Archive for August 3rd, 2010

Craig Smith has right knee surgery

Craig Smith has right knee surgery

Los Angeles Clippers forward Craig Smith underwent a successful arthroscopic procedure today on his right knee. He is scheduled to be sidelined from four to six weeks.

Smith, who averaged 7.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 16.4 minutes in 75 games played with Los Angeles last season, was re-signed by the Clippers as a free agent on July 20th.

Heat sign Eddie House

Heat sign Eddie House

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed free agent guard Eddie House. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

House has appeared in 661 career games (30 starts) with nine teams over 10 seasons. During his career, he has averaged 7.6 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 17.3 minutes while shooting 41.0 percent from the field, 39.0 percent from three-point range and 84.1 percent from the foul line. During the 2009-10 season, House averaged 7.0 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 17.9 minutes, while shooting 38.0 percent from the field and 92.3 percent from the foul line in 68 games for the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.

House, who marks his second stint with the Heat, was originally drafted by Miami with the 37th pick in the 2000 NBA Draft. He spent three seasons with the Heat before signing with the L.A. Clippers as a free agent. He was traded by the Clippers after one season, and spent the following season with the Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings. He then spent one year with the Phoenix Suns, and another with the New Jersey Nets. He played with the Boston Celtics for the following two seasons, where he won an NBA Championship in 2008. This past season, he spent time between the Celtics (50 games) and the New York Knicks (18 games).

The Denver Nuggets announced today that the contracts of executives Rex Chapman and Mark Warkentien will not be extended for the 2010-11 NBA season.

“Mark and Rex have played important roles in our success over the past several seasons,” KSE Executive Vice President Paul Andrews said. “However, after meeting with both individually in recent weeks, we decided it would be best for all parties to go their separate ways. We appreciate everything that each has done for the organization and wish them nothing but the very best in the future.

“We are in the process of evaluating and restructuring the Nuggets front office and have begun a search for possible replacements as we prepare for the upcoming season.”

Bucks 2010-11 preseason schedule

The Milwaukee Bucks will play three Wisconsin-based home games during the 2010 preseason, including two at the Bradley Center and one at the Resch Center in Green Bay, the team announced today.

Milwaukee returns to the Resch Center for the second consecutive season, this time playing Charlotte, coming off the Bobcats first postseason berth, on Saturday, October 9. Tickets for that game will be available at the Resch Center Box Office, TicketStarOnline.com or by calling (800) 895-0071.

The Bucks will make their first Bradley Center appearance of the preseason on Tuesday, October 5, when they host the Chicago Bulls with new coach Tom Thibodeau and recent acquisitions Carlos Boozer, and Kyle Korver.  Milwaukee will close out their preseason games with the 34th Annual MACC Fund Game on Friday, October 22 vs. Minnesota.  This annual event is the cornerstone of the Bucks 33-year commitment to the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer.  Since the inaugural event in 1977, the annual MACC Fund Game has raised more than $1 million dollars for children’s cancer research at the Midwest Children’s Cancer Center in Milwaukee.

The Bucks tip-off their preseason road slate at Detroit on Friday, October 8. The other four road games include games at Washington on Thursday, October 14, at Memphis on Saturday, October 16, against the Timberwolves on Sunday, October 17 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and against Cleveland on Thursday, October 21 (Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio).

Magic re-sign Jason Williams

Magic re-sign Jason Williams

The Orlando Magic have re-signed free agent guard Jason Williams, General Manager Otis Smith announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

“Jason (Williams) played very well for us last season,” said Smith.  “He provides veteran leadership to our backcourt and knows what it takes to win.  We are happy to have him back on our team.”

Williams (#44, 6’1”, 190, 11/18/75) played in all 82 games last season for the Magic, averaging 6.0 ppg., 3.6 apg. and 1.5 rpg. in 20.8 minpg., while shooting .380 (84-221) from three-point range.  He started in 18 outings, averaging 8.6 ppg., 5.1 apg., 2.7 rpg. and 1.11 stlpg. in 29.6 minpg. during that span.  Williams ranked seventh in the NBA in assists-to-turnover ratio (3.43, 298/87).  He also appeared in all 14 playoff games, averaging 2.6 ppg. and 1.6 apg. in 13.7 minpg.

Originally selected in the first round (seventh overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft, Williams has played in 761 career NBA regular season games with Sacramento, Memphis, Miami and Orlando, averaging 10.8 ppg., 6.0 apg., 2.3 rpg. and 1.21 stlpg. in 30.1 minpg.  He has also played in 67 career playoff contests, averaging 8.3 ppg., 3.3 apg. and 1.9 rpg. in 25.9 minpg.  Williams was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1998-99, currently stands as Memphis’ all-time leader in assists (2,041) and helped Miami capture the 2005-06 NBA Championship.

