The Heat are looking at Andray Blatche, but it’s not serious

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It is very much the “dating but not in a relationship” kind of deal. There have been reports that Andray Blatche was on the Heat’s radar. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the Heat are looking at him, but it’s far from a done deal, especially because of Blatche’s market value:

..just because, as ESPN reported, the Heat are doing their background work on Blatche, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are poised for a move. Yes, Andray has a place in South Florida and has been working out here, but for a player looking to rebuild his NBA career, there might be better places than a roster where his opportunities could be limited. While it might be worth the risk for the Heat, it might not be a move in Blatche’s best interests, particularly when considering how Eddy Curry, on a tryout deal of his own last season, essentially vanished.

via Miami Heat, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh commentary from Ira Winderman – South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com.

The Heat could only sign Blatche for the veteran minimum, and while Blatche has certainly found himself on the wrong side of most executives (or he would have been swooped by now, if not kept by the Wizards themselves for trade value), he’s young enough to draw interest. Zach Randolph has redeemed his career. Chris Andersen did for some time, J.R. Smith. The league is filled with guys with questionable on and off-court issues who got it together. There’s no reason to think Blatche would have to be desperate enough to take the league minimum, even if it might take him a few months to find a team with an injury issue desperate enough to pay him.

On the other hand, he’d be able to showcase his talents really effectively off the bench with the Heat, and be wide open a lot of the time due to the attention the Big 3 draws. That might put him in a position to raise his stock. But for right now, I wouldn’t go rushing out to buy that Blatche Heat jersey yet.

You’re not rushing to do that anyway, are you?

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.