Archive for December 22nd, 2009

Rockets, Grizzlies pass on Von Wafer

MyFoxHouston reports:

NBA sources told FOX 26 Sports the Houston Rockets plans to re-sign free agent guard Von Wafer fell through when Wafer did not pass his physical Tuesday night.

Sources told FOX 26 the Rockets may re-visit Wafer’s situation soon.

With Wafer no longer an option the Rockets signed forward Michael Harris from the team’s NBA Development league affiliate, the Rio Grande Vipers.

Harris was at the Rockets game with the Clippers Tuesday night just to watch the game and then he got the surprise of his life.

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

Jazz trade Eric Maynor to Thunder

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has acquired the draft rights to Peter Fehse from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for the contract of Matt Harpring and guard Eric Maynor. The Jazz roster now stands at 12 players.

“Trading Eric was a difficult decision,” said general manager Kevin O’Connor. “But, along with Matt’s contract, it greatly helps reduce our luxury tax responsibility. Fortunately with Deron and a proven backup in Ronnie Price we feel that we have depth at that position.”

Harpring will not report to Oklahoma City.

“We are pleased to add Eric Maynor to our organization,” said Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “Eric possesses a work ethic and team first mentality that we feel will help us in our continued growth.”

“This was a difficult decision as we appreciate Shaun and Mike’s contributions to this basketball team on and off the floor,” added Presti. “We wish them nothing but continued success.”

Fehse (6-11, 205, Germany), was originally selected by the Oklahoma City franchise in the second round (49th overall pick) in the 2002 NBA Draft. The forward/center currently plays for Mitteldeutscher BC Weissenfels in the German League. From 2004-2008 Fehse suited up for the New Yorker Phantoms, also in the German League.

Prior to being drafted, Fehse played for SV Halle’s youth teams, the German Junior National Team and the German Under-20 National Team.  Fehse played for Mitteldeutcher BC in 2003-04 and with the Frankfurt Opel Skyliners in 2002-03 but appeared in just one game.

Harpring (6-7, 230, Georgia Tech), who has not practiced or played during the current 2009-10 season, has appeared in 665 games (349 starts) over 11 seasons with Orlando, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Utah, owning career averages of 11.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 26.4 minutes per game.  He was originally signed by the Jazz as a free agent on August 15, 2002. Harpring has seen action in 474 games (191 starts) over seven seasons with Utah and has averaged 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 25.8 minutes per game.

Maynor (6-3, 170, Virginia Commonwealth) was selected by the Jazz in the first round (20th overall pick) in the 2009 NBA Draft. The guard has seen action in 26 games this season (two starts) and is currently averaging 5.2 points and 3.1 assists.

InsideHoops.com editor quick take: This is a great deal for the Thunder, who add yet another talented young player to their roster.  The deal helps the Jazz save money.

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

Marko Jaric signs in Spain

The Hoop reports:

Real Madrid have reached a deal with the Memphis Grizzlies’ Marko Jaric, who will join the club for the remainder of the season pending a physical.

Marko Jaric was born on 12 October 1978 in Belgrade, Serbia and is the son of Yugoslav basketball legend Srecko Jaric. He began his career in 1996 with Greece’s Peristeri and two years later withdrew his name from the NBA draft to move to Italy.

Euroleague.net reports:

Real Madrid gave its fans an early holiday present on Tuesday when it announced the signing of former Euroleague champion Marko Jaric for the remainder of the season, pending medical tests. Jaric will be reunited with head coach Ettore Messina at the end of a decade that they started by winning the 2001 Euroleague title together with Kinder Bologna. Jaric (201, 31) arrives from Memphis of the NBA, where he had not played this season. Last season, he took part in a total of 53 games for Memphis, averaging 2.5 points per night. Jaric started his career in Peristeri of the Greek League in 1996.

Luol Deng playing with broken left thumb

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Luol Deng playing with broken left thumb

Before the game Monday against the Sacramento Kings, the Bulls revealed that forward Luol Deng has played with a fractured left thumb for about a week.

