Archive for July, 2013

The Memphis Grizzlies signed 2013 second round draft selection Jamaal Franklin to a multi-year contract, the team announced today.

Franklin (6-5, 191) was selected by Memphis in the second round (41st overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft after leading San Diego State in scoring (17.0 points), rebounding (9.5), assists (3.3) and steals (1.61) last season as a junior. He was the only Division I player to pace his team in all four categories.

The 22-year-old was named the 2011-12 Mountain West Player of the Year after leading the conference in scoring (17.4 points) as a sophomore, becoming the first sophomore to win the award since Andrew Bogut in 2005. Franklin helped guide the Aztecs to three consecutive Mountain West titles and three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including the first three NCAA Tournament victories in program history.

The Moreno Valley, Calif. native finished his collegiate career ranked in the top 20 in SDSU history in points (1,181, 17th), rebounds (605, 14th), three-point field goals (100, 13th), free-throw percentage (.783, 10th) and blocks (51, T-16th).

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have re-signed center Bernard James.

James (6-10, 240) was originally waived by the Mavericks on July 19, 2013 and cleared waivers on July 21, 2013. He played in 46 games (11 starts) last season in his rookie year. He averaged 2.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 9.9 minutes per contest.

The former Florida State Seminole was the 33rd overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. The Mavericks acquired James’ draft rights, along with the draft rights to 24th overall pick Jared Cunningham and 34th overall pick Jae Crowder from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for guard Kelenna Azubuike and the draft rights to 17th overall pick Tyler Zeller.

The Savannah, Ga., native is a former Staff Sergeant who served six years in the Air Force including three tours to Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar. In his senior season at Florida State, James averaged 10.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks while being named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Defensive team. James also won the Most Courageous Award by the United States Basketball Writers of America.

It’s no secret that the 76ers’ Andrew Bynum experiment was a disaster.

The acquisition of the 7-foot center in last summer’s four-team trade ultimately set the Sixers back several seasons. Bynum, who made $16.9 million last year, never played for the team because of chronically injured knees.

After being urged by WIP-FM (94.1) host Angelo Cataldi, new Sixers chief executive officer Scott O’Neil apologized Thursday morning to fans who bought tickets with the hope of seeing Bynum play.

“I apologize on behalf of the Sixers to any fan who invested and thought Bynum was going to be their guy and be the savior,” O’Neil said. “At the end of the day that’s our apology to every fan, not just to [Cataldi].

“However, we are going to take some chances when we can take some chances. And sometimes they’re not going to work. And sometimes they are.”

Reported by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer

The Nets released their preseason schedule yesterday, and two things stood out: the first trip back to Boston for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry, and the absence of the Knicks.

The former Celtics are scheduled to make their first trip to Boston Oct. 23, a little more than a week after the players the Nets shipped to Boston in the blockbuster deal — Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and Keith Bogans — make their return to Brooklyn Oct. 15.

But just as noteworthy is the fact the Nets won’t be facing their crosstown rivals during the preseason, something that hasn’t happened in recent memory. The two teams have faced each other at least once a year going back at least as far as 2002.

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

Milwaukee Bucks waive Gustavo Ayon

Milwaukee Bucks waive Gustavo Ayon

The Milwaukee Bucks have requested waivers on center Gustavo Ayon, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Ayon (6-10, 250) appeared in 12 games for the Bucks last season after being acquired from Orlando on Feb. 21, averaging 4.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists per contest. The native of Tepic, Mexico, has appeared in 109 career games over two seasons split between New Orleans, Orlando and Milwaukee, with career averages of 4.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.

Atlanta Hawks sign Pero Antic

atlanta hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward/center Pero Antić, President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry announced today.

Antić, a 6-foot-11, 260-pound big man, has played with Olympiacos in the Greek Basketball League and the Euroleague the last two seasons, helping the club to back-to-back Euroleague championships. Last year, he averaged 6.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15.2 minutes in 30 games (.432 FG%, .321 3FG%, .714 FT%).

