Archive for July, 2009

Portland Trail Blazers sign Andre Miller

Portland Trail Blazers sign Andre Miller

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent guard Andre Miller to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard. Multiple media outlets report that it’s a three-year deal worth $21 million, and ESPN adds that it’s $14 million guaranteed and $7 million included as a third-year team option.

“We are excited to add a player of the caliber and character of Andre Miller,” said Pritchard. “He is one of the league’s ironmen who brings a wealth of veteran leadership to our team and is a great fit for our young and improving roster.”

Miller (6-2, 205, Utah) holds career averages of 14.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.38 steals in 815 games (768 starts) during his 10 NBA seasons with Cleveland, L.A. Clippers, Denver and Philadelphia.

“I’m really excited for this opportunity with the Trail Blazers and look forward to working with my new team,” said Miller.  “I hope to provide veteran leadership to a young talented nucleus and help Portland take the next step in the pursuit of a championship.”

Originally selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the eighth overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, Miller is tied for the 16th highest assists average (7.4) in NBA history and is currently fourth among active players. He has also played in 530 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA. Miller has missed just three games in his career.

Miller, 33, has 174 career double-doubles and averaged one for Cleveland in 2001-02 (16.5 ppg, 10.9 apg) while leading the NBA in assists that season.

During the 2008-09 season, Miller averaged 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.33 steals and shot 47.3 percent from the floor in 82 games (all starts). He ranked 14th in the NBA in assists, 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.68) and tied for 15th in steals. Miller recorded 12 double-doubles last season, including two triple-doubles.

Miller averaged 21.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.17 steals in the 2009 NBA Playoffs. He has career postseason averages of 17.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.30 steals in 27 games (all starts).

InsideHoops.com editor says: Miller adds quality veteran leadership to the Blazers, who have needed a good point guard for a while now. He can’t make three-pointers though, which hurts, because it means start shooting guard Brandon Roy can’t kick it out to him for open shots. Other than that, Miller’s very solid, though his age is up there.

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

Miami Heat decline to match Cleveland Cavaliers offer to Jamario Moon

The Miami Heat announced today that they have declined to match the offer sheet restricted free agent forward Jamario Moon signed with Cleveland, making him a member of the Cavaliers.

“After contemplating Cleveland’s offer to Jamario Moon for the past week, we have decided not to match,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We declined to match because we want to stay true to our plan of not adding salary to our 2010 cap and matching it would have reduced our flexibility. Michael Beasley will be getting significant minutes at both forward positions and this opens up more opportunities for him to become the player we all expect him to be. We would like to thank Jamario for his contributions to our organization and helping us get back to the playoffs last season. We wish him the best in the future.”

Moon was acquired by the HEAT from the Toronto Raptors along with Jermaine O’Neal in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks on Feb. 13, 2009. He appeared in 80 games (60 starts) last year for the HEAT and Raptors and averaged 7.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.08 steals and 25.9 minutes while shooting 46.8 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the foul line. Additionally, he led the NBA in steals-to-turnover ratio (2.00). He appeared in 26 games (21 starts) after being acquired by Miami and averaged 7.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 26.5 minutes while shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and 86.7 percent from the foul line.

Stephon Marbury live webcam broadcast

By Jeff Lenchiner, editor of InsideHoops.com

Boston Celtics free agent guard Stephon Marbury ran a live webcam broadcast that he began Friday morning around 6 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) and said would to go on for a full 24 hours, lasting through Saturday morning. And it appears he accomplished it.

Scroll down to watch Marbury’s webcast live here on InsideHoops.com

Here are live notes taken as the broadcast happened. This is totally unedited.

Marbury is responding to questions from fans. The uStream system has two chats on the page; one for Twitter users to log in and the other for registered uStream.TV members. It’s all free but they all require registering.

I’ve only been watching since around 4 p.m. ET but this is probably the most amusing NBA-related chat I’ve seen.  He’s ranting and raving, yelling lots of positive stuff, sounding like a mix of a modern-day preacher, emotionally-challenged torn soul with issues to work out, spiritual leader, crazed homeless dude, and lover of all of humanity. But the message of the chat is really uplifting. He is repeatedly emphasizing love, strength and togetherness, in his own special, out-there way.

