Archive for September 27th, 2012

Lakers sign center Ronnie Aguilar

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed center Ronnie Aguilar, it was announced today. We assume this is just a training camp signing.

Aguilar, a 7-1, 250 pound center, played two seasons at Colorado State University before transferring to California State University, Dominguez Hills.  Most recently, Aguilar played in six games for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League during the 2011-12 season, averaging 2.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 11.5 minutes.

Jordan Hill avoids jail time for assault charge

Lakers backup power forward Jordan Hill avoided jail time and was sentenced to one year of probation Thursday after pleading no contest to assaulting his former girlfriend in February.

Hill, 25, agreed to pay a $500 fine, undergo domestic-violence counseling, make a $100 donation to the Harris County Violence Fund and avoid any contact with the alleged victim, Darlene Luna. The assault charge was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor before 339th District Criminal Judge Maria Jackson, according to a report by the Associated Press in Houston.

On Twitter on Thursday, Hill wrote: “Man I can’t wait for training camp to start…need to get dis show rolling boy!!!!”

Hill is charged with assaulting Luna on Feb. 29 at his apartment in Houston while the former first-round draft pick was playing for the Rockets.

– Reported by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register

Tina Charles wins 2012 WNBA MVP award

Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles has been named the 2012 WNBA Most Valuable Player, the WNBA announced today.  Charles received 345 points (25 first place votes) from a national panel of 41 sportswriters and broadcasters.

Los Angeles Sparks’ forward Candace Parker finished second with 253 points (seven first-place votes) and Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings finished third with 210 points (seven).  A pair of Minnesota Lynx players, forward Maya Moore and guard Seimone Augustus, finished fourth and fifth with 128 points and 42 points, respectively.

In her third season, all with the Sun, Charles captured her first Most Valuable Player award after finishing second in 2011 (six first-place votes), and seventh in 2010 when she was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.

Charles, who earned All-WNBA First Team acclaim in 2011 and Second Team honors in 2010, finished the 2012 campaign with her third consecutive WNBA rebounding title (10.5 rpg).  She also set a new Connecticut Sun single-season scoring record, averaging 18 points. In the process, Charles guided the Sun to the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a 25-9 record, the league’s second best mark behind the defending champion Lynx (27-7).

A prolific scorer and rebounder, Charles ranked atop the WNBA in double-doubles for the third straight season, sharing the 2012 lead with the Sparks’ Parker.  Charles previously set the league record in the category with 22 in her rookie campaign and topped that effort with 23 a year ago.  In the process, Charles has dominated the rebounding leaderboard, finishing tops among WNBA players in each of her three seasons. She grabbed a WNBA record 398 rebounds in her first season, 374 in 2011, and 345 this season.

In the Sun’s win over Indiana on Sept. 19 – Charles’ 100th game – she became the fastest player in WNBA history to reach 1,100 rebounds, surpassing the mark of Yolanda Griffith who reached the milestone in 104 games.  Earlier this season she eclipsed the milestones previously owned by Griffith as the fastest to reach 900 and 1,000 boards. She also became the first player in WNBA history to post three 20-20 games in a career, registering her third such effort on June 6 at Atlanta, when she had 23 points and 22 rebounds.

For the year, Charles shot a career-best .499 percent from the field (250-of-501) and a career-best .802 from the free throw line (93-of-116).  In addition to leading Connecticut in scoring and total rebounds, she paced Connecticut in defensive rebounds (6.7 drpg), offensive rebounds (3.7 orpg), blocks (1.42 bpg), and minutes (33.2 mpg).

Charles is the first Sun player and the second University of Connecticut product to earn the WNBA’s top honor.  The Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi, also from UConn, earned both the league’s MVP and WNBA Finals MVP awards in 2009.

Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for third, three for fourth and one for each fifth-place vote received. Additionally, for the second time in league history, fans were able to vote online and via mobile devices. The fan vote, counted as one vote and was compiled with the 41 media votes to determine the winner.

In honor of being named the WNBA Most Valuable Player, Charles will receive $15,000 and a specially-designed trophy.

The Atlanta Hawks today announced their 2012 training camp roster, which tips off Monday with Media Day activities at 2:45 p.m. on the Philips Arena practice court.  With the additions of James Anderson, Keith Benson, Damion James, Carldell “Squeaky” Johnson and Anthony Tolliver, the team currently has an 18-man camp roster.

