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The way Grayson Allen sees it [url=http://www.billsfootballauthentics.com/harrison-phillips-jersey-authentic]Youth Harrison Phillips Jersey[/url] , he might as well attack this full-court press head-on.
The guard from Duke understands the concerns NBA teams might have about him after four polarizing seasons with the Blue Devils during which he attracted about as much attention for play that crossed the line as he did for his accomplishments on the court.
”You have to address it, for sure,” he said Thursday at the league’s draft combine. ”It’s something that comes from my competitiveness. Competitiveness that I’ve had as a player, competitiveness that was pointed in the wrong direction and went over the line. It’s obviously something that I needed to work on and address.”
Allen said he’s gotten ”a lot better” controlling his competitiveness, without losing it.
”It’s something you don’t want to put away,” he said. ”You don’t want to put competitiveness and emotion away, so you learn to play with it. You learn to use it for your team. That’s what I’ve been saying.”
The question is whether Allen can channel that emotion in a positive direction.
He is projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick after helping Duke win a championship and at times attracting attention for the wrong reasons.
The Atlantic Coast Conference reprimanded Allen for appearing to trip two players on purpose in 2016. He served a one-game suspension by coach Mike Krzyzewski and got stripped of his captain’s title in the 2016-17 season after he got caught tripping an opponent. Though he basically stayed out of trouble this past season, Allen hip-checked North Carolina’s Garrison Brooks in the ACC Tournament.
And when it comes to the NBA, Allen no doubt has some explaining to do. With the draft on June 21, the next few weeks are his chance to ease any concerns league executives have, to show his emotions are under control.
”I think the NBA, they like competitive guys [url=http://www.authenticsoaklandraiders.com/cheap-p.j.-hall-jersey]P.J. Hall Color Rush Jersey[/url] ,” he said.
An overlooked member of a heralded recruiting class, Allen grabbed the spotlight as a freshman at the 2015 Final Four. He wound up providing a huge lift off the bench, scoring 16 points in the championship game victory over Wisconsin that gave Duke its fifth title.
Allen put off turning pro after his sophomore and junior years because he enjoyed college and wanted to make another run at the Final Four. He averaged 14.1 points in his career and joined Grant Hill, Jon Scheyer, Danny Ferry, and Johnny Dawkins as the only Duke players with at least 1,900 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists.
Allen’s leadership and ability to blend with four freshmen in the lineup last season, particularly after a switch to a zone defense in February, were crucial for the Blue Devils. Duke just missed another trip to the Final Four with an overtime loss to Kansas, after his bank shot over two defenders at the end of regulation hit the rim, bounced off the backboard and hit the rim again before rolling off.
Now [url=http://www.houstontexansteamonline.com]Texans Authentic Jerseys[/url] , Allen hopes to show teams these next few weeks that he is not only an intelligent player but the type of person NBA executives want in their locker room.
”I just want to answer any questions they have,” he said. ”Just kind of show my personality, just let these teams get to know me, get to know me outside of what they see on the court, not just what kind of player I’ll be on the floor but what kind of person they’ll have in the locker room as well.”
Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard promised to be smart in free agency.
He declined to be swayed by splashy moves and refused to overspend – on his players or anyone else’s.
Now Ballard is diving head first into the second wave of free agency. After signing tight end Eric Ebron on Monday, he added receiver Ryan Grant and offensive lineman Matt Slauson on Tuesday.
”I’m going to bring myself and everything that comes with me which is energy, fun, excitement and a will to win,” Ebron said on a conference call Monday night. ”Everything after that, you guys are going to have to see for yourself because I’ve learned a lesson not to talk about anything before it happens.”
Ballard is sticking to his game plan.
He has repeatedly said he intends to build through the draft, develop players in-house and merely supplement the Colts’ roster in free agency.
Even though he went into the offseason with more than $70 million to spend, he’s remained frugal.
ESPN.com has reported that Ebron’s deal is for two years and up to $15 million. Slauson signed a one-year deal worth $3 million [url=http://www.titanscheapstore.com/harold-landry-jersey-cheap]Harold Landry Youth Jersey[/url] , and Grant agreed to a one-year deal worth $5 million after initially joining Baltimore – the Ravens cut him loose after he failed a physical. Grant injured his ankle in Week 17 and has been working his way back. He was surprised by the Ravens’ decision.
”I can’t control what they did. I can’t control their assessment of my ankle,” Grant said during a conference call. ”I’ve gone other places, I’ve seen multiple doctors and I’ve passed physicals, so that should pretty much speak for itself.”
The only other player Indianapolis has signed is defensive lineman Denico Autry, who signed a three-year deal worth $17.8 million.
All four fill needs, though.
Autry recorded a career-high five sacks with the Oakland Raiders last season and could help new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus create a more consistent pass rush. The Colts finished 31st in the NFL last year with 25 sacks.
Grant spent his first four seasons with the Washington Redskins and is expected to compete with Chester Rogers for the starting job opposite Pro Bowler T.Y. Hilton following Donte Moncrief’s departure. The 6-foot, 204-pound Grant produced his best season in 2017 – 45 receptions, 573 yards and four TDs.
Slauson has started 108 games since entering the league with the New York Jets in 2009. He was in Chicago when Ballard was working with the Bears, and Slauson played for new Colts offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo with both the Jets and Chargers.
Ebron, the Detroit Lions’ first-round pick in 2014, was released last week after developing a reputation for dropping passes. In Indianapolis, he’ll have a chance to jump-start his career playing alongside Jack Doyle [url=http://www.steelersfootballauthentics.com]Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys Womens[/url] , who appeared in his first Pro Bowl last season, and Erik Swoope, a converted basketball player who climbed into the No. 2 spot on the Colts’ depth chart.
The happiest guy might be Andrew Luck, who gets two new receivers and a potential upgrade along the line, which has been a major hole since Luck entered the league as the top overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Slauson has played both guard and center and is willing to do either with his new team.
Ballard’s biggest offseason move was the trade he pulled off Saturday.
He swapped first-round picks with the Jets, giving up the No. 3 overall pick to get the No. 6 pick and two additional second-round picks this year and the Jets’ second-round pick in 2019. That deal gives Indianapolis four picks in the top 50 this year and three picks in the first two rounds next year.
”We need to add some young talent to this roster,” Ballard told the team’s web site following the trade. ”So the ability to tab seven guys in the next two years who are all first and second round picks over the next two years was attractive to us.”
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