Archive for July 19th, 2013

Dion Waiters will strictly play shooting guard for Cavs this season

Dion Waiters’ role will be simplified this season under Mike Brown. He’s the shooting guard, period. And the second word in that position is much more important to Brown than the first.

“I’m viewing him strictly as a 2-guard,” Brown said.

Former coach Byron Scott tried limiting Waiters to strictly shooting guard last year, but Waiters struggled adjusting to playing without the ball in his hands all the time, so Scott relented and allowed Waiters to run the point for long stretches. Brown is reverting back to making Waiters play off the ball, but made it clear the “guard” in his title is much, much more important than the “shooting.”

Reported by Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal

Dallas Mavericks sign Samuel Dalembert

Dallas Mavericks sign Samuel Dalembert

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent center Samuel Dalembert.

Dalembert has played a total of 774 games (605 starts) with four NBA teams (Philadelphia, Sacramento, Houston and Milwaukee) and has career averages of 8.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 25.2 minutes per game. The 11-year NBA veteran played with the Milwaukee Bucks last season and averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 47 games, while shooting .542 from the field.

Dalembert (6-11, 250) was selected by Philadelphia with the 26th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft and played for the 76ers for eight seasons (2001-10). He traded by Philadelphia to Sacramento for center Spencer Hawes and forward Andres Nocioni on 6/19/10.

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Dalembert is the only Haitian-born player in the NBA.  He spent 14 years in Haiti before moving to Montreal and becoming a Canadian citizen in August, 2007.  He played collegiately at Seton Hall and averaged 7.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.83 blocks in 59 games over two years. He currently owns the school record for career blocked shots (267).

The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Mark Madsen and Larry Lewis of the Los Angeles D-Fenders as player development coaches, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“Both Mark and Larry bring a high level of credibility to our staff,” said Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni. “Mark has endless energy and is a workaholic. He’s developed players at the college level and I think he’ll do a great job making the jump to the NBA.  Larry has proven to be a natural at helping develop players for the D-Fenders since transitioning from nearly two decades of playing abroad and in the CBA. We expect that he will make a great player development coach at the NBA level as well.”

“While we were looking forward to having Mark as our head coach for the upcoming season, we’re thrilled that he now has the opportunity to help further develop players on the Lakers roster,” said D-Fenders President & CEO Joey Buss.  “Both he and Larry, who has done a tremendous job working with our players over the past two seasons, are perfect examples of what the D-Fenders are all about; namely developing talent.  Having sent eight players to the NBA over the past two seasons, we’re excited to now see the synergy of the Lakers and D-Fenders pay off in the coaching ranks as well.”

Roughly ten years after his final game with the Lakers, fan favorite Mark Madsen returns to the franchise for his first season as player development coach. Selected by the Lakers in the first round (29th overall) of the 2000 NBA Draft, Madsen played three seasons in Los Angeles (2000-03) and was a member of back-to-back NBA championship teams in 2001 and 2002. He then signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves as a free agent prior to the 2003-04 campaign and played six seasons (2004-09) with the Timberwolves. In 453 games over nine seasons, Madsen averaged 2.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 11.8 minutes.

Following his playing career, Madsen served as an assistant coach during the 2009-10 seasons with the Utah Flash of the NBA Developmental League before returning to his alma mater, Stanford University, to complete coursework for his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 2012, he was named as an assistant coach on Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins’ staff and spent the 2012-13 season working primarily with the team’s post players.

Lewis joins the Lakers after spending the last two seasons with the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Most recently, Lewis spent the 2012-13 season as an assistant coach with the D-Fenders. Prior to his stint as an assistant coach, Lewis was head of player development, a role in which he helped develop eight NBA Call-Ups along with six players on assignment from the Lakers. Additionally, Lewis played a central role in helping the team post the best regular season record (38-12) in NBA D-League history, earn the Regular Season Champion award, reach first NBA D-League Finals in team history, and capture the Development Champion award. Lewis also earned a spot as an assistant on the NBA D-League Select Team in 2012.

An alumnus of Morehouse College, Lewis turned pro when he was selected by the Albany Patroons of the CBA in 1992. The 6’7” forward played internationally in Argentina (2011), Spain (2001-2011), Japan (1996- 2001), Cyprus (1996), Great Britain (1993) and the Dominican Republic (1992). Lewis also played a season in the USBL with Sarasota (1996), in the CBA with the Harrisburg Hammerheads and Rapid City Thrillers (1994-95), and for Team USA (1995) in the Pan American Games where he won a silver medal.

