Archive for the ‘ NBA News ’ Category

The Washington Wizards will host their annual Open Practice on Friday, September 28, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Congress Heights.

The event is open to the public and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The first 500 fans through the door will receive a free T-shirt, and the first 200 fans will receive a pass to participate in a post-practice autograph session with select Wizards players.

Activities planned for the event in addition to the open practice and team scrimmage include a dunk contest, half-court shooting contest, performances by the Wizards Dancers and Wiz Kids and music from the Ballou High School Band.

Fans interested in attending the open practice are encouraged to RSVP here:

http://info.washingtonwizards.com/Wiz-OpenPractice09-20-18.

Doors for the open practice will open at 5:00 p.m.

Bulls center Omer Asik is out indefinitely with inflammatory arthritis that flared up over the summer. He has been receiving ongoing medical treatment and management, but his return to basketball activities is yet to be determined.

Asik came to the Bulls in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 1, 2018. He also played for Chicago in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 NBA seasons. He has career averages of 2.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 152 games for the Bulls.

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free agents Tim Frazier, Shabazz Muhammad and Christian Wood to complete their 20-man roster for training camp, which tips-off on Tuesday, Sept. 25 from the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Science Center.

Frazier spent the 2017-18 season with the Washington Wizards where he appeared in 59 games (11 starts) and averaged 3.0 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per contest. The 6-foot guard from Penn State has played four seasons in the NBA from 2014-18 with Philadelphia, Portland, New Orleans and Washington and holds career averages of 5.2 points, 4.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 186 career games.

Muhammad finished the 2017-18 season with the Bucks, playing in 11 regular season games and four postseason contests, after signing with Milwaukee on March 4. He averaged 8.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game with the Bucks while shooting 55.2 percent from the field. Muhammad began the 2017-18 season with Minnesota where he averaged 3.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 32 games. The 6-foot-5 guard from UCLA has played in 278 career games, including the first 267 of his career with the Timberwolves, and holds career averages of 9.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest.

Wood most recently played with the Bucks 2018 Las Vegas Summer League team where he earned All-NBA Summer League First Team honors after averaging 20.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game while shooting 55.0 percent from the field in five games. Wood, a 6-foot-10 UNLV product, played the 2017-18 season with the Delaware 87ers of the NBA G League where he averaged 23.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.1 steals per game and was selected to the All-G League Second Team. He has appeared in 30 games in the NBA with both Philadelphia and Charlotte, and holds career averages of 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.

Kings waive center Deyonta Davis

The Sacramento Kings waived center Deyonta Davis today.

In two seasons with Memphis, Davis has accrued averages of 4.3 points (.593 FG%, .640 FT%), 3.2 rebounds and 12.1 minutes.

Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic exited Serbia’s 91-65 World Cup Qualifying victory over Estonia on Monday after experiencing left knee discomfort early in the first quarter. Further evaluation revealed a minor injury to his left knee.

On Monday, a minor arthroscopic procedure is scheduled at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, to be performed by Dr. Riley Williams.

The Kings expect Bogdanovic to make a full recovery.

Raptors sign Eric Moreland

The Toronto Raptors have signed center Eric Moreland.

Moreland, 6-foot-10, 238 pounds, owns career averages of 2.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 11.0 minutes in 78 NBA games with Sacramento and Detroit. He is shooting .543 (70-129) from the field and has scored in double digits three times.

A native of Houston, Texas, Moreland averaged 2.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 12.0 minutes in 67 contests (three starts) with the Pistons last season. He recorded career highs of 16 points and 17 rebounds in 41 minutes Apr. 11 at Chicago.

Moreland played four collegiate seasons at Oregon State (2010-14). He averaged 7.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 25.0 minutes in 89 career games. Moreland left as the school’s all-time leader in total blocks (184) and ranked fifth in total rebounds (762).

The Indiana Pacers have signed free agents Omari Johnson, Ben Moore and Elijah Stewart to contracts.

The players are likely just training camp additions.

Additionally, guard C.J. Wilcox, who was signed to a two-way contract in August, suffered a torn right Achilles tendon during an offseason workout. Wilcox underwent successful surgery to repair the tendon and will miss the entire 2018-19 regular season.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced additions to the team’s coaching staff for the upcoming season, naming Malik Allen and Larry Greer as Assistant Coaches, Pat Zipfel as Advance Scout, and Brian Randle as Assistant Video Coordinator.

The team also announced it has promoted Daisuke Yoshimoto to Special Assistant to the President of Basketball Operations/Player Development Coach, Steve Molina to Video Coordinator and Kwadzo Ahelegbe to Assistant Video Coordinator.

