Archive for November 2nd, 2009

No Rudy Gay extension

Yahoo reports – Negotiations between the Memphis Grizzlies and Rudy Gay ended on Monday without a contract extension, and the forward will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. League sources said Gay wanted a $12 million annual deal – either over three or five years – because because that’s what Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger received last season. But Memphis never raised its offer beyond approximately $10 million a year.

The Boston Celtics announced today that the club has signed point guard Rajon Rondo to a multi-year contract extension.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Several media outlets had reported the deal to be five years and at least fifty five million.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to extend Rajon’s contract,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge.  “We believe that he is one of the elite point guards in the NBA and has a tremendous future ahead of him.”

Rondo, a 6’1” guard, is currently leading the NBA in total assists (47) and is second in assists per game (11.8) through four games this season. The former Kentucky Wildcat is also leading the NBA in total steals (10).  Last season, Rondo became the second Celtic to post three triple-doubles in a postseason joining Larry Bird when he posted three during the 1985-86 postseason.   During the 2009 postseason, Rondo just missed averaging a triple-double when he finished with an average of 16.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 9.8 assists in 41.2 minutes per game.

“I would like to thank the Celtics ownership, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, my teammates and the Celtics organization for all of their support over the years,” said Rondo.  “I would also like to thank my family, friends and fans.  I’m ready to do everything I can to bring banner 18 to Boston.”

During his second season as a professional Rondo helped the Celtics win their 17th NBA Championship with averages of 10.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.73 steals per game.  Rondo became just the third starting point guard in the past 30 years to have won an NBA championship at the age of 22 or under joining Tony Parker and Magic Johnson.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team has exercised the fourth-year option on guard/forward Corey Brewer and the third-year option on forward Kevin Love. The Wolves declined to extend forward Oleksiy Pecherov for next season.

“We are happy to extend Kevin and Corey for next season,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “All of us have been impressed with the determination displayed by both players this summer to make themselves better players through conditioning, hard work and skill development. I believe both have the drive and desire to be special players in this league.

“As for Oleksiy [Pecherov], I spoke to him this morning that he should not interpret this decision as if Coach Rambis and I believe he has no future with our organization. Far from it. Because of our cap flexibility next season, we could re-sign Oleksiy next summer if it is in our mutual interests. He is a young player with potential, who is just seeing significant playing time for the first time in his career.”

Brewer, a third-year forward from Florida, appeared in just 15 games for the Wolves last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury on Nov. 29, 2008 vs. Denver. After averaging 5.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game as a rookie, Brewer increased his scoring to 6.2 points per game last season and is averaging 12.3 points per game thus far in 2009-10.

Love, the fifth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, appeared in 81 games for the Wolves as a rookie, averaging 11.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. His 29 double-doubles on the season were the most in the NBA among rookies and the most ever by a rookie in Wolves franchise history. Love averaged 12.5 points and a league-leading 11.5 rebounds per game in his four preseason appearances before breaking a bone in his left hand on Oct. 16 at Chicago.

Bucks decline Joe Alexander option

joe alexander

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced today that the team will not exercise the third year team option on the Rookie Scale Contract of forward Joe Alexander (6-8, 230).

“It was a difficult decision not to pick up Joe Alexander’s option,” said Hammond.  “Joe has missed valuable on-court development opportunities due to injury during his first two training camps, and this year he will miss almost the first three months of the season with his hamstring injury.

“We believe Joe can be a good NBA player, but his latest injury had hampered our ability to further assess his progress.”

The Bucks announced on October 22 that Alexander aggravated his right hamstring injury during rehabilitation exercises and is expected to be sidelined for a period of 8-to-12 weeks.

Alexander, 22, originally suffered the injury during voluntary drills prior to the start of training camp on September 17.

In 59 games during his rookie season, Alexander averaged 4.7 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.

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

Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports:

Celtics will sign Rajon Rondo to extension

The Celtics and Rajon Rondo walked close to the edge of the bridge with their contract negotiations. But while each was confident it could pull off a successful dive, neither really wanted to jump.

By agreeing to an extension that will pay Rondo some $55 million over the five seasons after this, there was security for all. Or about as much as the rigors of the NBA and the global economy allow.

Indeed, the Celtics could have easily let the season play out, secure in the knowledge that they could make Rondo the qualifying offer after the year and thus render him a restricted free agent. They could then let the market do its thing and match any offer that came his way.

No matter the final numbers, Danny Ainge and the owners knew that Rondo would be a Boston Celtic next season if they so desired.

Once the deal is signed, it’ll be interesting to watch Rondo’s growth in the future. Lots of players, not by coincidence, seem to stop getting better starting the season after the one in which they sign a big contract extension. Hopefully Rondo keeps improving in years to come.

Jeff Foster out two weeks

Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports:

Veteran center Jeff Foster is expected to miss the next two weeks because of a high right ankle sprain, which he suffered in the first half of last Friday’s loss to the Miami Heat.

Foster’s injury leaves the Pacers (0-2) with a relatively inexperienced frontcourt, which has been abused by Atlanta’s Al Horford and Miami’s Jermaine O’Neal in the first two games.

Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said rookie Tyler Hansbrough could make his season debut Friday against the Washington Wizards as long as he has no setbacks in practice this week.

In the two regular season matchups Indiana has played, Foster only received 9.5 minutes per game, averaging just 1.0 points and 2.5 rebounds.

