Utah Jazz sign guard Toure` Murry

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed free-agent guard Toure’ Murry.

Murry (6-5, 195, Wichita State) played his rookie season with the New York Knicks, averaging 2.7 points and 1.0 assists in 7.3 minutes in 51 games during the 2013-14 campaign. He shot 43.4 percent from the field (56-of-129), including 41.7 percent (5-of-12) from beyond the arc.

Undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft, the 24-year-old guard was selected 15th overall by the Austin Toros in the 2012 NBA Development League Draft. His rights were eventually traded to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Murry helped the Vipers to the 2013 NBA D-League Championship, averaging 8.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals in 23.5 minutes in 46 games (30 starts) during the 2012-13 season.

Prior to the NBA, Murry played four seasons at Wichita State from 2008-12, including winning the 2011 NIT Tournament during his junior season. He averaged 12.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 29.3 minutes in 32 games during his senior campaign, helping the Shockers advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

A native of Houston, Texas, Murry’s first name is pronounced “TOU-Ray” and he will wear uniform #23.

The Dallas Mavericks finished last season with a 49-33 record. Enjoy these video highlights showcasing some of their best plays:

Houston Rockets sign forward Tarik Black

Houston Rockets sign forward Tarik Black

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Tarik Black, a participant on the team’s Orlando and Las Vegas Summer League squads.

Black (6-8, 253, Kansas), appeared in 135 contests and held career averages of 8.4 points on 61.4% FG shooting, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks over the course of his four-year NCAA career. In his lone season at Kansas, he was named Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and went on to average 15.0 points per game in the NCAA Tournament. In three years at Memphis, Black was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team, All-Defensive Team and All-Tournament Team.

In five contests at the 2014 Orlando Summer League with the Houston Rockets, Black averaged 10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and a team-leading 1.0 blocks in 20.0 minutes per game. Black also appeared in eight games for the Rockets in the Las Vegas Summer League as the team reached the Samsung NBA Summer League Championship.

Miami Heat sign Shannon Brown

Miami Heat sign Shannon Brown

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed guard Shannon Brown.

Brown, an eight-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 403 career NBA regular season games (58 starts) and averaged 7.7 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 18.0 minutes while shooting 42 percent from the field, 33.1 percent from three-point range and 80.7 percent from the foul line. He split the 2013-14 season between the San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks, appearing in 29 total games (one start) and averaging 2.2 points and 1.0 rebounds in 8.7 minutes of action while shooting 36.4 percent from the field. He scored a season-high 14 points, on 4-of-7 from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 from the foul line, in a 109-98 win vs. Brooklyn on April 15, 2014.

Brown, who won back-to-back NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010, has appeared in 55 career postseason games and averaged 5.2 points, 1.3 rebounds and 13.9 minutes while shooting 42.2 percent from the field, 34.1 percent from three-point range and 72.7 percent from the foul line.

He was originally drafted in the first round (25th overall) by Cleveland in the 2006 NBA Draft.

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 16.

Utah Jazz sign guard Kevin Murphy

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed free-agent guard Kevin Murphy.

Murphy (6-6, 185, Tennessee Tech) finished the 2013-14 season with the Idaho Stampede, where he ranked second in the league in scoring and was named to the 2014 All-D-League First Team. He appeared in 34 games (24 starts) for the Stampede, averaging 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 35.9 minutes and scoring in double figures in 30 games, including 20-plus points in 27 contests and 30-or-more points 13 times. Murphy recorded a career-high 51 points on Feb. 1 vs. L.A. D-Fenders, finishing 21-for-33 from the field (.636). Prior to joining Idaho, Murphy played 13 games (seven starts) for Stasbourg IG of France and averaged 8.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 18.8 minutes per game.

Originally selected by the Jazz in the second round (47th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, Murphy appeared in 17 games as a reserve for Utah during the 2012-13 season, averaging 0.9 points in 3.1 minutes. Following the season, he was traded to Golden State as part of a three-team trade on July 10, 2013.

The 24-year-old guard played four seasons at Tennessee Tech University (2008-12), amassing 2,019 points, 535 rebounds and 248 assists during his collegiate career and ranks second on the school’s all-time scoring list. He was twice named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) First Team (2011, 2012) as well as the OVC All-Tournament Team (2011, 2012). During his senior season, he averaged 20.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 34.5 minutes, including a 50-point performance in a win over Southern Illinois University Edwardsville that marked the highest scoring game by a Division I player during the 2011-12 season.

A native of Atlanta, Ga., Murphy played high school basketball at Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga., earning the Naismith Award following his senior season.

