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Cavs sign Derrick Williams to 10-day contract

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed forward Derrick Williams to a 10-day contract, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today.

Williams (6-8, 245) appeared in 25 games (11 starts) with Miami this season and averaged 5.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.1 minutes. Over his six-year NBA career, Williams has played in 401 games (112 starts) with Minnesota, Sacramento, New York and Miami, while averaging 9.1 points and 4.1 rebounds in 21.0 minutes. He was waived by the Heat on February 6.

Grizzlies sign Toney Douglas to second 10-day contract

The Memphis Grizzlies signed guard Toney Douglas to a second 10-day contract today.

Douglas (6-2, 195) has appeared in 11 games as a reserve for the Grizzlies this season and averaged 5.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 16.5 minutes. The 30-year-old originally signed with Memphis as a free agent on Dec. 5 pursuant to the NBA’s hardship rule and was waived on Dec. 15. He then was re-signed by the Grizzlies to a 10-day contract on Jan. 30. Memphis has recorded a 10-1 record in the games Douglas has played this season.

Drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round (29th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft following his senior season at Florida State University, the Jonesboro, Ga. native has appeared in 381 regular season games (65 starts) and averaged 7.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 19.2 minutes during his eight-year NBA career with the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies.

Milwaukee Bucks buy a D-League team

Milwaukee Bucks buy a D-League team

The Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA Development League announced yesterday (Wednesday) that the Bucks have acquired the right to own and operate an NBA D-League team that will begin play in Oshkosh, Wis., for the 2017-18 season.

As part of the deal, Fox Valley Pro Basketball led by Greg Pierce will be constructing a new 3,500-seat arena for the new minor league team. With the purchase, the Bucks become the 20th NBA team to own and operate an NBA D-League affiliate while the NBA D-League grows to a record 25 teams for next season.

“Our ownership group has been steadfast in its commitment to both build a championship-caliber basketball program and develop stronger partnerships with fans and communities throughout the state of Wisconsin,” Bucks co-owner Wes Edens said. “We’re thrilled to announce this partnership with the City of Oshkosh, Greg Pierce and his team, and the incredible basketball fans throughout the Fox Valley. This new team will be an invaluable resource for our basketball staff and an incredible vehicle for connecting with Wisconsin’s passionate sports fans.”

“NBA teams are increasingly recognizing the NBA D-League’s value in providing opportunities to players, coaches and front office executives,” said NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner. “A record two-thirds of NBA teams now own an NBA D-League affiliate, and I’m excited to welcome Wes Edens, Marc Lasry, Jamie Dinan and the Bucks to that list.”

The Oshkosh Common Council recently approved plans for a new 3,500-seat arena that is expected to anchor the newly-designated “Sawdust District” located near Pioneer Drive Park along the shore of Lake Winnebago. Similar to the arena development currently under construction in Milwaukee, the Oshkosh arena project will serve as a catalyst for additional economic development in the surrounding area. The overall vision for the project calls for the 3,500-seat arena, which will also house a sports bar and team store, along with proposed future development that could include a hotel and additional dining and entertainment venues.

“I believe that Oshkosh’s Central City is on the verge of a renaissance,” Oshkosh Mayor Steve Cummings said. “The Bucks’ selection of Oshkosh as its location for their D-League team reinforces our reputation as a great place to work, play and learn. The new arena will be the cornerstone of a revived central city that will attract visitors and greater development opportunities to Oshkosh.”

“When we pitched this idea, the Fox Valley’s response was so immediate and enthusiastic, we knew this would be the ideal location for the team to expand,” said Greg Pierce of Fox Valley Pro Basketball. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Building a new arena, bringing the Sawdust District vision to life and expanding the sports and entertainment options in our region will have a transformative impact on our community.”

Fans interested in securing tickets for the inaugural season of NBA D-League action in the Fox Valley can reserve their seats online at www.foxvalleybasketball.com. All fans who submit a deposit towards season tickets by this Friday, Feb. 10, will receive a pair of tickets to the Bucks’ Fan Appreciation Night game vs. Charlotte on Monday, April 10. Visitors to the site are also encouraged to submit ideas for the official team name, which will be announced in the coming months.

As part of today’s announcement, the Bucks are also welcoming BMO Harris Bank as the first official sponsor of the new NBA D-League team. A longtime partner of the Bucks, BMO Harris Bank operates in nearly 200 branches in the state of Wisconsin, including 12 in the Fox Valley.

More than 75 NBA players have been assigned to the NBA D-League for development or rehabilitation this season, including half of the players selected in 2016 NBA Draft presented by State Farm. In total, more than 40 percent of the last five NBA Draft classes have honed their skills in the NBA D-League.

