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Lance Stephenson is back on the Pacers

Lance Stephenson is once again a member of the Indiana Pacers. The team signed him to a contract today.

Stephenson, a 6-5 guard/forward, was drafted by the Pacers in the Second Round of the 2010 NBA Draft as the 40th overall pick. He played four seasons with the Pacers and averaged 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game in the regular season. He played in 42 games in the playoffs with the Pacers, including twice in the Eastern Conference Finals, and in those 42 playoff games he averaged 10.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

According to the Indianapolis Star, “Stephenson, the tenacious, versatile and mercurial combo guard who once flourished in a blue and gold Indiana uniform, will make his stunning return to the Pacers later this week and be reunited with George. He signed a three-year, $12 million deal Thursday that includes a team option in the final year of the contract.”

“We’re very happy to have Lance back as part of our team,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “We always knew he wanted to come back here, and we feel now is the right time, not only for the rest of this season, but moving forward. We look forward to having a long relationship with him, because we know what he can bring to our franchise, both on and off the court.”

After the Pacers, Stephenson played for Charlotte, the L.A. Clippers, Memphis, New Orleans and most recently with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He has career averages of 8.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

Stephenson will join the team in Cleveland for Sunday’s game.

New Orleans Pelicans center Omer Asik and forward Quincy Pondexter will miss the remainder of the season.

Asik, who was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal infection, is expected to return to basketball activities in 3-4 weeks.

Pondexter underwent left knee arthroscopic surgery on January 4, 2017. Further updates on his rehab progress will be announced appropriately.

The Phoenix Suns have signed forward Jarell Eddie (pronounced juh-RELL) to a second 10-day contract. Eddie initially signed with the Suns on March 19.

Eddie has played in five games since joining the Suns and averaged 4.8 points in 12.5 minutes, scoring a career-high 13 points in his debut with the team on March 19 at Detroit.

This is Eddie’s second NBA season as he is a three-year NBA Development League veteran, most recently playing with the Windy City Bulls before being signed by the Suns. Eddie played 26 NBA games with the Washington Wizards last season, averaging 2.4 points and 5.7 minutes with a high of 12 points at Brooklyn on Dec. 26, 2015.

A 6-7, 220-pound forward, Eddie began 2016-17 with the Austin Spurs of the D-League before being traded to Windy City on Jan. 25. He has averaged 14.1 points in 45 D-League games overall this season, scoring 17.8 per game on 50.0 percent shooting from the field and 49.3 percent from beyond the arc in 20 games after joining Windy City.

The 41st GATORADE Call-Up in the NBA this season, this was the third call-up of Eddie’s career as, in addition to his time with the Wizards, he signed a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks in 2014-15 though did not appear in a game. In his three D-League seasons, Eddie has averaged 13.6 points and 3.7 rebounds, shooting 45.9 percent from the field, 44.2 percent from long range and 87.6 percent from the line in 100 games with Austin and Windy City. The champion of the three-point shootout at the 2015 NBA D-League All-Star Game, one of Eddie’s assistant coaches with Austin in 2014-15 was current Suns Head Coach Earl Watson.

A native of Tampa, Florida, Eddie played four seasons at Virginia Tech before going undrafted in 2014. As a senior in 2013-14, he led the Hokies in points and rebounds with a career-high 13.3 points per game in addition to 5.4 boards.

The New Orleans Pelicans today signed guard Quinn Cook to a second 10-day contract.

Cook, 6-2, 179, who was originally signed by New Orleans on March 19, has appeared in three games with the Pelicans, averaging 1.0 points and 0.7 assists in 2.7 minutes per game. Cook has played in a total of eight NBA games this season (five with Dallas), posting averages of 3.8 points and 1.8 assists in 10.6 minutes per contest.

Kevin Durant injury update

Kevin Durant injury update

Following evaluations by the Warriors medical and athletic training staffs in recent days, the team announced the following update on Kevin Durant’s injury status:

Kevin has made very good progress since suffering the injury four weeks ago in Washington. He has not experienced any setbacks to date and has progressed as well as could be expected.

At this point, he is being incorporated into non-contact basketball drills – shooting, running and jumping – and the plan is to intensify his level of movement over the next several days, which will include more explosive cutting and lateral maneuvers.

His eventual return to contact drills and practice will be predicated upon his progress to the increased intensity of his workouts, and a return to game action prior to the end of the regular season remains a possibility.

He will be re-evaluated again in the next 7-10 days.

Pacers waive Rodney Stuckey

Pacers waive Rodney Stuckey

The Indiana Pacers have requested waivers on injured 6-5 guard Rodney Stuckey.

