Archive for July 8th, 2013

Cleveland Cavaliers interested in Andrew Bynum

Free agent center Andrew Bynum is in town today visiting the Cavaliers, a league source confirmed. ESPN.com first reported the visit.

Bynum missed all of last season with problems in both knees. He was originally diagnosed with a bone bruise in his right knee in September and received injections in both September and October. He injured his left knee during a bowling event in November and had surgery in March to clear debris from both knees.

The Cavs have between $12 and $15 million in cap space and are prepared to make a significant one-year offer that would consume most of that cap space. ESPN reported Bynum will also meet this week with the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks before making a decision.

Reported by Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal

The Brooklyn Nets have promoted Frank Zanin to Assistant General Manager where he will work alongside Assistant General Manager Bobby Marks, General Manager Billy King announced today. The Nets also promoted Matt Riccardi to Basketball Operations Manager, Sean Sweeney to Video Operations Manager, Scott Sereday to Statistical Analyst and Brennan Blair to Video Coordinator.

Zanin begins his fourth year with the Nets, having served last season as the director of player procurement and the prior two seasons as the team’s pro personnel scout. He began his NBA career in 1999 as a video intern with the Philadelphia 76ers, and then was hired as the team’s video coordinator the following season, a position he held until 2003, when he was promoted to advance scout/assistant coach.  In 2006, Zanin began a two-year tenure as the team’s pro personnel scout. Zanin is a 1999 graduate of West Chester University, where he was a three-year starter on the basketball team and received his degree in business management.

Riccardi is in his fifth season with the organization, serving the past two seasons as basketball operations coordinator. He began his NBA career during the 2009-2010 season as a basketball operations intern before being hired as a team assistant for the following season. Riccardi is a 2009 graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, where he was a member of the basketball team for four seasons and received a masters of business administration and an undergraduate degree in business management.

Sweeney enters his third season with the team, previously working as the team’s video coordinator. Before joining the Nets, Sweeney was the video coordinator at the University of Northern Iowa with prior stops as a coach at the Academy of Art University and the University of Evansville, where he began as director of operations. Sweeney is a graduate of St. Thomas (MN), where he was team captain and a 2006 All-Conference selection.

Sereday enters his third season with the organization, and first as full-time statistical analyst. Prior to the Nets, he worked as an actuary for Buck Consultants, LLC in Secaucus, NJ for over four years. Sereday obtained a masters in statistics from Columbia University in 2012 and a bachelors in statistics from Rutgers University in 2005.

Blair begins his fourth season with the Nets, having most recently served as assistant video coordinator last season. Since 2010-11, he has held various internship positions with the information technology, basketball operations and video departments, before being hired last year. Blair is a 2012 graduate of Seton Hall University, where he received his business degree with a double major in sports management and information technology management.

Rasheed Wallace to be Detroit Pistons assistant coach

It hasn’t been announced, but former Piston Rasheed Wallace will join the Pistons’ coaching staff this season.

Wallace strolled into the Amway Center wearing a polo shirt with the Pistons’ team logo on Monday, and prompted some light teasing when observers thought he was wearing a Celtics baseball hat. Turns out Wallace is a big fan of Notre Dame football.

Wallace played for the Pistons from 2004-09, being the final piece to a championship puzzle in 2004, and has generally been regarded as one of the smarter players in the game.

In every year but one in Detroit, Wallace helped the Pistons get to the Eastern Conference finals and twice the Pistons advanced to the NBA Finals.

Reported by Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News

InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner says: Rasheed can set an NBA record for most technical fouls called on an assistant coach

Kevin Durant and WNBA player Monica Wright are engaged

Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is engaged to Minnesota Lynx guard Monica Wright.

Wright confirmed the engagement following Minnesota’s 91-59 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday night…

Wright is in her fourth season in the WNBA. She played her college ball at Virginia and turns 25 on July 15.

Reported by the Associated Press

Josh Smith

The Pistons’ acquisition of Josh Smith sent shock waves through the NBA and it received positive reactions from two of the team’s building blocks.

Smith will make life easier for Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond, the team’s first-round picks in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

“Honestly, he’s a great player,” Drummond said after the Pistons‘ 76-67 Summer League win over the Brooklyn Nets Sunday at the Amway Center. “He creates shots for himself and his teammates. He’s (like) a big guard.”

Knight, who didn’t play with the summer league team but practiced with them this week, approved of the deal — which was to be expected.

“Athletic player, competitor, tough, tough guy,” he said. “If he does decide to come, he’ll be a great player to have.”

Smith agreed to a four-year, $54 million deal with the Pistons Saturday afternoon, which sprouted from the Pistons having interest in the former Atlanta Hawks forward for years on end.

Reported by Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News

Last season was not the rookie experience that 76ers power forward Arnett Moultrie had hoped for.

Injuring his ankle during a predraft workout in Sacramento, Calif., kept him out of the 2012 Orlando Pro Summer League. Still hampered by the injury in training camp, he wasn’t in shape at the start of the season. Then, in December, he was sent down to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Developmental League for seven games.

