Warriors sign guard Sean Kilpatrick

warriors

The Golden State Warriors signed free agent guard Sean Kilpatrick to a contract today. It is likely a non-guaranteed deal just for preseason.

Kilpatrick, 24 years old, earned First Team All-America honors as a senior at the University of Cincinnati in 2013-14, posting an American Athletic Conference-best 20.6 points per contest to go with 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.41 steals in 34 games, while leading the conference in three-point field goals (93). In four years with the Bearcats, the 6’4” guard tallied averages of 15.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.19 steals in 30.8 minutes over 140 career games, finishing as the school’s second all-time leading scorer behind only Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson. He was a Second Team All-Big East selection in 2011-12 and 2012-13 before earning First Team All-AAC honors as a senior.

Kilpatrick will wear uniform #25.

The Warriors roster currently stands at 20 players. The regular season begins October 28, and the maximum number of players allowed on a regular season roster is 15.

Lakers waive Keith Appling, Jeremy Tyler

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived guard Keith Appling and center Jeremy Tyler, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Appling, a rookie from Michigan State, saw action in two games this preseason, scoring two points with three rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes.

Tyler, a three-year NBA veteran with Golden State, Atlanta, and New York, appeared in three preseason games for the Lakers, averaging 2.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game.

Both players were originally signed to the Lakers training camp roster on September 23.

Kyrylo Fesenko waived by Timberwolves

Kyrylo Fesenko waived by Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has waived center Kyrylo Fesenko.

Fesenko, 27, appeared in one preseason game for the Wolves, tallying one rebound and one steal in three minutes of play. The 7-1 center saw action in five games (three starts) for the Wolves entry in 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game. Fesenko, originally drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round (38th overall pick) of the 2007 NBA Draft, has averaged 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game over his five-year NBA career.

The Wolves preseason roster now stands at 17 players, so two more need to be cut before the start of the regular season.

Miami Heat sign Larry Drew II

The Miami HEAT signed Larry Drew II today.

Drew, a guard, played in 11 games (two starts) with the HEAT during the 2014 summer leagues, where he averaged 4.4 points, 3.6 assists, 1.55 steals and 1.5 rebounds on 43.9 percent shooting from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and 77.8 percent on free throws.

Drew spent the 2013-14 season playing for Miami’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and helped them reach the playoffs after appearing in 41 regular season games (36 starts) and averaging 11.4 points, 7.0 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.66 steals and 35.5 minutes while shooting 47.4 percent from the field, 41.1 percent from three-point range and 70.9 percent from the foul line. He scored 20-or-more points six times, including a season-high 23-point game vs. Erie on February 9, and dished out double-figure assists on seven occasions. Additionally, he appeared in five postseason games (all starts) with the Skyforce and averaged 8.2 points, 4.2 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 1.20 steals and 34.2 minutes.

Drew was originally signed by the HEAT as a free agent on September 23, 2013. He appeared in one preseason game with Miami totaling 5:52 minutes of action vs. Atlanta on October 7 before being waived on October 21, 2013.

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 19.

cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers today waived guards Chris Crawford and Stephen Holt, according to Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin.

Crawford received limited court time in five preseason games for the Cavs, averaging 2.4 points and 1.6 assists in 7.6 minutes per game.

Holt played (just barely) in two preseason games, averaging 3.0 points in 2.3 minutes per game.

The Cavs roster now stands at 16. The regular season NBA roster maximum is 15 players, so at least one more player will be thanked for his time and sent on his way.

Kings exercise Ben McLemore contract option

Kings exercise Ben McLemore contract option

Guard Ben McLemore can jump high, play basketball, and do other things as well. He needs to shoot better, but has the potential to improve in that category. The Sacramento Kings appreciate this about him.

The Kings announced today they have picked up the 2015-16 option on McLemore’s contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

Entering his second NBA season, the 6-5 guard averaged 8.8 points (.376 FG%, .320 3pt%, .804 FT%), 2.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 26.7 minutes per contest as a rookie last season.

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived guards Kim English and Ben Hansbrough, as well as forward/center Solomon Jones.

The three players originally signed with Chicago as free agents on Sept. 26, 2014.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 14

Brook Lopez out 10-14 days with foot sprain

Brook Lopez out 10-14 days with foot sprain

The Brook Lopez health circus continues. Fortunately, this time, it’s a minor bump in the road — hopefully.

