The 2012 NBA Draft looks to be many things - most of all, rich with quality talent - but offering a deep array of international players is not one of them.Last season,six players from outside theUnited Stateswho never played college basketball for an NCAA program were drafted in the first round, including four of the first seven picks (hello, Jan Vesely). Current projections consistently have only one international player - France's Evan Fournier - in the upcoming first round.Fournier, 6-foot-7 swingman and the No. 22 overall pick in the latest mock draft from Draft Express, will be among the 45 prospects on hand for the pre-draft Adidas EuroCamp this month. Pro Basketball Talk notes several current NBAtalents came through this camp including Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka and Denver's Danilo Galinari.(While I intend on profiling around 15 or more prospects before the June 28 draft - starting today with UNC small forward Harrison Barnes -not sure if there will be much of an international flavor to the proceedings).Last year the Wizards sent VP of basketball administration Tommy Sheppard to the international event. Considering the team has two second-round picks and a host of young players already looking for minutes, it would be surprising to see the Wizards select a player they can stash overseas for a year or two.Based on Draft Express' two-round mock, other names to watch include Tomas Satoransky, a 6-foot-7 combo guard out of the Czech Republic; Greek small forward Kostas Papanikolaou; power forward Furkan Aldemir from Turkey; andpower forward Tornike Shengelia out of Georgia.No passport required to click here for a full list of players expected at the EuroCamp.
On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.
Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.
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!
An undiagnosed illness has convinced Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue to step away from the team indefinitely, the team announced on Monday. Assistant coach Larry Drew will take over in the interim.
Lue, 40, is hoping to address his health issues in time to return before the year is out. According to a statement on the team's website, he has been under the weather for quite some time.
Here is what Lue said on the matter in a press release:
I have had chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep, throughout the year. Despite a battery of tests, there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is.
While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team. I am going to use this time to focus on a prescribed routine and medication, which has previously been difficult to start in the midst of a season. My goal is to come out of it a stronger and healthier version of myself so I can continue to lead this team to the Championship we are all working towards.
That is scary stuff and certainly much bigger than basketball. But the surprising news happens to come at a crucial time in the Cavs' season. They are currently third in the Eastern Conference with only 13 games remaining before the playoffs.
The Cavs are just a half-game ahead of both the Wizards and Pacers in the standings. They will also have to reincorporate All-Star Kevin Love, likely sometime this week.
That is a lot for Drew to deal with while Lue recovers and it adds another wrinkle to a Cavs' season that has been characterized by change.
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