Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

Sale complete: Steve Ballmer now officially owns the Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that the transaction in which Steve Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers closed today following the entry of an order by a California court confirming the authority of Shelly Sterling, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, to sell the team.The NBA Board of Governors previously approved the sale and Mr. Ballmer is now the Clippers Governor.

“I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” Mr. Ballmer said. “Clipper fans are so amazing. They have remained fiercely loyal to our franchise through some extraordinary times. I will be hard core in giving the team, our great coach, staff and players the support they need to do their best work on the court. And we will do whatever necessary to provide our fans and their families with the best game-night experience in the NBA. I look forward to meeting our fans at our STAPLES Center Fan Festival on Monday, Aug. 18 at 12:30 pm PT.”

“This is an amazing new day in Clippers history,” Clippers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers said. “I couldn’t be more excited to work together with Steve as we continue to build a first-class, championship organization. I am already inspired by Steve’s passion for the game, his love of competition and desire to win the right way and I know our players and fans are going to be inspired as well.”

Nets guard Markel Brown has broken hand

Brooklyn Nets guard Markel Brown has been diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand, General Manager Billy King announced today. Brown, who was injured while working out in Las Vegas earlier today, had his hand placed in a cast and will be held out of basketball activities for a period of 4-6 weeks.

Brown, the 44th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night in exchange for cash considerations. He recently completed his senior season at Oklahoma State, averaging 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 35.3 minutes per game and earning All-Big 12 Second Team honors for the second consecutive season. During his junior season, Brown averaged 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 34.1 minutes per game.

Over the course of four seasons, the 6’3” guard played in 134 games, averaging 12.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.00 steals in 30.5 minutes per game. He became the only player in Oklahoma State history to record 300 assists, 100 steals and 100 blocked shots in his career and his 969 career points in Big 12 games are an Oklahoma State record. Brown was named Louisiana’s Mr. Basketball in 2010 after a standout career at Peabody Magnet High School in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Cavaliers sign center Alex Kirk

cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed free agent center Alex Kirk, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

An early entry candidate, the 7-0, 245-pound center went undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft after appearing in 101 games (86 starts) over three seasons at the University of New Mexico. He averaged 10.0 points on .488 shooting, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 25.3 minutes per game over his collegiate career, where he was also a two-time All-MWC Defensive Team selection. Last season, he averaged 13.3 points on .490 shooting from the field, 8.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 32.0 minutes per game, while receiving his second All-MWC Defensive Team honor.

During the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer in Las Vegas, Kirk played five games for the Cavaliers Summer League team entry and averaged 5.2 points on .524 shooting and 3.4 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game.

Wizards hire Roy Rogers as assistant coach

The Washington Wizards announced today that the team has named Roy Rogers as an assistant on the staff of Head Coach Randy Wittman.

Rogers comes to Washington after spending the 2013-14 season with the Brooklyn Nets. He began his NBA coaching career with the Nets, serving as an assistant coach from 2008-2010. He then served as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics as part of Doc Rivers’ staff in 2010-11 before joining the Detroit Pistons for two seasons (2011-2013) under head coach Lawrence Frank.

Prior to his first stint with the Nets, Rogers coached in the NBA Development League with the Austin Toros (2007-08), Tulsa 66ers (2005-07) and Huntsville Flight (2004-05). Selected 22nd overall in the 1996 NBA Draft out of the University of Alabama, Rogers spent three years in the NBA, averaging 4.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in his NBA career split between four teams (Vancouver, Boston, Toronto and Denver). He also played four seasons (2000-04) of professional basketball internationally with stops in Russia, Italy, Greece and Poland.

Rogers will join returning assistants Don Newman, Don Zierden and Pat Sullivan and newcomer David Adkins, who was hired earlier this summer, on the Wizards’ bench.

Suns sign first-round draft picks T.J. Warren and Tyler Ennis

The Phoenix Suns have signed 2014 first-round draft picks T.J. Warren (14th overall selection) and Tyler Ennis (18th overall), the team announced today.

All first-round NBA draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they wish to play in the league right away. Therefore, these signings are standard and were expected.

