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 e’s been through the best 
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Marvin Bagley III and Michael Porter Jr. believe they are the best players in this NBA draft http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-taven-bryan-jersey , though the best they can hope for is probably the No. 2 pick.

The Sacramento Kings own it, and that’s where the intrigue appears to begin Thursday.

Arizona center Deandre Ayton is expected to be taken by the Phoenix Suns to open the draft, and then Bagley, Porter, Slovenian guard Luka Doncic or Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. could be considered by Sacramento.

The Kings have been one of the league’s lowliest franchises, not making the playoffs since 2006. But Bagley and Porter both said they would be open to playing in Sacramento, and getting picked so early would be an accomplishment for Porter after a back injury sidelined him for nearly all of his only season at Missouri.

Bagley thrived in his one season at Duke and doesn’t expect that to change once he’s a pro.

”I want to be the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball, and I mean that in the most humble way possible,” he said. ”Not to sound cocky or come off as arrogant, but that’s just the mindset that I have. I always say, if you don’t want to get to that level or be the best, then there’s really no need to play.”

Doncic only arrived in the U.S. on Wednesday after helping Real Madrid win the ACB league championship a day earlier. If the Kings don’t select him, he could end up in Atlanta, Memphis or Dallas, who round out the top-five spots.

Other things to know before Thursday’s draft at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center:

BAHAMAS TO BROOKLYN

Ayton could join 1978 top pick Mychal Thompson – father of Golden State star Klay Thompson – as the only players from the Bahamas to go No. 1.

”It’s just a huge opportunity to show the world that we’re coming. Bahamian people are coming,” Ayton said. ”We’re not just only a country of track and field athletes. We can also play basketball.”

If it happens and Doncic follows, it would be the first time the NBA draft started with two international-born players.

TERRIFIC TEAMMATES

Power programs such as Duke (Bagley and Wendell Carter Jr.), Michigan State (Jackson and Miles Bridges) Mason Rudolph Color Rush Jersey , national champion Villanova (Mikal Bridges and Donte DiVincenzo) and Kentucky (Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) could have multiple players taken in the top 10-15 selections of the two-round draft.

MAKING A MOCKERY

Jackson was on the rise in some mock drafts this spring, though he never noticed. He said he would look at them sometimes when he was a younger fan, but hasn’t had any interest now that his name is in them.

”I think when I was in high school, I probably looked at those mock drafts when they came out and said, `Oh snap.’ But as I found out there was like so many people making different ones, I kind of just lost interest in looking at it,” he said. ”I kind of just play my game, work on getting better and just wait for that moment. Tomorrow’s the day so there’s no more mocks. It’s going to be the regular draft.”

TURN OFF TWITTER

Porter was frustrated when he felt comments he made in an interview were turned around, quickly learning that life will be different in the NBA.

”I’ll give you an example. Yesterday I get asked, who have you been compared to in the NBA? Who do people compare you to?” Porter said. ”And I said, `You know, I’ve been compared to KD (Kevin Durant) before. I’ve been compared to Tracy McGrady,’ and then they put it on Twitter, it’s like, Michael Porter says he’s as good as KD and Tracy McGrady. And I’m like come on, bro, I didn’t say that. But at the end of the day, that’s why I try to stay off Twitter.”

STYLE WATCH

Carter wore pants that had a different pattern on each leg to his Wednesday media session and there was some other sparkle in the room http://www.saintsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tre_quan-smith-jersey , but the best of the style figures to come out, as usual, on draft night.

”All the way from when LeBron had the all-white coming out, the suits are what stand out to me, what they wear,” Young said. ”Everybody has a different background and different story on how they got there, but what they’re wearing is what sticks out to me right now.”

And he’s planning to make an NBA first impression.

”Yeah, it’s going to be something fine,” the point guard said. ”It’s going to be something crazy.”



In a story April 3 about NHL player Eric Staal, The Associated Press misidentified the location of his Canadian hometown. Thunder Bay is located in Ontario.

