Archive for July, 2014

Orlando Magic sign Luke Ridnour

Orlando Magic sign Luke Ridnour

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard Luke Ridnour, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome Luke (Ridnour) and his family to Orlando,” said Hennigan. “Luke is a proven player in this league who is well-respected as a teammate and competitor. The depth and veteran experience he will provide to our backcourt will help our team continue to grow.”

Ridnour (6’2”, 175, 2/13/81) played in 61 total regular season games (14 starts) last season with both Milwaukee and Charlotte, averaging 5.0 ppg., 2.9 apg. and 1.6 rpg. in 18.7 minpg. He appeared in 36 games (12 starts) with Milwaukee, averaging 5.7 ppg., 3.4 apg. and 1.7 rpg. in 21.2 minpg. Ridnour was traded to Charlotte, along with Gary Neal, in exchange for Jeff Adrien and Ramon Sessions on Feb. 20. With Charlotte, he played in 25 games (two starts), averaging 4.0 ppg., 2.2 apg. and 1.4 rpg in 15.1 minpg. Ridnour led (or tied) the Bucks in scoring twice and in assists 12 times. He led (or tied) the Bobcats (now Hornets) in assists once. Ridnour scored in double figures a total of ten times, including a season-high 16 points on Jan. 11 at Oklahoma City. He also appeared in four playoff outings, averaging 2.5 ppg., 3.0 apg. and 1.0 rpg. in 9.0 minpg.

Originally selected by Seattle in the first round (14th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft, Ridnour has appeared in 783 career NBA regular season games (493 starts) during his 11-year career with Seattle, Minnesota, Milwaukee and Charlotte, averaging 9.6 ppg., 4.6 apg., 2.3 rpg. and 1.01 stlpg. in 26.7 minpg., while shooting .862 (1,272-1,475) from the free throw line. He also played in 22 career playoff games (11 starts), averaging 7.9 ppg., 3.3 apg. and 2.4 rpg. in 24.3 minpg. Ridnour ranks eighth among active players and 28th in NBA history in career free throw percentage. He finished seventh in the NBA in total assists (550) in 2005-06.

Hornets sign first-round draft pick Noah Vonleh

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed first-round draft pick Noah Vonleh. The Hornets selected Vonleh, a 6-10 forward, with the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

All NBA first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they wish to come to the league right away. So, this signing is standard and was expected.

An early entry candidate, Vonleh was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Third Team All-Big Ten in 2013-14 at Indiana University after averaging 11.3 points, a Big Ten-high 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 26.5 minutes per game. The team’s leader in rebounding and blocks, Vonleh shot .523 from the field (113-216), .485 from beyond the three-point line (16-33) and .716 from the free-throw line (96-134). In 30 games played, he scored in double figures 19 times and grabbed double-figure rebounds on 13 occasions, tallying 10 double-doubles. In addition to leading the conference in rebounding, he ranked third in the Big Ten in field goal percentage and eighth in blocks.

Vonleh, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week seven times during the season, participated in the McDonald’s All-America game, the Jordan Brand Classic and for the U.S. team at the Nike Hoop Summit as a high school senior in 2012-13.

Hornets re-sign Jannero Pargo

Hornets re-sign Jannero Pargo

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has re-signed guard Jannero Pargo.

“We’re pleased that Jannero will be back with us again this season,” Cho said. “He is a great veteran presence in our locker room who is always ready when called upon.”

The 6-1 Pargo has seen action in 47 games for the team after initially joining the franchise on March 14, 2013, when he signed the first of two 10-day contracts. He later signed for the remainder of the 2012-13 season and re-signed as a free agent prior to the 2013-14 season. In 47 games, he has averaged 6.1 points, 1.8 assists and 0.9 rebounds in 11.4 minutes, while shooting .419 from the field (109-260), .389 from beyond the three-point line (53-136) and .800 from the free-throw line (16-20).

A nine-year NBA veteran, Pargo has played in 490 career games with the Lakers, Raptors, Bulls, Hornets, Hawks, Wizards and Bobcats. He has career averages of 6.4 points, 2.0 assists and 1.4 rebounds, while shooting .391 from the field (1213-3105), .355 from beyond the three-point line (391-1102) and .864 from the free-throw line (317-367).

