Archive for July 15th, 2014

Boston Celtics re-sign Avery Bradley

Boston Celtics re-sign Avery Bradley

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have re-signed guard Avery Bradley to a multi-year contract.

“We see Avery as a key part of our chase of Banner 18,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “He keeps getting better and is still far from reaching his ceiling. We’re ecstatic to have him back.”

Bradley, a 6’2” guard, is coming off a breakout 2013-14 season where he recorded career-highs in points per game (14.9), rebounds per game (3.8), minutes (1855), field goals made (361), three-pointers made (79) and free throws made (90). Bradley tied a career-high for points in a game when he notched 28 points against Brooklyn on March 21. He recorded his first career double-double when he recorded 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds against New York on December 8. Selected with the 19th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Bradley recorded his 1,000th career points in the opening game of the season against Toronto on October 30. He led the Celtics in scoring in 17 games and recorded 20 or more points in 16 contests.

Thunder sign-and-trade Thabo Sefolosha to Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks completed a sign-and-trade deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder that will bring guard/forward Thabo Sefolosha to Atlanta, as well as the draft rights to Giorgos Printezis, in exchange for the draft rights to Sofoklis Schortsanitis, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

“Thabo is an unselfish, competitive and playoff-tested player, and does many things well on both sides of the ball,” Ferry said. “He also fills a need, giving us more size and depth at the wing position. He’s been a part of winning programs and will fit our culture well.”

Sefolosha, 30, played and started in 61 games last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, averaging 6.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 26.0 minutes (.415 FG%, .768 FT%). In his eight-year career, Sefolosha has appeared in 551 games with the Thunder and Bulls (407 starting assignments) and has averaged 5.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 23.4 minutes (.442 FG%, .348 3FG%, .746 FT%). He was selected to the NBA’s All-Defensive second team in 2009-10.

He has also played in 78 playoff games, starting 67, averaging 4.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 19.9 minutes.

Sefolosha was originally selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 13th overall pick of the 2006 NBA Draft, and was traded to Chicago in exchange for the draft right to Rodney Carney, a second-round pick and cash considerations. He spent two-and-a-half seasons with the Bulls before going to the Thunder on February 19, 2009 in exchange for a first-round pick.

The native of Vevey, Switzerland has also played for Tege Riviera Basket (Switzerland), Elan Chalon (France) and Angelico Biella (Italy). He also played briefly for Fenerbahce Ulker in Turkey in 2011.

Printezis was originally selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round (58th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft.  He currently plays for Olympiacos Piraeus in Greece.

Atlanta acquired the draft rights to Schortsanitis from the Los Angeles Clippers on July 30, 2012 in a sign-and-trade transaction for Willie Green, after he was originally selected by the Clippers in the second round (34th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft.  He currently plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.

Heat officially re-sign Dwyane Wade

Heat officially re-sign Dwyane Wade

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have re-signed guard Dwyane Wade.

“Dwyane has been the franchise cornerstone for this team since the day he arrived 11 years ago,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He has shown his commitment to the HEAT many times over the course of his career and has always been willing to sacrifice in order to help build this team into a champion. This time is no different. I am ecstatic to have him back in the fold and I am confident that Dwyane, as always, will be leading this team as we look to contend for NBA Championships.”

Wade, a three-time NBA Champion, has played his entire 11-year NBA career with the HEAT, appearing in 719 regular season games (710 starts) averaging 24.3 points, 6.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 1.76 steals and 36.6 minutes while shooting 49.2 percent from the field. The 10-time NBA All-Star is the HEAT’s all-time leader in points (17,481), field goals made (6,276), free throws made (4,579), double-figure scoring efforts (691), assists (4,301), steals (1,262), starts, games played and minutes played (26,331). He also ranks among the HEAT’s all-time leaders in blocks (2nd, 696), double-doubles (4th, 116), total rebounds (4th, 3,605), defensive rebounds (4th, 2,669), offensive rebounds (5th, 936), field goal percentage (7th, .492) and three-point field goals made (8th, 350). Additionally, his 696 career blocks are the sixth-most by a guard in NBA history.

