Archive for July 3rd, 2012

Lakers have interest in Steve Nash

Lakers have interest in Steve Nash

While the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks have made strong pushes for free agent guard Steve Nash, the Los Angeles Lakers have, quietly, entered the fray for the 38-year-old guard and are making a strong bid to acquire him, according to a league source.

The Lakers, with a payroll already projected in excess of $83 million next season, would only be able to offer Nash an exception starting at $3.09 million for next season. It’s unlikely Nash would take that, so a sign-and-trade deal would be a more realistic possibility.

The Lakers do have a viable starting point guard they could send Phoenix in such a deal, Ramon Sessions, who became an unrestricted free agent after surprisingly opting out of the last year of his contract. Forwards Jordan Hill and Matt Barnes are also free agents.

– Reported by David Aldridge of the Hangtime Blog

Eric Gordon will sign Phoenix Suns offer sheet

Restricted free agent guard Eric Gordon has agreed to a four-year deal with the Phoenix Suns worth about $58 million, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press. The New Orleans Hornets have the right to match the deal and keep Gordon.

Gordon was in Phoenix on Tuesday, meeting with the Suns’ front office. The agreement to the offer sheet was confirmed by a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because free agent acquisitions can’t be revealed publicly until next week, according to NBA rules.

The Suns also have had meetings this week with forward Michael Beasley and guard Goran Dragic as they prepare for life after Steve Nash.

There have been several sign-and-trade speculations regarding Nash, who is an unrestricted free agent who seems ever more unlikely to return to Phoenix.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s ”Plan B” to build a new sports arena is dead.

The second option for a new arena for the Sacramento Kings -or any other professional sports tenant - never really took shape. Johnson said Tuesday that the city and arena operator AEG have concluded that the financial model is not viable for the region without an anchor sports tenant.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Lamar Odom withdraws from 2012 USA Basketball National Team

The following has been known for days, but just became official today:

Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Clippers) has informed USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo and USA Basketball Men’s National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski that he will be unavailable to play for the USA Basketball National Team this summer.

“Lamar has told us that he is unable to play for the United States this summer.  While it is unfortunate to have lost the players we have, Coach Krzyzewski and I remain extremely confident with the group of players we’ll have at our training camp in Las Vegas.  We believe that we will still have an outstanding collection of talent and that ultimately we will have another team that all Americans will be excited about and proud of,” said Colangelo.

The 15 USA finalists will assemble July 5 in Las Vegas, Nev., for the start of the 2012 USA National Team training. The USA’s 12-man roster will be announced after the team’s practice on July 7.  Finalists contending for a roster spot include: Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (New Orleans Hornets); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); LeBron James (Miami Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets).

Deron Williams will re-sign with Brooklyn Nets


The Nets are moving to Brooklyn starting in the 2012-13 season, and they’re taking their star point guard with them.

According to multiple reports, free agent Deron Williams, one of the lone bright spots the Nets have been able to enjoy in recent seasons, has decided to re-sign with the team. According to David Alridge of Turner Sports, the deal is for five years and the league maximum salary of $100 million.

In 55 games for the Nets last season, Williams averaged 21.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 1.22 steals per game, though he struggled with his shot and hit just 40.7% from the field and 33.6% from three-point range. His career shooting average is better, at 45.5%.

The Nets are also expected to trade for shooting guard Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks, and re-sign small forward Gerald Wallace.

They are also reportedly in the mix to trade for superstar center Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic. Howard has named the Nets as the team he wants to play for, though it will take a lot of work to make that materialize in the form of a trade this summer.

Warriors sign rookie Harrison Barnes

Warriors sign rookie Harrison Barnes

The Golden State Warriors have signed Harrison Barnes, whom the club selected with the seventh overall selection in last week’s NBA Draft, to a contract, the team announced today.

All players selected in the first round are guaranteed to be signed by the team that drafted them. So, this is standard and expected.

Barnes, 20, was an early entry candidate for the 2012 NBA Draft after playing two seasons at the University of North Carolina. A two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, Barnes appeared in 71 games during his collegiate career, averaging 16.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 31.0 minutes per contest, while shooting 43.1% from the field, 73.4% from the line and 34.9% from three-point range.

Last season, the 6’8’’ forward averaged a team-leading 17.1 points per game (ranked third in the ACC) en route to being named First-Team All-ACC. During his freshman season (2010-11), Barnes earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors and All-ACC Second-Team accolades after averaging 15.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

The Atlanta Hawks have named Wes Wilcox as Assistant General Manager, according to President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ferry.

Wilcox comes to the Hawks from the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he was most recently Director of Player Personnel, as well as serving as General Manager of the Cavs’ NBA Development League team, the Canton Charge. He joined the Cavaliers in 2003, and held the roles of advance scout, college scout and pro personnel scout.

Wilcox got his NBA start in 2001-02 as an intern with the Miami Heat in their scouting/video department, before moving to New Orleans as the Hornets’ video coordinator in 2002-03. He is a graduate of Cal-State Fullerton, and he and his wife Larisha have a son, Noah.

Arnett Moultrie – whose draft rights were acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers in a trade with Miami on draft night – suffered a left ankle sprain on Monday, June 25 during a pre-draft workout.

Due to the injury, Moultrie will not play in the Orlando Pro Summer League, but will travel with the Sixers in order to receive treatment on his left ankle and work with the coaching staff on learning the team’s system.

Semih Erden leaving NBA to return to Turkey

Semih Erden is returning to Turkey to play with Anadolu Efes of the Euroleague, the team’s website reported Tuesday. The Cavs did not confirm the report.

