Archive for December 9th, 2011

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed nine free agents (Brian Butch, Justin Dentmon, Jerome Dyson, Moses Ehambe, Carldell Johnson, Trey Johnson, DaJuan Summers, Lance Thomas and Terrico White).  Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not released. The addition of the players puts the training camp roster at 15 thus far.

Butch (6-11, 240) sat out the 2010-11 season with a knee injury sustained last summer as a member of the Denver Nuggets. Butch has NBA experience with the Memphis Grizzlies summer league team and the Boston Celtics veteran minicamp, but has never appeared in a game. The Wisconsin product has played professionally in Greece, Spain, China and Germany during his career. During the 2009 season, he played for the Bakersfield Jam averaging 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds earning a spot on the D-League Western Conference All-Star Team where he was named MVP.

Dentmon (5-11, 185) played in 50 games (35 starts) for the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League last season averaging 19.1 points, 4.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds. The University of Washington product was selected as a member of the 2011 USA Men’s Basketball team that took home a Bronze medal in the Pan American Games this fall.

Dyson (6-3, 180) has appeared in six games (all starts) for the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA D-League this season averaging 19.7 points, 3.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds. During the 2010-11 season with the 66ers, the UCONN product played in 47 games (10 starts) averaging 15.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Ehamber (6-6, 215) has played in 125 career games in the NBA D-League over four seasons with Tulsa, Iowa and Austin. This season, the Oral Roberts product has averaged 21.5 points and 4.7 rebounds in six games (all starts). Ehamber finished last season with the Toros, averaging 10.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 10 games.

Trey Johnson (6-5, 218) has played in 12 games over three seasons in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Lakers with averages of 3.2 points and 0.9 assists. He appeared in three playoff games for the Lakers in the 2011 NBA Playoffs, averaging 1.0 points and 1.3 rebounds. In 10 preseason games with the Hornets and Lakers, the Jackson State product averaged 3.4 points and 1.5 rebounds. He has spent the majority of his professional career with the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA D-League. In 114 career games (92 starts) with the Jam, Johnson has averaged 20.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists.

Carldell Johnson (5-10, 180) has appeared in 195 career games (102 starts) with the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League since 2007, averaging 8.0 points and 4.4 assists. In four games this season with Austin, he is averaging 14.8 points and 4.8 assists. The New Orleans native appeared in 46 games (all starts) for the Toros last season, averaging 12.3 points and a career-high 6.0 assists.

Summers (6-8, 240) was drafted in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft (35th overall) by the Detroit Pistons. In 66 career games (one start) he has averages of 3.2 points and 1.0 rebounds in 9.2 minutes with Detroit. The Georgetown product signed with Montepaschi Siena in Italy in July of 2011, but parted ways with the team in October after averaging 4.0 points in four games with the team.

Thomas (6-8, 225) played for the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League the last two seasons. The Duke product averaged 17.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in four games this season for Austin. In the 2010-11 season, he averaged 12.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 46 games.

White (6-5, 213) was drafted in the second round (36th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. In his first preseason appearance, White fractured his right foot and missed the remainder of his rookie season. The Ole Miss product averaged 15.1 points and 4.0 rebounds in 35 games (34 starts) his sophomore season in Oxford before declaring for the NBA Draft.

Thaddeus Young

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that the team has reached a tentative agreement with free agent forward Thaddeus Young.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.  The 23-year-old Young is entering his fifth NBA season.

“We are very happy to have reached a tentative agreement with Thaddeus, who we consider to be an integral part of our long-term plans,” Sixers President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn said. “Thad has thrived in his role under Coach Collins and we are happy to have him back with the Sixers.”

Young (6-8, 220) was the 12th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Sixers.  In 298 career games with 139 starts, he is averaging 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.15 steals in 28.2 minutes per game while shooting 50.8% from the floor, 33.8% from 3-point range and 71.6% from the line.

This past season, Young appeared in all 82 games, averaging 12.7 points and 5.3 rebounds in 23.3 minutes per game.  He ranked ninth in the NBA in field goal percentage (54.1% FGs) and 16th in steals per turnover (0.91).  For his career, Young has 344 steals to just 407 turnovers.

Young also finished third in voting for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award last season and had the highest point/rebound/assist total of any reserve.  The Sixers were 12-3 when he scored 20-plus points in 2010-11.

