Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

The Oklahoma City Thunder has named Adrian Griffin as assistant coach and promoted Vin Bhavnani and Royal Ivey to assistant coaches, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

“We’re pleased to welcome Adrian to Oklahoma City,” said Head Coach Billy Donovan. “In addition to his wealth of experience as a player and coach that will add value to our program, I also feel that he will be a terrific fit on our coaching staff, and I’m excited for him to join the Thunder organization.”

Griffin joins Donovan’s staff after spending the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic. Prior to last year, Griffin spent the five previous seasons (2010-15) as an assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls.

His coaching experience dates back to 2008 where he served as assistant coach/player development for two seasons (2008-10) with the Milwaukee Bucks. During the summer of 2014, Griffin worked with the USA Basketball Men’s National Team that captured the gold medal at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

As a player, Griffin appeared in 477 career NBA games (179 starts) during nine seasons with Boston, Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Seattle, averaging 4.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 16.8 minutes. Griffin also played one season in Italy and three seasons in the CBA with Connecticut.

A native of Wichita, Kan., Griffin was a three-year starter at Seton Hall and as a senior won All-Big East Second Team honors after averaging 16.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game.

Bhavnani, an eight-year veteran of the club, has spent the past six seasons as its Manager of Advanced Scouting/Player Development after starting his career as the team’s Video Coordinator. Prior to joining the Thunder he spent two seasons as a video coordinator with the San Antonio Spurs. Bhavnani started his NBA career as a video intern with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Los Angeles, Calif., native spent one season as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at Santa Monica Junior College after graduating from the University of Southern California in 2003.

Ivey is being elevated to assistant coach after serving last season as a player development assistant with the Thunder.

After a four-year collegiate career at the University of Texas, Ivey enjoyed a 10-year NBA playing career in which he appeared in 492 games (114 starts) and averaged 3.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Ivey’s coaching career began during the 2014-15 season where he served as an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s D-League affiliate.

Mark Daigneault, who joined the Thunder staff earlier this year, will return to his role as head coach of the Oklahoma City Blue. Additionally, Daigneault will lead the Thunder entry in the 2016 Orlando Summer League.

O.J. Mayo banned from NBA for two years

The NBA announced today that free agent O.J. Mayo has been dismissed and disqualified from the league for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program.

Under the Anti-Drug Program, Mayo is eligible to apply for reinstatement in two years.

The NBA, NBA teams, and the Players Association are prohibited from publicly disclosing information regarding the testing or treatment of any NBA player under the Anti-Drug Program, other than to announce a player’s suspension or dismissal from the league.

Brandon Knight changes Suns uniform number

The Phoenix Suns announced today guard Brandon Knight has chosen to change his uniform number and will now wear No. 11.

Additionally, the team has announced uniform numbers for the team’s 2016 NBA Draft acquisitions: Dragan Bender will wear No. 3, Marquese Chriss will wear No. 0 and Tyler Ulis will wear No. 8.

Center Hassan Whiteside played just 29.1 minutes per game for the Heat last season, yet averaged an extremely impressive 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per outing, with 60.6% shooting. His free throw shooting is a struggle, but Whiteside was clearly in line for a big payday this summer. And he’s receiving it and will stick with Miami. Here’s the Palm Beach Post blog reporting:

Hassan Whiteside will re-sign with Heat

Free-agent center Hassan Whiteside is re-signing with the Heat. The 27-year-old posted this message early Friday morning on The Players’ Tribune website.

There was considerable speculation that the 7-footer might be interested in leaving Miami to join the Dallas Mavericks or Los Angeles Lakers, and he met with both teams early Friday morning. But a source told the Associated Press that Whiteside will sign a four-year maximum deal worth approximately $98 million to remain with the Heat.

Jeremy Lin to sign with Nets

It’s going to take multiple seasons to make real progress, but the Nets are trying to rebuild. They recently traded Thaddeus Young, waived Jarrett Jack, and now are built around center Brook Lopez and a team of backups. Point guard Jeremy Lin is good enough to start for some teams but would come off the bench for most others. But, he’s a player. And he has super-fun history in NYC — Linsanity, ya’ll. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Jeremy Lin to sign with Nets

Jeremy Lin is back in New York, and the Nets have found their point guard.