James Harden discusses the Rockets

Here’s CSN Houston reporting on the Rockets:

James Harden discusses the Rockets

While in the Philippines for a basketball charity event, James Harden shared his opinion on how the Houston Rockets will move forward without some of the players who’ve been lost or jettisoned this offseason. His thoughts sound a lot like the ones Dwight Howard shared earlier this month.

“Dwight (Howard) and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets,” said Harden told The Philippine Star. “The rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We’ve lost some pieces and added some pieces. I think we’ll be fine next season.”

Howard, who was speaking at his basketball camp in Atlanta, said, when asked about losing Chandler Parsons to Dallas, “It won’t affect us at all. We have myself and James. We have the best center and the best two guard in the game on the same team. It’s on us.”

More summer hoops for Kelly Olynyk

Here’s ESPN Boston with a report on a key young Celtic:

More summer hoops for Kelly Olynyk

Boston Celtics second-year forward Kelly Olynyk is expected to get additional offseason game reps as a member of Canada’s senior men’s basketball team.

Olynyk reported for camp earlier this week in Toronto before the team, which did not qualify for this year’s World Cup in Spain, instead traveled to Slovenia to open an 11-game European exhibition schedule on Thursday.

Olynyk, a Toronto native who grew up in Kamloops, British Columbia, did not play for the national team last summer while sidelined by a case of plantar fasciitis. He did attend camp with the national team and expressed a desire to compete for his county.

Blake Griffin withdraws from 2014 USA Basketball participation

Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin today announced that he will not participate on the USA Basketball Men’s National Team this summer. Griffin was one of 19 players selected to the USA roster from which the 2014 USA World Cup Team will be selected.

“I appreciate the invitation to play for Team USA this summer,” Griffin said. “It is a special opportunity anytime you have a chance to represent your country, and I was honored to be included. However, right now I want to focus and dedicate 100 percent of my energy on improving and preparing for the upcoming season with the Clippers.”

Mavs sign Jameer Nelson

Mavs sign Jameer Nelson

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent guard Jameer Nelson.

Nelson (6-0, 190) is a 10-year veteran and former NBA All-Star (2009) who has spent his entire career with the Orlando Magic. He has career averages of 12.6 points, 5.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 29.2 minutes in 651 games (556 starts) with the Magic. Nelson stands as the franchise’s all-time leader in assists with 3,501. He also ranks second in games played (651) and field goals attempted (7,033), third in minutes played (19,038), three-pointers made (874) and three-pointers attempted (2,335), fourth in scoring (8,184 points) and field goals made (3,109) and fifth in steals (619).

A native of Chester, Pa., Nelson was originally the 20th overall selection in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. His draft rights were traded to the Magic where he spent his career until Orlando waived him on June 30, 2014. Last season, Nelson averaged 12.1 points, 7.0 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 32.0 minutes in 68 games (68 starts).

Nelson was named to his first NBA All-Star Game in 2009 when he averaged 16.7 points, 5.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 31.2 minutes while shooting .503 from the field, .453 from three-point range and .887 from the foul line.

The former St. Joseph’s standout enjoyed a decorated collegiate career. As a senior, Nelson earned Naismith College Player of the Year, Associated Press Player of the Year and the John Wooden Award while leading St. Joseph’s to an undefeated regular season (27-0) and the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Phoenix Suns waive Dionte Christmas

The Phoenix Suns have waived guard Dionte Christmas, the team announced today.

In his rookie NBA season of 2013-14, Christmas averaged 2.3 points, 1.2 rebounds and 6.4 minutes in 31 games with the Suns. Christmas also played with the Suns’ entry at NBA Summer League 2014 in Las Vegas earlier this month, averaging 10.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in five games.

Andrew Wiggins signs Cavs rookie contract

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed their 2014 NBA Draft picks, Andrew Wiggins and Joe Harris, to contracts, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Per NBA rules, rookies cannot be traded for 30 days once they sign their initial contract.

According to ESPN.com, “Wiggins has been involved in trade discussions between the Cavs and Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a deal that would send Kevin Love to Cleveland. Because of league rules on rookie contracts, such a deal now cannot be completed for 30 days. Wiggins, who signed a four-year deal, will have a starting salary of $5.5 million after the Cavs gave him the allowed 20 percent premium on the rookie scale, sources said.”

