Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

For the second consecutive season, the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t expected to do much this year as they find themselves in a rebuilding phase. ESPN The Magazine’s Henry Abbott put the blame for the Lakers’ recent misfortunes on the star largely responsible for their success in the 2000s — Kobe Bryant. Abbott says the Lakers’ lack of big name free agent acquisitions and Dwight Howard’s departure last summer is a result of how difficult it is to play and deal with Kobe and Abbot has plenty of sources to back it up, from agents to former teammates. One particular highlight was when in the 2012-13 season, Howard asked his Lakers teammates why they let all the blame for the season’s woes be placed on him. Kobe responded by giving a lecture about developing thick skin and learning how to win, which according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, was “a complete turnoff” for the big man. Abbott also talks about one agent with NBA clients who says, “I’ve had a lot of clients in the last five years, good p

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Syracuse Basketball Recruiting: Orange’s Top Targets in ’14 Early Signing Period

The Syracuse basketball season is just around the corner. Orange Madness is Friday night, and it will be the first opportunity for fans and media alike to get a look at the new members of the Syracuse squad.

The early signing period for high school athletes is fast approaching, so you can bet Jim Boeheim and his staff are hard at work on the recruiting trail. Are there any players Boeheim could lock up next month? Let’s explore it a little deeper.

Boeheim already has four commits for his 2015 class, according to 247Sports, so there isn’t much work left to do on that front. As of now, the Orange don’t have any more available scholarships to offer for next year, so signing another player could be tricky. But things happen that cause scholarships to become available. Some players transfer, and others move on early to the NBA.

Either way, Boeheim is excited about next year’s incoming freshmen. He had this to say about his 2015 bunch at a recent speaking engagement:

I will tell you that next year’s recruiting class will be the best that we’ve ever had here at Syracuse University. That’s next year’s class — 2015. We’ve got four guys (who’ve committed) and we’re getting another, but I can’t talk about that. It’s going to be a great recruiting class, and I think you’ll be excited about the future.

So, Boeheim thinks he will be adding another player to next year’s class. The most likely candidate is Thomas Bryant, a 6’10″ center out of Rochester. ZagsBlog.com reported that Bryant has visited Syracuse but doesn’t plan on making a decision until the spring. 

With that in mind, don’t expect to see Bryant sign the dotted line this November. Since it’s unlikely Syracuse will target anyone else in 2015, that moves the focus to 2016.

Tyus Battle, a 6’6″ guard out of New Jersey, recently visited Syracuse. According to Donna Ditota of Syracuse.com, Battle’s dad said the visit went “as well as it can go.”

However, Battle is the 14th-ranked player in the class, according to ESPN.com, and schools such as Kentucky, Duke, Arizona and Florida are all in the mix. So it’s unlikely he will make a decision anytime soon.

But there is one player Boeheim may be able to coax a commitment out of in the next month or two. He is Sedee Keita (no relation to Baye), a 6’9″ forward from South Carolina. 

Keita is a 4-star prospect, according to 247Sports. Mike Waters of Syracuse.com recently wrote a feature on Keita. Waters talked to Keita‘s AAU coach, Terrell Myers, who said Keita has grown three inches a year each of the last three years.

“He’s gone from being a guard to a 6’9″ forward,” Myers told Waters. “If Keita has the ball-handling skills of a guard with forward size, he could be tough for other forwards to check.” 

So far, the recruiting powerhouses haven’t gotten on Keita. Per Waters, schools such as Iowa State, Connecticut, Memphis and VCU are interested in Keita. If Syracuse can coax a commit out of Keita before the Dukes and Kentuckys of the world catch wind of him, it would be a major coup for Boeheim.

But even Keita‘s decision seems far off. Waters said Keita is deciding on a new prep school and then will focus on his college choice.

From the looks of things, Syracuse might end up being quiet during the early signing period. But who knows? Boeheim may surprise us all again. Either way, the college hoops season can’t get here soon enough.

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UNC Basketball Recruiting: Tar Heels’ Top Targets in 2014 Early Signing Period

Is it time to worry about North Carolina basketball recruiting with the early signing period on the horizon (Nov. 12-19, per NationalLetter.org)?

