C.J. Wilcox

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Orlando’s Jodie Meeks out indefinitely following thumb surgery

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After missing the start of the season due to injury, Jodie Meeks had become a regular part of the rotation in Orlando, giving then 8.9 points per game, shooting 40 percent from three, and providing a veteran presence. His role has grown since Evan Fournier went out injured.

Now Meeks is out injured again and it may well cost him the rest of the season. From the Orlando Magic’s web site:

Orlando Magic guard Jodie Meeks underwent surgery to repair his right thumb this afternoon, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced. He will be out indefinitely and his return to action will depend on how he responds to rehabilitation. Meeks sustained the injury on January 18 @ New Orleans. After conducting a follow-up exam, it was determined that surgery was the proper course of action.

This likely means more Jeff Green and C.J. Wilcox until Fournier returns.

Meeks is making $6.5 million this season and will be a free agent next summer.

Magic decline C.J. Wilcox’s fourth-year option

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The Magic have a troubling recent history of squandering positive assets with no real discernable return. Orlando has dumped:

Could C.J. Wilcox fit the trend?

The Magic declined Wilcox’s fourth-year rookie-scale option, letting him become an unrestricted free agent next offseason rather than guarantee his $2,183,328 salary for 2017-18.

Wilcox shot well beyond the arc in limited minutes in two years with the Clippers before they traded him to Orlando in July, and he has shown enough penetrating ability to complement his outside stroke. On the other hand, he settles for too many long 2s, and his defense causes concern for his own team.

I’m not ready to write off the 25-year-old, though to date, he has not been worth his option-year salary. He’s so cheap, I probably would’ve exercised his team option, but the Magic have more information than I do after evaluating him throughout training camp.

Wilcox joins Adreian Payne,James Young andTyler Ennis as the players who had their fourth-year options declined this fall while remaining on a team. Between the four, I bet at least one makes his team regret the decision.

Magic’s Jodie Meeks out indefinitely after foot surgery

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The Magic traded for Jodie Meeks despite the shooting guard missing 101 games the last two years.

It cost just a low 2019 second-round pick and $6.54 million of cap space, but Meeks might provide even less value than that.

Magic release:

Orlando Magic guard Jodie Meeks underwent a surgical procedure today to further stabilize the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. He will be out indefinitely and his return to action will depend on how he responds to rehabilitation.

Meeks originally injured his foot in the Pistons’ second game last season, and that kept him out until their final game. A back injury that cost him a quarter of the 2014-15 season only adds concern.

Wing Mario Hezonja can spend more time backing up Evan Fournier at shooting guard than playing small forward — especially with Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo, Aaron GordonNikola Vucevic and Jeff Green crowding the frontcourt. Orlando might also have to rely more on recently acquired C.J. Wilcox than initially hoped.

Warriors ride hot shooting to 115-112 victory over Clippers

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Klay Thompson scored 32 points, fellow Splash Brother Stephen Curry added 23 and the Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Clippers 115-112 on Saturday night to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time this season.

The Warriors were coming off a 32-point drubbing at Portland a night earlier that snapped their 11-game winning streak. They appeared highly motivated to erase that memory from the opening tip, shooting 56 percent in the first half and twice leading by 15 points in the second quarter.

Draymond Green had his NBA-leading 11th triple-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to help the defending champions improve to 49-5.

Jamal Crawford scored 25 points off the bench, Chris Paul added 24 and DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 21 rebounds for the Clippers. They fell to 19-6 without injured Blake Griffin. Their two earlier losses to the Warriors were by a combined 11 points with Griffin in the lineup.

The Clippers were coming off a 19-point win over San Antonio on Thursday night. Even with a day of rest, they played behind nearly the entire game.

Pablo Prigioni‘s 3-pointer left the Clippers trailing 115-112 with five seconds to go, long after both teams’ best players had gone to the bench. That brought Thompson, Curry, Green Harrison Barnes back in a hurry.

Andre Iguodala‘s pass was stolen by C.J. Wilcox, but his panicked shot fell well short of the basket as time expired.

The Clippers again trailed by 15 early in the third when they briefly matched the Warriors basket-for-basket during a furious scoring stretch to close within five on a dunk by Jordan off Crawford’s alley-oop pass. Jordan threw down some highlight dunks that had fans roaring and Crawford scored on a one-handed scoop shot, getting fouled as he crashed to the floor and making the free throw for the three-point play.

