Archive for January 30th, 2013

rudy gay

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have acquired forward Rudy Gay and centre Hamed Haddadi from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for guard Jose Calderon, forward Ed Davis, a second-round draft choice in 2013 and cash considerations. The Grizzlies traded Calderon to the Detroit Pistons for forwards Austin Daye and Tayshaun Prince.

“This is the type of deal we have been looking for to take our team another step forward,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo. “Rudy Gay is a dynamic wing that elevates our talent level significantly.

“We want to thank Jose and Ed for their dedication and service to our organization. Both individuals are wonderful young men beyond just talented basketball players.”

Gay, 6-foot-8, 230 pounds, has averaged 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 36.2 minutes in 479 career games (443 starts).

According to ESPN.com, “Gay, averaging 17.2 points and 5.9 rebounds, signed a five-year, $82 million maximum contract in July 2010 with Memphis. The 6-foot-8 small forward is due $16.5 million this season with $37 million more over the next two years. Just over a week ago, the Grizzlies sent valuable reserve Marreese Speights and two other players to Cleveland in a move that cleared $6.4 million in salary and avoided a $4 million luxury tax hit this season. Team officials said that move put the Grizzlies in position not to have to make a move this season.”

The 26-year-old has played all seven of his NBA seasons in Memphis. He was selected with the eighth pick in the first round of the 2006 Draft by the Houston Rockets and his draft rights were traded to the Grizzlies.

Gay has averaged at least 18.9 points and 5.5 rebounds each season since his rookie campaign. He has also played in more than 95 per cent of the games in five of the past six seasons.

Gay has topped 90 steals in five of six seasons. He is the Grizzlies’ franchise leader in thefts (640), games (479) and minutes (17,338). He ranks second in total points (8,562).

Gay posted career highs of 20.1 points in 2007-08, 6.4 rebounds in 2011-12 and 1.7 steals in 2010-11. He shot .396 from three-point range in 2010-11 and poured in 134 three-pointers in 2007-08.

Gay netted a career-best 41 points at Miami on December 13, 2009. He has posted personal bests of 13 rebounds three times, five steals four times and 52 minutes on two occasions.

Gay averaged a team-high 19.0 points, a career-high 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 37.3 minutes in 65 games during the 2011-12 season. He was one of seven players in the NBA to rank in the top 20 in both scoring and steals.

Gay saw his first playoff action last season when he led the Grizzlies in scoring at 19.0 points in seven games. He also contributed 6.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 39.9 minutes.

Haddadi (ha-DAH-dee), 7-foot-2, 265, is the first Iranian-born player in the NBA. He has averaged 2.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 6.1 minutes in 134 career outings, all with Memphis.

Calderon averaged 10.0 points, 7.2 assists and 28.4 minutes in 525 games with Toronto. In the playoffs, he averaged 12.5 points, 6.1 assists and 24.1 minutes in 11 appearances.

Calderon averaged 11.1 points, 7.4 assists and 28.3 minutes in 45 contests this season.

Calderon was originally signed by the club as a free agent in 2005. He is the franchise leader in assists (3,770) and free throw percentage (.877). He ranks second in games played (525), fourth in minutes (14,909) and fifth in total points (5,235).

Davis was drafted by the Raptors in the first round (13th overall) in 2010. He has appeared in 176 outings with Toronto, averaging 7.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 24.0 minutes.

Davis averaged 9.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 24.2 minutes in 45 games this season. He has started in a career-high 24 games.

Dennis Rodman writes book for kids

Even Dennis Rodman laughs at the idea.

“Kind of funny, huh?” he said.

It’s true, though. One of basketball’s most outrageous personalities has written a book for kids.

The Hall of Famer’s book, “Dennis The Wild Bull,” came out Wednesday and fans will immediately recognize Rodman’s influence. The large red bull on the cover has flowing red hair, two nose rings, a tattoo and red stubble under his chin.

“They’ll see me, literally see me. They’ll say, ‘Wow, this is just like him,”’ Rodman said in a phone interview.