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers has agreed to a contract that will keep him with the team through the end of the 2019 season.

“This is an important day for this organization,” Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said. “I am excited to work with Doc for a long time as we build a championship culture that will deliver results both on and off the court. Not only is Doc one of the best coaches and executives in the game, but he continually embodies the hard core, committed and resilient character and winning culture that the Clippers represent. It was one of my top priorities to ensure that he was firmly in place as the long-term leader of this team.”

According to the Orange County Register, “the deal will pay Rivers more than $50 million, a figure first reported by Yahoo! Sports. At more than $10 million per year, Rivers is believed to be the highest-paid coach in American professional sports, though he’s also the team’s primary basketball decision maker.”

Rivers took over as head coach of the Clippers in June 2013 and led Los Angeles to the best record in franchise history (57-25, .695) and a second straight Pacific Division title. He became President of Basketball Operations on June 16, 2014.

“Steve has shown a clear and determined desire to make the Clippers one of the most elite, first-class and championship organizations in all of professional sports,” Rivers said. “We know we have work to do to get there, but I am motivated by the challenge and thankful for the opportunity to stand together with Steve as we continue to move toward our goal of winning an NBA title.”

Entering his 16th season as a head coach, Rivers is one of just three active coaches (Gregg Popovich, Flip Saunders) to win at least 600 games and his 644 career regular season wins is second among active coaches in victories. The 1999-2000 NBA Coach of the Year, Rivers led the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA Championship. A former Clippers point guard (1991-92), Rivers coached in Boston from 2004-2013 and prior to that led the Orlando Magic from 1999-2003.

Bucks sign second-round pick Damien Inglis

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed the 31st selection of the 2014 NBA Draft, Damien Inglis, to a multi-year contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

A native of Cayenne in French Guiana, Inglis played last season with Roanne as a rookie in France’s top league, Pro A, where he averaged 4.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 27 games. Inglis grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds vs. Strasbourg and scored in double figures in three straight games in December. He began his career at INSEP in France and averaged 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists over three seasons from 2010-13.

Inglis competed in the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit and has played for France in the U18, U17 and U16 European Championships.

Thunder trade Hasheem Thabeet to 76ers

Thunder trade Hasheem Thabeet to 76ers

The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired a trade exception and a 2015 protected second round draft pick from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for center Hasheem Thabeet and cash considerations, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

The Thunder will have one year from today to utilize the trade exception.

Pelicans sign John Salmons

Pelicans sign John Salmons

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed forward John Salmons.

Salmons, the 26th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, has appeared in 874 games (429 starts) over his 12-year NBA career for Philadelphia, Sacramento, Chicago, Milwaukee and Toronto. The University of Miami product holds career averages of 9.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 26.8 minutes per game.

Video: Best Ricky Rubio plays of the season

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio played all 82 games last regular season, averaging 9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game. Enjoy these video highlights of some of Rubio’s best plays:

Clippers trade Jared Dudley to Bucks

Clippers trade Jared Dudley to Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired forward Jared Dudley and a 2017 conditional first round draft pick from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for forward Carlos Delfino, center Miroslav Raduljica and a 2015 second round draft pick (previously received from the L.A. Clippers), General Manager John Hammond announced today.

“Jared is a great teammate, I thank him for all his hard work on and off the floor on our behalf,” Clippers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers said. “Jared is a true professional and we wish him all the best in Milwaukee.”

A seven-year NBA veteran from Boston College, Dudley, 29, holds career averages of 8.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Originally selected by Charlotte with the 22nd overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Dudley has shot 46.9 percent from the field, 39.7 percent from the 3-point arc and 73.7 percent from the free throw line in 523 career games (190 starts) with the Bobcats, Suns and Clippers. His best statistical season came in 2011-12 when he averaged 12.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the floor.

Delfino, 31, missed the entire 2013-14 season while recovering from a foot injury suffered during the 2013 NBA playoffs. The nine-year NBA veteran from Santa Fe, Argentina, has averaged 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 507 career NBA games (170 starts) for Milwaukee, Houston, Toronto and Detroit. He was originally selected by the Pistons with the 25th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.

Raduljica, 26, signed with the Bucks as a free agent prior to the 2013-14 campaign. In 48 games for Milwaukee, he averaged 3.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.5 assists in his rookie campaign. A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Raduljica first represented his country in international competition at the European U16 Championships in 2004.

The Westchester Knicks, the official NBA Development League affiliate of the New York Knicks, announced today that the team will hold a local open tryout in preparation for the 2014-15 NBA Development League season. Aspiring professional basketball players will have the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of Westchester Knicks coaches and staff on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at the House of Sports in the Village of Ardsley in southern Westchester County.

