Archive for June 25th, 2014

Rudy Gay exercises option to stay with Kings for 2014-15 season

Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay has exercised his contract option for the 2014-15 season, General Manager Pete D’Alessandro announced today.

“We’re thrilled that Rudy will return to Sacramento next season,” said Kings Chairman and Majority Owner Vivek Ranadivé. “He quickly demonstrated consistency both on the court and in the community, and we regard him as a valuable member of our organization moving forward.”

In his eighth NBA season, Gay was acquired by the Kings along with Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Greivis Vasquez on December 9, 2013. With the Kings, Gay averaged 20.1 points (.482 FG%, .312 3pt%, .836 FT%), 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.22 steals and 34.4 minutes per game in starting all 55 games he played in. Gay finished the 2013-14 season with averages of 20.0 points (.455 FG%, .330 3pt%, a career-high .822 FT%), 6.0 rebounds, a career-high 2.9 assists, 1.30 steals and 34.7 minutes per game in starting all 73 games he played with Sacramento and Toronto.

Gay is averaging 18.2 points (.451 FG%, .342 3pt%, .784 FT%), 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.35 steals and 35.9 minutes per game in 585 career contests.

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has acquired guards Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington and Shane Larkin, center Samuel Dalembert and two second-round selections in the 2014 NBA Draft (34th & 51st overall) from Dallas in exchange for guard Raymond Felton and center Tyson Chandler.

“The journey to build this team for the upcoming season and beyond continues,” Jackson said. “We have added players with this move that will fit right in to our system while maintaining future flexibility.

“We would like to thank Raymond and Tyson for their time and hard work with the organization over the past few years.”

Calderon, 6-3, 211-pounds, holds career averages of 10.2 points, on 47.9-percent shooting from the floor and 41.1-percent from three-point range, and 6.8 assists in 634 games (432 starts) over nine seasons with Toronto, Detroit and Dallas. He ranked in the top five on the NBA assist list in four of the last seven seasons and set a single-season NBA record by shooting 98.1-percent (151-154) from the free throw line in 2008-09 with the Raptors. This past season for the Mavericks, he averaged 11.4 points and 4.7 assists and hit a career high 191 three pointers (seventh in NBA) over 30.5 minutes in 81 games (all starts).

The 32-year-old Villanueva de la Serena, Spain-native played six seasons in the Spanish professional leagues before signing with Toronto on Aug. 3, 2005. His illustrious career with the Spanish national team includes winning Silver Olympic medals at the 2008 games in Beijing and 2012 games in London, and was a member of the 2006 FIBA World Championship team.

Dalembert, 6-11, 250-pounds, holds career averages of 7.8 points, on 52.3-percent shooting, 7.9 rebounds and 1.76 blocks over 24.7 minutes in 854 games (673 starts) in 12 NBA seasons with Philadelphia, Sacramento, Houston, Milwaukee and Dallas. He has ranked in the top 10 in total blocked shots in seven of the those 12 seasons. This past season, the 33-year-old averaged 7.8 points, on a career-best 56.8-percent shooting, 6.8 rebounds and 1.18 blocks over 20.2 minutes in 80 games (68 starts) with Dallas. The Port-au-Prince, Haiti-native, who played two seasons at Seton Hall University (NJ), was originally selected by Philadelphia in first round (26th overall) of 2001 NBA Draft.

Ellington, 6-4, 200-pounds, holds career averages of 6.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists over 17.9 minutes in 312 games (35 starts) over five NBA seasons with Minnesota, Memphis, Cleveland and Dallas and averaged 3.2 points over 8.7 minutes in 45 games (one start) for the Mavericks this past season. He was originally selected by Minnesota following his junior season at the University of North Carolina in first round (28th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft.

Larkin, 5-11, 176-pounds, was selected by Atlanta following his sophomore season at the University of Miami in first round (18th overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft before his draft rights were traded to Dallas. As a rookie, he averaged 2.8 points and 1.5 assists over 10.2 minutes in 48 games for Dallas and 15.3 points, 8.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds over 35.7 minutes in four games for the Texas Legends of NBA Development League this past season. At the University of Miami, he led the Hurricanes to the 2013 regular-season and post-season ACC Titles and on to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament, while being named Lute Olson National Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year and an AP second team All-American. He is the son of MLB Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.

