NBA Notes: Bynum to Pacers; Westbrook eyes return

NBA Notes: Bynum to Pacers; Westbrook eyes return
February 1, 2014, 5:45 pm
Share This Post

Andrew Bynum (left) averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in 24 games with the Cavaliers this season. (USA Today Images)

The Indiana Pacers on Saturday signed center Andrew Bynum for the remainder of the season.

Terms of the deal were not released and Bynum is expected to join the team at some point next week.

Bynum, who missed all of last season with knee injuries, appeared in 24 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season before being traded to the Chicago Bulls with two future draft picks for Luol Deng on Jan. 7. In a salary-saving move, the Bulls released Bynum the next day before the second half of his $12 million contract became guaranteed.

The Pacers have the Eastern Conference's best record at 35-10. They have $2.1 million left of their midlevel exception, but are roughly $1.8 million below the luxury-tax threshold, according to

Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird has repeatedly said the team does not plan to pay the luxury tax.

Bynum, who averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game with the Cavs, will likely serve as a backup to all-star center Roy Hibbert.

Westbrook eying Feb. 20 return
While Russell Westbrook has been sidelined with a knee injury, Kevin Durant has been close to unstoppable, averaging 35.7 points on 55 percent shooting, with 7.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game.

The Thunder are 15-5 without Westbrook and have won 10 games in a row. But the team with the NBA's best record might not have to wait much longer to get its dynamic point guard back.

Westbrook is eying a Feb. 20 return, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Coincidence that the Thunder host the Heat that night?

Westbrook is averaging 21.3 points, 7.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds this season.

At 38-10, the Thunder lead the Spurs and Blazers by four games in the West, and have a 1½-game advantage on the Pacers in the East for the NBA's best overall record.

NBA: Silver replaces Stern as commissioner
NEW YORK -- Adam Silver has become the NBA's fifth commissioner.

The NBA posted a picture on its Twitter account Saturday of Silver holding a basketball and shaking hands with outgoing commissioner David Stern.

"It's official: Adam Silver succeeds David Stern as NBA Commissioner" the caption read.

Stern retired after exactly 30 years in charge.

Silver joined the NBA as his assistant in 1992 and has been the deputy commissioner since 2006.

-The Associated Press

Jazz: Longtime coach Jerry Sloan honored
SALT LAKE CITY -- When Jerry Sloan was the head coach of the Utah Jazz, no one ever doubted who was in charge.

"We all knew who was running the show. We respected him because he was the same every day. He was tough but he was fair," said Karl Malone, who was a mainstay of Jazz teams that reached the playoffs 16 consecutive seasons.

The Jazz was set to honor the Hall of Fame coach Friday night at halftime of their game against the Golden State Warriors by raising a banner featuring the number "1223," which represents Sloan wins, regular season (1127) and playoff (96), in his 23 years with the Jazz from 1988-2011.

Sloan was a model of consistently as coach, often calling the same play over and over for Malone and John Stockton and daring the other team to stop their effective pick-and-roll (see full story).

-The Associated Press