And he deals with the same issues.

Rodman, known as much for his wacky looks and lifestyle off the court as his considerable success on it, said the purpose of the book is simple.

“More than anything, I just want little kids today just to understand, ain’t no matter what you do in life, be different, rich or poor man, guess what, it’s OK to be who you are pretty much and you’ll be accepted,” Rodman said.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Jarvis Varnado for the remainder of the season.

Varnado was previously signed by the HEAT to a 10-day contract on January 9 and then was re-signed to a second 10-day contract on January 20. He has appeared in two games with Miami, both victories, totaling two points and two blocks in 12 minutes of action while shooting 1-of-2 from the field.

Varnado was signed earlier this season by Boston on December 14 and appeared in five games with the Celtics totaling six points, three rebounds, one assist and a steal in 18 minutes while shooting 2-of-4 from the field before being waived on January 6. He previously played in 10 games (all starts) earlier this season for the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League and averaged 14.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.90 blocks, 1.4 assists and 30.5 minutes while shooting 55.7 percent from the field.

Varnado was originally signed by Miami on September 7 and waived on October 26 after appearing in two games (one start) on the HEAT’s 2012 Summer League team tallying four points, seven rebounds, one steal and a block in 30:07 minutes of action.

Brook Lopez

An injured guard is out but a healthy center is in for the 2013 NBA Eastern conference All-Star team.

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez has been selected as a reserve on the 2013 Eastern Conference All-Star Team by NBA Commissioner David Stern. Lopez replaces injured guard Rajon Rondo, who is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.

This is the first career selection for Lopez, who is averaging a team-leading 18.6 points per game, best among NBA centers. Lopez is also 7th in the league in blocks per game (2.2), 22nd in field goal percentage (52.3%) and is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 18 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game this season.

Lopez is the 13th player in Nets franchise history to be selected to the NBA All-Star Game, joining Buck Williams (three times), Otis Birdsong, M.R. Richardson, Derrick Coleman, Kenny Anderson, Jayson Williams, Stephon Marbury, Jason Kidd (five times), Kenyon Martin, Vince Carter (three times), Devin Harris and Deron Williams.

The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Toyota Center in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 (8 p.m. ET), televised exclusively on TNT and broadcast exclusively on ESPN Radio in the U.S. The All-Star Game will reach fans in more than 215 countries and territories in more than 47 languages.

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

paul pierce

The sky has most definitely changed over the Celtics. The view is much clearer days after Rajon Rondo was lost for the season.

In the same places they once stood and spoke of grandiose plans for May and June, now there is steely perspective. Now they don’t talk so loud.

Kevin Garnett actually laughed when asked yesterday whether there’s a chance the Celts can be better over the remainder of this season — without their All-Star point guard.

“What are you looking for, a ray of hope here, man?” said KG. “Look, I’m just trying to give y’all the basis of what it is right now amongst us and our mindset going in and taking on this big agenda.”

After nearly 48 hours of hearing the calls to put nearly everyone on outbound container ships in Boston Harbor, Garnett and Paul Pierce are now more matter-of-fact than bold.

“You know, I want to retire as a Celtic,” said Pierce. “That’s been my longtime goal. But it’s not in my control. The organization, they make their decisions, but it’s something I desire.”

– Reported by Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald

Derrick Rose

Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Wednesday that Derrick Rose is now taking “full contact” and the only thing left in his return from ACL surgery is putting in more time and then getting acclimated to a game situation.

Rose’s rehab from his April 28 injury and May 12 surgery has steadily progressed to the point that there are no longer any physical limitations.

“He’s full-contact, yeah,” Thibodeau said before Wednesday’s morning shootaround as the Bulls prepared to face the Milwaukee Bucks.

The likely date of Rose’s return is after the Feb. 17 All-Star Game.

“He can do all the cutting, he can do shooting, he can go off the dribble,” Thibodeau said. “So it’s just a matter of him getting acclimated to playing in a game situation.”

