Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

Dan Craig to coach Sioux Falls Skyforce

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting some Heat-related coaching developments:

The Miami Heat coaching staff again will be reshuffled this season, with assistant coach Dan Craig taking over as coach of the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, an NBA source confirmed Sunday to the Sun Sentinel.

Craig, who has guided the Heat’s summer-league teams in recent seasons, takes over for Phil Weber, who guided the Skyforce to the NBDL playoffs last season before joining the New Orleans Pelicans staff of former Heat coach Alvin Gentry.

With the move, Chris Quinn, who served as an assistant coach last season with the Skyforce will move to a permanent role on Erik Spoelstra’s Heat staff.

Raptors 905 holds open tryouts

Here’s the Toronto Star reporting on the Raptors 905 D-League team, which recently gave anybody and everybody a chance to show they’re worthy of being on the squad:

At the open tryout for the Raptors 905 NBA D-League team, class shows quickly.

There’s Tut Ruach, a Mississauga high school hoops legend, stripping the ball from an overmatched guard and making the pass that leads to a basket. On an adjacent court at the University of Toronto Mississauga, former Dalhousie standout Robert Nortmann throws down a thunderous dunk over an opponent’s outstretched arms.

Other players’ lack of pedigree is revealed in seconds. A skinny guard with a bushy moustache spends nearly an entire scrimmage lingering beneath the goal, leaving his team shorthanded on defence and waiting on a pass he can flip into the goal. When he finally gets his shot, an opponent swats it away.

Seventy-five men answered the Raptors 905’s open casting call, with nearly as many skill levels on display Saturday. Coaches will winnow that pack to a more select group for further evaluation Sunday, and up to five players can leave this weekend with an invite to the Raptors farm team’s training camp in early November.

Warriors offer Harrison Barnes extension

Harrison Barnes is good, but how good? Here’s Yahoo Sports reporting on the Warriors, who are offering a sizable contract extension to the 6-8, 225-pound small forward. Barnes has talent but is a role player on this team, so it’ll be interesting to see if the two sides can come to an eventual agreement.

Warriors offer Harrison Barnes extension

The Golden State Warriors delivered forward Harrison Barnes an initial four-year, $64 million contract extension proposal, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The $16 million annual offer wasn’t accepted, but appears to be a starting point in talks that could last until the Oct. 31 deadline for rookie extensions.

The Warriors are trying to prevent Barnes from reaching restricted free agency in July 2016, when a rising salary cap and scores of teams with financial flexibility will couple with Barnes’ burgeoning talent and potential to make him a significant target on the market.

Nets sign Justin Harper

Nets sign Justin Harper

The Brooklyn Nets have signed forward Justin Harper, General Manager Billy King announced today.

We assume this is a non-guaranteed contract that merely brings Harper to Nets training camp.

Harper (6’10”, 225) joins the Nets after spending the 2014-15 season with S.S. Felice Scandone in Italy’s Serie A. Originally selected with the 32nd pick (second round) of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Harper was dealt to the Orlando Magic on draft night. He appeared in 14 games with the Magic during his rookie season, averaging 1.4 points and 0.9 rebounds in 6.0 minutes per game. He also saw action in one postseason game.

Following his rookie season, Harper competed for the D-League’s Idaho Stampede (2012-13) and Hapoel Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League (2013-14) before landing in Italy.

Most recently, Harper was a member of the Phoenix Suns’ entry in the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League.

A four-year player at Richmond University, Harper’s collegiate career culminated in his selection to the All-Atlantic 10 First Team as a senior.

Timberwolves sign Kleon Penn and Nick Wiggins

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed center Kleon Penn and guard Nick Wiggins.

We assume these are non-guaranteed contracts that merely bring these players to training camp. 

Penn, 29, most recently played in 45 games with Vaqueros de Bayamon in Puerto Rico, averaging 4.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 18.4 minutes per game. Penn, a Virgin Islands native, recently won a gold medal in June with the Virgin Islands during the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships, a team that interim head coach Sam Mitchell led. Penn finished his college career at McNeese State in 2009.

Wiggins, 24, appeared in three games for the Timberwolves 2015 NBA Las Vegas Summer League entry, averaging 4.0 points in 11.0 minutes per game. Wiggins, 6-6, spent parts of last season with the Idaho Stampede in the NBA D-League, averaging 9.8 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. Wiggins, the older brother of Andrew Wiggins, started the year in Germany playing with the Tigers Tubingen. Wiggins played two seasons at Wichita State University and went undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Penn will wear No. 50 while Wiggins will don No. 6.

