Archive for January 11th, 2012

Spencer Hawes

Starting center Spencer Hawes missed the Philadelphia 76ers’ game in New York on Wednesday night because of a strained lower back.

Tony Battie started for Hawes, who was hurt Tuesday night in a victory over Sacramento. He played 11 scoreless minutes before sitting out the second half.

– Reported by the Associated Press

TJ Ford

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that guard T.J. Ford has been diagnosed with a longitudinal tear of his left hamstring (biceps femoris). He is expected to miss four to six weeks.

Ford was examined earlier today by Spurs team physician David Schmidt. An MRI was performed which confirmed the injury. The injury occurred in the first quarter of Tuesday night’s Spurs-Bucks game in Milwaukee.

Any roster move made by the San Antonio Spurs is of interest. Because, they generally don’t make mistakes. So when they give a lesser-known player a shot, it’s always smart to take a heavier glance at that player than usual.

The Spurs today announced that they have signed forward Malcolm Thomas from the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League. Per club policy details of the contract were not released.  In addition, the Spurs placed forward Ike Diogu on waivers.

Thomas, 6-9, 225 lbs., saw action in six games with the D-Fenders, averaging 14.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.67 blocks, 1.50 steals and 1.3 assists in 31.5 minutes while shooting .673 (35-52) from the field. Thomas posted a season-high 19 points to go along with 9 rebounds at Erie on Dec. 29.

Thomas, a teammate of Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard at San Diego State, helped lead the Aztecs to an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance last season, averaging 11.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.02 blocks in 30.4 minutes.

An All-Mountain West Conference Second Team selection in each of his two seasons at San Diego State as well as an All-Defensive Team selection as a senior, Thomas concluded his career with the Aztecs as the second leading shot blocker in school history (127).

Diogu was signed by the Spurs on Jan. 3.  He appeared in two games, totaling 2 points and a rebound in 14 minutes.

Thomas will wear No. 23 for the Spurs and will be available tonight when the Silver and Black host the Houston Rockets at the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m.

Chicago Bulls sign guard Mike James

Mike James

Sometimes, players you thought had fallen out of the league rise back up from the dead and make a comeback.

The Chicago Bulls today signed free agent guard Mike James. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. We assume it’s a very short-term, small contract.

James, (6-2, 190), appeared in three games for the Erie Bayhawks of the NBA D-League, posting averages of 15.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.3 apg 34.7 mpg, .386 from the field and .727 from the free throw line.  He is the 14th GATORADE Call-up of the 2011-12 NBA D-League season.

An eight-year NBA veteran, his most recent NBA stint was with the Washington Wizards during the 2009-10 campaign.  He appeared in four games and averaged 4.5 ppg and 1.3 apg in 11.5 mpg.

In addition to playing with the Wizards, James has also played for the Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Minnesota Timberwolves and the New Orleans Hornets.  In 528 regular season contests in the NBA, he has averaged 10.5 ppg, 3.6 apg and 2.3 rpg in 25.2 mpg.  A .378 career shooter from behind the arc, he also owns career shooting averages of .420 from the field and .803 from the line.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 14.

Gerald Wallace

Because of limitations with the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement, Gerald Wallace will not seek a contract extension with the Trail Blazers this season, his camp has informed the team.

However, after this season, Wallace will be open to an extension, his representatives said, adding that Wallace loves Portland and is open to retiring in a Blazers uniform.

Wallace is under contract for this season and the 2012-2013 season, but he can opt out of the final year of his contract, which would pay him $11.4 million. The Blazers had hoped to avoid that potential scenario and in December had casual conversations with agent Rob Pelinka to extend his contract this season. However, under the new CBA, the Blazers can only extend Wallace for two more seasons, down from the four-season option in the previous CBA.

– Reported by Jason Quick of The Oregonian

Anderson Varejao

Anderson Varejao is enjoying one of the most productive starts to a season in his career.

You can bet the Cavaliers aren’t the only team taking notice.

Healthy again and attacking the boards and defensive end with his familiar gusto, Varejao could attract significant interest as the March 15 trade deadline approaches. The Cavaliers aren’t believed to be shopping the fan favorite, but contenders looking for an energetic big man will no doubt call the rebuilding franchise with offers.

Varejao and backup point guard Ramon Sessions figure to generate the most attention. Coach Byron Scott asked specifically about the center Tuesday said he wouldn’t be in favor of trading him.

“It would have to be an unbelievable person to get back,” Scott said. “I look at him as one of the guys you look at and say, ‘He’s not going anywhere.’ I just feel he’s that valuable and feel that strongly about him and what he means to this team.”

– Reported by Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

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