Archive for July 16th, 2013

Chris Kaman happy to join Lakers

Chris Kaman excited about joining Lakers

Veteran center Chris Kaman gushed about Mike D’Antoni’s offense that centers on pick-and-rolls at a fluid tempo. Kaman expressed excitement about playing with Kobe Bryant. Kaman offered no preference as to whether he will start or come off the bench.

For all the talent the Lakers lost in Howard going to the Houston Rockets, it appears Kaman’s versatility in the post and team mindset could mitigate Howard’s void and eliminate the drama surrounding his lone season with the Lakers.

“I’m here to do a job. Whatever it is, I’ll do it. It just depends on whatever the coach needs me to do is where I’ll be at,” said Kaman, who accepted a one-year deal at the mini-mid level exception ($3.2 million to play for the Lakers). “I’m confident I’ll get along with coach and have a good relationship. It’s a two way street. But I’m not a controversial kind of guy. So I don’t think it will be that big of a deal.”

Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)

mMilwaukee Bucks waive Drew Gooden via amnesty provision

The Milwaukee Bucks have waived forward Drew Gooden and designated him as the team’s amnesty player as allowed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Gooden originally signed with the Bucks as a free agent prior to the 2010-11 season. The 11-year NBA veteran appeared in 107 games over three seasons with the Bucks, averaging 11.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest.

Houston Rockets sign Omri Casspi

Houston Rockets sign Omri Casspi

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed unrestricted free agent forward Omri Casspi from the Cleveland Cavaliers to a multi-year deal.

Casspi (6-9, 225, Israel), who was the NBA’s first Israeli-born first-round pick, has averaged 7.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists over 256 career games (94 starts) with Sacramento and Cleveland. Originally selected by the Kings in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft, Casspi was acquired by the Cavaliers in a trade on June 30, 2011. He had his best season in 2009-10, averaging 10.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 25.1 minutes per game over 77 outings (31 starts) with the Kings.

As a starter during his rookie campaign, Casspi posted averages of 12.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 30.6 minutes per contest.

Prior to the NBA, Casspi played with Hapoel Galil Elyon and Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli Premier League. He actually finished fourth in voting for the 2008-09 FIBA European Young Men’s Player of the Year Award (Ricky Rubio, Danilo Gallinari and Kosta Koufos).

Dallas Mavericks 2013 first-round draft pick Shane Larkin underwent surgery today to repair a fractured right ankle. The surgery was performed by team physician Dr. T.O. Souryal and Dr. Richard Levy at Texas Sports Medicine. The recovery time is approximately three months.

Dallas acquired the draft rights to Larkin, the18th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, from Atlanta in a draft night deal that sent Jared Cunningham and the draft rights to the 16th overall pick Lucas Nogueira to the Hawks.

Larkin (5-11, 176) led the Miami Hurricanes to the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and postseason championships last season en route to being named the ACC Player of the Year, ACC Tournament MVP, Lute Olsen National Player of the Year and Second Team All-American by Associated Press.

The 5-11 point guard averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 36 games as a sophomore in 2012-13. He led his team in points, assists and steals while placing in the ACC’s Top 10 in assists, steals, minutes and three-point field goals.

cavaliers

The Cavs have added Jared Berggren from the University of Wisconsin to their summer league roster.

The 6-11, 240-pound center appeared in two games for the Orlando Magic in the Orlando Summer League earlier this month.

In four years at Wisconsin, he averaged 7.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 119 games.

He will wear number 37.

USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo today announced the addition of George Hill (Indiana Pacers), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Bobcats) and Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State University) to the roster of players who will be attending the July 22-25 USA Men’s National Team mini-camp in Las Vegas, Nev., and also announced that Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs) is unable to participate while rehabbing after a long season.

USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp roster now numbers 29.

The invited players will assemble in Las Vegas on July 21, and will conduct daily training sessions July 22-24 (12:00-2:00 p.m. PDT) and will close out the mini-camp 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.

