Report: Memphis close to signing Gilbert Arenas

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Memphis is the five seed in the West, a good team who just got Zach Randolph back in the lineup after missing most of the season with a knee injury. This is a team that knocked the Spurs out of the playoffs and pushed the Thunder hard last year — and is now better. A potential real threat in the West.

So why not bring in Gilbert Arenas and see how that goes?

That is just what the Grizzlies are doing, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Free agent guard Gilbert Arenas worked out for the Grizzlies this morning and the team is preparing to sign him to a deal for the rest of this season, according to sources close to the process.

Arenas appeared slender and shot the ball well during the workout. He is scheduled to take a physical this afternoon. All that would remain is for Arenas to pass the physical and agree to a prorated veteran’s minimum contract requiring the Griz to pay about $300,000.

Arenas is not with a team because Orlando used its amnesty clause on him before the season started.

Clearly the Grizzlies are not comfortable with a backup point guard of Jeremy Pargo or Josh Selby heading into the post season.

All reports of Arenas’ workouts — both for the Grizzlies and other teams — is that he has lost weight and is moving pretty well. He said he had the Kobe Bryant procedure on his knees. Him passing the team physical is not a given.

Arenas was absolutely terrible playing for the Magic last season, shooting 34.4 percent on the year. He had a PER of 8.6, which would get a rookie sent to the D-League. And is defense was actually worse than his offense. He was better the first part of the season in Washington, to be fair, but he was not good in either place.

The question now is how this plays in a locker room that already has plenty of characters with Tony Allen and Zach Randolph.

On the court this seems a low risk move — if he doesn’t play you sit him behind Pargo — but if you’re a good team this is a potential chemistry gamble. Is that really worth it? Apparently it is to the Grizzlies.

Kyrie Irving (shoulder) out for Nets-Pacers

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Kyrie Irving missed the Nets’ win over the Bulls on Saturday.

He’s not healthy enough to play the Pacers tonight.

Nets public relations:

Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement) is OUT.

Brooklyn (5-7) lags behinds Indiana (7-6) in the Eastern Conference’s middle morass. The Nets must try to catch up in the playoff race without their best player.

But it’s a long season. Brooklyn has plenty of time to gain ground. Spencer Dinwiddie is capable in relief, and the unselfish Nets can create ball movement while Dinwiddie rests.

I’m more concerned about next week. A segment of Brooklyn’s schedule:

  • Nov. 24 at Knicks
  • Nov. 25 at Cavaliers
  • Nov. 27 at Celtics

That’s the team Irving spurned in free agency, the team Irving requested a trade from and the team Irving just left after pledging to re-sign. Those are juicy matchups. Hopefully, Irving is healthy enough to play in all three.

Ray Allen says he would’ve returned to Celtics if they signed Kevin Durant in 2016

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Ray Allen left the Celtics on bad terms in 2012. He finished his career with the Heat in 2014.

But Allen apparently could have come back with Boston in 2016… if Kevin Durant signed there first.

Allen, via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston:

“I had a conversation with (Ainge) and I told him this was my last-ditch effort. I would’ve went back,” Allen said on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” radio show.

“This was when Kevin Durant was a free agent. He was thinking about going to Boston. And I said, ‘Hey, if you guys land Kevin, I would certainly look at lacing them back up one more time and try to make something good happen here in Boston.’ “

This is a fascinating “what if?” – for the Celtics on the court and for Allen’s legacy in Boston.

But it also probably didn’t come close to happening. Durant said his top two choices in 2016 free agency were the Warriors and Thunder. Even Allen himself said he never neared a comeback.

Still, it’s interesting – after all the animosity – Allen even spoke to Celtics president Danny Ainge about returning.

European coach berates his players: ‘You’re good guys. F— you’ (video)

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Remember Luigi Datome? He spent a couple seasons with the Pistons and Celtics.

He makes an appearance in this wild video featuring Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic (warning: profanity):

A partial transcript the best I could muster:

YOU’RE GOOD GUYS. IN YOUR EYES, YOU’RE GOOD GUYS. F— YOU, EVERYBODY! F— YOU, OK!

F— YOU, GIGI DATOME. OK? SHAME ON YOU. AND YOU…

Festivus isn’t for another month, but someone is already ready for the airing of grievances.

Report: Rockets waiving Ryan Anderson

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To facilitate a trade from the Rockets to the Suns last summer, Ryan Anderson reduced the guarantee of his 2019-20 salary by $5,620,885. Anderson barely played in Phoenix, got traded to the Heat, barely played in Miami and got waived. He again signed with the Rockets this summer.

Now, after barely playing in Houston, Anderson will continue his odyssey elsewhere.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Anderson was guaranteed $500,000 on his minimum-salary contract this season. By the time he clears waivers, he will have earned $434,704. So, assuming Anderson goes unclaimed, Houston will be on the hook for the remaining $65,296.

This might end the career of the 31-year-old Anderson. Once a premier stretch four, he no longer stands out in a league where 3-point shooting has become a common skill for power forwards. He’s also a major defensive liability.