Archive for September 25th, 2009

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team and Antonio Daniels have mutually agreed to part ways. Daniels and his agent, Tony Dutt, have the team’s permission to pursue a trade, and have agreed to accept a buyout in the event that a trade cannot be consummated.

“I understand Antonio’s desire to be assured of playing time this season, and that this is especially important to him in light of the fact that this is the final year of his contract,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “However, with Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions on our roster, the opportunity for Antonio to play would have been unlikely. One of our main priorities this season is to accelerate the development of our young talent. This is a critical year for our team, and I believe that it is best to relieve the team of any potential distractions before the start of training camp.”

Daniels was acquired in a trade with New Orleans on Sept. 9, a move that eliminated the Wolves from the financial obligations of Darius Songaila’s contract for the 2010-11 season. The 6-4 guard has appeared in 867 career games over his 12-year career, including stops in Vancouver, San Antonio, Portland, Seattle, Washington and New Orleans. Originally selected by Vancouver with the fourth overall pick of the 1997 NBA Draft, Daniels owns career averages of 7.6 points and 3.4 assists per game.

Trail Blazers sign Ime Udoka

The Trail Blazers have signed forward Ime Udoka, General Manager Kevin Pritchard announced today.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We’re really excited about having Ime back,” said Pritchard. “He played a key role in our resurgence and we look forward to adding a player of his talent, character and experience to what is shaping up to be a very competitive camp roster.”

Udoka (6-5, 220), a five-year NBA veteran, has posted career averages of 6.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 20.4 minutes in 227 games (78 starts) with the L.A. Lakers, New York, Portland and San Antonio.

The 32-year-old saw action in 67 games, including three starts, with San Antonio in 2008-09. He averaged 4.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 15.4 minutes.

As a Trail Blazer in 2006-07, Udoka experienced his best season as a professional, notching career highs of 8.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 28.6 minutes in 75 games (all starts). His .461 field goal percentage and .406 three-point percentage also marked career bests.

A Portland native and Jefferson High School graduate, Udoka played his senior season and graduated from Portland State University in 2000.

Trail Blazers training camp tips off on Tuesday, September 29.

Knicks re-sign David Lee

Knicks re-sign David Lee

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that forward David Lee has been re-signed to a contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. It’s been widely reported that that the deal is for one year.

“While this was a long process, we always wanted David to remain in New York and we are very happy to have him re-signed,” said Walsh. “David really flourished playing for Coach D’Antoni last year and we once again expect him to play a big role for us this season.”

Lee, 6-9, 240-pounds, averaged career-highs of 16.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 34.9 minutes in a career-high 81 games during the 2008-09 season. He also posted a league-high 65 double-doubles, while also ranking third in the NBA in rebounding and seventh in field goal percentage.

Lee was drafted by New York with the 30th overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft and has career averages of 10.9 points and 9.0 rebounds in 287 career games over four NBA seasons with the Knicks. The University of Florida product set the Knicks franchise record for field goal percentage, shooting .600 from the floor in 58 games during the 2006-07 season. Lee was also named Most Valuable Player of the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge at 2007 All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas, after scoring a game-high 30 points.

Knicks re-sign Nate Robinson

Knicks re-sign Nate Robinson

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that guard Nate Robinson has been re-signed to a contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. It’s been widely reported to be a one-year deal.

“We are very happy to have reached an agreement with Nate,” Walsh said. “Nate established himself as one of the top reserves in the game last season and we expect him to play a key role for us this season.”

Robinson, 5-9, 180-pounds, averaged career-highs of 17.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 29.9 minutes in a career-high 74 games during the 2008-09 season and finished third in the voting for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. The Seattle, WA-native was also the winner of the 2009 Sprite Slam Dunk competition at NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix and joined Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Harold Miner and Jason Richardson as the only two-time winners of the competition. Robinson first won the award at the 2006 dunk contest in Houston.

Robinson has career averages of 12.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 282 career games over four NBA seasons all with New York. The University of Washington product was originally drafted following his junior season by the Phoenix Suns with the 21st overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft, before having his draft rights traded to New York on draft night.

Pacers extend contract of coach Jim O`Brien

The Indiana Pacers today announced that they have exercised the team option to extend Coach Jim O’Brien’s contract for one additional year.

Pursuant to team policy, terms of contracts were not disclosed.

“We are very happy to get the option done on Jim’s contract,” said Larry Bird, President of Pacers Basketball Operations. “When I interviewed Jim for this job, he was committed to everything we want to do. We both feel we’re moving in the right direction.”

“I appreciate (owner) Herb (Simon) and Larry’s confidence as we move toward getting this franchise back to where it belongs,” said O’Brien. “I love Indianapolis and all of the fans in Indiana, and I remain committed to bringing a championship to the Indiana Pacers.”

Rockets re-sign GM Daryl Morey

Houston Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander announced today that he has re-signed Daryl Morey as the team’s General Manager and Managing Director of Basketball Operations. Morey is entering his fourth season with the organization and his third as the team’s head of all basketball operations. As per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“Daryl has displayed great leadership during his three years overseeing our basketball operations,” said Alexander. “In his short time here, Daryl has already established himself as an innovator in the field of talent evaluation and player acquisition. My focus is to bring another world championship to the fans of Houston and I believe Daryl will be instrumental in achieving that goal.”

Morey has built a Rockets team that has gone a combined 108-56 (.659) and has set a number of team records over his two seasons as General Manager. His ability to manage and bolster the roster earned him YAHOO.com Executive of the Year accolades in 2008-09. In addition to earning votes for 2008-09 NBA Executive of the Year, Morey was named “Top 50 Most Influential in Basketball” in 2009 by HOOPSWORLD. Morey was also recognized in 2009 as one of “The 10 Most Creative People in Sports” by Fast Company magazine.

Houston registered a 53-29 mark in 2008-09 to give the team a third consecutive 50-win season for the first time in team history (52-30 in 2006-07 and 55-27 in 2007-08). The Rockets also advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals for the first time since 1997, taking the L.A. Lakers to a Game Seven despite playing without Tracy McGrady and losing the services of Yao Ming for the final four contests of that series. In 2007-08, the Rockets won a remarkable 22 straight games, which stands as the second-longest winning streak in professional sports history.

“I would like to thank Mr. Alexander for the faith he has shown in me and the basketball staff,” said Morey. “Under his leadership and with the resources he provides, the team is positioned well to consistently compete in the Western Conference. Mr. Alexander has always made it clear that his ultimate goal is a successful return to the NBA Finals and I look forward to continue working with him to meet that challenge.”

Morey came to Houston after serving three years as SVP Operations for the Boston Celtics. With the Celtics, his responsibilities included the development of analytical methods and technology to enhance basketball decisions, such as the draft, trades and free agency. Prior to his time with the Celtics, Morey worked as a Principal consultant with an emphasis on sports at The Parthenon Group, a leading strategy consulting firm. Morey was also a statistical consultant with STATS, Inc., the industry pioneer in the use of sports statistics highlighted in the Michael Lewis book Moneyball.

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