Report: D.J. Augustin reaches deal with Chicago Bulls

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We told you this was coming and now a real has been reached: D.J. Augustin is about to be a Chicago Bulls.

Augustin cleared waivers on Wednesday and has reached a deal as a free agent with Chicago, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Augustin needs to pass a physical with the Bulls on Thursday. He was waived by the Toronto Raptors on Monday.

The Bulls need some depth in the backcourt — Derrick Rose is out for the season, Jimmy Butler is still injured, Mike James is out (not to mention Luol Deng and Joakim Noah). Which means on Tuesday night the Bulls Kirk Hinrich, started rookie Tony Snell at the guard spot. And Marquis Teague got time off the bench.

In that situation, Augustin is an improvement. He can provide depth.

He’s not a game changer for the struggling Bulls, however. He was part of the Pacers rotation last season but they let him walk. Augustin signed as a free agent in Toronto but struggled to get minutes (he has played in just 10 games this season). When the Raptors landed Greivis Vasquez in the Rudy Gay trade Augustin was no longer needed and was waived.

Ideally Augustin is really a three-point specialist (although he shot just 1-of-11 from three in Toronto this year). He’s fairly quick with the ball but he struggles to finish in the paint and has struggled from the midrange. His defense will have Tom Thibodeau pulling out what is left of his hair.

This is not a long-term answer, but it’s better than what they got.

Friday afternoon fun: Watch James Harden’s 10 best plays from last season

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James Harden had a historic season in Houston.

Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.

Mavericks sign Jeff Withey to one-year contract

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Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.

That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.

Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.

Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.

Marc Gasol: If Grizzlies don’t share my goal of continued growth, we might have to revisit things

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The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.

Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.

Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:

I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.

Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.

But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.

Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction

On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.