Archive for July, 2009

Milwaukee Bucks sign Hakim Warrick

Milwaukee Bucks sign Hakim Warrick

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed forward Hakim Warrick (pronounced ha-KEEM) to a contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today.  Warrick, 27, was the 19th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by Memphis and spent all four of his NBA seasons with the Grizzlies.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that the contract was expected to be a one-year deal in the $3 million to $3.5 million range.

Warrick (6-9, 219) owns career averages of 10.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game over 307 NBA contests.  He is a career 50 percent shooter from the field while connecting on 72.5 percent from the free throw line.

Last season, Warrick, averaged 11.6 points and 5.0 rebounds in 24.7 minutes per game.  He appeared in all 82 games (7 starts) for the second time in his career (2006-07) and recorded career-highs in both steals (48) and blocked shots (39).

Warrick played four seasons at Syracuse University (2001-05), and as a sophomore started in all 35 games for the NCAA Champion Orange.  As a senior, he was named First Team All-America by the Associated Press, awarded Big East Conference Player of the Year and named First Team All-Big East after averaging 21.4 points and 8.6 rebounds in 34 games.  He finished his degree in three-and-one-half years and left Syracuse ranked second in free throws made (529) and attempted (803), and fourth in scoring (2,073 points) and rebounds (1,025).

Read fan reaction to the news and discuss your opinion in this forum topic.

Los Angeles Clippers waive Mike Taylor

Clippers waive Mike Taylor

The Los Angeles Clippers today waived guard Mike Taylor.

Taylor played in 51 games for the Clippers last season, making five starts and averaging 5.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 15.1 minutes.

The first-year player was drafted by Portland on June 26, 2008 and then traded to the Clippers in exchange for a 2009 second round draft pick.

Milwaukee Bucks waive Bruce Bowen

Milwaukee Bucks waive Bruce Bowen

The Milwaukee Bucks have requested waivers on guard/forward Bruce Bowen, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Bowen was acquired from San Antonio on June 23 as part of the three-team trade that also brought the Bucks Kurt Thomas from San Antonio and Amir Johnson from Detroit. Richard Jefferson was sent to San Antonio while Fabricio Oberto went to Detroit to complete the trade.

Bowen, 38, is a 13-year NBA veteran who spent the previous eight seasons with San Antonio.

Read NBA fan reaction and discuss the news yourself in this forum topic.

Milwaukee Bucks waive Salim Stoudamire

The Milwaukee Bucks have requested waivers on guard Salim Stoudamire, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Stoudamire, 26, was signed as a free agent on April 3, but did not appear in a game with Milwaukee.  He appeared in 157 games with Atlanta from 2005-08 with career averages of 8.0 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.0 assist.  Stoudamire was selected by the Hawks with the 31st pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.

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

Lakers waive Sun Yue

Lakers waive Sun Yue

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived guard Sun Yue, it was announced today.

“With the talent level and depth of our roster, the situation simply doesn’t provide an opportunity for Sun Yue to get the chance to play that he deserves,” said General Manager Mitch Kupchak.  “We feel it is in Sun’s best interests to be able to go to a team where he can get the minutes to play and showcase his considerable talents.  We appreciate Sun’s contributions to last season’s championship team, and wish him the best of luck with the rest of his career.”

“I want to thank Sun Yue for his professionalism and for the contributions he made to our team last season,” said Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson.  “Although Sun did not get an opportunity to play many minutes, he worked hard in practice and was a joy to be around.  We also enjoyed the cultural influence he brought to our players, coaches and organization.  Sun is a young player who will no doubt continue to improve in the coming years, and I wish him the best of luck.”

Originally selected by the Lakers in the second round (40th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft, Sun signed with the Lakers the following summer (August 25, 2008) shortly after representing China as a member of the Men’s Olympic Basketball Team in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Making his NBA debut on December 7 versus Milwaukee with four points on 2-of-3 shooting in five minutes, Sun appeared in 10 games with the Lakers last season, totaling six points, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot in 28 minutes.

