Portland Trail Blazers v New Orleans Hornets

Mavs officially sign Peja Stojakovic

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After a slight delay due to waivers and a trade snag, the Mavericks announced that they have signed Peja Stojakovic. The deal is presumably for the rest of the season, and will likely pay Stojakovic the minimum salary. In order to free up a roster spot, Dallas traded Alexis Ajinca to the Raptors, satisfying Ajinca and his agent by finding the young center an opportunity for more playing time while also snagging a veteran shooter on the cheap.

Stojakovic isn’t a great get, but he’ll help Dallas fill the scoring void left by Caron Butler’s season-ending injury. The Mavs need consistent scoring any way they can get it, and while Stojakovic isn’t ideal (he’s not exactly the stable outside threat he once was, he’s older and injury-prone, and his already poor defense has regressed further), he’s a very affordable solution to a pretty glaring problem. Playing alongside stars like Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd should open up the game for Stojakovic, but he’ll primarily be parked on the perimeter as a kick-out option for when the defense collapses a bit too far. Stojakovic is a solid get to play limited minutes, but in no way does he replace Butler. He simply offsets Butler’s injury slightly, while affording the Mavs a bit more time to evaluate any number of trade opportunities on the horizon.

Players’ union, NBA to set up cardiac screening for retired players

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First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.

Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.

The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.

Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”

“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”

The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.

It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.

I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.


Stephen Curry drops 30 on Portland in preseason (VIDEO)

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Somebody is in midseason form.

Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.

Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.