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Summer bball action will change a bit in 2018. The Orlando Magic won’t be holding their usual league, which means the already-dominant main NBA-run league in Vegas will presumably become even bigger. Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting:

The Orlando Magic will not hold their annual summer league in Orlando next year and will participate instead in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, team officials told the Orlando Sentinel.

The decision is a radical departure for the Magic, who ran and managed their own summer league in Central Florida 14 times since 2002…

Eight teams participated in the Orlando Pro Summer League this year and played five games apiece. In addition to the Magic, the other teams were the Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose remains out with a sprained left ankle. He received additional imaging and evaluation today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health by Cavaliers team physician Dr. James Rosneck and Dr. Brian Donley.

Due to continued symptoms, the ankle will be immobilized in a boot for the next week and he will also undergo an extended treatment process over the next two to three weeks.

His status will be updated as appropriate

Delon Wright out with shoulder injury

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday that test results confirmed guard Delon Wright sustained an injury consistent with a dislocated right shoulder. The injury occurred in the second quarter of Toronto’s game November 15 at New Orleans.

Wright had surgery on the same shoulder Aug. 1, 2016 following an NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas.

Wright will travel with the team to New York City next week for further consultation with Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today that the Philadelphia 76ers have restructured the terms of forward Robert Covington’s contract for the current season and signed Covington to a multi-year contract extension.

According to ESPN.com, it is a four-year, $62 million extension that “will include a $15 million renegotiation bump on Covington’s $1.57 million salary this season, plus an additional four years that will keep Covington under contract through the 2021-22 season.”

“Robert Covington is a prime example of what hard work, dedication and commitment can lead to. Rob’s growth as a player on both ends of the floor makes him one of the most versatile and effective wings in the league, while his contributions of character and professionalism feature prominently in our evolving organizational culture. This extension is both well-deserved, and a really great story,” Colangelo said.

Through 14 games this season, Covington holds averages of 16.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 31.1 minutes per game. His scoring average, 50 percent mark from the field and 49.5 percent mark from three-point range (eighth in the NBA) all represent career-highs.

The fifth-year forward has converted on 50 three-pointers this season, which ranks fourth in the NBA and he is one of just nine players in the league with at least 20 steals and 10 blocks in 2017-18. After leading the league in deflections per game a season ago, and finishing fourth in the league’s Defensive Player of the Year voting, his average of 3.4 deflections per contest this season places him fourth among NBA players.

Covington is one of 14 NBA players to make at least 500 three-pointers since the start of the 2014-15 season, while his 524 three-pointers in a 76ers uniform rank fourth in franchise history, behind Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, Kyle Korver and Andre Iguodala. He has finished second on the team in steals in each of his seasons in Philadelphia and is one of 17 players league-wide with at least 350 steals in that timeframe. Just five players have both 500 threes and 350 steals in that span.

Covington signed with the Sixers on Nov. 15, 2014 after being waived by Houston. In 217 games (178 starts), he holds averages of 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 28.6 minutes per game with Philadelphia. Covington originally was unselected in the 2013 NBA Draft after four seasons at Tennessee State and signed a free-agent contract with the Rockets in July 2013.

The Memphis Grizzlies say that point guard Mike Conley will undergo therapy and treatment to help promote healing and alleviate soreness in his left heel and Achilles following consultations with physicians and the Grizzlies’ medical staff. There is no timetable for his return at this time. Further updates will be provided in approximately two weeks.

Conley (6-1, 175) has appeared and started in 12 of the Grizzlies’ first 14 games this season and has averaged 17.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.00 steals in 31.1 minutes in his 11th NBA season (all with Memphis).

Mavericks sign Antonius Cleveland, waive Gian Clavell

The Dallas Mavericks have signed guard/forward Antonius Cleveland to a two-way contract. In a related move, the Mavericks requested waivers on guard Gian Clavell.

A native of Memphis, played four seasons at Southeast Missouri State University (2013-17) before going undrafted in 2017. As a senior in 2016-17, he averaged 16.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 32.9 minutes in 33 games (all starts) for the Redhawks on his way to being named All-Ohio Valley Conference First Team.

Cleveland played on Portland’s summer league team in 2017 and spent the 2017 preseason with Golden State. He appeared in six games for Golden State’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, in 2017-18, averaging 14.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 25.9 minutes.

He will wear number 44 for the Mavericks.

