Knicks Prigioni could return to Spain rather than another season in NY

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Knicks GM Glen Grunwald wanted to sign Pablo Prigioni to a two-year deal, but the 35-year-old point guard and NBA rookie was only taking a one-year offer.

That was practical — he signed for the veteran’s minimum and if he showed he belonged he could get a better deal.

But it also may mean he decides not to stay in the NBA for family reasons, reports the New York Post.

Point guard Pablo Prigioni faces a tough decision on whether to stay in the NBA or return to the Spanish League next season, because his wife, Raquel, wants to return overseas, according to a source….

Prigioni, 35, brought his wife, 4-year-old son, Nicolas, and 7-year-old daughter, Alessandra, over to New York for the season and he purposely signed just a one-year deal to see if he and his family liked the U.S. Prigioni told The Post’s Steve Serby in a Q and A earlier in the playoffs it’s been a tough adjustment for his wife because she doesn’t speak English and had never left Spain before.

You can’t fault a guy for wanting to put family first.

But the Knicks are pretty capped out, so there are not a lot of options for filling this roster spout with quality if he goes.

While on the season Prigioni averaged just 3.5 points per game, by the end of it he had become a key cog for the Knicks small ball lineups. Put simply, when he was out there the ball moved a whole lot better, he made smart decision and helped find the right guy. He would be missed.

Still, I have a feeling that if the money is right he will be back for another year. It’s amazing how seven digits of cash can change minds.

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.