Archive for January 5th, 2010

Nets waive Rafer Alston, acquire Chris Quinn from Heat

The New Jersey Nets have acquired guard Chris Quinn from the Miami Heat along with the Heat’s second round draft pick in 2012 and cash considerations in exchange for the Nets’ 2010 second round draft pick (protected 31-50), Nets President Rod Thorn announced today.

In a separate transaction, the Nets have requested waivers on guard Rafer Alston.

According to ESPN.com, “the Nets used a trade exception to take on Quinn’s $1 million contract and complete the trade. Two league sources told ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan that Alston agreed to give back nearly $1 million of his $5.25 million salary to gain his freedom from the Nets.”

“There has never been a better person that has played for the Miami Heat than Chris Quinn,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “He is one of the hardest working, most dedicated people that we’ve ever experienced. We want to wish Chris nothing but the very best as he moves on in his career.”

Quinn, currently in his fourth NBA season out of Notre Dame, holds career averages 5.6 ppg and 2.2 apg in 168 games.  He has been inactive for each of the Heat’s games during the 2009-10 season.

Alston, who was originally acquired via trade on June 25, 2009 from Orlando, has played in 27 games (13 starts) for the Nets this season, with averages of 9.7 ppg, 3.9 apg and 2.8 rpg.  Currently in his 11th NBA season, Alston holds career averages of 10.3 ppg, 4.8 apg, and 2.8 rpg in 646 games.

The National Basketball Association announced today that Commissioner David Stern has denied the Dallas Mavericks’ protest of their 116-108 loss to the Houston Rockets on December 18.

In the protest, the Mavericks argued that the referees, following an instant replay review, improperly called a technical foul on Erick Dampier with 1:01 remaining in overtime, which – as his second technical foul – resulted in his ejection from the game.

Commissioner Stern determined that the referees’ decision to assess a technical foul on Dampier was a judgment call, and not a misapplication of the playing rules, which cannot successfully be protested under NBA rules.

76ers keep Allen Iverson

76ers keep Allen Iverson

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that Allen Iverson’s contract with the team will be guaranteed for the remainder of the season. Per team policy, no further terms of the deal are disclosed.

All NBA contracts become fully guaranteed if the player is on the team roster on January 10th. Iverson originally signed as a free agent with the Sixers on December 3, 2009.

“Since his arrival, Allen has done everything asked of him and has been an excellent teammate,” Stefanski said.

Iverson (6-0, 165) has started nine games for the Sixers this season, averaging 15.7 points, 4.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.00 steals in 33.2 minutes per game.  He is also currently shooting a career-high 46.5% from the floor.

On New Year’s Eve, the third returns of the 2010 NBA All-Star Balloting were announced.  The leading vote-getters among guards in the Eastern Conference were Dwyane Wade (1,539,968) and Iverson (806,749).  While Iverson appears among Western Conference guards on the paper ballot because he began the season with Memphis, his votes now count towards the Eastern Conference guards.  Iverson is already a 10-time All-Star and two-time All-Star Game MVP.

Hawks waive Othello Hunter

The Atlanta Hawks today requested waivers on forward Othello Hunter, according to Executive Vice President/General Manager Rick Sund.

Hunter appeared in seven games this season, and averaged 1.6 ppg and 1.7 rpg in 4.7 mpg (.333 FG%, .750 FT%). He played in 16 games with Atlanta last season as a rookie, and had four playoff appearances.

Overall, in 23 career regular season games with the Hawks, Hunter compiled 1.4 ppg and 1.6 rpg in 5.4 mpg (.469 FG%, .333 FT%). Hunter, who was undrafted, played collegiately at Ohio State.

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team will sign guard Sundiata Gaines (pronounced sun-DEE-ah-tuh) of the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede to a 10-day contract pending the outcome of a successful physical on Wednesday, January 6.  Gaines becomes the fourth D-League Call-Up to the NBA this season.

Gaines (6-1, 185, Georgia) is currently averaging 23.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists while shooting .522 from the field through 14 games with Idaho this season.  Gaines, who has led the Stampede to a 9-5 record, currently ranks fifth in the D-League in scoring, third in assists and third in steals (2.29).  The guard has scored a season-high 31 points on four occasions and dished a season-high 12 assists twice.  Gaines was named the D-League’s Co-Performer of the Week for games played during the first 10 days of the season after averaging a league-leading 27.0 points while shooting .603 percent (38-63) from the field and handing out 8.3 assists.

