Archive for July 18th, 2012

Clippers sign Grant Hill

Clippers sign Grant Hill

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed seven-time NBA All-Star forward Grant Hill. According to the Arizona Republic, it’s a two-year, $4 million deal.

An 18-year NBA veteran, Hill brings career averages of 17.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 34.4 minutes to Los Angeles. In addition, he has played in 997 games (972 starts) and connected on 48.4 percent of his field goals, 31.5 percent from behind the three-point line and 77 percent of his free throws over his career.

Hill spent the last five seasons with the Phoenix Suns, tallying 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 28.1 minutes in 49 games played during the 2011-12 campaign in which he also received five All-NBA Defensive Team votes and received multiple Defensive Player of the Year votes. In 2010-11, Hill became the seventh player in NBA history to average 13 or more points at the age of 38 or older.

Prior to his time in Phoenix, Hill spent seven seasons with the Orlando Magic in which he was limited to just 200 games due to injuries to his left ankle.

The third overall selection in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, Hill was named Co-Rookie of the Year (Jason Kidd - Dallas Mavericks) after posting averages of 19.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.8 steals and 38.3 minutes in 70 games played during the 1994-95 season. He was also named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team that season and made history by becoming the first rookie to lead the NBA in All-Star fan balloting, narrowly defeating Shaquille O’Neal. During his time with the Pistons, Hill averaged 20+ points, 6.6+ rebounds, 5.2+ assists and 1.2+ steals in five consecutive seasons.

Hill was named to the All-NBA First Team in 1997 and the All-NBA Second Team in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. He also won the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award in 2005, 2008 and 2010.

A member of the 1996 United States Olympic Team, Hill helped lead the U.S. to the gold medal. He was also selected to the 2000 Olympic Team but did not play due to injury.

Hill entered the NBA after a prolific four-year collegiate career at Duke University (1991-1994), where he helped lead the Blue Devils to back-to-back National Championships in 1991 and 1992. Hill was named the nation’s top defensive player in 1993 and was named ACC Player of the Year in 1994.

Denver Nuggets re-sign JaVale McGee

michael redd

The Denver Nuggets have re-signed free agent center JaVale McGee to a multiyear contract, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri announced today. According to multiple reports, the deal is for four years, $44 million.

McGee, 7-0, 252, averaged 11.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.16 blocked shots in 61 games (45 starts) with the Nuggets and Wizards in 2011-12. He was acquired from the Washington Wizards as part of a three-team trade on March 15.

“JaVale did a tremendous job for us after the trade,” Ujiri said. “He worked hard on the court and did everything our coaches asked of him. Plus, he’s only 24 years old. With our coaching staff, he’s only going to get better.”

Originally selected 18th overall by the Wizards in the 2008 NBA Draft, McGee averaged 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in his first three seasons. After becoming a full-time starter in 2010-11, he averaged career-highs in points (10.1) and rebounds (8.0) and led the NBA with 2.44 blocks per game.

Anchoring the middle for Washington, McGee was on pace to set new personal standards in 2011-12 before being traded to Denver. With the Nuggets, he became an important part of the team’s second unit and helped Denver secure the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference.

McGee made his first career playoff appearance with the Nuggets, averaging 8.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.14 blocks in seven games off the bench.

McGee was particularly impressive in Games 3 and 5 against the Los Angeles Lakers. In Game 3, he scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a 99-84 victory at Pepsi Center. Four days later, he scored 21 points and added 14 rebounds to help Denver avoid elimination at Staples Center.

McGee also blocked at least three shots in four of seven postseason games.

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has withdrawn its qualifying offer to forward Derrick Brown. Brown now becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Selected by the Bobcats with the 40th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Brown averaged career highs of 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 22.2 minutes in 65 games played last season. In 171 games over three NBA seasons with the Bobcats and Knicks, he has career averages of 5.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in 14.9 minutes played.

Bobcats Sports & Entertainment owns the Charlotte Bobcats and operates Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena.

