Archive for July 11th, 2013

Los Angeles Lakers sign Nick Young

Los Angeles Lakers sign Nick Young

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent forward/guard Nick Young, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“At 6’7,” Nick’s size, ability to create his own shot and athleticism make him a versatile player who will give our lineup multiple looks on the floor,” said Kupchak.  “He’s an exciting player, and we’re excited to have him on our roster.”

A six-year NBA veteran, Young has appeared in 416 career games (122 starts), averaging 11.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 23.1 minutes while shooting 42.7 percent from the floor, 37.4 percent from behind the arc and 82.7 percent from the free throw line as a member of the Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers.

Young, who averaged a career-best 17.4 points during the 2010-11 season including a career-high 43-point game against the Sacramento Kings (1/11/11), was originally selected by the Wizards with the 16th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

An early entry candidate for the NBA Draft following his junior season at USC, Young earned First Team All-Pac-10 honors his sophomore and junior seasons with the Trojans.  Prior to enrolling at USC, the Los Angeles native attended Cleveland High in Reseda, CA where he became a top national recruit after averaging 27.2 points and 10.8 rebounds as a senior.

Most recently, Young appeared in 59 games (17 starts) for the Philadelphia 76ers last season, averaging 10.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 23.9 minutes.

Dallas Mavericks sign Jose Calderon

Dallas Mavericks sign Jose Calderon

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent point guard Jose Calderon. He is a pass-first, smart floor leader who doesn’t create much offense on his own, but distributes the ball nicely and makes good decisions.

Calderon (6-3, 211) joined the Toronto Raptors in 2005 after six seasons playing professionally in Spain. In eight NBA seasons with Toronto and Detroit, he holds career averages of 10.1 points and 7.2 assists while shooting .483 from the field, .399 from three-point range and .877 from the foul line. Calderon remains the Raptors franchise leader in assists and free throw percentage.

Last season, Calderon shot .461 (130-282) from behind-the-arc to lead the NBA in three-point shooting despite being traded to Detroit in a three-team deal that sent Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi to Toronto and Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye and Ed Davis to Memphis.

The Villanueva de la Serena, Spain native experienced a great deal of success spending the early part of his career in Europe. Calderon made his Spanish league debut with Lucentum Alicante in 2000 before having his most successful run as a member of Tau Ceramica. With Tau Ceramica, Calderon won the 2004 King’s Cup and helped lead the squad to a second-place finish in the 2005 Euroleague Finals.

San Antonio Spurs sign Jeff Pendergraph

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed forward/center Jeff Pendergraph. He is generally considered backup support off the bench.

Pendergraph, 6-9/250, spent the past two seasons playing for the Indiana Pacers. In 2012-13, he appeared in 37 games, averaging 3.9 points and 2.8 rebounds in 10.0 minutes while shooting .484 (61-126) from the field and .913 (21-23) from the free throw line.

Prior to Indiana, Pendergraph played for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2009-10 where he appeared in 39 games and averaged 2.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in 10.4 minutes. In 96 career games in the NBA, the Ontario, Calif., native holds averages of 2.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 9.2 minutes.

Pendergraph, who was selected in the second round (31st overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, played collegiately at Arizona State University. An All Pac-10 First Team selection in 2009, he appeared in 126 career games for the Sun Devils, averaging 12.6 points and 7.5 rebounds in 30.2 minutes.

The Atlanta Hawks have named Taylor Jenkins as an assistant coach, Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer announced today. Jenkins most recently served as the head coach of the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League.

Jenkins led the Toros to a 27-23 (.540) record during the 2012-13 season and a first round playoff victory over the Bakersfield Jam before falling to the Santa Cruz Warriors in the semifinals. Prior to serving as head coach, Jenkins had served as an assistant coach with the Toros the previous four seasons, including their championship season in 2012 and back-to-back playoff appearances in 2009 and 2010. He was selected as an assistant coach with the NBA D-League Select Team during the 2010 Las Vegas Summer League and was part of the 2009 and 2012 NBA D-League Western Conference All-Star coaching staff. Last summer, he served as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs summer league team.

“Taylor is a talented, hard-working coach who has a great grasp of the system that we are going to implement,” Budenholzer said. “He gained valuable experience working in the NBA Development League the past five seasons and with his attention to detail and energy, he will be an asset to my staff.”

Prior to joining the Toros, Jenkins interned with the San Antonio Spurs basketball operations department during the 2007-08 season. He attended The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics, while concentrating in Management and minoring in Psychology.