The 2017-18 season will mark the first year NBA two-way contracts will be implemented. NBA teams are allowed to have up to two players under two-way contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League and not more than 45 days with their NBA team.

Two-way players are paid a corresponding daily amount based on the number of days they play in each league. Only players with four-or-fewer years of NBA experience are able to sign two-way contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.

Clavell saw action in seven game for the Mavericks this season averaging 2.9 points and 1.0 rebound in 9.1 minutes per game.

Okaro White undergoes foot surgery

Miami Heat forward Okaro White has undergone surgery to repair a fifth metatarsal fracture in his left foot. The 85-minute procedure was performed by Dr. Thomas San Giovanni and HEAT team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute at Doctors Hospital.

White has appeared in six games (four starts) with the HEAT this season averaging 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13.3 minutes while shooting 43.8 percent from the field.

A timetable for his return has not been set.

The Heat are 6-8 this season and have lost their last two games. They’re led in scoring by Goran Dragic (19.9 ppg), Dion Waiters (16.6 ppg), Hassan Whiteside (15.7 ppg), James Johnson (11.8 ppg) and Tyler Johnson (10.3).

Nic Batum set to return for Hornets

The Hornets are about to get a super versatile piece of their roster back in the form of Nic Batum, who reportedly may return as early as tomorrow. Here is the Charlotte Observer reporting:

Barring a “drastic” and unexpected setback, Nic Batum will play — and start — Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Charlotte Hornets’ nationally-televised home game Wednesday.

That was coach Steve Clifford’s statement, after Batum practiced for a third consecutive day. He has missed the Hornets’ first 11 regular-season games and most of the preseason, after he tore a ligament in his left elbow Oct. 4. Playing Wednesday (8 p.m., ESPN) would mean Batum returns at the minimum of the projected six to eight weeks he’d miss with the injury.

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Joe Johnson out with hand injury

Jazz forward Joe Johnson consulted with a hand specialist on Tuesday and is showing progress to make a return. He will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Now in his 17th season, Johnson (6-7, 240, Arkansas) has appeared in seven games averaging 6.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 19.2 minutes per contest.

Rudy Gobert out at least four weeks with leg injury

Jazz center Rudy Gobert was examined Saturday by the Utah Jazz medical staff and underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) testing. The MRI revealed a right tibia contusion.

The injury took place when Heat guard Dion Waiters, while hustling for a loose ball, dove recklessly into Gobert’s legs.

The 7-1 center will be reevaluated in four weeks.

The 2017 All-NBA Second Team center is currently averaging 13.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and a league-best 2.5 blocks per game in his fifth NBA season. He has totaled eight double-doubles on the year and dating back to last season has totaled 244 blocks, the most in the NBA during that span.

The Jazz are 6-7 this season. They have six players averaging double-digit scoring: Rodney Hood, Ricky Rubio, Donovan Mitchell, Gobert, and Derrick Favors. The team faces the Timberwolves tomorrow.

Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Knicks waive Mindaugas Kuzminskas

The Knicks have waived forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas.

Kuzminskas, 6-9, 215-pounds, averaged 6.3 points over 14.9 minutes in 68 games during his rookie season for the Knicks in 2016-17 after signing as an undrafted free agent on Jul. 9, 2016. The Lithuania-native has appeared in one game this season.

“The respect this franchise has for Mindaugas cannot be overstated,” Knicks General Manager Scott Perry said. “His professionalism and work ethic were greatly appreciated by his teammates, coaches and the entire staff. This decision was extremely tough for us. We wish him nothing but the best moving on with his playing career.”

According to ESPN.com, “Kuzminskas, 28, is in the final season of a two-year contract that was fully guaranteed for $3 million this season. New York needed to open a roster spot to make room for [Joakim] Noah, who will return from a suspension for the use of a banned substance on Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Noah served the final 12 games of the 20-game suspension this season. It was originally issued in late March.”

Pelicans waive Josh Smith

Pelicans waive Josh Smith

The New Orleans Pelicans have waived forward Josh Smith.

Smith, 6-9, 225, was originally signed by New Orleans on October 28.

It’s unclear if Smith will be back in the NBA. He’s only 31 but his game appears to be in serious decline.

The Pelicans roster currently stands at 17, including two two-way players.

