Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles with an update on the Clippers. Tonight is the final night of the 2013-14 NBA regular season:

Blake Griffin, JJ Redick out tonight for Clippers

Clippers forward Blake Griffin and guard J.J. Redick will not travel with the team for its final regular-season game Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers already had planned on resting Redick, but the decision to give Griffin the night off was essentially taken out of his hands Tuesday night when Griffin picked up his 16th technical foul in the first half against the Denver Nuggets, drawing a league-mandated one-game suspension.

“The worst case is he’s suspended one game, I’m not going to bring him anyway,” Rivers said. “They’ll probably rescind that. I’d be surprised but you never know. I want Blake to stay home and get some rest. He’s so banged up.”

Bucks sign forward Chris Wright

Bucks sign forward Chris Wright

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed forward Chris Wright (6-8, 225) to a multi-year contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Wright had played with the Bucks on two separate 10-day contracts, the last signed on April 5. He appeared in seven games with the Bucks, averaging 6.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 15.4 minutes per game.

Prior to joining the Bucks, Wright played with the D-League’s Maine Red Claws, where he’s appeared in 41 games this season and posted averages of 19.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest. He’s notched 14 double-doubles on the year, including seven in his last 11 appearances. Wright also played for the Red Claws during the 2012-13 season, when he average 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, and has been named to the D-League All-Star Game in both of his seasons in Maine.

After going undrafted out of Dayton in 2011, Wright was selected by the Red Claws with the third overall pick in the 2011 D-League Draft. He appeared in four games for the Red Claws, averaging 17.0 points and 10.8 rebounds, before signing with the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 24, 2011. Wright appeared in 24 games during his lone NBA season and posted 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest. Earning the start in Golden State’s season finale, Wright tallied a career-best 25 points and eight rebounds while shooting 11-of-14 from the field on April 26, 2012, at San Antonio.

Wright wears #15 for the Bucks.

Kings recall Willie Reed from D-League

Kings recall Willie Reed from D-League

The Sacramento Kings today recalled forward Willie Reed from the Kings D-League affiliate Reno Bighorns, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

The Bighorns’ season came to a close Sunday night with a 115-93 playoff loss to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Reed averaged 9.5 points (.643 FG%, 1-2 FT), 8.5 rebounds, 2.00 blocks and 25.0 minutes per game in two postseason contests for Reno.

Reed, a 6-10, 220-pound forward, averaged 13.6 points (.649 FG%, .800 FT%), 7.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists 2.4 blocks, and 25.0 minutes per game in five games off the bench for the Bighorns this season. He scored in double-figures in all five appearances and recorded two double-doubles.

Earlier this season, Reed played for the NBA D-League Springfield Armor and averaged 14.8 points (.590 FG%, .612 FT%), 10.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.6 blocks per game in 31.8 minutes per game in 44 games, of which he started 33.

Reed previously played with Sacramento during the 2012 preseason when he averaged 0.8 points (1-3 FG, 1-2 FT), 1.0 rebounds, and 2.8 minutes per game in four preseason contests before being waived. He went on to play in his first stint for the Springfield Armor, earning Honorable Mention All-Development League Team honors after averaging 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game before joining the Memphis Grizzlies for the remainder of the season.

Warriors center Andrew Bogut injured, out with rib fracture

Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut has been diagnosed with a rib fracture and will be sidelined indefinitely. The injury, which occurred during the fourth quarter of Golden State’s overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers last night, was revealed in x-rays taken immediately after the game and confirmed today by the team’s medical staff.

In 67 games this season, Bogut is averaging 7.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.81 blocks in 26.4 minutes, while shooting 62.7 percent from the floor.

DeMarcus Cousins suspended one game for receiving 16th technical foul of season

The Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins has received a one-game suspension without pay for receiving his 16th technical foul of the 2013-14 season, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

Under NBA rules, a player or coach is automatically suspended without pay for one game once he receives his 16th technical foul during a regular season. For every two additional technical fouls received during that regular season, the player or coach will be automatically suspended for an additional game.

