Archive for August 18th, 2014

Grizzlies sign second round pick Jarnell Stokes

The Memphis Grizzlies signed 2014 second round draft pick Jarnell Stokes to a multi-year contract, the team announced today.

Stokes (6-9, 263) was selected by the Utah Jazz in the second round (35th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft and traded to Memphis on draft night for a 2016 second round draft pick.

Before entering the NBA Draft, Stokes played three years at the University of Tennessee (2011-14), averaging 13.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.08 blocks on .530 shooting in 29.7 minutes in 87 games. The 20-year-old left the Volunteers ranked fourth in school history in double-doubles (40), eighth in total rebounds (836) and 14th in blocks (94). He led the Southeastern Conference in offensive rebounding in each of his final two years in Knoxville.

A First Team All-SEC selection as a junior last season, Stokes posted 15.1 points and a conference-best 10.6 rebounds on .531 shooting in 32.4 minutes in 37 games, guiding Tennessee to three NCAA Tournament victories and a trip to the Sweet 16. He boosted his averages to 18.0 points and 12.8 rebounds in four tournament games, including a 26-point, 14-rebound performance on March 21, 2014 vs. Massachusetts. Stokes was named Second Team All-SEC as a sophomore and earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors in his first collegiate season.

The Memphis native and Southwind High School graduate averaged 12.2 points and 9.4 rebounds in 26.6 minutes and recorded three double-doubles in five games (four starts) last month for the Grizzlies during the 2014 Orlando Pro Summer League. He ranked second among all players in rebounds per game.

Pistons

The Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy announced today that the club has signed free agent forward Cartier Martin and center Aaron Gray to contracts.

Martin, a 6-7, 220-pound forward has career averages of 5.4 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 14.3 minutes in 220 games for Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, Golden State and Charlotte. Martin played in a career-high 59 games last season with Atlanta and Chicago averaging 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 14.7 minutes. He played in 53 games for the Hawks, scoring a season-high 17 points in 17 minutes at Dallas (10/30) and finished the year averaging 5.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 15.5 minutes per game.

A native of Crockett, TX, Martin went undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft out of Kansas State University after averaging 13.8 points (.399 3FG), 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 112 games during his four-year career. He had a breakout junior season, averaging career-highs in points (18.0) and rebounds (6.6) in 28 games and averaged 17.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in 35 games as a senior. He has played professionally in Turkey, Italy and China, while also spending time in the NBA Development League with the Iowa Energy, where he was selected as a NBA D-League All-Star in 2009.

Gray, a 7-0, 270-pound center holds career averages of 3.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 12.1 minutes in 318 career games with Chicago, New Orleans, Toronto and Sacramento. He split time between Toronto and Sacramento during 2013-14 season, appearing in 37 games and averaging 1.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 9.6 minutes.

A native of Tarzana, CA, the 29-year-old spent the majority of last season with the Kings after being traded in December. Gray averaged 1.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 10.2 minutes in 33 games with Sacramento.

Gray played collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh from 2003-07, where he averaged 9.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.2 blocks and 20.9 minutes in 113 games. During his junior year with the Panthers, Gray earned the Big-East 2005-06 Most Improved Player and was named to the All-Big East First Team after averaging 13.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 blocks in 33 games. He followed up his junior season with a solid senior year, averaging 13.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.7 blocks in 36 games and again, was named to the All-Big East First Team.

Raptors sign Jordan Hamilton

Raptors sign Jordan Hamilton

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed forward-guard Jordan Hamilton.

Hamilton, 6-foot-7, 220 pounds, averaged 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 17.0 minutes in 60 games (12 starts) last season with Denver and Houston. He scored in double figures 20 times, including a season-high 19 points November 8 at Phoenix. The Rockets acquired Hamilton from the Nuggets on February 20 in exchange for Aaron Brooks.

A product of University of Texas, Hamilton was selected 26th overall by Dallas in the 2011 NBA Draft. His rights were traded on draft night to Denver as part of a three-team deal involving Portland. In 126 career games (15 starts), he has averaged 5.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 13.3 minutes, while shooting .358 (114-for-318) from three-point range.

Here’s CSN Washington reporting on the Wizards:

DeJuan Blair ready to bring energy and toughness to Wizards

How Randy Wittman intends on using his deep core of interior options remains uncertain. Granted, the start of training camp is still weeks away, though don’t expect many specifics out of the Washington Wizards head coach regardless.

As of Thursday, newly signed center DeJuan Blair had yet to get into details with Wittman about his role. No matter. Blair knows exactly how he will help.

“I plan on just bringing energy and toughness to the team,” Blair said during a teleconference with reporters on Thursday. “And being a veteran guy, helping the young guys do the right thing and just have fun at the same time.”

Anybody who watched Blair tangle with the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs knows he’s not underselling the energy and toughness angle.

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