Links: Jalen Rose picks Washington Wizards as his Eastern Conference 'sleeper'

Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

In today's links, ESPN analyst Jalen Rose picks the Washington Wizards as his 'sleeper' in the Eastern Conference, and he might be the only one.

So much for low expectations links:

  • Jalen Rose calls the Wizards his "sleeper in the East," picks them to finish second in the Southeast Division and expects John Wall to play at an All-Star level. He says all this while discussing basketball across from...Hugh Douglas?? [ESPN]
  • Meanwhile, ESPN The Mag has the Wiz finishing 13th in the East, and thinks Wall shooting 48 percent on the season would only be worth an extra three wins versus if he shot 42 percent.
  • The Wizards may not have looked all that good on the court so far this preseason, but BNIE is feeling good about the roster's makeup and thinks Randy Wittman is the right coach to lead this new-look squad. [Us]
  • Eric Freeman isn't that surprised Wall didn't know who Jon Bon Jovi was following Wednesday's preseason game against the Raptors. He found the fact that Jan Vesely was aware of Captain Kidd far more amusing. [Ball Don't Lie]
  • Thanks to Wall, Matt Moore feels old. [CBS Sports]
  • The early returns on Andray Blatche have been pretty positive for Nets fans. The question is, can Blatche stay motivated and maintain his newfound level of effort throughout the entire season? [SB Nation New York]
  • Ted announces the creation of a new charitable foundation and pledges civic responsibility from his sports franchises. [Ted's Take]
  • If you haven't seen any of ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary series, you're doing yourself a disservice. The last one, titled "Benji," airs Tuesday and tells the story of a Ben Wilson, a star high school hoopster from Chicago who was shot and killed in 1984 at the age of 17. In anticipation of the documentary, Deron Snyder caught up with one of Wilson's high school teammates, who currently lives in Alexandria and with Wilson's brothers helped start a foundation to reduce gun violence. Nice story. [Washington Times]
  • Craig Stouffer thinks there are better ways the NBA could speed up games than cutting down on the amount of time players spend shaking hands before tip-off. [Washington Examiner]
  • Kelly Dwyer isn't sure when or why the duration of NBA player intros became controversial. [Ball Don't Lie]
  • Sharp runs through some of the best bets for the 2012-13 NBA season. [SB Nation]
  • LeBron isn't sweating the latest rumors which have the Lakers targeting him in 2014. [ESPN]
  • Speaking on the Lakers, Dwight Howard could make his L.A. debut Sunday. [Yahoo! Sports | ESPN]
  • Could Kevin Love return a little sooner than the six-to-eight-weeks he's projected to miss with a broken right hand? [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Goran Dragic has a tough task ahead trying to make Suns fans forget about Steve Nash. [HoopsWorld]
  • Meanwhile, Vince Carter thinks he can make Mavericks fans forget about Jason Terry. [Dallas Morning News]
  • Jonas Valanciunas has a mistress, and it's orange and round with "Spalding" printed across its brow. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Who from the rookie class of 2009 deserve a contract extension? [ESPN | SI]
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