Archive for October, 2012

Taj Gibson

BULLS REWARD GIBSON FOR BEING SMART, HARD-WORKING

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forward Taj Gibson on a multi-year extension. According to the Chicago Tribune, it is a 4-year deal worth up to $38 million

“Taj has proven to be a key member of our team and we are very pleased to have reached an agreement with him,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman.  “We look forward to him to continue to develop his game and we are happy that Taj will be a Bull long term.”

In his first three seasons with the Bulls, Gibson (6-9, 225) played in 225 games (89 starts), and averaged 7.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.29 bpg, 0.8 apg, 0.52 spg, 23.2 mpg and shot .485 from the field and .648 from the line.

“I’m very happy that I’m going to remain a Bull for the long haul,” said Gibson.  “The Bulls are like my second family and I’m excited to know that I’m going to continue to wear ‘Bulls’ across my chest.”

The 27-year old Gibson has also played in 27 playoff games (five starts) with the Bulls and owns postseason averages of 7.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.30 bpg, 0.6 apg, 20.9 mpg, .500 from the floor and .625 from the free throw line.

Chicago drafted Gibson in the first round (26th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft.

Toronto Raptors sign guard DeMar DeRozan to contract extension

RAPTORS NEED DEROZAN TO KEEP IMPROVING

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have signed guard DeMar DeRozan to a multi-year contract extension. Several reports say the deal is for four years and around $40 million. We’ll update that info later tonight if needed.

“DeMar has worked very hard and has been a significant part of the building process here in Toronto,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo. “We view DeMar as a young, athletic and talented basketball player whose character fits what we are putting together.”

The 23-year-old DeRozan entered the 2012-13 season having averaged 14.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 30.3 minutes in 222 career games with the Raptors, with 210 of those being starting assignments. He has shot .802 (743-927) from the charity stripe.

DeRozan, 6-foot-7, 217 pounds, averaged 16.7 points, second on the team, and a team-best 35.0 minutes last season. He ranked 10th among all Eastern Conference players in post-All-Star scoring at 17.8 points per game. He paced the Raptors in scoring 28 times and had 26 games of 20 or more points. He ranked 12th in the NBA in free throws made and 15th in attempts.

DeRozan appeared in all 82 games in the 2010-11 season, where he averaged a career-best 17.2 points. He had the biggest scoring increase among all second-year players and third in the NBA going from 8.6 points per game in his rookie season to 17.2. He led the team in scoring 17 times and posted a team-best 68 games scoring in double figures. He also was the team leader with 85 steals.

The University of Southern California product was selected ninth overall by the Raptors in the 2009 Draft. He averaged 8.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 77 appearances in his rookie campaign. He became just the fourth rookie in team history to start on opening night.

The Memphis Grizzlies exercised the fourth-year contract option on guard/forward Quincy Pondexter, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.  Pondexter now is signed through the 2013-14 season.

Pondexter (6-6, 225) posted 4.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 15.7 minutes in 64 games (eight starts) for Memphis last season after being acquired from the New Orleans Hornets for Greivis Vasquez on Dec. 24, 2011.  The 24-year-old owns career averages of 3.5 points and 1.6 rebounds on .432 shooting in 13.4 minutes in 130 games (14 starts) for Memphis and New Orleans.

After leaving the University of Washington as the school’s all-time leader in games played (136), the Fresno, Calif. native was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round  (26th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft before his rights were traded to New Orleans in a draft-night deal.

The Memphis Grizzlies will tip-off the 2012-13 regular season tonight against their 2012 NBA Playoffs opponent, the Los Angeles Clippers, at 9:30 p.m. CT at STAPLES Center.  Grizzlies fans can see the regional telecast on SportSouth HD and listen on 92.9 FM ESPN/680 AM.

Warriors sign Stephen Curry to contract extension

WHEN NOT INJURED, STEPH CURRY CAN BALL

The Golden State Warriors have signed guard Stephen Curry to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced today. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the deal is for four years, $44 million.

“This is an exciting day for the Warriors and our fans and it certainly exemplifies the commitment of Joe Lacob and Peter Guber,” said General Manager Bob Myers. “We’re extremely pleased that we have reached an agreement that will enable Stephen to remain a vital part of our team long term.  His contributions over the last three years, both on the floor and in the community, have been invaluable to our organization.  We certainly expect him to be an integral part of our future success as he continues to evolve as a player in all facets of the game.”

