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Good morning, commence worrying about Derrick Rose

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That and more in Thursday's NBA newsletter.


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Good morning. Let's basketball.

TEAM USA IS STILL PRETTY GOOD: The home team destroyed the Dominican Republic in a warm-up game Wednesday, punctuated by a nasty Andre Drummond dunk. (Is there any other kind of Andre Drummond dunk?) No cuts are coming until after Friday's warmup. Mason Plumlee, though, sat while Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins got run.

WORRY OF THE ROSE: Derrick Rose didn't play, either, after missing two practices with knee soreness. Naturally, this leads one to worry about the long-term health of Derrick Rose, a walking malady in recent years. His pro coach Tom Thibodeau is a Team USA assistant, and is not worried. Neither is Rose himself.

Forgive the rest of us for being skeptical. After basically missing two seasons with knee injuries, Rose is sore enough to sit after a couple of practices and one game. When that regular season begins and the Bulls are playing 3-4 times per week with an occasional practice thrown in, and when Thibodeau is playing Rose 38-plus minutes every night (as one does) ... there isn't time for precautionary rest, or whatever. Thibodeau isn't really about rest. Rose has never really been about rest.

Coach K clearly (and smartly) doesn't want Rose to break on his watch. But this is absolutely worrying in the sense that the calculus will be so much different in two months when Thibodeau is responsible for the caution. It's never really been his strong suit, has it?

UNDER ARMOURED TRUCK: Under Armour, the DMV-based Nike rival, has reportedly offered Kevin Durant $265 million over 10 years to endorse its athletic gear. That's a solid 25-30 percent more than what KD stands to make in NBA salary over that time period. It's just crazy money.

WELP: The Suns are reportedly shopping restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe. The question is why anyone would give up assets for him when any amount he'd actually sign for is more than Phoenix would match.

GOOD QUESTION: How much will the loss of Trevor Ariza hurt Washington's defense?

THE HEADLINE SAYS IT ALL: "Stephon Marbury will star as himself in a Chinese play."

SHUMP: Iman Shumpert on his nascent rap career.

UH HUH: James Harden might be correct about being the most well-rounded player in the NBA if the NBA banned defense. Alas.

Happy Thursday. See you next time.


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