Archive for July 11th, 2014

Here’s ESPN.com reporting that a pretty talented guard is finding a new home:

Isaiah Thomas headed to Suns in sign-and-trade deal

The Sacramento Kings will send restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas to the Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade deal after reaching a new four-year, $28 million contract, sources confirmed to ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst.

In return, the Kings will acquire a $7 million trade exception and the rights to forward Alex Oriakhi, the 57th overall pick in 2013.

Yahoo! Sports first reported the deal.

Thomas averaged 20.3 points and 6.3 assists per game last season, both career-highs.

Cavs season tickets selling fast

Here’s ESPN.com reporting good news from Cleveland:

Cavs season tickets sell out

Cleveland embraced the return of the “King” as expected, as the Cavaliers had all but sold out of season tickets less than eight hours after LeBron James announced he would come back to accomplish some unfinished business with the team.

A Cavaliers source confirmed to ESPN.com that the team capped season-ticket sales at slightly more than 12,000 tickets Friday, leaving roughly 8,000 tickets per game to be used for group sales and ticket plans.

Shortly before 12:30 p.m. ET, when James’ decision was revealed, the Cavaliers’ ticket phone lines were so jammed that the team began rerouting lines in the office to be used for ticket sales. The Cavaliers sell season tickets only over the phone.

Chris Bosh will reportedly re-sign with Heat

Bosh is staying in Miami, agreeing Friday to a five-year contract that will be worth about $118 million, said two people familiar with the deal. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side had confirmed it publicly.

Keeping Bosh addresses one of the Miami’s top priorities after getting the news earlier in the day that James was leaving the Heat and returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There’s still plenty of work for Heat President Pat Riley to do, however. But first, he and the team lauded what James meant to them over the last four seasons.

– Associated Press

The following statement was released today by Pat Riley of the Heat, on the decision by LeBron James to leave Miami and once again become a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers:

“While I am disappointed by LeBron’s decision to leave Miami, no one can fault another person for wanting to return home. The last four years have been an incredible run for South Florida, HEAT fans, our organization and for all of the players who were a part of it. LeBron is a fantastic leader, athlete, teammate and person, and we are all sorry to see him go.”

“Over the last 19 years, since Micky and I teamed together, The Miami HEAT has always been a championship organization; we’ve won multiple championships and competed for many others. Micky, Erik and I remain committed to doing whatever it takes to win and compete for championships for many years to come. We’ve proven that we can do it and we’ll do it again.”

Knicks waive Lamar Odom

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has waived forward Lamar Odom.

Odom, 6-10, 221-pounds, was originally signed as a free agent on Apr. 16, 2014. The team really only signed him to see if he could turn his life and career in a positive direction and be worth keeping. But from the Knicks point of view, apparently this did not happen.

Knicks re-sign Cole Aldrich

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has re-signed center Cole Aldrich to a contract.

Aldrich, 6-11, 245-pounds, averaged 2.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 46 games for the Knicks this past season after originally signing as a free agent on Sep. 24, 2013. The four-year NBA professional is currently playing for New York’s entry at the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, NV.

Cavs trade Alonzo Gee to Pelicans

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired the Los Angeles Clippers 2016 Second Round Draft Pick from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for forward Alonzo Gee, General Manager David Griffin announced today.

The pick is 1-55 protected in the 2016 Draft. In the event the pick is not conveyed in 2016, the Pelicans obligation to convey the pick will be extinguished. New Orleans acquired the pick from Los Angeles as part of 2009 trade.

Gee appeared in 65 games (24 starts) for the Cavs in 2013-14 with averages of 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game. In 277 career games (173 starts) for Cleveland, Washington and San Antonio, Gee has averaged 7.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per game.

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed 2014 first-round draft picks guard Danté Exum (fifth overall) and forward Rodney Hood (23rd overall). All first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, so these signings are standard.  Both players are expected to be available for the Jazz’s entry in NBA Summer League 2014, which begins play in Las Vegas on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. MT vs. Philadelphia (TV: KJZZ 14, Radio: 1280 AM/97.5 FM).

