UConn Bench Goes Wild As Walk-On Pat Lenehan Hits 3-Pointer in Blowout

UConn bench celebration-a

UConn beat South Florida in Hartford on Wednesday evening, 83-forty. The Huskies’ ultimate points came on a nook three-pointer from walk-on sophomore, Pat Lenehan, with slightly below 3-minutes remaining in the game. It was Lenehan’s first profession basket and the remaining crowd went wild. As did the UConn bench. Especially that dude doing the double-arm, swimming karate chop from the sumo place. Don’t worry, somebody put it to music because college sports are one of the best when they're celebrating the guys who not often get on the floor.


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Knicks, with Smith on bench, pull past Heat


Knicks Win Despite Drama

Knicks Win Despite Drama

Are The Knicks Back? Melo's Future With The Knicks

Melo's Future With The Knicks

NEW YORK – They don't look like the lowly losers of last month. The New York Knicks are playing as if it's last season – when they even had mighty Miami's number.Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points, Andrea Bargnani had 19, and the Knicks beat the Heat 102-92 on Thursday night for their season-high third straight victory.

"You can tell it's different than one month ago, " Bargnani said. "Our faces are different, our body language is different. "

Raymond Felton had 13 points and 14 assists for the Knicks, who seized control with a 16-2 run spanning the third and fourth quarters and beat the Heat for the fourth time in five meetings over the last two seasons.New York was second to Miami in the Eastern Conference last season when it won the series 3-1, but there was little reason to suggest until recently the Knicks were ready to compete with the NBA champions this season. New York is 13-22 but has won four of five in 2014, with victories over San Antonio and Miami – last season's NBA finalists.

"It wasn't going to last all season like that, " Felton said. "We were just going through a slump, now I feel like we're out of it. "

With Tyson Chandler out sick and J. R. Smith stuck on the bench as an apparent punishment, Amar'e Stoudemire had 14 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.LeBron James scored 32 points for the Heat, who played without injured starters Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier and didn't get much from Chris Bosh, who was held to six points on 3-of-10 shooting.

"All I know about this game is they outplayed us and they earned that win, " Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Dwyane Wade scored 23 points but missed all six free throws after sitting out the morning shootaround as Miami had its three-game winning streak snapped.

"I only missed six, " Wade said. "I didn't miss 20. It wasn't that damn bad. "

Smith didn't play after the reigning Sixth Man of the Year's latest trouble, a $50, 000 fine when he attempted to untie an opponent's sneaker for the second straight game, after he'd been warned by the NBA not to do it again. Knicks coach Mike Woodson criticized Smith's behavior during a radio interview Wednesday but said before the game he wouldn't discuss Smith any longer.

But the benching did the speaking for him. Smith often stood far away from the huddle during timeouts, but his teammates sure didn't miss him on the court.

Woodson again wouldn't comment after the game, but no Knicks player, not even Smith, seemed to know he wouldn't play.

"I didn't know anything about it, " Smith said. "I expected to do the same thing I always do. I did my same routine and it didn't happen. "

Though the roster is different and the results are way worse, Woodson said before the game he believed the things that worked so well against the Heat last season could still do so, and for this night he was right as New York shot 54 percent from the field.

"We're moving forward, " Anthony said. "We're taking strides. We're getting better. We're learning from our mistakes we've made in the past and we're going to continue to build on this and see what happens. "

The Knicks surged into the lead late in the third. Bargnani answered back quickly after James blew by him for a dunk, converting a three-point play to tie it and ignite a 9-0 spurt that helped New York lead 75-71 entering the final 12 minutes.

New York ran off seven in a row to open the fourth, making it 82-71 on Stoudemire's basket, and there was never really a run for the Heat, who couldn't get closer than five from there.

"They played a great game, " James said. "They made some timely shots. "

The Heat were opening a six-game trip, but the start of it couldn't be more convenient. They are just a few miles away Friday to visit Brooklyn in a game in which players from both teams will wear nicknames on their jerseys.

But the best they can do is salvage a New York split, even after shooting 54 percent in this one.

Miami scored the final seven points of the first quarter to take a 27-21 lead. The Knicks scored 11 in a row early in the second, but Rashard Lewis made two 3-pointers from the corner in the final 1: 11 to help the Heat grab a 48-43 halftime edge.


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Benched J.R. Smith wary

J. R. Smith didn’t play against the Heat.

(USATSI)J.R. Smith feels pretty good about the Knicks next season. (USATSI)
The J. R. Smith saga took another turn on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
Mike Woodson didn’t play him.

After being fined $50, 000 by the league for untying opponents’ shoelaces on the free throw line, which brought on heavy criticism from his coach and was part of the Knicks exploring trade options, Smith was stuck on the end of the bench against Miami.

Asked after the game if he sees himself as part of the team’s future, Smith responded with probably too more candor.

“Honestly, I don’t even know at this point, ” Smith told reporters. “At one point I was for sure and now it’s rocking the boat. But it is what it is. It’s part of the business. “

For most of the first half, Smith sat on the end of the team’s bench, even past the injured Metta World Peace and didn’t actively participate in timeout huddles. But as the Knicks finished off the Heat, the camera caught Smith jumping and clapping enthusiastically on the bench.