Sun, who became the 25th NBA player assigned to a D-League affiliate last season, also played 6 games in two stints with the D-Fenders, averaging 9.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.33 blocks in 33.3 minutes.

InsideHoops.com editor says: The Sun Yue era was a dominant one for the Lakers. That it has come to an end is indeed sad, especially for players like Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, who Sun carried on his back. How the Lakers can move on from this difficult time is unknown, but hopefully they can pull together… But seriously folks: The kid is young and will simply have to keep working hard and claw his way onto another team’s bench and prove to the league that he is worth having on a roster. He’s versatile.

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

The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired forward Walter Sharpe, guard/forward Sonny Weems and cash considerations from the Denver Nuggets for forward Malik Allen, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Sharpe (6-9, 245) was originally drafted by Seattle (Oklahoma City Thunder) in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft (32nd overall) and traded to Detroit along with Trent Plaisted (46th overall) for the draft rights to D.J. White (29th overall).  The 23-year-old appeared in eight games for the Pistons last season and averaged 1.0 point in 2.4 minutes per game.  He also played in four games for the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League and tallied 10.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.  Sharpe was traded to Denver with Arron Afflalo and cash considerations from Detroit for a future second round draft choice on July 13, 2009.

Weems (6-6, 203) appeared in 12 games for the Nuggets as a rookie and averaged 1.6 points in 4.6 minutes per game.  He also saw action in 21 contests for the Colorado 14ers of the D-League where he posted 20.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.  Weems was the 39th overall pick by Chicago in the 2008 NBA Draft and traded to Denver for a second round pick in the most recent 2009 Draft.

An eight-year NBA veteran, Allen (6-10, 255) played in 49 games (3 starts) for Milwaukee last season and averaged 3.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.  In 409 career NBA games, Allen has averages of 5.4 points and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 44.3 percent from the field and 77.4 percent from the free throw line.

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

Tyler Hansbrough out 6-8 weeks

The Indianapolis Star (Jeff Rabjohns) reports: Indiana Pacers first-round draft pick Tyler Hansbrough will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks due to a lingering shin injury from college, team officials said this morning. The 6-9, 250-pound forward won’t miss anything other than offseason conditioning and some individual drills. Training camp isn’t scheduled to start until late September. The Pacers said the shin injury occurred Hansbrough’s senior year at North Carolina when he led the Tar Heels to the NCAA title.

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

JR Smith out of jail

The Denver Post (Chris Dempsey) reports: J.R. Smith was released from Monmouth County (N.J.) jail on July 24, six days earlier than expected. According to his original sentence, Smith would have been released from jail either late Thursday night or today. He was incarcerated late June 30 after pleading guilty to reckless driving in connection with a 2007 car crash that killed his best friend, Andre Bell. Smith was originally sentenced to 90 days in jail, but 60 were suspended. He is also required to do 500 hours of community service.

Lynn Greer signs in Turkey

Euroleague.net reports: Fenerbahce Ulker (Turkey) signed guard Lynn Greer, giving the club one of the most lethal and exciting backcourts in Europe. Greer (188, 29) comes from Olympiacos, where he spent the past two seasons. Last year he averaged 12.2 points in 22 Euroleague games, helping the club reach the Euroleague Final Four for the first time in a decade.

Dallas Mavericks sign Drew Gooden

Dallas Mavericks sign Drew Gooden

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed forward/center Drew Gooden. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. We’ll post contract details later today.

Gooden (6-10, 230) has seen action in 510 games with 396 starts. He holds career averages of 12.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 28.1 minutes per game while shooting .471 from the field and .732 from the foul line. Gooden played the final 19 games of last season with the San Antonio Spurs. He averaged 9.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in just 16.8 minutes per contest.

The seven-year veteran was originally selected in the first round (fourth overall pick) of the 2002 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies and has seen action with six different teams (Memphis, Orlando, Cleveland, Chicago, Sacramento and San Antonio). Statistically, Gooden saw his best season in 2004-05 when we nearly averaged a double-double for Cleveland generating 14.4 points and 9.2 rebounds while playing in all 82 games (80 starts).

