Archive for October 31st, 2013

Grizzlies sign Quincy Pondexter to contract extension

The Memphis Grizzlies signed guard/forward Quincy Pondexter to a contract extension, the team announced today. According to CSNNW, the deal is for four years, $14 million.

Pondexter (6-6, 225) led the Grizzlies in three-point field goal percentage (career-high .395) in 59 games (one start) last season and also averaged career highs with 6.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 21.1 minutes. He made 60 three-pointers last season after recording a total of 40 threes over his first two NBA seasons.

Pondexter further increased his production during the 2013 NBA Playoffs, averaging 8.9 points and 2.5 rebounds on .489 shooting (.453 3FG shooting) in 23.8 minutes in 15 postseason games. The 25-year-old posted 15.3 points and 3.3 rebounds on .537 shooting (.480 3FG shooting) in 32.0 minutes during the 2013 Western Conference Finals, leading the Grizzlies in scoring twice during the series.

After a 13-point performance in the 2013-14 season opener on Oct. 30 at San Antonio, Pondexter holds career averages of 4.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists on .431 shooting (.366 3FG shooting) in 15.8 minutes in 190 games (15 starts) for Memphis and New Orleans.

Jared Sullinger

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have exercised a contract option on forward Jared Sullinger for the 2014-15 season.

This was an expected move. Sullinger is a talented young player and it makes sense to keep him around and see how he develops.

According to the Boston Herald, Sullinger will make $1,424,520 in the 2014-15 season.

Sullinger, a 6’9” forward, averaged 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game during the 2012-13 season. The second-year player only appeared in 45 games as a rookie for the Celtics before missing the final 37 games of the season due to lumbar disc surgery. Sullinger averaged 10.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steal in 20.6 minutes per game during the 2013 preseason. He notched preseason highs of 19 points and nine rebounds at Philadelphia on October 11.

Part-owner Shaq wants playoffs for Kings

Can the Sacramento Kings make the playoffs this season? Sure seems like a tough goal when you look at their roster. But new part-owner Shaquille O’Neal says a postseason spot is within the realm of possibility. Here’ the Sacramento Bee:

Part-owner Shaq wants playoffs for Kings

A postseason berth would be the franchise’s first since the 2005-06 season.

“Looking at the personnel here and the Western Conference, I think we can do it,” O’Neal said. “We can get a playoff spot. Our goal should be the playoffs.”

Bigs together – O’Neal said he will continue to work with DeMarcus Cousins, offering wisdom for the young center’s development on and off the court.

But only to a point.

“I won’t micromanage him,” O’Neal said. “He’s a young guy who is still growing up. I know he wants to be a great big man. I can show him the keys.”

The big victory for the Kings in recent years, as far as Sacramento is considered, is that the team is still in town and did not wind up being relocated to Seattle or elsewhere. Here’s the Sacramento Bee:

Kings

Standing at center court in Sleep Train Arena on Wednesday night amid smoke from exploding fireworks, new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, microphone in hand, uttered a few words.

“Sacramento, I have just one thing to say to you,” he said, pausing, his face a mask of seriousness. “This is your team. And it is here to stay.”

A standing-room-only crowd in Sleep Train Arena exploded in cheers. It was a moment many here thought just six months ago would never happen. And yet, the Kings hosted a noisy, purple-hued celebration Wednesday in Natomas, launching their 29th and most improbable season in Sacramento.

The game, which the Kings won 90-88 over the Denver Nuggets, capped a triumphant night.

Many in the crowd said they had come to bask in the fact that Sacramento had somehow, over the last three years, fended off serious attempts by two cities to take the team – both of which seemed, at points, to be done deals.

Here’s the Denver Post on a key piece of the Nuggets who has been sidelined a bit longer than expected:

wilson chandler

Wilson Chandler’s face would never give away his sense of worry, of frustration, of most anything. He’s as even-keeled as they come.

And yet he’s been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury that cost him pretty much all of the preseason and has spilled into the regular season, sidelining him for Wednesday night’s season opener against Sacramento.

Chandler’s inability to get better is concerning to Nuggets coach Brian Shaw.

“I am concerned with that,” Shaw said. “But at this point, it’s the beginning of the season — hamstring, those kinds of muscle pulls, strains, tears, can hamper you and linger for a long time. I just want him to be able to get it right and feel confident that when he does he can come out there and be productive for us.”

To NBA fans, Allen Iverson, one of the most exciting guards in history, has basically been retired for several years now. But as for Iverson himself, it’s finally an official done deal as of yesterday. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson, who last played in the NBA in 2010, formally announced his retirement, and like his career, it was done with flair.

Speaking at an afternoon news conference at the Wells Fargo Center, Iverson was emotional, talking about his career and those close to him.

Iverson was candid in his comments and unwavering in his belief in himself and what he stood for. When asked if there was anything he would change during a stormy career, he said, “No, not one thing.”

Then he expanded.

“It’s easy to say I wish I would have done things this way, but I can’t go back and rewind it back and do it all over. I am happy with the way I done it because it taught me a lot.”

Miles Plumlee steps up for Suns

The NBA season started Tuesday, and on Wedneday there were 14 games. One great performance came from an unexpected source. Here’s Arizona Sports:

It’s just one game and it came against an underwhelming Portland Trail Blazers team, but the Phoenix Suns’ revamped frontcourt had a solid season debut in Wednesday’s 104-91 win at US Airways Center.

Despite operating somewhat shorthanded with the recent trade of Marcin Gortat and the suspension of forward Markieff Morris, Phoenix’s bigs left their mark on a game that opened something of a new era for the Suns, who were debuting new jerseys, a new coach and an overhauled roster.

Center Miles Plumlee, acquired in an offseason trade with the Indiana Pacers, scored 18 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked three shots — surpassing his 2012 season total for points and matching it in blocks.

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