Archive for December 20th, 2013

Pelicans sign center Alexis Ajinca

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed center Alexis Ajinca. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not released.

Ajinca, who was originally drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round (20th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft, joins the Pelicans after playing the previous two seasons for Strasbourg (France) in the Euroleague.

Entering his fourth season in the NBA, Ajinca (7-2, 248) has appeared in 71 games (six starts) and holds career averages of 3.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.2 assists and 0.4 blocks in 7.8 minutes per game over the course of three seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats (2008-10), Dallas Mavericks (2010-11) and Toronto Raptors (2010-11).

Ajinca will wear No. 12 and will be available for tomorrow night’s contest at Portland.

The Pelicans roster now stands at 15.

Quincy Pondexter out after foot surgery

Quincy Pondexter out after foot surgery

The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that Grizzlies guard/forward Quincy Pondexter underwent surgery to repair a tarsal navicular stress fracture in his right foot. The surgery was performed today by team physicians Dr. Fred Azar and Dr. Drew Murphy at the Campbell Clinic.

Pondexter (6-6, 225) is out indefinitely.

Currently in his fourth NBA season, Pondexter averaged 6.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 18.0 minutes in 15 games (two starts) before sustaining the injury in the first half of the December 7 game against Golden State. The 25-year-old scored a career-high 22 points on Nov. 30 vs. Brooklyn.

Drafted by Oklahoma City in the first round (26th overall) in the 2010 NBA Draft, Pondexter holds career averages of 4.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 15.9 minutes in 204 games (17 starts) with Memphis and New Orleans.

Memphis signed the University of Washington product to a multi-year contract extension on Oct. 31.

The Golden State Warriors have assigned guard Nemanja Nedovic to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced today. The rookie guard will be in uniform for the team’s game tonight against the Bakersfield Jam in Bakersfield.

Nedovic has appeared in one game this season with Santa Cruz while on previous assignment, registering 31 points in 36 minutes in a victory over the Austin Toros on November 24.

The Philadelphia 76ers are 7-19, and going nowhere fast. Do any players want out? Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer with the latest on a rumor involving Thaddeus Young:

Thaddeus Young denies asking for trade from 76ers

76ers forward Thad Young, the subject of trade rumors, said Friday he has not asked the team to deal him.

Speaking after the morning shootaround for Friday night’s Brooklyn game, Young poked fun at an Internet report that said he and his agent, Jim Tanner, submitted a formal trade request to Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie weeks ago.

“I just think it’s all funny how it’s sources that say I asked to be traded,” Young said. “At the end of the day, like I said, I’m here 110 percent each and every game, ready to play and just stay focused and try to win basketball games.”

He said Tanner did talk to Hinkie about various situations, including potential trade talks and trade rumors involving him.

Lakers sign guard Kendall Marshall

Lakers sign guard Kendall Marshall

The 2013-14 Los Angeles Lakers have had a relatively successful season so far, when taking their roster and injuries into account. And today they added to their backcourt, which has been in desperate need of some healthy talent.

The Lakers signed guard Kendall Marshall to a multi-year contract, it was announced by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Marshall, a 6’4” point guard out of North Carolina, was originally selected 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2012 NBA Draft. In 48 career NBA games with the Suns, Marshall, who was traded to Washington in 2013, has averaged 3.0 points, 3.0 assists, and 0.9 rebounds in 14.6 minutes. A McDonald’s All-American in 2010, Marshall earned several honors while playing for the Tar Heels, including the Bob Cousy Award (2012) as the top college point guard, Second Team All-ACC (2012), Third Team All-ACC (2011) and All-ACC Freshman Team (2011). Additionally, the Dumfries, Virginia native set an ACC single-season record as a sophomore with 351 assists (4th most in NCAA history) and finished his career with 581 assists in 73 games (7.96 APG; highest average in UNC history).

Most recently, Marshall played for the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League, averaging 19.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 9.6 assists in seven games. In 16 career NBA D-League games with the 87ers and Bakersfield Jam, Marshall averaged 13.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 8.4 assists.

