Report: Magic signing Peyton Siva to unguaranteed contract

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Orlando is becoming a refuge for players who couldn’t cut it with the Pistons (which doesn’t exactly speak well for the Magic).

Jason Maxiell and Ben Gordon headed south, following Orlando assistant general manager Scott Perry, who previously worked in Detroit’s front office under Joe Dumars.

Now, Peyton Siva – whom the Pistons drafted No. 56 in 2013, after Perry already left, and waived before having to guarantee his contract this summer – is following the pipeline.

Siva, entering his second season out of Louisville, is clinging to his NBA life.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Joshua Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

For the Magic to retain Siva’s rights, he counts against their roster and so does his salary. They could assign him to the D-League to get him experience, but he’d still count the same.

Siva could stick as Orlando’s third point guard behind Elfrid Payton and Luke Ridnour. However, Victor Oladipo, Evan Fournier and Ben Gordon can play lead guard, so the Magic might roll with just two true point guards.

But Siva isn’t necessarily competing with just other members of the backcourt.

Orlando has 15 players under contract, including Dewayne Dedmon, whose contract is unguaranteed until the regular season begins. The competition for the Magic’s final roster spot could very well come down to Siva and Dedmon. Even if the winner (if there is one) gets sent to the D-League, at least he’ll get an NBA salary.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

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?