Archive for June, 2013

Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie denied a New York Daily News report that the team has decided to hire San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown as their new coach.

Saying “nothing of that substance happened,” Hinkie also said after the draft: “We had a lot of things going on. That was not part of what happened in the last several hours.”

Hinkie said he has yet to formally interview anyone following the departure of Doug Collins, who was not retained after three seasons as the club’s coach.

Brown has been an assistant under Spurs coach Gregg Popovich for the past seven seasons and previously served as San Antonio’s player development coach.

Reported by ESPN.com news services

Dirk Nowitzki

Houston’s James Harden and Chandler Parsons aren’t the only Texas residents in the NBA who have gotten a head start on recruiting Dwight Howard.

Dirk Nowitzki has also been in touch with Howard, although the Dallas Mavericks star indicated that he hasn’t been too aggressive with his recruiting efforts.

“I reached out to him and told him we’d love to have him,” Nowitzki said Thursday night. “That’s really about it. It’s not like we call each other every day.”

Grinning, Nowitzki added, “I haven’t written him a letter. We’ve just had a little phone contact, and that’s about it.”

Reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas

Summary of 2013 NBA Draft trades

Summary of 2013 NBA Draft Night Trades

The following trades took place Thursday night, the day of the 2013 NBA draft. All of these trades have been publicly announced. Review of 2013 NBA draft trades:

1) Dallas traded the draft rights to Kelly Olynyk (the 13th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Boston for the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira (the 16th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) and two 2014 second round picks.

2) Minnesota traded the draft rights to Trey Burke (the 9th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Utah for the draft rights to Shabazz Muhammad (the 14th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) and the draft rights to Gorgui Dieng (the 21st player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft).

3) Dallas traded Jared Cunningham, the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira (the 16th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft), and the draft rights to Mike Muscala (the 44th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Atlanta for the draft rights to Shane Larkin (the 18th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft).

4) Minnesota traded Malcolm Lee and the draft rights to André Roberson (the 26th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Golden State for a  2014 second round pick and cash.

5) Denver traded the draft rights to Rudy Gobert (the 27th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Utah for the draft rights to Erick Green (the 46th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) and cash.

6) Memphis traded Darrell Arthur and the draft rights to Joffrey Lauvergne (the 55th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Denver for Kosta Koufos.

7) Cleveland traded the draft rights to Allen Crabbe (the 31st player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Portland for a 2015 and a 2016 second round pick.

8) Golden State traded the draft rights to André Roberson (the 26th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Oklahoma City for the draft rights to Archie Goodwin (the 29th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) and cash.

9) Phoenix traded the draft rights to Nemanja Nedovic (the 30th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Golden State for Malcolm Lee and the draft rights to Archie Goodwin (the 29th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft).

10) Portland traded the draft rights to Grant Jerrett (the 40th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Oklahoma city for cash.

11) Atlanta traded the draft rights to James Ennis (the 50th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Miami for a future second round pick.

12) Indiana traded the draft rights to Colton Iverson (the 53rd player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Boston for cash.

13) Atlanta traded the draft rights to Raul Neto (the 47th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Utah for a 2015 second round pick.

14) Washington traded the draft rights to Nate Wolters (the 38th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) and the draft rights to Arsalan Kazemi (the 54th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Philadelphia for the draft rights to Glen Rice, Jr. (the 35th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft).

The following 2013 NBA draft trades took place Friday morning, the day after the draft.  Both trades were to be announced by the teams immediately.

1) Philadelphia traded the draft rights to Nate Wolters (the 38th player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Milwaukee for the draft rights to Ricardo Ledo (the 43rd player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) and a 2014 second round draft pick.

2) Philadelphia traded the draft rights to Ricardo Ledo (the 43rd player selected in the 2013 NBA Draft) to Dallas for a 2014 second round draft pick.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has exercised the one-year option on forward Dante Cunningham’s contract for the 2013-14 NBA season.

“It was important for us to bring Dante back,” said Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders. “We all saw last year how he fits in really well with Coach Adelman’s style and system. His versatility, energy and ability to knock down the open jumper are all reasons we feel he is an invaluable piece to our team. We are excited to have Dante back for next season.”

