Archive for December 9th, 2011

Spurs sign guard T.J. Ford

TJ Ford

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that the team has signed guard T.J. Ford. Per club policy details of the contract were not released.

The 28-year-old Texas native has posted career averages of 11.4 points, 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 415 regular season games in seven NBA seasons. Prior to signing with San Antonio the 6-0, 165-pound point guard enjoyed stints with Milwaukee, Toronto and Indiana. Ford was selected by Milwaukee in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft, with the eighth overall pick, after playing two seasons at the University of Texas. He enjoyed his best NBA season during the 2008-09 campaign, averaging 14.9 points, 5.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 74 games with the Indiana Pacers.

Ford enjoyed an outstanding high school and collegiate career in the state of Texas. In his final two seasons at Willowridge High School, his teams posted a 75-1 record, capturing back-to-back Texas 5A State Championships. In two seasons at the University of Texas, Ford averaged 12.9 points and 8.8 assists. During his sophomore year he was named both the Naismith and Wooden Player of the Year Award winner and earned 2003 First Team All-American honors.

LaMarcus Aldridge

Portland Trail Blazers forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge underwent a successful procedure today to evaluate the status of the electrical system in his heart, it was announced today by the team.

He will be sidelined for 5-7 days before he can return to practice.

Aldridge, who was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome in 2007, underwent a similar procedure to correct the problem at the time of diagnosis.

Aldridge, 26, holds career averages of 17.3 points (49.2% FG, 77.1% FT), 7.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.02 blocks and 34.8 minutes in 379 games (338 starts).

Notching his best season to date in 2010-11, Aldridge was named to the All-NBA Third Team after averaging a team-high 21.8 points (50.0% FG, 79.1% FT) to go with 8.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.01 steals, 1.16 blocks and 39.6 minutes in 81 games (all starts). One of three NBA players to rank in the top 15 in points (14th) and rebounds (14th) last season, Aldridge ranks sixth in offensive rebounds in team history (1,068).

Thunder re-sign guard Daequan Cook

Daequan Cook

The Oklahoma City Thunder have re-signed guard Daequan Cook, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cook ranked 11th in the NBA in three-point field goal shooting during the 2010-11 campaign, as he connected on 42.2% of his three-point attempts (65-of-154). The Ohio State product appeared in 43 games for Oklahoma City and registered averages of 5.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in 13.9 minutes per contest.

“We are excited that we were able to reach an agreement that will keep Daequan a part of our core group moving forward,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “Daequan’s commitment to his own development and willingness to accept a role within our team, makes him a valuable member of our organization. At twenty-four years old, we believe Daequan’s best basketball is ahead of him. His desire to remain a part of the Thunder organization and the Oklahoma City community is what ultimately allowed us to reach this agreement.”

During the 2010-11 season Cook matched a career-high with six three-point field goals in 19 minutes during the Thunder’s win over the Washington Wizards (Mar. 14). He scored in double-figures seven times during the season and finished the year shooting 45.2% from three-point range (56-of-124) in the final 35 games of the season.

In four NBA seasons, Cook has appeared in 222 career games (26 starts) and posted averages of 7.5 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 36.9% from three-point range (337-of-913).

Hawks sign forward Vladimir Radmanovic

The Atlanta Hawks today signed forward Vladimir Radmanovic, according to Executive Vice President/General Manager Rick Sund.  Per team policy, terms were not disclosed.

Radmanovic spent last season with the Golden State Warriors, averaging 5.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 1.1 apg in 15.8 mpg (.431 FG%, .405 3FG%, .882 FT%), appearing in 74 games (six starts), and ranking 23rd in the league in three-point percentage.

The 10-year veteran brings career numbers of 8.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 1.4 apg in 23.0 mpg to Atlanta (.417 FG%, .381 3FG%, .759 FT%). He’s also seen action in 44 playoff games (25 starts), posting 7.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 1.2 apg in 21.9 mpg (.440 FG%, .392 3FG%, .735 FT%). Selected by Seattle 12th overall in the 2001 NBA Draft, Radmanovic has also played for the LA Clippers, LA Lakers and Charlotte.

