Archive for November 1st, 2010

Suns sign Jared Dudley to contract extension

The Phoenix Suns have signed forward Jared Dudley to a multi-year contract extension, the club has announced. The Arizona Republic reports that the deal is for five years with $21.25 million guaranteed and another $1.25 million in playoff incentives.

“Jared Dudley is a valued member of what makes this franchise special,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby.  “The uncertain future made these discussions challenging; but in the end, good will prevailed and we are delighted to have reached an agreement.”

Winner of the team’s 2009-10 Dan Majerle Hustle Award, the 6-7, 220-pound Dudley has established himself as one of the team’s best defenders and one of the league’s premier three-point shooters while becoming a fan-favorite in Phoenix.  The fourth-year performer enjoyed a break-out year in 2009-10 in his first full season with the Suns, averaging a career-high 8.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and career-best 1.4 assists while seeing action in all 82 games.  Dudley also led the Suns with a career-high 81 steals last season.

In addition to his defensive tenacity and trademark hustle, it was Dudley’s improved long range shooting that made him indispensable to the Suns’ attack.  On a team that shot the second-best three-point percentage in NBA history, Dudley connected on a team-best and career-high 45.8 percent of his three-point attempts, fourth-best in the NBA.  “JD” made 120 threes overall, 116 of which came in a reserve role, third-most of any NBA bench player (2010 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford, J.R. Smith).  Dudley entered last season with 38 career three-pointers.

Originally selected by the Charlotte Bobcats with the 22nd overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft, the Boston College product and 2007 ACC Player of the Year was acquired by the Suns along with Jason Richardson and a 2010 second-round pick (used to select Gani Lawal) on Dec. 10, 2008.  He owns career averages of 6.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 223 games (23 starts), including 7.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 130 games (one start) with Phoenix.

Hawks, Al Horford agree to extension

The Atlanta Hawks announced this morning that the team has agreed to terms on a multi-year extension with center Al Horford, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Rick Sund.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the deal is for five years and $60 million.

“From the moment he arrived in Atlanta, Al has been a large part of our success,” said Sund.  “The winning tradition he brought to the franchise as a rookie out of Florida has extended to three consecutive playoff seasons in a Hawks uniform.  In addition, he was deservedly recognized as an All-Star last year, and we certainly look forward to his continued development as we move forward.”

In his three seasons with the Hawks, Horford has played in 93 percent of his games (229 of 246 regular season contests) and totaled 12.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 blocks in 33 minutes of action (.527 FG%, .753 FT%).  In 81 games a year ago, he turned in career bests in points (14.2 ppg) and rebounds (9.9 rpg), in addition to becoming the first Atlanta draft selection to earn an All-Star berth since Kevin Willis (in 1992).

Eighth in the NBA in field goal percentage, Horford was also among the league’s leaders in rebounding (10th), offensive rebounding (tied for ninth) and blocks (26th).  He recorded a team-leading 39 double-doubles (11th in the NBA) and posted 12 20-point games and a career-high 31 on February 7 at the Los Angeles Clippers.

Having reached the postseason in every one of his three seasons, he has averaged 11.5 points and 8.3 rebounds in 27 games, with a 20/10 performance in his playoff debut (the first Hawk to do so) – 20 points and 10 boards against the Boston Celtics.

The third overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft from the University of Florida, and Horford was the only player unanimously picked to the NBA All-Rookie first team, and he was also runners-up for league Rookie of the Year honors.

NBA TV today announced that NBA veteran Greg Anthony will join the roster of NBA TV talent for the upcoming season, making select appearances throughout the year as a regular guest analyst.

In his new role, Anthony will provide the league’s 24-hour network with team analysis, player insights and game situation breakdowns, based on his 11 seasons in the NBA. He will join host Matt Winer and analyst Kenny Smith for NBA Game Time on Wednesday nights.

In addition to his work on NBA TV, Anthony will continue to work with CBS Sports as a college basketball analyst. Anthony’s broadcasting career included a period as an analyst for NBA coverage on ESPN and ABC.

During his professional basketball career, he played for the New York Knicks (1991-1995), Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-1997), the former Seattle Supersonics (1997-1998), Portland Trail Blazers (1999-2001), Chicago Bulls (2001 – 2002) and Milwaukee Bucks (2002). During his college playing years, Anthony was the career assists leader at UNLV and helped the Runnin’ Rebels win the National Championship in 1990. He was a two-time Honorable Mention AP All-American in 1990 and 1991 before being drafted by the New York Knicks.

Also appearing on NBA TV throughout the pre and regular season are hosts Ernie Johnson, Matt Winer, Ahmad Rashad, Rick Kamla, Marc Fein and Kyle Montgomery, analysts Kevin McHale, Chris Webber, Brent Barry, Steve Smith, Dennis Scott and NBA Insider David Aldridge. In addition, TNT’s Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller, Mike Fratello, Craig Sager and Cheryl Miller will all make select appearances on NBA TV.