Lin announced the move Friday morning on his Twitter account: “The journey continues…thankful for the next chapter!!”

Yahoo reported that the deal is for three years and $36 million, and includes a player option on the third year.

Lin had made a name for himself on the other side of the river with the Knicks midway through the 2011-12 season when Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson was an assistant in the Garden. Lin averaged 18.7 points and 7.7 assists in 25 starts for the Knicks, giving rise to the phenomenon known as Linsanity.

Ish Smith to sign with Pistons

Ish Smith did some fun things on the Sixers last season, averaging 14.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 50 games for Philly. But he’ll be bringing his talents to Detroit. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

Ish Smith to sign with Pistons

Ish Smith wanted to resign with the 76ers, but knew it wasn’t a guarantee. And he wasn’t going to sit around and wait.

So the point guard has agreed to a three-year, $18 million deal with the Detroit Pistons, according to a source. The Detroit News first reported that Smith reached an agreement. A contract may not be signed until July 7.

“He wanted to come back to Philly, but they never called him,” the source said.

Detroit Pistons guard Darrun Hilliard suffered a stress fracture of the lower back and will not participate in 2016 NBA Orlando Summer League. Hilliard will be evaluated by Detroit Pistons team physicians and a rehab process and timeline for his return to basketball activities will be determined once the diagnosis is complete.

The Los Angeles Lakers have extended qualifying offers to Tarik Black, Jordan Clarkson, and Marcelo Huertas.

By extending qualifying offers, the players become restricted free agents.

Black was awarded to the Lakers on a waiver claim on December 28, 2014 and has averaged 5.3 points and 5.2 rebounds on 57.5% shooting in 77 games (27 starts) over the past two seasons.

Clarkson, acquired from the Washington Wizards on the night of the 2014 NBA Draft, was an NBA All-Rookie First Team selection in 2015 and was selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star 2016. In two seasons with the Lakers, Clarkson has averaged 14.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.0 steals over 138 games (117 starts).

Huertas was signed as a free agent last July, coming to the NBA after a distinguished international playing career, and led the Lakers in assists per game (3.4), in addition to 4.5 points and 1.7 rebounds in his 53 appearances.

Nets waive Jarrett Jack

Nets waive Jarrett Jack

The Brooklyn Nets have requested waivers on guard Jarrett Jack.

According to the New York Post, “Jack had a salary of $6.3 million for next season, but the Nets had until Thursday night to waive him and owe him only $500,000. The team will stretch that sum over three years to save every possible penny of cap room.”

Jack saw action in 112 games over two seasons with Brooklyn, posting averages of 12.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 29.2 minutes per game. This past season, Jack appeared in and started 32 games, averaging 12.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 7.4 assists in 32.1 minutes per game before suffering a season-ending right knee injury on January 2. An 11-year NBA veteran, Jack has played in 803 career games with Portland, Indiana, Toronto, New Orleans, Golden State, Cleveland and Brooklyn, recording averages of 11.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 28.1 minutes per game.

Timberwolves waive Greg Smith

Timberwolves waive Greg Smith

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has waived forward/center Greg Smith.

Smith was originally signed to 10-day contracts on March 2 and March 12 before being signed through the end of the season on March 22. He averaged 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds over 18 games last season with the Timberwolves. In his career, Smith has appeared in 149 games with three teams (Houston, Dallas, Minnesota) and holds career averages of 4.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

Hornets extend qualifying offer to Troy Daniels

The Charlotte Hornets have extended a qualifying offer to guard Troy Daniels.

By extending a qualifying offer to Daniels prior to the June 30 deadline, Charlotte owns the right to match any offer sheet he may sign with another team. Daniels will become a restricted free agent on July 1.

Daniels averaged 5.6 points and 1.3 rebounds in 11.1 minutes per game during his third NBA season, appearing in 43 games. The 24-year-old guard connected on 59 three pointers, shooting .484 percent from downtown, both marking career highs. Daniels ranked first among players that played less than 500 minutes during the 2015-16 season in three-point field goals. On Jan. 25, 2016, the Roanoke, Va. native made a franchise-record-tying eight three-point field goals, including the game-winning shot with nine seconds remaining in double-overtime against the Sacramento Kings.

