Archive for July 20th, 2012

Cavaliers claim Jon Leuer off waivers

The Cleveland Cavaliers have claimed forward Jon Leuer off waivers from the Houston Rockets, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. The Rockets waived the forward on Wednesday, July 18.

Leuer, 23, averaged 4.7 points on .508 shooting and 2.6 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game in 46 games (12 starts) during his rookie season in 2011-12. In his 12 starts, the 6-foot-10, 228-pound forward averaged 7.7 points on .560 shooting and 3.3 rebounds in 17.7 minutes per game.

“Jon is a young, athletic, hard-working post player. He will add depth and also bring a perimeter shooting element to our big positions,” said General Manager Chris Grant. “We’re happy to add Jon to our team and looking forward to his continued growth and development as a Cavalier.”

Prior to the start of the NBA’s 2011-12

regular season, Leuer, the 40 th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, signed with the Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt team of the German Bundesliga. He appeared in 10 games and posted averages of 14.8 points on .495 shooting and 7.8 rebounds in 31.6 minutes per game.

He played all four seasons in college at Wisconsin and as a senior was named to the All-Big Ten First Team after averaging 18.3 points on .470 shooting and 7.2 rebounds in 33.5 minutes per game in 34 games.

Lakers will keep Jordan Hill

Lakers will keep Jordan Hill

Jordan Hill, a late-season bloomer for the Los Angeles Lakers last year, is set to sign a deal with the team after a protracted free-agency courtship.

Hill will sign a two-year deal worth “a little less” than $8 million, a league source told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Friday. Hill’s decision came down to the Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves, with Hill accepting less money to stay in L.A., according to the source. The contract also includes incentives that can increase his overall compensation.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak made one of his first calls at the start of free agency on July 1 to Hill’s agent, Kevin Bradbury, but for a variety of reasons — the Lakers’ pursuit of Dwight Howard and Hill receiving attention from other teams among them — it took nearly three weeks to strike a deal.

– Reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles

Kris Humphries excited for true Knicks vs Nets rivalry

Count Kris Humphries among those looking forward to a true Knicks-Nets rivalry now that the Nets are moving to Brooklyn.

“I’m excited for it,” Humphries said Friday at a press conference announcing his re-signing with the Nets. “I think it’s always great playing in there, and now when they come over to us, we’re gonna have a lot of our support over there, too. It’s exciting … it’s the Garden. Anytime you’re in the Garden for whatever you’re doing, it’s so much history, the fans are passionate in New York, and we hope to have the same passion in our building, and excitement.

“It should be good.”

Humphries got a good taste of the passion of the Knicks crowd last season, when he was showered with boos each time he touched the ball in his three appearances there last season following his brief marriage to reality television star Kim Kardashian.

– Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

Denver Nuggets sign Anthony Randolph

Denver Nuggets sign Anthony Randolph

The Denver Nuggets have signed free-agent F Anthony Randolph to a multiyear contract, Nuggets Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri announced today.

Randolph, 6-11, 225, averaged 7.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in 34 games (five starts) with the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. He scored a season-high 28 points and added six boards and five blocks on April 11, 2012 at Denver.

Randolph, 23, joined the Timberwolves as part of a three-team, 13-player trade that also involved the Nuggets and New York Knicks on Feb. 22, 2011. He appeared in 17 games for the Knicks (2.1 ppg and 2.4 rpg) and 23 games for the Timberwolves (11.7 ppg and 5.2 rpg) during the 2010-11 season.

Selected 14th overall out of Louisiana State in the 2008 NBA Draft, Randolph spent his first two season with the Golden State Warriors. He averaged 7.9 points and 5.8 rebounds in 63 games as a rookie and posted career-high averages of 11.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.54 blocks in 33 games in 2009-10.

For his career, Randolph has played 20-plus minutes 65 times, averaging 14.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.78 blocks in those games.

With the addition of Randolph, the Nuggets roster currently stands at 15 players.

Exclusive: Al Harrington has had multiple knee surgeries this summer

By Jeff Lenchiner

InsideHoops.com is in Las Vegas for 2012 NBA summer league. Friday afternoon, Denver Nuggets forward Al Harrington walked into the gym on crutches. InsideHoops.com had a quick exclusive chat with Harrington for a health update:

InsideHoops.com: What’s the latest on you and your surgery?

