Archive for July 17th, 2013

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“I was a little surprised [to be brought back],” Brewer said. “But I was happy about having the opportunity to come back to Minnesota for a second round.

“I was happy when I was there. It was just a tough situation with all the turnover. I felt like I had new teammates every year and a new coach every year,” he said. “So hopefully there’s some stability now to come back and play for a good coach like [Rick] Adelman and a bunch of good players.”

Since being traded by the Wolves, Brewer was with the Knicks for two days before being waived, then played for the Mavericks and Nuggets. How did he feel about moving around the past few years?

“As a player, you learn a lot moving around like that,” Brewer said. “I got to play with some good players, especially going to Dallas and being able to win a championship playing with players like Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Dirk Nowitzki. I had the opportunity to play in Denver with a bunch of good players. I think my game got a lot better.”

Reported by Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Rockets have interest in Marcus Camby, Mike Miller

In an expected strategy shift from last season’s emphasis on young prospects, the Rockets are interested in veterans Marcus Camby and Mike Miller, a person with knowledge of the team’s thinking said Wednesday.

The 6-11 Camby, who finished the 2011-12 season with the Rockets and had hoped to finish his career in his adopted hometown, reached a buyout agreement with the Raptors on Wednesday. Camby, 39, went from the Rockets to the Knicks last summer in a sign-and-trade deal when the Rockets chose to rebuild around young players. He was sent to Toronto in the New York trade for Andrea Bargnani with two seasons and $7.5 million left on his contract.

The 6-8 Miller, who helped the Heat to consecutive NBA titles, was waived by Miami under the amnesty provision.

Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle

Keith Bogans decision was key to big Nets-Celtics trade

One underrated aspect of the blockbuster trade between the Nets and Celtics was the fact that its fate rested in the hands of Keith Bogans.

In order to make the numbers in the trade work, the Nets had to get Bogans to agree to a sign-and-trade deal to go from Brooklyn to Boston – and, in the process, from a playoff team to what likely will be a lottery-bound one.

But after Bogans was taken care of by the Nets the previous offseason, when they re-signed him after he suffered a gruesome ankle injury five games into his stint with the Nets during the team’s final season in New Jersey, he was more than happy to return the favor and help the Nets bring a pair of future Hall of Famers to Brooklyn.

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

The 76ers coaching search continues to percolate.

The team interviewed Boston Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga on Tuesday, Yahoo Sports reported. The Sixers are also reportedly going to interview Atlanta Hawks assistants Quin Snyder and Kenny Atkinson for the job vacated by Doug Collins in April.

Larranaga, whose father, Jim Larranaga, is the University of Miami coach, was considered a candidate for the Celtics coaching job before Brad Stevens was hired as Doc Rivers’ replacement.

The 38-year-old was the coach of the Erie BayHawks for the NBA Development League for two seasons before joining the Celtics staff. Larranaga also had a two-year stint as the Irish national team coach.

Reported by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer

The NBA’s rubber stamp will hit the Charlotte Bobcats’ request for a name change to the Hornets at a Board of Governor’s meeting Thursday at the Wynn resort in Las Vegas.

The Bobcats technically need approval from a majority of the league’s other 29 teams to take on the name of Charlotte’s original NBA team. But it’s clear there won’t be resistance, after the New Orleans franchise gave up that nickname to be called the Pelicans.

Incoming NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said twice during visits to Charlotte that he is for this name change if Bobcats owner Michael Jordan wants it. And outgoing Commissioner David Stern advocated a name change, according to a source familiar with Stern’s thinking.

Reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer

Jordan Farmar has returned to the Lakers

Jordan Farmar has returned to the Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent guard Jordan Farmar, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“Jordan was a fan favorite and a key contributor to our championship teams in 2009 and 2010,” said Kupchak. “We’re pleased to have him back with the Lakers and look forward to him once again making a positive impact on our team.”

Although Farmar was popular, he was and still is a bench-level player who provides depth at the guard spot. The Lakers, although still armed with some big weapons, are in transition, and focused on 2014 free agency, when several top names are expected to be available.

Farmar, originally selected by the Lakers with the 26th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, spent his first four NBA seasons with Los Angeles and helped the team to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances (2008-10) and back-to-back NBA Championships in 2009 and 2010. A participant in the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend in both 2007 and 2008, Farmar averaged 6.9 points and 2.1 assists in 18.1 minutes over a span of 301 career games during his first stint with the Lakers.

Signed by New Jersey (now Brooklyn) in July of 2010, Farmar spent two seasons with the Nets, averaging 9.6 points and a career-high 5.0 assists in 2010-11 and a career-best 10.4 points during a 2011-12 season in which he ranked eighth league-wide in three-point field goal percentage (.440).

