Archive for August 28th, 2008

Grizzlies sign Hamed Haddadi

The Memphis Grizzlies signed free-agent center Hamed Haddadi pronounced (ha-MED ha-DAHD-dee), who led all 2008 Olympians in rebounding and blocks, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Ahvaz, Iran native recently participated in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, where he was the only player to average a double-double (16.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks) in Olympic competition while playing five games for the Iranian National Team.

The 7-2, 254-pound center had his best performance came against eventual bronze medal winner Argentina when he had a team-high 21 points and game-high 16 rebounds on Aug. 16.

“We are pleased to sign Hamed,” said Wallace. “He is a young center who was very productive as a rebounder, shotblocker and scorer at the Rocky Mountain Revue Summer League in Salt Lake City, Utah, the 2008 Olympics and the FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament in Nanjing, China prior to the Olympics. Our coaching staff is eager to begin working with Hamed.”

Haddadi, who is slated to become the first Iranian to play in the NBA, poured in 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against Lebanon in the 2007 FIBA Asian Championship in Japan, helping Iran clinch its first Olympic basketball berth since 1948.

The 23-year-old, who was not selected in the 2004 NBA Draft, recently averaged 14.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 25.5 minutes in two games for the Iranian team against NBA competition at the 2008 Rocky Mountain Revue.

Haddadi, who spent the 2007-08 season playing for Saba Battery BC in the Iranian Super League, will join former Grizzlies Jake Tsakalidis and Cezary Trybanski as the tallest players in franchise history. He is also the second Grizzlies player to appear in the 2008 Olympics, joining center Marc Gasol, who captured a silver medal with the Spanish National Team.

Hornets sign Sean Marks

Jeff says: Sean Marks basically hangs out, waves a towel, says hi to his teammates, maybe plays a few minutes, tosses an outside shot or two up, tells some jokes, etc. And now the Hornets have acquired his services. Here’s the news release:

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed free agent forward/center Sean Marks. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.

“We are excited for Sean to join our team,” said Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower. “He is a veteran leader, who has been on winning teams and will be a great addition to our frontcourt.”

Marks (6-10, 250) is a nine-year NBA veteran with career averages of 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per game. He has played with four different teams—Toronto, Miami, San Antonio and Phoenix. When he made his debut as a rookie on March 16, 1999 with the Raptors, he became the first native of New Zealand to play in the NBA.

Most recently with the Suns, Marks played in 19 games during the 2007-08 season, shooting 53.5% (23-of-43) from the field and averaging 3.1 points per contest. He scored in 13 of 19 appearances, including a season-high 16 points and career-high 13 rebounds in the Suns’ season finale Apr. 16 against Portland.

A native of Auckland, New Zealand, Marks played at California, appearing in 86 career games. As a senior, he averaged 9.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in 26 contests.

Taurean Green to sign in Spain

The Indepedent Florida Alligator (Mike DiFerdinando) reports: Taurean Green doesn’t speak much Spanish, and that may be a problem. The former UF point guard confirmed Wednesday that he has agreed to play for the Spanish club CAI Zaragoza. Green is in the process of negotiating what is believed to be a one-year deal with the team. He would not confirm the specifics of the contract.

Casey Jacobsen signs in Germany

Euroleague.net reports: Alba Berlin completed its roster for its Euroleague comeback this season on Thursday with the addition of American forward Casey Jacobsen (198, 27) for the next campaign. Jacobsen arrives from the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA where last season he averaged 2.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 53 appearances. Jacobsen played college ball in Stanford with which he played the NCAA Final Eight in 2001.

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