The short answer is no, even if the Tar Heels don’t have a single commit for the 2015 class yet. After all, Roy Williams landed the No. 3 class in 2014 (according to 247Sports) with Joel Berry, Theo Pinson and Justin Jackson. Pinson and Jackson are both 5-star prospects, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, while Berry checks in as a 4-star.

North Carolina also ended up with the No. 14 class in 2013 and the No. 9 class in 2012, per 247Sports.

Expectations are high every season in Chapel Hill, and that’s completely understandable. It is one of the national-title-or-bust programs and certainly earned that distinction through years of dominance.

Still, just about every program in America would love to have the Nos. 9, 14 and 3 classes in the country in three consecutive years. The Tar Heels may not recruit like Kentucky, but there is plenty of winning on the horizon with the latest group of youngsters.

Evan Daniels, a national recruiting analyst for Scout.com, discussed the notion that North Carolina’s recruiting has fallen off recently, via Andrew Carter of The Charlotte Observer:

I think that’s valid. But I also think that North Carolina goes after the players that they think they can get, that fit their mold and fit what they’re trying to do. I mean, they’ve still got highly rated guys.

Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson were both very highly rated recruits last year.

North Carolina is going to be fine and will likely use the early signing period to make some inroads on 2015 and 2016 prospects, even though it may not get a commitment from anyone.

It is somewhat difficult to project the 2016 recruiting because it will be shaped by North Carolina’s successes or failures in 2015 with factors like scholarship numbers hanging in the balance. However, power forward Harry Giles, small forward Jayson Tatum and point guard Dennis Smith have all caught North Carolina’s attention as some of the best players in the country. 

Landing any of those three would be ideal for the Tar Heels, but fans are likely more concerned with the state of the empty 2015 class with the early signing period approaching. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some potential prospects to keep an eye on.

 

Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram is a 5-star small forward, per 247Sports, who checks in at 6’8” and may be North Carolina’s top 2015 target. Other powerhouse programs like Duke, Kentucky, UCLA and Kansas have all been connected to Ingram at some point, so Williams certainly has his work cut out for him.

Ingram is a versatile forward who can play both inside and outside. His smooth shooting stroke allows him to connect from behind the three-point line, but he is more than capable of attacking the basket off the dribble as well. 

His length and athleticism also help on the defensive side because he is quick enough to stay in front of guards but long enough to bother the shots of bigger forwards.

 

Ivan Rabb

North Carolina probably doesn’t have quite as good of a chance to land the 6’10” power forward Ivan Rabb, who is also a 5-star prospect in 247Sports’ composite rankings, as it does Ingram. Rabb is trimming down his list of schools, and there was somewhat of an ominous update from Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv and NBA.com, via Jerry Meyer of 247Sports:

Of course, that doesn’t mean North Carolina is out of contention, but schools like Arizona and Kentucky have made an impression on the youngster. 

Rabb is an elite power forward who uses his athleticism and leaping ability to control the glass, swat shots and score around the basket. He has impressive footwork on the block and often finds the basket with offensive putbacks.

 

Other Targets

There are a number of other targets that Williams is eyeing as the early signing period approaches.

Skal Labissiere, Stephen Zimmerman, Diamond Stone and Perry Dozier Jr., among others, are all listed as interested, 5-star prospects by 247Sports’ composite rankings, so North Carolina is certainly swinging for the fences in 2015.

Stone, Labissiere and Zimmerman are all centers, and North Carolina is clearly looking for at least one big man in this class. You can throw Rabb on that list of impact bigs as well. If Brice Johnson does have the breakthrough season that many expect in 2014-15, he could very well leave early for the NBA, which would open up a spot in the frontcourt for at least one of these recruits.

If North Carolina strikes out on every single one of these elite prospects, then it will officially be time to panic. However, all it will take is one or two commitments to turn around the momentum. After all, it’s only October and the season hasn’t even started yet. 

There will be 5-star prospects who commit to North Carolina in the 2015 and 2016 classes. We just don’t know which ones yet.

 

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Ohio State Basketball Recruiting: Top Targets in 2014 Early Signing Period

As the 2014 early signing period approaches in college basketball (Nov. 12-19, according to nationalletter.org), the Ohio State basketball program may not land another target in the 2015 recruiting class.

Considering where the Buckeyes stand, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Ohio State sports the seventh-ranked Class of 2015, per 247Sports, thanks to an impressive collection of talented commits. Shooting guard Austin Grandstaff, center Daniel Giddens, point guard A.J. Harris and small forward Mickey Mitchell are all 4-star prospects, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, and on their way to Columbus.