What happens next for Smith and the Knicks? Will he play in New York’s next game against the 76ers on Saturday? Hard to know, because Woodson basically no-commented every question about Smith after the game Thursday.

Until the next turn.

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BoSox block Epstein’s Cubs from talking to Lovullo

Torey Lovullo could be a serious managerial candidate for the Cubs - if he's allowed to interview. (Getty)
Torey Lovullo could possibly be a severe managerial candidate for the Cubs – if he is allowed to interview. (Getty)

Purple Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo stays in limbo and the Cubs’ managerial search is temporarily on hold as a dispute over his availability to them is being waged between the Red Sox and Cubs.

The Cubs have been denied permission to ask about Lovullo’s availability for his or her managerial job, not less than for now, as Red Sox larger-ups are claiming their settlement to permit Theo Epstein to leave to become Cubs president prohibits him from hiring away Purple Sox employees.

Lovullo, the Crimson Sox bench coach, would look like a severe managerial candidate for the Cubs – if solely he was given a chance by his present bosses. But at this level, Pink Sox management isn’t permitting Epstein to ask for permission to interview Lovullo.

The Cubs had been hoping to have a supervisor in place by the GM meetings next week in Orlando, so the objective was to rent a supervisor this week. In the event that they imagine it is value ready for Lovullo, that will not happen.

The Cubs are stated to have been impressed with a number of of the boys they’ve already interviewed, and it’s believed that Padres bench coach Rick Renteria and Padres government A.J. Hinch are among those being most strongly thought of. They’re “within the mix,” said someone aware of the scenario.

The sticky state of affairs involving Lovullo was first talked about by Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com.

Lovullo, Epstein, Crimson Sox GM Ben Cherington and Purple Sox president Larry Lucchino did not instantly return texts.

It isn’t known whether or not there’s a time-frame by which the Red Sox can stop hires by Chicago. Nevertheless it has been two years since Epstein left.

Technically, Epstein would not be poaching one of many employees who was with the Crimson Sox when he left for Chicago, as Lovullo moved to work for John Farrell in Toronto after Epstein left. But it’s potential the Pink Sox may attempt to invoke the letter of the agreement.

The opposite difficulty, after all, is Lovullo. There are only 30 main-league managing jobs, and the one with the Cubs is one of the most coveted in many circles. Would Boston ownership persist with its guns regarding an agreement with a team within the different league, and threat upsetting Lovullo?

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Thought´s by Ryan “jets” Smith

Struggling rookie Geno Smith received a pat on the back and a kick in the rear Monday from New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan expressed confidence within the quarterback, reiterating that he’s sticking with him because the starter, however made it clear there is a restrict to his endurance. Ryan was critical of Smith’s carelessness with the ball, saying he must make a direct improvement.

[+] EnlargeGeno SmithJim Brown/USA AT PRESENT SportsRookie quarterback Geno Smith dedicated four more turnovers Sunday, including this fumble on the aim line that led to a landing for the Titans.

In his most telling remark, Ryan used a disclaimer whereas giving Smith a vote of confidence – normally not an excellent signal. Asked if he is mulling a change, giving Smith an opportunity to observe and study from the sideline, Ryan replied, “It isn’t a thought at this point right now.”

Smith dedicated a season-high 4 turnovers in Sunday’s 38-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans, bringing his complete to 11 – tied with the New York Giants’ Eli Manning for most within the league. Smith threw two interceptions in opposition to the Titans, but it was his two fumbles that annoyed Ryan greater than anything. In each instances, he was reckless with the ball, failing to safe it with two hands.

“You may’t buy experience, but with that being stated, we still have to do a significantly better job – Geno, particularly – of protecting the football at all costs,” Ryan mentioned. “You’ll be able to’t be nonchalant about it, it’s a must to defend the ball.”

Ryan mentioned “you’ll be able to speak about it until you are blue within the face,” however there will come a degree when he’ll need to see results. Ryan is regarded as teaching for his job, so he could have a faster hook than he did in 2009, when Mark Sanchez experienced a severe case of rookie rising pains.

The Jets’ options are limited. With Sanchez (shoulder) on injured reserve until November, the backups are Matt Simms and journeyman Brady Quinn. Simms, a preseason standout, has no NFL expertise. Quinn arrived solely a month ago, so he nonetheless doesn’t have a full grasp of Marty Mornhinweg’s playbook.

The NFL Network reported Monday that Sanchez has determined to have surgical procedure to repair his torn labrum after makes an attempt to rehab the injury. Sanchez has not deserted his rehab objectives for shoulder and has no particular plans for surgery but, a source close to Sanchez told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

Ryan It has to get better. It could possibly’t be just we speak about it. We now have to see it. I’ll say this: The younger man, when you look at his college background, he threw six picks all season. I believe it’s going to get better. I don’t assume there’s any doubt it will get better.