Marbury’s been shirtless the whole broadcast. I assume the ladies out there are happy.

He’s doing the broadcast from his house, mostly from his kitchen, though viewers are also being taken on a tour of other rooms, including the outside, his cars, backyard and pool.

After hours of talking, Marbury went for a swim.

Since I tuned it on Friday afternoon, approximately 2,200 viewers on average are watching, according to live viewer stats automatically published on the page by ustream.tv. Though as I checked in every other hour or so, the average was more like around 1,800 viewers.

Actual ustream employees were in Marbury’s house most of Friday, to help set up the equipment and make sure everything was working properly. And a camera assistant or two with portable equipment followed Marbury when he moved around or went outside.

Lower down on this page I am posting a bunch of notes and memorable quotes from the chat.

I just spent 10 days in Las Vegas staying out all night and returned to NYC just yesterday, so I was more than happy to spend today indoors relaxing and made sure to check in on Marbury’s broadcast regularly. I didn’t go out Friday night and fell asleep early, around midnight ET.

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE: Waking up at 6:30 a.m. ET Saturday morning, I immediately turned the Marbury broadcast back on and there he was, lying down but still talking nonstop. It appears he really has been on for close to 24 straight hours. And he’s still going. An average of 550-600 viewers are tuned in at this hour, according to the live counter.

This really is epic from an athlete/fan interaction perspective. He’s sat for literally a day straight responding to anything fans typed at him, mostly trying to respond to regular comments but also taking on some negative stuff. In all my years covering the NBA (full-time for InsideHoops.com since around 2002) I’ve never seen anything like this.

InsideHoops.com fan discussion of the broadcast is in this forum topic.

MONDAY, JULY 27 UPDATE: WATCH MARBURY WEBCAST LIVE HERE

Marbury broadcast a lot all weekend, and now as of Monday seems to be going live almost constantly for much of the day and night. Bookmark this page and you can view it anytime, below, by clicking play.

Watch live video from starburytv on Justin.tv

——————–

Marbury Webcam Broadcast Notes

- Do not try to put Marbury in a box. He doesn’t enjoy it. Seriously, that was the theme of the chat. Marbury said/yelled “They tried to put me in a box!” what literally felt like hundreds of times over the course of the web broadcast, from start to finish.

- Marbury hates haters. And wants to pull their dresses up over their heads to expose them.

- “I’m not the best point guard in the world. Chris Paul is the best point guard in the world”

- He’s not mad. Does he look mad? Nope, he’s smiling and not mad.

- “They tried to put me in the box! But it’s all G, baby!”

- “Now I want to go back to school and get my degree.” Marbury said his time at Georgia Tech was devoted to basketball and getting his mom out of the hood.

- Several times, Marbury named Kobe Bryant as the league’s best player.

Stephon Marbury live webcam broadcast

- Marbury on New York: “They treated me like they want to be treated. I won’t treat them like that, though.”

- “Shoutout to Mike Hunt!”

- “I want to go everywhere on this planet. I want to see it all.”

- “I have the IQ of Jerome James? Thank you!”

- “I don’t want to be anybody’s favorite player. I want to be your favorite person.”

- “If it ain’t positive, it ain’t love.”

- “Your word is all you got. And people get it twisted.”

- “Who want to build up this positive city with me?”

- “The haters can’t even get in right now. There’s too much love right now.”

- “Tough everybody. Talk about it. Let it be conversation. Let it be Sunday conversation. Talk to your kids about it. This the type of love you got to have.”

- “Leave yourself completely vulnerable. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to love.”

- “I know ESPN hate me. It’s OK. I went to ESPN when I was younger and I used to give them free commercial. And then they took my words, saying ‘dogfighting was a sport’ and they cut out “from what I heard” … I took heat from that. My company got knocked in the chin. People boycotting against my sneaker line.” (Paraphrase, but close to exact quote)

- Marbury basically wants to visit everyplace on Earth. Especially India and Israel, among tons of other places.

- The neighborhood in Slumdog Millionaire, that’s the real hood.

- “I’m going to the bathroom! They tried to put me in a box! But we’re unstoppable!” (Yes, this was all said together, with alnost no pause in between the three sentences).

- Marbury is a huge fan of the rapper Drake.

