Archive for July, 2010

Bobcats sign Dominic McGuire

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed free agent forward Dominic McGuire.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 6-9 McGuire was selected by the Wizards with the 47th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.  In three NBA seasons with Washington and Sacramento, McGuire has played in 200 games, averaging 2.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 15.4 minutes.

McGuire’s best statistical season came with the Wizards in 2008-09, when he averaged 4.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 in 26.2 minutes in 79 games, including 57 starts.  His 57 games started ranked third on the team behind only All-Stars Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler.  McGuire scored in double figures eight times and recorded double-figure rebounds 12 times that season, tallying four double-doubles.

McGuire earned Second Team All-WAC honors, and was also named to the conference’s All-Newcomer Team and All-Defensive Team, as a junior at Fresno State in 2006-07.  McGuire averaged 13.5 points and 9.8 rebounds and ranked fifth in the nation with 3.6 blocked shots, while recording 15 double-doubles and two triple-doubles, in his lone season at the school after transferring from the University of California.

The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday they have signed second-round draft pick Lance Stephenson to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Stephenson, a 6-5, 210-pound guard, was the 40th  overall pick in June’s NBA Draft.

The 2010 Big East Rookie of the Year from Cincinnati recently played for the Pacers’ summer league team in Orlando where in four games he was the Pacers’ second-leading scorer at 14.8 ppg.

He also led the eight-team Orlando summer league in field goal percentage at .733 (22-of-30) of those players with 10 or more field goal attempts, earning all-league honorable mention honors.

Oklahoma City Thunder Chairman Clay Bennett announced today that the team and Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti have agreed to a multi-year extension. Per club policy, the terms of the extension were not disclosed.

“We are fortunate to have Sam leading our basketball organization. He is extremely committed to the growth of our franchise, of our players, and this community. He has helped build an identity for this organization that we can all be proud of. I look forward to our continued work together as we experience the challenges of creating sustainable success.”

Presti, who was named General Manager on June 7, 2007, has rebuilt a Thunder roster that has made steady improvement over the last three seasons. Presti was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager prior to the 2009-10 season. The Thunder won 50 games last season capping a league best 27-game turnaround. Presti was named NBA Executive of the Year by The Sporting News after the Thunder captured the franchise’s first playoff berth in Oklahoma City.

“I am extremely humbled to have the opportunity to continue our work here with the Thunder. Oklahoma City is home for me. We have a committed group of players, excellent coaches led by Scott Brooks, and a support staff in both basketball and business, that is integral to the vision of our organization and I am grateful for their partnership.  I would also like to thank Clay for his support and trust. He has been central and unwavering in our efforts to build, enhance and sustain an elite franchise. We are fortunate to work with such a committed ownership group.”

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has acquired the signed-and-traded contract of guard C.J. Watson from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for a future second-round draft choice.  Golden State will be receiving the lesser of Phoenix’s and Utah’s regular 2011 second-round draft choices, both of which are held by the Bulls.

Watson (6-2, 175) comes to the Bulls having played the last three seasons with the Warriors.  Last year, the 26-year-old Watson appeared in 65 games (15 starts) and averaged 10.3 ppg, 2.8 apg, 2.6 rpg, 1.58 spg, 27.5 mpg, .468 from the field, .310 from behind the arc and .771 from the line.  In his three years with Golden State, he appeared in 174 games (33 starts) and he owns career averages of 8.7 ppg, 2.4 apg, 2.3 rpg, 1.23 spg, 23.2 mpg, .459 shooting from the field, .351 shooting from downtown and .822 shooting from the line.

Following his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee, he went undrafted in the 2006 NBA Draft.  From there, Watson split the 2006-07 season playing in Italy and Greece.  He then played with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League in 2007-08 before his free agent call-up with the Warriors.

greg monroe

The Detroit Pistons announced today that Greg Monroe underwent a successful out-patient surgical procedure on his right foot performed by Dr. Arthur Manoli. The procedure was performed at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac, MI.

