Archive for February, 2010

Bulls trade Tyrus Thomas to Bobcats for Flip Murray, Acie Law

The Chicago Bulls traded Tyrus Thomas to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Ronald “Flip” Murray and Acie Law.  Chicago also received a future first round draft pick from Charlotte.

In a related move, the Bulls have released forward Chris Richard.  Richard, signed to a second 10-day contact on Feb. 15, appeared in five games with Chicago and averaged 2.2 rpg, 4.6 rpg and 1.0 apg in 14.4 mpg.

The 6-10 Thomas is in his fourth NBA season after being selected by Portland with the fourth overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft and traded to Chicago on draft night.  In 254 career games with the Bulls, Thomas averaged 7.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 0.9 assists and 0.9 steals in 23.4 minutes.  Thomas posted career highs of 10.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.2 steals and 27.5 minutes in 79 games played last season.

This season, Thomas is averaging 8.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.1 assists in 23.4 minutes in 29 games played.  He missed 22 games from November 7-December 22 with a left radius fracture.

Thomas has also played in 17 career playoff games, averaging 6.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 1.0 steal and 0.7 assists.  He started all seven postseason games for the Bulls last season, averaging 9.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 1.0 steal and 0.9 assists against Boston.

Murray (6-3, 200) is currently in his eighth season out of Shaw University.  He appeared in 46 games (one start) for the Bobcats this season, and averaged 9.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.8 apg and 21.6 mpg.  Originally drafted by Milwaukee in the second round (42nd overall) in 2002, he has also played for Seattle, Cleveland, Detroit, Indiana and Atlanta.  In 458 NBA games (91 starts), he has posted 9.9 ppg, 2.3 apg and 2.0 rpg in 22.7 mpg.  The 30-year old Murray has been to the postseason four times, where he has averaged 6.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.7 apg and 23.4 mpg in 40 playoff games (five starts).

Law (6-3, 202), selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 11th overall pick in 2007, is in his third season by way of Texas A&M.  In 14 games this year, he has averaged 3.4 ppg in 7.0 mpg.  For his career, he has played in 125 games (seven starts) and averaged 3.6 ppg, 1.7 apg and 0.9 rpg in 13.2 mpg.  He has also appeared in 13 career playoff games, and averaged 2.2 ppg and 1.1 apg in 6.8 mpg.  Law, 25, began this season with Golden State before he was traded to Charlotte in a four-player deal on Nov. 16.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 15.

Jazz trade Ronnie Brewer to Grizzlies

Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune reports (via blog):

Jazz trade Ronnie Brewer to Grizzlies

In a deal completed five minutes before the NBA’s 1 p.m. MDT trade deadline, the Jazz sent Ronnie Brewer to Memphis for a protected future first-round draft pick, general manager Kevin O’Connor said.

The Jazz’s starting shooting guard for the past three seasons, Brewer first was linked to Memphis in trade talk last month. The pick the Jazz will receive belongs to the Grizzlies and  first can be conveyed beginning in 2011.

By trading Brewer, the Jazz will ease their logjam of wing players, freeing minutes for Wesley Matthews, C.J. Miles and Kyle Korver. The Jazz also will ease their luxury-tax burden, with the Grizzlies having the cap space to absorb Brewer’s $2.7 million salary.

Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune reports (via blog):

The primary reason for the trade, of course, is that Brewer plays the same position as Kyle Korver, C.J. Miles, Wesley Matthews and — to a lesser extent — Andrei Kirilenko.

Coach Jerry Sloan was having a difficult time finding minutes for everyone, so somebody had to either be traded or buried on the bench alongside young “bigs” Kosta Koufos and Kyrylo Fesenko.

The New Jersey Nets have needed a new home, whether in Newark or Brooklyn or your backyard, and good news that’s been expected for a while is finally materializing: The team will, temporarily at least, play in what InsideHoops.com considers a terrific basketball arena in Newark, New Jersey.

The Newark Star-Ledger reports:

The Nets are making a fast break to Newark.

After months of speculation over whether the struggling NBA team would leave Izod Center in the Meadowlands for a two-year stay at the new Prudential Center in Newark, a deal was struck today to allow the Nets to break their lease for $4 million and move to Newark, according to officials involved in the negotiations.

