Archive for July 30th, 2009

Lynn Greer signs in Turkey

Euroleague.net reports: Fenerbahce Ulker (Turkey) signed guard Lynn Greer, giving the club one of the most lethal and exciting backcourts in Europe. Greer (188, 29) comes from Olympiacos, where he spent the past two seasons. Last year he averaged 12.2 points in 22 Euroleague games, helping the club reach the Euroleague Final Four for the first time in a decade.

Dallas Mavericks sign Drew Gooden

Dallas Mavericks sign Drew Gooden

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed forward/center Drew Gooden. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. We’ll post contract details later today.

Gooden (6-10, 230) has seen action in 510 games with 396 starts. He holds career averages of 12.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 28.1 minutes per game while shooting .471 from the field and .732 from the foul line. Gooden played the final 19 games of last season with the San Antonio Spurs. He averaged 9.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in just 16.8 minutes per contest.

The seven-year veteran was originally selected in the first round (fourth overall pick) of the 2002 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies and has seen action with six different teams (Memphis, Orlando, Cleveland, Chicago, Sacramento and San Antonio). Statistically, Gooden saw his best season in 2004-05 when we nearly averaged a double-double for Cleveland generating 14.4 points and 9.2 rebounds while playing in all 82 games (80 starts).

A native of Oakland, Calif., Gooden is a former standout at the University of Kansas where he was named Big 12 Player of the Year and First Team All-America by The Associated Press as a junior. In just three seasons at KU, Gooden was only the second player in school history (Danny Manning) to record 1,500 points, 900 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 steals.

“We are very pleased to add Drew to our front line for the upcoming season,” President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Donnie Nelson said. “Drew is a veteran player with NBA Finals experience that is entering the prime of his career at 27 years old. He will provide valuable minutes at both the center and power forward positions with his tenacity in the paint, rebounding and ability to knock down shots.”

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived forward Linton Johnson III and guard DeMarcus Nelson.

Johnson (6-8, 205), signed a 10-day contact with Chicago on Mar. 11, 2009 and was re-signed to a second 10-day contract on Mar. 20, 2009.  Johnson was then signed for the remainder of the season on Apr. 7, 2009.  In his second stint with the Bulls, Johnson appeared in eight games and averaged 1.1 ppg and 1.0 rpg in 5.0 mpg.

Nelson (6-4, 200), was acquired by the Bulls as a free agent on Apr. 4, 2009.  As a Bull, Nelson posted one DNP-CD and appeared on the inactive list twice.

Lakers re-sign Lamar Odom

Lakers to re-sign Lamar Odom

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent forward Lamar Odom to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Odom, who was acquired by the Lakers on July 14, 2004 as part of a trade with the Miami Heat for Shaquille O’Neal, appeared in 78 regular season games with Los Angeles during the 2008-09 campaign, averaging 11.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.26 blocks in 29.7 minutes.

In the 2008-09 postseason, Odom appeared in 23 games (5 starts), averaging 12.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.35 blocks in 32.0 minutes, while posting 14 double-figure scoring games and converting seven double-doubles.

Odom, the fourth overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, left the University of Rhode Island after a sophomore season in which he was named AP Honorable Mention All-America and Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year.  After tallying 30 points and 12 rebounds in his NBA debut, Odom went on to be selected to the 1999-2000 NBA All-Rookie First team.  In 2005-06, Odom was the only player in the NBA to average better than 14 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, and in ten NBA seasons, has career averages of 15.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 36.5 minutes in 665 games.

In five seasons with the Lakers, Odom is averaging 14.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 36.6 minutes.

EARLIER REPORTS FROM PREVIOUS DAY

ESPN (J.A. Adande and Marc Stein) reports: Free agent forward Lamar Odom will return to the Los Angeles Lakers, an NBA source said Thursday. One source with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com the four-year deal is worth $33 million if the Lakers exercise the final season. One source close to the process said Odom will come away with a guaranteed $27 million from the new contract, matching the original value of the three-year, $27 million deal Lakers owner Jerry Buss pulled off the table earlier this month. It’s believed that the structure of the new deal calls for Odom to earn $25 million over the first three seasons, with the Lakers owing him $2 million in the fourth year if they elect not to pick up their team option.