Denver Nuggets Sign forward J.J. Hickson

Denver Nuggets Sign forward J.J. Hickson

The Denver Nuggets have signed free-agent forward J.J. Hickson to a multiyear contract, general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Hickson, 6-9, 242, enjoyed his best NBA season in 2012-13, averaging 12.7 points and a career-high 10.4 rebounds in 80 games with the Portland Trail Blazers. He and Dwight Howard were the only players to average at more than 12 points and 10 rebounds while shooting at least .550 from the field last season.

Hickson, 24, finished sixth in the NBA in field-goal percentage (.562), seventh in rebounding and seventh in double-doubles (40). His nine consecutive double-doubles from Dec. 5-26 marked the longest such streak by a Portland player since Terry Porter in 1987.

“I thought J.J. was one of the most improved players in the league last year,” Connelly said. “He gives us a low-post option in the half-court and he’s a relentless rebounder who will help us get out and run.”

Drafted 19th overall by Cleveland in 2008, Hickson has averaged 9.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in five seasons with the Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings and Trail Blazers.

Hickson made the jump to the NBA after being named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman Team in 2007-08. He had 10 double-doubles, including a 13-point, 23-rebound performance against Clemson on Feb. 16, 2007. The rebounds were an ACC single-game freshman record.

– Via the Nuggets

Charlotte Bobcats re-sign Josh McRoberts

Charlotte Bobcats re-sign Josh McRoberts

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has re-signed forward Josh McRoberts.

“Josh is a quality big man who can both score and distribute the ball, and he was integral in our improvement late last season,” Higgins said.  “In addition to his play on the floor, he provided a strong presence and example for our younger players.  We are happy to have him back on our team.”

The Bobcats acquired the 6-10 McRoberts from the Orlando Magic on February 21, 2013 in exchange for forward Hakim Warrick.  McRoberts appeared in 26 games with the team last season, averaging 9.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 30.8 minutes per game.

A six-year NBA veteran, McRoberts was the 37th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.  He has played in 272 career games with the Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers, L.A. Lakers, Orlando Magic and Bobcats, posting averages of 4.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 17.0 minutes per game.

Bobcats Sports & Entertainment owns the Charlotte Bobcats and operates Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Atlanta Hawks have signed rookie guard Dennis Schröder, President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry announced today. Schröder was selected by the Hawks in the first round (17th overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft.

All players selected in the first round of the draft are guaranteed to receive a contract. So, this signing was standard and expected.

A 6-foot-1 point guard from Germany, the 19-year-old 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. Schröder 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.

San Antonio Spurs sign Marco Belinelli

San Antonio Spurs sign Marco Belinelli

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed guard Marco Belinelli.

Belinelli, 6-5/195, has played professionally since 2002. Last season, the Italian guard played for the Chicago Bulls where he appeared in 73 games, averaging 9.6 points, 2.0 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 25.8 minutes.

Selected with the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft, Belinelli has also played for the New Orleans Hornets (2010-11), Toronto Raptors (2009-10) and the Golden State Warriors (2007-09). In 360 career NBA games, he holds averages of 9.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 22.4 minutes while shooting .418 (1,159-2,776) from the floor, .387 (448-1,159) from the three-point range and .808 (488-604) from the free throw line.

Prior to the NBA, he played professionally in Italy for Fortitudo Bologna from 2004-07 and Virtus Bologna from 2002-04. In 2005 at the age of 19, Belinelli was named the Italian Supercup MVP after leading his team to the league title and the Italian Cup. He has also played on the Italian National Team and competed at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.

Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford will be available to the media today, July 11, at 3:15 p.m. at the Spurs practice facility to discuss free agent signings.

San Antonio Spurs re-sign Manu Ginobili

San Antonio Spurs re-sign Manu Ginobili

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have re-signed guard Manu Ginobili. We’ll post contract details here later today. It is likely just a two-year deal.

The 6-6 Ginobili was selected by San Antonio with the 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. In his 11 seasons, Ginobili has helped guide the Spurs to seven division titles and the playoffs every year, including three NBA Championships. Over the 11-year span San Antonio has posted a 626-260 regular season record, giving the team a winning percentage of .707, the highest winning percentage of any NBA team during that 11-year span.