Heat re-sign Juwan Howard

Juwan Howard

The Miami Heat announced today that they have re-signed free agent forward Juwan Howard. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Howard has appeared in 1,173 regular season games (898 starts) with seven teams over 17 seasons. During his career, he has averaged 13.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 31.0 minutes while shooting 47 percent from the field and 76.4 percent from the foul line. He appeared in 57 games last season with the Heat averaging 2.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 10.4 minutes while shooting 44 percent from the field and a career-best 82.9 percent from the foul line.

The former NBA All-Star has appeared in 40 postseason games (13 starts) and averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 20.9 minutes while shooting 39.8 percent from the field and 75.8 percent from the foul line. He appeared in 11 postseason contests last season with the Heat totaling 17 points, 10 rebounds and one assist in 60 minutes of action while shooting 4-of-9 from the field and 9-of-13 from the foul line as Miami made their way to the 2011 NBA Finals.

Howard originally signed with the Heat as a free agent on July 20, 2010.

The Boston Celtics today announced that they have signed  free agent forward/center Chris Wilcox, guard/forward Marquis Daniels, and free agent center Greg Stiemsma. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Wilcox, a 6’10”, 235lbs forward/center, appeared in 57 games for the Detroit Pistons last season averaging 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game.  Wilcox also shot a team-high 58.1 percent from the field in those 57 games.  In his 29 starts last season, the native of Whiteville, North Carolina averaged 8.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.  Wilcox recorded a season-high 27 points and a season-high 13 rebounds against Milwaukee on April 8.  The eighth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft recorded career-highs in points and rebounds during the 2006-07 season while with the Seattle Supersonics with 13.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Daniels, a 6’6″ guard/forward, appeared in 49 games for the Celtics averaging 5.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 19.1 minutes per game. Daniels recorded a season-high 19 points and seven rebounds against Houston on January 10. In his three seasons with the Celtics (2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11), Daniels has averaged 5.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and shot 49.5 percent from the floor. During his eight year career Daniels has posted career averages of 8.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steal in 22.5 minutes per game.

Stiemsma, a 6’11 center, last played for the Sioux Fall Sky Force of the NBA Development League. He appeared in four games for the Sky Force averaging 9.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game.  He was named the 2010 NBA Development League Defensive Player of the Year after he averaged 9.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and a league-leading 3.7 blocks per game for Sioux Falls.

Heat re-sign forward James Jones

James Jones

The Miami Heat announced today that they have re-signed free agent forward James Jones. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jones has appeared in 447 regular season career games (73 starts) over eight seasons. During his NBA career, with four different teams, he has averaged 6.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 18.9 minutes while shooting 40.2 percent from the field, 40.2 percent from three-point range and 85.7 percent from the foul line. He has scored in double-figures on 114 occasions and has shot at least 82 percent from the foul line every season of his career.

During the last three seasons with the Heat, Jones appeared in 157 regular season games (15 starts) averaging 5.0 points, 1.5 rebounds and 17.1 minutes while shooting 39.7 percent from the field, 40.8 percent from three-point range and 83.2 percent from the foul line. The 2010 NBA All-Star Three-Point Shootout Champion ranks among Miami’s all-time leaders, placing fourth in three-point field goal percentage, 15th in three-point field goals made (193) and 19th three-point field goal attempts (473).

Jones originally signed with the Heat as a free agent on July 9, 2008 before being waived by the club on June 29, 2010. He was then re-signed on July 19, 2010 before becoming a free agent for the 2011-12 season.