CBS Sports (Ken Berger) reports: Neither the Lakers nor Odom’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, would comment Thursday on Odom’s decision to spurn a multi-year offer from the Miami Heat and stay with the defending champion Lakers. But a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CBSSports.com that Odom’s teammates have been informed that the 6-10 forward isn’t going anywhere. Initial reports indicate that it’s a three-year deal with a team option that would push the total value north of $30 million. That’s less than the Lakers originally offered, however — a sign of just how much Odom wanted to stay with the Lakers.

InsideHoops.com editor says: I told you yesterday this would probably happen — though it was educated speculation and there was no actual confirmation of anything. As for Odom sticking with the Lakers, as an independent observer I’m a bit disappointed, because I generally like it when a top team loses a key player and that player goes to a squad that needs him even more, simply for the sake of good competition. Odom would have definitely helped the Heat. Anyway, although the Lakers lost Trevor Ariza, the re-signing of Odom and addition of Ron Artest means they’ll continue on as the league’s best team and are the early off-season InsideHoops.com favorite to repeat and win the 2010 championship. Laker fans should be happy. The opposition, not so much.

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

Indiana Pacers sign Solomon Jones

The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday they have signed free agent forward Solomon Jones to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not released. We’ll post details about the deal later today.

Jones is a 6-10, 245-pound forward/center who played his first three seasons in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks. Jones was drafted out of South Florida by Atlanta in the second round (33rd pick overall) of the 2006 NBA draft. He averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds with the Hawks last season in just under 11 minutes a game.

“He’s a young, athletic player who has improved each year he has been in the league,” said Pacers President of Basketball Larry Bird. “He definitely can help hold down our interior defense and we believe he can be part of what we’re trying to do here.”

Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) today announced that its board of directors has authorized the company’s management to move forward with the spin-off of the Madison Square Garden (MSG) business to Cablevision stockholders. The transaction would be structured as a tax-free pro rata spin-off to Cablevision’s existing shareholders and is expected to be completed by year-end 2009, subject to necessary approvals.

Once the spin-off is complete, Cablevision shareholders would own shares in both Cablevision and the new MSG, which would allow shareholders to more clearly evaluate each of the separate company’s assets and future potential. It is anticipated that the spin-off would be in the form of a pro rata distribution to all shareholders of Cablevision, with holders of Class A common stock receiving Class A shares in Madison Square Garden and holders of Class B common stock receiving Class B shares in Madison Square Garden. Both Cablevision and the new MSG would be controlled by the Dolan family through their ownership of Class B shares. Cablevision also reiterated that it is not considering the sale of MSG, any of MSG’s businesses or any other Cablevision business at this time.

The new MSG’s assets will include:

- Media properties, including the MSG, MSG Plus and Fuse networks, as well as MSG Interactive’s collection of online assets

- Sports teams – including the Knicks and Rangers franchises

- A live entertainment portfolio, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the world-famous Radio City Rockettes, as well as concerts, family shows and special events

- Leading venues, highlighted by Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall

Completion of the spin-off is subject to receipt of a favorable ruling from the IRS and the filing and effectiveness of a Form 10 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as final approval by Cablevision’s board of directors.

InsideHoops.com editor says: This basically means that Madison Square Garden, the Knicks, Rangers, etc. will become a separate company, which Cablevision owns. Rather than being part of the same company of Cablevision. This doesn’t really affect random people/fans out there. It does make it easier to see which parts of the giant business are performing well and which are not. It also probably makes it easier to sell parts or all of the spun-off company in the future, should that become the game-plan.

Toronto Raptors sign Rasho Nesterovic

Toronto Raptors sign Rasho Nesterovic

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed free-agent centre Rasho Nesterovic (for those of you who like to talk, it’s pronounced RAH-show Neh-STARE-oh-vitch). Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed. We’ll post contract info later today.

“Rasho brings us back a great veteran presence who has a familiarity with our coaching staff and several players. His leadership and personality will be great assets for this team,” said Bryan Colangelo, Raptors President and General Manager.

