Archive for March 21st, 2008

The Jazz future of Paul Millsap

The Salt Lake Tribune (Steve Luhm) reports: The Jazz own an option on Paul Millsap’s contract for next season, when he is scheduled to make $797,000. I’m guessing the club will exercise that bargain-basement option, try to convince Millsap he fits into their long-term plans and attempt to get his signature on a long-term contract after the 2008-09 season.  Every team needs a player like Millsap. He is tough, loves to rebound and is creative around the basket on offense. He must improve his jump shot, which has already gotten better, and he is occasionally overmatched physically when asked to guard opposing power forwards and centers.

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed guard Blake Ahearn to a 10-day contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
 
Ahearn, a 6’2”, 190-pound guard, has appeared in 41 games (15 starts) with the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Development League averaging 19.0 points and 3.5 assists while shooting 48.6 percent from the field, 43.9 percent from three-point range and 96.0 percent from the free throw line in 29.5 minutes of action. He leads the team in three-point field goals made (108), is second in points (778), field goals made (239), free throws made (192), assists (142) and is third in minutes played (1,208) and steals (30).
 
Since entering Dakota’s starting line-up 15 games ago, Ahearn has averaged 29.1 points, 5.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.07 steals in 43.3 minutes of action while shooting 53.7 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and 97.1 percent from the line. Additionally, Ahearn hit 78 consecutive free throws finishing 102-of-105 over that span.
 
Ahearn was undrafted out of Missouri State where he played four seasons appearing in 128 career games and averaged 13.1 points and 1.8 assists while shooting 42.3 percent from the field, 40.8 percent from three-point range and 94.6 percent from the line. He finished his collegiate career as the all-time leading free throw shooter in NCAA Division I history while finishing as Missouri State’s seventh all-time leading scorer with 1,677 points. 
 
After being granted two special roster exemptions by the NBA, the HEAT roster currently stands at 17.
 
Ahearn will wear number 6.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed center Loren Woods to a 10-day contract.
 
Woods (7-2, 260, Arizona) has averaged 2.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in 208 games (47 starts) with Minnesota, Miami and Toronto. Internationally, Woods won the 2006-07 Lithuanian National Championship with BC Zalgiris Kaunas and has been playing this season with Efes Pilsen Istanbul in Euroleague. Woods was named the 2007-08 Euroleague Week 11 MVP, pacing Efes Pilsen with 16 points and 18 rebounds in a 91-84 overtime win against Le Mans. His 18 boards (10 offensive) stood as the second highest total in Euroleague history.
 
Selected by the Timberwolves in the second round (46th overall) of the 2001 NBA Draft, Woods spent two seasons with Minnesota before signing as a free agent with the Heat in 2003-04. He was chosen by the Charlotte Bobcats in the NBA Expansion Draft on June 22, 2004, and later signed with the Raptors on Aug. 18, 2004. With Toronto in 2004-05, Woods averaged career bests of 3.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 0.87 blocks in 45 games. Woods also averaged 4.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 30 games as a starter that season with the Raptors. In 2005-06, the former standout at Arizona ranked ninth in the NBA in rebounds per 48 minutes (16.3 rpg) and 16th in blocks per 48 minutes (3.41 bpg) with Toronto.
 
Woods signed on with the Sacramento Kings on Aug.15, 2006, but was waived prior to the regular season. He later joined the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League in 2006-07, averaging 11.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.00 blocks in 15 games with the Toros.

Udonis Haslem has left ankle surgery

The Miami HEAT announced today that forward Udonis Haslem underwent ankle arthroscopy and debridement surgery to remove a large bone spur in his left ankle today.

The procedure lasted 90 minutes and was performed by HEAT team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick and assisted by Dr. Jim Losito at Baptist Doctors Hospital in Miami.

Haslem will be in a walking boot, then on crutches before beginning rehab. Haslem is expected to return to full basketball activity in mid-May.
 
Haslem has appeared in 49 games (48 starts) for the HEAT this season, averaging 12.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in 36.8 minutes per game.

Haslem, the team captain, has recorded a team-high 11 double-doubles this season while shooting 46.7 percent from the floor and 81.0 percent from the foul line.

Heat give Lasme a shot

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Stephane Lasme to a 10-day contract. Lasme, a 6’8”, 215-pound forward, has appeared in 37 games (14 starts) with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League averaging 10.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.57 blocks while shooting 52 percent from the field in 29.0 minutes of action. He leads the team in rebounds (276) and blocks (95) and is second in minutes played (1,072), field goals made (140), free throws made (113) and steals (38).

At this point the Heat just have to consider the future, since this season was a horrible disaster. Lasme seems close to getting his foot firmly planted in the NBA. I think he definitely has the physical and athletic ability to stick around. He’ll probably fall in and out of the league and then eventually land a small but real deal as a backup on someone’s bench.

But for now, he gets to quickly try to impress the Heat.

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