A native of Oakland, Calif., Gooden is a former standout at the University of Kansas where he was named Big 12 Player of the Year and First Team All-America by The Associated Press as a junior. In just three seasons at KU, Gooden was only the second player in school history (Danny Manning) to record 1,500 points, 900 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 steals.

“We are very pleased to add Drew to our front line for the upcoming season,” President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Donnie Nelson said. “Drew is a veteran player with NBA Finals experience that is entering the prime of his career at 27 years old. He will provide valuable minutes at both the center and power forward positions with his tenacity in the paint, rebounding and ability to knock down shots.”

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived forward Linton Johnson III and guard DeMarcus Nelson.

Johnson (6-8, 205), signed a 10-day contact with Chicago on Mar. 11, 2009 and was re-signed to a second 10-day contract on Mar. 20, 2009.  Johnson was then signed for the remainder of the season on Apr. 7, 2009.  In his second stint with the Bulls, Johnson appeared in eight games and averaged 1.1 ppg and 1.0 rpg in 5.0 mpg.

Nelson (6-4, 200), was acquired by the Bulls as a free agent on Apr. 4, 2009.  As a Bull, Nelson posted one DNP-CD and appeared on the inactive list twice.

Lakers re-sign Lamar Odom

Lakers to re-sign Lamar Odom

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent forward Lamar Odom to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Odom, who was acquired by the Lakers on July 14, 2004 as part of a trade with the Miami Heat for Shaquille O’Neal, appeared in 78 regular season games with Los Angeles during the 2008-09 campaign, averaging 11.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.26 blocks in 29.7 minutes.

In the 2008-09 postseason, Odom appeared in 23 games (5 starts), averaging 12.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.35 blocks in 32.0 minutes, while posting 14 double-figure scoring games and converting seven double-doubles.

Odom, the fourth overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, left the University of Rhode Island after a sophomore season in which he was named AP Honorable Mention All-America and Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year.  After tallying 30 points and 12 rebounds in his NBA debut, Odom went on to be selected to the 1999-2000 NBA All-Rookie First team.  In 2005-06, Odom was the only player in the NBA to average better than 14 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, and in ten NBA seasons, has career averages of 15.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 36.5 minutes in 665 games.

In five seasons with the Lakers, Odom is averaging 14.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 36.6 minutes.

EARLIER REPORTS FROM PREVIOUS DAY

ESPN (J.A. Adande and Marc Stein) reports: Free agent forward Lamar Odom will return to the Los Angeles Lakers, an NBA source said Thursday. One source with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com the four-year deal is worth $33 million if the Lakers exercise the final season. One source close to the process said Odom will come away with a guaranteed $27 million from the new contract, matching the original value of the three-year, $27 million deal Lakers owner Jerry Buss pulled off the table earlier this month. It’s believed that the structure of the new deal calls for Odom to earn $25 million over the first three seasons, with the Lakers owing him $2 million in the fourth year if they elect not to pick up their team option.

CBS Sports (Ken Berger) reports: Neither the Lakers nor Odom’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, would comment Thursday on Odom’s decision to spurn a multi-year offer from the Miami Heat and stay with the defending champion Lakers. But a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CBSSports.com that Odom’s teammates have been informed that the 6-10 forward isn’t going anywhere. Initial reports indicate that it’s a three-year deal with a team option that would push the total value north of $30 million. That’s less than the Lakers originally offered, however — a sign of just how much Odom wanted to stay with the Lakers.

InsideHoops.com editor says: I told you yesterday this would probably happen — though it was educated speculation and there was no actual confirmation of anything. As for Odom sticking with the Lakers, as an independent observer I’m a bit disappointed, because I generally like it when a top team loses a key player and that player goes to a squad that needs him even more, simply for the sake of good competition. Odom would have definitely helped the Heat. Anyway, although the Lakers lost Trevor Ariza, the re-signing of Odom and addition of Ron Artest means they’ll continue on as the league’s best team and are the early off-season InsideHoops.com favorite to repeat and win the 2010 championship. Laker fans should be happy. The opposition, not so much.

