Archive for October 3rd, 2008

Nuggets sign Juwan Howard

The Denver Nuggets have signed F Juwan Howard to their training camp roster, team Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today. Both local newspapers covering the Nuggets have said this will be a nonguaranteed deal.

Howard, a 14-year NBA veteran, played in 50 games for the Dallas Mavericks last season. In 1,001 career regular season games, he has averaged 15.3 ppg and 6.8 rpg and was an All-Star with Washington in 1996.

Howard, 6-9, 250, played in 105 games for the Nuggets from 2002-03, averaging 18.3 ppg and 7.7 rpg. Originally drafted by Washington with the fifth overall pick of the 1995 NBA Draft, he has also played for Orlando and Houston.

The addition of Howard brings Denver’s training camp roster to 19 players.

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have named Paul Westphal executive vice president of basketball operations. He will work directly with President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Donnie Nelson and assist in all areas of management as well as scouting.

Westphal, a 12-year NBA veteran, brings 25 years of coaching experience to his new role. Westphal owns a .627 winning percentage as an NBA coach and led the Phoenix Suns to the 1993 NBA Finals. In 1995, he became the second-fastest coach in NBA history to reach 150 wins. The Suns surpassed the 55-win mark in each of his three seasons in Phoenix. Last season, Westphal served as an assistant coach for the Mavericks.

As a player, Westphal was the 10th overall selection by the Boston Celtics in the 1972 NBA Draft. His career included stints in Boston, Phoenix, New York and Seattle. He was a member of the 1974 NBA Champion Boston Celtics and played in the 1976 Finals as a member of the Suns.

“I can’t tell you how excited we are to add Westy to our management team,” Nelson said. “The Mavericks have gained a valuable asset. As a player and coach, Paul has pretty much seen and done it all. He has a wealth of experience and expertise. Now he has the opportunity to apply that knowledge on the management side of the ball and the Mavericks are a much better team for it.”

Jared Jeffries breaks leg

The Bergen Record (Steve Adamek) reports via blog: Jared Jeffries was supposed to have a significant role in Mike D’Antoni’s rotation this season, even playing a little center as the Knicks’ version of Boris Diaw, whom D’Antoni played everywhere in Phoenix. Instead, the player considered a disappointment his first two seasons in New York after Isiah Thomas signed him to a five-year, $30 million mid-level salary cap-exception deal will start his third straight season injured after breaking his leg landing awkwardly late in Thursday’s practice. The team estimates he’ll miss six to eight weeks.

The New York Post (Marc Berman) reports: Jeffries had so impressed the new coaching staff and D’Antoni all but admitted he would be part of their expected nine-man rotation, classifying him as a center. D’Antoni felt he was misused as a small forward. “He’s 6-11, 250 pounds, that spells center to me,” D’Antoni said before the bad news. “He’s big, running the floor, great defensive player. He worked on his shot all summer, came ready to play. The guy does lots of things.”

Brian Cook out of shape

Florida Today (John Denton) reports: Despite losing weight and getting back healthy over the summer, Orlando Magic forward Brian Cook has still managed to work his way into head coach Stan Van Gundy’s doghouse. Three days into training camp and it’s already apparent that Cook’s conditioning isn’t where the Magic would like for it to be. It certainly isn’t a serious situation this early in camp, as Van Gundy pointed out, but it could hurt Cook’s chances of getting significant minutes off the bench as the backup power forward.

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