Archive for July, 2012

Andrei Kirilenko scores 35 for Russia

Andrei Kirilenko scores 35 for Russia

Slashing to the rim, blocking shots and getting out in transition in Russia’s first game of the Olympics, Andrei Kirilenko looked every bit the all-around force he was as a young man with the Utah Jazz.

“I feel great,” Kirilenko said after scoring 35 points on 14-for-17 shooting against Britain on Sunday. “Look at me. I’m running like a young deer.”

The only people happier with his performance than the Russians had to be the Minnesota Timberwolves. After skipping last season to play in his native Moscow, Kirilenko signed a two-year, $20 million contract with the Wolves on Friday.

Kirilenko will be bringing Russian teammate Alexey Shved with him to the Timberwolves next season. Shved had 16 points and 13 assists against overmatched Britain.

“If I’m the Minnesota Timberwolves, I have a big, fat smile on my face,” Russian coach David Blatt said.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Sonny Weems signs with CSKA Moscow

Sonny Weems signs with CSKA Moscow

One of the competition’s most productive wing players last season switched Turkish Airlines Euroleague clubs on Monday when CSKA Moscow announced the arrival of small forward Sonny Weems, who inked a three-year deal with his new team. Weems (1.98 meters, 26 years old) arrives from Zalgiris Kaunas, where he averaged 15.5 points and 5 rebounds in 15 Euroleague games last season, his first in the competition. He was the third-best scorer in the 2011-12 Euroleague, trailing only Alphonso Ford Top Scoring Trophy winner Bo McCalebb and Final Four MVP Vassilis Spanoulis. Weems came to Kaunas from Toronto of the NBA, where he averaged 9.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 59 games in 2010-11.

– Reported by Euroleague.net

Glen Taylor, who has owned the Timberwolves for 18 seasons and the Lynx for 13, has found the successor he has been looking for. In the near future, Taylor will close a deal to sell 25 percent of the franchises, and eventually the new owner will own the majority.

Unfortunately, the buyer is from outside the Twin Cities, but Taylor insists he will continue to own a share of the two teams and will make sure that they don’t move out of the state.

“Yes, I have [found a buyer], and we’re working on trying to put a deal together, and it would be a deal that would leave me involved for a number of years yet, but it would be a good transition,” Taylor said Sunday.

“I will be an owner for a number of years but gradually bring in a partner, if this would work out. I’d bring in a partner and … we’d work together. In the initial years, he would have less than 50 percent and then in the later years he would have more than 50 percent and would have the ownership.”

– Reported by Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Luol Deng plays nearly every minute in Britain loss to Russia

Luol Deng always knew this Olympic experience would be about more than final scores.

So minutes after Great Britain opened preliminary round play at a raucous Basketball Arena Sunday night with a 95-75 loss to Russia, the All-Star Bulls’ forward offered as much postgame eloquence as he had in-game sweat while playing all but 63 seconds.

“It was a special moment,” Deng said after his 26-point effort. “For us growing up, basketball didn’t get much attention. We’re playing against the world where basketball is everything in their country. We have dreams. We want to develop the game. Hopefully, we have youngsters watching and following our footsteps.”

This is Great Britain’s first Olympic basketball appearance since 1964. It’s Deng’s first Games. He is playing in with a torn ligament in his left wrist as some way to repay the country that offered his family political asylum from war-torn Sudan.

“This is why I chose to do this,” Deng said.

– Reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune

Deng led Great Britain with 26 points, but was unusually inefficient, shooting 8-of-27 from the field, including 2-of-11 from beyond the arc. Deng, one of only two NBA players on the national team (Joel Freeland), was forced to shoot early and often to try and keep pace with  the Russians. He also played a team-high 39 minutes in the loss.

Last year Deng’s shooting percentage dropped nearly five percentage points, from 46.0 to 41.2 percent.  It’s unknown whether Deng will require wrist surgery or opt to have it after the Olympics, which would cause him to miss 3-4 months.

– Reported by CSN Chicago

Olympic organizers scrambled on Sunday to quell a backlash over depressing TV images of half-empty stands at the London Olympics as a government minister said an urgent inquiry had been launched to identify just who had failed to show up and why.

Sports fans from all over Britain who had been charmed by the Olympic publicity offensive but let down by a complex ballot system for the 8.8 million tickets, have been outraged by footage of empty seats at key venues including Wimbledon, one of the hottest tickets in world tennis.

Chairman Sebastian Coe, who threatened to name and shame sponsors that did not fill their seats, said missing spectators were mostly officials from international sports federations, other Olympic officials, their families and friends.

“It doesn’t obviously appear to be a sponsorship issue at the moment,” Coe said, after Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt said he thought the vacant seats had belonged to sponsors.

Coe, a former Olympic gold medalist on the track, said that only eight percent of allocated tickets went to big corporate sponsors such as Visa and Coca-Cola and that 75 percent of tickets were in the hands of the public.

– Reported by Karolos Grohmann and Paul Casciato of Reuters

Hardly dreamy, still dominant.

Kevin Durant scored 22 points, LeBron James added eight assists and the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team opened tournament play with a rough-and-ragged 98-71 win over France on Sunday.

Seeking a second straight gold medal to match the one they won in Beijing four years ago, the Americans expected a tough test from a French team featuring San Antonio guard Tony Parker and five other NBA players.

The U.S. was never in real trouble, and after overcoming some major foul issues and sloppy play, the superstar-laden squad finally put France away in the second half…

With first lady Michelle Obama on hand to cheer on the U.S., Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler added nine rebounds apiece and Kevin Love finished with 14 points for the Americans. The U.S. will next play Tuesday against Tunisia, beaten 60-56 by Nigeria in the tournament opener.

As they left the floor, the U.S. players stopped to hug the first lady.

– Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press

A full recap will appear on the InsideHoops USA Basketball page later today.

Utah Jazz agree to sign Randy Foye

Randy Foye expected to join Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free-agent guard Randy Foye, pending the outcome of a physical. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.

The 28-year-old Foye (6-4, 213, Villanova) is entering his seventh NBA season and has played in 389 career games (214 starts) with Minnesota, Washington and the Los Angeles Clippers, owning career averages of 11.6 points, 3.2 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 27.1 minutes. A career 86.1-percent free-throw shooter, Foye twice has finished in the NBA’s top 10 in free-throw percentage (2009-10, 2010-11).

This past season Foye saw action in 65 of a possible 66 games (48 starts) for the Clippers, averaging 11.0 points, 2.2 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 25.9 minutes while helping L.A. to the best record in franchise history and a trip to the Western Conference Semifinals. Foye led the Clippers in three-pointers made and attempted (127-329, .386) last season, ranking seventh in the NBA in both categories, and scored 20-plus points on nine occasions, including equaling a Clipper franchise-record with eight made threes (8-15 3FG, 10-19 FG) in a 28-point effort at Dallas on April 2, 2012. Foye led the NBA with 46 made three-pointers from March 30 through the end of the regular season and averaged 15.3 points over the final 15 games of the season, hitting the 20-point mark five times in that span. He also had a streak of 21 straight games with at least one three-pointer from March 17 – April 22. Foye was teammates with recent Jazz addition Mo Williams the last two seasons in L.A.

Originally selected by the Boston Celtics in the first-round (seventh overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft, Foye was traded to Minnesota on a draft-night deal and was selected to the 2007 NBA All-Rookie First Team. He played for the Timberwolves from 2006-09, the Washington Wizards in 2009-10, and the Clippers from 2010-12.

Prior to the NBA, the Newark, N.J., native played four seasons at Villanova University (2002-06), where he averaged 14.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.51 steals in 131 games (128 starts). He finished his career as the eighth-leading scorer in Villanova history (1,966 points) and was an Associated Press First Team All-American his senior year as he led the Wildcats to a No. 1 seed in the 2006 NCAA Tournament and Elite Eight appearance.

Foye operates a charitable foundation, the Randy Foye Foundation (www.randyfoye.org), which raises funds and develops programs and projects aimed directly at improving the lives of the people, especially the kids, of Newark.

James Harden open to signing with Suns

James Harden open to signing with Suns

A flicker of hope for Valley basketball fans:

Former Arizona State star James Harden would consider signing with the Suns if his contract expires after next season.

“Yeah,” he said. “Of course. I love it there. My mom lives there still. So that’s definitely my second home as far as my comfort level and going to school there. But obviously, I’m with the Thunder right now and what we have is special.”

Harden and his beard enjoyed breakout seasons in 2011-12, helping Oklahoma City reach the NBA Finals. The Thunder already secured stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to long-term deals, and by 2015, those two players alone will command $35 million.