The future is clearly bright for the Buckeyes, especially after Thad Matta landed such a highly regarded 2014 class to pair with these incoming players. The 2015 class also gives Ohio State options everywhere on the court with a center, forward and two guards.

The Buckeyes are still interested in a handful of 2015 prospects with the early signing period around the corner, but they likely won’t be securing any additional commitments.

Ivan Rabb is listed on 247Sports as a potential target. As an elite power forward who can finish in the lane with formidable footwork and soft touch, or from mid-range with a gradually expanding offensive arsenal, Rabb would give the Buckeyes the one position they don’t have in the 2015 class. He would also be a potential lockdown defender and rebounder

It needs to be noted, though, that Rabb has apparently “cooled” on the Buckeyes, per 247Sports’ recruiting page. As College Basketball Talk noted, Rabb’s list of schools is getting smaller, and it likely isn’t going to include Ohio State:

There are some other guys, such as small forward Jaylen Brown, power forward Cheick Diallo, power forward Thomas Bryant and point guard Isaiah Briscoe, who are listed under the “Interested” section on 247Sports that would give Matta some additional positional diversity. However, like Rabb, all four have also “cooled” on Ohio State.

There is a very realistic possibility that Matta is done with the 2015 class, which would not really be a problem at all. He already has a top-10 class and a plethora of young talent on campus in the form of D’Angelo Russell, Marc Loving, Jae’Sean Tate, Keita Bates-Diop, Trevor Thompson and Kam Williams. Throw the four 2015 pledges into that group, and the Buckeyes are set for the next couple of years.

That means Matta can turn his attention toward recruiting the 2016 class in the early signing period and laying the foundation for a future core, even if he doesn’t get any actual commits in November.

Braxton Blackwell and Kobi Simmons both went on unofficial visits to Ohio State and took in a football game in the fabled Horseshoe.

Simmons’ father, DeMond Stephens, discussed the visit, via Brian Snow of Scout.com:

We really liked the whole visit. Kobi and my wife liked it a lot, and the whole coaching staff was great. The coaches are very family oriented people and treated us first class. Also the facilities were great.

I really liked the specifics they were talking about how they want him to not just play right away, but make an impact right away. They said they need him to come in and make an impact immediately like a Michael Conley or someone like that. They made it clear that they don’t care who is a freshman or who is a senior, they want to let the best players play.

Simmons is a 5-star point guard, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, from Georgia who checks in at 6’5” and has drawn the interest of powerhouses like Kentucky and Kansas. His length, athleticism and explosiveness immediately jump out and help him attack the basket off the bounce like a Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook.

Simmons is also capable of hitting from behind the three-point line and is more than comfortable setting up teammates with crisp passes. That length and quickness also help on the defensive side, which is critical if he wants to be a Buckeye.

As for Blackwell, he is a 4-star small forward, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, from Nashville who stands at 6’8” and has drawn interest from local Vanderbilt and Indiana, among others. His versatility is what immediately jumps out because he can drive the lane from the perimeter, shoot from the outside and find teammates with pinpoint passes.

Blackwell has the ball-handling skills of a point guard and enough height to get involved in the rebounding game.

Between the 2014 recruiting class and the 2015 group, the foundation is set at Ohio State. It is certainly noteworthy that Matta and his staff are trying to parlay their recent momentum into a quick start for the 2016 class with visits from elite prospects Blackwell and Simmons. 

Landing either one would be a major coup for the program, so it is worth keeping an eye on their recruitment in what may otherwise be a quiet early signing period for the Buckeyes.