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

Indiana Pacers sign Solomon Jones

The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday they have signed free agent forward Solomon Jones to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not released. We’ll post details about the deal later today.

Jones is a 6-10, 245-pound forward/center who played his first three seasons in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks. Jones was drafted out of South Florida by Atlanta in the second round (33rd pick overall) of the 2006 NBA draft. He averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds with the Hawks last season in just under 11 minutes a game.

“He’s a young, athletic player who has improved each year he has been in the league,” said Pacers President of Basketball Larry Bird. “He definitely can help hold down our interior defense and we believe he can be part of what we’re trying to do here.”

Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) today announced that its board of directors has authorized the company’s management to move forward with the spin-off of the Madison Square Garden (MSG) business to Cablevision stockholders. The transaction would be structured as a tax-free pro rata spin-off to Cablevision’s existing shareholders and is expected to be completed by year-end 2009, subject to necessary approvals.

Once the spin-off is complete, Cablevision shareholders would own shares in both Cablevision and the new MSG, which would allow shareholders to more clearly evaluate each of the separate company’s assets and future potential. It is anticipated that the spin-off would be in the form of a pro rata distribution to all shareholders of Cablevision, with holders of Class A common stock receiving Class A shares in Madison Square Garden and holders of Class B common stock receiving Class B shares in Madison Square Garden. Both Cablevision and the new MSG would be controlled by the Dolan family through their ownership of Class B shares. Cablevision also reiterated that it is not considering the sale of MSG, any of MSG’s businesses or any other Cablevision business at this time.

The new MSG’s assets will include:

- Media properties, including the MSG, MSG Plus and Fuse networks, as well as MSG Interactive’s collection of online assets

- Sports teams – including the Knicks and Rangers franchises

- A live entertainment portfolio, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the world-famous Radio City Rockettes, as well as concerts, family shows and special events

- Leading venues, highlighted by Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall

Completion of the spin-off is subject to receipt of a favorable ruling from the IRS and the filing and effectiveness of a Form 10 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as final approval by Cablevision’s board of directors.

InsideHoops.com editor says: This basically means that Madison Square Garden, the Knicks, Rangers, etc. will become a separate company, which Cablevision owns. Rather than being part of the same company of Cablevision. This doesn’t really affect random people/fans out there. It does make it easier to see which parts of the giant business are performing well and which are not. It also probably makes it easier to sell parts or all of the spun-off company in the future, should that become the game-plan.

Toronto Raptors sign Rasho Nesterovic

Toronto Raptors sign Rasho Nesterovic

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed free-agent centre Rasho Nesterovic (for those of you who like to talk, it’s pronounced RAH-show Neh-STARE-oh-vitch). Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed. We’ll post contract info later today.

“Rasho brings us back a great veteran presence who has a familiarity with our coaching staff and several players. His leadership and personality will be great assets for this team,” said Bryan Colangelo, Raptors President and General Manager.

Nesterovic, 7-foot, 255 pounds, rejoins the Raptors following one campaign in Indiana with the Pacers. The 11-year NBA veteran played two seasons with Toronto (2006-08) averaging 6.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 20.9 minutes in 151 games. He appeared in 10 postseason contests with the Raptors averaging 4.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 14.8 minutes. He was originally acquired from San Antonio on June 21, 2006.

Nesterovic was a first-round selection (17th overall) by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1998. He signed with San Antonio as a free agent in the 2003 offseason. He has posted career averages of 7.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 22.8 minutes in 769 career games, 587 of them as a starter. In 64 postseason contests, he has averaged 4.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 17.2 minutes. He was a member of the Spurs’ 2005 NBA Championship team.

Nesterovic joined the Timberwolves on May 4, 1999 after he had finished his season with Virtus Kinder Bologna of the Italian League. He averaged 13.5 points, shooting .653 from the field, 6.2 rebounds and 1.42 blocks for Kinder Bologna.

InsideHoops.com editor says: He’s big and can bump into people.

