Archive for March 23rd, 2010

Cavaliers sign Zydrunas Ilgauskas

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed free agent center Zydrunas Ilgauskas to a contract, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Per team and league policy, terms of the contract were not released.

Ilgauskas 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 (six starts) this season with Cleveland. He was traded to Washington, where he did not appear in any games, as part of the three-team trade on Feb. 17th in which the Cavaliers acquired forward Antawn Jamison and guard Sebastian Telfair.

“The entire Cleveland Cavaliers organization from our hard-working part-time game day people to our front office, to the coaching staff, players, ownership and everyone else are thrilled that Zydrunas is coming back home to help us with our upcoming playoffs mission and hopefully, beyond. Things didn’t seem quite right around here without the big guy.   If there ever was a benchmark to measure what the franchise aspires all of its team members to be, whether they play on the court or off the court, that benchmark would be Zydrunas Ilgauskas. That’s why  having “Z” back means so much to the Cavs, the city of Cleveland and the entire state of Ohio,” said Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert.

The two-time all-star is the Cavaliers’ all-time leader in games played (760), rebounds (5,841), blocks (1,259) and minutes played (21,572) while ranking second in points scored (10,540). The native of Lithuania is also the all-time leader in postseason games played (64) and total rebounds (512) while currently placed second in minutes played (1,950) and blocked shots (75). He ranks fifth among all active NBA players in games played with one franchise behind only Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers), Tim Duncan (San Antonio), Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas) and Paul Pierce (Boston).

“Having the opportunity to bring Zydrunas back to the Cavaliers is very special for the franchise and our fans. We’re happy and we feel fortunate that Z wants to be here. We’re also very happy for his wife Jennifer and his children too, and we’re excited to see him back on the court with his teammates tomorrow,” said Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry.

Ilgauskas, 34, was drafted by the Cavaliers with the 20th overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft. He missed the entire 1996-97 and 1999-2000 seasons and large portions of the 1998-99 (77 games) and 2000-01 (58 games) seasons due to foot injuries. Since the 2002-03 season, he has played in 587 of a possible 628 regular-season games with Cleveland. He was named an all-star during the 2002-03 and 2004-05 seasons. He has career averages of 13.9 points on .475 shooting, 7.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.7 blocks in 28.4 minutes per game in 760 games (673 starts).

The Cavaliers have also waived forward Darnell Jackson. “Darnell was a good, hard-working teammate for us. We thank him and wish him the best going forward,” stated Ferry.  The second-year forward averaged 0.8 points on .320 shooting and 0.7 rebounds in 4.3 minutes per game in 27 games this season. The Cavaliers roster now stands at 15 players.

Spurs sign Garrett Temple

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed guard Garrett Temple.  Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

San Antonio is Temple’s third NBA team this season.  He also saw time with the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings.  In two games with the Spurs, Temple has averaged 5.5 points in 17.0 minutes.  On the season he has appeared in 16 games and is averaging 4.2 points and 1.1 rebounds in 10.9 minutes.  He was originally signed to a 10-day contract by San Antonio on 3/13.

The 6-6, 190-pound Temple was signed as an undrafted free agent by Houston on 9/22.  He averaged 2.5 points in four preseason games with the Rockets before being waived on 10/21.  Temple was allocated to Rio Grande Valley on 11/4 and averaged 14.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 30 games with the Vipers.  He signed his first of two 10-day contracts with Houston on 2/8.  In nine games with the Rockets he averaged 5.0 points and 1.6 rebounds in 13.1 minutes.  On 3/3 Temple signed a 10-day contract with Sacramento.  He averaged 2.2 points in 4.6 minutes with the Kings.

Temple averaged 6.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists over his four seasons at LSU.  He left school as the Tigers all-time leader in games played (134), starts (131) and minutes played (4,432).  Temple also ranked fourth in career assists (482), seventh in steals (191) and fourth in blocks (113) in school history.

The Spurs roster stands at 13.

Timberwolves sign Brian Cardinal

Timberwolves sign Brian Cardinal

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed free-agent forward Brian Cardinal. The Timberwolves initially acquired Cardinal in a draft-day deal with Memphis on June 26, 2008. Cardinal was traded to New York in exchange for Darko Milicic on Feb. 17, 2010, and subsequently waived by the Knicks.

