Conner Frankamp Transferring from Kansas: Latest Details, Analysis and Reaction

Sophomore guard Conner Frankamp has decided to transfer from Kansas University, per Gary Bedore of KUSports.com.

Frankamp appeared to be dissatisfied with his minutes last season and his chances of earning more playing time in the upcoming season, per The Kansas City Star‘s Rustin Dodd.

Thus he has made the decision to continue his collegiate basketball career elsewhere.

Head coach Bill Self had this to say about Frankamp, per Bedore: “This was disappointing news to us. Conner is a fine young man, a very good basketball player and certainly part of what we had envisioned not only [for] our future but also as an impact guy for this upcoming season.”

Self added: 

We still have six other very good perimeter players. We’re looking forward to all six of those guys contributing in a big way and meaningful minutes throughout the course of the year. Conner will finish this semester academically and will continue to get academic support from us. We wish him the best in his decision making of his new school and in his future basketball endeavors.

Coming out of high school, the Wichita, Kansas, native was a sought-after prep prospect. He was considered the top shooter in the 2013 recruiting class by Jerry Meyer of 247 Sports.

No immediate schools have been mentioned as potential landing spots for Frankamp. Last season, the 6’0″ guard averaged just 2.6 points per game in 8.3 minutes per contest in his freshman campaign.

With a stacked backcourt featuring highly regarded sophomore Wayne Selden, super freshman Kelly Oubre, sophomore Frank Mason and others, Frankamp was going to be in an intense battle for minutes this season.

While his experience may be missed, the Jayhawks should be able to absorb the loss without major consequence. 

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Alec Burks, Jazz Agree to New Contract: Latest Details, Reaction and Analysis

The Utah Jazz locked in a key part of their future Friday as they agreed to a contract extension with guard Alec Burks.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, it is a four-year deal worth $42 million. He is also reporting that Burks could earn even more money through incentives:

The 23-year-old Burks was the 12th-overall selection in the 2011 NBA draft by the Jazz out of Colorado. He is currently in the midst of his fourth professional season, and he is coming off a career year that saw him average 14 points, three rebounds and nearly three assists per game.

Burks is an important member of a young core that also includes the likes of Derrick Favors, Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter and Dante Exum.

While Burks has yet to establish himself as a star-caliber player, Ben Anderson of 1320 KFAN views the signing as a smart one by Utah:

The Jazz are a team in transition as they try to become competitive in the Western Conference, but they may not be too far away from playoff contention.

Youthful players like Burks are getting better by the day, and Utah deserves credit for being proactive in an effort to let its future stars continue growing together.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Postgame Grades and Analysis

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points, and the New York Knicks spoiled LeBron James’ homecoming, topping the Cleveland Cavaliers, 95-90, at Quicken Loans Arena Thursday night.

The Cavaliers jumped out to a quick start, taking an 11-point lead early in the second quarter. However, the Knicks slowly chipped away, and by halftime, Cleveland was only up 44-42.

New York proceeded to drop 53 points on the Cavs during the second half, 16 of those coming from Anthony.

The Knicks shot 53.6 percent from the floor overall and converted on six of their 12 three-point attempts. They also assisted on 30 of their 37 made field goals.

James appeared affected by nerves, as the perennial All-Star shot only 5-of-15 from the floor and matched a career high with eight turnovers.

As a team, the Cavaliers coughed up the rock 19 times, leading to 26 New York points.

 

New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony: A

Carmelo Anthony was spectacular.

He scored 25 points, 16 of those coming in the second half. He was also huge down the stretch, hitting six of his last seven shots, including a beautiful baseline jumper over LeBron James to essentially seal the game late.

What’s more, Anthony did a nice job facilitating, handing out six assists.

Melo went 9-of-17 from the floor, knocking down a couple of treys and going 5-of-7 from the charity stripe.

Finally, he was a plus-nine in the win.

 

Amar’e Stoudemire: C-

Amar’e Stoudemire wasn’t particularly efficient on this night.

