Archive for July 13th, 2010

Timberwolves trade Al Jefferson to Jazz

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has acquired center/forward Al Jefferson from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for center Kosta Koufos, the Memphis Grizzlies’ protected 2011 first-round pick (obtained by the Jazz a previous trade) and an additional future protected first-round pick.

(Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.)

“We are happy to acquire a young power player who has developed into one of the best low-post scorers in the league,” said Jazz General Manager O’Connor. “We gave up significant assets to obtain Al and we look forward to watching him progress with our team.”

“I want to thank Al for his three years with the Timberwolves and the professionalism he exhibited this summer,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “Al is motivated to have a career-defining season and I recognize the Jazz will be the recipients of that, not us. I expect him to help Utah immensely.

“However, this trade was made in the best interests of not only Al, but also us. With the arrival of Michael Beasley, it would have been difficult to play Al the kind of minutes he deserves without jeopardizing the development of both Kevin Love and Michael. Moreover, I believe we had to take the opportunity to do this trade during the summer, when a small handful of teams are capable of absorbing his salary without sending back equal contracts in return.

“The first-round picks we receive plus the flexibility that we now have under the salary cap made this the right time to make what was a difficult decision.”

Originally selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round (15th overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft, Jefferson (6-10, 275, Prentiss H.S. (Miss.)) owns career averages of 15.3 points (.503 FG%), 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.25 blocks in 407 career games (276 starts) over six NBA seasons with Boston and Minnesota since entering the league directly out of high school in 2004.  Jefferson has averaged a double-double in four of the last five seasons and has 98 career games with 20+ points and 10+ rebounds.

In three seasons with the Timberwolves (2007-10), Jefferson appeared in 208 games (all starts) and averaged 20.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.44 blocks in 34.7 minutes while leading the team in scoring each season.  His best statistical season came in 2008-09, when Jefferson registered career-high averages of 23.1 points, 1.6 assists and 1.66 blocks while grabbing 11.0 rebounds per game, becoming one of only five players in the last 10 years to average both 23+ points and 11+ rebounds for a season (Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’Neal and Chris Webber are the others).

In 2009-10, Jefferson averaged 17.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.29 blocks in 76 games (all starts) with 35 double-doubles.  He scored 20+ points on 27 occasions and had 10+ rebounds 37 times, including a game on January 14, 2010 when he hauled in a Minnesota franchise-record 26 rebounds and scored 26 points in the Wolves triple-overtime loss at Houston.  The effort was his fifth career 20-20 game and just the ninth 25-point, 25-rebound game in the NBA in the past 15 years.

In February 2010, the 25-year-old Monticello, Miss., native and former Mr. Basketball for the state of Mississippi was among 27 NBA players selected to the 2010-2012 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Program.

Originally selected by the Jazz in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft, Koufos (7-1, 265, Ohio State) owns career averages of 3.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.2 assists in 48 career games (seven starts).

Hornets, GM Jeff Bower part ways

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that the organization and Jeff Bower have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately. A search for a general manager is already underway.

“We feel it is in the best interest for us and Jeff to part ways at this time.” said Hornets President Hugh Weber. “Our search for a new general manager is already underway. We will target basketball minds that are highly respected in the basketball circles and someone that will help in our pursuit of building a championship team.”

Bower spent 14-plus seasons with the club, serving various scouting, coaching and general manager positions. He served as general manager from 2001-2003 and was re-appointed general manager at the start of the 2005-06 season. Bower took over the head coaching role this past season on November 12 after the Hornets relieved Byron Scott of head coach duties. He guided the Hornets to a 34-39 record (.466) last season.

“I want to thank Jeff for all his service for our organization,” said Hornets Owner George Shinn. “Gary Chouest and I have the necessary resources and will continue to do what it takes this summer to make our team better. Under the new leadership of Monty Williams, our team president Hugh Weber and our new general manager we feel very positive about our future as an organization.”

Wizards sign Hilton Armstrong

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed center Hilton Armstrong to a free agent contract.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

“Hilton brings what we were looking for in a backup center for our roster,” said Grunfeld.  “He is a defensive-minded, skilled big man who will be able to provide consistent minutes and step in to fill a larger role when necessary.”

Armstrong (6-11, 235), the 12th overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft (by New Orleans), holds career averages of 3.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 224 games (37 starts over four professional seasons with New Orleans, Sacramento and Houston. He registered career-highs of 4.8 points (.561 field goal percentage) and 2.8 rebounds per game in 70 games (29 starts) during the 2008-09 season with the Hornets.  A former Big East Defensive Player of the Year and All-Big East performer, Armstrong also helped the University of Connecticut to the NCAA championship as a sophomore.