Jayson Tatum injury update

There’s relatively good news on the Celtics injury front. Here is NESN reporting:

Boston Celtics fans can exhale a bit. Celtics rookie forward Jayson Tatum, who’s played very well in a starting role through the first 12 games of the season, was ruled out for the second half of Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers because of right ankle soreness. The C’s announced Thursday night that MRI results came back negative.

Full article

Suns trade Eric Bledsoe to Bucks for Greg Monroe

The Phoenix Suns have completed a trade to acquire center/forward Greg Monroe, the rights to a future first-round pick and a 2018 protected second-round pick from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for guard Eric Bledsoe.

The Suns add Milwaukee’s future first-round pick to a collection of first-rounders that includes all of Phoenix’s own first-round selections, as well as Miami’s 2018 first-round pick (top-seven protected in 2018, unprotected in 2019) and Miami’s 2021 unprotected first-round pick.

Milwaukee’s first-round pick will convey to the Suns in 2018 if in the range of 11-16 overall, in 2019 if in the range of 4-16, in 2020 if in the range of 8-30 and in 2021 will be unprotected if it has not yet been conveyed. The Suns will receive Milwaukee’s second-round pick in 2018 if in the range of 48-60 overall.

“Eric is a dynamic player who brings scoring and toughness to the court while enhancing our young and talented core,” said Bucks General Manager Jon Horst. “We thank Greg for his professionalism, leadership and contribution on the court and in the community during his time in Milwaukee.”

Bledsoe, 27, is in his eighth season in the NBA and holds career averages of 13.1 points, 4.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game over 421 games (259 starts) with the Suns and the L.A. Clippers. He averaged more than 20.0 points and 6.0 assists per game in each of the last two seasons with the Suns, including career highs in points (21.1) and assists (6.3) per game during the 2016-17 season. Bledsoe spent the past five seasons (2013-17) with Phoenix and averaged 18.8 points, 6.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 33.6 minutes over 224 games (221 starts).

The Kentucky product was selected with the 18th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder, but was traded on draft night to the Clippers where he spent the first three seasons of his career. Bledsoe averaged 6.7 points, 3.0 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 197 games (38 starts) with the Clippers.

Suns trade Eric Bledsoe to Bucks for Greg Monroe

Monroe, in his eighth NBA season, holds career averages of 14.0 points on 51.1 percent shooting, 8.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 543 games. Last season, his second with the Bucks, Monroe finished sixth in voting for NBA Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 11.7 points on 53.4 percent shooting and 6.6 rebounds with his 13 double-doubles ranking fourth in the league among reserves.

The 6-11, 265-pound post player was originally the seventh overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft by Detroit, playing his first five seasons with the Pistons before signing with the Bucks in July 2015. Named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2011, Monroe finished fifth in voting for Most Improved Player in 2011-12 as he began a run of five consecutive seasons in which he exceeded averages of 15 points and eight rebounds per game.

A native of New Orleans, Monroe starred collegiately for two seasons at Georgetown University prior to entering the NBA Draft. With the Hoyas, Monroe averaged 14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists for his career, earning First Team All-Big East honors in 2010 and the Big East Rookie of the Year award in 2009.

The Suns’ roster remains at 17 players.

The Atlanta Hawks have signed Tyler Cavanaugh to a two-way contract.

Cavanaugh has played in one game this season for the Erie BayHawks, Atlanta’s G League affiliate, compiling 19 points, 11 rebounds, one block and one steal in 35 minutes (8-13 FGs, 3-5 3FGs). He was also a member of the Hawks’ Summer League team, competing in Las Vegas this past July. He originally signed with the Hawks on September 6, 2017, appeared in four preseason contests, and was waived on October 13, 2017.

He spent his first two college seasons at Wake Forest before transferring to George Washington. As a graduate student at GW last season, he appeared in 35 games (all starts), leading the team in points (18.3), rebounds (8.4), free throws made (173) and attempted (204) in 32.2 minutes (.448 FG%, .409 3FG%, .848 FT%). He was named to the A-10 All-Conference Second Team and the All-Academic Team. The 6’9 Cavanaugh started 38 games in 2015-16 and put in 16.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 30.4 minutes (.505 FG%, .417 3FG%, .827 FT%), leading the Colonials to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) title, earning Most Outstanding Player honors. He averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 21.2 minutes in 33 games as a sophomore at Wake Forest, and tallied 5.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 16.7 minutes as a freshman in 31 contests. The Syracuse, NY native will wear No. 34.