Both Warren and Ennis made their Suns’ debuts as members of Phoenix’s entry at NBA Summer League 2014 in Las Vegas. Warren was named to the All-NBA Summer League Second Team after averaging a team-high 17.8 points on 54.4 percent shooting, while Ennis posted team-highs of 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals in addition to 4.2 points and 4.0 rebounds.

Warren, a 6-foot-8 forward from Durham, N.C., earned Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Year honors this past season to complete a two-year career at North Carolina State. In his sophomore season, Warren ranked third in the nation with 24.9 points per game while also averaging 7.1 rebounds and shooting an ACC-best 52.5 percent from the field. Named a Second Team AP All-American, Warren also excelled on the defensive end, leading the ACC in steals in conference games.

One of the best scorers in this year’s draft, Warren is a creative shot-maker who can get points in a variety of ways. Warren set a single-season North Carolina State record with 871 points this past season, including a career-high 42 points against Boston College. Warren became just the third player in ACC history to lead the conference in scoring and field goal percentage in the same season, in addition to posting back-to-back games with 40-plus points to join Hall of Famer David Thompson as the only two players to do so in Wolfpack history.

A 6-foot-3, 19-year-old from Brampton, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, Ennis is considered to be one of the best pure point guards in recent drafts. Ennis played one season at Syracuse, earning All-ACC Second Team honors after averaging 12.9 points and 5.5 assists in 2013-14. Ennis has also shined in international competition, leading Canada with a tournament-high 20.8 points per game at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.

One of the most clutch players in college basketball as a freshman, Ennis earned a reputation for his late-game heroics, including a buzzer-beater from near half-court in Syracuse’s win at Pittsburgh. Ennis’ poise was also on display with his superb decision-making as he ranked sixth in the nation with a 3.60 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Miami Heat sign guard Tyler Johnson

Miami Heat sign guard Tyler Johnson

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed guard Tyler Johnson.

Most recently, Johnson appeared in 11 Summer League games with the HEAT and averaged 12.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 22.2 minutes while shooting 54.8 percent from the field, 46.7 percent from three-point range and 81.4 percent from the foul line.

Johnson played four seasons at Fresno State University, appearing in 127 career games (87 starts) and averaged 10.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.10 steals and 27.9 minutes while shooting 45.6 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from three-point range and 71.6 percent from the foul line. He finished his collegiate career ranked No. 16 on Fresno State’s all-time scoring list (1,346 career points). As a senior, he was named to the All-Mountain West Second Team and shot 43.2 percent from three-point range, the sixth-highest single-season three-point field goal percentage in school history.

Spurs sign forward JaMychal Green

spurs

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed forward JaMychal Green.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, the deal is “a standard “make-good” training camp contract contingent upon making the team.”

Green, 6-8/230, was a member of the Spurs 2014 Summer League team in Las Vegas. In six games he averaged 7.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in 16.2 minutes.

The Montgomery, Ala. native spent last season playing in the French Pro A League for Roanne, averaging 11.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in 22.1 minutes in 25 games while shooting .530 (122-230) from the field.

Green spent the 2012-13 season with the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League, averaging 12.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 40 games.

An undrafted forward out of Alabama, Green averaged 14.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks his final season for the Crimson Tide en route to being named All-SEC First Team in 2012.

Nuggets Sign guard Erick Green

Nuggets Sign guard Erick Green

The Denver Nuggets have signed guard Erick Green, General Manager/Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Green, 6-4, 185, was the 46th overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft after leading the NCAA in scoring (25.0 ppg) as a senior at Virginia Tech. He spent the 2013-14 season with Montepaschi Siena of the Italian League, averaging 11.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

Playing at the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer League, Green averaged 16.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in five games (all starts) with the Nuggets. He shot 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line.

Milwaukee Bucks sign Jerryd Bayless

Bucks sign Jerryd Bayless

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free agent guard Jerryd Bayless, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

According to the Associated Press, “Bayless signed for two years at $3 million per season.”

Bayless, 25, split the 2013-14 season between the Memphis Grizzlies and Boston Celtics, and averaged 9.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 72 games (19 starts). He was acquired by the Celtics in exchange for Courtney Lee on Jan. 6, and while with Boston, set season highs of 29 points – including a career-high 12 field goals made – on Feb. 26 vs. Atlanta and nine assists vs. San Antonio on Feb. 12.