Cousins received his most recent technical foul with 1:13 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Kings’ 106-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 13, at Sleep Train Arena. Cousins will serve his suspension in the Kings’ season finale on Wednesday, April 16, when Sacramento hosts the Phoenix Suns.

To view the play, click on this link.

detroit pistons

The Detroit Pistons announced today that Joe Dumars will step aside as President of Basketball Operations, effective immediately. The team has launched a search for a new head of basketball operations.

“Joe Dumars is a great champion who has meant so much to this franchise and this community,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “We are turning the page with great respect for what he has accomplished not only as a player and a front office executive, but as a person who has represented this team and the NBA with extraordinary dignity.”

During the transition, Director of Basketball Operations Ken Catanella and Assistant General Manager George David will continue preparing for the upcoming NBA Draft and free agency signing period, reporting to ownership executives Phil Norment and Bob Wentworth. Mr. Norment said the organization has developed a preliminary list of candidates that includes “the best executives in the business,” but he declined to place a specific timetable on selecting a replacement.

Mr. Dumars will continue his relationship with the franchise as an advisor to the organization and its ownership team.

“It’s time to turn the page on a wonderful chapter and begin writing a new one,” Dumars said. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great people throughout the last 29 years as both a player and executive, and I’m proud of our accomplishments. Tom Gores and ownership is committed to winning and they will continue to move the franchise forward.”

Drafted with the 18th selection in the first round of the 1985 NBA Draft, Dumars has spent 29 years with the Detroit Pistons organization, 14 years as a player (1985-1999) and 15 years as a member of the front office (1999-2014). Throughout that time, the franchise won three NBA Championships (1989, 1990, 2004), five Eastern Conference titles (1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2005), nine Central Division titles and reached the Eastern Conference Finals 11 times.

Over the last 14 years as the club’s top basketball executive, Dumars guided the organization to a 595-536 (.527) regular-season record, 73 playoff wins, six Eastern Conference Finals appearances (2003-08), six Central Division titles, two Eastern Conference Championships (2004, 2005), two NBA Finals appearances and the 2004 NBA Championship.

During an eight-year period from 2001-2009, the club won an NBA Championship (2004), compiled 423 regular-season victories, 73 playoff wins and made six consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference Finals (2003-2008), the most since the Los Angeles Lakers went to six straight from 1984 to 1989. In 2007-08, the club won 50-plus games for a franchise-record seventh consecutive season and won its sixth Central Division title in seven years. In 2005-06, Detroit recorded its best regular-season record in franchise history (64-18), and, in 2004-05, the club won its second consecutive Eastern Conference Championship and reached the NBA Finals in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1989 and 1990. Dumars’ efforts did not go unnoticed as he was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2003 and NBA Executive of the Decade in 2009 by The Sporting News.

Dumars’ Detroit beginning coincided with one of the most successful eras in Pistons basketball history. Following a 46-36 rookie campaign in 1985-86, Dumars’ teams won 50-plus games each of the next five seasons and two NBA Championships (1989, 1990). He won the first of many NBA honors following the team’s 63-19 record in 1988-89, being named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team. The six-time NBA All-Star was named Most Valuable Player of the 1989 NBA Finals, the first of the club’s back-to-back NBA Championships. Dumars was named first team NBA All-Rookie in 1985-86 and first team NBA All-Defense four times (1988-89, 1989-90, 1991-92 and 1992-93). He was named All-NBA Third Team in 1989-90 and 1990-91 and All-NBA Second Team in 1992-93 when he averaged a career-best 23.5 points per game. He went on to play 1,018 regular season games for Detroit in 14 seasons, making him the most tenured player in franchise history. He retired as the team’s all-time leading three-point shooter with 990 made and its second all-time leading scorer with 16,401 points.

Dumars, who became the seventh Pistons player to have their jersey retired, was the inaugural recipient of the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award in 1996. The NBA Sportsmanship Award winner, which recognizes the NBA player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court, is presented with the Joe Dumars Trophy each year. His basketball career was recognized with the highest of all honors when he was officially enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2006.

