Two talented young players looking to make a step to the next level will be workout partners this week at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and those two guys are Chicago Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas and Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Martin.
As we at HOOPSWORLD have said for the majority of the summer, Thomas is a young player on the brink of being something special, and with the possibility of a contract extension looming after the upcoming season it's no wonder he's getting serious about basketball and showing the amount of maturity he's shown since the end of last season.
Martin, on the other hand, is closing on being mentioned in All-Star conversations, and with Ron Artest gone in Sacramento he officially becomes "The Man" for the Kings. They'll spend the majority of the week (along with Orlando Magic Courtney Lee, former NBA player Daniel Santiago, and others) working with David Thorpe, Mike Moreau, and the rest of the team there to get prepared for the preseason, which is just a few short weeks away.
Houston Won't Let It Go
You may or may not remember former New York Knick and Detroit Piston Allan Houston making a comeback attempt last summer, but the end result was that he didn't make the Knicks. He's at it again, even though New York's roster is still chock-full of guaranteed contracts.
At age 37 he'll have to prove he's basically risen from the basketball dead to make the team, but Newsday mentioned that Donnie Walsh may put him into basketball operations somewhere to keep him involved in basketball and the New York Knicks.
That may be a better option for Houston, but who can blame a competitive man for wanting to get back into the game, even if his chances of doing so are slim?
Two Teams Have New Uniforms on the Horizon
After the revealing of that dreadful Oklahoma City Thunder logo earlier this week (did it look like a cheap college logo to anyone else?) we obviously have those jerseys to look forward to in the coming weeks. Despite the generic quality of the logo, the "Thunder" font reminds me a lot of the old Ben Gordon-Rip Hamilton UConn jerseys, which always looked really classy and simple. Even though the color scheme is probably going to center around a dominant blue like half of the league already, it's quite possible OKC avoids the temptation to go futuristic and stays generally classic. I've got more confidence in the uniforms than the logo should have given me.
The other team we're still waiting on is the Orlando Magic, who in honor of their 20th anniversary this year are going back to pinstripes like in the Penny-Shaq days. From what I've seen of a head-and-shoulders shot of Courtney Lee from media day, these pinstripes are spread wide apart, not like the close-knit ones of the late '90s. The rest of the jersey will revealed in an interesting promotion at the Orlando Magic's team website. Stay tuned there if you're dying to see what those look like, as I certainly am.
Updates on the Same Ol', Same Ol'
Ben Gordon's agent Raymond Brothers lied about having a deal from Russia to get leverage from the Bulls, so Gordon's still stuck in a stalemate and looks more likely than ever to take Chicago's one-year tender.
Monta Ellis reportedly admitted he lied about his ankle injury happened, and now the Golden State Warriors understand that the injury happened outdoors. Whether this means a fine or suspension we'll find out soon, but don't expect to see his contract voided. He's too important and too valuable to G-State's future.
The Knicks and Grizzlies are still working on that Zach Randolph deal, and it still seems like it would return Darko Milicic and Marko Jaric. It could happen, it could not. But let's be honest—is the move really going to dramatically improve either team all that much?