The 6-4 Virginia Commonwealth product originally went undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft. Daniels was acquired by the Hornets in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Feb. 10, 2015, along with Mo Williams in exchange for Gary Neal and a 2019 second-round draft pick.

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that center Salah Mejri underwent arthroscopic surgery for a right knee debridement this morning. The surgery was performed by team physician Dr. Daniel Worrel at The Carrell Clinic in Dallas.

Mejri (7-2, 235) averaged 3.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 11.7 minutes per game in 34 games (six starts) as a rookie with Dallas last season.

Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli are now restricted free agents

harrison barnes

The Golden State Warriors have extended qualifying offers to forward Harrison Barnes and center Festus Ezeli, the team announced today.

By extending a qualifying offer prior to the June 30 deadline, Barnes and Ezeli will become restricted free agents and Golden State owns the right to match any offer sheet they may sign with another team. The Warriors did not extend qualifying offers to guard Ian Clark and forward James Michael McAdoo, who will become unrestricted free agents.

Barnes, 24, appeared in 66 games (59 starts) in 2015-16 and averaged a career-best 11.7 points to go with 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30.9 minutes. The fourth-year forward, who was selected seventh overall by Golden State in the 2012 NBA Draft, tallied a single-season career-best six games with at least 20 points during the Warriors’ 73-win campaign.

Ezeli, 26, appeared in 46 games (13 starts) in 2015-16 and set career-highs of 7.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 16.7 minutes. The fourth-year center, who was selected 30th overall by Golden State in the 2012 NBA Draft, scored in double figures 13 times and recorded six double-doubles during the 2015-16 regular season, both single-season career-bests.

Pistons trade Jodie Meeks to Magic

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has acquired a 2019 conditional second round pick from the Orlando Magic in exchange for guard Jodie Meeks.

Meeks, 28, signed as a free agent with the Detroit Pistons in 2014. In 63 games with Detroit, he averaged 10.9 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 23.9 minutes. Last season, Meeks suffered a fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during the second game of the season and only appeared in three games, averaging 7.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in 14.3 minutes. The 6-4 guard averaged 11.1 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 24.4 minutes in 60 games during the 2014-15 season, but missed the first 22 games after suffering a stress reaction in his lower back during the preseason.

The seven-year veteran has played for Milwaukee, Philadelphia, L.A. Lakers and Detroit and holds career averages of 9.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 24.3 minutes in 418 games.

The Atlanta Hawks have exercised the contract option for the 2016-17 season on forward/center Mike Muscala, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

In the 2015-16 season, Muscala played in a career-high 60 games, shooting .500 from the field and .795 from the free throw line in 9.4 minutes per game. He completed the year with career-bests in defensive rebounds (79), assists (34), free throws made (31) and blocks (27). Muscala, the 44th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, has seen action in 120 games over the last three seasons with the Hawks. He recorded his first career double-double with a career-high 18 points and 10 rebounds at Charlotte on 3/28/15. The Bucknell alumnus has also appeared in 21 postseason contests.

allen crabbe

The Portland Trail Blazers have extended qualifying offers to guard Allen Crabbe and forwards Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

By extending qualifying offers to Crabbe, Harkless and Leonard prior to the June 30 deadline, Portland owns the right to match any offer sheet they may sign with another NBA team. All three players will become restricted free agents on July 1.

Crabbe, acquired in a 2013 draft day trade, holds career averages of 7.0 points (44.7 FG%, 38.5% 3-PT, 85.0% FT), 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 147 games (17 starts) over three seasons with Portland. In 2015-16, Crabbe averaged career highs in points (10.3), rebounds (2.7), assists (1.2) and steals (0.77), while registering career-best shooting marks in field goal percentage (45.9%), 3-point field goal percentage (39.3%) and free throw percentage (86.7%).

Acquired by the Trail Blazers in 2015 after spending his first three seasons in Orlando, Harkless posted averages of 6.4 points on 47.5% shooting, 3.6 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.62 steals and 18.7 minutes in 78 games (14 starts) with Portland in 2015-16. He scored in double figures 23 times, eight of which came in the final 10 games of the season.