- Rex Ryan

To make matters tougher, the Jets could be without their beginning huge receivers once they face the Atlanta Falcons (1-three) on the street Oct. 7. Stephen Hill suffered a concussion Sunday, Ryan announced, and is unlikely to play. Santonio Holmes pulled a hamstring late in the sport Sunday and didn’t return, so he’s a question mark as nicely.

Irrespective of who surrounds Smith, Ryan desires a dramatic discount in turnovers.

“It has to get higher,” he mentioned. “It can’t be simply we speak about it. We have now to see it.

“I will say this: The young man, if you have a look at his school background, he threw six picks all season. I consider it is going to get better. I don’t assume there’s any doubt it’s going to get better.”

Ryan’s numbers are correct. Smith threw six interceptions in 518 attempts final season at West Virginia. In fact, he by no means had greater than seven in any of his three seasons as a starter.

In four video games as a pro, Smith has thrown eight interceptions in 136 attempts. At his present pace, he’d challenge the league mark for most interceptions in a season. Vinny Testaverde threw 35 in 1988, the most within the put up-merger era.

“So far as these turnovers go, they should cease now,” stated Smith, who apologized to his defensive teammates after the sport for putting them in tough situations. “So much falls on my shoulders so far as taking good care of the ball, but that is something I’ve to do. I do know that I have been coached arduous. Nobody needs to make those mistakes. It is something that has to cease now to ensure that us to progress and to get better as an offense and as a workforce.”

The low level got here within the fourth quarter, on a display screen cross from the Jets’ sixteen-yard line. Smith was below strain – part of the play’s design – but he held the ball too lengthy as he retreated towards the objective line. With defensive deal with Karl Klug trying to wrap him up, Smith attempted to modify the ball to his left hand with an round-the-back maneuver.

Didn’t work. He fumbled and it was recovered for a touchdown, making it 31-8.

On the sideline, Ryan was furious.

“He was making an attempt to keep away from the frenzy, however at what cost?” he stated. “To me, we’ve to place two arms on the ball. If we have to roll our shoulders over and take the sack, that’s what now we have to do.”

Two of the five sacks allowed got here on display passes, one practically resulting in a security. The indecision on these routine performs confirmed Smith’s lack of awareness.

“We just should eliminate the football in these conditions, or filth the ball instead of taking a sack,” Ryan mentioned.

Proper now, the Jets (2-2) are a mistake-inclined workforce. They’ve a minus-10 turnover margin and so they lead the league with 44 penalties.

Ryan believes he can repair these two issues, not ruling out a extra run-oriented attack to take stress off Smith.

“We’ve got to stop turning the ball over,” he stated. “That’s killing us proper now.”



Friday Probables: Those Medlen kids


A powerful ending kick (USAT)

A pretty good card, all issues thought of. But bear in mind the golden rule of September baseball: take into account every thing tentative.

We’re at 29 starters for now as a result of Andy Pettitte is being pushed back a day. As we go to post, it is not clear who the Yankees will use in his place.

I am going to record some Saturday concerns on the bottom of this blog. And again, by all means, scour all you possibly can to see the late adjustments and adjustments – groups do a lot of bizarre stuff at the moment of the season.

1. Clayton Kershaw (Col): Get out the engraving, Cy Younger lock.
2. Chris Sale (KC): No luck with wins but a terrific yr.
three. Kris Medlen (Phi): One other dominating finish, like 2012.
four. Bartolo Colon (@Sea): Bankable all 12 months and you like the task.
5. Cliff Lee (@Atl): had a hiccup in July however otherwise terrific.
6. Homer Bailey (Pit): It was a step-up year after all.
7. James Shields (@CWS): Did what the Royals expected him to do.
eight. Felix Hernandez (Oak): Hasn’t been sharpest of late however how are you going to bench him?
9. Stephen Strasburg (@Ari): Too good to bench however something all the time appears to go mistaken with him.
10. Yovani Gallardo (@NYM): Got here round eventually, but too late for a lot of.
11. Alexi Ogando (LAA): Arlington always makes me nervous.
12. Clay Buchholz (@Bal): Three good-not-nice begins since return, hasn’t gone deep in sport but.
thirteen. Rick Porcello (@Mia): Strikeout spike is encouraging.
14. Travis Wooden (@StL): Give this man a Wiggy.
15. Corey Kluber (@Min): Hard to say how healthy he is, however you just like the draw.
sixteen. Burch Smith (@SF): Strikeouts catch your eye and big park helps.
17. Scott Feldman (Bos): Not playoff bound however was dependable in final quarter.
18. A.J. Burnett (@Cin): About as consistent as a paper cup in a hurricane.
19. Brett Oberholtzer (NYY): Pitch-to-contact story, although he’s been wonderful.
20. Carlos Torres (Mil): Can miss bats, in the fitting league.
21. Lance Lynn (ChC): Looked tired down the stretch.
22. Patrick Corbin (Was): Exhausting to belief after a rocky stretch.
23. R.A. Dickey (TB): With the knuckler, nobody is aware of.
24. C.J. Wilson (@Tex): High-variance arm and within the fallacious park.
25. Jeremy Hellickson (@Tor): Even when this had been in Tampa, I might move.
26. Tom Koehler (Det): It’s worthwhile to wait for higher spots.
27. Ryan Vogelsong (SD): Beloved the comeback story but it expired in 2013.
28. Pedro Hernandez (Cle): Await the weekend, gamers.
29. Collin McHugh (@LAD): A poor remoted choice and even worse against Kershaw.

