Archive for June 25th, 2009

Warriors make operation staff moves

The Golden State Warriors announced several moves within the team’s basketball operations staff today.

Travis Schlenk, 35, has been named the team’s Director of Player Personnel.  Schlenk has spent the last five seasons with the Warriors, serving as an assistant coach for the last four seasons after joining the team as a video scout prior to the 2004-05 campaign.

Scott Pruneau, 43, has been named the team’s Director of Scouting.  Pruneau, who has worked for the Warriors organization in various capacities for the past 26 seasons, had served as a college scout for the past five years.  He also previously spent three seasons at the team’s advance scout.

Larry Harris, 46, will serve in a new capacity as a Consultant/Scout after joining the Warriors as an assistant coach in November of 2008.

Lee Mayberry, 39, joins the Warriors organization as a Scout.  A veteran of seven NBA seasons as a player from 1992-93 thru 1998-99, Mayberry joins Golden State’s scouting staff that includes Pruneau, Harris, Jim Mitchell and Kosta Jankov.

The Denver Nuggets have traded the draft rights to G Sergio Llull (Yule) to the Houston Rockets in exchange for cash considerations, team Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today.

Llull, 6-3, 190, was selected by the Nuggets with the 34th overall selection of the 2009 NBA Draft.

The Portland Trail Blazers acquired the draft rights to forward Jeff Pendergraph (31st overall pick) from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for guard Sergio Rodriguez, the draft rights to forward Jon Brockman (38th overall pick) and cash considerations, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.

“Sergio was a big part of our turnaround and we’d like to thank him for his contributions to the Trail Blazers over the last three years. We wish him all the best going forward,” said Pritchard. “We’re excited to add a player like Jeff, who is a four-year starter, hard worker and has a strong athletic presence inside. We feel he can help this team.”

Pendergraph, 22, played four seasons at Arizona State, where he finished with career averages of 12.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.04 blocked shots and a 58.0 percent shooting percentage.

The 6-9, 240-pound forward set school records for games played (126) and started (120) and his 1,588 points are sixth best all-time.

As a senior, Pendergraph averaged 14.5 points and was named to the Pac-10’s First Team. His 66.0 percent shooting percentage led the nation.

Rodriguez, 23, averaged 3.6 points, 1.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 12.4 minutes over three seasons with the Trail Blazers. Portland originally acquired the draft rights to the Spanish guard from Phoenix for cash considerations in a 2006 draft day trade.

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the Washington Wizards have received cash considerations from the Houston Rockets in exchange for the draft rights to Jermaine Taylor.  Taylor was initially selected by Washington with the 32nd overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

“Yesterday we added two solid, proven veterans in Mike Miller and Randy Foye to our roster,” said Grunfeld.  “We already had a great week, and by trading the rights to our second-round pick we were able to add to our flexibility going forward.”

The Denver Nuggets have acquired the draft rights to G Ty Lawson, the 18th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for a future protected first round draft pick of the Charlotte Bobcats, team Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today.

Lawson, 5-11, 195, averaged 13.1 ppg, 5.8 apg, 2.9 rpg and 1.8 spg in 105 career games in three seasons at the University of North Carolina. Lawson was named to the All-Tournament Team after helping lead the Tarheels to the 2009 NCAA Championship. An early entry candidate for the 2009 NBA Draft, Lawson was the winner of the 2009 Bob Cousy Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate point guard. He was also selected as the ACC Player of the Year after his junior season. He finished his college career ranked seventh in UNC history with 608 assists, while his 2.78 career assist-to-turnover ratio marks the second-best in ACC history.

The Nuggets acquired the future protected first-round pick of the Bobcats last summer on June 25, 2008 in exchange for the Nuggets’ 2008 first round draft pick.

The New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that center Darko Milicic has been acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for guard/forward Quentin Richardson and cash considerations.

“When building a team, it is invaluable to have a skilled big man such as Darko,” Walsh said. “He is the type of player with strong high-post play that will complement Eddy Curry’s low-post game. He will thrive in Coach D’Antoni’s system.

