Technically. I've known a secret the past few days regarding former Georgetown forward Hollis Thompson. Sort of, ish.More like I knew hisagent, Seth Cohen, had something brewing regarding Thompson's future NBA employment. There was a deal in place with a team, almost assuredly an NBA version. Specifics were vague and mum the word. Well, now we know:Thompson went from going undrafted to signing a three-year deal with the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder.The 6-foot-8, 206-pound forward entered the draft after averaging 12.8 points and 5.5 rebounds during his junior year at Georgetown. The programs career 3-point shooting percentage leader, Thompson knocked down 44 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc during his career and shot at least 43 percent during each of his three seasons.Despite his outside range, second-round projection, being one of 60 players to the pre-draft NBA Combine and a certain writer advocating for his selection,Thompsons name went uncalled on June 28.Turns out draft night disappointment didn't last long; Cohen worked out a deal with the Thunder a scant few days after the draft. Pen could not beput to paper until the league reopened for official business until July 11. Today Cohen and I spoke, but each brief conversation essentially began and ended with a "not yet" from the agent. Before the back and forth concluded with me hearing the details first hand, he shared them with the Twitterverse.Thompson will miss the summer league season and will be sidelined for three to four weeks after having minor surgery on his left groin this week, the Associated Press reported. Terms of the contract have not been disclosed, though Cohen announced the length of the deal as three years.Even if he receives the rookie minimum, Thompson would cash checks for around 500,000 per season.The Southern California native emerged as an offensive leader and late game hero for the Hoyas during his third campaign on the Hilltop. Thompson knocked down game-winning 3-pointers against Marquette and at Alabama. He scored 20 second-half points in a victory over St, Johns and a season-high 23 against NC State in the NCAA Tournament.
As a member of the Washington Wizards, Bradley Beal has had many battles with LeBron James over the years, first with the Miami Heat and now with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Over the weekend, Beal got to experience having James as a teammate for the first time at the All-Star Game in Los Angeles.
It was an eye-opening endeavor. Beal got to see up close and personal James' abilities and his routine to maximize them. In a group of the best players on the planet, James stood out.
"It was surreal at first, just being around all the guys," Beal said. "Even just being on his team for two days, that was an unbelievable experience."
Beal, 24, is six seasons in to his NBA career and from experience has learned how to train for the rigors of an 82-game regular season. What James does at 33 years old to stay in peak form, however, is next level.
"To see his preparation, his focus and his mentality and what he does to take care of his body before and after games," Beal said. "That's the true testament to a Hall of Famer and one of the best to ever play the game."
James actually assisted Beal's first points in the All-Star Game, a two-handed dunk in the first quarter. James attacked the rim on a fastbreak to draw attention, then found Beal with a dump-off pass for an easy bucket.
It was an example of James' tricks of the trade. He is not just the most athletic player on the court, he is also the smartest when it comes to the game of basketball.
"His approach and his leadership and everything, it's top notch. It's crazy because you always play against him and to play with him, you get experience the other side of it," Beal said.
Beal, however, did note that much of what he gleaned from James was by watching him. At the end of the day, they are competitors and James isn't going to give away all of his secrets.
"He's not disclosing that information," Beal joked.
The Wizards happen to play James and the Cavs in their first game back from the All-Star break on Thursday night. Once again, Beal will be on the other side.
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On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes was joined by former NBA player Walt Williams for a wide-ranging discussion. Williams talked about the Wizards, his show on NBC Sports Washington and his playing career.
Williams also projected the NBA prospects of Maryland Terrapins stars Bruno Fernando and Kevin Huerter.
You can listen to the episode right here:
You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!