Archive for July 14th, 2012

Knicks decline to match offer; Raptors sign Landry Fields

The Toronto Raptors announced Sunday they have signed guard-forward Landry Fields after the New York Knicks chose to not match Toronto’s offer sheet for the restricted free agent.

The Raptors signed Fields to an offer sheet Wednesday. Under the terms of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, beginning Thursday the Knicks had three days to match the Raptors’ offer.

According to multiple reports, the deal is for three years, $19 million.

Fields, 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, has averaged 9.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 30 minutes in 148 games. He has appeared in every contest the past two seasons, making 143 starts.

Fields was a 2010-11 T-Mobile All-Rookie First Team selection and twice named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month (November and December 2010). He paced the Knicks in rebounding 22 times, and set a franchise rookie-record making 86 three-pointers. He had two 20-plus scoring games and 11 double-doubles. He scored a career-high 25 points versus Philadelphia on February 6, 2011 and recorded a career-best 17 rebounds on November 16, 2010 at Denver.

Fields scored in double figures in 25 outings last season, with a high of 21 at Sacramento on December 31. He posted double-digit scoring efforts in nine of 10 games from January 18 – February 3, averaging 13.6 points. He also contributed seven games with at least three steals,

A native of Southern California, Fields was an All-Pac-10 First Team selection as a senior at Stanford in 2009-10, with averages of 22.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 36.3 minutes in 32 games (all starts).

Kyrie Irving suffers right hand fracture

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving experienced a right hand fracture during today’s morning practice after slapping the padding on the wall at the practice site. X-rays taken in Las Vegas at Spring Valley Hospital confirmed the fracture. He will return to Cleveland and be evaluated Sunday at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health by Cavaliers Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker and Dr. Thomas Graham.

His preliminary projection is to be ready for the start of training camp in late September, but his official status and timeline for return to play will be updated following his exam in Cleveland.

Ainge says Celtics did want Ray Allen back

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Saturday that he wasn’t surprised by Ray Allen’s decision to sign with the rival Miami Heat, but stressed that Boston wanted the veteran sharpshooter back and that it was ultimately Allen’s decision to depart.

“I don’t feel like we lost Ray; I feel like Ray left us to go to Miami,” said Ainge. “We appreciate all that Ray’s done, and all that him and (Allen’s wife) Shannon have done in our community. We tried to get Ray back; he chose to go to Miami.”

Speaking publicly on Allen for the first time since the soon-to-be 37-year-old signed a three-year deal with the Heat on Wednesday — accepting half the yearly salary that Boston was offering in the process — Ainge expressed gratitude for Allen’s contributions to the Celtics the last five years, but seemed slightly stung by Allen’s decision to jump ship amid Boston’s efforts to put back all the major pieces from last season.

– Reported by Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston

C.J. Watson to sign with Nets

C.J. Watson to sign with Nets

The Brooklyn Nets have made an agreement in principle on a contract with guard C.J. Watson, Nets General Manager Billy King announced tonight.

“We are very pleased to add a veteran with the savvy and experience of C.J. Watson to our roster,” said King. “C.J. has the ability to be productive in a variety of roles, and he will add quality and versatility to our backcourt rotation.”

Watson played in 49 games for Chicago in 2011-12, making 25 starts. The 6-2 guard averaged 9.7 points and a career-high 4.1 assists in 23.7 minutes per game for the Bulls. As a starter, Watson posted averages of 11.3 points and 4.6 assists in 29.2 minutes per game. In the 2012 postseason, Watson started five of the Bulls’ six playoff games and averaged 7.3 points and 5.5 assists in 27.3 minutes per game.

After going undrafted out of the University of Tennessee in 2006, Watson was signed by the Golden State Warriors as a free agent call-up from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League in January of 2008. After two and a half seasons with the Warriors, Watson was traded to Chicago prior to the 2010-11 season. Over five NBA seasons, Watson holds career averages of 7.8 points and 2.6 assists in 305 games. Watson has made postseason appearances in each of his two seasons with the Bulls. In 22 career playoff games, he has averaged 4.3 points and 2.9 assists in 13.6 minutes per game.

