Archive for August, 2009

The Denver Post reports: Nuggets forward Renaldo Balkman was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to a police report on the Hillsborough (Fla.) County Sheriff’s Office website. The 25-year-old Balkman was arrested by Temple Terrace, Fla., police at 4 a.m. Saturday, after he refused a blood-alcohol content test.

The following is a statement from Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien regarding Renaldo Balkman: “We are aware of a traffic violation involving Renaldo Balkman early Saturday morning in Tampa. As is team policy and out of respect for the legal process, we will have no further comment.”

InsideHoops.com editor says: Uh, pay for a cab. Or pay a sober buddy to drive you home in your car and then give that dude cab money to get himself home. Or stay in a hotel. Or sleep in your car. Or something. It’s really not that hard to avoid ever driving under the influence, especially if you make thousands of dollars per day.

Alex Acker signs in Italy

Euroleague.net reports: Armani Jeans Milano has kept adding to its firepower with the signing this weekend of swingman Alex Acker, a former top-ten scorer in the Euroleague. Acker (195, 26) has spent two years in the Euroleague and finished the first, with Olympiacos in 2006-07, as the Euroleague’s ninth-best scorer, with an average of 14.3 points in 33 minutes per game. Acker was ranked that season’s 12th overall player according to performance index rating while leading the Reds to within a victory of the Final Four.

Talk world hoops in the InsideHoops international basketball forum.

Clippers waive Mark Madsen

The Los Angeles Clippers today waived forward Mark Madsen.

Madsen was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves on July 22nd along with Sebastian Telfair and Craig Smith in exchange for Quentin Richardson.

The Clippers’ roster currently stands at 12 players.

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

The Portland Trail Blazers signed rookie forward Dante Cunningham to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.  Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“We are really excited about the versatility and determination Dante brings to our team,” said Pritchard. “Dante had a great summer league and we believe he has the potential to become a very good player in this league.”

Selected by the Trail Blazers with the 33rd overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Cunningham led Portland’s 2009 NBA Summer League entry with 18.3 points to go with a team second-best 5.8 rebounds and 1.50 steals in four games (all starts).

“I am so grateful and happy to be a Trail Blazer,” said Cunningham.  “This is a dream come true and I can’t wait to get to work with my teammates.  I’m looking forward to moving to Portland and helping this team in any way that I can.”

Cunningham, 22, played in a school-record 139 games during his four-year career at Villanova and is one of six players in school history to reach 1,300 points and 800 rebounds. The 6-8, 230-pound Maryland native finished his collegiate career with averages of 9.6 points (52.4% FG), 5.9 rebounds and 1.17 steals.

As a senior, Cunningham was named the Big East’s Most Improved Player and was a member of the All-Big East Second Team after leading the Wildcats with collegiate highs of 16.1 points and 7.5 boards.

The signing of Cunningham boosts the Trail Blazers’ current roster to 12 players. He will wear jersey number 33.

Michael O’Brien of the Chicago Sun-Times reports: Bulls guard Derrick Rose’s college career at Memphis officially was erased from the record books Thursday. The NCAA Committee on Infractions concluded that a player on the 2007-08 team was ineligible to compete because of an invalidated SAT score. According to the NCAA, the athlete played for the Tigers only in the 2007-08 season and the 2008 NCAA tournament. Only one player — Rose — fits that description. The committee also found that Memphis provided a player’s brother with $1,713.85 in impermissible benefits. That person is believed to be Rose’s older brother Reggie. As a result of the infractions, Memphis will forfeit all 38 victories and its Final Four appearance. The school is on probation until Aug. 19, 2012, and must return all the money it received from appearing in the NCAA tournament. “I know I didn’t do anything wrong,” Rose said two weeks ago at his basketball camp in Deerfield.

Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune reports: The Educational Testing Service’s cancellation of the player’s test score fit into the NCAA’s “strict liability” category and the infractions committee did not need to investigate further because it meant Rose already was ineligible before the season began. The NCAA attempted to contact Rose twice to attain proof he took the exam, according to the report, but he didn’t respond. The Memphis men’s basketball team also received punishment for failure to monitor itself because a player’s relative — thought to be Rose’s brother Reggie — received free accommodations and travel on several occasions. Memphis lost in the national championship game to Kansas and the Bulls made Rose the first overall pick in the NBA draft in 2008 after his freshman season. He was named the NBA’s rookie of the year.