Originally selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 11th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Bayless was traded to the Trail Blazers prior to his rookie season. Over his six-year career, Bayless has spent time with Portland, New Orleans, Toronto, Memphis and Boston, and has recorded career averages of 8.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 381 games (59 starts). He has been to the playoffs three times with Portland (2009, 2010) and Memphis (2013), averaging 9.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 23 games (two starts).

Bayless played one season at Arizona in 2007-08 where he became the first freshman in school history to lead the team in both scoring (19.7 points) and assists (4.0). In 2007, he was named a McDonald’s All-American as a high school senior at St. Mary’s (Phoenix).

Brooklyn Nets announce coaching staff

The Brooklyn Nets have named Paul Westphal, John Welch, Tony Brown, Joe Wolf and Jay Humphries as assistant coaches and Jim Sann as an assistant coach/advance scout on new head coach Lionel Hollins’ staff, General Manager Billy King announced today.

Westphal brings over 20 years of coaching experience to Brooklyn, including three stops as a head coach in Phoenix, Seattle and Sacramento. After beginning his NBA coaching career as an assistant in Phoenix in 1988, Westphal was named head coach of the Suns in 1992, where he led the Suns to three of their most successful seasons, reaching the NBA Finals in 1993, and advancing twice to the conference semifinals. Westphal was twice selected to serve as head coach of the Western Conference All-Star team in 1993 and 1995. In his three and a half seasons as head coach of the Suns, Westphal compiled a 191-88 (.685) record. Westphal returned to the coaching ranks in 1998, when he led the Seattle SuperSonics for parts of three seasons, and was named head coach of the Sacramento Kings in 2009, where he served until early in the 2011-12 season. Overall, Westphal holds a career NBA coaching record of 318-279 (.532). A five-time NBA All-Star, Westphal played 12 seasons in the NBA, was named to the All-NBA First Team three times, All-NBA Second Team once and was a member of the 1974 NBA Champion Boston Celtics. The number 10 pick in the 1972 NBA draft out of USC, Westphal averaged 15.6 points and 4.4 assists in 823 NBA games with Boston, Phoenix, Seattle and New York.

Welch returns for his second season as an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets. Welch came to Brooklyn in 2013, following eight seasons as an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets under George Karl. Before joining the Nuggets, Welch spent two seasons as an assistant coach/workout coach for the Memphis Grizzlies. Prior to his arrival in Memphis, he spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Fresno State, serving under head coach Jerry Tarkanian. Welch joined Fresno State in 1995 and helped the Bulldogs to two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, six consecutive 20-win seasons and seven straight postseason appearances. Welch began his coaching career with a three-year stint as a graduate assistant at UNLV, including when they advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1986-87. When the Rebels’ season ended, Welch also served as a player and coach in the New Zealand Professional Basketball League from 1986-89. Welch then served as an assistant coach under Seth Greenberg at Long Beach State from 1993-95. As a player, Welch spent three seasons at the University of Nevada, Reno and transferred to UNLV for his senior year. Welch played under Tarkanian for one year when the Rebels compiled a 33-5 record and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Brown joins the Nets after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks under Rick Carlisle. Brown also served as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers (2009-10), Milwaukee Bucks (2007-08), Boston Celtics (2004-07), Toronto Raptors (2003-04), Detroit Pistons (2001-03) and Portland Trail Blazers (1997-2001). Prior to beginning his coaching career, he was an advance scout for the Bucks (1994-97). Brown spent seven seasons as an NBA player with nine teams after being selected with the 82nd pick in the fourth round of the 1982 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets. His best professional season came in 1986-87 with the Nets, where he recorded career-bests for points, assists, steals, minutes and games started. In 360 career NBA games, Brown averaged 6.0 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. In addition to his seven seasons in the NBA, Brown also spent time in the Continental Basketball Association and Italy. The Chicago native played four years at the University of Arkansas under head coach Eddie Sutton.

