Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on Timberwolves, who are having a very good season as long as they aren’t on the road playing against another Western conference team:

The latest Timberwolves road trip out West hasn’t quite taken on the horror show feel of the last one, which ended 0-5 and resulted in Jimmy Butler finally being traded.

But the trip now sits at 0-3 after a 141-130 loss to Sacramento on Wednesday and perhaps feels even more disappointing than that last awful stretch if only because the Wolves had generated great optimism by going 9-3 since the trade and seemingly had discovered a winning combination centered around defense that might lead to better road results.

Spanning both iterations of the Wolves — pre- and post-Butler — this team is now 0-10 in conference games on the road. There are a lot of ways to define a 13-15 season-to-date, but that’s as good as any. Winning on the road is tough, but even marginally better results would have a major impact.

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On the Thunder rotation

The 17-9 Thunder are having a very good season, but like all teams, precise rotation patterns can always use an adjustment. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

Out of a timeout midway through the third quarter Wednesday, Thunder coach Billy Donovan finally went to Patrick Patterson at power forward. It was telling that he didn’t go to him earlier.

Less than two minutes into the third quarter, Jerami Grant had picked up his fifth foul, but Donovan instead went to Dennis Schroder, opting to play small by sliding Paul George to power forward. Nothing the Thunder was doing was working against the Pelicans’ front line in a 118-114 loss, so why not go the opposite way?

“It impacted us but it really didn’t make a difference up front who we had out there,” Donovan said of Grant’s foul trouble.

“Jerami is an important player and certainly I’d like to have him out there, but I thought their frontcourt impacted the game around the basket regardless of who we had out there.”

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The New York Knicks today signed guard Allonzo Trier to a standard regular season NBA contract. With this signing, Trier becomes the first two-way player to sign a guaranteed NBA contract within the first two months of the season.

Earlier today, the Knicks waived guard Ron Baker.

Trier, undrafted out of Arizona, has appeared in 27 games (three starts) this season, averaging 11.3 points on 47% shooting (39.1% 3PT), 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists over 23.2 minutes. Among rookies, Trier ranks seventh in scoring, third in three-point percentage and ninth in field goal percentage. He is one of four rookies this season averaging at least 11.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and shooting at least 47-percent from the field. On November 27 at Detroit, Trier became the first undrafted Knicks rookie to post at least 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in a game.

The Seattle, Wash. native was eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft following his junior season at Arizona and signed a two-way contract with New York on July 3. As a junior at Arizona he averaged 18.1 points, 3.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds over 33 games.

Knicks waive Ron Baker

The New York Knicks waived guard Ron Baker today.

“Ron is a true professional and we thank him for all of his contributions during his time with the Knicks,” said Steve Mills, President, New York Knicks. “His dedication and passion for the game are unquestioned and have been truly appreciated by our fans and organization. We wish him all the best.”

Baker appeared in 92 games (14 starts) over three seasons with New York (2016-18), posting averages of 3.3 points, 1.8 assists and 1.5 rebounds over 14.7 minutes. He is averaging 1.3 points and 1.2 assists over 9.7 minutes in 11 games this season.

The Scott City, KS-native was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent on Aug. 1, 2016, before re-signing on Aug. 7, 2017.

DeMarcus Cousins, coming off injury, is now in the G League, only temporarily, for health rehab purposes, preparing for big-time basketball with the Warriors. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News with an update:

With about 10 minutes left in his second practice with the Santa Cruz Warriors, all-star center DeMarcus Cousins threw down a thunderous dunk that gave a glimmer of what could be when he eventually returns to the lineup.

“It felt good,” Cousins said. “It’s all coming back for me, slowly but surely. But it felt good to get up and dunk a little bit.”

Cousins, who tore his Achilles in January, went through a full practice with the G-League squad Wednesday morning, participating in a five-on-five scrimmage that included two six-minute periods. The session was a part of a plan to send Cousins — who signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal in July — back and forth to Santa Cruz in an effort to ramp up his workload.

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Victor Oladipo set to return for Pacers

Good news for the Pacers, per the Indianapolis Star:

Indianapolis Pacers coach Nate McMillan said Victor Oladipo will start against the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Oladipo had missed the past 11 games, the Pacers going 7-4 in his absence. Oladipo will be on a minutes restriction but McMillan wouldn’t say what the number is. Oladipo will likely be substituted early so he’ll have minutes available for the second half.

