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Suns’ Ryan McDonough Believes Devin Booker Can Be Like James Harden

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Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough may not have a true, blue starting point guard in the fold as of yet, but he certainly believes that Devin Booker can take on more of the floor general role, pointing to Houston Rockets guard James Harden as his prototype player.

“I think, yeah, in terms of the efficiency that Harden plays with,” McDonough said, according to Evan Sidery of Bright Side of the Sun. “How he scores so efficiently from the three-point line, at the rim and the free throw line. That should be the prototype for Devin offensively, in terms of offensive efficiency.”

In fact, McDonough sees a lot of similarities between Booker and the MVP guard.

“Yeah, that’s the guy” McDonough stated.

“If you look at an offensive guard with similar size, I think at the same stage of their career, I think Devin is a little bit better of a shooter, spot-up shooter.” McDonough said. “Harden is very physically imposing. Devin’s gotten stronger, he’s only 21 years old, but if you look at Harden up-close he’s strong and physical and I think that helps getting to the basket drawing fouls. That’s a guy we certainly look at.”

Phoenix’s general manager also spoke about Booker’s continued focus on watching film from other guards in the league.

“Devin watches as much film and NBA basketball as anybody and tries to steal things, especially from the elite guards around the league, I think you’ll see some of that in the way Devin plays and develops, especially as he matures.”

Detroit Pistons

Pistons’ Dwane Casey Planning Flexibility with Blake Griffin, Thon Maker

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Detroit Pistons’ head coach Dwane Casey has a creative approach in mind when he utilizes Blake Griffin and Thon Maker this upcoming season.

While the Pistons don’t have a true center outside of Andre Drummond, Casey sees opportunities to get creative with his lineups, depending on the situation at hand.

“I see it being very situational,” Casey said, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.

“The other guy we haven’t mentioned, we have played Blake at the five. Not good numbers off of that, so I don’t anticipate that but there are scenarios in the game, last two minutes of the game, where Blake could play the five. Looking for really a bump out of Thon, playing him at four/five, whatever it is, but a lot of nights if you look at the league, the rosters have gotten smaller and the traditional five has kind of gone the way of the dinosaur. The flexibility we have with Thon, with Markieff having the possibility of playing there, is really important.”

With Drummond focusing on developing his offense this offseason, the Pistons may lack some defense at the rim, and in the paint.

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Eastern Conference

Heat’s Bam Adebayo Discusses Team Picking Up Option

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Bam Adebayo

The Miami Heat recently picked up the fourth-year option on the contract of center Bam Adebayo, who is thrilled to see further commitment from the team.

Adebayo, the Heat’s starter at center, will make $3.5 million this season, and is now guaranteed $5.1 million in the 2020-2021 season.

“It’s definitely a confidence builder,” Adebayo said, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “It’s one of those things that a lot of guys don’t get to see, but I’m glad it happened to me. So we’re going to keep this thing going and see if we can win some more games.”

Adebayo collected 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season for Miami.

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Eastern Conference

Knicks’ Dennis Smith Jr. Out to Prove Something this Season

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While the New York Knicks made headlines as they whiffed on several big name free agents this summer, one of their promising young players believes that a big year is on the horizon.

Knicks’ guard Dennis Smith Jr., who was acquired from the Dallas Mavericks via trade, is looking to make a splash in his first full season with the Knicks.

“It’s just been relentless work. I feel like I’ve got something to prove,” Smith Jr. said, according to The New York Daily News’ Kristian Wingfield.

“I’ve got a chip on my shoulder still, but I’ve just been working. I try to attack each day and look at it as if I didn’t leave anything on the table. I got the most out of my day. … I’m gonna come in, bring that into training camp and be a leader, lead by example, earn my respect from these guys and then carry that into the season.”

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