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NBA News and Rumors: Playing Fact or Fiction with Latest League Buzz

Stephen FenechCorrespondent IOctober 9, 2016

NBA News and Rumors: Playing Fact or Fiction with Latest League Buzz

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    NBA basketball is back, which means that LeBron James and Kevin Durant will soon be the focal points of sports segments across the country for reasons other than the one workout they had together.

    While the beginning of the preseason is an exciting time for fans, it can be extremely stressful for players that are fighting for a roster spot. The performance of fringe players during the preseason will change lives and quite possibly the entire season.

    Are there some Jeremy Lin-type stories waiting to be written? 

    If there are, then the news and rumor mill is a good place to start looking for compelling headlines. 

Adam Morrison Will Retire If He Doesn't Make the Portland Trail Blazers Roster

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    Fact or Fiction?

    Fiction

    Adam Morrison has been a bust since being drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006. The Bobcats thought that Morrison was worthy of the third pick, but the 7.5 points per game that he averaged proved that he wasn't even worthy of a first-round selection. 

    While Morrison won two NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, he was nothing more than a benchwarmer and was unable to make the Washington Wizards roster for the 2010-11 season. 

    After failing to make an NBA roster, Morrison played overseas for two years before impressing during the Summer League in July 2012. 

    At one point, Chris Haynes reported on csnnw.com that Morrison would retire if he failed to make the Portland Trail Blazers roster. While that may have been true at some time, that may not be the case anymore now that Morrison has tasted the NBA once again.

    According to Erik Gundersen of iamatrailblazersfan.com, Morrison isn't committed to retiring if he gets cut from the Blazers roster. 

    Morrison will never live up to the hype that comes with being the third pick in the draft, but he could become a role player on a decent team. 

J.R. Smith Will Be the New York Knicks Starting Shooting Guard

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    Fact or Fiction? 

    Fiction

    J.R. Smith has one of the most colorful personalities in the NBA and is also a volume scorer. When he is on, Smith is virtually unguardable and has unlimited range. 

    On his off days, Smith can single-handedly ruin an offense's tempo. For this reason alone, Smith hasn't proven that he is deserving to be a starter in the NBA. 

    According to Barbara Barker of newsday.com, it isn't likely that Smith will be the starting shooting guard on opening night against the Brooklyn Nets.  

    In Barker's article, New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said the following about Smith:

    I kind of like where J.R. is coming off the bench. He could start, you never know. But everybody can't start. I have a nice mixture of guys at this starting unit and I have to have some offense coming off the bench, as well.

    Until Smith learns to play defense consistently while sharing the ball on offense, he won't be staring for Woodson's Knicks. 

Jordan Hill Will Be Ready for the Los Angeles Lakers' Regular Season Opener

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    Fact or Fiction?

    Fact 

    The Los Angeles Lakers were able to re-sign Jordan Hill during the offseason, and he will be the Lakers' best frontcourt reserve in 2012-13.

    At this point, there are concerns that Hill won't be ready for the start of the season due to a herniated disc in his back.

    Is it just me, or are the Lakers dealing with more herniated discs than normal as the season draws closer?

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Hill will be fit for action prior to the regular season.

    Based upon that report, it is somewhat safe to assume that Hill will be ready to step in when Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol need a rest on opening night.

    Hill signed a two-year $8 million contract with the Lakers in the offseason, but that could be a steal of for the Lakers if he is able to stay healthy and develop on the defensive end of the court.  

Dion Waiters Is the Cleveland Cavaliers' Starting Shooting Guard

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    Fact or Fiction? 

    Fiction

    Dion Waiters is a talented ball-handler with the ability to take the ball to the rim with confidence. If Waiters had played on a team that had less depth than the Syracuse Nationals, he may have been able to distinguish himself as the best shooting guard in the country. 

    According to Sam Amico of foxsportsohio.com, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott isn't ready to give Waiters the starting shooting guard spot. Scott said the following about the current state of the position:

    I just felt C.J. comes in with a little more experience, he’s a guy who’s played in a ton of games. He fits in well with what we’re doing. Dion has to earn it. Simple as that. 

    When the Cavs took Waiters with the fourth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, it surprised the basketball world. After the pick, most assumed that Waiters could develop into a respectable shooting guard because the Cleveland front office must know something that we don't to take the risk.  

    With Kyrie Irving at point guard, the development of Waiters will determine just how deadly the Cavs backcourt is this season. 

Jonas Valanciunas Is Ready for His NBA Debut with Toronto Raptors

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    Fact or Fiction?

    Fiction

    Jonas Valanciunas could have been the second pick in the 2012 NBA Draft had he not decided to declare for the 2011 draft. As history shows, Valanciunas chose to enter the 2011 draft but was unable to play in the lockout-shortened season due to a contractual obligation with an overseas team. 

    According to Eric Koreen of sports.nationalpost.comValanciunas has been dealing with a strained calf and has been unable to practice consistently. 

    In Koreen's article, Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said the following about his inability to practice:

    He really needs to get out there. Valanciunas has not even had an official practice yet because of a strained calf he suffered the week before training camp began. We don’t want to rush him. But at the same time, to get him used to the speed of the NBA, the physicality of the NBA, the strength of the guys in the NBA, banging and hitting, he needs that.

    Valanciunas has yet to make his NBA debut, so he hasn't experienced the unique pace of the association.

    The Raptors are one of the many teams the Eastern Conference that have the potential to threaten for a playoff spot, but that is largely contingent on Valanciunas becoming a respectable inside presence at some point in the 2012-13 season.  

     

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