Monday, July 9, 2012

Basketball Never Stops

By: Kyle Schimming

The 2012 NBA season wrapped up on June 21st with the Heat winning a surprisingly easy series in five games over Oklahoma City.
 Exactly one week later the league welcomed a new crop of rookies into the fold with the NBA Draft and about 48 hours later free agency kicked off. A jam packed offseason continued today with the beginning of the summer league down in Orlando.

Just 18 days after the final game of one of the most exciting NBA seasons in recent years came to an end, the page has been officially turned towards next season, making the NBA a yearlong event.
NBA TV is covering the entire summer league slate and when you throw in the team of all-stars preparing for the Olympics and the ongoing Dwight Howard trade talks there is nearly as much going on in early July as there was throughout the lockout shortened season.

I can't get enough of the 24/7 constant stream on action going on with the league. Whether it's a game of undrafted free agents and NBA bench players battling it out in front of a hundred of so in attendance or the possibility of the Cavs jumping in tobenefit from the Howard Sweepstakes, I'm welcoming it with open arms.

 And as with everything, I have an opinion on what I've seen both on and off the court during this wild period.

·         Based solely on the reported details to the three-way trade involving the Cavs, I love the move for the franchise going forward. The chance to add a little depth so the bench isn't filled with the likes of D.J. Kennedy and Manny Harris throughout the season would be nice. This trade is more about the assets we can accumulate than it is getting Kris Humphries but I'm a fan of Humphries' game and those assets that will come along could prove to be valuable down the line.

·         Jared Sullinger proved that his game translates great to the NBA...summer league. The former Buckeye delivered his familiar line of 20 points and six rebounds in just 24 minutes of action in the win over the Thunder. After watching Sullinger dominate college basketball the past two years I expect him to have a great career in the pros. There will be a lot of teams regretting the decision to pass on the power forward on draft night.

·         Perry Jones III had flashes of potential and also a few stretches where he was hardly noticeable, so basically exactly what should be expected from him after his play at Baylor the past two seasons.

·         I've touched on the Cavs decision to choose Tristan Thompson over Jonas Valanciunas with last year’s #4 pick last year. Nobody knows how that decision will look in a few years but one thing I'm certain of is that the Cavs lucked out when the Jazz took Enes Kanter one spot ahead. I'm not sure he would have landed in Cleveland, but he's been such a disappointment thus far in Utah. He showed no improvement going up against Detroit's rookie big man Andre Drummond and doesn't appear to be a starting forward in the league going forward.

·         The Cavs are set to finalize their own summer league roster in the next day or so. This will be a good chance for Kyrie to continue to become the leader of the franchise and for the core of youngsters to begin to get comfortable playing together. These games will be the first glimpse of the Kyrie-Dion Waiters backcourt duo in action together. Seeing the highlights of Kyrie playing for the U.S. Select Team has only continued to build on my hopes for the future. The framework for that success will start to be laid down in a Las Vegas gym.

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