Archive for July, 2012

Ronnie Brewer might start at SG for Knicks

Many believe Brewer will start at shooting guard ahead of J.R. Smith, who is more suited for a bench role. But Brewer was noncommittal when asked about his role on Thursday.

He said he’ll do whatever Woodson needs him to do.

Brewer prides himself on being a ‘hustle player’ and a lockdown perimeter defender — two aspects of the game that the Knicks need while Iman Shumpert works his way back from a knee injury.

“A lot of people want to play defense but some people just don’t have the ability to do it,” the 6-7 veteran said. “… I take pride in defense and, in my opinion, I think defense wins championships.”

– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Brendan Haywood happy to join Bobcats

Brendan Haywood happy to join Bobcats

Haywood, who grew up in Greensboro, made it clear he’s coming back to the Carolinas with the goal of helping the Charlotte Bobcats turn things around after they finished with the worst record (7-59) in the NBA last season.

Claimed off waivers last week from the Dallas Mavericks, the 7-foot Haywood was introduced Thursday at a news conference along with free-agent acquisition Ramon Sessions, a point guard who opted out of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers to sign with the Bobcats.

“Myself and Ramon will be great additions to this team,” Haywood said. “We’re looking forward to getting this thing started and help this team be better than it was last season.”

Haywood still owns a home in Charlotte and has frequently worked out at the Bobcats facility in the past during the offseason.

He called returning to Charlotte “a blessing.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

Neil Reed, the former Indiana University basketball player who went public with a claim that Bob Knight choked him in practice, died Thursday of cardiac arrest at age 36.

His death was confirmed by the sports editor of the Santa Maria (Calif.) Times. Reed spent the last three seasons as the freshman basketball coach at Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria.

Late Thursday afternoon a vigil was being held at the school for Reed.

Reed played high school basketball at East Jefferson High School in Metairie, La. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Reed died Thursday in Nipomo, Calif., after suffering a massive heart attack on Wednesday. That information was confirmed by former East Jefferson Coach Jim Robarts. Nipomo is located about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles in San Luis Obispo County.

– Reported by Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star

Warriors sign Kent Bazemore

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent guard/forward Kent Bazemore to a contract, the team announced today.

We would guess that this is just a training camp contract and that Bazemore is not guaranteed to make the regular season roster. But we are not sure, and will check on this tonight and tomorrow morning and then update this page.

Bazemore, 23, signs with the Warriors after playing for the team’s Summer League squad at the recently-completed NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.  Bazemore started the final three Summer League games for Golden State, averaging 10.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.00 steals and 2.33 blocks in 27.0 minutes over that stretch.  On July 20 vs. Chicago, he recorded 11 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and seven blocked shots in 36 minutes, marking the most blocked shots by a Warriors player ever at the Las Vegas Summer League.  Overall in four summer league games (DNP-CD in the first game and played one minute in the second game), Bazemore averaged 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.50 steals and 1.75 blocks in 20.5 minutes per contest.

A 6’5” swingman, Bazemore is coming off a four-year collegiate career at Old Dominion, where he was named Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year in both his junior and senior seasons.  Following his senior campaign, in which he averaged 15.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.11 steals, the Kelford, NC, native was named First Team All-CAA.  Overall, for his career at ODU, Bazemore averaged 10.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.79 steals in 26.3 minutes in 140 games.  He left school having appeared in the most games in team history and as the all-time CAA leader in steals (250).

Bazemore will wear uniform #20.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced that the team now has all three of its first-round selections from the 2012 NBA Draft under contract, which includes Connecticut guard/forward Jeremy Lamb (12th overall), Iowa State forward Royce White (16th overall) and Kentucky forward Terrence Jones (18th overall).

Lamb (6-5, 180, Connecticut) was recently named an NBA Summer League 2012 All-Star after topping the Rockets entry in scoring and finishing eighth overall in points per game (20.0). An early entry candidate for the 2012 NBA Draft, Lamb was just the sixth sophomore in UConn history to score 1,000 career points (1,060). He was selected AP Honorable Mention All-America and All-Big East First Team as a sophomore after averaging 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. Lamb also helped UConn to a National Championship as a freshman, recording 12 points in the title game vs. Butler and earning a spot on the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team.

White (6-8, 260, Iowa State) showed his all-around game at the 2012 NBA Summer League by averaging 8.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists with the Houston squad in Las Vegas. He came to the Rockets as the only player in the country in 2011-12 to lead his team in scoring (13.4 ppg), rebounding (9.3 rpg), assists (5.0 apg), steals (1.2 spg) and blocks (0.9 bpg) during his lone season at Iowa State. Overall, White became just the second player in school history to top the team in scoring, rebounding and assists in one season. His sophomore year with the Cyclones was highlighted by AP Honorable Mention All-America honors, All-Big 12 First-Team accolades, selection to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team and being named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.