The early termination fees could be offset in part by advertising, suite revenue and other credits.

The agreement came after the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority voted in secret to approve the deal at a special meeting this morning. A formal announcement is expected later today by Gov. Chris Christie.

The plan will have the Nets and Devils playing together in the state’s largest city. The move is temporary, with the Nets still planning to move to a new arena in Brooklyn by the start of the 2012 basketball season.

We consider this fantastic news, for the Nets and all basketball fans around the area. Both New Yorkers and New Jersey residents will find it easier to get to the arena. InsideHoops.com attended a Nets preseason game in the Prudential Center, and we loved the building. It’s clean, a great basketball arena, and very easy to get to by public transportation.

UPDATE: NETS CONFIRM TEAM WILL MOVE TO NEWARK

Brett Yormark, the Nets President and CEO, released the following statement regarding the Nets’ upcoming interim relocation to Newark’s Prudential Center, which will begin with the upcoming 2010-11 NBA season. This precedes the team’s permanent move to Brooklyn, planned for 2012.

“Our planned interim relocation to the Prudential Center in Newark represents one of the many positive steps to take place for Nets Basketball during the next few months. This temporary move not only gives our fans a state-of-the-art arena with the first-class amenities common in most NBA buildings, but also provides our players with a great atmosphere in which to play.

“Additionally, before we make our permanent move to Brooklyn, this interim relocation to Newark enables us to continue our goal to further regionalize the team, not only in Essex and Union Counties, but also in New York City due to the direct mass transit access available between Manhattan and the Prudential Center. We are confident that the NBA family will see this as a positive move, as we do. We look forward to being part of the community in Newark and will continue our extensive community outreach in the area.

“I would like to sincerely thank Governor Christie for his support and leadership in making our interim relocation to the Prudential Center a reality. I would also like to express my appreciation to Mayor Booker and Jeff Vanderbeek for their steadfast efforts throughout this process.”

Heat tried to trade for Carlos Boozer

Marc Stein and Chad Ford of ESPN report:

Heat tried to trade for Carlos Boozer

The Miami Heat spent the final hour-plus before the NBA’s Thursday afternoon trading deadline trying to convince the Utah Jazz to surrender Carlos Boozer, according to NBA front-office sources.

The Jazz, though, would not relent before the trade buzzer sounded, one source close to the process told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher.

One source with knowledge of Utah’s thinking told ESPN.com from the start of Thursday’s discussions that a trade was “unlikely,” but the teams were still talking entering the last half-hour before the deadline hit.

ESPN.com reported earlier Thursday that the Heat and Jazz had opened discussions on a Boozer deal. Yahoo! Sports reported that the Wizards were recruited as a third team to try to help facilitate the deal, but one source told ESPN.com that the Wizards were no longer involved in the talks.

DeSagana Diop out 1-2 weeks

DeSagana Diop out 1-2 weeks

The Charlotte Bobcats announced today that center DeSagana Diop will miss approximately 1-2 weeks due to a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Diop suffered the injury, which was initially diagnosed as a right knee bruise, in the third quarter of Tuesday’s game against New Jersey. Diop was re-examined on Wednesday by team physician Dr. Glenn Perry, who diagnosed the injury as an MCL sprain and ordered an MRI to confirm the diagnosis.

The Charlotte Bobcats, who became the NBA’s 30th franchise when they joined the league in 2004-05, return to action Friday when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:00 pm ET.  The game can be seen on SportSouth and heard on WFNZ 610 AM.

The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired center Primoz Brezec and guard Royal Ivey (6-4, 215) from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for center Francisco Elson and guard Jodie Meeks, General Manager John Hammond announced today.  Additionally, the Bucks obtained Philadelphia’s second round draft pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Brezec (7-1, 255) is currently in his eighth NBA season and sports career averages of 7.4 points and 4.0 rebounds in 328 regular season games (214 starts).  Last season, Brezec played for Lottomatica Virtus Roma in the Italian League where he teamed with current Bucks rookie guard Brandon Jennings.  In 29 games in the Italian League, Brezec averaged 8.2 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 63.2 percent from the field.  In 14 Euroleague games, he tallied 9.4 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 55.4 percent from the field.

