Archive for June, 2011

stephen curry

The Golden State Warriors announced today that the team has exercised the fourth-year contract option on guard Stephen Curry and the third-year contract option on forward Ekpe Udoh, which are both for the 2012-13 NBA season.

Curry, 23, appeared in 74 games last season, averaging 18.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.47 steals in 33.6 minutes per contest, while leading the NBA in free throw percentage (.934) and ranking third in three-point percentage (.442). Overall in two NBA seasons, the 6’3” guard has appeared in 154 games, averaging 18.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.69 steals in 35.0 minutes per contest.

Udoh, 24, appeared in 58 games last season, averaging 4.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.48 blocks in 17.8 minutes per contest during his rookie campaign. The 6’10” forward started 18 games on the season, averaging 5.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.28 blocks in 25.5 minutes in those assignments.

Under the terms of the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement, the first two years of a first round draft pick’s contract are guaranteed, while the third and fourth year of the contract are the team’s option. Curry was selected by the Warriors with the seventh overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, while Udoh was selected by Golden State with the sixth pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Obviously it was an easy call to keep Steph Curry around. As for Udoh, he’s shown very good rebounding and shot-blocking ability in limited minutes, so the Warriors want to keep checking him out to see if he’s worth having long-term interest in.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have exercised the third-year contract option on guard/forward Christian Eyenga, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today.

Eyenga’s extension keeps him under contract with the Cavaliers through the 2012-13 season.  In 44 games played as a rookie during the 2010-2011 season, he averaged 6.9 points on .425 shooting and 2.8 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per game. In 18 games as a starter, Eyenga posted averages of 8.0 points on .405 shooting, 3.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.0 block in 26.3 minutes per game.

The 6-foot-7 guard/forward was selected with the 30th overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft by Cleveland. The 22-year old played in 29 games for DKV Joventut Badalona (Spain), where he averaged 3.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 12.0 minutes per game during the 2009-10 season.

Charlie Bell of the Golden State Warriors and Jarrett Jack of the New Orleans Hornets have each been suspended without pay for one game for separate violations of the law, the NBA announced today.

Bell has been suspended for pleading no contest to reckless driving, in violation of the law of the State of California.  Jack has been suspended for pleading nolo contendre to reckless driving, in violation of the law of the State of Georgia.

Both Bell and Jack will each be suspended for their team’s first game of the 2011-12 NBA regular season for which they are eligible and physically able to play.

taj gibson

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has exercised its fourth-year option for the 2012-13 season for forward Taj Gibson.

In two seasons with Chicago, Gibson (6-9, 225) has appeared in 162 games (89 starts) and averaged 8.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, and 1.30 bpg in 24.4 mpg; he has shot .485 from the field and .659 from the line.  The Bulls selected Gibson in the first round (26th overall) in the 2009 NBA Draft.

InsideHoops.com editor says: This was an easy call for the Bulls. Gibson is a very solid backup forward who is capable of starting for stretches.

nazr mohammed

The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed center Nazr Mohammed to a contract extension, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. We’ll post contract details here later on Wednesday.

“We are pleased to be able to keep Nazr in the Thunder family,” said Presti. “He is a valuable part of our organization both on and off the floor. His professionalism, experience, and on-court play have had a positive impact on our young and evolving roster.”

Mohammed (6-10, 250) owns career averages of 6.9 points, 5.4 rebounds in 17.9 minutes in 771 career NBA games. He appeared in 24 games (seven starts) for the Thunder after being acquired from the Bobcats on February 24th. Mohammed averaged 6.9 points and 4.8 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game with Oklahoma City.

Originally selected in the first round (29th overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz, Mohammed has appeared in 58 NBA Playoff games during his 13-year career. Mohammed’s career has been highlighted by winning two NCAA Championships (University of Kentucky 1996 and 1998) and an NBA Championship (San Antonio Spurs, 2005).

Wayne Ellington

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team has exercised the fourth-year option on guard Wayne Ellington, and the third-year options for forwards Lazar Hayward and Wes Johnson.

Ellington, the 28th overall pick by Minnesota in the 2009 draft, has appeared in 138 games over two seasons in Minnesota, averaging 6.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Ellington shot 39.5 percent from behind the arc in 2009-10, the best mark by a rookie in Wolves history.

Hayward, the 30th overall pick by Minnesota in last year’s draft, averaged 3.8 points and 1.7 rebounds in 42 games during his rookie season. He tallied a season-high 16 points on Mar. 2 at Detroit, and added 14 points at Indiana on Feb. 11.

