Archive for October, 2014

Warriors, Klay Thompson agree to contract extension at deadline

Warriors, Klay Thompson agree to contract extension

The Golden State Warriors and shooting guard Klay Thompson have a good thing going. They win together. And they like each other. Was money going to get in the way of their future together? It sure seemed possible, with Thompson seeking a maximum NBA contract.

But up against tonight’s extension deadline, the two sides have come to an agreement, according to multiple reports.

According to Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports, “Klay Thompson’s new contract extension with the Warriors includes no opt-out on either side, a source said.”

And per Marc Stein of ESPN: “ESPN sources say that Thompson and the Warriors have struck a four-year max agreement that is projected to be worth in the $70 million range.”

The Philadelphia 76ers, in serious rebuild mode and making decisions as to which players will be their building blocks for the future, announced today that they have exercised the third-year options on the contracts for Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel as well as the fourth-year option on Tony Wroten’s contract.

None of this is a surprise, as Carter-Williams and Noel are two of their prime young prospects, while Wroten has shown impressive skills lately.

The Sixers are focused on the future, gathering losses and lottery picks.

According to CSN Philly, “By exercising the deals, Noel is slotted to make $3.5 million as the No. 6 pick in the 2013 draft while Carter-Williams, the No. 11 pick, is due 2.4 million. Wroten, drafted by Memphis as the No. 25 pick in 2012, is set to earn $2.2 million in the last year of the deal.”

Carter-Williams was named the 2013-14 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, joining Allen Iverson as the only players to win the award in franchise history. He also joined Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson as the only rookies in league history to average at least 16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists.

Noel made his NBA debut in the Sixers season opener at Indiana on Wednesday night and had a game-high tying 10 rebounds along with three blocks. The 20-year-old became the first player with at least 10 boards and three blocks in his debut since Dwight Howard in 2004.

Wroten started the season opener for the Sixers and had 22 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Last season, the 21-year-old joined Calvin Murphy as the only players in NBA history to average at least 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in fewer than 25.0 minutes per game.

The 2014-15 Oklahoman City Thunder season is off to an injury-filled start. With star forward Kevin Durant already out, pressure was on the shoulders of super-energetic star guard Russell Westbrook to carry much of the load. But now Westbrook is hurt too, with a real injury that could keep him out for some time. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

The early indication is that Russell Westbrook could miss four to six weeks after fracturing the second metacarpal in his right hand Thursday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

It could keep the Thunder’s electric point guard sidelined through mid-December and add him to an already ridiculously long list of injured Oklahoma City players who are expected to miss the season’s first month.

The projected recovery time would cost Westbrook 15 games on the low end and as many as 21 contests. He would rejoin the lineup between Nov. 28 and Dec. 12.

Westbrook is scheduled to undergo further tests Friday in Oklahoma City.

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on a roster decision made by the Atlanta Hawks:

Hawks decline team option on John Jenkins

The Hawks declined to exercise the fourth-year team option on former first-round pick John Jenkins. The shooting guard who have been due $2,228,025 for the 2015-16 season but now becomes an unrestricted free agent following this season.

The team exercised the third-year option on Dennis Schroder. The point guard will make $1,763,400 next season.

Jenkins, who was selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft out of Vanderbilt, has been slowed by injury during his Hawks career. He averaged 6.1 points in 14.8 minutes as a rookie in 74 games. However, last season was an injury plagued year for the shooting guard. He missed substantial time that summer and training camp with a back injury. The 23-year old appeared in only 13 games last season when the injury re-occurred and eventually required season-ending surgery in February.

Photo: LeBron back in Cleveland

Photo: LeBron back in Cleveland

Warriors exercise contract options on Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli

Warriors exercise contract options on Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli

The Golden State Warriors have exercised fourth-year contract options on forward Harrison Barnes and center Festus Ezeli, which are for the 2015-16 NBA season.

The Warriors declined to exercise their third-year contract option on guard Nemanja Nedovic.

Barnes, 22, has appeared in 160 games (106 starts) over three seasons with the Warriors, averaging 9.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 26.8 minutes per contest. The 6’8” forward has appeared in all 19 of the team’s postseason games in that span, earning 12 starting assignments and posting averages of 13.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 32.5 minutes. Barnes, who was selected by the Warriors with the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, was a First Team All-Rookie selection in 2012-13.