After briefly playing abroad with Israeli champions Maccabi Tel Aviv during the NBA lockout in 2011 before rejoining the Nets, Farmar signed with Anadolu Efes Istanbul in Turkey for the entire 2012-13 season. In 29 Euroleague games with Anadolu Efes, he averaged 13.8 points on .397 shooting from behind the arc, 3.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 29.4 minutes. In 22 Turkish league games, Farmar posted similar averages of 13.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 26.1 minutes.

A Los Angeles native, Farmar, named to the 2003-04 McDonald’s High School All-American team after leading Taft High School to its first ever Los Angeles City title, played two seasons at UCLA where he was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, helped lead the Bruins to the 2006 NCAA championship game as a sophomore and concluded his two-year collegiate career averaging 13.5 points and 5.2 assists in 66 games.

Milwaukee Bucks sign Zaza Pachulia

Milwaukee Bucks sign Zaza Pachulia

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free-agent center Zaza Pachulia (6-11, 240), General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Pachulia, 29, returns for his second stint with the Bucks after also spending the 2004-05 season in Milwaukee. A native of Tbilisi, Georgia, Pachulia was selected by Orlando with the 42nd overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. After appearing in 59 games for the Magic during his rookie season, Pachulia was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2004 Expansion Draft before being traded to the Bucks for a future second round pick. Pachulia appeared in 74 games (four starts) in a Bucks uniform, averaging 6.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest.

Following the 2004-05 season, Pachulia signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Hawks, where he has spent each of the last eight NBA seasons – including the last three under Bucks head coach Larry Drew. A 10-year veteran in the NBA, Pachulia owns career averages of 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 689 career games. Pachulia’s teams have advanced to the postseason six times, where he has appeared in 40 games and averaged 4.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest.

Milwaukee Bucks sign Carlos Delfino

Milwaukee Bucks sign Carlos Delfino

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free-agent guard/forward Carlos Delfino (6-6, 230), General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Delfino, 30, returns to the Bucks after spending the 2012-13 season with the Houston Rockets, where he averaged 10.6 points while shooting 37.5 percent from beyond the arc in 67 games. Prior to signing with Houston last offseason, Delfino wore a Bucks uniform for three seasons from 2009 through 2012, and averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 36.6 percent from three in 178 games with Milwaukee. Delfino connected on 325 threes during his time as a Buck, which places him seventh on Milwaukee’s all-time 3-pointers made list.

Originally selected by Detroit with the 25th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Delfino is entering his ninth NBA season and has seen action with the Pistons and Toronto Raptors in addition to the Bucks and Rockets. The Argentine owns career averages of 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 507 games and is a career 36.5 percent shooter from beyond the arc. Delfino has advanced to the postseason at each stop in his NBA career, appearing in 41 playoff games with averages of 4.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest. He is also a decorated Olympian, having participated in three Summer Olympics for his native Argentina (2004, 2008 and 2012). The squad earned a gold medal in 2004 and bronze in 2008.

Raptors and Marcus Camby quickly part ways

As expected, Marcus Camby’s second tenure as a Toronto Raptors was a short one. On Wednesday, the team announced that it has agreed to terms on a buyout of Camby’s contract, waiving the veteran centre.

Camby, now 39, was scheduled to make US$3.38-million this season and US$4.18-million in 2014-15. Details of the buyout were not immediately known, but it will surely save the Raptors at least a little money in the short-term.

Camby was acquired along with Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson and three draft picks in exchange for Andrea Bargnani earlier this month. The Raptors will likely also find a way to move Richardson before he ever plays for Toronto, too. He was only added to the deal after it could not be finalized before July 1.

From the start, it was clear Camby did not want to be in Toronto.

Reported by Eric Koreen of the National Post

The Los Angeles Lakers, whose plan to re-sign center Dwight Howard did not pan out this offseason, are poised to rebuild fast by focusing on the two biggest free agents of 2014 — LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, front-office sources have told ESPN.

Opinions are split on whether the Lakers can actually land James or Anthony, with one source calling it “realistic” and another saying it was “far-fetched at this point.” Nonetheless, the Lakers have made it clear they are positioning themselves for a run at one and perhaps even two of the superstars who could become free agents in 2014 by refusing to commit to any contract past this next season, multiple sources have said.

Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh also have early-termination options on the five-year deals they signed in the summer of 2010. Luol Deng, Danny Granger, Andrew Bogut and Dirk Nowitzki will be unrestricted free agents next summer.

James, of course, is the biggest prize. But unlike in 2009, when James’ free-agency options the following summer were on his mind, sources have told ESPN that James isn’t even considering his 2014 decision yet.

Reported by Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of

Larry Jordan, older brother of Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, is being promoted to the team’s director of player personnel, a team spokesman confirmed Tuesday night.

The promotion of Larry Jordan, previously holding the title of director of special projects, was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

Jordan, who would report to team president of basketball operations Rod Higgins and general manager Rich Cho, is in Las Vegas this week for the Bobcats’ participation in summer league. He’ll be doing various scouting assignments in this new job.

