Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

Pistons sign Quincy Miller to 10-day contract

Pistons sign Quincy Miller to 10-day contract

Detroit Pistons General Manager Jeff Bower announced today that the club has signed forward Quincy Miller to a 10-day contract.

The 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward joins the Pistons after spending parts of the 2014-15 season with the Sacramento Kings and the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Developmental League. In six games with the Kings, he averaged 2.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals in 10.2 minutes. He had his best game with Sacramento at Golden State (1/23), recording season-highs in points (13) and rebounds (6).

The North Chicago, IL native averaged 25.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.6 blocks, 1.9 assists, 1.6 steals and 28.9 minutes in 15 games with the Reno Bighorns this season. Miller was named to the D-League All-Star Prospects team where he scored 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 24 minutes.

The three-year pro holds career averages of 4.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 13.5 minutes in 65 career games (16 starts) with Sacramento and Denver. He has also spent time with the Iowa Energy of the D-League.

Celtics happy to land Isaiah Thomas

Celtics happy to land Isaiah Thomas

The Boston Celtics, who thanks to a weak Eastern conference are still in a position to compete for a spot in the NBA playoffs, are happy to add talented guard Isiah Thomas to their mix. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:

Celtics happy to land Isaiah Thomas

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made Isaiah Thomas one of his primary targets at the start of free agency this past summer. Four months later, he finally got his man.

The Celtics obtained Thomas from the Phoenix Suns at Thursday’s trade deadline in exchange for Marcus Thornton and Cleveland’s 2016 first-round pick. Boston is hoping Thomas can inject the sort of offensive spark the team needs while building toward a brighter future.

The 26-year-old Thomas, who signed a modest four-year, $27 million contract in July, joins rookie Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley in a primary three-guard rotation. The Celtics hope Thomas’ ability to create scoring opportunities in the pick-and-roll — something they sorely lack at the guard position — will invigorate an offense that ranks 23rd in offensive rating this season.

The 5-foot-9 Thomas has potential to give Boston’s offense a big-time jolt. In his final season with Sacramento during the 2013-14 campaign, Thomas averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists over 34.7 minutes per game. Despite playing only 25.7 minutes per game this season in Phoenix’s overstocked backcourt, he still averaged 15.2 points on four fewer shots per game and his 3-point percentage climbed to a career-best 39.1 percent.

Lakers stand pat at NBA trade deadline

Lakers stand pat at NBA trade deadline

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on the 13-40 Los Angeles Lakers, who are without Kobe Bryant and with a limited present are focused on the future:

As much of the NBA descended into chaos, the Lakers remained intact at the league’s annual trade deadline.

While confused team executives and media members alike were trying to sort out the flurry of blockbuster deals in the minutes before Thursday’s noon deadline, things were pretty much normal for the Lakers.

Jeremy Lin shot free throws in one corner, while Nick Young held court in another. Good news: He and the dolphin species made up last week in Hawaii, following a well-documented incident a year ago in Mexico.

As this unfolded, the Laker most likely to have been traded sheepishly peeked out from the door leading to the team’s weight room.

“I thought J-Hill was gone, too,” Young said, teasing, as Jordan Hill listened in. “Fortunately they didn’t break any of us up.”

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting on the Hornets, who are set to welcome Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back into action any day now:

Hornets a better team when Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is active

Over this season and last season the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets are 10 games above .500 when small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist plays.

They are 14 games below .500 when Kidd-Gilchrist sits out.

Coincidence? Hardly. Hornets coach Steve Clifford has an expression for what Kidd-Gilchrist does for his team’s bottom line. Clifford says Kidd-Gilchrist “does winning things.”

Those things don’t always pop off box scores. Kidd-Gilchrist is top 50 in the NBA in only one statistical category this season (40th in rebounding average at 7.2 per game).

But how he impacts games, particularly defensively on a defense-centric roster, is significant and growing.

San Antonio Spurs sign Reggie Williams

San Antonio Spurs sign Reggie Williams

San Antonio Spurs sign Reggie Williams

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed forward Reggie Williams.

Williams has appeared in three games for the Spurs since being signed to the first of two 10-day contracts on Jan. 28.

