Archive for October, 2008

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.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Kleiza is a good bench player but not an essential part of the Nuggets future. He does make a team better.

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.

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.

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.

Oct 30: Cavs 96, Bobcats 79

The AP reports: LeBron James scored 22 points but was resting on the bench when Cleveland regained control in the fourth quarter, and the Cavaliers won their home opener 96-79 over Charlotte on Thursday night to spoil well-traveled coach Larry Brown’s debut with the Bobcats. Daniel Gibson scored 25 points—20 in the first half—and Mo Williams added 17 in his home debut for Cleveland, which put away the Bobcats while James sat… James barely missed a triple-double, adding nine rebounds and nine assists in only 30 minutes for the Cavs, who let the Bobcats trim a 19-point lead to five in the third quarter… Jason Richardson scored 24 and Gerald Wallace 13 for the Bobcats… Cavs C Ben Wallace had five blocks.

Lakers sign Andrew Bynum to extension

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed fourth-year center Andrew Bynum to a multi-year contract extension, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Appearing in 35 games last season, Bynum averaged 13.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks before suffering a season-ending knee injury during the Lakers 100-99 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on January 13th.

“We’re extremely happy to have signed Andrew to this extension, which will secure his immediate future with the franchise,” said Kupchak. “Andrew has shown a vast array of skills for a player his size and if he continues to stay dedicated and work hard to improve, he has an excellent chance to develop into one of the top players in the NBA.”

“This has been a fantastic week for me so far: turning 21, winning our first two games of the season, and now getting this new contract signed,” said Bynum. “This gives me and my family financial security, and more importantly, cements my future with the Lakers, which in my opinion is the best organization in all of professional sports. I couldn’t be happier.”

Bynum, an early entry candidate for the 2005 NBA Draft, became the youngest player in NBA history to be selected when the Lakers used their first round pick (10th overall) to acquire the 7’0” center. A McDonald’s High School All-American, Bynum averaged 22.0 points, 16.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocks his senior season at St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, New Jersey.

For his career, Bynum is averaging 7.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 19.3 minutes.

Rockets exercise Aaron Brooks option

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced tonight that the team has picked up the option on the contract of guard Aaron Brooks.

Brooks (6-0, 161, Oregon) led the Rockets this preseason in scoring average (14.4) and assists per game (4.1). He was the only Houston player to post two 20-point games this preseason, as well as topping the Rockets in assists a team-best four games. Brooks also registered a game-high 23 points (7-16 FG, 4-8 3FG, 5-6 FT) vs. Sacramento (10/17/08). He holds a regular season career high of 22 points vs. New York (1/5/08), which includes a career-best four 3-pointers made.

Selected by Houston in the first round (26th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft, Brooks averaged 5.2 points and 1.7 assists in 51 games of his rookie season with the Rockets. He was also one of the top-10 young NBA players named to a USA Basketball Men’s Select Team that was chosen to help prepare the 2007 USA Senior National Team for its gold-medal run at the FIBA Americas Championship 2007. In addition, Brooks earned T-Mobile Rookie of the Month honors for 2007 NBA Summer League.

Dallas  has  been  selected as the site of NBA All-Star  2010, Commissioner David Stern, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones jointly announced today during a press conference outside the American Airlines Center.

Following  the  mantra  that “everything is bigger in Texas,” the 59th NBA All-Star  Game  will  be played on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010, at the new Dallas Cowboys  Stadium in Arlington, which will have a seating capacity in excess of  80,000. This collaboration between the NBA, and the ownership groups of the  Mavericks and Cowboys, will afford all Mavericks season ticket holders a chance to partake in the pageantry of the NBA All-Star Game.

The T-Mobile Rookie  Challenge  and  NBA  All-Star  Saturday Night festivities will take place  at  American  Airlines Center, home of the Mavericks. 2010 will mark the first time the All-Star competitions are split between two venues since Houston  in  1989  when  The  Summit hosted All-Star Saturday Night and the Astrodome hosted Sunday’s All-Star Game.

“Dallas  is  a  vibrant  city  with  a passionate sports fan base that will embrace  the  NBA  All-Star experience,”  said  Stern.  “We appreciate the collaborative  efforts of Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones on what will surely be one of the most memorable basketball events of all time.”

The New Jersey Nets have exercised a fourth year contract option on Josh Boone and third year contract options on Sean Williams and Yi Jianlian while declining to pick up the fourth year contract option on Maurice Ager, Nets President Rod Thorn announced today.  Boone, Williams and Yi are now signed through the 2009-10 season.  Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not released.

