Archive for January 6th, 2012

Jeff Green

If and when Jeff Green returns to the NBA — and the encouraging news heading into his heart surgery next week is that he likely will — he will have plenty of choices as to his next employer.

That’s because the Boston Celtics, in a move that was not made public, withdrew Green’s qualifying offer in mid-December, right around the time he failed his physical and had his one-year, $9 million contract voided. The move means Green is now an unrestricted free agent. Had the offer not been withdrawn, and the Celtics were under no obligation whatsoever to do so, Green would have been a restricted free agent, with the Celtics able to match any offer he might get from another team.

Asked about the decision on Friday, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, citing Green’s impending surgery, said he preferred not to discuss the matter. He did confirm it, however. It may have been nothing more than a goodwill gesture on the part of the Celtics to Green and his agent, David Falk, who said the team has been “phenomenal” in handling the situation.

– Reported by Peter May, special to ESPN Boston

Houston Rockets guard Kyle Lowry is facing a misdemeanor battery charge amid accusations that he threw a basketball at a referee and threatened her during a game at a Las Vegas training gym.

The criminal complaint says the 25-year-old Lowry was taunting 30-year-old Infini Robinson while she was officiating a game between NBA players Sept. 22.

Police say that when the game ended, he threw a ball at her torso and cursed at her for calls he didn’t agree with.

Robinson later was hit in the shoulder by another basketball in an area designated for officials. She said the ball hit her with such force that it pushed her body back in the chair where she was sitting, and said it likely would have broken her nose had she not been bent over changing her shoe.

– Reported by the Associated Press 

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have assigned Sean Williams and Yi Jianlian to the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League.

Willliams (6-10, 235) has played in three games with the Mavericks after being signed on Dec. 21. In three appearances, Williams is averaging 4.7 points, 2.0 rebounds and 5.7 minutes while shooting .714 (5-7 FGs) from the field and 1.000 (4-4 FTs) from the free throw line.

Yi (7-0, 250) was signed by Dallas on Jan. 6 and has yet to see any action with the Mavericks.

Williams and Yi are scheduled to join the Legends tonight, Jan. 6, for their game in Austin against the Toros. They will also be in uniform on Sunday, Jan. 8 when Texas battles the Maine Red Claws on HP Court at Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco.

Yi Jianlian

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent forward Yi Jianlian. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, it’s just a one-year contract.

Yi (7-0, 250) was the first round draft pick (sixth overall) in the 2007 NBA Draft of the Milwaukee Bucks. The 24-year old has played for three teams (Milwaukee, New Jersey and Washington) in his four-year career. He holds career averages of 8.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 24.1 minutes in 242 career games with 163 starts.

Yi played in 66 games (starting 49) as a rookie for the Bucks and averaged 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. That year he was selected to participate in the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge at the 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend.

In June of 2008, Yi, along with Bobby Simmons, was traded to New Jersey in exchange for Richard Jefferson. Yi enjoyed the two best years of his career while with the Nets including a 2009-10 campaign where he averaged 12.0 points and 7.2 rebounds in 52 games (51 starts). In June of 2010, Yi was traded to Washington where he played out the remainder of his contract and became a free agent.

A native of Shenzhen, China, Yi was a member of the Chinese National Olympic Team that competed in both the 2004 Athens games and 2008 Beijing games. His name is pronounced “EE jee-ENN-lee-ENN.”

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose was still sore, but he had more mobility in his left elbow than he did after injuring it Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy is preparing as though Rose will play when his 5-2 Magic hosts the 6-1 Bulls on Friday.

‘‘He’s an exceptional player, and .  .  . I think he has an exceptional attitude also,’’ Van Gundy said. ‘‘He’s a different breed. He’s all about winning and the team and trying to do what he can to get better. He’s the real deal as a player and a person and a teammate. They’re very, very lucky to have him.’’

Rose drove hard to the basket, was fouled by the Pistons’ Damien Wilkins and came down hard on his left elbow late in the Bulls’

99-83 victory.

– Reported by Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times

Eric Gordon

Hornets guard Eric Gordon suffered right knee swelling following Wednesday night’s game with the 76ers. Gordon missed the previous four contests prior to the Philadelphia game after he initially bruised the right knee in the second half of the team’s opening night game in Phoenix.

Team doctors have recommended rest for the 22-year old guard’s right knee and he will be sidelined an estimated 2-3 weeks.

Gordon has played just two games for the Hornets so far this season, averaging 21.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.

The Hornets currently have a 2-4 record.

Nicolas Batum seeks Blazers extension

Nicolas Batum

The agent for Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum said on Thursday that he plans to meet with the team next week to discuss a contract extension for his client.

Agent Bouna Ndiaye attended the Blazers’ 107-96 win over the Lakers on Thursday, but said he didn’t negotiate with the team. He said the plan is to meet next week, although no formal date or meeting has been arranged.

The team has until Jan. 25 to sign Batum to an extension. Otherwise, he becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Both the team, and Batum has expressed a desire to sign an extension.

– Reported by Jason Quick of The Oregonian

Jason Kidd

Dallas Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd injured his lower back in the first quarter of Thursday’s 93-71 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Kidd will be examined Friday in Dallas and his status for Saturday’s game is uncertain.

“We’ll see where we are,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “It happened on a play and I don’t know which one, but it definitely happened on a play.”

The injury apparently occurred toward the end of the first quarter, but Kidd tried to fight through it. He could be seen reaching for his back a few times before finally exiting the game with 24.7 seconds left in the first.

– Reported by Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas

Tyson Chandler

Isiah Thomas, FIU coach and former Knicks president, finally spoke out on the club’s acquisition of center Tyson Chandler and did not sound enthused.

Conveniently appearing on the Sid Rosenberg Show on Miami radio yesterday following the Knicks’ 2-4 start, Thomas questioned Glen Grunwald’s acquisition of Chandler, which forced the team to cut Chauncey Billups to get under the salary cap.

Thomas said the NBA has become a guard’s league, and the Knicks cannot win solely with a star-powered frontcourt of Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. The Chandler commitment cost them a shot at point guard Chris Paul with next summer’s salary cap space, and Paul was subsequently dealt to the Clippers.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

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