Archive for October, 2013

The Orlando Magic have waived center Mickell Gladness, guard Manny Harris, forward Kris Joseph and forward Romero Osby, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.  The roster now stands at 15 players.

Gladness (6-11, 220, 7/26/86) was signed as a free agent on Sep. 27.  He played in three preseason games, averaging 1.3 ppg., 3.0 rpg. and 3.00 blkpg. in 12.3 minpg.

Harris (6-5, 185, 9/21/89) appeared in six preseason games, averaging 4.3 ppg. and 1.3 rpg. in 9.0 minpg.  He was signed as a free agent on Sep. 27. 

Joseph (6-7, 210, 12/17/88) was also signed as a free agent on Sep. 27.  He played in five preseason games, averaging 5.6 ppg. and 1.8 rpg. in 11.0 minpg.

Osby (6-8, 230, 5/7/90) was selected by Orlando in the second round (51st overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft.  He played in seven preseason games, averaging 5.7 ppg. and 4.0 rpg. in 15.4 minpg.

The Golden State Warriors have signed center Andrew Bogut to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced today.  According to the Associated Press, the deal is for three years and $36 million, but worth up to $42 million with incentives.

“This is a great day for the Warriors and we’re very happy to know that Andrew will be our center beyond this season as we continue to progress as a team,” said General Manager Bob Myers. “Andrew possesses a wide-ranging skillset that makes him a great fit alongside the other core pieces that we have assembled on our roster.  He is still just 28 years old and has established himself as one of the premier centers in the NBA.  He is a leader on our team and was a key part of our success during last season’s playoff run.”

Bogut enters the 2013-14 season owning career averages of 12.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.58 blocks and 32.1 minutes in 440 career regular-season games over eight seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors.  In 32 regular-season games for the Warriors last season, he averaged 5.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.72 blocks in 24.6 minutes per contest before helping Golden State advance to the Western Conference Semifinals. 

In 12 postseason games last season, the 7’0” center averaged 7.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.50 blocks, while shooting 58.2% from the field.  Bogut became the first Warriors player to average double-digit rebounds in the postseason (minimum five games) since Larry Smith in 1987.  He tallied career playoff-highs of 14 points and 21 rebounds in Game 6 of the First Round against the Denver Nuggets, one of his three postseason double-doubles and one of five games with 10-or-more rebounds.

“I am so happy to get this deal done and want to personally thank Bob Myers and the Warriors owners, Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, for believing in me as a person and my skills on the court,” said Bogut.  “I absolutely love living in the Bay Area and playing in front of our incredible fans.  I’ve said all along that this is where I want to be long term and now I look forward to starting the season and working with my teammates and coaches to continue building on the foundation that we laid last year.”

Originally drafted by Milwaukee with the first overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft, Bogut had his finest NBA season in 2009-10, earning All-NBA Third Team honors after averaging a career-high 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.54 blocks per contest.  After seven-plus seasons with the Bucks, the Melbourne, Australia, native was acquired by Golden State, along with Stephen Jackson, on March 13, 2012, in exchange for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown.

OKC Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder exercised its fourth-year option on guard Reggie Jackson and third-year options on guard Jeremy Lamb and forward Perry Jones, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

In two seasons with the Thunder, Jackson has appeared in 115 games and averaged 4.5 points, 1.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per game. Most recently, Jackson appeared in 11 games (nine starts) with Oklahoma City during the 2013 playoffs and posted averages of 13.9 points, 3.6 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 33.5 minutes per contest.

In one season with the Thunder, Lamb appeared in 23 games while recording averages of 3.1 points in 6.4 minutes per contest.

During his rookie season with Oklahoma City, Jones saw action in 38 games (one start) and averaged 2.3 points and 1.6 rebounds in 7.4 minutes per game.

The Phoenix Suns today announced that the club has acquired center Emeka Okafor and a top-12 protected 2014 first-round pick from the Washington Wizards in exchange for center Marcin Gortat and guards Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee and Kendall Marshall.