Allen joins the Timberwolves after spending the last four seasons as an Assistant Coach with the Detroit Pistons. He finished a 10-year playing career in 2011, having played in 478 career games with Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Milwaukee, New Jersey and Orlando. He averaged 4.9 points and 2.8 rebounds in 15.2 minutes per game during his playing career. A native of Willingboro, N.J., Allen played four years at Villanova University.

Greer moves to the Timberwolves bench after spending last season as the team’s Advance Scout. His NBA career has included stops in Houston (2005-07), Portland (2007-12) and Oklahoma City (2015-17). Greer’s background also includes 17 seasons as an Assistant Coach in the college ranks with stops at Arizona State University (2012-15), Boston University (1994-2003), Brandeis University (1989-92) and Wright State University (2003-05). His brother, Andy, is also an assistant on Coach Thibodeau’s staff.

Zipfel rejoins the Timberwolves after spending the last three seasons as the Head Coach at Mansfield University. Zipfel’s career has included stints as Advance Scout under Coach Thibodeau with the Chicago Bulls from 2013-15. Prior to joining Thibodeau’s staff with the Bulls, Zipfel was an Advance Scout on Rick Adelman’s staff with the Timberwolves. His NBA career has also included stops with the Houston Rockets (2007-11), Portland Trail Blazers (2004-07) and L.A. Clippers (2000-03).

Randle joins the Timberwolves’ video department after spending the last 10 seasons overseas playing professionally in Germany, Israel and Italy, including reaching the Eurocup Final Four with Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem in Israel last season. Randle was a student-athlete at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, being named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team in 2006.

Yoshimoto has spent the last two seasons as Special Assistant to the President of Basketball Operations. He joined the Timberwolves in 2016 after working in the video departments in Chicago, Denver and New Jersey.

Molina started with the Timberwolves prior to last season after working as an intern with the Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers. A graduate from Marquette University, Molina was a student manager during his four years in Milwaukee.

Ahelegbe joined the Timberwolves prior to last season after playing professionally overseas after college. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Ahelegbe was named the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2011.

The Miami HEAT have added Anthony Carter to their coaching staff, as Player Development Coach.

He will be involved in all aspects of player development for the HEAT and implementing Miami’s player development and mentorship programs with the HEAT’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

The former HEAT guard was recently an assistant coach with the Skyforce the last two seasons after serving as assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings (2015-16) and the Austin Spurs (2013-15). Carter, whose career spanned 13 years and 623 games (181 starts), spent his first four NBA seasons with the HEAT, appearing in 246 regular season games (80 starts). He helped Miami to a pair of postseason appearances where he set the record for the most assists in a three-game series against the Detroit Pistons in the 2000 First Round matchup. After his stint in Miami, he went on to play with San Antonio, Minnesota, Denver, New York and Toronto.

When you add LeBron James to a team, it doesn’t automatically mean the squad will instantly start winning and have no growing pains. Chances are, the Lakers will win more than they lose early on, but as new key players learn to play with each other, there will be winning streaks but also some losing. One step back, two steps forward, on and on. Here’s ESPN.com reporting that Magic Johnson understand this, and won’t hold it against head coach Luke Walton if there are some early-season bumps:

Saying he understands that the revamped Los Angeles Lakers will need time to mesh, Magic Johnson said he told head coach Luke Walton not to worry if the team gets off to a bumpy start this season.

“As I was talking to Luke [with GM Rob Pelinka], we said don’t worry about if we get out to a bad start,” Johnson, the Lakers’ president of basketball operations, said Thursday as the team’s brass met with the media. “We have seen that with LeBron [James] going to Miami, and we have seen that when he came back to Cleveland. He is going to struggle because there are so many new moving parts. But eventually we are going to get it, and we are going to be really a good team.”

The Lakers added veterans such as James, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Michael Beasley in free agency to go with a young developing core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart. In addition to adding multiple players who have been at their best with the ball in their hands, the Lakers injected their locker room with some strong and unique personalities.

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Pelicans waive Emeka Okafor

Pelicans waive Emeka Okafor

The New Orleans Pelicans requested waivers on center Emeka Okafor today.

Okafor, 6-10, 252, appeared in 26 regular season games last season with New Orleans after signing with the team on February 3, 2018 and finished the season with averages of 4.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.

It’s tough to say if Okafor will find his way back into the NBA. Right now he’s a longshot to make a regular season roster.

Pelicans sign Jarrett Jack

Pelicans sign Jarrett Jack

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed guard Jarrett Jack.

