Archive for September 28th, 2013

suns

The Phoenix Suns today announced they have signed guard/forward James Nunnally, bringing the club’s roster to 18 players.

Nunnally, 23, excelled for the Miami Heat during the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League, leading the team with 13.0 points per game while shooting 57.7 percent from the field and 63.0 percent beyond the three-point arc. His best performance came in Miami’s final contest against the Suns as Nunnally made 5-of-6 three-pointers and scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half to help erase a 20-point deficit in a game Phoenix held on to win 91-89.

Last season, the 6-7, 205-pound Nunnally played for the Suns’ D-League affiliate, the Bakersfield Jam, and averaged 10.3 points while connecting on 40.6 percent of his three-point attempts. He first gained NBA experience with the Sacramento Kings at the 2012 Las Vegas Summer League, following a standout four-year career at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Nunnally was named to an All-Big West team three times at UCSB and helped the Gauchos to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances for the first time in the program’s history. For his collegiate career, Nunnally averaged 13.7 points and 5.2 rebounds.

Al Jefferson

Thursday morning 15 or so players were in the practice gym doing 3-on-3 drills with the new coaching staff.

Center Al Jefferson, the most significant off-season acquisition, says he’s never seen anything like this in nine previous NBA seasons.

“A lot of veterans might choose not to, but they’re here. We’re getting together and getting to know one another,” Jefferson said.

“I told Kemba (Walker) when I first signed that I’m not coming here to lose. I’m coming here to turn things around,” Jefferson added. “I think (the seriousness of purpose) started with me. If I’m here in September, everyone should be. If Ben Gordon is here, same thing. If Brendan Haywood, a guy who already won a championship (with the Dallas Mavericks) is here, everybody should be here. That’s the way we look at it.”

Reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer

Pau Gasol at full health, but will be limited in training camp

Pau Gasol has seemingly showed he has nine lives with the Lakers, staying on the franchise he loves despite demoted roles and endless trade rumors.

But even if Gasol arrived to Lakers’ media day on Saturday full of good spirits in having a chance to complete his fifth season donning purple and gold, there remains yet another hurdle he will have to climb.

He reported at full health after having a procedures this offseason to treat the painful tendons in both of his knees, but Gasol has yet to complete basketball-related drills.

“I’m getting there,” Gasol said. “Now training camp is going to be important with how we manage practices and how the knee reacts to the load of work.”

Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)

Danny Granger draws compliments after Indiana Pacers practice

Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger played to positive reviews in his first practice since undergoing season-ending knee surgery six months ago.

From his teammates. From coach Frank Vogel. From Granger himself.

“For me, it honestly went better than expected,” Granger said after the Pacers’ first training camp practice on Saturday. “It felt good out there.”

Granger said pushing off his knee, which bothered him before the surgery and limited him to five games last season, no longer is an issue. Now, he wants to build endurance in it. Doctors have told him it takes a year to fully recover from the surgery he had, but players can return to action in six months.

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

Derrick Rose comes out attacking in first Bulls practice

After a season of breathlessness over the status of Derrick Rose’s left knee, it might be time to shift the focus to Gar Forman’s heart rate or Tom Thibodeau’s salivary glands.

The Bulls’ general manager and coach could be forgiven for being overly enthusiastic on Saturday following not only Derrick Rose’s aggressive first practice of training camp but Rose’s boldness afterward.

“I got confidence in my (surgically repaired left) knee,” Rose said. “There’s no testing anymore. It’s going out there and playing hard and attacking.”

By all accounts, that’s what the former league most valuable player did in the first session Saturday morning. Thibodeau is devoting the evening sessions on both Saturday and Sunday to film work, shooting and walk-through points of emphasis. Rose said he plans to not miss a practice.

Reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune

Miami Heat announce front office promotions

The Miami Heat really enjoy having Juwan Howard around. And will continue to do so, though nobody has to pretend that Howard might actually play in a game anymore.

The Heat announced today several front office promotions, including Andy Elisburg to Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations/General Manager, Adam Simon to Assistant General Manager/General Manager Sioux Falls Skyforce, Dan Craig to Assistant Coach/Player Development, Chad Kammerer to Director of NBA Scouting/Advance Scout, Keith Askins to Director of College and Pro Scouting and the hiring of Juwan Howard to Assistant Coach/Player Development.

Elisburg, a Heat original employee of 25 years, will serve as Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations/General Manager. His duties will include assisting CEO Nick Arison and President Pat Riley in the management of all aspects of the Heat’s basketball organization including salary cap administration, talent acquisition, league compliance and the day-to-day business of basketball operations.

Simon has been named Assistant General Manager/General Manger Sioux Falls Skyforce. He will assist Andy Elisburg in all areas of the Heat’s basketball operations department as well as heading the basketball operations department of the Heat’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Craig, entering his 11th season with the Heat, has been named Assistant Coach/Player Development and will continue to spend numerous hours on the court with individual players developing their game.

Kammerer has been named Director of NBA Scouting/Advance Scout after spending the previous five seasons as an assistant coach. His responsibilities will include providing scouting reports and player evaluations to assist the Heat coaching staff in their game preparations and the team’s personal department on player acquisitions.

Askins, who has spent his entire professional career with the Heat, enters the 2013-14 season as Director of College and Pro Scouting as he will work with Chet Kammerer and Adam Simon overseeing all aspects of the Heat’s scouting department after serving 14 years as a full-time assistant coach.

Howard, a 19-year NBA veteran, will make the transition to the coaching staff after being named Assistant Coach/Player Development. He will be assisting in the areas of player development and other duties assigned by Head Coach Erik Spoelstra.

Additionally, the Heat also named Rich Fernando to Executive Assistant to the Coaches, Eric Glass to Video Coordinator and Tim Hardaway to Scout/Community & Corporate Liaison.

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced they have signed free agents Solomon Alabi (Ala-bee) and Nayal “Mac” Koshwal. The Sixers training camp roster now stands at 20 players.

Alabi (7-1, 250) was originally the 50th overall pick by Dallas in the 2010 NBA Draft before his rights were traded to Toronto. The 25-year-old played two seasons for the Raptors in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Last season, Alabi played for the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League and Ikaros Chalkidas of the Greek League. Alabi was an early entry candidate following his sophomore season at Florida State, during which he averaged 12 points, six rebounds and over two blocks. The Nigerian-born Alabi was twice named to the ACC All-Defensive Team as a sophomore and a redshirt freshman.

Koshwal (6-10, 255) was an early entry candidate for the 2010 NBA Draft following his junior season at DePaul, during which he averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. The Sudanese-born Koshwal was one of three BIG EAST players to average a double-double that season. Last season, the 25-year-old competed in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas before spending time on several minor league teams.

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