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Rod Beard: Despite Pistons' many deals, draft picks will be core of their future

Sports / Basketball /

DETROIT — In the first few hours of NBA free agency, one of the teams most active in getting deals done was the Pistons, making agreements with Mason Plumlee, Jahlil Okafor and Josh Jackson in short order.

The big deal of the night was made not much later, with the Pistons getting their top free agent so far, agreeing to a deal with forward ...Read more

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'I'd rather be safe than sorry.' As UK's season begins, COVID adjustments continue.

Sports / Basketball /

It was about 6:15 p.m. Monday when Morehead State Coach Preston Spradlin's phone buzzed to alert him of a prearranged interview. He was supposed to be done with team activities since that day's practice was scheduled for 2:15 that afternoon.

But Spradlin was driving to practice, which was rescheduled for 7 p.m. in order to get the results of ...Read more

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Mike Anthony: Donyell Marshall returns to Gampel Pavilion with a lot to look back on and a lot to prove

Sports / Basketball /

HARTFORD, Conn. — Donyell Marshall will walk into a virtually empty Gampel Pavilion Wednesday night — assuming all the pre-game COVID tests come back negative.

It is the building where he once dunked to the delight of nearly 10,000 fans as a UConn player while laying the groundwork for a 15-year NBA career.

It is the building where, now, ...Read more

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This could be a dream season for UCLA, if Bruins get to complete it

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — All around Mick Cronin, it felt like the college basketball season was cratering before anybody played a game.

Tennessee stopped practicing because of multiple positive tests for coronavirus. Duke and Arizona were among scores of teams whose season openers had been canceled. Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak would reveal later in the...Read more

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Mike Jensen: Collin Gillespie's journey to Villanova senior leader is filled with proving doubters wrong

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — The question for Villanova coach Jay Wright about his point guard was a basic one: If Collin Gillespie has more upside to show, how can we spot that?

"Creativity, offensively," was the first thing that came to Wright's mind. "Being really crafty about finding more ways to score. Defensively, I think he is what he is — he's a ...Read more

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Shannon Ryan: The college basketball season is a mess before it even starts. With the sport's leaders intent on playing on, they need to simplify schedules to adjust for the COVID-19 surge.

Sports / Basketball /

The college basketball season is a mess, and we haven't even gotten to the opening tipoff.

The season starts Wednesday, and at least 40 Division I teams are quarantining or have paused activity because of COVID-19. That includes DePaul and Loyola, which reported outbreaks. Illinois had to find a last-minute replacement for its multi-team event ...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Having sat out bubble with Lakers, Avery Bradley ready to go with Heat

Sports / Basketball /

Two days after signing with the Miami Heat, guard Avery Bradley said Tuesday he is fully committed to going forward with the 2020-21 season, after declining to participate in the NBA's quarantined conclusion to last season.

As a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, Bradley opted out of the league's Disney World bubble due to concerns about COVID-...Read more

Detroit Pistons continue roster shakeup, sign sharpshooting Wayne Ellington

Sports / Basketball /

The Detroit Pistons addressed two needs — shooting and experience — with one signing Tuesday.

Wayne Ellington agreed to a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Pistons, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed to the Free Press. ESPN initially reported the signing.

It's Ellington's second stint with Detroit, as he signed with the franchise ...Read more

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Stefan Bondy: Knicks' Tom Thibodeau is a win-now coach given a lose-now roster

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — The Knicks' moves in free agency, or lack of moves, again places the franchise near the bottom of the league in talent and high up in cap flexibility. On the surface, it makes sense: the free-agent class was underwhelming, the upcoming drafts and free agencies are projected as more fertile, and a pandemic has relieved any pressure ...Read more

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Patrick Williams was a surprise selection by Bulls on draft night — but those who know him expect a smooth NBA transition

Sports / Basketball /

CHICAGO — Before noon games, the Florida State men's basketball team started its shootaround at 7 a.m. Most players approached this time casually, using it as a chance to wake up, get loose, stretch and run offensive sets five on zero.