Rehabilitation will begin immediately and he is expected to resume full basketball activities in three to four weeks.

The 6-foot-11 forward/center appeared in five games for the Pistons during the Vegas Summer League and averaged 14.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.8 steals in 30.3 minutes per game.  The Georgetown product was drafted by Detroit with the seventh pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Dual Olympian C.J. Bruton has announced his immediate retirement from international basketball, ending his hopes of a berth for the upcoming World Championships and bringing to a close a remarkable career as a member of the Golden Star Australian Boomers men’s national basketball team.

Basketball Australia today confirmed reports of Bruton’s decision to retire effective immediately, with BA Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock praising the 34-year-old for his immense contribution to the continued success of the Boomers program.

“It was with great sadness that we heard the news that CJ had decided to end his international basketball career, but we respect his decision and thank him for all he has contributed to the Boomers and Australian basketball,” said Sengstock.  “He is a major part of the reason why the Australian men’s program has consistently ranked in the top ten countries in the world and he will be sorely missed.”

Boomers’ head coach Brett Brown explained that some niggling injuries had convinced Bruton that it was time to step back from the national team program.

“He just felt that after coming into camp and giving it his best effort, he physically would be a liability to the group,” Brown told AAP from the Gold Coast, where the Boomers are undergoing a six-day training camp in preparation for the upcoming World Championships.

“He feels with the short preparation he wouldn’t be able to get to 100 per cent and he wanted to declare that to us early so we could make plans in a reasonable time-frame.

“It’s a hell of a thing to admit you can’t play a world championships and it highlights the class he’s handled himself with from day one.”

Bruton made his debut for the Boomers back in 1998 and went on to represent Australia at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.  He was Co-captain of the Boomers team that defeated New Zealand to win the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.  He also represented Australia at the 2006 FIBA World Championships in Japan.  He played 104 senior international games in the green and gold.

The son of legendary National Basketball League guard Cal Bruton, CJ has compiled his own remarkable career in the NBL and will continue to play for the New Zealand Breakers when the 2010/11 NBL season tips-off on October 15.

The Boomers will now continue their preparations for the 2010 FIBA World Championships, which will be held be held in Turkey from 28 August to 12 September, without Bruton.

Golden State Warriors forward David Lee, who suffered an injury to the middle (long) finger on his right hand during practice with USA Basketball yesterday in Las Vegas, was examined today by Dr. Bill Green in San Francisco.

The exam indicated that Lee suffered a “mallet finger” injury.  He is expected to wear a splint for six (6) weeks and is expected to make a complete recovery prior to the start of training camp in late September.

Thunder sign Royal Ivey

The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed free agent guard Royal Ivey to a contract, Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.

 

“We are pleased to welcome Royal to the Thunder organization,” Presti said. “His defensive mentality, competitiveness and well documented professionalism adds depth to our backcourt and strengthens the identity of our basketball team.”

 

Ivey, 28, has appeared in 378 NBA games over six seasons, averaging 3.6 points, 1.2 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per contest with Atlanta, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. Last season, the 6-4 guard, averaged 2.1 points and 5.6 minutes with the Bucks and 76ers.

Hornets hire Dell Demps as GM

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that Dell Demps has been named General Manager. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released. Demps becomes the seventh general manager in team history.

“Through our extensive research with a number of GM candidates, Dell shined through as a rising star from a program in San Antonio that has a tremendous history of building a franchise into a championship contender,” said Hornets President Hugh Weber. “Beginning with the hiring of Head Coach Monty Williams, we’ve begun a path of building our basketball operations with people we feel are going to be the best in the business, and Dell Demps certainly fits into that category. Our owners Mr. Shinn and Mr. Chouest both feel confident that we are developing our organization in a way that will raise expectations. Dell along with Monty share a lot of the same philosophies and work ethic that will help lead our franchise to the next level.”