Williams, 6-6/210, appeared in 13 games this season for the Blue of the NBA D-League, averaging 16.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.08 steals in 31.9 minutes. He has also spent time in the D-League with the Blue in 2013-14 and the Sioux Falls Skyforce in 2009-10. In 69 career D-League games, he has averaged 22.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists in 37.7 minutes.

In the NBA, the Virginia native has suited up for the Oklahoma City Thunder (2013-14), Charlotte Hornets (2011-13) and the Golden State Warriors (2009-11). In 183 total games, he has averaged 8.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 19.5 minutes.

Williams has also played internationally for San Miguel Beerman of the Philippines (2014), Caja Laboral of Spain (2011) and JDA Dijon of France (2008-09). He played collegiately at the Virginia Military Institute (2004-08).

Winning time for Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers are 36-17 and in the mix to compete for an NBA championship this season. The time to win is now. Here’s the Oregonian reporting:

After all those roster rebuilds, after all that front office turmoil, after all the hyperbole about being a contender, the Trail Blazers on Thursday reinforced that there is a new era in Rip City.

“It’s winning time,” Wesley Matthews said.

The Blazers were a part of the busiest and most frenetic trade deadline in NBA history on Thursday, when they traded Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, Victor Claver and a lottery-protected 2016 first-round draft pick to the Denver Nuggets for Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee.

The addition of Afflalo, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard known for his tenacious defense and lethal long-range shooting, not only strengthened the Blazers’ bench for the stretch run, but also offered a no-doubt-about-it signal that the franchise believes it is primed for a deep playoff push. The Blazers’ window for contending has cracked open and President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey’s move to add Afflalo and Gee made it clear the franchise is ready to climb inside.

Rockets add Pablo Prigioni and KJ McDaniels

The 36-17 Houston Rockets don’t need a ton of help, and as the NBA trade deadline passed they came away with a few new additions that should help their bench a bit. Here’s the Houston Chronicle blog reporting:

Hoping to swing for the fences, the Rockets settled for a few trade deadline cuts they hope will become solid singles.

The Rockets did not come close to reaching the Suns’ asking price for guard Goran Dragic, backing away when it was clear they could not keep the free agent to be after the season. Instead, while several Western Conference playoff teams loaded up, the Rockets made smaller moves to pick up Knicks veteran point guard Pablo Prigioni and 76ers rookie small forward/shooting guard KJ McDaniels.

Neither is certain to move immediately into the Rockets’ rotation, though Prigioni offers a different style of point guard behind Pat Beverley than Jason Terry while still a catch-and-shoot threat. With Corey Brewer getting most of the small forward and shooting guard minutes off the bench, McDaniels is likely to serve an apprenticeship, with potential to fill the role if Brewer leaves as a free agent and the Rockets sign McDaniels.

For now, the Rockets settled for players they like, even if they do not have a clear role to play. To get Prigioni, the Rockets sent guard Alexey Shved and the Rockets’ second-round picks in 2017 and 2019 to New York.

Teams continue to employ Hack-a-DeAndre strategy

DeAndre Jordan is awful at shooting free throws. He’s hitting 40.8% FT this season, and is 42.2% FT for his NBA career. Opposing teams sometimes try to use this to their advantage. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Hack-a-Jordan. Deck-a-DeAndre. Jab-a-D.J.

Call it what you want, but the intentional fouling of DeAndre Jordan reached a new low on Monday as the Los Angeles Clippers center was sent to the free throw line a career-high 28 times, 14 in the fourth quarter alone. That was partly due to the fact that he made only 10 of those attempts.

“I dropped out of college,” Jordan said, “but percentage-wise I don’t think that’s good.”

Despite his struggles at the free throw line, Jordan scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, just two boards shy of his third straight 20-20 game as the Clippers beat the San Antonio Spurs 119-115, winning their third straight game against a Western Conference playoff team without Blake Griffin.

The story after the game, however, was Jordan’s constant trips to the free throw line and a strategy that dragged the game on for almost three hours. It is nothing new for Jordan, who has now been sent to the free throw line 54 times over the past two games.

Russell Westbrook says Thunder do not need to consult him on roster moves

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on Thunder star point guard Russell Westbrook, who is content to stick to his role as a star player and not someone that helps make roster decisions:

Years from now, Thursday’s blockbuster trade will likely stand as one of the most important decisions this franchise made over its first decade in Oklahoma City.