The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has announced several additions and promotions within the basketball operations department, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

The Hawks have named Michael Blackstone as Assistant General Manager, John Treloar as Director of Player Personnel, Malik Rose as Manager of Basketball Operations, Dotun Akinwale as Manager of Scouting, Matt Elijah as Manager of Basketball Administration, Daniel Starkman as Coordinator of Basketball Operations and David Painter as Director of Basketball Facilities. Jeff Peterson has been promoted to Director of Scouting and Naya-Joi Martin to Manager of Player Programs, while Rick Sund (Senior Advisor, Basketball Operations) and Mike McNeive (Director of Basketball Operations) continue in their roles.

“Much like building our team on the floor, we seek to add and retain high-character individuals who work well as a group at every level of our basketball operations department,” Budenholzer said. “We believe in a collaborative approach in everything we do, and are excited to have these talented and hard-working individuals with us.”

Blackstone comes to the Hawks from the Shapiro Negotiations Institute in Baltimore, MD, where he was Executive Vice President/Sports Practice Director. He was formerly the Executive Director of Basketball Operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2010-13. Blackstone previously founded Humagination, a sales training and executive development firm.

A veteran of more than 30 years in pro and college basketball, Treloar spent the last five seasons with the Phoenix Suns, most recently as Director of Player Personnel. He was previously Head Coach of the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, in the Continental Basketball Association, and an Assistant Coach at Louisiana State University and Indiana University.

Rose, a 13-year NBA veteran, appeared in 813 regular season games with the Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder. He also appeared in 82 playoff games, winning two NBA championships with the Spurs in 1999 and 2003. The native of Philadelphia, PA starred collegiately at Drexel University. Since retiring as a player, Rose has worked in broadcasting with the Knicks, 76ers, Austin Toros of the NBA D-League, NBA TV and NBA Radio.

Akinwale spent the last two seasons with the Orlando Magic – he was an intern in basketball operations in 2013-14 and last season was promoted to Basketball Operations Coordinator. He is a 2013 graduate of Thiel College.

Elijah most recently worked as an Associate at Alvarez & Marsal in San Francisco, CA. He is a graduate of University of California-Santa Barbara, the University of Notre Dame (M.B.A.) and University of California Hastings College of the Law (Juris Doctor).

Starkman worked as a student manager with the University of Florida for the last four years, and earned a degree in Business Administration.

Painter has been the Practice Facility Manager at Cleveland Clinic Courts for the Cleveland Cavaliers since it opened in 2007. He previously worked as Associate Director of Recreation, as well as in admissions, at his alma mater, Baldwin-Wallace College. He also has a Master’s in Sports Management from Kent State.

Peterson was previously a Scout and Coordinator of Basketball Operations for the Hawks prior to his promotion. Peterson, who joined the Hawks as a seasonal assistant in 2012, finished his collegiate playing career at Florida State.

Martin spent last season as the Hawks’ Team Player Development Manager/Basketball Operations Coordinator. The native of Bronx, NY attended Williams College (B.A. in Psychology) and Emory’s Goizueta Business School (M.B.A.-Marketing). She previously worked as an intern in Public Relations for the New York Knicks and at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

With over 40 years of NBA experience, Sund is entering his fourth season as Senior Advisor and his eighth with the Hawks. He was the team’s Executive Vice President/General Manager from 2008-12, where under his leadership, the Hawks went 184-128, reaching the playoffs in all four seasons. Previously he worked in basketball leadership positions with the Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons and Seattle Sonics after starting his career with the Milwaukee Bucks.

McNeive is entering his 13th season with the Hawks and 10th in his current position. He was Atlanta’s Director of Pro Personnel from 2004-06 after originally joining the Hawks as an Assistant Coach in 2003-04. He previously worked with the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle Sonics and Orlando Magic.

Trevor Booker undergoes minor surgery

Trevor Booker undergoes minor surgery

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz forward Trevor Booker:

Booker underwent a minor outpatient surgical procedure today to repair a nasal fracture, which he sustained in a recent pickup basketball game. The successful procedure was performed in Salt Lake City by Dr. Richard Orlandi of University of Utah Health Care.

Booker is expected to be ready for full basketball activity at the start of training camp.

Pelicans re-sign Norris Cole

Pelicans re-sign Norris Cole

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the team has re-signed restricted free agent guard Norris Cole.

