Markieff_summer_league

Today, the NBA announced the schedule for the 2013 Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada. 22 teams will be participating over the 11 day session (July 12-22), including your Phoenix Suns.

This year's Summer League will be debuting a tournament style schedule to crown the first ever NBA Summer League Champion. The schedule will include each team playing three preliminary games from July 12-16, after which they will be seeded accordingly in a tournament that will feature the last two teams standing in a championship game on July 22. Each team will play at least five games, with the additional games dependent on its success in the tournament.

The Suns will make their Summer League debut on July 13 against the Portland Trail Blazers. This game will also mark the debut of new Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek, who has revealed that he will be leading the Suns' Summer League sqaud. This makes sense for the rookie Head Coach, as five current Suns - Diante Garrett, Kendall Marshall, PJ Tucker, and Marcus and Markieff Morris - will be playing in Summer League, as well as all the rookies the Suns will draft in a little over a week. With what could be most of the Suns' 2013-2014 roster competing in the Summer League, Coach Hornacek will get an early start in trying to handle this Suns roster.

Most of the games will be televised on NBA TV, (the complete broadcast schedule will be released at a later time). Check out the complete schedule of matchups here.

For Suns fans aching to see some on-court action, the Summer League will offer a great precursor to the upcoming season. Here's wishing Coach Hornacek and the Suns Summer League roster the best of luck in their efforts.

Strengths As far as point guards go, Michigan’s Trey Burke is the most-polished floor general heading into the 2013 NBA Draft. While he might not have the same upside as a Michael Carter-Williams or...

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Strengths As far as point guards go, Michigan’s Trey Burke is the most-polished floor general heading into the 2013 NBA Draft. While he might not have the same upside as a Michael Carter-Williams or...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Nba_draft

Mock drafts are always fun. They're even more fun when YOU get to choose what the teams do. We've been getting a lot of response to the SBNation Blogger Mock Draft, with you guys having a lot to say about the draft choices Dave (and the rest of the Bright Side Front Office) has been making. Well, here's your chance to run things your own way.

Taking a page from Fear the Sword (check out their Community Mock Draft sign-up here), we have decided to give BSotS users a chance to participate in an interactive mock draft. In the comments section of this post, sign up for one of the 30 teams. The teams will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so whoever requests a team first will get assigned that particular team. I will be the Suns so pick anyone but them, please. Hehe sorry.

The actual draft will happen live on Monday, June 24th at 10 pm EST/7 pm PT. We will do the draft on a live thread, which I will be updating as people make their respective teams' picks. Here are some rules:
  1. We are only drafting the first round.
  2. On draft day, you will have 5 minutes to make your pick once your team is up (like the real draft). If you fail to make your pick within those 5 minutes, I (or another moderator) will make your pick for you.
  3. To make your official pick, either post a comment (on the mock draft thread, not this one) with your pick in the subject line or email me a list of your top picks you think might be available at your spot ahead of time.
  4. TRADES ARE ALLOWED. However, I need to make sure they're valid so when you and another user agree to a trade, one of you needs to email me ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) so I can approve them. For the sake of this draft, all trades must include at least 2013 one first round pick in the transaction.
  5. If you can't be here on Monday night but still want to participate, you will need to email me your pick ahead of time. Please email me a few options of players you think will be available when you're picking, ranked in your order of preference.
PLEASE TRY TO KEEP THE PICKS/TRADES RELATIVELY REASONABLE. Remember, you're acting as the GM of the team you pick so your moves need to keep your team's best interests in mind, not the Suns'.

Pick your team in the comments section below (once again - first-come, first-served). You can/should also use comments to discuss trades with other users (you may also choose to provide your email address so others can contact you about possible trades). Feel free to ask any questions about something I may have forgotten to mention.


Teams in bold are still available:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – omnicious - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
2. Orlando Magic - Eric Fong - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
3. Washington Wizards - karim ashraf
4. Charlotte Bobcats - JCandiaPHX

5. Phoenix Suns – Richard Parker - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
6. New Orleans Pelicans - hoiberg - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
7. Sacramento Kings - brawadis -
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
8. Detroit Pistons – Borgore
9. Minnesota Timberwolves – STUPID KERR - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
10. Portland Trail Blazers - PanameZoo - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
11. Philadelphia 76ers - phxpurple - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
12. Oklahoma City Thunder – jack.kremer22 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
13. Dallas Mavericks - jc79 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
14. Utah Jazz - Air Deke - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
15. Milwaukee Bucks - gallen89 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
16. Boston Celtics - arvin123 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
17. Atlanta Hawks – stevedavis_ - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
18. Atlanta Hawks – stevedavis_ - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
19. Cleveland Cavaliers – omnicious - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
20. Chicago Bulls – NashtyNash
21. Utah Jazz - Air Deke - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
22. Brooklyn Nets - Richard Bowman - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
23. Indiana Pacers - khalid.h - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
24. New York Knicks - The Solution - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
25. Los Angeles Clippers - blank_38 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
26. Minnesota Timberwolves – STUPID KERR - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
27. Denver Nuggets - BringBackBarkley17
28. San Antonio Spurs - psknapp
29. Oklahoma City Thunder – jack.kremer22 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
30. Phoenix Suns – Richard Parker - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

TEAMS WITH NO FIRST ROUND PICKS (to contact for possible trades):

Memphis Grizzlies - Suns Fan For Life - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Miami Heat - Richard Parker - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Los Angeles Lakers - Richard Parker - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Toronto Raptors - Jacob Padilla - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Houston Rockets - jc79 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Golden State Warriors - Richard Parker - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

20130401_kkt_aj6_200

It wouldn't be draft season without a bit of controversy. This week, that controversy surrounds leaks to the media about work ethic and maturity issues with the top 2 overall prospects in the 2013 NBA Draft.