Moultrie certainly isn’t happy about the first impression he left, but that experience is part of what is driving the 22-year-old as he prepares for a second chance to get his career going in the right direction.

“It definitely just motivated me to stay in the gym and keep bettering myself,” Moultrie said. “So when the time comes next season, I can show Philadelphia what I bring to the Sixers.”

Reported by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia 76ers have a new CEO

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that respected industry veteran Scott O’Neil has been named the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective July 16, with responsibility for overseeing every aspect of the team’s business operations. He will also serve as an Alternate Governor of the National Basketball Association.

“On behalf of our entire ownership group, I am very excited to welcome Scott O’Neil to the Sixers,” Managing Owner Josh Harris said. “We believe that Scott’s unique blend of experience, relationships and demonstrated leadership over the past two decades at the NBA, Madison Square Garden Sports and the Philadelphia Eagles will make him the perfect CEO of our business as we work to take the team to the next level.

“With Scott and Sam Hinkie, President of Basketball Operations and General Manager, I believe we have put in place a dynamic, industry-leading management team that should help position the Sixers for success both on and off the court in the future,“ Harris added.

“I have a great deal of respect for Josh Harris and the other members of the Sixers ownership group, and I am truly looking forward to working with them,” O’Neil said. “Josh wants to win – on and off the court – and has demonstrated a strong commitment to building the right organization from top to bottom. Philadelphia is a city built on hard work, grit and the strongest sense of community that exists anywhere in the country. We will work every day to live those values, integrate ourselves into the fabric of this community, and make our fans and business partners proud to be part of our continued resurgence.”

O’Neil will succeed Adam Aron, who will become Chairman and CEO of a new investment vehicle, funded by members of the Sixers ownership group. Aron also will remain a Sixers Co-Owner and Board member.

“I want to thank Adam Aron for his important contributions to the Sixers during a key period in the development of the team,” Harris said. “Adam was instrumental in re-engaging the Sixers fan base and guiding our ownership group. I am pleased he will remain active with the Sixers, and look forward to continuing to work closely with him as he aggressively explores investment possibilities.”

Aron commented, “I have enjoyed every single second of my association with the Philadelphia 76ers, and look forward to continuing to root for the Sixers as Co-Owner and Board member. Even so, as I look at the current investment landscape, my enthusiasm is boundless for what is to come as I commence an exciting new chapter in my career.”

Most recently, O’Neil served as president of Madison Square Garden Sports, where he oversaw the business operations of The Madison Square Garden Company’s (MSG) three professional sports teams, the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and New York Liberty, leading some of the most coveted brands in sports.

O’Neil was the key architect in several of the largest deals in NBA history, resulting in record-setting revenue in sponsorships, tickets and suites. His team signed JPMorgan Chase as MSG’s first-ever Marquee Partner and also secured Signature Partnerships with Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Kia Motors and Lexus, all of which incorporated MSG’s sports, entertainment and media assets as well as those of the transformed Madison Square Garden arena.

O’Neil came to MSG from the National Basketball Association (NBA), where as senior vice president, he oversaw the league’s team marketing and business operations. He advised NBA and WNBA teams on ticket sales and service, sponsorship development, and marketing. He also managed the NBA’s Canadian business, Relationship Marketing, and the NBA Development League.

Earlier in his career, O’Neil honed his sales and marketing expertise with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he became vice president of sales, and the New Jersey Nets, where he began his career as a marketing assistant.

O’Neil holds a degree in Marketing from Villanova University and M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

Carlos Delfino returning to Milwaukee Bucks

Carlos Delfino is coming back to the Bucks.

Delfino and the Bucks agreed Sunday night on a two-year, $6.5 million contract with a third non-guaranteed year that could bring the total to $9.75 million, according to a league source.

The Houston Rockets released the 6-foot-6 Delfino last week as part of their salary-shedding moves to clear the way for an agreement with center Dwight Howard, who chose to sign with the Rockets on Friday.

Delfino played for Milwaukee for three seasons from 2009 to 2012 and appeared in 178 games, starting 159. He was a reliable performer under former Bucks coach Scott Skiles, who used him at both the small forward and shooting guard positions.

Delfino has guarded some of the elite wing players in the league, including Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed 2013 first round draft pick, forward Kelly Olynyk. Since he was a first-rounder, Olynyk was guaranteed to receive a contract, so this signing is standard and was expected.

Olynyk, a 7’0” forward, was a consensus All-American and the West Coast Conference Player of the Year during the 2012-13 season. He averaged 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 26.4 minutes per game, while finishing third in the nation in field goal shooting (62.9 percent).

Olynyk, the 13th pick in this year’s draft, is a native of Toronto, Ontario. He helped guide Gonzaga to a 32-3 overall record during the 2012-13 season and was named a top-five finalist for the John R. Wooden Award given to the top player in the nation.

Olynyk’s draft rights were acquired from Dallas on June 27, 2013 in exchange for the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira and two future second round draft picks.

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