The AP reports: An assault charge against former NBA star Jayson Williams stemming from a fight outside a North Carolina nightclub has been dismissed. Multiple media outlets reported Wednesday that Wake County Assistant District Attorney Phillip Cowan dismissed the charge at the request of Ahmad Sulimon Nazari of Cary.

InsideHoops.com editor says: I still remember Williams as a player, cutting down the middle of the paint, catching lobs and slamming them home. Those were the good days, before a million different legal problems and the “accidently shooting a guy” thing.

Thunder will not keep Desmond Mason

Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman reports: Would Oklahoma City re-sign Desmond Mason? The long-awaited verdict finally came down Wednesday, 126 days after the season finale and 50 days into this summer’s free agency period. The Thunder will not bring back the former Oklahoma State standout and fan favorite. It’s a decision that brings an end to a relationship that spanned four years in Stillwater with the Cowboys and improbable stints with two different NBA franchises in Oklahoma City over the past four seasons.

More from the Oklahoman: “We value and appreciate Desmond’s contributions to the Thunder,” said Thunder general manager Sam Presti. “However, at this time it is important for us to retain flexibility with our roster as we move into training camp. This was a difficult decision, certainly not the last one we will be faced with. But at this point in time we wanted to make sure we communicated with Desmond on our thought process so he could focus on other opportunities.”

InsideHoops.com editor says: Mason makes any team better. But the Thunder are a young squad of the future. Whether he stays or goes really doesn’t matter too much in the big picture. Someone else will sign him.

Orlando Magic sign Jason Williams

Orlando Magic sign Jason Williams

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard Jason Williams, General Manager Otis Smith announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed. We’ll post contract info later today. We’re guessing it’s a very short deal for the league minimum or something close.

“Jason (Williams) provides depth and leadership to our backcourt,” said Smith.  “He is a veteran point guard that knows what it takes to help us reach our ultimate goal.  We are excited to add him to our team.”

Williams (6’1”, 190, 11/18/75) did not play during the 2008-09 season after announcing his retirement on Sept. 26, 2008.  He last played in 67 games during the 2007-08 campaign with Miami, averaging 8.8 ppg., 4.6 apg., 1.9 rpg. and 1.24 stlpg. in 28.1 minpg.

Originally selected in the first round (seventh overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft, Williams has played in 679 career NBA regular season games with Sacramento, Memphis and Miami, averaging 11.4 ppg., 6.3 apg., 2.4 rpg. and 1.28 stlpg. in 31.2 minpg.  He has also played in 53 career playoff contests, averaging 9.8 ppg., 3.7 apg. and 2.2 rpg. in 29.1 minpg.  Williams was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1998-99, currently stands as Memphis’ all-time leader in assists (2,041) and helped Miami capture the 2005-06 NBA Championship.

InsideHoops.com editor says: J-Will, aka “White Chocolate,” is back! Well, sort of. He’s old now and will add bench depth at the point guard spot. Tough to say how good he’ll actually be if forced to ever play real minutes. Usually when a team seeks an old veteran they want a tough, smart, high basketball-IQ player. Williams was talented but not a defensive stopper and a fun, wild player. Still, he can probably still keep defenders on their toes in limited minutes. Though, he’ll be 34 in November. But, maybe he’s spent his time getting into incredible shape or something. We’ll have to wait and see.

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

Charlotte Bobcats still for sale

The Charlotte Bobcats continue to be for sale, and it sounds like the current owner can’t wait to part ways with the team. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports:

Bob Johnson and Houston’s George Postolos continue negotiations on a deal that could shift control of the Charlotte Bobcats, multiple sources told the Observer Monday.

Whether a deal is imminent is anyone’s guess.

Johnson, who owns about 70 percent of the franchise, put the team up for sale months ago. Postolos, formerly president of the Houston Rockets, has assembled a group of investors. It’s unclear whether other bidders are still pursuing a purchase.

Sounds like a fantastic investment!