A native of Postojna, Slovenia, Brezec, 30, began his professional career in the Slovenian League with Kraski (1996-98) and Olimpija Ljubljana (1998-2001). He was selected by Indiana in the first round (27th overall) of the 2000 NBA Draft and played three seasons (2001-2004) for the Pacers before being selected by Charlotte in the 2004 NBA Expansion Draft.  Brezec played three-plus seasons in Charlotte before finishing out the 2007-08 campaign with Detroit and Toronto.  He signed with Philadelphia prior to the start of the 2009-10 season and appeared in seven games for the 76ers.

Ivey, 28, is in his sixth NBA season and second stint with the Bucks.  The Harlem, NY, native spent the 2007-08 campaign in Milwaukee and played in a career-high 75 games (20 starts) and averaged 5.6 points, 2.1 assists and 1.6 rebounds – all career-high totals.  Originally drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 37th selection out of Texas in the 2004 NBA Draft, Ivey played three seasons in Atlanta before signing with the Bucks.  He signed with Philadelphia prior to the 2008-09 season and has played 97 games for the 76ers over the last season-plus.  In 360 career NBA regular season games (109 starts), Ivey has averaged 3.7 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

Elson, 33, signed a free agent contract with Milwaukee prior to the 2008-09 season. Currently in his seventh NBA season, Elson began his NBA career in Denver in 2003 and has also played with San Antonio (2006-2008) and Seattle (2008).  In 404 career NBA regular season games (148 starts), Elson has averaged 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds. Elson is the first Dutch national to win an NBA Championship (Spurs – 2007).

Meeks, 22, was selected by Milwaukee after his junior year at the University of Kentucky with the 41st pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft.  He played in 41 games for the Bucks this season and averaged 4.1 points and 1.8 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game.  As a junior for the Wildcats, Meeks set a school single-game scoring record with 54 points, including 10 three-point field goals and 14-of-14 from the line. He set Kentucky’s all-time single-season record for three-pointers made (117) in his junior year.

Rafer Alston happy Nets let him go

Howard Kussoy of the New York Post reports:

Rafer Alston happy Nets let him go

A member of the Heat since being signed on Jan. 7, after clearing waivers, Alston suffered with the Nets as they opened the season with an NBA-record 18 straight losses. Less than a year removed from playing in the NBA Finals for the Orlando Magic, Alston remained with the Nets as their record hit 3-30.

The indignity would soon end, as Alston escaped NBA’s Shawshank, crawling through a river of losses and coming out clean on the other side, finding serenity on the beach.

“The one common question I always get [from other players] is ‘How tough was it? or ‘It must’ve been tough.’ It was,” Alston said. “I don’t think any player in this league wants to go through setting the record for the most consecutive losses and then being where they’re at now. You played as hard as you can and you did everything to stay in the game and then you’d still lose the game. That was the hard part.”

CJ Watson scores 40

Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group reports:

The victory, only No. 15 in a lost season, was comfortably in hand. Yet just before the Warriors had completed a 130-98 rout of the Sacramento Kings, every player on the bench — including all of the injured players — was on his feet.

And when guard C.J. Watson’s left-handed layup rolled in, giving him a career-high 40 points, the players erupted in delight. It was a moment that showed why these players are happy that the team is unlikely to make a trade by today’s noon deadline.

“Things are feeling good,” rookie guard Stephen Curry said. “You can tell. Everybody’s smiling, having fun. “… Hopefully this whole unit’s going to be back next year.”

Kings to trade Kevin Martin to Rockets

Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo report:

Kings to trade Kevin Martin to Rockets

The Houston Rockets have reached an agreement in principle to acquire Kevin Martin from the Sacramento Kings, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The proposed deal has the Rockets sending Tracy McGrady, Carl Landry and Joey Dorsey to the Kings for Martin, Sergio Rodriguez, Hilton Armstrong and Kenny Thomas.

Two league sources tell Y! Sports the Kings are unsure whether they will keep McGrady or expand the trade to three teams and send him to the New York Knicks.

McGrady’s agent, Arn Tellem, had worked diligently with the Rockets to broker a trade for T-Mac to the Knicks, and sources say he’s now determined to get him out of Sacramento. Tellem also represents the Kings’ prized rookie, Tyreke Evans.