Stuckey appeared in 39 games off the bench for Indiana this season while averaging 7.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

In a recent injury report, the Pacers said Stuckey will be out for the next 4-6 weeks. The 2017 NBA playoffs begin in around 2.5 weeks.

In his three seasons with the Pacers, Stuckey recorded averages of 10.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game over 168 appearances.

“We want to thank Rodney for his commitment to our franchise in his three years with the Pacers,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He was a positive influence not only to our team but also in the community. We wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

The Pacers’ roster now stands at 14 players.

The Dallas Mavericks have signed rookie forward Jarrod Uthoff to a multi-year contract.

Uthoff (6-9, 220) originally signed a 10-day contract with the Mavericks on March 9 and then a second 10-day deal with the team on March 19.

The 6-9 forward has seen action in two games for the Mavericks this year and has logged a total of 5 minutes. He has also appeared in two games (both starts) for the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate Texas Legends in 2016-17, averaging 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 32.6 minutes.

Uthoff went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft and signed as a rookie free agent with the Toronto Raptors. He appeared in one preseason game for the Raptors before being waived on Oct. 22. He was acquired by the Raptors 905 of the NBA Development League on Oct. 30 and was traded the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Jan. 27.

In a combined 37 D-League games (nine starts) with the 905, Mad Ants and Legends this season, Uthoff averaged 11.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 24.4 minutes.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa native played collegiately at the University of Iowa. As a senior, he earned First Team All-Big Ten and Second Team All-America honors while averaging 18.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 2.6 blocks.

Here are the latest Indiana Pacers injuries:

Rodney Stuckey has a left patellar tendon strain and is expected to miss four to six weeks. He sustained the injury in Sunday night’s victory over Philadelphia.

Al Jefferson will miss at least two weeks with a sprained left ankle. He will be reevaluated at that time. He sustained the injury in Sunday’s win over Philadelphia.

Glenn Robinson III remains out with a left calf strain and will be reevaluated late next week.

Paul Millsap injury update

After visiting Dr. James Andrews of the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Pensacola, Florida and conferring with Dr. Kyle Hammond and Dr. Kenneth Mautner of the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center, Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap has been diagnosed with left knee synovitis and has undergone a non-surgical procedure at Emory. He will be listed as out for the next three games and his status will be updated as appropriate.

Gonzaga reaches Final Four

All throughout this college basketball season, the doubters persisted. Yes, the Gonzaga Bulldogs were bulldozing their way through the competition, beating the likes of Arizona, Florida, Iowa State — and Saint Mary’s three times. But there were also games against Quinnipiac, Bryant and Mississippi Valley State — not to mention playing in the unheralded West Coast Conference.

This wasn’t the first time the Bulldogs entered the NCAA tournament with a flashy record (32-1 on Selection Sunday). And this was far from the first time Gonzaga had a team thought to be capable of making the Final Four, only to keep falling short. Why should this team be any different?

Saturday, the Zags forcefully proved they were with an 83-59 thumping of Xavier in the West Region final, a win that gave the program its first trip to the Final Four. It was a win that came courtesy of a disparate cast of characters: Mark Few, the dapper, mild-mannered coach who had presided over the program’s ascent into national consciousness; Przemek Karnowski, a burly, bearded center from Poland; Nigel Williams-Goss, Jordan Mathews and Johnathan Williams, transfers from Washington, California and Missouri respectively; and Zach Collins, a highly touted freshman expected to be a first-round pick in June’s NBA draft.

Washington Post

Nets sign Archie Goodwin to second 10-day contract

The Brooklyn Nets have signed Archie Goodwin to a second 10-day contract.

Goodwin was originally signed by the Nets on March 15 and has appeared in four games for Brooklyn, averaging 9.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 13.4 minutes per game while shooting .650 (13-of-20) from the field and scoring in double figures three times.

In 157 games in four NBA seasons with Brooklyn, New Orleans and Phoenix, Goodwin has recorded averages of 6.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 14.4 minutes per game.

Goodwin was selected with the 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder before being traded to the Suns via Golden State on draft night. He spent one year at the University of Kentucky, earning SEC All-Freshman team honors.

Joakim Noah suspended 20 games

Joakim Noah suspended 20 games

Knicks center Joakim Noah has been suspended without pay for twenty games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program by testing positive for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator LGD-4033, it was announced today by the NBA.

Noah’s’ suspension will begin with the first NBA regular season or playoff game for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

New Timberwolves logo coming April 11

The Minnesota Timberwolves begin a new chapter in their franchise history by unveiling a new team logo as part of Fan Appreciation Night at Target Center on Tuesday, April 11. The Wolves will conclude the home portion of their regular season schedule that evening by hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7 p.m.

The logo will be unveiled during a special halftime show and all fans in attendance will receive a commemorative t-shirt with the new identity featured.

