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Basketball Insiders Week in Review 2/21

Basketball Insiders looks at some articles from last week in case you missed any the first time around.

Kyle Cape-Lindelin

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Noel, Okafor On Turning Corners in Philly

By Ben Dowsett

The ever-divisive ongoing rebuild in Philadelphia has, for better or worse, shined an unbalanced light on a few of the specific participants – whether willing or otherwise. Many people were involved in some way with the 76ers’ decision to undergo an intentional tanking project never before seen to this magnitude in North American professional sports, but the spotlight has generally featured only a small percentage of those mixed up in what’s been, at times, a painful ordeal.

From a player perspective, particularly during a 2015-16 season that threatened all-time levels of futility early in the year, the two main outlets for fan and media frustration have been blue chip big men Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. With fellow college standout Joel Embiid still on the sidelines and out of the spotlight, potential Euro transplant Dario Saric toiling half a world away and the rest of Philly’s roster inhabited mostly by placeholders and journeymen, Noel and Okafor are on the front lines daily.

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Booker Has Been a Bright Spot for the Suns

By Cody Taylor

Heading into the 2015-16 season, the Phoenix Suns were projected by many to compete for a playoff berth in the Western Conference. The team entered the season with a young core of players that many thought were set to turn the corner.

In addition to the promising core, the Suns made a couple of key offseason moves. First, they re-signed point guard Brandon Knight to a five-year contract after acquiring him at the trade deadline last season. Then, they signed free agent Tyson Chandler to a four-year deal.

Adding a veteran like Chandler was supposed to be the splashy move that Phoenix needed, as he was expected to mentor some of the team’s younger players. He was also viewed as perhaps the missing piece that could help solidify the defense and help the Suns return to the postseason.

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Which NBA Players May Be Bought Out?

By Lang Greene

The NBA trade deadline is only a few hours away and, as is the case each year, there will be a number of players who won’t be moved even though their respective teams did everything to change their address.

This year will likely be no different and there are numerous individuals who be may be headed for a contract buyout if a trade can’t be made. Let’s evaluate a few guys in play, assuming no deal before the 3 p.m. ET deadline gets done.

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Breaking Down the Deadline Deals

By Alex Kennedy

The NBA’s trade deadline has now passed and, unfortunately, it was somewhat anti-climactic. While last year featured a ton of trades and plenty of big-name players getting moved, that wasn’t the case this season. There wasn’t a single star traded this time around and most of the moves were pretty minor. Despite players like Dwight Howard, Al Horford, Kevin Love, Pau Gasol, Ryan Anderson and others being mentioned in trade rumors, none of those individuals were dealt.

With that said, there were still nine deals that got done and several notable players changed teams. Here’s a breakdown of each trade that went down on Thursday:

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Boston Sitting Pretty Despite No Moves

By Joel Brigham

Of all the teams expected to be active at the 2016 NBA trade deadline, the Boston Celtics came into the madness with the most to offer and the most to potentially gain. With players like Kevin Love, Al Horford and Dwight Howard all finding themselves churning through the rumor mill in connection with the Celtics, it certainly seemed like President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge would have plenty of opportunities to do something splashy and turn a good 32-23 team into a squad on the brink of title contention.

But the Celtics didn’t do anything. Ainge stood pat on his assets, deciding instead to bank his myriad draft picks and look toward next summer when he will have a ton of cap space. At that point, he can sign a number of players since Boston could be an attractive situation for free agents.

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Post-Trade-Deadline 2016-17 Cap Projections

By Eric Pincus

The NBA’s trade deadline passed on Thursday, with a number of last minute trades slipping in under the wire.

The Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons each made deals to try to help their playoff fortunes. The Clippers added Jeff Green, the Wizards acquired Markieff Morris and the Pistons landed Tobias Harris, Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton.

Other teams made financially-motivated moves. By dumping the salaries of Channing Frye and Harris, the Magic opened up enough potential cap space to pursue two max free agents this summer.

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Kyle Cape-Lindelin is based out of Portland, OR covering the NBA while being one of the newsline editors and contributor to "Out of Bounds."

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Legacy

Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

Basketball Insiders

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From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

Your Name:

The NBA Market You Live Near:

And Why We Should Consider You:

We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

Please send all of this to: openings2021@basketballinsiders.com

 

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Headlines

#17 – Aleksej Pokusevski – Oklahoma City Thunder

David Yapkowitz

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With the 17th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Aleksej Pokusevski from Serbia. The Thunder completed a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the pick.

Pokusevski is a long term project, but one that has has an intriguing skillset. A 7-footer with good speed and quickness, Pokusevski plays like a wing and can pass like a guard. But, to truly thrive at the next level, Pokusevski will need to put on some serious weight.

Again, he’s a project. But Pokusevski’s ceiling is sky-high. And, with a rebuild ahead of them, the Thunder have more than enough time to work with him and ensure he reaches it.

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Mock Drafts

2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock

What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Steve Kyler

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What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:

 

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