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The average price paid for a ticket to Sunday’s festivities at Staples Center in Los Angeles on the resale market has topped $1,800 each ($1,959 on StubHub, $1,895 on Vivid Seats).

The most expensive sale was a pair of tickets that sold on StubHub on Friday. The seats are behind the basket and were bought for $29,510, including fees.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent guard/forward Joe Johnson for the remainder of the season. Johnson will wear #7 for the Rockets.

In a related move, the Rockets have waived Troy Williams.

Johnson (6-7, 240) was originally the 10th overall pick by Boston in the 2001 NBA Draft and is in his 17th NBA season. In 1,253 games with 1,090 starts, Johnson is averaging 16.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. He is one of 12 players in NBA history with at least 1,000 games played to have averaged at least 16.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 4.0 apg and one of three (Kobe Bryant and John Havlicek) with over 1,200.

Among active players, Johnson ranks fourth in games played, second in minutes played (43,729; 20th all-time), eighth in scoring (20,266), and sixth in 3-pointers made (1,960; 10th all-time). He has also appeared in 112 playoff games with 97 starts, averaging 16.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Johnson has been to the playoffs in each of the past 10 seasons and advanced to the Conference Semifinals six times over that span.

Johnson appeared in 32 games with three starts for Utah this season. He saw action in 78 games for the Jazz in 2016-17, and averaged 1.4 3-pointers made on 41.1% shooting, marking the second-highest percentage of his career.

The seven-time All-Star is reunited with Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni. In his final season playing for D’Antoni in Phoenix in 2004-05, Johnson averaged a career-high 2.2 3-pointers made on a career-best 47.8% shooting.

Amar’e Stoudemire has signed with the BIG3, a 3-on-3 basketball league co-founded by Ice Cube that plays during the summer months. He’ll be a Co-Captain of Tri-State alongside Captain Jermaine O’Neal and Co-Captain Nate Robinson.

This offseason, BIG3 expanded rosters by adding a second Co-Captain to each team.

In recent weeks, Baron Davis (3’s Company), Ron Artest (Killer 3s) Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis (Power), Carlos Boozer (Ghost Ballers) and Drew Gooden (3’s Company) have been announced as high-profile Co-Captain acquisitions.

Stoudemire played 14 seasons in the NBA. He was drafted with the ninth overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns, where he won 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year, and played for eight seasons. In 2010, he signed with the New York Knicks as a free agent. His high-profile signing put an end to the team’s playoff drought and sparked a three-season playoff run. He went on to play with the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat, before signing a one-day contract to retire as a New York Knick in 2016. Following his NBA career, Stoudemire moved overseas and played two seasons in Israel for Hapoel Jerusalem, helping his team win the Israeli Basketball League Cup in 2016 and the Israeli League championship in 2017.

Throughout his career, Stoudemire averaged 18.9 points (15,994 total) and 7.8 rebounds (6,632) in 846 career games. He was a six-time NBA All-Star, and was named to five All-NBA Teams (two first teams, three second teams). He also won a bronze medal with the United States national team at the 2004 Olympic Games.

Stoudemire will join a Tri-State squad that finished sixth in 2017, after falling short to 3’s Company in the BIG3 Playoffs. Tri-State will round out its three remaining roster spots in the BIG3 Draft.

The BIG3 previously announced two-year agreements with 22 player captains, co-captains and coaches from the inaugural season, including 2017 BIG3 MVP Rashard Lewis, 2017 BIG3 Champions Trilogy’s Kenyon Martin, Al Harrington and coach Rick Mahorn, Allen Iverson, Corey Maggette, Chauncey Billups, Clyde Drexler, Gary Payton, Brian Scalabrine, Jermaine O’Neal, Charles Oakley, Stephen Jackson, Mike Bibby, DerMarr Johnson, Jermaine O’Neal, Ricky Davis, Josh Childress, Cuttino Mobley, Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams, George “The Iceman” Gervin, and Rick Barry.

Pelicans sign Emeka Okafor to second 10-day contract

The New Orleans Pelicans today signed forward/center Emeka Okafor to a second 10-day contract.

Okafor, 6-10, 252, who was originally signed to a 10-day contract by New Orleans on Feb. 3, has appeared in three games, including one start, for the Pelicans, averaging 5.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 14.3 minutes per contest.

