Bulls continue to make all the right moves, sign J.J. Redick to $20 million offer sheet

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Thumbnail image for nba_redick.jpgThe Chicago Bulls have correctly identified their team’s biggest flaws — consistent production from the 4, perimeter shooting, supplementary scoring — and made move after move to make themselves a better team. They’ve picked up Carlos Boozer, signed Kyle Korver, and now, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, have signed Orlando Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick to an offer sheet for a three-year, $20 million contract.

This, ladies and gents, is a strong contingency plan. Adding Travis Outlaw and signing Tyrus Thomas to an offer sheet? That’s something else.

Of course, Orlando could retain Redick by simply matching Chicago’s offer. They did that very thing last summer when reserve center Marcin Gortat signed a five-year, $34 million sheet with the Dallas Mavericks. That may be a bit pricey for a reserve, but GM Otis Smith and Orlando’s ownership have made it clear that the team is willing to pay for well-fitting, talented pieces. That description seems to fit Redick perfectly, as he came into his own last season as a defender, a shooter, and a functioning member of the Magic roster.

Three years and $21 million is fair for Redick, but a bit on the pricey side. It could be worth just enough to deter the Magic from matching, especially considering their already substantial payroll. Orlando has $81 million on the books already for next season without Chris Duhon, uncommitted free agent Matt Barnes, or Redick’s pay raise on the books. This offer leaves just enough intrigue to keep listening; it’s seemingly well within market value for a player of Redick’s caliber, yet just high enough for the Magic to consider saying goodbye.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.