Houston Rockets re-sign Aaron Brooks, sign Reggie Williams

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has re-signed guard Aaron Brooks to a one-year deal and have inked unrestricted free agent guard Reggie Williams to a multi-year contract.

Brooks (6-0, 161, Oregon) returned for his fifth season with the Rockets in 2012-13, averaging 1.4 points and 0.9 assists in seven games with Houston. Originally selected by the Rockets in the first round (26th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft, Brooks has averaged 11.6 points and 3.4 assists in 325 games (149 starts) with Houston, the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings. He was named the 2009-10 NBA Most Improved Player after finishing first in the NBA in 3-pointers made (.398, 209-525 3FG) and setting the franchise single-season record for treys. Brooks became just the sixth player in NBA history to make at least 200 3-pointers (209) and dish out 400 or more assists (434) in the same season. In addition to earning NBA Rookie of the Month honors for 2007 NBA Summer League, Brooks played in two games with the D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers in 2007-08.

Williams (6-6, 205, Virginia Military Institute) has averaged 8.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 20.0 minutes per game over 177 career outings (32 starts) with the Golden State Warriors and Charlotte Bobcats. He entered the NBA as a GATORADE Call-Up from the NBA D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce, signing the first of two 10-day contracts with the Warriors on Mar. 2, 2010. Williams appeared in 24 games for Golden State his rookie season, averaging 15.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 32.6 minutes per outing. In his 10 starts in 2009-10, he averaged 16.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 41.5 minutes. He appeared in a career-high 80 games (nine starts) for the Warriors in 2010-11, averaging 9.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.3 minutes per contest. He also ranked ninth in the NBA in 3-point field goal percentage (.423, 102-241 FG) during the 2010-11 campaign. Williams signed with the Bobcats as a free agent on Dec. 15, 2011, appearing in 73 games (13 starts) over his two seasons in Charlotte.

Prior to the NBA, Williams appeared in 30 games for JDA Dijon Bourgogne in France’s ProA league, averaging 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 29.0 minutes in 2008-09. As a collegian, he appeared in 112 career games over four seasons at VMI, averaging 22.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals. Williams actually led the nation in scoring his junior (28.1) and senior (27.6) seasons, becoming the ninth player in NCAA Division I history to lead the country in scoring in multiple campaigns. He finished his collegiate career as the all-time leading scorer in both VMI and Big South Conference history with 2,556 points. Williams was named First-Team All-Big South as a junior and senior, as well as earning Second-Team All-Big South honors as a sophomore.

detroit pistons

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has signed draft selections Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tony Mitchell to contracts.

All players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft are guaranteed to receive a contract. Caldwell-Pope went first round, while Mitchell went second round.

Caldwell-Pope was drafted by Detroit with the eighth overall selection in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft. In five games during the 2013 NBA Summer League in Orlando, he averaged 13.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.8 steals in 28.6 minutes per game. The 6-foot-6 guard from the University of Georgia averaged a SEC-leading 18.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.0 steals in 32 games as a sophomore last season.  The 2012-13 SEC Player of the Year and an All-SEC First Team selection was one of only nine players in NCAA Division 1 to score in double figures in every game last season.  Caldwell-Pope led the Bulldogs in rebounds (7.1 rpg), was third in the SEC in three-point field goal percentage (37.3) and recorded seven double-doubles. In his final collegiate game against LSU in the SEC Tournament, Caldwell-Pope scored a career-high 32 points, including 25 in the second half.

Mitchell was drafted by Detroit with the 37th pick in the second round. He compiled averages of 7.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 25.4 minutes in five games during the 2013 NBA Summer League. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 13.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in 55 games at the University of North Texas.  Last season he averaged 13.0 and 8.5 rebounds in 32 games while leading the Sun Belt Conference with 2.7 blocks per game.  During his first year at North Texas, he was one of only two freshmen in the NCAA to average a double-double joining Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, the #1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft.  A member of the gold-medal winning 2010 USA Men’s U-18 at the 2010 FIBA Americas U-18 Championship, he finished his collegiate career as North Texas’ all-time leader in blocks (157).

Cleveland Cavaliers sign Andrew Bynum

Cleveland Cavaliers sign Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum has struggled with injuries throughout his NBA career and didn’t play a single game for the Philadelphia 76ers last season, but talented centers will always be at a premium in today’s game. So, although no one is sure how good he even is at basketball right now, or how his health will hold up in the coming season, Bynum has a new NBA home.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed Bynum to a contract, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

According to multiple outlets, the deal is for two years, $24 million. And according to the Associated Press, “the Cavaliers guaranteed Bynum only $6 million in the first year of the deal, but he could earn an additional $6 million through performance incentives. Cleveland holds a $12 million team option for the second season.”

