded frontcourt, there are still teams with more talent on the wing, more overall speed and more shooting. By preying on any number of these disadvantages, these Bulls foes could have their fanbase tossing and turning with anxiety come springtime.Begin Slideshow