Archive for December 16th, 2013

Chicago Bulls waive guard Mike James

mike james

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived guard Mike James.

James (6-2, 188) appeared in seven games with Chicago, and averaged 0.3 ppg, 0.9 apg in 5.4 mpg. He signed with Chicago on Sept. 27.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 13.

This could be the sign of a trade coming, or more likely, that the Bulls have targeted another guard to sign. The team will be without injured point guard Derrick Rose all season.

Memphis Grizzlies sign forward James Johnson

The Memphis Grizzlies signed forward James Johnson of the NBA Development League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the team announced today.

Johnson (6-9, 245) joins the Grizzlies after averaging 18.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.90 steals and 3.40 blocks on .496 shooting in 29.9 minutes in 10 games (all starts) for Rio Grande Valley this season. The 26-year-old is the only D-League player this season to rank in the top 15 in scoring (14th), rebounding (12th) and assists (14th) by average. He also places third in the D-League in blocks per game and is tied for seventh in steals per game.

Johnson owns NBA career averages of 6.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.98 blocks on .443 shooting in 18.3 minutes in 219 games (87 starts) in four seasons with the Chicago Bulls (2009-10 to 2010-11), Toronto Raptors (2010-11 to 2011-12) and Sacramento Kings (2012-13). He played the 2013 preseason with the Atlanta Hawks but was waived on Oct. 21, 2013.

The Cheyenne, Wyo. native’s best season as a pro came in 2011-12 with Toronto when he averaged career highs across the board with 9.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.15 steals and 1.35 blocks in 25.2 minutes. He was one of just seven qualifying NBA players that season to average at least one steal and one block per game, joining Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Josh Smith, DeMarcus Cousins and Kenyon Martin.

He holds career D-League averages of 18.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.50 steals and 3.00 blocks on .513 shooting in 30.9 minutes in 18 games (all starts) for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Iowa Energy.

Johnson was drafted by Chicago in the first round (16th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft after two seasons at Wake Forest University. He led the Demon Deacons in rebounding each year and as a sophomore guided the team to a 24-5 record and a No. 1 ranking during the 2008-09 season.

Here’s the Washington Post Blog on Wizards center Marcin Gortat, who hopes to play more to his offensive strengths, which reside close to the basket:

Marcin Gortat hoping for more inside looks

Marcin Gortat watched John Wall’s corner three-pointer bounce high off the rim, curled around Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap and hammered home a furious one-handed jam. As his Wizards teammates hopped from their seats to applaud, Gortat angrily strutted back.

Gortat embraces being big, loves banging inside, and isn’t caught up in following other 6-foot-11 or taller players who would prefer to parade around the perimeter shooting jumpers rather than mixing it up and throwing people around. For that reason, Gortat has grown frustrated with a lack of touches near the basket and said he would speak to Coach Randy Wittman about his role in the offense after a lackluster outing against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“I don’t like the position I play,” Gortat said after scoring just six points on 3-of-10 shooting in the Wizards’ 113-96 loss on Saturday at Verizon Center. “I’m constantly drifting more and more away from the basket. That’s not my game. I’m capable of making one or two plays like that away from the basket, but I feel more comfortable underneath the basket.”

The Brooklyn Nets have put together a few wins lately, losing on Friday in Detroit but winning their three previous games before that. Here’s ESPN New York with an update on the rotation:

Paul Pierce will continue to come off bench for Nets

Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd said that small forward Paul Pierce will continue to come off the bench.

“For right now, yes,” Kidd said Sunday.

Pierce has come off the bench since coming back from a broken bone in his right hand. Over that three-game span, he’s averaging 8.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 25.7 minutes, while shooting 36.8 percent from the field.

“[Paul]’s selfless,” Nets point guard Deron Williams said. “That shows what kind of person he is. He can be a guy that says, ‘I’m Paul Pierce, I’m a starter in this league,’ you know? Like some guys have done. He’s just worried about winning right now, and he’s trying to get back healthy and get back into a rhythm and I think he’s doing whatever the team needs right now.”

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel with a cool item about Magic rookie Victor Oladipo getting some useful career tips from someone who knows things:

Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo admired Kevin Durant from afar for a long time, and now Oladipo is happy and honored to call Durant a friend.

They grew up in the Washington, D.C., area, so Oladipo always was attuned to Durant’s accomplishments. But since Oladipo is four years younger than Durant, they hadn’t met face-to-face until this past summer when Oladipo visited a basketball camp that Durant was running in Washington.

“For him to be able to talk to me and for him to give me advice was kind of crazy,” Oladipo said. “But at the same time, it definitely was humbling and definitely nice for him to do — a credit to him for doing that. He didn’t have to, but he did it anyway.”

Both Oladipo and Durant were selected second overall in the NBA Draft — Durant in 2007 and Oladipo in 2013.

Here is WATE in Knoxville, Tennessee reporting on a known player passing away:

Former Tennessee basketball player Dyron Nix has passed away in Atlanta at the age of 46.

Former Vol and Nix teammate Clarence Swearengen confirmed the death through a member of the Nix family.

Swearengen said Nix had gone to an Atlanta hospital complaining of breathing difficulty and died a short time later.

Nix was a standout player on the Tennessee basketball team from 1985-89. He became a fan favorite for his athletic style of play– and was drafted by the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

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