A former first round draft pick by San Antonio (20th overall in 2010), Anderson played in 77 games (four starts) over two seasons with the Spurs, averaging 3.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 11.6 minutes per game (.380 FG%, .757 FT%).  Benson and James are both former Hawks draft picks, with Benson being taken in the second round (48th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft prior to being waived on Dec. 23, 2011, and James in the first round (24th overall) in 2010 before his rights were traded to New Jersey on draft night.  Benson saw action in three games with Golden State last season, while James has played in 32 career games (16 starts) with the Nets, averaging 4.5 points and 3.7 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game (.428 FG%, .650 FT%).

In 15 games for New Orleans last year, Johnson put up 1.8 points and 1.5 assists in 7.9 minutes per game (.314 FG%, .333 FT%).  A four-year NBA veteran, Tolliver played the last two seasons with Minnesota after previously seeing action with San Antonio, Portland and Golden State.  He owns career averages of 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.5 minutes per game (.420 FG%, .320 3FG%, .770 FT%) in 181 career contests (33 starts).

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forwards Rodney Carney and Robert Dozier to their training camp roster.

Carney has appeared in 299 career NBA games (48 starts) with four different teams and averaged 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 15.4 minutes while shooting 42.2 percent from the field, 33.8 percent from three-point range and 70.4 percent from the foul line. Additionally, he has appeared in six career NBA postseason games, all with Philadelphia, averaging 5.0 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.17 steals in 14.0 minutes of action.

Carney, the 16th overall selection of the 2006 NBA Draft, played two seasons (2006-07 & 2007-08) with Philadelphia before playing with Minnesota during the 2008-09 season. He then re-joined the 76ers for the 2009-10 season before splitting 2011-12 between Memphis and Golden State. Last season, Carney appeared in 31 games for the Liaoning Jiebao Hunters of the Chinese Basketball Association and averaged 21.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.16 blocks, 1.13 steals, 1.0 assists and 31.4 minutes while shooting 44.2 percent from the field, 32.7 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the foul line.

Dozier, originally drafted by Miami in the second round (60th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft, appeared in three games (all starts) with the 2012 HEAT Summer League team totaling 11 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, four steals and a block in 54:35 minutes of action. He spent last season with Cholet Basket of the France ProA League appearing in 22 games and averaged 9.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 23.5 minutes while shooting 56.1 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 72.1 percent from the foul line.

Dozier spent the 2010-11 season with PAOK Thessaloniki of the Greece A1 League and the 2009-10 season with VAP Kolossos of the Greece A1 League. Prior to that, he played four seasons at the University of Memphis appearing in 148 career games (111 starts) and averaged 9.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.54 blocks, 1.1 assists and 25.0 minutes. He became just the seventh player in school history to record at least 1,000 points and 900 rebounds. Among Memphis leaders, he finished third in games played, fifth in blocks (228), sixth in rebounds (961) and 13th in points (1,381).

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 20.

Dwayne Wade will be limited early in training camp

Dwyane Wade Injury Update

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade’s participation will be limited at least during the first week of training camp because of his offseason knee surgery.

Camp begins Saturday at AmericanAirlines Arena, and the team’s preseason media day will be held Friday.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra met with reporters Thursday to discuss a wide range of topics, including the statuses of Wade and Mike Miller, who each finished the team’s championship run with injuries.

Wade, who played with pain and swelling in his knee throughout the playoffs, underwent surgery on his left knee July 9 – forcing him to miss the Olympics. Miller, who was limited by a sore back for most of the postseason, has undergone rehabilitation throughout the offseason.

– Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald

The San Antonio Spurs today announced the addition of four players to their 2012-13 training camp roster.

The Spurs current roster stands at 18 players, and includes the additions of forwards Derrick Brown, Josh Powell, Tyler Wilkerson and Wesley Witherspoon.

Brown (6-8, 233) spent the 2011-12 season playing for the Charlotte Bobcats.  He appeared in 65 games, averaging 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 22.2 minutes while shooting .518 (212-409) from the field.  A three-year NBA veteran, Brown was selected by the Bobcats with 40th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.  Midway through the 2010-11 season he was traded to the New York Knicks.  For his career, Brown has appeared in 171 games, averaging 5.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in 14.9 minutes.

Powell (6-9, 240) spent the past season playing in China, Switzerland and most recently in Puerto Rico with the Guayama Wizards.  In 14 games with the Wizards, he averaged 16.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.  A six-year NBA veteran, Powell last played in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks during the 2010-11 season, averaging 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.1 minutes.  Powell won two NBA Championships with the L.A. Lakers in 2009 and 2010.  He’s also seen action with the Dallas Mavericks (2005-06), Indiana Pacers (2006-07), Golden State Warriors (2006-07) and L.A. Clippers (2007-08).  For his career, Powell’s appeared in 315 NBA games, averaging 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 12.5 minutes.

