Archive for July 18th, 2014

Knicks sign center Jason Smith

s sign center Jason Smith

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed center Jason Smith

Smith, 7-0, 240-pounds, holds career averages of 6.0 points, on 47.2-percent shooting, and 3.5 rebounds over 16.7 minutes in 331 games (65 starts) over six seasons with Philadelphia and New Orleans. This past season for the Pelicans, he averaged 9.7 points, on 46.5-percent shooting, and a career high 5.8 rebounds over 26.8 minutes in 31 games (27 starts).

The Greeley, CO native was originally selected by the Miami Heat 20th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft as a junior out of Colorado State University, before having his draft rights traded to Philadelphia that night.

Miami Heat re-sign Udonis Haslem

Miami Heat re-sign Udonis Haslem

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have re-signed forward Udonis Haslem.

“Udonis Haslem has been a fixture in Miami over the last 11 years,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He’s a team player, an encompassing all-purpose player, that would play just about any position or role in order to win. It’s been such a privilege and honor to have him with the organization and I’m so happy that he decided to come back.”

Haslem, a three-time NBA Champion, has played his entire 11-year NBA career with the HEAT, appearing in 715 regular season games (473 starts) averaging 8.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 28.0 minutes while shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 76 percent from the foul line. He became the HEAT’s all-time offensive rebound leader, surpassing Alonzo Mourning (1,505), on April 11 vs. Indiana. Additionally, Haslem was already Miami’s franchise leader in defensive and total rebounds, becoming the first non-drafted player in NBA history to be their team’s all-time rebounding leader. Among the HEAT’s all-time franchise leaders, he ranks first in total rebounds (5,332), defensive rebounds (3,821) and offensive rebounds (1,511), second in games played, games started, minutes played (19,987), third in double-doubles (130), fourth in double-figure points off the bench (70), sixth in field goals made (2,484), eighth in total points (6,127), ninth in free throws made (1,159) and 10th in steals (390) and blocked shots (231).

The Miami native appeared in 46 games (18 starts) with the HEAT last season, averaging 3.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 14.2 minutes while shooting 50.7 percent from the field, his sixth season shooting at least 50 percent from the floor. He served as a team captain for the seventh-straight year, tying Alonzo Mourning for the franchise mark. He finished second on the team in charges drawn (17) and blocked a career-tying three shots on January 18 at Charlotte. He also scored his 6,000th career point on December 28 at Portland and grabbed his 1,500th career offensive rebound on April 2 vs. Milwaukee.

Haslem, who along with Dwyane Wade, is only one of two players to have played on each of the HEAT’s three NBA Championship teams, has appeared in 138 postseason career games (84 starts) and averaged 5.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 22.5 minutes while shooting 47.9 percent from the field. Last season, he appeared in 16 postseason games (six starts) and averaged 2.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in 10.6 minutes of action while shooting 45.9 percent from the field. He helped lead Miami to a perfect 6-0 record in each of the games he started as the HEAT made their fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance.

Enjoy these video highlights of the top plays from Thursday, July 17 in Vegas:

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Tulsa 66ers, will be moving to Oklahoma City, the Thunder announced today.

The 66ers have played home games the last two seasons at the SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby, Okla., but team officials were notified recently that the facility will no longer offer arena space for lease. The move will take place prior to the start of the D-League regular season, which begins in mid-November and extends through early April.

“Our two seasons in Bixby were successful and we were pleased to be there, but circumstances beyond our control made it necessary to look for a new home for our Development League team,” said Danny Barth, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of the Thunder.

“We explored several potentially viable options, but were unable to find a facility in the Tulsa area that meets all of our business and basketball needs, so we made the decision to bring the team to Oklahoma City,” Barth said. “We offer our sincere thanks to the communities of Tulsa and Bixby, and to all of the 66ers fans and sponsors in the area for their loyal support over the past few years.”

The Professional Basketball Club, LLC, which owns the Thunder, purchased the 66ers in 2008.

Thunder officials are currently in discussions with the City of Oklahoma City to play the team’s 24 regular-season home games at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City, directly across the street from Chesapeake Energy Arena. Along with the move of the team, the business and basketball operations of the D-League team will also relocate to Oklahoma City. The team will train at the Thunder Community Events Center in Edmond, the original training home of the Thunder from 2008-11. The move of the 66ers is subject to NBA D-League approval.

Wizards re-sign Drew Gooden

drew gooden

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has re-signed forward Drew Gooden.

“The addition of Drew was a big part of our success late last season and we are excited to have him back with us,” said Grunfeld. “His skills will help to solidify our front court rotation and his experience will help us continue to grow as a team.”

Gooden appeared in 22 games for Washington last season, averaging 8.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per contest. The 12-year veteran originally signed a 10-day contract with the Wizards on Feb. 26, signed a second 10-day on March 8 and then signed for the remainder of the season on March 18. Gooden had 12 games of 10+ points, scored a season-high 21 vs. Brooklyn on 3/15 and pulled down a season-high 11 rebounds at the Los Angeles Lakers on 3/21.

In 10 playoff games last season, Gooden averaged 3.4 points 4.2 rebounds in 15 minutes of action. His best postseason outing came in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, where he posted 12 points and 13 rebounds in Washington’s win at Indiana.

In 12 seasons with Memphis, Orlando, Cleveland, Chicago, Sacramento, San Antonio, Dallas, the Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee and Washington, the former Kansas Jayhawk has appeared in 709 career regular season games while averaging 11.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 26.7 minutes per game. In 54 career postseason games, he has averaged 9.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in 24.8 minutes per contest.