The 2017-18 season marks the first year of two-way contracts in the NBA. Only players with four-or-fewer years of NBA experience are permitted to sign two-way contracts. Per league rules, teams are allowed to have up to two two-way players on their roster at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. A two-way player for the Hawks will primarily play for the BayHawks but can spend up to 45 days with Atlanta, not including any time prior to the start of Erie’s training camp and at the conclusion of their season.

Larry Nance Jr out with hand injury

Larry Nance Jr., who fractured the second metacarpal on his left hand in last night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, had successful surgery today to repair the fracture. The surgery was performed by Dr. Steven S. Shin.

Nance Jr. is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

The third-year pro started all eight games this season, with averages of 10.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.

Despite their loss of Gordon Hayward at the start of the season, the Celtics are off to an excellent start. And they’re about to get better as new addition Marcus Morris is ready to make his season debut. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:

Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris will make his 2017-18 season debut during Friday night’s visit to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Morris, acquired this summer in a swap that sent Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons, missed the start of Boston’s training camp while on trial for aggravated assault in Arizona. He played in only one exhibition game after being acquitted and the team held him out of game action at the start of the regular season while Morris both got himself in better shape and battled knee soreness.

“Very excited, man,” Morris said at Boston’s shootaround Friday morning. “This will be a good game for me to come back, anyway. I’m excited to come back.”

Full article

NBA notes, Nov. 2, 2017

Boston, which has won six consecutive games since an 0-2 start, leads the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing 95.1 points per 100 possessions. During the winning streak, the Celtics are permitting 90.0 points per game.

Toronto visits Utah on Friday, Nov. 3 at 9 p.m. ET on NBA League Pass. The Raptors and Jazz had an NBA-high seven international players each on opening-night rosters for the 2017-18 season (active and inactive).

The LA Clippers’ Blake Griffin has made at least two three-pointers in all seven games this season. He did it nine times all of last season, appearing in 61 games.

In Indiana’s first four wins of the season, Domantas Sabonis shot 28-of-29 from the field (96.6 percent). The Pacers are now 5-3 and riding a three-game winning streak.

Utah’s Donovan Mitchell finished with 28 points off the bench in Wednesday’s overtime victory over Portland, the highest-scoring game by a Jazz rookie reserve in 37 years.

– Via NBA News newsletter

NBA milestone watch

LeBron James, Cavaliers: On Wednesday, the four-time MVP became the sixth player to record 400 regular-season games with at least 30 points, joining Michael Jordan (562), Wilt Chamberlain (515), Karl Malone (435), Kobe Bryant (431) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (429). James needs eight points to reach 29,000 for his career.

Carmelo Anthony, Thunder: Anthony needs 53 points to pass Hall of Famer and former teammate Allen Iverson (24,368) for 24th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Gregg Popovich, Spurs: The San Antonio coach enters tonight’s game against Golden State (8 p.m. ET, TNT) needing one victory to tie Phil Jackson (1,155) for sixth place on the NBA’s all-time coaching wins list.

Kemba Walker, Hornets: The 2017 All-Star has passed Glen Rice for the most 25-point games in franchise history (110).

- Via NBA News newsletter

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced the team has exercised the fourth-year contract option on forward Jarell Martin.

Martin (6-10, 239) has started six of his seven appearances this season and averaged 7.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.29 blocks in 23.9 minutes, all career highs. Selected with the 25th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft following his sophomore season at Louisiana State University, the Baton Rouge native has competed in 76 career games (nine starts) with the Grizzlies and averaged 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 14.5 minutes.

In addition, the 23-year-old has appeared in 32 games (25 starts) in two seasons with the NBA G League’s Iowa Energy (now Wolves) and averaged 15.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 28.4 minutes.

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced the team has exercised the fourth-year contract option on forward Jarell Martin. Martin is now signed through the 2018-19 season.

Martin (6-10, 239) has started six of his seven appearances this season and averaged 7.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.29 blocks in 23.9 minutes, all career highs. Selected with the 25th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft following his sophomore season at Louisiana State University, the Baton Rouge native has competed in 76 career games (nine starts) with the Grizzlies and averaged 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 14.5 minutes.

In addition, the 23-year-old has appeared in 32 games (25 starts) in two seasons with the NBA G League’s Iowa Energy (now Wolves) and averaged 15.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 28.4 minutes.

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