Ezeli, 25, has appeared in 79 games (41 starts) over three seasons in Golden State, averaging 2.5 points and 4.0 rebounds to go with 0.94 blocks. In 12 postseason appearances (all in 2012-13), the 6’11” center averaged 2.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 11.2 minutes. Ezeli, the 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, missed the entire 2013-14 season while recovering from right knee surgery.

Nedovic, 23, appeared in 24 games with the Warriors last season as a rookie, averaging 1.1 points in 5.9 minutes per contest. Originally selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft, he was acquired by the Warriors in a draft-night deal.

Under the terms of the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement, the first two years of a first round draft pick’s contract are guaranteed, while the third and fourth year of the contract are the team’s option.

Jazz and Enes Kanter fail to reach extension agreement

It’s always tough when a rebuilding team has to make a big decision on exactly how much of their future to tie up on any given player. That’s the situation with the Utah Jazz and center Enes Kanter, who is talented and has a bright future but isn’t a sure thing to emerge as a serious star. He may. But may not. And for the Jazz, it’s scary to take a huge leap of faith. So the team sides have reportedly failed to come up with an agreement that makes both sides happy. Here’s the Deseret News reporting:

No Jazz, Enes Kanter extension expected

Enes Kanter will enter the free-agency market next summer.

The fourth-year big man and the Utah Jazz could not come to an agreement on a contract extension and mutually agreed to call off negotiations ahead of Friday’s deadline, the Deseret News has confirmed.

Like Hayward this past summer, the 22-year-old Kanter will be a restricted free agent next offseason. Hayward ended up signing a four-year, $63 million deal with Utah after signing an offer sheet with Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets.

“It’s a long process,” Kanter said. “I’m letting my agent handle this stuff. I’m just going to wait and see what’s going to happen.”

Remember Danilo Gallinari? Sure you do. But it’s been a while since you’ve seen him play basketball. He’s a key member of the Denver Nuggets, who are surely very happy to finally have him back in action, even if he shot just 1-of-8 in limited minutes upon his return. Here’s the Denver Post reporting:

Danilo Gallinari finally back in action for Nuggets

It all went wrong for a Denver team on the rise when Gallinari went down in an ugly heap with a knee injury April 4, 2013. The Nuggets got upset by Golden State, which bounced them from the playoffs. Coach George Karl and franchise boss Josh Kroenke broke up in a contract dispute. Bad luck shadowed the franchise like a black cat.

Nearly 19 months later, Gallinari finally made it back to the Pepsi Center court Wednesday night. The Nuggets beat Detroit 89-79 in their NBA season opener.

Gallo, who scored seven points in 18 minutes against the Pistons, cannot fix everything that went wrong with the Nuggets.

“Nobody in the league is thinking much about Denver. But it’s always been that way about the Nuggets. We’ve always been the underdog. We’ve always been the team nobody talks about,” Gallinari said. “But I know the last year all of us played together, the record book says we won the most games in franchise history.”

Shaun Livingston returns for Warriors

Shaun Livingston returns for Warriors

The 2014-15 NBA regular season began Tuesday with three games, and on Wednesday featured 12 matchups, including the Warriors vs Kings. Golden State came away with a win on the court, but another in that they were able to utilize the services of guard Shaun Livingston, who wasn’t expected to be healthy enough to set foot on the court just yet. Here’s the Bay Area News Group reporting:

Shaun Livingston returns for Warriors

Warriors point guard Shaun Livingston surprisingly didn’t miss the start of the season Wednesday after his recovery from toe surgery cost him weeks of training camp and the entire preseason.

Shortly before the season opener that the Warriors went on to win 95-77, coach Steve Kerr approached Livingston about the possibility of playing since they were short-handed with David Lee and Brandon Rush sidelined.

“I was ready,” Livingston said, noting he’s been ready for a week now.

While winning their season opener tonight, Boston Celtics exercised contract options on Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller

Celtics exercise contract options on Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller

The Boston Celtics have exercised their third-year option on forward Kelly Olynyk, and their fourth-year options on forward Jared Sullinger and center/forward Tyler Zeller.

The Celtics started their regular season in style this evening at home, beating the Brooklyn Nets 121-105. Point guard Rajon Rondo, who has some serious heal-from-injury skills, had 13 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists in the win.

Olynyk appeared in seven games for the Celtics this preseason and averaged 8.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 blocks in 25.2 minutes per game. He is averaging 8.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game through 70 career contests. Olynyk was originally selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the 13th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft before the Celtics acquired him in exchange for the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira and two future second round picks on June 27, 2013.