Issues for Saturday : Charlie Morton, Bronson Arroyo, Scott Kazmir, Yusmeiro Petit, Jimmy Nelson, Joe Kelly, Andy Pettitte (moved back a day), Brandon McCarthy, Yordano Ventura, Nathan Eovaldi (sadly, against Detroit).



Paul Bissonnette suspended 10 games after leaving bench to fight Jordan Nolan

The hockey preseason has begun, which is nice news, as a result of it means that we’re writing about precise hockey games once once more. The only draw back is that it also means we’re writing about suspensions. Whee!

Upon hearing that Rusty Klesla had left the game on a stretcher after taking an open-ice hit from Jordan Nolan, we assumed that the first suspension put up of the 2013-14 season can be about Nolan. Not so. The league deemed it a legal hit.

But Paul Bissonnette did not like it, and when he left the bench for the aim of punching Nolan a bunch of instances (starting an altercation, the league calls it), he broke Rule 70.6. That’s 10 games, Biz.

From the NHL:

At 12:09 of the first interval, Bissonnette was assessed a Sport Misconduct penalty beneath Rule 70.6, which states: “A game misconduct penalty shall be imposed on the participant who was the primary or second participant to leave the players’ or penalty bench throughout an altercation or for the aim of beginning an altercation, from either or both teams.”

The suspension is mandated by Rule 70.10, which states: “The primary participant to leave the gamers’ or penalty bench illegally throughout an altercation or for the aim of starting an altercation from either or each groups shall be suspended with out pay for the next 10 common League and/or playoff video games of his workforce.”

On the intense facet, it’s Paul Bissonnette, so there is not any guarantee he’d have been playing all of these 10 games anyway.

Bissonnette forfeits $37,820.51 in salary for the ban.

As it happens, the Coyotes’ pugilist is eligible to return on October 24 when his club visits the Los Angeles Kings. One assumes the primary time he is on the ice with Nolan, he’ll be dropping the gloves. However in order to stay on the best aspect of the law, he should probably skate around a bit first.


Iker Casillas’ melancholy dispatches from the bench


My name is Iker Casillas. I am 32 years old. I am from Mostoles, Spain on planet Earth and it has now been seven months since I last played a significant match for Real Madrid.

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I believe all of that to be true, but I am no longer certain. I have been on the bench for so long that standing up makes me feel light headed now. The bright orange bibs myself and the other bench phantoms must wear to keep from disappearing are very disorienting. Food has no taste, Sergio Ramos’ hair has no color and Xavi’s complaints have no sound. My eyes have no tears left to cry. Bad things are not supposed to happen to people with girlfriends who are on television.

When the Portuguese Troll King was forced out, I smiled for the first time in forever. There would be nothing to hold me back from reclaiming my rightful spot atop the hierarchy of football’s living. The first thing I did was promise to take Kaka, a poor soul who has been kept in this lumbar support prison far longer than I, with me. At first he resisted, unsure if he could re-acclimate to a place that only existed in our stories of the past. But I convinced him that we could make it. We could flourish once again.

When the Italian Cherub Man arrived, it was Kaka who was overtaken with a newfound vigor and excitement. He told me that they were old friends and everything would be glorious from now on. He would take me to the seatless land with him. But something was not right. The Italian Cherub Man taunted me with his one eyebrow. It gyrated independent of the other in a way that can only be described as sinister and diabolical and possibly pornographic.


Then we went to America and we actually played. We played and we laughed and we won. Surely this was the end of our dark term. I knew that when the season began, Iker Casillas and Kaka and all of the other bench phantoms would be included and no longer forced to write disparaging comments about Lionel Messi on the internet just to keep Cristiano happy. I promised Sara that our child will grow up in a world of joy where no one would ever have to sit down again if they don’t want to. But it was not meant to be. The gyrating eyebrow was as malevolent as I feared.

Now the season has begun and I am back on the bench. Watching as even my facial hair is quickly fading away. The Brazil World Cup becoming an abstract concept that Kaka and I will dream about but never speak of. Perhaps there is someone who can save me (Kaka is on his own now). Perhaps they can take me away from this poisoned territory — the only one that I have ever known — that once treated me as a saint instead of a forgotten relic of some weird old religion like whatever the vikings believed in. I think it was flying mice.

I’ve heard rumors of a Frenchman in a comical coat who was once able to assemble fantastical teams in a place called England, but it is said that he has become miserly in his old age. I have been taping paper money to my body every night in the hopes that he will take me away. Until then, I must sit here. And wait. And make sad faces.


