What We’re Reading: Stocking Stuffer

From Flickr via NSNewsflash

From Flickr via NSNewsflash

We at Bulls by the Horns realize that you’re busy and don’t have the time to go searching through website after website for some interesting, NBA related reads. So, from time to time, we’ll gather the articles we’ve found interesting and put them together for you in one place.

The biggest news early this week came from Zach Lowe at Grantland as he revealed the NBA is in very preliminary discussions to change the draft system from a lottery into a preset wheel.  The wheel would turn the NBA Draft upside down as teams would know exactly where they draft for the next 30 years rather than have their draft position determined each year by their wins and losses.  Lowe was sure to remind readers multiple times that the proposal already has many support the idea, but also many that oppose it as well.

A team that would be deeply affected by the elimination of the lottery system would be the Sacramento Kings, who have managed the second-worst record in the Western Conference thus far.  New head coach Mike Malone has no illusions about his team thus far and said of his team, “We’re a bad basketball team right now.”  Malone relieved that he believes his team has already hit rock bottom four or five times this season during a four minute venting session following his team’s loss to the Pelicans Monday night.  Ben Golliver at SI’s Point Forward was on the scene and had all of the highlights from Malone’s rant.

Another team struggling to improve this season is the Brooklyn Nets and Tom Ziller at SB Nation broke down exactly what options the Nets have going forward.  The depressing truth is that they have very few options.  Ziller took a look at all of the moves Billy King has made and found that essentially King bet on himself and the Nets over and over again this offseason.  In the next five seasons, the Nets have given other teams the rights to switch first round picks with them, which means if the Nets don’t get much better, they will be forced to swap their draft picks (one of their only opportunities to get better) with teams picking much lower.

Speaking of trades, the Rockets’ self-imposed deadline to trade Omer Asik on December 19th has came and gone and Asik is still a member of the Houston Rockets.  Though the Rockets were unable to move Asik, Mark Deeks at SB Nation detailed why he believes the Rockets still have leverage.  Deeks believes that since Asik has proven in the past to be a very capable starting-caliber center in the NBA and that the poor offers the Rockets received before their December 19th deadline were due to the deadline and Asik’s actual value as an NBA player.

Meanwhile, Patrick Harrel at The Dream Shake detailed why no one should care about a trade rumor connecting the Rockets and Nets.  Last week, a bunch of rumors came out about the possible destinations for Asik and one of the more interesting rumors was the Rockets’ proposal of Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin for Deron Williams in Brooklyn.  Harrel dismissed the rumor mentioning that it was likely nothing more than Morey simply calling teams and making an offer, not some sort of serious trade talks.

In other trade rumors regarding shot-blocking centers, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio reports that “perhaps no NBA player is as available as Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders”.  Amico reports that the Bucks still like Sanders and aren’t in a rush to move him, but that they would be willing to listen if anyone were to call regarding his availability in a trade.

SB Nation has enlisted the help of Doug Eberhardt (a skills development trainer who has worked with Mike D’Antoni and Lionel Hollins) to explain some NBA jargon this season and this week Eberhardt covered the “nail”.  The “nail” is a spot located at the very middle of the free throw line and is a spot emphasized by the league’s best defensive coaches.  Eberhardt took a look at why the “nail” is such an essential part of NBA defenses and how something so simple can be used to help elite defenders.

As the end of the season approaches, some are starting to compile their “Best of” lists and one of the more interesting of those lists can be found at SI’s Point Forward by Ben Gulliver and Rob Mahoney.  Mahoney and Gulliver covered their best NBA moment, most memorable quote, favorite move/trade/pick, top storyline, and NBA Sportsman of the year.  If you’re looking for a reminder of everything great about the last year in NBA basketball, this is a pretty great place to start.

In our final piece this week, Sean Highkin of the USA Today took a behind the scenes look at the “Inside the NBA” crew in their Turner Studios in Atlanta.  The access Highkin was able to get made for an interesting read a great look at what everyone at “Inside the NBA” is actually looking to do each and every broadcast.

That’s all for today.  Remember…reading is FUNdamental.

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