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Starting 5 | Should NBA teams feel safe maxing out non-All-Stars?

Sean Kennedy



Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Denver. The Wizards won 123-113. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content around the Internet

1. Max before All-Star: How has that worked out in the past? – Bryan Kalbrosky, HoopsHype

Many times, teams have a good idea how to evaluate their former top lottery picks. If they were fortunate enough to draft someone like John Wall or Karl-Anthony Towns, they know to do everything possible to keep that player around for the next decade. On the flip side, if a guy like Anthony Bennett completely flops, it’s easy to cut bait. But what about someone like Otto Porter, who has shown potential, but hasn’t yet lived up to the type of contract needed to keep him around? This article looks back over the last two decades at how teams fared when they gave players max contracts before reaching their first All-Star games.

2. Hornets GM Rich Cho’s Next Scouting Mission: Big Time Bites – Jake Fischer, The Crossover

Until the moment a Kyrie Irving or Carmelo Anthony trade sets NBA social media aflame, it’s safe to say we’re in a rare calm of the NBA offseason. Maybe you could take some time to pursue other pursuits, like Charlotte Hornets general manager Rich Cho does with his food blog, Big Time Bites. This piece is a fun look at Cho’s path from having his family immigrate from Burma as a child to being able to sample cuisines all over the world. Along the way, he’s trying to develop a community of foodies within his NBA circles.

3. Carmelo Anthony adds to his Charm City legacy as host of The Basketball Tournament – Ethan McLeod, City Paper

Whatever your feelings regarding Carmelo Anthony’s style of play on the court, there’s no denying his positive contributions off it when it comes to his hometown city of Baltimore. Anthony has always been charitable with both his time and money when it comes to assisting the areas where he spent his younger days playing ball in rec centers and on the AAU circuits. This upcoming week, Anthony will serve as ceremonial host for the semifinal and final rounds of The Basketball Tournament, to be held at Coppin State University. The Charm City native was instrumental in bringing the tournament to the area, partnering to also bring a Day of Giving event to the city.

4. Which NBA coaches are on the Hot Seat? – Haley O’Shaugnessy and Paolo Uggetti, The Ringer

No NBA head coach was fired last season, the first time the league can tout that measure of job stability in nearly a half century. As these things go, however, it’s unreasonable to expect the status quo to last, and this piece takes a look at the candidates who might be on the chopping block. Whether it’s a new front office, high expectations, or simply a terrible roster to work with, there’s no shortage of reasons for why a head coach might be given his walking papers. In professional sports, it’s usually a case of what have you done for me lately.

5. Skal Labissiere could be a special offensive player – Ian Levy, Nylon Calculus

In a league consisting of approximately the 450 most talented basketball players in the world, sometimes a successful career boils down to being in the right place at the right time as much as anything else. Following Sacramento’s trade of DeMarcus Cousins last season, Skal Labissiere may have found himself an ideal situation, flourishing in the 25 games following the All-Star break. Labissiere was one of the top-10 most efficient scorers among big men last season, not far below the franchise-level talent he replaced in Cousins. Now that he’s been given the opportunity, it will be up to Labissiere to prove he can remain as effective over a larger sample size with a brighter spotlight upon him.

Sean Kennedy is a Philadelphia native who has been an avid fan of the local sports scene since the days of PRISM. Sean is the founder and lead writer for PhillyFastBreak.com, covering primarily the Sixers and City 6 college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @PhillyFastBreak