It was during one of those mornings, early in the college basketball season, when Florida State forward ...Read more

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New Laker Wesley Matthews gets emotional talking about Kobe Bryant

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — Wesley Matthews apologized for becoming "emotional" while talking about how the late Kobe Bryant helped him through his Achilles tendon injury.

Matthews opened his videoconference Tuesday by saying he was honored to have been signed by the Los Angeles Lakers and how special it was to be playing for the same franchise his dad, ...Read more

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Hawks claim Bogdan Bogdanovic after Kings decline to match offer

Sports / Basketball /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After two days of internal deliberation and public debate, Kings general manager Monte McNair made up his mind Tuesday, choosing to let restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic start the next chapter of his career with the Atlanta Hawks.

McNair decided not to match Bogdanovic's offer from the Hawks, allowing the 28-year-...Read more

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ACC men's basketball tournament moving from DC to Greensboro this season

Sports / Basketball /

Greensboro is getting the ACC men's basketball tournament back quicker than expected.

Citing the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the league announced a change in plans Tuesday morning, moving the 2021 tournament from Washington, D.C. to the Greensboro Coliseum.

After the onset of the pandemic brought an abrupt end to the 2020 ACC tournament ...Read more

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Heat, Bam Adebayo agree to five-year extension; deal could reach almost $200 million

Sports / Basketball /

The Miami Heat and All-Star center Bam Adebayo have agreed on a maximum rookie-scale extension, the Sun Sentinel has confirmed through an NBA source. The five-year agreement that would kick in for the 2021-22 season and would run five years, worth potentially close to $200 million.

The Heat had a Dec. 21 deadline to finalize such an agreement, ...Read more

Mark Bradley: The Hawks have rebuilt. The winning should start now.

Sports / Basketball /

In Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises," a once-rich man named Mike is asked how he went bankrupt. His answer: "Gradually, then suddenly." The Hawks appear to have completed a similar gradual-to-sudden process, but in in a far more profitable way. Or so they hope.

The Hawks hired Travis Schlenk on May 25, 2017. He began tanking in earnest at 12:01 ...Read more

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David Murphy: Is NBA free agency quiet or a little too quiet for the Sixers?

Sports / Basketball /

You know the Sixers are fun again when Zhaire Smith gets traded for Tony Bradley and you're examining it the same way you would a papyrus scroll containing a Gnostic Gospel. Maybe the greatest trick Daryl Morey ever pulled was convincing the world that he doesn't exist in a world where a team needs three players capable of logging minutes at the...Read more

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Clippers might try to pull off trade with free-agency options limited

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — On that unpredictable April night in Oakland, Landry Shamet sprinted toward his bench, three fingers extended.

The rookie Los Angeles Clipper guard's three-pointer had just pushed his team, once down 31 points, ahead by two. Fifteen seconds later, when Game 2 of the 2019 playoff series was over, and top-seeded Golden State fell ...Read more

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Did the Clippers want Montrezl Harrell? 'Apparently not,' the new Laker says

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — Montrezl Harrell doesn't know how good he's about to have it, a firsthand look at how life can be different in Los Angeles for a Laker — no more fighting for attention in a market that's purple-and-gold crazy, especially with another championship banner in their possession.

But here he was, Monday afternoon in his first ...Read more

Tom Izzo's COVID-19 bout might make Michigan State basketball better in long run

Sports / Basketball /

The voice from above bellowed over the loudspeaker, as Michigan State basketball ran scrimmaged Saturday.

But that man wasn't hiding behind a curtain up in the suites. It wasn't any god from above, either.

Tom Izzo was back at Breslin Center.

The Spartans' revered coach returned to observe practice this weekend and was in his office Monday to...Read more

Rod Beard: Despite Pistons' many deals, draft picks will be core of their future

Sports / Basketball /

In the first few hours of NBA free agency, one of the teams most active in getting deals done was the Pistons, making agreements with Mason Plumlee, Jahlil Okafor and Josh Jackson in short order.

The big deal of the night was made not much later, with the Pistons getting their top free agent so far, agreeing to a deal with forward Jerami Grant ...Read more