Archive for July 8th, 2010

Laker sign Steve Blake

Laker sign Steve Blake

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent guard Steve Blake, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.  Per team policy terms of the contract were not released. We’ll add deal info later today.

Blake, a seven-year NBA veteran, appeared in 80 games (38 starts) last season with the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers, averaging 8.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 27.0 minutes.  Coming to the Clippers as part of a February trade involving center Marcus Camby, Blake posted his first career triple-double (23 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists) in the team’s regular season finale against the Lakers and finished the season ranked 13th league-wide in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.97).

Originally selected by the Washington Wizards in the second round (38th pick) of the 2003 NBA Draft, Blake has averaged 7.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 499 games (299 starts) while shooting .393 from behind the arc for his career.

A 6’3” guard, Blake started in the backcourt as a junior on the University of Maryland’s 2002 NCAA Championship team.  The first player in ACC history to record at least 1,000 points, 800 assists, 400 rebounds and 200 steals, Blake finished his collegiate career as the Terrapins’ all-time leader in assists with a total of 972, then the fifth highest total in NCAA history.

Knicks sign Amar`e Stoudemire

Knicks sign Amare Stoudemire

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that five-time NBA All-Star forward Amar’e Stoudemire has agreed to terms with the team. As per club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.

Multiple media outlets reported that the contract is for five years and around $100 million.

“When I arrived here in New York, our goal was to create enough flexibility to sign the elite players in our league that would enable us to build a championship caliber team,” Walsh said. “Signing Amar’e represents the first step in that process. Amar’e gives us one of the premiere frontcourt players in the league whose numerous abilities and familiarity with Mike’s system make him an outstanding fit for us.”

Stoudemire, 6-10, 249-pounds, has career averages of 21.4 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.40 blocks and 34.3 minutes in 516 career games (499 starts) in eight NBA seasons with the Phoenix Suns. The Lake Wales, FL-native has been named an NBA All-Star five times and holds playoff career averages of 24.2 points and 9.2 rebounds in 52 playoff games (all starts). Selected by Phoenix with the ninth overall selection in the 2002 NBA Draft, Stoudemire was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003 and has been named All-NBA four times, including a first team All-NBA selection in 2007.

“Amar’e is one of the most talented players I have ever worked with and I’m excited to welcome him to New York,” Knicks Head Coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He has thrived in our system and will be a great addition to our team.”

In 2009-10, Stoudemire started all 82 regular season games and averaged 23.1 points, 8.9 points and 34.6 minutes while shooting 55.7-percent from the floor in earning All-NBA Second Team honors. Stoudemire  finished the season ranked 10th in the NBA in scoring and seventh in the league in field goal percentage and led the Suns to the Western Conference Finals.

Magic sign Chris Duhon

Magic sign Chris Duhon

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard Chris Duhon, General Manager Otis Smith announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed. We’ll add contract details later today to this page.

“Chris (Duhon) provides depth, leadership and stability to our backcourt,” said Smith.  “He takes care of the basketball, defends well and can hit the open shot.  We’re very happy to add Chris to our team.”

Duhon (6’1”, 190, 8/31/82) played in 67 games (59 starts) last season with New York, averaging 7.4 ppg., 5.6 apg. and 2.7 rpg. in 30.9 minpg.  He led the Knicks in assists and was tied for fifth in the NBA in assists-to-turnover ratio (3.44, 378-110).  Duhon led the Knicks in scoring twice and in assists 38 times.  He scored in double figures 23 times, including a season-high 25 points on Dec. 4 @ Atlanta, and also recorded 10-plus assists four times.

Originally selected in the second round (38th overall) by Chicago in the 2004 NBA Draft, Duhon has appeared in 446 career NBA regular season games with Chicago and New York, averaging 7.7 ppg., 5.1 apg. and 2.6 rpg. in 28.5 minpg.  He has shot .362 (553-1,526) from three-point range and .797 (554-695) from the free throw line.  Duhon has also played in 21 career playoff outings, averaging 4.7 ppg., 2.8 rpg. and 2.6 apg. in 22.0 minpg.

