Washington Wizards v Sacramento Kings

Report: Memphis close to signing Gilbert Arenas

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Memphis is the five seed in the West, a good team who just got Zach Randolph back in the lineup after missing most of the season with a knee injury. This is a team that knocked the Spurs out of the playoffs and pushed the Thunder hard last year — and is now better. A potential real threat in the West.

So why not bring in Gilbert Arenas and see how that goes?

That is just what the Grizzlies are doing, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Free agent guard Gilbert Arenas worked out for the Grizzlies this morning and the team is preparing to sign him to a deal for the rest of this season, according to sources close to the process.

Arenas appeared slender and shot the ball well during the workout. He is scheduled to take a physical this afternoon. All that would remain is for Arenas to pass the physical and agree to a prorated veteran’s minimum contract requiring the Griz to pay about $300,000.

Arenas is not with a team because Orlando used its amnesty clause on him before the season started.

Clearly the Grizzlies are not comfortable with a backup point guard of Jeremy Pargo or Josh Selby heading into the post season.

All reports of Arenas’ workouts — both for the Grizzlies and other teams — is that he has lost weight and is moving pretty well. He said he had the Kobe Bryant procedure on his knees. Him passing the team physical is not a given.

Arenas was absolutely terrible playing for the Magic last season, shooting 34.4 percent on the year. He had a PER of 8.6, which would get a rookie sent to the D-League. And is defense was actually worse than his offense. He was better the first part of the season in Washington, to be fair, but he was not good in either place.

The question now is how this plays in a locker room that already has plenty of characters with Tony Allen and Zach Randolph.

On the court this seems a low risk move — if he doesn’t play you sit him behind Pargo — but if you’re a good team this is a potential chemistry gamble. Is that really worth it? Apparently it is to the Grizzlies.

Aaron Gordon both legs over the mascot, ball-under-the-legs dunk (VIDEO)

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TORONTO — Zach LaVine won the NBA All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest, but in an epic night for my money this was the single best dunk.

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon broke ground with this one — guys have jumped over mascots and other players before (and a Kia hood), but by splitting their legs apart. Gordon just put both legs over Stuff (that’s the mascot’s name, Stuff the Magic Dragon, I don’t make this up) — and took the ball off the mascot’s head, went under his legs, and threw it down.

Insane.

Gordon deserved a trophy for his performance in this dunk contest.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

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TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

“I was prepared for four (second round dunks),” LaVine said. “To tell the truth, he came with something that no one else has done. He did two dunks that were just crazy with the mascots, jumping over them. We just kept pushing each other until the last dunk. I’ve got to give it up to my boy Will “The Thrill” Barton. It’s because of him I think I won. Because he said try to go from the free-throw line. I’d never done that before, and I just tried it. So I guess it was a great dunk. I think it was the best one ever.”

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

“If I knew it was going to be like that, I would have prepared better and we would have been here dunking all night, going back 50 after 50 after 50 after 50,” Gordon said. “We would have been here all night. I didn’t know it was going to be like that. I was just hoping Zach was going to miss, and it wasn’t going to happen. You could see as my facial expressions when Zach dunks it, it’s like okay, that’s a 50. Like I know we’re going to have to dunk again.”

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect.

Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

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TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates: