Archive for July 10th, 2012

After leaving his assistant-coaching job with the Los Angeles Lakers to accept a similar position with CSKA Moscow, Quin Snyder has notified the Orlando Magic that he is not interested in their head-coaching vacancy.

It’s unclear whether the Magic add to their list of candidates now that Snyder has decided not to pursue the job in Orlando.

The Magic’s current list of candidates are Utah Jazz assistant coach Jeff Hornacek, Phoenix Suns player development coach Lindsey Hunter, Golden State Warriors lead assistant coach Michael Malone, Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw and San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Jacque Vaughn.

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Durant still mad about losing to LeBron in Finals

Kevin Durant can’t hide from the hurt this summer.

LeBron James is right there every time he steps on the basketball court now. The NBA Finals ended in Miami only about three weeks ago, with James’ victory celebration interrupted only briefly to embrace his opponent in a consoling hug.

Durant admits it bothers him coming to the gym and seeing James every day.

“It does. It does, but what can I do?” Durant said Tuesday. “He’s my teammate now. I’m a team player. I can’t let that affect this. This is bigger than that. It’s tough to lose in the finals and play the guy you’ve been going up against for five games who beat you. So me, I’m just going to get over it, still be a great teammate, come out and play hard.”

Kobe Bryant was in Durant’s shoes four years ago, having to shake off the disappointment of a finals loss to the Boston Celtics and get back out on the court for the Olympics. He said it’s normal to not want to play for a few days, but figures Durant has had enough time to get over it by now.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Mike Woodson is trying to get Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon to work with the Knicks’ big men.

Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler are supposed to train with Olajuwon later this offseason. Woodson has said he wanted Stoudemire and Chandler to improve their game in the post. Olajuwon, one of the best centers in NBA history, is known for his footwork and array of moves under the basket.

Olajuwon, whose nickname is “The Dream,” worked with LeBron James last year and the Heat superstar forward showed some of his improved post skills throughout Miami’s run to the NBA championship.

– Reported by Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday

Warriors trading Dorell Wright to 76ers

Dorell Wright is getting another chance to start over and leaving behind another team that has more salary cap space in his absence.

The Golden State Warriors agreed Tuesday to trade Wright to the Philadelphia 76ers for the rights to a player currently in Europe, a person familiar with the decision said.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because teams can’t announce any trades until the free agency moratorium ends Wednesday, said Golden State would receive Edin Bavcic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in return. The 76ers acquired Bavcic’s rights in a trade with Toronto in 2006.

The move frees up about $4 million in salary cap space for Golden State, which drafted small forwards Harrison Barnes of North Carolina seventh overall and Draymond Green of Michigan State at No. 35 two weeks ago to take Wright’s place. The Warriors now have about $8 million to spend before going into the luxury tax.

– Reported by Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press

Milwaukee Bucks sign rookie John Henson

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed first round draft pick John Henson to a multi-year contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Henson was the 14th overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft.

All players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft are guaranteed to receive a contract. So, this signing was expected and is standard.

Henson (6-11, 220) joins the Bucks after a three-year career at the University of North Carolina where he averaged 10.3 points and 8.1 rebounds in 109 career games. He leaves North Carolina as the Tar Heels’ all-time leader in blocks per game (2.56 – 12th in ACC history) and ranks second in total blocks (279 – 11th in ACC). He is a two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year (2011, 2012), as well as a First Team All-ACC performer as a junior when he averaged 13.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game.

Henson will play for the Bucks in the 2012 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. The Bucks have a five-game schedule, which begins Monday, July 16, at 9:30 p.m. (CT) against New Orleans.

A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to terms on a deal with Russian guard Alexey Shved.

Shved came to the Twin Cities on Tuesday and reached agreement on a deal, but the terms were not immediately available. The person requested anonymity because the deal has not been officially announced.

Shved can play both point guard and shooting guard.

– Reported by NBA.com

Bulls declining option on Ronnie Brewer

Bulls declining option on Ronnie Brewer

The Chicago Bulls will not pick up the $4.37 million option on Ronnie Brewer for the 2012-13 season, Brewer told “The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show” on ESPN 1000 on Tuesday.

Brewer, who becomes an unrestricted free agent, indicated that a new deal could be negotiated at some point, but it’s uncertain if the Bulls will bring back Brewer with 2011 draft pick Jimmy Butler in line for more playing time.

– Reported by ESPN Chicago

Atlanta Hawks sign rookie John Jenkins

The Atlanta Hawks have signed 2012 first-round pick John Jenkins, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry.

All players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft are guaranteed to receive a contract. So, this signing is standard, and expected.