Nets agree to sign Travis Outlaw

Nets agree to sign Travis Outlaw

The New Jersey Nets have reached an agreement in principle with free agent forward Travis Outlaw, Nets President Rod Thorn announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released. The agreement is contingent on the passing of the required physical.

According to the New York Post, “Multiple sources have confirmed The Nets agreed to a five-year, $35 million deal with Travis Outlaw.”

“We are very pleased to add Travis to our roster,” said Thorn.  “He is a young, athletic player who will fit in very well with the style of play that Avery has installed.”

Outlaw, a seven-year NBA veteran, played in 34 games last season for the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers.  On February 16, the Starkville, Mississippi native was traded from Portland to Los Angeles along with Steve Blake in exchange for Marcus Camby and cash considerations.  In 11 games with Portland, Outlaw averaged 9.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 21 minutes before being traded.  In 23 contests, including six starts with the Clippers, he tallied 8.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 22 minutes per contest.  Selected out of Starkville High School in Mississippi, Outlaw was chosen by Portland in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft.  Over his seven NBA seasons, he has played in 400 career games, averaging 9.5 points and 3.4 rebounds in 22 minutes while shooting .441 from the field and .363 from behind the arc.  In six career playoff games, Outlaw holds averages of 9.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 28 minutes per contest.

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed guard John Salmons (6-7, 210) and forward Drew Gooden (6-10, 250) to multi-year free agent contracts, General Manager John Hammond announced today. We’ll add contract details for both later today.

Last season, Salmons played in 30 games for the Bucks after a trade with Chicago on February 18.  Salmons helped Milwaukee to a 22-8 record after the trade and averaged 19.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists over that span.  In the seven-game first round Playoff series with Atlanta, Salmons averaged 17.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and team-highs of 4.0 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

An eight-year NBA veteran, Salmons, 31, has played in 610 career games (247 starts) and owns career averages of 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.  He was drafted by San Antonio in the first round (26th overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft and traded to Philadelphia on draft night.  Salmons spent four seasons (2002-06) with the 76ers before signing with Sacramento prior to the 2006-07 season.  He appeared in 213 games for the Kings in two-plus seasons (2006-09) and was traded to Chicago mid-season where he helped lead the Bulls to the Playoffs.

Gooden, 29, averaged 10.9 points and 7.7 rebounds in 70 games last season for Dallas (46 games) and the Los Angeles Clippers (24 games). In 33 starts (11 – Dallas, 22 – LAC) between the two clubs, he tallied 13.7 points and 10.1 rebounds in 30.3 minutes while shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 91.8 percent from the free throw line.

The fourth overall pick by Memphis in the 2002 NBA Draft, Gooden has appeared in 580 games with 429 starts for eight NBA teams.  He has averaged double figures in scoring in each of his eight NBA seasons and holds career averages of 11.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.  Gooden has played in 44 postseason contests, including 20 in the 2007 Playoffs when the Cavaliers went to the NBA Finals.

Blazers sign rookie Elliot Williams

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed rookie guard Elliot Williams. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Williams is a rookie who was selected in the first round and therefore will receive a standard NBA rookie salary scale contract.

“We’re very excited to have a player with the character and potential that Elliot has,” said Director of College Scouting Chad Buchanan. “He’s made some pretty big strides in college and now we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do at the next level.”

Portland selected Williams with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft.

Williams, 21, posted averages of 17.9 points (45.9% FG, 36.6% 3-PT, 75.8% FT), 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.32 steals in 34 games (all starts) as a sophomore at Memphis in 2009-10, earning All-Conference USA First Team and Conference USA Newcomer of the Year honors.

The 6-5, 180-pound guard played his freshman year at Duke in 2008-09, where he averaged 4.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 34 games before transferring to Memphis.

Williams will practice with the team’s NBA Summer League squad but will be held out of game action as a precautionary measure due to injury.