Apr. 01, 2010: Orlando Magic guard Jason Williams drives past the Dallas defense during an NBA game between the Orlando Magic and the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX Orlando defeated Dallas 97-82.

Celtics sign Von Wafer

Celtics sign Von Wafer

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed guard Von Wafer.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wafer, a 6’5” guard, has posted NBA career averages of 6.2 points and 1.3 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game.  Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 39th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, Wafer posted his best statistical season when he was with Houston for the 2008-09 campaign.  He posted career-highs with 9.7 points and 1.8 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game.  He also shot a career-high 39.0% from three-point land.  Wafer made 11 starts for the Rockets during that season and he averaged 16.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in those contests.

Houston Rockets Von Wafer dribbles against Golden State Warriors Anthony Morrow in the first half at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California on December 12, 2008. (UPI Photo/Terry Schmitt) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

Brian McIntyre, who has directed the NBA Communications Department and later the Basketball Communications Department, since 1981, is stepping down from daily oversight to become Senior Communications Advisor to Commissioner David Stern, the NBA announced today.

A 32-year NBA veteran, McIntyre joined the NBA office under then-Commissioner Larry O’Brien and is the longest-serving league office executive hired by Stern.

“Brian has made numerous and invaluable contributions to the growth and success of the NBA, the WNBA, the NBA Development League and USA Basketball over his distinguished career,” said Stern.  “Although he will be stepping down from his broad responsibilities, I am pleased that he has agreed to continue to make his skills and experience available to the NBA, albeit on a less intensive basis.”

“It has been a privilege and an honor to have worked in the NBA the last 30-plus years,” said McIntyre.  “I’ve enjoyed immensely working with our teams and media and have had the incredible fortune to have worked with so many talented and dedicated individuals.  I want to thank David and so many others for the incredible journey, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to the NBA and the game of basketball in my new role.”

The NBA also announced that Tim Frank, a 16-year NBA veteran – the last seven at the NBA as Vice President, Basketball Communications – has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Basketball Communications and will now oversee NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League basketball communications efforts, while Mike Bass, Senior Vice President, Marketing Communications, will continue to oversee all business and marketing communications for the NBA, WNBA, and NBA Development League and related initiatives.

“Tim is one of the best communications executives in any business,” said McIntyre. “He has great people skills, great instincts and a love of the profession and the game. This promotion is a great recognition of what he has done, and will continue to do, for the NBA.”

McIntyre was hired by the NBA in November 1981 as Director of Public Relations after three and a half years as Director of Marketing and Media Information for the Chicago Bulls. He was promoted to Vice President, Public Relations in March 1989. Under McIntyre, the Public Relations Department expanded to become the Communications Group, and he was named Senior Vice President in November 1997.

He has overseen public relations activities for every major NBA event since 1982, including The Finals, NBA All-Star, the NBA Draft Lottery, the McDonald’s Open and other events. He was involved in the launch of both the WNBA and the NBA D-League. He developed and implemented many of the communications policies and procedures currently in place for all three leagues. McIntyre also created numerous awards, including the Defensive Player of the Year award, the Sixth Man award and the Most Improved Player award. He was responsible for initiating White House visits by NBA Championship teams, creating a media training program for players, instituting the use of satellite postgame feeds at major events, and a host of other initiatives. In conjunction with USA Basketball, McIntyre has been actively involved in public relations planning, activities and onsite execution of the 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics and the 1994, 2002 and 2006 World Championships of Basketball.

A graduate of Loyola University of Chicago, McIntyre has served as a member of the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) News Council and the USA Basketball Media Advisory Committee. He was inducted into the Loyola (IL) Academy Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999 and was honored with a Merit Award by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in 2009. The Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA) honored McIntyre in 2010 when the organization named its annual team media relations tribute the Brian McIntyre Media Relations Award. McIntyre serves on the Board of Advisors for Loyola University’s School of Communications.

Timberwolves waive Delonte West

Timberwolves waive Delonte West

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has waived guard Delonte West.

As a result of this move, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune the Wolves now only have to pay $500,000 of his $4.6 million contract.

West was acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers along with Sebastian Telfair in exchange for Ryan Hollins and Ramon Sessions on July 26.

Last season for the Cavs, West averaged 8.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

For his career, he averages 10.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.1 steals.

Despite personal and legal issues, West is still expected to find a new NBA job in the near future.

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

December 23, 2008:Delonte West of the Cavs prepars to shoot a free throw during an NBA Basketball game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Houston Rockets at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH..The Cavaliers won their 14th straight home game 99-90..Ernie Aranyosi / CSM Photo via Newscom

NJ Nets realign scouting department

The New Jersey Nets have unveiled a new alignment of their scouting department for the 2010-11 season, General Manager Billy King announced today. According to King, Gregg Polinsky will remain in his position as director of player personnel, with former assistant coach Roy Rogers tabbed as advance scout.  Jordan Cohn, Maury Hanks and Khalid Green will remain with the team as scouts, and will be joined by Bob Ferry and Frank Zanin. Danko Cvjeticanin was named as the team’s new international scouting coordinator.

