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Basketball Insiders Week in Review 10/11

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



Dwight Howard Still Searching

By Moke Hamilton

As the final minute on the clock ticked away, the fans in attendance were singing in unison.

The buzzer sounded.

The upset was complete.

In the end, it took all of only six games for Dwight Howard and his Orlando Magic to shock the NBA world. As LeBron James, Mo Williams, Zydrunas Ilgauskus and the rest of the 66-win Cleveland Cavaliers wondered what had become of their championship journey—as they wondered how and why it had ended so abruptly—Howard untucked his white jersey, found the game ball and walked around the court with his signature smile on full display.

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Summer 2015 Rookie-Scale Options, Extensions

By Eric Pincus

On October 2, the Milwaukee Bucks announced they had signed John Henson to a four-year, $44-48 million extension.

The deadline for team options and extensions, for players on rookie-scale contracts, is on November 2.

A number of players have already agreed to extensions, including Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Teams also have to decide on the third or fourth-year options.  The Blazers have already committed to Noah Vonleh, C.J. McCollum and Mason Plumlee.

The following is a list of eligible players, and if applicable, the decision.  Note that the value of maximum extensions won’t be set until the 2016-17 salary cap is computed in July.

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50 NBA Predictions for 2015-16 (Part 2)

By Joel Brigham

It’s only been a week and already there are a few of my first 25 predictions for this year that I’m positive won’t come to fruition. For example, Paul George looks really hungry in Indiana which, combined with how rusty Monta Ellis has looked, makes me believe that George will lead that team in scoring, not Ellis.

There’s also very little reason to believe that Chris Bosh will top his averages from last season. Not sure what I was thinking there. The Hornets in the playoffs feels like a long shot, too.

But so it goes. Plenty of other predictions still have excellent opportunities to come true, and with a little bit of the preseason under the belt there’s more to go off of for the remaining 25 predictions, which we’re going to visit today:

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Former Teammate Shares Lopez Twins Stories

By David Pick

The NBA has several sets of brothers hooping in the league – from the Gasols, to the Morris twins, to the Plumlees, to the Holidays, to the Millsaps, to the Currys.

None, though, are more goofy or amusing than Brook and Robin Lopez.

Since dominating for Stanford University from 2006 to 2008, the Lopez twins haven’t shared the same area code. That is, until now.

Brook, an NBA All-Star, is a max-deal superstar center for the Brooklyn Nets. Robin, an NBA globetrotter, had stints with the Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers, but this summer he signed a deal with the New York Knicks.

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Too Early For A Mock Draft?

By Steve Kyler

While the 2015-16 NBA season is still in preseason mode, there are some teams that are still focused primarily on rebuilding. The projected 2015-16 NBA Draft Class isn’t nearly as star-studded as the last two drafts, however, there is some serious talent at the top, so here is a look at the top 30.

For the purpose of this exercise (and how our draft tool works), the 30 picks are assigned alphabetically, without regards to pick trades or standings.

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The Tyson Chandler Effect

By Eric Saar

Tyson Chandler was the marquee free agent acquisition for the Phoenix Suns this offseason. Interestingly enough, while Chandler is a huge addition in and of himself, he was originally brought in to nab a bigger fish.

The San Antonio Spurs had nearly everything that LaMarcus Aldridge wanted in whichever team he would sign with this past summer. The thing they didn’t have was Tyson Chandler. Aldridge let it be known that Chandler was someone he wanted to play with, so when the Suns signed him, they suddenly had a leg up on everyone else and closed the gap on the Spurs. It ultimately took another sit down with Gregg Popovich and the Spurs to convince Aldridge to go to San Antonio.

So, Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough didn’t quite hit a home run, but he ended up with a solid double. Chandler still brings so much to this Suns team, even for a player that turned 33 on Friday. He’s the perfect fit.

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Hornets Adjusting to New Faces

By Cody Taylor

Teams often use preseason basketball to do a lot of adapting. Coaches are able to get their first look at their players and how ready they are for the season. Some players come into training camp in peak condition, while others still need some more work.

Preseason also allows coaches to integrate new players acquired over the offseason into their system. They begin to formulate a plan for what each player’s role will be for the upcoming year.

For head coach Steve Clifford and the Charlotte Hornets, the weeks leading up to the October 28 regular season opener will be critical. The team underwent a lot of change over the summer. They brought in at least seven new players either by way of the draft, free agency or trades and each of those players figure to be significant contributors this season in one way or another.

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Justin Holiday May Be Hawks’ Latest Steal

By Lang Greene

As the marquee names dominated free agency headlines in early July, the Atlanta Hawks rather quietly agreed to terms with free agent forward Justin Holiday on a modest two-year deal worth a shade under $2 million.

Justin Holiday, for those unaware, is the older brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday. But their respective paths to success in the league couldn’t be more different.

The younger Holiday is a former All-Star with league wide respect that has amassed career earnings approaching $30 million. The elder Holiday went undrafted out of college and spent time toiling in the D-League, looking for an opportunity before winning a title as a reserve with Golden State last season.

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Enes Kanter, Billy Donovan and Questions of Fit

By Ben Dowsett

To many inside and outside the organization, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s acquisition of Enes Kanter from the Utah Jazz at the trade deadline was a peculiar move even as it happened. The particulars of what the Thunder sent in return aside, the team was acquiring an offense-first, defense-never big with a pedigree for starter-level minutes backed up by his own trade request out of Utah based partially on playing time. A guy whose primary offensive skills involve the ball in his hands appeared to be a strange fit from the jump with two of the league’s top offensive creators, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, presumed to be on the floor at many of the same times.

For better or worse, Thunder GM Sam Presti doubled down over the offseason when he matched Portland’s four-year, $70 million offer sheet to keep the former third overall pick in town. Kanter will now be OKC’s third-highest paid player.

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Miami’s Kelley Trying to Become 30-Year-Old Rookie

By Jessica Camerato

On the Miami HEAT roster, both Tre Kelley and Justise Winslow are looking forward to their rookie NBA seasons. Each of them are trying to establish their place on the team in training camp and learn the system in anticipation of playing in their first game.

The difference between these newcomers: Winslow is 19, Kelley is 30.

For nearly 10 years, Kelley has been determined to make an NBA roster. Undrafted out of the University of South Carolina in 2007, he has made a career playing overseas with D-League game, Summer League competition and training camp appearances in between.

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Damian Lillard is Set for a Big Season

By Jesse Blancarte

When we think of the top point guards in the NBA, a relatively short list of names generally comes up. Depending on who you ask, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and John Wall tend to make the short list. After those four players is a large group of good-to-great point guards who make up the second-tier. Some names in that group arguably include (in no particular order) Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, Kyrie Irving, Jeff Teague, Derrick Rose, Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Reggie Jackson, Ty Lawson, Ricky Rubio and Damian Lillard.

With the exception of Lawson, each player named so far is returning to their respective teams this season, though Knight, Dragic and Jackson will be entering their first full season with their current teams. For the most part, these guards return to the same or a similar role to the ones they’ve held in the past. However, Lillard is entering a unique situation after a busy offseason for the Portland Trail Blazers.

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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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