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Basketball Insiders Week in Review 8/16

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



Are the Bulls Going to Regress?

By Moke Hamilton

The last time the Chicago Bulls hired a head coach from Iowa State University, he posted a cumulative win-loss record of 49-190 and resigned 25 games into the 2001-02 NBA season.

In the end, all Tim Floyd will be remembered for from his time as the head coach of the Bulls was being put in the unenviable predicament of having to succeed Phil Jackson and his six championships and for delivering a memorable quote at his 1998 press conference.

Including interim coaches, Fred Hoiberg will be the ninth coach to man the sideline for the Bulls since Floyd’s resignation back on December 21, 2001. And like Floyd, Hoiberg is leaving Iowa State for the unenviable job of succeeding a very talented head coach.

Will Hoiberg succeed? Or, like Floyd as an NBA head coach, will he fall flat on his face?

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Gibbs Returning Overseas After One Year Off

By Alex Kennedy

In the months leading up to the 2012 NBA Draft, Ashton Gibbs was at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas running through intense two-a-day workouts alongside fellow draft prospects like Dion Waiters, Mike Scott and Kyle O’Quinn among others. Gibbs looked smooth on the court, hit ridiculously long threes with ease and played well in the group’s pick-up games. He looked like a pro and would leave his imprint on each game with his impressive skill set.

Gibbs’ shot is his biggest strength, as it has always been. He can knock down jumpers from just about anywhere on the court, usually hitting nothing but net. This was on display during his a junior season at the University of Pittsburgh, when he attempted 6.7 three-pointers per game yet still shot a remarkable 49 percent from beyond the arc (while averaging 16.8 points). It had also earned him a gold medal, which he won in 2009 when he represented Team USA during the FIBA U19 World Championship in New Zealand alongside players like Klay Thompson and Gordon Hayward.

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Grading Each of the Knicks’ Free Agent Signings

By Tommy Beer

Looking to leave a nightmarish 2014-15 season in the rearview mirror, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills have re-tooled their roster.

Although New York didn’t land a superstar this summer, they were able to re-stock their shelves by evenly spreading out the $28 million in cap space they had to spend.

Below, Tommy Beer grades each of the free agent signings the Knicks made this offseason.

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Under the Radar: Eastern Conference Teams

By Joel Brigham

Every year, we come into the season with reasonable expectations of which teams will be really, really good, and which teams will be fighting over Ben Simmons next summer. And every year there are a small handful of teams who completely shock us and show their worth as over-achieving playoff teams (if not title contenders), despite poor reviews heading into the season.

Here’s a look at a few teams that could prove to be that “under the radar” group in the Eastern Conference this coming year. Assuming teams like Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington are as good as advertised, and that Toronto, Miami and Milwaukee live up to expectations, that leaves one playoff spot for a whole bunch of teams to fight over. There’s a good chance that one of the following ends up filling that spot:

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It’s Not Easy Being A Laker

By Steve Kyler

In MLB, there’s the Yankees and then there’s everyone else. In the NFL, the Cowboys are the biggest dog on the block. In the NBA, there is no bigger fan base than Laker Nation.

You may not like those teams, but there is little doubt those are the teams with the broadest reach among fans and media.

There is also no denying the power and pressure that comes from being “the” marquee franchise of a sport. There are benefits to it for sure, but anyone that’s pulled on a Lakers jersey will tell you that the expectations, pressure and spotlight of being a Laker shines brighter than anywhere else in the NBA.

For D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers’ second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the magnitude of his new situation as a player is very real.

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Durant, Thunder Reaching Crossroads

By Lang Greene

When the emerging Oklahoma City Thunder reached the NBA Finals back in 2012, it appeared to signal the start of a new era in the Western Conference. But fast forward three seasons and the Thunder have not only failed to gain league supremacy, but the franchise hasn’t established dominance in the Western Conference. The aging San Antonio Spurs and the young Golden State Warriors have won titles since Oklahoma City came up short in 2012 and the Thunder’s regular season win totals have declined since 2013.

Injuries to All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook during this span have contributed largely to Oklahoma City’s shortcomings. You could also make an argument that a leg injury suffered by forward Serge Ibaka during the 2014 playoffs contributed to the squad coming up short versus the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.

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$17.4 Million in Cash Swapped in 2014-15

By Eric Pincus

Prior to the NBA’s 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams could send up to $3 million in cash out in trades, multiple times a season.

To level the playing field and limit rich franchises, teams are capped in the amount of money they can send out and receive over the course of a season (from July 1 to June 30).  Last year’s limit of $3.3 million has climbed to $3.4 million for the 2015-16 season.

Some teams have already swapped cash in deals including the $75,000 the Portland Trail Blazers paid the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Brendan Haywood swap.

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NBA Continues to Grow Global Reach

By Jessica Camerato

The NBA continues to expand its global reach, as the first Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Americas camp will be held next week in the Dominican Republic, August 16-19.

Al Horford, Charlie Villanueva, Corey Brewer and Luc Mbah a Moute will join former NBA players Francisco Garcia, Tito Horford and Felipe Lopez to headline the camp. Coaches will include Melvin Hunt, Brett Gunning, Darvin Ham, Patrick Hunt and Nick U’ren.

The camp will host 51 top basketball players born in 1998 from 18 countries in North and South America.

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Under the Radar: Western Conference Teams

By Ben Dowsett

In an internet age where any notable play or event is available in Vine format within minutes of it taking place, it seems inherently strange that players and even entire teams could still manage to fly under the radar. But it’s true – our collective attention spans must be shorter than we think, because even in today’s age it’s all too easy to go even a full NBA season without giving the proper attention to some deserving entity. Even as a dedicated writer and watcher of all 30 teams, I find myself looking back at the end of each year and wondering how I missed or glossed over certain things.

Here at Basketball Insiders, we’re out to make things as easy as possible on the great fans of the NBA. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three teams out West who you may not have had your eye on for one reason or another.

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The Overlooked, Underrated Memphis Grizzlies

By Cody Taylor

The NBA’s summer of 2015 will go down as one of the most memorable in recent history. With the salary cap set to increase over the next several seasons, teams opened up their checkbooks and spent accordingly. One estimate had the total price tag at $1 billion spent after the first day of free agency alone.

The cap is projected to climb over $100 million as soon as 2017 so teams were motivated to lock players into deals now, with the hope being that contracts handed out this summer may end up looking like bargains in the future.

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Looking Back at Elton Brand’s Career

By Jesse Blancarte

On August 8, at Peekskill High School in New York, Elton Brand announced that he is retiring from the NBA after 16 seasons. Brand, age 36, left open the possibility of returning to the NBA, but it seems likely that this is the end of the road for the power forward.

“I could get in shape if I got the call but this looks like the end of the run for me, right now it is family time,” said Brand.

Before entering the NBA, Brand spent two years at Duke University playing for Mike Krzyzewski. In the 1998-99 season, Brand earned several awards, including the Associated Press Player of the Year Award, the John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year.

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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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