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July 7, 2014
7/7 Orange & Blue News
PARTING THOUGHTS: MUST READ, IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE 2013 SEASON, PLAYERS & TEAM
In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week Orange & Blue News will keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Gators point guard Scottie Wilbekin is the only Florida rookie currently competing in NBA Summer League action. After posting five assists in seven minutes on Saturday, Wilbekin started Sunday's game but registered just two points and two assists in 21 minutes for the Memphis Grizzlies. Nevertheless, the team's head summer league coach Shawn Respert told the Orlando Sentinel that he is pleased with what he's seen thus far from Wilbekin. "I'm really proud of the fat of how he's handled himself," he said. "He's going to be very, very successful. He's going to be a guy that, if you look in our league six or seven years down the road, he's going to be an important part of a team that's winning."
Although former linebacker Channing Crowder has been critical of Gators head football coach Will Muschamp in the past, he recently praised him during a conversation with Florida Today. Crowder believes Muschamp is better suited to be an NFL head coach because he's a "cool" guy and not overly "anal" by nature, at least not when he was his defensive coordinator with the Miami Dolphins. Crowder also said Muschamp has a "stupid [good] defensive mind," and said there were often times that Nick Saban would defer to him in team meetings. Nevertheless, Crowder believes Muschamp needs to adjust and be less old school in his way of thinking. "[Saban] knows, 'I can't just sit in the I-formation the entire day.' I don't know if Muschamp has the ability to adjust like Saban does," he explained.
There are multiple teams interested in the services of Grizzlies free agent guard/forward Mike Miller with the Denver Nuggets recently stepping up as a top suitor. Miller is currently in Denver, Colorado, in the second day of a meeting with the team, according to ESPN Radio's John Martin. He has also received interest from Houston, Oklahoma City and Portland, but he and Memphis have mutual interest in reuniting. The sticking points for Miller look to be money and opportunity. The Grizzlies are believed to only be offering a two-year deal in a $5-6 million range overall, while Miller is looking for $12-15 million over three seasons. At 34 years old, Miller's body has already shown signs of breaking down, but he has also proven to be a sharpshooter who can help any contender either playing major minutes or spot duty in crunch time.
On Friday, center Patric Young and forward Casey Prather will join Wilbekin in NBA Summer League action as they respectively suit up for the New Orleans Pelicans and Atlanta Hawks. Young on Sunday night told ITG that he received more than just a summer league invite from New Orleans; the Pelicans have given him some guaranteed money and promised him an invitation to training camp, which gives him a greater chance of ultimately making the roster. Young went undrafted on June 26 after being projected to go between picks 25-40 in the 2014 NBA Draft. A number of teams, many of which were looking to avoid committing salary to players in order to be heavily involved in free agency this offseason, selected international players in the second round.
Restricted free agent F Chandler Parsons looks to be a prime target for the Dallas Mavericks, according to ESPN.com's Chris Broussard, as Dallas is beginning to accept that neither Carmelo Anthony nor LeBron James will be headed its way in free agency. Though the Houston Rockets will have the opportunity to match any offer Parsons receives, the Mavericks could certainly offer him a front- or back-loaded contract that may have the team that drafted him think twice about matching the deal…especially if Parsons accepts it before Anthony or James eliminate the Rockets from the running. Houston is also highly involved with courting Chris Bosh, who does not wish to leave Miami but might if James goes elsewhere as the Rockets continue to pursue his services.