Wilkerson was on the Spurs 2012 Vegas Summer League team.  He appeared in four games, averaging 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in 20.8 minutes while shooting .750 (15-20) from the field.  A 6-8, 240 pound forward out of Marshall University, Wilkerson spent the past two seasons playing for Maccabi Haifa in Israel.  Last season he appeared in 20 games, averaging 16.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 28 minutes. Wilkerson was also a member of the Spurs 2010 Summer League team, where he averaged 11.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 24.1 minutes in five games.

Witherspoon (6-9, 212) is coming off his senior year at the University of Memphis where he helped lead the Tigers to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  In four seasons with the Tigers, Witherspoon appeared in 121 games, averaging 8.2 points and 3.7 rebounds in 21.0 minutes.  As a junior he was named to the All-Conference USA third team and was the Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year in 2008-09.

Ricky Rubio hopes to return by December or early January

Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio, recovering from a major knee injury, said he does not have a timetable for when he’ll be able to play this season but was hopeful of being ready by “December or early January.”

“I don’t want to say a time, because I don’t want to rush it,” Rubio said Thursday, Sept. 27, to a group of reporters outside the Timberwolves practice facility at Target Center. “I want to be ready whenever it is. It depends on how my knee goes.”

The Spanish native suffered tears to his anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his left knee after colliding with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant in the final seconds of a March 9 game at Target Center.

– Reported by Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press

Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan surprised his former teammate Scottie Pippen for Pippen’s 47th birthday party Monday night. Pippen’s wife, Larsa, planned the secret bash at Chicago hot spot Sunda. Bulls family, including team president Michael Reinsdorf and his wife, Nancy, NBA power broker William “World Wide Wes” Wesley, Antoine Walker, Ahmad Rashad, and new Bulls recruit and Chicago native Nazr Mohammed gathered to celebrate at the club with Pippen.

– Reported by the New York Post

Tyson Chandler

Count Tyson Chandler among those who think Rasheed Wallace has something left.

After taking the last two seasons off, Wallace worked out at the Knicks practice facility, and is considering signing with the team. And after seeing him work out, Chandler thinks Wallace can help.

“He looked good,’’ Chandler said Wednesday at a charity event featuring his photography, including pictures of former Knicks Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields.. “Rasheed can be a great addition to us.”

Despite his extended break from the NBA, with Wallace’s last game action coming with Boston in the 2010 Finals, Chandler said Wallace still has skills that can help the Knicks.

– Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

Nick Young never expected to be a 76er

Nick Young never expected to be a 76er

Upon becoming an unrestricted free agent last summer, Young admitted Wednesday to being “shocked” at ending up in Philadelphia.

A phone call and subsequent chat with Doug Collins early in the free agency period gave the Sixers the inside track with Young.

Collins sealed the deal by meeting with Young’s parents a few days later.

“He sat down and talked to my dad and mom. Once my mom started raving about him, it was pretty much a wrap right there,” said Young, smiling.

Young officially signed a one-year, $6 million contract July 12.

– Reported by Tom Moore of Philly Burbs

In May, the Clippers picked up the option on Del Negro’s contract, giving him a third season as coach for about $2 million. Still, Del Negro, 46, enters the new season in the final year of his contract.

Sitting in his office Wednesday afternoon, Del Negro leaned back in his chair and said of his situation: “I think there’s always pressure, but I think that’s a position that you want to be in.

“My goal coming here was to help change the environment, change the culture and change the direction of the organization.”

Last season the Clippers went 40-26 in the regular season and Del Negro took them to the second round of the playoffs for just the second time since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1984.

All signs point to Del Negro’s leading the Clippers to back-to-back playoff appearances. If that happens, it will be for just the second time during the 32 years Donald Sterling will have owned the team. The Clippers last reached the postseason in consecutive years in 1992 and 1993 when Larry Brown was coach.

– Reported by Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times

Bulls invite Kyrylo Fesenko to training camp

The Chicago Bulls have invited veteran center Kyrylo Fesenko to training camp on a non-guaranteed contract, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that Fesenko is on course to sign with the Bulls by week’s end after working out for team officials this week.

Chicago has been searching for an established big man willing to come to training camp on a non-guaranteed deal because league rules prevent the hard-capped Bulls from handing out any guaranteed deals heading into the season.

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

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