Archive for June 23rd, 2010

Thunder, Heat trade Daequan Cook, draft picks

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced today that the team has acquired the 18th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft and guard Daequan Cook from the Miami Heat in exchange for the 32nd pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

According to the Associated Press, “the deal announced by the Heat on Wednesday clears about $3.4 million in salary cap space as Miami gets ready for next week’s start of free agency.”

“We are pleased to add Daequan Cook to the Thunder roster,” said Sam Presti, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager. “He will add depth and shooting to our backcourt.”

The Thunder now holds the 18th, 21st, 26th and 51st picks in tomorrow’s NBA Draft.

The 23-year old Cook is a three-year NBA veteran and holds career averages of 8.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. He has appeared in 179 NBA games (26 starts) all with the Heat. Cook won the 2009 Foot Locker Three-Point shootout during the NBA All-Star weekend in Phoenix. The 6-5 guard has shot 35.8% from behind the arc for his career.

The Ohio State product was originally drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 21st overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and was traded to Miami along with a second round pick and cash considerations.

Chris Paul open to a trade

Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine reports:

Chris Paul open to a trade

With trade speculation swirling around him, Chris Paul said Wednesday that he’s open to a trade if the New Orleans Hornets aren’t committed to winning championships.

“My first choice is to be in New Orleans,” Paul said in a telephone interview from London. “I just want to make sure we’re committed to winning. If we’re not committed to winning and trying to get better so we can contend with the Lakers, the Celtics and all these other top teams, then I’m open to being traded.”

Reports that clubs have been making offers for Paul surfaced earlier this week. Hornets general manager Jeff Bower denied that the club was shopping its three-time All-Star point guard, but admitted to having dialogue with other teams concerning “all of our players.” New Hornets coach Monty Williams said he expects Paul to remain in New Orleans.

But around the league, speculation remains that the Hornets may move Paul.

Mo Williams hopes Cavs keep him

Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:

Mo Williams says that Cleveland has become his home and he does not want to leave.

With trade rumors swirling around him over the last several weeks, the Cavaliers guard got proactive today via his Twitter feed by requesting not to be traded to his more than 54,000 followers.

“I’m not ready to go,” Williams wrote. “I’m begging. My work ain’t done yet. I’m on both knees.”

Multiple league executives have said that the Cavs have had some trade talks with Williams but they are not looking to trade him, just to get a feel for his market if they decide to make a move.

Bulls hire Tom Thibodeau as head coach

The Chicago Bulls announced today the hiring of Tom Thibodeau as the 18th head coach in franchise history.  In accordance with team policy, terms of the contract were not announced.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Tom Thibodeau as our new head coach.  As I went through the process to search for the next head coach of the Chicago Bulls, the longer the process went it became apparent that Tom was a perfect fit for the Bulls,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman.  “He is a great communicator and teacher of the game, and he fits our organizational philosophy from a defensive standpoint.  With his experience and knowledge of the NBA, I am confident he will be a great leader for our team.”

Thibodeau, 52, most recently served as Associate Head Coach for the Boston Celtics for the last three seasons.  As the lead assistant on Doc Rivers’ coaching staff, Thibodeau was responsible for the team’s defensive principles and strategies.  During his time in Boston, Thibodeau and the Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals in 2008 and 2010, and claimed the Celtics 17th NBA Championship in 2008.

“I am very excited to be here and to join the Bulls organization.  Chicago is a great city with great fans and a storied history,” said Thibodeau.  “I would like to thank Jerry Reinsdorf and Gar Forman for presenting me with such a terrific opportunity.  We have a talented team with a good nucleus of players, and I am eager to get started.”

While in the NBA, Thibodeau has also manned the sidelines for the Minnesota Timberwolves (1989-91), the Seattle SuperSonics (1991-92, served as an Advance Scout), the San Antonio Spurs (1992-94), the Philadelphia 76ers (1994-96), the New York Knicks (1996-2003) and the Houston Rockets (2003-07).  Over that span, he has worked under Bill Musselman, John Lucas, Jeff Van Gundy, Don Chaney and Doc Rivers.

An NBA veteran of 21 years, his teams have compiled an overall record of 896-794 (.530), and have made the playoffs 14 times, including three trips to the NBA Finals (1999, 2008 and 2010).  His teams have also amassed a postseason record of 88-79 (.527).  In 21 seasons, he has helped his teams rank in the NBA’s Top 10 in team defense 16 times.  While with New York in 2000-01, the Knicks set a then-NBA record when they held 33 consecutive opponents under 100 points.

Over the last seven seasons, he helped the Rockets and Celtics rank among the top five in scoring defense seven times and in defensive field goal percentage six times.  Over that same span, his teams finished in the top two in opponent field goal percentage six times.  During the Celtics’ championship campaign in 2007-08, Boston allowed 90.3 ppg (99.2 ppg previous season, 18th in NBA), which ranked second in the NBA.  The Celtics also limited their opponents to a league-low .419 shooting from the field (.468 previous season, 24th in NBA).

Thibodeau began his coaching career in 1981 as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Salem State College.  After three seasons with the Vikings, he was promoted to head coach.  In 1985, he joined Harvard University’s basketball staff as an assistant coach.  He spent four seasons with the Crimson before embarking on his NBA career in 1989.

The New Britain, Conn. native graduated from Salem State with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in counseling.  A four-year letter winner in basketball, he was inducted into the New Britain Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.

Grizzlies lose top FedExForum executive

Marlon W. Morgan of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports:

Memphis Grizzlies president of business operations Greg Campbell says he regrets the loss of senior vice president of arena operations Steve Zito, who has resigned effective July 9 to become president of sports and entertainment for Andy Frain Services.

But it’s the imprints that Zito leaves behind that have Campbell confident the Grizzlies will move forward. Zito had been with the Grizzlies for five years, Andy Frain provides security at various sports venues across the country.

“You always hate to lose a great, great player on any team,” Campbell said Tuesday. “But it sounds like he’s got a great opportunity to use his wisdom wisely at a number of places around the country. It’s going to be sad, but you’ve got to be happy for him, too.”

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