Wolf enters his sixth season coaching in the NBA after spending five seasons as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks under Scott Skiles (2008-13). Wolf’s coaching career also includes stints as head coach and general manager of the Colorado 14ers of the NBA Development League (2006-08) and head coach of the Idaho Stampede of the Continental Basketball Association (2004-06), as well as one season as an assistant coach at the College of William & Mary (2003-04). Most recently, Wolf has been serving as an assistant coach for the Ukrainian national team. Wolf spent 11 seasons as an NBA player after being selected with the 13th pick of the first round of the 1987 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. In 592 career games with Los Angeles, Denver, Boston, Portland, Charlotte, Orlando and Milwaukee, Wolf averaged 4.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. The Kohler, WI native spent four years at the University of North Carolina under Hall of Fame head coach, Dean Smith.

Humphries joins the Nets after spending 13 years as a coach in the NBA, NBA D-League and overseas. Humphries began his coaching career in 2001 as the associate head coach for the Jilin Northeastern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association and spent the next five years in the Korean Basketball League. He served three years as the associate head coach for the Wonju TG Xers and two years as the head coach of the Inchon ET Land Black Slamer. Humphries then returned stateside, joining the Phoenix Suns as an assistant coach on Mike D’Antoni’s staff for one season (2007-08) before taking over as the first head coach for the Reno Bighorns of the D-League (2008-10). He then spent one season as the head coach of the Foshan Long Lions in China. Humphries played 11 seasons in the NBA after being selected with the 13th pick of the first round in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. Humphries holds career NBA averages of 11.1 points, 5.5 assists and 1.50 steals in 29.3 minutes per game in 788 games (557 starts) split between Phoenix (1984-88), Milwaukee (1988-92), Utah (1992-95) and Boston (1995). The Los Angeles native played four years at the University of Colorado under former Nets assistant and interim head coach, Bill Blair, and long-time college basketball head coach, Tom Apke.

Sann is currently in his second stint with the Nets organization after working as a Nets assistant coach/coaching associate for five seasons (2005-10). From 2010-12, Sann spent two seasons as a member of the Chicago Bulls staff, serving as an assistant coach/video coordinator. Sann was the advance scout for the Houston Rockets during the 2004-05 season and served as an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors in 2003-04. He began his professional basketball career with the New York Knicks organization, holding various positions over 11 seasons, eventually rising to director of basketball administration. The Larchmont, NY native graduated from the University of Colorado in 1991.

Kings sign Eric Moreland

The Sacramento Kings have signed Eric Moreland to a contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

The 6-10, 218-pound forward-center averaged 3.5 points (.444 FG%, .500 FT%), 8.8 rebounds, 0.7 assists, a team-high 2.7 blocks and 19.2 minutes per game in six games off the bench for the Kings Samsung NBA Summer League 2014 Championship squad. Moreland led all players in Las Vegas with 16 blocks and his blocks per game average was the highest among all players seeing action in at least four games.

According to the Sacramento Bee, “the Kings have been fans of Moreland’s game for a while. He was a part of the first pre-draft workout in June and a player the Kings wanted to monitor after the draft process. The Kings are looking for more athleticism along the frontline to help improve their defense and rim protection. If Moreland sticks and makes the regular-season roster, he could eventually help in that area.”

A two-time Pac-12 All-Defensive Honorable Mention, Moreland finished his career at Oregon State in 2013-14 as the Beavers’ all-time leader in blocked shots (184) and blocks per game (2.07 bpg).

Warriors waive Hilton Armstrong

Warriors waive Hilton Armstrong

The Golden State Warriors have waived center Hilton Armstrong, the team announced today.

Armstrong, 29, appeared in 15 regular-season games (one start) for the Warriors in 2013-14, posting averages of 1.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 6.5 minutes per contest. He appeared in all seven of the team’s playoff games, averaging 1.1 points in 2.4 minutes. Armstrong originally signed with the Warriors on December 11 and signed a pair of 10-day contracts on February 22 and March 30 before signing for the remainder of the season on April 8.

Armstrong also appeared in 32 games (23 starts) with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League in 2013-14, averaging 12.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.75 blocks in 30.3 minutes per contest.