– Reported by Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago

pau gasol

The Los Angeles Lakers got another win Tuesday by beating the New Orleans Hornets 111-106, but they might have lost some of the team cohesion they built up over the course of their three-game winning streak.

In what has become a recurring theme since Mike D’Antoni took over as Lakers coach, forward Pau Gasol was benched in the fourth quarter against New Orleans.

The former four-time All-Star, who recently bristled when moved to a bench role as D’Antoni placed Earl Clark in the starting lineup, expressed his displeasure after the game.

“I’m a competitor, I’m a guy that thinks I bring a lot to the table, and not being on the floor is something that I don’t like, I don’t appreciate,” Gasol said.

– Reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles

greg oden

Asked if he was playing at all, Oden said, “I’m just getting my knee ready so when things do happen I’ll be ready to play next year.

“I’m still in the rehab process, but I’m it taking slow. I could possibly be playing at this point, but I’ve done that before and I got injured before, so I’d rather take everything I am doing slow. Right now I’m just doing strength stuff with my knees.”

He said he was confident he would return to the NBA.

“I like how my knee is going, the way it’s going,” he said. “I still like the time I’m taking, just to make sure nothing happens. You can’t predict the future. But if it doesn’t happen, I’m happy.”

– Reported by Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

rudy gay

The final hurdle for the salary dump of Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors hinges on finding a third team to absorb the expiring contract of Raptors guard Jose Calderon, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Grizzlies have inquired with multiple teams over the past several days, searching for a willing partner to facilitate a three-team deal, sources said.

Despite organizational proclamations to the contrary, new Memphis ownership and management is determined to unload Gay and the $37 million owed him as soon as possible, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Calderon has a $10.5 million expiring contract.

– Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports

klay thompson

Tired, short-handed and eager to get home, the Golden State Warriors could have taken the night off.

Instead, they looked like a team that needs to be taken seriously.

Klay Thompson scored a career-high 32 points and the Warriors, playing without three starters and a key reserve, beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-95 Tuesday night.

The Warriors were missing guard Stephen Curry (ankle), center Andrew Bogut (ankle) and forward Harrison Barnes (knee). Also, Carl Landry, one of the first players off Golden State’s bench, didn’t play because of a shoulder injury.

In all, the Warriors were missing an average of 49.1 points and 19.5 rebounds, but that didn’t matter. Golden State shot 54 percent, including 11 for 16 on 3-pointers as it hit the first nine from beyond the arc. The Warriors took control in the second quarter and built a 16-point lead in the second half.

”No matter who is out there, we’re still going to play Warriors basketball,” said David Lee, had 20 points and 13 rebounds. ”We could have mailed it in on the last game of a road trip, but everybody stepped up with a bunch of guys out.” …

Jarrett Jack, starting at point guard, had 26 points and 12 assists.

”I had to channel my inner Stephen Curry tonight,” he said.

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, who missed the morning shootaround because he was sick, scored 14 points on 5-for-17 shooting in 36 minutes. Irving was coming off the best week of his career when he averaged a league-best 35.7 points in three wins, was selected as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star team, and was named the conference’s player of the week on Monday.

– Reported by the Associated Press

lamarcus aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge’s buzzer-beating shot had barely left his hands when teammate Nicolas Batum raised his arms in victory.

Aldridge’s turnaround jumper fell as time ran out and the Portland Trail Blazers came back from a 21-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks 106-104 on Tuesday night.

”I knew,” Batum said. ”I knew he was going to make it.”

Aldridge finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds for Portland, which trailed 101-94 with 2:18 left. J.J. Hickson had a season-high 26 points and 15 rebounds for his 25th double-double…

Dirk Nowitzki finished with 26 points for Dallas, which had won six of its last eight games.

”We cannot let Aldridge get set on the block 10 feet from the basket and let him turn around and shoot a wide-open shot,” Nowitzki said. ”We make those mistakes, especially on the road, and you are going to get bit.”

