If Memphis can only squeeze a league-average offense out of this group, they’ll grade out as more of an “absolutely everything has to go right” fringe contender than a true title threat. Those who subscribe to ‘The 5 Percent Theory‘ believe such fringe powers should go for it anyway, since very few teams each season even reach 5 percent territory. But the Grizzlies are about $4 million over the luxury tax, staring at a very expensive four-man core that, if left intact, could take Memphis over the tax line in this season and the following two. Three straight tax seasons wouldn’t trigger the dreaded repeater tax penalties, but that path would hamstring Memphis’ roster-building flexibility during those three years and could put the repeater penalties in play if the Grizz cross the tax later.”
Who will be the first pick overall in the 2013 NBA Draft? Nobody knows right now, but our our Joe Kotoch broke down six potential candidates this morning: “After several years in which consensus top picks such as Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, and John Wall were the obvious choices for whichever team won the lottery, 2013 appears as though it will be different. When a draft lacks star power, it usually means the race to be the first pick is wide open — which is the case this year. Several talented players across the country and the world have a shot to be the top pick, but that will largely depend on which team ends up winning the lottery. While the top of the draft is weak, overall this is a fairly deep draft that is strong in terms of bigs.”
Similarly, Yannis Koutroupis of Hoopsworld discusses what comprises a No. 1 overall draft pick: “There’s nothing more prestigious for an aspiring professional basketball player than going number one overall in the NBA Draft. It’s an achievement that takes a lifetime of hard work and dedication. It forever etches you in history as the best prospect of that year and it makes you a big part of your team’s future. Oh yeah, some fat paychecks come with it as well. It’s not all great, though, just ask Kwame Brown. Being the top overall pick in the draft comes with the burden of high expectations. And, forget about taking time to develop. Teams typically expect an instant impact from the player who they pick first. If you’re not a star by year three, get ready to be associated more with being a bust than an actual human being.”
Since we’re on the college bandwagon right now, we thought you’d find this piece about Syracuse’s star point guard- and likely lottery selection – Michael Carter-Williams. Luke Winn from Sports Illustrated gives an in-depth look at what Carter-Williams is accomplishing this season: “When Carter-Williams is on the floor, he’s assisting on 50.5 percent of his teammates’ field goals. Is that normal for a dominant point guard, you ask? Far from it. Only two point guards in the past 10 years have finished a season with an assist percentage above 50. Northeastern’s Jose Juan Barea did it twice (while also using an insane 37.8 and 38.7 percent of his team’s possessions), and Marquette’s Travis Diener did it once (in an injury-shortened senior year).”
There was a time when hiring Mark Jackson was considered a joke by a lot of people. Well, he’s proving everyone wrong with his Warriors thriving. Zach Harper of CBS Sports Eye on Basketball with a nice story here: “Right after the news broke that Mark Jackson would be leaving the ESPN announcing booth and become the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, the Internet burst into laughter. There was a time when it seemed only natural for the point guard, who finished with the third most assists in NBA history (even ahead of Magic Johnson), to take a shot at donning a suit and patrol the sidelines. He was a cerebral player who saw the angles and made teammates better. He ran offenses, called out defensive assignments, and remained effective with veteran knowhow and an acute understanding of the game of basketball.”
Jeremy Bauman, an aspiring scout and shooting coach, is a blogger and columnist for SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.