SURPRISING UPSTART ROOKIE: One of the league’s underrated storylines this season has been the play of Miami Heat rookie, Kendrick Nunn. The first-year player leads the team, who is 4-1 at the moment, in scoring, at 22.4 points per game while shooting 51.8 percent from the floor and a fiery 48.4 percent from beyond the arc. Through his first five games, Nunn has scored a total of 112 points, which is the third-highest amount for a player (in the last 25 years) five games into their career, trailing just Jerry Stackhouse (124) and Kevin Durant (113).
Don’t forget: The Heat signed Nunn off of the Warriors’ G League team right at the end of last season, immediately giving him a three-year deal, despite the fact that Nunn wasn’t even a starter on his own G League team. That’s some seriously impressive scouting right there.
💰 Nunn is the league’s 420th-highest paid player this year, and the 13th-best paid player on the Heat. If he maintains the pace he’s on, Miami will be getting seriously insane value out of his deal.
NOT ALL BAD: The 2019-20 season has been mostly bad thus far for the Golden State Warriors, and that’s putting it lightly. But there has been one positive development for the former dynasty, and that’s the play of rookie forward Eric Paschall. Our own Bryan Kalbrosky broke down his game with video and stats here.
WHEN KEEPING IT REAL GOES WRONG: Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns are losing a combined $756,000 due to their suspensions. According to Karl-Anthony Towns’ social media manager, Joel Embiid left that comment on Towns’ Instagram, deleted it before anyone could see it and then pretended Towns either hid the comment or deleted it himself. This feud could not be more 2019.
PODCAST: Alex Kennedy is joined by USA TODAY Sports NBA reporter, Jeff Zillgitt, to discuss how the Nets mishandled ESPN’s report about Kyrie and created unnecessary drama, as well as a variety of other topics.
MORE OPTIONS DECLINED: The Kings declined the contract options on Caleb Swanigan and (more surprisingly) Harry Giles. They join Josh Jackson (Memphis) and Ante Zizic (Cleveland) as the only first-round picks on rookie deals who didn’t have their options exercised this year.
ROSE WATCHES HIGHLIGHTS: Derrick Rose sits down with The Athletic to watch some of his own highlights. Rose believes that even in his prime, he was underrated as a player.
BALL UP: With the NCAA season set to tip soon, we took the chance to update our aggregate mock draft to see which prospects are trending up and down. LaMelo Ball is now, on average, the No. 4 overall rated prospect of the 2020 NBA Draft.
SPOOKY NBA: Take a look at some of this year’s best Halloween costumes among NBA players. Spoiler alert: There’s quite a few renditions of the Joker.
BALLBONIC PLAGUE: Wob has discovered a new trend where players give up the ball as the clock expires so they don’t get a turnover added to their stats. Josh Hart got rookie Jaxson Hayes with that move pretty hilariously last night.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
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