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Techs can be given on reckless closeouts

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) NBA referees will be able to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land, as Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last season's playoffs.

Officials will also make sure jump shooters are in their upward shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is worthy of free throws, which could cut down on James Harden's attempts after he swings his arms into contact.

Leonard sprained his ankle when Pachulia slid his foot under Leonard's in Game 1 of Golden State's victory in the Western Conference finals. After calling a foul, officials will now be able to look at replay to determine if the defender recklessly positioned his foot in an unnatural way, which could trigger an upgrade to a flagrant, or a technical if there was no contact but an apparent attempt to injure.

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Heat, Ultimate Software have jersey deal

MIAMI (AP) The Miami Heat have signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Ultimate Software, which will have its logo on the team's jerseys starting this season.

The Heat were the 15th NBA team to strike a jersey sponsorship deal. This is the first season where the league is permitting teams to have small logo patches on their uniforms.

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Every coach back, first time in 54 years

MIAMI (AP) Dozens of NBA players found new homes this offseason. A few front offices dealt with hirings and firings. There's a new arena in Detroit and an ownership change looms in Houston. The league's logo was even tweaked.

Change was everywhere.

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Anderson working out, waiting for call

When the NFL season begins every fall, Alan Anderson's body starts talking to him. The summer break is over, NBA training camps are right around the corner and the itch to start balling for real takes over.

As his 35th birthday looms around the corner in October, Anderson is still looking for a team this time around. The eight-year pro believes he has another season left in him and is quietly hoping his hometown Minnesota Timberwolves might be the team to give him a chance.

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Grizzlies sign 2nd-round pick Rabb

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed Ivan Rabb, the 35th draft pick overall, to a contract days before opening training camp.

Terms were not disclosed Thursday.

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76ers C Embiid not cleared for 5-on-5s

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has not been cleared for 5-on-5 drills and the team will take a cautious approach in his return from his injured left knee.

Embiid's career has been riddled with injuries dating to his college career at Kansas and all three seasons with the Sixers. Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, played only 31 games last season and had surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.

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Bulls tab Collins as special adviser

CHICAGO (AP) Doug Collins has returned to the Chicago Bulls. Just not on the sideline this time around.

The rebuilding Bulls hired Collins on Tuesday to serve senior adviser of basketball operations, providing "an expert resource" for the front office and coaching staff.

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Pelicans re-sign F Cunningham for 1 year

A person familiar with the situation says the New Orleans Pelicans and forward Dante Cunningham have agreed on a one-year contract worth $2.3 million.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the agreement, which was first reported by Yahoo, has not been announced.

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Key witness probed in Morris twins trial

PHOENIX (AP) The man accusing NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris of aggravated assault was pressed Tuesday by defense lawyers about his financial motives in the case.

An Arizona grand jury indicted the Morris brothers on felony aggravated assault charges. They are accused of helping three other people beat Erik Hood outside a Phoenix recreation center on Jan. 24, 2015.

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Irving: I don't owe James an explanation

BOSTON (AP) New Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving says he doesn't care if anyone took it personally that he left Cleveland, even Cavaliers star LeBron James.

Appearing Monday on ESPN's "First Take," Irving said he doesn't feel like he owed James an explanation for asking for a trade.

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