Mavs sign rookie Dominique Jones

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed first round draft choice Dominique Jones. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jones (6-4, 215) was originally the 25th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. The Mavericks acquired his rights from Memphis for cash considerations in a draft day trade.

The Lake Wales, Fla., native finished his three-year career at South Florida ranked fifth in career scoring (1,797 points), first in free throws attempted (615) and fifth in both field goals made (592) and attempted (1,339). He was named First Team All-Big East as a junior when he averaged 21.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game.

Jones led the Bulls in scoring in each of his three years. He was an honorable mention All-American and a finalist for both the Wooden Award and Naismith Award as a junior and was the only player in the nation to average at least 21 points, six rebounds and three assists per contest. He ranked second in the Big East (15th in the nation) in scoring in his final season with South Florida.

Mavericks sign Ian Mahinmi

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed center Ian Mahinmi (pronounced Yan mah-HEEN-me). Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mahinmi (6-11, 230) joins the Mavericks as a free agent from the San Antonio Spurs where he spent two NBA seasons. He holds career averages of 3.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 5.8 minutes in 32 career games.

Originally a first round draft pick (28th overall) of San Antonio in 2005, Mahinmi played in 26 games for the Spurs last season averaging 3.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 6.3 minutes per game and shooting .636 from the field. He also saw the first postseason action of his career in the series against the Mavericks when he played in two games averaging 4.5 points and 1.0 rebounds per contest.

The Rouen, France native played in only six games during his rookie season (2007-08) and spent the majority of the year with the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League. While in Austin, he averaged 16.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks en route to being named All-NBA Development First Team in 2008. He missed the entire 2008-09 season with an ankle injury.

Mahinmi was born and raised in France by his mother who is from Jamaica and his father who hails from Benin. He spent four seasons in the French A League before making his debut with the Spurs and was a named a French League All-Star in 2006. Mahinmi was also a member of the French National Team that captured bronze at the 2004 European Junior Championship.

Spurs re-sign Matt Bonner

Spurs re-sign Matt Bonner

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

Bonner has spent the past four seasons in San Antonio.  Last season he saw action in 65 games, averaging 7.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 17.9 minutes while shooting .446 (166-372) from the floor, .390 (90-231) from the three-point line and .729 (35-48) from the free throw line. The former Florida Gator scored in double figures 19 times, including a career-high 28 points at Utah on Dec. 7.  The 6-10 forward missed 15 games after breaking the fourth metacarpal in his right hand vs. Indiana on Dec. 19.  Bonner appeared in all 10 playoff games, averaging 5.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 17.3 minutes.  Among Spurs all-time leaders, Bonner ranks seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.397, 290-370) and eighth in three-point field goals made (290).

Bonner originally joined the Spurs on June 21, 2006, in a trade with the Toronto Raptors.

In his six-year NBA career Bonner has appeared in 430 games, averaging 6.7 points and 3.5 rebounds in 18.3 minutes while shooting 40.5 (430-1,065) percent from three-point range.

Knicks sign Timofey Mozgov

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that center Timofey Mozgov has been signed as a free agent. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mozgov, 7-1, 250-pounds, averaged 7.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 18.9 minutes in 32 games with BC Khimki (Russia) during the 2009-10 season. The 23-year-old, St. Petersburg, Russia-native has played for Khimki for the last four seasons and averaged 11.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 23.0 minutes for the Russian National Team during the 2009 European Championships.

Bulls sign Omer Asik

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed center Omer Asik (O-mair A-sheek).  In accordance with team policy, terms of the contract were not announced.

Asik, 24, is a two-time Turkish League All-Star (2007, 2008), and has spent the last five seasons in the Turkish Basketball League, both with Fenerbahce Ulker (2005-06 & 2007-2010) and Alpella (2006-07).

During the 2009-10 season, Asik appeared in nine Turkish League games and seven Euroleague contests with Fenerbahce Ulker, before suffering a season-ending collarbone injury.  In nine Turkish League contests, he averaged 10.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 1.55 bpg in 20.2 mpg, while shooting .613 from the floor.  In Euroleague action, he posted 8.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.43 bpg and shot .658 from the field in seven appearances.  He currently holds the Euroleague Top 16 record for most blocked shots in a game with 19 rejections.

Originally drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round (36th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft, the Bulls acquired Asik’s draft rights in a draft-night deal.  Chicago traded its 39th selection in the Draft, Sonny Weems, to the Denver Nuggets, and also traded to Denver, the New York Knicks’ 2009 regular second-round pick (acquired from New York in a trade on Oct. 4 2005), and Chicago’s 2010 regular second-round pick.  Denver, in turn, traded its 2009 regular second round draft choice to Portland, which then traded its 36th pick (Asik) to the Bulls.