Curry, 24, has appeared in 180 regular-season games with the Warriors over the past three seasons, posting career averages of 17.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.67 steals in 34.0 minutes per contest, while shooting .473from the field, .441 from three-point range and .901 from the free throw line.  He enters the 2012-13 season as the only player in NBA history with career shooting percentages of at least .470 from the field, .440 from long range and .900 from the foul line, and joins Steve Kerr as the only players in league annals to shoot at least .460 from the field, .430 from three-point range and .800 from the charity stripe in three consecutive seasons.

“I’m really excited about the future of this organization, the commitment of our ownership group and the fact that I will have the opportunity to spend the next several years of my career in this environment,” said Curry.  “I have complete confidence that we are on course to build something special and that was certainly one of the primary reasons I was intent – and hopeful – on remaining a part of this organization long term.  In my estimation, we have the greatest fans in the NBA and I look forward to their continued support and further establishing myself in the Bay Area community in the years to come.”

Originally drafted by the Warriors with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Curry finished runner-up for the 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year award and was a unanimous First Team All-Rookie selection after averaging 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.90 steals over 80 games (77 starts) during his debut campaign.  In 2010-11, the 6’3” guard averaged 18.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.47 steals in 74 games (all starts), while shooting .480 from the field, .442 (3rd in the NBA) from three-point range and a single-season franchise record .934 (1st in NBA) from the free throw line.  Last season, in 2011-12, Curry was limited to 26 games (23 starts) due to a sprained right ankle and subsequent surgery, and finished the season averaging 14.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.50 steals in 28.2 minutes per contest.

A native of Charlotte, N.C., Curry was named the 2009-10 recipient of the Warriors Foundation Community Service Award, given annually to the Warriors player who best exemplifies the spirit of community service through their outstanding commitment of time, service and financial support to the children and families of the Bay Area.

James Harden Rockets extension

AS EXPECTED, JAMES HARDEN IS GETTIN’ PAID, SON

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed newly acquired guard James Harden to a multi-year contract extension. According to the Houston Chronicle, deal is for five years, $78.6 million.

“James Harden is the foundational-type player we have been looking to add,” said Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander. “He is a tremendous, young player with the ability and skill set to be an All-Star. He is ready to make the next move up to join the elite players in the NBA. As I said when we traded for James, he along with the mix of young players we already have in place, such as Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik, gives us a solid group of young, talented players who will help get us back to a championship level.”

Harden (6-5, 225, Arizona State) has averaged 12.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.06 steals in 220 regular season games (seven starts) with Oklahoma City. Additionally, he has averaged 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 43 career playoff games. An Olympic gold medalist and the NBA’s reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Harden enjoyed a breakout season in 2011-12 by establishing career-high averages in points (16.8), rebounds (4.1), assists (3.7), shooting percentage (.491), 3-point field goal percentage (.390) and free throw percentage (.846), as well as playing in a career-most 31.4 minutes per game. After leading all NBA reserves in scoring average last season, Harden became the youngest recipient of the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award. Selected by the Thunder with the third overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, Harden also earned NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors in 2009-10.

The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that the sale of the team to a group led by Robert J. Pera has been formally completed.  Pera, founder and CEO of Ubiquiti Networks, a publicly-traded next-generation communications technology company, has officially assumed control of the Grizzlies and leads a group of well-respected investors.

“The Grizzlies are here to stay in Memphis,” new Memphis Grizzlies Chairman Robert Pera said. “We are thrilled to assume ownership of the Grizzlies. We see enormous potential and understand the role the Grizzlies play in bringing Memphians together.  We are committed to building a winning team with a best-in-class organizational culture, finding new and creative ways to engage with our fans, and making a positive and meaningful difference in the community.”

“Owning the Memphis Grizzlies has been one of the most rewarding business endeavors of my career,” Michael Heisley said. “I am confident that the franchise will continue its development toward being a perennial championship contender and an important member of the Memphis community.  I am particularly gratified that we have put together a team which is poised to continue its improvement.  In Robert, we have a new owner who has expressed a total commitment to build on our success in Memphis. Although my time as owner has come to a close, I will remain a part of Grizz Nation and will continue to support this franchise that will always hold a special place in my heart.”

The National Basketball Association game scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 1 between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center has been postponed due to the conditions in the New York area caused by Hurricane Sandy.

“Mayor Bloomberg informed us this afternoon that after further analysis of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy that he felt it was in the best interests of the city of New York, the teams and our fans that we postpone the Knicks-Nets game scheduled for Thursday night,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said. “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this devastating storm.”

The date for the rescheduled game will be announced at a later time.

This means that the first NBA regular season game to ever take place in the new Brooklyn Nets Barclays Center will be Saturday night, November 3, against the Toronto Raptors. Unless that event gets postponed as well, which InsideHoops.com speculates is quite possible.

