BULLY BALL: Marcus Morris set the tone early on what playing against the Knicks could mean this season. Since free agency mostly went bust for New York, the team has been sending signals about wanting to return to the hard-nosed style of basketball they were known for decades ago, which really endeared them to both the city of New York and other NBA fans elsewhere.
Elfrid Payton talked about it with us back when free agency was still going full steam, saying that he feels that this season’s Knicks will embody what New York basketball was back in the day. Wayne Ellington, one of the team’s other new additions, also added that New York will be an annoying team to play against because of their willingness to defend all 94 feet of the floor.
We’ll see if any of that proves to be true, but early returns indicate those words were more than just talk.
DSJ LOOKS GOOD: Now entering his third season, it’s time for Dennis Smith Jr. to start producing like his draft status indicated he would. Luckily for Knicks fans, it looks like he’s ready to do just that, as the NC State product is reportedly having a great training camp.
WOKE NO MORE? The silence from NBA types is deafening following the Daryl Morey tweet controversy. The usually outspoken Steve Kerr went basically “no comment” when asked about the China-NBA situation. Meanwhile, U.S. politicians are piling on the league.
FWIW: China Klay is not the lone NBA player making big bucks off a contract with a sneaker brand from the East Asian power.
NO RUSS, NO PROBLEM (ON THE GLASS): Steven Adams is one of the most physical players in the NBA, yet he’s never put up awesome rebounding numbers. Expect that to change this season.
LISTEN: We talked about the most intriguing players of the season in our latest HoopsHype podcast. (Tip: Keep an eye on guys like Jimmy Butler and D’Angelo Russell.)
SEASON PREVIEWS: Don’t underestimate the heart of a champion, but don’t overestimate it either.
LOWRY DEAL: Coming off winning the NBA championship, the Toronto Raptors did right by one of their team leaders, signing Kyle Lowry to a one-year, $31 million extension that will keep the point guard signed through 2020-21.
This makes an already weak 2020 free-agent class even weaker.
STARSTRUCK: Some of the NBA’s current young stars, players like Kyle Kuzma and Jayson Tatum, open up about what it’s like to play with or against some of their idols growing up.
LILLARD-SHAQ BEEF: The war of words between the former and current NBA superstars continued, as Shaq released a response diss track to Damian Lillard yesterday. We hope this never ends.
TRADE RUMOR RANKINGS
These are the players with the most mentions in our trade rumors page the last seven days:
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
Click here for the answer.
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