Archive for October, 2012

Ty Lawson getting closer to extension with Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets are getting closer to making a deal with guard Ty Lawson on a contract extension before Wednesday’s deadline for 2009 Draft picks, according to a league source.

There is not a deal in place, but with the clock ticking, hopes are increasing that a deal can be made. The Nuggets and Lawson have been working on an extension for the past few weeks, and the fourth-year guard has been one of the few members of his Draft class that was given a decent chance to get something done. Lawson, who will turn 25 later this week, has become one of the league’s most dynamic point guards. He averaged 16.4 points and 6.6 assists last season, and his PER of 19.43 rated ninth among point guards. With Lawson pushing the ball, Denver became a lethal transition team and the Nuggets have hopes they can be even more efficient after acquiring forward Andre Iguodala from Philadelphia in August as part of the four-team trade that sent center Andrew Bynum from the Lakers to the 76ers.

– Reported by David Aldridge of TNT/NBA.com

The Portland Trail Blazers announced today that Los Angeles sports executive Chris McGowan will be the Trail Blazers’ new President and Chief Executive Officer. McGowan joins the Trail Blazers from his position as Chief Operating Officer of AEG Sports, where he has played prominent leadership roles in the reigning NHL champion Los Angeles Kings and the MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy.

“It is a great day for the Portland Trail Blazers as we welcome Chris to the Northwest,” said Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen. “With his demonstrated leadership with the Kings and Galaxy, I am confident he will find ways to improve the Blazers’ business performance, which is key to the team’s overall success.”

McGowan replaces Larry Miller, who resigned as the team’s president in July to return to Nike, and joins General Manager Neil Olshey and Head Coach Terry Stotts, who were both hired earlier this year. He will assume his new position on November 12.

“With Chris now onboard, the Blazers’ new leadership team is complete,” Allen said.

“I am honored to take on this role,” said McGowan. “I have always admired the strength of the Trail Blazers’ brand and the passion of their fan base and am eager to join the staff as we continue building an organization the city can be proud of.”

McGowan will manage all business operations of the team and the Rose Garden. He will report to Peter McLoughlin, currently president of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and MLS’ Seattle Sounders FC, who is assuming the role of CEO of Vulcan Sports and Entertainment (VSE). VSE oversees the business operations of Allen’s sports franchises and facilities. McLoughlin will continue in his roles with the Seattle franchises as well as with First and Goal, Inc., which manages CenturyLink Field.

Olshey will continue to manage all basketball operations. He will report directly to Allen on basketball operations and collaborate with McGowan on budget and financial matters.

“I’m excited to work with Chris,” said Olshey. “I’m impressed with his leadership abilities and look forward to a successful collaborative effort.”

McGowan earned his degree in International Relations from the University of Delaware and began his career with AEG in 1996.  His success in sales and his strong organizational and team-building skills propelled him up the ranks of AEG. In 2007, he was named Chief Operating Officer of the Kings, where he oversaw the team’s business operations and led the team to increased revenue from ticketing, sponsorships, concessions and other areas.

Earlier this year, McGowan was named COO of the newly formed sports division, AEG Sports. In addition to overseeing the Kings and the Los Angeles Galaxy, McGowan assisted with the operations for all of AEG’s sports teams around the world.

The Oklahoma City Thunder exercised its third-year option on guard Reggie Jackson, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Jackson (6-3, 208), who was the 24th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, averaged 3.1 points, 1.6 assists, 1.2 rebounds and 11.1 minutes in 45 games during his rookie campaign.  This past summer, the Boston College product was named to the All-Summer League Second Team at the AirTran Airways Pro Summer League in Orlando after averaging 15.3 points, a team-leading 3.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 26.4 minutes in four games (all starts).

Eddy Curry expected to be Mavs starting center for season opener

Eddy Curry, who was waived by the Spurs last Tuesday and picked up by the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, is expected to be the Mavs’ starting center in their regular-season opener against the Lakers on Tuesday, according to multiple media reports.

