Archive for June, 2008

Dorell Wright ready to test market

The Palm Beach Post reports: Dorell
Wright said he has been in frequent contact with his new agent, Arn Tellem, and expects other teams to show interest. “I love Miami. I’ve already been in the system,” said Wright, a part-time starter the past two seasons. “But if I have a chance to go elsewhere, I understand it’s a business.” … The Heat likely will pursue a point guard aggressively for the second consecutive off-season.

Heat like short-term free agents

The Miami Herald reports: Pat Riley has a different plan this free agency period. He’s recruiting with a reluctance to offer anything more than a two-year contract as the Heat looks to save up for the sweepstakes of 2010, when D. Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire and LeBron James could be on the open market. Taking such a frugal approach into free agency could lead to another long summer as the Heat waits for the market to set itself and the trickle-down process to take affect. Would Chris Duhon be willing to take a two-year, $12 million deal from the Heat when New York or Phoenix might double that offer?

Raptors want to keep Jose Calderon

The Globe and Mail reports: Toronto Raptors president Bryan Colangelo was probably on the phone, too, but he only had one call to make above all others: to offer Raptors point guard Jose Calderon the best deal he can afford and hope it’s enough to convince the emerging Spanish star that his future is in Toronto.

Rockets want Brent Barry

The Houston Chronicle reports: The Rockets began free agent recruiting period with an 11 p.m. call to Spurs guard Brent Barry, but the team could have already hit a snag in its hopes to bring back forward Carl Landry. The Rockets called Barry as quickly as NBA rules allow in an effort to land the free agent that got away during the season when Barry was released by the Seattle SuperSonics but chose to return to the San Antonio Spurs. says: Barry is 94 years old.

LeBron loves Brooklyn

New York Newsday (Ken Berger) reports: “My favorite cities are New York; Washington, D.C.; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, California, and Akron, Ohio,” LeBron James said, pausing only before offering his hometown of Akron, which was suggested by me. “What’s your favorite borough?” LBJ was asked. “My favorite borough?” he said, without a hint of hesitation. “Brooklyn.”

Baron Davis opts out

The Contra Costa Times reports: What promised to be a tumultuous offseason for the Warriors was kicked into overdrive Monday when point guard Baron Davis left $17.8 million on the table and opted out of the final year of his contract, becoming an unrestricted free agent and throwing Golden State’s immediate plans into confusion. Davis has maintained for months that he wants to remain a Warrior, and according to one team source was telling teammates last week that he would not opt out, but with mere hours to spare the man most responsible for breaking Golden State’s 12-season playoff drought reversed course dramatically.

Rockets pick up Steve Novak option

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has picked up the option on the contract for forward Steve Novak. Per team policy, financial terms were not released. says: Novak is likeable, very tall, and able to hit open outside jumpers. That’s about it.

Brand and Maggette both opt out

The Los Angeles Daily News reports: In a surprise move Monday afternoon, Clippers forward Elton Brand opted out of the final year of his four-year, $16.4-million contract. Brand announced his decision to the Daily News. Brand will be an unrestricted free agent as of 9 p.m. Monday night and will join teammate Corey Maggette, who also opted out of the final year of his contract Monday.

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed forward Antawn Jamison to a contract extension.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.

“Signing Antawn to a contract extension was a top priority for us this summer,” said Grunfeld. “He has been a leader for us both on and off the court over the last four seasons, and we’re proud to reward his efforts by bringing him back.”

Jamison led the Wizards in scoring (21.4 ppg) and rebounding (a career-high 10.2 rpg) last season to earn his second career All-Star appearance.  He was one of only five players in the NBA to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds and posted a career-high 44 double-doubles.

The 6-9 forward has averaged 20.4 points and 8.9 rebounds in 299 career games with the Wizards.  Jamison has been a captain and led the Wizards to the playoffs in each of his four seasons with the club.  In 2006, Jamison represented the United States at the FIBA World Championships in Japan.  He was originally acquired by the Wizards (along with cash considerations) from Dallas in exchange for Jerry Stackhouse, Christian Laettner and the draft rights to Devin Harris on June 24, 2004.

Pistons summer league team roster

The Detroit Pistons announced today their roster for the NBA Summer League presented by EA Sports in Las Vegas, NV. The Pistons will play five games versus L.A. Lakers, L.A. Clippers, Milwaukee, Dallas and Charlotte from July 11 through July 18. All games will be played at the Thomas & Mack Center or Cox Pavilion located on the campus of UNLV. will have full summer league info and coverage. Our initial info update comes tonight or Tuesday.