Jenkins, the 23rd overall selection from Vanderbilt, led the Southeastern Conference in scoring the last two years, averaging 19.9 points per game last season for the Commodores.  A two-time First Team All-SEC performer, Jenkins is currently participating in the Hawks’ rookie-free agent camp in Atlanta and will be in action later this week with Atlanta’s rookie team at the NBA Summer League competition in Las Vegas, NV.

Grant Hill interested in Heat, Thunder, Lakers

Free agent forward Grant Hill is still considering at least two other teams–the two teams in last month’s Finals, Miami and Oklahoma City–as well as the Lakers as he decides where he’s going to play next season, according to a source with knowledge of the 39-year-old forward’s thinking.

Reports Tuesday indicated that Hill has decided either to play for the Lakers or retire. But the source strongly indicated that Hill has not limited himself to Los Angeles as he makes up his mind. The Lakers emerged as a strong favorite for Hill after they agreed to terms with the Suns last week on a sign-and-trade deal that will send Steve Nash to the Lakers after the end of the July Moratorium on the 11th for four Draft picks and $3 million. But Hill is looking at the Heat and Thunder as well.

– Reported by the NBA.com Hangtime blog

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Photo: Team USA practice in Vegas

USA Basketball is practicing in Las Vegas in preparation for the 2012 Olympics. Here is an InsideHoops.com photo of the fellas:

http://distilleryimage4.instagram.com/204ccbbecac411e1985822000a1d011d_7.jpg

Toronto Raptors sign rookie Terrence Ross

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have signed guard Terrence Ross from the University of Washington to his rookie scale contract. He is under contract through the 2013-14 season, with two team option years to follow. The Raptors selected Ross with the eighth overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft.

All players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft are guaranteed to receive a contract. So, this signing is standard.

Ross, 6-foot-7, 197 pounds, was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection last season as a sophomore. He averaged 16.4 points and 6.4 rebounds, and ranked among Pac-12 leaders in eight categories including: points (4th), rebounds (6th), three-pointers per game (2.1, 8th) and blocks (0.9, 13th). Ross averaged 25.0 points in four games during Washington’s run to the NIT semifinals. He shot a perfect 15-of-15 from the free throw line and led UW shooters from three point range, making 15-of-37 attempts (.405). He posted a career-high 32 points with eight rebounds versus Northwestern in the NIT.

As a freshman, Ross made his first career starts in the Pac-10 Tournament, averaging 15.3 points and 2.7 rebounds, and shooting 52.8 percent from the field to earn a spot on the five-man All-Pac-10 Tournament team. He tallied a team-high 19 points versus North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament.

The Raptors open their five-game NBA Summer League schedule on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas on Friday against the Houston Rockets.

Blake Griffin agrees to sign Clippers contract extension

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin has agreed to a five-year contract extension, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Griffin could earn as much as $95 million dollars over the course of the five-year extension if he is voted an All-Star starter again or named to a second All-NBA team next season under the so-called “Derrick Rose Rule” in the new collective bargaining agreement.

Under another clause in the new CBA, rookies may extend their contracts by four years. However, a team may designate one player to sign a five-year extension.

Griffin was always going to be the Clippers’ designated player, according to sources within the organization. However, had Eric Gordon not been traded to the New Orleans Hornets last December as part of the Paul trade, it might have created a problem.

– Reported by Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles

Jerry Buss hospitalized for dehydration

Famed L.A. Lakers owner Jerry Buss was rushed to an L.A. hospital last night, where he was treated for severe dehydration — Buss family sources tell TMZ.

According to sources, 78-year-old Buss fell ill at his home around 9pm and someone inside the house called 911. The L.A. City Fire Department responded and paramedics rushed Jerry to a local L.A. hospital.

– Reported by TMZ

Update from Lakers: Lakers spokesman John Black issued the following statement this morning on behalf of the team: “In response to media inquiries and to dispel rumors and inaccurate reports, we’d like to state that Dr. Buss is in a local hospital where he is being treated for dehydration.  He is recovering and is expected to be released soon.”

The deadline for Bulls options on Ronnie Brewer’s $4.37 million and C.J. Watson’s $3.2 million salaries has arrived. A decision on Kyle Korver’s $5 million option is due by Sunday.

In the wake of Kirk Hinrich’s signing, Watson’s camp already has been told his option won’t be picked up. Brewer long has been considered the most expendable of the three because Jimmy Butler, last year’s first-round pick, will assume his role.

Because of his shooting specialty, Korver has a slim chance to return and hasn’t been told definitively either way. Sources said the Bulls are exploring sign-and-trade possibilities for all three players in an attempt to avoid losing assets for nothing.