Pistons re-sign forward Jonas Jerebko

Jonas Jerebko

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the team has re-signed forward Jonas Jerebko.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to announce the re-signing of Jonas Jerebko,” said Dumars. “Jonas has worked extremely hard over the last two years and has shown his commitment to this organization.  He is an important part of our young core group of players and we’re excited to have him as part of our roster going forward.”

Jerebko missed all of the 2010-11 season with a partially ruptured right Achilles tendon suffered in the first preseason game at Miami (10/5).  He played in 80 games (73 starts) in 2009-10, averaging 9.3 points (.481 FG, .313 3FG), 6.0 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.99 steals and 27.9 minutes.   Among NBA rookie leaders, Jerebko ranked 10th in scoring, third in rebounds, eighth in steals and fifth in minutes on his way to earning NBA All-Rookie-Second-Team honors.  He was also selected as a member of the Rookie Team as part of the 2010 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam at NBA All-Star 2010.

A second-round pick (39th overall in 2009) from Kinna, Sweden, Jerebko was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for February 2010 after averaging 10.2 points (.564 FG), 6.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 13 games.  He became the fifth rookie in franchise history, and the first Pistons’ second-round pick, to win the award joining Isiah Thomas, Kelly Tripucka, Grant Hill and Zeljko Rebraca.  He tallied a team-high-tying seven double-doubles and led the Pistons in rebounding 14 times.

The Sacramento Kings today renounced the rights to Samuel Dalembert (center), Pooh Jeter (guard), Marquis Daniels (forward/guard) and Darnell Jackson (forward), according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

Dalembert last season averaged 8.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.45 blocks in 24.2 minutes per game.

Lakers sign Jason Kapono

Jason Kapono

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent guard/forward Jason Kapono, it was announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Kapono, an eight-year NBA veteran, comes to the Lakers with the sixth highest career three-point field goal percentage (.437) in NBA history.  A two-time winner of the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout during All-Star Weekend in 2007 and 2008, Kapono was also a member of the NBA Champion Miami Heat in 2006-07, leading the NBA with a .514 three-point field goal percentage that currently ranks as the sixth-highest single season total in NBA history.

Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round (31st overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft after concluding his four-year college career at UCLA ranked third on the Bruins’ all-time scoring list, Kapono has played in 482 career NBA games with Cleveland, Charlotte, Miami, Toronto and Philadelphia, averaging 6.9 points (.443 FG%, .437 3FG%), 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 18.3 minutes.

 The Orlando Magic have signed rookie forward Justin Harper and rookie guard DeAndre Liggins, President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Otis Smith announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.  Both players will participate in training camp, which begins later this evening.

Harper (6’10”, 225, 8/30/89) was selected in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft by Cleveland.  He was acquired on Draft night (June 23) by Orlando in exchange for two future second round draft picks.  Harper appeared in 137 career games at the University of Richmond, averaging 10.6 ppg. and 4.8 rpg. in 22.9 minpg. during his collegiate career.  He also shot .382 (179-468) from three-point range.  As a senior (2010-11), Harper played in 37 games, averaging 17.9 ppg., 6.9 rpg., 1.2 apg. and 1.2 blkpg. in 31.8 minpg.  He was named First Team All-Atlantic 10, leading the Spiders in both scoring and rebounding.  Harper scored 20-plus points 14 times, including a career-high 30 points against George Washington.

Harper left Richmond ranked fifth all-time in school history with 179 three-pointers made.  He also ranks seventh all-time with 113 blocked shots and 11th all-time with 1,457 points.

Liggins (6’6”, 209, 3/31/88) was selected in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft by Orlando.  He appeared in 100 career games at the University of Kentucky, averaging 5.8 ppg., 3.0 rpg. and 2.1 rpg. in 21.9 minpg. during his collegiate career.  As a junior (2010-11), Liggins played in 38 games, averaging 8.6 ppg., 4.0 rpg., 2.5 apg. and 1.2 stlpg. in 31.6 minpg.  He also shot .391 (36-92) from three-point range.

Liggins was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team in 2010-11, and was also named to the NCAA East Region All-Tournament Team, helping the Wildcats reach the 2011 NCAA Final Four.  Kentucky also reached the Elite Eight during Liggins’ sophomore season (2009-10).

