Evening News: Kobe has “shattered” normal recovery timetable; Pekovic seeking $15 million annually

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Hello and welcome to the Evening News.

As the offseason continues, we’ll keep you updated every night.

What’s happening today?

The NBA Offseason: A Betting Preview

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dwighthoward

The Dwight Howard signing had a humongous effect on the futures market for who will win the NBA title.

And then it started a trickle-down effect.

Top 25 Remaining Free Agents — July 31 Update

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julytoaugustThis is the final edition of the Top 25 Remaining Free Agents list.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been committed, yet the No. 1 player on this list remains unsigned. And since every media member in Minneapolis seems to be enjoying time at one of that state’s 10,000 lakes, the latest news we have is that Pek and Wolves GM Flip Saunders were supposed to meet Monday in New York.

Maybe it’s just me, but something awfully fishy seems to be going on. Minnesota offered four years and $48 million, which scared away any team that might have wanted to offer a poison pill contract.

Pekovic and his agent, Jeff Schwartz, want moe than $48 million, but they have no leverage unless they take Minnesota’s qualifying offer of $6.047 million and then play the unrestricted free agency game next summer.

Some gambles make sense.

Gambling roughly $45 million?

Doesn’t make an iota of sense.

So we transition into the month of August, which will be a slow one for most but not for the staff here at SheridanHoops.com.

We are rolling out a full version of NBA Power Rankings tomorrow, and we will have team-by-team salary cap/owed draft picks/analysis posts — 30 of ‘em written by our managing editor, Chris Bernucca. You want to know who is making how much? You want to know which teams have exceptions available? You want to know who is stashing a nice owed draft pick from another team?

It’ll all be there.

Later in August, we will be publishing guest posts by 30 team bloggers taking a closer look at what they did or didn’t accomplish.

Plus, we publish the SH blog and the Tweet of the Day/Tweet of the Night to keep y’all informed and entertained.

So adios to July, and let’s welcome August with open arms.

As always, on to the rankings …

For the latest updates, let your eyes guide you to the updates in boldface.

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Tweet of the Night: Roy Hibbert waiting to hear the news on Jennings, Oden and Pekovic

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IND_Hibbert_RoyIt has been nearly a month since free agency began in July, and many of the notable names have been taken off the market, as teams begin to fill out their rosters accordingly.

Some important names that are still on the market have yet to officially sign a contract, however, and Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert is itching to find out what’s going on with them, as seen below:

SH Blog: Lillard wants to be an All-NBA player next season, Cuban says he will fire anyone who leaks news

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Damian LillardThe consensus heading into the 2012-2013 season was that phenom forward-center Anthony Davis would win the Rookie of the Year award. Not many realized that Damian Lillard would be as good as he proved to be.

Although the sixth overall pick impressed during Summer League action with 26.5 points, four rebounds and 5.3 assists, few believed that it would translate into the regular season, given the presence of LaMarcus Aldridge and the expected breakout of re-signed Nicolas Batum. Along with the presence of Wesley Matthews, Lillard was supposed to be the fourth option at best. Instead, the point guard forced himself into a bigger role and exceeded all expectations to take ROY honors.

[Related: Troll post on why Lillard should thank Anthony Davis and Monty Williams]

He worked relentlessly to become the player he is now, and the desire to be much more has him going even harder this summer. Lillard detailed what he could improve on and what he hopes to accomplish in the upcoming season, from Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld:

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