Archive for July 13th, 2009

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have promoted Rob Werdann to the position of assistant coach. Werdann has spent the last five seasons as an advance scout for the Hornets.

“We’re excited to add Rob to our staff,” said Head Coach Byron Scott.  “He has experience as a player in the NBA and has been with this organization for many years. He is an excellent worker with our big guys and I think it is a perfect fit.” 

Werdann has coached in the NBA D-League, spending three seasons as an assistant coach for the Columbus Riverdragons. He began his coaching career as an assistant for the Yakima Sun Kings of the CBA, spending the 2000-01 in Yakima.

“I am thrilled for this opportunity,” Werdann said. “I have had the fortune to work for the Hornets as a scout for the past few years and can not wait to join Coach Scott and the staff.”

Werdann was the 46th overall choice of the Denver Nuggets in the 1992 NBA Draft out of St. John’s University. The 6′11″ center played in three NBA seasons with the Nuggets and New Jersey Nets.

In college, Werdann played four seasons (1988-92) at St. John’s University under legendary coach Lou Carnesecca. The Sunnyside, Queens native ranks as the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 181, despite playing just 12 games his senior season due to a severe calf injury.

While at St. John’s, Werdann made three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, helping the school to a Big East Championship and the NCAA Regional Finals his junior year (1990-91). As a freshman, Werdann played a pivotal role in St. John’s capturing the 1989 NIT Championship.

A well-recruited big man in high school, Werdann earned McDonald’s High School All-American honors his senior season (1988) and was a teammate of former NBA guard Kenny Anderson at Archbishop Molloy High School in New York City.

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

The 40th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Brown earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors last season as a junior at Xavier University.  The 6-8 forward led the team in rebounding (6.1 rpg) and three-point percentage (.433) and ranked second in scoring (13.7 ppg) and field goal percentage (.504).  Brown ranked among the Atlantic 10 conference leaders in scoring (15th), rebounding (T-10th) and free-throw percentage (10th).  He scored in double figures 27 times, including four double-doubles.

In 106 career games at Xavier before declaring for the 2009 NBA Draft, Brown averaged 10.3 points and 5.6 rebounds, while shooting .573 from the field and .415 from beyond the three-point line.  Brown, who was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team in 2006-07, ranks 36th on Xavier’s all-time scoring list with 1,096 points in his career.

“I’m blessed to be in this position,” Brown said.  “I’m looking forward to getting in here soon and working hard to show everyone that the Bobcats made a great pick.”

The Atlanta Hawks have 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 Orlando Magic have exercised its right of first refusal and retained restricted free agent center Marcin Gortat, General Manager Otis Smith officially announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.  Several media outlets had reported that the deal was for five years, $34 million.

Orlando had seven days to match an offer sheet made to Gortat by Dallas on July 8.

“Having quality big men is an absolute must in our league, and Marcin (Gortat) has worked very hard to fit into that category,” said Smith.  “He provides tremendous depth to our frontcourt and we’re happy to bring him back.”

Gortat (#13, 6’11”, 240, 2/17/84) played in 63 games last season with the Magic, averaging 3.8 ppg. and 4.5 rpg. in 12.6 minpg., while shooting .567 (106-187) from the field.  He started in three outings, averaging 10.0 ppg., 11.7 rpg., 1.7 apg. and 3.00 blkpg. in 33.7 minpg. during that span.  Gortat led (or tied) the team in rebounding seven times, including a career-high 18 rebounds on Apr. 13 @ Milwaukee.  He recorded four double-doubles and scored a career-best 16 points on Dec. 15 @ Golden State.  During the playoffs, Gortat appeared in all 24 games, averaging 3.3 ppg. and 3.2 rpg. in 11.3 minpg., while shooting .654 (34-52) from the floor, helping Orlando reach the NBA Finals.

Originally selected by Phoenix during the second round (57th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft then traded to the Magic on draft night, Gortat has played in 69 career NBA regular season games, all with Orlando, averaging 3.7 ppg. and 4.4 rpg. in 12.1 minpg.  He has also appeared in 32 career playoff games, averaging 2.8 ppg. and 2.6 rpg. in 10.0 minpg.

Toronto Raptors sign Jarrett Jack

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed restricted free-agent guard Jarrett Jack to an offer sheet. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed. We’ll add contract info later today.

The Indiana Pacers received the offer sheet today. Under the terms of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, they will have seven days beginning Tuesday to match the Raptors’ offer.

Jack averaged a career-high 13.1 points, with 3.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 33.1 minutes in 82 games last season. He has appeared in 322 career games, averaging 10.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 28.6 minutes.

Jack, 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, has averaged 80.5 games a season in his four-year NBA career with Portland and Indiana.

JULY 20 UPDATE: PACERS DECLINE TO MATCH OFFER

The Indiana Pacers announced Monday they will not match the offer sheet Toronto issued to restricted free agent guard Jarrett Jack.

“It was a very difficult decision because Jarrett proved last season what he can bring to a team,” said Pacers President of Basketball Larry Bird. “We thank Jarrett for his contributions to the Pacers, both on and off the court, and wish him the best in Toronto.”