With the addition of the top-12 protected pick from the Wizards, Phoenix now potentially possesses four first-round selections in the 2014 NBA Draft: the Suns’ own pick, Indiana’s pick (top-14 protected) and Minnesota’s pick (top-13 protected), in addition to the pick acquired from Washington.

“Marcin, Shannon and Kendall have been valuable members of the Suns family the past few years,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “We have enjoyed working with each of them and appreciate their hard work and professionalism. We wish all of them well.”

“We are excited to add another first-round pick in what is shaping up to be the best draft in a decade,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “We now have a chance to make four first-round selections in 2014. Emeka Okafor is a solid veteran center who will help solidify our front line when and if he is able to return from injury.”

Widely regarded for his defensive toughness and high basketball IQ, Okafor adds veteran leadership to the Suns’ roster. A nine-year veteran, he did not play for the Wizards this preseason as he was out with a herniated disc in his neck. Last season, he posted 9.7 points and 8.8 rebounds in 79 games for the Wizards. Okafor enters the 2013-14 season in the final year of his contract.

Okafor, the 2004-05 NBA Rookie of the Year, averaged a double-double in each of his first five NBA seasons and holds career averages of 12.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.66 blocks. The No. 2 pick of the 2004 draft, he culminated a standout collegiate career at the University of Connecticut by being named Most Outstanding Player of the 2004 Final Four after leading the Huskies to the NCAA title.

Gortat departs the Valley after emerging as one of the Western Conference’s best centers during his tenure with the Suns. The six-year veteran came to Phoenix in a trade with the Orlando Magic during the 2010-11 season and played in 182 consecutive contests after being acquired by the Suns before missing the final 21 games of the 2012-13 season. Overall, the Polish Hammer averaged 13.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.47 blocks in parts of three seasons with Phoenix, and ranks fifth in Suns’ history with a .547 field goal percentage with the club.

Brown, who signed with Phoenix before the 2011-12 season, averaged double-digits in scoring in both of his two seasons with the club, a feat he had never done before signing with the Suns. During his time with the Suns, Brown averaged 10.7 points in 118 games and set a franchise record for most three-point makes in a single quarter when he drained six from long distance in the fourth quarter of a win at Charlotte last season.

Marshall played in 48 games and averaged 3.0 points and 3.0 assists as a rookie with Phoenix in the 2012-13 season. Marshall recorded at least ten assists in each of his three starts last season and became the first player since Steve Nash in 1996 to tally double-digit assists while making his first career start in a Suns uniform.

Lee came to the Suns along with the draft rights to Archie Goodwin in a trade with Golden State on June 27, 2013. Lee did not dress for the Suns’ preseason contests as he continued rehab on his right knee following surgery last January.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 14.

The Golden State Warriors announced today that the team has exercised the fourth-year contract option on guard Klay Thompson and the third-year contract options on forward Harrison Barnes and center Festus Ezeli, which are all for the 2014-15 NBA season.

Thompson, 23, has appeared in all 148 games (111 starts) over two seasons with the Warriors, averaging 14.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 30.7 minutes per game. Starting all 82 games in 2012-13, Thompson finished third in the NBA with 211 three-pointers and combined with Stephen Curry (272) to hit 483 threes, the most by a pair of teammates in NBA history. In 12 postseason contests, the 6’7” guard averaged 15.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in 41.3 minutes. After only two seasons with the club, Thompson ranks 10th in team history with 322 three-point field goals and seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.406).

Barnes, 21, appeared in 81 games (all starts) as a rookie in 2012-13, posting averages of 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 25.8 minutes and garnering First Team All-Rookie honors. In 12 playoff contests (all starts), the 6’8” forward upped his averages to 16.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 38.4 minutes, becoming the first rookie to averaged at least 16 points and six rebounds in the postseason (min. 10 games) since David Robinson did so for San Antonio in 1990. Including the postseason, no rookie earned more starting nods than Barnes’ 93 starts last season.

