Training camps start next week for five teams, and preseason games are just a couple of weeks away. The excitement is palpable as we build towards the 2014-2015 season with players who should have breakout or standout seasons. Here are five players in the Eastern Conference – one at each position, no rookies – who will take the next step towards greatness this upcoming season.
Is the white American player making a comeback this summer? All of the recent offseason buzz is centered around Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love and which team can put together the most appealing trade package to acquire him. Meanwhile, two of the top three salary bumps also went to white American players – Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward. As restricted free agents, both got max salary offer sheets and cashed in. So while white men can’t jump, they certainly can jump in
LAS VEGAS- Here at the Hard Rock Hotel, the Milwaukee Bucks are 250-1 to win next year’s NBA title, the longest odds in the league. They even surpass the tank-to-the-bank Philadelphia 76ers, whose top draft pick may sit out the entire regular season for the second consecutive year. But for people not named Jason Kidd, the Bucks aren’t playing for next season. With a pair of 19-year-old kids oozing with potential, showing their natural abilities on the UNLV campus, it’s easy to
Jason Kidd didn’t just burn a bridge with the Nets. He basically set it ablaze with an entire gas station’s fuel supply. Once groomed to be the face of the franchise, Kidd will now have all his images removed from Barclays Center – perhaps even his retired jersey hanging from the rafters.
Believe it or not, there’s someone out there who doesn’t think the Indiana Pacers are coming apart at the seams. “Everybody goes through this,” Spurs guard Tony Parker said last week after San Antonio manhandled Indiana, 103-77, on the Pacers’ home court. “I’m not worried about them. They’ll still make it to the Eastern Conference finals and they’ll still play Miami.” Parker is somewhat right. From time to time, every championship contender has a stretch during a season where they look ordinary.
It’s been a brutal season for the Milwaukee Bucks. As of this writing, they’re sitting on 14 wins and 63 losses, a league-worst clip despite the Sixers’ recent 26-game losing streak. But unlike Philadelphia, which began this season with a nakedly obvious quest to bottom out, Milwaukee actually chased the playoffs. They (rather questionably) signed O.J. Mayo and Zaza Pachulia and traded for Wisconsin native Caron Butler, who is the only player in NBA history ever excited about getting shipped to
When the Milwaukee Bucks signed Larry Sanders to a four-year, $44 million contract extension last summer, it looked like a pretty good move. Sanders showed throughout the 2012-13 season that he could be a highly impactful defensive player. He was just 24 years old (now 25), and the money was in line with other defense-first centers such as Tyson Chandler and JaVale McGee. And nothing has gone right since.
Mitch Kupchak shouldn’t be playing hardball. In his desire to trade Pau Gasol, the GM of the Los Angeles Lakers should not have insisted on receiving Dion Waiters or a first-round pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nobody has overpaid for a rental since Ernie Grunfeld sent Ray Allen to Seattle for Gary Payton — and that was a long time ago. Kupchak should have lowered his demands to match the team’s expectations. The Lakers are done for this season and should be