- “If you’ve been here since 6 o’clock in the morning, put your 24 up!” (Tons of people in the chat then type “24″ in response)

- “This is why I will never do cocaine. Because Len Bias did cocaine and died the first time. That’s what they said, and I haven’t heard different.” (Paraphrase but close to exact quote)

- “Love is love.” (This quote was a common theme throughout the broadcast.)

- At 7:18 a.m. ET the only people awake in the house are Marbury and a dude nicknamed MoonCricket, who works with Stephon and does film and broadcasting. The others who helped make sure the broadcast stayed on are all asleep, Marbury says.

- “I’ll play back in New York if they step up to the plate…. They tried to put me in a box! What’s up now? I’ll go back to New York and play.”

- “All is forgiven. You have to forgive to forget.”

- “Love is love! Love is love! Love is love!” This was a common theme of the night. Also, “God is love!”

- Marbury early Saturday morning keeps repeating that this is the greatest and most funny thing anyone has ever seen, especially after he ran around messing around with the other dudes who were sleeping.

- He’s been loaded with energy the whole broadcast. And no, he’s not on anything.

- They’re working four cameras, said Cricket, the only guy to stay up the entire 24 hours along with Marbury.

- And, more dancing. Several times over the course of the 24 hours the talking stopped, music was blasting, and Marbury — and occasionally Cricket — danced for the fans. Cricket can bring it.

- MVP is Most Valuable Person. This was another common theme throughout the broadcast. Marbury repeated many times that he wants to be your most valuable person.

- Marbury said several times that he doesn’t care about the NBA like he used to. He wants to keep playing, and wants real minutes, not the 8-12 per game that Boston had available for him, but recognizes that life and being a good person is much more important than playing professional basketball.

- Tonight, we’ve all made history, Marbury says.

- At 8:13 a.m. ET Marbury said “I don’t got no more in me. My voice is gone.” He’s still on, though, talking less but typing plenty. There are 700 people currently tuned in. A few people in chat have said that in 45 minutes it’ll have been a full 24 hours.

- Around 8:30 a.m. ET Marbury, after repeating “Put your number one’s up” many times, stopped talking and started crying while holding up a no.1 finger. Not merely shedding tears, but full-on crying for a good two or three minutes. “Happy tears. Happy tears. Happy tears. Happy tears,” he said as 765 viewers watched.

- It’s now 8:56 a.m. ET and Marbury’s been silently holding up a “1″ finger for a while now.

- At 9:02 a.m. ET, with Marbury continuing to silently sit and sometimes type on a laptop while holding his no.1 finger up, the broadcast ended.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former Mavs coach Don Nelson aren’t best friends forever. The AP reports:

The feud between Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former coach Don Nelson stretches back nearly seven years and has some $7 million at stake. But just how ugly and dysfunctional their relationship has been is only now being revealed.

Previously secret testimony and e-mail, now in the public record as part of legal proceedings initiated in the last 10 months, paint the picture of a spat that has turned two of the NBA’s best-known figures into bitter adversaries.

There’s deposition testimony from Cuban in which he acknowledges that he withheld consulting fees from Nelson in 2006 because he believed the former coach had “badmouthed” the team during the NBA Finals and should be made to “beg” for the money.

There’s also testimony from Nelson in which he describes being so disgusted with Cuban that he signed a contract to stay on as coach in 2003 only after friends “got me drunk.”

As great as that sounds, there’s more, again from the AP:

Nelson has also filed a defamation suit against Cuban in California over comments the owner made on a Bay Area radio show in 2007. He claims that Cuban, who was on the show to promote his appearance on “Dancing with the Stars,” defamed him when he said the coach’s demand for money was an attempt “to rip me off.”

This goes deep. The two likely will never be able to hug it out and walk it off.

Orlando Magic sign Matt Barnes

Orlando Magic sign Matt Barnes

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent forward Matt Barnes, General Manager Otis Smith announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed. We’ll add contract info tonight.

“Matt (Barnes) is a versatile player that fits very well with our style of play,” said Smith.  “He is a good defender, can knock down the open shot and is coming off his best season as a pro. We’re happy to welcome Matt to the Magic family.”