Demps has spent the last five seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, serving as Director of Pro Player Personnel. In addition, he served as the General Manager of the Austin Toros (the Spurs NBA Development affiliate) for three years. The Spurs captured an NBA Championship and two Southwest Division titles during Demps’ five seasons in San Antonio. In addition, the Spurs have won at least 50 games in each of those five seasons.

“I have been fortunate to know Dell for a long time and we share a lot of the same beliefs,” said Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams. “He wants and has a great basketball pedigree, learning from some of the best minds in the business. Dell is a winner, hard worker and does things the right way. He will be a great asset to this organization.”

Demps, born in Long Beach, Calif., had a three-year NBA career with Golden State, Orlando and the Spurs. He was teammates with Williams in San Antonio during the 1995-96 season. Demps also spent time playing in the Philippines, France, Greece, Turkey, Croatia and the CBA during his 10-year professional career.

“Dell Demps is a highly respected basketball person who has been around a model organization in San Antonio,” said Hornets Owner George Shinn. “Gary and I both have the goal to be a great organization and work towards a championship. Dell is the right guy for this position and the future is bright for the New Orleans Hornets.”

Once his playing days were done, Demps spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Mobile Revelers in the NBA D-League, helping the Revelers capture the 2003 D-League Championship. He joined the New York Knicks as a scout for the 2003-04 season and was promoted to Director of Pro Player Personnel following the 2004-05 season in New York before joining the Spurs in the fall of 2005.

“From the moment I spoke to Hugh and Monty about this opportunity, I could tell something special was building within the organization,” said Demps. “I am excited for this opportunity because the Hornets are a great organization with a lot of positive pieces. I would like to thank George, Gary, and Hugh for their faith in me and am truly looking forward to also working with Monty.”

“We are all very excited for this opportunity for Dell and his family,” said Spurs General Manager RC Buford. “Having worked closely with both Dell and Monty, I’m confident that they will provide great leadership to the Hornets franchise. Dell has been a trusted confidant and an integral part of our organization. While we will all miss him, we are thrilled for Dell and wish him success in New Orleans.”

Demps, 40, was a four-year starter at University of the Pacific, earning All-Big West honors three times. He earned both his bachelor and master’s degrees in business administration from Pacific and is a member of Pacific’s School of Business Advisory Board.

Kings trade Jon Brockman to Bucks

The Sacramento Kings today acquired Darnell Jackson and a future second-round draft pick from Milwaukee in a sign and trade that sent Jon Brockman to the Bucks, it was announced by Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

“I want to thank Jon for his effort and enthusiasm,” said Petrie. “He became a popular player in the short time he was here, and I’m sure he’ll be popular in Milwaukee. We’re looking forward to greeting Darnell and moving forward with the rest of the roster over the course of the summer.”

Jackson, a 6-9, 263-pound forward, who is currently entering his third NBA season, has recorded career averages of 1.5 points (.397 FGs, .167 3FGs, .683 FTs) and 1.4 rebounds per game through 79 contests with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2008-09 and 2009-10) and Milwaukee Bucks (2009-10). He enjoyed a four-year career at Kansas, averaging 6.8 points (.580 FGs) and 4.9 rebounds per game over 125 outings before being selected by the Miami Heat in the second-round (52nd overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft.

Brockman, a 6-7, 255-pound forward, averaged 2.8 points (.534 FGs, .597 FTs) and 4.1 rebounds per game through 52 contests, of which he started four in his rookie campaign last year with the Kings. He scored in double figures once, grabbed 10 or more rebounds on three occasions and recorded one double-double.

Among NBA rookies, Brockman ranked ninth in rebounds per game. His draft rights (38th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft) were acquired by Sacramento along with Sergio Rodriguez and cash considerations from Portland in exchange for Jeff Pendergraph (31st overall in the 2009 NBA Draft).

