Archive for July 12th, 2010

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that guards Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton will miss the remaining three games for the Hornets in the NBA Summer League.

Collison, who sat out last night due to a slight right knee bruise, was excused from the team last night following the Hornets game to return to Los Angeles to enroll in summer school at UCLA. The All-Rookie point guard is one class shy of his bachelor’s degree which he will obtain at the conclusion of summer school. In one game, Collison had nine points and seven assists.

Thornton suffered a bruised left shin during the game last night and as a precautionary will sit out the remining games. In two games, the LSU product averaged 18.5 points and 6.5 rebounds.

The Hornets arrived in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 4th and started practice the evening of July 5th. Both Collison and Thornton participated in all seven practices before the summer league started.

Bobcats re-sign Tyrus Thomas

Bobcats re-sign Tyrus Thomas

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has re-signed restricted free agent forward Tyrus Thomas to a multi-year deal.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. We’ll post contract details later today.

“Re-signing Tyrus was one of our top offseason priorities,” Higgins said.  “In his short time with us last season, we saw the contributions he could make to our team and we are confident he will continue to improve and play an important role for us moving forward.”

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.  In four playoff games against Orlando, Thomas averaged 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 17.0 minutes, including a 21-point, nine-rebound performance in Game Four.

The fourth overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, the 6-10 Thomas has appeared in 279 career NBA games with averages of 8.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.  In 21 career playoff games, Thomas has averaged 7.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

Thomas last month 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.

Heat trade Michael Beasley to Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has acquired 6-9 forward Michael Beasley from the Miami Heat in exchange for the Wolves’ second-round picks in the 2011 and 2014 NBA Drafts and cash considerations.

“We felt Michael had two very good years in Miami,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We feel he will have a very productive career, and wish him nothing but the best as he moves on.”

Beasley, 21, was the second overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. An NBA All-Rookie First Team selection following the 2008-09 season, Beasley averaged 14.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 78 games (all starts) for the Heat during the 2009-10 campaign. In his two NBA seasons, Beasley owns career averages of 14.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 159 career games.

A unanimous First Team All-American and the Big 12 Player of the Year following his lone season at Kansas State, Beasley averaged 26.2 points, 12.4 rebounds 1.64 blocks, 1.27 steals and 1.2 assists in 33 collegiate games.

Beasley was also named the National Freshman of the Year by both The Sporting News and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), and also received the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Beasley led the nation in rebounding and ranked third in scoring during his one season with the Wildcats.

Timberwolves sign Darko Milicic

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed free-agent center Darko Milicic. Per team policy, terms of the contract offer were not disclosed. We’ll post contract info tonight.

“We are pleased to have Darko Milicic back on our ballclub,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “I believe Darko re-discovered his love for basketball last season with us, due to his relationship with Coach Rambis and the opportunity for playing time.  Darko is now old enough and mature enough to harness his special basketball skills and we expect big things from him in the coming years.”

Milicic, 25, appeared in 24 games for the Timberwolves this past season after being traded to Minnesota from New York on Feb.17 in exchange for Brian Cardinal. In those 24 games (18 starts), the 7-0 center from Serbia averaged 8.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.38 blocks. Milicic established season highs with 16 points and 12 rebounds March 19 at the Lakers, and dished out a career-high five assists April 9 vs. the Lakers. He contributed 15 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high four blocks in a Wolves’ win over Sacramento on March 31.

The second overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by Detroit, Milicic has played seven seasons in the NBA and owns career averages of 5.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. His best statistical season came in 2006-07 when he averaged 8.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 80 games with Orlando.

Heat re-sign Udonis Haslem

Heat re-sign Udonis Haslem

The Miami Heat announced today that they have re-signed forward Udonis Haslem. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. We’ll post contract info later today.

“I am excited to be back,” Haslem said. “It’s a great opportunity to win. Miami has always been my home, and I’m happy I can play here for years to come.”

Haslem has appeared in 517 career games (386 starts) with the Heat over seven seasons. During his career, all with Miami, he has averaged 10.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 30.9 minutes while shooting 49.9 percent from the field and 76.3 percent from the foul line. He ranks second in Heat history in games played and defensive rebounds (3,118), third in total rebounds (4,177) and double-doubles (121), and fourth in field goal percentage (.499), offensive rebounds (1,226), starts and minutes played (15,986).

He has led the Heat in total rebounds and defensive rebounds in each of the past five seasons, and has led the team in offensive rebounds and rebound average in each of the last four seasons. He has also served as the team captain for the last three seasons, and along with teammate Dwyane Wade, are the only Heat players remaining from the 2006 championship team. He and Wade are also the only two Heat players to play together for at least seven seasons.

During the 2009-10 season, Haslem came off the bench in each of the 78 games in which he appeared, averaging 9.9 points, a team-leading 8.1 rebounds and 27.9 minutes, while shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 76.2 percent from the foul line. He led the NBA in double-doubles off the bench with 21 and led the Heat in offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds and total rebounds.

Haslem was not drafted by the NBA out of college. He was originally signed by the Heat as a free agent on August 6, 2003. He then re-signed with the club on August 2, 2005.