Barnes (6’7”, 226, 3/9/80) played in 77 games last season with Phoenix, averaging career-highs of 10.2 ppg., 5.5 rpg. and 2.8 apg. in 27.0 minpg.  He made 40 starts for the Suns, averaging 12.6 ppg., 6.1 rpg. and 3.2 apg. during that span.  Barnes led (or tied) the team in scoring twice, in rebounding 11 times and in assists four times.  He scored in double figures 36 times and had eight games with 20+ points, including a season-best 26 points on Mar. 1 vs. L.A. Lakers.  Barnes also recorded five double-doubles and dished out a career-high 11 assists on Mar. 15 @ Golden State.

Originally selected by Memphis during the second round (46th overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft, Barnes has played in 363 career NBA regular season games with the L.A. Clippers, Sacramento, New York, Philadelphia, Golden State and Phoenix, averaging 7.0 ppg., 4.1 rpg. and 1.8 rpg. in 20.3 minpg.  He has also appeared in 11 career playoff games, averaging 11.1 ppg., 5.7 rpg., 2.4 apg. and 1.45 stlpg. in 30.0 minpg.

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

Indiana Pacers to waive Jamaal Tinsley

Indiana Pacers to waive Jamaal Tinsley

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday that a resolution has been reached between the team and guard Jamaal Tinsley, and as a result the grievance arbitration scheduled for next week has been canceled.

Tinsley will be waived by the Pacers Wednesday, and if he clears waivers, he will become a free agent. “This ends a very difficult period for all parties involved,” said Larry Bird, President of Basketball. “We are pleased to have this resolved.”

Pursuant to team policy, details of the resolution will not be disclosed. The team will have no further comment.

“Jamaal and I would like to thank the Pacers for working on a resolution to this and Jamaal and I are sorry things didn’t work out,” said Tinsley’s agent, Raymond Brothers. “We both wish the Pacers the best of luck in the future.”

Blake Griffin has right shoulder strain

blake griffin shoulder strain

Los Angeles Clippers’ rookie forward Blake Griffin will spend the next three to four weeks resting a strain to his right shoulder which he incurred in the third game of the Clippers’ five game Las Vegas Summer League schedule last week. Griffin, named the League’s Most Outstanding Player, went on to average 19.2 points and 10.8 rebounds.

Griffin will maintain his normal lower body training and conditioning regimen, and will be further evaluated regularly. He was examined and diagnosed Tuesday by Clippers’ team physician Dr. Steven Shimoyama. A second examination today by Los Angeles-based specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum confirmed the earlier diagnosis and suggested protocol.

As a precaution, Griffin will be held out of the USA Basketball National Team Mini-Camp to which he was invited and which starts today in Las Vegas.

Miami Heat re-sign Jamaal Magloire

Miami Heat re-sign Jamaal Magloire

The Miami HEAT have announced that they have re-signed center Jamaal Magloire. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Magloire, who originally signed with the HEAT as a free agent on September 2, 2008, has appeared in 592 career games (313 starts). During his nine-year NBA career, he has averaged 8.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 23.2 minutes while shooting 48.0 percent from the field and 65.3 percent from the foul line. The former NBA All-Star (2004) has appeared in 42 postseason contests (18 starts) and averaged 7.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 21.1 minutes while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 68.2 percent from the foul line.

During the 2008-09 season, Magloire appeared in 55 games (12 starts) for Miami and averaged 2.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 12.9 minutes while shooting 49.6 percent from the field. In his 12 starts, his averages increased to 5.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 16.7 minutes while connecting on 63.6 percent of his shots.

Magloire led the HEAT and finished 28th in the NBA in rebounds per 48 minutes (15.0). He also led the team in rebounds on four separate occasions and in blocks three times. Additionally, he was the HEAT’s leading scorer off the bench in three games while topping the HEAT reserves in rebounds on 17 occasions, in blocks 13 times, in steals seven times, in assists in three contests and in minutes once.

He drew 13 charges on the season which was the third-best team total. Magloire also appeared in six postseason games and totaled two points, 11 rebounds and one assist while shooting 1-of-3 from the field in 47 minutes.

By now you’ve all heard about LeBron James being dunked on in a meaningless, light scrimmage by college basketball player Jordan Crawford, of Xavier.

