Archive for July 21st, 2010

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. 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.

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