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

USA Today reports: The hunger for new revenue during the economic downturn has the NBA and NHL entertaining the once-taboo prospect of corporate sponsorships for game uniforms. Beginning this season the NBA will let teams sell ads on their practice jerseys, says deputy commissioner Adam Silver, who adds the league is continuing to explore the issue of ads on game jerseys. “We are operating a diverse business all around the world,” Silver says. “(The sponsored game jersey) is a well-established practice in other countries. Ultimately, I think our fans will come to accept it.” … The NBA is in the process of developing its guidelines, says NBA spokesman Mike Bass. WNBA teams were allowed to sell ads on game jerseys this season and two teams took advantage. The WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and Los Angeles Sparks featured LifeLock and Farmer’s Insurance, respectively, prominently featured on the front.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Who actually sees practice jerseys, other than the players and team employees? I assume this is a stepping stone to selling ads on regular game jerseys. Considering that the WNBA started doing this, it’s not surprising that the NBA is allowing it. And if it’s OK for the world’s most popular sport (soccer) to do it, it might as well be OK for NBA basketball teams, especially considering the struggling economy and lower ad spending.

Mike Dunleavy working on his return

The Indianapolis Star (Mike Wells) reports: The Indiana Pacers shooting guard isn’t ready to pinpoint a date for his return from right knee surgery, but he has a “gut feeling” that he’ll be back sooner than the January date coach Jim O’Brien targeted last season. “We still have a ways to go and we don’t know how this thing is going to shake out, but I’m optimistic,” Dunleavy said. “January is a nice cushion for me. It takes all the pressure off, but I’m certainly working my tail off to get back a lot sooner than that.” Dunleavy, an iron man through his first six seasons, appeared in 18 games last season. He had surgery to remove a bone spur from his right patellar tendon and then had the tendon repaired in Colorado in March. Dunleavy also underwent a “minor” arthroscopic procedure on his left hip last month to clean up a “long-standing injury.”

Lamar Odom needs a job

Lamar Odom needs a job

Los Angeles Lakers free agent forward Lamar Odom needs to make up his mind and sign NBA contract. He’s basically down to either re-signing with his championship-winning squad or jumping ship for a bit more financial security and joining Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.

The following is “educated speculation” as to what the versatile, talented veteran is likely to do:

1) 60% chance he re-signs with the Lakers, for a slightly shorter contract that he reportedly wants.

2) 35% chance he ignores the fact that he just won a championship, leaves town, joins D-Wade on the Heat for a more secure contract but very little shot at a title.

3) 3% chance something unexpected happens, like a sign-and-trade placing him with another team somewhere. I can’t even guess who that may be.

4)  1% chance he decides to imitate Stephon Marbury and starts his own webcam broadcast where day and night he yells and screams about haters, proves he’s not crazy by eating vaseline, dancing and crying a lot, and rants that you can’t put him in a box, while laughing a lot.

5) 1% chance he retires from basketball and becomes a farmer in rural Kentucky, taking up wearing overalls and a straw hat while becoming a hardcore country music fan.

But seriously, I’m told he’s more likely to stay with the Lakers than join the Heat.

- Jeff Lenchiner, editor of InsideHoops.com

Warriors trade Marco Belinelli to Raptors for Devean George

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have acquired guard Marco Belinelli (Mar-co Belle-EE-NELLI) from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for forward Devean George and cash considerations.

“Marco fills a void at the wing position where his shooting and scoring strengths will be needed. Marco’s versatility and playmaking abilities make him a very valuable piece for us,” said Bryan Colangelo, Raptors President and General Manager.

Belinelli, the 18th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, averaged 8.9 points, 2.1 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 21.0 minutes in 42 games last season with Golden State. He registered four 20-point games during the 2008-09 campaign, including a career-high 27 points December 12, 2008 at Atlanta.

Through 75 career games Belinelli owns a .395 mark from three-point range (68-for-172).  As a rookie he appeared in 33 games, averaging 2.9 points in 7.3 minutes.

