Archive for August 5th, 2008

Rodney Stuckey looks like a future starting point guard, and Arron Afflalo is a somewhat decent backup, so today the Pistons did the obvious. Here’s the news:

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the team exercised its team option on the contracts of guards Rodney Stuckey and Arron Afflalo. Both contracts are now extended through the 2009-10 NBA season.

“We are pleased to have both Rodney Stuckey and Arron Afflalo signed through the 2009-10 season,” said Dumars. “Both players will continue to grow and mature within our system and we look forward to the contributions they will bring this season and beyond.”

Stuckey, 22, appeared in 57 games (two starts) last season, averaging 7.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 19.0 minutes per game. In two starts (Pistons 2-0 in those games) he averaged 18.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 28.5 minutes per game. Stuckey saw action in 17 playoff games (2 starts), averaging 8.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 22.4 minutes per game. Filling in for an injured Chauncey Billups, he averaged 10.5 points and 4.5 assists in two playoff games as a starter, recording playoff career-highs in points (19) and minutes (34) at Orlando (5/7) in the second round. He missed the first 25 games of the season after suffering a broken left hand in the club’s final preseason game vs. Washington (10/24).

Afflalo, 22, appeared in 75 games (nine starts) last season, averaging 3.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 12.9 minutes per game…In nine starts (Pistons 6-3 in those games) he averaged 7.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 21.1 minutes per game. Afflalo became the first Pistons rookie since Grant Hill (1994-95) to start a season opener at Miami (11/1) when he played in place of Richard Hamilton who missed the game tending to the birth of his son. He scored 10-plus points seven times and led the team in scoring twice during the year. He also recorded a career-high 15 points twice [at Miami (3/27) and at Cleveland (4/16)], grabbed a career-high eight rebounds and dished out a career-high four assists at Cleveland (4/16).

Serge Ibaka signs in Spain

The Oklahoman (Darnell Mayberry) reports: Serge Ibaka, the No. 24 overall pick in this year’s draft, has signed a three-year contract with a professional team in Spain. Ibaka’s contract with Ricoh Manresa has NBA buyout clauses at the end of each season that could allow him to join Oklahoma City’s franchise before the deal expires. Financial terms of the contract and buyout clauses are unknown, but under NBA rules teams can pay up to $500,000 to buy out a player from a foreign team.

The Oklahoman (Darnell Mayberry) reports: The list of former college standouts currently on rosters in the ACB league include: Melvin Sanders (Oklahoma State), Chris Thomas (Notre Dame), Nik Caner-Medley (Maryland), David Noel (North Carolina), Aaron Miles (Kansas), Marcus Haislip (Tennessee), Louis Bullock (Michigan), Quincy Lewis (Minnesota), Curtis Borchardt (Stanford), Alex Acker (Pepperdine), Scott Padgett (Kentucky), Pepe Sanchez (Temple) and Pops Mensah-Bonsu (George Washington). Highly touted San Antonio Spurs draftee Tiago Splitter also plays in the league, and Memphis Grizzlies forward Marc Gasol, the younger brother of Pau Gasol, won the league’s MVP award last season.

Sixers re-sign Lou Williams

The 76ers re-signed guard Lou Williams, who I think is more talented than many people realize. I’m not positive he’ll ever be a really good starting point guard in the league, but at the very least he’ll be a terrific backup, and the way he seems to be progressing it’s quite possible he winds up a full-time starter in the future.

Here’s the news:

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced Monday that the team has re-signed restricted free-agent guard Lou Williams. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are very excited that we have reached an agreement with Lou Williams,” Stefanski said. “He is not only a very talented player who exemplifies our up-tempo style of play, but he is also a young man who exhibits great character and qualities off-the-court, as well. We look forward to having him in a Sixers uniform for many years to come.”

“We’re happy that Lou is back, as he has proven to be an integral part of the team,” Head Coach Maurice Cheeks said. “He’s made great strides as a player and we’re very confident he’ll continue to excel with us for years to come.”

Originally the 45th overall pick by the Sixers in the 2005 NBA Draft, Williams (6-2, 175) has appeared in 171 games, averaging 7.2 points, 2.2 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game. For his career, he has shot 42.9% from the floor, 34.7% from 3-point range and 75.7% from the line.

The 21-year-old enjoyed breakout success last season, averaging career-highs in scoring (11.5 ppg), assists (3.2 apg), rebounding (2.0 rpg) and steals (1.01 spg). Williams had the fifth highest point/rebound/assist total for any player coming off the bench last season and received votes for both the Most Improved Player and Sixth Man of the Year awards. He scored the fourth most points of any reserve last season, had the second-most assists, tallied the most steals and recorded the third-most free throw attempts.

After hitting a total of 14 three-pointers in his first two seasons, Williams was second on the team with 55 3-point FGM in 2007-08 while shooting a team-high 35.9% from behind-the-arc. Williams was also the Sixers second leading scorer in fourth quarters last season, with 42.3% of his season point total coming in the fourth.

In the summer of 2007, Williams finished second in MVP voting at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and was also named to the All-Rocky Mountain Revue Team. He led both leagues in scoring, averaging a combined 24.7 points per game. In late November of 2006, Williams was assigned to the D-League for three games and averaged 26.0 points on 71.1% shooting from the floor and 62.5% shooting from 3-point range.

Williams attended South Gwinnett High School in Atlanta and was the winner of the 2005 Naismith Award, signifying the nation’s top high school player. He tallied 3,338 points during his career at South Gwinnett and was a four-time All-State selection as well as being named Mr. Basketball in Georgia his junior and senior seasons.

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What will happen first: The Nets move to Brooklyn, or TJ Kidd’s grandchildren get college basketball scholarships? Tough call. The NJ Nets, who will eventually leave Eastern New Jersey and land right in the heart of Brooklyn, NJ, have been optimistic for years now that the move is only a few years away from happening, but delays keep popping up, and now it sounds like the most realistic optimistic estimate is 2011. But to me - and I care a lot about this story because I’m a NYer but don’t actually follow it closely other than the bottom-line details - even that sounds tough to pull off. I’m guessing it doesn’t happen until 2012 or even 2013, and I’m not basing that on any real info, so feel free to toss that prediction aside.

As for the news, the New York Daily News (Julian Garcia) reports:

If the Nets do manage to sign potential free agent LeBron James before the start of the 2010-11 season, it’s possible their fans in New Jersey could get the first look at him, as opposed to those in Brooklyn. The company that plans to build the team’s new home in Brooklyn acknowledged Monday that the arena may not be open until the 2010-11 season is well underway. While saying the plan remains to move the team to Brooklyn in “calendar year 2010,” a representative of Forest City Ratner - Nets owner Bruce Ratner’s company - admitted that schedule “is in fact very aggressive.

I look forward to the eventual move, because taking the subway to and from games is much easier than always having to go specifically to the Port Authority to take the bus, which is the only public transportation option to get to current Nets games.

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