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Compilation: NBA Tar Heel Camp Storylines

Compilation: NBA Tar Heel Camp Storylines

By Adam Lucas

 

Raymond Felton (Knicks): The kid from Latta has found a home in New York City after an unhappy stint with the Blazers. Ever since that season in Portland, Felton's weight has been an issues, and he says he's playing 15 pounds lighter this year. He's also taking on more of a leadership role with the Knicks and wants to be a team captain this year.

Kendall Marshall (Suns): Phoenix has undergone significant turnover since the organization drafted Marshall, and that means this season is a crucial one for the point guard. In fact, it's more than just this season that is crucial--it's the month of October, because the Suns have to make a decision about his contract. There is room for another passer behind Goran Dragic, and Marshall wants to grab that spot.

Ty Lawson (Nuggets): After a slightly rocky offseason, Lawson is back with the Nuggets and wants to show leadership. He has two goals for this year: make the all-star team and help the Nuggets past the first round of the playoffs. He'll be playing for a new coach, and the expectations in Denver are "ring or bust."

Harrison Barnes (Warriors): The second-year forward appears likely to move to the bench for the Warriors this year, but he might actually have a bigger role. And remember some of those very athletic dunks from last year? Barnes wants to show some of them off in the NBA Dunk Contest this year.

Tyler Zeller (Cavaliers): It's a suddenly crowded frontcourt in Cleveland that now includes top overall pick Anthony Bennett. But of course, the biggest offseason Zeller storyline focused on his offseason Krispy Kreme diet, which sometimes included ten at a time.

Strange but true: the Cavs might be sneaky-fun to watch this year.

Antawn Jamison (Clippers): Speaking of possibly sneaky-fun...here's the Clippers. Jamison is just 42 points away from 20,000 for his NBA career. And in maybe the most real-life link of anything in this story, he'll spend what could be his last year in the league balancing his family and his team on opposite coasts.

Reggie Bullock (Clippers): It's not hard to imagine Jamison and Bullock developing a good relationship in Los Angeles. Their personalities are fairly similar. For now, though, Bullock is trying to get healthy, as he has missed two straight training camp practices due to a right leg injury, and Doc Rivers isn't sure when the rookie will be cleared.

Ed Davis (Grizzlies): Davis and the Grizzlies had a slightly rough summer, as there was some disagreement about whether Davis should play in the summer league. Davis didn't back down from his position, and said this week he was "insulted" by being in the doghouse at the end of last year. Remember, the Grizz now have a new coach, so Davis could thrive.

Brandan Wright (Mavericks): Wright made a positive impression in Dallas and was signed to a multi-year contract. He's likely to come off the bench but has a chance to challenge Samuel Dalembert for the starting job. Those who follow the Mavs closely think the stats show that Wright might have been the most effective offensive player on the team last year (that includes Dirk Nowitzki).

Tyler Hansbrough (Raptors): It's still a little difficult to picture Hansbrough in a Toronto uniform; he just seemed like a good fit in Indiana. He's already made quite an impression in Toronto, energizing the first few days of training camp and earning some really good quotes from head coach Dwane Casey, who refers to Hansbrough as "Freddy Krueger" for reasons you'll have to scroll down in the link to read. There's absolutely no question when you read the quote that you'll immediately go, "Yep, that's Tyler."

John Henson (Bucks): Let's see...it's the preseason...camp is starting...yep, here it is: here's the annual story on John Henson adding weight over the summer. He's added 10 pounds, and he's even worked quite a bit on developing his right hand. As you probably remember from Carolina, Henson is a right-handed player, but his best post move was a left-handed hook. Milwaukee's frontcourt is suddenly kind of crowded, so the offseason improvements will be beneficial as Henson tries to earn a more regular role.

Danny Green (Spurs): Training camp might matter less to the Spurs than any other team in the NBA. There just aren't a lot of questions about them, and what questions there are can't be answered until June. Namely, are they over Game 6 of the Finals? Green was even asked about it in Mongolia.

Individually, though, it does seem like Green has found a home with the Spurs.

Marvin Williams (Jazz): He's coming back from a heel injury, and Williams has worked out very lightly during the first week of camp. But the Jazz seem to have big plans for him, and head coach Tyrone Corbin says Williams' presence will be important on a young team.

Vince Carter (Mavericks): This is just a sensational Carter link that starts with only his dunks as a Mav-they're better than you think-but then goes on to contain numerous Carter highlights from throughout his career. Dallas plans to play Carter about the same minutes as last season (just under 26 per game last year), so there will be plenty more opportunities for more highlights.

Brendan Haywood (Bobcats): The Bobcats need to rebound better, and Haywood could help fill that need. He's also an underrated defensive presence and the stats suggest Charlotte would be better defensively with the Greensboro native on the floor.

Wayne Ellington (Mavericks): From the day he set foot on Carolina's campus to today, there has been one undeniable fact about Wayne Ellington: he can shoot. He could shoot in high school, he could shoot in college, and he can shoot in the pros. That's the role Dallas wants him to play this year. With three Tar Heels on the same team, Mark Cuban's squad has the deepest Carolina blue tinge in the NBA this season.

Adam Lucas is a GoHeels columnist and the editor of CAROLINA.

 

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