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Rants, References and Revelations

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- With the player’s lawsuit settled and the league sprinting towards free-agency and training camps, lines of communication have been opened between teams, agents and players. The spreading of wild rumors and prognostications has ensued. Is Dwight Howard heading to the Nets? Lakers? ClippersOr could the Heat even offer LeBron James for him? How about Chris Paul? Lakers? Celtics? Knicks? Wherever Howard goes?

Considering we haven’t had actual basketball topics to cover for months, it’s amazing how quickly this whole mess becomes intolerable.

- So much to learn about with the new elements in the CBA. Luckily, Chad Ford and John Hollinger put together a team-specific cliff notes.

- One of the largest splinters off the amnesty discussion has been the Trail Blazers’ thinking on Brandon Roy. It sounds like the Blazers would like to see him in training camp and assess his physical status before deciding what to do. If he does end up on the modified amnesty waivers there will certainly be a variety of suitors. I’ve been wondering if Phoenix would be the best fit. Besides Simmons-esque conspiracies about the magical powers of their training staff, it seems like it would make sense on the floor as well. If they aren’t willing to trade Nash, but still want to stay relevant some upgrades must be on the agenda. Roy could be a cost effective way to add significant talent. The fit on the basketball court would be contingent on Roy be willing to play more off the ball, but that change is linked to his future success regardless of where he ends up.

- Andres Alvarez of The Wages of Wins says that value in the market for free agent power forwards can be found with Kris Humphries and Chuck Hayes. I’m sorry to keep beating this drum, but his numbers also make Josh McRoberts look great. Some NBA fanbase is soon going to find itself pleasantly surprised by McRoberts versatility.

- Can you imagine Tony Parker with elite athleticism and leaping ability? Beckley Mason thinks that’s exactly what Russell Westbrook should be imagining.

- My favorite story of the week was about the Austin Toros testing out a new product which tracks a player’s location, distance and speed, along with measures of physical exertion like heart rate and respiration. This seems like a remarkable opportunity to merge advancements in all kinds of fields, with direct applications for improving a team’s performance. On a small tangent, Toro’s coach Brad Jones tried to preserve the dignity of his team by calling it a vest, but it clearly falls in the category of high-tech sports bra.

- The Rockets have spent the past few seasons stockpiling assets to land a top-tier player through a trade. This plan has yet to net them that big fish. Is it time to blow things up, go young, and look for that top-tier player in the draft?

- Now that NBA basketball is back, things will be heating up here at Hickory-High. There are now so many high-tech ways for you to stay abreast of my low-level work. Follow me on Twitter, @HickoryHigh. Check out the Hickory-High Facebook page. If Google+ is your thing, you can find me there as well.

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