Bamba, a Harlem native, boasts a 7-foot-9 wingspan and …

Bamba, a Harlem native, boasts a 7-foot-9 wingspan and is considered the premier shot blocker in the year’s draft class. “I like Bamba a lot,” an Eastern Conference executive told The Athletic. “He’s one of the top picks for me. I would seriously look at him and DeAndre Ayton and see who has the bigger upside. I think his upside may be better than Ayton’s. He’s such an elite shot blocker. His skill level isn’t bad, and it’s getting better. He has a nice touch, and he’s going to get better. Ayton has a super body right now. Bamba needs to get stronger. But you can’t go wrong either way. Which one has the drive to be great? Ayton right now is the better overall player, but Bamba has an elite skill.”
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April 22, 2019 | 11:28 am EDT Update
But with a new front office leadership structure set to be installed, certainty isn’t offered for anyone. For Green, the Wizards’ new general manager will need to evaluate whether he was part of their problems. While Green probably exceeded expectations this season, he was on the floor when the team struggled to rebound the ball and defend just like his teammates were. The Wizards were 27th in the NBA in defensive rating this season at 112.8, according to NBA.com. Green’s defensive rating was 112.6. The Wizards and Green may ultimately not prove a fit in the eyes of the new GM. If that is the case, Green could move on to play in a new city, the ninth of his career.
The NBA on TNT crew — ex-players Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and sportscaster Ernie Johnson — also weighed in on the topic during a segment on Sunday. “First of all, that’s unprofessional,” Barkley said. “Part of our job is to talk to the press. We don’t make $30-40 million just to play basketball. People are gonna interrupt you when you have dinner. You have to sign autographs. You have to take pictures. Some of the other stuff is talking to the press. Russ has got to do better. Russ is a great dude. And just because a reporter says something bad about you, you don’t get the right to just say ‘next question.’ “
O’Neal took a different stance. “I’m gonna disagree with both of y’all, because I was Russell Westbrook — sensitive, and if I don’t want to talk to you, I don’t have to talk to you,” O’Neal said. “Our job is to talk to the media. I don’t have to talk to one particular guy. Media is media members like four or five. … A lot of guys (in the media) try to get personal and try to be cute and try to get their followers … so if you’re sticking to the facts, ‘Hack-a-Shaq, he can’t shoot,’ I ain’t got no problem. But once you try to get personal and start doing that, man to man, I don’t have to talk to you as a man if I don’t want to talk to you.”
April 22, 2019 | 9:34 am EDT Update
The Durant rumors started before the Knicks played a game, and point guard Emmanuel Mudiay was aware of it. He spoke to SI TV about it, and while this was not a distraction, it became a difficult topic to ignore: “I wouldn’t say it’s weird. I would say it’s kind of expected. It could get weird for a rookie or a second-year guy. Just because you’re not really used to that, but at the same time, that’s just what the media is going to do. They’re going to try to build up a story, and that’s their job. That’s what they have to do, so you kind of just have to keep your head down and finish out the season and play every day as if he’s not there — which he’s not there yet. “Is that someone New York definitely wants? No doubt, with what he’s done in his career. The scorer he is. The type of player he is. The type of person he is. I wouldn’t say it’s a distraction, but I would say you can’t miss it.
Storyline: Kevin Durant to Knicks?
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