Bulls

Arizona's Stanley Johnson pitching versatility to NBA teams

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Arizona's Stanley Johnson pitching versatility to NBA teams

Versatility.

It's a trait that was pitched by many at the NBA Draft Combine, as all players want to show they can do whatever it takes to land a spot on an NBA roster.

But for Stanley Johnson, it's a point he really wanted to hammer home.

“I can start a game at the 3, 2 or the 4. I can be a primary ballhandler, as well. I think that’s one of my traits: I can move all over the court, I’m comfortable at four positions on the court, I’m comfortable at a lot of positions on the court," Johnson said. "So for me, that’s ideal.

“I can switch on to four different positions, and that would be fairly simple for me. I’m a big, strong kid that can move his feet.”

[MORE NBA DRAFT: NBA Draft Profile: Arizona F Stanley Johnson]

It might sound a little boastful, but Johnson has plenty to boast about. The one-and-done from Arizona made quite the name for himself playing high school ball in Southern California. He arrived in Tucson looking every bit the athletic specimen he was projected to be and checks into the NBA Draft at 6-foot-7 and 242 pounds. And his play spoke for itself, as he was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after a spectacular season with the Pac-12 champs, a team that reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.

And though he was surrounded by plenty of other talent on one of the country's best teams, he's trying to prove to future employers that he can do it all.

“I offer versatility," he said at the NBA Draft Combine. "I can score from all three levels pretty well. I can be a primary ballhandler in the pick and roll or any two-man game situation. And on defense I’m going to play hard, I’m going to play smart and I’m a nasty competitor. I don’t think there’s many guys out there that want to win and want to compete as much as I do, and I’ll definitely bring that to a locker room in the NBA.”

[MORE NBA DRAFT: Terps' Dez Wells looking to do 'something special' in NBA]

Johnson is just 19 years old, though he's expected by many to be a top-10 pick in this month's draft. Plenty of one-and-dones have traveled a similar path, and Johnson — who clearly had little trouble with the transition from high school to college — doesn't expect any trouble with the jump to the next step, even though he'll be going from high school to college to professional basketball in just more than a year.

“High school to college was learning how to play, learning the mental game, learning the game of college basketball and letting your talent take over after that," Johnson said. "I would imagine it’d be the same thing in the NBA: learning how to play in the NBA first, the right ways to do stuff and letting your talent take over after that.”

While it might seem like a quick jump from high school to the NBA, not enough time in college for anything to really sink in, Johnson asserts that's not the case. Though he was only on campus for a few months, he said that he learned a lot from Sean Miller.

“I think we had a lot of guys. We had a mix of everything. We had older guys, younger guys, really talented guys and not-as-talented guys. We had guys that had more on the line than other people, and we had leaders on the team, as well. So that’s the main thing that happened at Arizona," Johnson said. "Arizona was probably the best year of my life. I learned a lot from Arizona, from coach Miller and his staff, the players. And the teammates are truly my brothers now. I think it taught me everything about myself, and now I can police myself, which I couldn’t say before I got to Arizona. I can really police myself. Without coach Miller being hard on me and doing what he’s supposed to do, I wouldn’t be able to do what I can today.”

NBA Board of Governors pass new, stricter anti-tampering rules

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USA TODAY

NBA Board of Governors pass new, stricter anti-tampering rules

After much discussion over whether or not the NBA should impose harsher penalties on teams for breaking the anti-tampering rules, an official decision has been made. The NBA Board of Governors passed a much more strict set of rules that will force teams to be compliant with the anti-tampering rules.

Among the new measures, the league will be selecting five teams per year that will undergo a "random audit", the maximum amount for a fine related to tampering has been raised to $10 million and team officials are required to save communications with agents for one full year.

The league will also retain the right to take the communication devices of owners if it is deemed necessary in investigations, though it has been stated that it is not something that Adam Silver wants to rely on moving forward. 

Though concrete details have not been released, possible punishments for tampering will reportedly include taking away draft picks, the voiding of contracts and more.

This is all in an attempt to create a more "even playing field" amid the belief that small-market teams are at a disadvantage when it comes to player movement. The new rules sound great but there is already fear among NBA GMs when it comes to how their privacy will be affected with this being a clear area of focus for the league. 

Along with the new, harsher tampering penalties, the league also announced that they have changed the language regarding traveling calls to "address the uncertainty around traveling." Another new rule announced was that teams are now required to announce their starting lineups at least 30 minutes before tipoff as opposed to 10 minutes, in an effort to "increase transparency for teams, media and fans." Teams will still be allowed to change their lineups up to the last minute if a player gets hurt in pregame warmups. 

All of the new anti-tampering rules approved by the league on Friday were a response to this wild NBA offseason we just experienced. There were many deals agreed to right at the start of free agency, such as the Bulls with Thaddeus Young, and the timing of those deals had many owners wanting the league to make tampering a greater focus. To a greater extent, moves like Anthony Davis forcing his way to the Lakers and Kawhi Leonard orchestrating he and Paul George's move to the Clippers are what got this package of anti-tampering measures passed.

Adam Silver has picked up a reputation as an NBA Commissioner who is very willing to listen to new ideas and make changes, and Friday's events support that reputation as he and the league continue to look for the best ways to get NBA teams to be in compliance with the anti-tampering rules. 

Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?

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USA TODAY

Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?

The Jonas Brothers are in Chicago for concerts that are taking place on Thursday and Friday night, and they have enjoyed quite a week. This week the trio has enjoyed a nice golf outing at Village Links in Glen Ellyn, had some quality BBQ at Bub City and even got the amazing opportunity to play a touch football game at Soldier Field. But one particular Bulls guard is looking to add another fun experience to their Chicago trip.

The Bulls organization welcomed the Jonas Brothers to the city with a set of custom jerseys for the trio and their significant others and that's when Ryan Arcidiacono chimed in with his offer. 

Since the Jonas Brothers have already got to play some football on the actual Soldier Field grass, Arci figured they might as well keep the Chicago sports-themed fun going and shoot some hoops with him. 

Now, Arcidiacono didn't make it clear whether or not he was offering for the Jonas Brother to get some shots up with him at the United Center, where their shows take place on Thursday and Friday night. But, either way, his time is running out as they will be moving on to Jackson County, MO for their next stop on tour on September 21.

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