Bucks trade Keyon Dooling to Celtics

Keyon Dooling

The Milwaukee Bucks have traded guard Keyon Dooling (6-3, 196) and a protected 2012 second round draft pick to the Boston Celtics for the rights to forward/center Albert Miralles (6-10, 230), General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Dooling, a 6’3” guard, has amassed career averages of 7.2 points and 2.3 assists in 675 games over 11 seasons with the Clippers, Heat, Magic, Nets and Bucks.  Dooling appeared in a career-high 80 games last season for Milwaukee and recorded a career-high 11 assists to go along with 12 points against Cleveland on January 21.  He also recorded 13 points and 10 rebounds at Chicago on January 24.  Dooling led the Bucks in assists in 20 games last season as well as leading the team in steals on 14 occasions.  Over the last three seasons Dooling has shot 38.1 percent from three-point territory. The former Missouri Tiger posted his highest scoring season during the 2008-09 campaign while with the Nets averaging 9.7 points and a career-high 3.5 assists per game.

Miralles, 29, was originally selected by Toronto (39th overall) in the 2004 Draft, but was traded to Miami on draft night for the draft rights to Pape Sow.  The following off-season, Miralles was dealt to Boston as part of the Antoine Walker trade.  A native of Barcelona, Miralles has not played in the NBA, but has played professionally in Spain and Italy, most recently with Angelico Biella (Italy – Serie-A).

An 11-year veteran, Dooling played in 80 games for the Bucks last season and averaged 7.1 points, 3.0 assists and 1.5 rebounds per contest.  He has averaged 7.2 points, 2.3 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 675 career NBA games.

Eric Bledsoe

Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe underwent surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee on October 7th. He is expected to be sidelined approximately 6-8 weeks.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Benton Emblom at the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama. Bledsoe has been cleared to take part in hydro-cardio therapy and strength work and he is expected to increase his workload by the beginning of the regular season.

A member of the 2010-11 T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie Second Team, Bledsoe averaged 6.7 points, 3.6 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 22.7 minutes in 81 games played last season.

Heat re-sign guard Mario Chalmers

Mario Chalmers

The Miami Heat announced today that they have re-signed guard Mario Chalmers. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Chalmers, a 6’2”, 190-pound guard, has appeared in 225 regular season games (132 starts) averaging 7.9 points, 3.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.45 steals and 26.7 minutes while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 35 percent from three-point range and 77.8 percent from the foul line. Among Miami’s all-time leaders, he ranks eighth in steals (327), tied for ninth in three-point field goals made (272), 12th in assists (826), 19th in minutes (6,012), tied for 19th in games played (225) and 22nd in three-point field goal percentage (.350).

He has appeared in 33 career postseason games (eight starts), averaging 8.1 points, 2.7 assists, 2.1 rebounds, 1.52 steals and 26.4 minutes while shooting 43 percent from the field, 36 percent from three-point range and 75 percent from the foul line. During the 2011 NBA Finals, Chalmers increased his postseason averages in the six-game series against Dallas in points (11.8), assists (3.5), rebounds (2.7), minutes (29.0) and three-point field goal percentage (.400). He currently ranks among the Heat’s all-time postseason leaders in steals (third), assists (sixth), three-point field goals made (tied-seventh) and games played (10th).

Chalmers shot a career-high 87.1 percent from the foul line last season and set a new Heat record after dishing out 13 assists off the Miami bench at Toronto on April 13, the most from a non-starter in franchise history. He also currently holds the Heat all-time record for steals during a regular season game with nine vs. Philadelphia on November 5, 2008 and tied the franchise mark for steals during a postseason game with five vs. Atlanta on May 1, 2009. Additionally, during his rookie campaign, he became just the fifth player, and the first rookie, in franchise history to start in all 82 games while on his way to earning Second Team NBA All-Rookie honors.

Chalmers was originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round (34th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft. His draft rights were acquired by the Heat in exchange for two 2009 second-round draft picks and cash considerations on draft night.

Earl Watson

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has re-signed free-agent guard Earl Watson, pending the outcome of a successful physical.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

Watson (6-1, 185, UCLA) owns career averages of 7.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists over 10 NBA seasons with Utah, Memphis, Denver, Seattle/Oklahoma City and Indiana.  Watson has also appeared in eight postseason contests, all with Memphis in 2004 and 2005.

