Report: Clippers to sign Hedo Turkoglu for rest of season

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You might have had an idea this was coming after Doc Rivers said Monday night “we’re looking at him strong,” but now it looks like it is set to happen Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Clippers are going to sign free agent Hedo Turkoglu for the rest of the season.

That’s according to multiple reports, starting with very well respected Turkish basketball writer Ismail Senol and backed up by ESPN’s Marc Stein.

The Clippers have been looking for help along their front line — after DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin sit, guys like Antawn Jamison and Ryan Hollins are getting run. And upgrade is needed.

The question is can Turkoglu really provide that?

He reportedly impressed the Clippers during recent workouts, which is nice but he is going to have to play a lot better than he has in recent seasons. Last season played in 11 games for Orlando and was 2-of-33 shooting outside 10 feet. Remember he got suspended 20 games for testing positive for steroids, then cam back out of shape and uninspired. Oh, and don’t forget he has long been a terrible defender.

To sum up his situation, Orlando paid him $6 million (his salary for the first half of the season) just to stay away from the team.

He’s 34 now, but a few years back he was a versatile offensive weapon, a guy who was dangerous as a stretch four or with the ball in his hands creating off the pick-and-roll (he was huge doing that in the 2009 playoffs helping lead the Magic to the Finals).

If he can regain anything near that form he’d be a boost to the Clippers off the bench. I’m not sold he can be that guy, but Doc Rivers and the Clippers apparently are.

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.