Archive for February 19th, 2009

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has acquired guard Kyle Lowry from Memphis and forward Brian Cook from Orlando as part of a three-team trade. The deal has the Rockets sending Rafer Alston to the Magic, while the Grizzlies receive a first-round draft selection from Orlando in the 2009 NBA Draft along with center Adonal Foyle and guard Mike Wilks.

“First, I would like to thank Rafer for his commitment to the team over the past four seasons,” said Morey.  “Kyle is an underrated player who will help us now and we can build around in the future.  He is a very good rebounder and defender who can attack the basket in the half court and transition, finish, and make the kick out pass to shooters. Brian is a proven veteran who will provide us with solid perimeter shooting and additional depth.”

“Rafer is a starting veteran point guard who shoots the ball well,” said Magic General Manager Otis Smith.  “He will give us added depth and athleticism in the backcourt.  We thank Brian, Adonal and Mike for all of their contributions and wish them all the best.”

Alston (6’2”, 175, 7/24/76, #1) has played in 48 games (all starts) this season for Houston, averaging 11.5 ppg., 5.4 apg., 3.0 rpg., and 1.2 stlpg. in 33.1 minpg.  In his 10th NBA season, he is shooting .348 (80-of-230) from three-point range and has scored in double figures 28 times, including a season-high 23 points on January 21 vs. Utah. He’s led the Rockets in assists in 26 games this season.

Originally selected by Milwaukee out of Fresno State in the second round of the 1998 NBA Draft (39th overall selection), Alston has appeared in 590 games with four teams (Milwaukee, Toronto, Miami, Houston), averaging 10.2 ppg. and 4.9 apg. He has also appeared in 33 playoff games, with 11 starts. He saw action in 13 playoff games for the Miami Heat in 2004, and averaged 14.3 ppg. and 4.5 apg. in four postseason games last year for Houston. Considered a “playground legend” while growing up in Queens, New York, he coached the 16-and-under New York Panthers AAU basketball team during the 2008 offseason.

“It was difficult to part with Kyle Lowry,” Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace said. “He has been an important part of our team the last three seasons.  With the emergence of Mike Conley, we decided that the acquisition of Orlando’s unprotected first round pick was a good move to make.  We now will enter the upcoming draft with two first round selections and three picks overall, likely inside the first 37 picks.”

The Grizzlies now own four first round picks over the next two drafts, including the Lakers’ 2010 first rounder and the team’s own two first round selections.

Lowry (6-0, 205, Villanova) was averaging 7.6 points, 3.6 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 49 games (21 starts) with Memphis in 2008-09. As a starter this season, Lowry is averaging 9.0 points (.423, 60-142 FG), 4.8 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per game. Overall, he has scored 10-plus points 12 times in 2008-09, including a career-high 25 points vs. Cleveland (1/13/09). Lowry posted his second career double-double at Minnesota (12/29/08) with 14 points and a career-high 12 assists, which marked the most assists for a Grizzlies player since Chucky Atkins (16) at Minnesota (4/18/07). The 6-foot guard also recorded career highs in free throws made (15) and attempted (16) vs. Cleveland (1/13/09).

Selected out of Villanova after his sophomore season by Memphis in the first round (24th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft, Lowry has averaged 8.6 points, 3.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 141 career games (30 starts) with the Grizzlies. He was one of just two Grizzlies to play all 82 games last season, leading the club in free throw attempts (348). Lowry missed all but 10 games in his rookie year due to a fractured wrist.

Cook (6-9, 250, Illinois) averaged 3.0 points (.440, 11-25 3FG), 1.3 rebounds and 7.0 minutes in 21 games with Orlando this season. Playing in his second campaign with the Magic, Cook scored a season-high nine points at Utah (12/13/08). He matched that total with nine points vs. Atlanta (1/9/09), as well as pulling down a season-best eight rebounds.

In his sixth NBA season, Cook has averaged 6.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 325 career games (74 starts) with the L.A. Lakers and Orlando. Cook, who was selected by the Lakers in the first round (24th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft, played four-plus seasons in Los Angeles before joining the Magic via trade on Nov. 20, 2007. The former Illinois standout also appeared in 25 postseason games with the Lakers, averaging 3.0 points and 1.6 rebounds in 7.0 minutes per game.

Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith announced that Magic All-Star point-guard Jameer Nelson underwent season-ending shoulder surgery Thursday afternoon. The procedure, performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama, was successful and rehabilitation is estimated at four-to-six months. Nelson dislocated his right shoulder and suffered a torn labrum on Feb. 2 vs. Dallas.

The Sacramento Kings today acquired Will Solomon from the Toronto Raptors and cash considerations from the Boston Celtics in a three-team trade that sent Boston’s Patrick O’Bryant to Toronto and a protected Kings’ second round pick in 2014 to Boston, according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. In a related move, Sacramento waived Mikki Moore.

“Considering the recent roster moves made over the last 24 hours, this trade allows us to bring in an experienced guard in Will, when you consider his time in the NBA, coupled with his extensive experience playing professionally overseas,” said Petrie. “We also want to thank Mikki for his contribution and wish him the best.”

Solomon, a 6-1, 185-pound guard, who is currently in his second NBA season, averaged 4.9 points (.436 FGs, .263 3FGs, .833 FTs), 3.2 assists and 1.1 rebounds per game through 39 outings with Toronto this season. He was originally selected in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2001 NBA Draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies as an early entry candidate out of Clemson where he enjoyed a three-year collegiate career. Solomon played one season (2001-02) for the Grizzlies and has played overseas since 2002. He has amassed NBA career averages of 5.1 points (.375 FGs, .279 3FGs, .711 FTs), 2.1 assists and 1.1 rebounds per game over 101 contests, of which he has started in 13 with Memphis and Toronto.

Moore, a 7-0, 225-pound forward/center, who is currently in his 11th NBA season, averaged 3.5 points (.521 FGs, .810 FTs) and 3.3 rebounds per game through 46 outings, of which he started in 20 for the Kings this season. After a four-year collegiate career at Nebraska, Moore was not drafted by an NBA team in the 1997 NBA Draft. He has posted career averages of 5.9 points (.548 FGs, .154 3FGs, .744 FTs) and 3.9 rebounds per game over 510 contests, of which he has started in 161 for Detroit (1998-2002), Boston (2002-03), Atlanta (2002-03), New Jersey (2003-04 and 2006-07), Utah (2003-04), Los Angeles Clippers (2004-05), Seattle (2005-06) and Sacramento (2007-09).

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has traded guard Thabo Sefolosha to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 2009 first-round draft pick.

Sefolosha (6-7, 215), in his third season in the NBA, has played in 43 games (14 starts) this season, and averaged 4.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.5 apg, 17.1 mpg, .434 from the field, .300 from behind the arc and .840 from the line.  Originally drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round (13th overall) of NBA Draft 2006, his draft rights were traded by Philadelphia to Chicago for the draft rights to Rodney Carney (16th overall) and cash considerations (June 28, 2006).

Sefolosha has played in 183 regular-season contests (40 starts) with Chicago, and tallied averages of 5.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.4 apg and 16.6 mpg.  During his time in a Bulls uniform, he shot .428 from the field, .328 from behind the arc and .684 from the free-throw line.  Sefolosha, 24, also appeared in nine playoff games with the Bulls, and averaged 3.3 ppg and 1.9 rpg in 11.0 mpg.

“We are excited to add Thabo to our team,“ said Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “With this trade we add another defensive-minded perimeter player that we feel has the opportunity to grow with our organization.”

Oklahoma City owns three first round picks in the 2009 NBA draft. The Thunder holds the rights to its own pick, the Denver Nuggets pick acquired in the Johan Petro trade and the San Antonio Spurs pick received in the Kurt Thomas deal. Chicago will get the least favorable of the Denver and San Antonio picks.

To make room for Sefolosha on the 15-man roster, the Thunder waived Mouhamed Sene.

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have recalled rookie guard J.R. Giddens from their NBA Development League affiliate Utah Flash.

