SH Blog: Gay happy with Kings; Keeping Faried will cost Nuggets

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Image.AdamSilverWe’ve got a very important piece up here on Sheridan Hoops today. With the Northwestern football union case picking up steam, the NCAA’s amateurism policy is coming under fire, and that could have effects on the NBA’s age limit, which Adam Silver wants to raise, and Danny Schayes says would be a disaster for the players.

Personally, I like the MLB’s system, where players can get drafted out of high school, and if they don’t sign, can go to college for three years and get drafted again. In the NBA, that would mean the best players (LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, etc.) can make the jump and get paid right away, and the ones who need development can do that in college. It would also mean an end to the one-and-done policy that many feel is killing college basketball.

Of course, the MLB draft is 50 rounds and the NBA’s is just two. And MLB teams have six or seven levels of minor league teams that players can advance through, whereas the NBA doesn’t even really have one. For the NBA to adopt an MLB-like system, every team would need their own D-League affiliate, over which they would have a sizable amount of autonomy. That’s not there now, so it looks like we’re stuck with the current system, or raising the age limit to 20. And as Schayes writes, the NBPA doesn’t have an executive director, and until they do, Silver and the NCAA can put whatever they want out into the court of public opinion.

Here’s the latest news from around the NBA:

WHAT COULD KENNETH FARIED MAKE WITH THE NUGGETS?

Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post:

Kenneth FariedFaried isn’t a LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love or Blake Griffin, all big names with even bigger contracts, but his player efficiency rating ranks right up there with them. Taking New Orleans’ Anthony Davis into account as well, it could be argued that Faried is about the seventh- or eighth-best player at his position in the NBA.

And he’s getting better.

So, right this minute, that’s under the $14 million to $22 million the top power forwards make but more than the $9.5 million of a player such as Atlanta’s Paul Millsap. Add in his standing on the Nuggets’ roster — he’s the team’s second-best player — and his exploding box-office appeal, and the price tag could fall right in that $10 million to $11 million per-year range. Modestly. He will be in search for more, no doubt.

It might be difficult for the Nuggets to justify to themselves shelling out a contract to Faried worth more than Ty Lawson’s $12 million average, however.

Taking the current roster and projecting it out over the next few years, in the summer of 2015 the Nuggets could have wiggle room. There is currently roughly $59 million in salaries, including qualifying offers. Cap holds present another challenge. But the contracts of Darrell Arthur, Nate Robinson and Anthony Randolph expire after next season and Wilson Chandler’s $7.1 million salary for 2015-16 isn’t fully guaranteed.

Christopher Dempsey takes readers’ questions about the Denver Nuggets and NBA.

If that’s the route they want to go, the Nuggets can figure out the finances and broach the subject of extension talks with Faried’s agent after the July moratorium this summer.

WISCONSIN STARS RETURNING TO SCHOOL

Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com:

WisconsinWisconsin’s duo of Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky remained steadfast after Saturday night’s loss to Kentucky that they will both be back next season for the Badgers.

The 6-foot-8 Dekker finished with 15 points in the loss and is considered a potential first-round pick. But he reiterated he will be back in Madison for his junior campaign.

“I’m coming back,” said Dekker, who entered the game averaging 12.4 points and 6.1 rebounds.

The 7-foot Kaminsky struggled for much of the game after averaging a team-high 14.1 points and 6.4 boards.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Kaminsky said.

Wisconsin is expected to return four starters from a team that finished 30-8.

RUDY GAY COULD BE IN SACRAMENTO LONG-TERM

Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders:

Rudy GaySometimes what seems like the most unlikely of pairings winds up working better than anyone could have imagined. The Sacramento Kings made an aggressive move midseason when they acquired Rudy Gay from the Toronto Raptors, and while the trade has not resulted in a ton of wins in the short-term, there are indications that Gay might be a big part of the Kings’ rebuilding plan going forward.

“I have to [keep a positive attitude], man,” Gay told Basketball Insiders. “No matter where I go, I have to be me and be the best me I can be. Honestly, I feel like I do that better here. The wins don’t really pan out like I like for them to, but I definitely feel comfortable here.”

