Archive for October 19th, 2012

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced today that the team has released guard Jermaine Taylor. The Wolves roster now stands at 17 players.

Taylor appeared in two preseason games and totaled 3 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 12 minutes.

Landry Fields happy for fresh start with Raptors

The Knicks had 18.7 million reasons not to bring back Landry Fields. But Fields had his own reasons for not wanting to return.

Fields, now a Toronto Raptor, said he needed a change and that he lost his confidence and comfort level after Carmelo Anthony was acquired.

“It was a fresh start,” Fields said before Friday night’s Knicks-Raptors preseason game at the Bell Centre. “I think I needed that. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

“It was an accumulation of things. I probably lost some confidence in myself. I couldn’t really adjust as well as I’d like to. Don’t want to put the blame on anybody else. It really was me; just couldn’t get it done.”

– Reported by Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday

corey maggette

Corey Maggette’s availability is day-to-day after he strained his left calf muscle, Detroit Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said Friday.

Maggette, the Pistons elder statesman in terms of age (32) and experience (13 seasons), was injured with 2:44 left in the first quarter of Thursday’s 105-78 loss in Miami.

Maggette had played just 2:07 when he landed awkwardly after attempting a shot. He was assisted off the floor and did not return.

“The good thing is he went off the arena on crutches and today there was no crutches,” Frank said. “So that’s a positive. It’s one of those things we’ll evaluate on a day-to-day basis.”

– Reported by Brendan Savage of Michigan Live

Nene

Nene is trying to stay optimistic but remains uncertain about when he will be able to return because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

Sidelined since he aggravated the injury while representing Brazil in the London Olympics last August, Nene visited a foot specialist in Baltimore this week and received electric stimulation treatment for the nagging problem.

“I was a little behind, than I thought,” Nene said, when explaining the reason for the treatment. “It’s still inflamed. I just want to take care of it the right way. But all the exercises, I’ve been doing fine. I’ve been listening. I’ve been obedient.”

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post (Blog)

Nets exercise MarShon Brooks option

Nets exercise MarShon Brooks option

The Brooklyn Nets have exercised the third-year contract option on MarShon Brooks, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today. Brooks is now signed through the 2013-14 season.

Brooks was selected 25 th overall by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft, and then traded to the Nets for the rights to the 27 th pick, JuJuan Johnson, and the Nets’ 2014 second round pick. Last season the 6-5 guard appeared in 56 games, with 47 starts, averaging 12.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 29 minutes per game. Brooks shot .428 (274-640) from the field and .764 (113-148) from the line. The Providence alum scored a career-high 24 points twice last season, vs. Orlando (2/2/12) and Miami (4/16/12). Brooks participated in the Rookie/Sophomore game during All-Star Weekend and was selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

Kyrie Irving

The Cleveland Cavaliers have exercised the third-year contract options on guard Kyrie Irving and forward/center Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

“Kyrie and Tristan exemplify what we want to be as a team and franchise, both as players and as people,” said Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant. “They are dedicated, hard-working, talented individuals and we’re looking forward to their continued growth and success here in Cleveland as Cavaliers.”

The reigning Rookie of the Year, Irving, appeared in 51 games (all starts) in 2011-12, averaging 18.5 points on .469 shooting, 3.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 30.5 minutes per game.

Thompson played in 60 games (25 starts) and averaged 8.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.0 block in 23.7 minutes per game on his way to being named to the All-Rookie Second Team.

Landry Fields

Everything has changed for Landry Fields as he took his fledgling career across the border. He now wears his black Raptors jersey proudly, changing from “6” to his college No. 2.

Worse, Fields no longer even has the famous couch that former Knicks teammate Jeremy Lin slept on in his apartment the night before his initial bust-out game vs. the Nets on Feb. 4 that spawned Linsanity.

“It was a rental couch,’’ Fields said at the morning shootaround before facing the Knicks Friday night at the Bell Centre. “I had to give it back. I wonder if they even know (the history). It’s probably boxed up.’’

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post (Blog)

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has exercised the fourth-year contract options on John Wall, Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin and Jordan Crawford while picking up the third-year contract options on Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton.  Wall, Booker, Seraphin, Crawford, Vesely and Singleton are now signed through the 2013-14 season.  Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not released.

“We have been able to bring in and develop this core group of talented, mature young players over the last several years, and we’re pleased to have them all signed through next season,” said Grunfeld.  “Combining them with the veterans we’ve added gives us a solid foundation that can be competitive now while allowing us to continue to build towards future success.”

Wall was selected first overall by Washington in the 2010 NBA Draft.  Last season, the 6-4 guard appeared in all 66 games and averaged 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 1.4 steals in 36.2 minutes per contest.  He became the sixth fastest player in NBA history (124 games) to reach the 2,000 points/1,000 assists plateau.  In 135 career games, including 130 starts, Wall has averaged 16.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.6 steals in 37.0 minutes per contest.

Booker was selected 23rd overall by Minnesota in 2010 before his rights were traded by the Timberwolves to Washington on draft night.  In 50 games (32 starts during the 2011-12 season) the Clemson alum averaged career-highs with 8.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 25.2 minutes per game.  He averaged 10.6 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting .518 from the floor over his last 29 games of the season.  In 115 career games, including 46 starts, Booker has averaged 6.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in 20.2 minutes per contest while shooting .539 from the field and .639 from the stripe.

Seraphin, originally drafted 17th overall by Chicago in 2010, was traded to Washington along with Kirk Hinrich and cash considerations in exchange for the rights to Vladimir Veremeenko.  Last season the native of Cayenne, French Guiana, appeared in 57 games while averaging 7.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 20.6 minutes per contest.  In 21 games as a starter, he averaged 14.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. In 115 career games, including 22 starts, Seraphin has averaged 5.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 15.7 minutes.

