NBA-National Basketball Association roundup

Feb 1 (The Sports Xchange) - The Indiana Pacers announced Saturday that they signed free agent center Andrew Bynum to a contract for the rest of the season.

The team did not release terms of the deal. Bynum, 26 will join the Pacers, who have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 35-10, sometime next week and serve as a backup to All-Star center Roy Hibbert.

The Pacers had an open roster spot and $2.1 million left of their midlevel exception, according to ESPN. But they are about $1.8 million below the luxury-tax threshold and president of basketball operations Larry Bird has said the team does not want to pay the luxury tax.

Bynum played in 24 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this season and averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds before he was traded to the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 7 because of issues that led to a team suspension. The 7-footer was then waived by the Bulls in a salary-saving move.

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Adam Silver officially took over as NBA commissioner on Saturday.

The NBA announced Silver as its fifth commissioner with a photo on Twitter of Silver holding a basketball and shaking hands with outgoing commissioner David Stern. It included a caption that read: "It's official: Adam Silver succeeds David Stern as NBA Commissioner."

Stern retired exactly 30 years to the day he began his stint as the NBA's longest-tenured and most successful commissioner. Silver joined the NBA as Stern's assistant in 1992 and became deputy commissioner in 2006.

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Los Angeles Lakers forward-center Pau Gasol will miss at least a week with a strained right groin, the team announced Saturday.

An MRI revealed the injury. Gasol has been dealing with a sore right groin. He will be re-evaluated next weekend when the team returns from its three-game road trip. He is averaging 17 points and 10.2 points per game.

Backup center Chris Kaman, who has a sore right knee, also had an MRI. Results were negative and he is cleared to play.

The Lakers signed guard Manny Harris to a second 10-day contract. Harris is averaging 6.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 20.9 minutes over five games with the Lakers this season.

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Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is targeting Feb. 20 to come back from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Westbrook has been out since late December and was expected to be out through the All-Star break. The All-Star Game is Feb. 16 and the Thunder return from the break on Feb. 20.

Westbrook sustained a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee during the second game of the NBA playoffs last April. He had surgery on April 27 and another operation on Oct. 1 to remove a loose stitch from the first procedure. He returned to action ahead of schedule and ended up missing just two regular-season games.

Westbrook averaged 21.3 points, 7.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game as the Thunder won 23 of their first 28 games of the season before the injury.

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Former NBA guard Tracy McGrady is looking to start a career as a professional baseball player.

McGrady may pitch for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Independent League. He has been working out with the team. ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said during Friday's Oklahoma City Thunder-Brooklyn Nets telecast that McGrady was working out with the Skeeters and that his pitches were reaching 91 miles per hour on the radar gun.

Houston television station KPRC reported that McGrady was training with former major-league star pitcher Roger Clemens, who pitched for the Skeeters two years ago. His son, Kody, is the team's catcher.

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Boston Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley is expected to play Sunday against the Orlando Magic, coach Brad Stevens said Saturday.

Bradley has missed the Celtics' last five games with an ankle injury. He is averaging 14.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

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