Archive for October, 2010

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

The stain of the Isiah Thomas reign continues.

On the eve of the Knicks’ season opener, the NBA said it is investigating reported allegations team brass staged illegal workouts with draft prospects, including Wilson Chandler, across the past four years — a probe centering on East Coast scout Rodney Heard and senior VP Glen Grunwald. Both are Isiah hires who still work for the club.

If found guilty, the Knicks could face fines, suspensions — and at its harshest — loss of a future draft pick. It also could put the status of Heard and — more importantly — Grunwald into question. Team president Donnie Walsh admits he has looked to hire Chris Mullin as general manager but says he does not have a opening because of Grunwald’s spot.

If the NBA finds allegations true, it also could mean Thomas’ chances of rejoining the Knicks in a prominent role will be compromised. Some of the alleged violations also occurred during Walsh’s watch.

The Milwaukee Bucks have exercised the option on the contract of General Manager John Hammond, and extended the contract of Head Coach Scott Skiles, the team announced today.  The agreements keep both Hammond and Skiles in their respective positions with the Bucks through the 2012-13 season.

“John and Scott do an outstanding job for our basketball team,” said Herb Kohl, team president.  “They work very well together and are each highly respected by the players and among their peers.  In a short time together, they have brought our team to a very high level of performance.”

The Bucks clinched a playoff berth last season by winning 46 games, the most by the franchise since the 2000-01 campaign, and took their first round playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks to seven games.

Hammond was hired by the Bucks on April 11, 2008, and has seen the team improve their win total by eight and 12 wins, over his first two seasons.  For his accomplishments, Hammond was awarded the 2009-10 NBA Executive of the Year Award, voted by his peers in the NBA.  He has more than 30-years of coaching and administrative experience, including seven seasons with the Detroit Pistons that included an NBA Championship (2004), another NBA Finals appearance and three other Eastern Conference Finals appearances.

Skiles became the 11th head coach in Bucks history on April 21, 2008, and led the team last season to a 46-36 record – a 12-game improvement that was the biggest in the Eastern Conference and third largest in the NBA.  The team qualified for the post season for the first time since 2005-06, and he made his sixth playoff appearance as a head coach.  Skiles has amassed an overall record of 361-335 (.519) as an NBA head coach, which includes previous stints with the Chicago Bulls (2003-2007) and Phoenix Suns (1999-2002).

kings exercise options on tyreke evans

The Sacramento Kings today exercised the options on guard Tyreke Evans and forwards Jason Thompson, Donté Greene, and Omri Casspi, it was announced by Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

Evans, entering his second NBA season, was named the 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year after averaging a team-leading 20.1 ppg (.458 FG%, .255 3pt%, .748 FT%), 5.3 rpg, and a team-best 5.8 apg—joining LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to average at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in their rookie campaigns.

Thompson was selected by the Kings as a senior out of Rider (12th overall) in the 2008 NBA Draft. He has averaged 11.8 ppg (.484 FG%, .703 FT%), 7.4 rpg, and 1.1 apg per game in 157 games through two seasons with Sacramento.

Originally selected by Memphis in the first round (28th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft as an undergraduate out of Syracuse, Greene joined the Kings after being acquired in a trade with Houston. He has accrued averages of 6.5 ppg (.407 FG%, .336 3pt%, .684 FT%) and 1.6 rpg in 131 career contests.

The first Israeli-born player in NBA history, Casspi was selected by Sacramento with the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He averaged 10.3 ppg (.446 FG%, .369 3pt%, .672 FT%), 4.5 rpg, and 1.2 apg as a rookie.

John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports:

New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul worked in practice Sunday with a brace off over his surgically repaired left knee.

During the portion of the practice open to the media, Paul took free throws and jump shots on an alternate court from his teammates as strength and core trainer Carlos Daniel and assistant trainer John Ishop observed.

Hornets Coach Monty Williams said Paul was getting used to the brace he’ll probably use throughout the regular season.