Johnson averaged 9.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 79 appearances during his rookie season. The 4th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Johnson earned All-Rookie Second Team honors and was named to the rookie team for the Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles, where he tallied 25 points. Johnson’s 103 three-pointers made last season were the most ever by a Wolves rookie.

Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee reports:

The Sacramento Kings’ season ticket sales have already surpassed last year’s total, team officials said this week, thanks to NBA marketing assistance and a newfound ardor among fans after the team nearly left town this spring.

But that bonanza could slow, starting Friday.

The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement expires at midnight Thursday. If the league and players don’t come to a new agreement by then, a lockout may ensue, and with it the possibility that the upcoming season will be shortened or canceled entirely.

That untimely drama creates new questions about the team’s future in Sacramento. Can the team owners, who have struggled financially, handle months of lost momentum as they try to rebuild fan and corporate support in Sacramento?

The AP reports:

antoine walker

Former NBA star Antoine Walker has pleaded guilty to passing bad checks in the form of unpaid gambling debts in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Sun reports the former all-star shooter who now plays for the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede will be put on probation and work toward paying off $750,000.

InsideHoops.com editor says: In case you were wondering, no, he did not fire any off-balance, deep three-pointers at any point during the legal proceeding.

Hamed Haddadi

The Memphis Grizzlies extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Hamed Haddadi, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

Haddadi, a 7-2, 265-pound center, completed his third NBA season with averages of 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds on a career-high .517 shooting in 5.4 minutes in 31 games. The 26-year-old appeared in nine postseason games, posting 1.2 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.56 blocks in 3.4 minutes.

The first Iranian-born player in NBA history, Haddadi owns career averages of 2.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.45 blocks on .457 shooting in 86 games, all with the Grizzlies. Memphis signed Haddadi as a free agent on Aug. 28, 2008.

Extending a qualifying offer prior to the June 30 deadline gives Memphis the ability to match any offer sheet a player signs with another team during the offseason.

James Harden

The Oklahoma City Thunder has exercised contract options on five players Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today.

The Thunder exercised its fourth-year options on guard James Harden, forward Serge Ibaka, guard Eric Maynor and center Byron Mullens, as well as its third-year option on center Cole Aldrich.

Harden, who was selected third overall by the Thunder in the 2009 NBA Draft, averaged 12.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in his second season. Harden appeared in all 82 games for the Thunder and was selected to the 2011 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam Sophomore Team.

serge ibaka

Ibaka, the 24th overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft, appeared in all 82 games (44 starts) for the Thunder during the 2010-11 season. The Republic of Congo native averaged 9.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks (3rd in the NBA) per contest.

Maynor, who was acquired by the Thunder via trade on December 22, 2009, appeared in all 82 games for the team this season. The VCU product averaged 4.2 points and 2.9 assists in 14.6 minutes per game.

Mullens, the 24th overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, appeared in 13 games for the Thunder during the 2010-11 season. Mullens made 14 appearances (14 starts) for the Tulsa 66ers, the Thunder’s D-League affiliate, where he averaged 14.9 points and 6.8 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per contest.

Aldrich, the 11th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, appeared in 18 games for the Thunder. The Kansas product appeared in 21 games (21 starts) for the Tulsa 66ers where he averaged 10.3 points and 8.6 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game.

golden state warriors

The Dakota Wizards, Golden State Warriors and the NBA Development League announced today that the Warriors have purchased the NBA D-League’s Wizards and will fully control the team’s business and basketball operations beginning with the 2011-12 season. The Warriors will be the sole NBA affiliate of the Wizards and are now the fourth NBA team to own and operate its NBA D-League affiliate.

The Warriors become the eighth NBA team to have a ‘one-to-one’ affiliate in the NBA D-League, the official minor league of the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers (Los Angeles D-Fenders), Oklahoma City Thunder (Tulsa 66ers) and San Antonio Spurs (Austin Toros) also fully own and operate their NBA D-League affiliates. The Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), New Jersey Nets (Springfield Armor) and New York Knicks (Erie BayHawks) have ‘hybrid’ partnerships with their affiliates, controlling those teams’ basketball operations, while the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks are solely affiliated with the Texas Legends.

“We thank Steve and Karen McCormick, as well as Dawn Kopseng, for bringing the Dakota Wizards to the NBA D-League and their tremendous efforts on behalf of the team and the league,” said NBA D-League President Dan Reed. “We’re very excited to welcome the Golden State Warriors and their new ownership group, led by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, to the NBA D-League. The Warriors have historically been ahead of the curve in utilizing the NBA D-League, so it’s only natural that they become the latest team in a growing number of NBA teams to own and operate their NBA D-League affiliate.”

