Archive for August 2nd, 2013

Greg Oden decision: Miami Heat it is

Greg Oden decision: Miami Heat it is

Greg Oden’s NBA comeback will be launched on South Beach.

Oden told ESPN.com on Friday night that he has chosen the two-time defending champion Miami Heat as his new team, capping a monthlong recruiting process which culminated with Oden spending this entire week making his final selection from a list of six suitors.

Referring to Miami, home of the two-time reigning champions, as the “best place” and “best fit” after years of knee troubles, Oden will report to the Heat on Monday and, according to sources close to the process, sign a two-year deal at the league minimum with a player option for Year 2.

The contract will pay $1.03 million in 2013-14 and $1.14 million in 2014-15 if Oden picks up that option. The 25-year-old has earned nearly $24 million in salary since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007 but has appeared in only 82 career NBA games because of his many knee troubles.

Reported by Marc Stein and Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com

Orlando Magic waive Al Harrington

Orlando Magic waive Al Harrington

In a move that aids their future financial flexibility and also accommodates the wishes of a veteran player, the Orlando Magic requested waivers on veteran power forward Al Harrington on Friday.

The transaction allows Harrington, 33, to become an unrestricted free agent and possibly join another contending team. The 15-year NBA veteran said after last season that he understandably wasn’t in the plans for the transitioning Magic and hoped to finish out his career with a team in the playoff race.

Harrington’s contract called for him to be owed $14.7 million over the next two seasons, but only half of his salary in 2013-14 and 2014-15 was guaranteed. Magic GM Rob Hennigan worked on several trade possibilities for Harrington, but ultimately reached a buyout compromise that best-suited both the franchise and the player.

The Magic have yet to reach an agreement with small forward Hedo Turkoglu, another veteran player whose contract is only partially guaranteed for next season.

Reported by John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com

By setting themselves up to struggle (understatement) in the upcoming season, the Sixers are clearly looking ahead to the 2014 NBA draft, which by all accounts, is going to be one of the strongest in recent memory.

Finishing next season outside of playoff positioning, which is likely the case, will land the Sixers a lottery pick. The draft day deal that sent Jrue Holiday to New Orleans landed them another one - as long as the Pelicans don’t make the playoffs and the pick falls out of the top five.

These picks, along with future free agent acquisitions and a couple of carry-overs from the current roster, most likely rookies Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel, are supposedly going to form the foundation of the franchise going forward.

It sure seems that the 2014 draft, which has become known as the “Andrew Wiggins Sweepstakes” to many, will be very important to the future of the franchise.

Unlike last June’s draft, where the top pick remained unknown until seconds before the selection, Wiggins is already the consensus first-overall selection. His size, athleticism and offensive ability have franchises foaming, as the kid has surefire superstar written all over him.

Reported by Michael Kaskey-Blomain of Philly.com

Atlanta Hawks expected to add DeMarre Carroll

The Hawks waived DeShawn Stevenson Friday, according to a league source, in a move that clears the way for the team to announce the signing DeMarre Carroll. The forward agreed to terms with the nearly almost a month ago. The official signing of Carroll could come within the next day or two.

Carroll agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract on July 5th, the same day the team agreed to a deal with his Jazz teammate Paul Millsap. The delay in signing was for salary cap reasons as the Hawks rebuilt much of their roster this offseason. The Hawks were retaining Bird rights for several of their unrestricted free agents. However, Anthony Tolliver remains the only player that has not signed elsewhere or had his rights renounced.

Carroll, 6-foot-8, was selected in the first round (No. 27 overall) by the Grizzlies in the 2009 NBA draft out of Missouri.

Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Blog)

The Atlanta Hawks have named Jim Thomas as an assistant coach, Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer announced today.

Most recently a college scout for the Oklahoma City Thunder for the last four years, Thomas was previously with the New York Knicks (scout, 2005-07), Indiana University (assistant coach, 2001-04), and Toronto Raptors as an assistant coach (1996-99) and scout (1994-96).