“We’re just trying to stay on top of anything that could be nagging,” Williams said. “It’s such a long season. When a guy is coming off a surgery, you want to be as cautious as you can to keep him from having any setbacks.”

Who needs LeBron? Cavs have Jamario Moon

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reports:

Who needs LeBron? Cavs have Jamario Moon

The Cavaliers’ starting small forward last season scored 2,258 points. Their small forward this season has scored 1,534 points in his three-year NBA career.

Jamario Moon knows that he’s not LeBron James, nor will he try to be this season.

”You can’t replace a guy like that,” Moon said. ”He was basically everything. He scored, he passed, he rebounded and he played defense. We’re not trying to replace him. We’re trying to work with the guys we’ve got. We’re going to put the best guys on the court that is going to give us the best chance to win. That’s all we can do.”

As the Cavaliers begin the regular season Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics, Moon has the unenviable task of replacing the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. Coach Byron Scott chose Moon to start at small forward because of his athletic ability, but he’s not a physical freak like James.

Dwyane Wade sheds the Flash nickname

Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald reports:

Dwyane Wade sheds the Flash nickname

Wade announced via Twitter on Sunday night that he is shedding his nickname Flash.

On Monday, Wade explained this season signifies a new era in his life and his career. For Wade, dropping the nickname is about growing up. Wade is 28 years old.

“That’s not me no more,” Wade said. “I’m in a different time; in a different place than I was when I was 22 years old. I’m just going in a different direction. I am who I am and just been thinking about it a lot, and I just want people to respect me for who I am and not a character.”

Blazers sign Fabricio Oberto

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed center Fabricio Oberto, it was announced today by General Manager Rich Cho. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to welcome Fabricio to Portland, and feel he can help us by providing depth in the frontcourt,” said Cho. “He’s a veteran center who has achieved success at both the NBA and international levels.”

A native of Las Varillas, Argentina, Oberto (6-10, 245) played four seasons for the San Antonio Spurs (2005-09), winning an NBA Championship as the starting center in 2007, before spending last season with the Washington Wizards.

Oberto, 35, holds career NBA averages of 3.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 14.6 minutes in 331 games (128 starts).

A veteran of international play, Oberto was a member of the Argentine National Team that won the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, took home the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and won the silver medal at the 2002 FIBA World Championships.

The Oklahoma City Thunder has exercised third-year options on guard James Harden, forward Serge Ibaka, guard Eric Maynor and center Byron Mullens, as well as fourth-year options on guard Russell Westbrook and forward D.J. White Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today.

Harden (6-5, 220) averaged 9.9 points (8th among rookies), 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 22.8 minutes in 76 games during his rookie campaign. The third overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, was named to the 2009-10 T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

Ibaka (6-10, 240) appeared in 73 games for the Thunder last season and averaged 6.3 points, 5.4 rebounds (4th among rookies), 1.33 blocks (1st among rookies) and 18.1 minutes per contest.  The Republic of Congo native was selected by Oklahoma City with the 24th overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Maynor (6-3, 170) averaged 4.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists (7th among rookies) and 15.7 minutes in 81 games (two starts) with Utah and Oklahoma City. Originally selected by the Jazz with the 20th overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, Maynor was acquired along with Matt Harpring from Utah in exchange for the draft rights to Peter Fehse on December 22, 2009.

Mullens (7-0, 275) saw action in 13 contests for Oklahoma City and averaged 1.1 points in 4.2 minutes.  The Columbus, OH native played in 27 games with the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League, averaging 15.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in 31.5 minutes.

Westbrook (6-3, 187) has averaged 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 1.3 steals and 33.4 minutes in 164 games (147 starts) during his first two NBA seasons.  The third-year guard competed with the USA Men’s Basketball National Team at the World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey helping the USA earn Gold for the first time since 1994.

White (6-9, 251) has averaged 6.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 12.2 minutes during his first two NBA seasons.  The Tuscaloosa, AL native saw action in 10 games last season for the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League, averaging a double-double with 20.2 points and 11.1 rebounds in 39.2 minutes.

The Miami Heat announced today that they have waived guard Patrick Beverley and forward Da’Sean Butler.