“It is very tough to lose such a great veteran like Quentin who has meant so much to this team,” Walsh added. “We thank him for all of his efforts over the past four seasons.”

Milicic, 7-0, 275-pounds, was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the second overall selection in the 2003 NBA Draft. The Serbian center has career averages of 5.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.20 blocks in 337 career games (98 starts) over six NBA seasons with Detroit, Orlando and Memphis. Milicic averaged 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in 61 games for the Grizzlies during the 2008-09 campaign.

“I am very excited about the possibilities with Darko. He has great size and the skills to really help us.” Head Coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He can run the floor really well, shoot and has a load of talent.”

Richardson, 6-6, 235-pounds, was acquired by New York from Phoenix along with the draft rights to Nate Robinson on June 28, 2005 and averaged 9.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in 241 games (206 starts) in four seasons with the Knicks. Originally selected by the L.A. Clippers out of DePaul with the 18th overall selection in the 2000 NBA Draft, Richardson has career averages of 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in 601 career games (389 starts) with L.A. Clippers, Phoenix and New York. The Chicago, IL-native averaged 10.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in 72 games last season.

Lakers trade Toney Douglas to Knicks

The New York Knickerbockers have acquired the draft rights to Toney Douglas from  the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for a 2011 second-round draft choice and cash considerations. The forward was selected as the 29th overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Douglas, 6-1, 225-pounds, averaged 21.5 points for Florida State University in his senior year and was the runner-up as the ACC Player of the Year. The Tampa. FL-native was an All-ACC First Team selection and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have acquired guard Rodrigue Beaubois and a future second round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for the Mavericks’ 24th overall selection B.J. Mullens. Beaubois (6-2, 182) was selected with the 25th overall pick.

The Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe native appeared in 29 French Pro A games in 2008-09 and averaged 10.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 22.3 minutes per game. Beaubois showed marked improvement from his 2007-08 campaign when he averaged 5.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 15.1 minutes per contest.

The 21-year-old (2/24/88) point guard has participated as a member of France’s junior national team and was discovered at a basketball camp by current Orlando Magic guard Mickael Pietrus.

“We could not be happier with the addition of Rodrigue,” President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson said. “His dynamic athleticism will add versatility and energy to our backcourt. He was one of the highest-rated athletes this draft.”

Nets trade Vince Carter to Magic

Nets to trade Vince Carter to Magic

The Orlando Magic have acquired eight-time NBA All-Star guard Vince Carter and forward Ryan Anderson from the New Jersey Nets in exchange for guard Rafer Alston, forward-center Tony Battie and guard Courtney Lee, General Manager Otis Smith announced this evening.

“Vince (Carter) gives us a veteran, go-to scoring presence, especially at the end of games,” Smith said.  “Our goal remains the same – to win a championship.  Any time you can add an All-Star to help you reach your goals, you have to do it.  Vince has been a bonafide scorer in this league for 11 seasons and we are excited to add both him and Ryan (Anderson) to our team.  We thank Rafer, Tony and Courtney for their efforts and wish them success in the future.”

Carter (6’6”, 220, 1/26/77) played in 80 games last season for New Jersey, averaging 20.8 ppg., 5.1 rpg., 4.7 apg. and 1.03 stlpg. in 36.8 minpg.  He scored in double figures 71 times, had 20+ points 44 times, scored 30+ points 13 times and had 40+ points once, a season-high 41 points on Mar. 15 at L.A. Clippers.  Carter led (or tied) the Nets in scoring 35 times, in rebounding 17 times and in assists 23 times.  He recorded eight double-doubles and one triple-double last season.  Carter ranked 16th in the NBA in scoring, tied for 26th in minutes played and tied for 30th in assists.

This is an interesting trade. It helps the Nets save some money, as they were going to say goodbye to Carter in the future anyway and aren’t winning much with him. Out with the old, in with the new. The team is basically building around Devin Harris and youth.

