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Basketball Insiders Week in Review 6/22

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

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Who Gets Carmelo Anthony?

By Steve Kyler

As the 2014 NBA Finals draws to a close and the San Antonio Spurs hoist their fifth championship in the Tim Duncan era, all eyes in the NBA will now shift to the 2014 NBA Draft next week in Brooklyn and to free agency the following week in July. No bigger name tops the would-be free agent list than New York’s Carmelo Anthony, and it seems far more likely than not that he’ll follow through with his season long pledge and opt-out of the remaining $23.41 million left on his deal.

There have already been reports suggesting that Carmelo has eyes for the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets, both win-now franchises, however those will not be the only teams to make a pass at him. While both grab headlines, both have their own issues in trying to obtain Carmelo at a price that makes sense.

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Top Second-Round Picks in NBA History

By Joel Brigham

When it comes to the NBA Draft, second-round value is really hard to find. While it’s true that there have been some stars who have come out of the second round, it’s much more common that these players don’t even make the opening-day rosters for the teams that select them.

Knowing all that, let’s have a look at the most successful second-round picks of the modern era, and by “modern era” we’re talking about the last 30 years. Die-hard draft fans will notice the absence of players like Willis Reed and Hal Greer, but while these guys were technically second-rounders, they were drafted at a time when there were a lot fewer picks in the draft itself. Reed and Greer were the 10th and 13th picks off the board their respective years, which is the equivalent of being a lottery pick by today’s standards.

We’re going to look at this list more as players who were severely underestimated and taken much later than entirely too many other guys who turned out to be nowhere near as good as them. All that said, here are the top second-round draft picks of the last three decades:

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What is Kawhi Leonard Worth?

By Yannis Koutroupis

As the San Antonio Spurs get set to celebrate their 2013-14 NBA championship on Wednesday with a parade and celebration at the AT&T Center, there are already members of the front office thinking about how they can hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy again next season. Back-to-back championships have eluded them throughout their historic run since 1999 that features 15 consecutive 50-win seasons and now five championships.

With the way that keeping last year’s team intact paid off this season with revenge over the Miami HEAT, it’s clear that the Spurs are going to go into 2014-15 with a very familiar look and feel. The only thing that could drastically change this is if Tim Duncan decides to decline his player option for $10.3 million next season and retire. However, given his health, ability to still contribute at a high level and the entire Spurs organization and city of San Antonio yearning for him to return, it’s hard to see how he walks away. Manu Ginobili is also expected to return.

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Tim Duncan: Far Too Good to Retire Just Yet

By Moke Hamilton

As he had done many times prior to that point, Tony Parker beat Rashard Lewis off the dribble and darted toward the basket. As the Miami HEAT converged, Parker—realizing his opening had closed—refused to force an errant shot.

He found Kawhi Leonard in his sweet spot—free-throw line extended.

With three dribbles, Leonard swerved through the compromised defensive wall the HEAT built and was in front of the basket. With Ray Allen in his face, Leonard found Boris Diaw who quickly found Tim Duncan for a thunderous dunk over the outstretched arm of Chris Bosh.

The normally reserved Duncan couldn’t help but to slightly pump his fist and flex his bicep.

This, after all, was why he was here.

One game later, with one more win needed, after a year of being haunted by a fateful shortcoming, Duncan would again rise.

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Is Carmelo Anthony Really An Option For The Lakers?

By Jabari Davis

Now that the 2013-14 NBA season is complete, we can begin navigating through conflicting reports and discerning which rumors and sources to believe when it comes to the draft (June 26) and free agency (July 1). Amid talks of a fantasy-land scenario where soon-to-be free agent Carmelo Anthony would join the Miami HEAT’s current core group, with each taking a significantly discounted rate, the Los Angeles Lakers have once again found themselves within the rumor mill.

