Archive for July 2nd, 2014

The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement in principle with Lionel Hollins to serve as the team’s new head coach, General Manager Billy King announced.  Hollins will become the 19th head coach in the franchise’s NBA history.

“We are very excited to welcome Lionel as the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets,” said King. “He is a proven winner who will provide the franchise with stability and leadership going forward.”

“I want to thank the Nets ownership and Billy for this opportunity,” said Hollins. “It has been a long process to get back into the league, and I believe that Billy and I will have a very successful working relationship. Brooklyn has firmly established itself as a franchise that is committed to winning, and I eagerly look forward to becoming part of that culture and building on the success of the past two playoff appearances.”

A veteran of over 20 years of NBA coaching experience, Hollins most recently served as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies in 2012-13, where he guided the team to a franchise record 56 wins and reached the Western Conference Finals.  Hollins took the helm in Memphis midway through the 2008-09 season and led the Grizzlies to consecutive postseason appearances in his final three campaigns as coach.  In his four-plus season stint as head coach, Hollins compiled a record of 196-155 (.558).

The Las Vegas native was an original member of the Vancouver franchise as an assistant coach, and was a staple on the sidelines for 10 of the club’s first 12 seasons (1995‐00, 2002‐07).  Hollins twice served as the Grizzlies’ interim head coach, when he guided Vancouver to an 18‐42 finish (.300) in 1999‐00, and again took over for four games in 2004‐05, following the resignation of Hubie Brown.  Overall, Hollins owns a career NBA coaching record of 214‐201 (.516).  Prior to joining the Grizzlies, the Arizona State graduate spent seven years with the Phoenix Suns (1988‐95) as an assistant coach under Cotton Fitzsimmons and later Paul Westphal.  He began his coaching career as an assistant at Arizona State in 1985 and served for part of the 2008-09 season as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Selected sixth overall in the first round of the 1975 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, the Arizona State product earned a spot on the 1976 All‐Rookie First Team and won an NBA Championship as a starter for the Trail Blazers in 1977.  A year later, he was an NBA All‐Star while also being named to the NBA’s All‐Defensive First Team.  Over 10 NBA seasons, Hollins averaged 11.6 points, 4.5 assists and 1.56 steals in 673 career games with the Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers, Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets.

Orlando Magic waive Ronnie Price

Orlando Magic waive Ronnie Price

The Orlando Magic have waived guard Ronnie Price, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Price played in 31 games (two starts) last season with the Magic, averaging 2.4 ppg., 2.1 apg. and 1.4 rpg. in 12.2 minpg. He led (or tied) the team in assists six times, including a career-high 11 assists on Apr. 14 @ Chicago.

Originally undrafted by an NBA franchise, Price has appeared in 425 career NBA regular season games (35 starts) with Sacramento, Utah, Phoenix, Portland and Orlando, averaging 3.4 ppg., 1.5 apg. and 1.1 rpg. in 11.7 minpg. He was signed as a free agent by Orlando on Jul. 25, 2013.

Here’s the Associated Press, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune, reporting on the Milwaukee Bucks:

Bucks owners admit process in getting Jason Kidd could have been smoother

New Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens admitted Wednesday that there may have been errors in how Jason Kidd was lured to Milwaukee.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t happy to have him as the Bucks’ new head coach.

Kidd was formally introduced Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Kidd said there were no hard feelings over his abrupt and surprising departure from Brooklyn, where he won 44 games and reached the second round of the playoffs as a first-year head coach but left after a failed bid for more front-office power.

His messy departure leaked to the media and Brooklyn agreed Monday to deal Kidd to Milwaukee for second-round draft picks in 2015 and 2019. The Bucks fired Larry Drew, who had no indication he wouldn’t be back for a second season.

Manu Ginobili out with injury

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog, on the Spurs:

Manu Ginobili out with injury

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili played the NBA Finals with a slight stress fracture in his right fibula, an injury that now casts his availability for Argentina in this summer’s FIBA Basketball World Cup in doubt.

The fracture was discovered during a routine postseason physical, according to a league source, and began bothering the 36-year-old guard at some point during the Spurs’ run in Western Conference playoffs. By the end of the Spurs’ march to a championship, Ginobili could often be seen limping noticeably after games.

Yahoo! Sports first reported news of Ginobili’s condition.

Ginobili, who turns 37 later this month, will visit with a foot specialist for a second opinion on the injury, which otherwise could keep him off the court for up to two months.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Knicks and Bulls:

Knicks not looking to land Carlos Boozer

If the Chicago Bulls’ dream scenario is to land Carmelo Anthony through a sign-and-trade involving Carlos Boozer, the Bulls will have to come up with another plan, according to league sources.