Today, TMZ posted a video clip, but it’s so fuzzy that I get nothing out of it. This clear video clip of what went down is much better. Press the play button:

Nice dunk. But it’s no big deal. Athletic college players can occasionally dunk on or near great NBA players in light scrimmages when given the opportunity.

There was no reason to for Nike to cover this video up.

Fun to finally see, though. Even if the actual event is nothing.

Maybe this was all a big marketing ploy by Nike to get lots of press for themselves. If so, it worked. This is the first time I’m mentioning them in a blog entry in months.

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

Detroit Pistons sign Chris Wilcox

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has signed free agent forward Chris Wilcox to a multi-year contract.  Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

“We are excited to add a young, athletic big man in Chris Wilcox,” said Dumars.  “Chris provides our team with some added depth in the front court and we look forward to watching his continued development while here with the Pistons.”

Wilcox, 26, has appeared in 448 career NBA games (2     11 starts) averaging 9.3 points (52.7% from the field), 5.3 rebounds and 21.7 minutes per game.  Since joining the league as the eighth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, he has played for three franchises including Los Angeles, Seattle/Oklahoma City and New York.

In 62 games with Oklahoma City and New York last season, Wilcox averaged 7.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and shot 49.7% from the field in 16.9 minutes per game.

His best two seasons came in 2006-07 and 2007-08 with Seattle where he averaged 13.5 points and 13.4 points, respectively.  Wilcox started 81 of 82 games during the 2006-07 season where he averaged career-highs in points (13.5) and rebounds (7.7) and ranked 16th among NBA league leaders in field goal percentage (.529).

He earned NBA Western Conference Player of the Week honors during the 2005-06 season by tallying averages of 23.0 points (.750 FG) and 15.3 rebounds during a 3-0 week for the Sonics (4/3-9).  Wilcox scored 26 points and grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds vs. Houston that week, becoming the first player since Shawn Kemp to record a 20-point/20-rebound game for Seattle.  The Raleigh, North Carolina native played two seasons collegiately at Maryland, helping the Terrapins win the NCAA Championship in 2002.

Indiana Pacers re-sign Josh McRoberts

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday they have re-signed free agent forward Josh McRoberts to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, teams of the contract were not closed. We’ll post contract info tonight.

“We are very pleased to have Josh back,” said Pacers President of Basketball Larry Bird. “He’s another player who fits into the core group of guys we want to build around. He worked very hard the last year to improve his game, I know he will continue to work and improve and be part of what we are trying to build.”

The 6-10 McRoberts, acquired in a trade July 9, 2008, from Portland, played 33 games for the Pacers, averaging 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.

“I was thrilled last summer when the Pacers brought me back home,” said McRoberts, from Carmel, IN. “I have the same feeling now that they thought enough of me to bring me back. This is home and I want to be part of what the Pacers are trying to do.”

They’re back! The 2006-08 USA Basketball Men’s National Team coaching staff of head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University), and assistants Jim Boeheim (Syracuse University), Mike D’Antoni (New York Knicks) and Nate McMillan (Portland Trail Blazers), a staff that led the American men to gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a three year record of 36-1, will return intact to lead the USA Basketball Men’s National Team program in 2010-2012.

USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo officially announced today that Basketball Hall of Fame mentor Krzyzewski will return as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team program for 2010-2012, and that Boeheim, D’Antoni and McMillan were returning as USA assistant coaches.

Over the course of 2010-2012, USA Men’s National Teams will compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championship (Aug. 28-Sept. 12 in Turkey); if necessary the 2011 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament (dates and site TBD); and if the USA qualifies, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games (July 26-Aug. 12 in London, England).

Sacramento Kings sign Sean May

The Sacramento Kings and forward Sean May today reached an agreement in principle on a contract, it was announced by Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are all excited to have him join the team,” said Petrie. “It’s a great opportunity for him and us as well. We look forward to this being a chance for him to combine his talent with his health and motivation.”

May amassed career averages of 8.5 points (.457 FGs, .333 3FGs, .760 FTs), 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game through 82 games with the Charlotte Bobcats in three seasons, sitting out the 2007-08 campaign due to injury. His best year, statistically, occurred during 2006-07 when he averaged 11.9 points (.500 FGs, .667 3FGs, .768 FTs), 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game over 35 contests.