Heat officially re-sign Chris Bosh

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have re-signed forward Chris Bosh. The agreement has been known for a while now, but actually became official today.

According to multiple reports, it’s a five-year contract worth a bit over $118 million.

“Chris Bosh is a two-time NBA champion and one of the most versatile big men in the league,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “His unique skillset makes him one of the best players in the game today. I’ve always felt he was committed to this organization, this staff and this city. I think he’s going to have the opportunity of a lifetime leading this team next season and having the nine-time NBA All-Star back in the fold was a big key for us. We are very blessed to have him.”

Bosh, a two-time NBA champion, has appeared in 796 games (784 starts) during his 11-year NBA career, averaging 19.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.10 blocks and 35.9 minutes, while shooting 49.8 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the foul line. The nine-time NBA All-Star has appeared in 287 games (all starts) for the HEAT over the last four seasons, averaging 17.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 34.1 minutes while shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 81.3 percent from the foul line. Among the HEAT’s all-time leaders, he ranks third in free throw percentage, fourth in field goal percentage, seventh in blocks (273), ninth in free throws made (1,077) and defensive rebounds (1,652), 10th in points (4,976), field goals made (1,894), total rebounds (2,116), and double-figure scoring efforts (260), 11th in double-doubles (60), 12th in starts, 13th in offensive rebounds (464), and minutes (9,787), 16th in games played and 18th in steals (256).

Last season, Bosh started all 79 games in which he appeared and averaged 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.01 steals and 32.0 minutes while shooting 51.6 percent from the field and 82 percent from the foul line. He totaled a career-high 80 steals and connected on a career-high 74 three-point field goals. He has now totaled 111 treys during his HEAT career, the most by a player 6’11” or taller in franchise history. Bosh scored his 15,000th career point on March 12 vs. Brooklyn, recorded his 1,500th career assist on December 8 at Detroit and went a perfect 9-of-9 from the field on January 4 at Orlando, tying for the most makes without a miss during a single game in HEAT history. He earned Player of the Week honors on December 29 and improved Miami’s record to a perfect 12-0 when scoring at least 30 points as a member of the HEAT, including a 37-point effort on December 28 at Portland, a game in which he hit the game-winning three-point attempt with five-tenths of a second remaining to give Miami a, 108-107, victory.

Bosh has appeared in 78 postseason games (74 starts) with the HEAT and averaged 14.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.14 blocks, 1.1 assists and 34.7 minutes while shooting 48.1 percent from the field, 40.6 percent from three-point range and 79 percent from the foul line. Last postseason, he shot 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from three-point range in Round One against Charlotte, the highest three-point field goal percentage during a four-game series in HEAT postseason history. He has now appeared in the NBA Finals in each of his four seasons in Miami, helping the HEAT become just the third NBA franchise to make four-straight NBA Finals appearances.

Timberwolves sign Mo Williams

Timberwolves sign Mo Williams

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed guard Mo Williams.

“We are excited to bring Mo into the fold this season,” said Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders. “His veteran leadership and excellent three-point shooting ability will be a valuable addition to our team.”

According to Yahoo Sports, it’s a one-year deal for $3.75 million.

Williams, 31, appeared in 74 games for Portland last season, averaging 9.7 points and 4.3 assists in 24.8 minutes per game. He shot 36.9 percent from three-point range, including a 42.2 percent clip over a two-month stretch from January through February. Williams appeared in eight games during the postseason with the Blazers, averaging 7.4 points per game before missing the final three games of the playoffs due to a groin strain.

The 11-year veteran was originally selected by the Utah Jazz in the second round (47th overall pick) of the 2003 NBA Draft. Minnesota is Williams’ sixth NBA stop, previously spending stints in Utah (2003-04, 2012-13), Milwaukee (2004-08), Cleveland (2008-2011, L.A. Clippers (2011-12) and Portland (2013-14). He has averaged 13.3 points and 4.9 assists per game while connecting on 38.5 percent from three-point range over his 709-game career. His best season came with the Cavaliers in 2008-09, when he averaged 17.8 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting (43.6 percent from three-point range) to earn an All-Star appearance.

