Archive for July 28th, 2009

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed Brandon Jennings to a multi-year contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Jennings (6-1, 170) was the 10th overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft and participated in the 2009 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas with the Bucks.

During the Las Vegas Summer League, Jennings led the entire league in assists (tied, 8.2) and steals (3.6), and was Milwaukee’s third-leading scorer (14.6 ppg). Jennings played a team-high 32.4 minutes per contest and shot 42.9 percent from three-point range (9-21) in helping the Bucks to a 4-1 record during Summer League play.

“I’m excited to sign my contract and make my NBA career official,” said Jennings.  “I look forward to working with Coach Skiles and learning everything I can from him, as well as my teammates.  I can’t wait to get the season started and contribute to the success of our team.”

Jennings comes to Milwaukee after spending a season with Lottomatica Virtus Roma in Italy.  He averaged 5.5 points, 2.3 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 17.0 minutes per game in 27 Italian League games last season.  In Euroleague play, he posted averages of 7.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 19.0 minutes over 16 games.

The 19-year-old went overseas upon graduating from Oak Hill Academy in 2008.  He averaged 35.5 points, 6.8 assists and 3.2 steals as a high school senior and earned National Player of the Year honors from Naismith, Parade Magazine, EA Sports and Max Preps.  He set an Oak Hill Academy record for single-season point total (1,312) and scoring average (35.5) during his senior season.

Indiana Pacers sign Earl Watson

Indiana Pacers sign Earl Watson

The Indiana Pacers announced Tuesday they have signed veteran point guard Earl Watson to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not released. We’ll post contract info later today.

The 6-1 Watson is an eight-year veteran who played last season with Oklahoma City. He averaged 6.6 points and 5.8 assists per game for the Thunder and in his career averages 7.3 points and 4.6 assists per game. Watson attended UCLA and was a second-round pick (40th overall) of Seattle in the 2001 NBA Draft. He has also played with Memphis and Denver in addition to the Seattle/Oklahoma City franchise.

“We’re very glad to have Earl as part of our team,” said Pacers President of Basketball Larry Bird. “I’ve been watching him for years. He’s a solid point guard that we know can help us on the defensive end.”

Kyle Weaver has left thumb surgery

Kyle Weaver has left thumb surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kyle Weaver underwent successful surgery to repair the extensor tendon in his left thumb.

Weaver, who tore the tendon during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, is expected to be fully recovered for the start of training camp.

As a rookie in 2008-09 the 6-6, 200-pound Weaver averaged 5.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game with the Thunder.

Bobcats trade Emeka Okafor to Hornets for Tyson Chandler

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has acquired center Tyson Chandler from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for forward/center Emeka Okafor.

In 197 games over three seasons with New Orleans, the 7-1 Chandler averaged 10.2 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 34.3 minutes, while shooting .611 from the field (829-1356).  Chandler, who missed 29 of the team’s final 44 games last season due to left ankle injuries, averaged 8.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 32.1 minutes over 45 games played in 2008-09.

The second overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, Chandler has played in 537 games for Chicago and New Orleans over his eight NBA seasons.  Chandler holds career averages of 8.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 28.0 minutes, while shooting .554 from the field (1671-3014).

“We looked at this trade as an opportunity to improve our team,” Higgins said.  “Tyson brings that unique level of athleticism in a 7-footer that puts us in a position to compete night in and night out with the other quality centers in the league.”

“Emeka is one of the premier centers in the NBA with All-Star caliber scoring and rebounding averages throughout his career,” said Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower. “His potential to improve is endless once you put him on the court running with Chris Paul. We appreciate what  Tyson has done for our club in the past and wish him the best, but our intention this summer was to improve our team and this trade is definitely a positive move in that direction.”

Chandler led the NBA in offensive rebounds in both 2006-07 and 2007-08, ranking second in the league in rebounds per game in 2006-07 and third in rebounds per game in 2007-08.  He also ranked second in the NBA in field goal percentage in 2007-08 (.623) and would have led the league at .624 in 2006-07 but fell four field goals short of the statistical minimum to qualify.

Chandler leaves the Hornets as the franchise’s all-time leader in field goal percentage (.611) and rebounds per game (11.3) and ranked fifth in total rebounds despite playing just 197 career games with the team (2,225).  He owns the top two single-season marks in both field goal percentage and rebounds.

The Bobcats initially selected Okafor with the second overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, making him the first draft pick in franchise history.  The 2004-05 NBA Rookie of the Year, he averaged 14.0 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 34.0 minutes in 330 career games with the Bobcats and is the franchise’s career leader in rebounds, blocked shots and field goal percentage.  Okafor averaged 13.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 2008-09, playing in all 82 games for the second consecutive season.

“We’d like to thank Emeka for all that he has done for this franchise and for serving as the organization’s ambassador and first-ever draft pick,” Higgins added.  “His hard work and dedication to the Charlotte Bobcats will be missed, and we wish him well with his new team.”

The Charlotte Bobcats, who became the NBA’s 30th franchise when they joined the league in 2004-05, enter their sixth season in 2009-10.

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

Dallas Mavericks sign Tim Thomas

Dallas Mavericks sign Tim Thomas

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed free agent forward Tim Thomas. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. We’ll add contract info later today.

Thomas (6-10, 230), a 12-year veteran, was the seventh overall selection in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and has played with six teams during his career (Philadelphia, Milwaukee, New York, Chicago, Phoenix and L.A. Clippers) including two stints with both New York and Chicago. In 806 career games, he holds averages of 11.6 points and 4.6 rebounds, while shooting .436 from the field, .369 from behind-the-arc and .757 from the foul line.

The Patterson, N.J., native has seen action in seven different Playoff runs (55 games). Thomas’ postseason averages show an increase in every major category over his career regular season numbers with averages of 13.3 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting .468 from the field, .436 from three-point range and .772 from the foul line.

Thomas was a standout at Villanova University where he played for one season before making himself eligible for the NBA Draft. In his only season as a Wildcat, Thomas averaged 16.9 points and 6.0 rebounds. He was named The Sporting News Freshman of the Year and Big East Rookie of the Year.

“We are excited to welcome Tim to Dallas as part of the Mavericks family,” President of Basketball Operation/General Manager Donnie Nelson said. “His versatility, post season experience and outside shooting are valuable assets that will fortify our bench. Throughout his career, Tim has established himself as a formidable long-range threat and we look forward to him filling that role on our roster.”

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