Prior to joining the Warriors, the 23 year-old, 6-foot-5 guard from Bologna, Italy, played professionally in Italy for five seasons. In 33 games during the 2006-07 season with Fortitudo Bologna in Serie A, Belinelli averaged 16.4 points, while shooting .544 (99-for-182) from the field. In 13 Euroleague contests, he averaged 12.9 points on .438 (32-for-73) from the field.

A member of the Italian National Team, Belinelli averaged 13.5 points per game during the 2006 FIBA World Championship, including 25 points in a losing effort against Team USA in preliminary round play.

“We’re looking forward to adding a veteran with Devean’s experience to our squad,” said Warriors General Manager Larry Riley.  “He is obviously a proven winner and has been on several very successful teams during his career, which is something we feel is important when you look at the youth on our roster.  He is a versatile player and someone who we feel can contribute both on and off the court.”

George, 31, is a 10-year NBA veteran who has played the last three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks after spending the first seven years of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers.  Last season he appeared in 43 games for the Mavs, averaging 3.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 16.5 minutes.  Originally drafted with the 23rd overall selection in the 1999 NBA Draft, George owns career averages of 5.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 18.7 minutes in 585 regular-season contests.  Additionally, the 6-8 guard/forward has appeared in 86 playoff games during his career, which includes four trips to the NBA Finals (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004) while with the Lakers and winning three-straight NBA Championships from 2000-02.

Read basketball fan reaction and post your own comments in this forum topic.

Memphis Grizzlies sign Marcus Williams

INITIAL JULY 29 NEWS (SEE UPDATE BELOW): The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports: Marcus Williams, who opened some eyes playing for the Grizzlies’ summer league team in Las Vegas earlier this month, could be joining the team in a more official capacity within the next few days. Calvin Andrews, Williams’ agent, said this afternoon that he feels “confident” that Williams will sign a 1-year deal with the Grizzlies. “We’re very close,” Andrews said. “They like some of the things he can do to help the team, to get the ball in the right places.”

AUGUST 6 UPDATE: GRIZZLIES SIGN MARCUS WILLIAMS

grizzlies sign point guard marcus williams

The Memphis Grizzlies added depth to the team’s backcourt by signing free agent point guard and 2009 NBA Summer League standout Marcus Williams, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

“The addition of Marcus Williams not only adds depth to our point guard position, but also gives the team a very skilled passer,” Wallace said.  “Marcus excels at getting easy baskets for his teammates.  His teammates will enjoy playing with him.”

The three-year NBA veteran averaged 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and a league-leading 8.2 assists (shared with Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings) in helping lead the Grizzlies to a perfect 5-0 record in the 2009 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last month.

The 6-3, 205-pound guard began and finished his summer league in memorable fashion, recording a Vegas-record 17 assists in the opener on July 12 vs. Oklahoma City and then made the game-winning field goal with 0.4 seconds remaining in the summer finale on July 19 vs. San Antonio.

The 23-year-old playmaker holds career averages of 6.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 15.8 minutes in 141 games (nine starts) with the New Jersey Nets (2006-08) and Golden State Warriors (2008-09).  Williams was originally selected by New Jersey with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft and was named to the 2006-07 NBA All-Rookie Second Team after recording 6.8 points and 3.3 assists in 79 games in his rookie season.

Last season, Williams averaged 1.3 points and 1.4 assists in 6.0 minutes in nine games for the Warriors before finishing the year in Puerto Rico, recording 16.8 points and a league-best 9.0 assists in 33.5 minutes in 34 games with the Quebradillas Pirates.

The Los Angeles, Calif. native averaged 9.0 points and a school-record 7.3 assists in 26.1 minutes in 70 games (51 starts) over three seasons (2003-06) at the University of Connecticut, where he teamed with current Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay for two seasons (2004-06).  While at UConn, Williams posted the first-ever triple-double for a Huskies player in conference play with 18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds on Feb. 21, 2006 vs. Notre Dame.

Williams also joined Gay as part of the 2005 USA Men’s U21 World Championship Team, where he led the squad in minutes (20.4) and averaged 4.1 points and 4.1 assists in eight games.

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 12 players.

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