Cardinal, a 6-8 forward, had appeared in 27 games for the Wolves this season prior to last month’s trade, averaging 1.7 points in 9.0 minutes per game. The 10-year veteran has appeared in 354 games over his career, including 91 with Minnesota over the last two seasons, and owns career averages of 5.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports:

Those who labeled Suns rookie Earl Clark’s three-game assignment to D-League affiliate Iowa as a demotion last week have raised the ire of Suns General Manager Steve Kerr.

“It’s stupid,” Kerr said. “I don’t know why people look at it that way. I’m hopeful that someday, after it’s collectively bargained, you’d be able to send a guy down on an injury stint, like Major League Baseball.”

Players are limited to three D-League trips per season in their first two years. Kerr attended the final two of Clark’s three games with Iowa, for which he averaged 21 points and nine rebounds.

Clark shot decent from mid-range but did not take a 3-pointer. He has tried five 3s, making two, in Suns games. Clark puts in extra shooting after games and before practices but still has work to do with his mechanics.

Chris Paul returns for Hornets

The AP reports:

Chris Paul returns for Hornets

The New Orleans Hornets enjoyed one of their best nights of the NBA season, routing Dallas 115-99 and welcoming back injured star Chris Paul after a 25-game absence.

Marcus Thornton scored 28 points while David West added 25 points and 10 assists for the Hornets, whose 23-0 run late in the second quarter and early in the third proved decisive against the Southwest division leaders.

Paul started and scored 11 points and added three assists in 21 minutes, but his time was limited by Hornets coach Jeff Bower in his first game back after a left knee injury.

“I was just happy to get out there on the court,” Paul said. “I wasn’t worrying about scoring or anything like that. I just wanted to try to get the feel back and get the win.”

New Jersey Nets CEO Brett Yormark has a good reputation. But every once in a while, even the best executives are prone to get emotional, especially during an especially dismal season like this one. Here’s what went down in New Jersey Monday, as the team lost to the Miami Heat.

Julian Garcia of the New York Daily News reports:

With the Nets trailing 79-67 between the third and fourth quarters, Yormark left his courtside seat and passed Chris Lisi of Middletown, N.J., who was sitting in the second row and wearing a paper bag over his head. Yormark then walked back toward Lisi, and in full view of reporters and photographers got into a shouting match with Lisi and a pal.

As Yormark jabbed his finger toward Lisi as he shouted something, Lisi pulled out a pair of tickets and waved them back at the CEO, who then stomped away as security personnel approached.

A Yormark spokesperson said the executive had no comment regarding the incident, but Lisi claimed that Yormark had incited it by asking him why he had the bag over his head. When Lisi sarcastically answered, “Because the Nets are so good,” Yormark snapped at him. Neither Lisi nor his companion, who joined in the shouting match, is a season-ticket holder, and they seemed to be unaware of whom they were arguing with.

It’s probably best to chalk this one up to every human being needing to let some steam off once in a while.

Tuesday night in Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks will play host to the Denver Nuggets. And at the small forward spot, it’s about to be ON!

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reports:

Danilo Gallinari asks to guard Carmelo Anthony

How else to describe the decision to have Danilo Gallinari guard Denver’s Carmelo Anthony Tuesday at the Garden? Anthony already has hung 50 points on the Knicks this season - more than LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant or any other NBA player.

Here’s the kicker: Not exactly known as a defender, Gallinari asked for the assignment.

“I like to play against the best because that’s the only way to improve,” he said Monday after practice in Greenburgh. “It’s a part of learning. It’s a part of trying to understand where I am and what I have to do get to that level and what they have more than me. I like the challenge.”

Andre Iguodala playing hurt

Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News reports:

Andre Iguodala playing hurt

Mired in one of the worst shooting slumps in his 6-year career, 76ers forward Andre Iguodala revealed yesterday that he is suffering from plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

Iguodala is just 28-for-85 (32.9 percent) in his past six games after posting 30 points in a home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has also missed 27 of his last 29 shots from beyond the arc.

“It has been hurting for the past couple of weeks,” said Iguodala, who scored 23 points on 8-for-14 shooting in 37 minutes in last night’s 109-93 loss to the Magic. “It’s not something particular that happened, I just noticed it. It’s bothering, but something I can play through.”

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