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

Magic seek more Dwight Howard trade bids

Magic seek more Dwight Howard trade bids

The Orlando Magic have re-opened negotiations with teams other than the Brooklyn Nets for Dwight Howard, a league source told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher.

The Atlanta Hawks are one of the teams but “not the best option,” the source said.

The Nets have been trying to acquire the Magic’s star center but need other teams to help facilitate the blockbuster trade. Sources told ESPN.com on Monday that the Nets and Magic were cautiously optimistic that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers would help them facilitate a four-way trade to send Howard to Brooklyn.

In that proposed trade, according to sources, the Nets would receive Howard, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark. The Magic would get Brook Lopez, Luke Walton, Damion James, Shelden Williams, Armon Johnson and three first-round picks — two from the Nets and a lottery-protected first from the Clippers. The Cavs would get Kris Humphries, Quentin Richardson, Sundiata Gaines, a first-round pick from the Nets and $3 million in cash. The Clippers would receive MarShon Brooks.

– Reported by ESPN.com news services

J.R. Smith, Steve Novak staying with Knicks

The 3-point bombers will be back on Broadway.

Eight hours after shooting ace Steve Novak agreed to return to the Knicks on a four-year, $15 million contract, high-scoring sub J.R. Smith stopped fielding offers and accepted the standing proposal of a two-year deal starting at $2.8 million in the first season with a player option for the second. The deal is the maximum the Knicks were able to offer Smith — who may become the starting shooting guard if the Knicks decide not to match the $19 million offer sheet the Raptors extended to Landry Fields — under the rules of the CBA.

Smith’s agency CAA released a statement late last night on Smith’s behalf: “I just felt that, despite my other options, New York is the best situation for me. Coach Woodson showed a lot of faith and trust in me last season, as did Mr. Dolan and the organization. My teammates are great to play with and the New York fans are the best!”

Novak’s package was made possible by the union’s victory over the NBA in the early-Bird exception rights arbitration case.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

Sacramento Kings sign rookie Thomas Robinson

The Sacramento Kings today signed first-round draft pick Thomas Robinson to a contract, according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Sacramento selected Robinson with the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

All players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft are guaranteed to receive a contract. So, this signing was expected, and is standard.

Robinson, the Big 12 Player of the Year and First Team All-American, led the nation in double-doubles (27) and was second in rebounding in 2011-12.

Deron Williams and Dwight Howard discussed teaming up in past

Deron Williams and Dwight Howard talked about being NBA teammates four years ago during the Olympics. Now Williams knows there’s speculation that it could happen soon.

He’s aware of reports that Orlando and Brooklyn are trying to arrange a trade - possibly involving two other teams - but he’s not paying too much attention to that.

“There’s been a lot of rumors over the last year as far as he’s concerned, so early on I concerned myself with it, but lately just let it play out and whatever happens, happens,” Williams said Monday at training camp for the latest Olympic team. “I think we’ll have a good team without him, I think we’d have an even better team with him.”

– Reported by Philadelphia Inquirer news services

Danny Green will stay with Spurs

Danny Green will stay with Spurs

When word began to leak Monday that Spurs guard Danny Green had agreed to terms of the first guaranteed, long-term contract of his NBA career, his cell phone blew up with calls that interrupted the very reason he was offered such security.

“I’m at the gym, trying to work out,” Green said when another phone call imposed. “Got to get stronger and sharpen my skills.”

Bill Duffy, the agent for the hard-working 25-year-old swingman, confirmed Monday that Green will sign a contract with the Spurs worth $12 million, fully guaranteed, over a three-year span.

His first opportunity to sign the deal will be Wednesday, when the NBA-imposed ban on free-agent signings is lifted.

– Reported by Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News

Monty Williams helped sell Ryan Anderson on trade to Hornets

As New Orleans Hornets General Manager Dell Demps pushed to work out the specifics of a contract offer last week, Coach Monty Williams talked extensively with Orlando Magic restricted free-agent power forward Ryan Anderson to convince him to join New Orleans. Impressed with Williams’ plans, Anderson initially accepted the Hornets’ four-year, $36 million offer sheet before the Magic stepped in to facilitate a sign-and-trade agreement with New Orleans on Sunday.

As part of the deal, the Hornets agreed to trade forward Gustavo Ayon to Orlando. The trade will be finalized Wednesday, when the league’s trade moratorium on player transactions ends.

“What he likes about New Orleans, I say first and foremost is Monty,” Anderson’s agent, Chris Emens, said Monday. “He thinks Monty is a great basketball mind, really a great communicator, and I think they have a common bond. They talked extensively during this process.

“I think one of the things that certainly helps make Monty a standout among NBA coaches is that he’s very invested in his players, not just professionally but personally. I think players feel that.”

– Reported by John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

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