“I’m not even sure of the exact record, but I know we’ve shown the ability to be a great competitor and beat a lot of the best teams in the NBA when those guys are all playing,” Kings head coach Mike Malone said of Gay, DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas in a recent interview with Basketball Insiders. “When they play at a high level, three 20-point scorers, we become very hard to guard because you have a low-post force, a wing with the versatility and athleticism that Rudy has and a point guard in Isaiah who can score, get to the foul line and make plays for his teammates. Not that many teams have that three-headed attack. It’s great to have and hopefully we’ll be able to keep those together because with that core you add some pieces to that and you allow Ray [McCallum] and Ben [McLemore] to continue to mature and get better and I think we have a solid foundation. Those guys, offensively, are terrific and they’re getting better defensively.”

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Dan Malone is currently in graduation limbo after finishing his journalism degree at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and spent last summer as a features intern at the Cape Cod Times. He blogs, edits and learns things on the fly for Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on Twitter.

SH Blog: Knicks and Nuggets Revisit Shumpert-Faried Trade; LeBron Says He Is Top Four All-Time; Trade Possibilities Around The NBA

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ImanShumpertAs the February 21st NBA trade deadline looms over All-Star weekend, there is no shortage of news and rumors around the league.

We’ll take a look at which teams have the ammunition to make major moves before next weeks deadline, which players can be on the move, and everything else happening in the league today. 

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SH Blog: A list of relevant players expected to come up in trade rumors, Howard says he doesn’t have to ask for the ball anymore

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With the trade deadline slowly approaching (next Thursday, to be exact), there are a specific group of players who should concern themselves with the possibility of being dealt.

Whether it’s due to the team’s priorities or their own contract situations, there are eight specific players who will come up in plenty of rumors before it is all said and done, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com. Here are some of the most intriguing thoughts from the piece:

lowryKyle Lowry was supposed to be an early trade chip for relatively cheap this season, but his stock has risen exponentially since Rudy Gay was traded. The point guard has elevated his level of play to the point where most believed he was snubbed from this year’s All-Star team (I thought he should have made it over DeMar DeRozan). If anything, however, all Lowry has done is make Masai Ujiri’s job more difficult:

Now it appears the Raptors are less likely than more likely to trade Lowry by the deadline. If a team overwhelmed them with an offer, they’d most assuredly listen, but the likelihood is growing that Lowry will finish the season in Toronto. The chance of a division championship is too enticing.

That doesn’t mean the Raptors are going to pay him in the summer.

The fear of investing heavily, only to find that this season is fool’s gold, a contract drive by a player with a history of injuries, is likely too great. The best guess is that Lowry plays it out, and, depending on how he and the Raptors do down the stretch, he’ll be in the driver’s seat in the summer.

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Sprung: Amid coaching chaos, Nets only imagine what could have been with Shaw

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KiddJason Kidd and Brian Shaw were the two finalists for the Brooklyn Nets coaching position during the summer.

While Kidd won out and was hired by the Nets, Shaw ended up getting his first head job in Denver with the Nuggets. So far, it sure seems like Shaw got the better end of that deal.

While Brooklyn languishes near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, Denver won its seventh straight game Tuesday, efficiently eviscerating the Nets, 111-87, on a night where turmoil and turbulence raged in the home locker room.

Before the game, Kidd announced that top assistant Lawrence Frank, who was reportedly at odds with Kidd, was demoted and reassigned to “doing daily reports.”

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SH Blog: Redick out six to eight weeks; Cavs to move Bennett to SF?

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Greivis VasquezEarlier tonight, I managed to catch a good deal of the Warriors-Kings game. It was a tough one to pick a rooting interest in: the Warriors have been “my team” since my family left Toronto in 1999 (for Baltimore, and I’m not going to root for a team from DC), but Greivis Vasquez is my favorite basketball player by a pretty wide distance, and I’ve grown accustomed to always rooting for Greivis’ team. Also, their new coach has a great last name.

I settled on “Greivis has a great game, but the Warriors win,” which turned out to be half right. Greivis got just 14 minutes and scored six points with three assists on 2-8 shooting, but the Warriors picked up a win behind 36 from Steph Curry.