Archive for June 25th, 2010

Andray Blatche out 3 months

Andray Blatche out 3 months

Wizards forward Andray Blatche underwent successful surgery this evening to repair a fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.  The procedure was performed by Dr. Ed Magur at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Blatche is expected to take approximately three months to return to basketball-related activities.

In the 2009-10 NBA season, Blatche for the Wizards averaged 14.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

The AP reports:

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge says top draft pick Avery Bradley will have a “scope” on his left ankle and be sidelined 6-to-8 weeks.

Bradley was selected in the first round, 19th overall, in the NBA draft on Thursday night and was introduced by the Celtics on Friday, along with second-round pick Luke Harangody. quick-take:

Well, at least it’s happening now, and not later on when it would cause Bradley to miss actual NBA games.

Bobcats make qualifying offer to Tyrus Thomas

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has made a qualifying offer to forward Tyrus Thomas, making him a restricted free agent. The qualifying offer allows the Bobcats to match any offer he receives from another team.

The Bobcats acquired Thomas from Chicago on February 18, 2010, in exchange for Acie Law, Ronald “Flip” Murray and a future first-round draft pick.  In 25 games with the Bobcats, Thomas averaged 10.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks, while scoring in double figures 14 times.  The fourth overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Thomas has appeared in 279 career NBA games with averages of 8.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

Thomas on Monday received the Jefferson Award as the Outstanding Athlete as a Newcomer in Service and Philanthropy for the work of his non-profit organization, Tyrus Thomas Inc., which focuses on youth outreach, community development and organizational support in cities including his hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Charlotte Bobcats, who became the NBA’s 30th team when they joined the league in 2004-05, finished the 2009-10 season with a franchise-best 44-38 overall record (31-10 at home) and first-ever playoff appearance.

Judge finalizes divorce of Dwyane Wade

The AP reports:

An Illinois judge has finalized the contentious divorce of Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, though the messy fight isn’t over.

Cook County Judge Marya Nega announced her widely expected decision during a brief hearing Friday.

Wade says he’s relieved the proceedings from his wife, Siohvaughn, are over.

Nets trade Chris Douglas-Roberts to Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired guard Chris Douglas-Roberts (6-7, 210) from the New Jersey Nets for a future second round draft pick, General Manager John Hammond announced today. The Nets receive the 2012 second round draft pick that the Bucks acquired from Chicago in the John Salmons trade on February 18, 2010.

After two years in the NBA, Douglas-Roberts has career averages of 7.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 44.9 percent from the field. During the 2009-10 season, Douglas-Roberts played 67 games, starting 38, with averages of 9.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 25.8 minutes per game. He shot 44.5 percent from the field and 84.7 percent from the free throw line last season. His 84.7 percent mark from the free throw line ranked 21st in the league last year.

Douglas-Roberts finished his second season in the league with the fourth highest scoring increase amongst sophomore players. He averaged 4.9 points per game as a rookie and improved to 9.8 points in his second season. Only George Hill (+6.7 points per game increase), Brook Lopez (+5.8) and Robin Lopez (+5.3) had higher scoring increases among second year players.

A native of Detroit, MI, Douglas-Roberts, 23, was drafted by the Nets in the second round (40th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft. He played three seasons at the University of Memphis where he was a consensus First Team All-American and helped lead the Tigers to the national championship game his junior year. quick-take: News of this upcoming trade leaked days ago, so it’s not a surprise. I wonder how CDR feels being given away for a mere future second rounder. He’s probably going to take it personally. He does that, sometimes.

Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press reports:

Karen Davidson expects the Pistons to be sold by the start of the season.

Davidson made the announcement tonight while Joe Dumars, the Pistons president of basketball operations, was discussing the team’s new draft pick, Greg Monroe.

“You’re going to have a new owner pretty soon,” Davidson said. “Definitely. I’m absolutely encouraged by the interest. This is a major franchise.”

Davidson said the new owners would be in place by next season.

“Yes,” she said. “When’s the first game, late October, right? I would expect so (to be sold by then). It depends how many lawyers get in on it, you know?”

Jerry Tipton of McClatchy Newspapers reports:

Kentucky made NBA Draft history Thursday night when the Orlando Magic picked Daniel Orton with the 29th selection of the first round. That enabled UK to become the first college team to boast five first-round picks in an NBA Draft.

But long before Orton got selected with the next-to-last pick of the first round, another agonizing wait had unfolded.

After John Wall made individual history by becoming the first UK player chosen with an NBA Draft’s first overall pick, and after DeMarcus Cousins went to Sacramento with the fifth pick, Patrick Patterson learned what Tom Petty meant when the rocker sang about the waiting being the hardest part…

No college ever did as well as UK did in this NBA Draft. With Eric Bledsoe going to Oklahoma City with the 18th pick (his rights were reportedly traded to the Los Angeles Clippers), the Cats eclipsed the previous record of four first-rounders shared by North Carolina in 2005, Duke in 1999 and Connecticut in 2006.