Hill, who in 2012-13 completed his fifth year in the NBA, started in 76 games for the Indiana Pacers and averaged career highs of 14.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.1 steals a game, while shooting 44.3 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from 3-point and 81.7 percent from the foul line.

Charlotte’s Kidd-Gilchrist boasts of prior USA Basketball experience as a member of the 2011 USA Junior Select Team that won the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit and as a member of the 2010 USA U17 World Championship Team that finished 8-0 and captured the gold medal. A 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie second team choice, Kidd-Gilchrist started in 77 of the 78 games he appeared in for the Bobcats and averaged 9.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists a game, and shot 45.8 percent from the field.

Smart will arrive at the mini-camp having just helped lead the USA U19 World Championship Team to a 9-0 mark and the FIBA U19 World Championship crown in Czech Republic.  Selected team captain, Smart averaged 9.6 ppg., 2.8 rpg., a U.S. second best 2.2 apg., a team high 2.4 spg., while shooting 50.0 percent from the field overall.  As a freshman in 2012-13 at Oklahoma State, Smart was named by The Sporting News and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) National Freshman of the Year, while also collecting Big 12 Conference Player of the Year and Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors, and also earning All-Big 12 first team, All-Rookie and All-Defensive team honors.

Chauncey Billups is back on the Detroit Pistons

Apparently you can go home again, sometimes.

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has signed free agent guard Chauncey Billups.

“We are pleased to announce Chauncey Billups’ return to the Pistons organization,” said Dumars.  “Chauncey played an integral part in the success of the franchise from 2002-2008.  His playmaking ability and experience will provide depth in the back court while his leadership and commitment to winning will help our club.”

Billups is at the end of his career, but would still be able to provide deep bench depth for a championship-contending team. But on the Pistons — who are nowhere near even thinking about winning an NBA championship, Billups can act as a player-coach and provide leadership and help various young players improve their games.

Billups, 36, has NBA career averages of 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 31.9 minutes in 1,024 games (930 starts) with the L.A. Clippers, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons.  The 15-year veteran is a five-time NBA All-Star, ranks fourth in NBA history for three-pointers made (1,816) and is the seventh active NBA player to reach 5,000 assists.  He is one of only 31 players (four active) in NBA history to score over 14,000 points and distribute more than 5,000 assists.  Billups has played in 146 career playoff games (143 starts) during 12 trips to the NBA playoffs and averaged 17.3 points, 5.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 36.4 minutes per game.  He won the NBA’s inaugural Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award this past June, which recognizes the NBA player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to his team.

Billups’ six-year career in Detroit is highlighted by back-to-back Eastern Conference Championships and two NBA Finals appearances in 2004 and 2005.  He was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player during the Pistons NBA Championship season in 2003-04 when he averaged 21.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists in five games vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.  The Denver, CO native was named an NBA All-Star three times with Detroit, All-NBA Second Team (2006), All-NBA Third Team (2007) and All-NBA Defensive Second Team (2005, 2006).  In 463 games with the Pistons, Billups averaged 17.0 points, 6.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 34.4 minutes per game.

Heat waive Mike Miller

Thanks for the memories, but the Miami Heat are ready to move on.

The Heat announced today that they have waived forward Mike Miller per the NBA’s Amnesty provision.

“After many discussions internally and a sincere effort to explore the trade market, we made a very difficult decision to use our Amnesty provision on Mike Miller,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “Mike had an incredible impact on the Miami Heat; helping us to three finals appearances and winning back-to-back World Championships. This was a very difficult decision for me personally, the Arison family, Erik and the entire Miami Heat organization. Mike was one of the best we have ever had here, and will be sorely missed. We wish Mike, his wife Jennifer and their family nothing but the best.”

Miller appeared in 59 regular season games (17 starts) with the Heat last season, averaging 4.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 15.3 minutes. He has appeared in 831 regular season games (549 starts) during his 13-year NBA career.

