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: Basketball Insiders. Joel Brigham reintroduces us to Brian Cook, a nine-year NBA veteran who spent most of the 2000s on playoff teams in Los Angeles and Orlando, stepped away for two years to take care of his ailing wife, and his now trying to launch a comeback at age 33 with the Detroit Pistons' Summer League squad.
PF: The Classical. I really enjoyed Patrick Sauer's deep-inhale-sigh-and-shrug on what's going on with the Philadelphia 76ers, total commitment to "The Process," and the lamentable part of how "the NBA — and seemingly all of its coverage, especially online — has zeroed in on the behind-the-scenes stuff rather than on the basketball team itself."
SF: Grantland. Zach Lowe on the "impossible position" star players are put in by the collective bargaining agreement — "accept a pay cut 'for the good of the team' or look like a glutton" — and how that's impacted (among other things) the Miami Heat's attempt to "retool" by signing the likes of Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger, and how "sacrifice" can have very different meanings depending on which side of the bargaining table you're sitting on.
SG: Hoop365. Mark Deeks — ever a fan of showing just how much hard work, creativity and ingenuity can go into team-building decision-making and solution-seeking — conjures up a way for the Chicago Bulls to pay Carmelo Anthony something very near his non-Bird rights max salary without giving up Taj Gibson, coveted international prospect Nikola Mirotic or iron-man shooting guard Jimmy Butler, and manage to "build a brilliant team […] all within the confines of the Collective Bargaining Agreement." As you might expect, it takes a bit of figuring.
PG: Upside and Motor. Rafael Uehara with an informative scouting report on Mirotic, the long lusted-after Montenegrin draft-and-stash power forward prospect who could finally be coming over to join the Bulls this fall.
6th: Grantland. Jordan Conn on Joel Embiid's exponential on-court growth in the space of three years, the state of Cameroonian basketball, and what the Kansas big man's selection with the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft could mean for the future of the game in the African nation.
7th: ESPN.com. A great read from Jordan Brenner on how Shaun Livingston rebuilt his devastated leg, and his confidence in it, to become a new and perhaps better player — the kind of versatile contributor whom the Golden State Warriors would be willing to give $16 million.
9th: Eye on Basketball. James Herbert explains how Bruno Caboclo — the grand mystery of the 2014 NBA draft, whose selection Masai Ujiri called "an outright gamble" — went from raw Brazilian prospect to the first-round pick of the 2013-14 Atlantic Division champion Toronto Raptors.
10th: Fear the Sword. Using some video from his time with Maccabi Tel Aviv, a look at several actions that could prove to be staples of the Cleveland Cavaliers' offense under new head coach David Blatt.
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