 

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Analyzing top uncommitted hoops recruits as signing period nears

Analyzing top uncommitted hoops recruits as signing period nears

      
 

 

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Danny Ainge: Ray Allen Might Wait Until All-Star Break Before Signing

It seems like a foregone conclusion to many that free agent Ray Allen will inevitably end joining LeBron James in Cleveland. Allen’s former boss, however, expects the former Boston Celtics star to do his due diligence before signing anywhere. “He may wait until All-Star break or January even,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich.” “And just see what teams are playing well, which teams are the healthiest and which team that he thinks that he might fit in, just in the style of play. With new coaches at some different places, he may just want to see how it unfolds before he makes a decision.” Things can change quickly over the course of a season, but the most obvious landing spot for Allen is the new Land of LeBron, where he would be able to rejoin James on a revamped Cavaliers squad that also added All-Star big man Kevin Love over the summer. “It wouldn’t surprise me (if Allen signs with the Cavs),” Ainge sai

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Zoran Dragic Signing Likely All About Goran Dragic’s Future with Phoenix Suns

Of all the contracts the Phoenix Suns handed out during the offseason, of all the decisions they made, none may be bigger than signing Zoran Dragic, the brother of star point guard Goran Dragic.

It came in a haze of activity, sandwiched between Eric Bledsoe‘s five-year, $70 million deal and the extensions of brothers Marcus and Markieff Morris, which the Suns announced early Monday morning. Zoran will earn slightly more than $4 million over the next two years, according ESPN.com’s Marc Stein

The deal itself is inconsequential. It’s worth barely anything, so it won’t drastically impede the Suns’ ability to spend (Bledsoe‘s deal and the Morris extensions are different stories).

Zoran‘s arrival, however, is huge. Yes, it gives the Suns another guard they can add to their unrivaled collection; but he’s also an asset they’ll use to retain Goran, who can—and likely will—enter unrestricted free agency next summer.

How does one spurn the team that employs his brother? It’s that simple.

“That is part of why Zoran is here,” AZCentral’s Paul Coro writes. “Goran is naturally a big part of it, with his ability to opt out of his contract next season and be an unrestricted free agent when Zoran will still have one more guaranteed season with the Suns.”

There’s more to it, of course. The Suns are not the New York Knicks. Zoran is not the Chris Smith of Phoenix. He’s valued for his defense and is likened to a bigger, burlier version of his brother. But while there’s NBA value in him, the Goran angle cannot be understated.

After making long-term commitments to Bledsoe, the Morris twins and P.J. Tucker, the Suns are going to be capped out after this season. They’ll retain Goran’s Bird rights and thus the ability to re-sign him no matter the cost, but if owner Robert Sarver imposes spending limits, there’s a chance he can price himself out of the team’s range.

Remember, Goran joined LeBron James as the only other player to average at least 20 points and 5.5 assists while shooting 50 percent or better from the floor last season. A repeat performance puts him in max-contract territory, increasing the likelihood he fields an offer Phoenix cannot afford. 

Unless, you know, money is no object.

“We set it up cap-wise to have a lot of flexibility this summer,” Suns general manager Ryan McDonough told Fox Sports 910AM in Phoenix of the team’s financial situation following Bledsoe‘s deal. “There’s still plenty of money to give to Goran next year.”

Assuming the dollars and cents won’t be points of issue, Zoran isn’t some negotiating buffer the Suns hope results in a discount. It most certainly could, but that’s not the primary play here.

More likely than not, the Suns are trying to come up with every possible reason for Goran to stay. Even after the season both he and the team had last year, his loyalty isn’t a given. 

Nothing is guaranteed when playing in the wild Western Conference. The Suns won 48 games last year and still missed the playoffs, and they’ve since hedged their bets on that exact foundation.

“Phoenix doubled down on this with deals for Eric Bledsoe and both Morris twins,” Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes. “The Suns might be overestimating their core after a magical season, and they’ll be capped out this summer.”

Missing the postseason yet again could compel Goran to test the market. In that scenario, the Suns still wouldn’t be good enough and would lack the financial plasticity to strengthen their cosmetic makeup, putting them at a severe disadvantage when other, more promising destinations come calling.

And they will come calling.

Point guard is a loaded position, but Goran has blossomed into the league’s most underrated superstar (my apologies to Carmelo Anthony). If he hits the open market after another lottery-lost campaign—however promising—teams are going to use that in free-agency pitches. They’ll sell him on the idea of extensive resources and the opportunity to contend for a title. They’ll promise things Phoenix cannot. 

The Los Angeles Lakers are one such organization.

Stein previously revealed they would target Dragic next summer if he reached free agency. Though their core isn’t as put-together as Phoenix’s, the chance to help headline one of the NBA’s most storied franchises bears consideration.

Would Dragic really pass on that pitch to remain with the Suns? What if it’s another high-profile team talking him up? What if it’s the Houston Rockets? Or the New York Knicks?

