Archive for December 24th, 2011

The Memphis Grizzlies acquired guard/forward Quincy Pondexter from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for guard Greivis Vasquez, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

“We feel this is a trade that benefits both teams. We will miss Quincy and we thank him for his efforts, professionalism and work ethic,” said Hornets GM Dell Demps. “We are excited to add Greivis Vasquez to our team, organization and community. Greivis is an exciting, big guard that plays with a passion that we hope will thrill our fans at the Hive.”

Pondexter (6-6, 225) comes to Memphis after averaging 13.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in 33.0 minutes in two preseason games against the Grizzlies earlier this month, including a 14-point, 12-rebound performance on Dec. 21.  The 23-year-old recorded 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds on .406 shooting in 11.1 minutes in 66 games (six starts) as a rookie with the Hornets last season.

A native of Fresno, Calif., Pondexter left the University of Washington as the school’s career leader in games played (136) and third all-time in scoring (1,786 points), averaging 19.3 points and 7.4 rebounds on .528 shooting in 36 games as a senior with the Huskies.

Originally selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round (26th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft, Pondexter’s rights were acquired by New Orleans in a draft-night deal on June 24, 2010.

Vasquez (6-6, 211), who was drafted 28th overall by the Grizzlies in the 2010 NBA Draft, averaged 3.6 points and 2.2 assists in 12.3 minutes of action over 70 games (one start) for Memphis last season. In two preseason games this season, he averaged 4.5 points and 4.5 assists in 14.5 minutes of play. He is the first Venezuelan-born player ever selected in the NBA Draft and only the third Venezuelan to play in the NBA, joining Carl Herrera (1991-99) and Oscar Torres (2001-03). Vasquez was named the ACC Player of the Year and won the Bob Cousy Award as the best point guard in the nation in 2009-10 while at Maryland University. He is the only player in ACC history to record at least 2,000 points (2,171), 750 assists (772) and 600 rebounds (647) in a career.

Boston Celtics sign Mickael Pietrus

Mickael Pietrus

The Boston Celtics today announced that they have signed guard/forward Mickael Pietrus. It is likely a deal for the veteran’s league minimum, of around $1.2 million.

“We are very excited to be able to add Mickael to our team,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “His skills as a perimeter defender and an outside shooter provide great versatility to the roster.”

Pietrus, a 6’6” guard/forward, appeared in 57 games combined between Phoenix and Orlando last season averaging 7.2 points and 2.2 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game.  He recorded 20 or more points on four occasions last season with a season-high of 25 against the Clippers on December 26 when he shot 5-of-8 from three-point land.  The 11th overall pick in the 2003 Draft by the Golden State Warriors has career averages of 8.5 points and 3.1 rebounds in 496 career games over eight seasons. He posted his highest scoring campaign during the 2006-07 season with Golden State when he recorded 11.1 points to go along with 4.5 rebounds per game. Pietrus has posted playoff career averages of 8.9 points and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 39.1% from three-point territory. During the Magic’s run to the NBA Finals, Pietrus averaged 10.5 points and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 38.5 percent from three-point range.

Miami Heat waive guard Eddie House

Eddie House

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have request waivers on guard Eddie House.

House appeared in 56 games (one start) with the HEAT last season and averaged 6.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 17.5 minutes while shooting 39.9 percent from the field, 38.9 percent from three-point range and 95 percent from the foul line. Additionally, he appeared in seven postseason games with Miami and averaged 1.6 points in 6.9 minutes of action while shooting 23.5 percent from the field and 30 percent from three-point range.

The 11-year NBA veteran previously signed with the HEAT on August 3, 2010.

Kenyon Martin

The Knicks have one roster spot still open entering tomorrow’s season opener, and Carmelo Anthony hopes it eventually goes to his former Nuggets teammate Kenyon Martin, according to an NBA source.

According to the source, Anthony wants Martin in New York, though he is not permitted to sign a contract until March, when his Chinese team is through with the playoffs. The rugged forward was bought out earlier this week and was expected home for the holidays.

The source said Martin considers the Knicks his top choice, partly because of his friendship with Anthony. They became tight during their nearly seven seasons together in Denver. Martin could fill the role of another gritty big man off the bench with athleticism.

– Via Marc Berman of the New York Post

Lance Stephenson

“He’s clowning around a lot less, which is helpful in practice,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “His interaction with his teammates is solid. He’s not pointing fingers and making faces like he did last year. We’ve seen a lot of maturation from him this year.”

Stephenson averaged almost 11 minutes in the two preseason games, totaling three assists, three rebounds and six points.

“I thought he played within himself on most possessions, which is probably the biggest area he has to improve in,” Vogel said. “And then growing on the defensive end, being in the right spots all the time.”

Stephenson has tried to tone down his game on the court, trading in flashy, street ball-type passes for the simple, safe pass.

“Last year I used to force stuff,” Stephenson said. “I see now if you make the simple pass, it matters more.”

– Via Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star

Kenyon Martin lands buyout from China

Kenyon Martin

Saying he needs to “take care of family affairs”, the former Denver Nugget secured a buyout of his one-year $2.7 million contract and the club released him on Thursday, team manager Guo Jian confirmed.

“We have reached an agreement to let him go, but are still discussing some detail issues,” Guo said on Friday before the squad’s road game against the defending champion Guangdong Southern Tigers.

Those details apparently refer to CBA regulations on foreign players, and how much money Martin will pack home.

League rules state Martin must play the entire season before being able to opt out and join another league. Otherwise, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) won’t approve a clearance letter for any league under its supervision.

Although the NBA is not under FIBA jurisdiction, it will respect the CBA-FIBA agreement and won’t allow Martin to ink a deal before his Chinese team ends its season in March, said Bai Xilin, director of the CBA’s competition department.

– Via Sun Xiaochen of China Daily

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