Following is the Pistons Summer League Roster:


6 Alex Acker G 6-5 185 Pepperdine 1/21/83 1 year
28 Arron Afflalo G 6-5 215 UCLA 10/15/85 1 year
23 Derrick Allen F 6-8 238 Mississippi 7/17/80 R
7 Will Bynum G 6-0 185 Georgia Tech 1/4/83 1 year
34 Ryvon Coville F 6-9 250 Detroit 3/1/84 R
20 Kentrell Gransberry F/C 6-9 270 South Florida 8/1/85 R
25 Amir Johnson F 6-9 210 Westchester HS (L.A.) 5/1/87 3 years
44 Trent Plaisted F 6-11 245 BYU 10/20/86 R
35 Cheikh Samb C 7-1 195 Senegal 10/22/84 1 year
14 Walter Sharpe F 6-9 245 Alabama-Birmingham 7/16/86 R
12 Marcus Stout G 6-4 195 Fordham 6/20/86 R
3 Rodney Stuckey G 6-5 205 Eastern Washington 4/21/86 1 year
8 Deron Washington G/F 6-7 210 Virginia Tech 12/12/85 R

Sixers want to swipe Josh Smith

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Sekou Smith) blogs the following report: “Josh Smith is being targeted by Philadelphia with their $11 million-plus in available cap space. I know there is a small segment of people out there that think the Sixers might be using all this hype as a smokescreen and really be interested in making a sneak attack for Corey Maggette or even Elton Brand (if he does indeed opt out of his deal, we’ll know later today if he does or not). But Smith is the guy. And if the offer to Smith is frontloaded (think of the structure of the Hawks’ offer to Joe Johnson three years ago), things will get really complicated. The worst part is the Hawks had a 6-7, 235-pound cautionary tale on the roster in Johnson the last three years and still ignored it so they could dip their toes into the shark-infested waters this summer. It’s crazy.”

The Detroit News (Chris McCosky) reports: “Chris Douglas-Roberts was never an option for the Pistons, and the fact that he fell to No. 40 in the draft was like a reality check from the basketball gods. The Pistons were the first team to call him. Even before official workouts began, the Pistons asked Douglas-Roberts, a kid from Detroit, if he wanted to begin his workouts with them. He refused. They asked him again the Monday of draft week if he wanted to conclude his workouts with the Pistons. He refused again. Douglas-Roberts got some bad advice. He thought he would be picked a lot higher than No. 29. Instead, by refusing to work out for the last 10 teams in the draft, he cost himself first-round guaranteed money.”

Business booming for Magic Johnson

The Los Angeles Times (Mike Bresnahan and Greg Johnson) reports: His Beverly Hills-based Magic Johnson Enterprises now has AMC Magic Johnson Theatres in four cities, 116 Starbucks in 14 states and Washington, 31 Burger King restaurants in the Southeast, and 13 24-Hour Fitness/Magic Johnson Sport health clubs. He also owns a nearly 5% share of the Lakers. Johnson consistently has declined to release financial data for his privately held businesses or himself. But a business associate, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak by Johnson, estimated the value of the former NBA star’s various holdings at $700 million. This associate estimated Johnson’s personal net worth at nearly $500 million… Canyon-Johnson, formed in 1998, has financed 31 real estate developments in 13 states and Washington. It launched its third and biggest investment fund in April — and in a matter of weeks drew $1 billion from pension funds and others with deep pockets.

Glance at Suns roster space

The Arizona Republic (Paul Coro) reports: “First-round draft pick Robin Lopez gives the Suns 10 players. If second-round pick Goran Dragic can’t break his contract in Spain this year, the Suns would need to add at least three players. That likely would be done with one-year, minimum-salary deals to two veterans and a free-agent rookie who could come out of a summer team coached by new assistant coaches Dan Majerle and Igor Kokoskov. At minimum, the Suns’ payroll figures to exceed the projected luxury-tax threshold by $3 million to $5 million. Teams must pay a tax based on how much they have surpassed that threshold in February. The Suns have a mid-level exception but are unlikely to use it. Fewer teams are using the exception, which allows teams over the salary cap to spend up to $5.8 million on a free agent. The Suns do not have a biennial exception because they signed forward Grant Hill with it last year.”

