Archive for July 6th, 2010

The Los Angeles Clippers and Vinny Del Negro have reached an agreement in principle concerning the team’s head coaching position. reports:

Clippers will name Vinny Del Negro their new head coach

Del Negro takes over a team that went 29-63 last season under Mike Dunleavy, who was fired in February, then interim replacement Kim Hughes.

The Clippers brought in their finalists for interviews twice over the past two weeks. Along with Del Negro, the organization gave Dallas Mavericks assistant and former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Dwane Casey a close look. Del Negro and Casey were the two finalists for the Chicago job two years ago. Again, on this occasion, Del Negro got the nod.

For the past two seasons, the 43-year-old Del Negro served as Chicago’s head coach, where he strung together consecutive 41-41 seasons along with two first-round playoff appearances before being fired on May 3. Prior to his stint on the Bulls’ bench, Del Negro moved from the Suns’ broadcast booth to spend two seasons in the Phoenix Suns front office, first as director of player personnel and then as assistant general manager.

Trail Blazers sign rookie Luke Babbitt

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed rookie forward Luke Babbitt. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. He is a rookie selected in the first round and therefore is on the NBA rookie salary scale.

“We are extremely excited to officially call Luke a Trail Blazer and feel like he will be a valuable member of our team and the Portland community,” said Trail Blazers Director of College Scouting Chad Buchanan. “He personifies what we value most in our players – hard work, unselfishness and character.”

Portland acquired the rights to Babbitt, the 16th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, along with forward Ryan Gomes from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for guard/forward Martell Webster on draft day, June 24, 2010.

Babbitt (6-9, 225) averaged 21.9 points (50.0% FG, 41.6% 3-PT, 91.7% FT), 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.03 steals in 2009-10, earning WAC Player of the Year and Honorable Mention All-American honors as a sophomore at the University of Nevada. His 743 points in 2009-10 broke Nevada’s all-time single-season scoring mark.

The 21-year-old forward posted averages of 19.4 points (48.0% FG, 42.1% 3-PT, 89.3% FT), 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in two seasons with the Wolf Pack from 2008-10.

Pistons sign rookie Greg Monroe

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has signed its first round draft selection Greg Monroe to a contract.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Monroe was drafted by Detroit with the seventh overall selection in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft.  The 6-foot-11 forward from Georgetown University averaged 16.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.5 blocks in 34 games as a sophomore for the Hoyas.  The New Orleans, LA native was named to the Big East All-Tournament team after averaging 19.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists on .545 shooting from the floor while leading the Hoyas to the championship game.  Monroe recorded 14 double-doubles last season (13 points/rebounds and one points/assists) and led the team in scoring 13 times, rebounding 30 times and assists 15 times.  He scored a career-high 29 points and tied career-high 16 rebounds at Villanova (1/17/10).  His career-high 12 assists at Providence (2/9/10) were the most by a center in Big East history.

As a freshman, Monroe was named Big East Rookie of the Year after averaging 12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 2.5 assists in 31 games.  He recorded 17 consecutive double-figure scoring games, including four doubles and scored a season-high 21 points while grabbing 10 rebounds at Notre Dame (2/28/09).

Raptors sign rookie Ed Davis

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have signed forward Ed Davis from North Carolina to his rookie scale contract. He is under contract through the 2011-12 season, with two team option years to follow. The Raptors selected Davis with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Davis, 6-foot-10, 225 pounds averaged 9.2 points and 7.7 rebounds in 61 total outings in his two-year career at North Carolina. He ranked as the third-fastest player in school history to record 100 blocked shots (51 games) behind Rasheed Wallace (47) and Sam Perkins (50). He finished with 129 rejections (2.1 per game).

Davis averaged 13.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and shot .578 per cent from the field in 23 games last season before sustaining a season-ending injury February 10 with a broken lunate bone in his left wrist. He led the Atlantic Coast Conference in field goal percentage and blocked shots (64), was second in rebounding and 15th in scoring. He shot better than 50 percent from the field in 18 of his 23 games. He totaled 20 or more points four times, including a high of 22 against Michigan State. He collected 15 or more rebounds four times, with a best of 16 at College of Charleston and at Maryland. He scored in double figures 17 times and grabbed 10 or more rebounds on 11 occasions.

Davis averaged 6.7 points and 6.6 rebounds as a freshman in 2008-09 helping the Tar Heels to the NCAA Championship. He averaged 8.2 points and 5.5 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament, making 20-of-35 shots from the floor (.571). He was North Carolina’s defensive player of the game in the team’s first three NCAA tournament wins. He earned ACC All-Freshman Team honours.

Davis’ father, Terry, played 10 seasons (1989-2001) in the NBA with Miami, Dallas, Denver and Washington. reports:

Shawn Marion plays in World Series of Poker

While a number of the NBA’s finest are trying to secure millions in the free agent market, the Dallas Mavericks’ Shawn Marion is trying to get millions in a different way: at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Marion participated in Day 1 of the Main Event on Monday. Due to the growing popularity of the event, there are four separate “Day 1s” where players begin the tournament. Monday’s was the first possible day to start. A number of other athletes and celebrities will also try their hand over the next three days. According to a report in USA Today, former Cowboy legends Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman will both play during Thursday’s Day 1 action.

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