Wolves’ top draft pick LaVine signs contract
The Minnesota Timberwolves signed first-round draft pick Zach LaVine to a contract on Tuesday.
Terms of the deal were not immediately made available by the team. The 6-foot-5 guard from UCLA was the No. 13 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
In 37 games for UCLA last season as a freshman, LaVine averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists and shot 37.5 percent from 3-point range. He was named to the All-Pac 12 freshman team.
LaVine will see his first action for the Timberwolves with their NBA Summer League team in Las Vegas. The first game is July 12 against the Dallas Mavericks in Las Vegas.
Riley, Heat target Lance Stephenson
Lance Stephenson got under the skin of the Heat in the NBA Finals, but team president Pat Riley wouldn’t mind fitting him with a Miami jersey is the price is right for the restricted free agent.
ESPN’s Dan LeBatard reported Tuesday that Stephenson was a target of Riley’s.
Unhappy with the five-year, $44 million offer from the Indiana Pacers, Stephenson made it clear last week he is on the open market. The Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks could make offers.
It is not certain whether Miami views Stephenson as a better option alongside James and free agent Dwyane Wade or if Riley considers him a Plan B should James bolt for another team.
Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 49.1 percent from the floor in 2013-14. He made a publicized self-promotion push to make the All-Star team and in the NBA Finals did his best to shadow James all over the court.
At one dead-ball situation, Stephenson blew into James’ ear. He denied it was an attempt to get into James’ head, and teammate Paul George and Pacers president Larry Bird urged Stephenson to focus on basketball.
Kurt Busch penalized after failed inspection
NASCAR took 10 points away from Sprint Cup driver Kurt Busch on Tuesday after his third-place finish in Sunday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway because his No. 41 car failed a postrace inspection.
After Busch’s car was taken to NASCAR’s R&D Center in Concord, N.C., it was determined that the track bar measurement exceeled the maximum of 3 inches stipulated in the rule book.
Daniel Knost, Busch’s Stewart-Hass crew chief, was fined $10,000 and car owner Gene Haas also lost 10 points.
Busch fell from 24th to 26th in the Sprint Cup Series points standings after losing the 10 points.