And hours before general manager Sam Presti pulled the trigger, Russell Westbrook – one of the franchise’s two cornerstone – said he and Kevin Durant had no desire to be consulted on the decision.

“Not my job,” Westbrook said. “My job is to come out and play. We have a great general manager, great owner and great coach who have done a great job thus far putting this team together. So I’m pretty sure they know what’s best for us.”

When asked if Presti ever comes to them to gather their opinion, Westbrook reiterated his previous answer in the most Westbrook way possible.

“I don’t want to repeat the same answer, so whatever I just said last time use it as that answer,” he said.

Kings sign David Stockton to 10-day contract

Kings sign David Stockton to 10-day contract

The Sacramento Kings announced today that the team has signed David Stockton to a 10-day contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

Stockton, a 5-11, 165-pound guard, is averaging 16.6 points (.460 FG%, .364 3pt%, .806 FT%), 3.6 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 2.4 steals and 27.5 minutes per game in 31 contests for the Reno Bighorns, Sacramento’s NBA D-League affiliate. Among D-League leaders, he ranks fourth in assists and second in steals per game. Undrafted, Stockton was selected by the Maine Red Claws in the third round of the 2014 NBA Development League Draft on November 1, 2014. He was later traded to the Reno Bighorns on draft night.

Like his father, Hall of Fame guard John Stockton, he played collegiately at Gonzaga (2010-11 – 2013-14).

Stockton will wear jersey number 9 and will be available for the Kings’ contest tonight at Sleep Train Arena versus the Boston Celtics.

The roster now stands at 15 players.

No big moves for Knicks on trade deadline day

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Knicks, who are without Carmelo Anthony’s services for the rest of the season due to knee surgery, and face an even rougher final few months of the season with a mostly gutted roster:

Knicks president Phil Jackson’s first trade deadline passed quietly, with the club getting beaten out again by Miami president Pat Riley for the top prize — Suns point guard Goran Dragic.

Adding insult to injury, the free-agent-to-be Dragic will be at the Garden Friday night — possibly in a Miami uniform — when the Knicks resume their catastrophic 10-43 season following the All-Star break against the Heat.

As expected, Jackson dealt on-the-block point guard Pablo Prigioni to save a smidgen of cap space while netting two second-rounders (2017, 2019) from Houston and 6-foot-6 shooting guard Alexey Shved, a fringe player with an expiring contract. The deal will save the Knicks $300,000 in cap space in 2015. That’s the guaranteed amount of Prigioni’s $1.7 million pact next season.

Bucks make big trade deadline moves

Bucks make big trade deadline moves

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting on a big Bucks change made yesterday, NBA trade deadline day:

Last week general manager John Hammond said it was all about the future with the Milwaukee Bucks.

On Thursday, moments before the 2 p.m. trade deadline, the Bucks showed they really meant it.

Instead of standing pat with a group that has compiled a surprising 30-23 record at the all-star break, the Bucks sent leading scorer and guard Brandon Knight to Phoenix as part of a three-team deal involving the Suns and Philadelphia 76ers.

The Bucks acquired 2014 NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, a guard, from the 76ers and rookie point guard Tyler Ennis and center Miles Plumlee from the Suns in a deal designed to enhance roster and salary flexibility.

All three players are on rookie-scale contracts while Knight will be a restricted free agent this summer.

Milwaukee also sent point guard Kendall Marshall — out with a torn knee ligament — to the Suns to create a roster spot. The Bucks released veteran forward Kenyon Martin to open up another spot, making room for the three new acquisitions.

Sixers continue to focus on future, not present

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the 76ers, who in their quest to build for the future have now tossed point guard Michael Carter-Williams away:

The Sixers made three trades, the first of which was easy enough to understand. They basically paid the Denver Nuggets $16 million for center JaVale McGee and a first-round draft pick. It was exactly the kind of trade everyone would expect the Sixers to make Thursday. They needed to get above the salary floor anyway, and McGee’s $11.25 million salary this season will help them do that.

Now, the Carter-Williams deal. For last season’s rookie of the year, Hinkie acquired the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2015 first-round pick - a valuable pick that’s protected if the Lakers land in one of the top five spots in this year’s draft and one of the top three spots in the 2016 draft. It’s likely that the Lakers will retain the pick this year, but think about 2016: The Lakers will probably improve, but are they going to improve so much, by 30 victories or more, that they catapult themselves out of the lottery and into the playoffs? Unlikely in the grueling Western Conference.