Mavericks sign Al-Farouq Aminu

Mavericks sign Al-Farouq Aminu

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent forward Al-Farouq Aminu.

Aminu (6-9, 215) was the 8th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. After one season in Los Angeles he was traded, along with Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and a first round pick, to New Orleans in the deal that landed Chris Paul with the Clippers. He averages 6.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 23.2 minutes in 303 career games (171 starts) with Los Angeles and New Orleans.

In 2013-14, Aminu played in 80 games (65 starts) for the Pelicans and averaged 7.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in 25.6 minutes. The highlight of his season came on Dec. 4 when he registered 16 points and 20 rebounds against the Mavericks in a 100-97 Dallas victory.

Aminu’s parents, Aboubakar and Anjiflic, hail from Nigeria and he competed for the Nigerian National Team in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The Atlanta native was a McDonald’s All-American and one of the nation’s top recruits in 2008. He played collegiately at Wake Forrest where he was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team in 2009. Aminu declared for the NBA Draft after his sophomore season where he averaged 15.8 points and 10.7 rebounds for the Demon Deacons.

Grizzlies hire Ed Stefanski

Grizzlies hire Ed Stefanski

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace announced today that the team has named Ed Stefanski as executive vice president of player personnel.

“We are pleased to welcome Ed Stefanski to the Grizzlies and the city of Memphis,” Wallace said. “Ed is an established NBA executive and excellent talent evaluator who has had success with multiple organizations. Together, with our ownership, front office and coaching staff, we will continue to work to realize our collective vision of hosting a championship parade down Beale Street.”

Stefanski comes to Memphis following upper management positions with the New Jersey Nets (1999-2007), Philadelphia 76ers (2007-11) and, most recently, Toronto Raptors (2011-13), where he served as executive vice president of basketball operations.

Prior to that, Stefanski spent four seasons as president and general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, where he guided the team back to the playoffs three times after it had not qualified for the postseason in the two seasons before his hiring. Stefanski helped rebuild the 76ers by re-signing key players such as Andre Iguodala and using mid-first round draft picks on young talent such as Marreese Speights (16th overall in 2008), Jrue Holiday (17th in 2009) and Nikola Vucevic (16th in 2011).

Before joining Philadelphia, Stefanski spent nine seasons with the Nets where he oversaw the team’s basketball operations and was heavily involved in player personnel matters. He was promoted to general manager in 2004 after serving one season as senior vice president of basketball operations and four seasons as director of scouting.

Stefanski was instrumental in helping build the Nets’ back-to-back Eastern Conference championship teams (2002 and 2003). He had a significant part in drafting Kenyon Martin with the first overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, as well as a draft night deal in which the Nets acquired Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong from Houston. Martin, Jefferson and Collins would develop into starters for the Nets’ 2002-03 Eastern Conference championship squad.

In 2004, Stefanski played a major role in the trade that moved All-Star and current Grizzlies wing Vince Carter from Toronto to New Jersey in 2004. Carter and Jefferson rank second and third, respectively, in Nets franchise history in points scored.

A 1976 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business), Stefanski played three seasons for Penn, where he was coached by Hall-of-Famer Chuck Daly. He was a member of two Ivy League Champions (1974 and 1975) and helped the Quakers reach the NCAA Tournament in both of those seasons. Stefanski was drafted by Philadelphia in the 10th round of the 1976 NBA Draft.

While in college, Stefanski founded and secured funding for the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s Inner City Basketball League, which provided a structured basketball environment for hundreds of boys and girls living under the Housing Authority. The Housing Authority later celebrated his efforts with a special recognition award, commending his contributions to the youth of Philadelphia.

Stefanksi also enjoyed a 20-year run as a color analyst for Big Five basketball and ESPN’s Atlantic 10 basketball coverage.

Grizzlies keep Chris Wallace as general manager

Memphis Grizzlies Controlling Owner Robert Pera announced today that Chris Wallace has been named General Manager of the Memphis Grizzlies and has signed a multi-year contract extension to remain with the organization. Wallace had acted as interim general manager since May 19, 2014.

