How the Orlando Magic made the trade of the summer

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Before free agency started last June, on the day of the draft, the Denver Nuggets and the Orlando Magic made a trade. The Magic sent Arron Afflalo to Denver for his second stint with the Nuggets, and Denver sent back Frenchman Evan Fournier, entering his third season, along with a second-round pick (which would become Devyn Marble).
At the time, the Magic and their general manager, Rob Hennigan, were mocked for participating in such a clearly one-sided trade. Afflalo had just finished his seventh NBA season and, incredibly, he had improved his scoring average during each and every year: from 3.7 points per game as a rookie with the 2007–08 Detroit Pistons to a team-leading 18.2 pointers per game with last year’s Magic. Factor in Afflalo’s considerable reputation as a hard worker, plus his relatively team-friendly $7.7 million salary (plus a $7.9 million player option for 2015–16), and who wouldn’twant that guy on their team?
Fournier, meanwhile, appeared to be an unproven com…

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7 NBA Players Who Look Like They’ve Made Huge Improvements Since Last Season

If the first few weeks of the 2014-15 NBA season are any indication, this year’s Most Improved Player award field is going to be crowded.

Stars are being born, role players are becoming cornerstones and ceilings are being raised all across the basketball world.

The seven players here didn’t finish last season in the same spot. Some had already flashed superstar ability, while others had only hinted at a bright future if they could tap into their full potential.

No matter where they left off, all have since sent their stocks soaring.

In order to compile this list, a couple requirements were put in place.

One, all players had to have a player efficiency rating of at least 20 (league average is 15.0). It isn’t easy jumping from bad to mediocre, but it’s not something that should be celebrated like a guy pushing himself somewhere between good and great.

Also, players need to have seen at least 20 minutes of action a night. As incredible as Dennis Schroder and his 22.3 PER have been out of the gate, it’s hard to fully gauge the level of his improvement when he’s spending more than 60 percent of the game on the sideline.

Other than that, everyone was eligible for selection. And these are the seven who stood above the rest.

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Kevin Martin Fined $15K for Obscene Gesture Made During Bulls vs. T’Wolves

Kevin Martin is going to need to find a different celebration after making big shots. 

The Minnesota Timberwolves guard was fined by the NBA for what has been deemed to be an “obscene gesture” after hitting a shot against the Chicago Bulls. Paul Garcia of Project Spurs has more:

Michael Lee of The Washington Post adds:

Here was the shot in question:

The NBA has cracked down on players that do the dance first popularized by Sam Cassell during his playing days. Last January, Jameer Nelson of the Orlando Magic was fined, as Marc Stein of ESPN reported at the time:

One would guess Martin would steer clear of the dance going forward after being hit with such a hefty fine.

The 31-year-old has been quite good for the Timberwolves thus far, averaging 22.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in two games this season. In 68 games in 2013-14 with the T’Wolves, he averaged 19.1 points and shot 38.7 percent from three-point range.    

With Kevin Love now in Cleveland, much of the scoring onus for this team will fall on the back of Martin, and his clutch shot against the Bulls proved, at least for one night, that he’s up to the task.

Even if he’s a little lighter in the wallet. 

 

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Report: Kobe Made Smush Parker Get Dressed In Broom Closet

Grantland has gotten their hands on the NBA’s redacted scouting reports, and the Lakers report is a doozy.
According to a former Lakers staff member, Kobe Bryant was among other things, a guy who refused to learn his teammates names, and a basketball sociopath.
The tidbit from the report that is sure to cause conversation in NBA circles, is the report that Bryant disliked Smush Parker so much, that he made him get dressed in a broom closet, because “Parker would eventually have to get used to being around the things he would use when he became a janitor.”

 
Bryant’s dislike for Parker was strong, but I wonder if Smush ever had to see a therapist after the treatment he received from the ‘Black Mamba.”

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Arrest made in theft from Pacers star Paul George (Yahoo Sports)

Police have arrested a man in connection with the April burglary at the Indianapolis home of Indiana Pacers star Paul George. Indianapolis police say 43-year-old Michael Lewis of Whitestown was arrested Wednesday on burglary and theft charges for the April 28 break-in during which George’s platinum All-Star ring valued at $15,000 was taken. Police say detectives believe the burglary was random act and that Lewis didn’t specifically target George’s home, which is on the city’s northeast side. The burglary was discovered by George’s parents when they returned from a Pacers playoff game.

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Kobe has made history on his 36th birthday

Kobe Bryant turns 36 today.

      
 

 

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Coach K made a huge mistake in snubbing Lillard

What is Coach K thinking?

      
 

 

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Agent: Allen hasn’t made decision for next season

Allen may come back. He may retire. But he has not officially decided yet.

      
 

 

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Bucks owners admit errors made in luring Kidd (Yahoo Sports)

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 2: Jason Kidd (C) attends a press conference announcing him as the Head Coach of the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center on July 2, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

New Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens admit they may have made some errors in luring Jason Kidd to Milwaukee. Kidd dismissed the suggestion that he left after being turned down in seeking control of the Nets’ basketball operations department. As I was introduced, I’m the coach.” Brooklyn agreed Monday to deal Kidd to Milwaukee for second-round draft picks in 2015 and 2019. The Bucks fired Larry Drew, who had no indication he wouldn’t be back for a second season.


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Shelly Sterling’s attorney says Donald made death threat

Shelly Sterling’s lawyer, Pierce O’Donnell, says Donald threatened him over the phone

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