“Pero is a skilled and versatile big man who will add depth to our frontcourt,” Ferry said. “He will fit in well with what we’re building and we’re excited to add him to the team.”

A native of the Republic of Macedonia, Antić has played professionally since 1999, beginning with Rabotnički in his home country. He has also played with AEK Athens (Greece), Red Star Belgrade (Serbia), Academic Sofia (Bulgaria), Lokomotiv Kuban (Russia) and Spartak St. Petersburg (Russia).

Additionally, the 30-year-old Antić is the captain of the Macedonian National Team, helping the team to the semifinals of EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania. He averaged 11.5 points and 8.8 rebounds over 11 games in the tournament, while collecting three double-doubles.

Bobcats Sports & Entertainment President & COO Fred Whitfield today announced the Bobcats will play regional home contests in Asheville and Greensboro, N.C., as part of the team’s 2013 preseason schedule. The Bobcats will take on the Atlanta Hawks on October 8 at Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center and host the Dallas Mavericks on October 19 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Both games, which are presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, will tip off at 7:30 p.m.

“We are constantly looking for ways to bring Bobcats basketball to cities across the Carolinas as we continue to build our fan base regionally,” said Whitfield. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to showcase our team in a pair of great markets like Asheville and Greensboro.”

The game in Asheville will be the team’s first preseason contest in the city, while the club will host a game in Greensboro for the third time.

Brooklyn Nets 2013-14 preseason schedule

The Brooklyn Nets will open their 2013-14 campaign with a seven-game preseason schedule that includes three home contests played at Barclays Center, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

The preseason slate features a home-and-away set with the defending champion Miami Heat, who visit Brooklyn on October 17, while the Nets travel to Miami in the preseason finale on October 25.

The schedule is also highlighted by the return of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to Boston on October 23rd. The former Celtics were acquired by the Nets on July 12th in an offseason blockbuster trade, and will host their former team at Barclays Center on October 15th.

Brooklyn tips off its exhibition schedule on October 8th against the Wizards in Washington, followed by a home tilt in Brooklyn against the Detroit Pistons on October 12th and a road contest against the division rival Philadelphia 76ers on October 14th.

Knicks officially re-sign Kenyon Martin

Knicks officially re-sign Kenyon Martin

New York Knicks Executive Vice President and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has re-signed forward Kenyon Martin.

Martin provides toughness, defense, rebounding, and some offense. Every team needs an enforcer or two, and Martin helped serve that role on the Knicks last season.

“Kenyon did a fantastic job for us once he signed in February,” Grunwald said. “He strengthened our frontline going into an important stretch of the season with some very impressive performances. We are happy to have him back.”

Martin, 6-9, 230-pounds, averaged 7.2 points, on 60.2-percent shooting, and 5.3 rebounds over 23.9 minutes in 18 games (11 starts) with New York this past season. In 12 post-season games (one start), he averaged 5.8 points, on 58.0-percent shooting, 4.5 rebounds and 1.42 blocks over 21.1 minutes. He originally signed the first of two consecutive 10-day contracts on Feb. 23, 2013 and then, for the remainder of the season on Mar. 15.

The Saginaw, MI-native, holds career averages of 12.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 31.4 minutes in 13 seasons with New Jersey, Denver, the L.A. Clippers and New York. In 112 postseason games (88 starts), he has averaged 12.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 32.1 minutes. He was selected by New Jersey, following a four-year collegiate career at the University of Cincinnati, with the first overall pick of 2000 NBA Draft. Martin was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2001 and represented the Eastern Conference at the 2004 NBA All-Star Game.

Toronto Raptors add to coaching staff

Toronto Raptors add to coaching staff

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday the additions Bill Bayno and Jesse Mermuys (MER-miss) to Head Coach Dwane Casey’s staff as assistant coaches. The team also announced the promotion of Jama Mahlalela (JAM-ah MA-la-LAY-La) to assistant coach/player development.

