Archive for July 8th, 2009

Cleveland Cavaliers to sign Anthony Parker

The Cleveland Cavaliers, a legitimate contender to represent the Eastern conference in the 2009-10 NBA Finals, will soon add a crafty, veteran shooting guard.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Brian Windhorst), the Cavs have come to an agreement with guard Anthony Parker will likely sign a contract in the coming days.

The 6-6, 215-pound free agent played for the Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic years ago, then enjoyed a healthy career overseas before returning to the NBA and playing the last three seasons as a member of the Toronto Raptors.

In 2008-09, Parker averaged 10.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 33 minutes per game. He’s an excellent three-point shooter and a smart player who makes teammates better. He turned 34 in June and should have a few more productive seasons.

UPDATE: The Cavs signed Parker.

The Golden State Warriors have signed Stephen Curry, whom the club selected with the seventh overall selection in last month’s NBA Draft, to a contract, the team announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

Curry, 21, was an early entry candidate for the 2009 NBA Draft after playing three seasons at Davidson.  As a junior last season, he was a consensus All-America selection after leading the nation in scoring with 28.6 points per game to go along with 4.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.53 steals in 34 games.  Curry appeared in 104 collegiate games during his career, averaging 25.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.13 steals, while shooting 46.7% (871-1866 FG) from the field, 41.2% (414-1004 3FG) from long range and 87.6% (479-547 FT) from the free throw line.

A 6-3 guard, Curry will begin his professional career this week as a member of the Warriors’ summer league squad at the 2009 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed first-round draft pick Gerald Henderson. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is standard, as all first round picks are guaranteed to receive a contract should they decide to actually play in the NBA.

The 12th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Henderson earned First Team All-ACC, Wooden Award All-America and Third Team AP All-America honors last season as a junior at Duke.  The 6-4 guard led the team in scoring (16.5 ppg), while ranking second in rebounding (4.9 rpg), assists (2.5 apg) and field goal percentage (.450).  He scored in double figures 31 times in 37 games played, including a career-high 35 points on 11-15 shooting from the field and 12-14 from the free-throw line on Feb. 22 against Wake Forest.

“I’m excited to get my NBA career underway,” said Henderson, who will participate in the 2009 NBA Summer League with the Minnesota Timberwolves entry.  “It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the NBA and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

In 103 career games at Duke, Henderson averaged 12.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists.  Despite playing just three seasons, Henderson ranks 20th in school history with 69 blocks and 39th all-time with 1,262 points.

It’s been rumored that the San Antonio Spurs were the favorites to land veteran power forward Antonio McDyess, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

Wednesday evening, Adrian Wojnarowski (Yahoo) reported that the 34-year-old McDyess will join the Spurs, possibly signing a three-year deal for $15 million.

The Spurs are adding some nice pieces this summer. They already gained a terrific starting small forward in Richard Jefferson. The center spot is still weak, but McDyess handle that position for stretches.

The Houston Rockets just received a bit of a boost from the NBA in regard to probably not having Yao Ming available this season. The AP reports: The Rockets applied for a disabled player exception from the NBA a few weeks ago, betting that their All-Star center will miss next season with a hairline fracture in his left foot. The NBA agreed that Yao’s return is unlikely, freeing up about $5.7 million that the Rockets used to sign free agent Trevor Ariza from the Lakers.

InsideHoops.com editor says: I am just speculating, but this probably means that the Rockets likely know for sure that Yao Ming will miss the season and have not yet chosen to announce it to the world. But they must have shown some pretty conclusive evidence to the NBA in order to land the exception a full 3.5 months before the regular season would start. Unfortunately, we must now assume that Yao Ming may not be on an NBA court for at least a year. Maybe the injury is so bad that rumors of his career being threatened are true. Hopefully not.

Houston Rockets sign Trevor Ariza

Houston Rockets sign Trevor Ariza

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent guard/forward Trevor Ariza to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, financial terms were not released.

“Trevor is a young, athletic wing player who will thrive in Rick Adelman’s system,” said Morey. “Each year in the league Trevor has improved. What he has accomplished at a young age is already impressive and we expect his improvement to continue.”