A corrected version of the story is below:

With 40 goals for playoffs-bound Wild, Staal has right fit

With 40 goals for playoffs-bound Wild, Staal has found right place for career resurgence

By DAVE CAMPBELL

AP Sports Writer

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Eric Staal was coming off his least productive NHL season since he was a teenage rookie with Carolina when Minnesota took a flier on him two summers ago to add some depth at center.

The three-year contract was modest for a player with Staal’s ability and accomplishments. The expectations were, too. Three consecutive seasons of decline in points per game, after all, don’t provide a hint that the scoring touch or passing knack is primed for resurgence.

Bruce Boudreau could see the rebound potential, though. His first day of training camp with the Wild happened to be Staal’s practice debut with his new club, and a strong impression was made on the new head coach.

”I said Denard Span Seattle Mariners Jersey , `You know what? Everybody was wrong,”’ Boudreau said. ”Because he did the skate test on the very first day, and he blew everybody out of the water. So I said to the staff, `He should be able to play for us.”’

Staal has done much more for the Wild than simply prove he can keep up and stabilize a key position with some savviness and leadership. Nobody on the team has scored more since he arrived, and with 40 goals this season he’s tied for sixth in the league through Monday’s games.

”I never thought a specific number was a goal. I don’t ever usually think like that,” Staal said. ”Once you start a season, it can go a lot of different ways, but once the puck starts hitting the back of the net and you’re gaining confidence that way, you want to hold on to it as long as you can and accumulate as much as you can to help your team win.”

Staal became just the second player in NHL history, joining Gordie Howe, to record a 40-goal season at least nine years apart with none in between. Slumps can factor into that, but so does dedication.

”Look, he’s won a Stanley Cup. He’s won an Olympic medal. He’s got all the money that he’s ever going to need,” Boudreau said. ”But when he came here he wanted to prove to the world that he’s still a really good player, and to me he has.”

The lanky 33-year-old with the left-handed shot has been a big reason why the Wild, despite some rough patches of the schedule and significant injury absences by several of their best skaters, have clinched a spot in the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

”You want that, especially as a player who’s in the second half of his career. You want to make sure you’re in a spot to try to win again http://www.vikingsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-brian-o_neill-jersey , and coming here I felt gave me that chance,” said Staal, the second overall pick in the 2003 draft who won the Stanley Cup in 2006 at age 21 but only returned to the playoffs once more with the Hurricanes. ”We’ve still got some work to do here, but hopefully we can finish strong.”

Staal only has one goal-less stretch on his ledger longer than four games in a row, when he played six consecutive contests without scoring from Jan. 9-22. He still contributed four assists over that span. Not coincidentally, the Wild have only one losing streak larger than two. They dropped three in a row from Nov. 4-8.

”He’s a guy we’ve definitely looked to to help lead us,” said left wing Jason Zucker, one of the many linemates Staal has saddled up to this season – without, Boudreau said beamingly, a single complaint.

Durability has been one crucial component of his value, of course. Staal has yet to miss a game since signing the $10.5 million deal on July 1, 2016. The emotional steadiness he has contributed can’t be overlooked, either.
Image
”He’s been through the best of teams. He’s been through the worst of teams. He’s been the leader on all of these teams,” Boudreau said. ”He’s had to make sure he’s the steady one, because if he gets too high, maybe the rest of the group gets too high. If he was one to get too low, maybe everybody else would follow his lead.”

The Wild actually left Staal exposed in the expansion draft, banking on his age being less attractive to the Vegas Golden Knights. His salary cap hit is only the ninth-highest on the roster.

”If he was playing in Toronto Brandon Parker Color Rush Jersey , he’d be up for the MVP,” Boudreau said.

Settling in Minnesota was more than satisfying for Staal, with the perennial postseason opportunities and the relative proximity to his hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario, about a six-hour drive away. He and his wife, Tanya, have been able to raise sons Parker, Levi and Finley, in a similar northern culture and climate that he was raised in, delighting in seeing the boys at 8, 6 and 3 years old take to the local hockey rinks or eagerly hop on their sleds after the latest snowfall.

”All that stuff I grew up doing and loving, and now I’m kind of living it back through them,” Staal said. ”It’s definitely made it a ton of fun.”



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Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:03 am
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Post Re: e’s been through the best
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