“It’s an exciting time for the Westchester Knicks as we begin to assemble a team for our inaugural season,” said Westchester Knicks General Manager & New York Knicks Legend Allan Houston. “This event gives us a chance to look for new talent to help us compete in the NBA D-League, and, for the players, makes an impact on their professional careers moving forward.”

“The House of Sports is very excited to host the Westchester Knicks open tryout,” said House of Sports Vice President of Programing Frank Lombardy. “It is a great event where local basketball standouts can have a shot at making a professional roster, and we are happy to be a part of it.”

The Westchester tryout will be limited to 75 participants, who must all meet NBA Development League eligibility requirements. The players will be competing for an invitation to the Westchester Knicks’ training camp in November. Tryouts are scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. and conclude by 5:00 p.m.; with doors opening at 10:00 a.m. Registration packets are available online at www.westchesterknicks.com or at the House of Sports. The fee to secure a tryout spot is $150. All participants must register in advance.

The House of Sports is an Olympic-style athletic training facility located in the southern Westchester village of Ardsley. The 120,000 square-foot indoor sports complex is the largest in the New York metropolitan area and is home to the region’s leading basketball, lacrosse, and baseball academies where over 2,000 athletes train on a weekly basis.

The Orlando Magic have named Bill Peterson as head coach of its D-League team, the Erie BayHawks, Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

“We are excited to welcome Bill (Peterson) and his family,” said Hennigan. “Bill’s passion for teaching and development fit seamlessly into our vision of creating a culture of collaboration and synergy between the Orlando Magic and Erie Bayhawks. His wealth of knowledge and experience will help our players fulfill their ultimate basketball potential.”

“When speaking with Bill, it’s clear that he’s committed to developing our players and has a strong desire to win,” said BayHawks majority owner Steve Demetriou. “We’re looking forward to him becoming a part of the Erie community and leading our team as we begin our new affiliation with the Orlando Magic.”

Peterson spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks from 2007-13. Before joining the Bucks, he served as associate head coach at Colorado State University for seven seasons (2000-07).

Prior to his stint with CSU, Peterson served as a player development coach and scout for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks (1998-2000), where he worked to develop younger players like Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Michael Finley and Greg Buckner. He also served as a special assistant with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors to work with Sarunas Marciulionis, one of the first international players to compete in the NBA.

Peterson’s collegiate experience also includes head coaching positions at the University of Alabama-Huntsville (1994-97) and Union (KY) College (1983-87), where the Bulldogs averaged 18 wins per year and made three consecutive postseason tournament appearances. He worked as the assistant head coach at McNeese State from 1987-94 and at Bossier Parish Community College (LA) from 1997-99. Peterson began coaching in 1978-79 as a student assistant at St. Petersburg (FL) Junior College and went on to serve as a graduate assistant at Louisiana Tech, where he coached Hall-of-Famer Karl Malone from 1980-83.

Peterson is a graduate of Eckerd College (FL) and holds a master’s degree in physical education and human relations from Louisiana Tech University. He and his wife, Diane, are the parents of three daughters: Kati (26), Ginny (21) and Hailey, who was called to be with the Lord in the summer of 2000.

The Orlando Magic and the Erie BayHawks have a three-year single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2014-15 NBA D-League season. Orlando became the 16th NBA team to have a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team. The partnership, also referred to as a “hybrid affiliation,” is the eighth of its kind in the NBA D-League and allows an NBA team to control the NBA D-League team’s basketball operations, while the existing local ownership maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.

Utah Jazz sign forward Brock Motum

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed free-agent forward Brock Motum.

Motum (6-10, 245, Washington State) spent the 2013-14 season with Granarolo Bologna of the Italian SerieA League, averaging 8.3 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 50.6 percent from the field. He also participated in the 2014 NBA Summer League with the Jazz in Las Vegas, where he appeared in five games and averaged 8.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per contest.

The 23-year-old forward played collegiately at Washington State (2009-13), where he ranks fifth on the Cougars all-time list in both career points (1,530) and field goal percentage (.567). As a senior he led the Pac 12 in scoring average with 18.7 points per game, scoring at least 10 points in all 31 contests, and was selected All-Pac 12 Second Team. Following his junior season, Motum was named to the 2012 All-Pac 12 First Team and earned the league’s Most Improved Player award.