“We are very happy to welcome Andrew to Cleveland and the Cavaliers organization,” said General Manager Chris Grant.  “His talent, size and experience clearly have the potential to very positively impact our team. He has the ability to strengthen the foundation we are creating and continue to be very excited about. At the same time, we are fully aware of where he is in his journey to get back on the court and will provide every resource possible to support and enhance this process.”

Bynum was originally selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 10th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft out of St. Joseph H.S. in Metuchen, NJ.  In seven seasons, the 7-0, 285-pount center has appeared in 392 games with 300 starts, averaging 11.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.6 blocks in 26.0 minutes per game while shooting .566 from the floor. The 25-year old missed the 2012-13 season with knee injuries. The previous season, 2011-12, Bynum, a two-time NBA Champion, averaged career-highs of 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds for the Lakers and Head Coach Mike Brown, while being voted as a NBA All-Star starter for the Western Conference.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived forward Kevin Jones and guard Chris Quinn, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Jones played in 32 games this past season for the Cavs, averaging 3.0 points and 2.4 rebounds in 10.5 minutes per game.

Quinn played in seven games for the Cavs, averaging 1.4 points and 1.3 assists in 11.3 minutes per game.

Kevin Garnett has no interest in discussing his age

Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King welcomes critics who question whether Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are done being elite players at the ages of 37 and 35, respectively.

King believes Garnett and Pierce will prove those critics wrong.

When asked how much he still has left in the tank, Garnett responded, “Next question.”

Both Garnett and Pierce were less than pleased when reporters asked them about their age at Thursday’s news conference. “I’m 35. There are 50-year-olds and 60-year-olds in the house,” Pierce said.

Don’t look for KG to look to take over as the main leader on the team. Granted, that might change.

Garnett said this is Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson’s team.

Reported by Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York

Paul Pierce helped sell Kevin Garnett on Brooklyn

What started off as a casual phone call between good friends has quickly morphed into one of the biggest blockbuster trades of the decade.

Paul Pierce admitted it was he who first reached out to Kevin Garnett about coming to Brooklyn.

Pierce called Garnett in mid-June amidst rumors of a Boston rebuild — around the same time Garnett was denied a chance to play for the L.A. Clippers after David Stern nixed a deal that would’ve sent the 15-time All-Star and Doc Rivers to the Clippers.

“The deal didn’t go through, the Celtics were trading me, Doc was leaving, and so what was left for Kevin?” Pierce told reporters at Barclays Center. “It was one long phone call — probably like two hours.”

“Once Jason Kidd called me, I knew something was happening. Then my agent called me, asking me about Brooklyn and what I think. Once the Nets figured out they wanted to bring both of us in, that’s when I made the call (to Kevin).”

Reported by Chris Dell of the New York Daily News

Kevin Garnett thought about retiring from NBA

Garnett admitted that he thought deeply about retiring this offseason, and needed an hour-long conversation with Pierce before waiving a no-trade clause. Garnett’s first choice was to follow Doc Rivers to the Clippers, but a trade was blocked by the NBA because coaches can’t be included in player swaps.

“I don’t like change much. Once I commit to something, I like to go full throttle,” Garnett said. “It’s unfortunate. But when I saw the Doc Rivers situation, I kind of knew the writing was on the wall. I have my connections there. It was tough leaving (Rajon) Rondo and other things. But like I said, it’s a new chapter, new things to embrace. That’s what I’m doing.”

To leave Boston, it took a contender — and both future Hall of Famers were bullish about Brooklyn’s potential. The mentality, as they both illustrated, is title or bust in season No. 1.

“We’re not talking about Eastern Conference Finals, we’re not talking about best record,” Pierce said. “We’re talking about championship here, and that’s what the expectation is when you put together a unit like this.”

Reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News

Earlier this summer, Patrick Ewing Jr. took to Twitter to express frustration that his Hall of Fame father was still an assistant coach after 10 seasons. It all happened when Jason Kidd became the Brooklyn Nets’ head coach with no prior NBA coaching experience.

Well, Ewing Jr. isn’t the only one who’s confused about Patrick Ewing’s situation. On Thursday, former Knicks coach and ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy went on a serious monologue on ESPN New York 98.7 FM radio, saying, “I just don’t understand the reluctance by some general managers to view him as a viable candidate.”

“I’d like for someone to take my word for it. Ewing would be an outstanding head coach, but no one has bitten yet,” he said.

Asked what is the inside word that works against Ewing, he firmly said, “I don’t know.”

Reported by Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York

Basketball blog