Al Harrington: I had tore my meniscus in April, towards the end of the season or whatever, and got it fixed after Game 7 or whatever. And then I got a staph infection. So I was sick, man. I had like three surgeries. And then a couple weeks later, they checked my knee again and it still was kinda cloudy in there. So I had to wait six weeks and take medicine… and then I had surgery again this Monday. Hopefully it’s the last one.

InsideHoops.com: And which knee is it?

Harrington: My right knee.

InsideHoops.com: So if everything goes as planned and hoped, when will you be ready to play basketball?

Harrington: I’ll be ready for the first game of the season. I don’t think I’ll be ready for training camp. First game of the season is my goal. I think I can make it happen.

Rockets sign-and-trade Courtney Lee to Celtics in 3-team trade

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has agreed to a sign-and-trade with guard/forward Courtney Lee, which will send him to the Boston Celtics as part of a three-team trade. The Rockets will receive from Boston a Charlotte Bobcats second-round draft pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, forward JaJuan Johnson, guard E’Twaun Moore and forward/center Sean Williams. The pick was previously acquired by Boston via Oklahoma City. Houston also acquires the rights to guard Jon Diebler from Portland. Boston completes the deal by agreeing to a sign-and-trade with guard/forward Sasha Pavlovic, which sends him to the Trail Blazers.

“We are very excited that we were able to acquire Courtney Lee,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “Courtney brings a vast set of tools on both ends of the court and will be a great fit on our roster.”

Lee, a 6’5” guard, averaged 11.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 30.3 minutes per game last season for Houston.  During his 26 starts for Houston during the 2011-12 season he upped his averages to 14.0 points and 1.50 steals. Lee shot 40.1% from three-point range last season which ranked 15th in the NBA. Lee scored a season-high 25 points twice this past season. He recorded 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting including 3-of-5 from three-point territory against Sacramento on April 8 and he also recorded 25 points against the LA Clippers on 9-of-14 from the field and 4-of-9 from three. Lee has posted career averages of 10.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals and has shot 38.6% from three in 287 career games between Orlando, New Jersey and Houston after having been picked 22nd overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by Orlando.

Johnson (6-10, 221, Purdue) averaged 3.2 points, 1.6 rebounds and 8.3 minutes in 36 games as a rookie with the Celtics in 2011-12. Drafted by the New Jersey Nets with the 27th  overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Johnson was subsequently traded to Boston along with a 2014 second-round pick for the rights to MarShon Brooks. Johnson finished his collegiate career as Purdue’s co-record holder, with E’Twaun Moore, in wins (107), games played (140) and consecutive games played (140). He also ranked second in the program’s history in blocks (263), third in minutes played (3,856), fourth in free throw attempts (662) and games started (120), fifth in rebounds (854) and free throws (492), seventh in points (1,919), field goals (706) and field goal attempts (1,410), and 11th in double-doubles (26). As a senior in 2010-11, Johnson was named Big Ten Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He became only the third player in conference history to win both awards in the same season. In addition, Johnson earned First-Team All-Big Ten twice (2009 and 2011) and Second-Team All-Big Ten once (2010). He was also a three-time Big Ten All-Defensive Team selection (2009, 2010 and 2011).

Moore (6-4, 191, Purdue) also averaged 2.9 points, 0.9 assists and 8.7 minutes in 38 games as a rookie with Boston. He was chosen by the Celtics with the 55th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Williams (6-10, 235, Boston College) owns career averages of 4.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 137 games (29 starts) with New Jersey, Dallas and Boston. He was originally selected by the Nets with the 17th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

Diebler (6-6, 205, Ohio State) was drafted in the second round (51st overall) by the Trail Blazers in the 2011 NBA Draft. He spent this past season with Greek team Panionios. Diebler, who set the Ohio State and Big Ten records for 3-pointers made as a senior, led the nation in 3-point shooting in 2010-11 (.502, 114-227 3FG). He was also picked Third-Team All-Big Ten in his final season at Ohio State.

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed second round draft choice Jae Crowder.

Crowder (6-6, 235) was the 34th 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 33rd overall pick Bernard James, in exchange for guard Kelenna Azubuike and the draft rights to the 17th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Tyler Zeller.

The Villa Rica, Ga., native is currently playing for Dallas at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. He is averaging 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 32.3 minutes while starting his first three games.

Crowder is a four-year player who finished his career at Marquette after transferring from Howard College where he was NJCAA Player of the Year. In his senior year at Marquette, he was named Big East Player of the Year when he averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.5 steals per game.

Andray Blatche clears waivers, becomes a free agent

As expected, Andray Blatche cleared waivers Thursday when none of the nine teams with salary cap space made the minimum bid of $3.79 million to acquire him. Blatche is now an unrestricted free agent.