The Mavericks were without center Chris Kaman, who sustained a concussion in a collision during practice on Monday, according to coach Rick Carlisle. There was no timetable for Kaman’s return. He is averaging 12.4 points and 6.2 rebounds this season.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

brandon jennings

After Milwaukee’s reserves helped turn things around, Brandon Jennings turned the game into a rout.

Jennings scored 20 of his 30 points in the third quarter as the Bucks cruised to a 117-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

Mike Dunleavy had 17 points and Monta Ellis added 14 for the Bucks, who rallied from a 15-point first-quarter deficit to take a 10-point lead at halftime. The Milwaukee reserves outscored Detroit’s 59-41, including 28-10 in the key second quarter.

”We got a ton of energy from our second unit to help us get back into the game - that really set the tone and got everybody’s blood going a little,” Milwaukee coach Jim Boylan said. ”And then Brandon came out and what can you say about that third quarter? Just ‘wow’.”

Jennings, considered a possibility to replace injured Boston guard Rajon Rondo at the All-Star game, certainly didn’t hurt his chances against Detroit. At one stretch in the third period, he hit four straight 3-pointers while accounting for all of the scoring during the Bucks’ 16-0 run that gave them an 85-56 lead…

Rookie Andre Drummond had 18 points and 18 rebounds for Detroit, while Greg Monroe scored 14 points. Drummond became just the second teenager to have an 18-18 game since 1985-86, joining Dwight Howard.

– Reported by the Associated Press 

Lakers edge Hornets for 3rd straight win

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers really think they’re on to something, even if it’s nothing revolutionary. They’re gaining confidence in their newfound attitude and approach with each victory they’re producing.

Not even a fantastic fourth-quarter rally by the New Orleans Hornets could shake Kobe’s conviction that the Lakers have finally figured out a few things about their puzzling season.

Dwight Howard scored 24 points, Bryant had 14 points and 11 assists in another pass-first performance, and the Lakers hung on to beat New Orleans 111-106 Tuesday night for their first three-game winning streak in five weeks.

Earl Clark had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers (20-25), who jumped to an 18-point lead midway through the fourth quarter with their third straight game of patient passing and hard-nosed defense quarterbacked by Bryant. The fifth-leading scorer in NBA history has warmly embraced his new role as a playmaker - no surprise for somebody whose first basketball muse was Magic Johnson.

”It’s working pretty well,” said Bryant, whose 39 assists in the Lakers’ last three games are the biggest three-game total of his 17-season career. ”It’s very easy for me to look over the defense and know where they’re coming from, just kind of line my guys up in the right way and just pick them apart.” …

Eric Gordon scored 18 of his 25 points in the first half for the Hornets, who got within one point on Greivis Vasquez’s running jumper.

Ryan Anderson scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter for the Hornets, who had won eight of 12, including an impressive victory in Memphis two nights earlier at the start of their five-game trip. Anderson, Vasquez and Robin Lopez led the impressive late rally that just fell short, with Lopez finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds.

– Reported by Greg Beacham of the Associated Press

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson is taking a pass on the D-League.

Iverson, the 2001 NBA MVP, has turned down an opportunity to return to basketball with the Dallas Mavericks’ Development League affiliate. He posted a series of tweets on Tuesday explaining his decision to decline an offer from Texas Legends’ co-owner Donnie Nelson to join the team.

“I thank Donnie and Dallas for the consideration,” Iverson wrote, “And while I think the D-League is a great opportunity, it is not the route for me.” …

Moore was in Philadelphia visiting with Sixers owner Josh Harris and CEO Adam Aron about reconnecting Iverson with the 76ers. Iverson led the Sixers to the 2001 NBA finals and is firmly cemented as one of the franchise’s all-time great players. He is the franchise leader in 40-point games (76), 3-pointers (885), and is second behind Hal Greer in points (19,931). He had two stints with the Sixers and last played for them in 2009-10.

– Reported by Dan Gelston of the Associated Press

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