Archive for June 23rd, 2009

Bucks trade Richard Jefferson to Spurs for Bruce Bowen, Fabricio Oberto and Kurt Thomas

The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired guard/forward Bruce Bowen, forward/center Kurt Thomas and forward Amir Johnson in a three-team trade with San Antonio and Detroit, General Manager John Hammond announced today.  As part of the deal, the Bucks send forward Richard Jefferson to San Antonio, while the Spurs trade Fabricio Oberto to Detroit.

“The trade we made today provides us with much needed options in both the short and long-term planning for our franchise,” said Hammond.  “We acquired a young, long, athletic forward in Amir Johnson, along with two proven, tough-minded veterans in Bruce Bowen and Kurt Thomas.  The trade also provides us with additional opportunities, both now and in the future, to consider adding more pieces to our roster.”

Bowen (6-7, 200) spent the past eight seasons with the Spurs.  He appeared in 80 games for San Antonio last season, averaging 2.7 points and 1.8 rebounds in 19.0 minutes per game.  It was his seventh consecutive season of playing in at least 80 games and the eighth of his career.  The 38-year-old has been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team eight times.  He went undrafted out of Cal State Fullerton and spent time in France and the CBA before signing with the Miami Heat during the 1996-97 season.  He has also spent time with Boston and Philadelphia and owns NBA career averages of 6.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists over 873 total games.

Thomas (6-9, 240) comes to Milwaukee having played for six teams over 14 NBA seasons.  Last season, he appeared in 79 games (10 starts) for San Antonio and averaged 4.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 17.8 minutes.  Thomas, 36, was originally drafted by the Miami Heat with the 10th overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft.  He has played in 896 career NBA games with Miami, Dallas, New York, Phoenix, Seattle and San Antonio, and owns career averages of 9.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists.  He has appeared in 77 playoff games, including 20 during New York’s run to the NBA Finals in 1999.

Johnson (6-9, 210) was selected by Detroit in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft (56th overall) out of Westchester High School (CA).  Last season, the 22-year old, four-year pro appeared in 62 games with a career-best 24 starts.  He averaged 3.5 points and 3.7 rebounds in a career-high 14.7 minutes per game, while leading the Pistons in field goal percentage (.595).  In 135 career games, Johnson has averaged 3.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots in 13.6 minutes per game.

“Richard was a true professional during his time in Milwaukee,” Hammond remarked.  “He came ready to practice and play every day and always gave it his best effort.  We wish him well in San Antonio.”

Jefferson (6-7, 225) started in all 82 games during his lone season in Milwaukee.  He averaged 19.6 points (T-22nd in the NBA), 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting .439 from the field and .397 from three-point range.  He led the Bucks in scoring a team-best 35 times, including seven games of 30 or more.  He also scored the 10,000th point of his NBA career on April 4 against Memphis.  The 29-year-old Jefferson came to Milwaukee following seven seasons with the New Jersey Nets.  The Arizona product was originally drafted after his junior season by the Houston Rockets (13th overall) in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft.

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

Pistons to trade Amir Johnson to Bucks for Fabricio Oberto

Yahoo (Adrian Wojnarowski) reports: In an effort to clear more salary cap space, the Detroit Pistons have sent forward Amir Johnson to the Milwaukee Bucks for newly acquired Fabricio Oberto, a league executive told Yahoo! Sports. The Pistons plan to buy out Oberto’s deal and make him a free agent.

UPDATE: This was correct but actually part of the earlier deal involving Richard Jefferson. See the info.

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

Wolves to trade Randy Foye, Mike Miller to Wizards for pick no.5 plus three players

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has acquired guard/forward Mike Miller and guard Randy Foye from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila, Oleksiy Pecherov and the fifth overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft.

“We are very excited to welcome two solid, proven veterans in Mike Miller and Randy Foye to Washington,” said Grunfeld.  “Mike is one of the NBA’s elite three-point shooters who can really stretch the defense and provide an all-around game, and Randy has shown the ability to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates while providing excellent perimeter defense.  Their skills complement our core very well and they will provide a boost as we re-establish ourselves as a contender in the Eastern Conference.”

A 29-year-old swingman, Miller has averaged 13.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game over nine professional seasons in Orlando, Memphis and Minnesota.  A former Rookie of the Year in 2000-01 and Sixth Man of the Year in 2005-06, Miller has connected on over 40 percent (1,173-2,926, .401) of his three-point field goal tries in his career.  Miller’s career best statistical season came in 2006-07 in Memphis when he averaged a career-high 18.5 points per game to go along with 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists while connecting on 202 of 498 (.406) three-point tries.  Miller averaged a career-high 6.7 rebounds the following season in Memphis, and recorded a career-best 4.5 assists per game last season in Minnesota.

Foye, a 25-year-old guard, had a breakout season for the Timberwolves in 2008-09 when he averaged 16.3 points and 4.3 assists per game.  He started 61 games for Minnesota, recording a career-high 36 points vs. Indiana on February 20 and recording a career-best 14-assists at Detroit on November 23.  Foye has seen his scoring average increase by at least three points in each of his three professional seasons after being selected seventh overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by Boston and acquired in a draft day trade by Minnesota via Portland.

Thomas averaged 6.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in 373 career games for Washington, including 3.1 ppg and 2.5 rpg in 26 games last season.  Songaila appeared in 184 games for Washington over the last three seasons, and averaged 7.4 points and 2.9 rebounds last season (with a career-high 29 games started).