Bulls sign Greg Smith, waive Tornike Shengelia

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has requested waivers on Tornike Shengelia (TOR-Neek Shen-ge-liya), and signed forward Greg Smith for the remainder of the season

Smith (6-10, 250), has played two-plus seasons in the NBA for the Houston Rockets where he appeared in 89 regular-season games (10 starts). During that time, he has posted career averages of 5.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 0.53 bpg in 14.4 mpg, while shooting .623 from the field and .615 from the free throw line. This season, Smith played in 11 games for the Rockets and averaged 3.5 ppg and 2.5 rpg in 9.1 mpg.

Shengelia (6-9, 220), was acquired from Brooklyn in exchange for guard Marquis Teague on January 21. He appeared in nine games for the Bulls and averaged 0.4 ppg and 0.2 rpg in 1.9 mpg. In his NBA career, Shengelia has appeared in 45 games and averaged 1.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg and 0.4 apg in 5.5 mpg, while shooting .451 from the field.

Chicago’s roster currently stands at 15 players.

Pelicans sign Melvin Ely, waive Greg Stiemsma

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team waived center Greg Stiemsma and signed center Melvin Ely for the remainder of the season.

Ely (6-10, 260) has appeared in 373 games over eight NBA seasons, averaging 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game. The 6-10 center joins the Pelicans after playing the last two seasons for the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League, where he appeared in 78 games (74 starts) and averaged 13.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game. In the 2013-14 season, Ely totaled 15.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 41 appearances and was selected to the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game.

Stiemsma appeared in 55 games (20 starts) this season for the Pelicans and averaged 2.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.0 block in 18.3 minutes per game. The three-year veteran holds career averages of 3.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 16.0 minutes per game.

Ely will wear No. 4 and will be available for tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Steve Koonin named CEO of Atlanta Hawks

Steve Koonin named CEO of Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have named Steve Koonin as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), it was announced today. In his role as CEO, Koonin will oversee all business, financial and strategic operations of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. He will also acquire an equity position within the ownership group, and represent the owners as the head of the organization. A nationally respected entertainment and marketing veteran, Koonin’s 28-year track record of working with the National Basketball Association (NBA), along with his marketing expertise and leadership abilities, will help usher in a new era of Atlanta Hawks basketball.

“Steve Koonin’s reputation as a game changer in both marketing and media makes him the ideal leader to usher the Atlanta Hawks into a new era. He has created a legacy as an expert in sports marketing, television, branding and digital media,” said Hawks Majority Owner Bruce Levenson. “The Hawks are thrilled that Steve is joining the ownership group as both our CEO and a partner.”

“I have known Steve for more than two decades and based both on first-hand experience and his stellar record of accomplishments, he is one of the very best executives and creative minds in the entertainment industry,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “I am thrilled that he is joining the Hawks and bringing his expertise and passion for the game to the team and its fans.”

Steve joins the Hawks following a 14-year stint with Turner Entertainment Networks, where he most recently served as the division’s president. As president, he oversaw programming, marketing, scheduling, strategy and operations for top-rated networks TNT, TBS, TruTV, and Turner Classic Movies. Under his watch, the aforementioned networks have won numerous Emmy Awards and Peabody Awards, as well as established ratings records and critical acclaim. Koonin has been instrumental in the programming and media rights acquisition processes around the NBA and NCAA, and has helped build strong brand franchises in “Inside the NBA” and “NBA on TNT”. Prior to Turner, Koonin was at the helm of presence marketing and worldwide advertising at The Coca-Cola Company, where he spent over a decade. While serving as Coca-Cola’s vice president of sports and entertainment marketing, he was named Sports Executive of the Year by Sports Business Journal.