Reported by the Charlotte Observer

Carl Landry

Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive was pleased with the team’s first free-agent signing since his group took over in May.

It also helps that Ranadive knows Carl Landry well. He signed a four-year, $26 million contract Monday.

Ranadive saw Landry up close as a minority owner with the Warriors last season and spoke highly of Landry as a player and person.

“(Landry) is symbolic of the new era of the Kings – Kings 3.0,” Ranadive said. “Excellence on the court, excellence off the court. To me, the power forward position is a 21st-century position. It’s a big man with skills, and Carl is really the personification of everything that is good about our sport.”

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

Paul Pierce closes door on Boston

Paul Pierce closes door on Boston

Paul Pierce came up with a unique way to salute the city of Boston yesterday.

Pierce publicly addressed the trade to the Nets for the first time yesterday afternoon when he announced on his Twitter account, “I’m going to share some of my favorite Boston memories on new Instagram account. #THANKYOUBOSTON”

For the next two hours, Pierce then posted 44 pictures chronicling his history in Boston, ending with a picture of him holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy at Fenway Park in 2008, with a message that read, “Boston, you’ve been my home for the last 15 years. Together, we’ve been through it all. I could not be more grateful for all of your support and Boston will forever be a part of who I am.”

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

JR Smith

Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald claims that the club had no reservations about giving J.R. Smith a long term contract despite Smith needing knee surgery.

“We’re pretty comfortable this is something that is fixable and won’t present any problems in the foreseeable future over the next four years,” Grunwald said. “We’re okay with that.”

Although Grunwald talked about four years, Smith’s agent, Leon Rose, insisted that his client, despite given the option to sign a four-year deal, had instead inked a two-year deal with a player option.

Smith underwent surgery to repair a patellar tendon and torn meniscus in his left knee on Monday, just five days after he signed the deal worth $17 million. Grunwald maintains that the Knicks were aware of the severity of the injury dating back to October and that once the season ended on May 19 they allowed Smith to decide the next course of treatment.

Reported by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News

Grunwald clarified that it was Smith’s decision for initially choosing rest over surgery, and then finally going under the knife. During the process, he consulted with the Knicks’ medical staff.

“The decision is J.R.’s and he wanted to give it a chance to heal, which is perfectly understandable,” Grunwald said. “We went through a period of rehab and it didn’t get better.”

Reflecting on the season, Grunwald admired Smith for his perseverance to play through pain.

“He struggled towards the end there, but to his credit, he battled through it and I think a lot of players might not have played with the pain that he had with it,” he said.

Reported by Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York

Detroit Pistons open to making NBA trades

The Pistons have been a busy team this offseason, upgrading their talent and various obvious needs that culminated with bringing back Chauncey Billups.

But despite having 16 players on the roster, counting their three draft picks this season, Pistons president Joe Dumars isn’t yet done shopping.

“The only thing left is trade possibilities, and that door will continue to be open,” Dumars said. “It’ll continually stay open.”

As for the rumor mill that’s linked the Pistons with point guards Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee Bucks) and Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics), he coyly debunked both reports — which had Brandon Knight as the common denominator as trade bait.

“Bogus, bogus. No conversations.” said Dumars about the Jennings theory before turning his attention to Boston. “I haven’t had any conversations with (Celtics GM) Danny Ainge about Brandon (Knight).”

Reported by Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News

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Dumars is in the final year of his contract and making the playoffs now seems essential, with a new owner in Tom Gores, a half-empty arena and five straight losing seasons. The Pistons have fine young pieces in Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, but trying to win with an unproven point guard is tough. It’s partly why Dumars bypassed Trey Burke in the draft, and why the Pistons are mentioned in every trade rumor involving the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo, even though Dumars denies them.

It’s why the Pistons drafted someone who appears more NBA-ready, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and why they doled out $54 million for mercurial but talented forward Josh Smith.

“I know we can compete for (the playoffs) now,” Dumars said. “We’ve upgraded the talent, the shooting, the leadership, the athleticism. I’m really comfortable if we had to go into the season with this roster. But you can’t shut the door and say, ‘OK, we’re done.’ ”

Reported by Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News

Three years ago, the 76ers decided to bring back a beloved basketball figure to coach their basketball team in Doug Collins. Could they be going a similar route in hiring Collins’ successor?

A report yesterday by ESPN’s Chris Broussard said that the Sixers were going to interview former Villanova great Ed Pinckney for their head-coaching position. Pinckney, of course, was the leader of the Villanova team that won the national championship in 1985. He is an assistant with the Chicago Bulls.

Pinckney was an assistant coach at Villanova and the Minnesota Timberwolves before being the color analyst for Sixers games on Comcast SportsNet for the 2009-10 season.

He joined the Bulls coaching staff in 2010. Pinckney played 12 years in the NBA after that magical Villanova run, which resulted in his being drafted 10th overall by the Phoenix Suns in 1985.

Reported by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer

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