Archive for July 25th, 2014

Lakers re-sign Xavier Henry

Lakers re-sign Xavier Henry

The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed free agent guard Xavier Henry, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“Xavier earned a spot on our team last season after being a training camp invitee, and we hope he continues the dedication to improving he has displayed for us thus far,” said Kupchak. “When healthy, Xavier provided our team with an offensive punch, and we expect he’ll strive to add to his skillset and become a well-rounded player.”

In 43 games (five starts) last season, Henry averaged career-highs across-the-board with 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steals in 21.1 minutes. The 23-year-old led the team in scoring seven times and had hit double-figures in scoring in 16 of his last 27 games before undergoing season-ending surgeries on his left wrist and right knee on April 11. Among his highlights last season were single-game career-bests in points (27, vs. POR 12/1), rebounds (eight, vs. MIN 11/10), assists (four, vs. MIN 12/20) and steals (three, five times).

Xavier (pronounced zah-vee-ay) is entering his fifth season in the NBA, after playing for the Memphis Grizzlies (2010-11), New Orleans Hornets (2011-13) and Lakers (2013-14) since being drafted with the 12th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by Memphis. Born in Ghent, Belgium, Henry declared for the Draft after his freshman season at Kansas, where he earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and Big 12 All-Freshman Team honors.

Hawks sign first-round draft pick Adreian Payne

The Atlanta Hawks have signed rookie forward/center Adreian Payne, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Payne was selected 15th overall by Atlanta in the 2014 NBA Draft. And as a first-round draft pick, he was guaranteed to receive a contract. This signing is standard, and was expected.

Payne started all six games for the Hawks’ Las Vegas Summer League entry earlier this month, and averaged 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steals in 29.0 minutes.

A four-year letterman at Michigan State, Payne finished his career as the Spartans’ all-time leader in blocked shots (141) while becoming one-of-nine players in school history with 1,200 career points (1,232) and 700 career rebounds (735). He was a two-time Second Team All-Big Ten honoree, as a junior and senior, while garnering Second Team NABC and USBWA All-District accolades last season. As a senior, Payne averaged 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.9 blocks in 28.1 minutes in 31 games (.503 FG%, .423 3FG%, .790 FT%). In 138 career games, the 6-10 forward/center averaged 8.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 20.0 minutes (.526 FG%, .409 3FG%, .755 FT%). Additionally, he played for USA Basketball in the summer of 2013 at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia.

Orlando Magic sign Luke Ridnour

Orlando Magic sign Luke Ridnour

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

“We’re extremely excited to welcome Luke (Ridnour) and his family to Orlando,” said Hennigan. “Luke is a proven player in this league who is well-respected as a teammate and competitor. The depth and veteran experience he will provide to our backcourt will help our team continue to grow.”

Ridnour (6’2”, 175, 2/13/81) played in 61 total regular season games (14 starts) last season with both Milwaukee and Charlotte, averaging 5.0 ppg., 2.9 apg. and 1.6 rpg. in 18.7 minpg. He appeared in 36 games (12 starts) with Milwaukee, averaging 5.7 ppg., 3.4 apg. and 1.7 rpg. in 21.2 minpg. Ridnour was traded to Charlotte, along with Gary Neal, in exchange for Jeff Adrien and Ramon Sessions on Feb. 20. With Charlotte, he played in 25 games (two starts), averaging 4.0 ppg., 2.2 apg. and 1.4 rpg in 15.1 minpg. Ridnour led (or tied) the Bucks in scoring twice and in assists 12 times. He led (or tied) the Bobcats (now Hornets) in assists once. Ridnour scored in double figures a total of ten times, including a season-high 16 points on Jan. 11 at Oklahoma City. He also appeared in four playoff outings, averaging 2.5 ppg., 3.0 apg. and 1.0 rpg. in 9.0 minpg.