“Manu has been an integral part of the Spurs family and the San Antonio community for the past decade and we are thrilled that he’ll spend his entire career as a San Antonio Spur,” said Spurs general manager RC Buford. “His accomplishments on the international stage and in the NBA are extraordinary and his competitiveness and willingness to do whatever it takes to help his team win are unrivaled.”

The 35-year-old Ginobili was named to the All-NBA Third Team in 2008 and 2011. The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2008, Ginobili became the first South American - and first sixth man - to earn All-NBA honors. A two-time NBA All-Star (2005 and 2011), he is one of only two players, along with Bill Bradley, to win an Olympic gold medal, an NBA Championship and a Euroleague Championship.

In 727 regular season games Ginobili has averaged 14.9 points, 4.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.46 steals in 27.5 minutes. He is the Spurs franchise leader in three-pointers made (1,093) and attempted (2,941), is third all-time in steals (1,064) and fifth in points (10,819) and assists (2,892). Ginobili has appeared in 157 playoff games and averaged 15.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.41 steals in 30.4 minutes. In postseason action, he is the Silver and Black’s all-time leader in steals (221), three-pointers made (251) and attempted (699) and ranks third in games played (157), points (2,450), rebounds (694) and assists (620). Among active NBA players in playoff action Ginobili ranks fifth in steals (221) and three-pointers made (251), seventh in games played (157) and is eighth in free throws made (675).

A member of the Argentinean National Team since 1998, Ginobili led Argentina to the gold medal in the 2004 Olympics after averaging 19.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.38 steals in 29.9 minutes in eight games earning him tournament MVP honors. During the 2000-01 season he was named the MVP of both the Italian League and the Euroleague Finals as Virtus Bologna captured the title in both the Italian and Euroleague Championships.

New York Knicks re-sign J.R. Smith

Knicks re-sign J.R. Smith

New York Knicks Executive Vice President and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has re-signed guard J.R. Smith to a contract.

Smith is a scoring guard who can shoot his team into very good or bad places. He can be ice-cold and missing shot after shot, and then go crazy and hit multiple three-pointers in a row to pull a team back into the game.

Smith, 6-6, 220-pounds, became just the third player in franchise history to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award (joining Anthony Mason and John Starks) by averaging a career-high 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists over 33.5 minutes in 80 games off the bench last season. He earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors for the period ending Mar. 31, after posting three consecutive 30-point efforts off the bench, becoming the first NBA player to accomplish the feat in over 23 years.

“Re-signing J.R. was one of our primary goals this offseason and we are thrilled to have him back,” Grunwald said. “He made great strides this past season with his consistent play off the bench for us, and we look forward to his continued growth.”

The Freehold, NJ-native originally signed with New York as a free agent on Feb. 17, 2012, and then re-signed on Jul. 11, 2012. He holds career averages of 13.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists over 25.4 minutes in 618 games (130 starts) over nine seasons with New Orleans/Oklahoma City, Denver and New York.

Trail Blazers sign guard Earl Watson

Trail Blazers sign guard Earl Watson

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed veteran free agent guard Earl Watson, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Watson, 34, owns career averages of 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.02 steals and 22.6 minutes in 12 NBA seasons with Seattle, Memphis, Denver, Oklahoma City, Indiana and Utah. As a veteran, it’s expected Watson will just provide backup minutes off the bench.

“Earl is a consummate professional and one of the most competitive players I have ever been around,” said Olshey. “His leadership, command presence and ability to affect games with his defense are attributes we value highly, and specifically targeted in our search for players at his position.”

Watson (6-1, 200) spent the past three seasons playing for Utah, where he averaged 2.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 17.3 minutes in 48 games last season.

UCLA’s all-time leader in steals (235) and minutes played (4,371), Watson was selected by Seattle with the 40th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft.

He will wear No. 25 for the Trail Blazers.

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today that they have signed first round draft pick Reggie Bullock. All first round picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, so this is standard.

Bullock, 22, was the 25th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. The guard was a Second-Team All-ACC performer during his third and final season at North Carolina. The 6-foot-7 inch Bullock averaged 13.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 steals in 35 games with the Tar Heels, hitting 88 3-pointers, the third most in a single season in UNC history while shooting 46.3 percent from behind the arc.

Bullock was the Tar Heels third-leading scorer in 2012-13 and starred in the postseason, earning First-Team ACC All-Tournament honors.