New Orleans’ roster stands at 15, including one two-way player (Charles Cooke).

Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox will replace injured Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball on the U.S. Team in the 2018 Rising Stars game, which will take place on Friday, Feb. 16.

Fox, the fifth pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, is averaging 11.3 points and 4.3 assists in 27.2 minutes while starting 37 of his 49 games in his rookie season. His selection gives the Kings three players in 2018 Rising Stars, with second-year guard Buddy Hield (Bahamas) and rookie guard Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia) representing the World Team.

Ball has missed the Lakers’ last 13 games after suffering a sprained MCL in his left knee on Jan. 13. The second pick in NBA Draft 2017 is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 36 games. The Lakers have second-year forward Brandon Ingram and rookie forward Kyle Kuzma playing for the U.S. Team.

The Rising Stars game is an annual showcase of premier young talent at NBA All-Star. For the fourth consecutive year, the game features 10 first- and second-year NBA players from the U.S. against 10 first- and second-year NBA players from around the world.

Past Sacramento Kings All-Star Rookie Game Participants
1994 Bobby Hurley - Honorary Coach
1995 Brian Grant, Michael Smith
1996 Tyus Edney
1998 Michael Stewart
2000 Jason Williams
2002 Hedo Turkoglu
2010 Tyreke Evans (MVP), Omri Casspi
2011 Tyreke Evans*, DeMarcus Cousins
2012 DeMarcus Cousins
2013 Isaiah Thomas
*Evans named to Sophomore Team but due to injury did not participate

Here’s on LeBron James, whose entertainment company will bring the House Party movie franchise back to life:

As Los Angeles hosts its first NBA All-Star shindig in seven years, LeBron James is prepping a Hollywood bash of his own.

The megastar and his SpringHill Entertainment partner, Maverick Carter, are producing a new House  Party, which will revive the Kid ’n Play–fronted New Line comedy franchise that started in 1990 and was followed by sequels in 1991 and 1994. Atlanta’s Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori will pen the screenplay.

“This is definitely not a reboot. It’s an entirely new look for a classic movie,” James tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Everyone I grew up with loved House Party. To partner with this creative team to bring a new House Party to a new generation is unbelievable.”

Full article

Rockets sign Brandan Wright

Rockets sign Brandan Wright

The Houston Rockets today signed free agent forward/center Brandan Wright for the remainder of the season.

Wright joins the Rockets after appearing in 27 games for Memphis in 2017-18. He will wear #32 for Houston.

Wright (6-10, 235) was originally the eighth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and is in his 10th season. In 427 career games with 62 starts, Wright is averaging 7.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and nearly a block per game, while shooting 60.7% from the floor. He would have the second-highest field goal percentage among active players if he had enough attempts to qualify.

Dating back to 2012-13, Wright is the only player in the league to have averaged at least 7.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.00 blocks while playing fewer than 18.0 minutes per game. Wright is also averaging 1.5 offensive rebounds per game over that span and 3.0 orpg per 36 minutes played.

Wright is a former McDonald’s All-American and was named Second Team All-ACC and ACC Rookie of the Year in his only season at North Carolina.

Sixers sign Marco Belinelli

The Philadelphia 76ers signed guard-forward Marco Belinelli.

Belinelli appeared in 52 games (one start) with Atlanta this season, averaging 11.4 points and 2.0 assists in 23.3 minutes per game, while shooting .372 from three-point range on a career-high 4.8 attempts per contest. His .927 free-throw percentage ranks fourth-best in the NBA. He has scored in double figures 31 times this season and has five 20-point performances.

In his 11th NBA season, Belinelli has played in 696 career games (217 starts) with Atlanta, Charlotte, Sacramento, San Antonio, Chicago, New Orleans, Toronto and Golden State. All told, he holds averages of 9.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 23.2 minutes per game. A career .377 three-point shooter, Belinelli has connected on 945 threes over his 10-plus NBA seasons.

In 2013-14 with San Antonio, the Italy native enjoyed his most successful season from beyond the arc, finishing fifth in the NBA, shooting a .430 clip from long distance. At State Farm All-Star Saturday Night that year, Belinelli won the 2014 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.

