TSN's Jack Armstrong offers his thoughts on the wealth of Canadian talent in NCAA, the Wizards' acquisition of Andre Miller, the skills of Spencer Hawes, the transition of Glen Davis to the Clippers and the upside of Evan Turner in Indiana.
1. CANADIAN PLAYERS: Take a look at just a few of the up-and-comers like Andrew Wiggins (Kansas), Tyler Ennis (Syracuse), Nik Stauskas (Michigan), Melvin Ejim (Iowa St.), Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga) and Brady Heslip (Baylor) and it's quite impressive to see how the continued growth of the sport is so amazing to watch before our eyes. The amount of young people playing the sport at a high level is growing and it will only get better. The success stories keep coming at you from so many different directions. Great time to be a hoops fan.
2. ANDRE MILLER (Wizards): Like this pickup for them. I know conditioning will be a factor for a while but they've been quite inconsistent when they've gone to their bench and he will provide stable/steady play and leadership for them. He knows how to run a team and get teammates quality shots. His experience and savvy will help provide direction for a team that goes through nightly droughts of attention to detail and productivity. You never have enough veteran know-how and this team desperately lacked it.
3. SPENCER HAWES (Cavs): Will be difficult for them to capture the eighth seed in the East yet they improved their chances by picking him up. Low maintenance guy who has a great knack for making the right plays. Good shooter with outstanding passing skills in both the high and low post and he'll compete for you on the boards. Has really developed over the years into a nice secondary piece in a starting lineup. His skill and know-how will help the chemistry of this young team.
4. GLEN DAVIS (Clippers): This move had head coach Doc Rivers written all over it. Obviously, he coached 'Big Baby' in Boston and knows his pro's and con's and feels he can be a good fit for them. When you look at LA's question marks in the second unit, particularly in the front court, this makes complete sense for them. He gets after it and can score in the post and will defend/rebound to the best of his ability for you. His experience and relationship with the coaching staff will make it a good transition.
5. EVAN TURNER (Pacers): To get a guy who is still developing as a pro and having a solid year is a smart acquisition. His rebounding ability and desire to guard are pluses. He can get to the rim and will give them good second unit scoring. In addition, being thrust into a playoff environment coming from a Philly situation that was a total rebuild gives him a huge boost and shot of energy. His competitive juices will be flowing. Look at his play each year and I see a guy that's starting to figure it out. Averaging an impressive 17+ ppg this season and how do you turn that down? At the end of the season, you can revisit the relationship contractually, considering you have some control with a qualifying offer and see if you want it to be a rental or continue on. In the meantime, a sound pickup for the stretch run and playoffs.