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The Denver Nuggets will open training-camp with 19 players after signing forwards Jerrelle Benimon, Alonzo Gee, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Marcus Williams, Nuggets General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Benimon, 6-8, 245, went undrafted in 2014 out of Towson University where he was named the CAA player of the year in both his junior and senior seasons. The forward averaged 18.7 points while ranking second in the nation in rebounds (11.2 rpg) and third in double-doubles (21) during his final collegiate campaign in 2013-14. Benimon played for the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League and for the Nuggets in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 10.7 points, 11.3 rebounds (2nd overall) and 1.7 assists in three games.

Gee, 6-6, 219, has appeared in 277 career NBA games (173 starts), posting averages of 7.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.00 steals in five seasons with the Cavaliers, Spurs and Wizards. Gee was undrafted in 2009 after playing four years at the University of Alabama. He averaged 15.0 points and 7.2 rebounds and was named Second Team All-SEC as a senior. Gee appeared in 65 games (24 starts) for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013-14.

Mensah-Bonsu, 6-9, 235, has four years of NBA experience and three seasons of international experience after going undrafted out of George Washington University in the 2006 NBA Draft. He’s appeared in 62 career NBA games for New Orleans, Toronto, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas, averaging 2.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Mensah-Bonsu averaged 8.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 55 games for Galatasaray of the Turkish League during the 2013-14 season.

Williams, 6-7, 203, was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the 33rd overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft after he averaged 16.6 points and 6.7 rebounds as a sophomore at the University of Arizona. The forward has averaged 1.1 points and 3.0 minutes in 13 career NBA games over parts of two seasons with the Spurs and L.A. Clippers. He also appeared in 89 games for the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League from 2007-2010, averaging 21.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists. Williams has spent the last three seasons with the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association.

aaron gray

The Detroit Pistons announced today that Aaron Gray will miss training camp while rehabbing from a cardiac episode suffered following a voluntary workout in late August.

The 7-0, 270-pound center has undergone a full evaluation and is currently seeking additional medical assessments from cardiac specialists to determine a timetable for a return to action.

Gray is a backup, and not likely to play a big role on the Pistons this season. As for his health, hopefully doctors figure out the problem — if there is one — and Aaron turns out to be fine and can play soon.

Cavs sign Chris Crawford, Shane Edwards for training camp

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Chris Crawford and forward Shane Edwards, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Crawford played in 140 games (84 starts) over his four-year career at The University of Memphis with averages of 8.7 points, 3.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game. His 242 three-pointers made are tied for third in school history, while he also ranks fourth in total steals (223) and sixth in games played. The 6-4 guard went undrafted in this year’s NBA Draft and appeared in five contests for the Houston Rockets summer league team in Orlando with averages of 10.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.2 steals in 24.4 minutes per game.

Edwards signed a 10-day contract with Cleveland in 2013-14 when he played in two games with the Cavaliers after spending most of the season with the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers’ D-League affiliate. In 46 games (38 starts) with the Charge, he averaged 14.2 points on .551 shooting, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 28.8 minutes per game.

Hornets sign Jason Maxiell

Hornets sign Jason Maxiell

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed free agent forward Jason Maxiell. The training camp roster now stands at 18.

The 6-7 Maxiell spent last season with the Orlando Magic, averaging 3.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 14.4 minutes in 34 games.  Originally selected with the 26th overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft by Detroit, Maxiell spent his first eight seasons with the Pistons, appearing in 523 career games (175 starts), with averages of 6.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in 19.1 minutes.

Over his nine-year career, Maxiell has appeared in 557 games (188 starts), averaging 5.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 18.9 minutes, while shooting .501 (204-457) from the field.

Collegiately, he averaged 12.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 129 career games for Cincinnati. While with the Bearcats, he was named Second Team All-Conference USA twice (2004 and 2005), Conference USA All-Tournament (2004), Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year (2002) and Conference USA All-Freshman Team (2002). Maxiell played in 129 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in school history, and started the last 77 contests he played.

Tyreke Evans out 3-5 weeks with hamstring injury

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that guard Tyreke Evans is expected to miss 3-5 weeks with a strained right hamstring.

“Tyreke injured his hamstring playing pickup basketball out of town last week,” stated General Manager Dell Demps. “He is back in New Orleans rehabbing with our medical staff. Hopefully, he will be cleared to play before the season-opener.”

Evans appeared in 72 games for the Pelicans last season and averaged 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 28.2 minutes per game.

Cavs trade Keith Bogans to 76ers

Cavs trade Keith Bogans to 76ers

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired Philadelphia’s 2015 second round pick (protected) in exchange for  guard Keith Bogans and the Cavs 2018 second round pick in a trade with the 76ers, General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

As a result of the trade, the Cavs will receive a trade exception of approximately $5.3 million.