Raptors waiting to see if Knicks match Landry Fields offer

Not yet aware whether or not Landry Fields would become the newest member of the Raptors, head coach Dwane Casey and power forward Ed Davis made it clear they’d be happy to have him in the fold.

Speaking about six hours before the New York Knicks had to make a call whether to match Toronto’s three-year, $19 million U.S. offer on Fields, Casey said he hoped New York would let Fields walk.

“If we’re fortunate enough to get him, he’s a guy that can defend multiple positions. He runs the floor, good shooter … he gives us another guy who can catch-and-shoot, space the floor,” Casey said.

“If we don’t get him, we’ll still be fine, but hopefully we do get him because that’s extra talent. It’s always nice to have guys with NBA experience to help us,” added Davis, who was part of the same rookie class as Fields.

– Reported by Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun

InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner says: There is an extremely good chance the Knicks will NOT match the offer.

Charlotte Bobcats land Brendan Haywood

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has been awarded center Brendan Haywood off waivers from Dallas. Haywood was designated by the Mavericks as the team’s amnesty player.

According to ESPN.com, “NBA.com reported the Bobcats’ winning bid was just more than $2 million, which means Dallas must pay roughly $6.3 million of Haywood’s $8.3 million salary in 2012-13. Releasing Haywood via amnesty wiped the $27.2 million he’s owed over the next three seasons off the Mavericks’ books for salary-cap and luxury-tax purposes. The Bobcats now will assume more than $6 million of that financial obligation.”

Charlotte Bobcats land Brendan Haywood

An 11-year NBA veteran, the 7-0 Haywood has played in 733 career games for the Wizards and Mavericks, with 531 starts. He has career averages of 7.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 23.7 minutes. His career field goal percentage of .534 ranks seventh among active players and 28th in NBA history.

Haywood was a member of Dallas’ 2011 NBA Championship team, and has appeared in 53 career playoff games, averaging 6.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks, while shooting .564 from the field.

The Greensboro, NC native played four seasons at the University of North Carolina before being selected by Cleveland with the 20th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. His rights were traded on draft night to Orlando, who later traded him to Washington.

Celtics re-sign Kevin Garnett

Celtics re-sign Kevin Garnett

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have re-signed forward Kevin Garnett.

“We are ecstatic that Kevin will continue his career with the Celtics,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “Kevin has greatly changed the culture since he first put on a Celtics jersey and he has come to embody everything that we want in a Celtic.”

Garnett, a 6’11 forward, averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.93 steals and 1.02 blocks in 31.1 minutes per game during the 2011-12 season. Since he joined the team prior to the 2007-08 season, Garnett has been named to four All-Star teams (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), been named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year (2007-08), has been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team three times (2008, 2009, 2011) and has been named the NBA’s Player of the Week four times.

“I’m more than happy and I’m excited to be back!” said Garnett.

Garnett, the 2003-04 NBA Most Valuable Player and member of 13 NBA All-Star Teams over his career, has averaged 15.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.14 steals and 1.02 blocks in 31.2 minutes per game since he has joined the Celtics prior to the 2007-08 season. A member of the 2008 NBA Championship team, Garnett upped his totals in the playoffs by averaging 17.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.29 steals and 1.12 blocks in 78 postseason games.

Celtics sign Chris Wilcox

Celtics sign Chris Wilcox

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed free agent forward/center Chris Wilcox.

“It was very difficult when we lost Chris last season due to his heart ailment,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “In bringing Chris back to the team, we are gaining a very versatile guy who is capable of banging down low in the paint and is able to run out on the break as well.”

Wilcox, a 6’10” forward/center, appeared in 28 games for the Celtics during the 2011-12 season and averaged 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 17.2 minutes per game while shooting 59.8% from the floor. In his four starts this past season his averages jumped to 11.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in 24.7 minutes per game. He also shot 64.5% from the field during his starts.  The eighth overall selection in the 2002 NBA Draft by the LA Clippers has appeared in 567 games in his career between the Clippers, Seattle, Oklahoma City, New York and Detroit and has posted career averages of 8.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and has shot 53.4% from the floor.

Celtics re-sign Brandon Bass

Celtics re-sign Brandon Bass

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have re-signed forward Brandon Bass.