Next year, then, the odds are excellent that the Sixers will have a pick between No. 4 and No. 14 - in addition to their own first-round pick. Carter-Williams is 24, was the 11th-overall pick, and already had seen his value drop from last season, based on his poor shooting, his turnover-prone play, and the questions (dating to last season) of whether he was tough enough to be an exceptional NBA point guard.

Kevin Garnett, back in Minnesota

Kevin Garnett, back in Minnesota

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on Timberwolves activity on the day of the NBA trade deadline:

Kevin Garnett, back in Minnesota

Thursday’s NBA trade deadline came and went … and veterans Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger and Gary Neal all still were present.

The Wolves swapped Thaddeus Young for Kevin Garnett, but made no other moves, meaning Martin is, as coach Flip Saunders, here to stay.

So, too, are Budinger and Neal, or at least until each is possibly bought out in time to sign with a playoff contender by March 1.

Saunders maintained he wouldn’t trade Martin because his scoring ability, veteran sense and efficiency made him too valuable to do so. And he didn’t, even though national reports said he was on the market.

“Flip and I had good laughs about what was being said,” Martin said. “I was pretty certain I wasn’t being traded from talking with him. He just told me I had a better chance getting hit by a car walking across the street.”

Westbrook scores 34, Thunder smack Mavs 104-89

Here’s the Dallas Morning News reporting on the Mavs, who now have Amar’e Stoudemire to add depth off the bench once they decide to utilize him, which is good, but were treated rudely by the Thunder as the NBA regular season resumed Thursday:

Russell Westbrook scores 34

[The Dallas Mavericks] were manhandled 104-89 by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who had traded away four players earlier in the day, none of whom were named Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook or Serge Ibaka.

That Big Three – and mostly Westbrook and Ibaka – were more than enough to pummel the Mavericks, who looked out of sync in the first game back from injury for Rajon Rondo. They never led and trailed by 20-something much of the night.

Worse, Rondo was glued to the bench for a long stretch in the third and fourth quarters. Clearly, the Mavericks offensively remain an unfinished product. They struggled to get their shooting above 35 percent against the Thunder.

When the Mavericks closed the gap to 10 in the fourth quarter, Westbrook scored eight points and assisted on a Nick Collison bucket to rebuild the lead to 99-83 with 2:24 to go. Westbrook finished with 34 points and 10 assists. Ibaka had 21 points and 22 rebounds.

Steve Blake will change jersey number to honor Jerome Kersey

steve  blake

Following the untimely and tragic loss of Trail Blazers legend Jerome Kersey, Portland guard Steve Blake will switch his jersey number to 5, hanging up the No. 25 that Kersey wore for the Trail Blazers from 1984-95.

“Jerome Kersey meant a lot to this team and to this city,” said Blake. “I’ve known Jerome for a long time now and wanted to honor him and his vast contributions both on and off the court. I consider it an honor to wear the number 25, but this just seemed like the right thing to do.”

Blake asked for and received NBA permission to change his jersey number to 5, effective beginning Friday at Utah.

Suns trade Isaiah Thomas to Celtics

Suns trade Isaiah Thomas to Celtics

isaiah thomas

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have acquired guard Isaiah Thomas from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for guard Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round draft pick, previously acquired from Cleveland.

Thomas, a 5′9″ guard, has appeared in 46 contests for the Suns this season and is averaging 15.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.0 steal in 25.7 minutes per game. He recorded a season-high 27 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the field, three rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes on January 21 against Portland. During the 2013-14 season, Thomas averaged a career-high 20.3 points to go along with 6.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.29 steals in 72 games with Sacramento. He was one of six players in the NBA last season to average at least 20 points and six assists, joining LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Stephen Curry. Thomas was originally selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 60th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and is averaging 15.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.0 steal in 28.5 minutes per game on his career.

“Isaiah is a dynamic offensive player whose scoring and playmaking abilities add to an already well-rounded backcourt with Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “We are excited to welcome Isaiah to the Celtics family.”

The Boston Celtics have also acquired forwards Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for forward Tayshaun Prince. As part of this transaction, the Celtics created a $7.7 million trade exception.