Sullinger appeared in eight preseason matchups for the team and averaged 14.9 points, including shooting 15-30 (.500) from beyond the arc, 10.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 21.9 minutes per game over that span. Sullinger was selected 21st overall by the Celtics in the 2012 NBA Draft and is averaging 10.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 24.6 minutes per game over his 119 game career.

Zeller appeared in eight preseason games for the Celtics and averaged 7.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game off the bench. He is averaging 6.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 0.7 blocks in 21.0 minutes per game on his career. Zeller was originally selected 17th overall by Dallas in the 2012 NBA Draft. Boston acquired him from Cleveland as part of a three-team trade on July 10, 2014.

Julius Randle Injury Update: Out For Season After Surgery

Julius Randle injury update: out for season after surgery

The Los Angeles Lakers 2014-15 regular season already didn’t look on paper like many wins should be expected, but the situation is now even bleaker after a tragic injury in the team’s season-opener last night.

Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle will likely miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season. He suffered a fractured tibia of his right leg in Tuesday night’s game in Staples Center against the Houston Rockets, and today underwent surgery to fix the fracture. The recovery time suggests we won’t see Randle on an NBA court again this season.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Donald Wiss at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The Lakers expect that Randle, the team’s prized rookie, will make a full recovery.

Mavericks waive Gal Mekel

Mavericks Waive Gal Mekel To Make Room For Jose Juan Barea

Mavericks waive Gal Mekel

The Dallas Mavericks have requested waivers on guard Gal Mekel, in a move that is likely only taking place because the team expects to bring back guard Jose Juan Barea. It’s been widely reported that the Mavs like Mekel a lot. But Barea is a proven veteran who adds bench depth, and the team is looking to win as immediately as possible.

Mekel (6-3, 202) was in his second year with the Mavericks after signing as a free agent on July 11, 2013. Last season, he averaged 2.4 points, 2.0 assists and 9.4 minutes in 31 games (1 start) for Dallas.

Despite not playing much for the Mavs, Mekel will likely land a job with another NBA team in the near future. He isn’t considered a starter, but certainly belongs on someone’s bench.

Originally from Petah Tikva, Israel, Mekel spent the entire preseason with the Mavericks, and averaged 7.6 points, 3.9 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 19.4 minutes in 8 preseason games (2 starts).

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard exchange words in regular season opener

The 2014-15 NBA regular season began Tuesday night, featuring three games, the last of which was a Rockets win over the Lakers that unfortunately included LAL rookie Julius Randle breaking his leg. But there was also some fun in the form of former teammates Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard exchanging some less-than-pleasant words.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle with more:

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard exchange words

The Lakers’ season opener was supposed to be about the return of Kobe Bryant. After missing all but six games last year, the All-Star was to be back on the court to save the Lakers from another postseasonless season.

Part of that comeback would include running into Rockets center Dwight Howard, who Bryant has a rocky history with.

While both players have said since before the start of the 2013-14 season that their drama was in the past, it became the present on Tuesday night at the Staples Center, when the two shared some words in the fourth quarter.

After Howard elbowed Bryant in the face after a rebound, the two started talking. Video shows Howard saying, “I know you, dog,” and Bryant saying, “Try me” and calling Howard “soft” as he approached the Lakers bench.

Julius Randle leg injury: fractured tibia suffered on NBA opening night

Julius Randle leg injury: fractured tibia

The Los Angeles Lakers season has begun in dramatically bad fashion, with the brightest young talent on the roster suffering what has been diagnosed as a major injury. This on opening night for the 2014-15 NBA regular season.

Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle left Tuesday’s game against the Houston Rockets in the fourth quarter with an injury to his right leg. The initial diagnosis by team doctors at the arena is a fractured tibia.

Randle will undergo further evaluation tomorrow, and an update on his status will be given at that time.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News blog, “Randle was taken off the court in a stretcher before being taken to a nearby hospital. The Lakers will have more information likely by Wednesday, including when Randle will presumably have surgery. But given that it appears Randle broke his leg, the Lakers sounded well aware of the devastating implications. Lakers coach Byron Scott also reported players told him they heard a “pop” when Randle fell to the floor.”

The Rockets won 108-90, but the results of the game, which took place in Los Angeles’ Staples Center, takes a back seat to news of this injury.

