Kyle Korver heard rumor coach offered money if his team ended Korver’s 3-point streak

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Kyle Korver’s streak of games with a 3-pointer ended at 127 last Wednesday.

It’s pretty incredible Korver kept the streak going so long, considering shooting 3-pointers is nearly his entire role. You’d think at least one opposing team would successfully stick a defender on him beyond the arc for a full game.

Alas, maybe one coach took that repeatedly failed challenge personally.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Kyle Korver told Yahoo Sports he heard “a rumor” that a coach offered money to his team if they stopped his 3-point streak

Was that coach Mike Budenholzer? Because no coach did a better job of halting Korver’s streak than the Hawks coach.

Budenholzer kept Korver on the bench during the entire fourth quarter of a blowout loss to the Trail Blazers on Wednesday, preventing Korver from getting more chances to overcome his 0-for-5 start from beyond the arc. Korver could have made a 3-pointer earlier, but Budenholzer ensured the streak ended.

Assuming it was actually an opposing coach, though, does this constitute circumvention?

Unless the coach was Portland’s Terry Stotts, I doubt the NBA would punish a coach for planning to – but not actually – circumventing the salary cap.

But even if the coach made the payment, the amount would likely be key. I would be shocked if the money involved were significant enough to draw the league’s attention.

The NBA doesn’t regulate a coach taking a player out to dinner the way, say, the NCAA would. Teams have a little allowance for compensating players beyond what’s specifically laid out in their contracts.

And as long as the coach wasn’t encouraging his team to play dirty with Korver, this doesn’t resemble the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, either.

The NBA should poke around to make sure everything here was on the up and up, but I suspect the investigation would end without any consequences for anyone.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

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.