Mock Draft 3.0 — Picks 11-20

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11. Indiana Pacers – Kelly Oubre, SF, Kansas Like many Jayhawks prospects, Oubre should be even better in an NBA system where he’ll have more scoring opportunities. As a rookie, Oubre should be able to hit open jumpers, and if he develops his ball-handling skills to create his own scoring opportunities, he could be very good. He averaged 9.3 points and 5 rebounds in just 21 minutes per game for Kansas, and went 15-for-19 from the foul line in a late-season victory over

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Scotto: Brook Lopez Shines with Free Agency Decision Looming

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BROOKLYN – You can’t spell Brooklyn without “Brook,” and the Nets couldn’t win Game 3 without Lopez. The big question after this big game: What will the big man do this summer when he has a chance to become an unrestricted free agent? It remains an open question. The 7-footer led the Nets with 22 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks in 42 minutes with the season essentially on the line. By getting the win, Brooklyn avoided the daunting task of attempting

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Most Improved Player Rankings: Why Jimmy Butler should take home the award

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It’s that time of year again. After all of the laughs, other-worldly performances, and misguided declarations that someone was dead, we’ve arrived at the end of the season. It’s time to pick a winner for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. As always, I told myself I wasn’t going to cry. As always, I lied to myself. (Sniffle) We saw a lot of improvement in the NBA this season. The Atlanta Hawks went from Eastern Conference Playoff Team With a Losing Record™ to The Spurs

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Most Improved Player Rankings: Jimmy Butler returns to the NBA

New Jordan Stern

Jimmy Butler shaved his head and wore No. 45 in his return with the Bulls last week. (We think). Last time we were all together in this space, I announced that Jimmy Butler was dead. That was evidently erroneous and inaccurate reporting. I apologize for that. I was just trying to honor a veteran. I know now that Jimmy is not dead. In fact, he only missed 11 games for the Chicago Bulls, then returned triumphantly last week against the

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Schayes: Jazz playing spoilers like it’s Patrick Ewing poster night

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The season is winding down. The excitement of the race for the final spots and playoff positioning is starting to get real, for a majority of teams, that is. But what about those who are out of it with more than a dozen games still to go. Do you mail it in? Play for draft position? While no player wants to be in that position, there can still be plenty of motivation of things to play for. After all, only the GMs care about draft

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Tweet of the Night: Matt Harpring has a bold hunch about the Jazz and Timberwolves

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Monday’s contest between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz featured two teams who have been in the bottom of the pack in the West for quite a number of years. The Jazz have been trying to find a way to re-identify themselves since trading away Deron Williams in 2011. The Timberwolves have essentially failed to recover since trading away Kevin Garnett in 2007, although their downfall began even with Garnett on the team.It was a bit of a surprise, then, to

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Bernucca: Gimme Shelter: Fallout from Durant injury will reach Near and Far

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The last 12 months represent by far the least amount of basketball Kevin Durant has played in his eight-year NBA career. In a sadly ironic twist, it also represents a time when he has had more intrigue swirling around him than ever before. In the last year, Durant has won NBA MVP and given a moving acceptance speech; quit as the new face of Team USA; created a bidding war between apparel companies in the mid nine figures; become the beacon of

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Most Improved Player Rankings: Life without Jimmy Butler

Hassan Whiteside

James H. Butler III 1989-2015 Hello everyone. Please take your seats. I’d like to start this column off with a moment of silence for our friend, Jimmy Butler. (Silence). Thank you. Ahem…god, this is tough…ahem. Ahem. Sorry. What can you say about a guy like Jimmy Butler? Jimmy was more than just a basketball player to most of us. He was maybe the most improved basketball player of the 2014-15 NBA season. His life was short, indeed, but in such a short time, he touched so many others. Colossians 1:17

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