The Warriors have named Jim Weyermann, current President of the San Jose Giants, as their Vice President of New Franchise Development. He will oversee all operational aspects of the Wizards.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity to acquire an NBA D-League team and view it as a proactive decision,” said Warriors’ owner Joe Lacob. “As we have previously mentioned, one of our goals is to provide our organization with any elements that we think could provide us an advantage. The fact that we will now operate our own D-League team – complete with our coaches and organizational philosophy – will put us in a better position to evaluate and develop potential NBA players, including any of our first or second year players who may spend a stint in the D-League. Additionally, we’d like to thank Steve McCormick and the ownership group of the Dakota Wizards for their professionalism during this process.”

The Wizards were affiliated with the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards during the 2010-11 season. Their new NBA D-League affiliates will be announced at a later date.

“We’re extremely proud of the tremendous support shown to us from the Bismarck community, and for that we thank each and every one of our fans and supporters,” said Dakota Wizards owner Steve McCormick. “We’re now excited to welcome the Golden State Warriors to Dakota.”

“I’m really encouraged by this acquisition of a D-League franchise and applaud Joe and Peter for their commitment in this area,” said Warriors’ Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Larry Riley.  “We have always emphasized the D-League as an organization and, quite honestly, have had very good results and success with the players that we have either signed or developed in the D-League.  I think this simply enhances our chances for that trend to continue.  The fact that we have an opportunity to align ourselves with an established organization in Bismarck will aid in the overall process.”

“I’m excited about this new opportunity and challenge,” said Weyermann.  “I have a great appreciation and understanding for how minor league organizations can serve as a tremendous resource for their parent clubs.  The Warriors are in the business to win basketball games and the acquisition of the Wizards will enhance their chances of achieving their long-term goals on the court.”

“First, I’d like to thank the tremendous fans of Bismarck for their continued support of the Wizards,” said Wizards’ owner Steve McCormick.  “The community has embraced the team for many years dating back to the CBA and IBA days.  The new ownership group that will soon be in place, headed by Mr. Lacob and Mr. Guber, is extremely committed and I can assure you that the organization is in capable hands.  Our fans will be the beneficiaries of that commitment during the upcoming 2011-12 season.”

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

The Charlotte Bobcats today added Rob Werdann as an assistant coach on the staff of Head Coach Paul Silas.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Werdann brings eight seasons experience as either an assistant coach or a scout on the NBA level.  He spent last season as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, after serving as an assistant coach for the New Orleans Hornets in 2009-10.  Prior to that, Werdann served as an advance scout for the Hornets from 2004-09.  He began his coaching career as an assistant coach with the Yakima Sun Kings in the CBA in 2000-01, before spending three seasons as an assistant coach with the Columbus Riverdragons of the NBA Development League from 2001-04.

“We’re excited to have Rob Werdann joining our staff,” Silas said.  “His experience as both a coach and a scout will benefit our team, especially our big men.”

Werdann, who played four seasons at St. John’s University and remains the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots, was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 46th overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft.  He played in 47 NBA games over three seasons with the Nuggets and New Jersey Nets.

The AP reports:

Lorenzo Charles, who made the game-winning dunk to give North Carolina State the 1983 national championship, was killed when a bus he was driving crashed in Raleigh, N.C., a tour bus official said. He was 47.

Charles grabbed an errant 30-foot shot by Dereck Whittenburg and dunked it for the winning basket in the Wolfpack’s 54-52 victory over Houston in the title game.

InsideHoops.com has a statement from Anthony “Spud” Webb on the death of Lorenzo Charles:  “We were friends, teammate and roommates over 28 years, and today I lost a very good friend in Lorenzo.  He always had a big smile and a big laugh that I will always remember.  He was a gentle giant.” - Charles’ former teammate at North Carolina State University and the Atlanta Hawks, Anthony “Spud” Webb.

And here’s a statement from the Atlanta Hawks: “Lorenzo left an indelible impact in sports lore that will never be forgotten, and while he will be forever remembered for his accomplishments at North Carolina State, the Atlanta Hawks family would like to extend heartfelt condolences to the Charles family after the news of his tragic death this afternoon.  He was a great guy who was loved by his teammates, and taken away from us far too soon.”  — Atlanta Hawks Vice President of Basketball and former teammate Dominique Wilkins.

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired a future second round pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the draft rights to forward Tanguy Ngombo, it was announced today by the team.

Selected by Dallas with the 57th overall pick in the second round of last week’s draft, Portland gained the draft rights to Ngombo as part of the trade that sent guard Rudy Fernandez to the Mavericks.

