Archive for July 1st, 2013

One of the first agreements in the 2013 NBA free agency period is in Brooklyn, where the Nets will keep a big-man that can score points in a hurry.

Andray Blatche

The Nets continued their busy offseason on the opening day of free agency, coming to an agreement to re-sign Andray Blatche to a one-year, $1.4 million deal Monday night.

Retaining Blatche, which won’t be official until July 10, was crucial for the Nets, who need to retain as much depth as possible up and down their roster, and particularly behind newly acquired Kevin Garnett.

After the Nets signed Blatche after he’d been amnestied by the Wizards last summer, the 6-foot-11 big man – who is capable of playing both power forward and center – had a terrific season for the Nets, proving to be one of the biggest bargain signings in the entire league last year. Blatche averaged 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds coming off the bench for much of the season and pairing with Brook Lopez to give the Nets the best 1-2 combination at center in the NBA.”

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post (Blog)

The New Orleans Pelicans have made an offer to Sacramento Kings restricted free agent guard Tyreke Evans, two people familiar with the situation said Monday.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the offer was supposed to remain private. Several media outlets reported the deal was for four years and ranging between $40 million and $48 million.

Because he’s a restricted free agent, the Kings will have the opportunity to match any offers Evans signs. Contracts can’t be inked until July 10, after next season’s salary cap is set.

– Reported by Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has named Patrick Ewing Associate Head Coach and Bob Beyer, Stephen Silas, Bob Weiss and Mark Price Assistant Coaches on the staff of new Head Coach Steve Clifford.

“I am extremely pleased with the staff we’ve put together,” said Clifford.  “These are all guys that I have a comfort level with and that I feel share my philosophies about the NBA and the game of basketball.  This group has tremendous experience in this league, both as coaches and players, and has great knowledge of all aspects of the game.  I’ve worked with Patrick, Bob Beyer and Mark before and have seen first-hand what they are capable of, and I look forward to adding Stephen and Bob Weiss to that group as we work together to build this team.”

Clifford, Ewing and Beyer worked together as assistant coaches with the Orlando Magic from 2007-12, where they were joined by Price in 2011-12.  During five seasons on Stan Van Gundy’s staff, the trio helped the Magic to a 259-135 record (.657) and five straight playoff appearances, advancing to the 2009 NBA Finals.

A 17-year NBA veteran and member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player, Ewing brings eight years of NBA assistant coaching experience to the Bobcats.  He has previously been an assistant coach with the Wizards (2003-04), Rockets (2004-06) and Magic, serving alongside Clifford in both Houston and Orlando.  Ewing was the first overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft and was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.  His achievements as a player include the 1985-86 NBA Rookie of the Year award, 11 NBA All-Star Game appearances, First Team All-NBA honors in 1989-90 and Second Team All-NBA honors six additional times, and three All-Defensive Second Team selections.  Ewing also owns two Olympic gold medals, having played for the U.S. men’s national team in 1984 and 1992.

Beyer, who spent the 2012-13 season as an assistant with the Warriors, brings 27 years of coaching experience at the NBA and college levels.  Along with the Warriors and Magic, he also spent two years with the Raptors, serving as an assistant coach in 2003-04 and an advance scout in 2004-05.  Beyer spent three years as head coach at Siena College from 1994-97.  His college career also includes assistant coaching stints at Albany (1985-89), Siena (1989-93), Wisconsin (1993-94), Northwestern (1997-2000), Texas Tech (2001-03) and Dayton (2005-07).

Silas remains with the Bobcats, having spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the team.  His 12 years of coaching experience also includes three seasons with the Hornets (2000-03), two seasons with the Cavaliers (2003-05) and four and a half seasons with the Warriors (2006-10).  Silas also served as an advance and college scout for the Hornets in 1999-2000 and an advance scout for the Wizards in 2005-06.  When he was hired as an assistant coach with the Hornets in 2000, he was the youngest assistant in the NBA at the age of 27.