That season was capped off with a playoff run that would end with the Spurs defeating Miami in the 2014 NBA Finals. Belinelli appeared in 23 playoff games for San Antonio, posting 5.4 points per game, while shooting .421 from three-point range. In his career, Belinelli has appeared in 48 total playoff games (13 starts) with San Antonio, Chicago and New Orleans.

Originally selected by Golden State with the 18th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, the 6-foot-5 guard-forward played professionally in Italy before entering the NBA.

Belinelli will wear No. 18 for the 76ers. He will be the first native Italian to play for Philadelphia.

The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Josh Gray to a second 10-day contract after initially signing him on February 2.

Gray made his NBA debut against Utah on February 2 and has averaged 6.8 points, 3.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 17.5 minutes in four games with the Suns. He has eight steals, including four on Wednesday against San Antonio and three on Saturday against Denver, becoming the first Suns rookie to total at least eight steals through his first four career games since Richard Dumas in 1993.

A 6-1, 180-pound guard, Gray was originally called up him up from the Northern Arizona Suns of the NBA G League. In 31 games with the NAZ Suns this season he averaged 17.9 points, shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from three-point range, 6.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals (t-1st in G League). The NBA G League Player of the Week for games played Jan. 1-7, Gray has four games scoring 30-plus points this season including a career-high 32 points in a win over the Agua Caliente Clippers on Jan. 26.

The 29th GATORADE Call-Up in the NBA this season and sixth in NAZ Suns history, Gray is Northern Arizona’s all-time leader in points (1,228), assists (410), field goals made (474), field goals attempted (1,065), steals (148), games (81) and minutes (2,250). Overall in 81 career NBA G League games, all with Northern Arizona over the past two seasons, Gray has averaged 15.2 points, 5.1 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals. On Nov. 27, 2016, he recorded the only triple-double in NAZ Suns history with 24 points, 13 rebounds, 11 steals and five steals against Sioux Falls.

The 24-year-old went unselected in the 2016 NBA Draft out of Louisiana State University. Gray tried out for the NAZ Suns prior to their inaugural season in 2016-17, earning an invite to training camp where he made the team and went on to have one of the better seasons by a local tryout in G League history.

A native of Lake Charles, La., Gray began his collegiate career at Texas Tech University in 2012-13 before transferring to Odessa College for the 2013-14 season then completing his career with two seasons at LSU from 2014-2016.

Kings waive Joe Johnson

The Sacramento Kings, who are undergoing a youth movement and are building for the future, not the present, waived veteran guard/forward Joe Johnson today.

Johnson appeared in 32 games this season for the Utah Jazz and averaged 7.3 points (.420 FG%, .274 3pt%, .833 FT%), 3.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 21.9 minutes per game. Over the course of his 16-year career, the seven-time NBA All-Star has accrued averages of 16.2 points (.442 FG%, .372 3pt%, .802 FT%), 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 34.9 minutes per game through 1253 games (1090 starts) with six teams; Boston, Phoenix, Atlanta, Brooklyn, Miami and Utah.

The Utah Jazz have signed Naz Mitrou-Long to a 10-day contract.

Mitrou-Long (6-4, 218, Iowa State) has appeared in 32 games (27 starts) for the Jazz’s exclusively owned and operated G League team, the Salt Lake City Stars, this season averaging 16.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 34.6 minutes per contest. He originally signed a two-way contract this season with the Jazz on Dec. 23, appearing in one game with Utah, tallying three points against Denver on Dec. 26, before being waived on Jan. 13. Additionally, Mitrou-Long spent training camp with the team this year, playing in two preseason games, averaging 4.0 points and 1.0 assists in 7.0 minutes per contest.

A four-year collegian at Iowa State, he averaged 15.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season with the Cyclones, earning 2017 All-Big 12 Second Team honors. The guard also shot 47 percent from the field and led the conference with 2.8 three-point field goals per game, also connecting on a team-high 98 three-point attempts, which was the third highest in a single-season in school history.

Over his four years at Iowa State, Mitrou-Long appeared in 131 games (83 starts) averaging 9.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists, helping to lead the Cyclones to three Big 12 Championships. He would finish his collegiate career with 260 three-point field goals, the second most in school history, in addition to becoming just one of 11 players ever for Iowa State to tally 1,200 points, 300 rebounds and 200 assists over his career.