Wizards trade Antawn Jamison to Cavaliers

The Washington Wizards had a “big three” of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. Though only Jamison is considered an actual big-man in today’s NBA — and he’s undersized and more of a tweener forward than a true power forward — they were called that because those guys were the nucleus of the team. The foundation. Here to stay.

But Arenas was suspended and his future may be elsewhere. Butler was traded in a better-than-expected deal that brought Josh Howard to D.C. And now, Jamison is gone.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired forward Antawn Jamison from the Washington Wizards and guard Sebastian Telfair from the Los Angeles Clippers, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today. In exchange, the Cavaliers sent center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, their first round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft and the draft rights to forward Emir Preldzic, the 57th overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, to the Wizards. The additional components of the three-team trade included the Clippers acquiring forward/center Drew Gooden from Washington and Washington acquiring forward Al Thornton.

“Z has been a cornerstone part of this franchise and his jersey will hang in the rafters here some day, not only because of his play, but because of the tremendous person he is and what he has meant to the franchise and the community,” Ferry said. “He has represented the Cavaliers, Cleveland and the NBA at a consistently high level for many years. We wish Z and his family the best.”

Jamison, 33, has averages of 20.5 points on .450 shooting, including shooting .345 from three-point range, 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 block in 39.0 minutes per game in 41 games played (all starts) this season with Washington. He is the only player in the NBA this season with averages of at least 20.0 points and 8.0 rebounds while making 50 or more three-pointers. The 11-year veteran has been named an all-star on two occasions (2004-05, 2007-08) and won the NBA’s Sixth Man Award following the 2003-04 season. In all but two of his 11 seasons, he has averaged at least 19.6 points and has posted rebounding averages of 7.0 or better in eight of his 11 seasons. He has career averages of 19.9 points on .456 shooting, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 36.9 minutes per game in 839 games (732 starts) and is one of just five active players with over 16,000 points and 6,000 rebounds.

The forward from North Carolina has reached the postseason in five seasons and has averages of 19.2 points on .443 shooting and 7.8 rebounds in 37.1 minutes per game in 31 career postseason games (26 starts).

“Antawn is a great pro. We are very excited to have an experienced all-star player of Antawn’s caliber and character join us,” Ferry said. “He has the ability to add a special, unique dimension to our team with a strong inside presence and the ability to stretch teams defensively, while impacting the entire court. We think he matches the culture we have built, and continue to build, and will fit well with our group on the court and off.”

Telfair, 24, is averaging 4.3 points on .404 shooting and 2.9 assists in 14.9 minutes per game in 39 games played (one start) this season. The five-year veteran has career averages of 7.8 points on .390 shooting and 3.9 assists in 23.6 minutes per game in 388 games (181 starts).

Ilgauskas, a two-time all-star, has averages of 7.5 points on .452 shooting, 5.3 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 20.5 minutes per game in 53 games played (six starts) this season. He departs the Cavaliers as the franchise’s all-time leader in regular season games played (760), postseason games played (64), rebounds (5,841) and blocked shots (1,259).

Drafted by the Cavaliers with the 20th overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft, the 7-foot-3 Lithuanian played all 11 seasons with the Cavaliers and has career averages of 13.9 points on .475 shooting, 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 28.4 minutes per game in 760 games (673 starts).

Bulls trade John Salmons to Bucks for Joe Alexander, Hakim Warrick

In a trade finalized on February 18, the Chicago Bulls traded John Salmons to the Milwaukee Bucks for Joe Alexander and Hakim Warrick (pronounced Ha-keem).  In addition, Chicago traded the Bulls’ regular second round draft choices in 2011 and 2012.  Also, Milwaukee has the option in NBA Draft 2010 of switching first round picks with Chicago, so long as Chicago’s first round pick is not a top 10 selection.

“We like the combination of our player talent, cap flexibility and our ability to improve our team this summer in the free agent market,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman.  “This trade is another step in the process of building our team and getting better.”

Warrick (6-9, 219), in his fifth season out of Syracuse, signed with the Bucks as a free agent on July 31, 2009.  On the season, he has played in 48 games (six starts) and averaged 10.2 ppg and 4.4 rpg in 21.3 mpg.  The 27-year old Warrick spent his first four years in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies after being selected with the 19th overall pick in the first round of NBA Draft 2005.  He holds career averages of 10.2 ppg and 4.3 rpg in 21.6 mpg in 355 games played (88 starts).

