Archive for August 9th, 2013

James Ennis’ professional career will begin in Australia.

Scott Nichols, Ennis’ agent, Friday confirmed to the Sun Sentinel the agreement between Ennis and the Perth Wildcats of the National Basketball League in Australia, an arrangement that provides the 2013 second-round pick out of Long Beach State the option to return to the Miami Heat this season if summoned.

The Heat, who obtained Ennis from the Atlanta Hawks the night of the draft, will retain Ennis’ rights going forward, without having to utilize one of their roster spots for the coming season on the athletic swingman.

Ennis had an uneven summer-league run with the Heat, at times displaying the 3-point shooting and defensive disposition that will continue to have him in the team’s long-range plans.

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Charlotte Bobcats re-sign Jannero Pargo

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has re-signed guard Jannero Pargo. We assume it’s for the league minimum, but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Pargo is considered bench support. He’s a reserve who can help a team in limited minutes.

The 6-1 Pargo joined the Bobcats on March 14, 2013, signing the first of two 10-day contracts before signing for the remainder of the season on April 3. He saw action in 18 games, averaging 8.4 points, 1.9 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 16.2 minutes. Pargo shot .401 from the field (57-142), .382 from beyond the three-point line (29-76) and .889 from the free-throw line (8-9).

A nine-year NBA veteran, Pargo has played in 461 career games with the Lakers, Raptors, Bulls, Hornets, Hawks, Wizards and Bobcats. He has career averages of 6.5 points, 2.0 assists and 1.5 rebounds, while shooting .389 from the field (1161-2987), .352 from beyond the three-point line (367-1042) and .868 from the free-throw line (309-356).

Gani Lawal signs in Latvia

Latvian champ VEF Riga made official on Friday the acquisition of big man Gani Lawal for the next season. Lawal (2.05 meters, 25 years old) arrives from Virtus Roma of Italy, where last season he averaged 13.7 points, led all players in rebounds with 8.4 and was second in blocks with 1.5 in 47 Italian League games. After that, he played two games in China with Guangzhou Liu Sui. Lawal played college ball at Georgia Tech from 2007 to 2010.

Reported by Euroleague.net

Udonis Haslem continues recovery from knee surgery

There is no limp, no outward sign of the surgery on his right knee three weeks ago.

Whether Udonis Haslem makes it back for the Oct. 1 start of Miami Heat training camp has yet to be determined, but the veteran power forward said Thursday that last month’s procedure provided both physical and mental relief.

“I’m three weeks in now. I feel pretty good, actually,” he said during a promotional appearance at the Microsoft specialty store at Town Center. “It wasn’t as bad as we thought it was. I was fortunate. It was mostly just a cleaning, a lot of scar tissue, a couple of loose pieces in there, cleaning out the MCL.”

Haslem, 33, played during the second half of the regular season and then the playoffs with what was thought to be a torn right meniscus.

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Lakers limited by NBA luxury tax

The Lakers have struggled to improve their current roster because they are limited by the NBA’s new labor contract. As a “luxury-tax team,” the Lakers have fewer tools to sign players than teams with much lighter payrolls.

For example, the move that allowed the Lakers last summer to bring in Steve Nash is gone. Nash, a free agent, was acquired via a “sign-and-trade” with the Phoenix Suns for draft considerations.

But as a tax-paying team, the Lakers are now forbidden to sign-and-trade for players — one of the many rule changes limiting big-budget franchises.

Longer-term, the Lakers’ rebuilding plans will depend in part on how willing they are to pay the NBA’s increasingly punishing taxes on teams carrying big payrolls.

Each year the NBA sets a spending limit that triggers the luxury tax. In eight of the last 10 seasons, the Lakers have willingly crossed that line. The penalty has been a dollar-for-dollar tax, costing the Lakers a cumulative $113.7 million since the 2002-03 season.

Reported by Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times

Mo Williams happy to join Trail Blazers

Williams said that he had other suitors, even teams where he could have filled in as the starting point guard. However, no destination seemed as tempting as Portland. In his eyes, Rip City is on the rise.

“I like everything that Neil (Olshey) is doing here,” said Williams, who has averaged 13.8 points (38.6 percent 3-point shooting), 5 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 10 NBA seasons. “When we talked, he was really passionate about making the playoffs and he knows the type of player and person that I am, that winning is really important to me.

“That’s why my decision took a long time because I wanted to make sure that I was in a position to win. That’s what I see here. That’s why I came here because I feel like I can be a piece of the puzzle for this organization, for these young guys.”

Reported by Candace Buckner of the Columbian

Jannero Pargo

The Charlotte Bobcats are bringing back Jannero Pargo to serve as their third point guard and could soon add forward Anthony Tolliver.

Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins told the Observer the team has come to terms with Pargo and has offered Tolliver a one-year, veteran-minimum contract.

Pargo was with the Bobcats their last 17 games last season, filling in after backup point guard Ramon Sessions suffered a season-ending knee sprain. A nine-season NBA veteran, Pargo averaged 8.6 points, 1.9 assists and just over 16 minutes. He was particularly helpful as a 3-point shooter, making 38 percent of his attempts for a team that was 27th among 30 teams in that statistic.

Reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Blog)

After months of negotiations, the new Sacramento Kings ownership group has been unable to close the deal on buying the remaining parcel at Downtown Plaza seen as vital to the development of a new arena.

Now, to remain on track to open the facility by 2016, the team is asking City Hall to assist in the talks and provide its threat of eminent domain as a potential negotiating tactic.

Kings officials said Thursday that they anticipated seeking the city’s help in negotiating a purchase of the building that houses a Macy’s men’s clothing and furniture store from a New York-based real estate firm that took control of the property in foreclosure last year. Under an agreement scheduled for a vote before the City Council on Tuesday, the Kings would reimburse the city for all costs incurred in the process.

Macy’s, which is the building’s tenant, said Thursday it plans to vacate the property this fall and move the men’s and furniture operations to the women’s store at the other end of the mall.

Reported by Ryan Lillis and Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee

Paul Pierce dislikes the Knicks even more now

If you think Paul Pierce had no use for the Knicks when he played in Boston, just wait till he puts on his Brooklyn Nets uniform.

Actually, Pierce admitted in his media tour of New York on Thursday that he’s already working up a fresh dose of hate for Carmelo Anthony and Co., well in advance of their first meeting of the season, on Dec. 5 in Brooklyn.

“My dislike for the Knicks is more now because it’s right across the river,” Pierce said during an interview on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio. “The rivalry is going to go to a new level.”

Just to make sure the Knicks heard him, Pierce added, “It’s time for the Nets to start running this city.”

Reported by Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News

paul pierce

The franchise, basically forgotten by the NBA during its final few seasons in New Jersey, suddenly has become a force — something new Net Paul Pierce, is still trying to come to grips with.

“You’re definitely surprised, because since I’ve been in the NBA, when you’ve looked at the Nets, you always looked at them as bottom-dwellers,” Pierce said Thursday. “They have only put a couple of winning teams out in the last 10-15 years since I’ve been in the league, [and] nobody really respected them.

“Now they’ve got new owners, now they’ve got a new building, now they’ve got a new attitude. … You can definitely see a change in what’s going on, and I can see this organization really rising to the ranks of the respectability of the Lakers, of the Knicks, of the Celtics. That’s what they’re trying to build, but in order to do that you have to have the players, you have to have great management and you have to have great owners, and that’s what I see in place here in Brooklyn.”

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

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