Pacers sign Danny Granger to contract extension

The Indiana Pacers announced Friday that Danny Granger has signed a contract extension with the team. The Indianapolis Star reported that the extension is for five years and between $60 and $64 million, and that it will start next season.

“I’m very happy we were able to get an extension done,” said Granger. “I’d like to thank the Simons, Larry Bird, David Morway, Jim O’Brien, the assistant coaches, my teammates and the entire Pacers’ organization. I’m very excited about the direction our team is going and I’m glad that I can have a part in the future of this franchise. I think we can have something very special here.”

The 6-9 Granger, the Pacers’ first-round draft pick (17th overall) in the 2005 NBA Draft, has averaged 13.7 points per game in his three seasons. Last year, he registered career-best averages in points (19.6), rebounds (6.1), steals (1.1) and 3-point field goal percentage (.404).”

“Danny is a very good player and a great young man on and off the court,” said Bird, the Pacers’ President of Basketball. “He is a very important part of our future. Danny always keeps himself in top condition during the season and the off-season while always working to improve his game. He’s a player we feel very confident with going forward.”

No extension for Linas Kleiza

The Rocky Mountain News (Chris Tomasson) reports: The Nuggets’ deal to sign Linas Kleiza to a contract extension has fallen apart and he will become a restricted free agent next summer, his agent said Friday.
Bill Duffy told the Rocky Mountain News that the Nuggets decided Friday not to offer Kleiza, a Nuggets forward, a deal in the range the two parties had been talking about that would start next season. The sides had been talking about a possible extension in the range of $25 million over four years which would have had to have been signed by the Friday deadline… Duffy said that while Kleiza likes Denver, other NBA teams will be looked at next summer. He’s also a candidate to go overseas. editor says: Kleiza is a good bench player but not an essential part of the Nuggets future. He does make a team better.

Blazers sign Martell Webster to contract extension

The Portland Trail Blazers signed guard/forward Martell Webster to a multi-year contract extension, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Martell has worked extremely hard to become the talented player that he is,” said Pritchard. “He’s only 22, so we expect to see even more from him as he gains experience and continues to improve. Martell exhibits all the things we expect from a Trail Blazers player, both on and off the court.”

Webster averaged career highs of 10.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 28.4 minutes in 75 games (70 starts) last season. He was 123-for-317 (38.8%) from 3-point range in 2007-08, pacing the team in 3-pointers made.

“I’m so excited and honored,” said Webster. “Knowing that I’m going to be a part of the Trail Blazers family for many years to come is very important and special to me.”

Portland selected Webster in the first round (sixth pick overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft out of Seattle Prep. The fourth-year player holds career averages of 8.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.8 assists.

Webster ranks No. 7 on the Trail Blazers’ all-time list of 3-pointers made with 279.

Warriors exercise 2 options but decline Marcus Williams option

The Golden State Warriors have exercised the third-year contract options on guard Marco Belinelli and forward Brandan Wright, and declined the fourth-year contract option on guard Marcus Williams, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin announced today.

Under the terms of the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement, the first two years of a first round draft pick’s contract are guaranteed, while the third and fourth year of the contract are the team’s option.  Belinelli was selected with the 18th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Warriors, while Wright was selected with the eighth overall selection in that same draft by the Charlotte Bobcats and later acquired by Golden State.  The Warriors acquired Williams – the 22nd pick in the 2006 NBA Draft – from the New Jersey Nets on July 22, 2008.

Pistons sign Jason Maxiell to contract extension

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club signed forward Jason Maxiell to a contract extension.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Last season, Maxiell averaged career-highs in points (7.9), rebounds (5.3), assists (0.6), blocks (1.2) and minutes played (21.5) in a career-high 82 games.  In seven games as a starter, he averaged 11.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 30.4 minutes per game.  Maxiell led the Pistons bench players in scoring and ranked 30th in the NBA in blocks (1.2 bpg) in 2007-08.  He finished ninth in NBA Sixth Man of the Year voting and ranked third among NBA non-starters in rebounding (5.3 rpg) behind New York’s David Lee (8.9 rpg) and Utah’s Paul Millsap (5.6 rpg).

Maxiell was drafted 26th overall by the Pistons in the 2005 NBA Draft from the University of Cincinnati.  In 175 career NBA games coming into this season, he held averages of 6.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 0.9 blocks. 

