SH Blog: Kidd says he won’t miss Lawrence, Kobe not ruled out for Sunday

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KiddWhen Jason Kidd demoted Lawrence Frank from the assistant coach position, it was assumed that there was a rift between them. While that’s all but true, it appears there was tension between the two the moment Frank agreed to join the team. Tim Bontemps and Fred Kerber of New York Post detailed what went wrong from the jump:

One league source told The Post the Kidd-Lawrence union began on rocky footing. After Kidd’s very public courtship of Frank, when the former head coach called to accept the job, he began laying out plans for the team. Frank suggested film sessions immediately.

“I think Jason was like, ‘Whoa, slow down,’ ” the source said. “He had other things to do on summer weekends.”

Multiple reports said Frank took issue with the fact he — as the most experienced assistant on the staff and the only one with NBA head coaching experience — wasn’t tapped to coach the Nets in the opening two games of the season while Kidd served a two-game suspension for pleading guilty to driving while impaired during the summer of 2012.

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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.

StatBox Breakdown: Bynum, Granger, Sullinger among players with make-or-break seasons

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Training camps open in just over a month from now, on Sept. 28, so it’s time to start taking a critical look at the 2013-2014 NBA season.

Plenty of players around the league are facing uncertain futures, with contract statuses to be resolved and career trajectories at stake.

With that in mind, this post is the first of a two-part series of players around the league heading into make-or-break seasons of varying degrees.

Jared Sullinger, F, Boston Celtics
There’s no questioning his on-court ability, and he has proven that he can be at least a quality rotation player when healthy. But that injury red flag is larger than those you would find in Beijing or Moscow.

He was limited to 45 games in his rookie season before he had to miss the rest of the season with major back surgery. When he played, his effort and ability on the defensive end (he had a sterling 102 defensive rating) provided a big boost to the Celtics and quickly endeared him to the hard-to-please Boston fan base.

Sullinger only played 19.8 minutes per contest, but his per-36 minute numbers are really good. He shot 49.3 percent from the field, a number that can be improved upon, but he averaged 10.9 points and 10.7 rebounds per 36. He also got better as the season went on:

Sullinger Minutes FG % Points Rebounds
November 19.2 52.1 5.9 4.8
December 17.7 45.8 5.3 5.9
January 23.2 49.5 7 7.2

Can Sullinger remain on the court and carry this success over to this coming season? Boston holds a team option on his deal for the next season, and with the team rebuilding, they will have watch to see whether Sullinger can put together a healthy season.

Kris Humphries, F, Boston Celtics

kris humphriesHumphries seems destined for the rebuilding team’s version of St. Helena. A veteran player on the final year of an overpaid contract on a Boston team that would probably prefer to play its younger players to prepare its core for the future.

After playing 35 minutes per game for the Nets in 2011-2012, his playing time was cut nearly in half last season to 18.3. His per-36 minute numbers were down practically across the board and you have to wonder where Humphries will play after this season and how much his annual salary will be sliced from its currently bloated $12 million number.


This may seem crazy right now, but Humphries’ best-case scenario could be Drew Gooden’s career.

Age 27 PER O Rating D Rating WS WS/48
Humphries 13.6 109 105 2.7 0.109
Gooden 16.3 106 106 2.7 0.102

Gooden averaged 17.2 points per game for three teams in that season, while Humphries averaged 5.8 last year. Gooden got a huge contract from Milwaukee that was recently amnestied, but it’s difficult to imagine Humphries approaching those numbers going forward. All he can do is play well when new head coach Brad Stevens inserts him into the game and hope another team will be foolish enough to give him Gooden money next summer.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats

Michael Kidd-GilchristWhat type of player is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? A foundational piece? A strong rotation player? A one-dimensional defensive player?

MKG finished with a nine point-per-game average on a very respectable 45.8 percent shooting, but his scoring average fell from 11 per game in November and December down to just 8.4 in April. His rebounding stats improved to 7.6 per game in April, but he shot just 22.2 percent from three and his win share and offensive and defensive ratings weren’t very good.

He averaged 26 minutes per game last season, and his per-36 minute numbers of 12.5 points and 8.1 rebounds are really good. But with Al Jefferson and rookie Cody Zeller presumably taking more offensive touches away from Kidd-Gilchrist, and the returning backcourt of Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson taking its fair share of shots, where does MKG fit in offensively?

Kidd-Gilchrist has team options of $5.01 million next summer and $6.33 million the next season. Will he prove he’s worth that number going forward? He’ll get the chance to prove he’s more than just an over-drafted bit player for the Bobcats.

Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte Bobcats

Biyombo’s improvement in his second season was negligible at best. The 20-year-old Congo native is still so very raw on the offensive end, and his overall efficiency numbers didn’t increase along with his slight uptick in minutes played from 23.1 to 27.3.

Biyombo FG % Points Rebounds Blocks PER O Rtg D Rtg WS WS/48
2011-2012 46.4 5.2 5.8 1.8 10.6 92 107 0.6 0.019
2012-2013 45.1 4.8 7.3 1.8 10.1 98 109 1.4 0.031

Charlotte will probably pick up Biyombo’s option of $4.09 million next summer, but will he really show enough improvement to justify that salary. With Jefferson and Zeller now in the fold, it would appear that Biyombo will be further marginalized on this team.

Can Biyombo prove any significant worth on the offensive end to justify him playing more than 27 minutes a game with an improved Bobcats frontcourt anchored by Al Jefferson? Right now it seems like Biyombo’s long-term future isn’t in Charlotte.

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Mitnick: Top 16 Summer League Breakout Players


summerleagueAfter going through an 82-game NBA season, many young NBA players are like caged lions ready to bust out when given the chance. I have just spent the better part of two weeks witnessing it first-hand, watching 15 games in Orlando and more than two dozen so far in Vegas, baby, where the games continue through July 22.

The NBA summer leagues are a great opportunity for unproven players to show NBA coaches and decision makers that they deserve a chance in the big show. Last season, Klay Thompson turned a fantastic summer league showing into a 35 minutes per game role for the Golden State Warriors.

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NBA Draft: A Betting Preview

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nbadraft13_300x250_3 (1)Before we begin our journey up to the 2013 NBA Draft, I personally believe it is very important to get a brief history lesson when it comes to previous drafts. Here were a few proposition bets prior to last years NBA Draft for a decent brief comparison:

Anthony Davis was the unanimous selection to go number one in the draft, which was made obvious by the fact that you had to lay almost $5,000 to win $100.

When it came to the second pick, a little more confusion was brought to the table.

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