“I have a deep commitment to Atlanta - my family has been a part of this city for nearly a century. I have watched the excitement and potential of the entire city growing together as our sports teams achieve success,” said Koonin. “I couldn’t be more excited to join the Hawks organization. We have a lot of work to do, but I believe my professional experience, my passion for this team and the NBA, as well as the Hawks’ great existing executive talent, including our President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry and President of Business Operations for the Hawks and Philips Arena President Bob Williams, make this organization’s future very bright.”

A lifelong resident of Atlanta, Koonin has given a great deal back to his native city through his civic involvement. Along with his professional successes, Steve has positively impacted many Atlanta organizations important not only to the Atlanta Hawks, but also the team’s fans, business partners, and community. Koonin serves on the boards of Emory Healthcare, the Georgia Aquarium, the Fox Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He is a trustee of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. He attended the University of Georgia, where he and his wife, Eydie, recently established the Koonin Scholars Fund at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The fund will provide scholarships for Grady students preparing for careers in the creative industries and media.

Here’s the Washington Post Blog reporting on Wizards point guard John Wall:

The prevailing feeling both inside and outside the Washington Wizards locker room is this: the team will only go as far as John Wall leads it.

Such a burden is of course natural for a former No. 1 overall draft pick who signed a five-year, $80 million contract extension last summer. But Wall’s status as franchise player stretches far beyond the figurative sense and into the statistical realm, where his leadership responsibilities have emerged in several categories this season.

With two games left in the season, Wall has positioned himself to finish as the NBA’s total assists leader with 699, which is 21 ahead of Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio. When considering that Rubio plays alongside All-Star Kevin Love and that Chris Paul, who leads the league with 10.7 assists per game, is teammates with high-flying All-Star Blake Griffin, Wall’s position among the league’s top playmakers is that much more notable.

Not only does Wall rank third overall with 17.2 assist opportunities per game (passes to a teammate in which the teammate attempts a shot, and if made, would be an assist), he’s also third in points created by assist per game with 21.2, according to NBA.com’s Player Tracking stats.

Spurs sign Damion James for remainder of season

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed forward Damion James for the remainder of the 2013-14 season.

James was originally signed by the Spurs to a 10-day contract on April 3. He has appeared in three games for the Silver and Black, averaging 1.0 rebounds in 3.3 minutes.

Prior to joining the Spurs, James most recently played in the NBA D-League in 2013-14 for the Texas Legends and the Bakersfield Jam. In 85 career D-League games, the University of Texas product averaged 16.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.04 blocks in 31.8 minutes.

Drafted 24th overall in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, James was sent to the Brooklyn Nets in a draft-night trade. In three seasons with the Nets (2010-13), he appeared in 34 total games and averaged 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 16.9 minutes.

Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting on the Dallas Mavericks, who are back in the playoffs. There is now just one playoff berth left, in the Western conference, and it will go to the Grizzlies or Suns. Anyway:

Champagne might as well have been flowing in the Dallas Mavericks’ locker room after what they were able to accomplish Saturday night.

Down 13 points in the third quarter and in a tense fight for their playoff lives, the Mavs clinched their 13th postseason berth in the past 14 years with a pulsating 101-98 victory over the Phoenix Suns at American Airlines Center.

The Mavericks (49-32) will seek to win 50 games for the first time since the 2010-11 season when they end the regular season Wednesday night in Memphis.

Using every ounce of energy they had, the Mavericks had to rally from a 13-point second-half deficit to beat the Suns, who dropped to 47-33.

Monta Ellis tied his season high with 37 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half as the Mavericks kept barking at each other on the court during tense moments, and it paid off in the end.

Los Angeles Clippers today announced the team will play against the Denver Nuggets at the Mandalay Bay Events Center inside the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. PT as part of its 2014 preseason schedule. This marks the third straight year for the Clippers to play a preseason game in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay.

Tickets will be available exclusively for Clippers season ticket-holders and other select groups from Friday, April 11 – Sunday, April 13, and individual tickets for the game will go on sale to the general public on Monday, April 14 at 10:00 AM PT and can be purchased through Ticketmaster and the Mandalay Bay Box Office.

