Archive for July 29th, 2013

Dallas Mavericks sign first round draft pick Shane Larkin

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed 18th overall pick Shane Larkin, who is currently injured.

All players drafted in the first round are guaranteed to receive a contract. This signing was expected and is standard.

The Mavericks acquired the draft rights to Larkin from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Jared Cunningham, the draft rights to 44th overall pick Mike Muscala and the draft rights to 16th overall pick Lucas Nogueira, which were acquired along with two 2014 second round picks from Boston in exchange for the draft rights to the 13th overall pick Kelly Olynyk.

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 sophomore point guard averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 36 games. 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.

Larkin did not participate with the Mavericks at the Las Vegas Summer League after sustaining an injury to his right ankle in practice. Larkin underwent ankle surgery on July 16. The recovery time is approximately three months.

Atlanta Hawks sign Gustavo Ayon off waivers

The Atlanta Hawks have been awarded forward/center Gustavo Ayon on a waiver claim, President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry announced today.

Ayon, 28, spent time with the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic during the 2012-13 season and averaged 3.7 points on .551 shooting, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 13.4 minutes in 55 games (three starts). The 6-foot-10, 250-pounder started the season with the Orlando Magic, posting averages of 3.6 points on .536 shooting and 3.3 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game (43 games, three starts) before being traded on Feb. 21st to Milwaukee as part of a six-player trade. He increased his averages to 4.3 points on .595 shooting and 4.9 rebounds in 13.6 minutes in 12 games with the Bucks.

“Gustavo has a high basketball IQ and is a hard-nosed player,” Ferry said. “He gives us quality depth at the power forward and center positions.”

As a rookie in 2011-12, Gustavo Ayon (goo-STAH-voh eye-OWN) played in 54 games (24 starts) with the New Orleans Hornets and averaged 5.9 points on .536 shooting, 4.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.9 blocks and 1.0 steal in 20.1 minutes per game. He ranked in the top 10 among all NBA rookies in field goal percentage (second), rebounding (fifth), blocked shots (fifth) and steals (seventh).

“I am very excited to join the Atlanta Hawks,” Ayon said. “I had a great conversation with Coach Budenholzer and can’t wait to get to the city, meet my teammates and get to work. Vamos Hawks!”

Ayon is just the third Mexican-born player in NBA history, following Horacio Llamas and Eduardo Najera. Prior to playing in the NBA, he played professionally overseas in Mexico, Venezuela and Spain.

marcus camby

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has re-signed unrestricted free agent center Marcus Camby.

With center Dwight Howard now in a Rockets uniform, Camby will likely be called upon to play very limited backup minutes off the bench, as a rebounder and defender.

Camby (6-11, 240, Massachusetts), who was previously acquired by Houston from the Portland Trail Blazers on Mar. 15, 2012, averaged 7.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.53 blocks in 19 games (13 starts) with the Rockets in 2011-12. He was sent by Houston to the New York Knicks in a sign-and-trade on July 11, 2012. Camby, who appeared in 24 outings and three playoff games with the Knicks in 2012-13, was traded to the Toronto Raptors on July 10, 2013, and subsequently waived on July 17.

Overall, Camby owns career averages of 9.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.40 blocks and 0.99 steals in 973 games (786 starts) with Toronto (1996-98), New York (1998-2002, 2012-13), the Denver Nuggets (2002-08), the L.A. Clippers (2008-10), Portland (2010-12) and Houston (2011-12). Heading into his 18th NBA campaign, Camby returns to the Rockets ranked 12th all-time on the NBA’s career list for blocked shots (2,331) and 13th all-time in blocks per game (2.40). He was voted the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2006-07 and is a four-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection, earning First-Team accolades twice (2006-07 and 2007-08) and Second-Team two times (2004-05 and 2005-06). Camby also stands as the NBA’s seventh-active leading rebounder (9.8). He was originally selected by the Raptors with the second overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, going on to earn First-Team NBA All-Rookie honors in 1996-97.

Philadelphia 76ers hire Chris Heck as Chief Revenue Officer

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that long-time industry executive Chris Heck has been named the organization’s new Chief Revenue Officer, effective immediately. In this role, Heck will implement strategies and oversee all initiatives related to revenue growth for the Sixers, including corporate partnerships, ticketing and premium sales.

“I am thrilled to have Chris join us at the Sixers as we continue to build and grow this organization,” said Chief Executive Officer Scott O’Neil. “Chris brings a wealth of experience and tremendous relationships to the team, and has worked in-market with the Philadelphia Eagles and Comcast-Spectacor – a background that is invaluable in his new role. Having Chris here instantly raises the ceiling for our business potential in the coming years.”

Most recently, Heck served as the President of Business Operations for the New York Red Bulls (MLS), where he oversaw the business and commercial facets of the team and Red Bull Arena.

Prior to the Red Bulls, Heck spent seven years with the National Basketball Association (NBA) as senior vice president in the teams best practices group, team marketing and business operations. During his tenure with the league, he advised NBA teams on ticket sales and service, sponsorship development and marketing; managed the NBA’s Canadian business; and oversaw marketing for USA Basketball’s Senior Men’s and Women’s National Teams.

