Archive for October 1st, 2013

Lester Hudson joins Utah Jazz training camp

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed free-agent guard Lester Hudson, finalizing Utah’s 2013 training camp roster at 20 players.

Hudson (6-3, 190, Tennessee-Martin) has appeared in 52 career NBA games with four teams, over three seasons (Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers). The 29-year-old, who last played in the NBA during the 2011-12 season with Memphis, holds career averages of 4.8 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 10.3 minutes per game.

In 2012-13, Hudson was a member of the Dongguan Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association and the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League. He appeared in 11 games (10 starts) with the Toros, averaging 18.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 36.6 minutes and also saw action in four of the Toros playoff contests where his averages increased to 23.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists. In 15 games with the Leopards, he posted averages of 27.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 37.0 minutes.

The Memphis, Tenn., native was originally selected by the Boston Celtics in the second round (58th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft after a stellar final two seasons at Tennessee-Martin. The highlight of his collegiate career occurred during his junior season when he became the first NCAA Division I men’s basketball player to record a quadruple-double, putting up a line of 25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals vs. Central Baptist on 11/13/07.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier today, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced.

“Russell has been incredible in his work and rehabilitation. He has been pain-free and has performed at a high level during practice, but has experienced recent swelling that had not subsided,” said Presti. “After careful consideration and recommendations from the medical team, we elected to do the procedure today based on our consulting physician’s belief that the swelling would be alleviated, and in turn give Russell the best chance for sustained performance throughout the season and beyond. During the procedure it was determined that the source of swelling was due to a loose stitch, and fortunately we were also able to confirm that the meniscus has healed properly.”

Westbrook is expected to miss the first 4-6 weeks of the 2013-14 regular season.

Monta Ellis says he will prove critics wrong

For Monta Ellis, “efficient” might as well be a four-letter word.

He’s become a sort of analytics antihero the past couple seasons, a model of scoring inefficiency. Frankly, Ellis is sick and tired of hearing about it, which he made clear by shaking his head and chuckling when the subject was broached during the Dallas Mavericks’ media day Monday.

“I’m going to get criticized for what I do anyway,” Ellis said. “The only thing I can do is laugh it off because there’s a lot of guys that take a lot of bad shots in this league. A lot of bad shots. Don’t nobody want to talk about them, but everybody talks about shots that Monta take[s]. The only thing I’m going to do is take the punches and prove everybody wrong.”

There are a lot of guys in the NBA who take bad shots, but precious few put up more bricks than Ellis did in his final season with the Milwaukee Bucks, which explains why he settled for signing a three-year, $25 million deal with the Mavs that was far shy of his asking price when free agency opened.

Reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas

Jae Crowder said at Mavericks media day on Monday that he’s 15 pounds lighter. A small of that portion might have to do with his hair.

Crowder shortened his dreadlocked pony tail on Sunday, cutting off what he estimates was an inch and a half of hair. It’s an annual tradition. Just before basketball season every year, he trims the nest.

“During the summer I just let it go, I don’t cut it at all,” Crowder said. “But during the season I keep it cut. This summer it got down to the middle of my back.”

Reported by Michael Florek of SportsDayDFW

It is the Detroit Pistons’ only apparent open position in the starting lineup, largely because many of the potential shooting guards don’t fit the spot.

Chauncey Billups really doesn’t want the job.

Rodney Stuckey professed indifference, which he proved last year.

Kyle Singler started most of last season at the position. But he’s probably in a competition for backup small forward moreso than starting shooting guard.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope wants the job. But the rookie first-round draft pick has some proving to do first.

Of the several points of intrigue as the Pistons open training camp this morning, only one involves a starting role, with as many varied styles as candidates.

Reported by David Mayo of Michigan Live

Knicks

The New York Knicks announced Monday that the team has signed forwards Justin Brownlee and Josh Powell. We assume they are non-guaranteed contracts that merely add the players to training camp.

