Kurt Helin

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Kings claim Lamar Patterson off waivers

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Lamar Patterson, the two guard out of Pitt, wasn’t even supposed to make the Hawks roster last season. That he did was a testament to his hard work (he transformed his body), and guys who put in that kind of effort are the kinds coaches and GMs like to take gambles on. Patterson was even part of the Hawks rotation at the start of the season, but that faded fairly quickly, and he bounced between the NBA and the D-League.

This summer, the Hawks decided to waive him.

The Kings picked him up off waivers and are giving him a shot. It’s a low-risk gamble as Patterson is on a minimum contract for less than $1 million.

The upside for Patterson is he can pass the rock. Also, he has defensive potential. But the man has to develop a reliable shot — last season he shot 35 percent overall and 25 percent from three. He had a PER of 5.1. If he can develop his shot like he has other parts of his game he could become a role player down the line. The Kings will see if that can happen.


D-League’s Jaron Johnson was throwing it down at Summer League Friday

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Jaron Johnson had a rep around the D-League as a high flying dunker.

He averaged 18.2 points per game last season for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League last season — the former Louisiana Tech star can do more than just dunk — and that earned him a showcase chance on the D-League Select team at Summer League in Las Vegas.

But he can still dunk, as he showed the Pelicans on Sunday.

Good news for Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr.: MRI shows only sprain, no fracture in hand


This is great news for the Lakers and young forward Larry Nance Jr.

An MRI Friday on his injured right hand showed only a sprain, no fracture as the Lakers had said was probable.

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.

No physical break means not much time off from training and working on his game this summer, which is a good thing for a young player. Plus, no surgery, which is a great thing.

Cavaliers trade Sasha Kaun to Sixers (who waive him); Cleveland signs Chris “Birdman” Andersen

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We had told you before that Chris Andersen was headed to the Cleveland Cavaliers to be a backup center.

But Friday a little salary cap maneuvering had to happen for the Cavaliers to pull that off. From Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Free agent Chris “Birdman” Andersen agreed to a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, league sources told The Vertical.

To clear the roster spot for Andersen, the Cavaliers sent center Sasha Kaun and cash to Philadelphia on Friday. The Sixers plan to waive Kaun, league sources said. Cleveland also gets a $1.33 million traded-player exception for the Kaun deal, a source said.

To put it simply, the Cavaliers sent the Sixers cash to use their cap space. The cash the Cavs sent to the Sixers certainly covers Kaun’s $1.3 million salary, plus a little. Also, the Sixers got the rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum.

Andersen is a lower cost replacement for Timofey Mozgov (who was overpaid by the Lakers). The way Lue wants to play, smaller and faster, the backup center spot is going to get limited minutes anyway, and at this price Andersen will be a good fit.

76ers sign prospect Dario Saric two years after draft-night trade


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers have signed international prospect Dario Saric two years after they acquired his rights on a draft-night deal.

Saric was originally drafted by the Orlando Magic with the 12th overall pick of the 2014 NBA draft and he was quickly traded to the Sixers for Elfrid Payton.

“We are thrilled to finally announce the highly anticipated signing of Dario Saric to an NBA player contract with the Philadelphia 76ers,” said Sixers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo in a statement. “Our basketball team stands to benefit from both the on-court development and physical maturation of Dario as a professional player in Croatia and Turkey over the last few years.”

The 22-year-old Saric, a 6-foot-10, 243-pound power forward, played the last two seasons with the Turkish team Anadolu Efes. He was named MVP of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament after averaging 14 points, 10 rebounds and two assists for his native Croatia.

Saric and fellow 2014 draft pick Joel Embiid have yet to play for the Sixers. Embiid should make his debut after missing the last two seasons with foot injuries.

Saric and Embiid join a roster that includes fellow lottery picks Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and this year’s No. 1 overall pick, Ben Simmons.