NBA news roundup: J.R. Smith baffled by latest benching, Hedo Turkoglu nearing deal with Clippers

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks head coach Mike Woodson once again didn't reveal why Smith was benched. Out in Los Angeles, Turkoglu may be signing for the rest of the season.

Despite playing relatively well in the two games following his first benching, embattled New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith found himself glued to the bench again during the Knicks' 108-98 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night.

Smith claims Knicks head coach Mike Woodson gave him "no reason" for the latest benching, according to Peter Botte of the New York Daily News:

"I haven't the slightest clue (what's going on). . . . If I'm not helping the team, there's no point in me being here."

Smith was initially benched following his string of shoelace stunts, but he appeared to keep things in line during the two games he recently played. Smith said it's "ridiculous" if the shoelace incidents were the trigger for these benchings, and he went on to say the communication from his end is over.

While the shoelace silliness may be playing a part in this saga, there's also a chance Smith is being punished for his response to the Knicks cutting his brother, Chris. J.R. insinuated on Instagram that he had been betrayed, which reportedly upset Knicks owner James Dolan.

Like last time, Woodson refused to comment on Smith's benching:

"I'm not even commenting on J.R.," Woodson said gruffly after the game. "I just didn't play him tonight. I didn't play him."

Wednesday marks the first day Smith can be traded, but it'll be hard to find a willing trade partner due to his contract and generally poor behavior.

Hedo to Clippers for rest of season?

The Los Angeles Clippers have been eyeing Hedo Turkoglu since he was bought out by the Orlando Magic, and the Clippers are on the verge of signing him for the rest of the year, according to Turkish basketball scribe Ismail Senol.

ESPN's Marc Stein backed up Senol's report, saying there had been "rumbles" Turkoglu wanted more than just a 10-day contract with the Clippers.

The Clippers have been looking for some help in the frontcourt, as Ryan Hollins and Antawn Jamison have been the primary bigs off the bench behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. But while Turkoglu has had success as a stretch 4 in the past, that's not exactly what Los Angeles needs.

Turkoglu also hasn't been all that effective in recent years, playing especially poorly last season after coming back from a suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. In 11 games for the Magic in 2012-13, he averaged 2.9 points while shooting 26.4 percent overall and 4.2 percent from three.

Crawford close to being dealt?

With Rajon Rondo nearing a return to the lineup, the Boston Celtics are close to dealing guard Jordan Crawfordaccording to longtime NBA journalist Peter Vescey.

Vescey names the Nets, Clippers, Suns, Rockets and Warriors with teams as interest.

Crawford's play has fallen off a bit since a hot stretch earlier in the year, although he's still enjoying a career year in terms of assists. The 25-year-old is averaging 13.7 points and 5.7 assists while shooting 41.4 percent overall and 31.8 percent from three.

Jeff Clark over at CelticsBlog notes that a trade of Crawford would make some sense because he's an expiring contract and might end up falling behind Jerryd Bayless in the rotation.

Bogans excused from Celtics

Veteran guard Keith Bogans was excused from the Celtics for personal reasons, the team announced Tuesday. Bogans will remain under contract.

Bogans expressed some dissatisfaction with his lack of playing time earlier in the year. Bogans has consistently been able to garner quality minutes over his career, but he has played in just six games for the Celtics this season.

Bogans is making over $5 million this season because salaries needed to match up to consummate the blockbuster trade involving Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The second and third years on Bogans' deal are fully unguaranteed, so he's essentially on an expiring contract. This could give him some nice value on the trade market.

Mavericks not pursuing Bynum or Miller

The Dallas Mavericks likely won't pursue Andrew Bynum or Andre Miller, team president Donnie Nelson said in an interview on the "BaD Radio Show" in Dallas.

Part of the interview was transcribed by The Dallas Morning News, and Nelson said Bynum isn't really an option:

"We're happy with the 15 that we've got ... You never say never in this league, but that would be a long to long-long-long shot if that happened."

When discussing the possibility of going after Miller, Nelson expressed happiness with the Mavs' current backcourt and said he didn't want to mess with anything there.

More from SB Nation NBA:

The Hook: Rudy Gay has turned it around

Q & AK47: Kirilenko on Brooklyn's turnaround

Flannery: No panic moves coming for the Suns

Anthony Bennett: NBA’s worst No. 1 pick?

Hoosier Hysteria: How the Pacers won back the heart of Indiana

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