Former Kansas forward Darrell Arthur, who spent the first five years of his professional career with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and the next five with the Denver Nuggets, will begin year No. 11 in the league with a third team — the Brooklyn Nets — ESPN and the Denver Post reported.
Denver’s Arthur, Kenneth Faried and two future draft picks will be shipped to the Nets for Isaiah Whitehead, a player Denver plans to release.
The Nuggets needed to reduce their payroll after the recent signings of Will Barton and Nikola Jokic. Arthur recently exercised his $7.5 million player option for the upcoming season.
Arthur, 30, who played for KU’s 2008 NCAA title team, averaged 2.8 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.5 assists across 19 games with the Nuggets in 2017-18. He made one start.
Arthur’s value last season was as a team leader, Nuggets coach Michael Malone told nba.com in an interview last season.
“He’s putting the team above everything, above himself. He embodies being selfless,” Malone told nba.com. “I think, even though he’s not impacting us on the court, his impact off the court, in the locker room, and on the practice court is tremendous.
“What really separates him, I think, is that the players have so much respect for Darrell Arthur,” Malone added. “Because every single day whether it’s a practice day, when we are not doing a lot, or days when we are going hard, he goes 110 percent. So when he does speak, players listen to him, because he is doing it.
“There are guys that are telling you what to do, but they are not doing it themselves. He sets the example first and foremost, and then he gets on guys – whether it’s to hold them accountable or to encourage them. With all our young players, they listen to him. His voice carries weight and I think it really starts with the fact that he sets the example every single day and that’s why the players respect him so much,” Malone added.
One-and-done was plan for Preston
Cleveland Cavaliers rookie forward Billy Preston said his master plan always was to play basketball at KU one season then enter the 2018 NBA Draft.
“Most definitely,” former KU player Preston told Cleveland.com earlier this week when asked if one-and-done was the ultimate goal. He was speaking from Las Vegas where he has averaged 10.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in three summer league games.
“I mean I wish I would have played college ball. If I could have played college ball I think my whole story would be different,” added the 6-foot-10, 20-year-old Preston. He recently joined the Cavs as a two-way player (he’ll shuffle between the G-League and parent club in 2018-19) after not being selected in the 2018 NBA Draft.
“I leave everything to God’s plan,” Preston added. “He’ll handle it. I wouldn’t take back or change anything that happened, like I said, good and bad. I just learn from everything. I’m here today. That’s all that matters.”
The former McDonald’s All-American out of Oak Hill Academy represented KU in exhibition games in Italy in the summer of 2017 and during three preseason games prior to the start of the 2017-18 season. However, he never participated in a regular-season game for the Jayhawks.
Preston was held out of the opener against Tennessee State as penalty for missing curfew and a class, and missed the next 18 contests as KU compliance and the NCAA looked into the financial picture surrounding a car he had been driving in Lawrence during the school year.
He traveled to Bosnia in January where he played in three games for a professional team before leaving because of an injured shoulder.
In an interview with Cleveland.com, he denied any wrongdoing. He said he left KU because he was “under investigation for too long, for four to five weeks. They wouldn’t let me know if I could play or not,” Preston said. “I was sitting out during the regular season ... waiting on an answer if I could play, and I never got one. At that point I just wanted to hoop somewhere. I got the chance to go overseas and I took it.”
Preston told Cleveland.com that the car in question belonged to his mother and was registered under his grandmother’s name. Asked for clarification, his mom told The Star, “I got the car for him ... it is registered in both my mom’s and his name.”
Preston added to Cleveland.com: “The only thing I knew about the NCAA is I went to Kansas to play college basketball. I don’t know anything that goes on in the inside or what they do, so however they decide to handle situations is how they handle them, but me personally I just remove myself from the situation. I didn’t want to be sitting out (any) more waiting for a ruling if I could play or not. I felt like I didn’t do anything wrong so I should be able to play. They felt otherwise, so I took the opportunity upon myself to go play somewhere else.”
Cleveland.com says Preston will make “about $77,000 in the G-League during the 2018-19 season” and “about $350,000 for the days he spends with Cleveland.”
Alexander, Coleby, Svi updates
Former KU forward Cliff Alexander, 22, who has been getting significant minutes with the New Orleans Pelicans in the Las Vegas Summer League, scored four points on 1-of-6 shooting (2 of 2 from the free-throw line) and grabbed five rebounds in the Pelicans’ 102-83 loss to the New York Knicks on Friday. … Former KU and Western Kentucky forward Dwight Coleby scored six points on 2-of-3 shooting (2 of 2 from line) and grabbed five boards in 11 minutes for the Pelicans. … Former KU guard Svi Mykhailiuk scored 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting (1 of 3 from three) with three rebounds, four assists and no turnovers in 24 minutes in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 82-69 win over the LA Clippers on Friday night. He was taken by the Lakers in the second round of the 2018 draft, No. 47 overall.
One-and-done rule to expire soon?
College basketball coaches may have to revamp their recruiting goals starting with the high school class of 2021. Commissioner Adam Silver said in Las Vegas this week that there is growing sentiment to allow players to enter the NBA at the age of 18, right out of high school, rather than requiring them to attend college a year.
“My personal view is that we’re ready to make that change,” Silver said as quoted by USAtoday.com. “It won’t come immediately, but when I weighed the pros and cons — (and) given that (former Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice and her (NCAA) commission has recommended to the NBA that those one-and-done players now come directly into the league and, in essence, the college community is saying ‘We do not want those players anymore,’ I mean that sort of tips the scale in my mind that we should be taking a serious look at lowering our age to 18,” Silver added.
Silver said he’ll be speaking to the players association about the matter. Sources have told various outlets that the players association will be on board and the 2021 Draft would likely be the first affected.
“We discussed a lot about the development of younger players prior to them coming into the professional ranks. We’ve had several discussions with both the NCAA and USA Basketball about engaging with them, with players, beginning roughly at 14-years-old, and especially with those elite players (who) we know statistically have a high likelihood, when they’re identified at that age, of being top tier players, of coming into the league. So I think the next step will be to sit down with the Players Association,” Silver told USAtoday.com.