Raptors sign center Jonas Valanciunas

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have signed center Jonas Valanciunas (YO-nahs vah-lahn-CHEW-nahs) to his rookie scale contract. He is under contract through the 2013-14 season, with two team option years to follow. The Raptors selected the Lithuanian with the fifth overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft.

“We are very pleased to welcome Jonas to the organization,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo. “We are certain that Raptors fans will soon realize that the year-long process was worth the wait.”

Valanciunas, seven-foot, 250 pounds, averaged 14.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9  blocks and 23.5 minutes in 23 Lithuanian league contests this past season with Lietuvos Rytas. He scored in double figures in 17 games and grabbed double-digit totals in rebounds in seven outings. He had a season-best 25 points (8-10 FG) with 12 rebounds and a season-high six blocks November 12 against Pieno Zvaigzdes.

Valanciunas was named 2011 FIBA Europe Young Men’s Player of the Year, earned the Eurocup Rising Star Trophy given to the most outstanding player under 22 and was presented the Lithuanian League All-Star Game Most Entertaining Player award.

Valanciunas appeared in 84 games in the Lithuanian League in his three professional seasons, averaging 11.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. He competed for his country in the 2011 U-19 World Championships, leading Lithuania to the gold medal. He averaged 23.0 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.2 blocks en route to the Most Valuable Player award. He totaled 36 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in the championship game victory over Serbia.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has waived forward Jon Leuer and center Jerome Jordan. Leuer joined the Rockets in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks on June 27, 2012, while Jordan was acquired by Houston from the New York Knicks as part of the Marcus Camby sign-and-trade on July 11.

Leuer (6-10, 228, Wisconsin) played in 46 games (12 starts) with Milwaukee, averaging 4.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.5 assists as a rookie with the Bucks. He was drafted by Milwaukee in the second round (40th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft.

Jordan (7-0, 240, Tulsa) played in 21 games with the Knicks as a rookie in 2011-12, averaging 2.0 points and 1.3 boards in 5.1 minutes per contest. A native of Jamaica, Jordan also appeared in one postseason game with New York last season.

Jeremy Lin says he wanted to stay with Knicks

Jeremy Lin said Wednesday that while he “preferred New York” over Houston, and wanted to play in front of Knick fans “for the rest of my career,” he is now relieved to be joining the Rockets.

Lin told’s Pablo Torre, a former Harvard classmate, that Knicks GM Glen Grunwald contacted him at 11 p.m. EST on Tuesday night to inform the second-year point guard that the club would not match the $25.1 million offer sheet Lin signed with Houston.

According to Lin, Grunwald said: “We wanted to keep you, but it couldn’t work out. Tell your family I say hello, and good luck the rest of the way.”

Lin then thanked Grunwald and wish him “best of luck in the future.”

“Honestly, I preferred New York,” Lin told Torre. “But my main goal in free agency was to go to a team that had plans for me and wanted me. I wanted to have fun playing basketball. … Now I’m definitely relieved.”

– Reported by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News

Austin Rivers has sore ankle, foot

Austin Rivers has sore ankle, foot

New Orleans Hornets rookie guard Austin Rivers will not play in tonight’s summer league game against the Phoenix Suns because of a sore ankle and foot. Rivers said he expects to play Friday night against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Hornets are officially listing Rivers’ injury as lower leg soreness and said it’s just precautionary. In Monday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Rivers was knocked to the floor several times on drives to the basket.

“It’s just real sore and tender right now, nothing serious,” Rivers said after Wednesday’s shootaround.

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

Boston Celtics sign Jason Terry

Boston Celtics sign Jason Terry

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed free agent guard Jason Terry. According to multiple reports, the deal is for three years, $15 million.

“Jason is one of the best sixth men in the NBA and his versatility in the backcourt is a great addition to our roster,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations.

Terry, a 6’2” guard, was the NBA’s 2009 Sixth Man of the Year and also was a member of the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks. Last season in Dallas, he averaged 15.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists while shooting 37.8% from three-point territory.  Terry has made the fourth most three-point shots in NBA history with 1,788 trailing only Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and Jason Kidd.

“The Celtics have such a great tradition of winning and it was something that drew me to the team right away,” said Terry. “I look forward to getting out onto the court and helping this team in its pursuit of another banner.”