Neymar scores first Barcelona goal in Spanish Super Cup

Neymar made an unassuming competitive debut at the Camp Nou as a 63rd minute substitute in Barcelona’s 7-zero win towards Levante, however just three days later he once more came off the bench and this time made a rapid impression. With Barca trailing Atletico Madrid 1-zero within the first leg of the Spanish Tremendous Cup because of an early David Villa revenge objective, Neymar again got here off the bench, this time within the 59th minute. And he promptly scored an equalizer, his first purpose for Barca, just seven minutes later.

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Dani Alves discovered his countryman with a looping cross that set up Neymar to head it in on the far aspect of the purpose.

That was the good news for Barca. The unhealthy news was that Lionel Messi was taken off at halftime, apparently for thigh/hamstring damage. However that is the scary factor about Barcelona now. Even when Messi’s not there, Neymar is able to strike.


Neymar reacts to Barcelona’s domination of Levante from the bench


Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa…whoa. Whoa. What simply happened here? Did Harry Potter abduct me in the night and take me back to 2009? I simply sat on the bench and watched Barcelona score six goals IN THE FIRST HALF towards Levante. Without me. “End of an era” Barcelona. Barcelona that misplaced in the Champions League semifinals 7-0 on combination to Bayern Munich. Barcelona that now has a new manager from Argentina referred to as Tutu or something. I do not even know his identify but as a result of it’s the primary day of the season and the rating is 6-0 after forty five MINUTES while I’m sitting right here just like the sixth member of One Route.

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I was supposed to avoid wasting this membership. Yeah, they received the league final 12 months 15 factors away from Real Madrid, however everybody was still all like, “Yep, Barcelona’s accomplished now. They’re over. Better stick flexible straws in our ears and finish the home lobotomy we have to be doing to think something as utterly silly as that.” Nonetheless, I used to be going to be the guy who keeps Messi at the prime. I was going to come in and be that guy. After which I was going to surpass him in each way conceivable. However that was going to be later, after he loves me and develops an insatiable lust for unique hams and does not care anymore.

Anyway, that is simply ridiculous. They did not beat anyone 7-zero final season. Nobody. They played Levante twice last season and solely received 5-0 in those two matches combined. I know that because I just checked since I am sitting on the bench, drawing on my finger with a pen and watching them score six objectives in opposition to Levante in a single half. And now it is halftime and I am still here by myself as a result of I don’t know what to do with my life anymore.


Seriously, what do I do now? Should I study to knit? Would that be helpful? I beat Spain and received the Golden Ball on the Confederations Cup. Ought to I simply begin knitting stuff for individuals whereas all of them rating targets and be excellent all season? Ought to I fold towels? Turn into a superb sandwich artist at Subway? They’d in all probability make me put on a hairnet there and that might be the worst day of my life everyday ceaselessly. Oh wait, someone’s really talking to me. I’ll want a second to recollect what it is like to actually exist.

“Hey Neymar, come on into the match now.” Thanks, guys. It is 6-zero an hour into the game. If I score a purpose or three now I’m just going to really feel like a bully who takes ice cream from people who can solely eat dairy merchandise. Incredible. Blissful birthday to me though my birthday is really in February. Nice.


And that is a yellow card. That is my contribution on the day. A yellow card within the 88th minute when it’s 7-0. Name me when the group really needs me as a result of we’re solely up like 5-zero and Alexis Sanchez can’t find his different shoe. Within the meantime, I will be volunteering for Messi’s foundation to do something actually useful. And no one’s even listening. Excellent.


Free-agent roundup: Nets fill out the bench, Bucks bring back Delfino, Garcia stays in Houston, etc.

Bojan Bogdanovic (dunking) and Shaun Livingston are Brooklyn-bound. (NBAE/Getty Images)

There’s been plenty of free-agent activity since Dwight Howard made his decision late Friday to join the Houston Rockets, with point guard Jose Calderon heading south to Dallas, Chris Kaman leaving Texas in favor of sunny SoCal and a slew of other agreements that Our Fearless Leader broke down earlier Monday.

(“Agreements,” it should be noted, but not signings. No deal can be made official until after the July 10 end of the league’s annual moratorium on trades and signings.)

Let’s take a look at some of the other roster-building work teams have done over the past few days, starting in my hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y.


• The Brooklyn Nets agreed to a three-year deal with 2011 second-round draft pick Bojan Bogdanovic and a one-year contract with veteran point guard Shaun Livingston, according to Yahoo! Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski.

Tim Bontemps of the New York Post reports that Bogdanovic, 24, will receive about $2.5 million of the Nets’ taxpayer midlevel exception, which starts at just under $3.2 million this season. Livingston’s deal is for the veteran’s minimum of just under $1.3 million, although he’ll only count on the cap for a shade under $900,000, thanks to the same wrinkle that chops down the Nets’ cap charge for Andray Blatche. (I explained that here.)

The Nets turned their attention to bringing Bogdanovic over from Turkey, where he’s spent the last two seasons playing for Euroleague side Fenerbahçe Ülker, once it became clear that they weren’t going to be able to secure the services of Kyle Korver, who wound up receiving nearly twice the mini-MLE to stay with the Atlanta Hawks. He might not be on the order of Korver (few are) but according to the crew at Euroleague Adventures, the 6-foot-7 Bogdanovic profiles as a legitimate long-range bomber who hit 40.5 percent of his 3-pointers in Euroleague play and 38 percent in Turkish League games for Fenerbahçe this season, and who’s got enough creativity off the bounce to be able to make opponents pay for reckless closeouts.

