Archive for July 16th, 2014

Wizards land DeJuan Blair

Wizards land DeJuan Blair

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has acquired center DeJuan Blair from Dallas. Washington will send Dallas the rights to Emir Preldzic, a 2009 second round draft pick, who was acquired in the three-team Antawn Jamison trade in February of 2010.

“DeJuan gives us a tough inside presence who can score and rebound at both frontcourt positions,” said Grunfeld. “His addition makes our bench even deeper and will allow us to be flexible with our lineups.”

In five seasons with San Antonio and Dallas, Blair has appeared in 366 career regular season games (179 starts) while averaging 7.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per game.
He has shot .529 from the field and has 36 career double-doubles. His most productive season was in 2010-11 when he averaged 8.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game. Last season with Dallas, Blair appeared in 78 games (13 starts) and averaged 6.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per game.

The former Pittsburgh standout has appeared in 42 career postseason games with San Antonio and Dallas. During the 2014 playoffs with the Mavericks, the 6-7 big averaged 6.7 points and 6.2 rebounds, helping Dallas force San Antonio to seven games in the first round. He holds career playoff averages of 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 8.9 minutes per contest. Blair signed with Dallas as a free agent on August 7, 2013. He was originally selected by San Antonio in the second round (37th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft.

Thunder re-sign Grant Jerrett

The Oklahoma City Thunder has re-signed forward Grant Jerrett to a contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Jerrett was originally signed by the Thunder on April 7, 2104 after spending the 2013-14 season with the Tulsa 66ers where he appeared in 27 games (25 starts) and averaged 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per contest. He is yet to appear in a game as a member of the Thunder.

“Grant had an excellent and productive season with the Tulsa 66ers,” Presti said.  “We are excited to see him move forward within our program.”

Oklahoma City secured the rights to Jerrett on draft night after he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 40th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

The University of Arizona product spent one collegiate season with the Wildcats before entering the NBA Draft.

Thunder sign Anthony Morrow

Thunder sign Anthony Morrow

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

“Anthony Morrow has demonstrated that he is amongst the most consistent and efficient three point shooters in the NBA over his career, and we are pleased to welcome him to Oklahoma City and the Thunder organization,” Presti said. “With his body of work, we feel Anthony is a unique addition to a diverse roster, while also possessing the toughness and selflessness that we are consistently seeking in Thunder players.”

Morrow (6-5, 210), shot 45.1 percent from three-point range last season (4th in the NBA) while averaging 8.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 18.8 minutes in a career-high 76 games (nine starts) with New Orleans.

An undrafted rookie out of Georgia Tech, Morrow shot an NBA-best 46.7 percent during the 2008-09 season becoming the first rookie in NBA history to lead the league in three-point field goal percentage. The six-year NBA veteran owns career averages of 10.4 points on 42.8 percent shooting from three-point range (3rd highest amongst active NBA players), 2.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 23.7 minutes in 373 games (129 starts) with Golden State, New Jersey, Atlanta, Dallas and New Orleans.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting some pretty big Hornets free agency news:

Lance Stephenson will reportedly sign with Charlotte Hornets

Following an all-night negotiating session, the Charlotte Hornets have come to an agreement to sign Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson, the Observer has learned.

Under terms of the agreement, Stephenson will make $9 million in 2014-15 and $9 million in 2015-16. Stephenson will get a slight raise in 2016-17 if the Hornets pick up the team option.

Stephenson fills an obvious need, as the Hornets were weak offensively at the shooting guard and small forward positions. The 6-foot-5 Stephenson had a breakthrough season statistically, averaging 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists. He also shot 49 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range.

However, he has a quirky personality that seems to have limited his market when he became an unrestricted free agent July 1.

The Pacers had offered Stephenson $44 million over five seasons, and reportedly did not come off that number. Stephenson thought he was worth considerably more.

Enjoy these video highlights of the top plays from Tuesday, July 15 in Vegas:

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on Heat coach Erik Spoelstra as he comments on LeBron James leaving Miami and taking his talents back to Cleveland:

Erik Spoelstra comments on LeBron James leaving Heat

“He seemed at peace with the decision,” Spoelstra said. “We don’t have any regrets. He shouldn’t have any regrets. It was a historic four-year run.”

The move caught the Heat brass by surprise. James exited despite leading Miami to the NBA Finals four straight years, winning twice. His departure left the Heat scrambling to rebuild a roster via free agency that included the additions of Josh McRoberts, Danny Granger and Luol Deng. They also re-signed Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, who both opted out of their contracts with hopes of luring James to stay.

Last Friday, James revealed his time was up in South Florida.

“This league does teach you that it’s inevitable that there’s constant change and you always have to continue to embrace change, adapt with change,” Spoelstra said. “This is a big, monumental change that we didn’t necessarily anticipate but you have to respect it because when you’re a free agent in this league you have the right to make a decision that’s best for you and your family. When he made that decision that was best for his family, where his heart is, all you can do from our side is respond with respect and love.”

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