Erden, 25, signed a two-year deal with a team option for a third year. He spent two injury-plagued seasons in Cleveland, averaging 3.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in 28 games (nine starts) last season. Coach Byron Scott had high hopes for Erden, but they went relatively unmet.

Scott criticized Erden multiple times last season for not playing hard enough and not giving a strong enough effort. When he was traded from the Boston Celtics to the Cavs two years ago, Erden emphatically denied rumors that he was homesick and wanted to return to Turkey.

– Reported by Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has promoted George David to the position of Assistant General Manager.

“We are pleased to announce the promotion of George David to Assistant General Manager,” said Joe Dumars, President of Basketball Operations.  “George has played a significant role for our basketball operations team in coordinating our draft preparation, scouting, free agent analysis and administration.  He will do a great job in his new position.”

The Orlando Magic have signed rookie forward Andrew Nicholson, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

All players drafted in the first round are guaranteed to receive a contract. This signing is standard.

Nicholson was selected in the first round (19th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft.  He will participate in the upcoming 2012 AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League, taking place at Amway Center from July 9-13.

Nicholson (#44, 6’9”, 250, 12/8/89) appeared in 123 career games at St. Bonaventure University, averaging 17.1 ppg., 7.2 rpg. and 1.98 blkpg. in 29.9 minpg. and shot .575 (809-1,407) from the field during his collegiate career.  He earned All-Atlantic 10 Conference honors all four seasons and was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year as a senior in 2011-12.  Nicholson also earned All-American honors by The Associated Press in 2011-12.  Nicholson led the Bonnies in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots for three straight seasons (2009-12).

Nicholson ranks second all-time in school history in scoring (2,103 points), second in blocked shots (244), second in field goal percentage and fourth in rebounds (887).

As a senior (2011-12), Nicholson played in 32 games, averaging 18.5 ppg., 8.4 rpg., 1.0 apg. and 2.0 blkpg. in 30.1 minpg.  He scored in double figures 29 times.  Nicholson grabbed a career-best 23 rebounds (along with 21 points) against Duquesne, and led the Bonnies to the NCAA Tournament.

During his junior year (2010-11), Nicholson appeared in 31 games, averaging 20.8 ppg., 7.3 rpg. and 1.5 blkpg.  in 33.8 minpg.  He scored in double figures 30 times, including a career-high 44 points against Ohio University.

As a sophomore (2009-10), Nicholson appeared in 30 games, averaging 16.4 ppg., 7.1 rpg. and 1.8 blkpg. in 30.2 minpg.  During his freshman season (2008-09), he averaged 12.5 ppg., 6.0 rpg. and a team-high 2.7 blkpg. in 25.1 minpg.

Nicholson, son of Fabian and Colmaleen, graduated with a degree in physics from St. Bonaventure.

Pacers, George Hill agree to new deal

Pacers, George Hill agree to new deal

The Indiana Pacers and point guard George Hill have agreed to a new deal.

Hill’s co-agent, Michael Whitaker, wrote in a text message Tuesday that Hill, a 26-year-old restricted free agent, will sign once the NBA’s moratorium period ends on July 11. He did not disclose terms.

Hill joined the Pacers after a draft-day deal in 2011 that sent Indiana draft pick Kawhi Leonard to San Antonio, and he averaged 9.6 points and 2.9 assists per game last season.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Celtics sign their 2012 rookies

Celtics sign their 2012 rookies, including jared sullinger

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed their 2012 draft picks, forwards Jared Sullinger and Kris Joseph along with center Fab Melo.

Players drafted in the first round are guaranteed to receive a contract, but the team gets to decide whether to sign players they drafted in the second round.

Sullinger, a 6’9” forward, was taken with the 21st pick in the first round. The native of Columbus, OH was a consensus First Team All-American, Wooden Award finalist and First Team All-Big 10 Selection in each of his two seasons at Ohio State.  He also was named the 2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.  Sullinger posted the third-most points (1,282) over his first two seasons at Ohio State behind Jerry Lucas (1,381) and Michael Redd (1,361). Sullinger also earned National Freshman of the Year honors from the Sporting News and the Wayman Tisdale Award from the USBWA. He averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds this past season in helping the Buckeyes get to the Final Four.

Melo, a 7’0” center, was taken with the 22nd pick in the first round. The native of Juiz de Forz, Brazil was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore. He is the Syracuse record holder for most blocks in a single game with 10 against Seton Hall this past season. He also was named Preseason Big East Rookie of the Year as a freshman. This past season he ranked first for Syracuse in rebounds (5.8 rpg) and blocks (2.9 bpg).

Joseph, a 6’7” forward, was taken with the 51st pick in the second round. The native of Montreal, Quebec, earned First Team All-Big East during his senior season and is one of 55 players in Syracuse University history to record 1,000 points in his career. During his senior season he ranked first on the Orange in points (13.4 ppg) and third in rebounds (4.7 rpg). During his junior season, he also was ranked first on the Orange in points (14.3 ppg) and second in rebounds (5.2 rpg).

Bulls reach out to Derek Fisher, Brandon Roy

In their quest to find a veteran point guard, the Chicago Bulls have been in contact with Derek Fisher, and they’ve also contacted shooting guard Brandon Roy, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

It was widely assumed that Fisher would quietly re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder after essentially choosing them over several contenders following a midseason trade from the Los Angeles Lakers and buyout from the Houston Rockets.

Fisher, 37, is also on the radar for the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Thunder. All three teams pursued him in March after he negotiated a buyout from the Rockets. Fisher gave up the final year and $3.4 million of his previous contract as part of his buyout from Houston. He signed for the remainder of the Thunder’s $2.3 million midlevel exception, essentially a pro-rated $1.9 million.

– Reported by Ramona Shelburne and Nick Friedell of

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