Dwight Howard discusses Lakers season-opening loss to Mavericks

The Lakers missed 19 free throws — Howard was 3 of 14 from the line — and turned the ball over 14, resulting in 17 points for Dallas.

“It happens,” Howard said. “But you have to remember, we have 81 more games to play and Rome wasn’t built in a day. Somebody told me that.”

Howard didn’t wave any white flags, but did caution against high expectations in the early going.

“You guys shouldn’t expect that just because we have a talented team, that everything is gong to click right away,” Howard said. “It’s going to take time. We have to be patient. I know everyone in Laker Nation wants us to win every game, but it takes time.

“We’re all learning something new.”

– Reported by Janis Carr of the Orange County Register

Hornets guard Eric Gordon out indefinitely with recurring knee problems

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon will be out indefinitely, Coach Monty Williams said Wednesday morning, though neither Williams nor Gordon could shed any light on the severity of the right knee problem that kept the team’s max money player sidelined through the entirety of training camp.

Gordon was instructed by a member of the Hornets’ media relations staff not to speak with reporters and was escorted to the locker room after shootaround by the team’s security chief.

“He’s going to be out,” Williams said. “The way I understand it, he’s going to be out indefinitely until we get some more clarity on what’s going on so I don’t have to answer these questions every day and give you guys the update. We’ll just go from there.”

– Reported by Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban heard plenty about how the Lakers’ made a splash this offseason. He tried to act unimpressed. “I don’t care,” Cuban said before the Lakers’ season opener Tuesday against Dallas at Staples Center. “I just hope they suck.”

Few pundits believe that will happen. The Lakers acquired an elite center (Dwight Howard), elite passer (Steve Nash) and an improved bench (Antawn Jamison, Jodie Meeks). By the way, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace stay on the team…

“They’re like any other team,” Cuban said. “Obviously Nash is great.

Kobe’s phenomenal. But it takes a team. They have to come together and play as a team. Hopefully they don’t figure it out.”

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News

OKC Thunder sign center Daniel Orton

The Oklahoma City Thunder signed center Daniel Orton, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Orton (6-10, 255), who signed with the Thunder D-League affiliate Tulsa 66ers earlier today, is the first Thunder NBA D-League GATORADE call-up of the 2012-13 NBA season.

The center saw action in one preseason contest for the Thunder and tallied 13 points and three rebounds in 19 minutes. Last season, Orton appeared in 16 games (two starts) as a member of the Orlando Magic where he recorded averages of 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 11.7 minutes per contest.

After attending Bishop McGuiness High School in Oklahoma City, Orton spent one year at the University of Kentucky where he averaged 3.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.40 blocks during his freshman season.

Clippers waive guard Travis Leslie

The Los Angeles Clippers today waived guard Travis Leslie.

Leslie, who averaged 3.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in four preseason games played, tallied 1.4 points in 10 contests played for the Clippers last season.

The Clippers’ roster now stands at 14 players.

Ty Lawson

The Denver Nuggets have signed point guard Ty Lawson to a multiyear contract extension, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri announced today. According to the Denver Post, it is a four-year extension worth $48 million.

“We felt Ty was ready to take on a lot of responsibility last season and he proved he could handle it,” Ujiri said. “He is maturing as a leader on the court and in the locker room, so it was an easy decision for us to sign him to an extension.”

Lawson, 24, excelled in his first full season as a starter in 2011-12, averaging career-highs in nearly every statistical category, including points (16.4), assists (6.6), rebounds (3.7) and steals (1.34).

He shot .488 from the field, recorded nine double-doubles and led Denver in scoring a team-best 19 times.

Lawson, 5-11, 195, also performed well in the playoffs, averaging 19 points and six assists during the Nuggets’ seven-game series against the Los Angeles Lakers. With the Nuggets facing elimination in Game 6, he scored a playoff career-high 32 points on 13-of-18 shooting to help the Nuggets extend the series.

“We are thrilled to have reached an agreement on a contractual extension with Ty,” Nuggets president Josh Kroenke said. “This new contract is a reflection of his hard work and dedication throughout the past three seasons with our organization. Ty is a dynamic player, a wonderful person, and someone we expect to lead us into the future.”

Lawson, the 18th overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, has steadily improved in each of his three seasons since being acquired by the Nuggets in a draft-night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves on July 25, 2009.

He averaged 8.3 points and 3.1 assists as a rookie in 2009-10 and 11.7 points and 4.6 assists in 2010-11.

Given more responsibility last season, Lawson emerged as a reliable floor leader and scorer. During a three-game stretch immediately after the All-Star break, he averaged 20.7 points, 11.7 assists, 7.0 rebounds and 1.33 steals and was named Western Conference Player of the Week.