The Observer continues:

The team is heavily in debt – in excess of $100 million – and any buyer would have to take on that burden as part of the purchase… Johnson has told his minority partners to anticipate tens of millions in losses over the next two years.

The New York Daily News reports: Pint-size Knicks star Nate Robinson was slam-dunked in the Bronx Tuesday for driving without a license. The high-octane guard, whose driver’s license has been suspended since June for an outstanding summons, was booked Tuesday night at the 52nd Precinct stationhouse. He held a magazine to shield his face as he hopped into a waiting car after receiving a summons.

The New York Post reports: “According to DMV records, Robinson’s license has been suspended five times in 14 months. Robinson, an instigator in the infamous Denver brawl three seasons ago, still treated the latest pullover as it was a joke, showing he doesn’t learn from mistakes.”

InsideHoops.com editor says: Nate should have simply jumped the entire distance of where he wanted to go. As for the Knicks, they’re hesitant to add any long term contracts at all, with an eye on top superstars possibly available in 2010. Robinson is a very good scorer and entertainer but the Knicks aren’t big fans of other aspects of his game.

August 25 Update: The issue has been cleared up. Nate can drive again.

The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired guard/forward Carlos Delfino and guard Roko Ukic (pronounced ROE-co OO-kitch) from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for forward Amir Johnson and guard/forward Sonny Weems, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

“After drafting DeMar DeRozan and trading for Marco Belinelli, Hedo Turkoglu and Antoine Wright, Carlos made it clear he would prefer to play elsewhere if he were to return to the NBA,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo. “There were limited sign and trade scenarios available, but acquiring Amir Johnson in this deal gives us another long, talented young big man whose best basketball is ahead of him.”

Delfino (6-6, 230) played for BC Khimky Moscow last season in the Russian-A Superleague and averaged 10.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 26 games.  In 10 Eurocup contests, the 26-year-old registered 13.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals, while shooting 41.7 percent from three-point distance for the Eurocup finalists.  Delfino started his professional career in Argentina in 1998 and in 2000 began a four-year stint in the Italian League.  Selected by Detroit in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft, Delfino played three seasons for the Pistons (2004-2007) and was traded to Toronto prior to the 2007-08 season.  He enjoyed his best statistical season in the NBA in 2007-08 when he averaged 9.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists for the Raptors while connecting on 38.2 percent (120-314) from the three-point arc.

A native of Sante Fe, Argentina, Delfino earned a Gold Medal for Argentina’s Men’s Olympic Basketball Team in 2004 and a Bronze Medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Last season, Ukic (6-5, 190) appeared in 72 games for the Raptors and totaled 4.2 points and 2.1 assists (7th among rookies) per game.  Ukic began his professional career with KK Split in the Croatian League in 2000 where he played through 2005.  He joined Tau Ceramica of the Spanish League in 2005 and played the following season with FC Barcelona.  In 2007-08, Ukic competed in the Italian League for Lottomatica Virtus Roma and in 43 games averaged 12.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.7 steals while shooting 59.9 percent from the field and 74.8 percent from the free throw line.  In 19 Euroleague games, he averaged 11.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game.  The 24-year-old Croatian was originally drafted by Toronto with the 41st pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.

Johnson (6-9, 210) was acquired from Detroit in a three-team deal that included San Antonio on June 23.  He participated in the Bucks NBA Summer League entry and in five games averaged 9.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.  In 135 career NBA games, Johnson averaged 3.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots in 13.6 minutes per game.

Weems (6-6, 203) was acquired from Denver along with Walter Sharpe and cash considerations for Malik Allen on July 31.  He appeared in 12 games for the Nuggets as a rookie and averaged 1.6 points in 4.6 minutes per game.  He also saw action in 21 contests for the Colorado 14ers of the D-League where he posted 20.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.  Weems was the 39th overall pick by Chicago in the 2008 NBA Draft and traded to Denver for a second round pick in the most recent 2009 Draft.

Read basketball fan discussion and share your own comments in this forum topic.

Warriors hire Calbert Cheaney as special assistant

The Golden State Warriors have hired 13-year NBA veteran Calbert Cheaney as a Special Assistant, the team announced today.