The Atlanta Hawks tonight acquired the draft rights to Jordan Crawford (the 27th pick) and Tibor Pleiss (the 31st pick) from the New Jersey Nets, in exchange for the rights to Damion James, who the Hawks selected at the 24th spot in the 2010 NBA Draft. Atlanta subsequently sent the rights to Pleiss to Oklahoma City in exchange for financial considerations.

At the 53rd spot in the second round, the Hawks drafted 6-7 Pape Sy from the Le Havre club in France’s Pro A League.

“We wanted to select the best player available, and we feel like we accomplished that with Jordan Crawford,” said Hawks Executive Vice President/General Manager Rick Sund. “We’re thrilled to acquire a player of Jordan’s caliber. He’s a player we scouted throughout the year, and targeted in the pre-draft process.”

“Jordan is a prolific scorer with deep range, who rose to the occasion for his team in the postseason,” said Hawks Assistant GM/Director of Player Personnel Dave Pendergraft. “He’s a gym rat who loves to play the game, and will give us another player who can play multiple positions and put the ball in the basket.”

Crawford (a 6-4 guard) led Xavier and the Atlantic 10 in scoring last season (20.5 ppg), appearing in 35 games (.462 FG%, .773 FT%). He averaged 29.0 ppg in three contests in the NCAA Tournament, earning a spot on the NCAA Tournament All-West Region Team. He played in 30 games as a freshman at Indiana University (in 2007-08), finishing seventh among Big Ten freshmen in scoring at 9.7 ppg, hitting double-figures 15 times.

The Detroit native played at Communication and Media Arts High School in his hometown, before attending Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, VA for a year. His brother, Joe, played at University of Kentucky from 2004-08.

Crawford will be available to the Atlanta media when the Hawks commence their rookie camp, which is scheduled to begin on July 9 on the Philips Arena practice court.

“I was impressed with Pape’s workout,” said Hawks coach Larry Drew. “He had a strong desire to come in here and showcase his talent. He’s got a great shot, and the ability to play two positions. We were really hoping he’d be there for us.”

The Los Angeles Clippers acquired the draft rights to University of Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for a future protected first round draft pick. Originally selected by the Thunder with the 18th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Bledsoe joins number eight pick Al-Farouq Aminu as the Clippers second player chosen in the first round of this year’s draft.

Bledsoe, 20, appeared in 37 games for Kentucky in 2009-10, averaging 11.3 points, 2.9 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game in his first college season. A Birmingham, Alabama native, Bledsoe averaged 15.3 points per game and shot 58 percent during the Wildcats NCAA Tournament run and hit on 38 percent from three-point range during the season.

The 6-foot-1 inch, 190 pound guard was named to the Sporting News SEC All-Freshman Team and was named a Freshman All-American. Bledsoe comes to the Clippers in the club’s 14th draft day trade since 1982 and brings toughness and athleticism to the Clippers in addition to a deft long-range shooting touch.

Wolves, Wizards trade rookies

The Minnesota Timberwolves tonight acquired the draft rights to Marquette forward Lazar Hayward, the 30th overall pick, and Serbian forward Nemanja Bjelica, the 35th overall pick, from the Washington Wizards in exchange for the draft rights to Clemson forward Trevor Booker, the 23rd overall pick, and Hamady N’diaye, the 56th overall pick. Additionally, Minnesota selected center Paulao Prestes from Brazil with the 45th overall pick.

Hayward, a 6-6 forward, started 118 of his 138 games at Marquette, averaging 13.5 points and 6.6 rebounds while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from behind the arc. The second all-time leading scorer in Marquette history with 1,859 career points, Hayward played in a school-record 138 games and earned Second Team All-Big East and Honorable Mention AP All-American honors as a senior. He was recently named Most Outstanding Player at the 2010 NABC All-Star Game.

Bjelica, a 6-10 forward from Serbia, averaged 9.9 points per game in 20 appearances last season for KK Crvena Zvezda in the Adriatic League, and improved to 20.2 points per game in six appearances in the Serbia A League. He was also the leading rebounder on the silver medal-winning Serbian National Team in Eurobasket 2009 last fall.

Prestes, a 6-11 center, currently plays for CB Murcia in the Spanish ACB League. The native of Brazil averaged 9.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in the Spanish ACB league this season while shooting 57.4 percent from the field. On a per minute basis, Prestes is the top rebounder in his league.

Earlier tonight, the Wolves selected Syracuse forward Wesley Johnson with the 4th overall pick in the draft. Minnesota also acquired Portland Trail Blazers guard/forward Martell Webster in exchange for forward Ryan Gomes and the draft rights to Luke Babbitt.

Suns sign three assistant coaches

The Phoenix Suns have signed assistant coaches Dan Majerle, Bill Cartwright and Igor Kokoskov to contracts through the 2011-12 season, the club announced today.

“I could not be happier to keep Dan, Bill and Igor on our staff,” said Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry. “Finalizing their return was just a matter of time.  Our success this season was a product of how well our team worked together and how badly our guys wanted to win, and that included our entire coaching staff.”