NBA TV is currently in more than 55 million U.S. homes and will feature up to 275 live games this year, more than any other professional sports league television network.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team has exercised the fourth-year option on forwards Michael Beasley and Kevin Love and center Kosta Koufos. The team has also exercised the third-year option for guards Wayne Ellington and Jonny Flynn.

Beasley, acquired this summer from Miami, has appeared in three games for the Wolves, averaging 14.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. The second overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, Beasley owns career averages 14.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 162 games.

Love, the fifth overall pick in the 2008 draft by Memphis, was acquired by Minnesota on draft night and has played each of his 144 career games in a Wolves uniform. Love has career averages of 12.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, including 14.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game in three contests this season. Love has recorded double-doubles in each of his three games this season and in 68 of his 144 games overall.

Minnesota acquired Koufos this summer in the deal that sent Al Jefferson to Utah. Originally selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2008 draft, Koufos has appeared in 87 career games, averaging 3.3 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.

The Timberwolves added Wayne Ellington with the 28th overall pick in the 2009 draft. Ellington has started each of the first three games for Minnesota this season, averaging 10.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. In 79 career games, Ellington has averaged 6.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists while shooting 42.2 percent from behind the arc.

Flynn, the sixth overall pick by Minnesota in last year’s draft, started each of the 81 games he appeared in as a rookie last season. He averaged 13.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists as a rookie before missing the season finale with a hip injury that ultimately required offseason surgery.

The Wolves will play LeBron James and the Miami Heat tomorrow night (Tuesday) in Miami. The game can be seen on WFTC My29 with tip-off at 6:30 p.m. This is the first of 12 Timberwolves games that will air on WFTC My29 this season.

Euroleague.net reports:

It has been seven years since Union Olimpija started a Euroleague season with two victories and the same amount of time since the pride of Ljubljana reached the Top 16. Basketball fever never left the Slovenian capital, but this week it will reach some of its highest temperatures ever, with the new 13,000-seat Stozice Arena sold out a week in advance of Olimpija’s showdown Thursday with Panathinaikos for first place in Group D of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season.

One man who has everything to do with Olimpija’s early-season resurgence is Goran Jagodnik, who is Euroleague Basketball’s choice as Sportingbet MVP for October. Having returned to Slovenia this season after 11 years abroad, the 35-year-old forward has made his a homecoming to remember so far.

Jagodnik’s scoring late in the team’s opening game helped Olimpija pull out an inspirational double-overtime victory against mighty Efes Pilsen before 9,000 pumped-up fans at home in Ljubljana. Last week, Jagodnik again saved his best for last, with 12 points in the final 11 minutes of another comeback, this time to beat Armani Jeans Milano in what was Olimpija’s first Euroleague road win in 21 months.

Among players on the seven teams undefeated through two games, Jagodnik ranks first in scoring with 20 points per game and second in performance index rating with 18.5 on average. He concentrated those great stats into late-game heroics that unexpectedly have Olimpija as a group co-leader, making Goran Jagodnik a more-than-logical Sportingbet MVP for October!

Frank Dell’Apa of the Boston Globe reports:

delonte west

Celtics guard Delonte West said after practice yesterday that his conflict with teammate Von Wafer has been resolved. West and Wafer scuffled during a workout before Friday night’s game.

“It’s not that serious,’’ West said. “We’ve moved past that, you know. We’re competitive guys being competitive. I’m competitive, he’s competitive. Hopefully, it’s for the betterment of the team. There’s nothing wrong with healthy competition and pushing each other to get better. Things went a little too far but, at the same time, we’re able to move past that. We’re professionals and we’re on to something different, we’ve forgotten all about it. We actually laughed about it [yesterday].

“I read the reports and a lot of things were taken out of [context], and facts were made up that were not true, how things played out. Guys get into scuffles, or whatever you want to call it, but at the end of the day we’re brothers in here and we had a big laugh about it. We’re trying to win, we’re competitive, we have fiery guys in here and, you know, you’ve got to get to the next thing, next game, next challenge.’’

InsideHoops.com editor says: The rumor that Delonte showed up to practice next day dressed up like Rambo is false.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

Eddy Curry only Knick not introduced in home opener

Eddy Curry was excluded during Saturday’s elaborate player introductions during the home opener — the lone Knick not presented. But the embattled center still plans to make his return to practice today.

Curry has not practiced since the second day of training camp when he strained his hamstring. A Knicks official said Curry was in the locker room during intros and the game.

It is unclear whose decision it was to not be introduced. The other 14 players were introduced separately amidst a laser-light production. Curry, whose expiring contract is a trade asset, likely would have been booed heavily.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Curry isn’t thought of as an actual player at this point. Instead, he’s just a contract who for several seasons has been hurting the team’s salary cap situation. Hopefully this changes, but no one is holding their breath.

Basketball blog