Giddens was reassigned to the Flash on February 5 and has appeared in three games since his second assignment with averages of 17.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.  Giddens has appeared in 15 games for the Flash this season with season averages of 17.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.27 steals and 1.40 blocks per game.

Jarvis Hayes has thumb injury

An MRI examination of Nets’ forward Jarvis Hayes’ left thumb revealed partially torn ligaments, which he suffered during last night’s game at Dallas.  Hayes will wear a splint for a week after which time his status will be reevaluated.

A key bench contributor for the 22-31 Nets this season, Hayes in 25.3 minutes per game is averaging 8.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Danny Granger out 2-3 weeks

The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday that forward Danny Granger will be out 10 days to three weeks with a partial tendon tear in the sole of his right foot. The injury occurred in the first half of Wednesday night’s game at Charlotte. An MRI conducted Thursday in Minneapolis revealed the tear.

As the heart of the Pacers, Granger this season in 36.2 minutes per game is averaging 25.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.54 blocks per game. Though he’s only shooting 43.4% from the field, Granger is nailing an impressive 39.8% of his three-point attempts.

With 22 wins and 34 losses, the Pacers are currently last in the Central division and are the 13th seed in the 15-team Eastern conference.

Manu Ginobili out 2-3 weeks

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that Manu Ginobili has a stress reaction of his distal right fibula. The injury was diagnosed after a series of examinations including X-rays, an MRI and a CAT scan.

Ginobili is expected to be out for two-to-three weeks.

For the season, Ginobili in 27.2 minutes per game is averaging 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.53 steals.

We’ve updated the InsideHoops.com NBA rumors page literally 20+ times today and it’s still going.

I was going to blog like crazy, but most of it would have been about deals that were discussed but didn’t actually materialize.

So, reload our rumors page constantly today. Literally every 15 minutes.

And notice the advertisments! They pay the bills. Go sponsors go!

The Onion (satire) reports: Since leaping over Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard to claim his second NBA dunk title Saturday, 5-foot-9 New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson has apparently dedicated himself to the sole task of jumping over Howard as the 7-footer goes about his daily life. According to Howard, Robinson bounded over him roughly two dozen times on Tuesday alone, most notably while the All-Star center was putting gas in his car, as he was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, immediately after he woke up in the morning, two minutes later when he was taking a shower, and right afterward as he began to shave. “I can’t do anything without that guy jumping over me,” said Howard, who glanced over his shoulder every few seconds during his press conference Wednesday. “He’s everywhere. When I took my mom to her doctor’s appointment last Monday, at church communion, and every time I get off my couch to put in a new DVD. And I watch a lot of DVDs.”

The New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that guard Larry Hughes has been acquired from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for center Jerome James, guard Anthony Roberson and forward Tim Thomas.

Hughes, 6-5, 184-pounds, was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the eighth overall selection in the 1998 NBA Draft out of Saint Louis University. The St. Louis, MO-native has career averages of 14.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.50 steals in 648 career games (479 starts) over 11 NBA seasons with Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, Golden State and Philadelphia. Hughes, who was acquired by Chicago in a six-player deal on Feb. 21, 2008, averaged 12.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 68 games with Chicago and Cleveland during the 2007-08 season. He is averaging 12.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.20 steals over 26.4 minutes in 30 games (six starts) during 2008-09 campaign.

James, 7-1, 285-pounds, signed with the Knicks as a free agent on Aug. 2, 2005 after spending four seasons with the Seattle Supersonics. He averaged 2.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 90 career games with New York. The Florida A&M product, who is in his 10th NBA season, has career averages of 4.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 358 games with New York, Seattle and Sacramento. He is averaging 3.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in two games during the 2008-09 campaign. On Jan. 18, James ruptured his right Achilles and is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.

Roberson, 6-2, 195-pounds, signed as a free agent with the Knicks on Jul. 24, 2008. The Saginaw, MI-native averaged 4.7 points and 11.0 minutes in 23 games this season.

