Archive for August 5th, 2009

Allen Iverson needs a job

Allen Iverson needs a job

Super-scoring guard Allen Iverson needs a job and at this point it’s tough to say which teams he’s going to sign with.

There had been rumors that the Memphis Grizzlies had interest, but considering the young guards they already have it’s possible that adding Iverson would merely stunt the growth of talented shooting guard O.J. Mayo and possibly point guard Mike Conley as well.

Iverson’s time on the Denver Nuggets was OK at best. Chemistry with Carmelo Anthony and others wasn’t great, and the team got better once they traded  him to the Detroit Pistons for point guard Chauncey Billups.

On the Pistons things didn’t work out at all. Detroit was happy to say goodbye.

Now 34 years old, Iverson’s best role would be as a team’s prime bench scorer. Like a Leandro Barbosa for the Phoenix Suns (of a few years ago when they were really good).

The question is if he’d accept such a job, and which team would go for him.

At this point, I’d love to now tell you who the favorites are to land him. But so far there aren’t any.

Could he reunite with Larry Brown and join the Charlotte Bobcats? Or head back to the Philadelphia 76ers now that Andre Miller is gone and the best point guard they have is Lou Williams?

Or, will rumors of an overseas team offering him a relatively fat contract come true? Only Iverson knows if he’d consider crossing over the pond.

We’re over a month into free agency and Iverson’s future seems wide open.

Someone will sign him, right?

Rockets sign 2009 second round draft pick Jermaine Taylor

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed rookie guard Jermaine Taylor to a multi-year contract. The Houston Chronicle reports that the deal is worth $3.33 million over four years, with the first two years guaranteed and a team option on the third and fourth seasons.

Taylor, who was selected by Washington out of Central Florida in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft, had his rights acquired by the Rockets from the Wizards in exchange for cash considerations on June 25, 2009.

Taylor (6-4, 210, Central Florida) totaled 1,979 points and a school-record 251 3-pointers (.376, 251-668 3FG) over his four-year career at Central Florida, finishing as UCF’s career scoring leader at the Division I level. He also ranked fourth on the Conference USA career scoring list. As a senior, Taylor was named the C-USA Player of the Year and earned All-Conference USA First Team honors. Taylor was also selected All-District by the NABC and USBWA, as well as earning All-Tournament Team honors at the 2009 Portsmouth Invitational. Overall, he scored a school-record 812 points during his senior campaign and ranked third nationally in scoring (26.2 ppg, .480 FG%, .376 3FG%, .812 FT%). Taylor also averaged 29.1 points against league opponents and set the C-USA single-season record by notching 466 points in conference play. He scored at least 20 points in 24 of his 31 games, including nine 30-point performances and one 40-point contest. He connected on 92 3-pointers in 2008-09, which ranked fourth on the school’s single-season chart. Taylor also led the team in rebounds per game (5.2) and blocked shots (24), while ranking third on the team in total assists (58) and second in steals (39). His outstanding play earned him C-USA Player of the Week honors on five occasions during his final collegiate campaign. He also established a UCF Division I single-game record with 45 points vs. Rice (2/25/09).

As a junior, Taylor earned All-Conference USA Second Team selection after leading UCF in scoring with 20.8 points per game. He appeared in all 31 games as a reserve during his sophomore campaign, ranking second on the team and 16th in Conference USA in points per game (12.7). Taylor was also a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll recipient as a freshman.

With Houston in the 2009 NBA Summer League, Taylor averaged 11.0 points and 2.3 assists in four games (two starts).

76ers hire Randy Ayers as assistant coach

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that Head Coach Eddie Jordan has named Randy Ayers as an assistant coach.  Ayers joins a staff comprised of Associate Head Coach Mike O’Koren and Assistant Coaches Jim Lynam and Aaron McKie.

Ayers, who was head coach of the Sixers for 52 games during the 2003-04 season, previously served as an assistant coach on Jordan’s staff in Washington.  The Wizards allowed just 99.2 points per game in his first season with the team in 2007-08 after allowing 104.9 ppg the season prior.

Prior to joining the Wizards, Ayers was an assistant coach with Orlando.  In his two seasons with the Magic, Ayers helped the team lower its opponents scoring average from 101.8 ppg in 2004-05 to 96.0 ppg in 2005-06 to 94.0 ppg in 2006-07.

No stranger to Philadelphia, Ayers spent six-plus seasons as a member of the Sixers coaching staff, including the stint as head coach in 2003-04.  As the top assistant under Head Coach Larry Brown, Ayers helped guide the Sixers to five consecutive playoff appearances, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2001.

Ayers coaching career also includes an eight-season run as head coach at The Ohio State University, where he led the Buckeyes to four postseason appearances and back-to-back Big Ten Championships in 1991 and 1992.  He was named National Coach of the Year by The Associated Press in 1991.

Hawks to talk extension with Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson is the best player on the Atlanta Hawks roster, and they’d like to have him stick around. Although not a superstar, the versatile shooting guard has skills and should continue to be in All-Star team discussions for years to come.

I had heard they were planning on getting into this soon. Didn’t know when, though. Apparently quite soon. Sekou Smith of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (via blog):

Multiple sources have confirmed that Hawks general manager Rick Sund is on an extended trip to the left coast, and part of his itinerary includes time in Los Angeles for face-to-face talks about a contract extension with Joe Johnson’s camp. A three-time All-Star, Johnson is heading into the final year of the five-year, $70 million deal he signed in August 2005 (which if traced back, you will realize was the rebirth of the franchise that has since made the playoffs in back-to-back years). With superstars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh headlining next summer’s free agent crop, several teams are lining up to be major players.

Johnson isn’t worthy of the max and if he demands it the Hawks should balk. But assuming he’s reasonable, the two sides may be fairly close in their goals.

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