Cole, 6-2, 175, was acquired on Feb. 19, 2015, from Miami in a three-way trade involving Phoenix. In 28 regular season games with the Pelicans last season, Cole averaged 9.9 points and 3.2 assists per contest. Cole appeared in 75 total games during the 2014-15 season between New Orleans and Miami, averaging 7.6 points and 3.4 assists per game. Cole appeared in all four of New Orleans’ playoff games against Golden State in the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs, averaging 8.8 points and 1.8 assists.

Originally selected 28th overall out of Cleveland State in the 2011 NBA Draft by Chicago, Cole has appeared in 302 career regular season games, with averages of 6.6 points and 2.6 assists per game. Additionally, Cole has appeared in 64 career playoff games, holding averages of 4.5 points and 1.5 assists, winning championships with Miami in 2012 and 2013.

Moses Malone funeral will be Saturday

Here’s the Houston Chronicle blog reporting on the late, great Moses Malone:

Moses Malone funeral will be Saturday

The funeral for NBA great Moses Malone will be held at noon Saturday at Lakewood Church, [the] former site of The Summit where Malone built much of his legend as one of the NBA’s greatest players ever.

Moses Malone Jr. said that the ceremony will be a celebration of his father’s life with NBA players from around the country expected to attend.

Malone died Sunday morning in Virginia of an apparent heart attack. He was 60-years-old.

Former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Charles Barkley will deliver the eulogy, Malone Jr. said. Barkley, who called Malone “dad,” often credited Malone for his success as a player.

France and Spain reach 2015 EuroBasket semifinals

Familiar foes France and Spain will meet once more in the EuroBasket 2015 semi-finals after both prevailed in their quarter-finals in Lille on Tuesday.

The European powers have met eight times at major competitions in the past five years, with Spain winning five of those contests - although France have the more recent advantage, edging their rivals in the EuroBasket 2013 semi-final and 2014 FIBA World Cup quarter-final.

They have also shared the last three EuroBasket titles, although only one will make the 2015 final after Spain clung on for a 73-71 defeat of Greece and France rose above Latvia 84-70…

Pau Gasol led the Spanish once again with 27 points and nine rebounds while his Chicago Bulls team-mate Nikola Mirotic added 18.


Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed forward Sam Thompson and center Jason Washburn to its training camp roster.

As a senior at Ohio State last season, Thompson, a 6-7 forward, averaged career highs of 10.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Over his four-year career at Ohio State, he appeared in 146 games (83 starts), averaging 6.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 22.9 minutes per game. Thompson went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Washburn, a 7-0 center, has spent the last two seasons playing professionally in the Ukraine, Belarus and Belgium. During the 2014-15 season, he played 27 games (six starts) for Basic-Fit of the Belgium-Scooore League and posted averages of 8.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 18.7 minutes per game. As a four-year player at the University of Utah, he appeared in 123 games (70 starts) and averaged 8.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 22.4 minutes per game. Washburn went undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft.

The training camp roster now stands at 18.

Lakers sign Robert Upshaw

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed center Robert Upshaw to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “only $35,000 of Upshaw’s $525,093 is guaranteed for the 2015-16 season, according to a person with access to the NBA’s salary database. The second year of his contract, worth $874,636, is non-guaranteed.”

In five games for the Lakers’ entry in the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Upshaw averaged 1.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in 11.5 minutes per game, highlighted by three blocks in just 12 minutes in his debut on July 10th against Minnesota.

Undrafted as an early entry candidate for the 2015 NBA Draft after his sophomore season at Washington, Upshaw led the nation with 4.5 blocks per game in just 24.9 minutes in 19 appearances in 2014-15. In addition, the 7-0 center averaged 10.9 points on 59.3% shooting and 8.2 rebounds for the Huskies in his final collegiate campaign, to go along with six double-doubles.

Bucks extend contract of GM John Hammond

The Milwaukee Bucks have extended the contract of General Manager John Hammond, the team announced today. The agreement will keep Hammond in his position with the Bucks through the 2016-17 season.

“A great deal of our team’s success and progress is due to the vision and hard work of John,” said Wes Edens, Bucks owner. “He’s assembled a talented and competitive roster and we’re very pleased that he will continue to lead basketball operations. With John and Coach Kidd at the helm, our young team has a very bright future.”

Hammond was hired by the Bucks on April 11, 2008, and was awarded the 2009-10 NBA Executive of the Year Award, voted on by his peers in the NBA, following the team’s 46-36 season. He has more than 30 years of coaching and administrative experience, including seven seasons with the Detroit Pistons that included an NBA Championship (2004), another NBA Finals appearance and three other Eastern Conference Finals appearances.