Jerebko, a 6’10” forward, has appeared in 46 contests for the Pistons this season and is averaging 5.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 15.3 minutes per game. He tallied a season-high 13 points, including shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, and two rebounds in 13 minutes on December 17, 2014 against the Mavericks. Currently in his fifth season, Jerebko is averaging 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 19.9 minute per game. Jerebko was born in Kinna, Sweden and was selected with the 39th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Pistons.

Datome, a 6’8” forward, has appeared in three contests for the Pistons this season and is averaging 3.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per game over that span. Datome is averaging 2.5 points and 1.4 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per game over his two-year NBA career. Prior to joining Detroit for the 2013-14 season, Datome played professionally in Italy from 2003-13 and in his last season Acea Virtus Roma in 2012-13 he was named the Italian League Most Valuable Player, where he averaged 16.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 45 games.

The Phoenix Suns today completed a deal to acquire guard Brandon Knight from the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team trade also involving the Philadelphia 76ers. The Suns also acquired guard Kendall Marshall, who will be waived. As part of the deal, the Suns send guard Tyler Ennis and center Miles Plumlee to the Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers’ protected 2015 first-round pick to the 76ers; the Bucks also receive guard Michael Carter-Williams from Philadelphia.

The 23-year-old Knight is a fourth-year pro who joins the Suns in the midst of a career year, averaging 17.8 points, a career-high 5.4 assists, career-high 4.3 rebounds and career-high 1.6 steals, while shooting career-highs of 43.5 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three-point range as he has started all 52 games with the Bucks in 2014-15. Knight departs Milwaukee as the leader in scoring and assists for a team that entered the All-Star break seven games over .500 and with 30 first-half victories after winning 15 total games in 2013-14.

Originally the eighth overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft by Detroit, Knight played the first two seasons of his career with the Pistons before being acquired by the Bucks along with Khris Middleton and Slava Kravtsov in exchange for Brandon Jennings on July 31, 2013. An All-Rookie First-Team selection in 2011-12, Knight holds career averages of 15.3 points, 4.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.00 steals in 265 games (256 starts) with the Bucks and Pistons.

An athletic 6-3 guard who boasts a nearly 6-7 wingspan, Knight was a collegiate standout in one season at the University of Kentucky in 2010-11. Knight earned All-SEC Second-Team honors after setting Kentucky freshman records in scoring and three-point field goals made. Knight was named the NCAA East Region Most Outstanding Player after helping the Wildcats reach the Final Four for the first time since 1998, ending the longest Final Four drought in the prestigious program’s history.

Philadelphia receives the Lakers’ protected 2015 first-round pick from the Suns in the deal. Phoenix initially acquired the draft pick from the Lakers as part of the sign-and-trade that sent Steve Nash to Los Angeles on July 11, 2012.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed guard Lorenzo Brown for the remainder of the season.

Brown, 24, has appeared in five games (one start) with Minnesota, averaging 3.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 19.6 minutes per game. He played a career-high 47:55 against Cleveland on Jan. 31, dishing out a career-high nine assists.

Originally drafted by Minnesota with the 52nd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Brown appeared in three preseason games before being waived on October 25, 2013. He signed with Philadelphia a month later, averaging 2.5 points and 1.6 assists in 8.6 minutes over 26 games.

Brown started this season in the NBA D-League, playing in 19 games (17 starts) with the Grand Rapids Drive and averaging 16.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. In his career, Brown has appeared in 39 games (31 starts) in the D-League and holds career averages of 17.1 points, 5.1 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 31.5 minutes per game.

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has acquired guard Alexey Shved and second round draft picks in 2017 and 2019 from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Pablo Prigioni.

Shved, 6-6, 190-pounds, averaged 7.6 points and 1.9 assists over 13.2 minutes in 26 games with Philadelphia and Houston this season. He holds career averages of 6.7 points and 2.4 assists over 17.2 minutes in 166 games over three seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, 76ers and Rockets. The Belgorod, Russia-native originally signed with Minnesota on Jul. 25, 2012 after playing six seasons professionally in Russia.

Prigioni, 6-3, 185-pounds, averaged 4.7 points and 2.4 assists over 18.5 minutes in 43 games this season. He originally signed with the Knicks as a free agent on Jul. 24, 2012 and averaged 3.9 points and 3.0 assists over 17.9 minutes in 187 career games, over three seasons, with the team.

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