The 13th pick of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Bobcats out of the University of North Carolina, May led the Tar Heels to the 2005 NCAA National Championship and was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

AUGUST 3 UPDATE: KINGS OFFICIALLY SIGN SEAN MAY

The Sacramento Kings today signed forward Sean May to a contract, it was announced by Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are all excited to have him join the team,” said Petrie. “It’s a great opportunity for him and us as well. We look forward to this being a chance for him to combine his talent with his health and motivation.”

May amassed career averages of 8.5 points (.457 FGs, .333 3FGs, .760 FTs), 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game through 82 games with the Charlotte Bobcats in three seasons, sitting out the 2007-08 campaign due to injury. His best year, statistically, occurred during 2006-07 when he averaged 11.9 points (.500 FGs, .667 3FGs, .768 FTs), 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game over 35 contests.

The 13th pick of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Bobcats out of the University of North Carolina, May led the Tar Heels to the 2005 NCAA National Championship and was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

Antonio Burks shot in robbery

The AP reports: Former Memphis Grizzlies and University of Memphis point guard Antonio Burks remains in critical condition a day after being shot during a robbery… The Commercial Appeal quoted police as saying Burks and four other men were in the backyard of a Memphis house when they were robbed by three men. They shot Burks and another man, whose identity was not released. Police said the second victim also was in critical condition.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports: Former Memphis Tiger and Grizzly Antonio Burks was shot as he watched six men gamble with dice in the backyard of a home in South Memphis, according to police. Three armed robbers came around both sides of the house at 353 Laclede just before 6 p.m. Monday and began firing immediately, a victim told police. The robbers, who arrived in a purple or blue GMC Equinox or Envoy and weren’t wearing masks, forced the victims to the ground and robbed them of money and their clothes. One victim, identified by police as Vincent Williams, 44, was shot in the stomach and robbed of $300.

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that the team has signed Jrue Holiday, the 17th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.  Holiday (6-3/180) was an early entry candidate for the draft following his freshman season at UCLA.

All players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft are guaranteed a contract, so this is an expected, routine signing.

The 19-year-old was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team last season after averaging 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals in 35 games played.  Holiday was paired in the Bruins backcourt along with senior Darren Collison who was selected with the 21st overall pick by New Orleans.

Earlier this month, Holiday started all five games for the Sixers/Nets entry in the Orlando Pro Summer League.  He averaged 8.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, a team-high 3.0 assists and a team-high tying 1.60 steals in 29.0 minutes per game.

The 2008 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Holiday averaged 25.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 4.8 steals during his senior season at Campbell Hall High School in California.

The Boston Globe (Chad Finn) reports (via blog): The first coach in Maine Red Claws history has a familiar last name and a family tie to one of the NBA Developmental League franchise’s parent clubs, the Celtics. The Red Claws introduced Austin Ainge as the team’s head coach. Ainge, 27, who was most recently a scout for the Celtics, is the son of Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge… Ainge spent last season as scout with the Celtics, where included working with rookies J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker while they were on assignment with Utah of the D-League.

Orlando Magic to sign Matt Barnes

The Orlando Magic are about to land help at the swingman spots. Yahoo (Adrian Wojnarowski) reports:

In an aggressive summer of spending, the Orlando Magic have agreed with Matt Barnes on a two-year, $3.2 million contract, a league source said Monday night… The deal includes a player option of $1.6 million in 2010-11, the source said. Barnes will sign the agreement on Tuesday.

Assuming  the deal happens, it’s a good move for the Magic. Barnes will help their bench. With new shooting guard Vince Carter likely starting and Rashard Lewis probably sliding from power forward to his natural small forward position, Mickael Pietrus and Barnes will provide nice backup minutes at the SG and SF spots.

Last season with the Phoenix Suns Barnes averaged 10.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 27.0 minutes per game.

The AP reports: Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns have agreed on a two-year, $22 million contract extension, his agent said. Bill Duffy confirmed the agreement Monday in an interview with The Associated Press. The deal will keep the two-time MVP point guard under contract with the Suns through the 2011-2012 season… Under the agreement, $6 million of the final two years of the contract will be deferred, with $3 million being paid in each of the two years following the expiration of the contract, Duffy said.