Before his tenure with the league, Heck was vice president and general manager for Villanova Sports Properties, where he managed Villanova Athletics’ corporate partnerships on all platforms. Additional roles have included director of corporate sales and service for the Miami Heat, and corporate sales and training camp supervisor for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Heck holds a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University.

Lakers hire Kurt Rambis, Johnny Davis as assistant coaches

The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Kurt Rambis and Johnny Davis as assistant coaches, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. The pair will join Lakers assistant coach Dan D’Antoni, who returns from last season, in addition to Mark Madsen and Larry Lewis, who were hired earlier as player development coaches.

“Kurt and Johnny bring many years of NBA experience both as coaches and as former players to this team,” said Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni. “Kurt is a great basketball mind, extremely good at working with big men and his experience as a head coach in this league is going to prove very helpful to our staff. Johnny is a two-time NBA head coach with years of experience playing as well as coaching in this league. The vast array of NBA knowledge he brings to the table will be invaluable to us.”

Rambis previously served three stints with the Lakers as an assistant coach, first from 1994-1999, before taking over as head coach 13 games into the 1998-99 season. He tied a then-NBA record with nine consecutive wins to start his head coaching career and led the team to a 24-13 mark and into the Western Conference Semifinals. Rambis then served as Advisor and Assistant General Manager from 1999-2001, and then as Vice President of Business and Basketball Integration for half of the 2004-05 season.

Rambis also served as an assistant coach with the Lakers from 2001-04 and from 2005-09, helping to guide the team to two NBA Championships (2002 and 2009) as well as NBA Finals appearances in 2004 and 2008. Rambis then went to Minnesota, where he was the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2009-11.

In addition, Rambis played during the Lakers “Showtime” era and helped the team win NBA titles in 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988. Rambis spent the 2012-13 season serving as a basketball analyst for ESPN and Time Warner Cable Sportsnet.

Davis joins the Lakers with over two decades of NBA coaching experience. The Detroit native most recently spent the previous two seasons (2011-13) as an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors. Before joining the Raptors, Davis worked six seasons as an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies (2007-11), Indiana Pacers (2006-07) and Minnesota Timberwolves (2005-06). Davis spent two seasons (2003-05) as head coach of the Orlando Magic, where he was an assistant coach from 1999-03 before being promoted eleven games into the 2003-04 season. His stint with the Magic was the second head coaching job for Davis, who also spent one year (1996-97) at the helm of the Philadelphia 76ers. The 23-year coaching veteran has also worked as an assistant coach for the Nets (1997-99), Trail Blazers (1994-96), Clippers (1993-94) and Hawks (1990-93). Additionally, Davis served two games as the Grizzlies interim head coach in January 2009.

Before joining the coaching ranks, Davis, who holds a Master’s Degree in Sports Psychology, spent three seasons (1987-90) in the front office of the Atlanta Hawks where he served in a variety of roles including Director of Community Affairs, Assistant to the President, and President of the Atlanta Hawks Foundation. Selected by the Trail Blazers in the second round of the 1976 draft, the University of Dayton alum played with four teams (Trail Blazers, Pacers, Hawks and Cavaliers) in ten years (1976–86), winning an NBA Championship in his rookie season with Portland.

Within the NBA’s rookie pay scale, teams are given enough leeway to sign their first-rounders to between 80 percent and 120 percent of their pick’s suggested value.

Almost always, rookies are quickly offered and sign near the maximum, like Steven Adams did last week, reaching a deal with the Thunder that will pay him $2.09 million next season, nearly $400,000 more than the suggested value of the 12th pick.

So that’s why it was a bit surprising when, late last week, word also surfaced that the Thunder brass had lowballed its other first-round pick, signing Andre Roberson to only 80 percent of his first-year value.

The 2013-14 pay scale suggests the 26th pick make $925,700 next season. Its maximum value is around $1.1 million. But Roberson will only bring in $740,560.

Reported by Anthony Slater of Oklahoman

The Boston Celtics have hired former Butler guard Ronald Nored in a player development role, a source told ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman.

The 23-year-old Nored, a guard on Butler’s two Final Four teams coached by new Celtics coach Brad Stevens, is also expected to have a role with the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s D-League affiliate.

Despite his age, Nored is considered a rising star in the coaching ranks and spent his post-Butler days as an assistant at the University of South Alabama and coaching high school ball outside of Indianapolis.

Reported by Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston

Atlanta Hawks are getting Gustavo Ayon

Atlanta Hawks are getting Gustavo Ayon

The Atlanta Hawks have claimed center Gustavo Ayon off waivers, sources told ESPN.com.

The Milwaukee Bucks waived Ayon last week before his $1.5 million salary became guaranteed. The Hawks will pick up the 6-foot-10 Mexican’s salary, which now becomes guaranteed.

The Hawks and Bucks have been involved in a series of transactions involving each other this summer. The Bucks signed Hawks’ restricted free agent point guard Jeff Teague to an $8 million per season offer sheet, which the Hawks matched.

Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com

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