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Croatian Prospects to Showcase Talents in NYC

David Pick

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NBA Croatian prospects Dragan Bender and Lovro Mazalin are among the overseas stars to receive invitations to the Basketball Without Borders Global camp in New York City, sources told Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.

Bender and Mazalin, both 17 years old, will participate in and attend the NBA All-Star festivities from February 13-15, 2015.

Bender, the most coveted Croatian projected NBA draftee — ranked No. 13 in the 2016 NBA Draft, according to DraftExpress — averages 10.5 points, 8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 27 minutes over six games for Maccabi Ramat-Gan of the Israeli Second Division.

Bender, a lengthy small-forward who signed a seven-year pact during the offseason with reigning Euro Champs Maccabi Tel Aviv, is expected to return from a single-season loan and make the jump to Tel Aviv next season, I’m told. Bender will also compete in the upcoming Euroleague International Junior Tournament in Rome, Italy, from December 27-29.

Mazalin, a creative wingman is set to sign a four-year deal next summer with Croatian power-club Cedevita Zagreb, according to sources. He’s currently registering 1.9 points, 0.7 boards and 0.2 assists over 5.2 minutes per showcase through 11 Euroleague and Adriatic League appearances.

David Pick has extensively covered European basketball and American players abroad since 2010. His work can be found at Eurobasket.com and ONE.co.il. Follow him on Twitter @iamdpick

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Steve Ballmer: Clippers Moving to Inglewood ‘come hell or high water’

Basketball Insiders

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“I love L.A. I also love my wife, by the way, but I love L.A. and I don’t want there to be any mistake about it. We want to be part of the fabric of this community,” said [Steve] Ballmer, who stepped down as Microsoft’s CEO early in 2014, shortly before he rescued the Clippers from the clutches of disgraced Donald Sterling and bought the franchise for $2 billion.

“We’re moving to Inglewood come hell or high water,” he said of a proposed arena near the site of the stadium being constructed for the Rams and Chargers. “We gotta have a house. So we’re working on a plan to get our own house. We want to get our own house. It turns out the way this works in L.A., which is much beloved to me, that if you start now you might be done in six years.” He then urged fans to contact their Assembly representative and state senator to urge approval of legislation that would accelerate the process. He probably inspired more than a few emails and phone calls.

Source: Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times

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Sources: Rockets, Bruno Caboclo Agree to Deal

Basketball Insiders

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Free agent forward Bruno Caboclo, Houston have reach an agreement, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

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Sources: Rockets Waive R.J. Hunter

Basketball Insiders

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Sources: The Houston Rockets have waived former Celtics first-round pick R.J. Hunter, who was on a two-way deal.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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