You have to ask yourself why these leaks are out there. Who benefits? Well, it allows Cleveland to muddy the waters a bit more on who they take #1 overall. The inevitable backlash they'd receive over passing on Noel and/or McLemore would lessen if there were fresh, legitimate questions of character. It's a lot like a political race. Smear the one you don't like to make your favorite look a little cleaner by comparison.

Nerlens Noel

Since the early days of last college basketball season, Nerlens Noel has been the top prospect coming out of college. As an 18-year old freshman at Kentucky, Noel averaged nearly 10 rebounds and 4.4 blocks per game. He showed a natural ability to defend the post, provide weak side defense and alter shots near the rim.

Noel also showed a rudimentary offensive game limited to putbacks and rolls to the rim, but those limitations are skill-based which can be learned over time. He also needs to put on weight, which is true of any 18 year old. In fact, 7-foot 18 year olds who don't need to put on weight should have a red flag of their own, because it's just natural to gain weight in your 20s.

But none of those deficiencies detracted from Noel's clear No. 1 status in this NBA Draft. No other player has the upside, the ceiling of Nerlens Noel.

Yet when Noel tore up his leg (and yes, I realize the very first comment is going to be dudotski posting that disgusting gif or pic of Noel's injury because that's just what dudoski does), the fears of his wafer-thin legs' ability to stand up to the NBA rigors began to form.

Add in some character questions - recent rumors of being "handled" to much by his handlers, refusing to visit teams outside the top 2, missing meetings and interviews - and you've got a full-blown chance controversy.

Top it off with Cleveland's "need" to make the playoffs next season, we just might see an NBA Draft where the very best player is not taken No. 1 overall because he will miss a chunk of the season.

If Noel drops out of No. 1, how far does he drop?

Can Orlando, who love Vucevic and need a shooting guard, pass on him?

Can Washington, who really need a small forward, pass on Noel? Washington has veterans on the front line and a need to make the playoffs just like Cleveland and a bigger hole at small forward (Otto Porter) than center.

Or Charlotte, who need help in the pivot but really, really need an offensive force down there? Charlotte already boasts a developmental defensive whiz in Bismack Biyombo. What they really need is offense in the post.

Could Noel drop into the Suns lap? If that happens, would the Suns blink twice before taking Noel?

Suns GM Ryan McDonough said yesterday he doesn't anticipate drafting any player at 5 who hasn't visited the Valley before next week's draft, but could he really pass on Noel?

Ben McLemore

Like Noel, Ben McLemore has been stop the prospect charts all season long. He's got a sweet shooting stroke and the ability to fill it up offensively from the field, often being compared to a Ray Allen. McLemore is long (6'9" wingspan) and uber-athletic, possessing the talent to be an impact defender as well as scorer.

Yet, McLemore was passive in college. He never demanded the ball, or took over games. Part of that is because he's not good at handling the ball. He's a shooter, not a passer. Like a Jamal Crawford, for example.

And now, Chad Ford leaked that there are red flags with 19-year old McLemore. He's apparently been dogging it in workouts. We all know he's been refusing to compete against other top players (Porter has refused as well), and now Ford says he has sources who tell him McLemore was unimpressive in his Phoenix visit, having trouble keeping up in the drills designed by head coach Jeff Hornacek.

Ford:

McLemore remains in the top 5, but I'm starting to have my doubts. I love the talent. But his lack of preparation for the draft is hurting him. Multiple sources told me that his workout in Phoenix was not impressive; he wasn't in shape, and he struggled to keep up in the workout. I heard similar things in Orlando. McLemore is in a tug-of-war right now between adviser Rodney Blackstock and his agency Rivals. It's kept McLemore out of the gym and for the most part, out of workouts. How much will all of this affect the draft stock? I'm told teams are worried. But how worried? Enough for one of the most talented players in the draft to slide further? If the Suns pass on McLemore, both C.J. McCollum and Michael Carter-Williams are possibilities here.

What I recall is Hornacek lauding McLemore's shooting stroke, in the post-workout interview. He liked that McLemore didn't need that extra step to gather himself on a catch-and-shoot. That his stroke was pure and quick, making it harder to defend.

The latest ESPN mock draft has Oladipo going #2 to Orlando, while McLemore drops to Phoenix at 5th.

If McLemore drops to Phoenix at #5, I would be ecstatic. I would be happy with either McLemore or Oladipo. They bring different skills to the table, but McLemore has the offensive skills that Phoenix desperately needs.

Oladipo and Len

The obvious beneficiaries of Noel and McLemore dropping are the next best center (Alex Len) and the next best shooting guard (Victor Oladipo).

Alex Len has been in a boot this whole workout season with a broken foot, only visiting teams for interviews. So, he has not had a chance to mess anything up. By not even participating in workouts, and not getting a rep for avoiding them, Len can only rise up the charts. There's a chance he goes #1 overall to Cleveland, with a floor likely at #4 (Charlotte).

Victor Oladipo, on the other hand, has been totally healthy and participating in every single workout against every other shooting guard prospect he can find. He has no qualms against competing and he's a heck of a good interview.

Oladipo might just be taken #1 overall by Cleveland, but my guess is that's ONLY if Cleveland has traded the pick to someone else. Cleveland already has Dion Waiters at shooting guard. It's possible they go with a three-guard lineup, but that's not the blueprint you lay out with your top picks.

Oladipo's most probable landing spots for Oladipo are #2 Orlando and #5 Phoenix.

What this means to the Suns

Well, I guess it means that Nerlens Noel might-just-might drop to #5. If that happens, likely both Oladipo and McLemore are already off the board.

But the most likely scenario still has Phoenix getting whoever drops to 5 between Oladipo and McLemore.

Either way, the Suns are winners.

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