As for the Magic, with a healthy Jameer Nelson, Alston would have come off the bench and played limited minutes. Tony Battie is replaceable. But losing Courtney Lee’s hustle may actually hurt. Vince won’t bring that. But the Magic must feel that the scoring and defensive attention Carter draws adds more to their team than what they’re giving up.

More on this tonight. Hit our board to discuss it.

Warriors trade Jamal Crawford to Hawks for Acie Law, Speedy Claxton

The Golden State Warriors have acquired guards Acie Law and Speedy Claxton from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for guard Jamal Crawford, the team announced today.

Law, 24, has appeared in 111 regular-season games over two NBA seasons, averaging 3.6 points, 1.0 rebound and 1.8 assists in 12.8 minutes per contest.  Originally selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft out of Texas A&M, Law averaged 2.9 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 55 contests this past season.  A native of Dallas, TX, he has also appeared in 13 playoff games.

Claxton, 31, has appeared in 334 regular-season games over eight seasons with Philadelphia, San Antonio, Golden State, New Orleans and Atlanta, averaging 9.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.51 steals in 25.6 minutes per contest.  The Hempstead, NY, native has been slowed by a left knee injury over the past two seasons – missing all of the 2007-08 campaign and playing in just the final two regular-season contests of 2008-09 and one game in the 2009 NBA Playoffs in April.  Claxton spent one-plus seasons with Golden State (2003-04 and part of 2004-05), averaging 11.7 points and 5.2 assists in 106 games before being traded, along with Dale Davis, to New Orleans in exchange for Baron Davis on February 24, 2005.

Crawford, 29, averaged 19.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 54 games with Golden State last season after being acquired from New York on November 21 in exchange for Al Harrington.  A nine-year NBA veteran, Crawford owns career averages of 15.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.04 steals and 32.6 minutes in 597 regular-season games with Chicago, New York and Golden State.

Suns trade Shaq to Cavaliers

Shaq traded to Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired center Shaquille O’Neal from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for forward/center Ben Wallace, guard/forward Sasha Pavlovic, Cleveland’s second round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft (top-40 protected) and cash considerations, General Manager Danny Ferry announced today.

“It is a really unique and rare opportunity to bring in a player of Shaq’s caliber. We are excited to see how his presence, experience and play positively impacts our team,” Ferry said. “We truly appreciate all that Ben and Sasha gave to this team and community in their time here. They were good teammates and we wish them nothing but success.”

O’Neal, a 15-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA Champion, played in 75 games (all starts) during the 2008-09 season, averaging 17.8 points on an NBA-best and career-high .609 shooting, 8.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 blocks in 30.1 minutes per game.  His 75 games played were the most in a season since the 1999-2000 season and his scoring average of 17.8 was his highest since the 2005-06 season. He was named an all-star during the season for the 15th time, the second-most in NBA history, and shared All-Star Game MVP honors with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, following a 17-point, five-rebound, three-assist outing in the West’s 146-119 victory. Following the season, he was named to the All-NBA Third Team, marking the 14th time he has earned All-NBA honors.

The 17-year veteran finished the season as the fifth-leading scorer in NBA history with 27,619 career points and joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in NBA history to total at least 27,000 points, 12,000 rebounds and 2,500 blocks in their careers. In leading the NBA in field goal percentage for the 10th time, he set an NBA record, breaking the mark he previously shared with Wilt Chamberlain. He owns the 2nd highest field goal percentage in NBA history with a career percentage of .582. He currently ranks 7th on the NBA’s all-time blocked shots list with 2,628 and 15th in rebounds with 12,566 total rebounds. O’Neal is also the NBA’s active leader in points (27,619), offensive rebounds (4,068), total rebounds (12,566), free throw attempts (10,895) and field goal percentage (.582).