Born in Ontario, Canada, Mitrou-Long played high school basketball at Findlay College Prep in Henderson, Nev.

Jazz waive Derrick Rose

The Utah Jazz on Saturday waived guard Derrick Rose.

Rose (6-3, 190, Memphis), a former NBA MVP, isn’t the player he used to be. He played in 16 games (seven starts) this season for the Cavaliers, averaging 9.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 19.3 minutes per outing.

Over his nine-year NBA career, the 29-year-old Chicago native has averaged 19.2 points, 5.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 34.2 minutes through 486 games (476 starts) with the Bulls, Knicks and Cavaliers.

According to the Deseret News, “former Jazzman Joe Johnson was also part of the three-team deal with Rose and was originally sent to Sacramento. However, the veteran scorer will agree to a contract buyout to sign with the Houston Rockets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.”

Mavericks waive Josh McRoberts

The Dallas Mavericks on Saturday requested waivers on forward/center Josh McRoberts.

McRoberts (6-10, 240) was acquired by the Mavericks on July 7, 2017, along with a second round pick and cash considerations, from the Miami Heat in exchange for center A.J. Hammons.

The 10-year career veteran saw action in two games for the Mavericks this season after spending the first 37 games of the season on the inactive list while rehabbing a left foot injury.

Grizzlies waive Brandan Wright

The Memphis Grizzlies waived forward/center Brandan Wright today.

According to a report from Yahoo Sports, if he clears waivers Wright intends to sign with the Rockets. That’s a great addition to the bench of an already potent team.

Wright (6-10, 235) appeared in 67 games (eight starts) over three seasons (2015-18) with the Grizzlies and averaged 6.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 15.3 minutes. Selected with the eighth overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft following his collegiate career at the University of North Carolina, the 30-year-old has appeared in 427 regular season games (62 starts) over 10 NBA seasons and has averaged 7.0 points and 3.6 rebounds in 16.2 minutes for the Golden State Warriors, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 16 players.

The New Orleans Pelicans have waived guards Mike James and Rashad Vaughn.

James, 6-1, 189, who was originally signed to a two-way contract by the Pelicans on January 14, appeared in four games with New Orleans, totaling four points and six assists in 18 minutes.

Vaughn, 6-6, 202, who was acquired from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for forward Dante Cunningham on February 8, did not appear in any games for New Orleans.

New Orleans’ roster currently stands at 15, including one two-way player (Charles Cooke).

The Sacramento Kings are 17-36 this season through Thursday’s games, which is the third worst record in the NBA. They’re all about the future, not the present. As for recent trades involving the Kings and their larger meaning, here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting:

The two most important assets the Kings acquired at Thursday’s trade deadline were Miami’s second-round draft pick in 2020 and the little more than $3 million cash.

That’s because the deals weren’t about immediate improvement. Instead, the Kings are keeping the focus on the future, and they believe trading George Hill, Malachi Richardson and waiving Georgios Papagiannis makes that possible…

Of the three players received in the deal, only guard Iman Shumpert figures to be around after this season, because he has an $11 million player option for 2018-19. Bruno Caboclo is in the last year of his deal and Joe Johnson is seeking a buyout, a request the Kings are likely to fulfill.

Full article

Hawks waive Marco Belinelli

The Atlanta Hawks waived guard/forward Marco Belinelli today.

Belinelli, in 52 games with the Hawks (one start) this season, averaged 11.4 points, 2.0 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 23.3 minutes (.410 FG%, .372 3FG%, .927 FT%), ranking fourth in the NBA in free throw percentage. He scored in double-figures 30 times (five 20-point outings).

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “the Hawks held Belinelli, the veteran reserve shooting guard, out of Tuesday’s game against the Grizzlies and he did not travel with the team for Thursday’s game at the Magic as the team considered several trade options ahead of the NBA trade deadline.”

In 696 career contests (217 starts), he’s put up 9.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 23.1 minutes (.423 FG%, .377 3FG%, .840 FT%).