“Bringing Brandon back to the team was a top priority of ours after the season had ended,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “Brandon has improved as a player every year that he has been in the NBA and we believe that the best is yet to come from him.”

Bass, a 6’9” forward, averaged a career-high 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game during the 2011-12 season for the Celtics.  The native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana started 39 of his 59 games this past season and recorded averages of 12.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in those 39 games. Bass tied a career-high with 13 rebounds against New Jersey on January 4 and also set a postseason career-high in points with 27 against Philadelphia during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.  In his career, Bass has averaged 8.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and has shot 49.3% from the field and 82.4% from the free throw line with stops in New Orleans, Dallas and Orlando before joining Boston prior to the start of the 2011-12 season.

Pistons sign center Viacheslav Kravtsov

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club has signed free agent center Viacheslav Kravtsov to a multi-year contract.

“We are pleased to add Viacheslav Kravtsov to our roster and welcome him to the organization,” said Joe Dumars, Pistons President of Basketball Operations. “He’s a young player with good size, rebounding and shot-blocking ability.   He will provide us with some quality depth at the center position.”

Kravtsov, 24, has been a member of the Ukrainian national team since 2006.  The 6-foot-11, 254-pound center was named Ukrainian Superleague Domestic Player of the Year the past two seasons, averaging 10.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in Superleague play a year ago.  He also averaged 8.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in EuroCup play for BC Donetsk, his team the past two seasons after having played for BK Kyiv previously.

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed rookie forward Will Barton, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

The Trail Blazers used the 40th overall pick in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft to select Barton, 21, the reigning Conference USA Player of the Year. In two years at Memphis, Barton averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.49 steals for the Tigers. He led the conference in scoring last season with 18.0 points per game.

Hornets match Suns offer, re-sign Eric Gordon

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have matched the Phoenix Suns’ offer to restricted free agent Eric Gordon. According to multiple reports, the deal is for four years, $58 million.

“We are pleased to announce that we have matched the offer sheet for Eric Gordon. Eric is a phenomenal player that we are thrilled to have in our organization”, said Hornets General Manager Dell Demps. “We thank Tom and Gayle Benson for making this possible with their commitment to the team, our fans and the New Orleans Community.”

“There is always a business element to the NBA when dealing with contracts but I never lost my appreciation for the New Orleans fans,” said Gordon. “I look forward to giving my very best on the court this season to make our team successful.”

Last year in his first season with the Hornets, Gordon averaged a team-leading 20.6 points in addition to 3.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals in nine games (all starts) while shooting 45.0% from the field. The Hornets were 6-3 when Gordon played this season and he led the team in scoring in all but one of those contests.

InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner says: Gordon really hoped to start a new life on the Suns, and was hoping the Hornets would not match the offer, but I think he’s better off in New Orleans. Austin Rivers, Anthony Davis, Gordon, and Ryan Anderson are a nice start, and with a few more pieces they may have a nice squad in a season or two.

Bulls are sending Kyle Korver to Hawks

Bulls are sending Kyle Korver to Hawks

Though details had to be finalized and Kyle Korver had to pass a physical, the Bulls agreed in principle to trade the 3-point specialist to the Hawks via the Timberwolves on Friday, two sources with knowledge of the talks said.

There were late indications the three-team deal could fall apart, though that didn’t stop Korver from scheduling a flight from his offseason training base in California to Atlanta for the physical, the sources said.

The deal would take the Bulls off the hook for the $500,000 guarantee of Korver’s $5 million non-guaranteed salary for 2012-13 and slide him into the Hawks’ traded-player exception, acquired in the Joe Johnson deal with the Nets.

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

Jeremy Lin signs Rockets offer sheet

The Houston Rockets want Jeremy Lin back,and they’re hoping to see him throw a few post passes to Dwight Howard.

Lin has signed an offer sheet with Houston,according to a person with direct knowledge of the move. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Friday night on condition of anonymity because the agreement with the New York Knicks’ point guard was not announced.

Another person familiar with the negotiations says it’s a three-year deal worth about $25 million. The person,who spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms had not been announced,says the third year is worth about $15 million.

Lin is a restricted free agent and New York is expected to match Houston’s offer within the required three days.

– Reported by Chris Duncan of the Associated Press

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