“We’re pleased to add Jim to our coaching staff,” Budenholzer said. “He’s been a part of a number of successful programs, and his coaching and playing experience will blend well with our group.”

Selected in the second round (40th overall) of the 1983 NBA Draft by the Pacers, the 52-year-old Thomas appeared in 161 games over four seasons with Indiana, the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota, averaging 8.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 20.9 minutes (.471 FG%, .763 FT%). He also spent time playing in the Continental Basketball Association, World Basketball League and with Baloncesto Murcia in Spain.

Thomas played collegiately at Indiana from 1979-83, where he was the starting shooting guard on the Hoosiers’ 1981 National Championship team. He was also a 10th round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 1983 NFL Draft as a defensive back. He grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

The Sacramento Kings announced today the organization has named Corliss Williamson as an assistant coach, joining Brendan Malone, Dee Brown, Chris Jent, and Micah Nori on Head Coach Michael Malone’s staff.

Williamson, a 12-year NBA veteran, joins the Kings coaching staff after spending the last three seasons as the men’s basketball coach at the University of Central Arkansas. His coaching career includes three years at Arkansas Baptist College, two as an assistant before serving as head coach during the 2009-10 season.

Known as “Big Nasty,” Williamson played two stints with the Kings (1995-96 – 1999-00 and 2004-05 – 2006-07), averaging 10.8 points (.492 FG%, .683 FT%), 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 22.9 minutes per game in 466 career contests in Sacramento. Renowned by teammates, coaches and fans for his gritty style of play, leadership abilities and consummate professionalism, Williamson also remains among the team’s most charitable players in franchise history and the only two-time recipient of the annual Oscar Robertson Triple Double Award bestowed on the Kings player who best exemplifies excellence on and off the court.

Considered one of the greatest players in Arkansas state history, he enjoyed a storied collegiate career at the University of Arkansas, helping guide the Razorbacks to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 1993 and an NCAA Championship a year later—earning Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament honors after leading the school to a 76-72 win over Duke. His stellar play again fueled the Razorbacks to a repeat appearance in the NCAA final in 1995. The following June, Sacramento tabbed Williamson with the 13th overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft.

After playing his first five NBA seasons in Sacramento, Williamson was traded by the Kings to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Doug Christie on Sept. 29, 2000. He spent half the season with the Raptors before being dealt to Detroit, where he would ultimately earn a Sixth Man of the Year award (2001-02) and an NBA championship (2004). En route to helping lead the Pistons to the 2004 NBA title, Williamson joined an elite list of players to win both an NCAA title and NBA championship.

Williamson would eventually play two more seasons in a second tenure with the Kings after being traded to Sacramento in 2005. He retired in September of 2007 among the all-time leaders in Sacramento era annals, ranking fourth in games played (466), seventh in field goals made (1,995), eighth in field goals attempted (4,057), ninth in free throws attempted (1,513), and 10th in points (5,026) and minutes (10,671).

Chris Copeland out 6-8 weeks after knee surgery

The Indiana Pacers announced Friday that forward Chris Copeland underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove a loose body. The surgery was performed Friday morning at the Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital.

Recovery time is estimated at six to eight weeks and Copeland is expected to be ready for the start of the 2013 training camp.

Stoudemire not returning to Hakeem Olajuwon camp in Houston

The Knicks have decided rest is more important for Amar’e Stoudemire than “The Dream Shake’’ and wisdom of Hakeem Olajuwon.

Stoudemire will not return to the Olajuwon camp in Houston to work on his post moves again this month as had been planned, The Post has learned.

Stoudemire had planned to return to Texas to refine the post moves he learned last summer. That Olajuwon is about to be named to the Rockets staff as instructor for Dwight Howard and Omar Asik is not a factor in Stoudemire not attending.

According to a Rockets source, Houston is allowing Olajuwon to fulfill any of his prior commitments with opposing players this month before he exclusively works with Rockets big men. Hence, Stoudemire might never work with Olajuwon again.

Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

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