Archive for August 14th, 2008

Lakers sign Josh Powell

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent Josh Powell, it was announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Powell, a three-year NBA veteran, spent last season with the Los Angeles Clippers where he averaged 5.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in 64 games. After going undrafted in 2003, the 6-9 forward spent two seasons overseas where he played in both the Italian and Russian basketball leagues. Prior to the 2005-06 season, Powell was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Mavericks where he averaged 3.0 points and 2.2 rebounds in 37 games. The North Carolina State alum was traded to the Indiana Pacers in July of 2006 and played in seven games before being acquired by the Golden State Warriors in a midseason trade. Powell finished the 2006-07 season with averages of 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 37 games.

Powell has career averages of 4.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 138 games with Dallas, Indiana, Golden State and the Clippers.

Kings trade Ron Artest to Rockets

The Sacramento Kings today acquired Donté Greene, Bobby Jackson, a future first round draft pick and other considerations from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Ron Artest, Sean Singletary and Patrick Ewing, Jr., it was announced by Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

“In acquiring Bobby, Donte’ Greene and a future first-round pick, we’re excited about adding the veteran experience and proven ability of Bobby,” explained Petrie. “Donté Greene, a first-round pick in this year’s draft, brings us another young frontcourt player with a high level of talent who played exceptionally well in the Las Vegas Summer League. The future first-round pick gives us an additional asset down the road. We’re looking forward to watching them play and seeing them contribute to this team.

“I also want to thank Ron for his effort and contributions over the past two and a half seasons. We all wish him the very best. Sean and Patrick are two fine young players and we wish them future success as well.”

Greene, a 6-9, 221-pound forward out of Syracuse, was an early entry candidate for the 2008 NBA Draft. He was selected in the first round (28th overall) by the Memphis Grizzlies and traded to Houston on the 2008 NBA Draft night. Greene averaged 22.6 points per game (2nd in the league) for the Rockets through five outings in the 2008 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. In his lone season with the Orangeman, Greene led Syracuse in scoring and was fourth in the Big East with an average of 17.7 points per game, which ranked as the second-best freshman scoring average in SU history. He also topped the team in blocks per game (1.63) and ranked second in rebounding average (7.2). A Second-Team All-Big East selection, Greene was named to the conference’s All-Rookie Team and earned Big East Rookie of the Week honors five times. He was also a First-Team NABC pick and made the USBWA District II squad. Greene’s 620 points in 2007-08 was the second highest for a freshman in Syracuse history (778 by Carmelo Anthony), while setting a freshman record for three-point field goals made (90). In addition to his collegiate career, Greene was a member of the silver-medal-winning USA Basketball Men’s U19 Team at the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship, as well as the gold-medal-winning USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Greene was also named Maryland’s 2007 Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior at Towson Catholic High School (Baltimore).

Jackson, a 6-1, 185-pound guard, was a key member of the Kings’ success during the early to mid 2000’s and played an integral role in Sacramento’s two Pacific Division titles (2001-02 and 2002-03) and trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2002. He returns to the Kings with career averages of 10.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 684 games (133 starts) with Denver, Minnesota, Sacramento, Memphis, New Orleans and Houston. An 11-year NBA veteran, Jackson, who played five seasons for the Kings (2000-01 to 2004-05), had his best campaign with Sacramento in 2002-03, averaging a career-best 15.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.20 steals per game en route to winning the 2003 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, becoming the first player in Kings history, and just the second point guard in league history to win the award. He also finished second in voting for the 2002 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award and fourth for the 2001 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. Having been to the playoffs on eight different occasions, Jackson has amassed career averages of 9.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game through 58 post season contests. His most productive playoff campaign, statistically, occurred in 2003 when he averaged 14.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.0 steals per game through 12 outings for the Kings. Jackson was selected by Seattle in the first round (23rd overall) of the 1997 NBA Draft (draft rights were traded to Denver) out of Minnesota where he helped lead the Gophers to a 49-11 record and the school’s only NCAA Final Four appearance during his two-year career there.

Artest, a nine-year NBA veteran, amassed averages of 18.1 points (.419 FG%, .333 3pt%, .733 FT%), 6.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.08 steals, and 38.6 minutes in 110 games with the Kings over a two and a half year span (2005-06 to 2007-08). He guided Sacramento to a playoff berth and a 26-14 record to finish the season after being acquired on January 26, 2005, in addition to being named to the NBA All Defensive First Team (joining former Kings’ player Doug Christie as the only players in Kings franchise history to earn Defensive First Team accolades). Artest has recorded career averages of 16.0 points (.425 FG%, .329 3pt%, .720 FT%), 5.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.13 steals, and 34.7 minutes per game in 535 regular season games (started 507) through nine NBA seasons with Chicago (1999-00 – first half of 2001-02), Indiana (second-half of 2001-02 – first half of 2005-06), and Sacramento (second half of 2005-06 – 2007-08). He ranks ninth all-time in NBA history in steals per game, second only to Allen Iverson among active players in that category. Artest was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year during the 2003-04 season. He was drafted by Chicago as an undergraduate out of St. Johns with the 16th overall pick of the 1999 NBA Draft.

Singletary, a 6-0, 185-pound guard, who was selected by the Kings in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft out of Virginia, averaged 19.8 points and 6.1 assists in his senior season for the Cavaliers, the only player in Division I to rank in the Top 40 in both scoring and assists. The three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference First Team selection was also the only player in Division I to have a 40-point game, a 10-rebound game and a 10-assist game during the same season and the only player in Virginia men’s basketball history to accomplish all three in the same season. He finished his collegiate career at Virginia ranked second in steals (200), third in assists (587), third in three-point field goals made (222), fourth in free throws made (573), fifth in points scored (2,079), and ninth in field goals made (642). Singletary averaged 16.9 points (.406 FG%, .362 3pt%, .846 FT%), 4.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.62 steals per game in 123 games over four seasons. He averaged over 10 points and 3.9 assists per game in each of his four seasons.