A native of Melbourne, Australia, Exum (6-6, 188, Australian Institute of Sport) averaged 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists with the Australian National Team at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague.  The 18-year-old led his team to the semifinals and was named to the 2013 U19 World Championship All-Tournament team.  In 2013, Exum guided his high school, Lake Ginninderra College, to the Australian School Championship.  In addition, he participated in the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit for the World Select Team.

Exum becomes the third international player on the current Jazz roster, joining centers Rudy Gobert and Enes Kanter, and is the sixth active Australian born player in the NBA.

Hood (6-8, 215, Duke) spent two seasons at Duke after starting his collegiate career at Mississippi State.  A 2014 All-ACC Second Team selection, the Meridian, Miss., native averaged 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting .464 percent from the field and .420 (72-169) from three-point range in 35 games as a redshirt sophomore.  He also earned a spot on the conference’s All-Academic Team.

Duke’s team captain in 2013-14, Hood redshirted the 2012-13 season after transferring from Mississippi State.  While at Mississippi State, he was selected to the 2012 All-SEC Freshman Team.

The 21-year-old Hood became the first former Duke player ever to be drafted by the Jazz.

LeBron James decision: Back to Cavs

This time, when the phone rang, Dan Gilbert was the one celebrating.

Moments before LeBron James’ essay announced his homecoming to the Cleveland Cavaliers, his agent phoned Gilbert to congratulate the once-scorned owner.

In a 26-word statement posted via Twitter seconds after James words reached the masses, Gilbert rolled out the welcome mat for the four-time MVP on behalf of the franchise’s fan base.

“Welcome Home @kingjames. I am excited for the fans and people of Cleveland and Ohio. No fans and people deserve a winner more than them.”

Gilbert’s 8-year-old rushed to his side to ask if he could pull his James jersey out of the closet.

– Sports Xchange

Video: Top plays from Orlando Day 6

Here are video highlights of top plays from summer league Day 6 (Thursday, July 10) in Orlando:

Report: Kevin Love interested in Cavs

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who LeBron James announced today that he’ll be signing with:

Report: Kevin Love interested in Cavs

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love is “intrigued” by the idea of being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and would commit long term to the team, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

The Cavaliers have opened talks by offering guard Dion Waiters, forward Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick to the Timberwolves in exchange for Love, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.

Love said during a June 11 appearance on ESPN’s “SportsNation “that it “burns me and hurts my heart” that he hasn’t made the playoffs in six seasons in the NBA.

Pacers sign C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez, re-sign Lavoy Allen

The Indiana Pacers announced Friday they have signed free agents C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez and re-signed free agent Lavoy Allen.

Allen, a 6-9 225 lb. forward out of Temple, re-signs with the Pacers after being initially acquired via trade on Feb. 20, 2014. He was the 20th pick in the Second Round (50th overall) in the 2011 NBA Draft, by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played two and a half seasons with the 76ers before being traded to the Pacers. Allen has career averages of 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game; and in 14 games with the Pacers he averaged 2.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

“We’re very happy to have Lavoy back,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “When he had the opportunity to play, he played well. He fits in with what we’re trying to accomplish here and every day he’s committed to getting better.”

Miles, a 6-6, 210 lb. guard/forward, enters his 10th season in the NBA. Miles played the last two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers where he averaged 10.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. C.J. was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 34th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft and spent the 2005-12 seasons with the Jazz. While with the Jazz, he spent time with both the Idaho Stampede and Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBA D-League. He has career averages of 8.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.

“We’re very glad to have C.J. and he really wanted to be here,” said Bird. “He brings versatility to the small forward and shooting guard positions. He’s a great shooter and scorer. We think he’ll fit nicely with the culture of our team.”

Rudez is a 6-10, 200 lb. forward out of Croatia. Most recently, he has played the last two seasons with CAI Zaragoza in Spain in the Liga ACB. Prior to that he played with Cibona Zagreb in Croatia, Cedevita Zagreb in Croatia, Union Olimpija in Slovenia, KK Split in Croatia, BC Oostende in Belgium and KK Zrinjevac in Croatia. He is currently a member of the Croatian National Team.