He appeared in 54 games (53 starts) last season and averaged 19.0 points, 4.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 1.46 steals and 32.9 minutes while shooting a career-high 54.5 percent from the field. He scored in double-figures 48 times, including 28 20-point games, while leading the team in steals 17 times, points and assists 13 times each and in rebounds on four occasions. He scored his 17,000th career point at New York on January 9 and earned NBA Player of the Week honors on December 22.

Wade, the 2006 NBA Finals MVP, has appeared in 152 career postseason games (all starts) and averaged 22.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.64 steals, 1.01 blocks and 38.9 minutes while shooting 47.8 percent from the field. He has appeared in 28 postseason series, the most by any player in HEAT history and his 153 career postseason blocks are the second-most by a guard in NBA playoff history. His 3,481 career postseason points are the 17th-most in NBA history, just 126 points shy from tying Wilt Chamberlain for 16th place on the league’s all-time list. Last postseason, Wade appeared in 20 games (all starts) and averaged 17.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.50 steals and 34.7 minutes while shooting 50 percent from the field. He capped the 2014 postseason appearing in his fourth consecutive NBA Finals, helping Miami become just the third NBA franchise to make four-straight NBA Finals appearances.

Miami Heat sign forward James Ennis

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward James Ennis.

“We were excited to draft James a year ago and have been impressed by the growth of his game in Summer League and Puerto Rico, as well as his terrific experience in Australia, leading Perth to a championship,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We are looking forward to the infusion of energy he will bring to our roster.”

Ennis, who was acquired by the HEAT in a draft night trade during the 2013 NBA Draft, spent last season with the Perth Wildcats of the Australian Basketball League appearing in 33 games (32 starts) and averaged 21.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.42 steals and 31.7 minutes while shooting 46.6 percent from the field, 35.5 percent from three-point range and 77 percent from the foul line. He helped the team win the 2014 Australian Basketball League Championship and capped the season finishing third in MVP voting while being named Australiabasket.com’s All-Australian NBL Player of the Year, Forward of the Year, Import Player of the Year, First Team and All-Imports Team. Additionally, after his stint in Australia, Ennis appeared in 12 games (all starts) with Piratas de Quebradillas of the Puerto Rican National Superior Basketball League and averaged 16.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.75 steals, 1.00 blocks and 33.6 minutes while shooting 47 percent from the field and 76.2 percent from the foul line.

This summer, Ennis has appeared in six Summer League games with the HEAT (all starts) and averaged 15.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.33 steals while shooting 51.7 percent from the field, 48.1 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the foul line. He posted a 29-point, four-rebound, two-assist game in 25:33 minutes of action while shooting 10-of-12 from the field, 7-of-8 from three-point range and a perfect 2-of-2 from the foul line in a 110-91 win against the Brooklyn Nets on July 6. He previously spent the 2013 Summer League with the HEAT, appearing in 11 games (10 starts) and averaged 13.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.45 steals while shooting 44 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from three-point range and 76.9 percent from the foul line.

Ennis was originally drafted in the second round (50th overall) by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Miami Heat sign Luol Deng

Miami Heat sign Luol Deng

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Luol Deng.

According to multiple reports, the deal may be for two years, $20 million.

“Signing Luol Deng is one of the most important free agent signings that we have ever had in the history of the franchise,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He is a proven All-Star and quintessential team player, both as a scorer, as well as an All-NBA defender. He brings the attitude of a warrior and competes every single night against the very, very best. We are thrilled to welcome him to the HEAT family.”

Deng, a 10-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 677 career NBA regular season games (631 starts) and averaged 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 35.8 minutes while shooting 45.7 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from three-point range and 77.3 percent from the foul line. Among Chicago’s all-time franchise leaders, he ranks fourth in points, fifth in field goals made, sixth in games played and three-point field goals made and eighth in free throws made and offensive rebounds. The 2011-12 NBA All-Defensive Second Team honoree also ranks among the Bulls all-time franchise defensive leaders, including fifth in defensive rebounds and steals, ninth in total rebounds and 10th in blocks.

The two-time NBA All-Star split the 2013-14 season between the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, appearing in 63 total games (all starts) and averaged 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 35.1 minutes while shooting 43.1 percent from the field, 30.2 percent from three-point range and 79.1 percent from the foul line. Prior to his trade to Cleveland on January 7, Deng was averaging a career-high 19.0 points per game and a career-best 3.7 assists per game. Additionally, he has appeared in 48 career postseason games (42 starts) and averaged 16.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 40.3 minutes while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 74.9 percent from the foul line.