The Jamaica, New York, native was selected by the Idaho Stampede in the first round (15th overall) of the 2009 D-League Draft.  He spent the 2008-09 campaign in Italy with NGC Cantu, averaging 13.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 30 games.  A 2008 graduate of the University of Georgia, Gaines spent four seasons with the Bulldogs averaging 11.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists. The guard led Georgia to the 2008 Southeastern Conference (SEC) tournament title.

Gaines becomes the fourth D-League Call-Up in Jazz history, joining Rusty LaRue (2000-01), Mikki Moore (2003-04) and Louis Amundson (2006-07).

Raptors release Pops Mensah-Bonsu

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have released forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu.  Toronto claimed Mensah-Bonsu off waivers November 13 after he was released by the Houston Rockets. He averaged 2.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 6.7 minutes in 16 games with Toronto.

Mensah-Bonsu appeared in four games with Houston this season averaging 1.3 points and 3.3 minutes.

He appeared in 19 games with the Raptors during the 2008-09 campaign after signing as a free agent on March 6, 2009. He averaged 5.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 13.8 minutes during his first stint with the Raptors.

The four-year NBA veteran has averaged 3.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 8.8 minutes in 54 games with four teams.

Roko Ukic signs in Turkey

Euroleague.net reports: Weeks after releasing its starting point guard, Fenerbahce Ulker has moved to add backcourt strength by signing Roko-Leni Ukic, a former double-digit scorer in the Euroleague. Although Fenerbahce is still in a tight race to reach the Top 16 from Group A, Ukic apparently will not be registered to play in Wednesday’s road game at Montepaschi Siena. Ukic was in Istanbul early this week for physical tests before the announcement was made Tuesday.

Jazz shakeup possible

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports reports:

Concerned about a lackluster start that has left them in ninth place in the Western Conference and motivated not to pay a hefty luxury-tax bill for moderate success, the Utah Jazz appear willing to trade anyone on their roster but point guard Deron Williams(notes), multiple league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Jazz have a payroll exceeding $77 million with five players making at least $9 million this season. Their dilemma: While they would like to shed some salary, they want to remain competitive enough to at least contend for a playoff berth.

Carlos Boozer(notes), who is making $12.6 million in the final season of his contract, has attracted interest, but sources said the Jazz have yet to enter any substantive trade talks involving the forward. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has told management he’d prefer to keep Boozer for the season to help with the team’s playoff push, but ownership wants to avoid paying as much luxury tax as possible.

Francisco Garcia returns to practice

Sam Amick of the Sacramento Bee reports:

Francisco Garcia returns to practice

Francisco García was scared, even if he didn’t show it.

The Kings’ fifth-year swingman had returned to work with his trademark flair Monday, practicing for the first time since breaking his right (shooting) wrist nearly three months before. He was running and jumping and shooting. And yapping. Of course he was yapping.

With his scrimmage team down three points with 25 seconds left and García open on the left wing, he took the pass in stride and buried what appeared to be a three-pointer. It was like he’d never left, as García not only made the long-range shot but argued to no avail when assistant coach Mario Elie ruled it a two-pointer in what led to his team’s loss.

“I was still a little scared because of my arm, but it was good,” García said. “I think the biggest challenge is getting comfortable on the floor, getting hit on the floor.

“When I fall on the floor, how am I going to feel? Other than that, I feel good.”

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Corey Maggette stepping up

With the Warriors in desperate need of some help for Ellis, Maggette has elevated his game to a new level.

He has scored at least 20 points in nine of his last 10 games. After getting booed by home fans for taking long jumpers early in the season, Maggette has been determined to pound into the paint.

“What can I tell you? He’s playing at a high level,” coach Don Nelson said. “He has been quite an anchor.”

Maggette’s new strategy leaves the 30-year-old looking like half mummy and half igloo after games. He does postgame interviews with his legs in buckets of cold water, with ice tightly strapped to his shoulders and around his hamstrings and while massaging his surgically repaired wrist.

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