Scotto: Isaiah Thomas Dishes on Free Agency; Could Command Full Mid-Level Exception

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IsaiahThomas cropIsaiah Thomas entered the league as “Mr. Irrelevant” after being selected 60th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. In his third season, he’s now become a candidate for the league’s Most Improved Player award (although colleague Kels Dayton seems to disagree).

Thomas’ breakout season couldn’t have come at a better time with restricted free agency looming this summer.

With that in mind, Thomas and I discussed his development, Sacramento’s new culture and his free agency plans in an exclusive SheridanHoops interview.

Bernucca: The Disabled Dozen — Key Injuries as Camps Start

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kobeinjuryWith NBA training camps now open, every team will be using October to try to answer questions about their rosters. But for teams with injured stars, the questions have greater significance.

Like, how long can the Lakers stay afloat without Kobe Bryant?

Is Danny Granger going to come off the bench for the Pacers?

Are the Warriors really a better team without David Lee?

No less than nine current or former All-Stars will start the 2013-14 season with doubt swirling around them because they are coming off a serious injury. They comprise the majority of our list, which we like to call The Disabled Dozen.

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Exclusive Interview: Tyreke Evans’ grand search for stability

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Tyreke EvansAfter four years in the league, one Rookie of the Year award, two coaches, no playoff appearances and constant rumors of ownership changes and relocation, Tyreke Evans wanted some certainty and stability.

When July 1 came and teams had the chance to talk to the new restricted free agent, the first team that called and showed interest was the newly renamed New Orleans Pelicans. Sam Amick reported that Evans and the Pelicans had an “in-person meeting” the minute free agency began. After talking things over with his agent in Los Angeles, Evans realized that he didn’t want to go through more changes in Sacramento.

In an exclusive, one-on-one interview with Sheridan Hoops, Evans said that “it was either go through all that change again or pick a new situation that was more consistent.” That new and consistent beginning will take place in the Big Easy.

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Handicapping the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes: Who will be NBA’s worst team?

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Andrew WigginsOf the popular meanings of the word tank, two have roots signifying damage and destruction. There is the blunt military vehicle, and the less subtle term that is popular in our contemporary basketball lexicon.

The basketball version of tanking will unavoidably be a central theme in the upcoming 2013-2014 season.

Compared to previous seasons, the 2014 NBA draft class is projected to be filled with All-Stars and franchise-changing players, headlined by Canadian wing Andrew Wiggins, who will play at Kansas this coming season. Supposedly, it’s the most “loaded” draft in a long, long time.

Five Things to Watch: Boston Celtics

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brandon-bassSix years ago, the Boston Celtics opened what was supposed to be a three-year championship window after the acquisitions of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Along with Paul Pierce, the new “Big Three” won one title and could have won two more if they had remained healthy.

Like NASA getting extended use out of an aging Mars Rover, the Celtics trudged along as contenders for a few more years. The three-year window was open for a fourth year. Then a fifth. But the inevitable finally struck last season. The most difficult season since the Garnett trade ended with injuries and great disappointment.

When that last Jenga block holding up the tenuous Celtics infrastructure – Doc Rivers – was pulled from the stack and sent to the Los Angeles Clippers, the entire thing came crashing down.

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