The former Arizona Wildcat finished second in the NBA last season with 138 made three-pointers and was third in the NBA in three-point field goal attempts (365). Terry has also been one of the most durable players in the NBA in recent memory playing in 1,022 of a possible 1,050 regular season games during his 13 year career. Terry has averaged 16.1 points, 4.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 38.0% from three in his career.

Jeremy Lin statement on joining Rockets, leaving Knicks

Here is a statement from Jeremy Lin, who signed an offer sheet with the Houston Rockets that the New York Knicks, presumably over financial concerns due to the structure of the contract, declined to match:

“I loved this past year with the Knicks and truly appreciate the opportunity that New York gave me. The way the fans fully embraced me and our team was something I’ll always cherish forever. It was an extraordinary and unforgettable time that was easily the best year of my life. Now I am excited to be back with the Rockets. They made a very compelling pitch in terms of what I could bring to the team and for the city. I am also impressed with Mr. Alexander and the management’s commitment to improving the team. I’m excited about contributing to the Rockets winning tradition and competing with my new teammates.”

The Orlando Magic and Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins announced the following promotions within the executive office: Charlie Freeman— executive vice president and chief revenue officer; Chris D’Orso— senior vice president of sales & ticket operations; Joel Glass—senior vice president of communications; Audra Hollifield—senior vice president of human resources & administrative services; Catherine Carlson—vice president of corporate partnership activation; Michael Forde—vice president of corporate partnership sales; and Anthony Perez—vice president of business strategy.

In addition, the Orlando Magic announced the following front office promotions: Nyea Sturman to assistant director of legal services and Pat Gallagher to assistant director of legal services.

Freeman is entering his 17th year with the Magic.  His primary responsibilities include oversight and management of corporate partnerships, marketing, ticket sales, premium sales & client services, ticket operations, arena operations and retail.  Freeman was an integral piece in the building of the Amway Center.  He was recently named to SportsBusiness Journal’s Forty Under 40 list.

D’Orso enters his 24th season with the team.  He oversees the day-to-day operations of sales for the Amway Center including ticket sales, premium hospitality, Chairman’s Suite, tourism, Junior Magic, camps, retail and ticket operations for both the Magic and Amway Center.   In addition, he oversees the arena operations for the Amway Center.

Glass joined the Magic in 1995 in the communications department.  He directs the Magic’s communication and media/public relations efforts.  He is responsible for media operations, strategic communications, media releases, publications and statistical material, while also coordinating media interviews with players, coaching staff members and front office personnel.  In addition, he oversees the team’s website, and Orlando Magic broadcasting.

Hollifield has been with the Magic since 1999, entering her 14th season with the team.  She handles oversight of recruiting, compensation and benefits, employee relations, training and development and administrative services for the “team behind the team.”

Carlson joined the Magic in February 2009.  In her role she oversees the corporate partnerships activation team, and is responsible for activation, fulfillment and renewals of corporate sponsor contracts.  Carlson is also focused on the strategic growth of corporate partnerships in the Amway Center.

Forde is entering his ninth season with the team.  He is responsible for establishing strategies targeted to bring new corporate clients to the organization.  He also oversees a sales team dedicated to finding marketing solutions for local, regional and national companies seeking an affiliation with the Orlando Magic brand.

Perez originally joined the Magic in August 2004, working on the team’s arena development efforts until June 2007.  He then spent a year working in investment banking before returning to the Magic in June 2008.  His responsibilities include the organization’s long-term strategic planning and use of analytics to improve business performance.  Perez focuses on yield management, customer targeting & retention, and the organization’s overall data integration strategy among other initiatives.

Denver Nuggets will add Anthony Randolph

The Nuggets cut Chris “Birdman” Andersen and signed in his place free agent Anthony Randolph,a source said Tuesday. The team used the NBA’s amnesty clause to waive Andersen, a source said.

Randolph,a power forward and center, averaged 7.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in 34 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. He made five starts. Over four NBA seasons,including stops with the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors,he has averaged 17.6 minutes,8.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

– Reported by the Denver Post

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