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Report: Julyan Stone released from Italian team, to sign with Hornets

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Julyan Stone had bounced around the NBA a little as a backup combo guard — he played with the Nuggets and Raptors— but last season, when his NBA options had dried up, he signed with the Italian team Reyer Venezia and helped lead them to a title. This summer he worked to find an NBA home again because he wanted to stay stateside and be close to his very ill father. Nothing seemed to materialize, so he signed a two-year deal with Venezia again.

Then the Charlotte Hornets called, looking for a third-string guard to round out its roster. That’s where things got complicated because the new deal with Reyer Venezia did not have an NBA out. However, the sides have worked something out, and Stone is headed to Charlotte, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

Stone has gotten his release from Venice-based team Umana Reyer Venezia after several weeks of negotiations, an informed source told the Observer. A 6-6 combo guard, Stone played last season for that team, which won the Italian championship…

Stone is expected to sign a two-year contract with the Hornets for the veteran minimum, probably Thursday or Friday. He can’t sign until the Hornets receive a letter from FIBA, basketball’s international governing body, saying he is no longer under contract elsewhere.

Stone will be the Hornets’ third point guard behind starter Kemba Walker and backup Michael Carter-Williams. His size is a plus: It makes him suitable to play either guard spot and also can help compensate for rookie Malik Monk’s relative lack of height.

This is good news for Stone, who gets to be close to his father.

The Hornets look to be a team that will step back into the playoffs in the East, somewhere in the bottom half of the bracket. The addition of Dwight Howard at center is an upgrade, particularly defensively (where coach Steve Clifford wants to focus), and he can still get buckets. They need Walker to stay healthy and keep playing like an All-Star, Nicolas Batum to step up, and guys like Monk and Frank Kaminsky to contribute, but in a depleted East the Hornets should make the postseason.

DMV in Cleveland tapes a photo of LeBron to their camera to stop people smiling

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A trip to the DMV is never at the top of anyone’s list of ways to spend an afternoon. Still, it’s a necessary evil of adult life.

The DMV is a place for rules, one of the most common ones is that you are not allowed to smile in your picture for your driver’s license. In Cleveland, the DMV there has decided to make a small alteration to their camera setup to ensure that citizens follow this rule.

Specifically, they taped a photo of LeBron James in a Los Angeles Lakers jersey to the camera that takes the driver’s license photos.

Via Twitter:

At least for this year, putting a photo of LeBron on a camera at the DMV in the Cleveland should keep straight faces on people getting their photo taken. However, seeing as the Cavaliers probably won’t be very good moving forward, it might be just as easy to tape a photo of the team logo up there.

It appears that everyone is upset about Lebron leaving for the LA.

DeMar DeRozan with classy goodbye to Toronto fans

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DeMar DeRozan did not want to be traded from the Raptors.

He will eventually warm to San Antonio and the Spurs, but for a franchise that has seen star after star push their way out of town — Chris Bosh, Vince Carter, Damon Stoudamire, and on down the list — DeRozan was the one guy who embraced the city, repped it, and not only said he wanted to stay but did just that. DeRozan was all in on Toronto and loyal, and they shipped him out anyway. It may well have been the right basketball move, but it was cold. And a lot of Raptors fans were not happy about how it went down.

DeRozan, classy as always, thanked the Raptors fans in a heartfelt Instagram post.

Someday they will retire DeRozan’s jersey in Toronto. Deservedly so.

LeBron James loves fan made NBA 2K video of him playing with son for Lakers

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LeBron James has been up front about this before: He wants to play with his son LeBron Jr. for a couple of years in the NBA before retiring. That son, about to enter ninth grade, would graduate in 2022 — the year the NBA is expected to go back to allowing teams to draft players out of high school, and the year LeBron’s Laker contract ends.

(Does LeBron Jr. want this? Of course he’ll say publicly he does, but would you want your dad with you in the locker room and on the road with you when you’re an NBA rookie finally out of the house and able to explore life a little?)

Taking that to the next step, Twitter user @Shady00018 pieced together an NBA 2K mixtape of LeBron playing with his son. LeBron saw it and LOVED it.

We’re a long way from that, but you know LeBron wants it to happen.

Here’s a first look at Kawhi Leonard, DeMar DeRozan in new jerseys, via NBA 2K

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Kawhi Leonard is a member of the Toronto Raptors now. There’s no way of getting around it. Even with rumors swirling about whether or not he will be happy in Canada, the truth is that we have already seen some embrace of Leonard in the six.

Likewise, DeMar DeRozan is a member of the San Antonio Spurs whether he likes it or not. Now, each have been seen for the first time in their new jerseys.

The only catch? It’s via a video game.

2K Games decided to tweet out new rendered images of both players in their respective jerseys. To be honest, I don’t think they look all that bad.

Via Twitter:

It’s going to feel a bit like a real life franchise mode of NBA 2K19 when we see these guys on the court in their new kits next season. But eventually we will get used to it, much in the way we will no doubt get used to LeBron James in a Los Angeles Lakers jersey or Tony Parker in a Charlotte Hornets jersey.

We’re going to have the matchup between the Raptors and the Spurs circled on our calendar next year. That is, if Leonard ends up playing in it. There still might be some doubts in that department.