The 7-foot Curry is being pushed into service because Chris Kaman is still out with a calf injury, and the Mavs need some size in the middle to go against Lakers center Dwight Howard.

Curry, the No. 4 overall draft pick in 2001, has been a major disappointment in the pros.

– Reported by the Sports Xchange

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has waived forward Jon Brockman, guard/forward Gary Forbes, guard/forward Lazar Hayward, forward JaJuan Johnson and guard Shaun Livingston. Each of these players were parts of trades involving players or picks coming back to the Rockets, all which aided in the recent trade with Oklahoma City to acquire guard James Harden.

Brockman (6-7, 255, Washington) and Livingston (6-7, 175, Peoria Central High School) were both acquired by the Rockets in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks on June 27, 2012, helping Houston move up to the 12th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft which was used to select Jeremy Lamb.

Forbes (6-7, 220, Massachusetts) came to Houston via trade with Toronto on July 11, 2012, to acquire a future lottery pick from the Raptors.

Hayward (6-6, 225, Marquette) was part of the recent trade with the Thunder.

Johnson (6-10, 221, Purdue) was acquired by the Rockets from the Boston Celtics as part of the Courtney Lee sign-and-trade on July 20, 2012, which also netted Charlotte’s 2013 second-round pick.

The Rockets roster now stands at 15 players.

Dallas Mavericks waive guard Delonte West

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have requested waivers on guard Delonte West. West was originally signed as a free agent by the Mavericks on Dec. 13, 2011 and then re-signed on July 26, 2012.

West (6-3, 180) averaged 9.6 points, 3.2 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 24.1 minutes in 44 games (33 starts) last season despite suffering a fractured and dislocated right ring finger on Feb. 15 against the Denver Nuggets. The injury forced West out of 21 games, but he returned to start the final 13 games of the regular season.

West saw action in seven games this preseason and averaged 5.0 points, 1.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 17.6 minutes per game.

The Mavericks’ roster now stands at 15 players.

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has waived center/forward Brian Cook and guard Shelvin Mack.

Cook was originally traded to Washington along with Nene on March 15, 2012 as part of a three-team deal that sent JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to Denver and Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers.  He was re-signed by Washington on September 17, 2012.  In 16 games with the Wizards last season, Cook averaged 3.1 points and 2.5 rebounds while shooting .408 from the field.  He averaged 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in seven games during the 2012 preseason.

Mack was originally selected by Washington with the 34th overall pick in 2011 NBA Draft.  In 64 games during his rookie campaign, he averaged 3.6 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 12.2 minutes per contest.  Mack averaged 4.1 points in eight games during the 2012 preseason.

The Wizards’ roster now stands at 15.

Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich limited in practice

Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich, who has missed time with a strained groin, did some light shooting Sunday afternoon but his status for Wednesday night’s regular season opener against the Sacramento Kings remains uncertain.

“(He’s) day to day,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said Sunday. “He’s improving.”

Thibodeau did not want to guess at Hinrich’s status for Wednesday, but he sounded optimistic that if Hinrich is able to practice the next couple days he would be able to play.

– Reported by Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago

James Harden plans to sign long-term extension with Rockets

James Harden plans to sign a long-term extension with the Houston Rockets before the regular season begins.

The reigning Sixth Man of the Year joined his new team Sunday after he was traded to the Rockets from Oklahoma City late Saturday. The Thunder acquired guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick in the surprising deal. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston.

“It happened so fast, it happened very fast,” Harden said. “But this is the position I’m in in now. Just have to make the best out of it. I’m with Houston now. I just have to come in here and play hard and win games.”

Thunder general manager Sam Presti said Houston was able to offer Harden a contract that Oklahoma City could not.

“Quite honestly, the value of the trade was greater based on the fact that the Rockets could offer him the contract that he was seeking,” Presti said.