But for at least the next 30 days, and perhaps much longer, Wiggins is a member of the Cavaliers.

Wiggins was the first overall pick in the June draft. An early entry candidate from Kansas University, Wiggins, 19, was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-League in his only year at Kansas. In 35 contests with the Jayhawks last year, the 6-8, 194-pound guard averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 block in 32.8 minutes per game. In four games during the 2014 NBA Summer League, Wiggins averaged a team-high 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game.

Harris was selected 33rd overall after playing four years at Virginia where he was named Second Team All-ACC as a senior and First Team All-ACC as a junior. The 6-6, 225-pound guard averaged 12.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in 30.3 minutes for his career at Virginia (135 games). In four games during the 2014 NBA Summer League, Harris averaged 7.8 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 24.6 minutes per game.

Magic sign rookie guard Devyn Marble

The Orlando Magic have signed rookie guard Devyn Marble, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. The draft rights to Marble (56th overall pick), along with Evan Fournier, were acquired from Denver in exchange for Arron Afflalo on June 26.

Marble (#11, 6’6”, 200, 9/21/92) played in 136 career games during four years at the University of Iowa, averaging 12.5 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 2.9 apg. and 1.29 stlpg. in 27.6 minpg. He ranks second on the school’s all-time games played list with 136. Marble also ranks in Hawkeyes’ history in scoring (fifth, 1,694 points), assists (sixth, 397) and steals (seventh, 176).

As a senior (2013-14), Marble played and started in 33 games, averaging 17.0 ppg., 3.6 apg., 3.2 rpg. and 1.82 stlpg. in 30.2 minpg. He was named First Team All-Big Ten after leading the team in scoring and ranked second in assists. Marble scored in double figures 27 times.

During his junior campaign (2012-13), Marble played and started in 37 games, averaging 15.0 ppg., 4.0 rpg., 3.0 apg. and 1.14 stlpg. in 30.5 minpg. He led the Hawkeyes in scoring and assists, and was named Third Team All-Big Ten.

Marble is the son of Roy Marble, a former NBA player and the all-time leading scorer in Iowa history.

Suns re-sign forward P.J. Tucker

Suns re-sign forward P.J. Tucker

The Phoenix Suns have re-signed forward P.J. Tucker to a multiyear contract, the team announced today.

“We are pleased to have been able to reach an agreement with P.J. Tucker on a multiyear contract,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “His new contract fulfills one of our most important goals for this summer.”

“P.J. is one of the most rugged competitors in the entire league,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “We love his passion and his fire. We are happy that he will remain in a Suns uniform for the foreseeable future.”

Tucker started 81 games in his second season with the Suns of 2013-14, posting career-highs of 9.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals in 30.7 minutes. Tied for the Suns’ team-lead with a career-best 11 double-doubles, Tucker also had career-highs with 38 games of double-digit scoring and 15 games of double-digit rebounds. Recognized for his intensity and versatility on the defensive end, Tucker won the Dan Majerle Hustle Award for the second consecutive season in 2013-14.

Against Oklahoma City on April 6 this past season, Tucker scored a career-high 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting, making a career-high four three-pointers in the Suns’ win. Tucker also became the first Sun since 2007 to have at least 15 points, 15 rebounds and four steals in a game when he scored 16 points along with a career-high 15 rebounds and four steals in a win against Golden State on Feb. 8.

Initially signing with the Suns as a free agent on Aug. 1, 2012, Tucker has established new career-highs in virtually every statistical category in each of his first two seasons with the club, in addition to earning a reputation as one of the league’s toughest defenders.

Prior to joining the Suns, Tucker played professionally in Germany, Puerto Rico, Italy, Greece, Israel and Ukraine, after his rookie NBA season of 2006-07 with the Toronto Raptors. A standout performer at the University of Texas, Tucker played three seasons with the Longhorns, earning consensus Big 12 Player of the Year honors as a junior before entering the 2006 NBA Draft.

Pelicans waive Omri Casspi

Pelicans waive Omri Casspi

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has waived forward Omri Casspi.

Casspi has appeared in 327 games (96 starts) over the course of five NBA seasons with Sacramento, Cleveland and Houston, holding career averages of 7.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 20.7 minutes per game.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “Casspi was included in the deal in which the Pelicans acquired starting center Omer Asik from the Rockets. Casspi had a year remaining on his non-guaranteed contract valued at just more than $1 million. If Casspi had remained on the Pelicans’ roster by Aug.1, his contract would had become guaranteed.”

