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Basketball Insiders Week in Review 8/17

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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Time For Ricky Rubio To Take The Next Step

By John Zitzler

This past week the it was announced that the Timberwolves and Cavaliers have come to an agreement in principle to trade Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a projected 2015 first-round pick, according Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The trade can’t be made official until August 23 but as of now all signs point to it being a done deal. The departure of Love will mark the end of an era, one of remarkable production from him but overall disappointment for the team. During Love’s six year tenure with the Timberwolves the team failed to reach the playoffs even once, something his detractors are quick to point out. Presuming the trade goes through as discussed, the team will begin the process of moving forward without their soon to be former star.

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Are The Cavaliers The Favorites In The East?

By Jesse Blancarte

When LeBron James announced that he would return to the Cleveland Cavaliers after four seasons with the Miami HEAT, Cleveland fans celebrated as if they had just won an NBA championship. The return of LeBron would usher in a new era for the Cavaliers, who had just drafted number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins. However, soon after LeBron’s announcement, reports surfaced that the Cavaliers were in position to acquire disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love in a deal that would include Wiggins.

After weeks of speculation, on Thursday Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo Sports reported that the Cavaliers and Timberwolves had an agreement in place to send Love to Cleveland. Due to league rules the trade cannot be made official until August 23, since that is 30 days after Andrew Wiggins signed his rookie contract with Cavaliers.

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Best Rebounders Ever

By Joel Brigham

Back in 2010-11, Kevin Love, then of the Minnesota Timberwolves, set the record for the most consecutive double-doubles since the ABA/NBA merger with 53. Of course, Elvin Hayes rattled off 55 straight in 1973-1974 and Wilt Chamberlain once had a streak of 227 consecutive double-doubles over the course of his statistically dominant career.

Good luck touching that one, Kevin.

That 2010-11 season really established Love as one of his era’s most dominant rebounders, as he finished the season with a league-leading 15.2 RPG. Of all the players that have led the league in rebounding since Dennis Rodman left the Bulls in 1998, only one other guy has averaged more than 15 RPG for the season (Ben Wallace).

Love is also the only active player to have ever grabbed over 30 boards in a single contest, making him arguably the best rebounder in the NBA today. There’s no telling how his trade to Cleveland might change that, but until this point he’s been living proof that the dominant rebounder is not a dead fad.

All that said, here are the five greatest rebounders in league history:

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Lou Williams Excited to Join Raptors

By Alex Kennedy

One of the most underrated moves of the 2014 NBA offseason was the Toronto Raptors’ trade for Lou Williams.

In late June, Toronto sent John Salmons’ non-guaranteed contract and a second-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Williams and Lucas Nogueira.

Williams gives the Raptors another weapon in their already-deep backcourt, which also features Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Greivis Vazquez. When healthy, Williams has been one of the league’s best sixth men and he’s looking forward to bringing energy and instant offense off of the Toronto bench. He believes he fits in better with the Raptors than he did with the Hawks and head coach Mike Budenholzer.

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Dark Horses for the NBA’s 2014-15 Rookie of the Year Award

By Cody Taylor

The 2014 NBA draft class was well-documented as being one of the deepest classes in recent years and this year’s Rookie of the Year race could be very competitive. The award often comes down to minutes, scoring and opportunity. While players like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker will likely be the front runners, here are six rookies (in no particular order) who could play major roles with their teams, get extended minutes and have an opportunity to compete for next season’s Rookie of the Year Award.

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Looking Ahead To The 2015 NBA Draft

By Steve Kyler

While the 2014 NBA Draft class has yet to log their first regular season game, it’s never too early to peek over the ledge and see what’s coming next June in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Before we get too far into this, there are a couple of things to know: The NBA does have a real desire to alter the NBA age limit going forward. With a new Executive Director running the NBA Players Association, this conversation is likely to pick up considerable steam. It is unlikely to affect the 2015 NBA Draft, but it might have impact on the 2016 NBA Draft. Here are some of the notable names to keep an eye out for, assuming they all enter the draft next summer as many expect they will.

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Montrezl Harrell’s Unfinished Business

By Yannis Koutroupis

There are a lot of reasons why players commit to Louisville. It’s a well-respected academic institution, Rick Pitino is a Hall of Fame head coach with a resume for developing talent that few in the country can match and they provide the opportunity to play against the best on a nightly basis. The one prevailing reason that consistently draws top-tier recruits there, though, is the belief that if they succeed they will end up in the NBA.

Through two years, Cardinals forward Montrezl Harrell did everything necessary to make his aspirations of becoming a professional reality. He excelled as a role player his freshman year and won a national championship. As a sophomore, he exploded and became one of the best power forwards in the country, averaging 14 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.3 blocks. He was projected to be a lottery pick almost unanimously across all of the preeminent mock drafts. There was a chance that he could have slipped past the top 14, but he was a surefire first-round pick, one highly unlikely to be on the board past 20.

Yet, shockingly, Harrell decided that he wanted to return for his junior season.