Alexander (6-8, 230), the eighth overall pick in NBA Draft 2008, is in his second season in the NBA.  Drafted by Milwaukee via West Virginia, the 23-year old Alexander missed the first 41 games of this season due to a right hamstring strain.  On Jan. 20, he was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, where he has averaged 10.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.8 apg and 26.8 mpg in six D-League games (three starts).  He played in six contests his rookie season, and averaged 5.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 1.2 apg in 18.0 mpg.

Currently in his eighth NBA season, Salmons, 30, has averaged 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 51 games (28 starts) for the Bulls this season.  Last year in 79 games with Sacramento and Chicago, Salmons enjoyed his best statistical NBA season when he averaged 18.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steal per contest.  He shot 47.2 percent from the field, and career-highs of 41.7 percent and 83.0 percent from the three-point arc and free throw line, respectively.  In the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs, Salmons tallied 18.1 points per game, 4.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals in the seven-game series against the defending NBA Champion Boston Celtics.

Originally drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the 26th selection out of Miami (FL) in the 2002 NBA Draft, Salmons was dealt to Philadelphia where he played his first four NBA seasons.  He signed as a free agent with Sacramento prior to the 2006-07 campaign and played two-plus seasons for the Kings before being traded to Chicago last year (February 18, 2009).  In 571 career regular season games, Salmons has averaged 9.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while shooting 44.5 percent from the field, 36.5 percent from three-point distance and 79.8 percent from the free throw line.

Knicks trade Darko Milicic to Timberwolves for Brian Cardinal

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that the team has acquired forward Brian Cardinal from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for center Darko Milicic and cash considerations.

Cardinal, 6-8, 240 pounds, has career averages of 5.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 354 games over 10 NBA seasons with Detroit, Washington, Golden State, Memphis and Minnesota. Originally drafted by Detroit in the second round (44th overall) in the 2000 NBA Draft out of Purdue, Cardinal is averaging 1.7 points, 0.9 rebounds and 9.0 minutes in 27 games this season with Minnesota.

Milicic, 7-0, 275-pounds, was acquired by New York from Memphis in exchange for swingman Quentin Richardson on Jun. 25, 2009 and averaged 2.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 8.9 minutes in eight games as a Knick. Drafted by Detroit with the second overall selection in the 2003 NBA Draft, Milicic has career averages of 5.4 points and 4.0 rebounds in 345 career games over seven NBA seasons with Detroit, Orlando, Memphis and New York.
InsideHoops.com adds:

A trade of this magnitude changes not just the face of the NBA and sports in general, but of humanity and the future of our existence on this planet.

Nate Robinson trade soon

Nate Robinson may be traded to Celtics

For the last day or two, a hot NBA rumors story has been that the New York Knicks may trade Nate Robinson to the Boston Celtics. Possibly for guard Eddie House.

Early Wednesday afternoon, a source told InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner that a trade is “to be expected” — and “quite likely.” It was not word that a deal was officially done. This is not a confirmation of an agreement. But it sure sounds close to happening.

This comes about 45 minutes after Robinson, posting on Twitter, quoted some lyrics to the Eminem song “When I’m gone.” The actual lyrics are: ‘When I’m gone, just carry on, don’t mourn, rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice.’

Both Robinson and House are scorers, though Robinson is the wilder, younger and more explosive of the two.

UPDATE: Knicks trade Nate Robinson to Celtics.

Tom Wilson is resigning his position as president and chief executive officer of Palace Sports & Entertainment, Inc. and the Detroit Pistons Basketball Company. Immediately assuming Mr. Wilson’s executive roles is Alan Ostfield, currently chief operating officer of the Palace and Pistons.

“I have had the honor to be a part of the Pistons family for the last 32 years, 31 of them working along side Bill Davidson,” said Mr. Wilson. “He was a dear friend and partner. I believe that, with Mr. Davidson’s unfortunate passing, however, the time is now right for me and my family to explore many exciting opportunities that have come my way recently. With Alan, I leave the Pistons and Palace in very good hands.”