In four seasons with the Trail Blazers, Leonard is averaging 5.8 points (48.9% FG, 38.5% 3-PT, 81.4% FT), 4.1 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 16.6 minutes. Selected by Portland with the 11th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Leonard played in 61 games (10 starts) in 2015-16 and averaged career-highs in points (8.4), rebounds (5.1), assists (1.5) and minutes (21.9), tallying more 3-pointers (86) than he did in his first three seasons combined (50).

Sixers exercise contract option on Hollis Thompson

The Philadelphia 76ers have exercised their fourth-year team option on the contract of forward Hollis Thompson.

Over the course of three NBA seasons, Thompson has appeared in 225 games (81 starts) and averaged eight points and three rebounds per contest while shooting 39 percent from three-point range. His 331 career three-pointers are the eighth-most in Sixers history.

Magic extend qualifying offers to Evan Fournier and Dewayne Dedmon

The Orlando Magic have extended qualifying offers to center Dewayne Dedmon and guard/forward Evan Fournier, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

By extending qualifying offers to Dedmon and Fournier prior to the June 30 deadline, Orlando owns the right to match any offer sheet they may sign with another team. Both players will become restricted free agents on July 1.

Dedmon (7’0”, 245, 8/12/89) played in 58 games (20 starts) with Orlando last season, averaging 4.4 ppg. and 3.9 rpg. in 12.2 minpg., while shooting .559 (99-177) from the floor. He led (or tied) the team in scoring once and in rebounding four times. Dedmon scored in double figures eight times, including a career-high 18 points (also had season-high 13 rebounds) on Mar. 26 vs. Chicago.

Undrafted by an NBA franchise, Dedmon has appeared in 148 career NBA regular season games (41 starts) with Golden State, Philadelphia and Orlando, averaging 3.8 ppg. and 4.4 rpg. in 13.1 minpg., while shooting .540 (228-422) from the field. He was originally signed as a free agent by the Magic to a 10-day contract on Feb. 25, 2014.

Fournier (6’7”, 205, 10/29/92) appeared in 79 games (71 starts) with Orlando last season, averaging a career-high 15.4 ppg., 2.8 rpg., 2.7 apg. and 1.22 stlpg. in a career-high 32.5 minpg., while shooting a team-high .400 (156-390) from three-point range and a team-high .836 (199-238) from the free throw line. He was tied for 17th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage and ranked 35th in free throw percentage. Fournier led (or tied) the team in scoring 19 times, in rebounding once and in assists seven times. He scored in double figures 61 times, had 20+ points 24 times and had 30+ points twice, including a career-high 30 points on Nov. 3 @ New Orleans and Mar. 15 vs. Denver.

magic assistant coaches

The Orlando Magic have named Chad Forcier, Corliss Williamson and David Adelman assistant coaches.

In addition Jay Hernandez will remain as assistant coach/player development, completing Frank Vogel’s coaching staff.

“Our staff possesses a tremendous work ethic, has great attention to detail, and will help our players reach their full potential,” said Vogel. “Their talents and experience complement each other and we are thrilled to have them with us.”

Forcier has spent the last nine seasons (2007-16) as an assistant coach with San Antonio. With the Spurs, he was responsible for player development. Forcier was a member of the San Antonio staff that won the NBA World Championship in 2013-14.

Forcier began his coaching career in 1992 as an intern with the Seattle SuperSonics while still attending Seattle Pacific University, where he graduated in 1995. He spent five seasons (1992-97) with the Sonics, working for George Karl. From 1994-97, Forcier served as varsity assistant coach and junior varsity head coach at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, Washington. In 1997, he was named an assistant coach at Oregon State University. After three seasons at Oregon State (1997-2000), Forcier spent one season as an assistant coach at the University of Portland.

In 2001, Forcier continued his NBA coaching career under Rick Carlisle. He spent two seasons as an assistant coach with Detroit (2001-03) and four seasons as an assistant coach with Indiana (2003-07). After the 2006-07 campaign, Forcier joined Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio. His brother, Todd, is the sports performance coach for the Portland Trail Blazers.