“Damjan is one of the best shooters in Europe,” said Bird. “With his size and knowledge, he can play two positions for us. He has experience, maturity and really knows how to play. He had a number of options, he chose us and we’re thrilled he did. We look forward to having him in a Pacer uniform.”

Warriors sign Shaun Livingston

Warriors sign Shaun Livingston

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent guard Shaun Livingston to a contract, the team announced today.

According to the Associated Press, “the deal is worth three years and about $16 million using Golden State’s full mid-level exception, which starts around $5.3 million next season.”

Livingston, 28, appeared in a career-high 76 games with the Brooklyn Nets last season, averaging 8.3 points, 3.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.22 steals in 26.0 minutes per contest. The 6’7” guard established single-season career-highs for games started (54), minutes played (1,974), points scored (629), rebounds (246), and steals (93). He scored in double figures a career-high 27 times, including a career-high four games of 20-or-more points. The Nets posted a 35-19 mark with Livingston in the starting lineup and a 19-4 record when he played 31 minutes-or-more. In 12 playoff games, he averaged 9.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists, while shooting 51.2 percent from the field.

“We are very happy that Shaun made the decision to join our team,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “He is a veteran player who, we believe, adds a lot to our roster with his versatility. He possesses the size and skills to play both backcourt positions, which will provide Coach Kerr with added depth and options throughout the season.”

A nine-year NBA veteran, Livingston owns career averages of 7.0 points, 3.4 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 23.1 minutes per game over 466 regular-season contests (176 starts) with the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets.

Originally drafted out of Peoria Central High School in Peoria, IL, by the Clippers with the fourth overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Livingston played his first two-plus seasons with the Clippers before suffering tears to his ACL, PCL, MCL and lateral meniscus, as well as a patella dislocation and a tibia/femoral dislocation, in his left knee during a game against the Charlotte Bobcats on February 26, 2007. The injury forced him to miss the final 26 games of the 2006-07 season and the entire 2007-08 campaign.

Orlando Magic sign Ben Gordon

Orlando Magic sign Ben Gordon

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

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the contract is “a two-year, $9 million deal in which the final season is fully unguaranteed if he’s waived before July 1, 2015.”

“Ben (Gordon) brings valuable experience to our team,” said Hennigan. “His competitiveness and ability to score and stretch the floor adds versatility to our backcourt and overall roster. We are excited to welcome Ben to the Orlando Magic family.”

Gordon (6’3”, 200, 4/4/83) played in 19 games last season with Charlotte, averaging 5.2 ppg., 1.4 rpg. and 1.1 apg. in 14.7 minpg. He led (or tied) the team in assists once and scored in double figures three times, including a season-high 12 points on Dec. 9 vs. Golden State.

Originally selected by Chicago in the first round (third overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft, Gordon has appeared in 688 career NBA regular season games (269 starts) during his 10-year career with Chicago, Detroit and Charlotte, averaging 15.6 ppg., 2.6 rpg. and 2.6 apg. in 28.5 minpg., while shooting .402 (1,136-2,824) from three-point range and .858 (1,968-2,306) from the free throw line. He also played in 29 career playoff games (24 starts), averaging 20.2 ppg., 3.2 rpg. and 3.2 apg. in 37.9 minpg. Gordon earned the NBA Sixth Man Award in 2004-05, becoming the first rookie in league history to win the honor. Since joining the NBA in 2004-05, he has scored 20+ points off the bench 98 times, second-most in the NBA during that span (Jamal Crawford, 127).

Atlanta Hawks waive John Salmons

Atlanta Hawks waive John Salmons

The Atlanta Hawks requested waivers on guard/forward John Salmons yesterday (7/10/14), it was announced by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Salmons was acquired, along with a 2015 second round draft pick, from Toronto on June 30 in exchange for Lou Williams and the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira.

LeBron James’ latest decision is in: He’s returning to Cleveland.

Ending a saga that had the NBA virtually at a standstill while he made up his mind, James told Sports Illustrated for a story published Friday that he’s decided to go home. His decision reverses the move he made when he left the Cavaliers for Miami four years ago, and a twist that would have seemed unfathomable after the venomous fallout when he joined the Heat.

“When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission,” James said in the SI first-person story. “I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”

He added, “My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”

– Associated Press

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