Gregg Polinsky (Director of Player Personnel): Gregg Polinsky returns for his third season as director of player personnel and 12th overall with the Nets.  Polinsky joined the Nets as a scout in 1999 and was promoted as the team’s director of scouting in 2005.

Roy Rogers (Advance Scout): Roy Rogers will begin his first season as the team’s advance scout, following two seasons on the Nets bench as an assistant coach.  In his new role, Rogers will be responsible for scouting the team’s upcoming opponents throughout the season and working closely with the coaching staff to develop a game plan.

Maury Hanks (Scout): Maury Hanks returns for his 13th season as a scout for the Nets.  Prior to joining the Nets, Hanks served as an assistant coach for seven years at UC Santa Barbara, Clemson, San Diego State and Drake.

Jordan Cohn (Pro Scout): Jordan Cohn returns for his seventh season as a scout for the Nets.  Cohn previously served as director of pro player personnel for the NY Knicks and coordinator of basketball information and technology for the Miami Heat.  He authored eight volumes of ‘Rick Barry’s Pro Basketball Scouting Report’ and started his own scouting service, charting individual player tendencies, which was used by several NBA teams in the 90’s.

Bob Ferry (Scout): Bob Ferry joins the Nets after most recently serving as a scout for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Following a 10 year NBA playing career, Ferry worked as an assistant coach and then general manager for the Washington Bullets from 1973-1990, twice being named NBA Executive of the Year.

Frank Zanin (Pro Scout): Frank Zanin brings 11 years of NBA experience to the Nets, spending nine seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers from 1999-2008.  During his time with Philadelphia, Zanin served in a number of capacities, including video coordinator, assistant coach/advance scout and personnel scout.

Khalid Green (Scout): Khalid Green will enter his third season as a scout for the Nets. Prior to joining the Nets, Green served as the head coach of Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn, NY.

Danko Cvjeticanin (International Scouting Coordinator): Danko Cvjeticanin comes to the Nets after serving as the European scouting coordinator for the Philadelphia 76ers.  As a player, Cvjeticanin won two Olympic silver medals, representing the Yugoslavian (1988) and Croatian (1992) national teams.

Kyle Weaver signs to play in Israel

KREM 2 Sports reports:

Kyle Weaver signs to play in Israel

Former Washington State star Kyle Weaver will continue his basketball career in Israel.

Weaver, who was waived by Oklahoma City on Friday, signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv on Monday. The terms of the contract were not released.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:

LeBron James takes out newspaper ad to thank Akron

Two days after Zydrunas Ilgauskas took out an ad in The Plain Dealer to thank the fans of Cleveland for their support, LeBron James placed a similar ad in the Beacon-Journal in Akron.

The ad, which runs on the back of the paper’s front section, also features photos of James from Akron events…

While James praised his hometown of Akron, he made no mention of Cleveland, where he played at Quicken Loans Arena for seven years as a member of the Cavs.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports:

The personal assistant to slain former NBA  player Lorenzen Wright said she had audio recordings of Wright’s ex-wife threatening to harm him, according to a report.

Wendy Wilson told ABC24-WPTY that the Sherra Wright, who was divorced from Lorenzen in January, was recorded saying “things like if she caught him with anyone else, she’d have him ‘bleeped up’ or whatever.”

Wright had been missing since July 18 when he left his ex-wife’s house with an unidentified person around midnight. Family members filed a missing persons report on July 22.

Phil Jasner of the Philadelphia Daily News reports:

Andres Nocioni sprains ankle while training for Argentina

The 76ers’ Andres Nocioni sprained his left ankle Friday while training with Argentina’s national team and is out indefinitely pending results of X-rays and an MRI exam.

A report in Argentina suggested Nocioni could be out for roughly 20 days.

Ed Stefanski, the Sixers’ president/general manager, said he was awaiting the test results, which will be forwarded to the Sixers’ medical staff.

Jan 15, 2009 - Chicago, Illinois, USA - ANDRES NOCIONI Photo via Newscom

ESPN.com reports:

New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni will not accompany Team USA to the World Championships in Turkey later this summer so he can fully treat an increasingly troublesome back, according to Team USA sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that D’Antoni is not expected to need surgery but has been advised to forsake the considerable international travel Team USA has scheduled this summer. D’Antoni will undergo treatment and rehabilitation to prevent the condition from worsening before the start of NBA training camp in late September.

D’Antoni, sources said, will be with Team USA throughout its next round of practices next week in New York — which will be capped by an Aug. 15 exhibition against France at Madison Square Garden — but then stay behind when the Kevin Durant-led squad heads to Europe for exhibitions in Spain and Greece before the World Championships begin Aug. 28.

