Cavaliers sign Joey Graham

Cavaliers sign Joey Graham

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard/forward Joey Graham to a contract, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today.  Per league and team policy, terms of the contract were not announced.

Graham, 28, played in 63 games (18 starts) during the 2009-10 season with the Denver Nuggets, averaging 4.2 points on a career-high .520 shooting and 2.0 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game.  In his 18 starts, he averaged 7.4 points on .473 shooting and 3.3 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game.

“We’re excited to add Joey to our roster. He adds a tough, veteran presence on the perimeter that will complement the pieces we have in place,” said Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant. “With his strong work ethic and discipline, we feel he is a great match with the culture we have built and continue to build.”

Prior to joining the Nuggets, the 6-foot-7 guard/forward played four seasons with the Toronto Raptors.  In the 2008-09 season, Graham posted career highs of 7.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.8 minutes over 78 games (10 starts).  In the 10 starts, he averaged 11.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in 28.3 minutes.

“Joining Cleveland marks an exciting, brand new start for me,” said Graham. “This is a great opportunity and I’m excited to come in and help the team as much as possible.”

In his career, the five-year veteran has played in 338 games, including 76 starts, and averaged 6.0 points and 2.9 rebounds. He has shot .815 from the free-throw line and .485 from the field.

With season tickets sold out, Heat fires season sales staff

Sarah Talalay of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports:

The Heat’s decision to halt season tickets sales on speculation it might sign LeBron James means the team no longer needs a season ticket sales staff.

About 30 employees were told Friday morning they were losing their jobs, and some were moved to other positions. The Heat confirmed the layoffs in a statement indicating with its season ticket inventory “exhausted, we no longer require a season ticket sales team to sell tickets…

Sources said the employees made a base salary and commission, which was sizable during the sales rush that came on rumors the team might sign LeBron James, Chris Bosh and re-sign Dwyane Wade. Some employees were offered severance of up to a year’s salary and extended benefits. Additionally, some staffers might be hired back to oversee season ticket holder accounts, the sources said.

Wizards re-sign Josh Howard

Wizards re-sign Josh Howard

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has re-signed free agent swingman Josh Howard.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced. It had been reported that the deal would be for one year.

“We were impressed with Josh’s versatility, how well he fit in with our team and his attitude and work ethic both before and after his unfortunate knee injury,” said Grunfeld.  “His experience playing in a winning situation makes him an ideal veteran presence for us as we develop our roster of young talent.”

A former All-Star (2007), Howard holds career averages of 15.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in 435 games (371 starts) over seven professional seasons in Dallas and Washington, including career highs of 19.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists during the 2007-08 season.  He was originally acquired by the Mavericks in the first round (29th pick) of the 2003 Draft, and later appeared in 62 career playoff games (57 starts) for Dallas, with averages of 15.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in postseason play.  Howard averaged 16.7 points and 7.4 rebounds in 23 playoff games (all starts) for the Mavericks during their run to the 2006 NBA Finals.

Howard initially joined the Wizards via trade from Dallas on February 13, 2010, and appeared in four games (three starts) for Washington last season.  In his first three contests as a Wizard, he averaged 17.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game before a knee injury on February 22nd vs. Chicago caused him to miss the final 28 games of the season.

DALLAS - FEBRUARY 12: NBA player Josh Howard attends the Exclusive FABULOUS 23 Dinner hosted by Jordan Brand during All-Star Weekend on February 12, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Jordan Brand)

Amare Stoudemire visiting Israel to trace Jewish roots

The AP reports:

Amare Stoudemire in Israel to trace Hebrew roots

NBA star Amare Stoudemire says he has come to Israel to explore whether he has Jewish heritage.

He tells The Associated Press on Friday that he believes he has “Hebrew roots” through his mother, Carrie.

The five-time All-Star who recently signed with the New York Knicks is on a weeklong visit to learn about Israel, its language and religions.

The New York Post reports:

Two weeks ago, new Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire arrived in Vegas for Knicks summer league with a tattoo of the “Star of David” on his arm.

“What’s that?,” he was asked by The Post.

“What does it look like?” Stoudemire replied.

When asked if that means he is Jewish, Stoudemire replied flatly: “Yes.”

The New York Post reports:

However, Stoudemire posted on his Twitter account yesterday: “To clear everything up: I’m studying history & want to learn about all religions. I think I might have some Hebrew Roots and I’m researching it.”

Amar'e Stoudemire holds up a Knicks jersey after working out a 5 year and nearly 100 million dollar contract to play with the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City on July 8, 2010.    UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Thunder waive Kyle Weaver

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has waived guard Kyle Weaver.

In two seasons with the Thunder, Weaver appeared in 68 games (19 starts) and recorded averages of 4.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 19.3 minutes per contest.

Pistons re-sign Will Bynum

Pistons re-sign Will Bynum

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has re-signed guard Will Bynum to a contract. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

According to Michigan Live, “A team source said this week the deal is worth a guaranteed $9.75 million over three years, while Bynum’s agent has said the contract is for $10.5 million.”

