Archive for July 30th, 2008

Hawks sign Randolph Morris

The Atlanta Hawks have signed free agent center Randolph Morris to a contract, it was announced today by General Manager Rick Sund.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Randolph’s signing gives us additional size and depth along the frontline, with Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia,” said Sund.  “He has the opportunity to grow as a player and we look forward to assisting with his future development as an NBA player.”

Morris, a 6-11, 260-pound big man from Atlanta’s Landmark Christian High School, saw limited action in two NBA seasons with the New York Knicks after entering the league as a free agent from Kentucky in 2005.  In 23 career games in New York, he averaged 2.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10 minutes of action.  He played in 18 contests a year ago (with two starts) and recorded 3.1 ppg and 2.1 rpg (.362 FG%).  He tallied career highs of eight points in two games in 2007-08, once against the Hawks on March 16.

“We can certainly use a player like Randolph, whose addition will give us much need depth at the center position,” said Woodson.  “We like what we saw of him during our summer league workouts, and we believe he will continue to develop his skills to become a talented player in our league.”

Prior to becoming the first player in NBA history to go from the NCAA tournament to the NBA in the same week – a five-day span – Morris declared his eligibility for the 2005 NBA Draft following his freshman year at Kentucky, but did not sign with an agent.  After he went undrafted and decided to attempt a return to Kentucky, the NCAA forced him to sit out the first 14 games of his sophomore season (2005-06).

At the same time, the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement prohibited him from re-entering the Draft, giving Morris free agent status throughout his 2006-07 (junior) season with the Wildcats.  As a collegian, he finished with 12.6 points and 6.0 rebounds, and shot .578 (FGs) over 23.6 minutes in 89 games (with 79 starts) in three seasons for Tubby Smith, as Kentucky went to the NCAA Tournament in each of his three years.  His best campaign came in that final season when he recorded career-highs of 16.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting .592 in 34 games.

Named to the 2004 McDonald’s All-America Team after a standout senior season at Landmark Christian HS in Atlanta, Morris was an AAU teammate of current Hawks forward Josh Smith and Orlando center Dwight Howard on the Atlanta Celtics squad that won the 2003 title.  He was born January 2, 1986 in Houston, TX.

Clippers waive Josh Powell

The Los Angeles Clippers today waived forward Josh Powell, it was announced by Vice President of Basketball Operations Elgin Baylor.

In 64 games played last season, Powell averaged 5.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 19.2 minutes per game.

Nuggets sign Dahntay Jones

The Denver Nuggets have signed G/F Dahntay Jones, team Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

Jones, 6-6, 210, averaged a team-leading 18.4 ppg to go along with 2.4 rpg and 1.0 apg in five games for the Nuggets entry in the 2008 NBA Summer League that finished with a 4-1 record in Las Vegas this summer.

Jones spent time with both the Sacramento Kings and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League during the 2007-08 campaign.

The five-year NBA veteran has posted career averages of 4.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg and in 246 games with Memphis and Sacramento.

Jones was originally drafted by the Boston Celtics in the first round (20th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft. His draft rights were traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, where he spent four seasons from 2003-07.

Nets name Roy Rogers assistant coach

The New Jersey Nets have named Roy Rogers as an assistant coach, Nets President Rod Thorn announced today.  Rogers joins Brian Hill, Tom Barrise and Doug Overton as a member of Head Coach Lawrence Frank’s staff.

“We are pleased to add Roy to Coach Frank’s staff,” said Thorn.  “He has gained valuable knowledge and experience coaching in the D-League over the past several seasons, and we feel he will be an excellent mentor to our players.”

Rogers most recently served as an assistant coach for the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League during the 2007-08 season.  Prior to his stint in Austin, Rogers spent two seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07) with the Tulsa 66ers.  He started his coaching career in 2004 as an assistant with the Huntsville Flight, now the Albuquerque Thunderbirds.

Selected 22nd overall in the 1996 NBA Draft out of the University of Alabama, Rogers played three years in the NBA.  In 137 career games with four teams (Vancouver, Boston, Toronto and Denver), Rogers averaged 4.8 points and 3.5 rebounds.  Rogers also played four seasons (2000-04) of professional basketball internationally, in Russia, Italy, Greece and Poland.

Pistons sign Will Bynum

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Will Bynum to a contract.  Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to add Will Bynum to our roster,” said Dumars.  “Will played well for us during summer league and we think he possesses skills that can help our team and provide depth at the guard position.”