With an 8-17 record, the New York Knicks aren’t off to the start they envisioned. But things have looked better lately, and should keep improving now that center Tyson Chandler is back in action. Here’s ESPN New York with more:

Stay positive, says Knicks guard Raymond Felton

Raymond Felton’s heard the “Fire Woodson” chants at Knicks home games. He’s heard the throaty boos from the MSG faithful when the Knicks struggle.

But the point guard has a request for Knicks fans — stay positive. Please.

“All we’re trying to do is stay positive. That’s what we’re trying to explain to the fans, to the media, that all the negativity, the booing, the ‘get rid of Woody, the trade this guy, trade that guy.’ Like, c’mon man, just ride with us,” Felton said at his second annual holiday party, where he provided gifts and a basketball clinic to 100 local children at Basketball City.

“Last year when we were doing well, we were winning all these games everybody was riding with us. Ride with us now, when we’re in our tough times. Because everything is not always perfect.”

Here’s CBS 5 reporting on former NBA player Richard Dumas, who has gotten himself into some big trouble:

The U.S. Marshals Service has wrapped up a three-day pre-holiday sting appropriately dubbed “Operation Grinch Stopper 2″ throughout Arizona in which more than 150 people were arrested, including a former Phoenix Suns player.

The operation targeted individuals with outstanding arrest warrants for property crimes, including armed robbery, larceny, burglary and any other Grinch-type crime, according to a U.S. Marshals spokesman.

There were 112 arrests made by officers from 27 agencies that participated in the operation in Maricopa and Pinal counties, and 39 arrests in and around Tucson, Yuma and Flagstaff…

Richard Dumas, 44, was wanted by Maricopa County prosecutors after being indicted for eight counts of organized retail theft. Dumas, a former Phoenix Suns basketball player, was located at the Dumas and Friends Athletic Association in Litchfield Park and arrested without incident.

Now this would have been fun to see video footage of. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on a postgame locker room visit gone wrong:

Joakim Noah visit to Thunder locker room angers Kendrick Perkins

Following the Thunder’s win over Chicago on Thursday night, the starting centers for both teams got into a brief but heated exchange inside the Thunder’s locker room.

Bulls center Joakim Noah accompanied friend and Thunder starter Thabo Sefolosha into Oklahoma City’s dressing room. Perkins immediately took exception.

“They let anybody into the locker room, huh?” Perkins shouted after spotting Noah at the entrance of the dressing room while seated at his locker.

Russell Westbrook, from across the room, soon chimed in.

Noah then addressed Perkins directly, asking if he wanted him to leave and saying if Perkins wanted him out he would leave. Perkins, still seated, responded with an obscenity-laced retort, which he capped by saying “Get yo’ (expletive) up out of here.”

The basketball world had Kobe Bryant back, but now he’s out again. Here’s the Associated Press with more:

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is expected to miss about six weeks with an injured left knee, dealing the second major injury setback of the year to the Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar guard.

An MRI exam on Thursday revealed Bryant has a fracture in his lateral tibial plateau - the top of his shinbone near his knee.

Bryant made his season debut with the Lakers Dec. 8 after nearly eight months away while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. He apparently was hurt again Tuesday night in Memphis while playing his fourth game in five nights.

After playing six games in 10 days, the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history is out again until February or longer - and the Lakers’ already miserable run of injuries got even uglier.

“You hate it for Kobe,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters after practice Thursday. “He’s worked so hard to get back, but he’ll be back. He’ll be back in six weeks. We’ve just got to weather the storm until he gets back.”

The Philadelphia 76ers need help, and they’re about to get it in the form of their fantastic rookie point guard. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

Michael Carter-Williams set to return for Philly

A second straight strong practice has 76ers rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams feeling ready to return to the lineup for Friday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center against the Brooklyn Nets.

Carter-Williams missed the last seven games with a skin infection and soreness in the front of his right knee.

While he is listed as a game-time decision, coach Brett Brown and Carter-Williams indicated that, barring any setback, he would play Friday.

“Nobody is making a 100 percent commitment that he is playing. We think he is, he has practiced well,” Brown said after Thursday’s workout. “We assume he will be in the lineup.”

Carter-Williams was also making that assumption.

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