In addition to his accomplishments on the court, Deng is also involved in numerous charities, including the Luol Deng Foundation. For his philanthropic efforts, he earned the NBA’s 2013-14 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, was named the UN Refugee Agency’s 2008 Humanitarian of the Year and selected as the 2006-07 Golden Icon Best Sports Role Model. He also served as ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic Games and won the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award in 2007.

Deng, who was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, was originally selected in the first round (7th overall) by the Phoenix Suns in the 2004 NBA Draft.

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The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed forward Chandler Parsons.

According to multiple reports, the deal is for three years, $46 million.

Parsons (6-9, 227) was a restricted free agent who played the first three years of his career with the Houston Rockets. As a Rocket, he averaged 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.1 steals and 34.5 minutes in 213 games (207 starts).

Last season, Parsons started all 74 games in which he played averaging 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 37.6 minutes while shooting .472 from the field, .370 from three-point range and .742 the foul line.

Recently, Parsons was added to the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s National Team roster and will participate in the team’s training camp beginning July 28 in Las Vegas.

The Casselberry, Fla., native was a standout at the University of Florida. As a senior, Parsons was named the 2011 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and Associated Press honorable mention All-America. He was drafted by Houston with the 38th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Phoenix Suns waive Ish Smith

The Phoenix Suns have waived guard Ish Smith, the team announced today.

“We thank Ish Smith for his contributions to the Suns,” said President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “He played with an infectious joy. We wish him well.”

Initially acquired by the Suns from the Milwaukee Bucks in a trade on Aug. 29, 2013, Smith averaged 3.7 points, 2.6 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 14.4 minutes in 70 games in his one season with the Suns.

Nets re-sign Alan Anderson

Nets re-sign Alan Anderson

The Brooklyn Nets have re-signed guard Alan Anderson to a multi-year contract, General Manager Billy King announced today.

“Alan’s versatility was a big part of our success last season,” said King. “We look forward to Alan’s continued leadership on and off the court this season.”

Last season, Anderson set single-season career highs for games played (78), games started (26) and minutes played (1,773), while averaging 7.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 22.7 minutes per game. He shot .400 (194-485) from the field and .339 (84-248) from three-point range. Anderson scored in double figures 26 times, including a season-high 26 points in a season-high 46 minutes on December 20 at Philadelphia. He made his first career playoff appearance with Brooklyn this season, appearing in 12 games (two starts) versus Toronto and Miami, averaging 5.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 21.8 minutes per game.

The Michigan State product recently completed his fifth NBA season and first season with the Nets. In 213 career games, Anderson holds NBA averages of 8.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game. Anderson, who initially signed with Brooklyn on July 30, 2013, went undrafted in the 2005 NBA Draft.

San Antonio Spurs hire Etorre Messina as an assistant coach

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have hired Ettore Messina as an assistant coach. A four-time Euroleague Champion and a two-time Euroleague Coach of the Year, Messina brings over 25 years of coaching experience to the bench.

“I am honored to have such an accomplished individual join our program,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “Coach Messina is an exceptional coach, a great leader and someone we can all learn from.”

Messina joins the Spurs after spending the last two years as the head coach of the CSKA Moscow in the Russian League, his second stint with the team. Before returning to CSKA Moscow, Messina served as a coaching consultant for the L.A. Lakers in 2011-12. Prior to making the move to the NBA, Messina spent four seasons (2005-2009) at the helm of CSKA Moscow where he led the team to two Euroleague Championships (2006, 2008) and four Russian SuperLeague titles (2006-2009).

Before coaching in the Russian League, Messina served as a coach in the Italian League for over 15 years. He earned two Euroleague Championships (1998 and 2001) as well as several Italian championships with Virtus Bologna, where he had two stints as head coach (1989-1993, 1997-2002). After leaving Bologna, Messina went on to coach Benetton Treviso from 2002-2005, guiding the team to an Italian championship in 2003.

Named one of the Euroleague’s 10 Greatest All-Time Coaches in 2008, Messina has earned numerous coaching accolades throughout his career including European Coach of the Year in 1998, Euroleague Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2008, and Italian Coach of the Year in 1990, 1993, 1998, 2001 and 2005.

