Freshman sensation Lonzo Ball wasted no time taking college hoops by storm … and now former UCLA star Baron Davis is showing a LOT of love for the young hooper … proclaiming Ball a future NBA All-Star. TMZ Sports spoke with B.D. about the freshman phenom — who leads the NCAA in assists (9 per game) as a freshman — and it’s clear Baron expects nothing but greatness. “He will definitely be a UCLA Hall of Famer,” Davis says. “He’s following right after Russ (Westbrook) and all the rest of the great point guards.”
Jason Jones: I asked Nik Stauskas was he bothered when it’s still brought up who the Kings really wanted to draft in 2014. I referenced Sam Amick’s Q&A from USA Today where Vivek Ranadive says he wanted Elfrid Payton. His answer: “Not really. Like I said they did me a favor sending me here to Philadelphia. I’ve had a really good opportunity to play even though I hadn’t been performing though my first year with the Sixers. I’m thankful that the organization gave me an opportunity, they drafted me, but if they felt like the made a mistake by drafting me then they felt like they made a mistake. I can’t do anything about it now.”
From all indications speaking to team sources around the league, Danny Ainge is still after the major trades he knows are needed. And no doubt he’s loving each story calling the 2017 draft one of the deepest and most talent-laden in many years, understanding that such talk could raise the value of the Nets’ pick that can be theirs. But while you know changes have to be coming, it might be helpful to begin preparing yourself to part with one or more players to whom you’re growing attached these days. The roster as current constituted doesn’t blend as well as the Celts would probably like, but that’s mainly a product of generally drafting the best player available without regard to role. The C’s have been in no position to do otherwise as they rebuild and gather assets they can either keep or develop for value in the marketplace.
David Robinson: In four years, you will be an ensign in the U.S. Navy, and you’ll earn a monthly salary of $1,260.90. I know that sounds like a tremendous amount of pizza money, but no, that’s not the bombshell. The bombshell is that you’re going to be drafted No. 1 overall by the San Antonio Spurs. You will sign a $3 million contract, with a $1 million signing bonus. You will be stationed on a submarine base in Kings Bay, Georgia, serving your two-year commitment in the Navy, waiting to play in the NBA, and you’ll get a check for one million dollars.
Atkinson knew all about the draft-pick challenge when new general manager Sean Marks brought him to Brooklyn. “I was fully aware and understand the situation,” Atkinson said. “For us, we never even address it, we don’t even talk about it. We focus on our team. Sean did a great job bringing a group that’s fun to coach and a group that’s going to compete. That’s all we are focused on right now.”