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The Downbeat - 20 August 2010 - #298 - The Tag Edition

  Of all of the crazy things you can bet on, here's another: What current player in the NBA is most likely to convert to Judaism?

On that list he gives Deron Williams a 17% chance of becoming a follower of the Jewish faith.  That's about 16.9% higher than I would put it.  

This of course was predicated on the news of Amare Stoudemire visiting the holy land and LeBron's consulting with a Rabbi.  I'm not sure those acts are indicative of joining Judaism though.

The most likely to join?  Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant are given a better than 1 in 5 chance.

My question is how long is this bet good for?  Do they have to convert within the next season?  Just be the next one?  What if it ends up being someone else?  

  The biggest trade in NBA history went down 5 years ago this month.  It was a five-team, thirteen-player trade that shipped Curtis Brochardt to the Celtics, Raul Lopez to the Grizzlies and Kirk Snyder to the Hornets.  In return, we brought back Tag for one final tour of duty.

  Jeremy Evans, remember him?  He's finishing up his tour of the Mountain West for the Jr. Jazz.  He's just finished up in Kemmerer (they should have an archive of every player trying to pronounce the name),

Two years ago, Kyrylo Fesenko visited Kemmerer. ESPN's SportsCenter later labeled him as a "terrible replacement" for Mehmet Okur in the 2010 NBA playoffs. In 2009, Kemmerer was visited by a Jazz player that was cut from the team about a week following his visit to town. When asked about Kemmerer's string of bad luck handed out to its Junior Jazz visitors, Evans' assistant Nate Martinez said that Evans has been "made very aware of that."    

Evans should make the team.  He does have a contract as the article states, but I believe it's not guaranteed.

  Our other rookie, while not busy reflecting more light back at the camera than was flashed at him, lands on's top rookies to watch list at #5,

5. Gordon Hayward, Jazz. With Kyle Korver gone, Utah could use outside shooting, and the situation is almost perfect for Hayward. Unless he's a total bust, it's hard to imagine him not pushing for starter's minutes at some point this season. Hayward isn't just a spot shooter, either; he can score in other ways, as he showed in summer league. And it helps to have Deron Williams around to create shots for you. Utah has a solid history in Draft decisions and this looks like another one.    

If he's pushing for starter minutes this season, we're going to be in good shape.

  As if you needed another reason to like Big Al, his gift to you will be beating the Lakers,