A native of Catania, Italy, Messina also served as head coach of the senior men’s Italian national basketball team (1993-1997), where he led Italy to the silver medal at the 1997 European Championship.

Bulls use amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has amnestied forward Carlos Boozer.

“Carlos epitomized professionalism in everything he did for the Bulls both on the court, and in the community, during his time here in Chicago,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “Over the last four seasons, Carlos’ productivity helped elevate our team to another level. I have nothing but respect for Carlos, and certainly wish him the best as he moves forward.”

According to ESPN.com, “The Bulls will still owe Boozer the $16.8 million left on his salary this season but it will not count on their salary cap. Combined with their trade of Anthony Randolph to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday, the Bulls will clear about $12 million in cap space. Gasol is expected to sign a three-year deal worth more than $22 million and Mirotic is expected to sign for $18 million over three years with the Bulls permitted to give him $600,000 to help pay off his buyout from Real Madrid, sources said.”

In four seasons with the Bulls, Boozer appeared in 280 games (all starts) and averaged 15.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg and 2.0 apg in 30.4 mpg and shot .491 from the field.

Chicago Bulls waive Lou Amundson, Ronnie Brewer, Mike James

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has waived forward Lou Amundson, guard Ronnie Brewer and guard Mike James.

Brewer originally signed with Chicago on April 7, 2014, while Amundson and James signed with the Bulls on April 10, 2014.

Enjoy these video highlights of the top plays from Monday, July 14 in Vegas:

Pistons sign Caron Butler

Pistons sign Caron Butler

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club has signed free agent forward Caron Butler to a contract.

The two-time NBA All-Star holds career averages of 15.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 33.8 minutes in 786 games with the Miami HEAT, L.A. Lakers, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, L.A. Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Oklahoma City Thunder. Butler split time last season between Milwaukee and Oklahoma City, averaging 10.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 25.3 minutes in 56 games.

Butler has appeared in 65 postseason games during his 12-year career, averaging 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 31.4 minutes. He’s scored 20-plus points in a playoff game eight times, recorded 10-plus rebounds six times, has five career playoff double-doubles and was a part of the Dallas Mavericks’ 2011 NBA Championship team despite not competing due to injury. During the 2013-14 playoffs with Oklahoma City, Butler averaged 6.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 23.3 minutes in 18 appearances. He scored a playoff-high-tying 15 points in the Thunder’s Game 7 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round (120-109), helping Oklahoma City advance to the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

Pistons sign D.J. Augustin

Pistons sign D.J. Augustin

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club has signed free agent guard D.J. Augustin to a multi-year contract.

The 6-0, 183-pound guard had a resurgent year last season after signing with the Chicago Bulls and helping replace an injured Derrick Rose. He averaged 14.9 points, 5.0 assists, 2.1 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 30.4 minutes in 61 games with the Bulls, after appearing in 10 games to start the season with the Toronto Raptors.

Among NBA leaders, the 26-year-old Augustin ranked fifth in free throw percentage (.885) and tied for 19th in 3-point field goal percentage (.401). He posted a career-high 33 points (10-14 FG, 3-4 3FG, 10-10 FT) in 31 minutes during a 107-102 win at Boston (3/30). Augustin helped the Bulls claim the No. 4 seed in the NBA Playoffs and continued his strong play by averaging 13.2 points, 4.8 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 28.2 minutes in five postseason games. In Game 4 of the first round against the Washington Wizards, a 101-99 loss, he scored a team-high 25 points and dished out seven assists.

Memphis Grizzlies re-sign Beno Udrih

Memphis Grizzlies re-sign Beno Udrih

The Memphis Grizzlies re-signed guard Beno Udrih (BEHN-oh OO-dreeh) to a multi-year contract, the team announced today.

Udrih (6-3, 205) averaged 4.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists on .438 shooting in 15.7 minutes in 41 games (12 starts) for the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies last season. He appeared in 10 regular season contests for the Grizzlies after being awarded to Memphis off waivers on Feb. 27, 2014.

The 31-year-old posted 7.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists on .467 shooting in 16.4 minutes in Memphis’ 2014 opening round playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He posted the three highest scoring totals of his playoff career during that seven-game series, netting a postseason career-high 14 points in Game 2 and recording 12 points in Game 3 and Game 7.