Brockman had a successful, storied four-year career at Washington, averaging 13.8 points (.534 FGs, .612 FTs), 9.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game over 131 outings, of which he started 129. He was the first player in Husky history to amass at least 1,800 career points (1,805) and 1,200 rebounds (1,283), and only player to pace UW in rebounding over four seasons. Brockman joined UCLA legends Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton as the only players to lead the Pac-10 in rebounding for three consecutive years.

Rockets sign Luis Scola, Kyle Lowry

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed restricted free agent forward Luis Scola to a multi-year contract as well as officially matched the offer sheet that restricted free agent guard Kyle Lowry signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers on July 14.

“As we stated from the beginning of this process, Mr. Alexander was committed to bringing back Luis and Kyle,” said Morey. “We felt it was imperative to continue building around our core players and Luis and Kyle are an integral part of our team’s success.  Luis and Kyle are the ultimate competitors and we welcome having them back.”

Scola (6-9, 245, Argentina) has posted averages of 13.1 points and 7.9 rebounds along with a field goal percentage of 51.9 percent in 246 career NBA games (203 starts)–all with the Rockets.  The former two-time Spanish League MVP and 2004 Olympic Gold Medal winner has increased his output in each of his three Rockets seasons.  Last season, he averaged a career-best 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 0.77 steals while playing in all 82 games (82 starts) for the third straight season.  Scola also managed to set personal milestones with 26 20-point games and 32 double-doubles, despite receiving additional attention by opposing team defenses due to the absence of Yao Ming.  In a game against the New Jersey Nets on 3/13/10, he poured in a personal-best 44 points and 12 rebounds on the way to becoming just the second player in the league last season to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds during the month of March.  Scola was originally drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round (56th overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft, prior to being traded to the Rockets on July 12, 2007.

Lowry (6-0, 205, Villanova) owns career averages of 8.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 0.99 steals in 237 career games (30 starts) with Memphis and Houston. In his second season with the Rockets, he averaged 9.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and a career-high 4.5 assists in 68 games. He also reached double-digit scoring 30 times in 2009-10, including two 20-point performances. Houston recorded a 5-9 record in the 14 games he missed last season. Lowry was also a driving force in helping the Rockets make one of the NBA’s largest gains in fast-break points from 2008-09 (8.7 ppg) to 2009-10 (14.6 ppg). In 68 games with Lowry in the lineup, Houston averaged 15.2 points off the break. That number dropped to just 11.6 fast-break points per game in the 14 outings Lowry missed in 2009-10. On the defensive end, Lowry stood tied for second in the league in charges drawn (51). He also had streaks of 23 (1/9/10-1/22/10) and 26 (3/17/10-3/27/10) consecutive free throws made. Acquired by Houston from Memphis in a three-team trade on Feb. 19, 2009, Lowry was originally selected by the Grizzlies in the first round (24th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft.

Mar. 09, 2010 - Washington, China - (100310) -- WASHINGTON, March 10, 2010 (Xinhua) -- Luis Scola (Front) of Houston Rockets breaks through during the NBA game between Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards in Washington, the United States, on March 9, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun.

Spurs re-sign Richard Jefferson

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they have re-signed Richard Jefferson.  Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Jefferson joined Spurs on June 23, 2009, in a three-team trade with the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons.  In his first season in San Antonio he appeared in 81 games, averaging 12.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 31.1 minutes while shooting .467 (362-775) from the floor, .316 (59-187) from the three-point line and .735 (208-283) from the free throw line.  Jefferson scored in double-figures 54 times, including eight games with 20-or-more points.  The former University of Arizona Wildcat posted two double-doubles and led the team in scoring 10 times.  He posted a season-high 29 points vs. Dallas on Nov. 11.  Jefferson knocked down a 15-foot jump shot with 9.1 seconds left in overtime to give the Spurs a 100-99 win at Oklahoma City on Jan. 13.  In the playoffs he started 10 games for the Silver and Black, averaging 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 33.4 minutes.

