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Mo Williams Notes, NBPA Elects Michele Roberts, Sale of Clippers Getting Closer

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The Wolves signed Mo Williams: Can he help the bench? The National Basketball Players Association appointed Michele Roberts as the new Executive Director, is it a good thing? The Donald Sterling saga takes another step closer toward being completed, after a judge ruled Shelly Serling had authority to sell the team to Steve Ballmer back in May.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers possessed the NBA's worst bench during the 2012-2013 season.

Starters Damian Lillard, Wes Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, and JJ Hickson played more minutes together than any other group in the league. Each of the starters scored more than 1,000 points, but there was simply no production from anyone else-- Meyers Leonard finished the year as the Blazers' sixth leading scorer with 377 points.

Portland's bench finished with an Efficiency Recap Difference [Efficiency Recap - Opponent's Efficiency Recap] of -17.7, an NBA worst. This ranked nearly nine points behind the 29th rated team [Indiana Pacers], who finished the year at -9.3-- this is according to Hoopstats.com. The Blazers failed to qualify for the postseason after finishing the year with a record of 33-49. This was just two games better than the Minnesota Timberwolves, who ended the season 31-51 while sitting at the bottom of the Pacific Division.

Portland would sign Mo Williams to a two year, $5.6 million dollar contract during the following offseason. He immediately made an impact, and Blazers' coach Terry Stotts praised Williams throughout the year for a multitude of reasons. "He came in and understood his role. I think he has flourished in his role." said Stotts, "I've said many times that I think he's the best backup in the league, which is what we needed. He's been able to help Damian [Lillard] on and off the court. We wouldn't be where we are today without Mo."

Williams bolstered the Blazers bench during the '13-'14 season, finishing the year with a little more than 700 points. Although, Williams recorded his worst three-point shooting percentage and points per game averages since entering the league in 2003. It was in January when Williams announced he would use a player option to opt out of the second year of his contract, because he was hoping to secure a long-term deal with the Blazers. "I would like to be here long-term. My goal is to work something out with Portland this summer. I like it here and I want to make this place home." said Williams.

Albeit his presence was impactful, they still finished the year with the least productive bench in terms of scoring output [23.6 ppg] and Portland's Efficiency Recap Difference remained among the NBA's worst [26th]. Williams became expendable after the Blazers signed Steve Blake earlier this summer.

The Timberwolves signed Williams to a one year, $3.75 deal on Monday. Williams is 31 years old and entering his 12th NBA season.

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Yesterday, Michele Roberts was elected as the new Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association [NBPA]. Roberts, a Washington, D.C., trial lawyer, became the first woman to lead a male professional sports league union in North America with 32 of a possible 36 votes among player representatives and executive committee members.

In wake of this news, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement:

"On behalf of the NBA, I would like to congratulate Michele Roberts on her appointment as the NBPA's new Executive Director and look forward to working with her and the NBPA Executive Committee to ensure the continued health and growth of our game. The partnership between our players and teams is the backbone of the league, and we are eager to continue working with the Players Association to build this relationship. I also want to thank Ron Klempner for his service as interim Executive Director over the past 18 months."

Roberts is a member of the litigation group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, one of the world's largest law firms and one that has served as outside counsel to the NBA. However, Roberts states she has never done legal work on the NBA's behalf.

"With any of the candidates, it wasn't about race or gender." said Chris Paul of Roberts, "It was about who was going to be the best person in that position. From day one in interviews, she tackled every question head first. ... There were tough questions she was faced with. She didn't back away from them. She didn't shy away from them. She told us her story, and it really sat well with us."

Roberts will represent the NBPA in the next round of collective bargaining discussions, if either the Players Association or NBA elects to opt out of the current CBA in 2017.

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Judge Michael Levanas handed down an "oral tentative statement decision," yesterday, that affirmed Shelly Sterling had the authority to reach an agreement in May to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Levanas said he will review objections before issuing a written ruling, but, even if Donald Sterling chooses to fight the ruling, a provision in is included within the California trust law that will allow Shelly Sterling to proceed with the sale of the team as if no appeal were pending.

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-zb