Chicago Bulls sign forward Taj Gibson to contract extension

Taj Gibson


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

Toronto Raptors sign guard DeMar DeRozan to contract extension


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.

Grizzlies exercise fourth-year contract option on Quincy Pondexter

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

Warriors sign Stephen Curry to contract extension


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 agrees to 5-year, $78.6 million extension with Rockets

James Harden Rockets extension


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.

Sale of Memphis Grizzlies officially completed

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.”

November 1 Knicks at Nets basketball game in Brooklyn postponed

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 speculates is quite possible.

Dwight Howard discusses Lakers season-opening loss to Mavericks

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

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

Mark Cuban wishes the Lakers well (not really)

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