Jones (6-9, 252, Kentucky) averaged 18.2 points and 8.6 rebounds with the Rockets at 2012 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, finishing tied for sixth in rebounds per game and 15th in scoring. Another of the early entry candidates for the 2012 NBA Draft, Jones averaged 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 76 games over his two seasons with Kentucky. He was one of just six players in UK history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 140 blocks in a career. As a sophomore, Jones helped the Wildcats win the 2012 National Championship, while earning Second-Team All-SEC honors. In 2010-11, he was selected SEC Freshman of the Year, First-Team All-SEC and was a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team.

Dallas Mavericks re-sign Delonte West

Dallas Mavericks re-sign Delonte West

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have re-signed free agent guard Delonte West.

West (6-3, 180) was originally signed by the Mavericks as a free agent on Dec. 13, 2011. He averaged 9.6 points, 3.2 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 24.1 minutes in 44 games (33 starts) last season despite suffering a fractured and dislocated right ring finger on Feb. 15 against the Denver Nuggets. The injury forced West out of 21 games, but he returned to start the final 13 games of the regular season.

“We are thrilled that Delonte is returning to the Mavericks,” President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson said. “Delonte is a great fit on our roster. We are excited that he will bring the same toughness and versatility on both ends of the court as he did last year.”

Originally the first round draft pick (24th overall) of the Boston Celtics in the 2004 NBA Draft, West is an eight-year veteran who owns career averages of 9.7 points, 3.6 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 432 games (258 starts) for Boston, Seattle, Cleveland and Dallas.

The Washington D.C., native attended St. Joseph’s University where, as a junior, he teamed with Jameer Nelson to lead his school to an undefeated 27-0 regular season and an Elite Eight appearance. He was named Honorable Mention All-America by Associated Press and All-Atlantic 10 First Team.

Alonzo Gee hopes to stay with Cavs

Alonzo Gee hopes to stay with Cavs

The free-agent forward, in town for one of the Cavs’ basketball camps put on by the National Basketball Academy, smiled. Although he’s not currently under contract with the team, he made it clear where he’d like to be.

“I want to be in Cleveland,” he said. “This is where I want to be. I love the coaches and my teammates. This is where I want to be.”

Although he remains unsigned, Gee said the uncertainty during this summer has not been difficult.

– Reported by Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Clippers, Ronny Turiaf agree to a deal

Clippers, Ronny Turiaf agree to a deal

The Clippers and free-agent Ronny Turiaf have agreed to a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract worth $1.146 million, said NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Turiaf, a 6-10, 245-pounder, will be a backup power forward and center for the Clippers.

He becomes the fifth big man for the Clippers – behind starters DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin and reserves Lamar Odom and Ryan Hollins – the 13th player on the roster.

– Reported by Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times

Five people were shot on a Harlem basketball court Wednesday night during an annual basketball tournament, officials and witnesses said.

Gunfire erupted around 10 p.m. at the Holcombe Rucker Park court on Frederick Douglass Boulevard near W. 155th St. after a dispute during a game for the Entertainers Basketball Classic, witnesses said.

“They started arguing, about a bad call or something like that,” said Rodney Harris, 47. “The guy was standing no more than five feet away from me. He pulled a gun out of his pocket and shot once. He then shot one more time. Everyone started running.”

“He was real close to me,” Harris said. “I thought I got shot.”

Nate Robinson, a former point guard for the Knicks, was at the game but escaped unscathed, witnesses said.

– Reported by Edgar Sandoval and Sarah Armaghan of the New York Daily News

The NYPD conducts an investigation after a shooting occurred during a basketball tournament at Rucker Park on Wednesday.

Five people were shot last night at a basketball game at Harlem’s famed Rucker Park where ex-Knicks guard Nate Robinson was among those scrambling for safety during the chaos, authorities and witnesses said.

The mayhem broke loose just before 11 p.m. at the courts on West 155th Street and Eighth Avenue during the annual Entertainers Basketball Classic, which has featured numerous NBA superstars.

“All of a sudden the game stopped because an argument broke out in the stands,” said witness Rodney Harris Jr., 47, who was five feet from the melee.

