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Basketball Insiders Week in Review 3/13

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

Kyle Cape-Lindelin



Spurs Are The Usual Suspects

By Moke Hamilton

Over the course of the past 20 years, the San Antonio Spurs have proven to be the NBA’s model franchise, and it’s not even close. And as they do battle with history while in the mega-shadow cast by the Golden State Warriors, entering play on March 6 with a 53-9 record, it’s happening again.

We are ignoring the Spurs and discounting their ability to walk away with all of the marbles, once again.

Whether it’s Michael Jordan’s quest for a three-peat somehow outshining Tim Duncan’s historically good rookie season or the 1999 NBA Finals occurring both after a lockout shortened season and in the absence of Patrick Ewing, it seems that there has always been something better and more interesting to discuss and observe than the boring old San Antonio Spurs.

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Can the Lakers Lure Kevin Durant?

By Eric Pincus

The Los Angeles Lakers are nearly through yet another disappointing season, and now have 61 wins combined over the past three years — just slightly ahead of the Golden Warriors’ win-count for the current campaign.

The Lakers’ primary hope for a quick turnaround is luring a pair of top free agents this summer — with the biggest prize of all being Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant.

The challenge for the Lakers will be convincing Durant to leave a contending team to join a squad heading for a third straight lottery appearance.

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Dekker Adjusting to Not Playing

By Joel Brigham

Houston Rockets rookie Sam Dekker has played in three games this season. That’s it. Three.

That’s an incredibly low number for any first-round pick, let alone one as talented as Dekker. But as just about any first-year player can attest, finding playing time on a team that doesn’t have a whole lot of minutes to go around can be tough, especially when there are injury concerns as well.

Dekker, for example, missed all of Summer League with a back issue that would eventually require surgery. Having missed three months of the regular season, Dekker has found it challenging to get himself some playing time.

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Suns Still Fighting Despite Down Season

By Cody Taylor

Although the record for the Phoenix Suns doesn’t necessarily reflect it, the players inside the locker room are still showing plenty of fight. They’re buying into the new system created by interim head coach Earl Watson, and their play on the court is beginning to show that.

The Suns have posted one of the worst records in the league up to this point at 17-46. They find themselves with the third-worst record in the NBA, behind only the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers.

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Not Where The Magic Wanted To Be

By Steve Kyler

The Orlando Magic are not where they expected to be.

When the 2015-16 season opened, the Magic believed they would be firmly in the hunt for the playoffs and slightly better than the eighth seed in the East. For most of November and December, they looked exactly like that team – ending the 2015 calendar year in the fourth spot in the East with a 19-13 record.

Since the calendar flipped, the Magic have gone on to an 8-22 record and now find themselves a full five games out of the postseason with 20 games left to play. To make matters worse for the Magic, their remaining schedule includes 12 road games and 14 games against teams with an above .500 record.

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Jeff Green Inconsistent So Far With Clippers

By Jesse Blancarte

The NBA’s February 18 trade deadline passed and it seemed as though all deals had been reported. However, it’s not uncommon for trade negotiations to go down to the wire and for deals to be reported well past the 3 p.m. deadline.

Twenty-two minutes after this year’s deadline had passed, Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies finalized a trade before the buzzer. The Clippers agreed to send Lance Stephenson and a protected first-round pick to the Grizzlies in exchange for Jeff Green. The deal was met with mixed reactions; some people loved the deal for the Clippers, some people hated it.

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Contract-Year Player Watch – Revisited

By Lang Greene

Back in November, we took a look at 15 players who were on the verge of free agency this summer. Some guys were struggling on the floor to start the season with free agency looming in the near future, while others were putting together some of their best work under the pressure.

Today we take a look at these same guys and how they’re faring headed down the stretch. Did they maintain, improve or decline?

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Q&A: Larry Sanders Explains Break from NBA

By Alex Kennedy

Former NBA center Larry Sanders is one of the most misunderstood athletes in professional sports.

When he decided to leave the NBA at 26 years old, agreeing to a buyout that left the bulk of his recently-signed $44 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks on the table, most people couldn’t comprehend his decision. Yes, he took a personal leave of absence after being suspended twice for violating the NBA’s anti-drug program, but why would a very talented player walk away from the NBA and all of the perks that come with that lifestyle? Fans were equally confused and disappointed, as Sanders had become an exciting, up-and-coming center in Milwaukee.

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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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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



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:


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#17 – Aleksej Pokusevski – Oklahoma City Thunder

David Yapkowitz



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



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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