Archive for June 27th, 2011

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).

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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.

Eddy Curry working out with Miami Heat

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports:

Eddy Curry

A source familiar with the situation confirmed Sunday to the Sun Sentinel that veteran center Eddy Curry has been working with the Miami Heat in recent days, as the Heat look at free-agent options.

By league rules, teams cannot currently work out free agents who finished the season on an NBA roster. Workouts of those types of free agents cannot begin until July 1, when a lockout is expected to be imposed, shutting down all league activity.

Curry was waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 1. In ensuing weeks he worked out for several NBA teams, including the Heat, in a bid to secure a place on a playoff roster.

Omar Cook signs in Italy

Euroleague.net reports:

Omar Cook

Armani Jeans Milano has turned to a veteran floor general to lead the team on the court next season by signing Omar Cook. The playmaker has spent the past three seasons in the Euroleague and is the competition’s career leader in assists per game (5.53 apg.). Cook (1.86 meters, 29 years old) arrives from Power Electronics Valencia, which he led within one game of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four last season. Cook averaged 8 points, 5.5 assists and 1.8 steals in 21 Euroleague games last season. Those numbers ranked him second in the league in assists and third in steals per game.

Adrian Dantley gone from Nuggets

The Denver Post reports:

Adrian Dantley won’t be a Nuggets assistant coach next season, a source confirmed.

Dantley, a Hall of Fame player, was on the Denver staff for eight seasons. He was an interim head coach late in the 2009-10 season when George Karl left the Nuggets because of throat and neck cancer. The Nuggets went 13-12 while directed by Dantley and lost a first-round playoff series to the Utah Jazz.

Dantley’s departure follows that of Stacey Augmon. Augmon left Karl’s staff to become an assistant coach at UNLV, where he starred as a player.

Dantley’s contract wasn’t renewed.

Ricky Doyle of NESN reports:

Glen Davis

Glen Davis struggled throughout the playoffs as the Celtics were bounced in the second round by the Miami Heat. In an effort to help himself mentally, Davis has hired a sports psychologist.

The 6-foot-9 forward appeared on KFXX in Portland to discuss a number of topics, including his playoff struggles, which included him averaging only 4.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per game.

He said he wasn’t there mentally and that he is doing a lot of mental preparation for the upcoming season.

“I hired a sports psychologist to help you tap into the zone…as far as you miss a shot, you don’t worry about that,” he said. “You go to the other end and use that energy to do something else on defense…Let it pass like a cloud. Clouds pass by you all the time and you don’t worry about it. You’ve just got to keep going. That’s what I’ve been concentrating on, just how to handle things like a professional.”

Lenn Robbins of the New York Post reports:

Josh Harrellson, the No. 45 overall pick whom the Knicks acquired from the Hornets in a draft-night deal for about $750,000, said he thinks he can have a long NBA career as — his words — a garbage man.

It’s a role he said he always felt comfortable with but certainly perfected at Kentucky, where he had one of the most volatile careers in Wildcats history.

Harrellson was recruited by Billy Gillispie, who quickly found the perfect scapegoat in the 6-foot-10, 270-pound center. Gillispie once locked Harrellson in a bathroom during halftime of a game and made him take the equipment truck home from a road game.

Harrellson was hoping for a second life at Kentucky when Gillispie was fired and replaced by John Calipari. But after grabbing 26 boards in the Blue-White game, he drew Calipari’s ire by tweeting that he got no love from his coach. Calipari then banned players from using Twitter.

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