Ezeli, 24, appeared in 78 games (41 starts) in his rookie campaign in 2012-13, averaging 2.4 points and 4.0 rebounds to go with 0.95 blocks, which ranked fourth among rookies last season. His 41 starting assignments were the most by a Warriors rookie center since Joe Barry Carroll started 80 games in 1980-81. In 12 postseason appearances, the 6’11” center averaged 2.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 11.2 minutes. Ezeli is currently recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee and is expected to miss a minimum of 6-9 months from the date of the procedure (June 12).

Under the terms of the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement, the first two years of a first round draft picks’ contract are guaranteed, while the third and fourth year of the contract are the team’s option. The Warriors selected Thompson with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and selected Barnes (7th overall) and Ezeli (30th) in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has waived guards Lorenzo Brown and Othyus Jeffers. The Timberwolves roster now stands at 16 players.

Brown, 23, averaged 12.6 minutes in three preseason contests this year, averaging 4.0 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.

Jeffers, 28, played in six preseason games with Minnesota this season, averaging 4.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game.

Atlanta Hawks waive Royal Ivey

The Atlanta Hawks have waived Royal Ivey, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Ivey appeared in three preseason contests for the Hawks. The roster stands at 16.

San Antonio Spurs sign Josh Howard

San Antonio Spurs sign Josh Howard

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed forward Josh Howard. We assume this is a non-guaranteed contract, as the veteran has had multiple surgeries in recent seasons, and staying healthy has been a challenge.

This is potentially a nice move, as Howard will only be expected to provide a bit of help in limited minutes off the bench.

Howard, 6-7/210, was originally drafted 29th overall in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks where he played for seven seasons (2003-10). He has also suited up for the Washington Wizards (2010-11), Utah Jazz (2011-12) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (2012-13).

In 507 career NBA games, the Wake Forest University product has averaged 14.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 30.3 minutes.

New York Knicks President and General Manager Steve Mills announced today that the team has waived forwards Ike Diogu, C.J. Leslie, Josh Powell and Jeremy Tyler and guard Chris Douglas-Roberts.

Diogu, 6-8, 255-pounds, averaged 7.2 points, on 56.7-percent shooting, and 4.0 rebounds over 16.2 minutes in six preseason games after signing as a free agent on Sep. 27.

Leslie, 6-9, 210-pounds, recorded 12 points and seven rebounds over 36 minutes in five preseason games after signing as an undrafted free agent on Jul. 8.

Powell, 6-9, 240-pounds, averaged 3.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 18.6 minutes in five preseason games after signing as a free agent on Sep. 30.

Tyler, 6-10, 250-pounds, signed as a free agent on Aug. 6, but did not appear in the preseason due to injury.

Douglas-Roberts, 6-7, 210-pounds, recorded seven points and three assists over 24 minutes in two preseason games after signing as a free agent on Oct. 2.

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they waived the contracts of guards Vander Blue and Khalif Wyatt, and forwards Royce White and Mac Koshwal.

NBA preseason ends tonight, and so teams around the league are steadily saying goodbye to players until their rosters contain 15 players or less. The NBA regular season starts Tuesday.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived center DeSagana Diop, forward Kenny Kadji, guard Jermaine Taylor and guard Elliot Williams, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Diop averaged 3.7 minutes in three preseason games for the Cavs. Kadji played in seven preseason games with averages of 5.0 points and 1.7 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game. Taylor averaged 5.7 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists in seven preseason games. Williams played in six Cavs preseason contests, averaging 2.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per game.

The Cavs roster now stands at 15.

Utah Jazz to add Jamaal Tinsley

It seemed like veteran point guard Jamaal Tinsley’s time in the NBA had wrapped up. But the Utah Jazz have reportedly decided they can make use of his services. Here is Jody Genessy of the Deseret News:

jamaal tinsley

Marvin Williams was surprised by the news. Derrick Favors was all for it. Coach Tyrone Corbin and general manager Dennis Lindsey were evasive because it’s not yet official.

And the guy who’ll have another experienced player competing for his point guard minutes?