Last season the Kansas City, Kan., native appeared in 80 games (13 starts) with Utah, averaging 4.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 0.8 steals in 19.6 minutes.

Watson’s best statistical season came in 2007-08 with Seattle, when he appeared in 78 games (73 starts) for the SuperSonics, averaging 10.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 29.1 minutes.

Greg Oden

Greg Oden has suffered a setback in his rehabilitation, and as a result, the Trail Blazers have renegotiated the terms of his one-year contract, The Oregonian has learned.

It is unknown what the terms of the new contract are or what the setback entails.

“Following Greg’s most recent physical examination and evaluation, we’ve determined that he has suffered a setback,” team president Larry Miller said in a statement. “We’re hopeful, but are less confident that he will return to the court this season. We’ve stood by Greg from the day he was drafted and we continue to do so with this agreement.”

– Reported by Jason Quick of the Oregonian

Read NBA fan opinion & discuss your views in this basketball forum topic.

Raptors sign center Jamaal Magloire

Jamaal Magloire

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they have signed veteran centre Jamaal Magloire. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed.

Magloire was born in Toronto and attended high school at Eastern School of Commerce. He is the first Canadian-born player to join the Raptors in the club’s 16-year history.

Magloire is a veteran of 11 NBA seasons and owns career averages of 7.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 22.1 minutes in 646 regular season outings. He has appeared in 46 postseason contests, averaging 7.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 19.8 minutes.

Magloire, 6-foot-11, 265 pounds comes to the Raptors after spending the past three seasons with the Miami Heat. His best statistical campaign came in 2003-04 when he averaged 13.6 points, 10.3 rebounds and 33.9 minutes in 82 games with the New Orleans Hornets. He was one of only 11 players that season to average a double-double. Magloire set single-season career highs in minutes, field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, free throw percentage, offensive, defensive and total rebounds, rebound average, points and scoring average. He set his career highs with 15 free throws made in 20 attempts in Toronto on March 21, 2004.

Magloire captured Eastern Conference Player of the Month honours in April 2004, averaging 21.7 points and 12.1 rebounds. He was named to the Eastern Conference squad for the 2004 NBA All-Star Game held in Los Angeles. He totaled 19 points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes for the East All-Stars.

Nicknamed “Big Cat,” Magloire scored a career-best 27 points on two occasions (last: at Golden State, 11/23/04) and grabbed a personal-best 22 rebounds versus Charlotte on January 21, 2006. He’s totaled double figures in scoring on 221 occasions, including 27 games with at least 20 points. He has posted double-figure rebound totals 155 times, with three games of at least 20 rebounds. His lone 20-point/20-rebound effort came against the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre on March 7, 2004.

Magloire was selected in the first round (19th overall) by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2000 NBA Draft. He has seen action with the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.

Magloire appeared in 145 games during his four-year collegiate career at Kentucky, averaging 7.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.85 blocks and 19.3 minutes. He finished his career as the school’s all-time shot blocker (268). As a senior, he averaged 13.2 points, second on the team, and a team-best 9.1 rebounds in 33 games. He also earned first-team All-SEC honours and became the first Wildcat and only the third SEC player to be named SEC Player of the Week three times in a season.

Kings sign forward Chuck Hayes

Chuck Hayes

The Sacramento Kings today signed free agent center/forward Chuck Hayes to a multi-year contract, according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Chuck Hayes brings a tremendous amount of professionalism and competitive spirit to the team,” said Petrie. “He’s been a winner everywhere he’s been. I really look forward to watching him add to our team defensively, his ability to pass the ball, move the ball and be a real stabilizing force out on the court. We feel lucky to have him. We look forward to watching him play with all of his new teammates.”

Hayes, entering his seventh NBA season (all with Houston), averaged 7.9 points (.527 FGs, .662 FTs), 8.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game in 74 contests year for Rockets, of which he started 63. Known for his toughness and defensive prowess, he has amassed career averages of 4.4 points (.518 FGs, .603 FTs), 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game through 424 outings. Hayes has recorded career highs of 21 points versus Phoenix (3/14/2011), 18 rebounds versus Utah (4/7/2010), 11 assists versus Golden State (3/23/2011), five steals (twice) and three blocked shots at Chicago (12/22/07).