Now, Nets fans might find themselves feeling a little bit of déjà vu at that description after hearing similar praise of the floor-spacing marksmanship of Mirza Teletovic last summer. As you might remember, the Bosnian forward/Euroleague scorer couldn’t crack the rotations of Avery Johnson and P.J. Carlesimo, averaging less than 10 minutes a game in just 54 total appearances. But whereas Teletovic had Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries and (in small-ball lineups) Gerald Wallace ahead of him for minutes at the four, Bogdanovic looks to have a prime opportunity to earn burn behind starters Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson for a Nets team that looks thin on the wing if he can impress new head coach Jason Kidd. If he struggles in both knocking down perimeter looks and adjusting to playing defense stateside, though, he might wind up spending lots of time giving pounds to the Nets’ coaches on the bench.

Seemingly decades removed from the days when he was considered the next big thing at the point, Livingston comes along for the ride, basically, to provide enough veteran insurance behind Deron Williams to ensure that Kidd and company only have to rely on second-year triggerman Tyshawn Taylor in case of emergency.

The Nets will be the seventh stop in the last six years for the 27-year-old Livingston, who had his promising future as the leader of the Los Angeles Clippers scuttled by one of the more vicious knee injuries you’ll ever see, but has come back to forge a nice career as a steady lead guard (averaging about 2.2 assists for every turnover over the last half-dozen seasons) who uses his 6-foot-7 frame, long arms and active hands to help out on the glass and in disrupting things on the defensive end (four rebounds and about two combined steals/blocks per 36 minutes last season). He was also a net positive working off the ball as a two-guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers last year, which could offer Kidd some flexibility to use mix-and-match Livingston alongside Williams or Taylor in breather-ensuring lineups in which he could share ball-handling responsibility with a playmaking wing like Pierce or Johnson.

Livingston’s a downgrade at the position from C.J. Watson, who’ll leave Brooklyn come Wednesday to sign with the Indiana Pacers, and you don’t want to rely on playing Shaun off the ball much — he’s never been able to shoot a lick from outside. Still, though, finding an experienced backup who can fill a couple of gaps for the minimum represents a nice roster-completing pickup for a team that did its heavy lifting on draft night.


• Carlos Delfino will return to the Milwaukee Bucks on a two-year deal worth $6.5 million, according to Wojnarowski, with a team option for Year 3 that would reportedly increase the total value of the Argentinian shooter’s deal to as much as $10 million.

Carlos Delfino rises and fires. He does that a lot. (Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE/Getty Images) This one kind of stings for the Rockets, who waived Delfino just before the start of free agency to help create enough cap space to offer Dwight Howard a max-level contract but really liked what the 30-year-old veteran offered last season — which, mostly, was shooting. Daryl Morey paid Delfino to jack it up from beyond the arc, and that’s exactly what he did, averaging a whopping nine 3-point attempts per 36 minutes of floor time and hitting at a 37.5 percent clip.

The 6-foot-6 swingman isn’t a very good defender, but he’s a feisty and at-times opportunistic one who’s averaged about a steal and a half per-36 over the course of his eight-year NBA career. He’s capable of helping on the boards off the wing, isn’t an especially gifted playmaker and doesn’t offer a ton offensively beyond 3-point shooting, but reliable perimeter shotmaking remains quite valuable in today’s NBA and isn’t too bad a way to spend a little bit more than the mini-midlevel exception.

That said, it seems weird that the Bucks are the ones paying him. Yes, they needed shooting and wing production after letting Mike Dunleavy head south to the Chicago Bulls, and yes, Delfino’s got history with the Bucks organization after spending three years there before heading to Houston. But for a team like Milwaukee that seems to lack a coherent plan or clear direction, paying Delfino to hoist triples on unlikely-to-be-competitive teams until he’s 34 doesn’t feel like it makes a ton of sense. Then again, a veteran shooter on a short-money deal could be a flippable asset at the trade deadline this season or next, and it seems like it’ll be fun to watch Delfino and Zaza Pachulia argue over whose head is biggest. That’s a win, I suppose.


• The Houston Rockets will re-sign swingman Francisco Garcia to a two-year contract worth $2.6 million, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. You’ve got to like Garcia returning to Houston, if only for the value of the deal.

Retaining Garcia on the cheap is a win for the Rockets. (Bill Baptist/NBAE/Getty Images) Yes, he’ll turn 32 in December, but he’s a versatile wing who can shoot — just a touch above 36 percent from 3-point range for his career, but he’s shot league-average or better from deep in five of his eight NBA seasons and is a career 39.4 percent shooter from the corners — and defend some, as he showed during the Rockets’ postseason matchup against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he’ll actually be taking about a $5 million pay-cut from the $6.4 million he’d have made had Houston picked up its team option on the final year of his contract.