The Brooklyn Nets center sustained a mild right midfoot sprain in the first quarter of the Nets’ preseason contest against the Sacramento Kings on October 15th, Nets General Manager Billy King announced.

Statement from Nets Medical Director Dr. Riley Williams III:

“Brook Lopez experienced right foot soreness after being stepped on during the  pre-season game against the Kings Wednesday night. X-ray and CT scan studies done Thursday in New York reveal no fractures or bone injuries. Brook has been diagnosed with a mild midfoot sprain and is likely to be out for approximately 10-14 days.”

The Milwaukee Bucks have exercised the third-year contract option on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the fourth-year contract option on John Henson, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Antetokounmpo, 19, appeared in 77 games last year during his rookie season and averaged 6.8 points with 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 24.6 minutes per contest. He ranked among the NBA’s rookie leaders in scoring (11th), rebounds (T-4th), assists (T-10th), field goal percentage (9th), 3-point percentage (4th), free throw percentage (9th), steals (6th), blocks (4th) and minutes (5th). He made the first of his 23 starts on Dec. 18 vs. New York and finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. In four preseason games this season, Antetokounmpo is averaging 7.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 block in 24.7 minutes.

Henson, 23, played in 70 games last season and ranked among the league leaders in blocks per game (1.7, 9th) and field goal percentage (.538, 13th). He also averaged 11.1 points and 7.1 rebounds in 26.5 minutes per game. Henson posted streaks of 21 and 15 consecutive games with at least one blocked shot, joining Serge Ibaka (OKC) and DeAndre Jordan (LAC) as the only players in the league with multiple streaks of 15-plus such games during the season. In his two NBA seasons, Henson has played in 133 games (32 starts), averaging 8.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 20.2 minutes per game. Through four preseason games, Henson is averaging 11.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 blocks per game.

Under the terms of the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement, the first two years of a first round draft pick’s contract are guaranteed, while the third and fourth year of the contract are the team’s option.

Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks general ganager John Hammond announced today that the team has requested waivers on Chris Wright and Elijah Millsap.

The 26-year-old Wright appeared in eight games for the Bucks in 2013-14 and averaged 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. He also played in 41 games for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA D-League last season and earned an All-Star berth with his 19.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. Wright did not appear in a 2014 preseason game for the Bucks.

And 27-year-old Millsap was signed to Milwaukee’s 2014 training camp roster on Sept. 27. He appeared in one game for the Bucks this preseason, recording four points, one rebound and one assist in seven minutes. Last season, Millsap split time between Maccabi Ashdod of the Israeli League and the L.A. Defenders of the NBA D-League.

Spurs Sports & Entertainment announced today that its Austin-based NBA Development League team has been renamed the Austin Spurs.

Formerly the Austin Toros, the NBA D-League affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs will share the nickname of its parent club.

“The rebranding of the Austin franchise is a terrific opportunity to capitalize on the substantial equity of the Spurs brand,” said Rick Pych, Spurs Sports & Entertainment President of Business Operations. “The name change creates an instantly recognizable link between the two franchises and is a natural progression based on the important role the Austin team plays in the development of young players, general managers and coaches who are on their way to reaching their dream of making it to the NBA.”

The new Austin Spurs primary logo resembles a western-themed belt buckle and prominently features the iconic Spur in the center. It also combines the familiar silver, black and white color palate utilized by the entire Spurs Sports & Entertainment family of teams.

The Austin Spurs will celebrate their 10th anniversary when the 2014-15 season opens next month. In that span, the franchise has a history of developing NBA talent on the court and in the front office. Twenty Austin Spurs players have earned Gatorade Call-Ups to the NBA. Three head coaches have been promoted to NBA coaching positions (Quin Snyder, Brad Jones, Taylor Jenkins) and four previous assistant coaches are currently in other NBA coaching or staff roles (Bryan Gates, Dale Osbourne, Roy Rogers, and Alex Lloyd). Three former general managers (Dell Demps, Danny Ferry, Sean Marks) and two athletic trainers (Dice Yamaguchi, Nixon Dorvilien) have also been elevated to NBA positions. The Austin Spurs have advanced to postseason play five of nine seasons in Austin, winning three division championships and the 2012 NBA D-League title.

pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the hiring and promotion of several members of the team’s basketball operations staff.