Cunningham, 26, enjoyed a career-best season the Wolves in 2012-13, averaging career highs in scoring (8.7 ppg), rebounds (5.1 rpg), assists (0.8 apg) and minutes (25.1 mpg) in a career-high 80 games, including nine starts. He reached double figures on 32 occasions, including 10 of his final 16 contests, and shot a perfect 9-of-9 from the floor on Feb. 2 vs. New Orleans to set a single-game for accuracy. Cunningham also swiped 84 steals (1.05 spg) and ranked fourth in the NBA in steal/turnover ratio (1.50-to-1). The Wolves originally acquired the fourth-year forward from the Memphis Grizzlies on July 24, 2012 in exchange for guard Wayne Ellington.

In 285 career games with Minnesota, Memphis, Charlotte and Portland, Cunningham owns career averages of 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per contest. Cunningham was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft.

The Denver Nuggets have acquired F Darrell Arthur and the draft rights to Joffrey Lauvergne from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for C Kosta Koufos, general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly announced tonight.

Arthur, 6-9, 235, has averaged 6.7 points and 3.9 rebounds in four NBA seasons. He averaged 6.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in 59 games for the Grizzlies in 2012-13.

Selected 27th overall in 2008, Arthur enjoyed his best season in 2010-11, averaging a career-high 9.1 points and 4.3 rebounds. He missed the 2011-12 season while recovering from an Achilles’ injury.

Koufos, 7-0, 265, started 81 games for the Nuggets last season. He averaged a career-high 8.0 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting .581 from the field.

Lauvergne (pronounced LA-vern-yea), 6-11, 240, was selected 55th overall out of France. He played for three top pro leagues in Europe last season – France Pro A, Spanish ABC and Serbia A.

The 21-year-old averaged 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in eight games with Partizan in Serbia, and 6.2 points in 14 games with Elan Chalon in France. He also was a member of the French junior national team in 2011 and will represent the national team this summer.

Atlanta Hawks 2013 NBA Draft results

The Atlanta Hawks selected point guard Dennis Schroeder from Germany with the 17th overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft and acquired the draft rights to Brazilian center Lucas Nogueira (16th overall), forward/center Mike Muscala from Bucknell and guard Jared Cunningham from the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the draft rights to Shane Larkin (18th overall).

Atlanta also acquired two future draft picks: a 2015 second round pick from the Utah Jazz in exchange for the draft rights to Raul Neto (47th overall pick) and a conditional 2017 second rounder from Miami for the draft rights to James Ennis.

Nogueira (new-GAY-ruh), a 7-0 center from Brazil, has played professionally for four seasons (2009-13) with Asefa Estudiantes Madrid II and Asefa Estudiantes Madrid in Spain after spending his early teenage years at Central Club in Niteroi, Brazil.  He averaged 5.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 13.3 minutes in 32 games (.664 FG%, .674 FT%) last season with Asefa Estudiantes Madrid in the Spanish ACB league.

“Lucas has a tremendous level of talent and charisma,” said Hawks President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.  “He can do things with his length, athletically, protecting the rim and finishing around the rim.  He has a good understanding of the game and is a good teammate.”

The 20-year-old has additional international experience as a member of Brazil’s U-18 National Team, helping the club to a second place finish at the 2011 FIBA Americas U-18 Championship in San Antonio, TX.  Nogueira also played for the World Select Team, facing off against the U.S. Junior National Team at the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit.

Schroeder (Shroe-derr), a 6-foot-1 point guard from Germany, has played professionally in Germany since 2009-10.  The four-year veteran most recently was a member of the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig in the country’s top league, the Beko League.  He put up 11.9 points, 3.3 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 24.7 minutes in 31 games (.424 FG%, .402 3FG%, .838 FT%) last season.

“Dennis is tenacious and athletic,” said Ferry.  “He’s a highly competitive, two-way player and I think he can have a really good future in the NBA with hard work, development and opportunity.”

The 20-year-old has represented Germany in junior national play in the 2012 U-20 Euros and the 2011 U-18 Euros, and was also a member of the World Select Team at the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit.

The Portland Trail Blazers selected CJ McCollum, Jeff Withey and Marko Todorovic in the 2013 NBA Draft. Portland acquired the draft rights to Allen Crabbe, the 31st overall pick, from Cleveland in exchange for a 2015 second round pick and a 2016 second round selection. The Trail Blazers also traded 40th overall pick Grant Jerrett to the Oklahoma City Thunder for cash considerations.

“It was a great night for our team,” said Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen. “CJ McCollum was the player we wanted going into the draft, and I’m very excited to watch him thrill our fans in the Rose Garden next season.”