The New York Knicks will not take back Boozer in a sign-and-trade deal, the sources said.

Despite their interest in Anthony, sources said the Bulls have not called the Knicks to gauge potential sign-and-trade scenarios.

The Knicks’ top priority is, of course, to resign Anthony. But if Anthony decides he wants to play in Chicago, it would make sense for the Knicks to retrieve some assets via a sign-and-trade, and a source said they would perhaps do so as a last resort.

Here’s the Philadelphia Daily News reporting on Nerlens Noel, who sat out his rookie season due to injury:

Nerlens Noel impresses in pre-summer league workout

Though Nerlens Noel participated only about 45 minutes during the first day of the Sixers’ Orlando Summer League minicamp yesterday, he did enough to leave an impression on some of his teammates.

Hollis Thompson wanted to test the young defender once during practice and got a rude awakening. Thompson went to leap for a dunk and Noel sent it across the practice gym.

Despite being away from playing for a year, it seems as if the No. 6 pick of the 2013 NBA draft is going into Orlando with a full head of steam.

“He’s full throttle,” Thompson said, chuckling as he recalled his shot getting stuffed by Noel. “He’s moving well, running all over the court and blocking everything. I’m excited to play with Nerlens.”

Miami Heat free agency strategy

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Heat:

lebron james

As they chase free agents to join with their superstars, the Miami Heat are telling free agents they expect to have as much as $12 million in salary-cap space after hopefully getting LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to re-sign, sources told ESPN.com.

With James demanding a maximum contract starting around $20.7 million, this indicates that Wade and Bosh are possibly willing to take drastic pay cuts to help the Heat add talent to the roster.

This has freed up the Heat to become a potential bidder for free-agent point guard Kyle Lowry, whom they have contacted but not yet set up a meeting or progressed talks with, sources said. Lowry, after talks with the Raptors and Rockets, was taking a day or two to mull his options, sources said Monday night.

Orlando Magic sign rookies Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton

The Orlando Magic have signed rookie forward Aaron Gordon and rookie guard Elfrid Payton, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. These signings are standard and were expected, as first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive an NBA contract whenever they decide to begin their career in the league.

Gordon was selected by Orlando in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft. Payton was selected by Philadelphia in the first round (tenth overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft. He was then acquired by Orlando in exchange for the draft rights to Dario Saric, a future first round draft pick and a future second round draft pick. Both will participate in the 2014 Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League, taking place at the Magic’s practice court at the Amway Center from July 5-11.

Gordon (6’9”, 225, 9/16/95) played and started in all 38 games during his only season at the University of Arizona, averaging 12.4 ppg., 8.0 rpg., 2.0 apg. and 1.03 blkpg. in 31.2 minpg. He helped the Wildcats to a 33-5 record, a Pac-12 regular season championship and an Elite Eight appearance in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Gordon led Arizona in rebounding (seventh in conference), while ranking second in both scoring and blocked shots (11th in conference).

Gordon was named First Team All-Pac-12 and the 2013-14 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. Gordon also earned Third Team All-American honors by The Sporting News and Honorable Mention by The Associated Press. He was one of six finalists for the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year Award.

Payton (6’3”, 190, 2/22/94) played in 100 career games during three years at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, averaging 14.3 ppg., 5.1 rpg., 4.9 apg. and 1.97 stlpg. in 31.6 minpg. He is the school’s all-time leader in steals with 197.

As a junior (2013-14), Payton played and started all 35 games, averaging a team-high 19.2 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 5.9 apg. and 2.29 stlpg. in 35.9 minpg., while shooting .509 (237-466) from the floor. He led the Ragin’ Cajuns to a 23-12 record and their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2005. Payton was named the 2013-14 Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year and a Lou Henson All-American. He earned First Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors for the second straight season and was the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Payton led the conference in steals for the second straight year with 80. He scored 20+ points 14 times, had 30-or-more points four times and attempted a school-record 302 free throws (second in the nation). Payton was also one of only ten NCAA Division I players to record a triple-double with 34 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists on Jan. 4 vs. Lousiana-Monroe.

During his sophomore season (2012-13), Payton played and started all 33 games, averaging a team-high 15.9 ppg., 5.6 rpg., 5.5 apg. and 2.42 stlpg. in 35.5 minpg., earning First Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors. He was the only player in NCAA Division I to average 15.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 5.0 apg. and 2.00 stlpg. Payton led the Sun Belt Conference in assists and steals, ranked second in minutes played, third in scoring, fifth in assists-to-turnover ratio (1.60) and ninth in field goal percentage (.475).

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