The Warriors’ shooting percentage dipped – barely – to 50 percent in the third when Curry missed a few shots and got called for traveling. The Clippers’ defense couldn’t stifle them, either from the perimeter or inside. Curry hit a 3-pointer with Paul in his face, and Green caught an inbounds pass from Iguodala in traffic at the basket and scored.

Curry was fouled on a 3-pointer and made two of three before Green’s layup kept the Warriors ahead 93-84 going into the fourth.

Golden State went up 14 points early in the fourth on consecutive baskets by Barnes and later stretched it to 18 points on a 7-0 run that included Barnes’ second 3 of the quarter.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Green had a technical in the first quarter. … The Warriors improved to 25-5 on the road. … C Andrew Bogot sat out with a strained right Achilles. … F James Michael McAdoo missed his 22nd straight game because of a sprained toe on his left foot. … After Curry got fouled on a 3-pointer and missed one of his free throws, a fan shouted, “Why don’t you make everything?”

Clippers: J.J. Redick, who finished with 16 points, and Paul each got technicals 67 seconds apart in the second quarter. … The Clippers signed F-C Alex Stepheson to a 10-day contract. The 28-year-old former USC player was averaging 15.9 points, 13.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 31 games for the Iowa Energy of the NBA’s D-League this season. Stepheson, who is 6-foot-10, has played overseas since failing to be drafted in 2011. “He has the gift of a being a big that plays with energy,” coach Doc Rivers said. … Rapper Kendrick Lamar was on hand in the same arena where he won five Grammys last Monday. Beyonce and Jay Z, Floyd Mayweather, comic Adam Sandler, Northern Trust Open third-round leader Bubba Watson, “Grease” actress Keke Palmer and former Clipper Baron Davis also attended.

UP NEXT

Warriors: They continue a seven-game trip at Atlanta on Monday night.

Clippers: Host Phoenix on Monday night.

Report: Magic close to trading Channing Frye to Clippers, unless Clippers send Lance Stephenson elsewhere

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Lance Stephenson is the Clippers’ best ticket to improvement.

Increasingly, it appears that will be because of his de facto $9 million expiring contract. (His team option for next season is a practical lock to be declined.)

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Channing Frye is a quality role player, and the stretch big would give the Clippers more versatility.

He’s a legitimate 3-point threat, unlike the Clippers’ rangiest big – Blake Griffin, who’s comfort zone extends only to mid-range. DeAndre Jordan and Cole Aldrich don’t even get that far. The Clippers have improved their spacing with Griffin sidelined by using small forwards at power forward, but Frye has the size to defend the post a little better.

Frye is a solid positional defender. But at 32, he lacks the athleticism to really excel on that end. The Clippers should be in position to limit his exposure there.

Likewise, Frye is at his best spotting up beyond the 3-point arc and waiting for teammates to find him. A team with Chris Paul and Griffin – one of the NBA’s best-passing bigs – should suffice. J.J. Redick zipping around screens and Jordan rolling to the rim would only draw more attention from Frye.

That’d be the ideal for the Clippers’ primary goal – a long playoff run. In the meantime, Frye could fill a bigger role with Griffin sidelined.

For the Magic, this would mostly be a salary dump. The deal would give Orlando an extra $7,134,897 in cap space next summer – the difference between Wilcox’s ($1,209,600) and Frye’s ($8,344,497) 2016-17 salaries.

C.J. Wilcox, the No. 28 pick in the 2014 draft, has played just 29 games in two years for the Clippers. He showed 3-and-D potential in college, but at age 25, he could use a change of scenery. He’s worth Orlando taking a flyer on. The second-rounder is another asset with at least a chance to provide value.

Lance Stephenson would be involved just to facilitate the trade with his salary. Orlando would obviously decline his team option in conjunction with waiving him.

Orlando acquired a better stretch big in Ersan Ilyasova earlier today in the Tobias Harris trade, another deal that increased the Magic’s 2016 cap space. They appear to be setting up to try a bigger move then.

Especially if they can make this deal with the Clippers.

The Cavaliers have a trade exception large enough to absorb Frye’s $8,193,029 salary. But doing so without sending out any salary would increase Cleveland’s impending luxury-tax bill by $35,947,181. That seems exhorinant for Frye, whose salary for next season would also complicate Cleveland’s financial picture.

This reads like Orlando trying to pressure the Clippers into getting the deal done.