Sacramento Kings sign Jared Cunningham to 10-day contract

Sacramento Kings sign Jared Cunningham to 10-day contract

The Sacramento Kings today signed guard Jared Cunningham to a 10-day contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

In his second NBA season, Cunningham totaled two points (1-2 FG, 0-1 3pt, 0-2 FT), one rebound, three assists and 22 minutes in five games off the bench for the Atlanta Hawks before being waived on February 22.

Cunningham was selected out of Oregon State in the first round (24th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded along with Jae Crowder and Bernard James to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Tyler Zeller and Kelenna Azubike.

In his rookie campaign with the Mavericks, he recorded a total of 16 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal in 26 minutes in eight contests off the bench.

The 6-4, 194-pound guard has also spent time in the D-League, playing for the Texas Legends (2012-13) and Bakersfield Jam (2013-14). With the Legends, Cunningham averaged 15.3 points (.335 FG%, .257 3pt%, .721 FT%), 2.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 34.5 minutes per game in 15 games, of which he started 13. Cunningham posted averages of 16.5 points (.394 FG%, .330 3pt%, .803 FT%), 3.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 31.1 minutes per game in 22 contests, starting 19 of those.

Cleveland Cavaliers sign Scotty Hopson

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Scotty Hopson to a contract, Cavaliers acting General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Hopson appeared in 12 league games this year for Anadolu Efes in the Turkish Basketball league, where he averaged 7.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game. He also played in 11 Euroleague games for Anadolu Efes, averaging 15.5 points on .625 shooting and 4.2 rebounds in 28.2 minutes per game.

The 6-7, 204-pound guard played in three 2013 NBA Summer League games for the Miami Heat and averaged 11.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 22.0 minutes per game, including 22 points, two assists and three steals in 26 minutes against the Brooklyn Nets on July 8.

Hopson, who went undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft after averaging 12.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 103 career games at the University of Tennessee, spent the 2011-12 season with Kolossos Rodou of the Greek League and the 2012-13 season with Hapoel Eilat of the Israeli League.

Bobcats sign DJ White to second 10-day contract

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed forward DJ White to a second 10-day contract.

The 6-9 White has seen action in one game for the Bobcats this season, tallying one rebound and one steal in four minutes.  He is in his sixth NBA season and has career averages of 5.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 133 games played with the Thunder, Bobcats and Celtics.  For his career, White has shot .507 from the field (348-686) and .720 from the free-throw line (113-157).

Prior to joining the Bobcats, White played 27 games this season for the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association.  He averaged 20.2 points and 8.5 rebounds in 31.9 minutes, while shooting .672 (219-326) from the field and .733 from the free-throw line (96-131).  He scored in double figures 25 times, including 17 games of 20 points or more, and posted eight double-doubles.

Keeping Sacramento Kings core together will be expensive

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings, who likely face difficult economic decisions in the near future:

Rudy Gay

It was a bold move that signified the Kings would no longer see “cash considerations” as a primary asset gained through trades.

In December, new Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro, with the blessing of principal owner Vivek Ranadive, acquired three players from Toronto, with the headliner being forward Rudy Gay and the approximately $37 million he could earn over two seasons.

The deal made Isaiah Thomas a starter, and he’s flourished as a scoring point guard. With center DeMarcus Cousins, Thomas and Gay, the Kings have the only trio of players averaging 20 or more points on the same team.

This summer, the Kings will see how much it costs to keep a trio like that together.

Cousins will be entering the first year of a four-year, $62 million contract. Gay has a $19.3 million player option for next season. He could opt out and become a free agent, forcing the Kings to pay a bigger salary to retain him.

Alec Burks back in action for Jazz

Here’s the Salt Lake Tribune reporting on a key member of the Utah Jazz returning to action:

Alec Burks back in action for Jazz

After missing four straight games with a sprained left ankle, Jazz shooting guard Alec Burks was back in the lineup Sunday.

It took a moment to shake the rust off.

The attacking guard was in familiar position, getting back to the line quickly upon checking into the game. But he hit on just one of his first four free-throw attempts. Handling the ball in a first-quarter pick and roll, Burks dribbled right and lost it out of bounds.

“When I was talking to him on the court, he said he felt like he was moving a little too fast,” forward Marvin Williams said. “I told him, when you have time off your timing is the first thing to go. You just have to tell yourself to slow down a little bit. … He slowed down and he got back to the same old Alec.”