– Reported by the Associated Press

After signing in China, Tracy McGrady says he is retired from NBA

McGrady, who played alongside Yao Ming for the Houston Rockets for six years from 2004-10, will reportedly become the biggest earner in the CBA on an estimated $800,000 per year.

The seven-times All-Star has already impressed his new employers with his work ethic and professionalism in practice and maintained he was fully committed to the Eagles.

“I am not going back to the NBA,” said the 33-year-old McGrady, coming off a career-low season averaging 5.3 points in just 16 minutes with the Atlanta Hawks.

“I retired from the NBA. CBA is it. It’s a process you have to go through before you make a decision like this.

“Your family has to be comfortable with your decision, because it’s going to be a long season and I will not be able to be there with them.”

– Reported by Alastair Himmer of Reuters

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have requested waivers on forward/center Melvin Ely and forward Chris Douglas-Roberts. Both Ely and Douglas-Roberts signed with the Mavericks on Oct. 27.

Ely (6-10, 261) was the 12th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft.  He has played for five NBA franchises over his eight-year career (L.A. Clippers, Charlotte, San Antonio, New Orleans and Denver) and has career averages of 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game. His most recent NBA experience was in 2010-11 season where he played 30 games for the Nuggets and averaged 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game.  In 2012, he played for Brujos de Guayama in Puerto Rico.

Douglas-Roberts (6-7, 210) spent training camp with the Los Angeles Lakers where he averaged 4.0 points in 8.3 minutes in four games.  He was waived by the Lakers on Monday, Oct. 22.  He is a three-year pro and was originally selected by the New Jersey Nets in the second round (40th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft. In total, he has appeared in 155 NBA games (53 starts) for the Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks and has averages of 7.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 20.6 minutes. Most recently, the 6-7 forward spent the 2011-12 season playing for Virtus Bologna of the Italian League.

The Mavericks’ roster now stands at 16 players

Kobe Bryant still dealing with hurt foot

Kobe Bryant still dealing with hurt foot

As the Lakers went through new elements of their revamped offense Saturday, Kobe Bryant stayed on the sidelines. He watched his teammates play and also received treatment on his strained and bruised right foot.

It’s all the Lakers’ star really could do.

The Lakers still listed him as indefinite and it’s uncertain whether Bryant will play in the Lakers’ season opener Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks.

Thus far, Bryant has missed three practices and two preseason games since injuring his foot in the Lakers’ exhibition loss last week to the Sacramento Kings.

“It would surprise me if he didn’t play just because of how tough he is,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said. “But that’s not coming from (Lakers trainer Gary Vitti) because I have not asked Gary.

“He’s a stud, mentally and physically.”

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News

Jason Richardson brings veteran poise to 76ers

The onetime No. 5 overall pick in the 2001 draft, Richardson, acquired from Orlando along with Bynum as part of the four-team deal that also sent Andre Iguodala to Denver and Maurice Harkless, Nik Vucevic, and a protected first-round pick to Orlando, has been a secondary story to Bynum and his aching knees.

This, however, does not bother Richardson one bit.

“He can have all of that attention because I’ve had it before,” said Richardson, who along with Michael Jordan is one of just two players to win the NBA slam-dunk championship in back-to-back years. “I’ve been in the position being that guy, the floor leader and all of that stuff like that. That doesn’t bother me at all. I’m a veteran, and all I care about is winning games.”

– Reported by John N. Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Chris Wilcox gets fresh start with Celtics

Chris Wilcox was sitting comfortably before a television, attempting to contain his emotions, the last time the Celtics visited Miami. Wilcox has since recovered from heart surgery, and will be with the team for the season opener against the Heat Tuesday night.

This will be a fresh start for both Wilcox and the Celtics. Only four current Celtics competed in the team’s Game 7 loss to the Heat June 9 in the Eastern Conference finals. And Wilcox has not played in a game since March 7.

“Definitely, we’ve got to get this first game out of the way, and then we’ve just got to compete the rest of the season,” Wilcox said. “We’re not in it for one game, we’re in it for the long haul. We need that 18th banner, so we’re just doing whatever we can to get that. It’s not going to help us win the championship, but we’ll see where we’re at. At the end of the day, we want to be there when it’s time — at the end of the year.”