Ariza (6-8, 210, UCLA) holds career averages of 6.9 points (.470, 808-1718 FG), 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.14 steals in 311 games (52 starts) with the New York Knicks, Orlando Magic and L.A. Lakers. In 2008-09, Ariza emerged as a key contributor for the Lakers during the team’s title run. He appeared in a career-high 82 games (20 starts), averaging 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.67 steals in 24.4 minutes per game. Ariza scored in double figures 39 times, including a career-high 26 points (9-13 FG) vs. Dallas (3/15/09). The five-year NBA veteran also made his presence felt on the defensive side of the ball by ranking ninth in the NBA in steals per game. Overall last season, Ariza led the Lakers in steals 30 times and in blocks on seven occasions. He set his career high with five steals vs. Utah (1/2/09) and matched that total vs. Phoenix (2/26/09). Ariza added to his game in 2008-09 by becoming a perimeter threat for the Lakers, making a career-high 61 3-pointers (.319, 61-191 3FG). He also registered a double-double with 11 points and a season-high 11 rebounds vs. Sacramento (11/23/08). Ariza started all 23 postseason games for the Lakers during the 2009 NBA Playoffs, averaging 11.3 points (.497, 92-185 FG), 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.57 steals. He also led the Lakers with 40 3-point field goals made (.476, 40-84 3FG) and ranked among the league postseason leaders in steals per game (13th overall).

Selected by New York in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft, Ariza at the time became the youngest player to ever wear a Knicks uniform (19 years, 4 months and 4 days) during his rookie season of 2004-05. He was traded by New York along with Anfernee Hardaway to Orlando in exchange for Steve Francis on Feb. 22, 2006. After re-signing as a free agent with the Magic on July 27, 2006, Ariza went on to average 8.9 points (.539, 200-371 FG), 4.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 57 games (seven starts) with Orlando in 2006-07. He was acquired by the Lakers from the Magic in exchange for Brian Cook and Maurice Evans on Nov. 20, 2007.

Ariza, who declared for the NBA Draft following his freshman campaign, played in 25 games (23 starts) at UCLA. He averaged 11.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and a team-high 1.7 steals in 31.6 minutes per game in 2003-04.

The Sacramento Kings today signed rookie guard Tyreke Evans to a contract, it was announced by Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. Evans was Sacramento’s first round selection (4th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft out of the University of Memphis as an undergraduate.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Evans should be good. He’s a combo guard, but probably better as a scoring guard than at the point. But with shooting guard Kevin Martin leading the way offensively for the Kings, Evans will likely be used at PG.

San Antonio Spurs sign Malik Hairston

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed guard/forward Malik Hairston.  Per team policy terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 6-6, 220-pound Hairston split the season between San Antonio and the Austin Toros, the Spurs affiliate in the NBA Development League. In 15 games with the Spurs, Hairston averaged 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 10.3 minutes.  Hairston also appeared in 30 games for the Toros where he was third in the D-League in scoring with 22.9 points per game.  He also averaged 5.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 41.3 minutes and was named All-D-League Honorable Mention.

The former Oregon Duck spent the 2008 training camp with San Antonio where he averaged 5.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in six preseason games.  He was waived by the Spurs on 10/26.  Hairston was selected by Phoenix Suns with the 48th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.  He was acquired by San Antonio from Phoenix in exchange for the draft rights to Goran Dragic.

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday they have signed their No. 1 draft pick, Tyler Hansbrough, to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Hansbrough, a 6-9, 250-pound forward from the University of North Carolina, is the all-time leading scorer in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 2,872 points. He is the only player in league history to earn First Team All-America and First Team All-ACC honors four times.

As a senior in 2008-09, he was named First Team All-America by Sporting News, USBWA, NABC and AP. He is the North Carolina Tar Heels’ all-time leading rebounder with 1,219 rebounds.

Hansbrough is currently playing with the Pacers’ summer league team which is participating in the Orlando Pro Summer League through Friday. The Pacers have won their first two games and play again on Wednesday (3:00 p.m.), Thursday (7:00 p.m.) and Friday (3:00 p.m.).

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed Jodie Meeks to a multi-year contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Meeks (6-4, 208) was the 41st overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft and will participate in the 2009 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas with the Bucks (July 10-16).

A junior selected out of the University of Kentucky, Meeks averaged 15.4 points in 81 games over three college seasons. He holds the school’s single-season record for three-pointers made (117) and is 33rd on the school’s all-time scoring list (1,246). In his junior season he averaged 23.7 points (sixth in the nation) on 46.3 percent shooting from the field and 40.6 percent from three-point range. Following the season, Meeks was an All-SEC First Team selection as well as an All-America Second Team selection by the Associated Press, Sporting News and USBWA. He was also USBWA District Player of the Year and First Team All-District by USBWA and NABC. Meeks was the first player in league history to earn four SEC Player of the Week honors in one season.

Meeks will be joined on Milwaukee’s Summer League team by 2009 first round pick Brandon Jennings, along with 2008 draft picks Joe Alexander and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. The five-game schedule tips-off Friday (July 10) with a game against Dallas. The other four games are against Cleveland (July 12), Sacramento (July 13), Chicago (July 15) and Toronto (July 16). Bucks.com will cover all of Milwaukee’s summer league action.