– Reported by Helen Freund of the New York Post

EBC Rucker Park Shooting Video

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Lakers discussing Andrew Bynum extension

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and Andrew Bynum’s agent spoke Wednesday about a contract extension for Bynum, an indication of the Lakers’ ongoing interest in locking Bynum beyond next season.

One conversation between Kupchak and David Lee is hardly grounds for a judgment that the Lakers won’t trade Bynum for disgruntled Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, but the Lakers have a decision to make with Bynum. He is set to make $16.1 million in the 2012-13 season, but if not extended he will become an unrestricted free agent. The Lakers have no one but newly acquired Steve Nash under contract for the 2014-15 season, when they are intent on dropping under the NBA’s luxury-tax plateau.

– Reported by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register

Grizzlies trade Jeremy Pargo to Cavs

The Memphis Grizzlies acquired guard/forward D.J. Kennedy from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for guard Jeremy Pargo, a 2014 second round pick and cash considerations, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

Kennedy (6-6, 215) made two appearances for Cleveland as a rookie last season, recording 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds on .417 shooting in 29.5 minutes after being called up from the NBA Development League’s Erie Bayhawks on April 21,2012.

The 22-year-old posted 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists on .447 shooting in 37.3 minutes in 44 games (all starts) for Erie. He also averaged 14.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists in the Bayhawks’ three postseason games.

The Pittsburgh native enjoyed a four-year career (2007-11) at St. John’s University,where he became just the third player in school history to total at least 1,500 points, 750 rebounds and 150 steals, joining Malik Sealy and George Johnson.

Pargo (6-2, 219) averaged 2.9 points and 1.3 assists on .333 shooting in 9.6 minutes in 44 games (five starts) as a rookie for Memphis last season. The 26-year-old Gonzaga product originally was signed by the Grizzlies as a free agent on Dec. 10,2011.

The Trail Blazers’ coaching search has been pared to four finalists: Terry Stotts, Elston Turner, Steve Clifford and Kaleb Canales, The Oregonian has learned.

The four candidates will interview in Portland next week, after which general manager Neil Olshey is expected to make a recommendation to owner Paul Allen.

Stotts is the lead assistant for Dallas and is the only finalist besides Canales with head coaching experience. Stotts has a 114-168 record in four seasons as a head coach in Atlanta and Milwaukee. His best season was in 2005-2006 when he led the Bucks to a 40-42 record and a playoff appearance. He is credited with directing Dallas’ offense during the Mavericks’ title run in 2011.

– Reported by Jason Quick of the Oregonian

Lakers re-sign forward Jordan Hill

Lakers re-sign forward Jordan Hill

The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed free agent forward Jordan Hill, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Hill, who was originally acquired by the team on March 15, 2012 as part of a trade with the Houston Rockets, appeared in seven regular season games last season averaging 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 11.7 minutes. In 12 postseason games, Hill averaged 4.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in 18.1 minutes.

A 6-10 forward/center out of the University of Arizona, Hill was originally selected by the New York Knicks with the eighth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.  Acquired by Houston as part of a three-team, nine-player trade midway through his rookie campaign, Hill has appeared in 158 games during his three-year NBA career, averaging 5.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 14.6 minutes.

Suns will send Robin Lopez, Hakim Warrick to Hornets

The Hornets, Suns and Timberwolves have agreed to a multiplayer trade sending 7-foot center Robin Lopez and forward Hakim Warrick from Phoenix to New Orleans, while moving forward Wesley Johnson and a first-round draft pick from Minnesota to Phoenix, a person familiar with the deal said.

The person told The Associated Press about the trade on condition of anonymity Wednesday because it has not been announced pending the completion of some routine logistical matters.

The deal also sends guard Jerome Dyson and retiring center Brad Miller’s $5.1 million contract from New Orleans to Minnesota, allowing the Timberwolves to clear space under the NBA’s salary cap as they pursue free agents. Minnesota also will receive two second-round draft picks from New Orleans, while the Hornets will receive cash.

Minnesota general manager David Kahn declined to confirm the deal when asked about it on a conference call Wednesday, saying only that he is “not allowed to comment on anything that hasn’t been consummated.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

Lakers sign Antawn Jamison

Lakers sign Antawn Jamison

The Los Angeles Lakers have added experienced depth at the forward spot.

The team today signed free agent forward Antawn Jamison, it was announced by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Jamison, a 6’9” 235-pound forward out of North Carolina, has averaged 19.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 985 career games (858 starts) over 14 NBA seasons with Golden State, Dallas, Washington and Cleveland.  Drafted by the Toronto Raptors with the fourth overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft before being traded to Golden State in exchange for college teammate Vince Carter, Jamison averaged 19.0 points and 9.9 rebounds in three seasons at UNC.  In his final season with the Tar Heels, Jamison averaged 22.2 points and 10.5 rebounds, while earning AP Player of the Year, the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Award.

