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Hawks sign Isaiah Taylor

Hawks sign Isaiah Taylor

The Atlanta Hawks have signed Isaiah Taylor, the team announced.

Taylor saw action in four regular season games and three playoff contests for Houston as a rookie in 2016-17, after signing with the Rockets on Feb. 27. Additionally, the 6’3 guard averaged 21.0 points, 6.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 34.9 minutes (.515 FG%, .457 3FG%, .816 FT%) in 25 games (19 starting assignments) for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League, while being named to the league’s All-Rookie Team.

A three-year letterman (2013-16) at the University of Texas, Taylor played in 92 career games (all starts) for the Longhorns and averaged 13.6 points, 4.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 30.8 minutes (.404 FG%, .792 FT%). As a junior, he was named First-Team All-Big 12 after posting 15.0 points, 5.0 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 30.9 minutes (.420 FG%, .811 FT%) in 33 games. He was named Third-Team All-Big 12 as a sophomore, as well as Honorable Mention and to the conference’s All-Newcomer Team as a freshman.

Taylor will wear No. 22.

Suns exercise options on Devin Booker, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss

The Phoenix Suns have exercised their 2018-19 options on guard Devin Booker, forward Dragan Bender and forward Marquese Chriss.

Booker led the Suns with 22.1 points per game last season, the third-highest scoring average ever posted by a player 20-years-old-or-younger at season’s end, behind only LeBron James in 2004-05 and Kevin Durant in 2008-09. The 13th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Booker’s 2,774 total points through his first two seasons trail only James, Durant and Carmelo Anthony for the fourth-most ever by an NBA player before his 21st birthday.

Bender averaged 7.2 points and 7.0 rebounds this preseason, after averaging 3.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.51 blocks in 43 appearances as a rookie last season, missing 31 games to a right ankle injury. The 4th overall pick and youngest player in the 2016 NBA Draft, Bender averaged 14.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists for the Suns at NBA Summer League 2017 in Las Vegas, and also played for Croatia’s national team at FIBA EuroBasket 2017 this past summer.

Chriss was named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie Second Team for averaging 9.2 points on 44.9 percent shooting, 4.2 rebounds, 0.85 blocks and 0.82 steals while playing all 82 games. The 8th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Chriss led all rookies in games started (75) and dunks (103), and was one of just two first-year players along with Joel Embiid to rank in the top 10 on the rookie leaderboard in scoring average, rebounds per game, blocks per game and steals per game.

The Suns open their 50th season with the Coca-Cola & Fry’s Food Stores Tip Off on Wednesday, October 18 when the team hosts the Portland Trail Blazers at Talking Stick Resort Arena at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available at Suns.com or by calling 602-379-SUNS.

Rodney McGruder undergoes surgery

The Miami HEAT announced that guard Rodney McGruder underwent successful surgery to repair a left tibia stress fracture. The 90-minute procedure was performed by Dr. Charles Jordan and HEAT team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute at Doctors Hospital. He is expected to begin rehabilitation in one week. A timetable for his return has not been set.

McGruder appeared in five preseason games (five starts) with the HEAT, averaging 7.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 22.3 minutes while shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three-point range.

The 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors have signed free agent Quinn Cook to a two-way contract, the team announced Tuesday.

Cook joins Chris Boucher as the Warriors’ two-way players.

Cook, 24, appeared in five games this preseason with the Atlanta Hawks, averaging 3.4 points and 1.2 assists in 9.4 minutes per game. During the 2016-17 NBA season he played in five games with Dallas and nine games with New Orleans, averaging 5.6 points and 1.9 assists in 13.4 minutes per contest. After a four-year career at Duke, the undrafted guard spent the 2015-16 season and a majority of the 2016-17 campaign with the Canton Charge of the G League, averaging 22.6 points, 6.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.16 steals and 36.0 minutes in 82 games (75 starts). He was twice named to the G League All-Star Team, and earned 2017 G League All-Star Game MVP honors after recording 18 points, a game-high 12 assists and seven rebounds in 25 minutes. He was also named the 2016 G League Rookie of the Year.

