The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. Vivek Ranadive on minority owners, DeMarcus Cousins, Drake – Sam Amick, USA Today
USA Today’s Sam Amick sat down with Sacramento Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive, who leaked a whole bunch of gossipy news bits regarding his team and the disappointing year(s) they’re trying to put in the past. Most notably, Ranadive reveals that former coach George Karl tried to trade DeMarcus Cousins and that the coach before Karl, Michael Malone, and former general manager Pete D’Alessandro “hated each other’s guts.” When people say dysfunction starts at the top for sports organizations, this is exactly what they’re referring to.
2. Who’s Got J.R. Smith – Frank Isola, New York Daily News
In a piece that New York Knicks beat writer Frank Isola wrote about the team’s future point guard options, he brought up former Knick J.R. Smith, and how despite him still being a free agent, he’s been seen socializing with his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates. While it’s been expected that Smith and the Cavs would settle on a contract, Isola mentioned that the Boston Celtics also have an interest in the former Sixth Man of the Year.
3. Kevin Durant: Warriors’ NBA Finals collapse helped free-agency decision – Ethan Sherwood Strauss, ESPN
The Golden State Warriors may have blown a 3-1 lead to lose the 2016 NBA Finals, but in the process, they also got a big win. Newest Warrior Kevin Durant revealed Monday evening that watching his new team collapse in the playoffs only made him want to join them in free agency even more, and that the team losing could have played a bigger role in them reaching out to him than if they had won the championship.
4. Brett Brown: Embiid to be Sixers’ ‘offensive focal point’, has ‘it’ like Tim Duncan – Jessica Camerato, CSN Philly
After the rough last couple of years Philadelphia 76er’s fans have had, it couldn’t have been easy to find out that Ben Simmons, the first overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, is going to be sidelined indefinitely with a foot injury. Despite the bad news, Sixers coach Brett Brown is trying to relieve that pain, and in the process build ridiculous expectations, as he’s comparing Joel Embiid to future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan. Whether or not he’ll be as good as Duncan, Brown has indicated that he should be the focal point of the team’s offensive strategy when he’s on the court.
5. Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah come with more risk than Phil Jackson is claiming – James Herbert, CBS Sports
Knicks GM Phil Jackson joined The Big Podcast with Shaq and spent a large portion of the program talking about the state of his team. Jackson went into detail about the additions the Knicks made this offseason, specifically how he felt trading for Derrick Rose and signing Joakim Noah were both low-risk, high-reward moves. Considering Rose’s recent/ongoing legal issues, and the fact that Noah will be one of the highest paid players on the team for the next four years despite coming off of a 29-game season, there might be more risk involved with these two players than Jackson’s admitting to.