Archive for August 22nd, 2013

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they have acquired point guard Tony Wroten (ROH-ten) from Memphis in exchange for future draft considerations.

The Sixers are in rebuilding mode and should be in for a rough season. Lots of bench guys on this roster have a chance to contribute a bit more than might normally be expected of them. Still, Wroten isn’t likely to get serious minutes.

Wroten (6-6, 210) appeared in 35 regular season games as a rookie for the Grizzlies last season and also saw action in six games during Memphis’ run to the Western Conference Finals. Additionally, Wroten was the fifth youngest player in the NBA last season.

The 20-year-old was assigned to the Reno Bighorns of NBA Development League and appeared in a total of 11 D-League games with three starts, averaging 17.0 points, almost four assists, three rebounds and one steal in nearly 27 minutes per game. He scored a season-high 30 points in the season finale vs. the Canton Charge on April 6.

Wroten was originally the 25th overall pick by Memphis in the 2012 NBA Draft following his freshman season at the University of Washington. In his only season with the Huskies, Wroten averaged 16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals and became the first freshman in school history to earn First Team All-Conference honors. He was also named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after setting numerous freshman school marks, including most points (559), assists (130) and steals (66).

A native of Seattle, Wroten attended Garfield High School which also produced former NBA All-Star Brandon Roy. His father, Tony, played football at Washington and his mother, Shirley, ran track at Washington and Arizona State. Wroten’s aunt, Joyce Walker, was a two-time All-American at Louisiana State and played for the Harlem Globetrotters. His cousin, Nate Robinson, plays for the Denver Nuggets.

The trade is pending the completion and passing of a physical.

DeJuan Blair

The new Mavericks big man once was an up-and-comer with the Spurs before things went sideways, Tiago Splitter arrived and Blair’s stock went down faster than a margarita on the Riverwalk.

So what happened?

“I don’t know,” Blair said. “Pop stopped [playing] me. I couldn’t tell you what was going through that man’s head at all. Nobody knows but him.”

What was perfectly clear, though, was that Blair needed a change of address.

“I had to leave and come here where I think they’ll give me confidence and believe in me,” he said. “I didn’t think they believed in me in San Antonio, so that’s pretty good here. I feel supported. That’s how it is.”

As a rookie, after being the 37th overall draft pick in the 2009 draft (in which the Mavericks got Roddy Beaubois 12 picks earlier), Blair played in all 82 games and started 23. He would start 127 games over the following two seasons and missed only three games during that time.

Reported by Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News (Blog)

Kings add Ryan Bowen to staff

Ryan Bowen

The Kings hired Ryan Bowen as an assistant coach and assistant director of player development Wednesday.

Bowen, an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets the past two seasons, joins Brendan Malone, Chris Jent, Corliss Williamson, Dee Brown and Micah Nori on new coach Michael Malone’s staff.

In 10 NBA seasons, Bowen played in 507 games with the Nuggets (1999-2000, 2003-04), Houston Rockets (2004-06), New Orleans Hornets (2007-09) and Oklahoma City Thunder (2009-10). He also played for Oyak Renault (Turkey) in 1998-99 and Ironi Nahariya (Israel) in 2007.

Reported by the Sacramento Bee

The Knicks acted quickly after learning that a Midtown store was selling a racially offensive t-shirt with their team logo at the centerpiece.

The shirt had K-N-I spelled out, but C-K-S was replaced by G-G-A. The shirt was selling for $45, or $10 more than the unedited shirt, according to NBC 4 in New York…

“We absolutely do not condone this t-shirt, which violates our trademark rights and now that it has been brought to our attention, the Knicks are working with the NBA to have the store cease and desist from selling them,” the team said in a statement.

Reported by Justin Terranova of the New York Post

Jason Kidd align=

It might be more than a month until training camp begins, but that hasn’t stopped Deron Williams from getting several of his teammates together in Los Angeles this week to begin preparing for the upcoming season.

For Jason Kidd, the fact most of his team — including starters Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett — already is putting in extra offseason work is music to the ears of the first-year head coach.

“Yeah, for sure,” Kidd said after playing in The Barclays Pro-Am at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City Thursday. “To be able to start gelling and getting to know each other [is good], because it is kind of a different team.

“For the young guys, Mason [Plumlee] and [Tyshawn Taylor], to be out there, [Garnett] and Paul and Joe, it just shows that these guys are going in the right direction, and being very professional. I know during the summer time they could do something else, but to come together for a couple days shows that they’re trying to get ready and they want to win.”

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

Jimmer Fredette

The Kings acquired Greivis Vasquez to be their starting point guard, likely pushing incumbent Isaiah Thomas to a backup role. Look for rookie Ray McCallum, who impressed coaches this summer in Las Vegas, to be ahead of Fredette at the point, too.

Things are just as crowded at shooting guard, with first-round draft pick Ben McLemore expected to start and Marcus Thornton getting plenty of playing time, too. Throw veteran John Salmons into the mix and that means there will be few minutes for Fredette.

So where does that leave the guard who made “Jimmermania” a household word and won every major college award as a senior at BYU just two years ago?

Reported by Tom Couzens of the Sacramento Bee

steve blake

Lakers guard Steve Blake has been named as a vice president on the National Basketball Players Assn. Executive Committee.

Welcome #thenbpa two newest Executive Committee members VP @SteveBlake5 @ATolliver44!!! #nbpa2013

— NBPA (@TheNBPA) August 22, 2013

Meeting in Las Vegas, the union voted Clippers all-star Chris Paul as president, replacing Derek Fisher of the Oklahoma City Thunder, whose term expired.

Free agent Roger Mason was named first vice president. Blake joins Anthony Tolliver of the Charlotte Bobcats as the two new vice presidents.

Reported by Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Blog)

Jeremy Lin

One NBA scout thinks there may be brighter days ahead for Lin.

The veteran scout thinks Lin, who signed a three-year, $25 million deal with the Rockets after a breakout 2011-12 with the Knicks, could thrive this season, thanks to the addition of Dwight Howard.

“He did have a ton of success when it was all pick-and-rolls and he seemed to be very effective [with the Knicks],” the scout said. “In that way, I think teaming up with Howard should be in his wheelhouse.

“I think they could develop chemistry right away.”

Both Howard and Lin have a history of success in the pick-and-roll.

Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Chris Paul

Chris Paul has already seemingly done the impossible by turning the long-languishing Los Angeles Clippers into a force in the Western Conference. Now he’s taken on another big task - rebuilding the reeling NBA players’ association.

Paul was elected president of the players’ union Wednesday, replacing Derek Fisher and giving an organization cloaked in turmoil some much-needed star power at the top.

The vote by NBA player representatives came six months after the union fired Billy Hunter as executive director, a position that remains vacant and follows about 18 months of in-fighting and drama that occurred during the negotiations for the latest collective bargaining agreement. Hunter countered with a wrongful-termination lawsuit in May, accusing Fisher of conspiring with NBA officials during the 2011 lockout.

”It’s not about me as president or the first vice president, it’s about the players as a whole,” Paul said in a conference call Wednesday night.

Reported by W.G. Ramirez of the Associated Press

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