Udrih owns NBA career averages of 8.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists on .461 shooting in 23.1 minutes in 669 games (255 starts) in 10 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies.

A two-time NBA champion with San Antonio (2005, 2007), Udrih holds career postseason averages of 3.7 points, 0.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 43 playoff games (zero starts) for the Spurs and Grizzlies.

The Celje, Slovenia native was drafted by San Antonio in the first round (28th overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft. Prior to his NBA career, he played professionally in Slovenia (1998-2002), Israel (2002-03), Italy (2003-04) and Russia (2003-04).

Dallas Mavericks re-sign Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks re-sign Dirk Nowitzki

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have re-signed 12-time NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.

According to several reports, the deal may be for $3 years, $25 million.

During his 16-year tenure in Dallas, Nowitzki has guided the Mavericks toward many of the franchise’s greatest achievements. Nowitzki led Dallas to its first-ever 60 win season in 2002-03, first NBA Finals appearance in 2006, a franchise-high 67 wins in 2006-07 and to the organization’s first World Championship when the Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals.

Nowitzki (7-0, 245), the most decorated Dallas Maverick in franchise history, is a 12-time NBA All-Star, earned All-NBA Team honors 12 consecutive years (2000-12), was named Most Valuable Player of the 2006-07 season and was MVP of the 2011 NBA Finals. He is a six-time Western Conference Player of the Month, a 17-time Western Conference Player of the Week and has competed in the All-Star Saturday Night Three-Point Contest four times.

The career Maverick holds averages of 22.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 35.9 minutes in 1188 career games (1157 starts) and holds the franchise’s top-spot in several categories including points, rebounds, field goals, three-point field goals, free throws, games, starts and minutes.

In the NBA Playoffs, Nowitzki’s game elevates to average 25.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 41.1 minutes in 135 postseason games (135 starts). He has led the Mavericks to three Western Conference Finals and two NBA Finals while moving into first place in several of the franchise’s postseason categories including points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, field goals, free throws and games.

Last season, Nowitzki shot his way into the record books by moving into the Top 10 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list by passing the likes of Oscar Robertson, Dominique Wilkins, Alex English, Reggie Miller and Jerry West. He has

also served as a pioneer for European players becoming the first European-born player to earn First Team All-NBA (04-05), start an All-Star Game (2007, Las Vegas) and be named the MVP (06-07).

The Wurzburg, Germany native was the ninth overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft and was originally acquired through a draft day trade with the Milwaukee Bucks. He re-signed with the Mavericks on Oct. 22, 2001, signed a contract extension on Sept. 26, 2006 and then re-signed again on July 9, 2010.

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has acquired Omer Asik, Omri Casspi and cash considerations from the Houston Rockets in a three-team trade that sends Alonzo Gee, Scotty Hopson and the Pelicans’ protected first round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft to the Rockets and Melvin Ely to the Washington Wizards. As part of the three-team trade, the Rockets have acquired Trevor Ariza from the Wizards.

Ariza (6-8 220, UCLA), ranks in the top five NBA players at his position in three-pointers made, three-point percentage, steals, and effective field goal percentage. He spent the last two seasons in Washington averaged 14.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last season. Ariza had a career-high 40 points on March 1, 2014 including eight made 3-pointers in a 122-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. He improved his three-point shooting to 40.7% in the 2013-14 season, ranking him the 16th best three-point shooter in the league. Ariza had 126 steals last season, which ranks 13th in the NBA and is ranked 12th in effective field goal percentage with 56.2%. In his first stint with Houston, Ariza averaged 14.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in 77 games with the Rockets during the 2009-10 season. During that season, he registered his first triple-double of his career with 26 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds vs New Orleans on April 14, 2010.

Gee (6-6, 225, Alabama) spent the past three seasons in Cleveland, averaging 7.9 points and 3.6 rebounds over the course of his five year NBA career. He went undrafted in the 2009 NBA draft and began his career in the D-League with the Austin Toros.

Hopson (6-7, 204, Tennessee) went undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft. He spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons overseas playing in Israel and Turkey. He signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 31, 2014 and spent time with the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers D-League affiliate.

