Report: Mavericks vs. Heat rematch set for Christmas Day, you know, if there’s a season

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It’s really quaint, actually. The NBA is going to go ahead and release the schedule for the 2011-2012 season this week, acting like it intends to have a season while its owners openly push for missing the whole year just to bury the players completely. It’s kind of cruel in retrospect, though, to tease the fans with all the basketball they’re going to be missing while this bull-headed lockout continues.

But hey, if we do get a season by Christmas, we get a good one for the big Holiday game.

The Miami Herald reports that one Christmas Day game will be Mavericks-Heat, “likely at 2:30 p.m. EST.”

It’s an interesting choice, as traditionally the league opts for the two biggest pulls, like last year’s Heat-Lakers tilt. But with the Lakers falling off the cliff in the second round, even with their likely championship contending roster, and the Mavericks winning the title in a fairly epic Finals series that saw four of the six games come down to the last possessions, Mavs-Heat edged out the Lakers. Apparently it’s the Phil Jackson effect.

The interesting question will be who the Lakers, Bulls, and Celtics face. Odds are pretty good that it’ll be Lakers-Thunder, with Bulls-Celtics as the other day tilt. Then the Knicks will have to fit in somewhere, though last year’s Knicks-Bulls game was pretty entertaining. It’s a coin flip whether the Magic will make the cut to be on that day. And for the night game, traditionally between two smaller market franchises, what about a Grizzlies-Spurs rematch? Nothing says Christmas like Tony Parker vs. Mike Conley.

All of this talk gets you excited about the season. Too bad the owners are making it nearly impossible for talks to move forward, meaning it’s likely we’ll never get to see these games.

WNBA suspends Riquna Williams 10 games for domestic violence

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NEW YORK (AP) The WNBA has suspended Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams 10 games for a domestic violence incident.

The WNBA handed down the suspension Tuesday. Williams was arrested on April 29 and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of an individual with whom she was in a relationship and the other involving a threat to another person with a firearm. Her criminal case is ongoing.

The league conducted its own investigation and consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence. Among other factors, the WNBA said it took into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, including the involvement of a gun.

The WNBA also will require Williams to participate in counseling.

Williams’ suspension will begin with Thursday’s game against the Dallas Wings.

Report: Bulls signing Luke Kornet for guaranteed $4.5M over two years

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Just three 7-footers have averaged 3.5 3-pointers per game and made 35% of them each of the last two seasons:

The Bulls will now have most of them.

Markkanen is Chicago’s top young player. Kornet will join him with the Bulls next season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’m a little surprised Kornet got more than his minimum ($3,383,360 over two years). But it’s worth taking a flier on him.

In addition to his outside shooting, Kornet has shown good timing as a shot-blocker in two seasons with the Knicks. The 24-year-old must get stronger and improve as a rebounder to play major minutes.

But the Bulls won’t have to press him into action. They also have Thaddeus Young, Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford and Cristiano Felicio as bigs.

Pistons claim Christian Wood off waivers

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The Bucks waived Christian Wood late last season to ensure avoiding the luxury tax. The Pelicans claimed him. Wood had played well in limited minutes with the 76ers, Hornets and Bucks and in the NBA’s minor league since going undrafted in 2015.

New Orleans gave him his biggest opportunity yet. In 24 minutes per game over eight games, he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds.

But the Pelicans filled their roster for next season and waived Wood.

Detroit will take advantage.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has claimed forward/center Christian Wood off waivers.

Wood’s $1,645,357 minimum salary is unguaranteed until the regular season. So, Detroit could still waive him before the season. But it seems he’ll at least go to training camp and get a shot at a regular-season roster spot.

The Pelicans also could’ve kept him through the preseason then waived him before the regular season. They seemingly did him a favor of allowing him to get somewhere he has a realistic chance of sticking.

Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond will start in the frontcourt for the Pistons. Markieff Morris and Thon Maker appear to be first in line is backups.

But don’t be surprised if Wood earns playing time. At minimum, the 23-year-old should provide nice depth at both power forward and center.

The Pistons have also now acquired four members of last year’s Bucks – Tony Snell, Thon Maker, Tim Frazier and now Wood.

Knicks: Reggie Bullock has spine injury

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Reggie Bullock had his agreed-upon salary cut by more than half with the Knicks. He’ll reportedly miss at least a month of the regular season.

All because of a mysterious health issue.

The Knicks have finally disclosed what’s happening.

Knicks release:

Reggie Bullock underwent successful surgery today at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for a cervical disc herniation. The team will plan to provide an update on his rehab and progress around the start of training camp.

Bullock is a good shooter from the wing. New York could use him. Many teams could use him.

But Bullock must get healthy first.

At this point, we probably shouldn’t expect much from him any time soon. The best indication: how eagerly his agent praised the Knicks for their handling of this situation. Again, Bullock settled for less than half his initially agreed-upon salary.