Weiss has spent 29 of his 32 years as a coach in the NBA, including seven seasons as a head coach for the Spurs (1986-88), Hawks (1990-93), Clippers (1993-94) and SuperSonics (2005-06).  His tenure as an assistant coach includes stops with the Clippers (1977-80), Mavericks (1980-86), Magic (1989-90), SuperSonics (1994-2005) and Hawks (2012-13).  Weiss was also the first former NBA head coach to be a head coach in China, leading the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons from 2008-10 and the Shandong Lions in 2010-11.  The 22nd overall pick in the 1965 NBA Draft, Weiss played in the NBA for 12 seasons, averaging 7.6 points and 3.7 assists in 783 career games and winning the 1967 NBA Championship with the 76ers.

One of the greatest shooters in NBA history, Price has previously served as a player development coach for the Magic in 2011-12, a shooting coach with the Warriors in 2010-11 and a shooting consultant for the Grizzlies (2007-08) and Hawks (2008-10).  The four-time NBA All-Star ranks second in league history in career free-throw percentage (.904) and 29th in career three-point percentage (.402).  He was named First Team All-NBA in 1992-93 and earned Third Team All-NBA honors three more times during his 12-year career.  Price, who was the 25th overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft, averaged 15.2 points and 6.7 assists in 722 career games played.

nate mcmillan

The Indiana Pacers announced Monday that Nate McMillan has been hired as an associate head coach.

McMillan replaces Brian Shaw, who became head coach at Denver.

McMillan comes to the Pacers with a vast basketball background as a player and as a coach. After playing collegiately at North Carolina State, McMillan was drafted by Seattle (30th overall) in the 1986 NBA Draft. He played his entire 12-year career with the Sonics, had his number (10) retired and became their coach in 2000 and remained in Seattle until after the 2005 season. He then went to Portland that year and coached the Trail Blazers until he was let go in March, 2012. McMillan also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team in the 2006 FIBA World Championships, the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics.

“We are extremely thrilled to have Nate join our staff,” said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. “To get someone with his experience as a player and a coach will be extremely valuable to our players, to our staff and to our franchise.”

“To be able to join a respected franchise like this is a great opportunity,” said McMillan. “It’s obvious the potential this team has to compete for a championship and to come on board at a time like this is great timing for me. I really look forward to working with this coaching staff and the players. I have heard nothing but good things about everyone involved and that made this a very easy decision to make.”

The Minnesota Timberwolves can us a lot of things. Better shooting from point guard  Ricky Rubio. That plus health from Kevin Love. And some more talent would help as well, especially at the shooting guard and small forward positions.

OJ Mayo

The NBA’s free-agency negotiating period began at 11:01 p.m. Sunday and Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders was in Los Angeles with $7 million or more in his pocket to spend on a starting shooting guard.

Agents for unrestricted free agents O.J. Mayo, J.J. Redick, Kevin Martin and Mike Dunleavy are all based there.

Wolves unrestricted free agent Chase Budinger — who along with restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic is one of the team’s top two priorities, according to Saunders — also lives just down the freeway in San Diego.

Teams can strike deals with free agents as soon as the clock struck midnight July 1 in New York City — or 9 p.m. in California — but no contracts can officially be signed until a moratorium period ends July 10, after the NBA’s salary cap for next season is set.

Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

NBA free agency began today, with negotiations now, and signings starting in nine days. And the Hornets — excuse me — the New Orleans Pelicans — immediately expressed interest in Tyreke Evans.

tyreke evans

Kings guard Tyreke Evans, a restricted free agent, met with the New Orleans Pelicans in Los Angeles on Sunday night, shortly after the free-agency period opened at 9:01 p.m. PDT, The Bee has learned.

Evans’ agent, Arn Tellum, is based in Southern California.

The Kings extended a qualifying offer to Evans last week, worth $6.9 million for the upcoming season. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard can negotiate with other teams and sign an offer sheet, and the Kings have until July 10 to match an offer or negotiate a sign-and-trade deal. The Pelicans could send point guard Greivis Vasquez or shooting guard Eric Gordon.

Read more here:

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee 

Rockets meet with Howard as NBA free agency opens

The Houston Rockets have met with Dwight Howard to begin the NBA’s free agency period.

With Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler joining them, the Rockets pitched Howard on leaving Los Angeles and joining All-Star James Harden in Houston.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey wrote on Twitter early Monday that it great meeting with Howard and that having Olajuwon and Drexler there ”made it obvious how (Howard and Harden) could be the next (great) big/wing combo.”

Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

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