Majerle, Cartwright and Kokoskov originally joined the Suns’ coaching staff on June 20, 2008, and have served on the club’s bench each of the last two seasons.  The trio has served on the staff of head coach Alvin Gentry for his entire 113-game tenure.

The 44-year-old Majerle was a three-time NBA All-Star (1992, 1993, 1995), all with the Suns, during his 14-year career with Phoenix, Cleveland and Miami.  Nicknamed “Thunder,” Majerle became a permanent fan favorite while playing eight seasons with the Suns (1988-95, 2001-02) and was given the club’s highest honor, induction into the Ring of Honor, on March 9, 2003.  Majerle retired as the Suns’ all-time leader in three-point field goals made, a record now held by Steve Nash, and ranks 18th in that category in NBA history overall (1360).

Majerle served as the head coach of the Suns’ Las Vegas Summer League squads in 2008 and 2009, and will do so again in 2010. Before joining the Phoenix coaching staff, Majerle spent the previous four seasons as a television analyst for Suns’ broadcasts and also worked in that capacity for TNT, ESPN and ABC.

A five-time NBA champion as a player and coach, Cartwright owns a wealth of coaching experience established over 12 seasons as an NBA assistant coach and parts of three seasons as head coach of the Chicago Bulls (151 games).  Cartwright served six seasons in the Bulls organization under Phil Jackson (1996-98) and Tim Floyd (1998-2001) and was on the staff of Chicago’s 1997 and 1998 championship squads.  Cartwright then spent four seasons on the bench of the New Jersey’s Nets before joining the Suns in the summer of 2008.

The third overall pick of the 1979 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks, Cartwright spent his first eight seasons in the Big Apple before a 1988 trade sent him to Chicago and help propel the Bulls to their first three championships.  He was a 1980 NBA All-Star and a 1979 selection to the NBA All-Rookie Team.

Kokoskov (ko-KOSH-kov) just completed his 10th season as an assistant coach in the NBA after entering the league in 2000 as a member of Gentry’s staff with the Los Angeles Clippers.  The 38-year-old was the first full-time, non-American assistant coach in NBA history, and just one week ago on June 18 Kokoskov became an American citizen in a ceremony at US Airways Center.

The native of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, has served as the head coach of the Serbia and Montenegro national team, and most recently served in the same capacity for the Republic of Georgia. Kokoskov was an assistant coach for the Suns’ Las Vegas Summer League entries in both 2008 and 2009.

Suns exercise Alvin Gentry option

The Phoenix Suns have exercised the third-year option on head coach Alvin Gentry’s contract for the 2011-12 season, the club announced today.

“Alvin has done a phenomenal job as our head coach,” said Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver. “His leadership and ability to connect with and lead our players was exceptional.”

Originally elevated as the 14th head coach in franchise history on an interim basis on Feb. 16, 2009, Gentry was named the club’s head coach on May 9, 2009.  In just 113 games under his leadership, Gentry’s Suns have compiled a 72-41 (.637) record, giving him the third-highest winning percentage among coaches in franchise history (Paul Westphal, Mike D’Antoni).

The 30-year coaching veteran in both the professional and collegiate ranks took the reins of the Suns in 2009 with the stated goals of establishing a homecourt advantage, returning the club to its trademark offensive explosiveness, and developing a young, productive bench.

In just a season-plus under his leadership, the Suns own a 46-12 (.793) home mark, seventh-best of any NBA team in that span, and perhaps most impressively are 31-6 (.838) at home against the ultra-competitive Western Conference.  Phoenix has led the NBA in scoring in each of the last two seasons and averaged 112.3 points during his tenure, even more than the trendsetting Suns posted from 2004-05 to 2007-08 (109.8).  In 2009-10, the Suns bench ranked 10th in the NBA, averaging 33.2 points.  Gentry and the bench gained national attention during the playoffs when the group increased its scoring average to 34.1 points, best in the NBA, as Gentry played 10 or more Suns in 16-straight postseason games for the first time since 1993.

In his first full season on the bench in 2009-10, Gentry was a two-time NBA Western Conference Coach of the Month for November 2009 and March 2010.  In leading the Suns to 54 wins, his career-high as a coach, and the conference’s third-best record, Gentry finished fifth in NBA Coach of the Year voting.

Gentry became just the fifth head coach in franchise history to lead his team to a Western Conference Finals berth in his first full season.  Gentry coached the Suns to 10 postseason victories in 2010, tied for the second-most in a single postseason in franchise history.

In 21 seasons in the NBA, Gentry has enjoyed three other head coaching stints with the Los Angeles Clippers (2000-03), Detroit Pistons (1997-2000) and Miami Heat (1995).  He has worked alongside some of the game’s most respected coaches, including Larry Brown, Kevin Loughery, Doug Collins and Mike D’Antoni.  Gentry joined the Suns organization as an assistant coach on June 1, 2004.

A point guard at Appalachian State under Press Maravich and Bobby Cremins, Gentry earned a degree in management in 1997 and began his coaching career as a graduate assistsant at the University of Colorado the following season.

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