– Reported by Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic

Jon Diebler continues playing in Turkey

Former Ohio State guard Jon Diebler will play a second season in Europe after signing today with Pinar Karsiyaka, a team in the Aegean Sea town of Izmir, Turkey. His agent, Lance Young, confirmed the signing.

Diebler, taken by the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round of the 2011 NBA draft, played last season in Greece. He played with the Blazers’ entry in the Las Vegas Summer League this month, but last week his negotiating rights were traded to the Houston Rockets as part of a three-team deal also involving Boston.

Young said the Rockets encouraged Diebler to play overseas again this season because they are well-stocked with players on the wing.

– Reported by Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch

Toronto Raptors sign John Lucas III

Toronto Raptors sign John Lucas III

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they have signed free-agent point guard John Lucas III.

Lucas averaged career bests of 7.5 points, 2.2 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 14.8 minutes in a career-high 49 games with Chicago last season. He shot .393 from three-point range (27th in the NBA) and .875 at the charity stripe. He paced the Bulls in scoring six times and in assists on five occasions. He scored in double figures in 15 outings, including four games of 20-or-more points. He tallied a career-high 25 points in a career-best 46 minutes January 11 versus Washington. He equaled his career-high scoring outing with 25 points in the season finale, April 26 versus Cleveland.

Lucas has averaged 5.0 points, 1.4 assists and 11.1 minutes in 111 career regular season games. In seven career playoff outings, he has contributed 6.1 points, 1.3 assists and 14.6 minutes.

Lucas, 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, played overseas from 2007-10. He appeared in 40 games with the Shanghai Dongfang Sharks in the 2009-10 season where he contributed 27.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 42.3 minutes in 40 games.

In 2008-09, Lucas split his time between Colorado in the NBA D-League and Spain’s Tau Ceramica. In the 2007-08 campaign, Lucas played for Benetton Treviso in Italy.

Lucas began his NBA career with the Houston Rockets (2005-07). He played in 47 contests in the 2006-07 season and 13 games in 2005-06.

Lucas finished his collegiate career at Oklahoma State after two seasons at Baylor. He was an All-Big 12 First Team selection as a junior and senior. He averaged 16.3 points and 4.3 assists in 68 games at Oklahoma State.

Lucas is the son of John Lucas, Jr., former first overall pick of the Rockets in 1976.

Memphis Grizzlies re-sign Hamed Haddadi

Memphis Grizzlies re-sign Hamed Haddadi

The Memphis Grizzlies re-signed center Hamed Haddadi, Grizzlies General Manger and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

The first Iranian ever to play in the NBA, Haddadi (7-2, 265) averaged 2.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and a career-high 0.74 blocks in 5.9 minutes in 35 games for Memphis last season.  The 27-year-old also set a personal best by shooting .542 from the field.

Haddadi made four appearances for the Grizzlies during the 2012 NBA Playoffs, recording totals of five points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 21 minutes.

A native of Ahvaz, Iran, Haddadi owns NBA career averages of 2.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 6.1 minutes in 121 games in four seasons, all with the Grizzlies.

Orlando Magic name Jacque Vaughn new head coach

Jacque Vaughn, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs and was a member of their 2006-07 NBA World Championship team as a player, has been named head coach, Orlando Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.  Vaughn becomes the tenth head coach in franchise history.

“We are beyond excited to name Jacque Vaughn as our head coach,” Hennigan said. “As we navigated through our coaching search, we quickly saw that Jacque’s spirit and leadership strengths made him the clear choice. We are confident that his diligence, attention to detail and communication style will help establish the bedrock of our culture moving forward. His commitment and passion to building a sustainable program will help steer our organization for years to come.”

According to the Deseret News, “Most league insiders regard Vaughn as bright, hard-working and organized. But, at the same time, those same insiders note that Vaughn brings just two seasons of coaching experience. He ended his 12-year NBA playing career in 2009. A year later, the Spurs hired him as an assistant coach. In San Antonio, Vaughn had the same duties as fellow assistant coaches Mike Budenholzer, Don Newman and Brett Brown. They scouted future opponents, helped run practices and had other responsibilities. Still, league rules allow only three assistant coaches on the bench during games, and Budenholzer, Newman and Brown — all longer-tenured — occupied those seats. Meanwhile, Vaughn sat directly behind the bench.”

During Vaughn’s two seasons on San Antonio’s staff, the Spurs compiled a regular season record of 111-37 (.750).

