Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
McDermott and Bird were both consensus Players of the Year and plied their trade in the Missouri Valley Conference (though Creighton switched to the Big East this past season).
The dots were further connected in March when Sports Illustrated chose to reprise its “College Basketball’s Secret Weapon” cover of Bird from 1977, right down to the cheerleaders in “shhh” pose.
“You know, I mean, I thought they were crazy,” McDermott said yesterday, recalling the initial communication from the magazine. “I didn’t want to disrespect Larry like that. But I think it was a cool idea just to show some people that were around in that time, maybe just a flash to the past. So I’m glad that I was the one chosen to be able to do that, but, you know, obviously there’s never going to be another Larry Bird. But it’s just cool to kind of have a tribute to him with that cover.”
“It’s good to have a guy like that for everyone to look up to, all these young guys, myself included, because it’s the best of the best right there — him, Magic [Johnson], Michael [Jordan]. You can’t compare guys to those three, I don’t think. I just take pieces of his game and try to apply it to mine.”
Because of the comparisons, McDermott has often been viewed through the prism of Bird rather than just being judged on his own.
“We’re each our own players,” McDermott said. “People get really caught up in the comparisons — your height, your weight, what you look like, stuff like that. I think people just need to focus on what this guy can bring to the table to our team to win, and those comparisons will be put aside.”
Sports Illustrated’s job is to sell magazines and online subscriptions, not carefully consider whether the comparison to Bird is apt. They generated buzz, and they continue to get people to talk about it, so they did a good job.
McDermott has a good head on his shoulders, and it’s evident from how he handled himself yesterday. He was obviously a tremendous scorer at the college level, and now these workouts will help determine if he can do the same at the NBA level.
The years have been full of elite-level college scorers who have had trouble with the NBA’s speed and size. McDermott can shoot, but we’ve seen guys come out of college who can take 1,000 jumpers in a workout and make 999 of them. What these guys need to do is figure out how to make all those shots while guarding the explosive wings they’ll see night after night.
I don’t know if McDermott will be able to do that (This does nothing to ease my fears, either). The Celtics could select him at 6 and that wouldn’t be a total reach. Most mock drafts have him in the top 10.
But it doesn’t seem maturity will be much of a question. This young man knew exactly what to say to the Boston folks when the Larry Bird comparison came out. Like most of the shots in his workout, he nailed that one too.
Page 2: Julius Randle could pull a Sully
Thursday, a report emerged that the power forward may need surgery on his right foot after the draft.
On SportsNet Central, Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely discussed how this may affect Randle’s draft stock.
“I think he will take a little bit of a hit,” said Blakely. “If he doesn’t get it done, it’s probably going to cost him millions of dollars in terms of where he should go in the draft and where he actually winds up going.
University of Kentucky forward Julius Randle, considered a top 10 pick, likely needs surgery on his right foot after the NBA draft in June, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The procedure is expected to keep Randle out six to eight weeks this summer, sources said, but there’s a strong expectation within front offices that he’ll be cleared for the start of training camp in the fall.
Randle is working out for the Celtics today without restrictions.
Randle and his mother are both vehemently denying these reports, with Randle tweeting
No disrespect but check with the actual source next time before you put something like that out there @WojYahooNBA
— Julius Randle (@J30_RANDLE) June 12, 2014
By all accounts, this isn’t a major problem, so the comparison to Jared Sullinger isn’t necessarily the best one. Sully had disc issue in his back, which is scary shit. If Randle’s foot problem costs him summer league, so be it. If he’s ready for training camp, that won’t matter.
But still, he’s dropped significantly over the course of the year in most minds. He came into the college season as one of the “Big 3″… but was summarily replaced by Joel Embiid in that picture as his stock dropped. It’s so bad that not even a run to the NCAA Finals could prop him up into the top 5, with most mocks dropping him down closer to 10.
So if he’s already in the bottom of the top 10, it’s not out of the question that an injury issue could drop him even further. I don’t expect him to fall to 17, but if he does…. who knows?
Now I know I’ve been arguing that we’ve already got plenty of under-sized power forwards, but a roll of the dice on him at 17 if it happens might not be the worst thing. If the Celtics feel he can be an asset, then there’s value to taking him.
Related links: ESPN Boston: Randle expected on Friday
Pensive Dwyane Wade SuperZoom pic.twitter.com/c3v6nwMxUo
— 3030 (@jose3030) June 13, 2014
San Antonio DEMOLISHED the Miami Heat last night for the second game in a row. The Heat have now gotten blown out of consecutive Finals games AT HOME and are now down 3-1 in their quest for a repeat.
I know everyone wants to point and laugh at LeBron for all of Miami’s failures, but he’s nowhere near the top of the list of culprits. Aside from the Spurs being really, really, really good, Dwyane Wade was f’ing horrible.
Erik Spoelstra put Toney Douglas in the game last night. TONEY. DOUGLAS. That’s how bad the guards have been. People were asking about Michael Beasley after the game. That’s how bad the Heat have been.
Dwyane Wade though…
All this BS talk about the Heat making a run for Carmelo Anthony hinges on Wade, LeBron, and Chris Bosh taking huge pay cuts so the Heat could pay Melo less than his market value too. But you tell me, if you’re Dwyane Wade, if you pass on $6 million you know you’re not going to get back as you head into the twilight of your career
Like I’ve said a million times… these guys have only so long to make pretty much all the money they’re going to make in their lives. Wade is 32 and he doesn’t have much time left in the NBA. He’s not going to be one of those guys that plays until he’s 40. He’s not getting a long-term big-money deal from anyone at this point as concerns about his knee will drive down his price considerably.
He played 54 games this year. And he’s still disappearing in the Finals.
Wade won’t opt out. He can’t opt out. That $20 million is twice what he should make next year… if that. If Pat Riley can get him to opt out over the summer with the promise of a $14 million deal, he should pull the contract back, yell “sucker”, and he, LeBron, and Melo should moon him from the party bus as it pulls away.
Wade is toast. And if he opts in, so are Miami’s hopes of a “Big 4.”
The rest of the links:
Herald: Aaron Gordon intriguing option | Globe: Ray Allen says retirement is an option | Mutual interest in Gordon, Celtics | CSNNE: Gordon would bring youth, desire, to Celtics | Boston.com: Michael Jordan now a billionaire | LeBron pulls in $30 million on Beats deal