Archive for December 23rd, 2009

Lakers sign Pau Gasol to contract extension

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward/center Pau Gasol to a multi-year contract extension, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Gasol officially signed a three-year extension worth up to $64.7 million, depending on the NBA salary-cap figures to be determined in 2011.”

According to ESPN.com, “The year-by-year breakdown of the extension: $18,714,150 in 2011-12, $19,000,000 in 2012-13 and $19,285,850 in 2013-14.”

Since being acquired by the Lakers on February 1, 2008 as part of a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies, Gasol has helped Los Angeles to a 101-23 (.815) regular season record in games he has appeared in.  In the postseason, the Lakers have posted a 30-14 (.682) record with Gasol, winning the Western Conference in both trips to the playoffs since he joined the team as well as the franchise’s 15th NBA Championship in 2009.

Gasol, currently a reigning NBA Champion, FIBA World Champion (Tournament MVP) and European Champion (Tournament MVP), earned a silver medal with Spain at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, falling just shy of the gold against the United States.  Named the 2008 European Player of the Year, he earned All-NBA Third Team honors in 2009 as well as his second trip to the NBA All-Star game (2006, 2009).

“Over the past year and a half, Pau has quickly developed into one of the best all-around players in the NBA,” said Kupchak.  “The impact he has had on and off the court for the Lakers is significant, and we look forward to watching Pau continue as one of the best players in the league for years to come.”

“Coming to terms on an extension for Pau is another step for the organization in its goal of trying to keep the core of this team together for the foreseeable future,” continued Kupchak.  “The Buss family recognizes this opportunity and will continue to do whatever is possible to put the organization in position to contend for NBA championships.”

The fourth player in NBA history to go straight from Europe to the NBA and score 10,000 career points, Gasol concluded the 2008-09 season ranked among league leaders in points (25th/18.9), rebounds (8th/9.6), field goal percentage (5th/.567) and blocks (27th/1.00) while appearing in 81 games.

In 16 games this season, Gasol is averaging 17.0 points on .543 shooting from the field, 12.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.75 blocked shots in 36.1 minutes.

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Tyson Chandler out at least one week

Tyson Chandler out at least one week

The Charlotte Bobcats announced today that center Tyson Chandler will miss a minimum of one week due to a stress reaction in the fourth metatarsal of his left foot. Chandler suffered the injury, which was initially diagnosed as a left forefoot sprain, in the third quarter of Tuesday’s 88-76 win over Detroit. X-rays taken at the arena came back negative, but Chandler underwent a precautionary MRI on Wednesday morning performed by team physician Dr. Glenn Perry, who concluded that Chandler had a stress reaction.

The Charlotte Bobcats, who became the NBA’s 30th franchise when they joined the league in 2004-05, return to action Saturday when they travel to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder at 8:00pm ET.  The game can be seen on SportSouth and heard on WFNZ 610 AM.

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Rockets sign Mike Harris

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the Rockets have signed forward Mike Harris as a Call-Up from Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Harris rejoins the Rockets following a stint with the team during the 2007-08 season.

“Mike Harris has been the best player in the D-League and instrumental in the Vipers 7-3 start,” said Morey. “He will be a quality addition to our team. We are excited to add him.”

Harris (6-6, 235, Rice) returns to Houston from the Rio Grande Valley, where he was averaging a team-leading 25.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 10 games (10 starts) with the Vipers. At the time of his Call-Up, Harris stood second in the D-League among qualified leaders in points per game. He scored in double figures in all 10 games with Rio Grande Valley, while recording two double-doubles. Harris recorded a season-high 35 points and a season-best 12 rebounds at Tulsa (12/19/09). Harris actually began the 2009-10 season as a training camp invitee with Oklahoma City, but was waived by the Thunder on Oct. 23.

A former standout at Rice University, Harris spent his rookie NBA season with the Rockets, averaging 3.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 17 games in 2007-08. Harris originally signed with Houston as a rookie free agent on July 13, 2007, but was waived by the Rockets on Oct. 22. He later signed a 10-day contract with Houston on Mar. 8, 2008, before inking a second 10-day contract on Mar. 18. Harris was signed for the remainder of the 2007-08 season by the Rockets on Mar. 29, 2008. During the 2008 NBA Playoffs, he averaged 1.0 points and 0.7 rebounds in three postseason games with Houston. Harris also averaged 12.6 points and 7.0 rebounds in five games with the Rockets in the 2007 NBA Summer League.

Harris, who also played in the preseason with the Milwaukee Bucks prior to the 2006-07 campaign, was selected third overall in the 2006 D-League Draft by the Colorado 14ers. In 48 games (16 starts) with Colorado, he averaged 11.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.54 blocks per contest in 2006-07. In addition, Harris has played internationally in the Ukraine with BC Kyiv (2005-06) and with DongGuan of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).

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Paul Pierce out 2 weeks

Paul Pierce out 2 weeks

The Boston Celtics announced today that forward Paul Pierce underwent arthroscopic irrigation on his right knee to clean a knee infection at New England Baptist Hospital this morning.  Celtics Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon performed the procedure.  Pierce is expected to miss the next two weeks.

Pierce, a 6’7” forward, has played in every game this season for the Celtics and is averaging a team-high 18.2 points.  He is currently shooting a career-high 47.3% from three-point land and is ranked fifth in the NBA.  The Kansas product netted a season-high 33 points against the Knicks on November 22.

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Blake Griffin health update: Out 3 more weeks

Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin underwent a CT Scan and MRI of the stress fracture of his left patella yesterday.

In addition to his continued strength and conditioning work, Griffin has been cleared to begin running on an AlterG Anti-Gravity treadmill beginning today and is expected to begin running on a normal full-body weight treadmill next week.

Based on expected progression, Griffin is expected to be cleared for a return to basketball related activity in approximately three weeks.

Griffin, the first overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, suffered a non-displaced stress fracture of his left patella during the Clippers’ last preseason game vs. the New Orleans Hornets on Friday, October 23rd.

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Joel Przybilla injures right leg

Joe Freeman of the Oregonian reports (via blog):

Just when you think it can’t get any worse for this injury-depleted Trail Blazers team, it suffers yet another significant setback Tuesday night in Dallas.

In the first quarter of their game against the Dallas Mavericks, Joel Przybilla landed awkwardly and violently on his right leg beneath the basket and had to be helped away from the American Airlines Center court by two teammates.

Shortly after halftime, the team announced that Pryzbilla had suffered a ruptured right patella tendon and patella dislocation. He is out indefinitely.

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