Current Jazz starter John Lucas III was both diplomatic and optimistic about the impending addition of 10-year NBA veteran Jamaal Tinsley, an impending acquisition that was confirmed to the Deseret News after Wednesday’s deadline.

The move was deemed necessary in the aftermath of point guard Trey Burke fracturing his right index finger two weeks ago. The rookie was dubbed as the Jazz’s starter but could be sidelined for six weeks or more, pending how his shooting hand responds to last Tuesday’s surgery.

The Golden State Warriors have waived forward Joe Alexander, guard Seth Curry and center Dewayne Dedmon, the team announced today.

Alexander, 26, was signed as a free agent on September 27 and did not appear in a preseason game due to a tibial stress reaction in his left leg.

Curry, 23, was signed as a free agent on August 22. He appeared in six preseason contests and averaged 2.2 points and 1.0 assist in 7.2 minutes.

Dedmon, 24, was signed as a free agent on September 23 and appeared in five preseason games, averaging 3.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.00 blocks in 10.3 minutes.

The Warriors roster currently stands at 14 players.

NBA preason wins and losses don’t matter, but it’s still an important tune-up period for individual players as well as total teams, as they develop chemistry, work on their plays and prepare for the real thing. Here’s Michael Lee of the Washington Post (Blog).

John Wall

If John Wall is going to have a season in which he propels the franchise to the postseason and rises to all-star status, the lift-off will have to begin with the season opener on Oct. 30 against the Detroit Pistons. Wall’s uneven play during the preseason left much to be desired.

Standing in a hallway at US Bank Arena on Wednesday after the Wizards defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 101-82, Wall acknowledged that he was disappointed with how he performed. His last game was arguably his worst, as he had more turnovers (four) than points (three) and shot 1-for-7 in 26 minutes.

“I didn’t play too good this whole preseason, to me, to be honest,” Wall said.

Wall averaged 11.2 points and a team-best 6.3 assists, but he struggled with his shot – especially from three-point range – and also had a hard time holding on to the ball. He led the team with 3.43 turnovers per game.

Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder waived guards Diante Garrett and Rodney McGruder, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Garrett appeared in six preseason contests for the Thunder and recorded averages of 3.2 points and 1.5 assists in 10.2 minutes per game.

McGruder saw action in two exhibition games and averaged 1.0 point and 0.5 assists in 10.2 minutes per contest.

Oklahoma City’s roster now stands at 14.

NBA preseason ends tonight (Friday) with four games. All teams have to trim their rosters to 15 players or less by the start of the regular season, which kicks off Tuesday. Many more players around the league will be let go in the next few days. Most of those players were likely signed to non-guaranteed deals that merely brought them onto training camp/preseason rosters.

A glance at Mavs forward Shawn Marion

Shawn Marion has been around. You know his game by now, though as he’s gotten older, naturally things change. Here’s Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

Shawn Marion

The 15-year veteran remains the Mavs’ starting small forward and the primary backup to Dirk Nowitzki at power forward. Marion, a four-time All-Star during his time with the Phoenix Suns, has transitioned into a gritty role player during the later years of his career. He’s the Mavs’ best and most versatile defensive player and has led them in rebounding the last two seasons, averaging 7.8 boards per game last season.

Marion doesn’t have many plays designed for him, but he’s an effective cutter who scores often on unconventional floaters and an outstanding finisher. He averaged 12.1 points per game last season, shooting 51.4 percent from the floor. It’s reasonable to project him to produce like that again, particularly with the Mavs’ major upgrade at point guard.

Good three-point shooting opens up the paint area for inside players. Generally, the further a team can stretch the defense, the better. Here’s Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

kevin martin

Last season, the Wolves made only 30.5 percent of their threes. This preseason, with Kevin Love back healthy and Kevin Martin brought aboard, they made 37.6 percent and weren’t shy doing it.

“I don’t mind that if they’re good shots,” coach Rick Adelman said, referring to the 62 threes his team tried on consecutive nights. “I don’t mind that at all. We had some good looks at it. There’s where the ball is going to go.”

The ball in Adelman’s offense is going to find Martin and Love — deft shooters both — beyond the arc, and it’s going to find Rubio, too.