Thomas, 6-10, 240-pounds, was acquired by the Knicks, with Cuttino Mobley, from the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 21 in exchange for Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins. Thomas averaged 9.6 points and 3.1 rebounds over 21.5 minutes in 36 games (one start) in his second stint with New York. The Villanova product, who also played for the Knicks from 2003-05 before being traded to Chicago on Oct. 4, 2005, has career averages of 11.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in 788 games over 11 seasons with New York, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix, Chicago, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has acquired forward Malik Rose and cash considerations from the New York Knicks in exchange for forward Chris Wilcox.

“We are pleased to add Malik to our roster,“ said Presti. “He brings a wealth of experience and veteran leadership to our team.”

Rose (6-7/255), a two-time NBA champion currently in his 13th NBA season, owns career averages of 6.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 16.5 minutes in 793 NBA games. He has appeared in 18 games this season with the Knicks, averaging 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 8.9 minutes.

Rose is averaging 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 8.9 minutes in 18 games this season.

Wilcox, 6-10, 235-pounds, was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers with the eighth overall selection in the 2002 NBA Draft out of the University of Maryland. The Raleigh, NC-native has career averages of 9.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.40 blocks in 423 career games (211 starts) over seven NBA seasons with Oklahoma City/Seattle and Los Angeles Clippers. Wilcox averaged 13.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 62 games (55 starts) with Seattle during the 2007-08 season. He is averaging 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds over 19.4 minutes in 37 games (six starts) during 2008-09 campaign.

“Chris is a gifted athletic big man that brings toughness and solidifies our interior defense,” Head Coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Larry fits nicely in our backcourt. He is extremely athletic and a tough defender with a solid overall game.”

Read basketball fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

The Sacramento Kings today acquired Rashad McCants and Calvin Booth from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Shelden Williams and Bobby Brown, according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

“We’re looking forward to having Rashad and Calvin join the team,” said Petrie. “Calvin is an experienced center and Rashad has had some terrific moments scoring the ball in the league. We also want to thank Shelden and Bobby for their contributions and wish them the very best.”

“Shelden Williams and Bobby Brown are both talented young players and we’re excited to get a better look at them,” Timberwolves General Manager Jim Stack said. “We’d like to thank Rashad and Calvin for their professionalism during their time with us and wish them all the best as they move forward with their careers.”

McCants, a 6-4, 215-pound guard, who is currently in his fourth NBA season, averaged 9.1 points (.360 FGs, .319 3FGs, .741 FTs) and 1.9 rebounds per game through 34 outings for the Timberwolves this season. A first round selection (14th pick overall) by Minnesota in the 2005 NBA Draft out of North Carolina, McCants has posted career averages of 9.9 points (.429 FGs, .369 3FGs, .735 FTs), 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game over 225 contests, of which he has started in 38.

Booth, a 6-11, 230-pound center, who is currently in his 10th NBA season, has played in only one game this season for the Timberwolves. He has amassed career averages of 3.3 points (.450 FGs, .222 3FGs, .748 FTs) and 2.8 rebounds per game through 359 outings, of which he has started in 83 for Washington, Dallas, Seattle, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Minnesota. Booth was a second round selection (33rd pick overall) by the Washington Wizards in the 1999 NBA Draft out of Penn State.

Williams, a 6-9, 250-pound forward/center, who is currently in his fourth NBA season, and second with the Kings, averaged 3.7 points (.449 FGs, .762 FTs) and 2.6 rebounds per game over 30 outings this season for Sacramento. The fifth overall pick of the 2006 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks out of Duke, Williams has posted career averages of 4.6 points (.447 FGs, .250 3FGs, .732 FTs) and 4.1 rebounds per game through 175 contests with the Hawks and Kings.

