Archive for March 17th, 2012

Thunder assign Lazar Hayward to D-League

The Oklahoma City Thunder has assigned forward Lazar Hayward to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

During the 2011-12 season, Hayward has appeared in 16 games with the Thunder averaging 1.4 points in 5.7 minutes. On March 2, Oklahoma City assigned him to Tulsa. He appeared in two games (both starts) averaging 28.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.0 assist in 36.0 minutes prior to his recall on March 4.

He will be in uniform tonight as the Tulsa 66ers host the Springfield Armor at the Tulsa Convention Center.

The New York Knickerbockers announced today that Jim Todd and Darrell Walker have joined Head Coach Mike Woodson’s staff as assistant coaches.

Todd is reunited with Woodson, after serving as an assistant coach in Atlanta from 2008-10, and then most recently, served as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings this season (2011-12). In 2010-11, he coached in China and was an assistant coach for the Canadian men’s national basketball team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship Games in Turkey. Previously, he was an assistant coach in Milwaukee, alongside Mike Woodson, under Head Coach Chris Ford from 1996-98. He also served as an assistant coach for Milwaukee (2002-04; 2007-08), Toronto (2004-07) and the L.A. Clippers (1998-2000), for whom he finished the 1999-2000 season as the interim head coach.

Walker brings more than a decade of coaching experience to the Knicks, having served as both an NBA assistant coach and an NBA head coach. He was most recently an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons (2007-08 through 2009-10), following roles as an assistant coach with the New Orleans Hornets (2004-08) and the Toronto Raptors (1995-96). He was promoted to head coach of Toronto in 1996-97, compiling a record of 41-90 over parts of two seasons. He also served as the interim head coach of the Washington Wizards in 1999-00, posting a 15-23 record.

Walker was originally selected by New York in the first round (12th pick overall) of the 1983 NBA Draft, posting 10.6 points, 4.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds over 23.8 minutes in 245 games (101 starts) over three seasons. In 720 career NBA games, he averaged 8.9 points, 4.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds over 25.8 minutes over 10 seasons with New York, Denver, Washington, Detroit and Chicago.

Warriors waive retiring guard T.J. Ford

tj ford

The Golden State Warriors have waived guard T.J. Ford, the team announced today.

Ford, 28, was acquired on Thursday (March 15) from San Antonio, along with forward Richard Jefferson and a 2012 First Round pick, in exchange for Stephen Jackson.  Earlier this week, Ford announced that he plans to retire from basketball activities after suffering a series of neck and spine injuries during his eight-year NBA career, most recently on March 7 vs. New York, and is contemplating retirement.  He has appeared in 429 career NBA games, averaging 11.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists.

Californian Larry Ellison, ranked as the third-richest person in the U.S., has inquired about buying the Memphis Grizzlies with apparent hopes of moving the team to San Jose.

But team owner Michael Heisley today downplayed the possibility of a sale — and of a relocation, citing a lease that ties the franchise to Memphis and FedExForum until 2021.

“I can’t downplay it enough. If it happens I’ll be surprised,” said Heisley, a Chicago-based billionaire who added that talks had not become serious. “It’s in the initial stages. We’ve handled this just like we’ve handled several other dozen requests. My situation in Memphis has not changed a lick. My preference will always be for somebody in Memphis to buy the team. There’s not any interest in Memphis. But we’ve always made it known that if somebody wants to buy the team, we’ll listen. If they’re real buyers we’ll probably be sellers. So far there hasn’t been anyone willing to buy the team under my terms and for my price.”

– Reported by Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed guard Courtney Fortson of the D-League L.A. Defenders to a 10-day contract. This marks Fortson’s second NBA Call-Up of the season. He also played four games with the L.A. Clippers this season, averaging 4.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 11.2 minutes per game.

Fortson (5-11, 185, Arkansas) owns career averages of 14.3 points, 5.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 35 D-League games (15 starts) with the Reno Bighorns (2010-11) and L.A. Defenders (2011-12). In 29 games (14 starts) this season with the Defenders, Fortson holds averages of 17.0 points, 5.9 assists, 4.3 boards and 2.14 steals. Fortson currently ranks tied for 14th in the league in scoring, sixth in assists and second in steals.

Called up by the Clippers on Jan. 16, 2012, Fortson scored a career-high 13 points (5-10 FG) at Utah (1/17/12). He was waived by the Clippers on Jan. 27. In addition to the NBA, Fortson played internationally with Romanian First Division team Steaua Turabo. In college, Fortson averaged 17.9 points, 5.7 assists and 5.2 rebounds as a sophomore at Arkansas. He was also named to the All-SEC Freshman Team.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Manny Harris for the remainder of the 2011-12 season, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today. Per league and team policy, terms of the contract were not announced. Additionally, the Cavaliers have waived forward Jason Kapono.

Harris most recently completed a second 10-day contract with the Cavaliers on March 11th. He has appeared in three games with Cleveland this season, totaling nine points and two rebounds in 20 minutes. Prior to being signed by the Cavs, Harris played in 17 games (12 starts) this season with the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League team. Harris averaged 21.4 points on .470 shooting with 7.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals in 32.9 minutes per game with Canton.

Kapono was acquired on March 15th as part of the trade in which the Cavaliers acquired the Los Angeles Lakers’ first round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft (lottery-protected), Luke Walton, the right to swap their least favorable first round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft with the Lakers (Please note: the Cavaliers currently own their own first round pick and Miami’s) and cash considerations from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for guard Ramon Sessions and guard/forward Christian Eyenga.

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