The 7-0, 255-pound Asik is a native of Bursa, Turkey and is a member of the Turkish National Team.

Bobcats trade Tyson Chandler to Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have acquired centers Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca (pronounced ah-lek-SEE ah-Gin-sa) from the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for center Erick Dampier, forward Eduardo Najera, guard Matt Carroll and cash considerations.

Chandler (7-1, 235) is an nine-year veteran who holds career averages of 8.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 27.6 minutes in 588 games (391 starts). Chandler entered the 2001 NBA Draft out of Dominquez High School (Compton, Calif.) and was the second overall pick. He has played for Chicago, New Orleans and Charlotte.

Last season with the Bobcats, Chandler played in 51 games (starting 27) and averaged 6.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks despite being hampered by a stress reaction in his left foot that caused him to miss 29 games. Prior to that, Chandler was a member of the New Orleans Hornets where he enjoyed the best season of his career in 2007-08 when he averaged a career-high 11.8 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 1.0 assists in a career-high 35.2 minutes while shooting .623 from the floor in 79 starts. During the 2008 postseason, Chandler led the Hornets past Dallas into the Western Conference semi-finals averaging 10.3 points and 10.3 rebounds.

Ajinca (7-0, 220) was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats as the 20th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.  The two-year pro has averages of 2.2 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.2 blocks in 5.7 minutes in 37 career games.  He has made two separate D-League stints with the Sioux Falls Skyforce (2008-09) and Maine Red Claws (2009-10) playing in 33 games and averaging 14.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 blocks, 0.6 steals, and 0.4 steals in 24.9 minutes, while shooting .523 from the field (161-308 FGs) and .760 from the free-throw line (130-171 FTs).  He was named to the 2010 D-League Eastern Conference All-Star Team but was unable to play due to injury.

The Saint Etienne, France native played two years professionally with Hyeres-Toulon in the French Pro A League before declaring for the NBA Draft.  With Hyeres-Toulon, he averaged 4.7 points while shooting .538 from the field (42-80 FGs), 3.1 rebounds and 1.0 block in 26 games.  He won the bronze medal with the French National Team at the 2007 Under-19 World Championship.

Dallas parts ways with Dampier after aquiring him via a sign-and-trade with Golden State on August 24, 2004. Dampier was the third-longest tenured Maverick behind Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry and played 424 games in Dallas. Among franchise leaders, Dampier ranks seventh in rebounds (3,211), fourth in offensive rebounds (1,224), seventh in defensive rebounds (1,715), first in field goal percentage (.591) and fourth in blocks (546). Najera was in his second stint with the Mavericks after being drafted by Dallas in the second round of the 2000 NBA Draft (38th overall), while Carroll just finished his first full season as a Maverick after being acquired from Charlotte on January 16, 2009.

Bulls sign Kyle Korver

Bulls sign Kyle Korver

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent forward Kyle Korver.  In accordance with team policy, terms of the contract were not announced.

“We are pleased to welcome Kyle to the Bulls.  He will be a great addition to our team and he will provide another dimension to our offense,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman.

Korver (6-7, 212), a seven-year veteran of the NBA, spent the last two-plus seasons with the Utah Jazz.  He broke into the league with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2003, where he played for four-plus seasons after being drafted in the second round of the 2003 NBA Draft (51st overall).

Last season with the Jazz, the Pella, Iowa native appeared in 52 games and averaged 7.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 1.7 apg in 18.3 mpg.  He shot a career-best .493 from the field, a career-high .536 (first in the NBA) from behind the arc and .796 from the line.  Korver’s long-range accuracy last season set an NBA record for highest three-point shooting percentage in a season, eclipsing former Bull Steve Kerr’s mark of .524 (89-170 3FG) set in 1994-95.

For his career, the 29-year old Korver has played in 517 regular season games (103 starts) and posted averages of 9.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, 25.0 mpg, .431 field goal shooting, .410 three-point shooting and .879 from the line.  His teams have advanced to the postseason four times, where he has played in 32 NBA playoff games (seven starts) and averaged 8.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.3 apg, 23.4 mpg and shot .423 from the field, .369 from downtown and .884 from the line.

The Los Angeles Clippers have signed guard Willie Warren, their second round selection (54th overall) in the 2010 NBA Draft.

The University of Oklahoma product was an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection as a sophomore in 2009-10, averaging a team-high 16.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 32.3 minutes per game while appearing in 21 contests.