Portland selected McCollum, 21, with the 10th overall pick. The Canton, Ohio, native averaged 21.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.05 steals and 32.9 minutes in 111 games over four seasons at Lehigh. A two-time Patriot League Player of the Year, McCollum is the all-time scoring leader in league history with 2,361 career points. McCollum (6-4, 200) is the first player from Lehigh ever selected in the NBA Draft.

“We’re pleased with how tonight went because we were able to select the players we identified as priorities in addition to some that we didn’t think would be available given our original draft range,” said General Manager Neil Olshey. “Now we’ll get into Summer League, see what we have on the floor with our young guys and add high-caliber veterans as we work to create a more competitive team for next season.”

The Trail Blazers selected Withey, 23, out of Kansas with the 39th overall pick. The two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year is the Big 12’s career leader with 312 blocks. Withey (7-0, 235) averaged 8.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.67 blocks and 19.8 minutes in 117 games over four seasons.

Portland drafted Todorovic, 21, with the 45th overall selection. The Podgorica, Montenegro, native made his Spanish ACB league debut with DKV Joventut Badalona at the age of 18. Todorovic (6-10, 243) spent the 2012-13 season with F.C. Barcelona, averaging 2.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 6.0 minutes in 20 games.

Crabbe (6-6, 210) played three seasons at California, averaging 15.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 34.7 minutes in 98 games. He was named Pac-12 Player of the Year by coaches in 2013 when he garnered All-Pac-12 honors for the third consecutive season. Crabbe, 21, led all Pac-12 players as a junior last season with 607 points scored.

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have acquired the draft rights to guard/forward James Ennis (50th overall) from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for a future second round pick.

“We were happy to get into the draft,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We feel that James Ennis, with his size and athleticism, has a huge upside and someone we hope can develop into a high-quality NBA player.”

Ennis appeared in 67 collegiate games for Long Beach State during his junior and senior seasons and averaged 13.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.67 steals, 1.03 blocks and 31.0 minutes while shooting 49.3 percent from the field, 35.4 percent from three-point range and 78.8 percent from the foul line. Despite playing just two seasons for the 49ers, he finished fifth all-time in free throw percentage, fifth in total blocks (69) and ninth in total rebounds (582). Prior to his stint at LBSU, he played two junior college seasons, first at Oxnard College and then at Ventura College, where he totaled 1,053 points, including scoring in double-figures in 48-of-52 games.

During his senior season at Long Beach State, Ennis appeared in 33 games (32 starts) averaging 16.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.76 steals, 1.30 blocks and 33.1 minutes while shooting 49.1 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from three-point range and 83.4 percent from the foul line. He ranked first on the team in scoring average and rebounds per game. He scored in double-figures in each of his 33 games, including a 29-point, 15-rebound double-double vs. BYU-Hawaii on December 15. He capped his senior year as the Big West Conference Player of the Year.

The Houston Rockets used the 34th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft to select Murray State guard Isaiah Canaan (pronounced Cannon).

“I was so hyped to see my name come across the board and just glad to be a part of the Houston Rockets,” said Canaan on being drafted by Houston. “I’ve always been the underdog and I’m thankful that Houston believes in me. I’m really looking forward to getting there and showing what I’m capable of doing. I’m a competitor. I’m a winner.”

Canaan (6-0, 188, Murray State) played in 132 career games over four seasons at Murray State, averaging 15.5 points, 2.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds. Overall, Canaan scored over 2,000 points in his collegiate career (2,050) while shooting 304-of-725 (.419) from beyond the arc. He was named Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year as a junior and OVC Co-Player of the Year as a senior. The Biloxi, Mississippi native also earned Honorable Mention All-America honors from the Associated Press as a senior after ranking first on team in scoring (21.8 ppg), assists (4.3 apg) and steals (1.5 spg). Canaan, who scored in double figures in all 31 games in 2012-13, netted a season-high 35 points against Morehead. He added 22 points, a career-high 10 assists and nine rebounds against Belmont State. As a junior, Canaan also ranked first on team in scoring (19.0 ppg) and assists (3.6 apg).

“Isaiah is one of the best shooters to come out off college in awhile,” said Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey on Canaan. “He is not just an elite 3-point shooter, but he can take people off the bounce and fill it up, and do it efficiently. He is a tough kid and a really good kid. Isaiah is someone ready to play. I really see a player who is going to succeed.”