In this role, Cheaney will work closely with the team’s players to assist with their overall personal and professional development, while also assisting the entire basketball operations staff with various functions, including pro player evaluation.  He will report to General Manager Larry Riley.

“We’re really fortunate to have an individual the caliber of Calbert Cheaney return to our organization as a member of our basketball operations staff,” said Riley. “Throughout his NBA career, Calbert was regarded as a consummate professional and one of the classiest individuals in the game.  We look forward to his contributions and the positive impact he will have on our players and our organization overall.”

Cheaney, 38, rejoins the Warriors after playing the final three seasons of his NBA career with the team (2003-04, 2004-05 & 2005-06), during which time he appeared in 176 games with Golden State.  Overall, the Evansville, IN, native played 13 seasons in the NBA, amassing career averages of 9.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 26.7 minutes in 825 regular-season games with Washington, Boston, Denver, Utah and Golden State. Prior to joining the NBA, Cheaney played four seasons at Indiana University, culminating in his being named College Player of the Year and winning both the Wooden and Naismith Awards following his senior season.  In 2003, he was inducted into the Indiana University Sports Hall of Fame.

“I’m very grateful for this opportunity to return to the Warriors’ organization, and look forward to contributing on many different levels,” said the 13-year NBA veteran. “My family and I had a great experience during my playing days in the Bay Area and we’re very excited about our return. I’ve always envisioned rejoining the NBA in some capacity following my playing career, and this is the perfect situation. The Warriors are a great organization with tremendous fan support, and an extremely talented young team.  I look forward to playing a role in our continued growth, both on and off the court.”

Since retiring from the NBA, Cheaney and his wife, Yvette, have resided in the Washington D.C. area with their two children, Julian and Sydney.

Read basketball fan comments and post your opinion in this forum topic.

Phoenix Suns sign Taylor Griffin

The Phoenix Suns today announced the signing of forward Taylor Griffin, the club’s second-round selection (48th overall) in the 2009 NBA Draft. We will try to post contract info tonight.

“Taylor is an excellent athlete, a hard worker and very much team-oriented,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr.  “He fits right in with the kind of people we want in our organization, and he has a chance to develop into a very good player.”

The 6-7, 238-pound Griffin most recently appeared as a member of the Suns’ entry in the 2009 Las Vegas Summer League, where he averaged 6.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal in five games (all starts).

A four-year performer at the University of Oklahoma, Griffin enjoyed his best statistical season as a senior in 2008-09, averaging 9.6 points and 5.8 rebounds while starting all 36 games.  Known for his hustle, the 23-year-old led the team in steals during his senior campaign and ranked second in blocks.

Griffin is a two-time Second-Team Academic All-Big 12 selection (2007, 2008) who became the fifth Oklahoma product drafted by Phoenix in franchise history, joining Ted Evans (1974), Tom Holland (1974), Ring of Honor member Alvan Adams (1975) and Bo Overton (1983).

The son of a high school basketball coach, Griffin was named the 2005 Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year as a senior in high school after leading his school to state titles in both his junior and senior seasons.  He is the older brother of former Oklahoma teammate Blake Griffin, who was taken by the L.A. Clippers with the first overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Jorge Garbajosa signs in Spain

Euroleague.net reports: One of the most experienced power forwards in European basketball will make his Euroleague return this season after the news that Jorge Garbajosa has inked a two-year deal with Real Madrid. Garbajosa (205, 31) arrives from BC Khimki Moscow region, where he averaged 9.2 points and 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 13 Eurocup games last season. He helped Khimki reach the Eurocup and the Russian League finals. Garbajosa had joined Khimki from Toronto of the NBA, where he was limited to just seven games during the 2007-08 campaign before undergoing season-ending surgery.

Hawks may sign Joe Smith

Various reports quoted over the last month on the InsideHoops.com NBA rumors page stated that the Atlanta Hawks have had interest in the services of veteran forward/center Joe Smith. And now they may be set to sign him.

According to ESPN.com, “Joe Smith has agreed to a one-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks for the veteran’s minimum, a source told ESPN’s Ric Bucher on Friday.”

Since entering the league in the 1995-96 season, the 6-10, 230-pound Smith has career averages of 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game.

