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March 4, 2015 Updates

"If we had him right now, we'd be ranked one, two or three in the country," Larry Brown said in a phone interview with ESPN.com. "And along with Russell and Okafor, he'd be the biggest name in college basketball right now. He'd have a brand right now. I tried to tell the family, but he had other people in his ears, and, ultimately, I supported his decision. The kid just wanted to play basketball, but he had a family to support." ESPN.com

"It's pretty tough for a high school guy to come over there and play," one high-level NBA scout who made the trip to China at the start of Mudiay's season told ESPN.com. "He's playing against talented guys every night who were either elite college players or borderline NBA players. They're all at least four years older than he is. What was clear from those early games was that his confidence level is high. He doesn't back down. When he makes mistakes, he played through it and never seemed to get rattled." ESPN.com

"His shot is OK. It's not broken," the scout continued. "He can hit shots from anywhere on the floor. It's more about shot selection. At times, he was forcing shots. "Defense was a big part of his success early in China," he added. "He could defend anyone. There's not a lot of defense in China -- which is something that stands out. You tell him to do something, he does it. On side and high pick-and-rolls he's good at forcing his offensive player down. He can keep a player to the side of the court and keep them over there without them turning. Coaches will love him on the pick-and-roll. He pursues and his hands are active. My only real knock on him defensively is that, at times, he's trying to leak out because he's so offensive oriented." ESPN.com

"I felt like he was looking to score too much," the same NBA scout said. "To be a NBA point guard, he has to become a better passer. In China, he's more of a shoot-first instead of a pass-first player. At times, I felt like he played out of control. He was forcing a lot of plays. Because of his strength and size he was able to score and have success because they don't play defense, but in the NBA, he's going to have to play smarter. You're going to have to live through his turnovers. You have to have a coach that's patient." ESPN.com

What Mudiay lacks in fundamentals, he makes up for with an innate sense of pace and timing that shouldn’t come so naturally for a player so raw. While he’s prone to mistakes, Mudiay has shown the ability to take advantage of changes in speed, something that took guys like Wall and Russell Westbrook years to accept. Maybe the most comforting play Mudiay made in Game 3 happened early in the fourth quarter. Near center court, Mudiay called for both of his bigs to come to the top of the 3-point line into a basic “horns” formation, for a double drag screen play. Mudiay dribbled right, Yi dove down into the paint with a defender on him, and Mudiay was instantly doubled. Zhou Peng, who set Mudiay’s screen, slipped left and had a wide-open driving lane. Mudiay found him immediately for a score and a foul. As far as style goes, Mudiay has all the tricks — the behind-the-back drives, the jackknifing reverse layups, the breakaway slams — but this was a taste of good, slow cooking. Grantland

The NBA has fined the New York Knicks for president Phil Jackson publicly commenting on Ohio State freshman guard D'Angelo Russell, a league source told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday night. It is immediately unclear how much money the Knicks were fined. Upon leaving Ohio State's game on Thursday night in Columbus, Jackson told Cleveland.com that Russell was a "great looking kid, [a] great prospect." Yahoo! Sports

March 3, 2015 Updates
March 2, 2015 Updates

Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA's review process continues on Phil Jackson's public comments about draft-ineligible D'Angelo Russell, league sources tell Yahoo. Ohio State freshman D'Angelo Russell is considered draft-ineligible -- until he declares. NBA doesn't let teams comment on those players. Twitter @WojYahooNBA

March 1, 2015 Updates

Knicks president Phil Jackson continued to scout top college prospects in person on Saturday. He was shown by television cameras in the stands at the Kentucky-Arkansas game. The Knicks are on pace to get a high pick in June’s NBA draft. Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns is projected as a top pick. Many draft experts put fellow Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein in the same echelon. Jackson likely had his eyes on those two. Earlier this week, the Knicks president attended Ohio State’s game against Nebraska and he commented on Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell. The NBA will likely fine Jackson for his comments. According to a source, several teams complained about the comment. It is against league rules for personnel to comment on players who haven’t declared for the NBA draft. ... The Knicks beat the Raptors on Saturday to win back-to-back games for the first time in a month. Hardaway Jr. led the team with 22 points. ESPN.com

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Guangdong Southern Tigers are down two games to the Beijing Ducks in a best-of-five semi-finals series. So in this must-win game three, they are making a change to bring back 19-year-old Emmanuel Mudiay. Mudiay played the first 10 games with Guangdong before going down with a knee injury, keeping him out for the remainder of the season. Former Detroit Pistons guard Will Bynum came in as his replacement and led the Southern Tigers to a perfect season not losing one-game with him at point-guard. Guangdong will drop American forward Jeff Adrien going with an all-American backcourt, Mudiay and Bynum. In his short CBA career, Mudiay averaged 17 points per game and six assists. Bynum was an instant success for Guangdong, he’s averaging 23 points and seven assists per contest. Basketball Buddha

On Feb. 19, Hinkie made three deals that produced point guard Isaiah Canaan, big man JaVale McGee, a pair of protected first-round selections and a second-rounder. Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams and rookie K.J. McDaniels went to the Bucks and Rockets, respectively. MCW's departure meant Hollis Thompson is the only Sixer left who played during the first half of the 2013-14 season. He has accumulated 17 second-round picks over the next six drafts and as many as five first-rounders in the next two. All of these moves, while designed to land a star or (ideally) stars, are delaying the rebuilding process. The Intelligencer

February 27, 2015 Updates

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