“Mr. Davidson and I built an organization of talented people and planned for an orderly leadership transition. Alan Ostfield, has been involved in every aspect of our business and helped to make every important decision we’ve made over the last 10 years.  Alan has outstanding experience in all areas of sports franchise management and operations, including strategic planning.  Now, Alan is ready to help guide the Pistons’ and Palace’s future.”

During his 32 year tenure, Wilson was lauded as a visionary in the sports and entertainment industry. Under his and Mr. Davidson’s leadership, The Palace earned Arena of the Year honors nine times, DTE Energy Music Theatre was the nation’s top-attended outdoor venue 19 consecutive years and the Pistons is heralded as one of the best marketed and most highly valued teams in the NBA. The extraordinary staff that Wilson and Davidson built remains intact.

Alan Ostfield joined the Pistons and Palace in 2000 as senior vice president for legal affairs and assumed his current title as chief operating officer of Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons and as assistant general manager of the Detroit Pistons in 2002. Previously, he was senior vice president and general counsel for the San Diego Padres major league baseball club. A resident of Beverly Hills, Michigan, Mr. Ostfield earned his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA and JD degrees from Boston University.

“I have the deepest respect for Tom Wilson and the culture of excellence he and Mr. Davidson developed here,” said Mr. Ostfield. “Working with Tom has been an extraordinary professional and personal experience, and I am confident the management team we have in place can build on his achievements and momentum. I appreciate Mr. Davidson’s confidence in me as well as ownership’s trust and support as I assume these new responsibilities.”

“Alan Ostfield and Tom have functioned as an outstanding senior management team in anticipation of a seamless transition,” said Jonathan Aaron, co-personal representative of Mr. Davidson’s estate. “Tom has left his indelible mark on our organization and we want to thank him for his years of exemplary leadership.”

“I would like to wish all the best to Tom Wilson,” said Karen Davidson, wife of the late Bill Davidson. “He was close to Bill personally and professionally and was instrumental to this organization’s growth, reputation and success.”

“Our organization is like an extended family, and Tom has been a valued member of that family for years,” said Ethan Davidson, Bill Davidson’s son.  “While change always brings challenges, we are very confident in the future success of the Palace and Pistons.”

George Karl has cancer

George Karl has cancer

Denver Nuggets Head Coach George Karl announced today that he has been diagnosed with squamous cell head/neck cancer.

While receiving treatment, Karl expects to miss periodic practices and games. He is optimistic he will make a full recovery.

“The support I’ve received from my family, the Nuggets organization and my friends in the basketball community already has been incredible,” Karl said.

Karl, 58, is a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2005.

“George has been in contact with the organization in recent weeks regarding his health condition,” Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke said. “We will continue to support our head coach in any way we can. Our thoughts are with him and his family as he focuses on getting healthy.”

Out of respect for Karl and his family, the Nuggets will have no further comment.

Nets beat Bobcats for 5th win of season

Tuesday night in Charlotte, the New Jersey Nets stepped up on the league’s first night of games since the weekend’s NBA All-Star events and beat the Bobcats 103-94.

Nets beat Bobcats for 5th win of season

The Nets were led by Courtney Lee (7-of-11) with 21 points and five rebounds. Devin Harris (7-of-16) had 17 points, six rebounds and nine assists. And Brook Lopez (8-of-11) contributed 16 points and three blocks, though he grabbed just three boards.

New Jersey received solid big-man help off the bench, with Kris Humphries (6-of-11) adding 13 points and eight rebounds. Josh Boone made the most of his 16 minutes with seven points and eight rebounds.

For the Bobcats, who as a team shot just 42.0% from the field and 5-of-19 (26.3% from three-point range), 2010 All-Star Gerald Wallace (7-of-14) had 21 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.  Boris Diaw (6-of-18) scored 19 with 10 rebounds. Raymond Felton (7-of-9) scored 18. Stephen Jackson (just 7-of-20) had 15 with five assists.

Trying to make his way back from injury, Bobcats center Tyson Chandler came off the bench to contribute two points, five rebounds and two blocks (though also four turnovers) in 18 minutes.

David Aldridge of NBA.com reports:

George Karl to keep coaching while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer

Denver Nuggets coach George Karl is expected to miss several games during the rest of the regular season while he undergoes chemotherapy treatments to deal with a recurrence of cancer, the 58-year-old told NBA.com Tuesday afternoon.