Vaughn was originally selected in the first round (27th overall) of the 1997 NBA Draft by Utah.  He played 12 years in the NBA from 1997-2009 with Utah, Atlanta, Orlando, New Jersey and San Antonio, averaging 4.5 ppg. and 2.5 apg. in 776 career regular season games.

Vaughn played 80 games (48 starts) with the Orlando Magic during the 2002-03 season, averaging 5.9 ppg., 2.9 apg. and 1.5 rpg. in 21.1 minpg.

As a collegian, Vaughn played four years at Kansas University.  He was named Second Team All-America during both his junior (1995-96) and senior (1996-97) campaigns by The Associated Press.  Vaughn concluded his collegiate career as the school’s all-time leader in assists with 804.  He was named the Big Eight Conference Player of the Year in 1996 and the Newcomer of the Year in 1994.

Vaughn also excelled off the court, being named a two-time First Team GTE Academic All-American and the 1996-97 GTE Team Member of the Year, signifying him as the top student-athlete among Division I basketball players, after posting a 3.72 GPA.  He earned his degree in business administration while at KU.

Read NBA fan reaction or share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that they have hired long-time NBA coach Bob Ociepka to serve as an assistant coach on Vinny Del Negro’s staff for the 2012-13 season.

Ociepka, 63, has worked in the NBA for 22 years and brings over 30 years of coaching experience to the Clippers sideline. The Chicago native returns to Los Angeles for his second stint with the Clippers after serving as an assistant coach from 1993-96 under Bob Weiss and Bill Fitch. Ociepka was an assistant coach for Del Negro with the Chicago Bulls from 2008-10.

For the past two seasons, Ociepka was an assistant coach on the staff of Nate McMillan and Kaleb Canales in Portland. In his 22 year NBA coaching career, Ociepka has worked for a total of nine teams, also spending time with the Minnesota Timberwolves (2006-08), Milwaukee Bucks (2003-04 – 2005-06), Detroit Pistons (1998-99, 2001-03), Cleveland Cavaliers (1999-2001), Philadelphia 76ers (1996-97) and Indiana Pacers (1989-90 – 1992-93).

Ociepka began his NBA career working as a part-time volunteer scout for the Detroit Pistons in the 1980’s and also worked as an advance scout for the Orlando Magic during the 1997-98 season.

One of the most decorated prep coaches in Chicago history, Ociepka was inducted into the Chicago Catholic League Hall of Fame on May 4, 2000 for his success at Gordon Tech and York High Schools. He played basketball in college at Quincy College in Illinois and is the author of two books on the game of basketball, “Basketball Playbook: Plays from the Pros,” published in 1995 and “Basketball Playbook 2: More Plays from the Pros,” published in 2001.

Sixers sign guard Royal Ivey

Sixers sign guard Royal Ivey

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they have signed free agent guard Royal Ivey.

Ivey (6-4, 215) was originally the 37th overall pick by Atlanta in the 2004 NBA Draft.  In eight seasons, he has appeared in 437 games with 109 starts, averaging 3.4 points, 1.1 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game.  For his career, Ivey has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.00.  Over the past four seasons, he has recorded 75 steals with just 48 turnovers.

The Sixers first signed Ivey as a free agent on July 28, 2008.  He played in 97 regular season games for Philly before being traded along with Primoz Brezec and a second round pick to Milwaukee in exchange for Francisco Elson and Jodie Meeks on February 18, 2010.

Ivey spent the past two seasons with Oklahoma City, which advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 2011 and the NBA Finals last month.

Clippers sign Ronny Turiaf

Clippers sign Ronny Turiaf

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed free agent forward/center Ronny Turiaf.

A seven-year NBA veteran and native of the Caribbean island of Martinique, Turiaf is currently playing in the 2012 London Olympics for the French National Team. Turiaf, 29, appeared in a total of 17 regular season games last season with the Washington Wizards and Miami Heat. He played in 12 playoff games while helping the Heat to the NBA Championship.

The 6-foot-10 inch Turiaf has appeared in a total of 375 career NBA games, averaging 5.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 blocks while shooting 53 percent from the field in 17.9 minutes. Originally drafted by the Lakers with the 37thoverall selection of the 2005 NBA Draft after a stand-out career at Gonzaga University, Turiaf was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2004-05 and left Gonzaga as the fourth leading scorer in school history.