Will he really walk away from those opportunities to stay in Phoenix?

Possibly, and not just because of Zoran

Direction is important. If the Suns stand firm on theirs, Goran might not want to go anywhere. Zoran would have little to do with their direction in that sense. 

Think of him as an added incentive instead.

Collective success and a stable core should speak for the Suns. In the event it can’t, they have another deftly placed arrow in their quiver.

Phoenix understands the importance of family ties. It was on full display during negotiations with the Morris twins, according Coro:

Because the twins’ lives are so intertwined to the point of basketball unity, Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby first negotiated a cumulative figure of $52 million over four years for the Morris twins with their agent, Leon Rose.

Babby turned to them for how the money should be divided.

This situation is different. The Dragic brothers won’t be splitting anything, and it’s Goran who is far more important to the Suns’ future than Zoran

But the Morris twins attest to the significance of actual brotherhood. If Goran and Zoran are even half as close, they’ll want to keep playing together—a matter the Suns have entrusted to their development and advancement, as well as the link between two brothers that extends beyond the basketball court.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling, an awesome feeling that we’re going to spend a year together and hopefully do some damage to other teams,” Goran said of Zoran‘s arrival, via Coro.

Should all go according to plan—Phoenix’s obvious and creative master plan—that feeling won’t soon go away.

 

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Los Angeles Lakers: Wayne Ellington Signing Grade

Los Angeles Lakers: Wayne Ellington Signing Grade
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…
Contract: 1 season, veteran minimum
The Los Angeles Lakers are going to have a pathetic defense this season, there is no debating this, just look at their roster. They have Jordan Hill and ummm, I said Jordan Hill right? However, they have a chance to have an excellent offense this season with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, Nick Young, Julius Randle and more and if they would like to win this season, they have to scorer lots of points and make their 3’s, which is why they have signed elite 3 point shooter Wayne Ellington.
Ellington is one of the NBA’s best shooters, as in 5 NBA seasons he has shot 38.6 percent from 3 and just shot 42.4 percent with the Mavericks, which was 10th in the NBA, tied with Stephen Curry. This Lakers team was just 7th in 3’s shot, 2nd in 3’s made and 3rd in 3 point percentage, so Ellington is a very nice fit on this team. He isn’t too much …

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Sacramento Kings Find Free-Agent Steal with Ramon Sessions Signing

The Sacramento Kings opted to work out a sign-and-trade that sent former point guard Isaiah Thomas to the Phoenix Suns rather than pay him the four-year, $27 million contract he ultimately commanded.

And while the addition of Darren Collison goes a ways toward offsetting that loss, the organization remained in need of backcourt depth—particularly after agreeing to trade 15-year veteran Jason Terry to the Houston Rockets.

With the 2014-15 season suddenly around the corner, Sacramento has taken action.

Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that, “Free-agent guard Ramon Sessions has reached agreement on a two-year, $4.2 million deal with the Sacramento Kings, league sources told Yahoo Sports.”

The deal—which, as Wojnarowski notes, uses the biannual exception—is a low-risk venture for the franchise.

Sessions remains a capable rotation player and has proven throughout his seven-year career that he can start in a pinch. The 28-year-old averaged 12.3 points and 4.1 assists after splitting time between the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) and Milwaukee Bucks.

After playing his first 55 games (and the 2012-13 season) in Charlotte, Sessions’ playing time swelled to 32.5 minutes per contest in 28 games with Milwaukee, yielding a corresponding spike in production and efficiency.

Given the right opportunities, the Nevada product has certainly had his moments.

The Kings reportedly view Sessions as a combo-guard.

USA Today‘s Sam Amick notes that he, “will be used at both the point guard and shooting guard positions,” a testament both to Sessions’ versatility and the extent to which Sacramento may view him as an integral part of the rotation. 

NBCSports.com’s Brett Pollakoff went so far as to suggest that, “It could easily be argued that Sessions is the best point guard on the roster, and deserving of a spot in the team’s starting lineup.”

Though Collison—who’s scheduled to make $16 million over the next three seasons—figures to have a better shot at that starting job, the point remains that Sessions probably won’t have to beg for playing time. The last two summers’ lottery picks—Ben McLemore and Nik Stauskas—should see plenty of minutes at shooting guard, but Sessions’ experience makes him an attractive option at both backcourt positions.

