After an offseason of major roster changes and losses, the Hawks were predicted to finish with the league’s worst record by ESPN and have the lowest power ranking by NBA.com. “I don’t really give too much credence to that,” Babbitt said. “I think that stuff changes all the time. I just think it’s important that we compete and get better as a young team. There are going to be ups and downs, as with any young team. You have to compete because the team that plays hard every night will win a lot of games just playing hard. That is most important for us. The East is open. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched that we want to compete with anybody in the East.
August 23, 2017 | 10:48 am EDT Update
Altman was extremely focused on the future in making this trade, a source said. This trade may give James much more faith in Altman as a general manager. It would be hard to believe that Altman could have landed a better trade than the Boston one. He did call the uninterested Warriors about Klay Thompson, a source said.
Trying to persuade James to stay home won’t be easy. Altman is also handcuffed by the mammoth payroll that won’t budge enough for a marquee free agent even if Thomas bolts. Even so, with James, Thomas and Love, the deep Cavaliers still have a roster capable of advancing to a fourth-straight NBA Finals and possibly winning. It will be tougher with Irving joining forces with All-Star forward Hayward, forwards Al Horford and budding star Jaylen Brown, and heralded rookie Jayson Tatum. But Boston will desperately need to be one of the NBA’s best scoring teams after losing some defensive standouts in Crowder, center Amir Johnson and more notably Avery Bradley.
In the wake of Ben Simmons dominating a pickup game Monday night in his native Australia, some folks wondered if the 76ers had told Simmons he could participate in such a contest beforehand. An NBA source said Tuesday that Simmons “has been cleared to resume full basketball activity for some time.” Simmons, who missed his NBA rookie season due to a fractured right foot, scored 34 points Monday, including 17 in the fourth quarter.
The source said center Joel Embiid hasn’t been cleared for fullcourt scrimmaging “as of yet.” Embiid, who is from Cameroon, worked with children as part of the NBA Africa Game earlier this month, but didn’t play in the Aug. 5 game.
Jonathan Rinehart, a 12-year veteran of the Utah Jazz staff and most recently the vice president of communications, was named today as the team president of the Salt Lake City Stars, the NBA G League affiliate of the Jazz, announced Don Stirling, executive vice president of Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment. “As the Stars begin their second season in Salt Lake City, we are pleased to have Jonathan in a management role due to his extensive experience in the NBA and knowledge about the business and basketball sides of a franchise,” said Stirling. “This is a great opportunity in his taking the leadership reins for one of our growing properties that has a direct impact on the Jazz.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban isn’t ruling out running for president in 2020. “I wouldn’t put it high on my list of probabilities, but we’ll see what happens,” Cuban said on The Rich Eisen Show. “I’ve got a lot of time to decide. It’s flattering that people ask me, and I appreciate it and there’s definitely a leadership void in this country. But I’m not jumping in.