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Loud Links: June 13, 2009


Loud Links are back once again. Many NBA draftees are singing that catchy Clash tune "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" The Oklahoman warns against drafting Tyreke Evans. Brandon Jennings dogs his Slam Magazine cover-mate. Someone is christened the "Polish Dwight Howard", I wonder whom? ESPN weighs the possibility of a few free agents. Personally, I think Ariza should join the Cavaliers. DeRozan wants to dunk against Griffin. More as always…

NBA Draft: Studs/Duds 2005-2008
Without a doubt Durant has made a bigger impact on the NBA than Greg Oden, but he's also a better player than 90% of the league after just two seasons. With a team built to run and Durant as the focal point, the Thunder will be a team to be reckoned with in the not-too-distant future – and Durant only continues to improve. Durant raised his scoring by five points as a sophomore, his shooting percentage 40 points, and added two more rebounds a game. What's he got up his sleeve for Year 3? The All-Star Game should be on his resume very soon.

Should Lawal stay at Tech or enter NBA draft? |
If I was Gani, I’d probably stay in school, get stronger and think about coming out next year. But that said, I look at Chris Bosh … I didn’t think he was ready, and he has turned into one of the better players in the league. Thaddeus Young, same thing. He really came on in his second year and saved himself.

NBA Draft: Tyreke Evans may be risky pick |
The 6-foot-5¼, 221-pound Evans is powerfully built, athletic and has a ridiculous wingspan of 6-foot-11¼ (the exact same as Griffin’s.) However, Evans is caught between being a 1 and a 2, much like Stephen Curry, Jrue Holiday and Jeff Teague.

SLAM ONLINE | " International Story
They were having a jolly old time and Gortat was basking in it. On the other side of the world, over 5,000 miles away, Polish revelers are running around in fake Gortat jerseys (because apparently they can’t find the authentic ones there) cheering on a guy playing a sport they didn’t even care about two weeks ago. "He’s famous because he’s in the Finals," one Polish reporter says. "He’s the Polish Dwight Howard," another exclaims. He is. Just like Hedo Turkoglu is the Turkish Michael Jordan.

Donnie denies Cabezas, coy on Gortat - Knicks Blog
I asked him about any interest the Knicks New York Knicks had in Orlando's bruising backup center Marcin Gortat, and while Walsh was predictably too cagey to go get hit with a tampering charge, he didn't exactly deny any interest either. And Gortat's camp has let it be known there's plenty of interest.

Blair's neck, wingspan fit Bobcats' needs at forward |
Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown joked Friday that he prefers all his big men have short necks and long arms. That was Brown's way of saying he isn't troubled by the height of Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair, who measured 6-5 1/4 in his stocking feet at the NBA combine. That seems quite short for a power forward, until you consider Blair's extraordinary 7-2 wingspan.

NBA draft prospect Brandon Jennings says Ricky Rubio is overrated - ESPN
"Yeah, I think I'm a better player than he is," Jennings told reporters after working out for the Sacramento Kings on Friday. "I just shoot the ball better than he can. The only thing I've seen him do sometimes is when he has a home run pass or something like that. I think the dude is just all hype. I can't even front. I'm just going to be real with you guys."

Oklahoma City Thunder fans search for that perfect spot |
Thomas and Judie Hanes of Altus experienced the good and bad of the Thunder’s random computer lottery system that determined who was at the front of the line for season tickets during the team’s inaugural season in Oklahoma City. - The Baseline - Hansbrough Compares Himself To David Lee
Few of 2009's likely NBA draft picks come with more intrigue than former North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough. He set the ACC career scoring record and ended his college career with a national championship in April. But scouts and NBA executives seem split on how he'll fare in the pros. Hansbrough talked with Sporting News' Dave Curtis and other reporters about his preparation for the draft. - The Baseline - Stephen Curry Not Shutting Down Workouts
Despite reports to the contrary, Stephen Curry says he is not shutting down his NBA draft workouts. The Charlotte Observer's NBA blog, Inside the NBA, cites Stephen's father, Dell, as a source in reporting that after Tuesday's scheduled workout in Washington, Stephen would not work out for any other teams. - The Baseline - 'If Blake Wants to Challenge Me in a Dunk Contest, I Will Take Him'
DeMar DeRozan spent only one year at USC, and averaged 13.9 points while shooting just 6-for-36 from the 3-point line. But a strong finish to the season, and his tremendous physical tools has him nearly certain to be a lottery pick in this year’s draft. Sean Deveney sat down with DeRozan for a Q&A session.

NBA Finals: Los Angeles Lakers could end up choosing between re-signing Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza - ESPN
But both Odom and Ariza will seek long-term, lucrative deals that could extend beyond this group's championship window. For Ariza, who made $3 million this year, it's his first crack at a large contract. For Odom, coming off an $11.4 million base salary this season, it could be his last big contract.

Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu has many free-agency options - ESPN
When the NBA Finals conclude, the Magic need to worry about retaining not only starting small forward Hedo Turkoglu but also Gortat, who has emerged as a better-than-serviceable backup center to Dwight Howard. In his biggest test, Gortat racked up 11 points and 15 rebounds in place of the suspended Howard when the Magic closed out the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs. League sources say one or more teams will likely be willing to give Gortat a multi-year offer sheet for at least the midlevel exception, which was $5.6 million per season in 2008-09.

Andy Katz: Down to the wire for several underclassmen - ESPN
Austin Daye isn't hearing what he wants: a first-round guarantee. He is getting good reports about his skill and the likelihood that he'll be selected in the first round of the June 25 draft -- Phoenix and Detroit are atop his list of possible destinations at Nos. 14 and 15. But, so far neither has given the Gonzaga sophomore an assurance that he will be selected in the first round.

Chad Ford: Who's in, who's out of the 2009 NBA draft? - ESPN - Updated
Here's the official list of the early-entry candidates who are in or out of the 2009 NBA draft.



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