“I’m excited,” explained Hayes. “It’s going to feel weird at first because this is all new to me, but there was change that was needed and change that I’m accepting and I’m embracing it. I’m a fan of this team. I’ve watched a lot of their games and know a little bit about all of the players. I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, we can jump out of the gate and create some chemistry really quick. Going into my seventh year, I bring experience and veteran leadership to this roster that is young at the core.”

Hayes, who prepped at nearby Modesto Christian, enjoyed a stellar four-year career at Kentucky (2001-2005) where he posted numbers that ranked him 35th in scoring (1,211 points), seventh in rebounding (910), ninth in blocks (128), eighth in steals (170) and 16th in assists (292) on the school’s all-time list. He was named “Mr. Basketball” in California and a Parade All-American as a senior in high school while leading Modesto Christian to the state championship game (played at ARCO Arena).

“Chuck is a player who knows how to help his team win basketball games,” said Kings’ head coach Paul Westphal. “It was paramount for us to add a player like Chuck who is a young veteran who can play defense and has experience winning. He’s a great ball-mover. In a lot of ways, he’s a point guard from the center position. I think his addition will help all of our young, scoring players get more shots. He knows how to do that and he knows how to defend and we just couldn’t be happier.”

Greg Oden

The Portland Trail Blazers have come to terms with center Greg Oden on a one-year deal, the team announced today.

The contract agreed upon today comes after both sides mutually agreed to negotiate a new deal that is independent of the qualifying offer.

“Following Greg’s most recent physical examination and evaluation, we’ve determined that he has suffered a setback,” said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller. “We’re hopeful, but less confident that he will return to the court this season. We’ve stood by Greg from the day he was drafted and we continue to do so now with this agreement.”

Oden, 23, has averages of 9.4 points (57.7% FG), 7.3 rebounds, 1.43 blocks and 22.1 minutes in 82 games (60 starts). He has notched 21 double-doubles and grabbed 10-plus rebounds 26 times.

“I’m obviously disappointed with the setback, but I’m as determined as ever to return to the court,” said Oden. “I appreciate the support of the Trail Blazers and our fans and that they continue to stand behind me.”

The first overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft out of Ohio State, Oden missed his rookie 2007-08 campaign after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee. He would later miss the 2010-11 season after microfracture surgery was performed on his left knee.

Jason Collins

The Atlanta Hawks today re-signed center Jason Collins, and signed seven-time All-Star guard/forward Tracy McGrady as well as rookie second-round draft pick Keith Benson, according to Executive Vice President/General Manager Rick Sund.  Per team policy, terms were not disclosed.

Now in his third season in an Atlanta uniform, Collins appeared in 49 regular season games (28 starts) for the Hawks last year, averaging 2.0 ppg and 2.1 rpg in 12.1 mpg (.479 FG%, .659 FT%).  He also played in 12 postseason games (nine starting assignments) during the 2011 NBA Playoffs, putting up 1.8 ppg and 1.4 rpg in 13.2 mpg (.643 FG%).  Collins has suited up for 645 career regular season games and 90 playoff contests with New Jersey, Memphis, Minnesota and the Hawks.

McGrady comes to the Hawks from the Pistons, where in 72 games (39 starts) last season, he averaged 8.0 ppg, 3.5 apg and 3.5 rpg in 23.4 mpg (.442 FG%, .341 3FG%, .698 FT%).  The ninth-leading active NBA scorer (18,108 points), McGrady has compiled career averages of 20.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.6 apg and 1.3 spg in 33.7 mpg (.435 FG%, .337 3FG%, .747 FT%).  He has appeared in 886 games (703 starts) with Toronto (1997-00), Orlando (2000-04), Houston (2004-10), New York (2010) and Detroit (2010-11).

