Archive for July 28th, 2010

Memphis Grizzlies Majority Owner Michael Heisley issued the following statement today regarding the death of Memphis native and former Grizzlies player Lorenzen Wright.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Lorenzen Wright. We lost a member of the Grizzlies family. Lorenzen delighted fans on the court with his passion and off the court with his generosity in a Memphis community that watched him grow throughout his playing career at Booker T. Washington High School, the University of Memphis and the NBA.

“In his five seasons with the Grizzlies, Lorenzen played an integral role in guiding this franchise to three consecutive playoff appearances and was a member of the inaugural Memphis Grizzlies team in 2001.

“On behalf of the entire Memphis Grizzlies organization, we would like to express our sincerest condolences to Lorenzen’s family during this difficult time.”

Wright, a 13-year NBA veteran with the Grizzlies (2001-06), Los Angeles Clippers (1996-99), Atlanta Hawks (1999-2001, 2006-08), Sacramento Kings (2007-08) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2008-09), averaged 9.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in 336 games with the Grizzlies. He ranks in the club’s all-time Top 10 in rebounds (2,386, 4th), blocks (250, 7th), games (7th), minutes (8,883, 8th) and points (3,148, 10th) and still holds the club’s all-time single-game record of 26 rebounds, set on November 4, 2001 vs. Dallas.

Andrew Bynum has right knee surgery

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair a tear of the lateral meniscus in his right knee, it was announced today.

The surgery was performed in New York by Dr. David Altchek.

Bynum, who suffered the tear in Game 6 of the Lakers’ First Round series with Oklahoma City, started each of the team’s 23 postseason games despite the injury, averaging 8.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.57 blocks in 24.4 minutes.

In 65 regular season contests, Bynum averaged a career-best 15.0 points on .570 shooting from the field, 8.3 rebounds and 1.45 blocks in 30.4 minutes.

Bynum is expected to be available on a limited basis at the start of training camp and make a full recovery by the start of the regular season.

Lorenzen Wright found dead

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports:

Law enforcement officials have found the body of missing Memphis basketball star Lorenzen Wright in a wooded area at Hacks Cross and Winchester in southeast Memphis.

A law enforcement source confirmed the body was that of Wright, who has been missing since July 19, though the Memphis Police Department won’t officially comment.

The body was found by someone who called police today.

InsideHoops.com note: This page will be updated later today.

Jul 28, 2010 - Los Angeles, California, USA - Police in Collierville, Tennessee, are investigating the disappearance of a former professional basketball player and say 'there is a high level of concern' in the search to find him. LORENZEN WRIGHT, 34, who played 13 seasons in the NBA, has not been seen or heard from since July 18 when he visited his ex-wife and their children in Collierville, near Memphis, investigators said. PICTURED: NBA Basketball. 20 Dec 2004: Lorenzen Wright of the Memphis Grizzlies during the Grizzlies 82-72 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Clippers re-sign Rasual Butler

Clippers re-sign Rasual Butler

The Los Angeles Clippers today re-signed free agent forward Rasual Butler. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

Butler, who averaged a career-high 11.9 points to go with 2.9 rebounds and 33.0 minutes in 82 games played with Los Angeles last season, also connected on 41 percent of his field goals on the year. He was originally acquired by the Clippers along with cash considerations from the New Orleans Hornets on August 12, 2009 in exchange for a conditional second round draft pick in 2016.

On April 4, 2010 against the New York Knicks, the eight-year NBA veteran established a new Clippers’ franchise record for most three-pointers made in a season, surpassing Terry Dehere (1995-96) when he knocked down his 140th three-pointer of the 2009-10 campaign. In addition to his career mark in scoring, Butler finished the season with career-highs in three-pointers made (145) as well as attempted (432 – also a Clippers’ franchise record).

Butler was originally drafted by the Miami Heat in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft. Over his career, he has tallied 8.8 points and 2.7 rebounds while connecting on 40 percent of his field goals and 36 percent of his three-point attempts.

Rockets trade David Andersen to Raptors

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have acquired centre David Andersen and cash considerations from the Houston Rockets in exchange for a 2015 protected second-round pick obtained from the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the Hassan Adams trade January 7, 2009.

Andersen, a 6-foot-11 native of Carlton, Australia, appeared in 63 games last season for the Rockets, averaging 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds during his rookie NBA campaign. He posted a career-high 19 points November 15, 2009 against the Los Angeles Lakers and reached double figures in scoring 12 times.

“David is a skilled big that gives us some insurance at the backup centre position,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo. “He will also bring a veteran presence and savvy to a relatively young team.”

