Archive for September 4th, 2012

Point guard Scott Machado, the NCAA assists leader last season who excelled in the Rockets’ final summer league games in July, will sign with the team this week, a person with knowledge of the deal said Tuesday.

Machado will sign a three-year, partially guaranteed deal, most likely on Thursday.

Machado, 22, averaged 9.9 assists for Iona last season, but went undrafted in June. After a slow start in Las Vegas, he finished strong, getting 10 assists in the third game and 20 points in the tournament finale, replacing Courtney Fortson as the starting point guard.

– Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Blog)

Dwyane Wade ahead of schedule in recovery

Appearing on “The View” at the start of his book tour, Wade was asked by host Barbara Walters about the left knee that required July 9 arthroscopic surgery.

“I’m doing great,” he said. “I’m ahead of schedule. The knee’s OK, so I’m ahead of schedule.”

However, in an interview with a Houston radio station as part of his media tour, he spoke of easing into the post-surgery process.

“That’s my goal, to be full strength,” he said. “Obviously, coming off surgery, even in the beginning of the year, [the goal is] to continue to work your way into things and hopeful hit your stride some point midseason, where you feel your best.”

Wade began court work last week with assistant coach David Fizdale, posting a photo of that session on his Twitter account.

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that Gary Sacks has been promoted to the role of Vice President of Basketball Operations.

“Gary has been a valuable and loyal member of our organization for the past 18 years,” stated Clippers’ President Andy Roeser.  “His recent role this very productive summer, as well as his many contributions during the course of his tenure made it clear that he is the right person to lead our Basketball Operations Department.”

Sacks is beginning his 19th season with the Clippers, serving in the role of Director of Player Personnel for the past two campaigns and as Director of Scouting/Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the prior five seasons.

“I’m excited to take on this new role with the organization,” said Sacks.  “We have a very strong roster with great depth of talent. I look forward to helping to build on the success we had last season. I am very excited to see how far we can go this year, plus we are well-positioned for the future.”

Sacks continued, “I appreciate the confidence that that Mr. Sterling has placed in me, and I look forward to continuing to work with (Clippers’ Head Coach) Vinny (Del Negro) and Andy.”

The summer of 2012 saw one of the most productive offseasons in franchise history, with Sacks, Roeser and Del Negro teaming to re-sign two-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin and five-time All-Star guard Chauncey Billups.  To further enhance this year’s roster, the trio also completed the free agent signings of Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Lamar Odom and Ryan Hollins, plus the acquisitions of guard Willie Green and forward Ronny Turiaf via separate trades.

In his previous role of Director of Player Personnel, Sacks oversaw the team’s overall scouting efforts as well as the compilation of information on players entering the NBA Draft and professional players throughout the world.  He also assisted on all facets of the day-to-day direction of the basketball operations department including player trades and free agent acquisitions.

Throughout his career with the Clippers, Sacks has worked in various capacities within the basketball operations department assisting with draft and free agency information, video preparation, draft prospect and advance scouting reports, statistical analytics and NBA Salary Cap analysis.

A 1990 graduate with a degree in Economics from UCLA, Sacks, his wife Tiffany and their two sons reside in Westwood.

Childress, Redd, Pietrus still in need of a contract

Small forward Josh Childress, who was handed an amnesty card as a means for Phoenix to slide Luis Scola (another amnesty baby) onto its payroll, continues waiting for work. According to recent reports, the Washington Wizards could be interested in J-Chill.

Also waiting for work is swingman Michael Redd, whose post-knee-surgery (two of ‘em) resurrection had a decent run last season with the Suns. Redd was considered a potential target of the shooting-guard-seeking Chicago Bulls a few weeks ago, but nothing materialized. Other teams recently listed as interested in Redd: the Wizards, Grizzlies, Nuggets and Thunder.

Mickael Pietrus, who was jettisoned out of town just as the post-lockout season was preparing to launch, also remains unemployed. Pietrus, who played for the Boston Celtics last season, reportedly has been talking with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Having publicly committed to not playing under a league-minimum contract, Pietrus still may have to wait a while longer.

– Reported by Randy Hill of Fox Sports Arizona

Miami Heat may add Josh Harrellson

Miami Heat may add Josh Harrellson

Former New York Knicks backup center Josh Harrellson is in the mix to be in the mix for the Miami Heat.

Dealt in the offseason to the Houston Rockets in the Marcus Camby sign-and-trade and later released, Harrellson auditioned for the Heat recently and is on the verge of doing so again.

Monday, on his Twitter account, Harrellson posted, “Kentucky it’s been fun! Glad I got to see everyone! Now heading to Miami for hopefully the next 9 months.”

Harrellson was drafted out of the University of Kentucky with the No. 45 pick of the 2011 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets, with his draft rights then traded to the Knicks.

Harrellson later re-tweeted a reply to his Twitter account emphasizing the “hopefully” part of his original post.

– Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Jrue Holiday reportedly seeking a max contract

Jrue Holiday will be asked to be a more vocal leader and take ownership of a squad that features eight new faces.

Holiday enters a critical fourth NBA season. He will play the 2012-13 campaign likely on the final year of his original four-year contract. The Sixers can sign him to an extension now, but given that Holiday is seeking a max contract, the more likely scenario is that he will become a restricted free agent next summer, which means the Sixers will have an opportunity to match any offer that comes Holiday’s way.

The 22-year-old point guard has started 198 games over the last three years, including every game the last two seasons. He averaged 13.5 points per game and 4.5 assists last season. Those statistics, when compared with those of other starting point guards in the Eastern Conference, are about middle of the road.

– Reported by Dei Lynam of CSN Philly

Taj Gibson throws out first pitch at White Sox game

Bulls power forward Taj Gibson took a night off from the hardwood and headed for the baseball diamond, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the White Sox-Twins game Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

For the 6-foot-9 Gibson, he was relieved to have thrown the pitch for an apparent strike on the pitch, tweeting, “I got it over the plate!!! Lol.”

Gibson isn’t the first Bull to take the mount this summer. Back in August, Jimmy Butler threw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field before the Cubs took on the Astros.f

– Reported by Mark Strotman of CSN Chicago

Basketball blog