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White not the only second-rounder heading overseas


White not the only second-rounder heading overseas

The Wizards selected Aaron White 49th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft - or four picks after the Celtics nabbed former William & Mary standout Marcus Thornton. On the surface, there appears little in common between the 6-foot-8 forward from the Cleveland suburbs with the inside-outside game and the 6-foot-3 scoring guard who played locally for Bishop McNamara before becoming the Tribe's dazzling all-time leading scorer. 

Regardless of their particular set of skills, common ground has now been established. Both are beginning their pro careers overseas for largely the same reason: No room with their new NBA team.

The sense that White would start his career away from the Wizards began seconds after Washington selected him. The Wizards are among the teams contending for the Eastern Conference title. They also acquired wing forward Kelly Oubre Jr., the 15th overall pick. Again, not much overlap in general skill and style, except that both White and Oubre obviously lack NBA experience. Rather than have two players simultaneously cut their teeth on the NBA level and take up two of their 15 roster spots, Oubre and his guaranteed contract stay while White heads elsewhere. Specifically, to Germany.

White stated that ideally he would like to stay with the Wizards this season, but this is scenario is a win-win. He should receive meaningful playing time with Telekom Baskets. That wasn't happening with the Wizards. Granted, White could have spent his first pro year stateside in the D-League, but then he still counts on Washington's 15-player roster. In this case, the Wizards maintain his future NBA rights while using that roster spot for immediate help. 

The Wizards also don't have their own D-League squad. They share Fort Wayne with other NBA squads, which means even if they wanted to keep White closer by, they couldn't truly dictate the terms of his role.


The Celtics, who are currently over the limit with 16 players on guaranteed contracts, are among the teams with a direct one-on-one relationship with a D-League squad. There is a good chance some of their other rookies - Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter and Jordan Mickey - spend some time with the Maine Red Claws this season. 

Thornton will not. He agreed to a deal with the Sydney Kings of Australia's National Basketball League. ProBasketballTalk.com pondered why:

Thornton could have forced the Celtics’ hand by accepting their required tender, a one-year contract teams must extend to keep the rights to second-rounders. That surely would have been a non-guaranteed minimum deal, and Boston likely would have waived him after training camp. That would have freed Thornton to negotiate with any team in the NBA. Right now, the Celtics have exclusive rights to sign him – a huge bargaining chip. So why did Thornton agree to forgo the NBA contract he had on the table? There are a couple logical possibilities:

1. He agreed to do so before the draft. The Celtics knew they’d run into roster-space issues, and they selected the top player on their board who promised to play overseas as a condition of being drafted. That’s quite common.

2. Boston promised him a better contract next year if he delayed signing this year. Again, that’s hardly uncommon.

That's likely the same scenario for White, though we'll see about a contract for 2016-17. Granted, the Wizards should have plenty of roster space based on the amount of expiring and team-controlled deals on the current squad, but you never what the world likes down the line. For now, both White and Thornton begin their careers somewhere in the world besides the NBA.

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Anthony Davis trade to Lakers gives Silver Spring's Josh Hart fresh start with Pelicans

Anthony Davis trade to Lakers gives Silver Spring's Josh Hart fresh start with Pelicans

The Anthony Davis trade will have ripple effects across the NBA, not only on teams, but also on the players involved.

Josh Hart, who was traded from the Lakers to the Pelicans as part of the package for Davis on Saturday, could stand to benefit from the move.

First, here's a look at all of the assets reportedly swapped in the deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Now, where does the Silver Spring, Md., native figure in the proceedings?

Hart spent his first two NBA seasons with the Lakers. He averaged 7.9 points in 24.4 minutes per game in his two years in Los Angeles. 

Still, Hart was often the Lakers' third or fourth option at shooting guard behind starter Brandon Ingram and shared minutes with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Bullock and Lance Stephenson. 

LeBron James and the Lakers' win-now strategy left little room to develop Hart last season.

Now in New Orleans, he is part of a franchise rebuilding around presumptive No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson. The trade gave the Pelicans both a younger roster and a long enough timeline for success to develop players.

That can only be good news for Hart, giving him the chance to start fresh and impress Pelicans general manager David Griffin and head coach Alvin Gentry with his potential. 

Where the Sidwell Friends alum fits into the lineup depends on several factors.

At first glance, the new-look Pelicans could start Lonzo Ball at point guard, move Jrue Holiday to shooting guard, then complete the lineup with Ingram at small forward, Williamson at power forward and Julius Randle at center. 

If both Ingram and Holiday remain healthy, Hart would compete with Stanley Johnson to be the first wing off the bench for New Orleans.

But if Ingram does suffer recurring issues related to blood clots, Hart could press his case to start. 

The only issue complicating his place in New Orleans' plans is the No. 4 pick that was traded from the Lakers.

If the Pelicans keep that pick and draft a wing player like Jarrett Culver, Hart could find himself on the outside looking in again. 


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Pelicans reportedly trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for a huge haul including Lonzo Ball

Pelicans reportedly trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for a huge haul including Lonzo Ball

According to a report from ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers have acquired Pelicans' forward Anthony Davis in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and multiple first-round draft picks, including the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

The announcement comes less than 48 hours into the NBA offseason, although the rumors and speculation of the deal has been a prominent storyline for months.

The much-anticipated deal gives the Lakers the star they've been trying to pair with LeBron James for some time and gives the Pelicans a young nucleus to build around the presumptive No. 1 pick Zion Williamson. 

According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the Boston Celtics refused to part ways with promising forward Jayson Tatum in a potential trade with New Orleans.

The Celtics had been in the mix for Davis, but with Kyrie Irving likely headed for the exits, Danny Ainge was unwilling to part with his young assets in exchange for the one year remaining on Davis' contract.

Before the Davis domino fell, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes wrote about how a Davis trade could impact Bradley Beal's value

The Lakers, Knicks and Celtics all appear to want Davis and only one can get him, if he is even traded at all.

If the quest for Davis comes down to those three teams, there will be at least two that lose out.

The Knicks or Celtics now must determine whether trading for Beal is their next-best option behind Davis.