Rookie Rankings, Week 22: Not the Worst Draft Ever. Not Yet, Anyway

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Anthony BennettThere’s been some talk lately that the 2013 draft could be the worst in NBA history.

We could wait more than a year before jumping into the adjoining worlds of shortsightedness and hyperbole, couldn’t we?

Yes, this was a bad draft. We’ve said it ourselves several times. For the first time since 2001, the top pick is going to average less than five points per game. For the first time since 1988, the Rookie of the Year is probably going to be a double-digit selection.

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May: Two Words of Caution Regarding NCAA Tournament: Tyrus Thomas

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wisemindI always get a kick at this time of year when a team when a deadbolt lock lottery pick is bounced early in the NCAA Tournament.

We already saw Duke (Jabari Parker) upset in the first round. And yes, it was the first round, despite what the NCAA wants you to believe.

Kansas (Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid) went down in the second round. Duke and Kansas had been both expected to play into this weekend. Neither did.

So, the breathless question after those early and surprising exits was: ‘Did they affect the draft statuses of the aforementioned young fellows?”

Five Things To Watch: Charlotte Bobcats

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bobcats small logoThis offseason was an eventful one for the Bobcats and their fans. It started the same as the previous one: looking for a new coach. This time, the search did not last quite as long as they snapped up long-time Jeff Van Gundy assistant Steve Clifford. Then they stunned analysts and fans alike at the draft by selecting Cody Zeller over Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore and Alex Len at fourth overall.

With newfound financial flexibility because of DeSagana Diop’s expiring contract, the Bobcats played more aggressively in free agency. They set their sights squarely on former Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson, a big man with an offensive arsenal in the post the team has never had. After years of languishing in the paint struggling to get much offense out of Bismack Biyombo or Byron Mullens, the Bobcats leapt at the chance to sign Jefferson for about $41 million over three years.

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SH Blog: Warriors trying to clear salary cap to sign Howard, Evans to Pelicans in three-team deal

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HowardIt had been widely believed throughout the league that the only realistic teams in the Howard sweepstakes were the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, with the Los Angeles Lakers being a hopeful third option.

Howard also met with the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors, but no one really believed that they would be realistic candidates, despite various reports that the Warriors had made an enticing case for the coveted center.

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Evening News: Bobcats ink Al Jefferson, amnesty Tyrus Thomas; Clark signs with Cavaliers;

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Happy July 4 and welcome to the Evening News.

As free agency continues, we’ll keep you updated every evening.

What’s happening today?