Where will the NBA hold the 2017 All-Star game? Charlotte? No. New Orleans? Probably. New York/Brooklyn or Chicago? Maybe. One more maybe: Las Vegas. Scott Kusher of The Advocate: The NBA held All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas in 2007. By all accounts, it was wild. I’d be surprised if the league returned the event to Las Vegas, but at this point, I’d really be surprised by any option besides New Orleans.
Free-agent big man Andrea Bargnani will return to Europe, signing a two-year deal with Saski Baskonia of Spain’s ACB — widely acknowledged as the second-best professional hoops league in the world — that, more than likely, spells the end of the NBA road for the former No. 1 overall draft pick. The 7-footer entered the NBA in 2006 after spending the first four years of his professional career in his native Italy, showcasing a sharpshooting touch from beyond the 3-point arc that helped Benetton Treviso win the 2006 Serie A title and earned him designation as the Euroleague’s 2005-06 Rising Star, an honor given to the top 22-and-under performer in the continental competition. Bargnani acquitted himself pretty admirably in his first few years in Toronto, offering scoring punch and an outside shooting threat on teams led by Chris Bosh and the T.J. Ford/Jose Calderon point guard combination that hung around the middle of the Eastern Conference pack.