They didn’t, because they had to squeeze every ounce of available cap space they could to make the Howard offer. But Garcia digs the team, the organization and the recent acquisition enough to stick around despite getting stuck. I’m not real high at all on Houston picking up Omri Casspi — if, as Woj reported, the Rockets like Casspi’s shooting, they’re looking at a different guy than one who’s put up the 42/35/66 career shooting splits we’ve seen. But bringing back Garcia at such a friendly number ought to help cushion the blow of losing Delfino’s floor-spacing on the wing.


• The Denver Nuggets and free-agent forward/center J.J. Hickson agreed to terms on a three-year contract worth $15 million, according to Wojnarowski. I don’t really get this one, to be honest.

On its face, $5 million per year doesn’t seem like a ton for a 24-year-old guy who made 80 starts in the middle for the Blazers and averaged a double-double last season while posting top-10 finishes in field-goal percentage, effective field-goal percentage (which accounts for 3-pointers being worth more than 2-pointers), as well as all three varieties (offensive, defensive and total) of rebounding percentage, which measures how big a share of available misses you grab. In fact, it kind of seems like a steal.. until you remember that while Hickson’s rebounding numbers were impressive, Portland’s as a team actually went down while he was on the floor, suggesting that rather than increasing the number of caroms the Blazers hoovered, he was actually taking a lot away from his teammates.

J.J. Hickson might be an odd fit in Denver. (Cameron Browne/NBAE/Getty Images) And that Portland scored more points per 100 possessions and allowed fewer points-per-100 when he sat than when he played last year, according to NBA.com’s stat tool. And that Portland gave up more points in the paint per game than any other team last season, that Neil Olshey and company have been actively seeking an upgrade at the five for a while. And that despite an absence of gaudy numbers, recently imported Robin Lopez is widely considered to actually be such an upgrade because, when you get right down to it, J.J. Hickson is really a power forward who’s been miscast as a center for the past few seasons.

And then you remember that the Nuggets already had JaVale McGee, Kenneth Faried, recently acquired Darrell Arthur and Anthony Randolph in the frontcourt.. and that they just lost Andre Iguodala, could soon lose Corey Brewer and could be without a rehabilitating Danilo Gallinari for a chunk of next season.. and that Denver seems to be relying a lot on sophomore-to-be Evan Fournier and new Nugget Randy Foye at the two.. and you kind of wonder whether a backup four/five who doesn’t make you better defensively is the best way that Tim Connelly and company could have spent $5 million a year, even if that seems like a fair rate for Hickson’s box-score production.

Maybe new head coach Brian Shaw can find ways to mask Hickson’s defensive deficiencies and maximize his effectiveness in the screen game and as a finisher/board-crasher, but this feels like something of a miss in an offseason full of them for Denver.


• The Charlotte Bobcats agreed to terms on a two-year, $6 million deal with free-agent forward Josh McRoberts, according to Yahoo! Sports NBA columnist Marc J. Spears.

Josh McRoberts looks to facilitate from up top for the ‘Cats. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images) When McRoberts joined the Bobcats in a sleepy 2012-13 trade deadline deal that sent Hakim Warrick to the Orlando Magic, the expectation was that the swap would amount to nothing much at all beyond Orlando waiving Warrick (which happened in short order) and McRoberts continuing to underwhelm except for an occasional alley-oop finish. The noted Charlie Day-lookalike showed flashes in Charlotte, though, sopping up the somebody’s-got-to-play-them minutes for the circling-the-drain ‘Cats (just under 31 minutes per game in 26 appearances, including 19 starts) and making a little something out of them, averaging about nine points, seven boards and three assists per contest.

He’s not Chris Webber or Brad Miller or anything, but the 6-foot-10 forward’s got good vision and a willingness to facilitate when operating out of the high post, which would figure to pair well with recent signee Al Jefferson, who’ll be living on Charlotte’s left block for the next two to three seasons. Ditto for incumbent big man Bismack Biyombo, who needs to stay pretty close to the basket to be able to do much of anything other than screen-setting, or rookie Cody Zeller, who will probably benefit from a bit of cleverness in helping him find looks in the half-court. Mini-midlevel-ish money for the possibility of average reserve production and keep-things-moving passing seems like a win for a Bobcats team that just overpaid massively in the Jefferson deal.


• The New Orleans Pelicans will bring back small forward Al-Farouq Aminu on a one-year, $3.7 million contract, according to Wojnarowski. Aminu, for his part, sounds stoked.

Al-Farouq Aminu has very long arms. (Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE/Getty Images) Three years into an NBA career that began as a lottery pick of the Los Angeles Clippers, Aminu might just be what he is — a long (6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-3-1/4-inch wingspan) defensive-minded small forward who’s an elite rebounder for his position, really only generates offense as a finisher in transition or by attacking the glass, and can’t shoot from outside (27.2 percent beyond 10 feet last season) to save his life. Even if that’s all he is, there’s definitely value to that — players who can defend multiple positions and make contributions without needing the ball matter, especially for a Pelicans team that figures to feature a lot of multi-guard lineups including ball-dominating guards Eric Gordon, draft-night acquisition Jrue Holiday and restricted free-agent target Tyreke Evans.