After retaining their core players while adding LaMarcus Aldridge and David West, the San Antonio Spurs are still an NBA championship contender. Their fans, of course, know this. Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog reporting:

Want season tickets to watch the new-look Spurs play in the renovated AT&T Center this fall?

Get in line. Or rather, put your name on the list.

For the first time in club history, the Spurs will institute a waiting list for season tickets next week after selling out of their allotment of 13,200.

Current season-ticket holders will be given first priority, should they want to add to their personal inventory.

Moses Malone, gone too soon

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer on basketball legend Moses Malone, who has passed away. As always, for more, click the link:

Moses Malone, gone too soon

Once you’re resigned to the sorrow of Moses’ passing, the memories come flooding back. Those of us old enough and lucky enough to remember that special 1982-83 season will swear those 76ers were better than any single-season NBA team in history. Better than Wilt’s 68-win Sixers team in ‘67. Better than Michael Jordan’s 72-win Chicago Bulls team in ‘96. Better than every single one of Bill Russell’s great Boston Celtics teams and all those great Los Angeles Lakers teams, too.

As for the three iconic words, it was actually only one word repeated three times. And it was never uttered in public. Instead, Billy Cunningham told reporters before the start of the 1983 playoffs that Moses had uttered “four, four, four” when the coach asked him about his playoff attitude.

This was Moses’ actual quote: “I ain’t saying we’re going to sweep everybody in four games. I’m just saying, if we have an idea of winning the championship, the best thing to do is win it as fast as we can.

“I like our chances, sure. I think we’re the team to beat. We had the best record, we got a bye in the first round. We’ll be ready. This is something we all want.”

Metta World Peace wants to return to NBA

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on Ron Artest, aka Metta World Peace, who could still probably help an NBA team in limited minutes as a backup:

Metta World Peace wants to return to NBA

Metta World Peace said he is done playing overseas and is ready to return to the NBA this season.

“I’m ready for any scenario,” the 35-year-old said.

But as for what city he might play in, he’s still not sure.

The Queensbridge native was in attendance for Saturday’s fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Andre Berto.

Despite being out of the league for the past two seasons, World Peace pronounced himself still “one of the best small forwards in the world.”

Statements on the death of Moses Malone

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement regarding the passing of Moses Malone:

“We are stunned and deeply saddened by the passing of Hall of Famer Moses Malone, an NBA legend gone far too soon. Known to his legions of fans as the ‘Chairman of the Boards,’ Moses competed with intensity every time he stepped on the court. With three MVPs and an NBA championship, he was among the most dominant centers ever to play the game and one of the best players in the history of the NBA and the ABA. Even more than his prodigious talent, we will miss his friendship, his generosity, his exuberant personality, and the extraordinary work ethic he brought to the game throughout his 21-year pro career. Our thoughts are with Moses’ family and friends during this difficult time.”

Hawks Legend Dominique Wilkins released the following statement regarding the passing of Moses Malone:

“I am extremely saddened to hear of Moses’ passing this morning. This is extremely tough for me. I am completely in shock and words can’t express the pain and loss I am feeling right now. We had a mutual respect when we played against each other and I was fortunate enough to have called him a teammate and close friend. Even before we played together, he was one of the first greats who truly mentored me and showed me how to be a professional. I never saw anyone work harder than Moses and away from basketball, he was just as kind and thoughtful.

The entire Hawks organization sends its condolences to his family and friends.”

The following is a statement on behalf of the Philadelphia 76ers from Chief Executive Officer Scott O’Neil:

“It is with a deep sense of sadness that the Sixers family mourns the sudden loss of Moses Malone. It is difficult to express what his contributions to this organization - both as a friend and player - have meant to us, the city of Philadelphia and his faithful fans. Moses holds a special place in our hearts and will forever be remembered as a genuine icon and pillar of the most storied era in the history of Philadelphia 76ers basketball. No one person has ever conveyed more with so few words - including three of the most iconic in this city’s history. His generosity, towering personality and incomparable sense of humor will truly be missed. We will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers and as we are once again reminded of the preciousness of life.”

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that Sam Mitchell will serve as interim head coach while Flip Saunders takes a leave of absence from his duties as Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations. In Saunders’ absence, Timberwolves general manager Milt Newton will assume an increased role in the day-to-day and strategic operations of the basketball department.

Saunders, who had been undergoing chemotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma earlier this summer, recently experienced complications from his completed treatments. Recently, he was admitted to a local area hospital where he remains at this time while undergoing further testing and treatment.