Although older and more banged up these days, Miller still has game left, and should be able to find plenty of low-level offers as a backup from teams across the league.

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they have claimed swingman James Anderson and center Tim Ohlbrecht off waivers.  Both players were waived by Houston on July 15.

Anderson (6-6, 215) was originally the 20th overall pick by San Antonio in the 2010 NBA Draft.  In three NBA seasons with the Spurs and Rockets, Anderson has appeared in 116 games with six starts, averaging 3.7 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 11.1 minutes per game.

This past season, Anderson was a member of Atlanta’s training camp and preseason roster before being waived prior to the start of the regular season.  After a brief stint with the Rio Grande Vipers in the D-League, Anderson signed with the Spurs on Nov. 21 and appeared in 10 games before being waived on Dec. 20.  The 24-year-old returned to the Vipers before being signed by the Rockets for the remainder of the season on Jan. 2.

As a junior at Oklahoma State in 2009-10, Anderson ranked sixth in the nation in scoring with 22.3 points per game and was named the unanimous Big 12 Player of the Year.  He started 99 of a possible 101 games during his collegiate career and never missed a game.

Ohlbrecht (6-11, 255) was not selected in the 2010 NBA Draft.  The native of Germany has several years of experience playing professionally in the German Bundesliga and has been of member of the German National Team since 2008.

This past season, Ohlbrecht joined Rio Grande Valley in the D-League and averaged 13.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.63 blocks and 1.13 steals in 26.6 minutes per game while shooting 60.5% from the floor and 81.1% from the line.  The 24-year-old was named to the 2013 NBA D-League All-Star Game and posted a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Ohlbrecht was called up by the Rockets on Feb. 25 and appeared in three games.  He returned to the Vipers for the D-League playoffs and helped lead the team to the championship.

The Denver Nuggets have named Arturas Karnisovas as assistant general manager, general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Karnisovas (pronounced Car-NISH-O-Vas) joins the Nuggets after five years with the Houston Rockets, where he most recently was the director of scouting. He started with the Rockets as an international scout in 2008 after spending more than four years working in basketball operations at the NBA’s league office.

Karnisovas, 42, will assist Connelly and team president Josh Kroenke with day-to-day operations related to scouting and player personnel matters.

“Arturas has a diverse and impressive background as a player, a scout and an executive,” Connelly said. “His global connections are just part of what he adds to our franchise. His basketball knowledge is off the charts, and his experience with Houston and the league office will be invaluable as we work to improve our team.”

Knicks sign Metta World Peace

Knicks sign Metta World Peace

New York Knickerbockers Executive Vice President and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has signed forward Metta World Peace. According to the New York Times, it is a two-year deal for $3.25 million, with the second year a player option.

“Metta is a fierce competitor who brings toughness and championship experience to our roster,” Grunwald said. “We are excited to bring him back to New York and give him a chance to play for the team he grew up rooting for.”

World Peace, 6-7, 260-pounds, holds career averages of 14.1 points, on 41.7-percent shooting, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.85 steals over 33.6 minutes in 902 games (832 starts) over 14 seasons with Chicago, Indiana, Sacramento, Houston and the L.A. Lakers. He was waived by the Lakers on Jul. 12, after averaging 12.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.63 steals over 75 games (66 starts).

He was a member of the 2010 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers, and holds career post-season averages of 13.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.54 steals over 85 games (all starts). He is a two-time All-NBA Defensive First Team selection (2004, 2006) and two-time Second Team selection (2003, 2009). He appeared in the 2004 All-Star game, the same year he was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year and earned an All-NBA Third Team selection.

Born in Queens, NY as Ron Artest, World Peace starred at La Salle Academy and then at St. John’s University. In 1999, he helped lead the Red Storm to the NCAA Elite Eight and was selected by the Bulls with the 16th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft.

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