Mavericks sign forward Brandan Wright

Brandan Wright

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed free agent forward Brandan Wright. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wright (6-10, 210) is a former first round draft pick (eighth overall) and joins the Mavericks as a free agent from the New Jersey Nets. Wright was traded to New Jersey last February from the Golden State Warriors, where he began his career in 2007. He holds career averages of 5.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 12.6 minutes in 114 career games with 31 starts.

Wright was a standout at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he started all 37 games as a freshman and was named Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year and All-ACC Second Team. He was an early-entry candidate into the 2007 NBA Draft and was the eighth overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats. Wright was acquired by Golden State in a draft-day trade in exchange for Jason Richardson and the draft rights to Jermareo Davidson.

A native of Nashville, Tenn., Wright was a two-time Parade All-American and was the first athlete in the state ever to earn “Mr. Tennessee” honors three times. He also led Brentwood Academy to four consecutive state championships.

The New Jersey Nets have signed first round draft pick MarShon Brooks and second round draft pick Jordan Williams, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not released.

Brooks (6’5”/200), was drafted by Boston in the first round (25th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft and then traded to New Jersey in exchange for the rights to the 27th pick, JuJuan Johnson, and the Nets’ 2014 second round pick on June 23, 2011. As a senior at Providence College, Brooks was named Third Team AP All-America and was a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award. He was also a First Team All-Big East selection and scored a Big East record 52 points vs. No. 9 Notre Dame, converting a league-record 20 field goals. The 52 points tied Jimmer Fredette’s performance vs. New Mexico for the most in Division I in 2010-11. Brooks averaged 24.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks in 32 contests for the Friars.

Williams (6’10”/260) was drafted by New Jersey in the second round (36th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft. As a sophomore at Maryland, he led the ACC in rebounding (11.8 rpg), ranking third nationally, and was second in Division I with 25 double-doubles, establishing a school record. A First-Team All-ACC pick and an AP All-America Honorable Mention choice, Williams was a midseason candidate for the Wooden and Naismith awards and was named to the ACC All-Rookie Team as a freshman. He is only the third Terp freshman in history with 250 points and 250 boards (Joe Smith, Buck Williams).

The New Jersey Nets have signed free agents JamesOn Curry, Dennis Horner, and Jerry Smith, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not released.  All three players come from the Springfield Armor, the Nets D-League affiliate, after appearing in the Armor’s first three games of the season.  The Nets training camp roster stands at 14 players.

Curry, a 6’4” guard, has spent the previous four seasons in the D-League with Iowa and Springfield.  After being selected in the second round, 51st overall, by the Chicago Bulls in the 2007 NBA Draft, Curry spent time with Iowa on assignment during the 2007-08 season and rejoined the team during the 2008-09 campaign.  The Oklahoma State alum was taken 14th overall in the first round of the 2009 NBA D-League Draft as the first selection in Springfield Armor history.  Curry played in one game with the Los Angeles Clippers in January of 2010 after earning a 10-day contract.  In three seasons with Springfield, Curry has appeared in 74 games and averaged 15.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.6 steals in 36.3 minutes.  He is the Armor’s franchise leader in points, assists, steals and games played.  In three contests in 2011-12, all starts, Curry has averaged 18.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 assists in 38 minutes.

Horner, a 6’9” forward, is a New Jersey native who spent four years at N.C. State.  After leaving school following the 2009-10 campaign, Horner joined VOO Verviers-Pepinster in Belgium’s First Division before moving to Hasapis Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus’ Division A.  During the 2010-11 season, he averaged 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in 13 games with Hasapis Omonia Nicosia.  Horner was selected by the Springfield Armor in the third round (47th overall) in the 2011 NBA Development League Draft.  In three games with the Armor this season, all starts, he averaged 15.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 30 minutes.

Smith, a 6’2” guard,  played four years at Louisville before being selected by Springfield in the fifth round, 69th overall, in the 2010 NBA D-League Draft.  Entering the 2011-12 campaign, Smith is ranked in the Armor’s top five all-time in points, assists, steals, and minutes played.  In 49 career games with the Armor, Smith has averaged 13.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.2 steals in 25 minutes.  In three contests this season, he has averaged 20.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 34 minutes.