Two current Bucks, Khris Middleton and Rashad Vaughn, have NBA D-League experience. In total, the Bucks have assigned 10 players since the 2005-06 season, the first when NBA teams were able to send players to the NBA D-League.

Heat sign Marcus Georges-Hunt to 10-day contract

The Miami Heat yesterday (Wednesday) signed guard Marcus Georges-Hunt to a 10-day contract.

Georges-Hunt, a 2017 NBA Development League All-Star, has appeared in 32 games (27 starts) with the Maine Red Claws this season averaging 16.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.03 steals and 36.7 minutes while shooting 46.6 percent from the field, 39.7 percent from three-point range and 86.1 percent from the foul line. He leads the NBA D-League in minutes (1,176) and among team leaders he ranks first in assists (133), second in rebounds (184), steals (32) and free throws made (118) and third in points (524) and field goals made (177).

Georges-Hunt was originally signed by the Boston Celtics on August 17 after going undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft. He appeared in two preseason games with the Celtics totaling six points, two rebounds and an assist while shooting 2-of-3 from the field and a perfect 2-of-2 from the foul line before being waived on October 20. He played all four seasons at Georgia Tech totaling 129 starts, the most in school history. He finished his collegiate career ranking third in free throws made (468) and 11th in points (1,728) on the school’s all-time lists. Additionally, he became 19th player in school history to record at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.

He will wear number 24 and join the team tomorrow and be available for Miami’s game in Brooklyn on Friday.

Dragan Bender undergoes ankle surgery

Dragan Bender undergoes ankle surgery

Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender had routine arthroscopic procedure on his right ankle yesterday (Wednesday) to remove a bone spur. The surgery was performed by Dr. Ned Amendola at Duke University Hospital. Bender is estimated to return to full basketball activity in approximately four to six weeks.

The fourth overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, Bender is averaging 3.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.5 blocks and 12.7 minutes in 38 games during his rookie season. On Dec. 26 at Houston, the 19-year-old tallied career-highs of 11 points, 13 rebounds and three steals to become the youngest player in Suns history to record a double-double.

Jabari Parker knee injury is a torn ACL

Bucks forward Jabari Parker suffered a left knee injury during the third quarter of last night’s game vs. Miami at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. This morning, Parker underwent an MRI that revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Parker will undergo surgery to repair the injury and will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season. The recovery and rehabilitation period is estimated at 12 months.

In 51 games (50 starts) this season, Parker averaged 20.1 points (2nd on team), 6.2 rebounds (3rd on team), 2.8 assists (4th on team) and 1.0 steals in 33.9 minutes (2nd on team) per game. He scored in double figures 47 times, including 20-plus points in 28 games.
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Evan Turner has a broken hand

Evan Turner has a broken hand

Further medical evaluation confirms that Portland guard Evan Turner sustained a fracture of the third metacarpal in his right hand.

He is expected to be sidelined for 5-6 weeks. The injury will not require surgery.

Turner injured his hand during the third quarter of Portland’s 114-113 win at Dallas on Tuesday.

In 50 games (10 starts) this season, Turner, 28, is posting averages of 9.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

Timberwolves sign Lance Stephenson to 10-day contract

Lance Stephenson is trying to get back on the basketball map.

The Timberwolves, who recently lost guard Zach LaVine to a season-ending injury, signed Stephenson to a 10-day contract today.

Stephenson, 26, played in six games for the New Orleans Pelicans this season, averaging 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists before being waived on November 7.

The 6-5 guard played his first four seasons (2010-14) with Indiana after being drafted by the Pacers in the second round (40th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft. His best season came in 2013-14 when he averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 78 games and led the NBA in triple-doubles with five.

In addition to Indiana and New Orleans, Stephenson has also played with Charlotte, LA Clippers and Memphis. He has career averages of 8.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 346 games. Stephenson has appeared in 46 playoff games, posting averages of 10.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

Stephenson will wear uniform No. 7.

It’s been a rough season for the Timberwolves. At 19-33, they have yet to live up to their potential, and are currently on a 4-game losing streak. Though with a young squad and new head coach,  there’s still hope they will show improvement in the second half of the season.

Ramon Sessions undergoes knee surgery

Ramon Sessions undergoes knee surgery

Charlotte Hornets guard Ramon Sessions has undergone successful surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee. The surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY. Sessions is expected to miss approximately four to six weeks. Updates on his status will be provided when available.

