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Report: Pelicans, Rajon Rondo working toward one-year contract

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New Orleans achieved its biggest offseason priority – overpaying Jrue Holiday rather than losing him.

But after escaping that corner, the Pelicans are backed into another. They’re capped out and need to fill out their rotation.

Enter Rajon Rondo?

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Rondo and Holiday playing together? I don’t know about that, though New Orleans’ unappealing shooting guards make it more palatable.

The Pelicans could use a backup point guard.

Quinn Cook has barely played in the NBA. No. 31 pick Frank Jackson is just a rookie and coming off injury. E'Twaun Moore and Jordan Crawford are combo guards, and Crawford might not make the team.

Rondo would be an upgrade.

New Orleans should somewhat stagger Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, as both are best at center. For all his incredible abilities, Davis’ weak spot is creating his own shot. Rondo, who has declined in so many facets, remains a quality distributor. He could play well with Davis. (Davis and Cousins have emerging outside games, but spacing with both and Rondo could get creaky.)

The Pelicans have the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions available. But using both – especially considering they could also re-sign Dante Cunningham with Bird Rights – could put them into the luxury tax. Signing Rondo would also limit their ability to add a wing, another position where they need help.

It’s probably impossible for New Orleans to address all its shortcomings, but at least Rondo might plug one hole.

Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett out at least a week with right ankle sprain

R.J. Barrett
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NEW YORK (AP) New York Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett will miss at least a week with a sprained right ankle.

Barrett was hurt during the Knicks’ loss to Phoenix on Thursday. On Friday, he had X-rays, which were negative.

The Knicks announced afterward that Barrett will be re-evaluated in a week.

The No. 3 pick in the draft from Duke is averaging 14.1 points.

Heat: Justise Winslow out at least two more weeks

Justise Winslow
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MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat say Justise Winslow will miss at least two more weeks while recovering from a back injury.

Winslow has played only once since Dec. 4 and is slated to be out for at least the remainder of January. The team originally called Winslow’s injury a back strain, then updated the diagnosis to a bone bruise.

Winslow played off the bench in Miami’s win at Indiana on Jan. 8. The team said the back problems reappeared after that game. He has not played since.

Friday’s game in Oklahoma City is Miami’s 41st of the season and the 30th that Winslow has missed. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Heat this season.

Kevin Huerter’s 3-pointer gives Hawks first win in San Antonio in his lifetime (video)

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The Hawks beat the Spurs in San Antonio on Feb. 15, 1997.

The next year, Kevin Huerter was born.

Atlanta’s next win in San Antonio came Friday, when Huerter hit the game-winning 3-pointer in a 121-120 win.

The Hawks’ losing streak in San Antonio spanned Tim Duncan’s entire lengthy career – and continued a few seasons beyond that. The only reprieve came during the lockout-shortened 1999 season, when Atlanta didn’t visit San Antonio. So, the skid lasted 21 games.

Buddy Hield on Kings getting booed at home: ‘That’s how Sacramento fans are’

Kings guard Buddy Hield
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Buddy Hield is quite familiar with frustration amid the Kings’ disappointing season.

Sacramento fans showed theirs Wednesday, booing the Kings during their home loss to the Mavericks.

Buddy Hield, via James Ham of NBC Sports California:

“Everybody is frustrated, it’s not even them, we’re trying to figure it out too,” Buddy Hield said following the loss. “But it’s the home team and we get booed…we don’t agree with it, but they’re going to voice their opinion.

“I understand their frustration, but like I said, I’m going to keep shooting the ball,” Hield continued. “When I make a three they like me, when I don’t, they hate you. That’s how Sacramento fans are, man, so you’ve got to embrace it.”

Hield seemingly isn’t looking to pick a fight with fans. He made a point to empathize with their frustration.

But I don’t think he’s being fair, either.

Kings fans are far more loyal than swinging between love and hate depending whether or not a shot falls. They’re fed up after 13 – going on 14 – straight seasons missing the playoffs. This year has been particularly discouraging, as Sacramento has backtracked from fun and fast to sad and slow. Losing to Luka Doncica particular grievance – only adds to the irritation.

The Kings’ problems have spanned multiple owners, executives, coaches and players. So, booing this group isn’t totally fair, either. But this is who’s in front of the fans.

If this Sacramento team plays hard and together, fans will embrace it – and stick with it through thinner times.