Martell Webster

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced today that guard Martell Webster is out indefinitely as he recovers from microdiscectomy surgery that was performed on Sept. 28.

Webster is currently undergoing further evaluation by the Timberwolves medical staff. An update on his status will be provided when warranted.

The Orlando Magic have named Mark Price player development coach, President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Otis Smith officially announced today.

Price was a shooting coach with Golden State during the 2010-11 campaign. Price was also a shooting consultant with Atlanta for two seasons (2008-10) and with Memphis (2007-08).

Price appeared in 772 regular season games with Cleveland, Washington, Golden State and Orlando during his 12-year career in the NBA, averaging 15.2 ppg. and 6.7 apg., while shooting .472 from the field, .402 from three-point range and .904 from the free throw line. A four-time NBA All-Star, he was named to the All-NBA First Team in 1992-93 and earned All-NBA Third Team honors three times.

The NBA’s all-time leader in free throw percentage in the regular season (.904) and in the postseason (.944), Price led the league in free throw percentage three times during his career, finished in the top-10 in free throw shooting seven times and shot better than 90% from the foul line in seven of his 12 seasons. In 1993, he made 77 consecutive free throw attempts, which was one shy of the NBA record at the time. The Cavaliers’ all-time leader in assists (4,206), he also ranks 19th in NBA history for career three-point percentage (.402) and was a two-time winner of the NBA’s three-point shootout (1993, 1994).

Prior to joining the NBA, Price starred at Georgia Tech where he was a three-time All-American and was named First Team All-ACC three times. He was the Associated Press ACC Player of the Year in 1984-85. In addition to having his number retired in both Cleveland and at Georgia Tech, the basketball arena in his hometown of Enid, Oklahoma is named after him.

Since retiring as a player, Price has also worked as an assistant coach at his alma mater (under Bobby Cremins), served as a community coach for Duluth High School and was head coach at Whitefield Academy in Smyrn, GA. In 2006, Price opened the Mark Price Basketball Academy and Shooting Lab at the Suwanee (GA) Sports Academy.

Brandon Roy

The seemingly never-ending saga surrounding Trail Blazers star Brandon Roy and his balky knees has reached a stunning conclusion.

Two sources with knowledge of Roy’s decision told The Oregonian Friday morning that Roy  plans to retire because of degenerative knees, confirming a story first reported by ESPN.

Roy made this decision, one of the sources said, after meeting with doctors on Thursday. After evaluating Roy’s knees, which have been operated on six times and no longer have any cartilage, the doctor flatly told Roy he should no longer play.

Trail Blazers Brandon Roy’s Game 4 heroics against Dallas Mavericks (video)

Brandon Roy has given Portland a mountain of memories but none more dramatic than last season’s monumental comeback against Dallas in the NBA Playoffs. Roy brought his team back from a 23-point deficit to level the series at 2-2. The all-star guard scored 18 fourth quarter points in one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history.

“You can’t do this,” the doctor told Roy, according to one of the sources. “You might end up not walking.” …

One of the sources described Roy as very “emotional” and said he needed “time to rest” and come to grips with his situation. It’s unclear when Roy will be prepared to publicly address his retirement.

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

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Gilbert Arenas

The Orlando Magic have waived guard Gilbert Arenas and designated him as the team’s amnesty player, President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Otis Smith announced today.

Arenas (6’4”, 215, 1/6/82) played in 70 games with both Washington and Orlando last season, averaging 10.8 ppg., 3.9 apg., 2.7 rpg. and 1.06 stlpg. in 25.7 minpg. He was acquired by the Magic on December 28, 2010 from Washington in exchange for Rashard Lewis. In 49 games with Orlando, Arenas averaged 8.0 ppg., 3.2 apg. and 2.4 rpg. in 21.8 minpg.

Arenas has appeared in 535 career NBA regular season games with Golden State, Washington and Orlando, averaging 21.2 ppg., 5.4 apg., 4.0 rpg. and 1.63 stlpg. in 35.8 minpg.

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Al Jefferson

Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson’s girlfriend has been arrested on suspicion of domestic assault after authorities say she bit him during an evening attack at their home.

Cottonwood Heights police say Shirley Lewis was arrested Thursday and booked into the Salt Lake County jail. She was later released.