A star at Kinston High School in North Carolina, Bullock finished his collegiate career with 188 3-pointers, the eighth most in North Carolina history, and appeared in 100 total NCAA games. In each of his three seasons at UNC, he posted improved numbers in minutes, points, rebounds, assists and field goal percentage.

Dallas Mavericks sign guard Gal Mekel

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent guard Gal Mekel (pronounced GAL MEK-el).

Mekel (6-3, 191) spent two seasons at Wichita State University (2006-07, 2007-08) before leaving school early and beginning his professional career in Europe. In his first season overseas, he was named the 2009 All-Israeli League Newcomer of the Year.

Last season, the point guard led Maccabi Haifa to an Israeli League Championship en route to claiming his second Most Valuable Player award. Mekel averaged 13.3 points, 5.4 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 32.3 minutes in 30 games while shooting .525 from the field and .779 from the free throw line.

The Petah Tikva, Israel native is just the second Israeli-born player to sign with an NBA team. He follows in the footsteps of veteran forward Omri Casspi.

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has re-signed center Nazr Mohammed (NAH-zee).

Chicago Bulls re-sign center Nazr Mohammed

Little is expected from Mohammed on the Bulls, other than

Last season with the Bulls, Mohammed saw action in 63 games (12 starts) and averaged 2.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 0.50 bpg in 11.0 mpg. He also tallied 3.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg and 0.58 bpg in Chicago’s 12 playoff contests.

A 16-year veteran of the NBA, Mohammed has also played with the Oklahoma City Thunder (2010-12), the Charlotte Bobcats (2007-10), the Detroit Pistons (2006-08), the San Antonio Spurs (2004-06), the New York Knicks (2003-05), the Atlanta Hawks (2000-04) and the Philadelphia 76ers (1998-01). In 897 career games, he has posted averages of 6.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 0.67 bpg in 16.9 mpg. He owns career shooting averages of .488 from the field and .642 from the line.

Brooklyn Nets re-sign Andray Blatche

Brooklyn Nets re-sign Andray Blatche

The Brooklyn Nets have re-signed free agent forward/center Andray Blatche, General Manager Billy King announced today. Blatche originally signed with Brooklyn as a free agent on September 12, 2012.

“Andray was a vital member of our team last season,“ said King. “He provides valuable front court depth, and we look forward to his continued contribution.”

Although Blatche was mostly used off the bench, InsideHoops.com felt he might have been better used as the starting power foward, playing alongside Brook Lopez. But after the trade that brought Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn, it’s assumed Blatche will continue to be used as a reserve.

In his first season with the Nets, the 6’11’’ Blatche averaged 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 51.2% from the field in 19.0 minutes per game, and was the only Net to appear in all 82 games. Over eight starts, the 49th pick of the 2005 NBA Draft averaged 17.9 points and 9.3 rebounds, while shooting 52.3% from the field. In his third postseason appearance, Blatche recorded personal playoff-highs in scoring (10.3 points per game), rebounding (4.9) and assists (1.3).  The eight year veteran, who spent his first seven seasons with the Washington Wizards, holds career averages of 9.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks over 491 games (184 starts).

Brooklyn Nets sign guard Shaun Livingston

The Brooklyn Nets have signed free agent guard Shaun Livingston, General Manager Billy King announced today. He’ll provide backup depth off the bench.

“Shaun’s abilities give our roster added versatility in the backcourt,” said King. “His basketball acumen and the way he plays the game are a great fit for this team.”

Livingston, an eight-year NBA veteran who has played for seven different teams, averaged 6.3 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.4 rebounds on 48% shooting over 66 games (16 starts) last season for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards.  After being acquired by the Cavaliers on December 25, 2012, the 6’7’’ Livingston averaged 7.1 points and 3.6 assists while shooting 48% from the field in 23.0 minutes over 49 games (12 starts).  Livingston, who was the 4th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, holds career averages of 6.7 points and 3.5 assists in 390 contests.  In his second season, 2005-06, he made his only playoff appearance with the Los Angeles Clippers, where he averaged 7.5 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.7 rebounds and advanced to the second round.

The 2004 McDonalds All-American, who entered the NBA out of high school, was selected as the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for April, 2005.

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed rookie guard CJ McCollum, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Portland selected McCollum, 21, with the 10th overall pick in last month’s NBA Draft. 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.

All players selected in the first round of the draft are guaranteed to receive a contract. So, this signing was standard and expected.

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 (6-3, 200) is the first player from Lehigh ever selected in the NBA Draft.

He will wear No. 3 for the Trail Blazers.