Duane Brooks, who brings over two decades of experience in his field, enters his first season as head athletic trainer with the New Orleans Pelicans after spending the previous 13 seasons as the New Orleans Saints’ assistant athletic trainer. Brooks is responsible for the health care, prevention and rehabilitation of injuries, daily training room operations and maintenance of the team’s medical records.

Jason Sumerlin joins the Pelicans as assistant strength and conditioning coach, where he will assist with the athletic development and training of players. Prior to joining New Orleans, Sumerlin spent five seasons as the assistant strength coach for the San Antonio Spurs.

Jared Lewis begins his first season with the Pelicans in the role of physical therapist, where he will oversee players’ prevention and rehabilitation of injuries. Lewis, a Northeastern University graduate, previously worked as a physical therapist with Marathon Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine of Norton, MA.

Jamelle McMillan has been elevated to player development coach after serving as a coaching intern for the Pelicans the past two seasons. McMillan came to New Orleans in 2012 from Drake University where he served as the director of basketball operations after playing four years at Arizona State University.

Terrance “Doc” Martin adds the role of player development coach to his director of player programs title, which he’s held the past two seasons. Martin served as a scout for the Pelicans from 2010-12 after spending the three previous years in Portland as a collegiate scout for the Trail Blazers. A four-year letterman from the University of Alabama, Martin also has experience as an assistant coach on the NBA Summer League teams for Portland and San Antonio.

Michael Ruffin enters his first season with the Pelicans as player development coach. Ruffin, who played nine seasons in the NBA, coached the ABA’s Colorado Kings in 2010-11 before continuing his professional basketball career in Spain.

Matt Whinrey has been promoted to head video coordinator after serving as the team’s assistant video coordinator last season. Prior to joining the Pelicans, Whinrey was an NBA regional scout and basketball operations assistant for the Cleveland Cavaliers. After graduating from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in 2009, Whinrey worked as a student assistant for the men’s basketball team before being named an assistant coach from 2010-2012.

Jason Brown has been named assistant video coordinator after working one season as the Pelicans’ video intern. Brown previously served as the Charlotte Bobcats’ video intern in 2012-13, a collegiate scout for NetScouts Basketball in 2011-12, and a Philadelphia 76ers video intern and youth programs assistant in 2011.

Bryson Graham has been promoted to scouting coordinator after spending the last two seasons as the Pelicans video coordinator. Graham previously served as the team’s player development director/basketball operations associate in 2011-12 and was a front office intern in 2010-11.

Dallas Mavericks sign guard Yuki Togashi

mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent guard Yuki Togashi.

Togashi (5-7, 143) was most recently a member of the Mavericks’ NBA Summer League team. In his four games, he averaged 5.3 points and 1.3 rebounds while shooting .467 from the field.

A native of Niigata, Japan, Togashi attended high school in the United States at Montrose Christian School which produced NBA players Kevin Durant, Terrence Ross and Greivis Vasquez. He was part of the 2011 Montrose team that captured the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational title.

Togashi graduated high school in 2012 and returned to Japan to play professionally in the Basketball Japan League. He signed with the Akita Northern Happinets and averaged 16.3 points, a league-high 7.6 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 58 games during the 2013-14 season.

NBA observers have had plenty of time to watch Kevin Durant lead the Oklahoma City Thunder while Russell Westbrook was out healing. But now the situation has reversed, and although it’s still just NBA preseason all eyed in OKC and beyond are glued on Westbrook as he deals with even more responsibility than ever. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

In the Thunder’s 117-107 preseason victory over the Grizzlies on Tuesday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena, that connection offered a peek into the burgeoning chemistry between Westbrook and Adams. But more importantly, it was a much-anticipated glimpse of how exactly Westbrook might captain this short-handed squad as it awaits the return of scoring phenom Kevin Durant.

Westbrook scored 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting and dished a game-high 12 assists in 26 minutes. Six of those assists went to Adams, who again strengthened his case for the starting center position after assembling his third straight stellar performance, this time a 22-point, six-rebound, one-block effort.

When the Grizzlies began taking control, building a double-digit lead in the second quarter, it was Westbrook who took over and put a stop to it, not by hoisting shots but with pinpoint passes.

Jeremy Lin may be Lakers starting PG

Who should start at point guard for the Lakers, old Steve Nash or unspectacular Jeremy Lin? Perhaps it doesn’t matter. Maybe they should split time fairly equally, assuming Nash is physically able and actually worthy of minutes.