Doug Smith of the Toronto Star reports (via blog):

Raptors sign Linas Kleiza to offer sheet

The Raptors have dipped a foot in to the NBA free agent waters but it’s not a move that should cause too many ripples.

As we mentioned here the other day, the chance to get Linas Kleiza in the fold a year after an earlier dalliance was too much to resist and the Raptors have signed the restricted free agent to an offer sheet.

Seeing how my very good spies tell me Kleiza was actually spotted in Toronto last night, I’m sure he’ll stop by the Raptors office and sign the offer sheet today…

The Denver Nuggets have seven days to match the contract – which is four years and $20 million.

Clippers hire Vinny Del Negro as head coach

The Los Angeles Clippers today named Vinny Del Negro as the team’s head coach. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

Del Negro joins the Clippers after having led the Chicago Bulls to two consecutive trips to the NBA Playoffs (2009 and 2010) after back-to-back 41-41 (.500) seasons. The Bulls were eliminated in the first round of the 2010 Playoffs (1-4) by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Chicago played a memorable seven-game first round series against the defending NBA Champion Boston Celtics in 2009. That series saw four of the seven games go into overtime, including a triple-overtime win in game 6, a double-overtime win in game 4 and an overtime win in game one. All in all, what many consider the best postseason series in NBA history, saw four of the seven games go to overtime.

Prior to his time with the Bulls, Del Negro served as Assistant General Manager of the Phoenix Suns during the 2007-08 campaign after a promotion from his previous role of Director of Player Personnel, which he held for the 2006-07 season. Del Negro moved to the front office after working three seasons (2003-06) as a color analyst for the Suns’ broadcast teams. His broadcast career also included stints as an analyst for ESPN’s “NBA Matchup” and as an analyst for the San Antonio Spurs.

Del Negro retired from his 14-year professional playing career following the 2001-02 season (12 NBA seasons and 2 seasons with Benetton Treviso in the Italian A1 League). Over his 12-year NBA career, Del Negro averaged 9.1 points in 771 regular season games, while tallying 8.8 points in 54 playoff games.

Del Negro was originally drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the second round (29th overall) of the 1988 NBA Draft, tallying 7.1 points in 80 games played during his rookie season. After spending two seasons in Sacramento, Del Negro signed with Benetton Treviso, where he averaged 25.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 65 games over a two-year span (1990-92), leading the team to its first Italian League Championship in 1992 while being named playoff MVP.

In 1992 Del Negro returned to the NBA, embarking on a six-season stint with the San Antonio Spurs (1992-98). During his time in San Antonio, Del Negro helped lead the Spurs to the Playoffs on five occasions including two Midwest Division titles, and still holds the team’s record for consecutive free throws made (50). He was named to San Antonio’s 25th Anniversary Team as one of the top 25 players in Spurs history.

After his time in San Antonio, Del Negro played two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks (1998-00), one season with the Golden State Warriors (2000-01) and finished his career with two seasons in Phoenix (2000-02). Prior to his retirement, Del Negro’s contract was acquired by the Clippers on November 16, 2001 as part of a three-team trade which also included the Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic.

Del Negro played four collegiate seasons at North Carolina State under the late Jim Valvano, averaging 9.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists over his career. He helped the Wolfpack to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including back-to-back trips to the Elite Eight (1985 and 1986). He was also named the winner of the Everett Case Award as the MVP of the 1987 ACC Tournament, leading NC State to the tournament championship that year. Del Negro was named to the All-ACC First Team his senior season after tallying 15.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game while shooting .515 from the field and .839 from the free throw line. As a culmination to his career at North Carolina State, Del Negro had his jersey retired in 2001.

Vincent Joseph Del Negro, who was born on August 9, 1966, established the Vinny Del Negro Endowment Fun in Springfield to assist physically abused youths. Del Negro’s father, Vin, played collegiately under Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky. He and his wife Lynn met at North Carolina State.

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