Tom Pennington/Getty Images
39mTim MacMahon

Dallas Mavericks bet big on Harrison Barnes' upside

Harrison Barnes' $94 million contract may not make sense on its surface, but the Mavericks are betting on Barnes' future potential.

Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports
2hChris Forsberg

Marcus Smart could be the Celtics' X factor

Marcus Smart has shown glimpses of his potential. If the Celtics are to take a big step forward this year, Smart needs to make a leap of his own.

Greeny tells fans to treasure LeBron's final years in his prime (1:50)
Westbrook, Durant don't have a relationship (1:32)
LeBron looks ahead to final stage of career (0:36)
Jason Miller/Getty Images
2dDave McMenamin

Veteran Cavs don't view age as a problem

Age is just a number to the Cavs, who may have the oldest roster in the NBA but still have youth on their side when it comes to their top-end talent.

2dEthan Sherwood Strauss

Why Warriors want to win -- but not too much

Despite an unprecedented collection of talent, the Warriors are managing expectations and say another NBA single-season wins record is not the goal.

Curry schools teammate in practice (0:15)
Kerr starting from scratch with roster overhaul (1:54)
Can VR fix Andre Drummond's foul shooting? (2:14)
Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports
2dBrian Windhorst

The melancholy end to the Big Three era in Miami

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh turned Miami into the center of the basketball universe. Six years later, the book on the Big Three closes just as abruptly and surprisingly as it opened.

Noah Graham/Getty Images
Marc J. Spears

Warriors say country overlooking Kaepernick's message

Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and others in Golden State understand Colin Kaepernick's protest and are considering "a unified gesture or stance" to bring more attention to social justice issues.

Wall says he 'feels great' (0:21)
Le Batard says something bad happened between Bosh and Heat (3:02)


Michael C. Wright ESPN Staff Writer 

The San Antonio Spurs announced Thursday they have waived forward/center Ryan Richards. The team's training camp roster now stands at 19.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks have been playing quicker in scrimmages so far in training camp with a focus on early offense. It's a development Anthony seemed to welcome. "It can make the game easier," he said. NY ranked in the bottom 10 in the NBA in pace the last 3 seasons, per NBA.com.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Jeff Hornacek wants to push the pace: "If we can get 5, 6 easy buckets a game just by pushing the ball, that's a big advantage." NYK ranked 30th in fast-break points/game (8) last year, per NBA.com. For what it's worth, 12 fast-break points/game would put a team in the middle of the pack last year.

Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

With Langston Galloway and E'Twaun Moore now in the fold, the Pelicans figure to be far deeper than they were last season, when injuries led to 351 games missed to injury or illness, the second-most in the NBA in the past decade. But questions still linger in the starting unit. New Orleans started Tim Frazier, Buddy Hield, Solomon Hill, Anthony Davis and Alexis Ajinca on the Blue Team of tonight's open scrimmage, which "won" 90-88 on a late Frazier jumper. Such a lineup could ultimately end up starting - especially if Frazier and Ajinca play as well as they did - but coach Alvin Gentry said they're still shuffling things around.

Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

Pelicans open up their scrimmage with Tim Frazier, Buddy Hield, Solomon Hill, Anthony Davis and Alexis Ajinca on the Blue team, which could be a preview of their starting lineup until Jorie Holiday returns. Eventually, the Blue team went with Davis playing next to former Kentucky teammate Terrence Jones in the frontcourt, with Jones guarding Omer Asik and Davis the 4-man.

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Funny line from Carmelo Anthony on the Knicks opening the season at Cleveland: "On their celebratory night, too? I think the NBA tried to give us light setup on that one. We'll be ready for that. It's a major test for us to kind of see where we're at as a team."

Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

Buddy Hield and the Pelicans warming up ahead of tonight's open practice at the Big Blender.

Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

The Rockets are using forward Sam Dekker in many different spots during training camp practices. Dekker, last year's first-round pick, missed the majority of the season recovering from back surgery. Now healthy, Dekker has worked at both forward spots and shooting guard. "We get caught up in he's a small guy," coach Mike D'Antoni said of the 6-9 Dekker. "It's funny people say he's small because he's skilled. He can put the ball on the floor, he can run the floor but height wise he's the same. If he can guard the guy in the post, if he can do that, there's no reason why he can't play the four and get an advantage of being a skilled four."

Ian Begley ESPN Staff Writer 

Courtney Lee said he expects to take a few more 3-pointers this season than the 2.7 attempts per game he's averaged over the course of his career. He believes the Knicks' quicker pace will allow for more attempts, noting that his previous clubs played at a slower pace & through the post.

Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

Rockets assistant coaches Jeff Bzdelik and Roy Rogers working on defense with K.J. McDaniels. Notice the communication from McDaniels.


Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

In his previous head coaching stops, Mike D'Antoni has employed tight eight-and-nine man rotations. With the Rockets could the same occur? It's clear the Rockets have a surplus of young talented players in K.J. McDaniels, Montrezl Harrell and Sam Dekker who will compete for front court minutes. Of course, the Rockets have veterans Nene and Corey Brewer who should be among the first players off the bench after guard Eric Gordon. When and if the Rockets complete a deal with Donatas Motiejunas (restricted free agent) he will add to the rotation mix. "Traditionally I've been skewered because I've played seven or eight guys, I like that," D'Antioni said Wednesday. "I just think it's really important that my six, seventh and eighth man have good minutes that they feel are very comfortable." D'Antoni said he's open to a nine or ten man rotation if players are producing.

Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

The Rockets doing yoga. We think.


Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

A glimpse inside Celtics training camp as Boston players go through 2-on-1 drills.


Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Brad Stevens on rookie Jaylen Brown: "He's really been enjoyable to be around. He really wants to be good. He's thoughtful. He wants to work at it."

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said veteran swingman Gerald Green will sit out the next few days due to a hip flexor. Stevens said it's more precautionary.