The 76ers pick acquired in the trade is 31-50 and 56-60 protected, if such pick is not conveyed to the Boston Celtics to satisfy a prior trade between Philadelphia and Boston.

Bogans, an 11-year veteran, has played in 671 career games (333 starts) with averages of 6.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 21.6 minutes for Orlando, Charlotte, Houston, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Chicago, Brooklyn and Boston. The 6-5 guard is also a career .353 shooter from the three-point line and .716 from the charity stripe. He has played in 36 postseason games with career averages of 4.4 points and 1.9 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game.

Spurs keep the band together, retain Aron Baynes

The San Antonio Spurs had great total team chemistry as they won the NBA championship last season, and they’ve done everything possible to keep the band together for another run at the crown. Right down to the end of the bench.

Here’s more info on the Spurs keeping Aron Baynes:

http://www.insidehoops.com/spurs-re-sign-aron-baynes-092614.shtml

It took almost the entire NBA offseason to hammer out, but the Phoenix Suns and talented young guard Eric Bledsoe will stay together.

The Suns and Bledsoe have agreed to a five-year contract, the team announced today.

“I learned long ago that it doesn’t matter how stormy the sea is as long as the ship comes in and today we are thrilled that the ship has come in and Eric will remain a Sun for a long time,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “He will be an integral part not only of our basketball team, but our Phoenix community.”

“We are thrilled Eric Bledsoe will be in a Phoenix Suns uniform for years to come,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “Eric is one the most exciting and dynamic two-way players in the league. He played very well for us on both ends of the floor last season and we feel he is well on his way to establishing himself as one of the elite players in the NBA.”

“Lon, Ryan and the Suns have shown confidence in me, and I am looking to take that responsibility and help our team get better from last year and position ourselves to win an NBA championship,” said Bledsoe. “It’s why I came back to Phoenix. All summer, I knew that I really would be most comfortable coming back to Phoenix because of the great fans, my Suns teammates and our coaches. I am very happy it was able to work out this way.”

Bledsoe appeared in 43 games (40 starts) for the Suns in 2013-14, averaging career-highs of 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 32.9 minutes while also shooting a career-best 47.7 percent from the field. In his first season with the Suns, and fourth in the NBA, Bledsoe became just the sixth player in Suns history to average at least 17.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals, and the first since Charles Barkley in his NBA MVP season of 1992-93.

Bledsoe registered his first two games with at least 30 points this past season, twice setting his career-high in the final month of the season, scoring 30 points at Portland on April 4, and again at San Antonio on April 11. In that contest against the Spurs, Bledsoe also had 11 rebounds and nine assists to become the first Sun since 1999 to have a game with at least 30 points, ten rebounds and nine assists. Bledsoe recorded a career-high 14 assists in addition to scoring 26 points at Oklahoma City on Nov. 3, in just his third game with the Suns.

Acquired by the Suns from the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-team trade on July 10, 2013, Bledsoe excelled in his first season as a full-time starter, helping the Suns to a 28-15 (.651) record in the 43 games in which he played. Bledsoe notched 17 games with 20-plus points in 2013-14 after entering the season with four such games in his first three seasons combined.

Prior to joining the Suns, Bledsoe played the first three seasons of his professional career with the Clippers. Bledsoe, a native of Birmingham, Ala., played one season at the University of Kentucky before entering the 2010 NBA Draft where he was selected in the first round with the 18th overall pick.

The Suns’ roster stands at 14.

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has signed Hasheem Thabeet, Brian Cook, Lorenzo Brown and Josh Bostic to their training camp roster.

Thabeet, 7-3, 263, was drafted second overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. In 224 games with Memphis, Oklahoma City, Portland and Houston, he’s averaged 2.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 10.5 minutes per game. The University of Connecticut product was named National Defensive Player of the Year following his junior season.

Cook, a nine-year NBA veteran, has averaged 5.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 421 games (74 starts) with the Lakers, Magic, Clippers, Rockets and Wizards. He was drafted 24th overall by the Lakers in the 2003 NBA Draft after starring at the University of Illinois.

Brown, 6-5, 189, was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round (52nd overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft out of North Carolina State University. He played in 26 games with the Philadelphia 76ers last season and averaged 2.5 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

Bostic, 6-5, 230, played last season for the Elan Chalon of the French League and averaged 7.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 10 games. He was named the 2008-09 NCAA Division II Player of the Year after leading Findlay University to a 36-0 record and a national championship.

Brooklyn Nets sign Willie Reed

The Brooklyn Nets have signed free agent forward/center Willie Reed, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

Reed averaged 14.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in the NBA Development League last season in 49 games with the Springfield Armor and Reno Bighorns. The Sacramento Kings signed Reed for the remainder of the 2013-14 season on March 28, before assigning the 6’10” forward/center to the D-League’s Bighorns and then recalling him on two separate occasions.

Undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft out of St. Louis University, Reed was selected in the second round (30th overall) of the 2012 NBA Development League Draft by the Springfield Armor. He earned All-NBA D-League Honorable Mention recognition after averaging 14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 48 games (30 starts) with Springfield during the 2012-13 season before signing with the Memphis Grizzlies.

In stints with Memphis and Sacramento, Reed has yet to appear in a regular season NBA game.

Wolves hire Mike Penberthy as shooting coach

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the hiring of Mike Penberthy as the team’s shooting coach and Jason Hervey as scout. In addition, Derek Pierce is being promoted from general scout to advance scout.

Penberthy will work on player development, specializing in shooting. Penberthy played collegiate basketball for The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, Calif., from 1993-97 where he was a two-time NAIA All-American and set the school record for most career points. Penberthy held the NAIA record for consecutive games with at least one three-pointer made, with 111, until it was broken in December of 2005. Penberthy played in 53 games with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000-01, averaging 5.0 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and shooting 39.6 percent (55-for-139) from three-point range as the Lakers won the NBA Championship. He also played in three games for the Lakers in 2001-02 before being waived. Penberthy’ professional playing career spanned from 1997–2008, including numerous stints overseas and in the NBA and ABA.

Hervey will serve as a college and NBA personnel scout for the Wolves. He comes to Minnesota from the Detroit Pistons where he held the title of director of basketball operations for the past two seasons. Prior to that, Hervey held positions of advance scout and video coordinator for the Washington Wizards from 2009-2012. He began his NBA career with the Detroit Pistons where he was the team’s assistant video coordinator from 2005-09.

Pierce will scout Wolves upcoming opponents to assist the coaching staff with game preparation. He served as both a college and NBA personnel scout for the Wolves over the previous five seasons. Before joining Minnesota, Pierce spent three seasons as advance scout with the Washington Wizards and two seasons as advance scout with the Golden State Warriors. Pierce also spent five seasons with the Indiana Pacers as video coordinator.

Lakers sign Ronnie Price

Lakers sign Ronnie Price

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Ronnie Price, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

The nine-year NBA veteran holds career averages of 3.4 points, 1.5 assists, and 1.1 rebounds over 425 games (35 starts). The 31-year-old Price spent his first two NBA seasons with the Sacramento Kings (2005-07), followed by stints with the Utah Jazz (2007-11), Phoenix Suns (2011-12), Portland Trailblazers (2012-13) and most recently with the Orlando Magic last season.

The 6’2’’ Price averaged a career-high 2.1 assists per game in 2013-14 with Orlando, in addition to 2.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 0.8 steals in 12.2 minutes over 31 games (two starts). The Friendswood, TX native has appeared in the postseason four times (2006, ’08, ’09, and ’10) in his career.

Kings waive Scotty Hopson

Kings waive Scotty Hopson

The Sacramento Kings today waived guard Scotty Hopson, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

Hopson was recently acquired from the Houston Rockets along with Alonzo Gee and a pair of second-round draft picks in exchange for guard Jason Terry and a trade exception.

Undrafted out of the University of Tennessee, Hopson appeared in two contests for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season before being traded to Houston during the offseason.

Mavericks sign Charlie Villanueva

charlie villanueva

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent forward Charlie Villanueva. It is likely a non-guaranteed contract, giving Villanueva a chance to show that he’s worth holding on to.

Villanueva (6-11, 232) signs with the Mavericks after spending the last five seasons with the Detroit Pistons. He had a breakout year in 2008-09 when he averaged 16.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in his final season with the Milwaukee Bucks. Villanueva holds career averages of 11.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 23.1 minutes in 530 career games (158 starts) with Toronto, Milwaukee and Detroit.

The former University of Connecticut standout was originally drafted by the Toronto Raptors with the 7th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. After two seasons in Storrs, Conn., Villanueva declared for the NBA Draft. He earned Big East All-Rookie Team honors and a NCAA National Championship as a freshman and was the team’s MVP as a sophomore averaging a team-high 13.6 points per game.

Rockets sign Kostas Papanikolaou

Rockets sign Kostas Papanikolaou

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Kostas Papanikolaou.

Papanikolaou (6-9 225, Greece) was drafted 48th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. On July 16th, 2012 his rights were acquired by Portland in a trade that sent Raymond Felton to New York. Houston later acquired his rights in a trade that sent Thomas Robinson to Portland on July 10, 2013.

