A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It’s also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren’t always listed in order of importance. That’s for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: Daily Thunder. That came en route to an Orlando Summer League record 35 points, as Royce Young notes: “As Thunder fans fret about OKC’s bench and who the team didn’t sign this offseason, it’s pretty obvious the Thunder have a potentially special weapon already in Jackson.”
PF: numberFire and WarriorsWorld. Two divergent vantage points on the Golden State Warriors’ free-agent import of Andre Iguodala, with Alex Hampl making the statistical case that the Warriors will downshift offensively in moving from key reserves Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry to the less-efficient Iggy, and Ethan Sherwood Strauss arguing that Iguodala’s already a better backup point guard than Jack was.
SF: Grantland. Zach Lowe picks through the myriad free-agent signings — big, small and somewhere in-between — to suss out four major league-wide storylines developing under the 2011 collective bargaining agreement.
SG: ESPN The Magazine. While the preponderance of naked athletes is by far the most eye-catching element of the Mag’s annual “Body Issue,” sharp pieces about how health, injury and physical maintenance impact players’ futures — like this piece by Pablo S. Torre on how Nerlens Noel went from No. 1 with a bullet to No. 6 with some questions — tend to lend needed “I read it for the articles” credence.
PG: Magic Basketball. A fun read from Jordan White on how rising Orlando Magic sophomore Kyle O’Quinn’s trying to use Summer League as a place to sharpen his defensive game by, among other things, running his mouth non-stop.
6th: Deadline Detroit, SLAM and Detroit Bad Boys. Did the Detroit Pistons make a franchise-altering mistake by not drafting Michigan product Trey Burke to be the team’s point guard of the future? Or should that title still belong to Brandon Knight, whom new head coach Maurice Cheeks referred to as a “combo guard” after taking the Detroit job? Knight made sure SLAM knew he considers himself a point guard; Brian Packey’s still hopeful, but pretty far from sure about it.
7th: SB Nation. Tom Ziller wonders why new Philadelphia 76ers personnel boss Sam Hinkie — longtime second-in-command to Daryl Morey with the Rockets — has apparently decided to burn everything to the ground in attempt to rebuild the Sixers rather than approximating the “try to be competitive every year, stockpile mid-first-round draft picks and cheap young assets, then flip those in bigger deals” plan he helped craft in Houston. (Here’s another good against-the-grain read from Ziller on how the on-its-face-questionable signing of Josh Smith, with some luck and development from a few key pieces, could turn the Pistons into “our next Grizzlies.”)
8th: Pro Hoops History. Curtis Harris sings the praises of Adrian Dantley, “one of the most unstoppable post players in the history of basketball” despite standing just 6-foot-5 “on a good day … in an extra thick pair of high knee socks.”
10th: TrueHoop. Justin Verrier on how, despite losing what may well be his “last best chance at another NBA championship” when Dwight Howard headed to Houston, Kobe Bryant still walks away from the experience as a winner.
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