”He hurt it in practice, I think right before the Lakers game [on Dec. 15],” Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. ”It’s been bothering him a little bit, but he’s been able to fight through it.”

The injury is on Deng’s off hand, allowing him to play through it.

”It’s something that will heal on its own,” Del Negro said. ”It’s his left hand, so we just have to be cautious with it.”

Monday night the Chicago Bulls had a 35-point lead over the visiting Sacramento Kings, but wound up losing the game 102-98.

John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

The Bulls were up 79-44 early in the third quarter and scored only 19 points the rest of the way, including 10 in the fourth quarter.

Just when it seemed the Bulls (10-16) were getting things turned around — and Del Negro was safe for the time being — they managed a new low this season.

Some of the grim numbers:

- Besides scoring only 10 points, the Bulls were 2-for-10 from the field with nine turnovers in the fourth quarter.

- They scored their last field goal with 10:15 left on an 18-footer by Kirk Hinrich for a 92-74 lead.

- During one stretch in the middle of the fourth quarter, the Bulls committed turnovers on six of seven possessions.

- By contrast, the Kings (13-14) scored 33 points in the fourth, including 17 in the final 3:08.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports:

Vying for their second three-game winning streak this season, the Bulls instead suffered a complete collapse, losing all of a 35-point third-quarter lead in a stunning 102-98 loss to the Kings.

After a torrid start that featured season highs for points in a quarter and a half, the Bulls made just two fourth-quarter field goals and got outscored 33-10. Rarely has a laugher turned so serious so suddenly.

“We’re not good enough to take a minute off, let alone a half,” coach Vinny Del Negro said.

Derrick Rose’s driving attempt to tie with 7.9 seconds left fell woefully short, and Noah failed to exit a scrum with the rebound. Beno Udrih grabbed the loose ball and was fouled, making two free throws for the final margin.

Mike McGraw of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports:

The Bulls (10-16) took control of this game right from the start and scored a season-high 67 points in the first half. They opened the third quarter with a 12-1 run to open the fateful 79-44 advantage.

At that point, the Bulls seemed to shut down and start thinking how many points they were going to score instead of doing the same things that built the lead.

The Bulls on Tuesday visit the Knicks in New York.

T.J. Ford coming off bench

Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports:

This was supposed to be the year Indiana Pacers point guard T.J. Ford didn’t need to worry about losing his starting job. Ford was supposed to be the playmaker who could get into the teeth of the defense to either get a layup or pass to an open teammate on the perimeter.

Instead, Ford is back to where he ended last season: on the bench serving as the backup.
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Ford will continue to back up starter Earl Watson for the foreseeable future.

“It’s tough,” Ford said. “The season definitely hasn’t gone the way I thought it would.”

Ford is on pace to average a career low in assists this season.

Allen Iverson has arthritis in left knee

Allen Iverson has arthritis in left knee

In his five games since returning to the Philadelphia 76ers, guard Allen Iverson is averaging 15.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 34.4 minutes per game. He’s shooting 41.0% on the Sixers, a bit under his career 42.5% FG average.

But he’s getting up there in age and recently missed some games.

Tom Moore of Philly Burbs reports:

Allen Iverson is 34 years old.

While he doesn’t think that’s too old to still be a factor, he admits he really felt his age when an MRI last week showed that he has arthritis in his left knee. The injury forced him to miss the 7-20 Sixers’ last two games, including Friday’s victory in Boston, and will keep him out tonight in Washington and Saturday in Utah. He’s expected to return next Monday in Portland.

“That was the worst part about the whole thing,” he said with a laugh after Monday’s practice. “Y’all could’ve said anything but arthritis. That sounds so old, but it’s something I’ve got to deal with. At least the fans and everybody else concerned about me will know exactly what it is.”

Iverson said the reason he got arthritis in the knee, which had to be drained three times in a five-day span, was because he overcompensated for his sore right shin.

No word if Iverson will be walking with a cane and getting into playing bingo in his old age just yet.

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