Pecherov, drafted by Washington with the 18th overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft, averaged 3.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game in 67 career games for the Wizards.

“We appreciate the contributions that Etan, Darius and Oleksiy made to the team and the community during their tenures in Washington,” said Grunfeld.  “We wish them the best and we’re pleased to have been able to accomplish a trade that benefited all parties involved.”

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

Bobcats extend qualifying offer to Raymond Felton

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has made a qualifying offer to point guard Raymond Felton, making him a restricted free agent. The qualifying offer allows the Bobcats to match any offer he receives from another team.

Felton, who appeared in all 82 games for the first time in his career last season, averaged 14.2 points, 6.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 37.6 minutes. He ranked 11th in the NBA in steals, 13th in assists and tied for 15th in minutes played. In addition, Felton set single-season career highs in points (1,162), field goals made (442), rebounds (310), steals (126), blocked shots (30) and minutes played (3,086).

Originally drafted by Charlotte with the fifth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, Felton has appeared in 319 career NBA games with averages of 13.6 points, 6.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals. Felton is the Bobcats’ franchise leader with 2,127 career assists.

Philadelphia 76ers change back to older logo

The Philadelphia 76ers have officially changed their primary logo and color scheme with a return to the traditional “76ers basketball” logo and the red, white and blue color scheme.  The basketball logo was last used during the 1996-97 season and consists of a color scheme that was originally established in 1963 and used during the Sixers’ two championship seasons in 1966-67 and 1982-83.

“By bringing back the old Sixers logo, we are connecting the past with the future,” said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider. “This logo evokes memories of some of this franchise’s proudest moments. We also made this change because we understood how much this logo means to our fans, this franchise and to our city. The fans had a big input on this decision. We’re excited and we want the entire City of Philadelphia to be excited for Sixers basketball.”

“The 76ers logo is one of the more iconic in all of professional sports and we are sure fans will appreciate the Sixers returning to their core colors and ball icon,” said Christopher Arena, NBA Vice President Apparel, Sporting Goods & Basketball Partnerships.

This is the first major logo change for the Sixers since the 1997-98 season, when the logo was modernized to incorporate black, silver and gold into a stylized “76ers” wordmark that featured a predominant red and silver star to the left and a gold ball with blue stripes below.  From 1963 through 1997, the Sixers’ identity revolved around a “76” in red and royal blue and a star configuration above the number seven, which was an identity that defined the team through two NBA Championships.  The 76 and stars were utilized within a bell symbol from 1963-77 and then the “ers” was added to the “76″ and contained in a ball.  The ball form of the logo is what is most recognized and most associated with the “Fo’, Fi’, Fo’” championship team of 82-83, one of the greatest teams in NBA history.  The only enhancement with the new logo will be a rectangular “court” shaped enclosure around the ball logo with the city name “PHILADELPHIA” grounded along the bottom and silver accent shaping the entire perimeter.

The Sixers will introduce a new secondary logo and wordmark at a later date.  Additionally, the team will unveil a new court design and uniforms later this summer.

At about 3:57 a.m. ET late Monday night (technically early Tuesday morning) I was online, had my twitter account (@InsideHoops) open, and saw New York Knicks center Eddy Curry, via his Twitter account, announce that he was broadcasting live on webcam.

So I clicked, reaching “The Eddy Curry Show” on UStream, expecting to see the usual from pro athletes online: mundane, politically correct greetings to fans and not much else.

Instead, Curry was sitting in the front passenger seat of a car, next to a driver and two other guys in the back seat, one of whom was Denver Nuggets shooting guard J.R. Smith (sitting behind the driver). They’re pulled over and being questioned by a police officer.

The cop then left their car area. I assume he went back to a police car, perhaps to call in looking for information about the driver, car, etc. For the next 10 or 12 minutes I sat watching in amusement as the four guys sat cracking jokes waiting for the police officer to return. It was like watching a sports celebrity episode of the TV show “Cops.”

The webcam, presumably a laptop, was on the dashboard, pointing at the faces of the four young guys.

I’m not positive but I believe the officer said something about a suspended licence. Then, I thought I heard them say that they got pulled over for speeding, though I’m not positive.

One of the men then joked that he’ll pay $1,000 to whomever gets out, runs over and touches the police car. Of course, no one did it.

And then, their webcam shut off.

Eddy Curry, J.R. Smith in car questioned by police while live on Internet webcam

A bit later, around 4:35 a.m. ET, after being away from my computer for about 15 minutes, I went back to their stream, and the webcam was back on, with the buddies driving along and the earlier police issue apparently resolved in some way. But now, Curry is drivin, with Smith in the front passenger seat.

I’m glad they kept the webcam going! It was amusing stuff.

At around 5:15 a.m. ET, Smith on Twitter said that they had come to New York for Father’s Day and meant to leave yesterday but didn’t end up leaving until midnight.

Earlier, he had typed that they were headed to Detroit.

And now, at 5:35 a.m. ET, I’m going to sleep.

Dirk Nowitzki is heartbroken

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Eddie Sefko) reports: Dirk Nowitzki said in a German publication that he still wants to have a family, but that “it will not be easy to win my heart” after his relationship with former fiancée Cristal Taylor ended with a rocky, emotional split. Nowitzki spoke openly about his romance with Taylor for the first time to Bild Magazine. He covered numerous aspects of their time together, including how they met and their wedding plans, in question-and-answer format… “In the beginning, I was very down and disappointed, sad and furious,” Nowitzki said. “But I made a few steps forward and I think someday I will be over it totally.”

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