A seven-time All-Star, McGrady has also seen action in 38 career playoff games, where he’s tallied 28.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 6.2 apg and 1.3 spg in 42.2 mpg (.430 FG%, .301 3FG%, .756 FT%).  The Auburndale, FL native was the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2001, was named All-NBA first team in 2002 and 2003, All-league second team in 2001, 2004 and 2007, and third team in 2005 and 2008.  McGrady led the NBA in scoring in 2002-03 and 2003-04.

Benson was selected by the Hawks in the second round (48th overall) in the 2011 NBA Draft out of Oakland University. An AP All-America Honorable Mention pick as a junior and senior, he averaged 14.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg and 2.7 bpg (.558 FG%, .379 3FG%, .679 FT%) in 135 career games for the Golden Grizzlies, while setting the Summit League record for career blocked shots (363) and the school mark for double-doubles (48).

As a senior, the 6’11 Benson averaged 17.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 3.6 bpg and 1.1 apg (.547 FG%, .643 FT%) en route to his second consecutive Summit League Player of the Year award while also garnering Defensive Player of the Year honors. He tallied 17.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 3.3 bpg (.533 FG%, .724 FT%) in his junior season.

Additionally, the Hawks have added 16-year veteran and two-time All-Star Jerry Stackhouse, Charles Garcia, Zach Graham, Ivan Johnson and Donald Sloan to the training camp roster.

Kings re-sign guard Marcus Thornton

Marcus Thornton

The Sacramento Kings today re-signed restricted free agent guard Marcus Thornton to a multi-year contract, according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We’re really excited that we were able to re-sign Marcus Thornton and have him come back and build off of the great contribution that he made to the team last season,” said Petrie. “He’s a young and exciting player who has a lot of competitive drive. He’ll team with Tyreke (Evans) and Jimmer (Fredette) and be part of a terrific, young backcourt. We’re very upbeat about the future potential for improvement and the opportunity to watch him play for the Kings again.”

Thornton, who was acquired by the Kings from New Orleans at the NBA trade deadline last season in exchange for Carl Landry, is entering his third NBA season. He averaged 21.3 points (.450 FGs, .361 3FGs, .805 FTs), 4.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.67 steals per game in 27 contests last year for Sacramento, of which he started 23. Thornton averaged 21.3 points (.441 FGs, .354 3FGs, .810 FTs), 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.65 steals per game in 23 outings as a starter for the Kings. He has recorded career averages of 13.6 points (.443 FGs, .371 3FGs, .801 FTs), 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game over 146 contests with New Orleans and Sacramento, of which he started 40. Thornton has posted career highs of 42 points versus Golden State (3/14/11), 11 rebounds (twice), nine assists at Minnesota (3/20/11) and six steals versus Oklahoma City (4/11/11).  He tallied 29 points (9-16 FGs, 1-4 3FGs, 10-12 FTs) in his first game at ARCO Arena as a King, scoring the most points off the bench in a home debut for the Kings in the Sacramento era.

“I’m very excited to be back with Sacramento,” said Thornton. “I’m really ready to get this season going and pick up where we left off. This is a good fit for me with my teammates and coaching staff. I enjoy the city of Sacramento and the fans are great.”

Selected by New Orleans with the 43rd overall pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft, Thornton was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team after averaging 14.5 points (.451 FGs, .374 3FGs, .814 FTs), 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in 73 outings, of which he started 17. Among rookies, he ranked fourth in scoring and sixth in free throw percentage. Thornton set a rookie record with 117 three-pointers made in a season. He tied the Hornets’ franchise record for the most points scored by a rookie when he scored 37 points at Cleveland (2/23/10), while also setting a franchise record for the most points scored in a quarter with 23 (2nd quarter).

“Marcus impressed us greatly last year and we just couldn’t wait to re-sign him,” explained Kings’ head coach Paul Westphal. “We made that a high priority and never felt it was in doubt. We’re really pleased to have one of the fine, young shooting guards in the league to be on our team for several years to come. It’s a great fit for him and us and was a high priority on our behalf.”