Full article

Cavaliers forward/center Tristan Thompson will miss around 2-4 weeks with a left foot sprain.

The injury occurred in yesterday’s road game against the Bucks in Milwaukee late in the third quarter, ending Thompson’s evening early.

Additional evaluation and an MRI today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health confirmed the sprain.

Thompson will now undergo a period of treatment and rehabilitation.

Suns sign Eric Moreland

Suns sign Eric Moreland

The Phoenix Suns yesterday (Monday) signed forward/center Eric Moreland.

A 6-10, 240-pound post player, Moreland has played in 78 games over three NBA seasons with Sacramento and Detroit. With the Pistons last season, Moreland appeared in a career-high 67 games and made the first three starts of his career, averaging 2.1 points and 4.1 rebounds in 12.0 minutes per game. In the season finale at Chicago on April 11, Moreland recorded career highs of 16 points, 17 rebounds, four blocks and four steals in addition to four assists; he joined Andre Drummond as the only players in the NBA last season with a performance of at least four each of blocks, steals and assists.

Recently, Moreland played in two games for USA Basketball’s World Cup Qualifying team coached by Jeff Van Gundy. Moreland had 10 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks and three steals for the U.S. in a 78-70 win over Uruguay on Dec. 2 and posted two points and eight rebounds in an 81-63 loss to Argentina on Nov. 29. He spent training camp with Toronto prior to this season.

Moreland began his NBA career with the Kings, appearing in three games as a rookie in 2014-15 and eight games in 2015-16. He played the 2016-17 season with the Canton Charge of the NBA G League, earning All-NBA G League Third Team and NBA G League All-Defensive Team honors in addition to being a 2017 NBA G League All-Star. Moreland averaged 12.8 points on 56.1 percent shooting plus 12.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 44 games with Canton. He also appeared in 12 G League games with the Reno Bighorns over the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons while on assignment from Sacramento.

The 26-year-old went undrafted in 2014 following a four-year career at Oregon State University. Moreland finished his career as the Beavers’ all-time leader in blocked shots (184) and blocked shots per game (2.07) while ranking fifth in rebounds (762) and sixth in rebounding average (8.6 per game). His hometown is Houston, Texas.

Moreland will wear uniform No. 23

Matthew Dellavedova is back in Cleveland. Whether that means a championship parade will also return to the city is up for discussion. But he should have an impact, in more ways than one. Here’s Cleveland.com reporting on what Delly being back in town might mean, including how it may affect rookie guard Collin Sexton:

The trade with Milwaukee wasn’t as much about Dellavedova or John Henson. For the Cavs, it was about that coveted first-round pick that comes with protections.

The Bucks wanted to move move money, gaining financial flexibility in their quest to surround star Giannis Antetokounmpo with the pieces to compete for a title. That opened up the possibility for Cleveland to land an asset for its rebuild — another important trade chip if the Cavs eventually go star-hunting or a valuable selection to eventually add another promising piece to this growing nucleus.

But don’t think Dellavedova’s inclusion was an accident.

“Delly will be great for Collin,” one member of the front office told cleveland.com before the trade was made official.

Full article.

Brandon Ingram out with sprained ankle

Here’s the L.A. Times reporting on Lakers forward Brandon Ingram:

Brandon Ingram’s MRI Thursday evening confirmed a sprained left ankle and Ingram will be reevaluated in one week, the Lakers said Saturday.

That means Ingram will miss at least two more games after Saturday night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Lakers play the Miami Heat at home Monday and will start a four-game road trip that begins in Houston Thursday.

Full article.

And here’s ESPN.com with more:

Ingram is averaging 15.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game this season. He suffered the injury in the first quarter of Wednesday’s win over San Antonio when he landed on the foot of Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge after taking a jump shot. Aldridge was whistled for a flagrant foul 1 for sticking his foot where Ingram was going to land.

Full article.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard Matthew Dellavedova and forward/center John Henson from the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a three-team trade, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today. As part of the trade, Cleveland is also receiving Milwaukee’s own 2021 first round pick and 2021 second round pick as well as a 2022 second round pick from the Washington Wizards. In exchange, the Cavaliers will send guard George Hill and a 2021 second round pick (Washington’s via Utah) to the Bucks and forward Sam Dekker to the Wizards. In addition, Milwaukee will also receive forward Jason Smith from Washington.