Authorities say Jefferson’s 38-year-old live-in girlfriend faces a charge of domestic violence in the presence of a child.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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Lamar Odom

Pau Gasol reported for the first day of training camp but fellow Lakers forward Lamar Odom did not, according to a team official Friday.

Odom hinted he would not appear at camp in an interview Thursday with The Times, saying, “Maybe I’ll see you there, but I doubt it. You don’t want to go to no place you’re not wanted.”

Odom and Gasol were involved in a trade Thursday for New Orleans guard Chris Paul that was blocked by the NBA. It is unknown how long Odom will be away from the team.

– Reported by Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times Blog

UPDATE: Reports say Odom did wind up going to camp, about 1.5 hours late, and only stayed around 15 minutes.

Charlie Bell

Warriors reserve guard Charlie Bell spent hours in custody Thursday after showing up to court legally drunk for a hearing on his drunken driving case, according to the ABC affiliate in Flint, Mich.

Bell was held, in a district court holding cell, on a bond violation until he sobered up. He’s expected back in court Friday, which marks the start of Warriors training camp for the rest of his teammates.

– Reported by Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle Blog

In response to inquiries, NBA Commissioner David Stern released the following statement:

“Since the NBA purchased the New Orleans Hornets, final responsibility for significant management decisions lies with the Commissioner’s Office in consultation with team chairman Jac Sperling.  All decisions are made on the basis of what is in the best interests of the Hornets.  In the case of the trade proposal that was made to the Hornets for Chris Paul, we decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade.”

amare stoudemire

If you’re Amar’e Stoudemire, it’s great to hear Tyson Chandler is coming to the Knicks to relieve him of the responsibility of guarding centers for much of the time.

The disturbing news is that the team’s once treasured asset was nearly relieved of the New York City limelight he loves basking in. A Hornets’ source disclosed they swiftly rejected a Stoudemire-for-Chris Paul offer.

There was no interest whatsoever, maybe because Stoudemire’s remaining 4-year, $84 million contract is uninsurable.

– Reported by Peter Vecsey of the New York Post

Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom is still a Laker, but he doesn’t sound completely thrilled about it.

Odom admitted that he was “shocked” and “surprised” when told Thursday afternoon that the Lakers agreed to trade him to the New Orleans Hornets as part of a deal for point guard Chris Paul. But this evening when he heard that the NBA had killed the trade, Odom said he was in “total disbelief” over these new developments…

“Maybe I’ll see you there tomorrow [at practice],” Odom said. “But I doubt it. You don’t want to go to no place you’re not wanted. I’ll try to give them what they want as much as possible.”

Odom also felt bad for Gasol.

“Imagine how Pau feels,” Odom said. “Pau came to the Lakers and played here for four years, went to the Finals and lost, won two NBA championships and then got swept [by the Dallas Mavericks this year]. Wow! Imagine how he must feel.

“Man, I’m just in total disbelief about all of this,” Odom continued. “They don’t want my services, for whatever reason. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I was proud to be a Laker, so I’ll try to help them in the process as much as possible.”

– Reported by Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Blog)

Chris Paul

On the eve of the sport’s formal re-opening for business after a five-month lockout, NBA commissioner David Stern sent shockwaves throughout the league Thursday night by nixing the league-owned New Orleans Hornets’ plans to trade guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Within an hour of the Hornets striking an agreement in principle with the Lakers and Houston Rockets on a three-team trade that would have landed Paul in the same backcourt as Kobe Bryant, Stern informed the Hornets that they couldn’t make the trade, stunning team officials who had been working around-the-clock for days in hopes of bringing an end to the Paul saga before the season officially started.

Amid a stream of reports that angry owners were demanding the trade be vetoed, on the same day those owners had gathered in New York to ratify a new labor pact purportedly designed to foster competitive balance and prevent small-market teams from being raided for their stars, league officials tried to dispute claims of a revolt by insisting that the decision was Stern’s.

“It’s not true that the owners killed the deal,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said. “The deal was never discussed at the Board of Governors meeting and the league office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons.”

Yet in an email to Stern obtained by Yahoo! Sports and The New York Times, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert called the proposed deal “a travesty” and urged Stern to put the deal to a vote of “the 29 owners of the Hornets,” referring to the rest of the league’s teams.

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

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