Bynum averaged 11.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists with Detroit at the 2008 NBA Las Vegas Summer League. The Chicago native played last season for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli League where he averaged 10.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

The 6-foot, 185-pound guard played 15 games with the Golden State Warriors during the 2005-06 season, averaging 3.6 points and 1.3 assists per game.  He was named 2005-06 NBA Development League Rookie of the Year after leading the league in scoring at 24.0 points per game with the Roanoke Dazzle.

Bynum began his collegiate career at the University of Arizona before transferring to Georgia Tech during his sophomore year.  As a junior, he led the Yellow Jackets to the 2004 NCAA Championship game after making a game-winning layup against Oklahoma State in the Final Four and scored 17 points in a loss to Connecticut.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Euroleague Basketball have announced that three Euroleague teams will compete in five NBA preseason games from October 10-21, 2008. The five games, which are part of the Euroleague American Tour, will be played by 2008 Euroleague champion CSKA Moscow (Russia), FC Barcelona (Spain) and Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania). The teams may face up to five NBA opponents including the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Orlando Magic, the Toronto Raptors and possibly the Los Angeles Clippers.

“These games continue our collaboration with Euroleague Basketball, as we work together to grow the game of basketball on a global basis,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern.

The Euroleague American Tour continues a tradition of friendly competition between the NBA and Euroleague Basketball, dating back to 1978 when Maccabi Tel Aviv played the Washington Bullets in Tel Aviv, Israel. Following the 2008 preseason schedule, 33 games will have been played between the two leagues since Euroleague Basketball was created in 2000, including 13 games during NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™ in 2006 and 2007.

“We value the chance to partner with NBA teams in their own arenas,” Euroleague Basketball CEO Jordi Bertomeu said. “There are basketball fans of all types in North America whom we plan to entertain with our own distinct playing style. We are sure they will appreciate again that the international game has a lot to offer our sport.”

The Euroleague American Tour tips off on Oct. 10 in Orlando, Florida, when six-time Euroleague champion CSKA Moscow makes its North American debut against the Orlando Magic. CSKA’s second preseason game will take place in Toronto, Canada, when CSKA plays the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 14.

FC Barcelona play two games as part of the Preseason Shootout at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The 2008 NBA Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers will be Barcelona’s first opponent on Oct. 18, followed by the either Los Angeles Clippers or Toronto Raptors on Oct. 19. For Barcelona, founded in 1926, the games in Los Angeles will be their first played in the United States.

ORACLE Arena in Oakland, Calif. will be the final site of the Euroleague’s American Tour when the Golden State Warriors hosts Lietuvos Rytas on Oct. 21. Rytas is the 2005 ULEB Cup champion and hold five Lithuanian League crowns.

For the third consecutive year, NBA teams will participate in preseason games abroad. The Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets and Washington Wizards will play four games in Barcelona, Berlin, London and Paris as part of NBA Europe Live 2008.

OJ Mayo impresses Kobe Bryant

The Los Angeles Times (Mark Heisler) reports: Kobe Bryant, who lives for one-on-one challenges, went at it with former Trojan and soon-to-be Memphis Grizzlies rookie O.J. Mayo, a member of the U.S. Select team, last week in Las Vegas. “Kobe completely shut him down in the beginning,” said U.S. managing director Jerry Colangelo. “But the longer they went, the better Mayo got.” Bryant already knew Mayo, who attended his camp last summer, and already thought highly of him. “I think the world of him,” Bryant said. “I think he’s extremely talented. I think he has a great overall game that a lot of young players don’t have in terms of skills. He can handle, he can shoot, he can pass, he’s fast, he’s quick, so that’s the whole package.”

The Washington Post reports: Wearing an olive green suit, his voice cracking and trembling, former NBA referee Tim Donaghy apologized Tuesday before receiving a 15-month prison sentence for his involvement in a betting scandal that tarnished the reputation of the league and its game officials. “I’ve brought shame on myself, my family and the profession I love,” Donaghy told U.S. District Court Judge Carol Bagley Amon in a Brooklyn federal courthouse almost a year after he pleaded guilty to conspiring with gamblers and betting on NBA games. Donaghy, 41, could have received 33 months, but Amon said she considered his cooperation with the government when imposing a much shorter sentence. Donaghy’s cooperation was instrumental in the convictions of two former high school classmates, James Battista and Thomas Martino, for their roles in the gambling scheme. Amon sentenced Battista to 15 months and Martino to one year and a day in prison last week.

Basketball blog