Prior to joining the Spurs Jefferson spent the 2008-09 season in Milwaukee where he averaged 19.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 35.8 minutes.  Before being traded to the Bucks on June 26, 2008, Jefferson spent his first seven seasons with the New Jersey Nets and went to two NBA Finals (2002 vs. the Lakers and 2003 vs. the Spurs).  He had a career year in 2007-08 when he averaged 22.6 points (ninth in the NBA), 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 39.0 minutes.

In his nine-year NBA career Jefferson has appeared in 652 regular season games, averaging 17.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 31.1 minutes. He has appeared in 88 playoff games averaging 14.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 34.2 minutes in the postseason.

Jefferson played for Team USA in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece and was a member of the 2003 US Team that captured the gold medal at the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

76ers sign Tony Battie

tony battie

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that the team has signed free agent center Tony Battie.  As per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We see Tony Battie as a player who can come in and give us additional depth in the front court while also providing a valuable veteran presence for our younger players both on and off the court,” Stefanski said.

Battie (6-11, 240) recently completed his 12th NBA season and is averaging 6.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.90 blocks in 772 career games with 418 starts.  He has also appeared in 51 playoff games with 30 starts and was a member of the Orlando Magic’s Eastern Conference Championship team in 2008-09.

Originally the fifth overall pick by Denver in the 1997 NBA Draft, Battie was traded twice following his rookie season, ending up in Boston.  After five full seasons with the Celtics, he was sent to Cleveland early into the 2003-04 campaign, which coincided with LeBron James’ rookie season.

In July of 2004, the Cavaliers packaged Battie in a trade to Orlando, one month after the Magic added Dwight Howard with the first overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.  Battie spent the next five seasons with the Magic, including 2005-06 when he started all 82 games with averages of 7.9 points and 5.6 rebounds while playing alongside Howard.

Last summer, Battie was traded to New Jersey as part of Orlando’s draft day deal for Vince Carter following the Magic’s run to the NBA Finals in 2009.  Battie appeared in 15 games for the Nets last season.

A standout at Texas Tech, Battie left as the Red Raiders all-time leader in blocks despite forgoing his senior season.  His brother, Derrick, played basketball at Temple.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Yes, Battie is still alive and well, and in the league. No idea what he has left in the tank. Obvious assumption is that he’s good for 5-8 minutes per game to bang into some people.

Timberwolves sign Luke Ridnour

Timberwolves sign Luke Ridnour

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed free-agent guard Luke Ridnour. Per team policy, terms of the contract offer were not disclosed.

“Luke’s talent and experience will be helpful to our team this season and beyond,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “He will compete for the starting point guard position this season. But no matter what role Luke is playing, we believe he’ll have a positive influence with our young backcourt, much as he demonstrated last season in Milwaukee.”

Ridnour, 29, played in all 82 games for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2009-10, averaging 10.4 points and 4.0 assists in 21.5 minutes per game. He shot a career-best 47.8 percent from the floor this past season, including career-bests of 38.1 percent from three-point range and 90.7 percent from the free-throw line. The 6-2 point guard has played seven seasons in the NBA with Seattle and Milwaukee, and owns career averages of 9.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists. Ridnour played five seasons with the Sonics before being traded to Milwaukee in a three-team trade on Aug. 13, 2008.

A native of Blaine, Wash., Ridnour had his best season in 2005-06 with the Sonics when he averaged career-bests of 11.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 79 games (77 starts). He has appeared in 18 playoffs games in his career, averaging 9.1 points and 3.3 assists.

Ridnour was the 14th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by Seattle as an early entry candidate out of the University of Oregon. While at Oregon, Ridnour averaged 19.7 points and 6.6 assists during his junior season and was named Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year and won the Pac-10 Tournament MVP Award.

April 24, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Milwaukee Bucks Luke Ridnour drives to the hoop, Ridnour had 11 points to add to the Bucks bench tonight..Milwaukee Bucks won over the Atlanta Hawks 107-89, in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Blazers sign Wesley Matthews

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Wesley Matthews, it was announced today by General Manager Rich Cho. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A restricted free agent, Matthews signed an offer sheet with the Trail Blazers on July 10. The Utah Jazz elected not to exercise its right of first refusal and match the offer.