Warriors get Andre Iguodala from Nuggets in three-team trade

The Golden State Warriors have acquired veteran guard/forward Andre Iguodala (E-gu-doll-a) in a sign-and-trade deal from the Denver Nuggets and guard Kevin Murphy from the Utah Jazz as part of a three-team trade, it was announced today.  As part of the deal, the Warriors sent center Andris Biedrins, forward Richard Jefferson and guard/forward Brandon Rush, along with two future first round (2014 & 2017), two future second round (2016 & 2017) draft picks and cash considerations, to the Jazz, as well as a future second round (2018) draft pick to the Nuggets.  The Nuggets also received guard Randy Foye in a sign-and-trade deal from Utah, while the Jazz also received a future second round (2018) pick from Denver.

Iguodala, 29, is a nine-year NBA veteran, who owns career averages of 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.74 steals in 37.4 minutes per game over 695 regular-season contests (all starts) with the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets.  Additionally, he has appeared in 41 career playoff games, averaging 14.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.80 steals during the postseason.  The 6’6” swingman was a member of the 2012 Eastern Conference All-Star team, an NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection in 2010-11 and earned First Team All-Rookie honors in 2004-05, all while playing with Philadelphia.  Additionally, the University of Arizona product earned gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey as a member of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team.

Originally selected by Philadelphia with the ninth overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Iguodala played the first eight years of his career with the 76ers before landing in Denver prior to the 2012-13 campaign as part of a four-team, 12-player trade.  Last season, the Springfield, IL, native averaged 13.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.74 steals and 34.7 minutes in 80 regular-season games for the Nuggets.  He ranked 11th in the NBA in steals per game in 2012-13 and his 5.4 assists per game average ranked third among all NBA shooting guards, behind only Kobe Byrant (6.0 apg) and James Harden (5.8 apg).  In Denver’s first round playoff series against Golden State, Iguodala averaged 18.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.00 steals in 40.6 minutes over six games, leading the team in assists, steals and minutes, while ranking second in points and rebounds.

“Andre Iguodala was a free agent that we targeted from Day 1 and we are thrilled that he chose to join our team,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “His versatility as a player should help us tremendously on both sides of the court and we feel that his specific, unique skill set blends very well with the players already on our roster. Additionally, he will serve as a great asset to our young team as we continue to grow and develop in the coming years.”

Murphy, 23, played his rookie NBA season with the Utah Jazz in 2012-13, appearing in 17 games and averaging 0.9 points in 3.1 minutes per contest.  Selected by the Jazz in the second round (47th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft after a four-year career at Tennessee Tech, the 6’6” guard also appeared in 14 games (12 starts) this past season with the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League, averaging 13.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 28.6 minutes per contest.

Biedrins, 27, appeared in 53 games for the Warriors last season, averaging 0.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.79 blocks in 9.3 minutes per contest.  Selected by the Warriors with the 11th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, the 7’0” Latvian national has played his entire nine-year NBA career with Golden State, appearing in 510 regular-season games (311 starts) and averaging 6.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.14 blocks and 21.8 minutes per contest.

Jefferson, 33, appeared in 56 games with Golden State last season, averaging 3.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 10.1 minutes per contest.  A 12-year NBA veteran, Jefferson owns career averages of 15.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game over 852 regular-season games with New Jersey, Milwaukee, San Antonio and Golden State.

Rush, 28, missed the final 80 games last season after suffering a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee in the second game of the regular season against Memphis on November 2, 2012. In 2011-12, his first season with Golden State, the 6’6” swingman appeared in 65 games (one start), averaging a career-high 9.8 points to go along with 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 26.4 minutes per contest.  A five-year NBA veteran, Rush owns career averages of 9.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 26.8 minutes in 291 games (105 starts) with Indiana and Golden State.

The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired two future second-round draft picks as part of a three-team deal involving the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns, General Manager John Hammond announced today. As part of the trade, the Bucks re-signed free-agent guard J.J. Redick and dealt him to the Clippers, with Los Angeles sending Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to Phoenix in exchange for Jared Dudley. Both the Clippers (2015 or 2016 with protections; 2017 unprotected) and Suns (2014 from Toronto) will send a future second-round pick to the Bucks to complete the deal.

“The addition of a very dynamic young player in Eric Bledsoe and an All-Star veteran in Caron Butler is very exciting for the Suns,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby.  “At the same time, we thank Jared Dudley, a consummate professional in every respect.  He takes our best wishes with him to the Clippers.”