How much the Pelicans improve this season will depend much more on what kind of leap Anthony Davis makes from Year 1 to Year 2 and on the health/productivity of that reconfigured backcourt than on anything Aminu provides. But considering the paucity of small-forward types on the Pelicans’ roster — and the fact that New Orleans was 7.7 points per 100 possessions better with Aminu on the floor last season than when he was off it, according to NBA.com’s stat tool — paying less than $4 million to see if the still-only-22-year-old Wake Forest product still has some room to grow makes sense.


• The Atlanta Hawks and free-agent forward DeMarre Carroll agreed to terms, according to Woj and Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports. Carroll will sign a two-year deal worth $5 million, according to CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger.

To a certain extent, Carroll and Aminu work the same side of the street, as wing players whose primary contributions come in the form of attentive and aggressive (if not always fruitful) perimeter defense and rebounding, who derive most of their offensive value as board-crashers and transition lane-fillers, and who can’t reliably handle or shoot the ball or create their own offense. While Aminu intrigues with his combination of youth, length and athleticism, though, Carroll’s a grit-grind-hustle type who would’ve made perfect cultural sense had he stayed with the Memphis Grizzlies beyond the early stages of his sophomore season.

DeMarre Carroll and Atlanta will be happy with each other. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) He’s bounced around a bit, however, shipping off to Houston with Hasheem Thabeet to bring back Shane Battier before being waived, briefly catching on with the Denver Nuggets and ultimately finding a home with the Jazz as a fill-in-the-blanks guy whose value rarely comes through in the box score. Well, that’s not 100 percent true — Salt City Hoops’ Andy Larsen cites how infrequently Carroll turns the ball over, especially in comparison with how often he causes or aids in the creation of turnovers, as well as his “eye-popping” offensive rebounding, as proof that the 26-year-old Missouri product understands the value of both extending his team’s offensive possessions and curtailing the opponents’.

That also shines through in Carroll’s on/off-court numbers, available via NBA.com’s stat tool. The Jazz outscored opponents by 5.4 points per 100 possessions when Carroll played last season, and were outscored by 3.1-per-100 when he sat. That’s an 8 1/2-point-per-100 swing, equivalent to the difference between an elite team (say, the Miami Heat) and a just-above-average one (the Brooklyn Nets) or between an average one (the Chicago Bulls) and the least-efficient teams in the league (somewhere between the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats).

Now, that doesn’t mean Carroll’s going to be the difference between the Hawks being a lower-tier Eastern playoff possibility and a fierce contender to be feared. But it suggests there’s demonstrable value in the hard-working, hustling, mistake-limiting game Carroll plays, and for $2.5 million a year through age 28, he figures to be a very nice addition to new head coach Mike Budenholzer’s team as a backup small forward. And if Danny Ferry finds a deal he’d like that could benefit from the inclusion of Carroll as ballast, there aren’t likely to be too many rival executives unhappy with the idea of importing a solid, inexpensive citizen known for working his tail off, either.


• The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to terms with former Indiana Pacers forward Jeff Pendergraph, per Wojnarowski. The deal’s believed to be worth $4 million over two seasons, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.

To the extent non-Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers and Arizona State Sun Devils fans remember Pendergraph, it might be because he was the dude who got into a weird scuffle with Heat guard Norris Cole at the very end of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals that resulted in Flo Rida’s manager getting ejected from AmericanAirlines Arena. Pretty great claim to fame, huh?

Over the course of the past couple of seasons, the 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward has profiled as a solid per-minute rebounder (especially on the defensive glass) and he showcased a somewhat improved jumper last season (40 percent from outside 10 feet). But he turned the ball on 14.5 percent of his touches (league-average for forwards last year was 11.2 percent, per Hoopdata) and it’s worth remembering there’s a reason that Frank Vogel basically never went to the end of the bench Pendergraph occupied. Pendergraph will likely grab the minutes that belonged to DeJuan Blair last season, offering a bit more on the defensive end and a bit less on the offensive end, and make a little more money that he might be worth to do so.


• The Portland Trail Blazers and free-agent point guard Earl Watson agreed to terms on a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract, according to Woj.

Watson’s a respected veteran who’s been around the league a long time; his presence should benefit the young guard tandem of Damian Lillard and rookie C.J. McCollum, around whom the Blazers will be building their teams for years to come. That said, Watson was very bad for the Jazz last season, shooting just under 31 percent from the floor and not even cracking 18 percent from 3-point range. (On the bright side, he almost never shoots, taking just 5.2 field-goal attempts per 36 minutes of playing time.) He’s still a capable facilitator, managing four dimes a game in a tick over 17 minutes per contest for Utah, but the 12-year vet’s also become looser with the ball as he’s grown older, coughing it up on more than a third of the possessions he used last season.

Getting a pass-first type for the bargain-basement minimum isn’t the worst thing in the world. Considering Watson’s glaring limitations on both ends of the floor, though, him playing more than spot or mop-up minutes might not be far off for the Blazers.