Bayno brings more than 20 years of coaching experience to Toronto at the NBA, college and international levels. He recently completed his second season with Minnesota as an assistant coach for Rick Adelman. Bayno previously spent five seasons with Portland as an assistant coach.

A native of Newburgh, New York, Bayno began his coaching career in 1985 as a graduate assistant for former Raptors assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo at Seton Hall. He also worked for Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown at Kansas and John Calipari at UMass before landing his first head coaching job at UNLV in 1995. Bayno guided the Runnin’ Rebels for five seasons, earning NCAA Tournament bids in 1998 and 2000 and winning four conference championships. He was named co-Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year for the 1999-2000 season after compiling a 23-8 record.

During the offseason Bayno has participated in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program each year since 2005. He has also worked overseas at the Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy and was head coach of the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Mermuys was a member of Kevin McHale’s staff in Houston last season, serving as assistant coach/director of player development. He worked with the Denver Nuggets for four years, first as video coordinator in 2008-09 then promoted to advance scout where he was responsible for scouting upcoming opponents throughout the league. He was elevated to assistant coach/advance scout for the 2011-12 campaign.

Mermuys, a native of Tucson, Arizona, had served in a variety of roles at the collegiate level, including director of basketball operations for the University of Arizona, assistant coach at Southern Utah and Pima Community College and video coordinator at New Mexico State.

Mahlalela moves to the bench following two seasons working in the Raptors’ front-office as director of player development. He started with the Raptors on the community development staff in 2006, leading the Raptors Basketball Academy and various clinics throughout Canada. Mahlalela was named director of basketball operations for NBA Asia in 2009 and oversaw the League’s clinics, youth programs and elite-level development from his base in Hong Kong.

Mahlalela was a four-year starter at the University of British Columbia and an assistant coach for four seasons at the University of Toronto.

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday that Head Coach Dwane Casey and his team will conduct a portion of training camp in Halifax, Nova Scotia on October 4 and 5, featuring an intra-squad game Saturday, October 5 at noon at the Halifax Metro Centre. The team also held part of their 2012 camp in Halifax.

“We are excited to return to Halifax after our great experience last year,” said Casey. “The city offers us state of the art facilities and the opportunity to continue to grow the game of basketball across the country.”

The intra-squad game will provide fans the first opportunity to preview the team for the upcoming season and will include appearances from The Raptor and the Foot Locker Raptors Dance Pak. Last year’s scrimmage attracted more than 8,700 fans and raised $56,000 for local charities.

“We are proud of our continued partnership with the Toronto Raptors and are excited to welcome them to the Halifax Metro Centre for a second year in a row,” said Scott Ferguson, president and CEO of Trade Centre Limited, the provincial Crown corporation that manages the Halifax Metro Centre. “The Raptors have a huge fan base in our community and when an opportunity like this comes along to engage fans and support local charitable organizations at the same time, it is a win for everyone.”

Dallas Mavericks re-sign Brandan Wright

Dallas Mavericks re-sign Brandan Wright

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have re-signed forward/center Brandan Wright.

Wright has not done much in the NBA yet and is considered backup material to come off the bench and provide frontcourt depth.

Wright (6-10, 210) joined the Mavericks via free agency on December 9, 2011. In two seasons with Dallas, Wright has played in 113 games and elevated his game in 2012-13 when he averaged 8.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 18.0 minutes per game while shooting .597 from the field.

Wright was an early-entry candidate into the 2007 NBA Draft and was the eighth overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats. Wright was acquired by Golden State in a draft-day trade in exchange for Jason Richardson and the draft rights to Jermareo Davidson. He has played in 277 games (47 starts) with Golden State, New Jersey and Dallas and holds career averages of 6.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 block and 14.9 minutes per game.

Wright was a standout at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he started all 37 games as a freshman and was named Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year and All-ACC Second Team.

A native of Nashville, Tenn., Wright was a two-time Parade All-American and was the first athlete in the state to ever earn “Mr. Tennessee” honors three times. He also led Brentwood Academy to four consecutive state championships.

