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: Sports on Earth. Michael Pina on the "minor miracle" of the Dallas Mavericks' offseason work, and how Mark Cuban, Rick Carlisle and the staggeringly selfless Dirk Nowitzki might have another contender on their hands.
PF: numberFire. One area where the Mavs still look a little shaky, though, is at the point — who should start there?
SG: Pounding the Rock. Jesus Gomez brings us up to speed on the roiling chaos within the Argentine Basketball Association, which could result in the veteran members of the team's legendary "Golden Generation," like Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni and Pablo Prigioni, not suiting up for this summer's FIBA World Cup.
PG: Bright Side of the Sun. Amid rumors that the Phoenix Suns might be interested in making a run at Greg Monroe, Garrett Benson questions why Ryan McDonough, Jeff Hornacek and company would be considering a max or near-max deal for a restricted free agent big man who doesn't seem to line up with Phoenix's game plan.
6th: Gothic Ginobili. "… if NBA fans are going to boycott the NFL for their treatment of the [Ray] Rice case, they should probably start off by storming the NBA's league office in New York and demanding answers on the NBA's pitiful track record."
7th: FOX Sports Ohio. To hear LeBron James' closest longtime friends tell it, even they didn't know where he was going until the essay went live. Zac Jackson talked to LeBron's pals about what it was like spending the week before the announcement with James in Vegas.
8th: Hoop365, TrueHoop, SB Nation and The Triangle. More ideas, coverage and consideration of the Oklahoma City Thunder's reported plan to make 2014 first-round draft pick Josh Huestis the first ever domestic "draft-and-stash" prospect: Mark Deeks thinks the player's allowing himself to get played: "Huestis stands to gain very little from this agreement, least of all money." Royce Young thinks it's more complicated than that, but that "it might be a win-win for both the Thunder and Huestis." Two pieces of supporting evidence on its complication: Huestis' agent, Mitchell Butler, tells Mike Prada that the idea for the unique and potentially troubling arrangement actually came from the player's side of the negotiating table rather than the team's, and Ron Klempner, the interim executive director of the players' union, sees this as "an example of the player flipping the script" in the contract negotiation process.
9th: The Triangle. Speaking of Deeks — the proprietor of the indispensable ShamSports.com and a wonderful follow on Twitter, by the way — here's n informative profile of the British team-building aficionado and salary cap savant by friend of the program Jason Concepcion.
10th: Wall Street Journal. Chris Herring considers the unreasonable prospect of the New York Knicks deeming guard Tim Hardaway Jr. "untouchable" in trade talks, and offers a reasonable analysis of why they shouldn't.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Dallas Mavericks