It is likely that Casspi will find a new NBA home soon.

Lakers re-sign Jordan Hill

Lakers re-sign Jordan Hill

The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed forward/center Jordan Hill to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“Jordan has been a consistent contributor for us over the last three seasons and we are pleased to keep him in the Laker family,” said Kupchak. “Jordan’s frontcourt versatility is a benefit to our roster and his on-court work ethic is something we value on our team. We hope he’ll continue to work hard and develop as an NBA player”

Hill had the best season of his NBA career in 2013-14, his third with the Lakers since being acquired at the trade deadline in March of 2012, averaging career-highs across-the-board in points (9.7), rebounds (7.4) and blocks (0.9) per game while shooting a personal-best 54.9% from the field in 32 starts. The 26-year-old finished 3rd in the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage (13.8), 9th in total rebounding percentage (19.0), and 20th in defensive rebounding percentage (24.3) in his 20.8 minutes per game. The 6’10’’ Hill also had a number of standout individual-game performances, highlighted by a career-high 28 points 3/23/17 vs. Orlando and 3/27/14 at Milwaukee and a career-high 17 rebounds (12 defensive, also his high mark) 11/17/13 vs. Detroit.

Selected by the Knicks with the eighth pick in the in the 2009 NBA Draft, Hill played 24 games in New York before being traded to the Houston in a three-way deal involving Sacramento in February 2010. Hill, the second-longest tenured Laker (Kobe Bryant), was dealt to the Lakers in exchange for Derek Fisher and a 2014 first round draft pick on March 15, 2012.

Lakers sign forward Ed Davis

Lakers sign forward Ed Davis

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent forward Ed Davis, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“Ed is a versatile, young frontcourt player who, if he continues to work hard, will be a valuable contributor,” said Kupchak. “We look forward to him furthering his development with the Lakers and are excited by what we think he can offer our team.”

Davis, a four-year NBA veteran, appeared in 63 games (four starts) last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 5.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 15.2 minutes per game, and led the team in field goal percentage (53.4%) during the regular season.

Originally selected 13th overall by Toronto in the 2010 NBA Draft, Davis was acquired by the Grizzlies in a three-team trade that also included Detroit on January 30, 2013. In 275 career NBA games (58 starts), Davis has averaged 6.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 20.8 minutes. Additionally, the Washington D.C. native has appeared in the playoffs each of the last two postseasons, logging 15 games.

A 6’10” forward, Davis was a member of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship-winning UNC Tar Heel team and was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team the same year before declaring for the Draft following his sophomore season.

Timberwolves re-sign forward Robbie Hummel

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has re-signed forward Robbie Hummel.

“We are excited to have Robbie back with us this season,” said Flip Saunders, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “He proved that he can be a key contributor off the bench and finished the season strong. Robbie’s ability to stretch the floor with his shooting range is a valuable asset for our team.”

Hummel, 25, played in 53 games (five starts) in his rookie season for the Wolves last year, averaging 3.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per contest. The 6-8 forward shot 36.0 percent (36-for-89) from three-point range for the season, including connecting on 17 of his final 32 attempts (53.1%). Hummel scored in double-digits four times last year, netting a season-high 12 points at Orlando on April 5. He grabbed a season-high nine rebounds in the season finale vs. Utah on April 16.

Hummel was the 58th overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Timberwolves. He spent the 2012-13 season with Obradoiro CAB in the Spanish League where he averaged 10.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in 30 games. Hummel averaged 14.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in 127 games over his four-year collegiate career for the Purdue Boilermakers.

Knicks waive Shannon Brown

Knicks waive Shannon Brown

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has waived guard Shannon Brown.

Brown, 6-4, 205-pounds, appeared in 19 games for the Knicks this past season, averaging 2.1 points and 7.8 minutes. On Feb. 27, the Maywood, IL native signed the first of two 10-day contracts and then signed for the remainder of the season on Mar. 20.

Hornets sign guard Brian Roberts

Hornets sign guard Brian Roberts

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Brian Roberts.

“Brian is a quality point guard who we believe will play a key role for us,” Cho said. “We look forward to having him as part of our team.”