Knicks have legit shot at making the playoffs

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Knicks, who despite their disappointing win-loss record have a very good shot at qualifying for the playoffs:

Knicks have legit shot at making the playoffs

It’s down to one.

With Atlanta in freefall, the Knicks are lucky to be alive. And so they are very much, closing to one game of the final playoff spot with a 89-84 upset victory in a surprising defensive struggle over the Warriors at Oracle Arena, when they shut down Stephen Curry twice in the final 30 seconds.

The Knicks used rare gritty defense and a 15-0 run late in the second quarter to keep their postseason dreams alive. They had lost 10 of their last 11 games in Oakland before rising to the challenge — and bottling up Curry on the final possession.

“Our defense finally stepped up,’’ coach Mike Woodson said.

The Knicks moved to 2-2 on their five-game West Coast trip. With eight games left, the Knicks finish up the Western trip Monday in Utah. The Hawks face the Sixers.

Brooklyn Nets win 13th straight home game

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Nets, who beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-99 in Brooklyn on Sunday:

Brooklyn Nets win 13th straight home game

Sunday seemed like just another day at the office, a 13th straight win at the Barclays Center with their victory song, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, pumping in the loudspeakers after the final buzzer.

The win meant the Nets (39-33) clinched a playoff spot if the Knicks lost Sunday night at Golden State.

Still, coach Jason Kidd wasn’t interested in indulging the prospects of clinching a playoff spot, if only because the circumstances involved the New York team that he’s made it a policy of not discussing.

“No matter what the Knicks do, we could care less,” he said.
NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News Pierce (r.), here with Kevin Love in his face, shoots 8 for 11 from the field in leading the Nets to another victory.

The Nets, who’ve won 20 of their last 22 games at home, didn’t gain ground in their race for homecourt advantage in the opening round. Still seeded fifth, they remained 2 ½ games behind No. 3 Toronto – which toppled the Magic – and 1 ½ behind No. 4 Chicago – which edged the Celtics.

Kevin Garnett remains out for Nets

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Brooklyn Nets and injured veteran Kevin Garnett:

Kevin Garnett remains out for Nets

Kevin Garnett will miss at least a few more days because of his seemingly never-ending bout with back spasms.

The Nets announced before beating the Timberwolves 114-99 in Brooklyn that Garnett, who had previously been ruled out of his 16th straight game, won’t return until either this weekend against either Detroit at home Friday, at Philadelphia on Saturday or in one of the team’s two games in Florida against the Heat and Magic early next week.

But whenever he comes back, — whether it’s one of those four games, sometime after those or not until the playoffs — Nets coach Jason Kidd said Garnett won’t need any practice time when he deems himself ready to go.

“He just needs to put the uniform on [when he’s ready],” Kidd said. “That’s it.

Kevin Durant scoring streak continues in Thunder win over Jazz

Kevin Durant

The drama was sapped early from Oklahoma City’s blowout win over Utah, except for one detail.

Thunder forward Kevin Durant is nearing Michael Jordan’s mark for consecutive games with at least 25 points.

With the crowd buzzing late in the third quarter, Durant reached the mark for the 38th consecutive time, leaving him two games short of Jordan’s accomplishment, which is the most in the past 50 years.

He finished with 31 points and nine assists to help Oklahoma City defeat the Jazz 116-96 on Sunday afternoon.

Jordan did it for 40 straight games for the Chicago Bulls during the 1986-87 season. Durant is aware of the mark, but the NBA’s leading scorer left worrying about it to the crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

— Associated Press

Pacers keep losing on road, fall to Cavs

David West

Sitting in the last chair on Indiana’s bench, David West stared straight ahead, unable to look at the court.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock on another disheartening loss, West seemed dazed.

The Pacers’ promising season is unraveling

Dion Waiters scored 19 points, Luol Deng added 15 and the Cleveland Cavaliers kept their playoff push going with a 90-76 win Sunday over the skidding Pacers, who are losing their grip on the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Tristan Thompson had 16 rebounds as the Cavs snapped a nine-game losing streak against Indiana. Cleveland came in three games behind slumping, idle Atlanta for the conference’s final playoff spot. With seven games left — six against teams with losing records — the Cavs still have a chance.

The Pacers, meanwhile, are falling apart. They lost their fifth straight road game and now lead Miami by one game for the East’s top record and home-court advantage throughout the postseason.

— Associated Press