Ranked in the top ten on the NBA active leaders list in both points (8th/19,246) and rebounds (10th/7,740), Jamison was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year for the 2003-04 season as a member of the Dallas Mavericks and is a two-time NBA All-Star (2005, 2008).

Last season, Jamison averaged 17.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 33.1 minutes in 65 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers, ranking 26th league-wide in points per game.  Jamison also joined Dirk Nowitzki as the only player in NBA history to accumulate at least 19,000 points, 7,000 rebounds and 1,000 three-pointers made over his career.

Knicks sign guard Ronnie Brewer

Knicks sign guard Ronnie Brewer

The New York Knicks today added some defensive guard depth.

Knicks Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced that the team has signed free agent guard Ronnie Brewer to a contract.

Brewer, 6-7, 227-pounds, holds career averages of 9.0 points, on 50.1-percent shooting, 3.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.37 steals over 25.2 minutes in 418 games (267 starts) over six seasons with Utah, Memphis and Chicago. He appeared in 66 games (43 starts) for Chicago in 2011-12, averaging 6.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.09 steals over 24.8 minutes. The Fayetteville, AR-native was originally selected by the Jazz in the first round (14th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft following his junior season at the University of Arkansas.

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed second round draft choice Bernard James.

James (6-10, 240) was the 33rd overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was acquired by the Mavericks on June 28, 2012, along with the draft rights to 24th overall pick Jared Cunningham and 34th overall pick Jae Crowder, in exchange for guard Kelenna Azubuike and the draft rights to the 17th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Tyler Zeller.

The Savannah, Ga., native started all five games for Dallas at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. He averaged 10.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 1.4 steals and 26.1 minutes while shooting .605 from the field and helped the team to a 4-1 record.

James is a former Staff Sergeant who served six years in the Air Force including three tours to Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar. In his senior season at Florida State, James averaged 10.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks while being named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Defensive team. James also won the Most Courageous Award by the United States Basketball Writers of America.

The Trail Blazers’ search for a head coach still appears to be in the early stages, as general manager Neil Olshey has yet to inform any candidates that they have reached the second round.

On Tuesday, Warren LeGarie and Steve Kauffman - two agents with the most clients in the Blazers’ process - said Olshey has yet to reveal his intentions since he interviewed their clients…

The candidates who are known to have interviewed with Olshey are Indiana assistant Brian Shaw; Golden State assistant Michael Malone; Dallas assistant Terry Stotts; Memphis assistant David Joerger; former Orlando assistant Steve Clifford, who is nearing a deal to be an assistant in Chicago; Phoenix assistant Elston Turner; Atlanta assistant Lester Conner; Miami assistant David Fizdale, Chicago assistant Adrian Griffin and former Knicks and Phoenix assistant Phil Weber.

– Reported by Jason Quick of the Oregonian

Lakers interested in Delonte West

Lakers interested in Delonte West

The Los Angeles Lakers have expressed interest in free-agent guard Delonte West, according to a league source.

West, who turns 29 this week, averaged 9.6 points, 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game for the Dallas Mavericks last season. He appeared in just 44 games because of a fractured right ring finger and picked up one of the more bizarre fines in league history when he was docked $25,000 for giving Utah’s Gordon Hayward a “wet willy.”

West shot 46.1 percent from the floor and 35.5 percent on 3-pointers, and the Lakers view him as a versatile player who could back up both Kobe Bryant at shooting guard and Steve Nash at point guard while bringing his outside touch to a team that ranked 25th in the NBA in 3-point accuracy last year (32.6 percent).

– Reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles

Keyon Dooling will return to Celtics

Keyon Dooling returns to Celtics

The Boston Celtics will re-sign veteran combo guard Keyon Dooling to a one-year deal, according to his agent.

Dooling, who cemented himself as a locker room leader last season and overcame early injuries to be a solid on-court contributor in the second half of the year, will ink a one-year, veteran-minimum deal.

Dooling’s agent, Kenge Stevenson, said his client is excited to be back in Boston. The Celtics owned Dooling’s rights, but will re-sign him at a one-year minimum deal. Dooling, who will earn $1.35 million (of which the Celtics are responsible for only $854,389) is taking a pay cut (he made $2.2 million last season), but clearly enjoyed his time in Boston and wants to be part of another title quest.

– Reported by Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston

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