“First and foremost, I’d like to thank George Hill,” said Altman. “He helped us get to the NBA Finals last year and has been a consummate professional on the court and in our community. Both George and Sam Dekker went about their work here with professionalism and class and we wish them the best. At the same time, we’re very pleased to bring Delly back to Cleveland and want to welcome John Henson as well. This deal satisfied several important aspects for us in terms of having both long and shorter term benefits and assets involved. We will continue to look for ways to improve and strengthen our position for the future, while enhancing our ability to compete and grow in the short-term also.”

“This trade allows us to continue to work to improve our team and gives us a young, developing player in Sam whose versatility and athleticism at the forward position will allow him to earn an opportunity to contribute,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “We wish Jason the best moving forward and appreciate the value he brought to our team as a great teammate and true professional.”

“We’re excited to welcome George and Jason to the Bucks organization,” said Bucks General Manager Jon Horst. “George provides us added depth and experience at the guard position, while Jason gives us another front court player who can stretch the floor.” … “We wish Delly and John well and thank them for their many contributions both on and off the court.”

Hill (6-3, 188) appeared in 37 games (all starts) for Cleveland after being acquired by the Cavaliers on Feb. 8, 2018, averaging 9.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 27.4 minutes per game over that span. Dekker (6-9, 230), who was acquired by Cleveland on Aug. 7, 2018, played in nine games (five starts) for the Cavs this season, averaging 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.22 steals in 18.8 minutes per game.

Dellavedova (6-4, 200) played his first three NBA seasons with the Cavaliers from 2013-2016 and was a member of Cleveland’s 2016 NBA Championship team. In 215 career games (31 starts) with the Cavs, he averaged 5.7 points and 3.4 assists in 21.0 minutes per game. Dellavedova ranks ninth in Cavs history for three-point percentage (.398). He appeared in 12 games this season with Milwaukee and owns career averages of 5.8 points and 3.7 assists in 21.4 minutes over 341 games (88 starts) with the Cavaliers and Bucks. Dellavedova will wear jersey number 18 for the Cavs.

Henson (6-11, 219), who is in his eighth NBA season, has spent his entire career with Milwaukee, appearing in 405 games (152 starts) and averaging 7.8 points on .539 shooting, 5.4 rebounds and 1.48 blocks in 20.1 minutes per game. This season, he played in 14 games for the Bucks and averaged 5.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 13.4 minutes per game. He also appeared in the playoffs in four seasons with Milwaukee, playing in 14 games (two starts) and averaging 5.8 points on .536 shooting, 5.1 rebounds and 1.21 blocks in 19.4 minutes per game. Henson will wear jersey number 31 for the Cavs.

The Phoenix Suns today signed guard Jawun Evans (pronounced Juh-WAN) to a two-way contract.

Evans has played in 14 games this season with the Suns’ NBA G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns.

A 6-0, 190-pound guard, Evans played in 48 games as a rookie with the LA Clippers last season and averaged 4.8 points, 2.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 16.2 minutes. He recorded five games scoring in double figures including two games with a career-high 15 points. On Dec. 15 of last season at Washington, Evans set career highs with 15 points and five steals in addition to recording six rebounds and six assists.

The seventh GATORADE Call-Up in the NBA this season and ninth in Northern Arizona Suns history, Evans leads the NAZ Suns with 18.5 points per game in addition to averaging 4.6 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 14 appearances. Over his last seven games, Evans has the second most total points in the NBA G League (173). Evans has three 30-point games with NAZ this season as he scored 30-plus in three straight from Nov. 27-Dec. 1, including a career-high 33 points on Dec. 1 at Iowa and on Nov. 27 vs. Memphis.

The 22-year-old was initially the 39th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by Philadelphia before being traded to the Clippers. Evans played two seasons at Oklahoma State University, earning All-Big 12 First Team in 2017 and Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2016. Evans averaged 16.6 points and 5.8 assists in 54 career games with the Cowboys, and averaged 19.2 points and 6.4 assists in 2016-17. Born in Greenville, South Carolina, Evans was a 2015 McDonald’s All American after he completed his career at Kimball High School in Dallas, Texas.

