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NBA offseason news and links: the age of player empowerment, Sixers to reveal new jersey?

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Los Angeles Lakers Introduce Anthony Davis - Press Conference Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

‘You can’t plan beyond next year’: Coaching in an NBA where stars call the shots (Jackie MacMullan, ESPN)

So, while NBA fans celebrate the whims of the supernovas, coaches brood over how it affects their future.

”If a team spends all this money and resources to get the best players, you know they will cater to them,” says one Western Conference coach. “And if that player says, ‘I want that coach gone,’ what recourse do we have?”

[...]

“I’m a realist,” Gentry says. “When Anthony signed with Klutch Sports, I knew what was going to happen. They told me, ‘No, we’re not trying to get him traded,’ but we all realized it was just a matter of time.

“I understand that some players feel the need to move on. With Anthony, it could have and should have been handled differently. If it was, I would have been OK with the situation.”

[...]

Gentry feels the league is to the point that contracts “don’t really mean anything anymore, so make them all two-year deals. It will save us a lot of headaches.”

Jackie Mac is so damn good at using access to NBA personnel to craft awesome, thought-provoking pieces.

As to the topic at hand in this article, I go back and forth. Is the player empowerment movement getting out of hand? Should we be worried about how it affects coaches? I’d like to get a little deeper in thought on all of this before really forming an opinion, but at the forefront of my mind is the position that I’m never upset over worker empowerment. It’s a unique situation where a working class is realizing just how much control they can obtain, and they players aren’t only the working class of the NBA, they are the product. However, one idea being floated by some of the coaches quoted in the article is that the dynamic of a paranoid coaching staff isn’t just concerning for the coaches, it also sacrifices the long term development of a team, and if true, I’d agree that that isn’t good for the league.

But I’m just not sure that’s actually what’s happening to teams. And isn’t appeasing your most valuable employees an important characteristic of a good manager anyway? I mean, shouldn’t a manger be on the hot seat if an organization’s best asset is unhappy and looking for a change of scenery? I guess the retort would be, “But these coaches aren’t necessarily making players unhappy. It’s more of a grass is always greener situation that the coaches have no control over, yet are being held responsible for.”

I just don’t know. It’s an interesting subject, this player empowerment stuff. But I’m already tired of thinking about it just from reading and reacting to this Jackie Mac piece. We’re just over three years away from when either the owners or the players association can opt out of the current CBA (notice to do so must be given by either side by December 15th, 2022).

Sixers planning jersey reveal

We recently touched on some hints being dropped by the Sixers about a retro jersey reveal, with the team’s twitter account identifying August 1st as the day to be on the lookout. Well, it is August 1st, and while there’s been nothing in the way of an official reveal, the Sixers continue to broadcast the theme:

Expect an announcement before COB.

Memphis Grizzlies sign Marko Gudurić

At this stage of the summer, you don’t expect many interesting signings, yet here we are. The Memphis Grizzlies have signed European baller Marko Gudurić away from the Euroleague, making it official Tuesday evening. From the Grizzlies’ team site:

The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that the team signed guard Marko Gudurić (Gūd-ur-rich) to a multi-year contract.

Gudurić (6-6, 200) has played professionally the last two seasons (2017-19) for Fenerbahçe in Turkey. Last season, the 24-year-old led Fenerbahçe to the 2019 Euroleague Final Four, averaging 9.4 points while shooting 54.9 percent from the field and 47.7 percent from three-point range. He also won the Turkish BSL Three-Point Shootout and guided his team to the 2019 Turkish Cup, defeating Anadolu Efes in the tournament final.

A native of Serbia, Gudurić previously played four seasons (2013-17) for KK Crvena Zvezda in Belgrade before going unselected in the 2017 NBA Draft. He represented Serbia at EuroBasket 2017 and helped guide the national team to a silver medal finish.

I’m not too familiar with Gudurić, but I’m always interested and excited to see how talented-but-overlooked Euro prospects fare in the NBA. It certainly sounds like he can offer the Grizzlies steady wing shooting, hitting upwards of 47% from deep last season.

MarJon Beauchamp to forgo college, privately train for 2021 NBA Draft

According to Chameleon BX, a basketball training facility that specializes in NBA Draft preparation, 5-star 2021 prospect MarJon Beauchamp will not attend college for the 2020-21 season and instead train with Chameleon BX in preparation for the 2021 NBA Draft.

Beauchamp is far from the first high school prospect to take this route, as this strategy is picking up a bit of momentum. New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson sat out his final year of draft ineligibility after his hopes of transferring out of Western Kentucky and playing the same season fell through. Darius Bazley decommitted from Syracuse to instead play in the G-League, ultimately skipping out on the G-League as well and training on his own. RJ Hampton, a 5-star recruit who was initially expected to play the upcoming NCAA season, has decided to sign a one-year pro deal in Australia rather than attend college. Meanwhile, the NBA is toying with returning to a draft format that allows high schoolers to go directly into the NBA.