Beverley appeared in six preseason games (two starts) averaging 6.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.00 steals in 23.0 minutes.

Butler did not appear in a game for the Heat as he recovers from left knee surgery.

The Heat roster now stands at 15.

Pacers waive Magnum Rolle

The Indiana Pacers announced Monday they have waived Magnum Rolle, a 6-11, 235-pound center/forward.

Rolle, a 2010 second-round pick (51st  overall) acquired by the Pacers from Oklahoma City in a draft night trade of picks, played in five preseason games, averaging 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.

The Pacers’ roster is now at the league-mandated 15 players.

“Unfortunately for Magnum, it’s a numbers game and we had to get down to 15 players,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “We like Magnum, he played well for us and we’ll continue to scout him throughout the year.”

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has exercised its fourth-year option for the 2011-12 season for guard Derrick Rose and its third-year options for the 2011-12 season for forwards Taj Gibson and James Johnson.  By exercising the respective player options, all three players will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2011-12 season.

In two seasons with Chicago, Rose (6-3, 190) has appeared in 159 games (158 starts) and averaged 18.7 ppg, 6.2 apg, 3.8 rpg, 0.77 spg in 36.9 mpg; he has shot .483 from field and .776 from the line.  Last season, Rose became the youngest NBA All-Star in team history and was the first Chicago Bulls player to be named to an All-Star Game (2010) since Michael Jordan in 1998.  The Chicago native was also a member of the 2010 USA Men’s Basketball Team that claimed the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey this past summer.

Gibson (6-9, 225), appeared in all 82 games (70 starts) during his rookie campaign and posted averages of 8.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 0.9 apg and 1.27 bpg in 26.8 mpg.  He also shot .494 from the floor and .647 from the line.  Gibson, the 26th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, was also selected to the T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie First Team.  He led all rookies in rebounds per game, field goal percentage, double-doubles and was second in blocks per game.

The 6-9, 245-pound Johnson played in 65 contests (11 starts) during his rookie season.  He averaged 3.9 ppg and 2.0 rpg in 11.6 mpg.  Johnson was selected by the Bulls in the first round (16th overall) in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Clippers waive Marqus Blakely

The Los Angeles Clippers today waived forward Marqus Blakely.

In two preseason games, Blakely tallied 4.0 points and 9.0 minutes per game.

The Clippers roster now stands at 14 players.

Bucks waive Brian Skinner

The Milwaukee Bucks have requested waivers on forward/center Brian Skinner, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Skinner (6-9, 255 – Baylor) signed as a free agent on September 29. He appeared in all eight of the team’s exhibition games and averaged 1.5 points and 3.6 rebounds in 11.6 minutes. A veteran of 12 NBA seasons (including 2003-04 and 2006-07 in Milwaukee), Skinner holds averages of 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 605 career games.

The Bucks roster now stands at 15 players.

Blazers waive Jeff Pendergraph

The Portland Trail Blazers have waived forward Jeff Pendergraph, it was announced today by General Manager Rich Cho.

“We want to thank Jeff for his hard work and professionalism since he arrived here in Portland, and we wish him a fast and successful recovery from his injury,” said Cho. “We sometimes have to make difficult decisions in this business, and this was certainly one of them.”

Pendergraph suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in an Oct. 7 preseason game at Utah and is scheduled to undergo surgery as a result.

Pendergraph, 23, averaged 2.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in 39 games (four starts) as a rookie in 2009-10 with the Trail Blazers after being acquired from Sacramento in a draft day trade on June 25, 2009. The Arizona State product was the 31st overall pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft.

With Monday’s move, Portland’s roster stands at 14 players.

Martell Webster has back surgery, may be out 4-6 weeks

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that guard/forward Martell Webster underwent a successful microdiscectomy this morning to alleviate his recurring back pain. The surgery was conducted at TRIA Orthopaedic Center by Dr. James Schwender of the Twin Cities Spine Center.

No timetable for Webster’s return has been established, but the typical recovery time for this procedure is 4-6 weeks.

Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports:

Marc Gasol suffers ankle sprain in practice

Grizzlies starting center Marc Gasol left practice Sunday afternoon with a high left ankle sprain.

The 7-foot Spaniard landed awkwardly on backup center Hasheem Thabeet’s foot. and Gasol’s ankle was quickly wrapped in ice. The severity of Gasol’s injury won’t be known until today, when the Grizzlies’ medical staff reviews X-ray and MRI results.

Bucks exercise third-year option on Brandon Jennings

The Milwaukee Bucks have exercised their third-year option on guard Brandon Jennings, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Jennings started all 82 games for the Bucks in 2009-10, helping them to a 46-36 record (their most wins since a 50-32 mark in 2000-01) and their first playoff appearance since 2006. The 10th overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft finished third among rookies with 15.5 points, 5.7 assists and 1.3 steals to go with 3.4 rebounds. He hit 37.4 percent (145-388) of his three-pointers and sank 81.7 percent (223-273) of his free throws in a rookie season that saw him set franchise rookie records in assists (470) and three-pointers made (145).

In the thrilling seven game playoff series with Atlanta, Jennings averaged 18.7 points, 3.6 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals. In his playoff debut, Jennings tallied 34 points at Atlanta on April 17, two points shy of the rookie record for points in a playoff debut (36 - Derrick Rose in 2009; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1970).

Last season, Jennings became the first Eastern Conference rookie to win the Rookie of the Month award four times in a season, earning the honor for the months of October/November, December, January and March. Jennings was also named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played from November 9 through November 15, a week that included a Bucks rookie record 55 points by Jennings in a win over Golden State.

Jennings’ 55-point performance on November 14 was the highest point total of the 2009-10 season and the most scored by a rookie since Earl Monroe had 56 in 1968. Jennings became the youngest player in NBA history to score 50-plus points in a game and the fastest to do it, accomplishing the feat in his seventh game as a pro.

In his regular season debut on October 30, Jennings tallied 17 points, nine assists and nine rebounds, narrowly missing becoming the second player in NBA history to record a triple-double in his debut (Oscar Robertson, 1960). Though he missed out on the triple-double, he became the first rookie since 1974 (John Drew, Atlanta) to lead his club in points, rebounds and assists in his debut. Jennings also appeared in the NBA Rookie Challenge as well as the Skills Challenge at the 2010 All-Star Weekend.

Knicks waive Patrick Ewing, Jr

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that the team has waived forward Patrick Ewing, Jr.

Ewing, Jr., 6-8, 235-pounds, averaged 1.8 points and 6.0 minutes over four preseason games.

The roster stands at 15.

Hornets waive Curtis Jerrells

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have requested waivers on guard Curtis Jerrells.

Jerrells (6-1, 195) appeared in three games (one start) for the Hornets during the preseason averaging  2.0 points and 1.7 assists in 11.7 minutes of play.

The roster now stands at 15 players.

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that the team has exercised fourth-year options on forwards Danilo Gallinari and Anthony Randolph, as well as its third-year option on guard Toney Douglas.

Gallinari, 6-10, 224-pounds, has averaged 12.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in 109 games (76 starts) over his first two NBA seasons. Originally selected by New York with the sixth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Gallinari was selected to play in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and compete in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest at 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend in Dallas last season.

Randolph, 6-11, 225-pounds, has averaged 9.2 points and 6.0 rebounds in 96 games over his first two NBA seasons with the Golden State Warriors. Originally selected by the Warriors with the 14th overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft following his freshman season at Louisiana State University, Randolph was acquired by New York, along with Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf, from Golden State in exchange for David Lee on Jul. 9, 2010.

Douglas, 6-2, 185-pounds, averaged 8.6 points, 2.0 assists and 19.4 minutes in 56 games during his rookie campaign with New York in 2009-10. The Jonesboro, GA-native was selected by the L.A. Lakers in the first round (29th overall) in the 2009 NBA Draft and had his draft rights traded to New York in exchange for cash considerations on draft night, Jun. 25, 2009.

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