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The Rockets’ Decision to Let Chandler Parsons Go

By Nate Duncan

We will likely never know the Dallas Mavericks’ true motivation* when they signed Chandler Parsons to a three-year, $46.1 million offer sheet on July 10. How much did they want Parsons, and how much did they want to torpedo the best-laid plans of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey? At the time, Houston was the beneficiary of Parsons’ relatively low cap hold and the fact that it held his Bird rights. Houston’s plan was to use salary cap space to sign additional players and reach the salary cap, then use Parsons’ Bird rights to exceed the cap for his contract. By signing Parsons to the offer sheet, Dallas put a three day clock on the Rockets’ ability to use their cap space–if they planned to retain Parsons. Once the Rockets matched the offer sheet, Parsons’ $14.7 million would be on their books. If the Rockets did not use their cap space before this, it would be wiped out. With LeBron James’ indecision essentially extending the NBA’s moratorium, the Parsons offer sheet drew ever closer to the witching hour.

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Warriors Gambling On Core Group

By Lang Greene

The Golden State Warriors are undoubtedly one of the most talented teams in the league. But for all of the talent on the roster the team was unceremoniously bounced in the first round of the playoffs last season after recording 51 regular season victories – their most since the 1991-92 campaign.

In some ways the Warriors’ front office felt the team was underachieving and relieved head coach Mark Jackson of his duties, opting to roll with first time coach Steve Kerr who the organization says is a better philosophical fit. Management’s decision to bring in Kerr shows the franchise believes a philosophy shift, not an influx of more talent, is the key to get them over the hump and competing for Western Conference supremacy.

Further solidifying this stance was the team’s reluctance to include emerging shooting guard Klay Thompson in trade talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves for All-Star forward Kevin Love.

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We Should Expect An Eastern Conference Resurgence

By Jabari Davis

With the NBA set to release the 2014-15 schedule, you’ll have to forgive those of us admitted basketball junkies for already beginning to obsess over all of the potential storylines, expectations and eventual outcomes of what was truly one of the more active summers we’ve seen in quite some time.

Although it was actually less than two months ago when the San Antonio Spurs won its fifth title in franchise history, it almost seems like an eternity ago at this point. Part of that is because of the fact that San Antonio tends to go about doing things in such a “bring your sneakers and go to work” manner, but we can also attribute it to the fact that we almost went directly into the 2014 NBA Draft and then immediately into the LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony watch.

Once James decided to return to Northeast Ohio, it sent a shock wave throughout the league, which included Anthony determining that staying with the New York Knicks was ultimately his best choice, and kick-started a much-needed resurgence within the Eastern Conference. Even though it appears both men decided on a slimmer-and-trimmer approach as they enter their 12th NBA season, the impact of their decisions could potentially be felt throughout the NBA for years to come.

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Can the Charlotte Hornets Contend Out East?

By Moke Hamilton

It is 2014 and after 10 years, the Charlotte Bobcats have become extinct.

The utterly forgettable decade will be mostly marked by Gerald Wallace’s ascension to NBA All-Star in 2010 and being Larry Brown’s final stop as an NBA head coach.

In March 2010, when the NBA Board of Governors approved the sale of the Bobcats to Michael Jordan, the chance for a new beginning was nigh. Four short years later, Jordan has his team ready to go back to the future.

Now, the Charlotte Hornets are back and so too will be the winning ways and expectations of the franchise’s distant past.

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2014-15 NBA Trade Kickers

By Eric Pincus

On occasion, teams give players a bonus in their contract, which triggers only when the player is traded.

Currently 34 players have trade kickers, ranging from $600,000 to a maximum of 15 percent of the remaining contract.

It is the team trading away the player that is responsible for paying the bonus — unless the contract was signed prior to the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement (Toronto Raptors’ Amir Johnson and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Anderson Varejao), which is then paid by the acquiring franchise.

Players will not receive their bonus if they are already over the NBA’s maximum salary.  For example, should the Utah Jazz choose to trade Gordon Hayward, who was recently signed to a maximum salary for the 2014-15 season at $14.75 million, his 15 percent trade kicker would have no effect.  Hayward, like most free agents signed this summer, cannot be traded until December 15 and isn’t likely to be dealt at all this season.

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Wizards Quietly Improving This Summer

By Jessica Camerato

With the Cleveland Cavaliers garnering most of the attention this offseason with the return of LeBron James and expected acquisition of Kevin Love, many other teams are flying under the radar as they boost their rosters for the 2014-15 season.

The Washington Wizards have been making moves to continue their momentum from last postseason in which they eliminated the Chicago Bulls and reached Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Indiana Pacers. Now, they aim to push further up the standings. Their biggest signing came early in the offseason, inking Marcin Gortat to a five-year, $60 million contract. They also picked up the option on veteran point guard Andre Miller.

With its core in place the team has focused on its bench, which was a key component to a playoff push. The organization has added proven veterans who will be able to mentor the young stars and provide invaluable experience once they hit the postseason. Take a look at four players who will help the team during the regular season and deliver know how for 82 games and beyond.

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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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