Grizzlies exercise 4 player options

The Memphis Grizzlies today exercised the fourth-year team options on forward Rudy Gay and guard Kyle Lowry and picked up the third-year team options on guards Mike Conley and Javaris Crittenton.  Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed. All four players are now signed through the 2009-10 season.

Gay, the eighth overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft, led all NBA sophomores in scoring last season (team-high 20.1 points per game) and finished runner-up to Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu for the NBA Most Improved Player Award.  The 6-8, 230-pound forward holds career averages of 15.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.96 blocks in 32.1 minutes in 160 career games (125 starts).

Lowry, the 24th overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft, ranked third among all second-year players in assists last season (3.6), trailing only Portland’s Brandon Roy and Boston’s Rajon Rondo while leading the club in free throw attempts (243).  The 6-0, 205-pound guard holds career averages of 9.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.15 steals in 24.5 minutes in 93 career games (nine starts).

Conley, the fourth overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft, led all NBA rookies in assists last season (team-high 4.2) and posted the highest-assist average for any rookie since the 2005-06 season.  The 6-1, 185-pound guard, who participated in the 2008 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge as part of All-Star Weekend, owns career averages of 9.4 points, 4.2 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 26.2 minutes in 54 games (47 starts) with the Grizzlies.

Crittenton, the 19th overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft, was acquired by Memphis along with the draft rights to Marc Gasol, Kwame Brown, Aaron McKie, first round draft picks in 2008 and 2010 and cash considerations in exchange for Pau Gasol and a 2010 second round pick on Feb. 1, 2008.  The 6-5, 200-pound guard averaged 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 13.6 minutes in 50 games (zero starts) in his first professional season.

Jazz decline Morris Almond option

The Deseret News (Tim Buckley) reports: Shooting guard Morris Almond said this morning that the Jazz will not pick up the contract option on him next season. The Jazz had until today to decide whether or not to exercise their third-year, 2009-10 season option on Almond’s rookie contract, which would have paid him $1.16 million.

Celtics exercise Rondo option

The Boston Celtics announced today that the club has exercised the fourth year option on guard Rajon Rondo. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The third-year product out of Kentucky averaged 10.6 points, 5.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.68 steals last season.  Rondo also averaged 10.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.73 steals during the Celtics run to their 17th NBA Championship last spring. During the 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend, Rondo started for the Sophomore team in the Rookie Challenge scoring six points and had six assists in 18 minutes.  The former Wildcat was originally acquired in a draft night trade from the Phoenix Suns along with Brian Grant and cash considerations in exchange for a future first round pick on June 28, 2006.

Oct 30: Hornets 108, Suns 95

The AP reports: Chris Paul had 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds and New Orleans held off a rally, then pulled away to beat Phoenix 108-95 Thursday night and spoil the home debut of new Suns coach Terry Porter… Peja Stojakovic added 20 points before leaving the game with a sprained right ankle in the first few seconds of the fourth quarter. New Orleans already was without starting center Tyson Chandler, who sprained his right ankle against the Warriors. Morris Peterson added 21 and David West 18 for New Orleans. James Posey scored 13, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter… Steve Nash had 24 points and nine assists, and Amare Stoudemire added 21 points and 12 rebounds for Phoenix. The Suns committed 24 turnovers, resulting in 21 New Orleans points, after only 10 in their victory at San Antonio the previous night. Nash had seven turnovers.

Oct 30: Rockets 112, Mavs 102

The AP reports: Ron Artest scored seven points during a 16-2 run late in the fourth quarter that sent the Rockets to a 112-102 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night. But that’s not the only way he ingratiated himself to the big guy. During the spurt, Yao caught an elbow from Dallas’ Josh Howard. When the two started to go face-to-face, Artest came running in between them… Yao finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds, and Artest scored 29 as the Rockets won their second game in as many nights… Dirk Nowitzki scored 36 points and Josh Howard added 28 points and 11 rebounds, but they scored a combined three points on 1-of-6 shooting in the fourth quarter. As a team, Dallas was 6-of-24 in the period… Kidd had seven points, seven rebounds and 12 assists. Jason Terry scored 15 points. Houston’s Tracy McGrady scored 16 points, making only three of 10 shots, and sat out the fourth quarter.