Thornton was named SEC Player of the Year following his senior season at Louisiana State University, capping an impressive two-year career for the Tigers. He spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Kilgore Community College.

Wizards sign guard Roger Mason

Roger Mason

The Washington Wizards announced today that they have signed free agent guard Roger Mason.

“Roger is a solid veteran presence who can give us quality production and shooting on the court and valuable leadership in the locker room and in the community,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld.  “We are obviously very familiar with him from his previous two seasons here and are thrilled to have him return to his hometown.”

Mason has appeared in 372 games over seven NBA seasons in stints with Chicago, Toronto, Washington, San Antonio and New York, compiling career averages of 6.9 points and 1.8 rebounds while shooting .380 from the three-point line.  The D.C. native averaged 6.3 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 142 games for the Wizards during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.  Mason, originally a second round (31st overall) draft selection by the Chicago Bulls in 2002, averaged career highs of 11.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists while posting a career-high .421 mark from three-point range with the Spurs during the 2008-09 season.

Tayshaun Prince

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the team has re-signed free agent forward Tayshaun Prince.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased to have Tayshaun Prince returning to our organization,” said Dumars. “Tayshaun has proved himself as one of the most talented and consistent small forwards in the NBA.  His knowledge of the game and defensive presence is an asset for our team.”

Prince appeared in 78 games (all starts) last season averaging 14.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 32.8 minutes per game.  He recorded his sixth 1,000-point season and played in 75-plus games for the seventh time in his nine-year career.  Prince scored a season-high 31 points versus the New York Knicks (11/18/10) including a career-high-tying 13 field goals made.  He also scored in double figures a team-leading 66 times, scored 20-plus points 12 times and recorded two 30-plus point outings.

Prince, 31, holds career averages of 12.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 33.4 minutes in 661 NBA games.  He’s played in 75-plus games in seven of his nine seasons, including six seasons where he played all 82 games.  The 6-foot-9 forward had the franchise’s third-longest consecutive games played streak snapped during the 2009-10 season (497 games) and has played in 661 of a possible 738 games over his career.    Drafted by Detroit with the 23rd pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, Prince ranks sixth in his draft class in career points per game average behind only Amar′e Stoudemire (21.9), Yao Ming (19.0), Carlos Boozer (17.3), Caron Butler (16.6) and Luis Scola (14.3).  He has also been named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team four times (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008).  A key member of the Pistons’ 2004 NBA Championship team, Prince was a member of the USA Senior National Team that recorded a 10-0 record and won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in 2007 and went 8-0 to win the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Caron Butler

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed two-time NBA All-Star Caron Butler as a free agent. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

“Caron completes what we believe to be a playoff caliber starting lineup,” stated Vice President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey. “His professionalism, leadership abilities and basketball skills are an excellent addition to our existing roster composition and another step in building the culture necessary to create a model of sustainable success.”

Butler, 30, averaged 15.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 29 games last season for the Dallas Mavericks, starting the first 29 games of 2010 before suffering a ruptured right patellar tendon, which forced him to miss the remainder of the season.

Originally drafted by the Miami Heat with the 10th overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft, Butler has appeared in 589 career games with Miami, the Lakers, Washington and Dallas and brings to the Clippers career averages of 16.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 36.3 minutes per game.

The six-foot-seven, 228 pound Butler appeared in the All-Star Game in 2007 when he led Washington with 19.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. A year later, Butler was again named an NBA All-Star, finishing the 2007-08 season as the only player in the NBA to average at least 20.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals.

A member of the 2002-03 NBA All-Rookie Team, Butler has appeared in 31 career playoff contests, averaging 16.4 points and 7.8 rebounds in the postseason.

Now entering his ninth NBA season, the Racine, Wisconsin native played two years at the University of Connecticut, averaging 18.0 points and 7.6 rebounds in 63 career games while leading the Huskies to the Elite 8 in 2002 and earning Co-Big East Player of the Year and Honorable Mention All-American honors.

In a related move the Clippers renounced their rights to free agents Ike Diogu, Jamario Moon and Craig Smith.

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