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Report: Lakers signing D-League MVP Vander Blue to partially guaranteed contract

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Winning D-League MVP hasn’t exactly foretold NBA success. The full list:

  • Vander Blue
  • Jarnell Stokes
  • Tim Frazier
  • Ron Howard
  • Othyus Jeffers
  • Andrew Goudelock
  • Justin Dentmon
  • Curtis Stinson
  • Mike Harris
  • Courtney Sims
  • Kasib Powell
  • Randy Livingston
  • Marcus Fizer
  • Matt Carroll
  • Tierre Brown
  • Devin Brown
  • Ansu Sesay

Devin Brown and Matt Carroll are probably the high points.

The Lakers hope Vander Blue will follow in their footsteps.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Chris Reichert of 2 Ways & 10 Days:

https://twitter.com/Chris_Reichert/status/891350419347087362

Blue will be the Lakers’ 15th player on a standard contract, the regular-season maximum. They could always sign additional players to battle for that final regular-season roster spot – especially with Blue having such a small guarantee. That looks like an enticement to stay with the Lakers’ minor-league affiliate rather than take a higher-paying job overseas.

The Lakers’ shooting-guard depth won’t help Blue’s chances of sticking. They already have Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jordan Clarkson and Josh Hart. The Lakers might prefer to use that final spot on a third point guard to join Lonzo Ball and Tyler Ennis, though Clarkson can swing to the position.

The 25-year-old Blue is a fringe NBA player who has spent time with the Lakers and Celtics. He’s a good ball-handler who draws plenty of fouls, and he’s a fine jump-shooter. His non-scoring skills still need work.

It would be unsurprising to see him stick into the regular season or re-join the D-Fenders.

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.

DeMarcus Cousins on Confederate statues: ‘Take all them motherf—ers down’

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DeMarcus Cousins grew up in Alabama, played collegiately at Kentucky and now plays in New Orleans.

So, yeah, the Pelicans star has an opinion on Confederate statues.

Cousins, via TMZ:

“Take all them motherf*ckers down,” Cousins said … “Take ’em all down.”

These statues glorify people because they fought a war against the United States in the name of preserving the racist institution of slavery.

Not whom I want to honor, either.