The 2010 draft class is up for extensions this fall. John Wall, Larry Sanders, and now Paul George have signed. For everyone else’s prospects, check out Chris Bernucca’s latest column. Especially be sure to check out pick #28, Greivis Vasquez, who could be in line to be extended by the Kings. Vasquez was responsible for a whole bunch of my favorite basketball-related memories, not least of which is this one, an upset over Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansbrough, and #3 North Carolina. It’s been a lot of fun to watch him grow up as a player and his breakout year with the Hornets was a lot of fun. I’ve never been a huge Kings fan, but I’m definitely a Greivis Vasquez fan, and I’ll be rooting for him to have an even better year this season. Alex Len too, and of course, Steve “Oh He Steal” Blake. There’s not a lot of Terps in the NBA, but the ones that are I’ll root for forever.
Now it’s time once again for the latest news from all over the NBA:
- KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has an encouraging report from Derrick Rose’s first practice back: “The Bulls’ general manager and coach could be forgiven for being overly enthusiastic on Saturday following not only Derrick Rose’s aggressive first practice of training camp but Rose’s boldness afterward. “I got confidence in my (surgically repaired left) knee,” Rose said. “There’s no testing anymore. It’s going out there and playing hard and attacking.” By all accounts, that’s what the former league most valuable player did in the first session Saturday morning. Thibodeau is devoting the evening sessions on both Saturday and Sunday to film work, shooting and walk-through points of emphasis. Rose said he plans to not miss a practice. And during several sweaty scrimmaging moments Saturday morning, Rose, playing alongside first-teamers Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, played with a purpose not seen in his practice forays last spring after getting cleared for contact. “He attacked all day, in fact from the start,” Thibodeau said. “He made that clear.” “
- The Lakers might need to cut back on their usage of their future Hall of Fame point guard, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com: “Steve Nash recently received a memo from the NBA that served as both an honor and a reminder of the challenge he’ll face as starting point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers: Nash, who will turn 40 in February, is officially the oldest player on a league roster as the 2013-14 season opens. While the two-time MVP and eight-time All-Star isn’t about to succumb to Father Time just yet as he prepares for his 18th season, his team is planning on cutting back his playing time to save him for the long haul… “Mike mentioned it to me,” Nash told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Friday during a sit-down interview on the eve of the first day of Lakers training camp. “I’m open to it. Obviously I’m not the type of guy that’s going to look at the schedule and see which games I can miss — that’s never occurred to me — but if there’s a way that we can make the season better by missing a game here and there, I’m open to it.”"
- Ben Bolch of the LA Times looks at how the Lakers are adjusting to being underdogs: “Expectations haven’t been this low since the Lakers had a point guard named Smush. If the Lakers put their hands together and broke huddles by chanting “Championship” last season, what’s the phrase going to be the next seven months? “Eighth seed?” Dwight Howard is gone, Bryant may never be the same once he returns from a torn Achilles’ tendon, and the mishmash of players who will carry the team in his absence has arrived at what feels like NBA purgatory. “I guess you would say there is a little bit of an underdog tag on us, low expectations,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak said a few days before his team’s scheduled media day Saturday. “Contrasted to a year ago, it’s night and day.” “
Kobe Bryant was asked about his surprise level when Dwight Howard left: “Honestly, man, I don’t really give a s—. It is what it is. ”
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) September 28, 2013
- Royce White has a new team and, hopefully, a different situation, writes Chris Vito of the Delaware County Times: “White, the second-year forward acquired by the 76ers from Houston this offseason, attempted to clear up public misconceptions about his anxiety disorder Friday at the Sixers’ media day proceedings. It was believed White sat out his entire rookie season because of a fear of flying. “Glaring,” White said of the error. “When we went to negotiate my travel arrangements last year with the Rockets, the plan was and always will be from now on in this league is to fly when I have to and drive when I can. That was the plan we had.” White didn’t admit to a full-blown fear, but said he hopes to work out a similar arrangement with the Sixers. He said having the option to drive to games occasionally in an RV last season while with Rio Grande, Houston’s NBADL affiliate, “was really cool.” “
- The Warriors added a European rookie, reports Marcus Thompson II of the San Jose Mercury-News: “Rookie center Ognjen Kuzmic finally is a Warrior. Local media got their first look at the 7-foot-1, 251-pound Bosnian at Golden State’s annual media day Friday after he signed his first NBA contract. Kuzmic, whom the Warriors drafted with the No. 52 overall pick in 2012, signed a two-year deal for the league minimum. “I’m here now,” Kuzmic, 23, said. “I’m like happy because everything is done.” G.M. Bob Myers said earlier this week that Kuzmic’s spot is guaranteed. With center Festus Ezeli on the shelf with a knee injury, Kuzmic could be looking at minutes as the third-string center.”
— Golden St. Warriors (@warriors) September 27, 2013
Jermaine O’Neal’s been in the league so long. I asked him which big he had the most trouble guarding and he said, “Hakeem.”
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) September 28, 2013