Hornets sign Lance Stephenson

michael redd

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

According to the Charlotte Observer, “Stephenson will sign a three-season contract with the third season at the Hornets’ option. He’ll make $9 million each of the first two seasons and $9.4 million if the Hornets keep him for 2016-17.”

“We are extremely excited to add Lance to our team,” Cho said. “He is a great up-and-coming player with an incredibly high ceiling. He is an exceptional athlete who has the versatility and skill to play multiple positions on both offense and defense. We believe he will be an outstanding addition to our roster.”

The 6-5 Stephenson finished second in NBA Most Improved Player voting last season after leading the league with five triple-doubles and averaging career highs of 13.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 35.3 minutes in 78 games played for the Pacers. He also set career highs in field goals (427), field goal percentage (.491), three-point field goals (86) and three-point percentage (.352). Stephenson scored in double figures 64 times, including 13 games of 20 points or more. He also recorded 22 double-figure rebounding games and six double-figure assist games, tallying 20 double-doubles.

In addition to his career highs, Stephenson’s single-season totals in 2013-14 surpassed his previous three-year career totals in points, rebounds, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, assists, field goals, three-point field goals and free throws. He also saw action in 19 playoff games, averaging 13.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 37.1 minutes.

Stephenson was originally selected by the Pacers with the 40th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. He has played in 216 career games, all for the Pacers, with averages of 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists. In 42 career playoff games, he has averaged 10.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 33.1 minutes.

Mavericks sign forward Eric Griffin

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent forward Eric Griffin.

Griffin (6-8, 194) has played in four games for the Mavericks at the Las Vegas Summer League and has averaged 9.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.3 steals in 19.3 minutes.

During the 2013-14 season, he played seven preseason games with the Miami Heat and averaged 1.7 points and 1.1 rebounds. Following his stint with the Heat, he went on to play internationally with Gauros de Lara in Venezuela and Leones de Ponce in Puerto Rico. In 2012-13, he played for Fileni BPA Jesi in Italy and averaged 17.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.8 steals in 28 games (27 starts).

Collegiately, Griffin played all 31 games as a senior for Campbell University. He averaged 15.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.4 blocks in 30.3 minutes for the Fighting Camels and was named All-Big South Conference First Team and NABC District 3 First Team that season.

Chicago Bulls sign Pau Gasol

bulls sign pau gasol

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent forward/center Pau Gasol.

“We are really excited to add such a versatile player to our roster who has been both an All-Star and an NBA Champion,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “Pau is a skilled player with a high basketball IQ and is a true pro and a proven winner.”

Gasol (7-0, 275), a 13-year veteran of the NBA, comes to Chicago after spending the past six-plus seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. While with Los Angeles, Gasol helped the Lakers make three straight trips to the NBA Finals (2008-10) that resulted in the franchise’s last two NBA Championships (2009, 2010). Prior to his run with the Lakers, the Spanish big man was a member of the Memphis Grizzlies for more than six seasons (2001-08).

A four-time NBA All-Star (2006, 2009-11), and a three-time All-NBA selection (Second Team in 2011; Third Team in 2009, 2010), Gasol has played in 905 (892 starts) regular-season games and averaged 18.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.64 bpg and 0.54 spg in 35.6 mpg. He also owns career shooting averages of .515 from the field and .750 from the line.

In postseason play, the 34-year old Gasol has appeared in 105 (all starts) playoff games and posted 17.2 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.97 bpg, 0.56 spg, .515 from the floor and .738 from the stripe in 38.6 mpg.

A native of Barcelona, he owns a vast wealth of international experience as a member of the Spanish national team. In 2008, and again in 2012, he led Spain to silver medals in the Olympics after guiding Spain to the gold medal in the 2006 FIBA World Championships.

Bulls sign Nikola Mirotic

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed forward Nikola Mirotic (KNEE-coal-uh MIR-oh-tich).

“We feel Nikola will be a great addition to our frontcourt where he he’ll be able to space the floor with his outstanding shooting ability,” said Bulls General Manager Gar Forman.  “We’ve known Nikola for several years and we are confident he will be a great fit for our team both on and off the court.  He’s a player with great potential.”

Mirotic (6-10, 225), was acquired by Chicago on June 24, 2011, as part of a draft-night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves.  In that deal, Chicago acquired the draft rights to Mirotic (No. 23 pick) in exchange for the draft rights to Norris Cole (No. 28) and Malcolm Lee (No. 43), as well as cash considerations.

Last year with Real Madrid CF of the Liga ACB, he played in 31 games (31 starts) and averaged 12.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.06 spg, 24.0 mpg, .508 from the field, .461 from behind the arc and .811 from the line.  In five seasons with Real Madrid CF, the 23-year old Mirotic played in 97 Euroleague games (71 starts) and posted averages of 13.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.76 spg, 24.2 mpg, .498 from the floor, .402 from behind the three-point line and .848 from the free throw line.

The Podgorica, Montenegro native was a back-to-back winner of the Euroleague Rising Star Award (2010-11 and 2011-12), which is awarded to the league’s best player under 22 years of age.  Mirotic was also named to the 2012-13 All-Euroleague Second Team and named the 2014 Spanish Cup Final MVP.  With Real Madrid CF, he won the 2012-13 Spanish National Championship, the 2012 and 2014 Spanish National Cup (King’s Cup) and the 2012 and 2013 Spanish Super Cup.

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