Karl will not take a formal leave of absence during his treatments, which have already begun, but will obviously not be able to be on the bench all the time during the treatment schedule.

Karl is a prostate cancer survivor, having undergone successful surgery in 2005 after his initial diagnosis. But the cancer that has been discovered this time is not in the same area, according to sources. Karl knew the diagnosis last week, before coaching the Western Conference All-Star team in Dallas.

Karl is hoping to just miss nine games while he undergoes the chemotherapy treatments. He will coach the Nuggets for the next three weeks while the treatments continue, but will then take selected games off in March and April. The Nuggets return from the All-Star break on Thursday with a game at Cleveland, and play at Washington Friday before returning home for a Sunday afternoon game against Boston.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo reports:

Marcus Camby warms up to becoming a Trail Blazer

Still stunned to be traded from the Los Angeles Clippers, Marcus Camby said he’s quickly warming to the thought of being in the playoff hunt with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Clippers traded Camby to the Blazers for forward Travis Outlaw, guard Steve Blake and cash in a deal that was completed Tuesday morning. Camby, however, learned of the potential trade – which was first reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski – Monday evening while he was at a sponsors dinner with the Clippers at Ringside steakhouse in Portland.

Camby immediately left the restaurant after receiving the call from his agent, and those close to him said he was upset about the news, primarily because his family had settled comfortably in Los Angeles. Camby, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, had hoped to re-sign with the Clippers.

Clippers will trade Marcus Camby to Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired forward/center Marcus Camby from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for guard Steve Blake, forward Travis Outlaw and cash considerations, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.

In a related roster move, the Clippers also waived combo guard Ricky Davis.

“We are very excited to bring an experienced big man of Marcus’ caliber to the team and we feel he’ll help us a great deal down the stretch run,” said Pritchard. “He’s a fierce competitor and has been one of the league’s best defensive players for quite some time.

“On behalf of the organization, I’d also like to express my deep gratitude to Steve and Travis for their years of contributions both on and off the court. They’ve both played large parts in the reshaping of this franchise, and we wish them the best of luck in their careers.”

Camby (6-11, 235) is averaging 7.7 points, 12.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.94 blocked shots and 31.3 minutes in 51 games (all starts) for the Clippers this season. His rebound and blocked shot averages rank second and sixth in the NBA, respectively.

A 14-year NBA veteran, Camby, 35, holds career averages of 10.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.59 blocks with Toronto, New York, Denver and the L.A. Clippers. The 2006-07 NBA Defensive Player of the Year is one of only 11 players in NBA history to record at least 7,000 rebounds and 2,000 blocked shots.

Camby is a two-time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive Team (2006-08) and was twice named to the league’s All-Defensive Second Team (2004-06).

Blake, 29, is in his seventh NBA season and is averaging 7.6 points, 4.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 51 games in 2009-10. In his career, the former University of Maryland star has appeared in 470 NBA games, making 289 starts with career averages of 7.6 points, 4.2 assists and 2.6 rebounds. Originally drafted in the second round (38th overall pick) of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards, Blake is a career 39 percent three-point shooter and has played for a total of five teams, spending time with the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets as well as the Wizards and Trailblazers.

Outlaw, 25, was drafted by Portland with the 23rd overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft and has been limited to 11 games this season after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his left foot on Nov. 18, 2009. Currently fourth on the Blazers in scoring in 2009-10 averaging 9.9 points per game, the six-foot-nine forward has appeared in 377 career NBA games, starting 26 with career averages of 9.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.7 assists.

Davis, 30, in his 12th NBA season is averaging 4.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 36 games in 2009-10.

With 2009-10 averages of 2.4 points on 38.5% shooting in 8.3 minutes per game, Los Angeles Lakers small forward Luke Walton isn’t doing much this season. And now it appears he’ll be doing even less.

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports (via blog):

Little expected from Luke Walton this season

The Lakers knew when they rested Luke Walton earlier this season that his back problems were complex enough that they might return — and they have, to the point that Walton realistically is not going to give the Lakers much contribution the rest of this season.

Phil Jackson suggested it remains possible that Walton’s pinched nerve could improve to the point that he could “help us in the playoffs,” but the Lakers don’t have much reason to believe improvement is coming.

This makes Adam Morrison a bit more important to the Lakers.

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