Jack, 6-3, 200, most recently played for the New York Knicks, appearing in 62 games last season (56 starts) while averaging 7.5 points, 5.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 25.0 minutes per contest.

This will be Jack’s third stint with New Orleans, as he appeared in two games with the Pelicans in 2016-17 and 115 games between 2010-12. In 117 regular season games for New Orleans, Jack has averaged 11.1 points, 4.0 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 25.1 minutes per game.

Selected 22nd overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2005 NBA Draft out of Georgia Tech, Jack has appeared in 867 career regular season games with Portland, Toronto, New Orleans, Golden State, Cleveland, Brooklyn and New York, holding averages of 10.8 points, 4.6 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per contest.

Hawks sign Cole Aldrich

Hawks sign center Cole Alrich

Yesterday, the Atlanta Hawks signed center Cole Aldrich, presumably on a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings Aldrich to training camp.

Aldrich has played eight NBA seasons with Oklahoma City, Houston, Sacramento, New York, the LA Clippers and Minnesota, averaging 3.1 points and 3.3 rebounds in 10.0 minutes (.527 FG%, .738 FG%) in 339 career games (23 starts).

He was originally drafted by New Orleans in the first round (11th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft, and was traded to Oklahoma City in a draft-night trade.

Aldrich attended Bloomington Jefferson High School (Bloomington, MN) before a three-year career at Kansas. He was a consensus second-team All-American following his junior season in 2010, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and won a national championship with the Jayhawks in 2008.

Russell Westbrook’s wife is expecting, and the baby will be… two babies. Twin daughters! Here’s the Oklahoman with more:

In a Thunder-produced video posted Tuesday on YouTube entitled “The Westbrook Family,” Russell Westbrook and his wife, Nina Westbrook, are talking about their home life with 1-year-old son Noah, when they drop a surprise about Nina’s pregnancy.

The Westbrooks are expecting twin girls.

“If Noah gets out of hand, they’ll be able to both jump on him at the same time,” Nina said.

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New Sixers GM will be Elton Brand

Elton Brand’s name carries big weight in the playing department, but his experience as an executive is on the limited side. But everybody who gets to know Brand quickly appreciates him, and he has flown up the Philly organizational ranks. The Sixers believe in him, and are reportedly naming him their new general manager. Here’s NBC Sports Philly reporting:

New Sixers GM will reportedly be Elton Brand

The Sixers have hired Elton Brand as their general manager, sources confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the news, Brand will be elevated from his previous role as vice president of basketball operations. Brand was also already on board as the Delaware Blue Coats’ general manager. The Sixers conducted an exhaustive search for a new GM after Bryan Colangelo resigned in June following his highly-publicized Twitter scandal. Brett Brown filled the role until the franchise made Brand the choice.

The search included external candidates such as Golden State Warriors assistant general manager Larry Harris, Utah Jazz assistant general manager Justin Zanik and Houston Rockets vice president Gersson Rosas.

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And here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer:

In that partnership that is now Brown and Brand, it’s still unclear who will have the final say. Brown said Tuesday that once a general manager was named, the power structure and organizational chart would also be discussed and revealed.

On Thursday, Brand will be formally introduced as Sixers general manager and at that time both will have to answer the question; Who will have the final say when it comes to decision making? Of course, ownership will always have the final say, but that usually comes in the form of green-lighting a GM’s decision.

The Sixers have created a strong front office that includes Alex Rucker (who was promoted to executive vice president of basketball operations on Tuesday), Ned Cohen, and Marc Eversley.

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The San Antonio Spurs have announced multiple additions and promotions to the basketball operations staff. Brent Barry joins the organization as vice president of basketball operations, while Wayne Diesel comes to the team as director of player care. Adam Glessner comes on as director of basketball intelligence, Cory Johnson is now the team equipment and travel manager and Massimo Simonetta comes to the Silver and Black as sports therapist.

In addition, the following members of the Spurs basketball operations department have received promotions: Willis Hall has been elevated to video coordinator and Cam Hodges advances to player development assistant. AJ Meyer is now coaching analytics coordinator, while Paul West has been promoted to assistant athletic trainer and recovery coordinator.

Barry returns to the Spurs organization after playing four seasons in Silver and Black from 2004-08, where he helped the Spurs to two titles in 2005 and 2007. After a 14-year NBA career, he joined the Turner Sports network as an analyst in 2010. Barry covered the NBA for the league’s network on NBA TV and eventually moved to providing color analysis for TNT during the regular season and playoffs. He was also tapped as a host for the Players Only telecasts during the regular season, and hosted All-Star Saturday at the 2018 NBA All-Star weekend. Barry also played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Seattle SuperSonics and Houston Rockets, where he finished his playing career in 2009. Barry ranks 34th all-time in three-pointers made (1,395) and 23rd all-time in three-point percentage (.405). He holds career averages of 9.2 points, 3.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 912 NBA contests. Barry graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in sociology.

