Archive for June 26th, 2009

Shaq to wear jersey No. 33 on Cavaliers

The AP reports: Shaquille O’Neal hasn’t picked out a house in Cleveland yet. He has chosen a jersey number — his old one. Shaq is going back to No. 33. Traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, the 15-time All-Star has decided to wear 33, the team confirmed Friday.

The AP reports: Ricky Rubio was not present when the Minnesota Timberwolves introduced their 2009 draft class on Friday. Sixth overall pick Jonny Flynn and 28th pick Wayne Ellington attended with new president David Kahn. But the Timberwolves say Rubio decided to stay behind because of his contract situation.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Rubio has a buyout that is reportedly around $6.5 million, give or take half a million. He may wind up staying in Spain for a year or two before coming to the NBA. And other teams are probably contacting the Timberwolves right now to see if they can get Rubio. According to several local newspaper reports, the Knicks will be one of those teams.

Phoenix Suns star forward/center Amar’e Stoudemire (I’m still getting used to typing the apostrophe in his first name) posted what I assume is a joke on Twitter around 3:30 p.m. ET on Friday, posting: “Breaking News! Amar’e Stoudemire to the Lakers!!”

While the Suns did just trade Shaquille O’Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers and have reportedly made Stoudemire available, my immediate assumption was that he was kidding.

After maybe an hour, I did pick up the phone and call someone who knows a thing or two about a thing or two relating to someone or something, and I still won’t take it seriously until there’s reason to think otherwise.

If the Suns do wind up trading Stoudemire to a decent team, I hope it’s one of those squads that’s decent but would become good and occasionally very good with him on board. Like the 76ers, Heat, maybe the Bulls. If any of those squads got Amar’e they’d move a rung or two up the East ladder.

The AP reports: The Charlotte Bobcats are for sale and Michael Jordan is interested. First, he has to put an ownership group together. Addressing the issue on Thursday night for the first time since the news last month that majority owner Bob Johnson is seeking to sell, Jordan shied away from going into detail about his plans. But Jordan, who holds a minority stake in the team and runs basketball operations, made it clear he’d like to gain majority control. “I would like to put together a team to do that, yeah,” Jordan said.

The Chicago Tribune (K.C. Johnson) reports: For  James Johnson, fighting is a family thing. The Bulls’ affable first round NBA draft pick detailed Thursday how he grew up the middle of nine children in Cheyenne, Wyo., surrounded by black belt kickboxers. Johnson’s father, Willie, is an ex-marine who won seven world kickboxing championships and runs J & P’s Martial Arts school in Cheyenne. Eight of Willie’s children, including James, are black belts in the sport with only James’ 10-year-old sister currently sporting just a blue belt. Johnson said he went 20-0 in kickboxing bouts before “retiring.”

Jazz make qualifying offer to Paul Millsap

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has tendered a qualifying offer to forward Paul Millsap.  Per team policy, financial terms were not released.

In accordance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement, in order for a team to retain its right of first refusal with respect to a restricted free agent, the team must tender the player a qualifying offer prior to June 30. A restricted free agent may sign an offer sheet with any team, but is subject to a right of first refusal with the team for which the player last played.

Millsap (6-8, 250, Louisiana Tech), who finished fourth in voting for the league’s Most Improved Player award, had a career season in 2008-09, appearing in 76 games (38 starts) averaging 13.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30.1 minutes.  He also collected 19-straight double-doubles at one point during the season, the longest streak in the NBA since 2006. He finished the season with 29 overall.  Originally selected by the Jazz in the second round (47th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft, Millsap has appeared in 240 of a possible 246 games over his first three seasons and owns career averages of 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per game.

Pistons trade Chase Budinger to Rockets

The Detroit Pistons announced that the club has traded the draft rights to Chase Budinger to Houston Rockets for a future second round draft pick and cash considerations.

Budinger averaged 18.0 points last season at the University of Arizona.  In 100 collegiate games, he averaged 17.0 points and 5.8 rebodunds.  A First-Team All-Pac-10 selection as a junior, Budinger also earned Honorable Mention All-American Honors from The Associated Press both his junior and senior seasons.  His 1,697 points ranks 11th on the Wildcats’ all-time scoring list.

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have selected forward Ahmad Nivins with the 56th overall selection of the 2009 NBA Draft and have acquired 45th pick Nick Calathes from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the future second round pick of the Portland Trailblazers that the Mavericks obtained in a trade on June 24, 2009.

Nivins (6-9, 242) finished his career as the third-leading scorer in the history of Saint Josheph’s University with 1,789 points. He was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year following his senior season after averaging 19.2 points and 11.8 rebounds while shooting .612 from the field and starting all 32 games. Nivins was All-America honorable mention and became just the second player in A-10 history to lead the league in field goal percentage for three consecutive seasons.

Lakers trade Patrick Beverley to Heat

The Los Angeles Lakers have sent the draft rights to second round selection (42nd overall) Patrick Beverley to the Miami Heat in exchange for a 2011 second round draft pick and cash considerations, it was announced today.

Entering the 2009 NBA Draft, the Lakers held the 29th overall selection in the first round as well as two additional second round picks (42nd and 59th overall).

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