The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
Marcus Smart had an injury-filled rookie season with the Boston Celtics, and things aren’t getting any better for him. On Thursday, he dislocated his right index and middle fingers during a Summer League game, leaving the court while screaming in pain. X-rays were negative, which is good news, but it should sideline Smart for a bit. The Celtics still have high hopes for last year’s first-round pick, but they’ll need him to overcome these types of injuries and become a better shooter if he’s ever going to meet those expectations.
Doug McDermott is going to be an interesting topic heading into this Bulls season. The Bulls’ front office did a lot of maneuvering to acquire Dougie McBuckets in the 2014 draft, and he clearly looked not physically ready for the strains of the NBA game. Blog a Bull has four items about McDermott’s play so far this year in the Summer League, including the idea of McDermott playing some stretch 4 in Fred Hoiberg‘s offense.
The Pacers announced on Tuesday that they’ve signed free agent guard Monta Ellis to a four-year, $44 million contract. But apparently, the Pacers made an error this offseason in properly ordering their transactions, which resulted in them not having the proper cap space for the $10.3 million that Ellis is set to make in 2015-2016. The NBA has disallowed the contract for right now, although the Pacers are expected to fix the technical issues and sign him later on. This kind of thing sounds like an egregious error but actually happens semi-frequently due to the complexity of the CBA.
The Raptors performed well in the Las Vegas Summer League, earning the top seed in the playoff tournament made up of 16 teams. They opened against the Chicago Bulls and built a decent early lead, but they weren’t able to hold on. The game was fairly entertaining, as both teams made runs and McDermott poured in 28 points. Sean Woodley of Raptors HQ recaps the game, as well as the Raptors Summer League in general, while looking forward to the real season starting.
Steve Kerr has said recently that, despite winning the NBA Finals MVP, swingman Andre Iguodala will be back coming off the bench next season. In Kerr’s mind, the group that’s returning mostly as-is won 67 games last year, and why mess with something that works? Iguodala responded by playing a mean prank on his Twitter followers, tweeting that he should be traded if he’s coming off the bench. Of course, he owned up to the joke later. Iguodala seems to love playing for the Warriors, and why not? He traded being in the starting lineup for winning a championship and a Finals MVP trophy. I think most players would be okay with that.