“Wesley is a great fit for our team both on and off the court,” said Cho. “As only a first-year player last season, he demonstrated a lot of maturity and ability. He’s already one of the best young defenders in the league and offensively he’s an emerging threat. He’s going to add a lot of versatility to our roster.”

Matthews, 23, appeared in all 82 games, including 48 starts, for Utah as a rookie in 2009-10. He averaged 9.4 points (48.3% FG, 38.2% 3-PT, 82.9% FT), 2.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.78 steals and 24.7 minutes for the Jazz last year.

In his first NBA season, Matthews (6-5, 220) started all 10 of Utah’s 2010 postseason contests, posting averages of 13.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.80 steals in 37.1 minutes.

A four-year player from Marquette University, Matthews went undrafted in the 2009 NBA Draft. He totaled collegiate averages of 13.2 points (44.4% FG, 34.1% 3-PT, 79.9% FT), 4.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.22 steals and 30.2 minutes in 127 games (117 starts) from 2005-09.

Matthews will wear jersey No. 2.

The AP reports:

New Orleans Hornets team president Hugh Weber said Tuesday that the slow pace of the club’s planned ownership change has no bearing on the franchise’s ability to make key changes aimed at building a winner around star guard Chris Paul.

Any perception that the Hornets are shrouded in uncertainty, Weber said, stemmed from little more than typical NBA “gamesmanship” on the part of other NBA clubs looking for an advantage in signing free agents or hiring general manager candidates that New Orleans also is pursuing.

“I’m totally aware of the gamesmanship that happens in this league,” Weber said. “We do have an owner. It’s the same uncertainty as a year ago or two years ago, which is no uncertainty.”

InsideHoops.com editor says:

I haven’t looked into the ownership stuff and therefore won’t comment on it. But as for the Hornets as a basketball team, they have a ton of talent in the backcourt but need to find a small forward worthy of starting. And, they must figure out how to mesh the talents of David West and Emeka Okafor, because the two should have been a more potent combination last season. Okafor provided very little offensively, barely scoring and getting almost no assists, so it’s mostly on him.

January 20, 2010: Chris Paul and David West of the New Orleans Hornets in action against the Memphis Grizzlies during an NBA game in the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA. Tyler Kaufman/CSM.

Andrew Bynum postpones knee surgery

The AP reports:

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum has postponed his knee surgery.

Lakers spokesman John Black said Tuesday that Bynum pushed back the date of his surgery to correct a meniscus tear in his right knee to July 28.

Bynum injured his knee in Game 6 of the Lakers’ playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

InsideHoops.com editor says:

Stating the obvious, but Bynum should avoid coming back until he’s 100 percent and try to put this injury stuff behind him for good.

June 15, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02204195 Los Angeles Lakers' Andrew Bynum wraps up his leg before his game against the Boston Celtics at the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 15 June 2010. The Celtics lead the series 3-2.

The AP reports:

The Minnesota Timberwolves will introduce point guard Luke Ridnour at a press conference on Wednesday.

Ridnour and the Timberwolves agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $16 million last week. The 29-year-old is being brought in to add some veteran experience to a roster where no other player is older than 25.

InsideHoops.com editor says:

With Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions on board and Ridnour joining the party, the point guard position is pretty crowded. Rumors that Sessions is on the trading block have existed for a while now. Maybe he gets dealt in the near future, and perhaps Flynn or the rights to Ricky Rubio will be moved next summer.

April 24, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Milwaukee Bucks Luke Ridnour brings the ball up the court, Ridnour had 11 points to add to the Bucks bench tonight..Milwaukee Bucks won over the Atlanta Hawks 107-89, in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Heat sign Juwan Howard

Heat sign Juwan Howard

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed free agent forward Juwan Howard. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This is a great addition for us,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “We feel that Juwan’s ability to play both the four and five spot will be complimentary to what we have put together. He also gives us incredible professionalism and is a perfect fit behind Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem.”