Orlando Magic sign guard Ronnie Price

Orlando Magic sign guard Ronnie Price

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard Ronnie Price, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Price is generally considered to be a backup, and is generally expected to come off the bench and play limited minutes.

Last season, Price (6’2”, 190, 6/21/83) played in 39 games with Portland, averaging 2.7 ppg., 1.9 apg. and 1.1 rpg. in 13.1 minpg. He led the Blazers in assists once and scored a season-high 10 points on Nov. 18 vs. Chicago. Price was waived by Portland on Feb. 21, 2013.

“We’re excited to welcome Ronnie (Price) and his family to the Magic organization,” said Hennigan. “We believe Ronnie’s toughness and competitive spirit, along with the varied experiences he’s gained throughout his career, will impact the development of our team in a positive way.”

Not drafted by an NBA franchise, Price was originally signed as a free agent by Sacramento in 2005. He has appeared in 394 career games (33 starts) with Sacramento, Utah, Phoenix and Portland, averaging 3.5 ppg., 1.4 apg. and 1.1 rpg. in 11.6 minpg. Price has also appeared in 28 career playoff outings, averaging 2.2 ppg. and 1.1 apg. in 6.5 minpg.

Before turning pro, Price played three seasons at Utah Valley State, averaging 19.7 ppg., 3.9 rpg., 2.7 apg. and 1.63 stlpg in 89 career games. He was named the 2005 NCAA Division I Independents Player of the Year, earned USBWA All-District 8 honors and led the Wolverines in scoring in all but five games as a senior in 2004-05. Price transferred to Utah Valley State after playing his freshman campaign at Nicholls State.

If the Washington Wizards have their way, star guard John Wall will not be going anywhere anytime soon.

Citing “sources close to the process,” ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported that the Wizards are in “advanced talks” to sign Wall to a five-year, $80 million contract extension. The same report claimed both the team and Wall hope to have an agreement completed and signed by August 1.

Wall, 22, must sign an extension by Oct. 31 declaring him a designated franchise player. Otherwise, he’d become a restricted free agent on July 1, 2014.

Reported by the Sports Xchange

Mike Miller is going back to a former home, agreeing to a deal with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Miller confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Wednesday, about a week after the Miami Heat designated him as their amnesty player after three seasons with the team. Miller will still collect more than $12 million in salary from the Heat over the next two seasons, but will not count against their salary cap or luxury tax.

Reported by the Associated Press

kevin durant

USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo and USA Basketball Men’s National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University) announced at the conclusion of today’s National Team mini-camp in Las Vegas, Nev., that Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), winners of gold medals at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2012 London Olympics, had confirmed they planned to be part of the USA Basketball National Team program through 2016 and will participate in next year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup that will be held Aug. 30-Sept. 14, 2014, in Spain.

“Kevin Durant and Kevin Love have officially announced that they will be a part of our future going forward, including the World Cup next summer, and it means a great deal to us because of how committed they are to our program and we are very appreciative of their early commitment,” said Colangelo when speaking to media following Wednesday’s USA National Team mini-camp practice. “We think it will certainly send a message to some of our other guys, who have indicated they are interested, and so we are very excited.”

“To represent your country, you can’t really take that for granted, so I knew last summer I was going to commit and play this next World Cup,” said Durant, who averaged a U.S. team high 19.5 points per game at the 2012 Olympics and who was named MVP of the 2010 World Championship after posting 22.8 points a game. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity, man, playing against the best in the world with the best in the world, so it should be fun.”

Kevin Love

The 6′10″ Love, who averaged 11.6 points and a team leading 7.6 rebounds per game during the 2012 Olympics, echoed Durant’s comments, stating, “K.D. mentioned it, just being a part of USA Basketball has meant a lot for my career. I’ve been a part of the World Championship team in 2010 and the 2012 Olympic Team in London, just coming off of last summer and then heading forward, just being a part of the family. Jerry and Coach keep mentioning being part of the USA Basketball family, and heading forward we are looking for bigger and brighter things.”