Euroleague.net reports: Of six undefeated teams through two weeks of the 2009-10 regular season, five have rosters featuring Euroleague, world and continental champions and medalists. Three of those five boast plenty all-Euroleague superstars and MVPs, and the other two each have a Euroleague champion to look to for experience. Lietuvos Rytas, by contrast, started the season with just one player who had ever been a full-time Euroleague starter - and he did that for only one season before. Despite his relative inexperience and coming to L. Rytas new this season, point guard Bojan Popovic has proven over two weeks to be the perfect leader, playing almost non-stop and re-defining himself as an assist-maker of prodigious potential. Only a handful of the Euroleague’s finest point guards all decade can match the 19 assists Popovic dished while L. Rytas was beating Efes Pilsen and Entente Orleanaise to tie for first place in Group B. Popovic posted 10 assists and 11 points while playing 40 minutes for L. Rytas in its opening-night home win against Efes Pilsen. On the road the next week, he scored another 11 points and distributed 9 assists in 35 minutes to lead L. Rytas to victory in Orleans. He lacked one more assist against Orleans to become the first Euroleague player all decade to register back-to-back double-doubles in points and assists. But the numbers that most prove Popovic’s impact on L. Rytas are 2 and 0, wins and losses, respectively. Largely due to his efforts, a young, inexperienced team is sharing first place in its regular season group when no one expected it. For that reason, Bojan Popovic is the choice as Euroleague MVP for October.

michael redd

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced today that guard Michael Redd (6-6, 215) suffered a strained left patella tendon in Saturday’s home opening win against Detroit.  Redd, 30, played 23 minutes in the win and left the game late in the third period with left knee soreness and did not return.

Redd underwent an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) exam on Sunday which revealed the injury.  Redd will be re-evaluated in two weeks by Bucks orthopedic physician Dr. Michael Gordon, M.D., and his status will be updated at that time.

In two games this season, Redd has averaged 13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.5 steals (T-2nd in the NBA) in 31.0 minutes per game.Redd played just 33 games in the 2008-09 NBA season, averaging 21.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 36.5 minutes per game.

This season he got off to a slow start. In the two games Milwaukee has played, Redd averaged just 13.0 points on 32.0% shooting, and 4.5 rebounds.

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

OJ Mayo and Rudy Gay shout it out

The Memphis Grizzlies are a young team built around just a few players, two being guard O.J. Mayo and small forward Rudy Gay. Last season there were rumblings of some disagreements between the two players. Nothing too serious, though. But yesterday the two guys tossed some heated words at each other.

Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports:

OJ Mayo and Rudy Gay shout at each other

The scoreboard wasn’t all that provided fireworks in what turned out to be a shootout Sunday night between the Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets.

The Grizzlies had to douse an explosive shouting match between O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay on their bench before the end of a 133-123 loss in a wildly entertaining affair at the Pepsi Center.

Mayo tossed in a career-high 40 points only to have the performance overshadowed by Nuggets’ forward Carmelo Anthony’s 42-point outburst, and somewhat marred by an incident during a late fourth-quarter timeout.

The Commercial Appeal continues:

“We’re both competitors. We just felt that defensively we weren’t communicating,” Mayo said. “Our energy was going down and we said some things. But we got it situated, and continued to play the game.”

Gay said the incident was “nothing” and his hope is that people won’t blow it out of proportion because of rumors he didn’t get along with Mayo from last season.

“It’s not what people think it was,” Gay said. “Me and O.J. were together all summer. We’re fine.”

It’s probably nothing. Competitive players are prone to get annoyed at their teammates once in a while, whether they’re buddies or not. Now, if they start punching each other in the face some day, that’s something. Still, we’ll keep an eye on this.

Popeye Jones accused of drunk driving

Chris Dell of the Dallas Morning News reports:

Former Dallas Mavericks player and current assistant coach Ronald Jerome “Popeye” Jones was arrested Sunday evening in Richardson and accused of drunken driving.

Jones, who played for the Mavericks from 1993 until 1996 and again in 2002-03, was bonded out of jail this morning at about 4 a.m., according to Richardson Police Department public information officer Jonathan Wakefield.

The report went on to say that Jones declined to take the breathalyzer test, which we logically assume is usually only done by someone who has something to hide, unfortunately.

Brent Barry joins NBA TV

NBA TV today announced the addition of two-time NBA Champion and 14-year veteran Brent Barry to its announcer roster for the 2009-10 season.  Barry will work as a studio analyst for NBA GameTime, the network’s live studio show filled with highlights, analysis, commentary and live look-ins at games being played across the league. Barry will join on Monday nights, beginning Monday, Nov. 2, alongside host Andre Aldridge and analyst Eric Snow.

Barry is the newest studio analyst on the network’s impressive roster which includes Hall of Famer Kevin McHale, five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber, 14-year veteran Steve Smith, Snow and Scott.  Barry is best known for his three-point shooting in which he currently ranks 10th all-time in career three-point field goals made. Barry spent 14 years in the NBA with six teams including the L.A. Clippers, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Seattle SuperSonics, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets.

NBA TV will take the court for its first week of Tuesday Fan Night with the Lakers @ Thunder match-up, as voted upon by fans on NBA.com. The game will air on Tues., Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. (ET) with host Ernie Johnson and analysts Chris Webber and Kevin McHale on-hand for studio coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

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