The Mandalay Bay Events Center is a multi-purpose arena home to World Championship Boxing, premier concerts and special events. Its seating capacity holds up to 12,000 people.

Statement from the Atlanta Hawks

atlanta hawks

The Atlanta Hawks family has learned of the passing of Hawks great and six-time All-Star Lou Hudson today in Atlanta.

Originally drafted in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1966 NBA Draft by the St. Louis Hawks, Hudson averaged 20.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists (.489 FG%, .797 FT%) in his 13-year NBA career, including 11 outstanding seasons with the Hawks. His number 23 is one of three retired jerseys that hangs in the rafters at Philips Arena.

Hudson averaged 18.4 points as a rookie in St. Louis, and was named to the All-NBA Rookie Team. After missing part of the 1967-68 season to serve his country in the United States Army, Hudson returned as the franchise relocated to Atlanta in 1968, and scored the first basket in Atlanta Hawks history on October 15, 1968. In 1970, he helped lead the Hawks to the Western Division Championship.

The 1969-70 season began a stretch of five consecutive years averaging at least 24.0 points per game. In his 11 years with the Hawks, he put up 20.0 points per game or better seven times. He shares the franchise single-game scoring record, having put up 57 points against Chicago on November 10, 1969.

He was traded by Atlanta to the Los Angeles Lakers on September 30, 1977, and played his final two seasons with Los Angeles. Hudson later relocated to Park City, Utah where he served on the City Council in the 1990’s and was active in numerous charitable endeavors. He later moved back to the Atlanta area, and regularly attended games and team alumni events. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

One of the first three African-American basketball players to attend the University of Minnesota, Hudson played for legendary coach John Kundla. His uniform number 14 was retired by the Gophers in 1994 and he’s a member of the school’s athletic Hall of Fame.

Hudson was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on July 11, 1944 and starred in basketball, football and track at Dudley High School in his hometown. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1966 NFL Draft despite not playing college football.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

STATEMENT FROM ATLANTA HAWKS CO-OWNER MICHAEL GEARON:
“Lou Hudson holds a special place in the Hawks family, in the hearts of our fans and in the history of our club. As a fan growing up with this team, I’m fortunate to say I was able to see almost every game Sweet Lou played as a member of the Hawks. He was an integral part of successful Hawks teams for over a decade, and is deservedly recognized with the ultimate symbol of his significance to the franchise with the number 23 hanging inside Philips Arena. On behalf of the Hawks organization, I’d like to extend condolences to Lou’s family and friends.”

xavier henry surgeries

Los Angeles Lakers guard Xavier Henry underwent successful surgeries today to repair both a torn ligament in his left wrist and the cartilage abnormality in his right knee. The wrist surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Shin and the knee surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Lombardo, both at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Henry is expected to make a full recovery by the beginning of training camp.

In 43 games (five starts) this season, Henry averaged career-highs across-the-board with 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 21.1 minutes.

Pelicans sign forward James Southerland

Pelicans sign forward James Southerland

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed forward James Southerland for the remainder of the season.

Southerland (6-8, 221) joins the Pelicans after playing for the NBA D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders in 2013-14. The Syracuse product appeared in 42 games (14 starts) with the D-Fenders this season and averaged 14.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game.

Prior to his release, the 6-8 small forward appeared in one game earlier this season with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Southerland will wear No. 31 and will be available for tonight’s contest against Oklahoma City.

Bobcats sign DJ White for remainder of season

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed forward DJ White for the remainder of the season.

The 6-9 White, who signed a pair of 10-day contracts on March 21 and 31, has seen action in two games for the Bobcats this season, tallying two rebounds and one steal in five minutes. He is in his sixth NBA season and has career averages of 5.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 138 games played with the Thunder, Bobcats and Celtics. For his career, White has shot .507 from the field (348-687) and .720 from the free-throw line (113-157).

