Jason Thompson is down for the count

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Just days after playing yo-yo with Spencer Hawes’ minutes and benching him on a whim, Paul Westphal will now be heavily dependent on Hawes to man the middle for the Kings. The team announced that Jason Thompson, Hawes’ replacement at center and the only player taller than 6’9” on Sacramento’s roster that isn’t Donte Greene, will miss two weeks with a back injury.

Per Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty, a more precise diagnosis is that Thompson has “two non-displaced transverse processes fractures in his lower back.” The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons describes the injury as “uncommon and result[ing] from rotation or extreme sideways
(lateral) bending” and notes that it “usually does not affect stability.”

Sacramento should use some combination of Hawes, Carl Landry, Sean May, and possibly Joey Dorsey at center, unless Westphal decides to indulge his creative side and play Omri Casspi there…or indulge his obstinant side and keep Hawes in street clothes. Westphal claims to be unsure about Hawes’ status for tomorrow’s game against the Jazz, but the notion of not playing him at this point over a petty disagreement seems ridiculous.

C.J. McCollum ejected for flagrantly fouling Gordon Hayward (video)

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I’m not sure C.J. McCollum meant to grab Gordon Hayward‘s neck. The 6-foot-8 Hayward elevated, and the 6-foot-4 McCollum just might not have been able to get high enough to make a play on the ball.

But McCollum did grab Hayward’s neck.

It was a dangerous and unnecessary play, especially in the preseason.

Report: Mavericks may be team interested in Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders
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The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a center— desperately at times, they brought JaVale McGee into training camp to get a look. They will start Zaza Pachulia and behind him it’s probably Samuel Dalembert once he gets healthy.

Which is why Dallas may be the team interested in Larry Sanders — Mark Cuban is a guy known for giving second chances in the league. But there have been no talks, yet, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.

Larry Sanders has been out of the game since his buyout last February trying to deal with his personal demons and may well not be ready to return. He may never return.

His couple seasons with the Bucks were filled with drama and issues. There was the nightclub brawl left him with an injured thumb in need of a surgery. There were the charges of animal cruelty. There was a five-game drug suspension. There was missed time for personal reasons. There was the 10-game suspension for marijuana use (he failed at least four tests to get there) — then that suspension was extended past the 10 games. In the end, he agreed to a buyout to get space away from the game to deal with his personal issues.

He may or may not be ready to return from that. He may or may not ever be ready. But if he decides to give it a try, NBA teams will be waiting. Maybe Dallas.