The big man went only 3-of-8 from the floor, scoring eight points in 24 minutes. He did, however, do a solid job of setting screens to create lanes for Anthony, so at least there was that.

Stoudemire totaled four boards as well.

 

J.R. Smith: B+

J.R. Smith got off to a rocky start in this one, leading some to question whether he has any idea of what the triangle offense really is.

However, Smith settled down and actually ended up having himself a decent outing.

He stayed under control for most of the night, taking only 10 shots (he made five), and he dished out a rather impressive seven assists.

Smith also made a big teardrop to put the Knicks up five with under 50 seconds to play.

Perhaps learning this offense will not be as complicated for Smith as the masses feel.

Smith scored 11 points.

 

Iman Shumpert: B

For a guy who struggled with his confidence so much last season, Iman Shumpert looked awfully good on Thursday night.

The Georgia Tech product scored 11 points off 4-of-7 shooting and did a solid job of handling the ball when New York needed to beat the press.

Of course, Shumpert was hardly a showstopper in this contest, but he looked significantly better than last year. He stayed the course and played within himself.

Shumpert also grabbed three rebounds in 29 minutes.

 

Rest of Team: A-

Quincy Acy was outstanding in 22 minutes. Although he ended up fouling out, one of the newest Knicks posted eight points and 10 boards, six of those coming on the offensive glass.

Jason Smith was brilliant too, spotting up for mid-range jumpers and burying five of his six shots. He totaled 12 points.

Second-year guard Shane Larkin also had a solid outing, tallying nine points and doing an incredible job of playing the passing lanes with five steals.

Finally, Pablo Prigioni hit a pair of triples for six points, and Cole Aldrich gave New York 14 good minutes off the pine, pulling down six rebounds.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James: D-

LeBron James got off to an inauspicious start in his return home.

The superstar went only 1-of-9 in the first half and displayed very sloppy handles, turning the ball over three times in the first quarter.

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, this continued throughout the rest of the contest for James.

The two-time champion ended with 17 points off a paltry 5-of-15 clip, turning the ball over eight times overall, which matched a career high.

To make matters worse, James was a game-worst minus-13.

You have to think LeBron will be much better next game now that he got the home opener out of the way.

 

Kevin Love: B+

Unlike James, Kevin Love got off to a terrific start, recording 11 points in the first period and giving the Knicks fits with his ability to space the floor.

However, Love slowed down considerably as the night progressed, as he scored only eight points the rest of the way.

Love remained a force on the boards for most of the night, grabbing 14, but seven of those came during those explosive first 12 minutes.

Love finished with 19 points off 6-of-14 shooting and also handed out four assists.

The forward put up solid numbers, but his ineffectiveness down the stretch hurt his team dearly.

 

Kyrie Irving: A-

Kyrie Irving was probably the best and most consistent of the Cavs‘ Big Three Thursday night.

Irving did a fine job of attacking the basket all game, scoring 22 points off 8-of-14 shooting. With James struggling, he sensed that he needed to get more aggressive, and he did just that.

Irving posted six assists and five rebounds to go along with his point total.

It would be terrific if Cleveland can get this Irving night in and night out.

 

Anderson Varejao: C+

Anderson Varejao was relatively quiet.

He tallied 10 points off 4-of-5 shooting, but he did not make his usual impact on the glass, hauling in only four boards.

Varejao also did not provide much in the way of rim protection.

Cleveland will need more from the Brazilian if it wants to be serious about contending this season.

 

Rest of Team: F

There wasn’t much to write home about for Cleveland in terms of production from its role players.

Dion Waiters had a fairly subdued evening, scoring 10 points off 4-of-9 shooting. Then, in terms of bench production, Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova contributed six points apiece.

Shawn Marion played 10 minutes but went scoreless. 

Twelve bench points is just not going to cut it.

 

Coming Up Next

The Knicks will host the Charlotte Hornets Nov. 2. 

The Cavaliers will travel to Chicago to play the Bulls Oct. 31.

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Season Predictions and Analysis for the 2014-15 Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets will look to claw their way back into contention this year with a healthy Brook Lopez and Deron Williams leading the charge under new head coach Lionel Hollins.