Miami Heat re-sign Joel Anthony

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have re-signed center Joel Anthony. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Anthony, who originally signed with the HEAT as a free agent on July 3, 2007, has appeared in 89 career games (29 starts). During his two-year NBA career, all with Miami, he has averaged 2.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.39 blocks and 17.4 minutes while shooting 47.8 percent from the field and 62.1 percent from the foul line. In his 29 career starts, he has averaged 3.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.41 blocks in 19.8 minutes. He owns the franchise record for the most blocks off the HEAT bench during a single game after he blocked six shots off the bench at Indiana on Mar. 31, 2008. Anthony currently ranks 16th on the HEAT’s all-time blocked shots list with 124.

During the 2008-09 season, Anthony appeared in 65 games (28 starts) and averaged 2.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.43 blocks and 16.1 minutes while shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 65.2 percent from the foul line. He finished second on the team in total blocks (93) and blocks per game (1.43) and tied for fourth in offensive rebounds (89). He led the team in blocks 26 times and blocked a shot in a career-tying seven consecutive games from Dec. 12 thru Dec. 26, 2008. He scored a career-high 12 points while grabbing a career-high 13 rebounds at Memphis on Dec. 14. Additionally, he appeared in six postseason games (two starts) totaling 10 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocks while shooting 4-of-5 from the field and a perfect 2-of-2 from the foul line.

Randy Rigby, Utah Jazz team president announced today that David Locke has been selected as the radio play-by-play announcer for Jazz broadcasts on 1320 KFAN beginning with the 2009-10 season. Locke becomes only the second radio voice in franchise history, following “Hot” Rod Hundley who retired after 35 seasons with the Jazz.

“When I was a young kid I would leave Jazz games at the Salt Palace with my dad and when we would listen to Hot Rod on the way home, I would tell him ‘I want to be a broadcaster,’” said Locke.  “To be offered that opportunity from the franchise whose posters hung on my wall as a kid is an amazing thrill. I am excited to go on the journey through the season with Jazz fans. Combining both the radio show and the play-by-play should bring fans closer to the team than ever before and give them a new glimpse inside the season.”

Locke brings more than 15 years of broadcast experience to the Jazz. His NBA play-by-play résumé includes one season as the radio voice of the Seattle SuperSonics (2006-2007). In addition Locke spent seven seasons as the play-by-play announcer for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (2000-2006), one season as the television play-by-play voice for University of Washington football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball (2002-2003) and one season as the TV/radio announcer of the WNBA’s Utah Starzz. Locke also filled in for “Hot” Rod Hundley, calling the Jazz game at Toronto on March 8, 2009.

“We are very excited to have David on board as the radio voice of the Utah Jazz,” said Rigby. “Following a legend like ‘Hot’ Rod Hundley is not an easy task but we are confident we found the best equipped person for the job. David is a dedicated professional who is very passionate about Jazz basketball and we believe Jazz fans will embrace his broadcast style.”

The Palo Alto, Calif. native currently hosts the top-rated sports radio show “Locked On Sports,” which will continue as scheduled from 3-6 p.m. (MT) each weekday. For the past two seasons Locke has also served as host of the Jazz’s pregame, halftime and postgame radio shows on 1320 KFAN.

“David brings a unique perspective to our fans,” said Jazz Senior Vice President of Broadcasting Chris Baum. “Much like he has with his radio show, Locke will continue to implement social media into his broadcasts, making information on the Jazz available 365 days a year.”

Locke originally began his radio career in Los Angeles in 1992 at KIEV before moving to Salt Lake where he hosted the morning show at The Score. Locke then left for KISN as the station’s mid-day radio host where he also was a pre and postgame reporter for Jazz games. In 1995 he was hired to develop 1320 KFAN, serving as program director and afternoon drive host while also hosting the Jazz’s pregame, halftime and postgame shows. With Locke at the helm, 1320 KFAN was the highest rated sports station in the Salt Lake City demographic of men 25-54. Locke’s show reached its peak in the spring of 1998, ranking first in both FM and AM radio with adults 25-54 in the country. In 1998 Locke moved to the Northwest, spending eight years as the host of “Sonics Talk,” the Sonics’ radio pregame, halftime and postgame shows on Sports Radio 950 KJR AM. Locke also wrote a weekly column for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper.

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