Monty Williams had taken a leave from coaching due to a personal tragedy. But he’s ready to return to the job, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer/PhillyNews.com:

Monty Williams reportedly ready to resume coaching

Monty Williams has spent nearly his entire life in basketball, as a player or a coach, but tragedy struck a little over two years ago and it wasn’t clear when he would return to the game.

“It’s a great time for me to get back to full-time coaching. It was Brett [Brown], it was the team. I’ve played here before so I kind of know the culture of the city,” Williams said Monday night at Brown’s annual coaching clinic. “Most importantly, my family was ready for me to get back into coaching.”

In February 2016, when Williams was an associate head coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder, less than a year removed from his head coaching position with the New Orleans Pelicans, his wife, Ingrid, died from injuries she suffered in a car accident. She was 44.

Full article

Clippers hire writer Lee Jenkins

Here’s the Daily Breeze reporting on the news that the Clippers have hired Lee Jenkins, who for years has been writing for Sports Illustrated:

Clippers hire writer Lee Jenkins

Lee Jenkins, Sports Illustrated’s lead NBA writer for the past eight years, has agreed to join the Clippers’ front office, according to the team, which confirmed the hiring in a news release Monday night. Jenkins will serve as the franchise’s executive director of research and identity; he’ll work with President Lawrence Frank and General Manager Michael Winger.

In the new position – the first of its kind for any NBA team, according to the Clippers – Jenkins will use his extensive reporting background and unique interviewing style to contribute to the franchise’s amateur and professional scouting infrastructure and to “enhance the Clipper experience.”

“Lee has spent his career profiling elite athletes, including most of the top players in the NBA,” Frank said in the release. “Given Lee’s talent, knowledge, and credibility, we hope to blend his approach with our existing evaluation systems and highlight the personalities of our players. He is the NBA’s preeminent storyteller and adding him to the team is a reflection of Steve’s commitment to innovation and building a best-in-class organization.”

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Milwaukee Bucks play-by-play announcer Jim Paschke, who is entering his 33rd season calling Bucks games, was named the recipient of the NBA’s Todd Harris Spirit Award at the annual NBA Broadcast Meeting on Sept. 14 in New York. The Todd Harris Spirit Award, named in honor of longtime NBA executive Todd Harris, recognizes an NBA broadcaster or executive who is the ultimate team player and inspires people to make every day brighter.

“Jim Paschke is the perfect recipient of the Todd Harris Spirit Award, exemplifying the same dedication and spirit that Todd showed during his life,” said NBA Senior Vice President, Broadcast Schedule Management, Tom Carelli. “As one of the longest tenured announcers in the NBA today, Jim has brought a unique perspective to our game and to our fans throughout his 33 years as the play-by-play voice for the Milwaukee Bucks. He has also been a trusted advisor and friend to the NBA, its teams and its broadcasters.”

“This is such a well-deserved honor for Jim,” said Bucks President Peter Feigin. “Jim is a pro’s pro and we are fortunate to have such a terrific broadcaster and person with the Bucks organization. The team congratulates Jim on this meaningful recognition.”

Paschke is the second-ever recipient of the Todd Harris Spirit Award after the inaugural award was given to Travis Henderson of the Utah Jazz. In addition to broadcasting Bucks game on FOX Sports Wisconsin, Paschke is the Bucks Broadcast Director and works year-round on telecasts, television projects and other team broadcast ventures while regularly contributing video content to Bucks.com. Paschke is also a featured speaker in the community, addressing various civic groups and school assemblies throughout the year, and is a long-time supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The 2018-19 season will be Paschke’s 33rd season as the television “Voice of the Bucks” and 23rd as Broadcast Director for the team.

NBA coach Jeff Bzdelik to retire

Jeff Bzdelik, a longtime coach who is currently with the Houston Rockets, is reporting hanging up his clipboard and calling it a career. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

Bzdelik, 65, had been weighing whether to return for a third season on Mike D’Antoni’s staff throughout the summer, reaching his decision this weekend, an individual with knowledge of the decision said. He had been uncertain about taking on the demands and time away from family of another season.

The Rockets will shift his responsibilities throughout the coaching staff, with assistant Roy Rogers likely to lead the defense. Former Vipers coach Matt Brase had already been added to D’Antoni’s staff.

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