Do the Nets have enough to challenge the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers in the East?

Ric Bucher gives his take when he joins Adam Lefkoe in the video above.

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Marquis Teague to 76ers: Latest Trade Details, Analysis and Reaction

The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to a trade that will send Marquis Teague to the City of Brotherly Love.

Per Rod Boone of Newsday, the Nets will receive Casper Ware and a second-round pick in the 2019 draft in exchange for Teague:

The move was officially confirmed by the Nets and general manager Billy King on NBA.com:

The Brooklyn Nets have traded guard Marquis Teague, along with the 2019 second round draft pick that was obtained from Milwaukee this past June, to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for guard Casper Ware, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

The 76ers continue to be a franchise that’s hard to figure out. Their drafts on paper have looked good with Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid representing a huge part of the future, but Noel missed all of last season and no one has a definitive answer if Embiid will play this season. 

Teague certainly isn’t going to change their fortunes. He’s averaged 2.3 points on 34.9 percent shooting in two seasons. Tim Bontemps of The New York Post noted during a Nets preseason game on October 22 that Teague looked as bad as his regular season stats suggest:

The upside is Teague is only 21 years old and two years removed from being a first-round pick by the Chicago Bulls. He should get an opportunity to play with a Philadelphia team that needs bodies to fill out a roster and make it through 82 games. 

It’s not a move that will dramatically change the fortunes of the Nets or 76ers, but neither side is assuming that much risk. The 76ers gain some upside, however small it might be. 

 

If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter. 


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Blake Griffin Assault Investigation: Latest Details, Analysis and Updates

Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin is currently being investigated by Las Vegas Metro Police on a claim that he allegedly assaulted a man early Sunday morning.

According to Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times, Griffin, who was with the Clippers in Las Vegas for a Saturday night game, is accused of slapping a man at Tao nightclub in the Venetian.

The alleged victim told TMZ, via Turner, that Griffin “slapped me in the right side of the face.”

Dan Woike of the Orange County Register provides comments from Clippers coach Doc Rivers:

Charges have not been filed at this moment, while the NBA is also looking into the investigation.

Griffin, a four-time All-Star in four NBA seasons, averaged 24.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest in 2013-14.

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Season Predictions and Analysis for the 2014-15 Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors will look to make some waves in the Western Conference this season under new coach Steve Kerr. Can Kerr and the Splash Brothers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, lead the Dubs on a deep run?

Howard Beck and Ric Bucher join Adam Lefkoe to give their take in the video above.

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Season Predictions and Analysis for the 2014-15 Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets will try to put the disappointment of last season behind them and advance deep into the Western Conference playoffs this year. Can James Harden and Dwight Howard help Houston make a run?

Howard Beck and Ric Bucher join Adam Lefkoe to break down the upcoming season in Houston in the video above.

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Oklahoma City Thunder season preview: Roster analysis

As October draws to a close, we are just eight days away from tip off to yet another NBA season. With the disappointment of last season’s finish behind them, the Oklahoma City Thunder are focused on winning a championship once again. This time, however, they will have to start their quest without reigning league MVP Kevin Durant for the first two months of the season. The four-time scoring champ had successful surgery on a Jones fracture in his right foot that will keep him out for roughly six to eight weeks. Without Durant, the rest of the players on the roster will have to step up and help lead the Thunder to a fast start, which may require some adjustments on the fly from head coach Scott Brooks.
With Durant in the fold, the Thunder project as one of the strongest teams in the league. Without him, Russell Westbrook is the unquestioned leader, but the question remains if anyone else can shoulder the immense scoring load that Durant leaves behind when he is on the sidelines.
With a full and healthy roster,

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Season Predictions and Analysis for the 2014-15 Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls will welcome back Derrick Rose this season, with high hopes of challenging for an NBA title. Can Pau Gasol help the Bulls take the next step?

Howard Beck and Ric Bucher join Adam Lefkoe to break down the upcoming season in Chicago in the video above.

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