The 6-1 Roberts has spent the last two seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans, averaging 8.2 points, 3.0 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 19.9 minutes in 150 total games. For his career, he has shot .418 from the field (457-1092), .372 from beyond the three-point line (123-331) and .929 from the free-throw line (195-210).

In 72 games last season, including 42 starts, Roberts averaged 9.4 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 23.2 minutes. Roberts shot .420 from the field (244-581), .360 from beyond the three-point line (64-178) and an NBA-best .940 from the free-throw line (125-133).

The 6-1 Roberts was not selected in the 2008 NBA Draft after a four-year career at the University of Dayton in which he was named First Team All-Atlantic 10 as a senior and Second Team All-Atlantic 10 as a sophomore and junior. He spent the 2008-09 season with Galil Gilboa in Israel’s Winner League. He then played for Brose Baskets in Germany’s BBL from 2009-12, helping the team to three-straight league championships, before signing with the Pelicans in August 2012.

The Brooklyn Nets have signed guard Markel Brown and forward Cory Jefferson to multi-year contracts, General Manager Billy King announced today.

Brown, the 44th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night in exchange for cash considerations. He recently completed his senior season at Oklahoma State, averaging 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 35.3 minutes per game and earning All-Big 12 Second Team honors for the second consecutive season. During his junior season, Brown averaged 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 34.1 minutes per game.

Over the course of four seasons, the 6’3” guard played in 134 games, averaging 12.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.00 steals in 30.5 minutes per game. He became the only player in Oklahoma State history to record 300 assists, 100 steals and 100 blocked shots in his career and his 969 career points in Big 12 games are an Oklahoma State record. Brown was named Louisiana’s Mr. Basketball in 2010 after a standout career at Peabody Magnet High School in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Jefferson, the 60th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers on draft night in exchange for cash considerations. He recently completed his fifth and final season at Baylor University (he redshirted during the 2010-11 season), averaging 13.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.30 steals and 1.30 blocks in 29.0 minutes per game en route to All-Big 12 Third Team honors. During his junior season, the 6’9” forward was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention after averaging 13.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.90 blocks in 27.9 minutes per game. He also earned NIT All-Tournament team honors after helping lead Baylor to the NIT championship.

Over the course of his four seasons, Jefferson played in 130 games, averaging 8.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.30 blocks in 19.9 minutes per game. He became the first player in Baylor history to make three NCAA Tournament appearances and won a program-record 107 games during his four active seasons.

Here’s ESPN.com sharing insight on LeBron James leaving the Miami Heat to return to the Cavs:

lebron james

Maverick Carter, LeBron James’ business partner, says he didn’t push James to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, nor did anyone else in the NBA superstar’s inner circle.

“This was a decision that LeBron made in his heart,” Carter told ESPN.com’s Jason Whitlock on the Real Talk podcast. “We didn’t push him to do it. We don’t push him to do anything. If he asks our opinion or what did we think about the pros and the cons, we help him think through it. We don’t push him.”

James decided to return to the Cavaliers on July 11 after spending four years with the Miami Heat. He opted out of his contract with Miami and signed a two-year deal to return to Cleveland, where he spent his first seven seasons in the NBA.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard John Lucas III and forwards Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy from the Utah Jazz in exchange for guard Carrick Felix, Cleveland’s 2015 second round draft pick and cash considerations, General Manager David Griffin announced tonight from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Lucas appeared in 42 games (six starts) for the Jazz in 2013-14 with averages of 3.8 points and 1.0 assist in 14.1 minutes per game. Over his six-year NBA career, the 5-11 guard out of Oklahoma State has played in 216 games (eight starts) with Houston, Chicago, Toronto and Utah, averaging 4.8 points and 1.4 assists in 12.2 minutes per game.

Thomas, a 6-9 forward from San Diego State, played in eight contests for Utah and San Antonio last season and averaged 1.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per game, while Murphy, a 6-10 forward out of Florida, appeared in 24 games for Chicago with averages of 0.3 points and 0.3 rebounds in 2.6 minutes per game in 2013-14.

Felix was selected by the Cavaliers in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2013 NBA Draft. He appeared in seven games and averaged 2.7 points, 0.9 rebounds and 5.4 minutes. He also appeared in nine games with the Cavaliers D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, where he averaged 11.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.4 steals in 28.7 minutes.

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