Knicks exercise contract option on Tim Hardaway Jr

The New York Knicks made an easy decision today and exercised their third-year contract option on guard Tim Hardaway Jr.

On a roster lacking in young talent other than Hardaway, guard Iman Shumpert and rookie forward Cleanthony Early, this move was expected.

Hardaway, 6-6, 205-pounds, averaged 10.2 points over 23.2 minutes in 81 games (one start) last season for the Knicks and was named to the 2013-14 NBA All-Rookie first team. He was originally selected by New York with the 24th overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Lakers face Rockets on NBA opening night

Lakers face Rockets on NBA opening night

The 2014-15 NBA regular season begins tonight! Basketball is back.

There are two 8pm ET games: Pelicans/Magic and Spurs/Mavericks. And at 10:30pm ET the Lakers face the Rockets. Nobody expects much of the Lakers this season, but as long as Kobe Bryant is healthy and can lace up his sneakers they are going to be of interest. And they did add Carlos Boozer, and rookie Julius Randle. So there’s that.

Here’s the Orange County Register with more on the Lakers/Rockets:

Maybe the 2012-13 feud between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard feels like ancient history.

But the two former teammates will hit a different kind of milestone Tuesday on the opening night of the NBA’s regular season: It will mark the first time the two have played against each other since Howard spurned the Lakers to sign with the Rockets.

It’s true. While Howard played four games against the Lakers last season, Bryant missed each contest because of injuries.

Howard and Bryant openly bickered in their one season together and after Howard signed with the Rockets, Bryant delivered the ultimate insult imaginable in this tech age.

He unfollowed Howard on Twitter.

Bucks waive Michael Eric

As teams around league trim rosters to 15 players, Milwaukee Bucks waive Michael Eric

Bucks waive Michael Eric

The Milwaukee Bucks have requested waivers on Michael Eric, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Eric, 26, was signed to Milwaukee’s training camp roster on Sept. 27. He appeared in four games this preseason for the Bucks and averaged 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per game.

Phoenix Suns exercise contract options on Archie Goodwin, Alex Len, Miles Plumlee

Suns exercise contract options on Archie Goodwin, Alex Len, Miles Plumlee

The Phoenix Suns have exercised their 2015-16 options on guard Archie Goodwin, center Alex Len and center Miles Plumlee.

According to the Arizona Republic, the contract values for the 2015-16 season are: Alex Len ($3.81M), Miles Plumlee ($2.11M) and Archie Goodwin ($1.16M).

As a rookie with the Suns last season, Goodwin averaged 3.7 points and 10.2 minutes in 52 games. The 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft, Goodwin scored a career-high 29 points on 11-of-13 shooting in the Suns’ 2013-14 season finale at Sacramento.

Len was selected by the Suns with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and, among NBA rookies to play at least 300 minutes, ranked fifth in rebounds per 48 minutes and sixth in blocks per 48 minutes last season. The native of Ukraine averaged 2.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 8.6 minutes in 42 appearances, including three starts.

Plumlee enjoyed a breakthrough season in his first with the Suns and second in the NBA in 2013-14, averaging team-highs of 7.8 rebounds and 1.13 blocks in addition to 8.1 points in 80 games (79 starts). Acquired by the Suns in a trade from Indiana prior to last season, Plumlee had a team-high 23 double-digit rebounding games and tied for the team-lead with 11 double-doubles.

Rosters for 2014-15 NBA regular season

We’re here! The 2014-15 NBA regular season begins Tuesday night.

Today, all 30 NBA teams trimmed their rosters to 15 or fewer players.

Here they are, official NBA opening night rosters for every team in the league.

Chicago Bulls exercise contract option on Tony Snell

Bulls exercise contract option on Tony Snell

The Chicago Bulls have exercised their third-year contract option for the 2015-16 season for guard Tony Snell.

This move means Snell will be under contract with Chicago for the 2015-16 season.

Snell (6-7, 200), appeared in 77 games (12 starts) during his rookie campaign and posted averages of 4.5 ppg and 1.6 rpg in 16.0 mpg. He also shot .384 from the floor, .320 from behind the arc and .756 from the line. This past summer at the 2014 NBA Summer League, Snell was named to the Samsung All-NBA Summer League First Team. In five summer league games, he posted averages of 20.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 2.8 apg in 30.2 mpg. He also shot .466 from the floor, .500 from three-point range and .833 from the free-throw line. Snell was selected by the Bulls in the first round (20th overall) in the 2013 NBA Draft.

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