While the new identity won’t fully take effect until the 2017-18 season, the unveiling marks only the fourth identity in the franchise’s 28-year history. The announcement is also the beginning of an eventful summer as the Wolves brand continues to evolve. There will be several future announcements regarding the unveiling of the new team uniforms, new court designs and additional events throughout the coming months.

“We are incredibly excited to share the new logo with our fans. This is but the first of many changes that fans will see that reflect our growing relevancy at home and abroad,” said Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson. “These are exciting times for our state and our franchise, and this new logo embodies the hunger, drive and passion that will define us in this new era of Timberwolves basketball.”

Nuggets assign Malik Beasley to D-League

The Denver Nuggets have assigned rookie guard Malik Beasley to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

This will be Beasley’s sixth assignment to Sioux Falls, where he has appeared in 12 games (eight starts) and averaged 17.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.30 steals in 30.8 minutes per game. He scored a D-League career-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds and three steals in a win over the Oklahoma City Blue on Feb. 22.

Beasley has appeared in 19 games for the Nuggets, averaging 2.6 points in 4.7 minutes.

Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez and Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka have each been suspended one game without pay for throwing punches at one another during an altercation, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire has been fined $15,000 for pushing Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic and acting as other than a peacemaker as part of the same altercation.

The incident, for which Ibaka and Lopez were assessed technical fouls and ejected from the game, occurred with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter of the Raptors’ 122-120 overtime win over the Bulls at Air Canada Centre on March 21.

Lopez will serve his suspension tonight when the Bulls host the Detroit Pistons at United Center.

Ibaka will serve his suspension on Thursday when the Raptors visit the Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Lakers sign David Nwaba

The Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday signed guard David Nwaba to a multi-year contract.

“We have been impressed by David’s focus and determination, especially on defense,” said Pelinka. “He has a mentality about him that is infectious, and he works hard every day to improve himself. He has brought energy to both our Lakers and D-Fenders games, and has certainly earned his spot on the roster.”

Nwaba signed the first of his two 10-day contracts with the Lakers on February 28, and the second on March 11. In 10 games (two starts), Nwaba is averaging 3.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 14.4 minutes. The L.A. native went undrafted out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, and played in 39 games (30 starts) with the Lakers NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, before his Call-Up to the Lakers, where he tallied 14.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks in 29.0 minutes.

The Lakers roster stands at 15.

Rockets sign Troy Williams

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Troy Williams and assigned him to their single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley. He originally signed a 10-day contract with the Rockets on March 10.

In five D-League games with the Vipers, Williams is averaging 21.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 52.8% from the floor.

Timberwolves sign Omri Casspi

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed forward Omri Casspi.

Casspi, 28, joins the Wolves after playing in 23 games with Sacramento and New Orleans this season, totaling season averages of 6.1 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 46.0 percent from the field, including a 39.4 percent mark from the three-point line. Casspi, 6-9, appeared in 22 games with Sacramento before being acquired by New Orleans on February 20, where he played in one game before suffering an injury. He was waived by the Pelicans on February 25.

Casspi has played parts of eight seasons in the NBA with Sacramento, Cleveland, Houston and New Orleans. Originally drafted by the Kings with the 23rd overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, he owns career averages of 8.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game over 486 contests, 138 starts. Casspi is a career 44.2 percent shooter, including a 36.9 percent mark from the three-point line. His best season came in 2015-16 with Sacramento when he averaged 11.8 points, on 48.1 percent shooting and 40.9 percent shooting from the three-point line, and 5.9 rebounds while making 69 appearances, 21 starts.
Casspi will wear No. 18 with the Wolves. With the signing, Minnesota’s roster now stands at 15 players.

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed guard Quinn Cook to a 10-day contract.

Cook, 6-2, 179, most recently played for the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League, appearing in 37 games this season while averaging 25.9 points, 6.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 38.6 minutes per contest and was named the MVP of the NBA D-League All-Star Game in February. Cook also appeared in five games this season with the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 5.4 points and 2.4 assists in 15.4 minutes.
The Duke product was a member of New Orleans’ 2016 training camp roster, appearing in three preseason games for the Pelicans, averaging 8.3 points and 2.7 assists in 9.6 minutes per game.

Cook will wear #22 and is available for tonight’s game against Minnesota at the Smoothie King Center. New Orleans’ roster now stands at 14.

Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe has been fined $35,000 for shoving Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward Nick Young above the shoulders, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Young has been fined $25,000 for initiating the altercation by shoving Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon.

Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell has been fined $15,000 for entering the altercation and pushing Monroe.

The incident, for which all three were assessed technical fouls and ejected, occurred with 36 seconds remaining in the third quarter of the Bucks’ 107-103 win over the Lakers at Staples Center on March 17.

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