“We are pleased to re-sign Will Bynum,” said Dumars. “Will brings unique skills to our team at the point guard position and we feel his leadership and play-making abilities will continue to grow and evolve.”

Bynum, 27, appeared in a career-high 63 games (career-high 20 starts) last season, averaging career-high numbers in points (10.0), rebounds (2.3), assists (4.3), steals (0.9) and minutes (26.5). He led the team in scoring three times and assists 25 times. Bynum dished out career-high 20 assists vs. Washington (3/12) which was the most by a Piston since Isiah Thomas recorded 21 on 4/12/85.

The 6-foot guard appeared in 57 games (one start) during the 2008-09 campaign, averaging 7.2 points (.456 FG, .798 FT), 1.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 0.59 steals in 14.1 minutes per game. He scored a career-high 32 points (career-high 14-16 FT) vs. Charlotte (4/5), including a franchise-record 26 points in the fourth quarter.

The Chicago, IL native was not drafted by an NBA franchise and signed by the Pistons as a free agent on July 30, 2008. He has appeared in 120 regular season games (21 starts) during his two-year stint with Detroit, averaging 8.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 20.6 minutes per game.

February 09, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Detroit Pistons Will Bynum brings the ball up the court, Bynum had 4 point tonight against the Bucks..Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Detroit Pistons 81-93. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Hawks re-sign Jason Collins

Hawks re-sign Jason Collins

The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed center Jason Collins, according to Executive Vice President/General Manager Rick Sund. Per team policy, the financial terms were not disclosed.

“We’re excited to welcome Jason back to the team,” said Hawks head coach Larry Drew. “He’s a veteran presence in the locker room, and adds experienced depth to the frontcourt. Jason has worked hard in the offseason, and with his knowledge of the system we’re implementing, he’ll continue to be a valuable contributor to our club.”

Collins appeared in 24 games last season for the Hawks, averaging 0.7 ppg and 0.6 rpg in 4.8 mpg (.348 FG%). The nine-year veteran has posted career averages of 4.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg and 1.0 apg in 22.7 mpg (.410 FG%, .647 FT%) in 596 games (429 starts) with New Jersey, Memphis, Minnesota and Atlanta.

He’s also appeared in 78 postseason contests in his career (3.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg), including trips to the NBA Finals with the Nets in 2002 and 2003.

Another arrest warrant issued for Eddy Curry

Samuel Goldsmith of the New York Daily News reports:

Another arrest warrant issued for Eddy Curry

A Chicago judge has issued an arrest warrant for the troubled New York Knicks center for the second time since June, it was reported yesterday.

The judge signed the warrant after learning the ballplayer hasn’t finished paying a $660,000 payout for sex with an underage girl, the Chicago Sun Times said.

The payout stems from a 2001 case in which Curry, then 18, was sued for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. He agreed to settlement in 2007, but still owes nearly $200,000.

Kings hire Otis Hughley as assistant coach

The Sacramento Kings’ Head Coach Paul Westphal today announced an addition to his coaching staff, reaching an agreement with Otis Hughley to join the team as an assistant coach.

“Otis has a wealth of experience working with young players and is ready to jump to the NBA,” said Westphal. “We’re very excited to add him to our staff to replace Bryan Gates.”

“It’s an exciting time,” Hughley said. “I’m looking forward to being with an organization that’s proven and that’s exhibited class. I’m really looking forward to working with Coach Westphal and his staff.”

Hughley had coached at LeFlore High School in Mobile, Ala. for seven years (2004-2010), guiding the Rattlers to six straight regional appearances and a 6A state title in 2007. While at LeFlore, he coached current Kings center Demarcus Cousins. Before coaching at LeFlore, Hughley was an assistant coach at several universities, including Wright State, Liberty, and Southern. Hughley’s experience also includes coaching for the league’s NBA China program and working over 10 years at Pete Newell’s “Big Man Camp.”

Spurs release Malik Hairston

malik hairston

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that, per his request, the team has released Malik Hairston from his contract.

The guard is reportedly set to sign in Italy.

“We’ve enjoyed having Malik in our organization,” said Spurs General Manager RC Buford. “He is a hard-worker, a talented basketball player and an outstanding young man. After Malik approached us we were happy to honor his request as it will, after he clears waivers, allow him to pursue an excellent overseas basketball opportunity.”

Hairston was selected by the Phoenix Suns, with the 48th overall pick, in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft. In a draft night deal he was then traded to San Antonio – along with a 2009 second round pick – in exchange for the draft rights to Goran Dragic.

In two seasons with the Spurs, Hairston appeared in a total of 62 games, averaging 2.4 points in 7.6 minutes. During each of his two seasons with San Antonio he also saw action with the Austin Toros (the Spurs NBA Development League team). With the Toros he averaged 24.9 points and 5.2 rebounds in a total of 45 regular season games.