Evans will wear uniform No. 0.

Pistons guard Ish Smith injured

Pistons guard Ish Smith injured

An MRI has revealed that Detroit Pistons guard Ish Smith has suffered a right adductor muscle tear. The injury occurred in the second quarter of the Pistons game at Milwaukee on December 5. Smith will be out and reassessed in two weeks.

Now in his 9th NBA season, Smith in 2018-19 is averaging 9.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 22 games.

According to the Detroit News, “it’s the third injury to the Pistons’ backcourt, along with Reggie Bullock (left ankle sprain) and Luke Kennard (right shoulder sprain). Kennard has returned and played in the last two games but has been ineffective as he’s tried to gain his game speed and timing back.”

Warriors center Damian Jones out after surgery

Warriors center Damian Jones, who suffered a torn left pectoral muscle in last Saturday’s game against the Pistons in Detroit, underwent what the team describes as successful surgery on Wednesday to repair the injury.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Benjamin Domb at Adventist Medical Health Center in Chicago and will enable Jones to begin rehabilitation in six weeks.

According to the Mercury News, “with All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins rehabbing his left Achilles tendon, Jones mostly assumed the starting position and experienced varying success and struggles. He averaged 5.4 points, 3.1 rebounds. 2.6 fouls and a block in 17.1 minutes in 24 games, including 22 as a starter. With Draymond Green also sidelined for 13 of the past 15 games because of a sprained right toe in his right foot, the Warriors currently only have fourth-year forward Kevon Looney, second-year forward Jordan Bell and two-way player Marcus Derrickson at the center spot.”

 

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The Nuggets are 17-7, which is the second best record in the entire league, and they’re truly doing it as a team, with incredibly balanced scoring. One thing that sets them apart is their best passer and play-maker is center Nikola Jokic, who is averaging 7.8 assists per game this season to go with his 16.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per outing. He’s having a fantastic, All-Star level season. Here’s the Denver Post reporting:

Jokic’s 9.9 assists per game in Denver’s seven-game winning streak are tied with Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry for second-most in the NBA during that span. The next nine players on the list are all point guards.

His ability to control a game with his passing isn’t new, but it has been the catalyst for the Nuggets’ longest winning streak since the 2013-’14 season.

Jokic, who averaged 6.1 assists last season and ranks eighth alongside only point guards with his 7.8 dimes so far this season, has been an anomaly since he joined the league.

“I think last 15 games, we’re No. 1 in the league in assists per game at over 30,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “That’s when we’re at our best when we have player movement, ball movement, guys cutting and getting high percentage looks. I think that’s what allows Nikola to be the player that he is. He may not be shooting the best percentages in the world, but he can still contribute and dominate a game with his playmaking, his rebounding and other areas.”

Full article

Kevin Durant, future NBA team owner?

I’d like to own an NBA team. You probably wouldn’t mind owning one either. Far more realistic is NBA superstar Kevin Durant, once he eventually retires, pulling it off. And he’s interested. Here’s the Mercury News with reporting his latest words on the matter:

The Warriors’ Kevin Durant has mused about owning and/or operating an NBA franchise. This week he applied some specificity to his dream.

Asked if he had an interest in being the guy who returns an NBA team to Seattle, he did not equivocate.

“Hell yeah, of course I would,” Durant told ESPN after the Warriors had chewed up and spit out the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Wednesday night.

Durant has a sentimental attachment to Seattle. It’s where he broke in as a 19-year-old rookie.

Full article

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on Tyreke Evans, who despite averaging 10.6 points on 37% shooting so far this season will apparently remain in the Indiana Pacers starting lineup for the time being. Evans has started all 24 games he’s played in so far:

Bojan Bogdanovic speaks about Evans the way the rest of his teammates do: with patience.

He’s a professional they all say. There’s a reason he’s been around the league for a decade. He knows what’s he doing. It will click for him soon. Have patience.

Patience is what coach Nate McMillan is preaching as well — especially in regards to Evans’ place in the Pacers starting lineup, which isn’t going to change.

“He’s had some turnovers, some missed shots lately, (but) we’re not going to go away from him,” McMillan said. “Off the bench, he was doing some good things for us. Hopefully he’ll find his rhythm and start knocking down some of those shots.”