The Greek forward spent last season overseas playing for FC Barcelona of the Spanish Liga ACB, where he won the 2013-14 Spanish National Champiosnhip. Papanikolaou averaged 6.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in 25 minutes per game with FC Barcelona during the 2013-14 season. The 24 year old spent the previous four seasons (2009-2013) with Olympiacos BC in his native Greece. In his stint there, Papanikolaou won two Euroleague Championships (2011-12, 2012-13), the Greek League Championship (2012) and two Greek Cup Championships (2010, 2011). He was also named Euroleague Rising Star (2013), Greek League All-Star (2013), two-time Greek League Best Five Team (2012, 2013), and two-time Greek League Best Young Player (2009, 2012).

Kostas Papanikolaou has played with two current Rockets in his time overseas. He shared the floor with Joey Dorsey during the 2013-14 campaign on FC Barcelona and played alongside Patrick Beverley in 2012-13 with the Olympiacos.

Sacramento Kings sign Ramon Sessions

Sacramento Kings sign Ramon Sessions

The Sacramento Kings today signed free agent guard Ramon Sessions, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

Sessions was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round (56th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft. He is averaging 11.7 points (.439 FG%, .311 3PT%, .800 FT%) and 4.7 assists in 25.8 minutes per game through 467 career contests in seven seasons with five teams – Milwaukee (2007-08 – 2008-09, 2013-14), Minnesota (2009-10), Cleveland (2010-11 – 2011-12), L.A. Lakers (2011-12), and Charlotte (2012-13 – 2013-14).

The former Nevada Wolf Pack guard averaged 12.3 points (.429 FG%, .282 3pt%, .807 FT%), 2.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 26.7 minutes per game in 83 contests last season with Charlotte and Milwaukee.

Dallas Mavericks sign Doron Lamb

doron lamb

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent guard Doron Lamb.

Lamb (6-4, 200) is a three-year NBA veteran with career averages of 3.5 points, 1.0 rebound and 12.7 minutes in 100 games with Milwaukee and Orlando. Last season, the shooting guard averaged 3.6 points and 13.1 minutes in 53 games with the Magic.

The Queens, N.Y., native was a standout at the University of Kentucky where he was a member of the 2012 NCAA Championship squad. Lamb declared for the 2012 NBA Draft after averaging 13.7 points and 31.2 minutes while shooting .474 from the field and .400 from 3-point range during his sophomore season. He was drafted with the 42nd overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Chicago Bulls re-sign Nazr Mohammed

Chicago Bulls re-sign Nazr Mohammed

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has re-signed center Nazr Mohammed (pronounced “NAH-zee”).

Last season with the Bulls, Mohammed saw action in 80 games (one start) and averaged 1.6 ppg and 2.2 rpg in 7.0 mpg. He also appeared in two of Chicago’s five playoff contests.

A 16-year veteran of the NBA, Mohammed has also played with the Oklahoma City Thunder (2010-12), the Charlotte Bobcats (2007-10), the Detroit Pistons (2006-08), the San Antonio Spurs (2004-06), the New York Knicks (2003-05), the Atlanta Hawks (2000-04) and the Philadelphia 76ers (1998-01). In 977 career games, he has posted averages of 5.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 0.65 bpg in 16.1 mpg. He owns career shooting averages of .487 from the field and .640 from the line.

hornets

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Justin Cobbs, forward Dallas Lauderdale and center Brian Qvale to its training camp roster.

The training camp roster now stands at 17.

A 6-3 guard, Cobbs was not selected in the 2014 NBA Draft. As a senior at California last season, he averaged 15.6 points, 5.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds. Over his three-year career at California, he appeared in 102 games averaging 14.4 points, 5.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 34.1 minutes. Prior to joining the Golden Bears, Cobbs played one season at the University of Minnesota.

A 6-8 forward, Lauderdale was not selected in the 2011 NBA Draft. He averaged 7.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.1 blocks last season with the Idaho Stampede in the NBA D-League. Lauderdale, who also played one season professionally in Poland, spent four seasons at Ohio State, averaging 4.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 138 games.

A 6-11 center, Qvale was not selected in the 2011 NBA Draft and has spent the last three years playing internationally in Turkey, Belgium and Germany. He was named 2010-11 Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Big Sky Conference after averaging 14.9 points on .626 shooting (189-302) and 8.8 rebounds as a senior at Montana. The school’s all-time leader in blocks, Qvale appeared in 117 career games for the Grizzlies, averaging 9.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 23.2 minutes.

Lakers sign Wayne Ellington

Lakers sign Wayne Ellington

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed shooting guard Wayne Ellington, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

The five-year NBA veteran holds career averages of 6.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists over 312 games (35 starts) with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers, and most recently, the Dallas Mavericks. Last season in Dallas, Ellington shot career-bests from the field (.437) and three-point range (.424), appearing in the postseason for the first time in his career.

The 26-year-old Ellington played three seasons at the University of North Carolina (2006-09), leading the Tar Heels to the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship in 2009 while being named Final Four Most Outstanding Player.

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