Archive for September 10th, 2013

Dallas Mavericks sign Fab Melo, D.J. Kennedy and Richard McConnell

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed Fab Melo, D.J. Kennedy and Richard McConnell to expand the current roster to 17 players. We assume that the contracts are non-guaranteed and the players have merely landed spots in Mavs training camp, for now.

Melo (7-0, 255) is a former Syracuse University standout and Big East Defensive Player of the Year. He was originally the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. He played only six games for the Celtics and spent a majority of the season assigned to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League where was named NBA D-League All-Rookie First Team and All-Defensive First Team. On August 15, 2013, Melo was traded to Memphis in exchange for Donte Green. He was waived by Memphis on August 30.

Kennedy (6-6, 215) is a 2013 NBA D-League All-Star who helped the Rio Grande Valley Vipers win the D-League Championship in 2013. He played in two career games with Cleveland and scored a career-high 12 points for the Cavaliers in his NBA debut on April 25, 2012. The Pittsburgh native played his college ball at St. John’s University.

McConnell (6-0, 189) finished as one of the top all-around players in St. Mary’s history (2007-11). He ranks among the top 10 career leaders in 3-point field goals made (3rd) and attempted (6th), 3-point percentage (2nd), free throw percentage (5th), assists (2nd), assists average (7th), steals (tied for 6th) and games played (4th). As a senior, he was named WCC Player of the Year and honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press. Last season, he played for Tezenis VE in Italy and averaged 13.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 32 games. He was named All-Italian Lega2 Honorable Mention.

miami heat

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed forward Eric Griffin and center Justin Hamilton. We assume these are non-guaranteed deals for training camp, and neither player is assured of making the regular season Heat roster just yet.

Griffin appeared in 10 games (seven starts) for the Heat’s 2013 Summer League team and averaged 6.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.25 steals and 19.0 minutes while shooting 57.4 percent from the field. He appeared in 28 games with Fileni BPA Jesi of the Italian Lega2 last season and averaged 17.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.82 steals, 1.29 blocks, 1.2 assists and 32.0 minutes while shooting 55.6 percent from the field. The Campbell University product finished with the school’s highest career field goal percentage (.559) and ranks third on the school’s all-time blocks list with 134 rejections.

Hamilton, who was drafted in the second round (45th overall) by Philadelphia in the 2012 NBA Draft, was acquired by the Heat on draft night, along with a future first round draft pick, in exchange for Arnett Moultrie (27th overall). He split last season with VEF Riga (Latvia) of the VTB United League and Cibona (Croatia) of the Adriatic League appearing in 30 total games and averaging 10.5 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 60.2 percent from the field. Additionally, Hamilton appeared in three 2012 Summer League games with the Heat totaling 27 points and 12 rebounds in 56:43 minutes of action while shooting 8-of-17 from the field and a perfect 11-of-11 from the foul line.

The Indiana Pacers announced Tuesday the signing of free agents Ron Howard and Darnell Jackson. We assume (but have not confirmed) that these are nonguaranteed deals for training camp, merely giving the players a chance to make the regular season roster.

Howard is a 6-5 guard/forward who played with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League last season.

Jackson is a 6-8 forward who played with the Reno Bighorns of the D-League last season. He has played with Cleveland, Milwaukee and Sacramento in the NBA.

Bulls and Luol Deng not yet able to reach extension agreement

Negotiations between the Bulls and Luol Deng’s camp surrounding a long-term contract extension have stalled, has learned.

Yahoo! Sports reported that initial discussions had been taken place between the two parties in separate late-June and early-July meetings regarding keeping the All-Star small forward in Chicago beyond this season, the final year of his current deal. But when the talks were revisited, the Bulls opted to put those plans on hold for the time being and risk the team’s longest-tenured player becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

“We were optimistic,” the source said of the mentality Deng’s camp had heading into the late August meeting, approximately two weeks ago. “Our goal was to get an extension done this summer. If that’s not what they want to do, so be it.

“We’re not upset, Luol isn’t upset. We’re just looking forward to this season and next summer,” continued the individual, who acknowledged that Bulls management expressed how much they value the two-time All-Star, even stating their desire to see him retire in a Bulls uniform.

Reported by Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago

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