– Reported by Frank Dell’Apa of the Boston Globe 

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has waived forwards Josh Owens and DaJuan Summers.  The Bobcats roster currently stands at 14 players.

Summers played in six preseason games, averaging 2.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 7.5 minutes.  Owens did not see any game action in the preseason.

Bobcats Sports & Entertainment owns the Charlotte Bobcats and operates Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena.

Thunder trade James Harden to Rockets

Thunder trading James Harden to Rockets

The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first round picks and a second round pick from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard James Harden, center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

“We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved. Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers,” Presti said. “We were unable to reach a mutual agreement, and therefore executed a trade that capitalized on the opportunity to bring in a player of Kevin’s caliber, a young talent like Jeremy and draft picks, which will be important to our organizational goal of a sustainable team. We appreciate James, Cole, Daequan and Lazar’s contributions to the Thunder organization and this community and wish them the best in the future.”

According to Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman, “The deal comes on the heels of negligible progress being made on a contract extension for Harden following nearly four months of negotiating. As a result, the Thunder parted ways with the fan favorite after stagnant talks made it clear Harden would be too much of a financial burden to keep. If no deal was reached on an extension by Wednesday’s midnight Eastern deadline, Harden would have become a restricted free agent next summer. Houston is believed to now be ready to ink Harden to the maximum-allowable contract that Harden has long been believed to covet. A report by Yahoo! Sports on Saturday said Harden recently turned down a four-year extension worth roughly $52 million. The report also was the latest to say Harden is pushing for a max deal, expected to be roughly $60 million over four years.”

Martin (6-7, 185) will enter his ninth NBA regular season with career averages of 18.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists, including a .377 (744-of-1974) mark from three-point range and .865 (2,716-of-3,140) from the line. The Western Carolina product has averaged 20 or more points in five of the last eight seasons and has finished in the top 10 in the NBA in free-throw percentage in each of the last three seasons.

The 20-year old Lamb (6-5, 180) enters his rookie campaign after being selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. During his sophomore season, Lamb averaged 17.7 points and 4.9 rebounds on his way to being named to the All-BIG EAST First team after finishing the previous season as the second leading scorer on UCONN’s 2011 NCAA Men’s Championship team.

“We are very excited with tonight’s trade,” said Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander. “While I never like having to send out quality players like Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, this trade gives us a chance to make an immediate impact on the future of our franchise moving forward.  James Harden was part of Team USA’s gold medal team at the London Olympics and is one of the most skilled shooting guards in the NBA.  James, along with the mix of young players we already have in place such as Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik give us a very solid group of young, talented players who will form the core of our team.”

Harden (6-5, 225, Arizona State) has averaged 12.7 points, 2.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 220 regular season games (seven starts) with Oklahoma City. Additionally, he’s averaged 16.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 20 playoff games.  Selected by the Thunder with the third overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, Harden played in 76 games (no starts) as a rookie and averaged 9.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game on his way to earning NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors.  In 2010-11 he played in all 82 games (five starts) and improved his scoring average to 12.2 points while posting 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest.  Harden enjoyed a breakout season in 2011-12, establishing career high averages for points (16.8), rebounds (4.1), assists (3.7), shooting percentage (.491), 3PT% (.390) and FT% (.846) while playing in a career-most 31.4 minutes per game.  On April 18, 2012, Harden poured in a career-best 40 points in a 109-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns.  After leading all NBA reserves in scoring average in 2012, Harden became the youngest recipient of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.

Aldrich (6-11, 245, Kansas) has averaged 1.7 points and 1.9 rebounds in 44 regular season games (no starts) with the Thunder.  After forgoing his senior year at Kansas, Aldrich was selected with the 10th pick of the 2010 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets, who then traded his rights to the Thunder on draft night.  Aldrich still owns the Jayhawks school record for blocks in a season (125) as a junior and ranks second on the school’s career blocked shots list (253).  Aldrich, who finished his collegiate career in 2009-10 as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, also participated as a freshman in Kansas’ national title run in 2007-08.