Boone was selected by New Jersey with the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft.  The third year center has appeared in 131 games in his first two seasons with the Nets, averaging  6.3 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting .557 (337-of-605) from the field in 18.6 minutes.

Sean Williams, drafted 17th overall in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft by New Jersey, appeared in 73 games as a rookie.  He tallied 5.6 points on .538 (164-305) shooting, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 17.5 minutes.  His 106 blocks on the season marked the second highest block total for a Nets rookie in team history, trailing only Kenyon Martin’s 113 blocks during the 2000-01 season.  Williams was selected to the 2008 Rookie All-Star team and recorded eight points and 10 rebounds in the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

Yi was selected with the sixth pick in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft by Milwaukee.  He was traded to New Jersey, along with Bobby Simmons, for Richard Jefferson on June 26, 2008.  In 66 games with Milwaukee, Yi averaged of 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in 25 minutes.  Yi is a member of the Chinese National Team which competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and 2004 games in Athens.

Ager was selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, 28th overall, of the 2006 NBA Draft.  He was acquired by the Nets along with Devin Harris, Trenton Hassell, DeSagana Diop and Keith Van Horn, along with Dallas’ first round draft picks in 2008 and 2010 and cash considerations from the Mavericks in exchange for Jason Kidd, Antoine Wright and Malik Allen on February 19, 2008.  In his first two NBA season, Ager played in 58 games with Dallas and New Jersey, averaging 2.1 points and 0.6 rebounds in 6.5 minutes.

Mario Chalmers talks to InsideHoops

Heat point guard Mario Chalmers, a rookie, talks to InsideHoops.com about this, that and the other thing.

It’s a quick five-question chat. Skim it now: Mario Chalmers interview.

Report from Knicks home opener

InsideHoops.com main man Bobby “The Voice” Ciafardini was in Madison Square Garden Wednesday night for the New York Knicks home opener against the Miami Heat.

Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry weren’t involved for New York, but the Knicks flew by the Heat 120-115. The Mike D’Antoni era has begun.

Read about the game, with post-game player quotes.

Iverson not a Nuggets captain

The Denver Post (Benjamin Hochman) reports: The votes are in. The Nuggets’ players have elected co-captains for this season — forwards Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin. Allen Iverson, a tri-captain last season with Anthony and Marcus Camby, will not be an official captain. Karl said he wanted only two. Veteran Chucky Atkins was one of the players who voted for Anthony and Martin. “I picked those guys based on the fact that they’ve been around here the longest, and the expectations of our team, pretty much, rests on their shoulders,” Atkins said.

Spurs hack-a-Shaq 5 seconds into game

UPDATE: See the video of it here.

The East Valley Tribune (Jerry Brown) reports: With Shaquille O’Neal’s “coward” comment still ringing in the ears of Spurs fans before Wednesday’s game, a reporter asked San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich if he would consider a mock “Hack-a-Shaq” on the first possession of the game to jokingly prove that he wasn’t backing down from his strategy in last year’s playoffs. Popovich stopped. He ran his fingers through his new white beard. And then he started to grin. “You know, that’s not a bad idea now that I think about it. It’s a better suggestion than any of our (assistant) coaches have had all summer,” Popovich said. “I could get a couple of guys in front of me and act like they were holding me back … a typical NBA fight.” Funny guy. He was just kidding, of course. Right? Sure enough, the Suns won the tip and ex-Sun Michael Finley wrapped his arms around O’Neal to stop play five seconds into the game — a nonshooting foul. O’Neal quickly looked over at Popovich, who gave him two thumbs-up and the two shared a laugh. “Classic Pop. I loved it,” Steve Nash said. “It would have been a fine if he didn’t do it.”

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Jeff Caplan) reports: Dirk Nowitzki is a big fan of bringing NBA All-Star Weekend to North Texas. “I always thought that [Dallas Mavericks owner Mark] Cuban, at the beginning when he took over, he wasn’t going to do an All-Star Game, so I was always in that mind-set that we’re not going to have it,” Nowitzki said. “If it’s really going to happen, it’s going to be something special.” A joint effort by the Mavericks and Dallas Cowboys will produce the 2010 All-Star Game at the new Cowboys stadium in Arlington, with the related festivities such as the slam dunk competition at American Airlines Center and the NBA Fan Jam at another Dallas venue. The NBA isn’t commenting, but multiple sources have confirmed that the official announcement is set for 4 p.m. today at Victory Plaza outside AAC.

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