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The HoopsHype Daily: NBA’s declining ratings make future concerning

THE FUTURE IS NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE: Remember all those stories about the NBA replacing the NFL as the most popular league in America a couple of years back? Well, the future doesn’t look so rosy anymore, says Ethan Strauss. With declining TV ratings and all of the new problems in China, the league faces a moment of introspection after many years of ever-growing optimism regarding the future of the sport.

👀 The Scott Skiles anecdote in Strauss’ story is solid gold.

ANOTHER EXTENSION COMING? Boston Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown is extension-eligible this summer, and though Boston hasn’t given anyone a rookie-scale extension since Rajon Rondo, he’s hiring an agent to help with the process anyway. 

💼 Brown’s new agent is No. 25 in HoopsHype’s rankings. Interestingly, he’s also the agent of Al Horford, who recently left Boston for Philadelphia.

We recently spoke to various NBA executives to see what they think about Brown’s chances for an extension, and their answers varied from thinking he could get the max, to others saying he won’t get extended prior to the regular season.

AD VS. THE GREEK FREAK: Mega-agent Rich Paul recently made eyebrow-raising comments about Anthony Davis being a better playmaker than Giannis Antetokounmpo. He said that even despite Davis having roughly 1,000 fewer career assists than the Greek Freak (in one more year of service, no less), and having a career assist rate of 10.8% to Antetokounmpo’s 21.4%.

Even though the claim seems farfetched and, frankly, wrong, we decided to break down the passing of the two stars to decide for ourselves who the better distributor is.

SEASON PREVIEWS: The Denver Nuggets had a great season in 2018-19. Now they have to not just repeat it, but improve upon it, to be considered a success.

KAT FROM DEEP: The Timberwolves are trying to modernize their offense, and as a byproduct of that, Karl-Anthony Towns will be doing much more as a distributor while also shooting a boatload more three-pointers. The finished product should be quite entertaining.

GOAL SET FOR HIGH-FLYER: Two-time dunk champion Zach LaVine has blossomed into much more than just a high-flyer. And the 24-year-old is confident he’s put it all together enough to make a run at an All-Star spot this upcoming season.

MATHEMATICAL HELP IN MINNESOTA: The man who invented the ESPN trade machine and helped Sam Hinkie during The Process works for the Timberwolves now. Learn about his fascinating history and his new job in Minnesota.

HEAT IN CHINA COOLING OFF? Reports state that Chinese officials believe they may have gone too far in their retaliation to Daryl Morey’s tweet, and are trying to ramp down their anti-NBA campaign in the press.

📅 Here’s a timeline of the events on the China-NBA situation since Daryl Morey’s tweet.

READY TO MEET EXPECTATIONS: After a rough one-and-done season at Duke, former superstar recruit Cam Reddish is ready to bounce back with the Atlanta Hawks.

CUTS, CUTS, CUTS: This week, former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett was waived by an NBA team for the fifth time. Other training camp cuts the last few days include Thomas Welsh (Charlotte), JaKeenan Gant (Indiana), Elijah Millsap (Denver) and Jorge Gutierrez (Denver).

🗄This is what it’s like to get waived in training camp: “You feel like the world has ended for you because you put so much effort into one thing and it’s a very disappointing feeling. When I got the phone call from Pat Riley, my heart stopped and I felt like someone had died. I went down on my knees and started crying. I was hurt. Especially when you feel like you deserved it.”

SIXTH MAN CHRONICLES: One-time All-Star and three-time champion Andre Iguodala wrote a book, covering not just the Warriors championship runs, but Iguodala’s personal life.

We’re giving away copies of the book among those who retweeted this: https://twitter.com/hoopshype/status/1177653892370305025

TRADE RUMOR RANKINGS

These are the players with the most mentions in our trade rumors page the last seven days:

  1. Kevin Love
  2. Steven Adams
  3. Bradley Beal

SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔

Click here for the answer.

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