Belinelli was originally acquired from Charlotte on June 20, 2017 along with Miles Plumlee and a 2017 second round draft pick in exchange for Dwight Howard and a 2017 second round draft pick.

Bulls waive Tony Allen

The Chicago Bulls waived veteran guard/forward Tony Allen today.

Allen was acquired on February 1 in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Bulls are undergoing a youth movement, building for the future, so they apparently didn’t see a need for Allen’s services.

A defensive-minded player, Allen was playing just 12.4 minutes per game for the Pelicans this season prior to being traded to the Bulls.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 16.

The Sacramento Kings today traded guard Malachi Richardson to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for forward Bruno Caboclo.

Originally selected 20th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, Caboclo has appeared in 34 games this season for Toronto’s G-League affiliate 905 Raptors, averaging 14.4 points (.396 FG%, .335 3pt%, .831 FT%), 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.33 steals, 1.65 blocks and 30.7 minutes per contest.

Richardson, 6-foot-6, 205 pounds, is averaging 3.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and 12.8 minutes in 25 games (four starts) this season.

Richardson owns career averages of 3.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and 11.0 minutes in 47 games. He has scored in double figures four times, including a career-high 12 points Jan. 25, 2017 at Cleveland. Richardson was selected 22nd overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets. His draft rights were acquired by the Kings in exchange for forward Marco Belinelli.

Richardson played one season at Syracuse (2015-16), averaging 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 34.4 minutes in 37 games. He shot .353 (79-for-225) from three-point range and was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team.

The Phoenix Suns today waived guard Isaiah Canaan, then completed a trade to acquire point guard Elfrid Payton from the Orlando Magic in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick via Memphis.

“We are excited to add a player of Elfrid’s caliber to our young core,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “Elfrid is an athletic point guard who has good size, length and a feel for the game. We think he’ll be a great fit with our team and we look forward to seeing him in a Suns uniform.”

In his fourth NBA season, Payton is averaging a career-high 13.0 points shooting career bests of 52.0 percent from the field (23rd in the NBA) and 37.3 percent from three-point range. In addition, he is averaging 6.3 assists (14th in the NBA), 4.0 rebounds and 1.45 steals (24th in the NBA) in 44 games. Payton is one of just three players in the NBA this season averaging at least six assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field along with LeBron James and Ben Simmons, and also joins James and Simmons as the only three players to rank in the top 25 in assists, steals and field goal percentage.

Payton holds career averages of 11.1 points, 6.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.36 steals in 281 games, starting 234. The Magic’s all-time franchise leader with eight career triple-doubles, he scored a career-high 30 points earlier this season on December 23 at Washington. Currently exceeding six assists per game for the fourth straight season, Payton is the first NBA player since Chris Paul from 2005-2009 to average at least six assists in each of his first four NBA seasons.

The 6-4, 185-pound floor general was originally the 10th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers before being traded to the Magic on draft night. Named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2015, Payton twice participated in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend.

A native of Gretna, Louisiana, Payton starred collegiately at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for three seasons from 2011-2014. He won the 2013-14 Lefty Driesell Award given annually to the nation’s top defensive player and represented USA Basketball at the 2013 FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Czech Republic, starting all nine games to help lead the U.S. to a 9-0, gold-medal finish.

The second-round pick heading to Orlando was originally secured by the Suns along with guard Troy Daniels in a deal with the Grizzlies on September 22, 2017. The pick to be conveyed will be the second most favorable selection of Memphis, Charlotte or Miami’s 2018 second-round picks.

Payton will wear uniform No. 2.

“We still consider Isaiah to be a member of the Phoenix Suns family,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “In speaking with Isaiah and his agent, we are fully committed to doing everything we can to help him with his rehab and recovery from his injury. This move is being made strictly to create a roster spot with Isaiah being out for the remainder of the season.”

In his fifth NBA season, Canaan initially signed with the Suns on December 13 and averaged 9.1 points and 4.0 assists in 19 games with the team. He recorded 10 games scoring in double digits with the Suns, including a season-high 17 points in a win at Dallas on December 18. On January 31, Canaan sustained a fractured left ankle in the first quarter against the Mavericks then underwent successful surgery in Phoenix on February 1.

The Suns’ roster stands at 17 players

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