He became the first Nuggets player to average at least 20 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds over three games since Fat Lever in April 1989.

Lawson continued to produce as the Nuggets battled for a playoff spot late in the season. He scored 22 points and added a career-high 15 assists on March 2 at Houston and struck for 29 points and 10 assists in a playoff-clinching victory at Phoenix on April 21.

A year earlier, Lawson became the first NBA player to make his first 10 three-point attempts when he caught fire against the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 9, 2011, at Pepsi Center. He finished 10-of-11 from long range en route to a career-high 37 points.

As previously announced, new Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum has a bone bruise of the right knee.

While Andrew and the 76ers are both eager for him to resume game play as soon as possible, given the long regular season and playoffs, the team intends to act with caution as to the date of his return. Andrew has already commenced low impact conditioning, and will be re-evaluated by medical personnel on a continuous basis.

Tony DiLeo, the 76ers General Manager said, “With the team’s intriguing play in the pre-season leading to a 6-1 pre-season record, we are confident that the 76ers will be an exciting, talented and highly competitive team from day one. When Andrew Bynum rejoins for game play, that will take an already strong team to an even higher level.”

Celtics exercise option on Avery Bradley

The Boston Celtics announced today that they exercised the fourth year option in the contract of guard Avery Bradley. This option covers the 2013-2014 NBA Season

Bradley, a 6’2” guard, had a breakout season during the 2011-12 season recording career highs in virtually every statistical category. Bradley averaged 7.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 21.4 minutes in 64 games last season. He shot 49.8% from the field and shot 40.7% from three-point land. He set new career-high with 28 points against Atlanta on April 20 while also recording a career-high four steals. The former Texas Longhorn averaged 12.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.07 steals in his 28 starts while improving his shooting to 50.4% from the field and 46.5% from three. He had 20 games in which he netted 10 or more points and four games in which he recorded 20 or more.

Ricky Rubio

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team has picked up the third-year options on guard Ricky Rubio and forward Derrick Williams.

Rubio, a second-year guard from Spain, finished as runner-up in the NBA’s Rookie of the Year voting last season. He appeared in 41 games, averaging 10.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 8.2 assists. Rubio finished sixth in the NBA, and first among rookies, in assists last year. He finished with 12 point/assist double-doubles.

Williams, the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft out of Arizona, appeared in all 66 games for the Wolves as a rookie, averaging 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He finished fifth among rookies in rebounding and seventh in scoring. In 15 starts, Williams averaged 11.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in 30.0 minutes per game.

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has exercised its third-year option for the 2013-14 season for guard/forward Jimmy Butler.  By exercising Butler’s option, he will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2013-14 season.

Butler (6-7, 220), appeared in 42 games during his rookie campaign and posted averages of 2.6 ppg and 1.3 rpg in 8.5 mpg.  He also shot .405 from the floor and .768 from the line.  Butler was selected by the Bulls in the first round (30th overall) in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Manu Ginobili to miss Spurs season opener

Manu Ginobili will miss the NBA season opener for the San Antonio Spurs due to a back ailment, the team said on Monday

The Spurs kick off their campaign on Wednesday at the New Orleans Hornets but they will do so without Argentine guard Ginobili.

The 35-year-old Ginobili, a three-times NBA champion and two-times All Star, will be re-evaluated in advance of Thursday’s game against Oklahoma City.

– Reported by Reuters

Warriors to start Harrison Barnes at SF

Warriors to start Harrison Barnes at small forward

Warriors coach Mark Jackson announced Monday that rookie Harrison Barnes will be his starting small forward.

Jackson said he was looking for the best fit and not necessarily the best player. Apparently, Barnes beat out forward Richard Jefferson and swingman Brandon Rush.

“Starting was definitely a goal of mine,” Barnes said. “Playing in the NBA and starting on opening night is a huge accomplishment. But my mindset is not going to change. I’m going out there and try to provide this team all of the little things I can to help us win.”

The Warriors have known four of their starters since they acquired center Andrew Bogut in March. The question since had been who would start at small forward. The options entering training camp were Barnes, the No. 7 overall pick, Jefferson and Rush. Barnes and Rush had emerged as front-runners early in training camp.

– Reported by Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group

michael redd

The Indiana Pacers announced Tuesday that forward Danny Granger has continued soreness in his left knee and will be out indefinitely.

He will get a second opinion and once that is received an update will be provided.

Granger in the playoffs last season averaged 17.0  points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game, though he shot just 39.7% from the field.

In the regular season for 2011-12, he averaged 18.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, and 1.8 apg while shooting 41.6% FG.

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