With the return of head coach Phil Jackson for the 2010-11 season, the Los Angeles Lakers have retained Jim Cleamons, Frank Hamblen and Brian Shaw as assistant coaches while adding Chuck Person to the staff, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Person, who assisted the Lakers coaches and Jackson during their championship run last season, spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings (2007-09) and Indiana Pacers (2005-07).   Prior to that, he served two seasons as a special assistant to the CEO/president of basketball operations for Indiana, working with Pacers and Indiana Fever (WNBA) players, both on and off the court.  Additionally, he spent one season with the Cleveland Cavaliers before joining the Pacers’ coaching staff.

An alumnus of Auburn University who concluded his collegiate basketball career as the Tigers’ all-time leading scorer, Person has been in the NBA for 25 years; 13 as a player and the last 12 in the front office or coaching.

A first round selection (fourth overall) by the Pacers in the 1986 NBA Draft, he averaged 18.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in his first season and was named NBA Rookie of the Year.  He spent six seasons with Indiana and ranks 10th on the team’s all-time scoring list with 9,096 points.  He recorded 34 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against New York on Feb. 20, 1986, becoming the first Pacers rookie in franchise history to record a triple-double.  Person also played for Minnesota, San Antonio, Charlotte and Seattle over his 13-year NBA career. His career averages include 14.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

The Portland Trail Blazers signed rookie guard Armon Johnson, General Manager Rich Cho announced today. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“We feel Armon can help this team and are excited to have him on board,” said Cho. “He’s a physical guard who can defend, and we like his potential.”

Selected by the Trail Blazers with the 34th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Johnson led Portland’s 2010 Summer League entry with 33.2 minutes per game, averaging 11.6 points (fourth on team), 2.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists (second on team) and 2.20 steals (led team) in five games (all starts).

Johnson, 21, played three years at the University of Nevada from 2007-10, where he averaged 14.3 points (46.7% FG, 75.0% FT), 3.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 32.7 minutes in 101 games (99 starts). The Chicago native led the Wolf Pack in assists in each of his three seasons.

The 6-3, 195-pound Johnson earned First Team All-WAC honors as a sophomore, Second Team All-WAC honors as a junior and was named the 2008 WAC Freshman of the Year.

Johnson becomes the 15th player on the Trail Blazers’ current roster. He will wear jersey No. 1.

Suns sign Gani Lawal

The Phoenix Suns have signed Gani Lawal (GONN-ee luh-WALL), the 46th overall selection (second round) in the 2010 NBA Draft, the team announced today.

A three-year standout at Georgia Tech, Lawal was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Third Team in both his sophomore and junior seasons after leading his team in both scoring and rebounding in each campaign.  The 6-foot-9, 234-pound forward is an athletic and productive rebounder who averaged 14.0 points and 8.9 rebounds in 67 games (66 starts) over his final two collegiate seasons.  An able finisher around the basket, Lawal shot 54.8 percent from the field for his career and averaged 6.0 free-throw attempts in his sophomore and junior seasons.

In his final collegiate season in 2009-10, the 21-year-old Lawal averaged 13.1 points and 8.5 boards, both team-bests, while playing in the frontcourt alongside Derrick Favors, who was selected No. 3 overall in the 2010 draft by the New Jersey Nets.  Lawal finished his career with 27 double-doubles overall, second-most among active ACC players.  He grabbed 3.6 offensive rebounds as a sophomore in 2008-09, tops in the ACC.

Lawal became the 18th early entry selection in franchise history and the third Georgia Tech product selected by the Suns, joining Bruce Dalrymple (46th overall, 1987) and Malcom Mackey (27th overall, 1993).

Lawal made his Suns debut in the 2010 Las Vegas Summer League where he was selected to the All-Tournament Team after averaging team-highs of 15.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks.  He shot 49.2 percent from field and earned 41 free-throw attempts, most of any summer Sun.

Heat sign Patrick Beverley

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed guard Patrick Beverley. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Beverley played in four games (three starts) for the Heat’s 2010 summer league squad, averaging 5.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.25 steals, 1.8 assists and 24.8 minutes, while shooting 34.8 percent from the field and 70.0 percent from the free-throw line.

Beverley spent the 2009-10 season in Greece playing for Olympiakos Pireus, averaging 4.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 15.5 minutes, while shooting 58.1 percent from the field. He helped the team to a 23-3 record and a Greek League Championship Finals appearance. During the 2008-09 season, he played for Dnipro Dnepropetrovsk of the Ukrainian Basketball Super League and averaged 16.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.15 steals and 1.35 blocks in 35.8 minutes per game.

Beverley was selected in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. His draft rights were traded to the Heat in exchange for a 2011 second round draft pick and cash considerations.

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