There were a lot of incredible candidates for the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, but make no bones about it: Golden state Warriors forward Draymond Green was the most deserving. Monday night Green was announced as the Defensive Player of the Year during the NBA’s Awards Ceremony. In a year in which the Warriors were coming off a 73-9 season, and after an offseason where they added Kevin Durant, Green’s importance to the team was never overstated.
The Houston Rockets have emerged as an increasingly serious threat in the chase for soon-to-be free agent Chris Paul, according to league sources. The Rockets still have work to do in terms of clearing sufficient salary-cap space to make a representative offer for Paul, but sources told ESPN that Houston star James Harden has been advocating hard in favor of the Paul pursuit and has made his interest in teaming with the Los Angeles Clippers' point guard known directly to Paul. Sources say Houston also remains at the heart of the trade hunt to acquire Paul George from the Indiana Pacers, despite the fact George is only under contract through next season and is known to be angling to sign with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers in July 2018.
ESPN.com news services Former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy, an ESPN analyst, will lead the United States men's basketball team for World Cup qualifying, a source confirmed to ESPN. Van Gundy's appointment, first reported by The Vertical, is set to begin in November. A Team USA squad composed of non-NBA pros is scheduled to play six games in the first round of qualifying in a pool with Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The top three teams advance to a second round of qualifying from September 2018 to February 2019. The Vertical also reports that the U.S. will compete in the 12-team FIBA AmeriCup in Uruguay and Argentina in August. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is set to take over coaching responsibilities