Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

NBA news roundup: Allen Iverson to retire, Chris Paul named NPBA president

Nearly three years after his final NBA appearance, Allen Iverson appears ready to call it quits. With reports emerging that the future Hall of Famer will finally hang up his jersey this week after spending time playing overseas hoping to revive his career, it may be time to reflect on his many era-defining exploits.

One of the most dynamic scorers of a generation despite his small stature, Iverson led the NBA in scoring four times and earned three first-team All-NBA honors. During his 2001 MVP season, he powered a Sixers team to the NBA Finals by averaging 32.9 points per game during the postseason.

Constantly controversial off the court, Iverson struggled to adapt to smaller roles later in his career, ending it with two chaotic seasons split between four teams. Still a talented scorer, he presumably could've still helped the right team, but never quite found the right fit for himself. After spending time playing in China, we'll say goodbye to AI later this week.

CP3 elected NBPA president

The NBA Players Association couldn't convince LeBron James to run, but this may be the next best thing. On Wednesday, Clippers guard Chris Paul was named the new president of the player's union, giving the embattled organization a much-needed dose of positive publicity as an elite player takes the reins of a key role.

One of the most respected players in the game and a household name, Paul could give some welcomed stability to the NBPA after a uncomfortable period under the leadership of Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher. With those two on their way out, Paul could be a key figure as the union looks to regroup in anticipation of the next round of CBA negotiations in 2017.

What Bynum can bring to Cleveland

When people talk about the future for Andrew Bynum and the Cavaliers, it's an accepted possibility that he could return healthy and turn Cleveland upside down. But imposing physical presence aside, what exactly can the oft-injured big man bring to an improving young team?

An otherworldly ability to score easy buckets off cuts to the basket, that's what. Over at Fear the Sword, resident Cavs expert Conrad Kaczmarek breaks down Bynum's superb scoring ability on cuts in the paint, showing how he uses positioning to carve defenses and rack up points.

Bynum will still get his fair share of straight post-ups, but he can still be a factor in the offense when the guards are attacking the defense by creating off the dribble. He doesn't need plays to be run for him. On most of these plays, it looks like Bynum is just standing around near the paint -- but in reality, he's paying close attention and is almost always ready when his number is called.

Assuming Bynum can stay healthy, there's a clear fit in Cleveland. Conrad says "defenses are going to have their hands full" when he's paired with sweet-passing big Anderson Varejao, and any reasonable person can see the evidence supporting that claim. The man just needs to stay healthy.

Hawks to work out James Johnson

The Hawks don't necessarily need another wing, but Peachtree Hoops passes along word via RealGM that free agent James Johnson will work out for the team soon. Atlanta is reportedly one of many teams considering Johnson, the No. 16 overall pick in the 2009 draft.

Since being selected in the middle of the first round by the Bulls four years ago, it's been a middling career for Johnson. He peaked in 2011-12 with the Raptors, starting 40 contests and averaging 9.1 points per game, and failed to build on that last season with the Kings.

The Hawks already have Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll to cover the small forward position, but they have the roster roster space and cap room to add another player. Johnson is only 26 years old and could still turn around his career before long.

Harrellson to Pistons, Kuzmic to Warriors

A pair of young players inked new deals as Josh Harrellson heads to the Pistons and Ognjen Kuzmic joins Golden State. Both big men will head into training camp looking to crack rosters to start the regular season.

Harrellson agreed to a partially guaranteed two-year deal with Detroit. Presumably for the veteran's minimum, the deal includes a team option on Year 2. Kuzmic, the Warriors' 2012 second-round pick, will sign with the team after opting out of his contract with Spanish club Unicaja Malaga.

Each player brings size to his new roster. Harrellson stands 6'10, Kuzmic 7'1.

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This article originally appeared on SBNation.

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