Brown, a 6-2, 175-pound guard, who is currently in his rookie campaign, averaged 5.2 points (.381 FGs, .330 3FGs, .765 FTs) and 1.9 assists per game over 47 contests, of which he started in one. Upon a solid career at California State Fullerton, Brown was not drafted by an NBA team in the 2007 NBA Draft. He signed with the Kings as a free agent prior to the start of this season.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

The Indianapolis Star (Mike Wells) reports: The Indiana Pacers have gone from being optimistic that swingman Mike Dunleavy will soon return to the lineup from his right knee problems to wondering if he’ll play again this season. “I don’t know,” coach Jim O’Brien said when asked about Dunleavy’s status. “I know when they say he’s out indefinitely, there is a chance he can come back. When that is, this year? I’m not sure. I don’t feel like we have all the (medical) information available to make that determination yet.” … O’Brien continues to team Jarrett Jack in the backcourt with T.J. Ford in Dunleavy’s place.

Larry Brown learns to chill

The Charlotte Observer (Rick Bonnell) reports: A kinder, gentler Larry Brown? Charlotte Bobcats guard Raja Bell sure thinks so. This is Bell’s second stint playing for Brown. Bell started his career with Brown and the Philadelphia 76ers from 2000 through 2002. “More mellow,” Bell said recently. “From the first couple of days (after Bell’s trade from Phoenix to Charlotte), I could see a different guy. When he needs to yell, he will. But in day-to-day demeanor, he’s a different guy.” Bell says Brown is no less an authority figure. But he’s more collaborative, less strident, less prone to overreact and wear out players with constant criticism.

Rodney Stuckey has fallen off

The Detroit Free Press (Vince Ellis) reports: Troubles continue for point guard Rodney Stuckey after his three-point, one-assist effort against the Bucks. He also fouled out. After averaging 14.3 points at one point, his scoring average has fallen to 13.4. Stuckey is a source of concern for coach Michael Curry. “We got to find a way to get Stuckey on track,” Curry said after Wednesday’s practice. “He kind of ignites everybody else. I think he spends a lot of time trying to make sure everybody else is OK on the court, but his natural instinct is to be aggressive, and we just want him to be himself.”

Suns likely to keep Amare Stoudemire

A source familar with Phoenix Suns discussions involving Amare Stoudemire tells InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner that there’s a very good chance the star power forward won’t be going anywhere this season.

There have been rumors involving Stoudemire and multiple teams around the league for much of the last month, and especially over the last two weeks.

And, talks have taken place. But the source tells InsideHoops.com that the Suns feel that the coaching change is probably enough for now.

Of course, it only takes one team to make an offer that the Suns, or anyone else, cannot refuse. But as of now, odds are Stoudemire stays in Phoenix for the time being.

–InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Kate Fagan) reports: Andre Miller conceded that a team without a superstar probably cannot win a championship in the NBA. “Realistically, probably not,” Miller said. “That’s how the league has been for a long time.” Miller said that while the Sixers do not appear to have any superstars, Elton Brand was brought in to change that and Andre Iguodala is on the verge. “Iguodala is getting to that level,” Miller said. “But he doesn’t get the respect like the other guys.”

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, Pau Gasol added 24 points and 13 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers roared from behind in the final 5 minutes for their 13th victory in 15 games, 129-121 over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.

InsideHoops.com notes: The Lakers had 33 free throw attempts, hitting 28, while the Warriors had 19 attempts, connecting on 17. As a team the Lakers had a slight edge in rebounds and assists.

For the Warriors, Corey Maggette, coming off the bench as usual, shot 10-of-16 for 24 points and 4 assists. Stephen Jackson scored 24 but on just 10-of-24 shooting. He also had 6 assists, 9 assists and 2 blocks, but 6 turnovers. Jamal Crawford scored 23 and only needed 10 shots to do it.  Monta Ellis had 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. A nice story for the Warriors is Anthony Randolph, who started at power forward and shot 7-of-13 for 14 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Suns rout Clippers again, 142-119

The AP reports: Amare Stoudemire had 42 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 15-for-20 from the field and leading the Phoenix Suns to a 142-119 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. Steve Nash had 21 points and 12 assists for the rejuvenated Suns, who played their second game under interim head coach Alvin Gentry and are back to their old ways of up-tempo basketball following Monday’s firing of Terry Porter. Shaquille O’Neal had 16 points and six rebounds, helping complete a four-game sweep of the season series. Grant Hill played 21 scoreless minutes while shooting 0-for-5.

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