Storyline: Anthony Bennett Free Agency

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It came as little surprise that team sources say Anthony Bennett, perhaps knowing his career was hanging in the balance, sought advice from Luis Scola a couple of weeks ago. Scola dispenses wisdom. “I try to tell young guys all the time, what you want, somebody has,” he said. “It’s not there for you to take, it’s not empty, it’s not vacant. Somebody has it and somebody is protecting it. You have to think about it like somebody holding it physically grabbing it and holding it and you’ve got to go and take it from his hands.”

The other young players at the end of the Raptors’ rotation have similarly struggled for playing time, but share one common thread: They have attacked assignments to the franchise’s D-League team, Raptors 905, with vigour, universally putting up the kind of numbers that stand as proof that they’ve been working to stay fit, ready and improve their games. Bennett? He didn’t volunteer to take the drive to Mississauga until Dec. 20, after playing just five minutes in the Raptors’ previous 19 games. Overall he shot just 33.9 per cent from the floor in six D-League games and twice left a game early with a sore back.
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October 14, 2019 | 1:30 pm EDT Update
The Clippers’ offense has quietly been bad to start the preseason — and that’s with two of their games coming against non-NBA opponents. The team has had sloppy, disjointed offensive performances for large stretches of their four games. The Clippers have posted a 99.8 offensive rating in the preseason, the 19th-best mark in the league. That rating would have been dead last in the league last season — behind the 30th-ranked New York Knicks — by over four points per 100 possessions.
Harrell’s situation is more complicated. Offensively, he’s probably the team’s best option at the 5. Green offers more stretch, and Zubac has the size to screen and crash the glass, but Harrell’s ability to score from the post and bulldoze his way to the rim gives the Clippers a valuable paint presence. His passing is emerging, which may be the element that cements his status as a closer. But on the other end of the floor, Harrell, who is closer to 6-foot-7 than his listed height of 6-8, is limited by his size. His 7-4 wingspan partially makes up for that, but when the Clippers face elite 5s like Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic or Anthony Davis, rolling with Zubac or Green might make more sense because of their larger frames and superior defense and rebounding.
October 14, 2019 | 12:43 pm EDT Update
The Brooklyn Nets have exercised the 2020-21 contract options for center Jarrett Allen and guard/forward Dzanan Musa. Allen appeared in 80 games (all starts) in the 2018-19 season, registering averages of 10.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.4 assists in 26.2 minutes per game. The Texas native was named a MTN DEW ICE Rising Star and participated in the Rising Stars game for Team USA during All-Star weekend in Charlotte. In the 2019 NBA Playoffs, Allen started five games for the Nets, averaging 11.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 22.0 minutes versus the Philadelphia 76ers. The 21-year-old, who was selected by Brooklyn with the 22nd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, has appeared in 152 career games (111 starts), averaging 9.6 points, 7.0 rebounds 1.4 blocks and 1.0 assists in 23.3 minutes per contest.
“We are as excited as we were 20 years ago. The hope is that over time this builds into a 2011-type run,” Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said from his office. A big American flag hangs behind his desk, but when it comes to looking for good players in far-off places, the Mavericks are well traveled. Today, it’s Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis; 20 years ago, it was Dirk Nowitzki, then a 21-year-old German entering his second NBA season. Dirk’s emergence in the 1999-00 season injected hope into a franchise with the NBA’s second-worst record in the 1990s. Since that year, the Mavs have the second-best record, have made many deep playoff runs, and in 2011, finally won a title.