Nesterovic, 7-foot, 255 pounds, rejoins the Raptors following one campaign in Indiana with the Pacers. The 11-year NBA veteran played two seasons with Toronto (2006-08) averaging 6.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 20.9 minutes in 151 games. He appeared in 10 postseason contests with the Raptors averaging 4.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 14.8 minutes. He was originally acquired from San Antonio on June 21, 2006.

Nesterovic was a first-round selection (17th overall) by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1998. He signed with San Antonio as a free agent in the 2003 offseason. He has posted career averages of 7.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 22.8 minutes in 769 career games, 587 of them as a starter. In 64 postseason contests, he has averaged 4.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 17.2 minutes. He was a member of the Spurs’ 2005 NBA Championship team.

Nesterovic joined the Timberwolves on May 4, 1999 after he had finished his season with Virtus Kinder Bologna of the Italian League. He averaged 13.5 points, shooting .653 from the field, 6.2 rebounds and 1.42 blocks for Kinder Bologna.

InsideHoops.com editor says: He’s big and can bump into people.

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

USA Today reports: The hunger for new revenue during the economic downturn has the NBA and NHL entertaining the once-taboo prospect of corporate sponsorships for game uniforms. Beginning this season the NBA will let teams sell ads on their practice jerseys, says deputy commissioner Adam Silver, who adds the league is continuing to explore the issue of ads on game jerseys. “We are operating a diverse business all around the world,” Silver says. “(The sponsored game jersey) is a well-established practice in other countries. Ultimately, I think our fans will come to accept it.” … The NBA is in the process of developing its guidelines, says NBA spokesman Mike Bass. WNBA teams were allowed to sell ads on game jerseys this season and two teams took advantage. The WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and Los Angeles Sparks featured LifeLock and Farmer’s Insurance, respectively, prominently featured on the front.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Who actually sees practice jerseys, other than the players and team employees? I assume this is a stepping stone to selling ads on regular game jerseys. Considering that the WNBA started doing this, it’s not surprising that the NBA is allowing it. And if it’s OK for the world’s most popular sport (soccer) to do it, it might as well be OK for NBA basketball teams, especially considering the struggling economy and lower ad spending.

Mike Dunleavy working on his return

The Indianapolis Star (Mike Wells) reports: The Indiana Pacers shooting guard isn’t ready to pinpoint a date for his return from right knee surgery, but he has a “gut feeling” that he’ll be back sooner than the January date coach Jim O’Brien targeted last season. “We still have a ways to go and we don’t know how this thing is going to shake out, but I’m optimistic,” Dunleavy said. “January is a nice cushion for me. It takes all the pressure off, but I’m certainly working my tail off to get back a lot sooner than that.” Dunleavy, an iron man through his first six seasons, appeared in 18 games last season. He had surgery to remove a bone spur from his right patellar tendon and then had the tendon repaired in Colorado in March. Dunleavy also underwent a “minor” arthroscopic procedure on his left hip last month to clean up a “long-standing injury.”

Lamar Odom needs a job

Lamar Odom needs a job

Los Angeles Lakers free agent forward Lamar Odom needs to make up his mind and sign NBA contract. He’s basically down to either re-signing with his championship-winning squad or jumping ship for a bit more financial security and joining Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.

The following is “educated speculation” as to what the versatile, talented veteran is likely to do:

1) 60% chance he re-signs with the Lakers, for a slightly shorter contract that he reportedly wants.

2) 35% chance he ignores the fact that he just won a championship, leaves town, joins D-Wade on the Heat for a more secure contract but very little shot at a title.

3) 3% chance something unexpected happens, like a sign-and-trade placing him with another team somewhere. I can’t even guess who that may be.

4)  1% chance he decides to imitate Stephon Marbury and starts his own webcam broadcast where day and night he yells and screams about haters, proves he’s not crazy by eating vaseline, dancing and crying a lot, and rants that you can’t put him in a box, while laughing a lot.

5) 1% chance he retires from basketball and becomes a farmer in rural Kentucky, taking up wearing overalls and a straw hat while becoming a hardcore country music fan.

But seriously, I’m told he’s more likely to stay with the Lakers than join the Heat.

- Jeff Lenchiner, editor of InsideHoops.com

Basketball blog