“We are very pleased to announce Chris Wallace as our general manager,” Pera said. “Chris has been at the forefront and a stable presence throughout some of the Grizzlies’ greatest successes. His strong bonds and experience, not only within the organization and NBA but also within the Memphis and Mid-South communities, make him the ideal fit to lead our basketball operations. We believe Chris’ skills and expertise to be vital in our continued success of our franchise.”

Wallace joined the Grizzlies as general manager and vice president of basketball operations on June 18, 2007 and assembled much of the talent that has helped guide the franchise to a club-record four consecutive playoff appearances. Notably, Wallace drafted the franchise career leader in assists, steals and games played Mike Conley, he acquired two-time NBA All-Star (2009, 2012) Zach Randolph and 2012-13 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol through trades and signed three-time NBA All-Defense member (2010-13) Tony Allen in free agency.

Through Wallace’s acquisitions, the Grizzlies have experienced unprecedented success, earning their first seven postseason wins and first postseason series victory against the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in 2011, hosting a postseason series for the first time in 2012, and setting a club record for wins (56) and advancing to the Western Conference Finals in 2013.

As interim general manager this offseason, Wallace helped sign former All-Star Vince Carter in free agency and acquired rookies Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes in the 2014 NBA Draft.

“I am honored to remain in Memphis. I love the city and the community,” Wallace said. “Robert Pera is strongly committed to the success of the Grizzlies, and I am excited to continue working in tandem with Robert, our front office and our coaching staff in helping realize his vision for the franchise.”

Wallace has served seven NBA franchises in his career and has worked with five former NBA Executive of the Year winners, including Red Auerbach, Danny Ainge, Bucky Buckwalter, Geoff Petrie and Jerry West. In addition, he has worked alongside Basketball Hall of Fame members Billy Cunningham and Pat Riley.

Prior to joining the Grizzlies, Wallace spent 10 seasons as general manager of the Boston Celtics (1997-2007) and four seasons as a scout with the Miami Heat (1993-97), where he was promoted to director of player personnel in his final season. Wallace worked in various scouting capacities for the New York Knicks (1991-92), Los Angeles Clippers (1990-91), Denver Nuggets (1989-90) and Portland Trail Blazers (1986-89).

An avid basketball fan before being hired into the NBA, Wallace founded the award-winning Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook in 1981. He was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the most influential members of the college basketball media in 1991. He is a member of the Board of Directors at the Touchdown Club of Memphis.

Mavericks sign Ivan Johnson

Mavericks sign Ivan Johnson

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent forward Ivan Johnson.

Johnson (6-8, 255) started all five games for the Mavericks at the Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 7.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 20.8 minutes per game.

Johnson spent the 2013-14 season playing for the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls in China, where he averaged 26.0 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 2.9 steals and 32.8 minutes per game in 24 games.

The 6-8 forward began his professional career in the NBA Development League in 2007-08 with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Anaheim Aresenal.

Johnson was signed by the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 9, 2011 after impressing the club in a 2011 mini-camp and earning an invite to training camp. He appeared in 56 games for Atlanta in 2011-12 and averaged 6.4 points and 4.0 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 72.0 percent from the foul line. Johnson was named NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for April. He ranked third among rookies in field goal percentage.

Johnson re-signed with Atlanta on Sept. 18, 2012. He averaged 6.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 15.0 minutes per game in 69 games (five starts) for the Hawks in 2012-13. Johnson holds career averages of 6.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 15.8 minutes per game in 125 NBA games (five starts).

Johnson finished up his collegiate career at Cal State San Bernardino in 2006-07, where he averaged 15.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the field. He earned All-California Collegiate Athletic Association First Team honors as a senior, and was named Second Team All-West Region by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

Lakers re-sign Wesley Johnson

Lakers re-sign Wesley Johnson

The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed free agent forward Wesley Johnson, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“I’m happy to welcome Wesley back to our team and am excited to see him develop further after taking such great strides last season,” said Kupchak. “Wesley possesses elite athleticism, and has the potential to develop into an excellent defender.”

A four-year NBA veteran, Johnson had his best professional season last year with the Lakers, averaging career-highs in points per game (9.1), rebounds (4.4), steals (1.1), blocks (1.0), field goal percentage (.425) and three-point field goal percentage (.369) while appearing in a team-high 79 games. Johnson also set numerous single-game career marks in 2013-14, including rebounds (15, vs. MEM 4/13), steals (five, three times), blocks (five, at DEN 11/13) and three-pointers (six, two times).