The Washington, D.C. native, concluded his collegiate career 28th on Duke’s all-time scorers list with 1,571 points. He was one of just seven players in school history to record 1,000 points and 500 assists and set a Duke record with a career assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.52:1. He ranks fourth all-time at Duke in career free throw percentage (.853) and his 143 games played are tied for the seventh most in school history.

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to sign two players to two-way contracts in addition to the 15-man regular-season roster. Players signed to a two-way contract may accrue no more than 45 days of service with their respective NBA club during the regular season, spending the remainder of the season with the team’s G League affiliate. The Warriors’ two-way players will have the ability to spend time with both Golden State and the team’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz.

The Oklahoma City Thunder has signed guard PJ Dozier to a two-way contract, it was announced Tuesday by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

In two seasons at South Carolina, Dozier (6-6, 205) appeared in 70 games (64 starts) and averaged 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.34 steals in 24.0 minutes per game.

During the 2017 NCAA Tournament, Dozier averaged 12.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game as he helped the Gamecocks clinch their first Final Four berth in school history.

Starting in the 2017-18 season, each team is allowed two players on two-way contracts, in addition to the standard 15 players on the roster. Players on two-way contracts spend most of the season in the NBA G League, but can be called up to their NBA team for a maximum of 45 days.

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed Gary Payton II to a Two-Way contract.

Payton II, 24, originally signed with Milwaukee on April 2 and played in six games during the 2016-17 season where he averaged 3.3 points, 2.2 assists and 2.0 rebounds. He appeared in four preseason games and averaged 7.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

NBA rules permit teams to have two Two-Way players on their roster at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. A Two-Way player for the Bucks will provide services primarily for the team’s G League affiliate – the Wisconsin Herd – but can spend up to 45 days with Milwaukee, not including any time prior to the start of the Herd’s training camp and following the conclusion of the G League regular season.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have announced the hire of Shawn Parker as the team’s public address announcer. The hire follows an extensive search that drew over 400 interested applicants.

Shawn Parker, a Washington D.C. native, has an extensive sports background and is certified by the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers (NASPAA). Shawn was most recently the PA announcer at George Washington University and for the Women’s Football Alliance’s three-time national Champion D.C. Divas. He has also been the hockey voice of the 2015 World Police and Fire Games and the 2016 USA Hockey High School National Championships, as well as has experience as a boxing announcer for several D.C.-based champions including world light middleweight champion, Jarrett “Swift” Hurd.

Many key Knicks are still very young

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Knicks, who have a lot of young players, along with some non-star veterans:

The Knicks grew their 25-and-under battalion from five players to seven with the Anthony blockbuster. Kanter and sharpshooter Doug McDermott, likely their sixth man, are both 25.

The former OKC duo joined fellow 25-year-old Tim Hardaway Jr., their starting shooting guard; French rookie first-rounder, point guard Frank Ntilikina (19); starting power forward Kristaps Porzingis (22); center Willy Hernangomez, (23), who likely backs up Kanter; and backup guard Ron Baker (24). Rookie second-round pick Damyean Dotson, 23, is knocking on the door for admittance to the Baby Knicks club.

For now, it probably will look dirty. The five projected starters have been put in grander positions than they’re accustomed.

Full article

The San Antonio Spurs have signed LaMarcus Aldridge to a contract extension.

The extension is reportedly a three-year deal, worth around $72 million.

The 2017-18 season will mark Aldridge’s third year with the Silver and Black after originally signing with the team on July 9, 2015. An 11-year NBA veteran, he is just one of three players, along with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, to score 1,000 points or more in each of the last 10 seasons. Aldridge has been named to the All-NBA Team four times (Second Team in 2015, Third Team in 2011, 2014 and 2016), earned All-Rookie First Team honors in 2007, and has been selected as an All-Star five times (2012-2016).

