Archive for August 12th, 2008

Atlanta has added some fringe bench talent. Both of the following players will have to fight very hard to stay in the league. Here’s the news:

The Atlanta Hawks have signed free agents Thomas Gardner and Othello Hunter to contracts, it was announced today by General Manager Rick Sund. Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

“Both players played well in our mini-camp and summer league,” said Sund. “Thomas is a solid shooter with range, who has the ability to score in bunches. Othello is an athletic power forward who runs the floor really well.”

A 6-5 guard, Gardner averaged a team-high 16.3 ppg (sixth in the tourney), along with 2.5 rpg, 1.5 apg and 1.5 spg during the Rocky Mountain Revue, hitting .480 FGs (.467 3FGs) and .750 FTs. The Missouri product played in four games last season with the Chicago Bulls, averaging 5.3 ppg and 1.0 rpg.

During the 2006-07 campaign, Gardner saw action in Belgium with Verviers-Pepinster, and helped lead the club to the Belgian Cup semifinals. He played three seasons at Mizzou, tallying 19.7 ppg as a junior for the Tigers. Thomas Earl Gardner was born February 8, 1985 in Portland, Oregon.

Hunter, an undrafted rookie big man from Ohio State, put up 13.2 ppg, a team-best 6.2 rpg, 2.0 apg and 1.2 spg in five Hawks summer league contests. He played in 76 career games for the Buckeyes, averaging 7.8 ppg and 5.5 rpg (.583 FG%). Nearly half of his 415 career rebounds were on the offensive glass (178).

He finished second in the Big Ten in field goal percentage as a senior (.596), and equaled the seventh-best single-season mark in OSU history. Tegba Othello Hunter was born May 28, 1986 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

“We saw Thomas play last year, and monitored him with the Bulls and overseas,” said Hawks’ Assistant GM/Director of Player Personnel David Pendergraft. “He was one of the first guys we invited to our summer program, and he really performed well. He’s a shot maker who can add a spark off our bench.”

“We really liked the progression Othello has made, from Ohio State to Portsmouth to Orlando, and continuing in our mini-camp and summer league,” Pendergraft said. “His competitiveness, athleticism and professionalism have impressed us, and if he continues to advance, he has a chance to be an asset to our organization.”

Atlanta Hawks 2008-09 season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting www.hawks.com or calling 1-866-715-1500.  The Hawks, a member of the National Basketball Association since 1949, play in the Southeast Division, along with the Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.

The Oklahoma City NBA franchise acquired guard Kyle Weaver in a trade with the Charlotte Bobcats, it was announced today by the team’s General Manager Sam Presti. Weaver was selected 38th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Bobcats. In exchange for Weaver, Oklahoma City sent New Jersey’s 2009 2nd round pick to Charlotte. Oklahoma City held New Jersey’s second round pick following a July 2006 trade which sent Mikki Moore to the Nets.

“We’re pleased to add Kyle Weaver to our organization,” Presti said. “He is a young player with a defensive mentality and team-first approach to the game. We are excited to add these qualities to our team in Oklahoma City.”

Weaver was named Second Team All-Pac 10 as a senior at Washington State University. He was also named to the conference All-Defensive team and earned All-Pac 10 honors as a junior. He is the first player in Pac-10 history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists, 175 steals and 75 blocked shots in a career. He finished his collegiate career ranked second in assists in Washington State history with 465, third in steals with 188, seventh in blocked shots with 93 and 17th in scoring with 1,162 points. He also participated with USA Basketball in the 2007 Pan American Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In four years at Washington State University, Weaver led the Cougars to a 75-50 overall record. In his junior and senior seasons, the Cougars went 52-17 overall including two trips to the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars went to the Sweet Sixteen in his senior season in last year’s tournament where Weaver averaged 13.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists in three tournament games.

Pistons re-sign Walter Herrmann

The Pistons roster has looked incomplete all summer because it lacked a long-haired, thinner version of Fabio. However, as of yesterday, that need has been met. Here’s the news:

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced Monday that the club has re-signed forward Walter Herrmann to a contract.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to re-sign Walter Herrmann,” said Dumars.  “Walter is a player with tremendous work ethic and showed last year that he is a player that can contribute to this team.”

Herrmann, 29, was acquired by the Pistons on December 14, 2007 along with Primoz Brezec in a trade that sent Nazr Mohammed to the Charlotte Bobcats.  He appeared in 45 games last season with Charlotte and Detroit, averaging 3.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 8.2 minutes per game.  In 17 games with Charlotte, Herrmann averaged 4.0 points and 2.1 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game. He played in 28 games with Detroit (no starts) and averaged 3.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in 7.1 minutes per game.  The 6-9, 229-pound forward scored a season-high 16 points (6-15 FG, 2-5 3FG, 2-2 FT) in a season-high 33 minutes at Orlando (11/23).

Herrmann was not drafted by an NBA franchise and signed with Charlotte as a free agent on September 11, 2006.  He played six seasons of professional basketball in his native Argentina and four seasons in Spain.  Herrmann averaged 9.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 48 games during the 2006-07 season with the Bobcats.  He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team and was named Eastern Conference T-Mobile Rookie of the Month for games played in March.  He scored in double figures in 17 of the last 18 games of the season, averaging 17.9 points per game on 58.2% shooting over that span.

OKC team to play preseason game in Tulsa

Oklahoma’s first glimpse at its new NBA team comes on Oct. 13 when the team plays a preseason game against the Houston Rockets at the new BOK Center in downtown Tulsa. Although the Oklahoma City franchise will technically be the visiting team for the game against the Rockets, it will be the first time they will play in the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma City’s full preseason schedule will be released later this week.

“Tulsa is an important part of Oklahoma’s NBA success and the BOK Center is an important part of Tulsa’s future,” said Clay Bennett, chairman of the Oklahoma City franchise. “We are thrilled that Tulsa and its new first class arena are able to host the first chance for fans in Oklahoma to see their new team on the court. The people of Tulsa have shown that they are committed to making the NBA work in Oklahoma, and having the chance to host a preseason game this year is a direct result of their commitment and excitement.”

Bennett made the announcement at the BOK Center joined by Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor and BOK Center General Manager John Bolton.

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