“This is a great opportunity in order to play in the City of Miami for the Heat organization,” said Howard. “I’m looking forward to working hard this upcoming season and contributing in any way I can toward the success of the team both on and off the court.”

Howard has appeared in 1,116 career games (898 starts) with seven teams over 16 seasons. During his career, he has averaged 14.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 32.1 minutes while shooting 47.0 percent from the field and 76.3 percent from the foul line. During the 2009-10 season, Howard averaged 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 22.4 minutes, while shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 78.6 percent from the foul line in 73 games (27 starts) for the Portland Trail Blazers. He scored in double-figures 16 times and grabbed 10-plus rebounds seven times.

Howard, who will wear #5 for the Heat, was originally drafted with the fifth pick in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards. He spent six-plus seasons in Washington before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks in a mid-season trade during the 2000-01 season. He was then sent to Denver the following season before signing with the Orlando Magic as a free agent during the 2003-04 season. He was acquired by the Houston Rockets during the 2004-05 season and spent three seasons there, before making stops in Dallas (2007-08), Minnesota (Summer of 2007), Denver (2008) and Charlotte (2008-09). He signed with Portland as a free agent in 2009 and spent one season there, before signing with the Heat as a free agent.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Juwan may be 74 years old, but he can still play and is a good veteran backup who can help the Heat.

The Phoenix Suns today named distinguished sports attorney Lon Babby the club’s president of basketball operations.

“Our organization is fortunate to have someone of Lon’s experience and talent to head-up our basketball staff,” said Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver.  “He brings with him a unique set of skills and a great reputation in the business.”

With almost 35 years as a practicing attorney with Washington, DC-based Williams & Connolly, LLP, Babby brings a wealth of experience as an industry leader in sports and contract negotiations.  Identified as one of “Washington’s Top Lawyers” for media and sports law by Washingtonian magazine, one of the “20 Most Influential Agents” in the nation by Sports Business Journal and one of the 100 most powerful in sports by The Sporting News, Babby joins one of the NBA’s most storied franchises, which owns the league’s fourth-highest winning percentage all-time (.561), and becomes only the fourth basketball president in the team’s 43-year history.

One of the industry’s most successful and well-regarded player agents, Babby brings his unique perspective of having represented players for 16 years to the management side.  Babby entered player representation in 1994 when he was retained by current Suns forward Grant Hill.  Together the pair devised a new model of player representation based on charging players on an hourly basis, rather than the traditional contract percentage.  His principled approach became an alternative that appealed to the elite “good guy” athletes and his stable of clients grew to include some of the NBA’s most respected sportsmen, including Boston’s Ray Allen, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, Houston’s Shane Battier  and Hill, a three-time winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award.  Babby also represented marquee Major League Baseball players and the WNBA’s Tamika Catchings.

Babby began his career in sports representing first the NFL’s Washington Redskins (1977-80) and then MLB’s Baltimore Orioles (1979-94).  For the Orioles, he was intimately involved in the senior management of the club.  He first served as club counsel and then general counsel, overseeing player contract negotiations, advertising and marketing contracts, labor issues and general business matters, including the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

A graduate of Lehigh University and Yale Law School and former editor of Yale Law Journal, Babby has served as an adjunct professor of law at George Washington University Law School.  He began his career as a litigator and handled several high-profile cases including the defense of John Hinckley, Jr., who shot President Reagan.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and in 2007 was elected to the Greater Washington, DC Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

The 59 year-old Babby was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and grew up in Valley Stream, N.Y.  He and wife Ellen met at summer camp at age 16 and have been married for 37 years.  The couple has a son, Ken (30), who is a senior executive at The Washington Post Company, and a daughter, Heather (26), who is a marketing specialist at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York.

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