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Basketball Insiders Week in Review 6/7

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

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All Eyes on Alvin Gentry

By Moke Hamilton

To this point, Anthony Davis’ points had come in most impressive fashion. He had dropped-stepped, posted and smoothly shot his way to an efficient 38 points on 14-of-22 shooting from the field against the Oklahoma City Thunder on this February night.

Rarely is an NBA season ever made or broken in the 50th game of the campaign, but one could certainly argue that the game-winning shot Davis would make that evening helped persuade the world that the New Orleans Pelicans were for real.

With 1.2 seconds remaining in the 113-113 ballgame, Davis set up on the left box with Steven Adams on his hip. Tyreke Evans, the inbound passer, saw Ryan Anderson create some separation from Russell Westbrook as Westbrook and Kevin Durant switched, but Evans turned down his first release point and waited for Davis—the second option—to pop out.

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Steph Curry’s Contract is a Bargain

By Alex Kennedy

Stephen Curry is one of the best players in the NBA, one of the greatest shooters in the history of the league and one of the most electrifying athletes in the universe. The Golden State Warriors point guard was the NBA’s 2014-15 Most Valuable Player and a unanimous selection for the All-NBA First Team. He broke several records this year – making the most threes in a single regular season and in a single postseason – and led the Warriors to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1975. Curry is a household name and a marketable fan favorite who’s one of the faces of the NBA – as evidenced by the fact that he led all players in All-Star votes this season (with 1,513,324).

But, at the same time, Curry is one of the most underpaid players in professional sports. Curry’s contract with the Warriors is one of the best values in the NBA and he’s an incredible bargain for the organization.

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Which NBA Team Will Land Tom Thibodeau?

By Joel Brigham

The Chicago Bulls are reportedly on the verge of getting Fred Hoiberg to put pen to paper and become their next head coach. Meanwhile Tom Thibodeau, who’s viewed by many as one of the most brilliant tacticians in the game of basketball, is still a free agent, though he may not be as interested in working this year as some would imagine.

It may not be his choice, frankly, as opportunities with both the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans dried up after widespread rumors that the organizations were interested in Thibodeau proved to be fruitless.

Orlando opted to go with Scott Skiles, a former Magic player beloved by team ownership, while New Orleans, though interested in Thibodeau, was not interested in the $7-8 million per season he would have likely commanded as a head coaching candidate. Alvin Gentry, the man they hired instead, will make just under $3.5 million a year, less than half of what Thibodeau was rumored to have wanted. Put simply, they just couldn’t afford him.

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What Are NBA Free Agents Worth?

By Steve Kyler

If you are even a casual fan of the NBA, you have likely heard the NBA hit the mother-load in its new television rights deal that kicks in next year. As a result, what we have all to come to understand in terms of player valuation is getting tossed out the door, as the salary cap for each team is going to escalate at such a massive rate, that every coveted player hitting free agency is going to get massively overpaid by current standards.

The common language when talking salary valuation is ‘what is this guy worth in millions?’ but the reality is value, especially max-level value, is computed as a percentage of the salary cap. Top-level players with less than seven years of NBA experience get 25 percent of the cap. If the cap is $1 billion, then they are worth 25 percent of that, whether you agree or like the number or not, that’s the way the labor deal is constructed.

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Fab Melo Eyeing NBA Comeback

By Jessica Camerato

Three years ago, Fab Melo began his NBA career as a first-round pick in the 2012 Draft. The seven-footer from Brazil thought his rookie campaign with the Boston Celtics would be the first of many seasons in the NBA. Instead, it was his only.

Two seasons have passed since Melo played in the league. Now, as an incoming class of rookies look to commence their careers in June, he is looking to restart his.

“I learned a lot from what I’ve been through,” Melo told Basketball Insiders. “Now I feel like I know what I’m dealing with.”

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Could Warriors-Cavs Forge a Long-Term Rivalry?

By Ben Dowsett

For a subset of fans pining for the glory days of NBA rivalries, when names like Magic and Bird or Chamberlain and Russell would meet at the mountaintop seemingly every year to contest the title, it’s been a rough couple decades.

Michael beat the Jazz in consecutive years in the Finals, but both were more mismatch than true rivalry; the early 2000s Lakers had no peers in their time; the Spurs have beaten five different teams for their five titles; Kobe’s Lakers and Boston’s Big 3 came close but fizzled with age; even LeBron versus KD has hit the backburner with the latter struggling through misfortune.

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Warriors Working Through Finals Jitters

By Cody Taylor

As Game 1 of the NBA Finals gets set to tip off tonight at 9 p.m. EST, many players on both sides of the ball will be making their Finals debut.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have plenty of Finals experience with LeBron James, James Jones, Mike Miller, Kendrick Perkins, Shawn Marion and Brendan Haywood having all played for a championship before, but the entire roster of the Golden State Warriors will be making their first appearance in a Finals series.

Players from the Cavaliers who have yet to experience the frenzy of the Finals all have plenty of experience to lean on to get through their first trip, but Warriors players will be relying on their coaching staff to prepare them for what they can expect.

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Less Than A Month To 2015 Free Agency

By Lang Greene

While the 2015 NBA Finals matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will dominate the media landscape, the start of free agency is less than a month away and nuggets of information have already started to rise to the surface.

Let’s take a look at some of the latest buzz surrounding guys headed to free agency this summer:

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2015 NBA Free Agent Rankings – Small Forwards

By Tommy Beer

Get ready folks, the NBA free agency period is now less than a month away.

Previously, we ranked and tiered the top point guards and shooting guards in this summer’s free agent crop.

Today, we’ll breakdown the small forwards set to hit the open market.

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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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