Brownlee, 6-7, 219-pounds, was a member of New York’s entry in the NBA Summer League each of last two summers, and averaged 4.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.20 steals over 16.1 minutes in five games this past July in Las Vegas, NV. He played for San Diego of the ABA last season after playing for Maine (NBADL) and in Mexico (Nuevo Laredo) in 2011-12. He averaged 8.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists over 23.5 minutes in 50 games for Maine and 13.6 points and 6.0 rebounds in 10 games for Nuevo Laredo. The Tifton, GA-native played two seasons at St. John’s University, recording 9.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists over 24.5 minutes in 65 games. He began his collegiate career at Chipola Junior College (FL) and City College of San Francisco.

Powell, 6-9, 225-pounds, holds career averages of 3.9 points on 43.9-percent shooting, and 2.9 rebounds over 12.5 minutes in 315 games (28 starts) over six seasons with Dallas, Indiana, Golden State, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers and Atlanta. He spent the 2012-13 season playing in Greece (Olympiacos) and Puerto Rico (Brujos de Guayama), after playing in China (Liaoning) in 2011-12. He went to training camp with San Antonio last season before being waived on Oct. 26. A member of the 2009 NBA Champion L.A. Lakers, he last played in the NBA for Atlanta in 2010-11, averaging 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 54 games. The Charleston, SC-native went undrafted following two seasons at North Carolina State University. He began his professional career playing overseas for two seasons in Italy and Russia before signing with Dallas in 2005-06.

Renaldo Balkman

The Dallas Mavericks on Monday signed forward Renaldo Balkman. We assume it’s a non-guaranteed contract that merely brings Balkman to training camp.

Balkman (6-8, 208) was selected by the New York Knicks with the 20th overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft. He holds career averages of 4.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 13.9 minutes in 221 career games with New York and Denver.

The Staten Island, N.Y., native is a Puerto Rican-American who most recently played professionally for Brujos de Guayama in Puerto Rico. Balkman played collegiately at South Carolina where he was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Tournament Team and National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Most Valuable Player in his final season with the Gamecocks.

With the signing, the Mavericks’ current roster stands at 20 players.

Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed free-agent forward Brian Cook, guard/forward Justin Holiday and center Dwayne Jones II. All three players will join the Jazz prior to this week’s training camp at Zions Bank Basketball Center. Following the three additions, Utah’s roster now stands at 19 players.

Cook (6-9, 234, Illinois) has appeared in 421 career NBA games (74 starts) over nine seasons from 2003-12. He spent his first four seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers before stints with the Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Washington Wizards and holds career averages of 5.5 points and 2.6 rebounds. The 32-year-old has also seen action in 31 career playoff games over four appearances with the Lakers and Rockets. In 2012-13, he appeared in two games for the Piratas de Quebradillas of Puerto Rico, averaging 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 19.1 minutes. Cook was originally selected by the Lakers in the first round (24th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft.

Holiday (6-6, 185, Washington) split time between the NBA and NBA Development League as a rookie in 2012-13, playing 47 games for the Idaho Stampede after attending training camp with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He finished the season with the Philadelphia 76ers, appearing in nine games for the Sixers, averaging 4.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 15.8 minutes of play. He averaged 17.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 34.7 minutes during his time with the Stampede and was selected to the 2013 NBA Development League All-Defensive Second Team. This summer, the 24-year-old native Californian participated for Philadelphia in the Orlando Pro Summer League, appearing in four games and averaging 9.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists.

Jones II (6-11, 250, Saint Joseph’s) has played in a total of 82 career games in the NBA, split between Boston, Cleveland, Charlotte, and Phoenix, owning career averages of 1.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 7.8 minutes of action. The 30-year-old appeared in 21 games (17 starts) for the Texas Legends of the D-League during the 2012-13 season, averaging 8.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 30.5 minutes. Jones II most recently participated in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas with the Golden State Warriors. A native of Morgantown, W. Va., Jones was previously selected to the 2010 All D-League First Team, and was the Atlantic-10 Defensive Player of the Year his final year at Saint Joseph’s.

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