New Orleans Pelicans VIDEOS
The league's general managers believe that we're going to see James vs. the San Antonio Spurs in The Finals for the third straight June and the fourth time in eight years. But the championship picture is also relatively wide open, as six different teams were picked to win The Finals and a seventh was picked to get there. James was picked to take back the MVP award from Kevin Durant and is still the guy that with whom half of the GMs would most like to start a franchise. But it's becoming clear that Anthony Davis is the next big thing. NBA.com
The New Orleans Pelicans announced the hiring and promotion of several members of the team’s basketball operations staff. Duane Brooks, who brings over two decades of experience in his field, enters his first season as head athletic trainer with the New Orleans after spending the previous 13 seasons as the New Orleans Saints’ assistant athletic trainer. Brooks is responsible for the health care, prevention and rehabilitation of injuries, daily training room operations and maintenance of the team’s medical records. RealGM
Stephens, who was not selected in the 2013 NBA Draft but played in Greece last season, is a longshot to make the roster. But Coach Monty Williams said Stephens might be the best athlete in the NBA. "I have not seen anybody jump that high," Williams said. ''He's a once in a generation athlete. He can almost touch the top of the backboard. That's how high he can jump.'' New Orleans Times-Picayune
Still, Smith doesn't appear overwhelmed like most rookies. He also doesn't shy away from admitting mistakes. When asked what happened in the Atlanta game that caused Williams to yell at him, he honed up to his mistake. ''I knew the play that he had told me,'' said Smith, who has averaged 6.6 points and 0.6 assists so far in the preseason. ''He was yelling something that I didn't hear and I had ran something totally different. It was a miscommunication on my part. I wasn't paying attention.'' New Orleans Times-Picayune
John Reid: The Pelicans waived forward Vernon Macklin on Thursday, so he could pursue an opportunity to play in Europe, according to league sources. Twitter @JohnReid64
Any rumor missing? E-mail us at email@example.com.