Jonas Valanciunas looked like a man amongst boys at times in Vegas. (Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images)
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: RaptorBlog. Fresh off being named MVP of the Las Vegas Summer League — a performance that doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot in the league writ large, but did offer an indication of how far he's come in the past year — just how untouchable an asset is Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas? Joseph Casciaro runs through the ranks of players for whom he would and would not trade the 21-year-old, 7-foot Lithuanian ... and those ranks may surprise you.
PF: Salt Lake Tribune. Utah Jazz big man Derrick Favors offers some insight into what it's like to work out with legendary power forward Karl Malone: "'He don't want me to tell nobody,' Favors intoned quietly, 'but I beat him at H-O-R-S-E one time.'"
SG: Liberty Ballers. Now that Our Fearless Leader has weighed in on the Philadelphia 76ers' decision to take their sweet time in hiring a new head coach, it's time to consider the possibility that they just won't hire one. Luckily, Michael Levin is here to walk us through what that might look like.
PG: Grantland. With the lion's share of the big moves of the NBA offseason likely behind us — he said, mindful of the fact that James Harden got traded two days before the start of the 2012-13 season — Zach Lowe takes stock of who appears to have risen, fallen and stood pat in the league over the past three weeks. Where does your favorite team slot in?
6th: SB Nation. A good read from Paul Flannery on a pretty big issue that I've written a little bit about before — the importance of being able to communicate what's learned from advanced statistical analysis to someone who might be skeptical of all that math, like coaches and players ... or, more specifically, for coaches to be able to communicate what matters to players.
7th: The Oklahoman. With the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies reportedly leading the way in the Mike Miller sweepstakes (which, yikes), Anthony Slater considers the pros and cons of signing with the two Western Conference contenders for the recently amnestied small forward.
8th: FOX Sports West. Joan Niesen goes in-depth on Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Shabazz Muhammad, whose story has always been anything but simple and whose path to an NBA living will demand his removal from the spotlight for the first time in his basketball life. Which, y'know, could be a good thing.
9th: The Rotation. Monday's 10-man included a pretty comprehensive breakdown of why nobody's backed a Brink's truck up to the front door of restricted free agent Brandon Jennings, and while the logic is pretty much rock-solid, Colin McGowan finds the devaluation of players like the Milwaukee Bucks point guard to be kind of a bummer: "The score-first point guard who can’t shoot, like the no-offense big man or the small forward who can’t guard anyone, is being driven to the margins of NBA relevancy."
Got a link or tip for Ball Don't Lie? Give me a shout at devine (at) yahoo-inc.com, or follow me on Twitter.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jonas Valanciunas