While McMillan isn’t wrong that Evans was doing some good things off the bench, he wasn’t doing them consistently — or to the level the Pacers likely expected when they brought him to the team this offseason.

Full article

The New Orleans Pelicans signed guard Andrew Harrison to a two-way contract today.

Harrison, 6-6, 213, appeared in 11 games earlier this season (one with Memphis, 10 with Cleveland), averaging 4.1 points, 1.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per contest. Selected 44th overall by Phoenix in the 2015 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky, Harrison has appeared in 139 games (64 starts) for Memphis and Cleveland, holding career averages of 7.2 points, 2.8 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per game.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “Harrison started out this season with Memphis but was waived on Nov. 1. He was picked up by the Cavaliers just eight days later. ”

More from the Times-Picayune: “Harrison becomes the fourth Kentucky player on the Pelicans’ roster joining Anthony Davis, Julius Randle and Darius Miller. Harrison and Randle played together as freshman at Kentucky during the 2013-14 season.”

Harrison will wear #1 for the Pelicans and be available for the team’s home game tonight against Dallas.

New Orleans’s roster now stands at 17, including two two-way players (Harrison and Trevon Bluiett).

Per NBA rules, each team is allowed to carry two players on two-way contracts in addition to the standard 15 players on the roster. Players signed to two-way contracts will spend the majority of the year in the NBA G League, but can be called up to their NBA team for a maximum of 45 days during the season.

Changes to new Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen’s coaching staff were made today.

Assistant coach Nate Loenser has been elevated to the bench, while director of player development Shawn Respert, has also been elevated to the bench, as he now joins Boylen’s staff as an assistant coach. Longtime NBA coaching veteran Dean Cooper comes to the Bulls after starting the season as an assistant coach with Chicago’s G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls. Assistant coach Randy Brown notified the Bulls today that he has resigned from his post with the team.

In summary, Boylen’s coaching staff is now comprised of Pete Myers, Loenser, Respert, Cooper and Karen Stack Umlauf.

Loenser is in his second season as an assistant coach with the Bulls. He served as head coach of the Windy City Bulls during the team’s inaugural season in 2016-17. He spent the 2015-16 as Chicago’s video coordinator, after having coached at the University of Southern Mississippi and Iowa State. “Nate is a very bright, young coach who has earned this opportunity,” said Boylen.

Respert most recently served as the team’s director of player development since the start of 2017-18 season. Prior to coming to Chicago, he was a regional scout and assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies. While with the Grizzlies, he was a member of David Joerger’s staff for three seasons (2013-16). He also spent three seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he worked as an assistant coach with an emphasis on player development. He worked four seasons with the Houston Rockets as an assistant coach (2008-11). “Shawn is in charge of our player development and I feel it is vital that he is on our bench with our players,” said Boylen.

Cooper reunites with Boylen having worked together on Rudy Tomjanovich’s staff with the Houston Rockets. Before his term in Hoffman Estates with the Windy City Bulls, he was the head coach of the Salt Lake City Stars/Idaho Stampede for three seasons (2014-2017). Prior to his time with Salt Lake City, Cooper enjoyed a second stint with the Houston Rockets as an assistant coach for Kevin McHale (2012-14). His first tour with the Rockets spanned nine seasons (1999-2008) where he held several roles, including video coordinator, assistant coach, personnel scout, director of scouting and vice president of player personnel. He also spent time with the Minnesota Timberwolves as the director of player development for two seasons (2010-12). “Dean is a veteran coach who has a ton of experience and someone I have a great comfort level with,” said Boylen.

Brown, an assistant coach with the Bulls since 2015, was offered an opportunity to remain on the staff, but declined the post. “I’m disappointed Randy has made this decision, but I understand he has to do what is best for him,” said Boylen.

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been fined $15,000 for public criticism of the officiating, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Gobert made his comments to the media following the Jazz’s 102-100 loss to the Miami Heat on Dec. 2 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, “Gobert was called for a foul on Heat guard Dwyane Wade with 3.2 seconds left in that game, and the resulting free throws broke a tie and ultimately resulted in Miami’s victory. Gobert asserted that the referees had been making foul calls inconsistently throughout the game, pointing to the lack of a foul call on a Donovan Mitchell drive to the hoop on the prior possession.”

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