Spurs sign Tiago Splitter

The San Antonio Spurs today announced they have signed Tiago Splitter. The 25-year-old Splitter was selected by the Spurs with the 28th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not announced. We’ll post contract details tonight.

The 6-11, 235-pound Splitter has played for Caja Laboral Vitoria in the ACB League since the 2003-04 season. In his seven seasons with Caja Laboral he has established himself as one of the dominate big men in Europe. Splitter has lead Caja Laboral to four Spanish League regular season titles (2003-04, 2004-05, 2006-07 and 2008-09) and two Spanish League championships (2007-08 and 2009-10). In addition the team has advanced to at least the quarterfinals of the Euroleague Championship six straight seasons (including four straight semifinal appearances from 2004-08).

During the 2009-10 ACB season Splitter was named the Spanish League regular season MVP and the Spanish League Finals MVP. For the season he averaged 15.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in 28.9 minutes in 38 games. He shot .595 (219-368) from the field and .759 (145-191) from the line.

In 2009-10 Euroleague action Splitter averaged 13.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 26.1 minutes in 16 games. He shot .539 (76-141) from the field and .636 (56-88) from the line. Splitter earned All-Euroleague honors for the third straight season (he was named to the All-Euroleague First Team in 2007-08 and to the All-Euroleague Second Team in 2008-09 and 2009-10).

Originally signed by Caja Laboral in April of 2000, at the age of 15, Splitter played, on loan, with Araba Gorago Alava in 2000-01 and Basket Bilbao Berri in 2001-02 and 2002-03 before joining Caja Laboral for the 2003-04 season. In seven Spanish League seasons with Caja Laboral he averaged 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 233 games while shooting .616 (969-1,573). In seven Euroleague appearances Splitter has played in 137 games averaging 10.5 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting .597 (537-900) from the field.

Born and raised in Brazil, Splitter has played for the Brazilian National Team since 2002. In international play Splitter’s Brazilian teams have captured gold medals at the 2003 South American Championship, the 2003 Pan American Games, the 2005 Americas Championship and the 2009 Americas Championship.

Derek Fisher will stay with Lakers

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles reports:

Derek Fisher will stay with Lakers

Derek Fisher has decided to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Credit Kobe Bryant with the assist.

“I have decided to continue with Kobe, continue with our teammates and the fans of Los Angeles,” Fisher said in a statement. “While this may not be the most lucrative contract I’ve been offered this offseason, it is the most valuable. I am confident I will continue to lead this team on and off the court. Let the hunt for six begin.” …

“Kobe Bryant asked me to stay but supported whatever decision I made. He and I have played together for 11 seasons, came into the league together as kids, and has been loyal to me even when others had doubts. We have won five championships together.”

Knicks sign Raymond Felton

Knicks sign Raymond Felton

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that the team has signed guard Raymond Felton as a free agent. As per club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed. We’ll add contract details later today.

“Raymond is a top point guard and someone we targeted during the free agency period,” Walsh said. “He is an all-around player, excelling on both sides of the court and a true professional.”

Felton, 6-1, 198-pounds, has career averages of 13.3 points, 6.4 assists, 1.42 steals and 34.9 minutes in 399 career games (369 starts) in five NBA seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats. The Marion, SC-native was drafted by Charlotte, following his junior season at the University of North Carolina, with the fifth overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft and has played in at least 78 games in all five NBA seasons. In 2009-10, Felton averaged 12.1 points, 5.6 assists (19th in the NBA), 1.54 steals (15th) and 33.0 minutes in 80 games (80 starts) in leading Charlotte to their first playoff appearance in franchise history.

“Donnie deserves a tremendous amount of credit for all the long hours he has put towards re-shaping our roster and signing Raymond gives us a good veteran point guard who should be a great fit for us,” Head Coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I think our system will highlight his numerous skills and that he will give us leadership and toughness at one of the most important positions on the floor.”

Felton had a standout career at North Carolina and became the first player in the Tar Heels’ storied history to record 1,000 points, 600 assists, 300 rebounds, 150 steals and 100 three-point field goals. He quarterbacked North Carolina to the 2005 NCAA title and was named to the all-tournament team. He also set North Carolina’s single-game records for assists (18) and three-point field goals made (eight) while on campus in Chapel Hill.

The Indianapolis Star reports:

The Indiana Pacers are staying in Indianapolis, but it will cost taxpayers at least $33.5 million over the next three years.

The city and the Pacers are expected today to announce an agreement hailed by some as an important step in protecting the financial state of the city but criticized by others as a multimillion-dollar bailout of a professional sports team and its billionaire owner…

Under the terms, control of Conseco Fieldhouse — and revenues from all events there — will remain with the team, but unlike the current contract, the city will chip in $10 million per year for fieldhouse operations for the next three years. The city also will pay at least $3.5 million for capital improvements at the fieldhouse, an amount that has the potential to increase by up to $4.7 million.

In exchange, the Pacers must stay in Indianapolis through the 2012-13 basketball season or pay back the entire $30 million. The team also would be on the hook for a portion of that $30 million if it left before its contract expired in 2019.

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