It seems like Lin may be the better option, especially if Nash is hobbling around. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Entering what is probably his final NBA season, two-time MVP Steve Nash faces the very real prospect of spending it in a new role: as a backup.

Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott said Jeremy Lin could become the team’s starting point guard because of Nash’s nagging health issues.

“That is something I’m definitely thinking about it,” Scott said after the team’s practice Tuesday. “Is it in our best interest to start Jeremy or Ronnie [Price] or do we wait day by day, game by game? We’ll play these last five preseason games out. We’ll figure it out from there.”

The Milwaukee Bucks were horrible last season, and although not a lot is expected of them in 2014-15, they do have some nice young pieces, and a deeper bench than before. And with all the young kids on the squad, veteran leadership is important. Enter Jared Dudley. Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting:

Jared Dudley a key veteran for Bucks this season

Jared Dudley knows he has a vital role to play with a young Milwaukee Bucks team this season.

The 29-year-old veteran is needed to knock down some crucial shots and stretch opposing defenses with his three-point prowess.

And Bucks coach Jason Kidd also is counting on Dudley to be a mentor for the youngsters, including 19-year-olds Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo. It’s no coincidence Dudley is stationed next to Parker, the No. 2 overall draft pick and rookie of the year candidate, in the Bucks locker room.

Dudley played his part perfectly Tuesday night, hitting all 5 three-pointers he attempted in the Bucks’ 106-100 loss to the LeBron-less Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.

Wins and losses don’t matter in NBA preseason. It’s a warmup period, designed to let stars stretch their legs, adjust to some teammates, and bench players to enjoy inflated minutes. The Los Angeles Clippers are 0-3. No big deal, we say. And head coach Doc Rivers appears to agree. Here’s the Orange County Register reporting:

The defense has struggled – allowing 111 points per game. The offense has been inconsistent. The Clippers have been beaten on the boards and have been auditioning small forwards on a nightly basis.

So obviously, Rivers would be concerned, right?

“I’m not that concerned right now. Honestly,” he said. “I just think we’re trying to try some things and do a lot of different things, and we’ll figure it all out.”

The Clippers, who didn’t practice Tuesday, have five exhibition games left, and Rivers said the team knew things could be rocky early.

“We told our guys at the beginning that we’ll see how it all works out,” he said.

Grizzlies waive Luke Hancock

The Memphis Grizzlies waived guard Luke Hancock, the team announced today.

Hancock (6-6, 200) recorded two points in nine minutes in his lone preseason appearance on Oct. 9 at Houston. Undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Louisville product signed with the Grizzlies as a free agent on Sept. 25.

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 18 players.

Bucks center Johnny O’Bryant underwent an MRI over the weekend on his right knee, which revealed a grade III sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL). O’Bryant initially suffered the injury in the third quarter of Milwaukee’s game at Detroit on Thursday, Oct. 9. No surgery is required, and O’Bryant has already begun the rehabilitation process. No timetable has been set for his return.

O’Bryant had appeared in two preseason games for the Bucks and posted two points and three rebounds in 14 total minutes of action.

Utah Jazz big-man Derrick Favors averaged 13.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 30.2 minutes per game last season. For 2014-15 and beyond, he hopes for a better jumpshot. Here’s the Salt Lake Tribune reporting:

“I knew I could make shots between the free-throw line area and 10-15 feet,” Favors said after shootaround on Monday. “But I’m trying to extend it to maybe 18 [feet], toward the 3-point line. I try to keep working on it, keep making shots … so hopefully in the future I can move out to the 3-point line.”

Jazz coach Quin Snyder has given big man Enes Kanter the green light to fire from distance this year, but he hasn’t quite asked Favors to do the same.

“I think it’s just taking good shots,” Snyder said. “I think it’s a process. He’s probably 15-18 [feet] right now. That’s my feeling. He and I haven’t talked about in a whole lot of detail. It’s not like he’s feeling like he wants to go out and shoot 3s. We’re comfortable with him taking open shots. I think that keeps people honest. It allows him to attack in other ways too.”

The jumpshot was Favors’ primary focus this summer.

“I took a lot of jump shots this offseason,” he said. “That was my whole plan this offseason was to work on my jumper. Around the free-throw line area, around the baseline. Try to add that to my game so guys respect me more, so it can help me out on my driving game. … During the summer I probably took maybe 500 shots a day, every day.”

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