In Aldridge’s first two seasons with the Spurs, San Antonio posted back-to-back 60-plus win seasons for the first time in team history going a franchise-best 67-15 in 2015-16 and 61-21 during the 2016-17 season. In 146 games with the Silver and Black, Aldridge is averaging 17.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.16 blocks in 31.5 minutes while shooting .495 (1,036-2,094) from the field and .836 (479-573) from the foul line. During the 2015-16 season he was selected to the All-NBA Third Team and was named an All-Star for the fifth time in his career. Aldridge has appeared in 26 playoff games with the Spurs, averaging 18.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.15 blocks in 33.6 minutes in the postseason.
Originally drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the second overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Aldridge was dealt to the Portland Trail Blazers in a draft-night trade. He spent his first nine NBA seasons with the Trail Blazers where he appeared in 648 regular season games, averaging 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.02 blocks in 35.5 minutes. He is the Trail Blazers all-time leader in rebounds (5,434), second in points (12,562), and fourth in games played (648) and blocked shots (658). His 234 double-doubles also rank first all-time in Trail Blazers history.

In 794 regular season NBA games, Aldridge has averaged 19.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.04 blocks in 34.5 minutes. The 32-year-old has appeared in 60 playoff games, averaging 20.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.52 blocks and 1.5 assists in 37.5 minutes.

Prior to his NBA career, Aldridge spent two seasons at the University of Texas (2004-06). He was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of The Year and was selected to the All-Big 12 First Team as a sophomore.

Timberwolves waive Amile Jefferson, Melo Trimble and Shawne Williams

The Minnesota Timberwolves finalized their 2017-18 Opening Night roster on Saturday, October 14 by waiving Amile Jefferson, Melo Trimble and Shawne Williams.

The Wolves open their 29th season of basketball on Wednesday, October 18 at the San Antonio Spurs at 8:30 pm CT. Opening night will be broadcast on ESPN, Fox Sports North and the radio home of the Wolves, 830 WCCO. The team’s home opener is Friday, October 20 vs. the Utah Jazz.

Magic sign Jamel Artis to two-way contract

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard Jamel Artis to a two-way contract.

Artis (#0, 6’7”, 215, 1/12/93) played in 135 career games (98 starts) during four years at the University of Pittsburgh, averaging 12.6 ppg., 4.6 rpg. and 2.3 apg. in 27.6 minpg., while shooting .378 (170-450) from three-point range. He finished his career as one of only three players in Pitt history to record at least 1,600 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. Artis was named Third Team All-ACC by the coaches in 2014-15 and earned All-ACC Academic Team honors in 2013-14. As a senior (2016-17), he played in 32 games (31 starts), averaging 18.2 ppg., 4.9 rpg. and 3.3 apg. in 34.3 minpg. On Jan. 11, 2017 @ Louisville, Artis poured in a career-high 43 points.

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to sign two players to two-way contracts in addition to the 15-man regular-season roster. A two-way player for Orlando will provide services to the team’s G League affiliate – the Lakeland Magic – but can spend up to 45 days with Orlando, not including any time prior to the start of Lakeland’s training camp and at the conclusion of their season.

Dante Exum to undergo shoulder surgery on October 24, 2017

The following is a medical update from the Utah Jazz on guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.

After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Exum appeared in 66 games (26 starts) last season for Utah, averaging a career-high 6.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 18.6 minutes per contest. Additionally, the 22-year-old saw action in seven 2017 NBA Playoff games, owning averages of 4.6 points and 1.3 assists in 12.0 minutes per game.

Bucks add DeAndre Liggins

Bucks add DeAndre Liggins

The Milwaukee Bucks have been awarded the contract of guard/forward DeAndre Liggins on a waiver claim. Liggins was waived by the Miami Heat on Oct. 14.

Appearing in 61 games for Cleveland last season, Liggins averaged 2.4 points and 1.7 rebounds per contest. He was waived by the Cavaliers on April 9 and claimed by Dallas on April 11. He played one game for the Mavericks and recorded eight points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Liggins, 29, was drafted by Orlando with the 53rd overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft. He has also played for Oklahoma City and Miami in the NBA and averaged 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 119 career games. Liggins has played professionally in Russia and Germany (2014-15), and won a D-League (now G League) championship with the Sioux Falls Skyforce in 2016.