“We are thrilled to add Eric and Caron to the Phoenix Suns,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough.  “They were both key parts of the Clippers team that set a franchise record for wins last season and we are excited to add their athleticism, shooting, and leadership to our organization.”

Widely considered one of the best young guards in the NBA, and one of the league’s most highly sought-after players this offseason, Bledsoe is an athletic, two-way player entering his fourth NBA season.  Listed at 6-foot-1, the 23-year-old Bledsoe has a 78-inch wingspan and a 40-inch vertical leap.

Despite playing behind All-NBA First Team guard Chris Paul in 2012-13, Bledsoe averaged career highs scoring (8.5), rebounds (3.0) and steals (1.43) and added 3.1 assists in 76 appearances, 64 of which came in a reserve role.  In fact, the box-score-stuffing Bledsoe started 12 games a season ago and in those opportunities averaged 14.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.50 steals.  A high-level ball-handler who can create his own shot, as a starter Bledsoe averaged 4.1 free-throw attempts per game, which would have matched Suns guard Goran Dragic’s team-leading average from 2012-13.  Bledsoe is coming off a season in which he shot a career-best from both the field (.445) and three-point range (.397) last season.

Dudley, 28, appeared in 79 games (50 starts) for the Suns last season, averaging 10.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists. A San Diego native who attended Horizon High School, Dudley shot 39 percent from three-point range in 2012-13. He connected on 106 three-pointers last season, the third time in his career he has made 100 or more three-pointers in a season. The six-year NBA veteran brings career averages of 9.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 449 games (147 starts) for both the Charlotte Bobcats and Suns. He is also a career 41-percent shooter from beyond the arc and 80-percent from the free throw line. The former Boston College star was the 22nd overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Bobcats after earning Second Team All-American honors as a senior.

Redick, 29, averaged 14.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 78 games (13 starts) last season with the Bucks and Orlando Magic. A veteran of seven NBA seasons, Redick has appeared in 424 career games (54 starts) and owns career averages of 9.4 points, 2.0 assists while shooting 39 percent from three-point range and 88 percent from the foul line. Redick was the 11th overall selection of the 2006 Draft by the Magic after a decorated four-year collegiate career at Duke that saw him named the 2005-06 AP, John Wooden and Naismith College Player of the Year.

Butler is a two-time NBA All-Star (2007, 2008) and former 20-point scorer who has averaged double-digit scoring in 10 of his 11 NBA seasons.  A 6-7, 217-pound small forward, Butler owns career averages of 15.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.46 steals in 730 games (697 starts) with Miami (2002-04), the LA Lakers (2004-05), Washington (2005-09), Dallas (2010-11) and the LA Clippers (2011-13).

A former 2003 All-Rookie First Team selection, Butler has made six playoff appearances in 11 career seasons.  The UConn product averaged better than 20.0 points in both 2007-08 and 2008-09, including a career-high 20.8 points in the 2008-09 season.  Butler is entering the final season of a three-year deal signed with the Clippers on Dec. 9, 2011.

Miami Heat re-sign Chris Andersen

Miami Heat re-sign Chris Andersen

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have re-signed forward/center Chris Andersen.

“We are ecstatic that Chris Andersen has decided to stay with the Miami HEAT,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We would not have won the championship without him and we are looking forward to him having an even better season next year.”

Andersen appeared in 42 regular season games with the HEAT last season, helping Miami to a 39-3 record (.929) over that span, marking the highest winning percentage by any player in NBA history playing in at least 40 games during a single season. The 11-year NBA veteran averaged 4.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.05 blocks and 14.9 minutes while shooting 57.7 percent from the field. Additionally, he appeared in 20 postseason games during the HEAT’s championship run and averaged 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.10 blocks and 15.2 minutes while shooting 80.7 percent (46-of-57) from the field, becoming the first player in NBA postseason history to take at least 35 shots and shoot better than 75 percent from the field. He also connected on a perfect 7-of-7 from the field vs. Indiana during Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 22, marking the most made field goals without a miss during a single postseason game in HEAT franchise history.

“I’m excited to be back with the HEAT,” said Chris Andersen. “I believe we have an opportunity to repeat and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Andersen was originally signed to a 10-day contract by the HEAT on January 20, 2013 and then re-signed to a second 10-day contract on January 30 before signing for the remainder of the season on February 8.

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