In the NBA, Turiaf has also played for the Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks and grabbed a career-high 4.6 rebounds per game in 2008-09 with the Warriors while starting 26 of the 79 games he appeared in.

Timberwolves sign Andrei Kirilenko

Timberwolves sign Andrei Kirilenko

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed free-agent forward Andrei Kirilenko. We’ll post contract details on this page later today.

“We are pleased that Andrei has decided to resume his NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “Over his time in the NBA he has proven to be one of the best defensive players in the world.  His ability to play multiple positions and big-game experience will be wonderful assets to our team. He is coming off an MVP season in Europe, on what many believe was the best team in Europe, CSKA Moscow.  We are excited to see him in a Timberwolves uniform and wish him well in the upcoming Olympics, where he will be the star player for the Russian National Team.”

“I’m excited to be returning to the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves,” Kirilenko said. “The Wolves have one of the best coaches in the league in Rick Adelman and I feel my game fits in well with his style of play. I also like the talent that Minnesota has on the team with star players like Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.”

Kirilenko, 31, has spent parts of 10 seasons in the NBA, all with the Utah Jazz. In 681 career games (478 starts) the St. Petersburg, Russia, native holds averages of 12.4 points (.470 FG, .312 3FG, .763 FT), 5.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.0 blocks in 30.8 minutes per game. In 45 career playoff games (36 starts), the 6-9 forward owns averages of 10.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.9 blocks per game. Most recently Kirilenko averaged 11.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks in 31.2 minutes per game for Utah during the 2010-11 season. The Jazz selected Kirilenko with the 24th overall pick of the 1999 NBA Draft.

Kirilenko posted perhaps his best season in 2003-04 when he averaged 16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals - all career high figures - and 2.8 blocks per game en route to being named a 2004 All-Star reserve. Among his best games that season were two 5X5 lines (recording five or more points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in same contest), when he posted 19 points, five rebounds, seven assists, eight steals and five blocks at Houston on Dec. 3 and 10 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, six steals and five blocks vs. New York on Dec. 10. In 2005-06 he became just fourth player in NBA history, and first since 1993-94, to average 15+ points, 8+ rebounds, 4+ assists and 3+ blocks in single season (Abdul-Jabbar six times, Bob Lanier – 1973-74, David Robinson – 1993-94). Included in that season was his third career 5X5 game, a 14-point, eight-rebound, nine-assist, seven-block and six-steal performance vs. the L.A. Lakers on Jan. 3. He became only the second player in NBA history with 6+ in each category (A. Olajuwon, March 10, 1987 - Houston vs. Seattle).

Regarded as one of the best defensive players during his 10 years in the NBA, Kirilenko has totaled 1,380 blocks and 960 steals over his NBA career. A three-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection (1st - 2005-06; 2nd - 2003-04, 2004-05), Kirilenko led the NBA in blocked shots per game over the 2004-05 season (3.32 bpg - a career high) and total blocks (220) in 2005-06. He has recorded 62 games of 5+ blocks and 14 games of 5+ steals over his career (5+ blocks and steals in the same game three times). He blocked a career-high 10 shots on March 25, 2006 vs. Sacramento and swiped a career-high eight steals Dec. 3, 2003 at Houston.

Kirilenko spent the 2011-12 season in Russia playing for CSKA Moscow, where he teamed up with current Timberwolves guard Alexey Shved. In 17 Euroleague games, Kirilenko averaged 14.1 points on .598 shooting (.417 from three), to go along with 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.9 blocks. He was named 2012 Euroleague MVP and 2012 Euroleague Best Defender for his efforts. Before starting his NBA career he played five seasons professionally in Russia, beginning his basketball career with Spartak St. Petersburg (Russia) in 1996-97 at the age of 15 (the youngest ever in the Russian League). Kirilenko has also starred on the international stage for the Russian National Team, which he has played on since the age of 19. Most recently he competed at the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, averaging 16.2 points (.512), 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.25 steals per game in leading the Russian National Team to a 2012 Olympic berth. The 2012 London Olympics will be his third (2000, 2008) such competition.

Hornets rookie Austin Rivers has ankle surgery

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that guard Austin Rivers underwent successful surgery to clean up bone spurs in his right ankle.

The 10th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Rivers’ injury flared up during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last week.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Brian McKeon in Boston.  He’s expected to make a full recovery and be ready for training camp this fall.