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has extended a qualifying offer to forward Dante Cunningham, making him a restricted free agent. The qualifying offer allows the Bobcats to match any offer he receives from another team.

The Bobcats acquired Cunningham on Feb. 24, 2011, along with Joel Przybilla, Sean Marks and two first-round draft picks from Portland in exchange for Gerald Wallace.  In 22 games played for the Bobcats, Cunningham averaged 9.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in 24.0 minutes.  He scored in double figures in 11 of the 22 games, tallying a career-high 21 points on two occasions.

Initially selected by Portland with the 33rd overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Cunningham has played in 141 career NBA games with averages of 5.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 16.6 minutes.

sam young

The Memphis Grizzlies have exercised their third-year contract option on Sam Young, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.  Young’s contract is now guaranteed through the 2011-12 season.

Young, a 6-6, 220-pound guard/forward, averaged 7.3 points and 2.4 rebounds on .472 shooting in 20.2 minutes in 78 games (46 starts) in his second NBA season.  After Memphis finished the regular season 29-15 with him as a full-time starter, the 26-year-old posted 7.5 points and 2.3 rebounds on .448 shooting in 19.7 minutes during the Grizzlies’ 13-game playoff run.

A four-year standout at the University of Pittsburgh, Young holds career averages of 7.4 points and 2.5 rebounds on .461 shooting in 18.3 minutes in 158 games (47 starts) with the Grizzlies.  Memphis selected the Clinton, Md. native with the 36th overall pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft.

daequan cook

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has extended a qualifying offer to guard Daequan Cook, making him a restricted free agent.

Cook appeared in 43 games in his first season with the Thunder. The Ohio State product averaged 5.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in 13.9 minutes per contest. Cook, who ranked 11th in the NBA in three-point field goal shooting,  made 65 of 154 three-point attempts (.422) this season.

rodrigue beaubois

Dallas Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois underwent surgery today on his left foot. The procedure was to address lingering symptoms from an injury sustained last summer while training with the French National Team.

He is expected to make a full recovery.

Beaubois (6-2, 182) played just 28 games this season after missing 54 with a fractured left foot. He averaged 8.4 points, 2.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 17.7 minutes per game.

david west

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that forward David West has declined his player option for the 2011-12 season and opted out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent. West had until June 30 to notify the Hornets if he was taking his player option for next season.

“David has been a tremendous player and person for us on and off the court during his eight-years with the Hornets,” General Manager Dell Demps said. “We have had open communication with David this entire season about his option and knew with either decision that our intention is to pursue David so he can finish his career as a Hornet.”

“After many months of talking with the people around me, this is the best decision for myself as a player and my future,” West said. “I love the city of New Orleans and have spent my whole career with the Hornets and am fortunate to be with such a supportive organization. I am continuing my rehab to get back on the court as soon as I can and look forward to conversations with the Hornets about my future and potentially continuing my career in New Orleans.”

West sustained a torn MCL on March 24 against Utah that ended his season. His rehab time timetable was set at 6 to 8 months and he is currently rehabbing at home in Raleigh, NC. David averaged a team-high 18.9 points to go along with 7.6 rebounds in 70 games (all starts) last season.

“David’s rehab is progressing very well and he is excited about his return to the court next season,” West’s agent Lance Young said. “David is a very smart person and this decision was well thought out. We feel this is best for David’s career and we want to thank the Hornets for being behind David 100%.”

Selected by New Orleans with the 18th pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, West has spent all eight seasons of his professional career in a Hornets uniform. The two-time All-Star holds career averages of 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds over 530 games (438 starts). The 30-year-old West’s career totals rank him in the top five in franchise history in a number of categories, including: games played (530, 3rd), minutes played (17,160, 4th), points scored (8,690, 2nd), total rebounds (3,853, 2nd) and blocks (435, 3rd).

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

Sonny Weems

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent guard-forward Sonny Weems. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed.

In accordance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement, in order for a team to retain its rights of first refusal with respect to a restricted free agent it must tender the player a qualifying offer prior to June 30. A restricted free agent may sign an offer sheet with any team, but is subject to a right of first refusal in favour of the NBA team for which the player last played.

Weems averaged career highs in points (9.2) and minutes (23.9) in 59 games in 2010-11. In a career-best 28 starts, he posted averages of 10.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 29.8 minutes. He scored in double figures 27 times last season.

Weems has appeared in 140 games with Denver and Toronto in his three NBA campaigns, averaging 7.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 20.3 minutes. He joined the Raptors in a trade from Milwaukee on August 18, 2009.

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