Crawford was selected 27th overall by  New Jersey in 2010 before his draft rights were traded to Atlanta along with the draft rights to Tibor Pleiss in exchange for the rights to Damion James on June 24, 2010.  He was then traded to Washington along with Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans and first-round draft pick in exchange for Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong.  In 2011-12, the Xavier product appeared in 64 games (32 starts) and averaged career-highs with 14.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 27.4 minutes.  In 106 career games, including 50 starts, Crawford has averaged 13.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 26.2 minutes.

Vesely was drafted sixth overall in 2011 by Washington.  The Ostrava, Czech Republic native appeared in 57 games as a rookie, including 20 starts.  He posted averages of 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per contest.  The 6-11 forward shot .537 from the field and .532 from the line on the season, including 8.5 points and 7.0 rebounds over the last 15 games of the season.

Singleton was selected by Washington with the 18th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.  The Florida State alum appeared in all 66 games, becoming the first Wizards rookie to appear in every contest since the 1981-82 season.  He averaged 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per game.

Dirk Nowitzki

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that Dirk Nowitzki underwent arthroscopic surgery to his right knee. The surgery was performed at Texas Sports Medicine by team orthopedic surgeon T.O. Souryal. Nowitzki is expected to resume on-court activities within approximately 6 weeks.

Nowitzki has missed the last three preseason games with right knee effusion. His lone preseason appearance took place in Berlin on Oct. 6 when Nowitzki scored 8 points in 34 minutes of action.

Read NBA fan reaction and discuss your views in this basketball forum topic.

Vince Carter happy to be Mavs 6th man

“I’m down for it,” Carter said when asked if he wanted to be the new sixth man. “I’ll come in and help the team, remain verbal — I do that well. I just try to keep us going forward and not regress. When the second unit comes on the floor, they have to keep it going. I just try to do a little bit of everything to help the team.”

Carter has all the requirements of a good sixth man. He can shoot the 3-pointer. He still has the capacity to get to the rim and he’s not afraid to do other things besides score, as his seven rebounds in 19 minutes against Phoenix on Wednesday suggest. But he also had 15 rapid-fire points in his time on the court. That sort of production looks and sounds sixth-man worthy.

Terry proved that the sixth-man job is a crucial one for the Mavericks. It started with Don Nelson more than a decade ago. He always tried to have a designated scorer off the bench, whether it was Antawn Jamison (a sixth-man of the year) or Jerry Stackhouse or Nick Van Exel.

– Reported by Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News

No hand surgery needed for Kevin Love

Kevin Love

The Minnesota Timberwolves got a bit of good news Thursday when doctors told All-Star Kevin Love that he wouldn’t need surgery on his broken right hand.

The bad news is they still have to figure out a way to replace his 26 points and 13 rebounds a game for the next six to eight weeks.

Love said in a statement Thursday that he broke his right hand while doing knuckle push-ups the day before in a pre-practice workout. The injury means the Wolves will be without their two best players — point guard Ricky Rubio isn’t expected back until mid-December at the earliest because of a torn ACL in his left knee — for the first month of the regular season, and possibly longer.

“Although I’m disappointed that this injury happened, I will work extremely hard to stay in shape and return to the court as quickly as possible,” Love said.

The situation is similar to what Wolves coach Rick Adelman had to deal with in Houston, when he lost stars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming for extended stretches.

“I was just shocked,” Adelman said when he was told of Love’s injury. “I couldn’t believe it. Here we’re trying to get ready and then we have something like this happen. I learned a long time ago. I’ve had so many injuries to good players, I’ve started to think maybe it’s me.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

Taj Gibson hopeful for Bulls extension

Taj Gibson hopeful for Bulls extension

Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson said Thursday he remains optimistic a contract extension can be worked out before the Oct. 31 deadline for fourth-year players.

“I’m hopeful,” Gibson said. “I’m always hopeful. This is where I want to stay, this is where I hopefully want to retire one day. So we’ll have to wait and see.”

Gibson’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPNChicago.com on Thursday that talks are ongoing.

If a deal is not worked out by the deadline, Gibson would become a restricted free agent at the end of the season and be able to sign an offer sheet that the Bulls would have the option to match.

– Reported by Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago

Jordan Hill back in practice for Lakers

Jordan Hill back in practice for Lakers

The Lakers’ reserves have been a disappointment so far in training camp, but the club got an encouraging boost when power forward Jordan Hill returned to practice.

Hill has a herniated disc in his back, though he said with core-strengthening work his situation shouldn’t prevent him from playing regular-season games. Hill took part in all but the contact portions of practice Thursday, and Brown was impressed by how Hill was able to run nearly full speed in one drill.

Brown said Hill will do more work today and be re-evaluated then. Hill projects to be the backup power forward, playing with either Howard or Gasol in the paint. Power forward is one of the more important positions in Brown’s new offense, so he said Hill needs practice work “to learn specific routes and reads.”

– Reported by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register

Dwight Howard may play Sunday for Lakers

Dwight Howard may play Sunday for Lakers

Exactly when Dwight Howard will debut with the Los Angeles Lakers is still a matter of debate within the organization, but Howard is eyeing Sunday evening’s game at Staples Center, according to a Lakers source.

The source explained to ESPNLosAngeles.com late Thursday night that Howard has told teammates and friends that he’s hoping to take the court in the Lakers’ exhibition game against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

Yahoo! Sports reported late Thursday night that the Lakers have targeted Sunday for Howard’s debut and are hoping he’ll play in two of their final three exhibition games after Friday, barring any setbacks.

– Reported by Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles

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