Prior to joining the Bobcats, White played 27 games this season for the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association. He averaged 20.2 points and 8.5 rebounds in 31.9 minutes, while shooting .672 (219-326) from the field and .733 from the free-throw line (96-131). He scored in double figures 25 times, including 17 games of 20 points or more, and posted eight double-doubles.

mike james

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed guard Mike James and forward Lou Amundson (Ah-mund-son) for the remainder of the season. In accordance with team policy, terms of the contracts were not announced.

James (6-2, 188), an 11-year NBA veteran, appeared in 11 games with Chicago earlier this year and averaged 1.0 ppg, 1.5 apg and 0.6 rpg in 7.0 mpg. For his career, James has appeared 595 regular season games (286 starts) and averaged 9.9 ppg, 3.5 apg and 2.2 rpg in 24.1 mpg, while shooting .417 from the field, .379 from deep and .802 from the free throw line. James has also played in 33 playoff games and averaged 4.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg and 1.2 apg in 11.9 mpg.

lou amundson

Amundson (6-9, 225), a seven-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 345 regular season games (seven starts). During that time, he has posted averages of 3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 0.72 bpg in 12.7 mpg, while shooting .491 from the field and .436 from the free throw line. Amundson has also played in 29 playoff games and averaged 2.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 0.41 bpg in 10.3 mpg.

A native of Ventura, Calif., Amundson most recently played for the New Orleans Pelicans. While with the Pelicans earlier this season, he saw action in 18 games and averaged 2.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 0.61 bpg in 10.2 mpg. For his career, he has also played with Philadelphia (twice), Utah, Phoenix, Golden State, Indiana, and Chicago during the 2012-13 season.

James will wear No. 8 and Amundson will wear No. 17.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 15 players.

wizards

The Washington Wizards have partnered with Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic to help grant the wish of 10-year-old Wizards fan Amaris Jackson. Amaris, who is battling renal cell carcinoma and will undergo surgery in the near future to remove a tumor in her lungs, will be signed by the team for this weekend’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, April 12. Amaris, who is point guard on her school’s basketball team, is from Washington, DC.

Amaris will join Coach Randy Wittman and the entire team for the pregame shootaround followed by a personalized basketball workout with assistant coach Ryan Saunders. Later that evening, she will join Monumental Sports & Entertainment majority owner, chairman and CEO Ted Leonsis and Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld for the signing of a one-day contract. Amaris will lead the team onto the court prior to the game against the Milwaukee Bucks and will take part in various in-game activities throughout the night.

Rockets sign Dexter Pittman, waive Greg Smith

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed center Dexter Pittman to a multi-year contract. The 47th “Call-Up” this season, Pittman joins the Rockets from the D-League’s Austin Toros. To open a roster spot, the Rockets have waived center/forward Greg Smith.

Pittman (6-11, 285, Texas), who is currently in his fourth season in the NBA, was originally selected by Miami in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft. He has appeared in 50 regular season games (six starts) with Miami, Memphis and Atlanta, averaging 2.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per outing. Pittman has also seen action in three career postseason contests (one start) with the Heat. This season, Pittman was signed to a 10-day contract by the Hawks on Feb. 22 and appeared in two games before being released on Feb. 27. Pittman previously played three seasons with the Heat before being traded to the Grizzlies. In addition, he participated in 2013 NBA Summer League with the San Antonio Spurs followed by a training camp invite from the Chicago Bulls.

In 28 games with the Toros (20 starts) this season, Pittman averaged 11.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and finished third overall in the D-League with 2.25 blocks per game. Pittman was acquired by Austin from the Springfield Armor on Jan. 6, 2014. While with Miami, Pittman was also assigned to the D-League Sioux Falls Skyforce (2010-11 and 2012-13), where he averaged 13.6 points and 8.4 rebounds in 37 games played (34 starts).

A former standout at Terry High School in Rosenberg, TX, Pittman played four seasons at the University of Texas. He appeared in 134 games (59 starts), averaging 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds over four seasons with the Longhorns.

Smith (6-10, 250, Fresno State), who was in his third season with Houston, saw action in just 11 games this season with the Rockets.

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