Chandler, 7-1, 245-pounds, averaged 8.7 points, on 59.3-percent shooting, 9.6 rebounds and 1.15 blocks over 30.2 minutes in 55 games (all starts) this past season. He was acquired from Dallas, via a sign-and-trade, in a three-team deal on Dec. 10, 2011 and finishes his Knicks career as its all-time leader in field goal percentage (.638) in 183 games. In the orange and blue, the Hanford, CA-native, was selected to the NBA All-Defensive Team twice and as a reserve for the Eastern Conference at the 2013 NBA All-Star game. He was named the 2012 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Felton, 6-1, 205-pounds, averaged 9.7 points, 5.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds over 31 minutes in 65 games (all starts) last season in his second stint in New York after a Jul. 16, 2012 trade with Portland. Over three non-consecutive seasons, the Marion, SC-native averaged 13.4 points and 6.6 assists (fourth all-time) in 187 games for the Knicks.

Nick Young decides to become free agent

Nick Young decides to become free agent

The Los Angeles Lakers were informed today by agent Mark Bartelstein that his client Nick Young will not be exercising his option to extend his contract, making him a free agent.

“We anticipated and expected that Nick would choose to become a free agent,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “We very much appreciate his contributions to last season’s team, and we will hopefully be able to bring him back. However, he, his agent and the market will dictate his future direction.”

In 64 games (nine starts) during the 2013-14 season, his first with the Lakers, Young averaged a career-high 17.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 28.3 minutes per game. The Los Angeles native maintained the highest scoring average (18.8 points per game off the bench) for a reserve in the NBA and scored 40+ points as a member of the second unit two times.

Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting on LeBron James free agency and the Cleveland Cavaliers:

Cavs are expected to pursue LeBron James in free agency

The Cavs, of course, are expected to aggressively pursue James. They’ll have the cap space to sign him and potentially other free agents and still retain Kyrie Irving — although doubts remain about how much the Cavs’ former and current stars want to play together.

The Cavs have a number of non-guaranteed contracts for next season, including Anderson Varejao’s partially guaranteed deal. General Manager David Griffin said after the season ended the Cavs could clear $26 million this summer with little maneuvering and could easily get that figure over $30 million, so cap space won’t be a problem.

Convincing James to return, however, might still be tricky. The relationship between James and the Cavs is markedly better than it was in the days after he left four years ago, but one league source with knowledge of the situation, speaking on the condition of anonymity given the sensitive nature of negotiations, said James still harbors resentment toward owner Dan Gilbert over the infamous letter he wrote in the hours after James departed. The Cavs also might not have a roster ready to contend for a championship immediately, even with the addition of James.

“LeBron doesn’t want to play with a bunch of kids,” one source with knowledge of James’ thinking said in recent weeks. “He wants to win.”

Cavs hope to meet with Dante Exum

The 2014 NBA Draft is tomorrow, and teams are attempting to finalize their list of players they hope to select. And with the first pick, the Cavs will pick… somebody. Could Dante Exum be in the mix for that very top spot? Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Cavs hope to meet with Dante Exum

The Cleveland Cavaliers are making an 11th-hour push to get Australian guard Dante Exum into Cleveland for an interview and a possible workout, a source with direct knowledge told ESPN.

Exum, in New York on Wednesday for Thursday night’s NBA draft, said he has worked out for the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic, who have picks No. 2-4, respectively.

The Cavaliers, who already have All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, are unlikely to take Exum with the No. 1 pick, but he could be an option for the team if it trades down in the draft.

isaiah thomas

The Sacramento Kings today extended a qualifying offer to Isaiah Thomas, making him a restricted free agent, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

Thomas, a three-year NBA veteran, has accrued averages of 15.3 points (.447 FGs, .360 3FGs, .857 FTs), 2.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.03 steals per game through 216 outings (started 153) with Sacramento after being selected No. 60 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.