Last season he played for the Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 6.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per outing.

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

Nuggets re-sign Anthony Carter

The Denver Nuggets have re-signed G Anthony Carter, Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today.  The Denver Post reports that the deal is for one-year, $1.306 million.

“AC’s loyalty to Stan Kroenke, George Karl and Denver is exemplary; rarely seen in professional athletics today,” said Warkentien. “We are very happy to have him back again for the 2009-10 campaign.”

Carter, 34, owns career averages of 5.2 ppg, 4.1 apg and 2.2 rpg in 512 regular season games during his 10-year NBA career with Miami, San Antonio, Minnesota and Denver. In 150 games over the previous three seasons with the Nuggets, he has averaged 6.4 ppg and 5.1 apg.

This past season, Carter helped the Nuggets advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1984-85, registering 5.3 ppg, 4.7 apg, 2.6 rpg and 1.23 spg in 22.9 minutes per contest. He ranked ninth in the NBA in both assists per 48 minutes (9.8) and steals per 48 minutes (2.58). Last season Carter actually posted the highest assist average in the entire NBA among players who averaged fewer than 27 minutes.

Carter signed with Denver as a free agent each of the past two summers, returning to the Nuggets on August 31, 2007 and then again on July 9, 2008.

InsideHoops.com editor says: When you watch Carter on the court or read his statistics he doesn’t seem to do much, but he keeps getting NBA jobs so clearly he’s doing something right that.

Laker sponsored by tequila company

Proximo Spirits, Inc. and 1800® Tequila announced today a groundbreaking partnership with legendary NBA team the Los Angeles Lakers, winner of the 2009 NBA Championship, marking 15 NBA Titles in total. Part of a multi-million dollar investment deal including TV advertising and on and off-premise logo rights, the LA Lakers will align with 1800 Silver Tequila, the fastest growing super-premium tequila on the market.

This is the first time that a spirits company has signed an exclusive tequila deal with the NBA Champion Lakers. Based in Los Angeles, CA, the Lakers play their home games at the Staples Center.  Holding records for the most wins, the LA Lakers have the longest consecutive winning streak, the highest winning percentage, the most NBA Finals appearances and the second-most NBA championships. 1800 Tequila is thrilled to make their foray into the professional sports arena with the support of such a celebrated team.

“In creating a partnership for our Super-Premium Tequila with a legendary sports franchise, the LA Lakers were a perfect choice for us,” said Elwyn Gladstone, VP of Marketing for Proximo. “Just as the LA Lakers represent the pinnacle of their sport in terms of dynamism and brand recognition, 1800 Silver Tequila represents the most exciting name in Tequila.”

As part of the deal, 1800 Tequila will produce extensive advertising and promotions featuring the LA Lakers logo.  All messaging will be connected with a responsible drinking statement.  The partnership is part of a multi-million dollar advertising and promotional campaign for the brand, including a new ad campaign (OOH, TV, On-Line, Print), national sampling campaign and multiple sponsorships.

“Our goal is to ensure that Lakers games are the most enjoyable and exciting games to watch” said Los Angeles Lakers Chief Marketing Officer Tim Harris. “Through this groundbreaking partnership, 1800 will provide Lakers fans with the familiar flavor of the super-premium spirit and a variety of beverage choices to enjoy while celebrating courtside, while ensuring that we communicate responsible drinking.”

Jeff Foster gets college degree

Jeff Foster gets college degree

Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports: Jeff Foster put his college education on hold 10 years ago so he could focus on his NBA career after his senior season at Texas State University. Today in front of about 20 friends and family members, the Indiana Pacers center will receive a degree in applied arts and sciences at a ceremony in San Marcos, Texas. “I promised myself and I promised my family that I would get this finished,” said Foster, who was three classes shy of a degree when he left. “I dropped all my classes except one the final semester there because I had to get ready for the draft. Once we had kids, I really realized I needed to get this done.”

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed Arizona forward Chase Budinger to a multi-year contract. He was a first round pick so a contract was guaranteed.

Budinger, who was selected by Detroit in the second round (44th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft, had his draft rights acquired by the Rockets from the Pistons in exchange for a future second-round pick and cash considerations on June 25, 2009.

