Archive for July 10th, 2009

Trail Blazers sign Paul Millsap to offer sheet

The Portland Trail Blazers signed restricted free agent forward Paul Millsap to an offer sheet, it was announced Friday by General Manager Kevin Pritchard. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. We’ll post reported contract info later tonight.

The Utah Jazz have seven days upon receipt of the offer sheet to match Portland’s offer.

Millsap last season averaged 13.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30.1 minutes per game, shooting 53.4% from the field.

The Portland Trail Blazers exercised their option on Head Coach Nate McMillan, extending his contract through the 2010-11 season, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.

“I’m excited that the option year on my contract has been picked up,” said McMillan. “We have a great team, first-class organization and the fan support has been incredible. I would also like to credit the coaching staff for their hard work, and we’re all looking forward to working towards our goal of bringing a championship back to the city of Portland.”

McMillan, 44, led the second youngest team in the NBA to the playoffs with a 54-28 record last season, which ranks as the sixth best mark in franchise history.

“Nate has proven himself one of the great coaches in the NBA,” said Pritchard. “The manner in which he’s developed and grown this young team is a testament to his hard work, intelligence and passion for the game. He’s done an amazing job, and we’re lucky to have him.”

He becomes just the second coach in NBA history to improve a team by at least nine or more wins in three consecutive seasons, as Portland has increased its win total by 33 games since McMillan’s first season in the Rose City.

With an all-time record of 360-363 (.498) over his nine-year coaching career with Portland and Seattle, McMillan stands as the third-youngest coach in NBA history to reach the 300 win mark.

Orlando Magic sign Brandon Bass

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

“Brandon (Bass) is a physical, athletic frontline player,” said Smith.  “He will fit in well with our young core and we are excited to have him join the Magic family.”

Bass (#30, 6’8”, 250, 4/30/85) played in 81 games last season with Dallas, averaging 8.5 ppg. and 4.5 rpg. in 19.4 minpg.  He shot .496 (252-508) from the field and .867 (182-210) from the free throw line, which was tied for 19th in the NBA.  Bass also appeared in 10 postseason outings, averaging 9.4 ppg. and 4.1 rpg. in 19.2 minpg., shooting .550 (33-60) from the field and .903 (28-31) from the charity stripe.  He scored in double figures 31 times, including a season-high 20 points on Feb. 21 vs. Sacramento.  Bass also recorded four double-doubles.

Originally selected by New Orleans during the second round (33rd overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft, Bass has played in 210 career NBA regular season games with New Orleans and Dallas, averaging 6.9 ppg. and 3.9 rpg. in 17.0 minpg.  He has also appeared in 15 career playoff games, averaging 10.1 ppg. and 5.0 rpg. in 21.7 minpg.

Sacramento Kings sign 2009 first round draft pick Omri Casspi

The Sacramento Kings today signed Omri Casspi to a contract, according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

All NBA first round draft picks are guaranteed a contract, provided they elect to join the league right away. So, this is standard.

Casspi was selected by the Kings in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft. He is the first player from Israel to be drafted by an NBA team in the first round.

Phoenix Suns forward Amar’e Stoudemire this afternoon underwent routine outpatient surgery on his right eye.

Commenting on the surgery, Suns’ team ophthalmologist Dr. Jay Schwartz said, “Amar’e today underwent a procedure that is a standard part of his continued recovery process.  It was a routine drainage of a small amount of residual fluid that was simply the next step.”

Stoudemire originally underwent surgery to repair a partially detached retina in his right eye on Feb. 20, 2009.

San Antonio Spurs sign Antonio McDyess

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they have signed forward/center Antonio McDyess.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

McDyess, 6-9, 245 lbs., has spent the past five seasons with the Detroit Pistons.  Last year he appeared in 62 games (30 starts), averaging 9.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 30.1 minutes while shooting .510 (268-525) from the field and .698 (60-86) from the foul line.  As a starter McDyess averaged 12.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.17 blocks in 34.9 minutes compared to 7.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 0.47 blocks in 25.6 minutes in 32 games off the bench.  For the season he posted a team-high 16 double-doubles and pulled down 10-or-more rebounds in 31 games.

In the playoffs, he averaged 13.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in 34.0 minutes in the Pistons first round series with Cleveland.  At the beginning of the season McDyess was traded to Denver as part of the Allen Iverson/Chauncey Billups deal on Nov. 3, but re-signed with Pistons on Dec. 9 after being waived by the Nuggets.  During that stretch he missed 17 games.