“It’s an exciting day and no more appropriate time to do it than when we are also adding this influx of new, young talent,” said USA and Duke University mentor Krzyzewski.  ”For these veterans, although they are not old guys yet, for these veterans to make that commitment is a huge step. You have gold medal winners in two events. Both of them were 21-year-old guys when we won in Istanbul (2010 FIBA World Championship) and then at 23 they won gold medals (in the 2012 London Olympic Games). They now are the leadership. They are part of the leadership of our program, and they’ve been committed. Kevin (Durant), this is the first camp that we’ve been involved in that he hasn’t been a participant. So, he started when we as 17. He (Kevin Love) started when we was young. It’s the program that Jerry has started since he took over, and it’s paying a lot of dividends. So, it’s an exciting day for USA Basketball; a big day.”

The announcement came in Las Vegas following the final USA National Team mini-camp practice session. The mini-camp, which opened July 22, will close with the 2013 USA Basketball Showcase, a blue-white intra-squad game on Thursday, July 25, 6 p.m. PDT at the Thomas & Mack Arena on the campus of UNLV.

Derek Fisher returns to the OKC Thunder

Derek Fisher returns to the OKC Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder has signed guard Derek Fisher, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

“Derek has proven to be a valuable member of our team and we are excited to have him back,” Presti said. “He has such a positive impact on his teammates and the organization.”

Fisher has appeared in 44 regular season games with Oklahoma City during the past two seasons, averaging 4.5 points, 1.0 assist and 1.2 rebounds in 17.1 minutes per game. In 31 playoff games with the Thunder, he averaged 7.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 22.8 minutes per game.

A five-time NBA champion, Fisher has appeared in 240 career playoff games (158 starts) averaging 8.6 points, 2.4 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 27.3 minutes per contest.

Kenyon Martin is re-signing with Knicks

Kenyon Martin is re-signing with Knicks

The Knicks’ final major free-agent domino has fallen.

Kenyon Martin reached an agreement with New York on Wednesday afternoon, agent Andy Miller said.

The Knicks now have eight rotation players back from last season’s roster.

Mike Woodson may have his hands full trying to define roles for all those players along with newcomers Metta World Peace and Andrea Bargnani.

But Martin’s role is to be well-defined: protect the paint, defend the rim and rebound…

Outside of Martin, Tyson Chandler and World Peace, the Knicks don’t have many players who can defend the paint. Depending on their remaining signings, Martin’s health could be crucial for the Knicks in 2013-14.

Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Atlanta Hawks will sign Pero Antic

According to the agent for Pero Antic, the European power forward/center has agreed to a two-year contract with the Hawks. Misko Raznatovic stated the news Wednesday on Twitter.

The Hawks have not announced the signing as there likely are details that must be finalized. According to Raznatovic, the second year of the deal is an option.

Antic, 6-foot-11, 260 pounds, played in the Greek League the past two seasons. He helped Olympiacos to consecutive Euroleague championships.

Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Golden State Warriors have waived forward/center Dwayne Jones, guard Scott Machado and guard Kevin Murphy, the team announced today.

Jones was signed by Golden State as a free agent on the final day of the 2012-13 regular season (April 17, 2013) and appeared briefly in two playoffs games with the Warriors. Prior to signing with the Warriors, he had appeared in 21 games for the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League, averaging 8.8 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contests.

Machado was originally signed by Golden State as a free agent call-up from the Santa Cruz Warriors on April 7, 2013, and appeared briefly in five playoff games with the Warriors. He also appeared in six games with the Houston Rockets last season and spent significant time in the D-League, averaging 8.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game in 28 contests combined between Santa Cruz and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Murphy was acquired from the Utah Jazz on July 10, 2013, as part of the three-team trade highlighted by the acquisition of Andre Iguodala. As a rookie last season with the Jazz, Murphy appeared in 17 games and averaged 0.9 points in 3.1 minutes per contest. He also appeared in 14 games with the D-League’s Reno Bighorns, averaging 13.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 28.6 minutes per contest.

Golden State’s roster currently stands at 13 players.

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