The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired the draft rights to South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters from the Philadelphia 76ers, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Wolters was originally selected by the Washington Wizards with the 38th overall pick in last night’s draft. His rights were subsequently acquired by Philadelphia before being moved to Milwaukee. In exchange for the draft rights to Wolters, the Bucks sent the draft rights to Ricky Ledo, the 43rd overall pick in the draft, and a future second round pick to the Sixers.

Wolters (6-4, 190) played four years of college basketball at South Dakota State University (2009-13), where he left holding school records for scoring (2,353 points), assists (663) and free throws made (644) over his career. He is one of only four players in Division I history to leave school with 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 600 assists, and the only player in South Dakota State history to surpass the 2,000-point mark.

As a senior in 2012-13, Wolters averaged 22.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game, earning Third Team All-American and First Team All-Summit League honors in addition to being named the 2013 Summit League Player of the Year. He was selected to the First Team All-Summit League his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Wolters scored in double figures in all but 13 of his 128 games as a Jackrabbit.

The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement in principle with Lawrence Frank, Roy Rogers and Eric Hughes to serve as assistant coaches on Head Coach Jason Kidd’s staff, General Manager Billy King announced today.

In addition, Doug Overton will remain on the staff as an assistant coach.

“I am very pleased to add Lawrence, Roy, Eric and Doug to my staff,” said Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd. “They collectively bring a wealth of NBA experience to our bench, both from a coach and player perspective.  This combination will not only prove beneficial to me, but will be an invaluable asset to our players as well.”

Lawrence Frank, the franchise’s all-time leader in NBA coaching victories, coached the Nets for parts of seven seasons (2004-2009) over which time he amassed a regular season mark of 225-241 (.483). Under Frank’s direction, New Jersey made four consecutive postseason appearances (2004-07) and won two Atlantic Division titles (2004, 2006). Frank holds an 18-20 (.474) record in the playoffs, advancing the Nets to the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2004, 2006 and 2007. Frank took over the Nets’ head coaching helm midway through the 2003-04 season, where he proceeded to lead the Nets to 13 straight victories, setting the NBA mark for the most consecutive wins by a head coach to begin a career. Frank’s NBA coaching career began in Vancouver, where he spent three seasons as an assistant under Brian Hill.  Following his stint with the Grizzlies, Frank joined the Nets as an assistant coach.  Serving under Head Coach Byron Scott, Frank helped lead the Nets to two Easter Conference Championships in 2002 and 2003, marking the first NBA Finals appearances in franchise history. After three and a half seasons as an assistant, Frank was named interim head coach of the Nets on Jan. 26, 2004, and took over on a permanent basis on June 21, 2004. Following his term with the Nets, Frank served as an assistant coach in Boston in 2010-11 before being named head coach of the Detroit Pistons on August 3, 2011.  In two seasons with Detroit, Frank guided the Pistons to a 54-94 (.365) overall record.  In 614 games, Frank holds a career coaching record of 279-335 (.454).

Roy Rogers began his NBA coaching career with the Nets, serving as an assistant coach from 2008-2010.  Most recently, Rogers worked as an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons for two seasons (2011-2013) under head coach Lawrence Frank.  Rogers also served as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics as part of Doc Rivers’ staff in 2010-11.  Prior to his first stint with the Nets, he coached in the NBA Development League with the Austin Toros (2007-08), Tulsa 66ers (2005-07) and Huntsville Flight (2004-05).  Selected 22nd overall in the 1996 NBA Draft out of the University of Alabama, Rogers spent three years in the NBA. Rogers averaged 4.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in his NBA career split between four teams (Vancouver, Boston, Toronto and Denver).  He also played four seasons (2000-04) of professional basketball internationally with stops in Russia, Italy, Greece and Poland.

Eric Hughes joins the Nets after spending the past six seasons with the Toronto Raptors.  Originally hired by Toronto in 2007-08 as a basketball development consultant, Hughes was promoted to assistant coach/basketball development on July 1, 2009.   Prior to his stint with the Raptors, Hughes worked as the director of summer player development for Goodwin Sports Management in Seattle for five years (2002-2007), creating workout programs and training NBA players Jamal Crawford, Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Dwight Howard, Gary Payton, Nate Robinson and Rodney Stuckey.  He had also been the head coach at Spokane Community College in Spokane, Washington during that time. Hughes compiled an 88-61 (.590) mark in his five seasons, leading the Bigfoot’s to the Eastern Region championship in 2005 and 2006, and was named Eastern Region Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2006.  Hughes also served as an assistant coach under Bob Bender at the University of Washington from 1993-2002, as an assistant at the University of California from 1991-93, when Jason Kidd played there, and as a graduate assistant at Illinois State from 1989-91.