The ninth-year pro out of Nevada is averaging 6.2 points, 2.6 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 16.2 minutes per game, appearing in 50 games this season (including one start).

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Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has been suspended one game without pay for receiving his 16th technical foul of the 2016-17 season, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Under NBA rules, a player or coach is automatically suspended without pay for one game once he receives his 16th technical foul during a regular season. For every two additional technical fouls received during that regular season, the player or coach will be automatically suspended for an additional game.

Cousins received his most recent technical foul with :01.1 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Kings’ 112-107 loss to the Chicago Bulls at Golden 1 Center on Feb. 6. Cousins will serve his suspension on Feb. 8 when the Kings host the Boston Celtics at Golden 1 Center.

In addition, Cousins has been fined $25,000 for making an inappropriate statement and gesture after leaving the playing court following the Kings’ 109-106 overtime win against the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 4 at Golden 1 Center.

Steve Kerr fined by NBA

Steve Kerr fined by NBA

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has been fined $25,000 for verbal abuse of game officials and failing to leave the court in a timely manner after his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 3:34 remaining in the third quarter of the Warriors’ 109-106 overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 4 at Golden 1 Center.

Dakari Johnson of the Oklahoma City Blue today was named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Jan. 30, through Sunday, Feb 5.

Johnson (7-0, Kentucky) led Oklahoma City to a 2-1 week, averaging 24.3 points on 60.9 percent shooting to go with 10.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists. On Jan. 31, he notched a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds in a 120-115 overtime victory over the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Johnson scored the first four points of overtime to help secure the win, which moved Oklahoma City into first place in the Southwest Division. On Feb. 4, he logged his 10th double-double of the season with 26 points and 13 rebounds in a 106-86 win over the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

Johnson is averaging 18.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steals on the season. This is the second Performer of the Week award for Johnson, who was the 48th pick in NBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm.

Other top performers considered included Austin’s Hollis Thompson, Canton’s Quinn Cook, Delaware’s Shawn Long, Fort Wayne’s Ben Bentil, Grand Rapids’ Jordan Crawford, Greensboro’s Cheick Diallo (on assignment by the New Orleans Pelicans), Los Angeles’ David Nwaba, Northern Arizona’s Elijah Millsap, Raptors 905’s Brady Heslip, Rio Grande Valley’s Darius Morris, Sioux Falls’ Keith Benson, Westchester’s Von Wafer and Windy City’s Denzel Valentine.

Suns sign Ronnie Price to second 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Ronnie Price to a second 10-day contract.

Currently in his third tenure with the Suns, Price has not yet appeared in a game this season since initially signing a 10-day contract with the team on Jan. 27.

An 11-year NBA veteran out of Utah Valley University, Price most recently played last season with the Suns when he averaged a career-best 5.3 points while appearing in a career-high 62 games. In addition to 2015-16, he averaged 3.6 points and 1.9 assists in 36 games with Phoenix in 2011-12. For his career, the 6-2, 190-pound point guard has averaged 3.8 points and 1.8 assists in 530 games with Sacramento, Utah, Phoenix, Portland, Orlando and the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the NBA’s 2016-17 GM Survey, the 33-year-old floor general tied with Suns forward Jared Dudley as each received the second-most votes in response to the question, “Which active player will make the best head coach someday?”

The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Johnny O’Bryant to a second 10-day contract, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

O’Bryant, 6-9, 257, has appeared in two games with the Nuggets averaging 3.5 ppg and 1.5 rpg in 8.1 mpg since signing a 10-day contract on January 26.

The Golden State Warriors have signed guard Brianté Weber to a 10-day contract, the team announced today.

Weber, 24, has appeared in 31 games (all starts) with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League this season, averaging 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.4 assists (fourth in the D-League) and 3.26 steals (first) in 36.8 minutes. The Virginia Commonwealth University product was recently named the NBA D-League Player of the Month for games played in January, averaging 21.5 points and 8.3 assists in 11 games last month and finishing one steal shy of tallying the first quadruple-double in D-League history with 18 points, a career-high-tying 12 assists, 11 rebounds and an NBA D-League season-high nine steals on Jan. 31 vs. Oklahoma City.

The 6’2”, 165-pound guard, who was not selected in the 2015 NBA Draft, has appeared in seven career NBA games (four starts), averaging 4.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.29 steals in 24.1 minutes over six games with the Grizzlies and one game with the Heat last season. Weber also appeared in two postseason games with the Heat, logging six minutes of action during Miami’s First Round matchup with Charlotte in the 2016 NBA Playoffs.

Weber will wear #2. The Warriors roster now stands at 15 players.

Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince has been fined $25,000 for forcefully pulling down Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside during play and Heat forward James Johnson has been fined $25,000 for escalating the situation in retaliation by throwing a forearm into the chest of Prince, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Prince was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected while Johnson was assessed a Technical Foul and ejected, occurred with 5:53 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Hawks’ 116-93 loss to the Heat on Feb. 1 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed center Mike Tobey to a 10-day contract. Tobey joins the Hornets from the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, becoming the Swarm’s first-ever D-League to NBA “call-up.” The Hornets roster now stands at 14 players.

The 7-0 Tobey has appeared in 29 games (19 starts) for Greensboro in his first D-League season, averaging 11.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 26.0 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures 18 times and grabbed double-figure rebounds on 15 occasions, including each of the last five games. Tobey has posted 12 double-doubles, tied for fifth-most in the D-League, and also ranks 10th in the D-League in rebounds and 14th in blocks.

The Monroe, NY, native played for the Hornets in the 2016 Orlando Pro Summer League and signed with the team on July 25, 2016. In two preseason games with the Hornets, Tobey posted averages of 6.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 block in 18.8 minutes.

A four-year player at the University of Virginia (2012-16), Tobey’s 138 games played rank first in school history. He owns collegiate career averages of 6.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per contest, and was named the ACC Sixth Man of the Year following the 2014-15 season.

Hornets sign Ray McCallum to 10-day contract

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed guard Ray McCallum to a 10-day contract. McCallum joins the Hornets from the NBA Development League’s Grand Rapids Drive.

The 6-3 McCallum has appeared in 30 games (all starts) for the Drive this season, averaging 18.2 points, 7.5 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 37.9 minutes per game. He currently ranks third in the D-League in both assists and minutes, and fourth in steals. The 25-year-old has recorded two triple-doubles on the year, tallying 23 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists against the Maine Red Claws on Dec. 23 and posting 18 points, 13 assists and 12 boards against the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Jan. 7.

Originally selected with the 36th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, McCallum has appeared in 154 career NBA games (46 starts) over three seasons with the Kings, Spurs and Grizzlies, averaging 6.0 points, 2.4 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per contest. His last NBA action came during the 2015-16 season with Memphis, where he appeared in 10 contests (three starts) with averages of 6.9 points, 2.7 boards and 1.4 assists in 21.9 minutes. He was a member of the Detroit Pistons preseason roster prior to the 2016-17 season, but was waived on Oct. 24.

A native of Beverly Hills, Michigan, McCallum was a three-year collegiate player at Detroit Mercy (2010-13) and had career averages of 15.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.7 steals. He earned Horizon League Player of the Year honors for the 2012-13 season.

Warriors waive Anderson Varejao

Warriors waive Anderson Varejao

The Golden State Warriors have waived center Anderson Varejao, the team announced today.

Varejao, 34, appeared in 14 games (one start) with the Warriors this season, posting averages of 1.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 6.6 minutes per contest. The Santa Teresa, Brazil, native was originally acquired by the Warriors on Feb. 22, 2016, and re-signed on July 17, 2016, appearing in 36 games (one start) with Golden State over two seasons after spending the first 11-plus seasons of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Warriors roster now stands at 14 players.

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced today that the team has acquired forward/center Spencer Hawes and center Roy Hibbert from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for center Miles Plumlee. In a related transaction, the Bucks have requested waivers on forward Steve Novak.

“Spencer and Roy are two proven NBA centers who give us additional depth and versatility in the front court,” said Hammond. “The trade also gives us future cap flexibility as we continue to shape our roster. Miles and Steve are true professionals both on and off the court, and we wish them all the best.”

Hawes, 28, has appeared in 35 games (one start) for the Hornets this season with averages of 7.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Hawes also spent the 2014-15 season with Charlotte and has split time with the Clippers, Cavaliers, 76ers and Kings during his 10-year NBA career. The No. 10 overall pick by Sacramento in the 2007 NBA Draft, Hawes has career averages of 8.8 points, 5.8 boards and 1.9 assists in 665 games (368 starts).

Hibbert, 30, has posted averages of 5.2 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 54.2 percent from the field in 42 games (13 starts) with Charlotte in 2016-17. Originally drafted by Toronto with the 17th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, and traded to Indiana on draft night, Hibbert played his first seven NBA seasons with the Pacers and then spent the 2015-16 season with the Lakers before joining the Hornets. Hibbert owns career averages of 10.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 assists in 656 games (586 starts) over nine seasons. He is a two-time NBA All-Star (2012, 2014) and was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team following the 2013-14 season.

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