A former teammate of current Clipper forward Blake Griffin at Oklahoma in 2008-09, Warren enjoyed a stellar freshman campaign that saw the Dallas, Texas native win the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award and average 14.6 points and 3.1 assists in 32.3 minutes per game while playing in 36 games.

An explosive, creative scorer with exceptional speed, the 6-foot-4, 203 pound Warren was a Second Team All-Big 12 selection in 2008-09 and was a First Team Freshman All-American while setting Oklahoma freshman records for games started (34) and three-pointers made (67).

Warren, along with fellow Clipper rookies Al-Farouq Aminu and Eric Bledsoe, is a member of the Clippers’ entry in the 2010 NBA Summer League, currently taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Celtics re-sign Ray Allen

Celtics re-sign Ray Allen

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have re-signed guard Ray Allen.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Re-signing Ray has been a priority of ours this offseason and this move will allow us to stay at a championship level,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations.

Allen, a 6’5” guard, set an NBA Finals record during Game 2 of the 2010 Finals when he connected on eight three pointers (including seven in a row). The former UConn Husky has added two All-Star appearances in his three seasons in Boston for a total of nine career All-Star appearances.  Allen has shot 39.2% from beyond the arc (524-for-1,337) since he joined the Celtics prior to the 2007-08 season when he helped the Celtics to their 17th championship. Allen became the sixth Celtic to record his 20,000th career point while wearing the Celtic green when he netted a three-pointer against Washington on December 10, 2009.

“I am ecstatic to be back in Boston,” said Allen. “I cannot wait to get onto the court and get back to work with the rest of the team in pursuit of Banner 18.”

Allen is currently ranked second all-time in three pointers made and attempted in NBA history. He also is currently ranked 28th in NBA history in total points scored with 20,965.

“Ray Allen represents class and excellence both on and off the court. We are thrilled he will help lead the team’s quest for Banner 18,” said Steve Pagiluca, Celtics Co-Owner.

Warriors trade Anthony Morrow to Nets

Warriors trade Anthony Morrow to Nets

The New Jersey Nets have acquired guard Anthony Morrow from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for the Nets 2011 second round draft pick (protected 31-55), Nets President Rod Thorn announced today.

“We felt that outside shooting was a primary concern during this offseason,” said Thorn. “Anthony is one of the premier young shooters in the league and we are very pleased to add him to our roster.”

Morrow, 6’5”/210, is a two-year NBA veteran with career averages of 11.6 points and 3.4 rebounds in 26.0 minutes over 54 career games with the Golden State Warriors.

The four-year senior out of Georgia Tech, was not selected in the 2008 NBA Draft and later signed with the Warriors as a free agent.  Morrow led the NBA in three-point field goal percentage in 2008-09, becoming the first Warrior and first rookie to lead the NBA in the category.

Last season, he appeared in 69 games, including 37 starts for Golden State, posting averages of 13.0 points on 46.8% shooting, including a 45.6% mark from downtown (fifth-best in the NBA) and 3.8 rebounds in 29.2 minutes per game.

Shooting .460 (226-491) from downtown in his two seasons, Morrow holds the highest three-point field goal percentage in the NBA among players with at least 200 three-pointers made.

Magic sign Quentin Richardson

Magic sign Quentin Richardson

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard/forward Quentin Richardson, General Manager Otis Smith announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

“Quentin (Richardson) is a solid perimeter defender and brings an element of toughness,” said Smith.  “At the same time, he also is a tremendous shooter from long range, which fits our style of play very well.  We’re excited to add him to our team.”

Richardson (#5, 6’6”, 228, 4/13/80) played in 76 games (75 starts) last season with Miami, averaging 8.9 ppg., 4.9 rpg. and 1.2 apg. in 27.4 minpg.  He also appeared in five postseason contests, averaging 9.8 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 1.6 apg. and 1.60 stlpg. in 29.8 minpg.  Richardson shot a team-best .397 (142-358) from three-point range, which tied for 21st in the NBA.  He scored in double figures 28 times and had seven 20-point outings, including a season-high 25 points on Mar. 4 vs. the L.A. Lakers.  Richardson led (or tied) the team in scoring once, in rebounding 12 times and in assists once.

Originally selected in the first round (18th overall) by the L.A. Clippers in the 2000 NBA Draft, Richardson has appeared in 677 career NBA regular season games with the L.A. Clippers, Phoenix, New York and Miami, averaging 11.2 ppg., 5.0 rpg. and 1.6 apg. in 28.0 minpg.  He has shot .359 (1,082-3,017) from three-point range during his career.  Richardson has also played in 20 career playoff outings, averaging 11.4 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 1.6 apg. and 1.35 stlpg. in 35.6 minpg., while shooting .394 (41-104) from three-point range.

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