A native of Melbourne, Australia, Motum competed for the Australian Institute of Sport in both 2008 and 2009, and is currently playing for the Australian National Team at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The Denver Nuggets finished the 2013-14 NBA season with a 36-46 record. Some major injuries to key players definitely hurt. Still, there was fun. Enjoy this video showcasing some of their best plays of the year:

Atlanta Hawks re-sign forward Mike Scott

Atlanta Hawks re-sign forward Mike Scott

The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed forward Mike Scott, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

“Mike has worked hard and continues to adapt, improve and expand his all around game,” Ferry said. “We are very happy to have him with us going forward and we look forward to his continued growth with our group.”

Atlanta’s second-round pick (43rd overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft, Scott played in 80 games (six starts) for the Hawks last season, averaging 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 18.5 minutes (.479 FG%, .780 FT%). He knocked down 62 three-pointers after going 0-1 from downtown in his rookie season. Scott scored in double figures 40 times (five 20-point games including one 30-point night), leading the team in scoring nine times. In his six starts, he put up 14.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 32.5 minutes. He hit double digits in 13 straight games from 1/8-2/5, the longest stretch of his career.

In Atlanta’s 2014 first-round playoff series against Indiana, Scott compiled 9.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 20.9 minutes, including a 17-point second quarter (6-6 FGs, 5-5 3FGs – the second-most three’s in a quarter in NBA playoff history) in Game 5 (4/28/14).

Lakers sign rookie Jordan Clarkson

Lakers sign rookie Jordan Clarkson

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed Jordan Clarkson, the 46th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, whose rights were acquired from the Washington Wizards on draft night, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

In the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Clarkson led the Lakers’ entry in scoring, (15.8 points per game) and rebounding (5.0) while shooting 42.1% (8-19) from beyond-the-arc in five games (all starts). In his debut vs. Toronto, he led the team with 21 points on 7-15 shooting (2-4 from three-point range) with four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

The 6’5’’ guard from Missouri was named Second Team All-SEC by the coaches in his lone season with the Tigers. An early entry candidate after his junior season, Clarkson spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Tulsa, where he was selected First Team All-Conference USA in 2011-12, following his C-USA All-Freshman team honors in 2010-11.

Here’s ESPN Dallas reporting Mavs owner Mark Cuban’s opinion on the Clippers, who with Donald Sterling gone have a new owner:

New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer drew comparisons to Mark Cuban with his high-fiving, chest-bumping, shouting introduction to the franchise’s fan base last week.

The scene came as no surprise to the Dallas Mavericks owner, whose enthusiastic exhibitions had been unique among the NBA’s owners.

“I’ve known Steve for a long time, going back into my twenties, and he’s always been this way,” Cuban said during an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “The Afternoon Show with Cowlishaw and Mosley” last week. “So this isn’t Steve Ballmer getting hyped just for the Clippers. This is just the way he is. He’s going to be great for the league.

“You know, in reality, I already know, knowing him, he’s going to be a lot calmer than I am. He’s great hyping people up in a sales environment, but it’ll be interesting to see him during a game. I hope he’s crazy, but I’m not expecting it.”

Interesting PG options for Team USA

Here’s ESPN.com with an update on Team USA, who play an exhibition game Tuesday:

Kyrie Irving likely starting at PG Tuesday for Team USA

Kyrie Irving will start opposite Goran Dragic at point guard Tuesday night when Team USA plays Slovenia in its final tuneup game leading into the FIBA World Cup.

But Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, in tabbing Irving as his starter against the Dragic-led Slovenians, told ESPN.com that one option under consideration is letting Irving and Derrick Rose trade off as the starter throughout the tournament, which opens Saturday in Bilbao with the Yanks facing Finland.

“We’ll see as thing goes on,” Krzyzewski said after Monday’s two-hour practice. “We might alternate ‘em. Both of them are going to play significant minutes.”

Krzyzewski says he can also envision Irving and Rose playing together once the tournament starts as Rose continues to acclimate himself to full-speed basketball after two major knee injuries limited him to just 10 games over the past two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on a Miami Heat rookie:

Some might be tempted to scoff at Miami Heat rookie Shabazz Napier’s excuse for his poor NBA Summer League performance — the ball. Like many aspects of NCAA and NBA basketball, the actual ball is not the same, a lesson Napier is learning the hard way.

“[M]y biggest thing is getting comfortable with that basketball,” Napier told the Associated Press. “That’s one of my biggest problems and it’s kind of ironic, because it’s a basketball. But it’s different than a college basketball.”

Both NCAA and NBA basketballs measure 29.5 inches, but the materials can vary. In the NBA, regulation balls are composed of leather, while in college, the balls can be made of pebbled rubber. Napier’s problems might be compounded by him never having touched an NBA ball until the combine.

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