The following are statements from Timberwolves Owner Glen Taylor, General Manager Milt Newton, and Interim Head Coach Sam Mitchell:

Glen Taylor, Timberwolves Majority Owner
“First and foremost, my immediate concern is for the Saunders family and the health of Flip. Our priority right now is for him to regain his strength so that he can be 100 percent when he returns to his Timberwolves duties. In the interim, I remain confident in the direction of our team. I have known Sam Mitchell for a number of years, back to his playing days in Minnesota. He is a former NBA Head Coach of the Year. I have no doubt he will get the most out of our players and will continue to serve as a great mentor to our young and talented players as interim head coach.”

Milt Newton, Timberwolves General Manager
“Flip has our full support and backing as he takes time to focus on his health. In the interim, we are confident in Sam and his ability to make this a seamless transition for our players. Sam has a long history with both Flip and Glen and we don’t anticipate much to change in terms of our basketball philosophy.”

Sam Mitchell, Timberwolves Interim Head Coach
“My thoughts right now are with Flip and the Saunders family. In the interim, I am confident that I can continue to build the foundation that Flip has established. We have a team blended with talented young guys and experienced veterans. We’re excited to see how this team comes together in training camp.”

Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that Jesse Buss has been promoted to assistant general manager/director of scouting, Ryan West to director of player personnel, and Clay Moser to assistant coach/director of basketball strategy.

Buss most recently served as the Lakers’ director of scouting for the past three seasons, overseeing all scouting operations in preparation for the NBA Draft, in addition to his own scouting responsibilities. In his new role, Buss will continue to contribute to personnel decisions under Kupchak, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations Jim Buss, and Assistant General Manager Glenn Carraro, and will also continue to assist the Lakers’ NBA D-League team, the D-Fenders, with their draft and scouting. Originally joining the organization in 2006, Jesse spent two seasons as a basketball operations assistant before serving as a scout from 2008-11, and as scouting coordinator for the 2011-12 season.

West begins his new role after serving as assistant director of scouting for the past three seasons, where he was an integral part of the player evaluation process and had input in all drafting and scouting decisions. In addition to expanding his existing roles in the organization, West will maintain his extensive in-person scouting schedule. West originally joined the Lakers as a scout in the summer of 2009, and prior to joining the Lakers, spent eight seasons as a scout with the Memphis Grizzlies.

This will be Moser’s fifth season with the Lakers organization, originally coming to Los Angeles as associate head coach of the D-Fenders for the 2011-12 campaign, before being promoted to the parent club in December of that year. He served as the head advance NBA scout for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, and added assistant coaching duties to his responsibilities last season. The Wisconsin-LaCrosse graduate brings over 25 years of professional basketball management and coaching experience to the newly-created position, where he will work directly with the coaching and analytics staffs to integrate ideas and information between the departments. Moser will work closely with Director of Analytics Yuju Lee and Associate Director of Analytics Aaron Danielson.

Lee brings a wealth of statistical and computer science knowledge to his position, holding MS degrees in each discipline from UCLA, while working closely with the basketball operations, coaching, and training staffs to incorporate statistical analysis into the day-to-day operation of each department. Lee was originally hired as a consultant by the Lakers for the 2012-13 season, contributing to a variety of analytics projects.

Danielson’s role includes designing and implementing statistical analysis for the basketball operations department, while also assessing league trends and developing new analytic content for the coaching and training staffs. Currently finishing his PhD in statistics at UCLA, Danielson previously earned master’s degrees in public policy from the University of Chicago and in economics from NYU. He began working with the Lakers two seasons ago in a consultant role.

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed forward Darion Atkins and guard/forward Wesley Saunders. The contracts are likely non-guaranteed and just for training camp.

Atkins, 6-8, 241-pounds, averaged 7.6 points and 6.0 rebounds over 23.9 minutes in 33 games as a senior at the University of Virginia and was named the winner of the 2015 Lefty Driesell National and ACC defensive player of the year awards. The Clinton, MD-native led the Portsmouth Invitational in scoring (20.0) and blocks (3.7) and appeared in nine Summer League games for San Antonio’s entries at Orlando and Las Vegas, averaging 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds over 12.7 minutes.

Saunders, 6-5, 215-pounds, averaged 12.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals over 29.8 minutes in 120 games over four seasons at Harvard University. The three-time All-Ivy League first-team selection, averaged career-highs of 16.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists as a senior. The Los Angeles, CA-native, appeared in six 2015 Summer League games for the Jazz’ entry at Utah and Las Vegas, averaging 2.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists over 15.3 minutes.

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