A 12-year NBA veteran, Williamson has spent the last three seasons (2013-16) as an assistant coach with Sacramento. Prior to joining the Kings, he was head coach at the University of Central Arkansas for three seasons (2010-13). Williamson also spent three seasons at Arkansas Baptist College, two as an assistant coach and one as head coach (2009-10).

Originally selected in the first round (13th overall) of the 1995 NBA Draft by Sacramento, Williamson played in 822 career NBA regular season games (293 starts) with Sacramento, Toronto, Detroit and Philadelphia, averaging 11.1 ppg., 3.9 rpg. and 1.2 apg. in 22.8 minpg., while shooting .490 (3,603-7,355) from the floor. Nicknamed “Big Nasty,” Williamson earned the NBA Sixth Man Award in 2001-02 and an NBA World Championship in 2003-04 as a member of the Pistons.

Born on December 4, 1973, Williamson is considered one of the greatest players to ever come out of the state of Arkansas. While at the University of Arkansas, he helped guide the Razorbacks to the NCAA Championship in 1994 and earned the Most Outstanding Player award following the 1994 NCAA Tournament. During the following season, Williamson once again led Arkansas to the NCAA National Title game. He was named to the Associated Press All-American Second Team in both 1994 and 1995.

Adelman has spent the last five seasons (2011-16) with Minnesota, including the last three as an assistant coach. His NBA career began in 2011 as a player development coach under his father, Rick Adelman. Prior to joining the Timberwolves, Adelman spent five seasons as head basketball coach at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon.

Adelman went 83-53 (.610) during his five seasons at Lincoln, leading the Cardinals to three Portland Interscholastic district championships (2006-07, 2009-10, 2010-11). He also guided Lincoln to the Oregon Class 6A state championship final in 2009.

Prior to coaching at Lincoln, Adelman was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Jesuit High School in Portland, from 2001-06, helping the team win the state championship in 2005. He also helped Jesuit capture a state title as a player in 1999.

Grand Rapids Drive announce coach and GM

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has named Jon Phelps as general manager and Rex Walters as head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive - the NBA D-League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons.

“We’re fortunate to be able to fill these two positions with guys we feel very comfortable with,” said Stan Van Gundy, president of basketball operations and head coach of the Detroit Pistons. “Jon was in Grand Rapids with the Drive the last two years so there’s familiarity and continuity there. We’re confident he will continue to do a good job and transition well into this new role. “Rex Walters brings a wealth of basketball knowledge and experience and has a passion for developing young players. He’s spent some time with us here and already has a good understanding of how we operate. We look forward to working with both of them.”

Phelps spent the last two seasons as director of basketball operations with the Drive. Previously, he was an attorney at a civil litigation firm in New Orleans, LA. Phelps attended Tulane University School of Law, earning his J.D. in 2012 with a certification in sports law. While there, he was a research assistant for Professor Gabe Feldman, a renowned expert in sports law. As part of that experience, Phelps spent time extensively studying the collective bargaining agreements of both the NBA and NFL.

A 2004 graduate of Siena College with a degree in English, Phelps served as a student manager for the men’s basketball team and, after graduating, spent one season as director of basketball operations for the Saints.

Walters spent the last eight seasons as head coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of San Francisco where he guided the Dons to two 20-win seasons and two postseason appearances. USF finished in the top three of the West Coast Conference twice in the last six years, including 2013-14, when they tied for second with a 13-5 conference mark. During the 2013-14 season, the team finished with a 21-12 record, tied for second in the WCC with a 13-5 mark and earned a bid to the National Invitation Tournament. The 21 victories marked the Dons’ highest win total since the 1981-82 team posted a 25-6 record while their 13 conference victories were the most since the 1976-77 team went 14-0 in league play while spending most of the season ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Walters, a native of Omaha, NE., was named West Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 2013-14, becoming the first USF coach to win the award since Pete Barry in 1980-81. Walters amassed a 126-125 record at USF. Prior to becoming head coach at USF, he served two seasons (2006-08) as head coach at Florida Atlantic University and posted a 31-33 record. Overall, Walters is 157-158 (.498) as a collegiate head coach.

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