Mavericks convert Gian Clavell deal into two-way contract

The Dallas Mavericks have exercised the two-way player conversion option in the contract of guard Gian Clavell. This option makes Clavell the Mavericks second two-way player, along with Johnathan Motley.

Clavell (6-4, 185) was originally signed on August 1 and played in all six preseason games for the Mavericks. He averaged 8.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 17.5 minutes per contest.

A native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, Clavell competed for the Miami Heat’s summer league teams in both Orlando and Las Vegas. In five games in Las Vegas, he averaged 12.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 24.6 minutes while shooting 45.2 percent (19-of-42) from the field, 40.6 percent (13-of-32) from 3-point range and 91.7 percent (11-of-12) from the foul line.

The former Colorado State standout went undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft after earning Mountain West Player of the Year honors as a redshirt senior last season. In 27 games for the Rams in 2016-17, he averaged a MWC-best 20.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 2.0 steals in 36.6 minutes.

Clavell spent two years at Northwest Kansas Technical College (2012-14) before transferring to CSU. He attended high school in Miami (at Hialeah Gardens HS), as did fellow Mavericks guard J.J. Barea (Miami Christian School), who also hails from Puerto Rico.

The 2017-18 season will mark the first year NBA two-way contracts will be implemented. NBA teams are allowed to have up to two players under two-way contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League and not more than 45 days with their NBA team.

Two-way players are paid a corresponding daily amount based on the number of days they play in each league. Only players with four-or-fewer years of NBA experience are able to sign two-way contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.

Bulls waive Jarell Eddie and Diamond Stone, and add Kay Felder

The Chicago Bulls have waived forward Jarell Eddie and center Diamond Stone, and claimed guard Kay Felder off waivers.

Felder (5-9, 176) played in four games (1 start) this preseason for the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks, and then waived by the Hawks, on Oct. 14. He averaged 7.3 points, 1.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.00 steals per game in preseason play.

In his rookie season in 2016-17, Felder appeared in 42 games for Cleveland (no starts) and averaged 4.0 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 9.2 minutes per game. In 11 games (11 starts) with the Canton Charge of the G League, he put up 29.9 points per game to go along with 3.4 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.55 steals per game. Atlanta selected Felder at No. 54 in the 2016 NBA Draft, and he was then acquired by Cleveland on draft night.

There will be a new voice ringing through Quicken Loans Arena when the Cavaliers tip off the 2017-18 season on Tuesday, October 17th as Sean Peebles (pronounced pebbles) takes the center-court seat behind the microphone to become the Cavs new public-address announcer. As part of the Cavaliers game presentation team, he will call the game action and be the voice of other in-arena announcements at all Cavs home games.

Sean Peebles Peebles joins the Cavaliers after serving as the PA announcer for the NBA G-League Erie BayHawks since 2010 and the AA Minor League Baseball Erie Sea Wolves since 2016.

He has been a life-long Cavs fan and a member of Wine & Gold United (the Cavaliers season ticket program) for four years, traveling from his home in Erie, PA to Cleveland to see the Cavs in action. “I attended my first Cavs game at the Richfield Coliseum with my stepfather when I was 11 years old and I have been hooked ever since,” said Peebles. “Being selected for this job is a position that I could have only dreamed about, and I can only say it’s surreal to be such a fan and now have this opportunity. I am so excited to be a part of the Cavaliers organization and I can’t wait to get this season underway.”

Peebles is a 1996 graduate of Edinboro University of PA with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He and his wife Susan have four children, Kayla 19, Alexa 17, Connor 16, and Delaney 13.

He replaces Olivier Sedra who was with the Cavaliers from 2006 to 2017 before leaving to join the NBA Brooklyn Nets.

The Grizzlies have waived guard Wade Baldwin IV and forward Rade Zagorac to finalize its 2017-18 regular season roster.