Budinger (6-7, 218, Arizona) recently led the Rockets in scoring during an undefeated (5-0) run at the 2009 NBA Summer League presented by EA SPORTS, averaging 17.8 points (.681, 32-47 FG; .727, 8-11 3FG; .944, 17-18 FT) in five games (two starts). An early entry candidate for the 2009 NBA Draft, Budinger averaged 17.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in three seasons with Arizona. He finished ranked 11th on Arizona’s career scoring list with 1,697 career points, which stands as the highest point total in three seasons or less by a UA player.

A First-Team All-Pac-10 selection as a junior, Budinger also earned All-America Honorable Mention for a second straight year from The Associated Press after averaging 18.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 35 appearances. Budinger added All-District IX selection by the USBWA and Second-Team All-District 20 honors from the NABC in 2008-09. He finished in double figures 31 times, including 16 20-point games. As a sophomore, Budinger was named Third-Team All-Pac-10 and Second-Team All-District 15 by the NABC. Budinger was also selected as the 2007 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, as well as MVP of the 2006 Nike Junior World Championships held in Douai, France as a member of Team USA.

Timberwolves trade Quentin Richardson to Heat for Mark Blount

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has traded guard/forward Quentin Richardson to the Miami Heat in exchange for center Mark Blount.

According to the Associated Press, “Richardson is due to earn about $9 million this season. Blount was to make around $7.9 million.”

Also, according to the AP, “Like Richardson, Blount also is in the final year of his deal.”

“We are very excited to add Quentin Richardson,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “Over the course of his career, he has proven to be a fierce competitor, a great locker room presence and a very prolific three-point shooter who may be one of the strongest perimeter players in the NBA. We feel that he will be able to match-up well against the top scorers in the league. We also want to thank Mark Blount for his contributions to the Heat. He provided a solid veteran presence to our team the past two years.”

Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers with the 18th overall pick of the 2000 NBA Draft, Richardson has appeared in 601 games (389 starts) during his nine-year NBA career and has averaged 11.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 28.0 minutes. He has shot 39.8 percent from the floor, 35.4 percent from three-point range and 71.2 percent from the foul line. Five times, including the 2008-09 season, he has averaged double figures in points. Additionally, four times, including last season, he has hit at least 100 three-point field goals during a season. During the 2004-05 season, with Phoenix, he tied for the league lead in three-point field goals made with a career-high 226. His 940 career three-point field goals made are tied for 65th place all-time in NBA history and ranked 31st among players who played during the 2008-09 campaign.

Richardson (6’6”, 235 pounds) appeared in 72 games (51 starts) for the New York Knicks during the 2008-09 season and averaged 10.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 26.3 minutes while shooting 39.3 percent from the floor, 36.5 percent from three-point range and 76.1 percent from the foul line. He scored in double figures on 26 occasions, with at least 20 points nine times and a pair of 30-point performances. The Chicago native recorded season highs in points (34), field goals made (11), three-point field goals made (seven), rebounds (12) and minutes (44) in New York’s Nov. 22 win over Washington. Richardson hit multiple treys 30 times last season, including nine games where he hit at least four in a game.

At the conclusion of the 2008-09 season, Richardson was dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies in a draft night trade for Darko Milicic. He was subsequently dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers on July 17 for Zach Randolph and then to the Timberwolves on July 20 for Mark Madsen, Craig Smith and Sebastian Telfair.

Blount, a nine-year NBA veteran, was acquired by the Heat along with Ricky Davis from the Timberwolves on Oct. 24, 2007 in exchange for Antoine Walker, Michael Doleac, Wayne Simien and a conditional first-round draft choice. In two seasons with the Heat, Blount appeared in 89 games (46 starts) and averaged 7.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 19.7 minutes while shooting 45.2 percent from the floor, 39.4 percent from three-point range and 63.6 percent from the foul line. For his career, he has appeared in 605 games (393 starts) and has averaged 8.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 23.1 minutes while shooting 50.4 percent from the floor, 35.9 percent from three-point range and 72.3 percent from the foul line.

Read basketball fan reaction to this news and share your opinion in this forum topic.

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