Blatche’s agent, Andy Miller, said he doesn’t expect teams to make a serious push for his client’s services until the conclusion of summer league.

The Wizards designated Blatche as their amnesty player Tuesday, ending a seven-year relationship with the 6-foot-11 power forward, who has career averages of 9.9 points and 5.4 rebounds. Blatche will receive the entire $23 million remaining on his contract, over three years. His salary, however, is no longer on the Wizards’ payroll, under the rules of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post (Blog)

Suns re-sign guard Shannon Brown

Suns re-sign guard Shannon Brown

The Phoenix Suns’ search for a shooting guard has apparently come to an end, as they’ve reached contract terms with free agent Shannon Brown, who spent the 2011-12 season with the team.

According to Arizona Sports 620’s own John Gambadoro, the contract is for two years.

Brown, 26, played in 59 of 66 games for the Suns last season, averaging a career-high 11.0 points while grabbing 2.7 rebounds. In 19 games as a starter, Brown averaged 15.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per contest, while shooting .406 from three-point range.

The Suns were active in their flirtation with free agent shooting guards before re-signing Brown. On July 3, Phoenix inked restricted free agent Eric Gordon to a four- year, $58 million offer sheet that was ultimately matched by the New Orleans Hornets.

– Reported by Arizona Sports

Center Ryan Hollins agrees to deal with Clippers

Continuing in their push to build a solid team for next season, the Clippers on Thursday reached an agreement with free-agent center Ryan Hollins.

Hollins is expected to sign a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum of $1.065 million.

He made $2.48 million last season playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, but views coming to the Clippers as a good opportunity despite the pay cut.

“Ryan is happy to be a Clipper,” Hollins’ agent, Todd Ramasar, said. “He’s happy to be back in L.A. and he’s looking forward to helping the Clippers.”

– Reported by Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times

The BMO Harris Bradley Center board of directors and the Milwaukee Bucks have been discussing a new six-year lease that, if approved by the National Basketball Association, will provide stability for both sides as discussion continues over the possibility of a new, multi-purpose arena.

Details of the lease were not released. Information on an extended lease came from the minutes of the BMO Harris Bradley Center’s March meeting, which were released this week.

If approved by the NBA, a six-year lease would be, by far, the longest lease the two sides have had in years. In general, the Bucks and the BMO Harris Bradley Center have gone year-to-year on leases.

– Reported by Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Raymond Felton admits he was out of shape

Since leaving (New York), Felton hasn’t been the same. After finishing the 2011 season with Denver, he was dealt again before last season to Portland, where he slumped to a career-low 11.4 points to go along with 6.5 assists and admitted showing up to camp out of shape.

“I wasn’t at the weight I normally [am],” Felton said. “I am the first one to say, ‘I wasn’t in shape.’ I don’t make no excuses, I don’t blame anyone else.

“I am hearing from everybody, ‘He wasn’t in shape last year.’ I played in the league seven years, about to be eight, came in out of shape one year and that’s all everybody wants to talk about. … I look forward to this year and shutting up everybody’s mouth.”

– Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

Kings coach Keith Smart said as many as four noncontract summer-league players could be considered for invitations to training camp in the fall.

The player who seems most likely to be called back is Tony Mitchell, an athletic small forward who impressed with his athleticism and activity.

“Mitchell kind of separated himself a little bit,” Smart said. “He has the right size as a small forward. Obviously, we have a ton of players at that position that he plays, but nevertheless he’s not a guy you take off your radar because you see the size.

– Reported by the Sacramento Bee

Jeremy Lin excited to join Rockets

Jeremy Lin excited to join Rockets

Lin, a 23-year-old undrafted point guard out of Harvard, became a Rocket again when the New York Knicks decided not to match Houston’s three-year, $25 million offer.

“It’s been an unbelievable ride,” Lin said. “Just a lot of things I didn’t expect to happen, in terms of just the way last season went. I still have to kind of remind myself that this is all actually happening, sometimes. But it’s a huge blessing. I can’t believe how it all shaped up, and for me to be here right now. I’m definitely excited and thankful.”

Lin said he expected to be re-signed by the Knicks after he electrified the Big Apple last season before he was sidelined by a knee injury. Shortly after the Knicks officially declined to match, Lin was quoted on SI.com as saying, “Honestly, I preferred New York.”

Lin said the question he answered was set in the context of before the start of the free agency period.

– Associated Press

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