Baldwin (6-4, 202) appeared in all five preseason games (two starts) and averaged 5.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 18.3 minutes. The 21-year-old Belle Mead, New Jersey native competed in 33 games (one start) for the Grizzlies as a rookie last season and averaged 3.2 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 12.3 minutes after he was selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Zagorac came off the bench in all five preseason contests and averaged 3.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 10.1 minutes. Selected in the second round (35th overall) of the 2016 NBA Draft and traded to the Grizzlies on draft night, the 22-year-old played last season for KK Mega Leks in his native Serbia.

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 17 players, including two-way players Kobi Simmons and Vince Hunter who will be eligible to play for both the Grizzlies and the team’s NBA G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle.

Raptors exercise contract options on Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam and Delon Wright

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have exercised the third-year team options on the Rookie Scale Contracts of centre Jakob Poeltl and forward Pascal Siakam and the fourth-year team option on the Rookie Scale Contract of guard Delon Wright.

The contracts for Poeltl, Siakam and Wright are now guaranteed through the 2018-19 season.

In accordance with the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Raptors had until October 31 to exercise their option on all three players.

Poeltl, 7-foot, 248 pounds, was selected by the Raptors with the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He averaged 3.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 0.4 blocks and 11.6 minutes in 54 games last season. Poeltl scored in double figures three times and led the team in rebounds twice.

Siakam, 6-foot-9, 230 pounds, was the 27th overall pick by the Raptors in the 2016 NBA Draft. He posted averages of 4.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 15.6 minutes in 55 games (38 starts) last season. Siakam was also named NBA G League Finals MVP after helping Raptors 905 defeat Rio Grande Valley in The Finals, averaging 23.0 points and 9.0 rebounds over the three-game series.

Wright, 6-foot-5, 183 pounds was chosen by Toronto with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He averaged 5.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 16.5 minutes in 27 games last season. Wright scored in double digits seven times and paced the club in assists on five occasions. He missed the first 41 games (October 26 - January 17) following right shoulder surgery. Wright is averaging 4.7 points, 1.6 rebound, 1.6 assists and 12.5 minutes in 54 career games.

Jazz waive Joel Bolomboy

Jazz waive Joel Bolomboy

The Utah Jazz have waived forward Joel Bolomboy. Following the move, the roster now stands at 17 players.

Bolomboy (6-9, 235, Weber State) was originally drafted by the Jazz in the second round (52nd overall) of the 2016 NBA Draft and appeared in 12 games during the 2016-17 season, owning averages of 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 4.4 minutes per game. He also appeared in two games for Utah during the 2017 NBA Playoffs, averaging 2.0 points and 1.0 boards in 4.5 minutes.

During last season, Bolomboy played in 24 games (22 starts) while on assignment with the Jazz’s exclusively owned and operated NBA G League team, the Salt Lake City Stars, where he averaged 16.4 points, 13.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 blocks in 34.5 minutes per contest.

A native of Ukraine, Bolomboy played four seasons at Weber State (2012-16) where he averaged 17.1 points on 57.3 percent shooting and grabbed 12.6 rebounds (third in the nation) during his senior year, setting a school single-season record by tallying 415 total rebounds.

We all know that NBA players have boundless energy when they first enter the league. But in their prime, while their basketball ability may be at its best, what about their endurance, recovery time, etc? Fun stuff to dive into. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News on Kevin Durant:

Unlike his superstar Warriors teammate in Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant does not feel he is currently playing at his absolute peak. Reserve those years for when the Oklahoma City Thunder once cheered for Durant instead of booing him.

“Physically at 21, 22, 23, I could get out the bed and windmill or catch a lob,” Durant said after practice on Sunday. “But I got to activate my glutes and hamstrings a little bit more now.”

Still, Durant enters the Warriors’ season opener against Houston on Tuesday at the Oracle saying his “swag level is through the roof” for reasons besides winning the 2017 NBA championship.

“Mentally when you feel like you’ve mastered the game from an individual standpoint, knowing what you want to do, that’s a great feeling,” Durant said. “I’ve hit the point where you know what’s important there on the basketball court. I’m at that point, especially playing with such a talented group of guys, they make you focus on other things besides yourself. That’s an underrated part of this team.”

Full article

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