Cook (6-5, 210, Ohio State) has averaged 7.1 points and 2.3 rebounds in 279 (48 starts) career games.  The former Ohio State Buckeye is entering his sixth NBA season after being selected 21st overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2007 NBA Draft.  After a post-draft night trade to the Miami Heat, Cook spent the first three seasons of his career with the Heat before being traded to the Thunder on 6/23/10.  In his first season with the Thunder during the 2010-11 season, Cook posted career-bests in FG% (.436) and 3PT% (.422).  In his final season with Oklahoma City, he averaged 5.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in 57 games (22 starts).

Hayward (6-6, 225, Marquette) has averaged 2.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 68 games (no starts) since being selected by the Washington Wizards with the 30th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. After having his draft rights traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Hayward played in 42 games (no starts) for the Timberwolves, averaging 3.8 points and 1.7 rebounds during the 2010-11 season.  Prior to the start of the 2011-12 season, Hayward was traded to Oklahoma City where he saw action in 26 games (no starts) and averaged 1.4 points per game.  He finished his Marquette career as the program’s second all-time leading scorer and the 5th all-time rebounder.

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The Atlanta Hawks have waived guard James Anderson and forward Damion James, President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry announced today.

Anderson appeared in six preseason contests (one start), averaging 2.0 points (.238 FG%) in 10.7 minutes. James put up 6.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 19.2 minutes (.400 FG%, .846 FT%), starting in two of his six appearances.

Atlanta’s roster now stands at 14.

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has waived guard Steven Gray and forward Shavlik Randolph.

Gray (6-4, Gonzaga) appeared in two games averaging 1.5 points in eight total minutes.

Randolph (6-10, Duke) appeared in five games averaging 2.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 10.0 minutes per contest.

The Wizards roster now stands at 17.

The Memphis Grizzlies waived guard/forward Ronald Dupree, center Jerome Jordan and guard Ronald Murray, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

Dupree (6-7, 209) averaged 3.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in 13.2 minutes in six games for Memphis after signing as a free agent on Sept. 29.  The six-year NBA veteran (2005-11) holds career averages of 3.5 points and 2.2 rebounds on .427 shooting in 11.2 minutes in 157 games (eight starts) with the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves, Seattle SuperSonics and Toronto Raptors.  The 31-year-old LSU product also has played in the NBA Development League for the Huntsville Flight, Tulsa 66ers and Utah Flash.

Jordan (7-0, 253) posted 5.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.14 blocks in 12.6 minutes in seven games (three starts) for the Grizzlies after signing as a free agent on Sept. 29.  The 25-year-old Tulsa product recorded 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds on .515 shooting in 5.1 minutes in 21 games as a rookie last season with the New York Knicks.  The Kingston, Jamaica native also has played for the NBA D-League’s Erie Bayhawks and overseas in Serbia and Slovenia after being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round (44th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft.

Murray (6-4, 200) registered 4.3 points and 1.8 assists in 11.8 minutes in four appearances for Memphis after signing as a free agent on Oct. 1.  The eight-year NBA veteran (2002-10) owns career averages of 9.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists on .414 shooting in 22.7 minutes in 487 games (92 starts) with the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats and Chicago Bulls.  Drafted by Milwaukee in the second round (41st overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft, the 33-year-old Shaw product has played the last two seasons in Turkey (2010-11) and, most recently, the 2012 D-League Champion Austin Toros.

Memphis’ current roster stands at 13.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team has waived forward Mike Harris and center Chris Johnson. The Wolves roster now stands at 15 players.

Harris appeared in five preseason games, totaling six points, seven rebounds, one assist and four steals in 30 minutes.

In three preseason contests with Minnesota, Johnson registered six points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal in 15 minutes.

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