Archive for July 2nd, 2008

Sonics move to OKC. New name soon

The Sonics are officially moving to Oklahoma City (see the news), but the team name will remain with the city of Seattle. I just spoke with an Oklahoma City-based representative of the team, and was told that they will reveal the new name “soon.” I was told they haven’t actually decided on a final new name yet, and that OKC ownership is working with the league and accepting their suggestions while making the final selection.

- Jeff

The Boston Celtics announced today that center Kendrick Perkins and second round draft pick Bill Walker both had successful surgical procedures today at New England Baptist Hospital.  Perkins underwent arthroscopic left shoulder surgery while Walker underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery.  Both surgeries were preformed by Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon and was assisted by Dr. Alan Curtis and Dr. John Richmond.  No timetable has been set for their return.

Danny Granger wants extension

The Indianapolis Star reports: Danny Granger’s long-range future with the Indiana Pacers could be settled later this summer. The 6-9 swingman, who was the Pacers’ leading scorer last season in his third year in the NBA, is eligible for a long-term extension. His agent, Mark Bartelstein, said he’ll likely begin talks with the Pacers in a few weeks… Granger is scheduled to make $2.3 million next season, after which he becomes a restricted free agent. The Pacers must at least make a qualifying offer of $3.3 million for 2009-10 to retain the right to match any free agent offer he receives.

Knicks want Chris Duhon

The New York Post (Marc Berman) reports:  Bulls backup point guard Chris Duhon, during a visit to the Knicks’ Westchester campus on Day 1 of free agency yesterday, met with coach Mike D’Antoni and was offered a two-year contract believed to be more than $7 million, according to league sources. Duhon was mulling the offer last night and could accept as soon as today.  The Knicks have proclaimed they do not want to go beyond two years on any signing so as not to compromise their chances of getting under the salary cap in 2010. That amount is a good chunk of the annual $5.5 million mid-level exception.

Sixers want Josh Smith

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Joe Juliano) reports: With more than $11 million in salary-cap space available, the 76ers dove into free agency shortly after the bell rang at 12:01 a.m. yesterday and targeted Josh Smith, the young and talented forward of the Atlanta Hawks, as their primary prospect, but not their only one. The 6-foot-9 Smith, a restricted free agent, was contacted by the Sixers almost immediately. A team spokesman said Smith and his representatives planned to meet today with president and general manager Ed Stefanski. The spokesman also said the Sixers contacted Smith’s teammate, 6-8 forward Josh Childress, yesterday and expect to bring him to Philadelphia, but did not say when.

Bobcats let Othella Harrington go

The Charlotte Observer reports: The Bobcats’ decision not to exercise an option on forward Othella Harrington for next season will save the team about $2.55million in player payroll. A chronic knee injury limited Harrington to 22 game appearances last season. Harrington was signed as a free agent in the summer of 2006 to add experience and defense at power forward. R.B.

Gerald Green to Mavs

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Jeff Caplan) reports: Gerald Green, a former high school prodigy out of Gulf Shores Academy in Houston, has agreed to a one-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks, Green’s agent Colin Bryant said. A first round pick of the Boston Celtics in 2005, the slender, 6-foot-8 Green was part of the trade that sent Kevin Garnett from Minnesota to Boston. The Timberwolves traded Green to Houston last season. He played in one game for his hometown team before being released. Bryant was on his way to Dallas on Wednesday morning to work out the specifics of the deal.

Jose Calderon staying with Raptors

The Toronto Sun (Ryan Wolstat) reports:  Not many doubts remained after the Raptors traded T.J. Ford to the Indiana Pacers last week, but Jose Calderon confirmed the expected yesterday, when he inferred on his website that he will be the Raptors’ starter at point guard for years to come. “Early this morning, through my agents, I reached a preliminary agreement with the Toronto Raptors,” Calderon wrote…  Contractual details will be officially released July 9th, but the expected terms are around five years at $7.5-8.5 million US a season.

Del Harris to be Bulls assistant coach

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Jeff Caplan) reports: Longtime Mavs assistant coach Del Harris, who most recently served as a team consultant, is leaving the organization to join the staff of first-time head coach Vinny Del Negro with the Chicago Bulls. editor says: Fantastic hire by the Bulls, adding an extremely well-known veteran coach to help guide Del Negro. Of course, one wonders if it should be the other way around, Harris getting the head coaching job while Del Negro learns the ropes under him and gets good experience before leading a team himself. That’s what I would probably have done. But then again, I don’t know Del Negro’s basketball mind. Maybe he’s brilliant.

OJ Mayo helping Grizzlies ticket sales

The Memphis Commercial Appeal (Jim Masilak) reports: Excitement over the draft-night deal that brought guard O.J. Mayo to Memphis is palpable at FedExForum, where skeptical season-ticket holders are signaling their approval by re-upping for the 2008-09 season. “I’ve been here since the start,” said Dennis O’Connor, the Grizzlies’ vice president of ticket sales and service. “There has been more excitement stemming from draft night on the business side than in any year since I’ve been here.” As Grizzlies fans know all too well after back-to-back 22-60 seasons, excitement has been in pretty short supply at FedExForum. Although the emergence of second-year forward Rudy Gay provided a glint of hope, it has been dimmed by the team’s inability to find a bona fide star attraction.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Ira Winderman) reports: Michael Beasley’s Miami Heat debut was cut short when the No. 2 pick in last week’s NBA Draft was sidelined by an elbow to the chest just over a half hour into the team’s first practice at summer camp. Beasley was not available for comment after today’s session at AmericanAirlines Arena. Coach Erik Spoelstra believed the elbow came from free-agent Anthony Washington, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound center out of Portland State.

Warriors chase Elton Brand

The San Francisco Chronicle (Janny Hu) reports on her blog: Flush with cap space after Davis’ sudden exit, the Warriors have offered free agent Elton Brand a five-year deal worth between $85 and $90 million, according to league source. Brand, like Davis, opted out of the final year of his contract just before Monday’s deadline, giving up a guaranteed $16.4 million for next season. At the time, Brand’s agent, David Falk, told reporters that the move was designed to create some cap flexibility for the Clippers to add another top-line player. editor says: I think both Baron and Elton want to be in Los Angeles, to play together but also to further their careers in the movie industry, which can obviously be done easier as long as they are based near Hollywood. On the other hand, if Brand can make an extra $20 million playing for the Warriors, that money goes a long way.

Lakers chasing Marcelus Kemp

The Los Angeles Daily News (Elliot Teaford) reports: The Lakers are pursuing Marcelus Kemp, a shooting guard from the University of Nevada. Kemp’s agent, John Grieg, told a Reno newspaper he expected a deal to be struck soon. says: Why do the Lakers always go after such low-profile free agents? They need James Posey, not Marcelus Kemp.

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