Ewing Jr., a 6-8, 240-pound forward from Georgetown, was selected by the Kings in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft. He averaged 6.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game in 34 contests in 2007-08, his senior season with the Hoyas. The son of former New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing, Ewing Jr. was the inaugural Big East Sixth Man of the Year in 2007-08. Ewing Jr. played two seasons at Indiana (2003-04 and 2004-05) before transferring to Georgetown. He shot over 50 percent from the field in three of his four college seasons.

Suns sign Louis Amundson

The Phoenix Suns have signed free-agent forward Louis Amundson to a contract, the club announced today.

“Louis is a talented, versatile young player who brings a lot of energy and skill to our roster,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr.  “He gives us added depth in the frontcourt and we think he’ll fit in well with our team.”

The 6-9, 238-pound Amundson is a two-year NBA veteran who has appeared in 27 career games with the Utah Jazz and most recently the Philadelphia 76ers.  As a Sixer, the 25-year-old tallied career-highs of eight points, 11 rebounds, including eight offensive, and four blocks in 23 minutes of play at the Detroit Pistons on April 15, 2007.  Amundson, who saw action in two of the club’s first-round playoff games against Detroit in 2008, averaged 2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 5.0 minutes in the series.

The Ventura, Calif.-native was a productive member of the Golden State Warriors’ 2008 NBA Summer League squad, posting 6.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 17.6 minutes in five games.  In 2006-07, Amundson’s 11.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.48 blocks in 25 games for the Colorado 14ers of the NBA Development League earned him a spot on the All-D-League First Team as well as D-League Rookie of the Year honors.

Undrafted out of college, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas graduate played five seasons for the Runnin’ Rebels after receiving a medical redshirt for his sophomore season.  Amundson became the first player in Mountain West Conference history to record two career games of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds.

Bucks sign Francisco Elson

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed center Francisco Elson to a contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Elson (7-0, 240) comes to the Bucks after splitting the 2007-08 season with San Antonio and Seattle.

“Francisco is a player of high character who will bring length and athleticism to the front line,” said Hammond.  “In addition, he has extensive playoff experience and has been part of an NBA Championship team.  He knows what it takes to be a part of a winning team and we welcome a player with his level of experience.”

Elson, 32, began last season with San Antonio and appeared in 41 games with averages of 3.5 points and 3.3 rebounds before a February trade sent him to Seattle.  He played 22 games for the Sonics and posted averages of 3.0 points and 3.0 rebounds.

Elson was originally drafted by Denver in the second round of the 1999 NBA Draft (41st overall).  He went overseas to play four years in Spain before joining the Nuggets, spending time with FC Barcelona (1999-2001), Pamesa Valencia (2001-02), and Caja San Fernando (2002-03).  He joined the Nuggets prior to the 2003-04 season and went on to play three seasons in Denver before signing with the Spurs prior to the 2006-07 season.  He posted career-high averages in points (5.0) and rebounds (4.8) while appearing in 70 games in his only full season with San Antonio.  He appeared in all 20 of San Antonio’s playoff games (8 starts) during their run to the 2007 NBA Championship.  He logged 230 minutes of playing time and posted averages of 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds while also becoming the first Dutch player to win an NBA title.

In five NBA seasons, Elson owns career averages of 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 334 games.  He has 30 games of playoff experience with Denver and San Antonio, and owns playoff career averages of 2.9 points and 2.8 rebounds.

Prior to entering the 1999 NBA Draft, Elson enjoyed a two-year stint at the University of California, which included an NIT Championship during his senior year in 1999.  In two seasons with the Bears he averaged 5.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 59 games.  He played his first two seasons of college basketball at Kilgore Junior College.

Elson is a native of the Netherlands and is fluent in Dutch, Spanish, German, South American Suriname and English.

The Portland Trail Blazers announced that guard Brandon Roy underwent arthroscopic surgery today to repair a partial tear in the meniscus of his left knee.  Roy is expected to be out 4-8 weeks.

“We are looking forward to Brandon making a full recovery and expect him to be ready for the start of the regular season,” said Trail Blazers General Manager Kevin Pritchard.

Trail Blazers team physician Dr. Don Roberts performed the surgery at Southwest Washington Regional Surgery Center in Vancouver, Wash.

The title really says it all. I don’t care what the stats or scoreboard says. The majority of Kobe’s shot attempts were tough, forced, stupid shots that shouldn’t be taken.

Why does he feel a need to shoot when there’s a defender right on him? Why not drive, and if defenders approach, dish off? And only shoot when open?

He’s been doing this throughout the tournament so far. Stop it, Kobe.

Bracey Wright signs in Spain reports: DKV Joventut has announced an agreement with shooting guard Bracey Wright, who inked a one-year deal with the Spanish powerhouse. Wright (191, 24) arrives from Aris TT Bank, where he averaged 14.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 18 Euroleague games last season.

The Portland Trail Blazers announced today that guard Brandon Roy will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Thursday to repair a tear in the meniscus of his left knee.  A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) taken Tuesday revealed the tear in the meniscus.

Trail Blazers team physician Dr. Don Roberts will perform the surgery at Southwest Washington Regional Surgery Center in Vancouver, Wash.

A timetable for Roy’s return will be set following the arthroscopic surgery.

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