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Basketball Insiders Week in Review 7/5

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

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Can the Clippers Bounce Back?

By Moke Hamilton

As the Golden State Warriors celebrate their championship and bask in the glory that follows the ending of their 40-year championship drought, the most natural question for many NBA onlookers becomes whether or not the team will be collecting championships in abundance over the next few years or whether they will ultimately go down as a team reminiscent of the 2004 Detroit Pistons—one who seems to have snuck in and stolen a championship, only to be broken up before winning again.

During the NBA Finals, no doubt, Doc Rivers and Chris Paul were thinking about the fact that they had a 3-1 series lead on the Houston Rockets and, somehow, squandered it after failing to appropriately respond to the adjustments made by Rockets head coach Kevin McHale.

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Thunder’s Cameron Payne Thrives On Being Overlooked

By Susan Bible

Cameron Payne, Oklahoma City Thunder’s 14th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, is a breath of fresh air to this league. From the way he expresses himself verbally to the manner in which he carries himself in front of the media, Payne exudes a rare combination of genuine humility with a dose of surprising self-confidence.

During his introductory press conference in Oklahoma City, Payne offered some insight into his background and how he’s developed into a NBA-caliber player.

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Grading Out The 2015 NBA Draft

By Steve Kyler

The 2015 NBA Draft had some swerves to it, but despite all of the hype, there really were not a lot of zany picks or massive blockbuster trades. Things went about as scripted with a few bumps toward the top, but overall most of the players projected in the first round went in the first round.

Now, it’s time to hand out some draft grades. To be fair, it’s impossible to know what a drafted player is really going to be until years later, so I won’t spend a lot of time talking about what a player may or may not be; I will simply focus on the mechanics of the draft.

Before we get too far into this, here are a few disclaimers:

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Should Knicks Use Stretch Provision on Calderon?

By Tommy Beer

In a spate of interviews last week, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson declared he had done a “great job” during his first year in New York and deserved consideration for Executive of the Year because he was successful in “shedding contracts that put [the Knicks] in position where we have this flexibility.”

In actuality, the first significant trade that Jackson made, back in June of 2014, actually added salary commitments to the New York payroll, which will inhibit the Knicks’ spending in each of the next two summers.

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Summer League Can Be Valuable Experience

By Cody Taylor

Now that the 2015 NBA draft has concluded, it’s time for teams to focus their attention on their Summer League teams. Orlando, Utah and Las Vegas each combine to host a Summer League event, beginning on Saturday in Orlando. The Utah Summer League runs July 6-9, while the Vegas Summer League takes place July 10-20.

The Summer League gives a team their first look at rookies in NBA action and provides a chance for younger bench players to play increased minutes in an effort to solidify their place on the roster. It also gives unsigned free agents an opportunity to prove why they belong on a team. The unsigned players include rookies that went undrafted and players from the D-League and from overseas.

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With Davis Locked In, Time For Demps To Deliver

By Lang Greene

The 2015 NBA free agency period started off with a bang as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported All-Star forward Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans agreed to terms on a five-year, $145 million deal – the maximum allowed.

Shortly thereafter, Davis posted the following message on Twitter to confirm Wojnarowski’s initial report.

When the Pelicans traded All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers before the start of the 2012 campaign, the future outlook appeared bleak for the franchise. However, the team lucked up and received the No. 1 overall selection in the 2012 draft and subsequently selected Davis.

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The NBA’s Value Free Agents of 2015

By Ben Dowsett

Let the silly season begin in earnest. As of roughly last night, the free-agency negotiation period has begun. No official contracts can be inked until July 9 when the July moratorium is lifted and the new cap year begins, but teams can begin speaking with players and agents and verbally agree to terms immediately.

With 2016’s cap explosion looming over everything, deals that may have seemed exorbitant in previous years are expected to be the norm. Teams with cap space will look to maximize what’s almost certainly the final summer where their room is a major advantage, with the majority of the league’s teams coming into max-level space in a year.

For certain franchises, though, this will make finding bargains amid the madness of paramount importance. Who will be some of the best options while the flashier names dominate the headlines? Let’s take a look.

 

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How Johnson, Jerebko Will Improve Celtics

By Jessica Camerato

As expected, the Boston Celtics were aggressive at the start of free agency. Not as expected were the first two players they reportedly agreed to terms with on July 1.

According to multiple outlets, the Celtics agreed to sign forwards Amir Johnson to a two-year, $24 million deal and Jonas Jerebko to a two-year, $10 million contract. The two players address needs in the thin front court as the team is overloaded with guards.

Johnson averaged 9.3 points and 6.1 rebounds last season with the Raptors. The 10-year veteran can help the team while spreading the floor. He shot 41.3 percent from long-range in his final season with the Toronto Raptors. Johnson will become the highest paid player on the roster, surpassing Gerald Wallace.

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Day 1 NBA Free Agency Recap

By Joel Brigham

Last year, the first day of free agency was a pretty staid affair, with loads of the top free agents looking to dance around the league and be wooed by as many teams as possible. Those right below that top tier had to wait for them to choose a team before organizations knew how much money they had left to spend. In other words, it took a while for things to get interesting.

That’s not how this year’s free agency period has gone so far. Not at all.

The first day of 2015 free agency has been an absolute whirlwind of activity, with several big-name players agreeing to terms in the first 18 hours of free agency. Nine of the top 25 free agents already have agreed to terms with teams, and many others are either believed to be closing in on agreements of their own or have been tendered reasonable offers by teams and are making headway on something significant.

Here’s a look at what got done on Wednesday:

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Jamario Moon Attempting NBA Comeback

By Alex Kennedy

Jamario Moon hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2011-12 season, but he’s hoping to change that this year. Moon is attempting to make a comeback and sign with an NBA team for the 2015-16 campaign.

During Moon’s five years in the NBA, he played for five teams – the Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Charlotte Hornets – averaging 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds throughout the duration of his career. He made a name for himself with his perimeter defense as well as his impressive athleticism. He has appeared in 286 games, including 157 starts.

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Day 2 NBA Free Agency Recap

By Jabari Davis

After one of the more active first days of NBA Free Agency we’ve seen in recent years, teams continued maneuvering and negotiating at a frenzied pace, but we didn’t get nearly as much actual movement on day two.

We’ll remind you that even though the terms of deals are being announced, most players can only agree to terms with teams at this stage until the free agency moratorium ends at 12:01 a.m. on July 9.

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Day 3 NBA Free Agency Recap

By Eric Saar

With LeBron James and Marc Gasol likely re-signing with their respective teams, all eyes are on LaMarcus Aldridge – the best obtainable free agent. While he is still weighing his options, other moves were made today that changed the landscape of the NBA.

Basketball Insiders has been tracking all of the news and rumors in our 2015 Free Agency Diary, but here’s a recap of what occurred on Friday.

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Exploring DeAndre Jordan’s Offensive Role in Dallas

By Jesse Blancarte

On Friday, DeAndre Jordan committed to a four-year, $80-million deal with the Dallas Mavericks. Though Jordan was pursued by many teams, it was widely understood that he was choosing between his former team, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Mavericks. As soon as Jordan’s decision was reported, there was league-wide debate over why Jordan ultimately chose the Mavericks over the team he spent the first seven years of his career with, which had recently added Paul Pierce and Lance Stephenson to the roster.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN wrote about the recruiting process and what led to Jordan’s choice to leave Los Angeles. As Arnovitz detailed, there were several things that contributed to Jordan’s decision. However, the most significant reason seems to have been Jordan’s desire to be more featured on offense.

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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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