Kurt Helin

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Report: Clippers near deal to send C.J. Wilcox to Magic for Devyn Marble, pick

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We have a trade.

Not one that matters outside who will sit on the end of which bench next season, but a trade nonetheless.

The Clippers and Magic are exchanging shooting guards who struggle to shoot, a trade broken by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.

The Magic get C.J Wilcox, who has played just 268 minutes across two seasons for the Clippers and bounced between the NBA and the D-League in that time. He is athletic, and he can shoot the three — he hit 38.4 percent from there last season — however, he shot a lot of long twos and hit just 39.8 percent on his shots inside the arc. Because of his athleticism there is a chance he could develop into an end-of-the-rotation guy. Maybe he gets the run to show off what he can do in Orlando.

Devyn Marble got in just 28 games for the Magic last season, and considering he’ll be behind J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford in the rotation he’s not going to get a lot of run with the Clippers, either. Marble took 45 percent of his shots from three last season and hit just 25 percent of them. He had a woeful True Shooting Percentage of 38.6 percent.

The Clippers probably wanted the future pick more than anything in this deal.

Lakers Larry Nance Jr. fractures hand in fall at Summer League


Hey Isiah Thomas, this is why you don’t need to push guys to keep playing in Summer League.

In the final minute of a decided game, promising young Laker forward Larry Nance Jr. took a pass in transition and went up for the lay-up, colliding with the Cavaliers defender trying to draw a charge. Nance went down and hit the ground hard.

Nance has suffered a probable hand fracture, the Lakers confirmed, adding that he will see a specialist in Los Angeles on Friday. Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times had more details.

Fractures to the metacarpal are often called “boxers’ fractures.” The real question out of the evaluation is whether or not Nance will need surgery because that will determine how long he is out. If he does need surgery he will likely miss at least part of training camp, and very possibly the start of the season. Blake Griffin missed three months after surgery last season because of a boxers’ fracture.

Nance averaged 5.5 points and 5 rebounds a game for the Lakers last season, showing promise as a rookie forward. At Summer League he averaged 8 points and 7 boards a game, shooting just 44.4 percent.

Warriors reach deal to bring Anderson Varejao back

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Anderson Varejao‘s game took a step back last season — both when he played for Cleveland and with the Warriors. At the heart of the problem was the 33-year-old center’s shooting — a season before he had a very good 58 percent true shooting percentage that fell to a well below average 47.3 percent on the year. When Andrew Bogut went down in the Finals, Warriors coach Steve Kerr tried to lean more on Varejao, but he wasn’t able to fill those shoes.

Still, the Warriors are bringing him back, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Varejao’s agency has since confirmed that the deal is signed.

The contract is likely for the league minimum.

With Bogut gone, Zaza Pachulia will be the primary traditional center for the Warriors — who will play small a lot more with Kevin Durant at the four and Draymond Green at the five — so there will be limited backup center minutes. Which is good, because Varejao may be the second best backup center they have and he is no longer a replacement level player.

Report: NBA remains best in sports hiring people of color


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) The NBA remains the best among its professional sports peers when it comes diversity hiring.

According to the report released Thursday by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, the NBA received an A-plus for the second year in a row for racial hiring and dropped to a B in gendering hiring practices. The league’s overall grade of A was its eighth in row as the NBA scored higher than other professional sports league in all three categories.

Reports are also issued on the NFL, MLB, MLS, WNBA and college sports.

The NBA has “been the leaders in pretty much both areas since we’ve been doing the report card and they are still ahead of everybody even in gender,” said Richard Lapchick, who authors the Racial and Gender Report Card released by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. “The NFL had a C-plus last year and MLB had a C-plus. MLS is the only one close with a B but they only had 80.1 points as opposed to the 83.7 the NBA has got. College sport was the worst of all with 78.8 points with a C-plus.”

Even in maintaining the best stands, the NBA did some dips in diversity hiring practices with the biggest coming in gender hiring. The NBA went from a B-plus grade in gendering hiring in 2015 to a B this year with drops coming at the team levels and senior leadership positions. In 2015, the NBA scored 88 points but this year only received 83.7 points on the report card.

Women comprised 39.6 percent of all professionals in the NBA league offices in this past season, which was slightly down from 40.9 percent in 2015. But women continued to hold just a small percentage of team vice president positions, comprising just 21.5 percent of the team vice president titles. Still, there were five women who served as team presidents/CEO during the 2015-6 season, which is the highest of any men’s professional sport.

“The fact there was sort of slippage with the NBA, not only was the grade low but there was actually a decline in the grade is definitely an area of concern,” Lapchick said of the overall dip in gendering hiring. “I think it’s particularly an area concern at the team level and senior leadership positions.”

The NBA, which is the first sports league to have two minorities as majority owners, also had small loses in the number of head coaches and general managers of color this year. The number of general managers went from six in 2014-15 to just four this past season. The head coaching ranks were comprised of 30 percent of men of color, as opposed to 33.3 percent at the end of the 2014-15 season.

This past season began with nine head coaches of color but while some minority coaches lost their jobs during the season that number remained at nine at the end of the season.

“The NBA has gotten it for a long time, including the general manager position, although this year they were down at the general manager position,” Lapchick said. “They have been far and away the leader of all of the sports in those areas.”

Report: Mavericks reach two-year deal with reserve forward Quincy Acy

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There is always a spot on a roster for a big who brings hustle and toughness off the bench.

The Dallas Mavericks have added that — maybe a guy who can be a small-ball, second-unit center — by reaching a deal with Quincy Acy. Shams Charania of The Vertical broke the news.

This is reportedly a deal for the league minimum.

This is a good signing at this price. Acy can play the four (or a small ball five) and is an athletic, hustling big who gave the Kings 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in nearly 15 minutes a game. Last season he took almost on three a game and hit 38.8 percent of them, he can also knock down 15 footers.

Dallas will start Dirk Nowitzki at the four, but after that will lean on Dwight Powell and Charlie Villanueva. Andrew Bogut will start at the five, then maybe Salah Mejri and A.J. Hammond get run. There are minutes to be had by Acy.