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NBA links: Josh Smith, the AmeriLeague and more

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A couple more days off until the Pistons are back to the court. And rejoice everyone, just one more week until the Pistons final preseason game! In the meantime, let's take a peak at some links around the hoops landscape.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Smith Player Preview -- Clips Nation

I do wish the Clippers all the luck they can muster this season.  They will be on TV a ton and I know a lot of us will be keeping an eye on them, smirking when necessary.

Best Case Scenario

Smith picks up right where he left off in Houston, adding a spark of athleticism and play-making off the bench and helping anchor a surprisingly selfless and effective bench unit. His outside shooting is disciplined, and when he does take 3's he shoots them at an acceptable clip. He spends late evenings betting tens of thousands of dollars in free throw shooting contests with his close friend Jamal Crawford, and the resulting damage to his pocketbook forces him to improve. On defense, he sheds some of the bad habits he developed in Houston and Detroit and excels at helping off the ball and mitigating stretch fours. When opposing fans watch Smith with the Clippers, the common reaction is, "that's Atlanta Josh Smith."

10 observations about the Hornets after 2 exhibitions in China -- Newsobserver

Even before Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went down for the season, I didn't think the Hornets were really a legit contender for the playoffs, as there's not much consistent firepower with the roster.  Same story, different season.  But at least their mainland China record is flawless at 2-0. Good for marketing and branding I suppose, and employing Jeremy Lin shouldn't hurt either.

Startup AmeriLeague signs former 1st-round draft pick Royce White -- ESPN

A Las Vegas-based startup league, AmeriLeague is pursuing top high school talent and well-known former NBA players by offering salaries higher than those available in the NBA Development League. White had been high among its initial list of targets.

Terrence Williams had a brief stay with Detroit in the 2012 preseason.

Other familiar names to sign deals with the six-team AmeriLeague include Joe CrawfordDavid Harrison, Myck Kabongo, Josh Selby, Henry Walker, Terrence Williams, Antoine Wright and Dajuan Wagner, who was selected sixth overall in the 2002 NBA draft by Cleveland and is trying to make a comeback after a string of health woes that brought a halt to his NBA career in 2006.

Sixers' injuries only compound their point guard problem -- CBS Sports

T.J. McConnell, a former Arizona Wildcat and teammate of Stanley Johnson last season, is making a name for himself and just might make the Sixers roster.

The bigger issue is that the Sixers are actually missing Wroten and Marshall, despite neither being very good point guards or shooters. The entire Sixers' offense is largely designed for the point guard to be an important engine for it, and they straight up have not addressed that need in their ongoing pursuit of "the process."

Warriors Waive Ben Gordon -- CSNBayArea

It was a tough situation for Gordon, but at least he got a shot at it.

NBA Rookie of the Year Odds -- CheatSheet


Did your week go by too fast?  Well, sadly, your weekend will probably go by even faster. But look at the bright side... the NBA regular season will arrive faster!