Originally selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Johnson has appeared in 273 career games (210 starts), averaging 8.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 24.7 minutes per game as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves (2010-2012), Phoenix Suns (2012-13) and Lakers (2013-14).

Johnson spent his first two collegiate seasons at Iowa State (2006-08) before transferring to Syracuse, where he helped the Orange to a 30-5 record in 2009-10 and was named a First Team All-American.  The 6-7 forward averaged 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists in his lone season at Syracuse, and was named Big East Player of the Year and a finalist for the Naismith, John Wooden and Oscar Robertson national player of the year awards.

Lakers officially name Byron Scott head coach

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed Byron Scott to a multi-year contract as head coach, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“After an extensive and thorough search, we’re proud to welcome Byron back to the Lakers family as our next head coach,” said Kupchak. “Byron has proven himself at the highest levels of the game as both a player and a coach in his almost 30 years of NBA experience. His leadership skills and track record for success make him the ideal person to lead this franchise forward.”

“I am ecstatic to once again be a Laker and to have the opportunity to work alongside Mitch and the Buss family,” said Scott. “I know firsthand what it takes to bring a championship to this city, and as someone who both grew up in L.A. and played the majority of my career here, I know how passionate and dedicated our fans are. I will give everything I have to fulfill the championship expectations that our supporters have for us, and that we have for ourselves.”

The Inglewood, CA native becomes the 25th head coach in franchise history and 21st in the Los Angeles era, after previously amassing 416 wins over 13 seasons as head coach with the New Jersey Nets (2000-2004), New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (2004-2009) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-2013). Scott began his coaching career as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings for two seasons beginning in 1998.

The 2007-2008 NBA Coach of the Year has led his teams to the postseason four times, including back-to-back NBA Finals appearances with New Jersey in 2002 and 2003. Scott has also served as an NBA All-Star Game head coach on two occasions: 2002 (Eastern Conference) and 2008 (Western Conference).

Among his other coaching achievements, Scott was at the helm for the best season in franchise history of two teams: the 2007-08 Hornets who went 56-26 (.683) and the 2001-02 Eastern Conference Champion Nets who went 52-30 (.634). The ’07-’08 campaign was a 17-win improvement from the previous season in New Orleans, and resulted in an appearance in the Western Conference Semifinals. Scott also saw marked success in his second season with the Hornets during the 2005-06 season, leading the team to a 20-win improvement (the NBA’s best that year) from his first season, despite Hurricane Katrina displacing the team from New Orleans and playing in four different home arenas throughout the season. Scott had a similar impact in his first head coaching stop, improving the Nets by 26 wins between his first and second seasons, marking the sixth-largest improvement in NBA history.

Most recently, Scott was an on-air talent for a variety of Time Warner Cable SportsNet’s studio programming last season, his only full season away from the game as a coach or player since he entered the NBA in 1983.

The 53-year-old Scott enjoyed a 14-year NBA career, 11 of which were spent in purple-and-gold (1983-93 and the 1996-97 season) with stints in Indiana (1993-95) and Vancouver (1995-96) in between. He was a starter on three Lakers championship teams (1985, 1987 and 1988) and made the postseason in all but one of his NBA campaigns, totaling 183 games of playoff experience. One of the marquee shooting guards of his time, starring on the Showtime Lakers, Scott concluded his 1,073-game NBA career with averages of 14.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, highlighted by his 1987-88 season where he achieved career-high per game averages of 21.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

The Morningside High School alumnus originally became a Laker on October 16, 1983 when the San Diego Clippers (who had drafted him with the 4th overall pick of the 1983 NBA Draft four months earlier) traded him along with Swen Nater to L.A. in exchange for Eddie Jordan, Norm Nixon and a second round pick. The Arizona State product saw his NBA playing career come full-circle after signing as a free agent prior to the 1996-97 season (his last in the league) when the 35-year-old shooting guard mentored an 18-year-old rookie Kobe Bryant.

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