Asik (7-0, 255) was originally drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round (36th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft before having his draft rights traded to the Chicago Bulls. The four-year veteran has appeared in 278 games (103 starts) with the Bulls and Rockets and holds career averages of 5.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game.

In 2013-14, Asik appeared in 48 games (19 starts) and averaged 5.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 20.2 minutes per game. He started all 82 regular season contests for the Rockets in the 2012-13 season, posting career-high averages of 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 30.0 minutes per game.

Appearing in 33 career playoff contests over his four NBA seasons, Asik holds postseason averages of 4.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 block per game.

Prior to the NBA, the Turkey native played for Fenerbahçe S.K. Istanbul from 2005-10.

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.

Pelicans sign rookie guard Russ Smith

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed guard Russ Smith.

Smith, the 47th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers on June 27, 2014. He recently completed his senior season at the University of Louisville, becoming the only player in program history with at least 1,800 points, 350 assists and 250 steals. Over the course of his career, the 6’0” guard led the Cardinals to two Big East Tournament titles, the American Athletic Conference Tournament title, two NCAA Final Fours and a school-record 35 wins in 2012-13 en route to the NCAA Championship.

In his senior campaign, the unanimous all-AAC first team member averaged 18.2 points, 4.6 assists and 2.0 steals on his way to being named a consensus All-American. He guided Louisville to the AAC Championship and garnered AAC Championship Most Outstanding Player honors by averaging 25.7 points, 3.7 assists and 2.7 steals in the tournament.

As a junior, Smith helped Louisville win an NCAA Championship and earned All-Big East First Team accolades with averages of 18.7 points, 2.9 assists and 2.1 steals. He averaged 22.3 points and 2.5 steals per game in the Cardinals’ six NCAA Tournament contests.

Over the course of four seasons, Smith appeared in 133 games and averaged 14.3 points, 2.8 assists and 1.9 steals. He completed his career as the school’s all-time steals leader (256) and finished second in free throws (488).

Spurs re-sign Boris Diaw

The 2013-14 NBA champion San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have re-signed forward Boris Diaw. This agreement was reported earlier in July, but the signing is now official.

Diaw returns to the Silver and Black coming off his best season since 2010-11.  The Frenchman appeared in 79 games, averaging 9.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 25.0 minutes while shooting .521 (302-580) from the field and .402 (45-112) from three-point range.  During the 2014 playoffs Diaw averaged 9.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 26.3 minutes.  In the Finals vs. Miami, Diaw posted averages of 6.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 34.2 minutes.

Diaw originally joined the Spurs as a free agent on March 23, 2012 and re-signed with the Silver and Black on July 12, 2012.  In three seasons with the Silver and Black, Diaw has appeared in 174 games, averaging 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 23.5 minutes while shooting .532 (521-980) from the field and .409 (83-203) from beyond the arc.

An 11-year NBA veteran, Diaw was originally drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 21st overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He was traded to the Phoenix Suns on Aug. 19, 2005. In his first season with the Suns, Diaw won the 2006 Most Improved Player Award after averaging 13.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 35.5 minutes over 81 games.

For his career, Diaw has appeared in 834 NBA games, averaging 9.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and  3.7 assists in 28.9 minutes while shooting .497 (3,166-6,369) from the field, .344 (376-1,094) from three-point territory and .711 (900-1,266) from the foul line.  Diaw has seen action in 92 playoff games, averaging 9.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 28.1 minutes.

OKC Thunder sign Sebastian Telfair

The Oklahoma City Thunder has signed free agent guard Sebastian Telfair to a contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to welcome Sebastian to the Thunder organization and Oklahoma City community,” Presti said. “His competitiveness and work ethic have complimented his on-court leadership skills throughout his career, and we are excited to be able to integrate these qualities into our team.”

Telfair (6-0, 175) joins the Thunder after spending last season with Tianjin Ronggang in China where he averaged 26.1 points, 6.0 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 2.03 steals and 36.3 minutes in 35 games.

The 13th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Telfair owns career averages of 7.4 points, 3.5 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 21.6 minutes in 548 games (192 starts) during nine seasons with Portland, Boston, Minnesota, LA Clippers, Cleveland, Phoenix and Toronto.

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