Dallas Mavericks sign Quinton Ross

Dallas Mavericks sign Quinton Ross

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed Quinton Ross. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ross (6-6, 193) joins the Mavericks after spending the 2008-09 season with Memphis. He averaged 3.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 17.1 minutes in 68 games (seven starts) with the Grizzlies. The five-year NBA veteran, who began his career as a rookie free agent with the L.A. Clippers, owns career averages of 4.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 20.4 minutes in 370 games (158 starts).

“Quinton has been part of the Dallas basketball fabric for many years,” President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson said. “He played his high school ball under Royce Johnson at Kimball before attending Southern Methodist University. We are happy and proud to bring him home. His athleticism, defensive versatility and experience will add depth to our backcourt.”

A native of Dallas, Ross averaged 14.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 119 games at SMU. He finished his four-year career as the school’s fourth all-time scoring leader (1,763 points).

InsideHoops.com editor says: Perfectly good backup to play limited minutes off the bench as a 9th - 12th man.

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The Atlanta Hawks on July 13 signed unrestricted free agents Mike Bibby and Zaza Pachulia to new contracts, according to Executive Vice President/General Manager Rick Sund. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased to keep Mike as part of our team,” Sund said. “His consistent production and leadership over the last year-and-a-half have been major components to the team’s success. In all of our postseason meetings and discussions, Coach Woodson stressed the importance of keeping him on board. Mike’s own desire to return to our team speaks to the confidence he has in the direction of the franchise, and in his teammates and coaches.”

Last year, Bibby became one of the league’s most dangerous long-range threats in his first full season in Atlanta, finishing 8th in the NBA with 167 3FGM (the sixth-most in a season in Hawks history), hitting .390, the third-best percentage of his career. He concluded the season averaging 14.9 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.5 rpg and 1.2 spg in 34.7 mpg (.435 FG%, .789 FT%) in 79 starts.

Bibby came to the Hawks from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Anthony Johnson, Tyronn Lue, Shelden Williams, Lorenzen Wright and a 2008 second-round draft pick on February 16, 2008. He has played in 802 career regular season games and 69 playoff contests, including all 11 during the Hawks’ run into the second round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs.

“Zaza is a valuable piece of our frontcourt rotation,” Sund added. “In addition to his rebounding ability and scoring touch, his hustle and passionate play have connected with his teammates and the fans. He has excelled off the court as well, becoming a fixture in the Atlanta community.”

Pachulia appeared in 77 games last season (26 starts), and averaged 6.2 ppg and 5.7 rpg (career-high .497 FG%, .709 FT%). He also tied for 30th in the NBA in offensive rpg (2.2). Pachulia played in all 11 postseason games (one starting assignment), and put in 6.9 ppg and 6.9 rpg, including 18 rebounds in the First Round game four win in Miami.

The Republic of Georgia native originally signed with the Hawks as a restricted free agent on August 11, 2005. He was selected in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic.

The Boston Globe (Marc J. Spears) reports (via blog): Two sources close to the situation told The Boston Globe today that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski will be back for another tour coaching USA Basketball’s national team. The announcement is expected to be made in a press conference Las Vegas prior to a USA Basketball mini-camp featuring young prospects for the national team on July 22-25.

Raptors sign Andrea Bargnani to contract extension

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have signed forward-centre Andrea Bargnani to a multi-year contract extension. The Raptors tipped-off a busy off-season for the club when Bargnani signed the contract at 12:01 a.m. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed. A few media outlets reported that the deal is for around 5 years and at least $50 million. This has not yet been confirmed.

“Andrea has worked very hard to establish himself as a top-flight, multi-dimensional big man in the NBA,” said Bryan Colangelo, Raptors President and General Manager. “He overcame a rough start last season to emerge as a primary scorer for us, and we anticipate quite a bit more from him in the future.”

Bargnani averaged career highs of 15.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.24 blocked shots and 31.4 minutes in 78 games in the 2008-09 season. He made 59 starts, averaging 17.7 points and 5.9 rebounds. He topped 20 or more points a career-best 23 times. He also scored in double figures in 41 of his final 45 starts, with 20 or more points in 24 of those contests.

Bargnani recorded a career-high 31 points January 14, 2009 versus Chicago. He also set an NBA record last season for the longest streak of consecutive games with two or more three-pointers by a starting centre with 10 consecutive games (December 31 – January 16).

The 7-foot native of Rome, Italy has posted career averages of 12.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 221 NBA regular season games. He has shot .831 (221-266) from the charity stripe in his three NBA seasons.

Bargnani became the first European-born player selected with the first overall pick in the NBA Draft when he was taken by the Raptors on June 28, 2006. During his first season in the NBA, Bargnani averaged 11.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 65 games. He was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team and captured T-Mobile Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honours in January and February.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Bargnani is young and promising, but there’s no way he’s earned a contract of this size yet. Assuming he signs this, I hope he works hard to keep improving, rather than relaxing and failing to live up to expectations.

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