Jack was acquired by the Pacers in a five-player trade July, 9, 2008. In his one season with the Pacers, Jack played in all 82 games, averaging a career-high 13.1 points.

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has acquired a future second round draft choice from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for guard Arron Afflalo, forward Walter Sharpe and cash considerations.  The move clears approximately $1.8 million in additional salary cap space for the Pistons.

Afflalo appeared in 74 games (eight starts) last season, averaging 4.9 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 16.7 minutes per game.  In eight starts he averaged 10.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 33.1 minutes per game.  The former UCLA product scored 10-plus points 12 times and led the team in scoring once, recording a career-high 24 points (7-13 FG, 4-6 3FG, 6-6 FT) in 45 minutes at Houston (3/18).  He averaged 6.7 points in 13 games during the month of March, his best scoring month of the season, and won the Haier Shooting Stars competition at NBA All-Star 2009 while teaming with Bill Laimbeer and Katie Smith from the Detroit Shock.

Sharpe appeared in nine games a year ago, averaging 1.0 points and 0.4 rebounds in 2.4 minutes per game.  He made one NBA Development League assignment with the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants from 1/2-1/7, averaging 10.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in four games.  The 6-foot-9 forward was on the inactive list 48 times during last season and did not player – coaches decision 23 times.

InsideHoops.com editor says: These are bench players who will probably receive extremely limited minutes on the Nuggets.

The Houston Rockets today announced that guard/forward Tracy McGrady will be switching to jersey #3 for the upcoming 2009-10 campaign. Recently signed guard/forward Trevor Ariza will wear jersey #1 with the Rockets.

McGrady, who also wore the #3 in high school, will make the switch to bring attention to his “Darfur Dream Team” humanitarian project and the “3 Points” documentary that chronicles his journey to the refugee camps in Chad, Africa during the summer of 2007. McGrady says his visit to Chad was life changing and having the privilege to have freedom and peace in his life is something he will never take for granted. By wearing #3, he honors those who are forced to live without that freedom and peace. The “3 Points” documentary directed by Josh Rothstein is a reference to the goals of peace, protection and punishment with regards to the horrific atrocities suffered in the Darfur region of the Sudan. The documentary is scheduled for nationwide screenings beginning this fall.

On Jan. 3, 2008, McGrady took part in a special assembly at his alma mater, Auburndale High School (Auburndale, FL), to announce his participation in the “Darfur Dream Team” humanitarian project. McGrady made a $75,000 donation that will be used to renovate and build a school in the Djabal Camp in Eastern Chad. As part of this program, McGrady named Auburndale High School as a sister school to the one being built in Chad. The money raised will also help train teachers, as well as provide a year’s worth of school materials, clothing and other essentials for students. For more detailed information, please visit darfurdreamteam.org.

Cleveland Cavaliers sign Anthony Parker

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed free agent guard/forward Anthony Parker to a contract, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today. Per team and league policy, terms of the contract were not released. We will add contract details later today.

Parker, 34, played in 80 games (71 starts) this past season for the Toronto Raptors and averaged 10.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and career highs of 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.0 minutes per game.   He tied for 10th in the NBA with a 0.88 steal per turnover ratio and recorded a career-high 100 steals. He was one of just 11 players in the NBA to total at least 750 points, 250 rebounds, 250 assists and 100 steals during the 2008-09 season. Against Orlando on January 4th, he posted a season-high 26 points, while shooting 13-16 (.813) from the field.  On Nov. 11th, he went a perfect 5-5 from three-point range on his way to 19 points in a win over Miami.

“Anthony will be a solid addition to our roster.  He is a very good, intelligent all-around basketball player,” Ferry said. “Our coaching staff will especially appreciate the good shooting and solid defense that Anthony brings to our team.”

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound guard/forward has played six years in the NBA, averaging 10.1 points and 3.4 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game in 290 NBA regular season games.  He played five seasons with Maccabi Tel Aviv (2000-02, 2003-06) and one season with Virtus Roma (2002-03), winning five Israeli Premier League championships, five Israeli Cups and three Euroleague titles.  Parker was named Euroleague MVP and first-team All-Euroleague in 2005.  He averaged 12.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals in 148 career Israeli Premier League games and averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals in 90 Euroleague contests.

Chicago Bulls sign Jannero Pargo

The Chicago Bulls today signed free agent Jannero Pargo. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pargo, a 6-1, 185-pound guard, reunites with Chicago having played for his hometown Bulls from 2003-06.  A six-year NBA veteran, Pargo played overseas in 2008-09, where he split time between the MBC Dynamo Moscow (Russian Super League) and Olympiacos B.C. (Greek League/Euroleague).

In addition to playing with the Bulls, Pargo has also played for the Los Angeles Lakers (2002-04), Toronto Raptors (2004) and the New Orleans Hornets (2006-08).  In 316 regular season contests in the NBA, he has averaged 6.9 ppg, 2.1 apg and 1.6 rpg in 16.2 mpg.  A .365 career shooter from behind the arc, he also owns career shooting averages of .395 from the field and .849 from the line.  He has played in 33 playoff games, and posted postseason averages of 6.5 ppg, 1.6 apg, 1.5 rpg, 14.8 mpg, .374 from the field, .368 from behind the arc and .711 from the line.

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