If Rubio makes enough to keep opposing defenses honest — and Thursday’s 15-point performance was more than that — it just might define the team’s upcoming season.

The return of center Greg Oden to NBA (preseason) action is a fun story, and hopefully it continues with Oden staying healthy and being a key member of the Miami Heat. Here’s Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

lebron james

LeBron James put it this way: “I have no idea what my feeling would be like after being away from the game for three years. I was so excited for him when he got on the court and his first basket he gets a dunk.

“Can you write it any better? Obviously he’s not where he wants to be, but the process is going great. I was so happy for him. I was like a big brother seeing his little brother succeed again. It was a great moment.”

Chris Bosh said: “We remind him daily that we’re going to need him. So, just to see him take that first step forward is huge.”

Oden played alongside Bosh, and that pairing should be effective against teams with two offensively gifted power rotation players, such as the Indiana Pacers, with Bosh slotted into his natural power forward position in those lineups.

Well, Danny Granger is banged up again. But it’s minor, hopefully. And not directly related to the stuff that kept him out for a long time. Hopefully. And the good news is, the Pacers are a talented team with a nice bench, so they can afford to be patient. Here’s Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star:

danny granger

Danny Granger’s return to the Indiana Pacers likely will be delayed a bit longer — although no one knows exactly how long.

Pacers coach Frank Vogel said after practice Thursday that the strained calf suffered by Granger last week is worse than previously thought and he doubts the former All-Star forward will play in the team’s regular-season opener against Orlando on Tuesday.

“There’s a chance he could play (against the Magic), but it’s probably unlikely,” Vogel said.

Granger did not play in Tuesday’s 107-89 preseason victory at Atlanta and will not play Friday night in the Pacers’ preseason finale at Dallas. He missed all but five games last season because of a knee injury.

Terrence Ross

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have exercised the third-year team options on the Rookie Scale Contracts of center Jonas Valanciunas and guard Terrence Ross.

The contracts for Valanciunas and Ross are now guaranteed through the 2014-15 season. In accordance with the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Raptors had until October 31 to exercise their option on both players.

Valanciunas, seven-foot, 257 pounds, joined the Raptors after being selected fifth overall in the 2011 NBA Draft and spending the 2011-12 season playing overseas. He was named to the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie Second Team after finishing the year ranked third among rookies in rebounds (6.0), blocks (1.26) and field goal percentage (.557). Valanciunas also ranked seventh among rookies averaging 8.9 points in 23.9 minutes.

A native of Utena, Lithuania, Valanciunas became the fifth rookie in franchise history to start on opening night and the second to record a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) in his debut October 31 versus Indiana. He was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for March, averaging 11.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and shooting .620 from the field in 15 games. Valanciunas scored a career-high 24 points and set a team rookie record shooting 16-for-18 at the free throw line April 3 versus Washington.

In July, Valanciunas was named Most Valuable Player of the 2013 NBA Summer League after averaging 18.8 points, 10.0 rebounds and 29.3 minutes in four outings. Following Summer League, he returned to the Lithuanian National Team and helped his country earn a silver medal at the FIBA Eurobasket Tournament and qualification for the 2014 FIBA World Championship. Valanciunas has been named FIBA Europe’s Young Men’s Player of the Year the past two years (2011 and 2012).

Ross, 6-foot-7, 197 pounds was selected eighth overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Raptors. Last season he posted averages of 6.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 17.0 minutes in 73 contests. He shot .332 (65-196) from beyond the arc and finished fifth among rookies in made three-pointers. He led the team in bench points 16 times and scored in double digits on 22 occasions. Ross recorded career highs of 26 points and six three-pointers January 2 versus Portland.

Ross won the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk during All-Star Saturday Night on February 16 in Houston. He defeated Jeremy Evans in the final round with 58 per cent of the fan votes.

Ross netted a game-high 27 points in Monday’s double overtime victory versus New York. He is averaging 12.0 points and leads the team with nine three-pointers through seven preseason games.

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