Andersen was selected 37th overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2002 NBA Draft. He remained overseas to claim three Euroleague titles with Virtus Bolonga (2001) and CSKA Moscow (2006 and 2008). During the 2004-05 season he was named first-team All-Euroleague after averaging 12.4 points and a career-best 7.0 rebounds playing for CSKA Moscow. In 2007-08 he averaged a career-best 12.8 points during CSKA’s Euroleague championship run. Anderson posted strong numbers again in 2008-09 with Regal FC Barcelona, averaging 11.1 points and shooting .554 from the field in 23 games. He helped FC Barcelona win the ACB Spanish National Championship and a berth in the Euroleague Final Four.

In nine seasons abroad Anderson won four Russian National Championships, two Italian League Championships and an ACB Spanish National title. He also competed twice in the Summer Olympics (2004 and 2008) for the Australian National Team. Andersen’s draft rights were traded to Houston on July 14, 2009.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Andersen is a good backup center.

February 17, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Houston Rockets David Andersen plays some defense on Bucks Andrew Bogut , Andersen had 7 points coming off the Rockets bench..Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Houston Rockets 99-127. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Timberwolves sign Nikola Pekovic

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed center Nikola Pekovic. Per team policy, terms of the contract offer were not disclosed.

“We are excited to have Nikola join the Minnesota Timberwolves,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “Nikola has been regarded as the best center in Europe for the past few seasons and will be a tremendous addition to our club. He is a tough, hard-nosed player who brings an added dimension of physicality to our team. We look forward to him bringing his talents to the United States and the NBA.”

Pekovic, 24, has played for Panathinaikos Athens for the past two seasons. This past year, the 6-11 center from Serbia averaged 14.8 points on 60.7% shooting from the field, 3.5 rebounds and 16.8 minutes in 13 games in the Euroleague. In 26 games for Panathinaikos in the Greek League in 2009-10, Pekovic averaged 12.9 points on 72.5% shooting, 3.8 rebounds and 21.9 minutes. He helped lead Panathinaikos to the Euroleague championship in 2009, the Greek League championship in 2009 and 2010 and the Greek Basketball Cup in 2009. Pekovic was named to the All-Euroleague First Team in 2009.

The 31st overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by Minnesota, Pekovic has played professionally overseas for five seasons. Prior to playing for Panathinaikos, he was with Partizan Belgrade from 2005-08. Pekovic helped lead Partizan to three Serbian League championships (2006, 2007, 2008), two Adriatic League championships (2007, 2008) and the Serbian Cup in 2008. He was the Adriatic League Final Four MVP in 2008.

Heat re-sign Kenny Hasbrouck

The Miami Heat announced today that they have re-signed guard Kenny Hasbrouck. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hasbrouck played in five games (five starts) for the Heat’s 2010 summer league squad, averaging 13.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 28.6 minutes, while shooting 49.0 percent from the field and 45.0 percent from three-point range.

Hasbrouck was previously signed by the Heat to a 10-day contract on March 16, 2010 and then was signed to a second 10-day contract on March 26, 2010. He re-signed for the remainder of the season on April 5, 2010, but did not appear in a game for the team last season. Before signing with Miami, he appeared in 10 games (nine starts) with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League averaging 16.9 points, 2.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.60 steals in 32.3 minutes of action, leading the team to a 7-3 record, while shooting 50.4 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from three-point range and 80.6 percent from the free throw line.

Blazers trying to trade Rudy Fernandez

Jason Quick of The Oregonian reports:

Blazers trying to trade Rudy Fernandez

At the urging of Rudy Fernandez and his agent, the Trail Blazers have engaged in accelerated trade discussions to deal the disgruntled, once-popular shooting guard to one of three Eastern Conference teams.

Boston, Chicago and New York are all in the running to land the 6-foot-6 Spaniard, who set an NBA rookie record two seasons ago by making 159 three-pointers.

Fernandez, 25, is unhappy in Portland because of limited playing time behind All-Star Brandon Roy and because of the playing style of coach Nate McMillan, who primarily used Fernandez as an outside shooter, not the playmaker Fernandez believes he can be in the NBA.

Fernandez has two years remaining on his contract, which will pay him $1.25 million next season. The Blazers acquired Fernandez, along with James Jones, from Phoenix for cash considerations on draft night 2007. Fernandez signed with Portland in July 2008, ending his seven-year career in the  Spanish ACB League.

rudy fernandez on trading block nba

If you can`t intimidate Kobe, join him

Janis Carr of the Orange County Register reports:

Ron Artest messed with Kobe Bryant during a game and a year later he found himself playing alongside the Lakers star.

Now, Matt Barnes, the Orlando guard who tried to intimidate Bryant by shoving a ball in his face and generally got under his skin during a loss to Orlando last season, has joined the Lakers. What’s up with that?

In both cases, the players came at Kobe’s urging, because he wanted them on his side.

“He said, ‘Anyone crazy enough to mess with me is crazy enough to play with me,’ ” Barnes said with a laugh Tuesday.

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