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Samstag, 11. August 2018, 06:48

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The Houston Rockets believe they got a steal by adding
Southern California’s De’Anthony Melton with the 46th pick in the NBA Draft on
Thursday night – and they aren’t worried about his off-court headlines.

Melton was drafted by the Rockets following a season in which he was ruled
ineligible because of an extra benefits scandal.

”He’s a guy that if he had played we feel pretty comfortable that he would
have been a top-20
pick Tyron Smith
,” general manager Daryl Morey said. ”So that’s why we were really
happy to get him there. I think he was a little out of sight, out of mind.”

Houston also added Purdue forward Vincent Edwards in a trade for cash with
Utah after the Jazz selected the senior with the 52nd pick.

”We feel like both these guys are not too far from potentially contributing
for us,” Morey said.

USC never had Melton in the lineup last season due to eligibility concerns
tied to a sprawling college basketball corruption case. The 6-foot-4 Melton, who
started 25 games as a freshman and averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5
assists, sat out after an investigation by the FBI alleged that a friend of
Melton’s family accepted
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,000 to influence Melton to sign with a certain
agent and financial adviser when he reached the NBA.

His eligibility first came into question when USC’s Tony Bland was one of
four assistant coaches around the country accused of taking bribes to influence
players to sign with certain agents, advisers and apparel brands. Bland was
arrested and has pleaded not guilty to four charges concerning bribery and wire

”Obviously we have to do our homework and look into everything,” Morey said.
”That was something we were extremely comfortable that was not an issue.”

After leading his high school to consecutive state titles, Melton averaged
8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a freshman in the 2016-17 season.
Scouts see him as a solid defender who needs to develop offensively.

Melton and Edwards will join a team led by James Harden and Chris Paul that
won a franchise-record 65 regular-season games but was eliminated by the
eventual champion Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the Western Conference

Paul and center Clint Capela lead a group of free agents the Rockets will
work to re-sign. Houston is also expected to make a play for LeBron James, but
NBA rules kept Morey for commenting directly on any potential free agent

”This was really about setting up our future but it doesn’t affect free
agency Connor
Williams Cowboys Jersey
,” Morey said of the draft. ”Now we shift our
focus to free agency. And the challenge of upgrading a very good team is not
easy, so we’re going to have to be aggressive.”

The 6-foot-8 Edwards was named second-team All-Big Ten after averaging 14.6
points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists a game last season. He shot 39.8 percent
from 3-point range and was an 83.3 percent free throw shooter last season.
Edwards joined Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine and Tulane’s Jerald Honeycutt
as the only three players in the last 25 years to finish their college careers
with at least 1,600 points, 750 rebounds, 400 assists and 170 3-pointers.

”He sort of can do it
all Authentic
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,” Morey said. ”He can defend multiple positions.
He really fits our style of play … one thing unique about him is he can handle
the ball and pass at his size and he’s already an accomplished shooter.”

Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia addressed his 1996 sexual assault
indictment with reporters Thursday, saying "the truth is on my side." "I'm here
to defend my honor and clear my name. I was falsely accused and never given the
opportunity to clear my name," Patricia told聽reporters at Lions minicamp.
"Thankfully, the truth is on my side," he added. "I find it upsetting that
someone would bring up this claim two decades later with the intent of trying to
damage my credibility."Robert Snell of the聽Detroit News revealed details of the
1996 case, which saw the then-21-year-old Patricia charged with a "violent"
sexual assault of an unnamed woman. The then-21-year-old college student said
Patricia and another man barged into her hotel room and took turns assaulting
her when they were on spring break at聽South Padre
Island Marcus
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, Texas.Police indicted Patricia and聽Greg Dietrich
on charges of sexual assault. However, neither was convicted after the woman
stopped cooperating with investigators."I was innocent then, and I am innocent
now. I was falsely accused of something I did not do," Patricia said.聽Patricia
never disclosed the incident to any of his NFL employers. He spent the last 14
seasons as an assistant coach with the New England Patriots, including聽the last
six as their defensive coordinator. The Lions hired him to replace Jim Caldwell
as their head coach in February.Patricia聽told reporters聽he didn't discuss the
matter because it never came up in interviews.Lions ownership released a
statement of support for Patricia earlier Thursday.鈥淩esponding to a published
report this evening from the Detroit News, The Detroit Lions are aware that a
criminal charge involving sexual assault was brought against Matt Patricia in
1996. Matt was 21 at the time and on spring break in Texas. The charge was
dismissed by the prosecutor at the request of the complaining individual prior
to trial. As a
result Minkah
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, Coach Patricia never had the opportunity to present
his case or clear his name publicly in a court of law. He has denied that there
was any factual basis for the charge. There was no settlement agreement with the
complaining individual, no money exchanged hands and there was no
confidentiality agreement. In discussions today with Lions management, the
reporter involved acknowledged that the allegations have not been
substantiated.鈥淎s an organization, The Detroit Lions take allegations regarding
sexual assault or harassment seriously. Coach Patricia was the subject of a
standard pre-employment background check which did not disclose this issue. We
have spoken to Coach Patricia about this at length as well as the attorney who
represented him at the time. Based upon everything we have learned, we believe
and have accepted Coach Patricia鈥檚 explanation and we will continue to support
him. We will continue to work with our players and the NFL to further awareness
of and protections for those individuals who are the victims of sexual assault
or violence.鈥漃atricia said Thursday he is "100 percent" the head coach of the
Lions and has no fear of being fired amid the controversy..
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