Doug Overton will enter his sixth season with the Nets and fourth as an assistant coach. Overton began his coaching career as an assistant coach for Phil Martelli at Saint Joseph’s during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns. Prior to his position at Saint Joseph’s, the Philadelphia native spent the 2005-06 season as the director of player development for the Philadelphia 76ers, where he assisted the coaching and scouting staffs and worked with the team’s community outreach programs.  An 11-year NBA veteran, Overton spent three different stints with the Nets (1998-99, 2000-01 and 2003-04), averaging 6.0 points and 2.8 assists in 26 games. In 499 career games with seven teams (Washington, Denver, Orlando, New Jersey, Boston, Charlotte and Philadelphia), the former point guard averaged 4.5 points and 2.1 assists.

kevin garnett

The Brooklyn Nets will acquire Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the Boston Celtics in a deal that was still developing as the NBA draft ended, according to a person with knowledge of the details.

The trade can’t be completed until July 10, after next season’s salary cap is set, so pieces were still being discussed early Friday. But the person says the Nets will get the two perennial All-Stars, signaling the breakup of the Celtics’ veteran core…

Yahoo Sports, which first reported the talks, said the Nets would also get veteran Jason Terry from Boston and send Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, the expiring deal of Kris Humphries and three future first-round picks to Boston.

On the day they hosted the NBA draft, the Nets were making much bigger noise with the transaction that will send Pierce and Garnett to a new Atlantic Division home.

The Celtics already let Doc Rivers leave after acquiring a draft pick from the Los Angeles Clippers. Ray Allen departed last summer for Miami, and now the other two members of the Big Three that led the Celtics to an NBA title and within a victory of a second will soon be gone as well.

Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Suns pick Alex Len at No. 5 in NBA Draft

The Phoenix Suns chose Ukrainian center Alex Len with the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft, passing on Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore.

The 7-foot-1 Len, who just turned 20, played two seasons at Maryland. Last year he averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Len came to Phoenix but did not work out because he is recovering from a stress fracture in his foot.

Because of a couple of surprise picks ahead of them, the Suns found that Noel, the big center from Kentucky, and McLemore, the sharpshooting guard from Kansas, were still available.

Reported by Bob Baum of the Associated Press

The Charlotte Bobcats have selected Indiana center Cody Zeller with the No. 4 pick in the NBA draft.

Bobcats general manager Rich Cho said earlier in the week the Bobcats needed a big man and the 7-foot, 240-pound Zeller should provide help on the boards.

Zeller averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds last season as a sophomore for the Hoosiers. He finished as Indiana’s career record holder in field goal percentage, shooting 59.1 percent from the floor.

Two Hoosiers were picked in the top four in the draft. Victor Oladipo was selected second overall by Orlando.

Reported by Steve Reed of the Associated Press

The Washington Wizards have selected Georgetown sophomore Otto Porter, Jr. with the third pick in the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-8 Porter provides the Wizards a small forward to go with a backcourt of former first-round picks John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Porter - the Big East Player of the Year - is very familiar with the Wizards’ home floor because he played on it the past two seasons with the Hoyas.

The pick came after Cleveland took UNLV forward Anthony Bennett with the first overall pick and Orlando selected center Victor Oladipo of Indiana.

Reported by the Associated Press

The Orlando Magic have selected Indiana guard Victor Oladipo with the second pick in the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-4 Oladipo was a first-team AP All-American after averaging 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a junior, leading the Hoosiers to their first outright Big Ten regular-season championship in 20 years. He set Indiana’s record for steals in a season (78) and led the Big Ten with a .599 field goal percentage.

The Magic are coming off an NBA-worst 20-62 season after six straight playoff seasons and a trip to the NBA Finals in 2009.

Reported by the Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected UNLV freshman Anthony Bennett with the No. 1 pick Thursday night, making him the first Canadian to be the top choice and getting the NBA draft off to a surprising start.

The Cavaliers passed on big men Nerlens Noel and Alex Len, who went to Phoenix at No. 5, in favor of the forward who has starred for Canada’s junior national teams and was the Mountain West Conference player of the year.

