The Starting 5 features some of the best NBA content from around the internet
After five seasons with the Jazz, Jeremy Evans is moving on. The Dallas Mavericks announced that they had officially signed the former second-round pick out of Western Kentucky yesterday. He was a fan favorite during his time with the Jazz, no doubt because of his spectacular dunks. He won the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star weekend, and nearly won again in 2013. Evans was active in the community during his time in Utah, and the Mavericks fans are surely going to grow to love Evans quickly as they get to know the person behind the jersey.
Paul Pierce grew up a Lakers fan in Inglewood, California, which made it somewhat awkward for him being drafted by the Boston Celtics and playing the majority of his career there. But after a few other stops, Pierce is set to finish his career in Los Angeles after having signed with the Clippers in the offseason. It reunites him with his Celtics coach, Doc Rivers, and adds a quality veteran with diminishing skills to a team that was bounced in the second round last year. With center DeAndre Jordan also back in the mix, the Clippers believe they’re now good enough to win that elusive championship.
With the cap expected to jump to $89 million in the summer of 2016, many teams are planning for the free agents that will be available, with most teams having the flexibility to offer a max contract to just about and single player. The Toronto Raptors have $51.9 million committed to their roster, leaving them around $37 million in cap space. Could the Raptors be real players for Kevin Durant, if they were to unload the contracts of Kyle Lowry and DeMarre Carroll prior to next summer? They need to be able to save $25 million for Durant, which looks like they should easily be able to do. The real question is, would he seriously consider them?
Kyle Korver suffered a sprained ankle during the third quarter of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, an injury that would keep him out of the rest of the series and eventually require surgery in the offseason. Korver also needed surgery to remove “loose bodies” from his shooting elbow, which raises the concern that he might be headed for some decline after his first All-Star season. It was probably unlikely that Korver would be able to repeat his stellar performance from last year, but it’s fair to wonder how far his play might drop off if he’s not 100 percent healthy this season.
There is little doubt that Charlotte Hornets rookie forward Frank Kaminsky is ready for the NBA, after having played all four years at Wisconsin. It’s a big part of why the Hornets were so infatuated with Kaminsky in the first place. He comes in with a real chance to earn playing time and get on the court for a Hornets team that is looking to make a push out of the basement of the Eastern Conference and get back into the playoffs. If Kaminsky isn’t performing up to their high expectations, the Hornets could also go to reserve big men Spencer Hawes and Tyler Hansbrough. But for now, it appears that Michael Jordan’s team is pinning their hopes to their young 22-year-old shooter.