Several Sixers become unrestricted

The Philadelphia Daily News (Phil Jasner) reports: “Because the Sixers did not make qualifying offers, forwards Shavlik Randolph, Louis Amundson and Herbert Hill have become unrestricted free agents, joining guard Kevin Ollie. Backup center Calvin Booth exercised his player option to return for about $1.1 million . . . Published reports indicate that the Sixers have invited former Saint Joseph’s University shooter Pat Carroll and Arizona guard Jawaan McClellan to join their summer league team in Las Vegas. The Sixers will open a rookie camp out there on Sunday . . . As expected, Samuel Dalembert was named to Canada’s national team that will compete in an Olympic qualifying tournament in Greece, July 14-20.”

Kobe not responding to foul Shaq rap

The Los Angeles Times (Jonathan Abrams) reports: Kobe Bryant’s response to former teammate Shaquille O’Neal’s lambasting him in an obscenity-laced rap freestyle at a New York nightclub? No response. “I didn’t take it any kind of way whatsoever,” Bryant said Saturday, before declining to take any more questions on the topic. Bryant, however, was more than willing to discuss several other subjects as the U.S. men’s basketball team held a one-day mini-camp in preparation for the Beijing Olympics. He has had a bit more time to reflect on the NBA Finals, labeling Boston as “champions until somebody proves otherwise.”

Jazz want Deron Williams extension

The Salt Lake Tribune (Ross Siler) reports: A little past 10 p.m. Monday, Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor can pick up the phone and set in motion the process through which Deron Williams can sign a long-term contract extension to stay in Utah.    From July 1 until Oct. 31, the Jazz have an exclusive window to negotiate an extension to Williams’ rookie contract. Under league rules, Williams could sign for as long as five years and as much as approximately $90 million.

The Deseret News (Tim Buckley) reports: Jazz owner Larry H. Miller already has publicly said he thinks Deron Williams is worth a max-money extension, which — based on Williams’ experience and 25 percent of the projected team salary cap for the 2009-10 season — translates to approximately $90 million in salary over the maximum-allowed five years, beginning with about $15 million in ‘09-10 and peaking at around $21.3 million in the 2013-14 season. Length-of-extension would seem to be the only remaining issue — three, four or the full five years. An actual deal can be agreed to as early as late Monday night, but — according to terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players union — cannot be signed until July 9 at the earliest.

Melo talks about stuff

The Denver Post (Benjamin Hochman) reports on Carmelo Anthony: As for his “we quit” comment after a playoff loss to the Los Angeles Lakers: “I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me saying that. I didn’t call anybody out. I said we all quit. Myself quit also. As a team, as an organization, we quit. (Being politically correct), that’s not always right, either.” …  Melo on the Boston Celtics’ NBA championship: “They had to come together and get theirs as a group. I don’t think I can win one by myself. There’s no way I can win one by myself. They came together as a group. I’ve only got five years in the NBA and I’m only 24 years old. Hopefully, I have at least 11 more years. People act like I’m 30, and I just turned 24.” …  Melo on his offensive success for Team USA: “It ain’t easy! It looks easy. But when I’m on the court with Jason Kidd, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, somebody’s got to be open.”

Suns hope Goran Dragic is PG of future

The Arizona Republic (Paul Coro) reports: Goran Dragic’s dream was bound to come true after a strong showing at a camp in Italy two weeks ago. It was the Suns’ dream to land him that would have shattered without a trade that let them take him with the 45th overall pick. After No. 1 overall pick Derrick Rose, the Suns said there was not a better point guard in the draft. They wrestled with the idea of taking him 15th if first-round choice Robin Lopez had not been available. The Suns think they have a point guard for years after Steve Nash leaves… Dragic cannot be bought out of his contract with Spanish club Tau Ceramica until July 2009. The buyout is $1,550,000, with the Suns able to pay $500,000.

Pat Ewing Jr can jump and defend

The Sacramento Bee (Ailene Voisin) reports: Athletic with a spectacular 42-inch vertical leap, Patrick Ewing Jr., who transferred from Indiana after two unproductive seasons, emerged as the Hoyas’ valuable sixth man, though with modest averages of 6.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Nevertheless, Geoff Petrie didn’t go shopping for stats or searching for Ewing Lite. He went for the athleticism and the defense and the intangibles, envisioning a player who could come off the bench and guard two or three positions. “Quick feet, quick hands, loves to defend,” said Petrie, offering an abbreviated scouting report. “Very aggressive. And a great kid.” The older Ewing, currently an assistant with the Orlando Magic, describes his son as a stubborn, active child who was drawn to the sport at a young age but who labored with expectations, comparisons and academics in later years.

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