There was suspense right until the end, either because the Cavs were unsure who they wanted or were trying to trade the pick. Most predictions had them taking one of the big men.

David Stern, booed heavily in his final draft as commissioner, added to the surprise of the moment by pausing slightly before announcing the Cavs’ pick, their first at No. 1 since taking All-Star Kyrie Irving in 2011.

Orlando passed on both of the big men, too, going with Indiana swingman Victor Oladipo with the No. 2 pick. Washington took Otto Porter Jr. with the third pick, keeping the Georgetown star local.

Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony said Thursday that his shoulder is doing great and he doesn’t believe that he’ll need surgery.

Anthony injured his shoulder late in the Celtics’ series and played through the pain in the Knicks’ six-game loss to the Pacers in the next round after which it was revealed he had a small tear in his left shoulder. A source said at the time that Anthony would rehab it for a month and would not need surgery.

“Much better. It feels much better. I have had about four to five weeks to let it rest and heal up,” Anthony said after a ceremony in which he refurbished two basketball courts at the Red Hook apartments in Brooklyn.

“It’s not 100 percent yet but it’s much better.”

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

Nikola Pekovic

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has extended a qualifying offer to Nikola Pekovic, making him a restricted free agent.

Pekovic, 27, concluded the 2012-13 season, his third in the NBA, with career highs in scoring (16.3 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg) and minutes (31.6 mpg). In 62 games, all starts, the 6-11 center finished 20th in the NBA in field goal accuracy at 52.0%, while shooting 74.4% from the free throw line. Pekovic collected a team-high 26 points/rebound double-doubles last season, including 11 games with 20+ points and 10+ rebounds. He became the first Wolves player in over four years to be named Western Conference Player of the Week when he averaged 25.0 points, on 58.9% shooting, and 8.5 rebounds in four contests from April 1 - 7.

In 174 NBA games, 108 starts, Pekovic owns career averages of 11.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 23.6 minutes per contest. The Wolves originally selected the Montenegro native with the 31st overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

David Joerger

The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that the team has hired David Joerger (YAY-ger) as the team’s next head coach.

“We are thrilled to announce we have hired Dave Joerger as the next head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies,” said CEO & Managing Partner Jason Levien. “Not only do we think Dave will continue to grow the team’s league-best defensive identity, but we believe we have one of the league’s budding coaching talents to lead our team. We are happy the Joerger family will continue to call Memphis home for years to come.”

One of the most successful minor league basketball coaches in history, Joerger recently completed his sixth season as an assistant on the Grizzlies’ bench and his second as lead assistant.

With Joerger on the sidelines, the Grizzlies have steadily become one of the league’s most tenacious defenses, leading the NBA in points allowed (89.3) and ranking second in overall defensive rating.   Memphis has improved its defensive rating every season with Joerger on the bench.

The Grizzlies have generated 2,105 steals over the past three seasons, 180 more than any other NBA team in that time span, and paced the league in both steals per game and forced turnovers during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.  Memphis also was represented on the 2012-13 NBA All-Defensive Teams by three starters, including Tony Allen (First Team), 2012-13 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol (Second Team) and Mike Conley (Second Team).  Allen has made the All-Defensive Team in each of the past three seasons, including two consecutive First Team selections.

Before earning his first NBA assistant coaching job with the Grizzlies, Joerger gained fame as head coach of the 2007 NBA D-League Champion Dakota Wizards.  Dakota’s 2007 championship was Joerger’s fifth as a head coach.  With one International Basketball Association (IBA) title and three in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), Joerger also owns two CBA Coach of the Year Awards and a head coaching record of 232-117 (.665).

After finishing his playing career at Moorhead State, Joerger got his start as the Dakota Wizards’ general manager when the franchise was a member of the IBA. He received his first opportunity on the sidelines as an assistant coach during the 1997-98 season.  After three years as an assistant, Joerger replaced head coach Duane Ticknor and led the Wizards to their first championship during the 2000-01 season. Prior to the 2001-02 season, the Wizards moved into the CBA where Joerger led the team to another title. Continuing his success, Joerger captured his third title in four years after the Wizards defeated the Idaho Stampede to win the 2004 CBA Championship.

During the summer of 2004, Joerger moved to Sioux Falls to become the head coach of the Skyforce and proceeded to win his fourth CBA Championship, giving him more minor league championships than other notable minor-league-turned-NBA head coaches Phil Jackson, George Karl, Flip Saunders and Eric Musselman combined.

Basketball blog