Originally selected by the L.A. Clippers with the second overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft (draft rights were traded to Denver), McDyess has played for four different teams over his 14-year career (Denver, Phoenix, New York and Detroit).  He was named to the All-NBA Third Team in 1999 (Denver) and was selected to the All-Rookie First Team in 1996 (Denver).  In 2001 he was named an NBA All-Star (Denver).  McDyess was also a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team that captured the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics.

For his career, McDyess has appeared in 865 games, averaging 13.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists 29.4 minutes.  He averaged double-figure scoring in his first seven seasons, highlighted by a career-high 21.2 points per game in 1999 with the Nuggets.  During the 2000-01 season he averaged 20.8 points and a career-high 12.1 rebounds in 70 games with Denver.  McDyess has scored in double figures in 554 of his 865 career games (64.1%), including 90 consecutive from 4/19/98-1/28/00.  The former University of Alabama standout has posted 40-plus points in three games, including a career-high 46 vs. Vancouver on 2/28/99, nine 20-plus rebound games and five 20-20 games.

Phoenix Suns sign 2009 first round draft pick Earl Clark

The Phoenix Suns today announced the signing of first-round selection Earl Clark, taken with the 14th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft.

In Clark, the Suns add a versatile three-year performer from Louisville, who averaged a team-best 14.2 points and team-leading 8.7 rebounds in his final season as a junior in 2008-09.  The 6-9, 225-pound Clark earned All-Big East Third Team honors in his final collegiate season and helped to lead Louisville to the No. 1 overall seed in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.  Clark, who will make his Suns debut at the 2009 Las Vegas Summer League, was the 17th early entry candidate selected by the Suns in franchise history and the fourth Louisville product drafted by Phoenix, first since Charles Jones in 1984 (36th pick overall, second round).

An established big-game performer, the 21-year-old Clark averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds and shot 56.8 percent from the field in NCAA Tournament games during his final two seasons at Louisville.  The 2006 McDonald’s All-American led the Cardinals to the school’s first Big East Tournament title in 2009 by averaging 18.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists in conference tournament play.  Overall, Clark averaged 10.6 points and 7.0 rebounds in 104 career games (63 starts) for Louisville, where he notched 27 career double-doubles.

The Suns begin their five-game Las Vegas Summer League slate at 3 p.m. Monday, July 13 against the Dallas Mavericks at COX Pavilion.

Utah Jazz sign Mehmet Okur to contract extension

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed center Mehmet Okur to a multi-year contract extension which will take effect when his current contract expires following the 2009-10 season. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. ESPN.com had reported it would possibly be a two-year contract extension worth just under $21 million.

“Memo continues to be one of the key components of our team and we are certainly glad that we were able to reach this agreement,” said Utah Jazz General Manager Kevin O’Connor. “Signing him to a contract extension ensures us stability in our frontcourt.”

Okur (6-11, 263, Turkey), appeared in 72 games (all starts) for the Jazz in 2008-09, averaging 17.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 33.5 minutes per game. A seven-year NBA veteran, Okur finished the season second in points and second in total rebounds for the Jazz.

“We are excited that Memo has decided to remain with our franchise,” said Utah Jazz President Randy Rigby. “Not only has he become a fan favorite, but Memo has made Salt Lake his second home and the community has loved having him here.”

Originally signed by the Jazz as a free-agent on July 27, 2004, Okur has appeared in 388 out of a possible 410 regular season games with the Jazz over the past five seasons, averaging 16.0 points and 7.9 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game. A 2007 NBA All-Star, Okur owns the single-season Jazz record for most three-pointers made and attempted (129-336) in a season (2006-07), and ranks fourth on the franchise’s all-time list for three-pointers attempted (1129) and fifth for three-pointers made (430).

Memphis Grizzlies waive Jerry Stackhouse

The Memphis Grizzlies waived guard/forward Jerry Stackhouse, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

The 6-6, 218 pound swingman was acquired on July 9 as part of a four-team, eight-player trade also involving the Dallas Mavericks, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic.