In accordance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement, in order for a team to retain its right of first refusal with respect to a restricted free agent, the team must tender the player a qualifying offer prior to June 30. A restricted free agent may sign an offer sheet with any team, but is subject to a right of first refusal with the team for which the player last played.

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Nets:

Alan Anderson plans to opt out of Nets contract

Alan Anderson is planning to opt out of the second year of his contract with the Nets and test free agency next month, a league source confirmed Tuesday night.

Anderson, 31, came to the Nets as a free agent last summer after spending parts of the previous two seasons with Toronto and became a dependable option within coach Jason Kidd’s rotation, giving the team a tough-minded defender who was capable of knocking down an open 3-pointer.

Anderson played in 78 regular-season games, averaging 7.2 points and shooting 34 percent from 3-point range in 22 minutes a game, before averaging 5.9 points in the postseason, appearing in all 12 playoff games.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the 2014 NBA Draft, which is tomorrow night in Brooklyn, New York.

With only one day remaining until the NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ ownership and front office remain torn on whether to select Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker with the top overall pick, multiple sources told ESPN.com.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert favors drafting Wiggins with the No. 1 pick after the former Kansas star’s terrific workout last Wednesday, according to multiple sources.

However, the majority of the Cavs’ front office — including new general manager David Griffin — is leaning toward selecting Parker, sources said.

Parker came in for a workout and was less than stellar, appearing out of shape and even disinterested. Sources told ESPN.com that the former Duke forward prefers to play in Milwaukee Bucks, which is closer to his Chicago home and also a spot in which he can be featured as a go-to player.

Sources said that it’s still unclear whether Gilbert will overrule Griffin and the Cavs’ front office — as was the case when he offered Kentucky coach John Calipari the coaching job prior to hiring David Blatt.

INSIDEHOOPS UPDATE: Cavs owner Dan Gilbert about 15 minutes ago tweeted that actually, the team is united on who they wish to select. Still, it presumably remains a tough decision. Can’t wait to see who they pick.

Pelicans hope to land a 2014 draft pick

Here’s the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting on the Pelicans:

The New Orleans Pelicans are heading into Thursday night’s NBA draft with no selection in the first or second rounds for the first time in 12 years. But that could change if the Pelicans are able to find a willing trade partner.

According to Pelicans coach Monty Williams, they have actively pursued options to get back in the NBA draft after surrendering their first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers that was part of last year’s draft night trade.

”If there’s an opportunity to get in the draft, we’re going to look at it,” Williams said. ”The one thing we don’t want to do is be aggressive and put ourselves in a position to where we’re hamstrung for awhile and can’t make moves for the future.

”But our focus has been on the moves we think we can make, whether it be in the draft or free agency.We watched a lot of film and have had a lot of discussions with (general manager) Dell (Demps) and his group about what we can do to help our team.”

Here’s the Denver Post, via the Daily Camera website, reporting on the Nuggets:

Denver Nuggets want LeBron James

The Nuggets are far removed from the initial national conversations concerning the next landing spot for LeBron James, but they will not let the opportunity pass without at least making their interest known.

James’ agent informed the Miami Heat on Tuesday morning that he’ll opt out of the final two years of his contract, which was to pay him $42.7 million, to become an unrestricted free agent. The Nuggets, according to an NBA source, will line up and make their pitch, along with pretty much every other team in the league.

Fitting James onto the Nuggets’ roster would entail clearing out a truckload of contracts. The best route, but not the only one, to clear enough cap room would be through moving the contracts of JaVale McGee ($11.2 million), Danilo Gallinari ($10.8 million) and Wilson Chandler ($6.7 million) for next season. And they’d have to do all of that without getting comparable contracts in return, which would be extremely difficult.

Video: Dante Exum explores Times Square

Enjoy this video of high-ranked 2014 NBA Draft prospect Dante Exum explore Times Square in midtown Manhattan, New York. The Draft is Thursday in Brooklyn.

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