Originally selected by Seattle in the first round (14th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft, Ridnour has appeared in 783 career NBA regular season games (493 starts) during his 11-year career with Seattle, Minnesota, Milwaukee and Charlotte, averaging 9.6 ppg., 4.6 apg., 2.3 rpg. and 1.01 stlpg. in 26.7 minpg., while shooting .862 (1,272-1,475) from the free throw line. He also played in 22 career playoff games (11 starts), averaging 7.9 ppg., 3.3 apg. and 2.4 rpg. in 24.3 minpg. Ridnour ranks eighth among active players and 28th in NBA history in career free throw percentage. He finished seventh in the NBA in total assists (550) in 2005-06.

Hornets sign first-round draft pick Noah Vonleh

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed first-round draft pick Noah Vonleh. The Hornets selected Vonleh, a 6-10 forward, with the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

All NBA first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they wish to come to the league right away. So, this signing is standard and was expected.

An early entry candidate, Vonleh was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Third Team All-Big Ten in 2013-14 at Indiana University after averaging 11.3 points, a Big Ten-high 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 26.5 minutes per game. The team’s leader in rebounding and blocks, Vonleh shot .523 from the field (113-216), .485 from beyond the three-point line (16-33) and .716 from the free-throw line (96-134). In 30 games played, he scored in double figures 19 times and grabbed double-figure rebounds on 13 occasions, tallying 10 double-doubles. In addition to leading the conference in rebounding, he ranked third in the Big Ten in field goal percentage and eighth in blocks.

Vonleh, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week seven times during the season, participated in the McDonald’s All-America game, the Jordan Brand Classic and for the U.S. team at the Nike Hoop Summit as a high school senior in 2012-13.

Hornets re-sign Jannero Pargo

Hornets re-sign Jannero Pargo

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has re-signed guard Jannero Pargo.

“We’re pleased that Jannero will be back with us again this season,” Cho said. “He is a great veteran presence in our locker room who is always ready when called upon.”

The 6-1 Pargo has seen action in 47 games for the team after initially joining the franchise on March 14, 2013, when he signed the first of two 10-day contracts. He later signed for the remainder of the 2012-13 season and re-signed as a free agent prior to the 2013-14 season. In 47 games, he has averaged 6.1 points, 1.8 assists and 0.9 rebounds in 11.4 minutes, while shooting .419 from the field (109-260), .389 from beyond the three-point line (53-136) and .800 from the free-throw line (16-20).

A nine-year NBA veteran, Pargo has played in 490 career games with the Lakers, Raptors, Bulls, Hornets, Hawks, Wizards and Bobcats. He has career averages of 6.4 points, 2.0 assists and 1.4 rebounds, while shooting .391 from the field (1213-3105), .355 from beyond the three-point line (391-1102) and .864 from the free-throw line (317-367).

James Harden discusses the Rockets

Here’s CSN Houston reporting on the Rockets:

James Harden discusses the Rockets

While in the Philippines for a basketball charity event, James Harden shared his opinion on how the Houston Rockets will move forward without some of the players who’ve been lost or jettisoned this offseason. His thoughts sound a lot like the ones Dwight Howard shared earlier this month.

“Dwight (Howard) and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets,” said Harden told The Philippine Star. “The rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We’ve lost some pieces and added some pieces. I think we’ll be fine next season.”

Howard, who was speaking at his basketball camp in Atlanta, said, when asked about losing Chandler Parsons to Dallas, “It won’t affect us at all. We have myself and James. We have the best center and the best two guard in the game on the same team. It’s on us.”

More summer hoops for Kelly Olynyk

Here’s ESPN Boston with a report on a key young Celtic:

More summer hoops for Kelly Olynyk

Boston Celtics second-year forward Kelly Olynyk is expected to get additional offseason game reps as a member of Canada’s senior men’s basketball team.

Olynyk reported for camp earlier this week in Toronto before the team, which did not qualify for this year’s World Cup in Spain, instead traveled to Slovenia to open an 11-game European exhibition schedule on Thursday.

Olynyk, a Toronto native who grew up in Kamloops, British Columbia, did not play for the national team last summer while sidelined by a case of plantar fasciitis. He did attend camp with the national team and expressed a desire to compete for his county.

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