Archive for October 26th, 2009

Suns get rights to Jarron Collins

The Phoenix Suns today announced that the club has been awarded the rights to center Jarron Collins.  Collins, who spent the preseason with the Portland Trail Blazers, became available after being waived October 22, 2009.

The 6-11, 249-pound Collins is an eight-year NBA veteran who has spent every career regular season with the Utah Jazz.  The 30-year-old owns career averages of 4.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 16.9 minutes in 480 games (206 starts).  Collins, who has averaged 8.8 rebounds per 48 minutes over the course of his NBA career, is a durable post player who has appeared in 70 or more games in five of his eight NBA seasons.

Collins was a four-year performer at Stanford where he helped lead the Cardinal to the 1998 Final Four.  He is one of 10 players in Stanford history with 1,000 points and 700 rebounds.

Jarron is the younger twin brother of Hawks center Jason Collins.  He joins teammates Robin Lopez (New Jersey’s Brook) and Taylor Griffin (L.A. Clippers’ Blake) as Suns players with brothers in the NBA.  Phoenix now has a member of three of the NBA’s five active brother pairings.

Cavaliers exercise J.J. Hickson option

The Cleveland Cavaliers have exercised the third-year contract option on forward J.J. Hickson, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today.

Hickson’s extension keeps him under contract with the Cavaliers through the 2010-11 season.  In 62 games played as a rookie during the 2008-09 season, he averaged 4.0 points on .515 shooting and 2.7 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per game. In six games (one start) during the 2009 preseason, Hickson posted averages of 9.8 points on .522 shooting and 3.5 rebounds in 20.2 minutes per game.

“J.J. is a young, talented player who continues to work hard and still has a great deal of upside,” Ferry said. “We are excited to keep him in our program and help him fulfill his potential.”

The 6-foot-9 forward was selected with the 19th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft by Cleveland. The 21-year old played one season at North Carolina State, earning ACC All-Freshmen Team honors after averaging 14.8 points on a conference-best .591 shooting and 8.5 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per game in 31 games.

Hornets exercise Julian Wright option

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have picked up the option for the 2010-11 season for forward Julian Wright.

Wright (6-8, 225) is in his third season with the Hornets after being drafted in the first round (13th overall pick) of the 2007 NBA Draft. The University of Kansas product averaged 4.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in 14.3 minutes last season in 58 games (19 starts). Wright started all seven preseason games this season and averaged 7.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in 24.9 minutes.

Nicolas Batum to have right shoulder surgery

Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum will undergo surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn labrum, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.

The surgery will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Friday in Los Angeles at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. A timeline for Batum’s return will be determined following surgery.

As a rookie last season, Batum appeared in 79 games (76 starts), averaging 5.4 points (44.6% FT), 2.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 18.4 minutes.

Batum ranked eighth in 3-point shooting (36.9%) and 10th in blocked shots (0.51) among rookie leaders a season ago. He scored in double figures on 13 occasions.

A leader on the French National Team that finished fifth in the 2009 European Championships, Batum ranked second on the team with 9.6 points and 4.9 rebounds to go with 1.8 assists, 1.00 block and 28.6 minutes in nine games.

Bulls name captains

How important are a team’s captains? In most cases the title doesn’t mean much. Players who haev leadership qualities tend to rise up and motivate others whether they’re a captain or not. reports:

Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and Lindsey Hunter have been named team captions for the 2009-10 season. The players voted over the weekend and an announcement was made on Monday.

Of the three, Deng is the only projected starter. He was also a captain last season. Hinrich, however, has been elected captain in six of his seven NBA seasons.

In his 17th season as a pro, not much is expected of Hunter from a statistical standpoint, but his contributions to the team are significant, serving as a mentor for Derrick Rose and the team’s other young players.

Star point guard Derrick Rose wasn’t named a captain. He isn’t very vocal so that’s not too surprising. I bet next year he becomes one, though.

Bulls exercise options on Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has picked up the options for the 2010-11 season for guard Derrick Rose and forward/center Joakim Noah. By exercising the respective player options, both players will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2010-11 season.

Rose, appeared in 81 games (80 starts) last year en route to being selected the 2008-09 T-Mobile NBA Rookie of the Year.  On the season, he averaged 16.8 ppg, a team-high 6.3 apg and 3.9 rpg in 37.0 mpg. The Chicago native shot .475 from the field and .788 from the free throw line.  He finished the 2008-09 campaign in the top three in several categories all-time among Bulls rookies, including total points (third with 1,361), scoring average (third) and assists (third with 512).  Rose was the first selection in NBA Draft 2008.

In two seasons with Chicago, Noah (6-11, 232) has appeared in 154 games (86 starts) and averaged 6.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.2 apg and 1.13 bpg in 22.5 mpg; he has shot .520 from the field and .684 from the line.  The Bulls selected Noah in the first round (ninth overall) in NBA Draft 2007.

Have Bulls opinions? Share them on the InsideHoops Chicago Bulls forum.

Dan Duggan of the Boston Herald reports:

When Ray Allen said he entered training camp in the best shape of his career, it was an attention-grabber.

After all, it’s tough to improve your condition when you have 4.5 percent body fat.

“I’m never out of shape, so I don’t really have to get back in shape,” Allen said. “But even getting quicker ahead of the game so when I came in here it was like I could just start getting stronger now and just focus on the small little things I needed to do to get back into basketball shape.”

Allen credits a more intensive running schedule this offseason for his improved conditioning. The difference between this summer and his first two with the Celtics [team stats] is that his ankles finally are healthy.

Lots of NBA players tend to declare things like this quite often, and whether it turns out to be true or not usually remains to be seen. But as is the case with all older players, Allen has to pace himself so that he’s healthy enough to stay atop his game for the entire post-season.

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