The 13-year NBA veteran averaged 4.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 16.2 minutes in 10 games (one start) last season, his fifth with the Mavericks.  The two-time All-Star (2000, 2001) holds career averages of 18.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 33.4 minutes in 854 games (563 starts) with the Mavericks, the Washington Wizards, the Detroit Pistons and the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports: Stackhouse was due more than $7 million with the Mavericks next season. The Griz received enough money in the deal to buy out the $2 million Stackhouse is guaranteed in 2009-10.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed 2009 first-round draft picks Jonny Flynn and Wayne Ellington. Flynn, a 6-0 guard from Syracuse, was the sixth overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft. Ellington, a 6-5 guard from North Carolina, was the 28th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

All NBA first round draft picks are guaranteed a contract should they decide to come right to the league, so this is standard.

In two seasons at Syracuse University, Flynn averaged 16.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists, including 17.4 points and 6.7 assists per game during his sophomore campaign.  Despite playing just two seasons for the Orange, Flynn ranked seventh in career assists. He started all 73 games of his Syracuse career, scoring in double figures in 64 contests. He set a school single-season record for minutes played with 1,418 this past season. Flynn was named to the All-Big East Second Team this past season, and was an AP All-America Honorable Mention. He was the Big-East co-Rookie of the Year in 2007-08.

In his three seasons at UNC, Ellington averaged 14.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 115 games. He led the Tar Heels with 85 three-pointers in 2008-09, the fifth-best single-season total in school history. Ellington ranked third in the ACC in three-point percentage (.417) this past season. Ellington was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2009 Final Four as he helped lead UNC to the national title.

Both Flynn and Ellington are playing on the Wolves 2009 NBA Summer League Team, which takes to the court for the first time on Sunday, July 12 at 5 p.m. (CDT).

Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Patrick Mills fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during Thursday evening’s NBA Summer League practice session.

X-rays taken Thursday night revealed the fracture. Mills will see a specialist today, at which point a timetable for his return will be determined.

“You never want to see a player get injured, but it is especially heart wrenching to see a young man go down on his first day of camp,” said General Manager Kevin Pritchard. “We’ll do everything we can to help Patty get back on track to realize his NBA future.

Mills, 20, was selected by Portland with the 55th overall pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft after playing two seasons at St. Mary’s (CA) College.

UPDATE: Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Patrick Mills will undergo surgery on Monday morning to repair the fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

Dr. Jay Crary will perform the surgery, and a timetable for his return will be determined after its completion.

Mills sustained the injury during Thursday evening’s NBA Summer League practice session.

Mills, 20, was selected by Portland with the 55th overall pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft after playing two seasons at St. Mary’s (CA) College.

The Houston Rockets today announced the hiring of Darryl Eto to the newly created position of Director of Strength and Conditioning. Eto will work with current Strength and Conditioning Coach David Macha to design and implement individual strength, conditioning and nutritional programs for Rockets players. Recognized as an expert in the field of plyometrics, conditioning and speed training, Eto will be charged with overseeing all player training and physical performance development.

“We were fortunate to be able to hire Darryl away from his senior position at one of the top athlete performance institutes in the world,” said Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey. “He has attained very impressive results while working with world-class athletes throughout his career. His leadership and experience with the latest science and techniques will ensure the Rockets continue to have one of the best strength and conditioning programs in the NBA.”

Eto, who has refined his practice in applied anatomy, exercise physiology and biomechanics over the course of 25 years, joins the Rockets after spending nearly nine years as the Senior Performance Specialist at Athletes’ Performance in Tempe, Arizona. While working with the private training company, Eto developed and implemented performance training programs for professional, amateur and youth athletes in a wide array of sports. His experience with Athletes’ Performance included individual physical preparation for NBA Pre-Draft Camps, as well as working with current players on offseason programs.

Prior to his time with Athletes’ Performance, Eto served from 1997-99 as the Assistant Director of Research Development and Program Design at International Performance Institute in Bradenton, Florida. >From 1991-97, he was the Head Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Arizona. Eto began his career in 1986 as the Strength and Conditioning Coach/Physical Therapy Aide at Ather Sports Injury Clinic in Castro Valley, California.

Eto earned his master’s degree in exercise and sport science at the University of Arizona and graduated from California State University with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and physical education. His certifications include National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, United States Weightlifting Federation Club Coach, USA Track and Field Level I Track and Field Coach and massage therapist. In addition, Eto took a foreign study tour in the science of strength and conditioning in Bulgaria and the USSR in June 1988.

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