To be clear, it’s possible that Anthony would want to join forces with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh – a group that has literally owned the Eastern Conference since coming together four years ago. That said, as is the case with all things related to the Lakers these days – a team with as many questions as we’ve seen in some years – we feel it is worthy to explore the possibility of Anthony becoming the next cornerstone piece in a land that Kobe Bryant has dominated for the better part of two decades.

While it was reported the front office wouldn’t pursue Anthony just last month, another story recently surfaced claiming the coaching search could have been delayed due to the fact that Lakers brass is still currently eyeing Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James.

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Rockets In Play For Third Superstar

By Lang Greene

Not too long ago, the narrative surrounding the Houston Rockets revolved around the team’s lack of success at luring a superstar player to town via trade or free agency. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey often absorbed the bulk of this criticism, but the veteran executive stayed the course and was able to land All-Star guard James Harden in a 2012 trade and All-Star center Dwight Howard via free agency in 2013.

Although the Rockets were unceremoniously bounced in the first round of the playoffs this season, there’s no doubt the franchise has built a foundation that will allow them to be a player in the Western Conference for the foreseeable future.

But Morey and the Rockets don’t plan on being stagnant in their approach this summer. Morey insists the team will be actively looking to add another marquee piece in free agency to pair alongside Harden and Howard.

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Would Carmelo Anthony Actually Be Miami’s Best Bet?

By Tommy Beer

Typically, analysts and fans don’t begin speculating on the future of an NBA Finals participant until after the series is completed. However, by the midpoint of the 2014 NBA Finals, it was becoming clear the Miami HEAT were no match for the deeper, more complete San Antonio Spurs.

And, perhaps coincidentally, last Wednesday evening, in between Games 3 and 4 of the Finals, an ESPN report surfaced that generated plenty of buzz. The published report indicated that HEAT officials and the team’s “leading players” had already begun exploring ways to lure New York Knicks franchise forward Carmelo Anthony to Miami.

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Should Celtics Be Pro Kevin Love or Carmelo Anthony?

By Jessica Camerato

There is a difference between a rebuilding year and a rebuilding chapter. Following a 25-win season, the Boston Celtics are not intending on making this the new norm.

The team experienced a six-year playoff run and they’re looking to get back to that point quickly. Returning to championship contention won’t be done solely in the draft, at least not next season with the sixth pick, so other avenues have to be explored.

This offseason, their sights are set on free agency. Back in 2007, the Celtics put together the foundation of a title team in less than two months with the acquisitions of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. With an arsenal of draft picks this summer and years to come, the Celtics are in a position to offer enticing packages for significant deals.

The question is, what can the Celtics get in return for these assets? Picks are coveted, as are expiring contracts, and these aren’t pieces to give up without careful consideration. So who should the Celtics target? There are big names buzzing around as potential matches.

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2014 NBA Draft: Jusuf Nurkic Scouting Report

By Nate Duncan

Bosnian big man Jusuf Nurkic has started to accumulate a great deal of draft buzz on the basis of his great per minute numbers in the Adriatic League for Cedevita Zagreb and the fact that he shows up near the top of some of the analytic translations for his NBA performance. During a recent trip to the adidas Eurocamp, I detoured to Zagreb to see Nurkic in person for the second time (including last year’s Eurocamp). Nurkic’s squad matched up against Adriatic League champion Cibona and Dario Saric, who we covered yesterday.  The video above from our friends at Draftexpress provides a good primer on Nurkic’s game.

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Will Joel Embiid Slip on Draft Night?

By Alex Kennedy

The bad news just keeps coming for Joel Embiid. After injuring his knee and back during his lone collegiate season at Kansas, he now has a right foot injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the pre-draft process.

Embiid met with doctors today, who diagnosed the big man with a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot, which will require surgery on Friday. Arn Tellem, Embiid’s agent, confirmed that the injury happened at some point over the last few days and said that his client won’t be able to do any more workouts prior to next week’s draft due to the injury.

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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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