Scotto: Dragan Bender’s Rising NBA Draft Stock

Dragan Bender

NEW YORK – Dragan Bender is the trending name amongst NBA general managers and executives after Maccabi Tel Aviv’s tour in Chicago and New York. At 17, the Croatian forward has the league drooling over his long-term potential and future lottery teams scheming for the ping-pong balls to select the 7-footer in next year’s draft. League executives and scouts from Denver, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Utah were on hand at Madison Square Garden to watch Bender. “Closet thing to Pau (Gasol)


Should Have Seen This Coming? Not With The Media’s Love For Legendary Larry Brown


Larry Brown was like your grandfather. Or at least, that’s how everyone around college basketball described him. He was an unchallenged legend, revered as one of the game’s great teachers, a man who could parachute in to an irrelevant program in a borderline-irrelevant conference and turn it into a budding basketball hotbed. He was old (75), small, gentle and soft-spoken. He wore little circle glasses, paced around nervously and looked and acted like an English Lit professor. He talked constantly about teaching kids, teaching


Sprung: Can Kobe Bryant win the MVP Award?


What would it take for Kobe Bryant to win the 2015-2016 NBA MVP award? As we handicap the MVP race for the 2015-2016 season, we’ll take a look at last season’s top five finishers— Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and LeBron James— along with Kevin Durant. But a question many Angelenos and basketball fans around the world have is what kind of numbers would Bryant have to put up in his age-37 season to take home the crown? To


Scotto: Top 25 Free Agents of 2016


Will Kevin Durant be the next superstar to opt for a change of scenery in the summer of 2016? If not, could it be Dwight Howard instead? (Yes, again) Will someone change teams and then change his mind during the moratorium period again like DeAndre Jordan did? One thing is for sure, the salary cap is going up dramatically next summer – projected to be in the $90 million range – and roughly 20 teams will have room for at least one maximum salary contract. In


Bernucca: NBA’s Largest Pay Raises Show It Pays To Be Patient

Jimmy Butler

It pays to be patient. That is the financial lesson of the NBA’s offseason, which saw the biggest pay raises go to players who turned down contract extensions and gambled on themselves. Among the top 11 pay increases this summer, five went to players who felt like they were being lowballed by their teams — and proved it when they cashed in with bigger deals as restricted free agents this summer. Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Orlando’s Tobias Harris, Detroit’s Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City’s Enes


Top Remaining Free Agents — Sept. 16 Edition

Carlos Boozer

What if I told you your favorite team could land a power forward that has never averaged less than 10 points per game in any of his 13 NBA seasons? He won a gold medal for Team USA. He is widely viewed as a good locker room guy. His basketball IQ is just south of MENSA territory. Who is the mystery free agent forward? It’s Carlos Boozer. In a statistically down season, Boozer averaged 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game and


Marks: Hoops Aside, What’s Happening to Sixers is Tragic


PHILADELPHIA — The cruel existence of the Philadelphia 76ers over these past few years, especially lately, has got to stop. It’s one thing screwing around with the production on the court, resulting in just 71 victories over the past three years while the franchise has been stockpiling draft picks and injured big men. That’s rebuilding basketball, Sam Hinkie style. But what’s happened off the court in the last year alone isn’t just heartbreaking, it is downright tragic. One-by-one, Philadelphia’s most iconic big men have


Eurobasket ’15: Who Could Challenge Team USA In Rio?


This year’s European Championship, the Eurobasket, will be kicking off this weekend with group play taking place in France, Croatia, Germany and Latvia, with 24 teams fighting for two automatic bids for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Both the champion and the runner-up will automatically qualify for the prestigious competition next summer, with the 3rd-7th place teams earning the right to fight for one of the three final bids for the Olympics in next summer’s three pre-Olympic qualifying tournaments. Team USA is