Chicago Bulls sign Nazr Mohammed

michael redd

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent center Nazr Mohammed (first name is pronounced “NAH-zee”).

Mohammed (6-10, 250), a 14-year NBA veteran, most recently played with the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2011-12 campaign.  Last year, he appeared in 63 games and averaged 2.7 ppg and 2.7 rpg in 11.0 mpg.

The Chicago native has enjoyed stints with the Thunder (2010-12), the Charlotte Bobcats (2007-10), the Detroit Pistons (2006-08), the San Antonio Spurs (2004-06), the New York Knicks (2003-05), the Atlanta Hawks (2000-04) and the Philadelphia 76ers (1998-01).  In 834 career games, he has posted averages of 6.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg and 0.69 bpg in 17.4 mpg.  He owns career shooting averages of .493 from the field and .639 from the line.

Originally selected by the Utah Jazz in the first round (29th overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft, the 35-year old Mohammed has been a member of eight playoff teams, including the 2005 NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs.  In 66 playoff games, he has averaged 4.8 ppg and 4.0 rpg in 15.2 mpg.

Suns trade Robin Lopez, Hakim Warrick to Hornets in 3-team deal

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have acquired center Robin Lopez, forward Hakim Warrick, and cash considerations from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for guard Jerome Dyson, center Brad Miller and two 2nd round picks (Brooklyn’s 2013 second round selection and Minnesota’s 2016 second round draft choice) as part of a three-team trade along with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Phoenix receives Brad Miller and Jerome Dyson from the Hornets as well as Wesley Johnson and a 1st round pick from Minnesota. Minnesota receives Brooklyn’s 2013 2nd round pick and their own 2016 2nd round pick from New Orleans.

“We are very excited about this trade that brings us two quality people and basketball players to help strengthen our foundation as a team,” Hornets General Manager Dell Demps said. “This move gives us a true center in Robin Lopez who brings youth and is a tough, inside rebounder. In Hakim, we get an experienced, versatile forward who will bring a veteran presence to our team.”

Lopez (7-0, 255), was drafted with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Suns. He averaged 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Suns last season in 14.0 minutes over 64 games. During the 2010-11 season, Lopez started 56 of 67 regular season games, averaging 6.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in 14.8 minutes of action. In four NBA seasons in Phoenix, the Stanford product has career averages of 5.8 points, 3.3 rebounds in 14.4 minutes over 242 games (94 starts). The Fresno, California native enjoyed a two-year collegiate career at Stanford, averaging 8.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 67 career games for the Cardinal. Robin’s twin brother, Brook, plays for the New Jersey Nets.

Suns trade Robin Lopez, Hakim Warrick to Hornets in 3-team deal

Warrick, (6-9, 219), who was the 19TH overall of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, averaged 6.4 points and 2.6 rebounds for the Suns last season over 35 games. The versatile forward has played for four NBA teams (Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls and Suns) over seven seasons, with career averages of 9.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 498 games (94 starts). The Philadelphia native starred for Syracuse University, playing four seasons for the Orange, averaging 15.4 points and 7.6 rebounds over 135 career games. Warrick also helped Syracuse capture their first-ever National Championship in 2003.

Dyson (6-3, 180), appeared in nine games (one start) for the Hornets last season. Miller (7-0, 261) and the two 2nd round picks were originally acquired by the Hornets on July 13 from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the Hornets’ protected 2017 second round pick. Miller, a 14-year NBA veteran with the Bulls, Pacers, Kings, Rockets and Timberwolves began his career as an undrafted free agent with the Hornets on January 21, 1999.

Robin Lopez Suns trade remains up in air

Robin Lopez Suns trade remains up in air

The chances of the Suns completing a trade that sends away Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick and brings in Wesley Johnson and a first-round pick improved Thursday, but its completion remained tenuous with resolution expected Friday.

The three-way agreement among Phoenix, New Orleans and Minnesota did not completely fit collective bargaining agreement rules regarding what the Suns were receiving.

In the deal, Lopez and Warrick would go to New Orleans and Minnesota would send a conditional first-round pick, either its own or one owed them by Memphis, to the Suns along with Johnson, a third-year swingman. The draft pick would have top-14 protection for coming years.

The Suns would take Brad Miller’s contract from New Orleans and pay his $800,000 buyout because he is retiring while also sending cash to New Orleans.

– Reported by Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic

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