The 7-foot-1, 325-pound center has won four championships in his career: three straight with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000-2002 and one in 2006 with the Miami Heat, and has reached the NBA Finals on six occasions. He was named Finals MVP in all three of the Lakers championship victories. With 122 postseason wins, he is the fifth-most winningest player in NBA playoff history. He ranks first all-time in NBA postseason history in free throw attempts (2,268), second in field goal percentage (.564), third in points (5,121) and fourth in rebounds (2,447) and games played (203). He has postseason career averages of 25.2 points on .564 shooting, 12.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 blocks in 38.6 minutes per game.

In 1,117 regular season games, ‘The Diesel’ has career averages of 24.7 points on .582 shooting, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.4 blocks in 35.7 minutes per game and his teams are a combined 751-366 (.672). He was the youngest player named to the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in NBA history in 1997 and was voted NBA MVP following the 1999-2000 season, in which he led the NBA in scoring (29.7 points) and joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in NBA history to average more than 29 points, 13 rebounds (13.6), three assists (3.8) and three blocks (3.0) in a season. O’Neal is also a three-time All-Star Game MVP (2004, co-MVP in 2000 and 2009) and three-time All-NBA Defense selection (second team in 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2002-03). He also led the US Olympic Team to a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics.

Pavlovic played in 66 games (12 starts) during the 2008-09 season with the Cavs, averaging 4.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game. In 302 games with Cleveland, he averaged 6.1 points on .417 shooting, including shooting .374 from three-point range, and 1.9 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game.

Wallace, acquired by the Cavaliers on Feb. 21, 2008 from Chicago, played in 78 games with Cleveland and posted averages of 3.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 24.2 minutes per game. A four-time Defensive Player of the Year and all-star selection, Wallace has career averages of 6.2 points on .472 shooting, 10.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 30.9 minutes per game.

Phoenix currently owns the 14th, 48th and 57th overall selections in tonight’s 2009 NBA Draft.

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

Twenty-five top rising NBA players have accepted invitations from USA Basketball to participate in the 2009 USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp that will be conducted July 22-25 in Las Vegas, Nev. The selections were announced by USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo.

The July USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp will feature practice sessions on July 23 and July 24 at Valley High School, and the mini-camp will be capped by the USA Basketball Showcase, a Blue-White intra-squad game, on Saturday, July 25, 8 p.m. (PDT) at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.

The player list is on the USA Basketball page.

The Portland Trail Blazers moved up two spots in the 2009 NBA Draft, acquiring the 22nd overall selection from the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the 24th pick, 56th pick, and a second-round pick in 2010, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.

With Wednesday’s transaction, the Trail Blazers now hold the 22nd, 33rd, 38th and 55th overall selections in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

The 2010 second-round pick sent to Dallas will be the worse of the two picks Portland currently owns in next year’s NBA Draft, which are the team’s own selection and Chicago’s. The Trail Blazers acquired the Chicago pick in a three-way draft day trade in 2008.

“The depth of the second tier in this year’s draft has given us the opportunity to trade down, pick up two second round picks and not lose ground in terms of talent,” said Mavericks President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Donnie Nelson.  “This will give us added flexibility for the future.”

Louisville forward Terrence Williams was the only top NBA draft prospect I spoke to on Wednesday who seems to know exactly where he’s going.

He’s not telling who, though.

I’m not going to dig up the exact quotes right now, but the entertaining, personable player made several statements that made it pretty clear a team has probably promised to take him. And he believes the team, whoever they are.

But Williams isn’t too worried about dropping. If it happens, fine. Williams knows that simply being invited to the NBA Draft ‘Green Room’ is a big victory, and unless something crazy happens the versatile player who works equally hard on both ends of the floor will go first round for sure, and probably higher than most.

After reporters were done speaking to the players, Williams pulled out a handheld and interviewed guard Johnny Flynn, his buddy and another top prospect.

In the fun interview of his friend, Williams asked Flynn if he knows where he’s going to be selected, and then said “I do!”

The 2009 Draft is Thursday night.

Basketball blog