Reserve point guard Ray McCallum—taken with the 36th overall pick in 2013—is entering just his second season.

As The Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones notes, “The Kings were looking for a veteran ball-handler to go with Collison, because McCallum is still a young player, and the only other option to run the offense might have been rookie Stauskas.”

So there’s a very real need for someone of Sessions’ pedigree.

To be sure, Sessions won’t radically alter Sacramento’s fate. This is still a team coming off of a 28-win season. It’s still a team that gave up 103.4 points per contest last season, ranking 23rd in defensive efficiency according to Hollinger’s NBA Team Statistics.

The 6’3″ Sessions affords head coach Mike Malone some valuable size (and skill) at the point guard spot, but he certainly won’t reverse the club’s fortunes single-handedly.

If we’re being honest, there’s a reason he was still available this late in the offseason despite being in the prime of his career. While the Houston Rockets were reportedly interested in acquiring him from Milwaukee via sign-and-trade, the market for Sessions’ services has been anything but robust.

He’s not a top-shelf defender, and his inability to stick with a franchise for any extended period of time has to make you wonder. 

A career that’s spanned five different teams and a variety of roles on and off the bench has yet to translate into a long-term home. That once seemed bound to change when Sessions was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012.

After 23 regular-season games and mixed postseason results, however, the two sides parted ways when Sessions opted to pursue a more stable situation elsewhere.

“It was one of those situations I looked at like, ‘If I do come back what if they trade me?’” Sessions told Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears after signing with Charlotte. “There were talks about getting Deron [Williams]. They always wanted the bigger-named guy. What if I get traded to a team and it’s my contract year?”

Ultimately, Charlotte wasn’t the answer, and Sessions was traded in February along with Jeff Adrien to Milwaukee in exchange for Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour.

Sessions has come a long way. He was drafted with the 56th overall pick in 2007 and spent time in the NBA Development League with the Tulsa 66ers during the 2007-08 season. 

Just remaining in the league is an accomplishment in its own right. Nothing has come easily for Sessions.

But as early as 2008, he dropped 24 assists in a game with the Bucks. In 2009, he scored a career-high 44 points in an overtime loss against the Detroit Pistons. Later that season, he posted his first triple-double (which included 16 assists) against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Those are signs of undeniable talent, and finding the right team fit may very well pave the way for similar results.

Is Sacramento that fit?

Possibly.

Malone has cultivated some much-needed stability and toughness, perhaps laying a foundation for the kind of defensive transformation that might finally elevate this team into the playoff picture for the first time since 2006.

Center DeMarcus Cousins has matured before our eyes and will be coming off of a successful tour with Team USA at the FIBA World Cup in Spain. Kings teammate Rudy Gay joined him in Spain and will look to build upon last season’s solid debut during his first full season in Sacramento.

And promising youth abounds. Beyond McLemore, Stauskas and McCallum, 23-year-old forward Derrick Williams is still looking to vindicate his selection as the No. 2 overall pick in 2011 (by the Minnesota Timberwolves).

Again, if we’re being honest, things could go either way for the Kings.

This could be the season they turn the corner, perhaps doing their best impersonation of last season’s surprising Phoenix Suns. But it could also be just another step in what’s become a protracted rebuilding process.

Either way, Sessions should have every opportunity to prove he belongs.

While he may not be an overnight sensation in Sacramento, there’s little doubt he’s the kind of bargain that could make a front office look good. 

And as an affordable last-minute addition, he certainly won’t make this front office look bad. 

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We Remember: 30th Anniversary of Michael Jordan Signing with Chicago Bulls

On this date, 30 years ago, Michael Jordan officially became a member of the Chicago Bulls.

Jordan—the No. 3 overall pick in the 1984 draft—was just 21 years old when he signed his first professional contract. Of course, this signing turned out to be a franchise-altering move for Chicago.

The rookie out of North Carolina helped the Bulls make the playoffs in his first season and won the 1985 NBA Rookie of the Year award. It was a good first season in the league, but it was just the start of things to come.

Jordan led Chicago to six NBA championships, winning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award in each one. He won five NBA MVP awards and made 14 All-Star teams in his career. 

Jordan retired after the 2002-03 season, which he spent with the Washington Wizards. 

[NBA.com, NBA

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