The Portland Trail Blazers have exercised team options on guard CJ McCollum (fourth year), center Mason Plumlee (fourth year) and forward Noah Vonleh (third year), it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.
McCollum, the 10th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, holds averages of 6.3 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 14.5 minutes in 100 career games in his first two seasons with Portland.
Plumlee, the 22nd overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft by Brooklyn, has averaged 8.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.77 blocks and 19.9 minutes in 152 games during his first two NBA seasons. Portland acquired Plumlee and the draft rights to guard Pat Connaughton from Brooklyn for guard Steve Blake and the draft rights to forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Vonleh, the ninth overall pick by Charlotte in the 2014 NBA Draft, appeared in 25 games for the Hornets during his rookie season, averaging 3.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.2 assists in 10.4 minutes. Portland acquired Vonleh and guard Gerald Henderson from Charlotte in exchange for forward Nicolas Batum.
The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have exercised the third-year team options on the Rookie Scale Contracts of forward Bruno Caboclo and center Lucas Nogueira. The contracts for Caboclo and Nogueira are now guaranteed through the 2016-17 season. In accordance with the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Raptors had until October 31 to exercise their option on both players. Per team policy, financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Caboclo, 6-foot-9, 218 pounds, was selected by Toronto with the 20th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The native of Brazil split last season between the Raptors and Fort Wayne in the NBA D-League. He averaged 1.3 points, 0.3 rebounds and 2.9 minutes in eight outings with Toronto and 3.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 8.9 minutes in seven games with Fort Wayne.
Nogueira, 7-foot, 241 pounds was acquired from Atlanta on June 30, 2014. He saw action with the Raptors and Fort Wayne in the NBA D-League last season. He averaged 1.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.5 minutes in six outings with Toronto and 8.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 20.0 minutes in four contests with Fort Wayne.
The native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was taken 16th overall by Boston in the 2013 Draft. He played three seasons in Spain before joining the Raptors.
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is injured again.
According to the Bulls, Rose was struck in the face by an elbow during today’s practice. He was taken by the Bulls medical staff to Rush University Medical Center for testing and evaluation which determined he sustained a left orbital fracture. After consultation with several specialists, it has been determined that he will require a surgical procedure, which will take place tomorrow at Rush. After the procedure, a timetable for return to play will be determined.
SEPTEMBER 30 UPDATE: Derrick Rose’s procedure went as expected today. At this time it is estimated he will be able to resume basketball activities in two weeks. The Bulls guard sustained a left orbital fracture in practice yesterday morning.
The San Antonio Spurs yesterday announced their 2015-16 training camp roster.
The Spurs current roster stands at 20 players, and includes the additions of forwards Rasual Butler and Deshaun Thomas, guard Keifer Sykes and center Youssou Ndoye.
Butler (6-7, 205), a 12-year NBA veteran, spent last season with the Washington Wizards. He appeared in 75 games, averaging 7.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 20.1 minutes. Originally selected by Miami with the 52nd overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, Butler has played for the Indiana Pacers (2013-14), Toronto Raptors (2011-12), Chicago Bulls (2010-11), New Orleans Hornets (2005-09) and Heat (2002-05).
Thomas (6-7, 215) was drafted by the Spurs with the 58th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He spent last season overseas playing for FC Barcelona in the Spanish Liga ACB and Euroleague. The former Ohio State Buckeye averaged 8.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in 20.4 minutes in 43 Liga games. In Euroleague action he averaged 7.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 19.0 minutes in 28 games.
Sykes (6-0, 180) joins the Spurs after a standout career at Wisconsin-Green Bay. He was named the Horizon League Player of the Year as a junior and senior (2014 and 2015) and earned All-Horizon League First Team honors in three consecutive seasons (2013-15). As a senior Sykes averaged 18.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists. Sykes participated in the 2015 NBA Las Vegas Summer League with the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 9.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 18.4 minutes over five games.
Ndoye (7-0, 250) recently wrapped up his collegiate career at St. Bonaventure where he was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team and garnered Atlantic 10 All-Conference Third Team honors. He was just one of two Atlantic 10 players to average a double-double, registering 11.8 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.60 blocks in his final season with the Bonnies. Ndoye was a member of the Spurs 2015 NBA Las Vegas Summer League team, averaging 3.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 9.4 minutes in six games.
The Oklahoma City Thunder signed guard Michael Qualls, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. It’s likely a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings Qualls to training camp.
Qualls (6-6, 205), joins the Thunder after a three-year collegiate career at the University of Arkansas where he appeared in 100 games (56 starts) and averaged 11.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 23.8 minutes per game. This past season, Qualls received Second-Team All SEC honors after averaging 15.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game during his junior year.
The Oklahoma City Thunder roster now stands at 19.
The Detroit Pistons will host an open practice at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Saturday, October 3 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., giving fans their first look at the 2015-16 Detroit Pistons team. Admission is free and guests can enter the arena through the Dodge Atrium located at the west entrance beginning at 10:00 a.m.
The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a free fountain Sprite and first 1,000 fans will take home a Detroit Basketball t-shirt, courtesy of Sprite.
The annual open practice will be the first opportunity for Detroit fans to watch newcomers Ersan Ilyasova, Marcus Morris, first-round selection Stanley Johnson, Aron Baynes and Steve Blake in action on the court while welcoming back Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Jackson and the rest of the Pistons team. Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy will lead the practice and scrimmage beginning at 11:00 a.m.
“We are excited to host the annual open practice and give our fans the opportunity to see the new faces on this year’s roster,” said Stan Van Gundy, Pistons President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach. “Our players and coaching staff look forward to interacting with our fans, giving some insight into how we’ll play this season and providing a fun event.
The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward Arsalan Kazemi (are-suh-lahn kah-ZEE-me) to a contract, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. It’s presumably a non-guaranteed deal just for training camp.
Kazemi became the first Iranian national to be drafted by an NBA franchise when he was selected in the second round (54th overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft by Washington (his draft rights were subsequently traded to Philadelphia).
A 6-7 forward, Kazemi played his first three seasons of college basketball at Rice (2009-12) before transferring to Oregon for his senior year (2012-13) and helping the Ducks to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. He played in 130 career games as a collegian recording 11.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.5 in assists in 29.0 minutes (.559 FG%, .678 FT%), including averaging a double-double during his sophomore (15.2 points/11.0 rebounds) and junior seasons (12.1 points/10.3 rebounds).
In 2013 he returned to his home country to play for Petrochimi Bandar Imam in the Iran Super League before signing with the Chongqing Soaring Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association last season.
Kazemi was called up to the Iranian National Senior Team in 2010 after previously playing for the country’s under-19 and under-18 teams.
He will wear No. 5.
Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert recently suffered a ruptured Extensor Carpi Ulnaris sheath in his right wrist. The extent of the injury was confirmed by MRI at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health yesterday by Dr. Thomas Graham and Dr. Richard Parker. Shumpert will have surgery to repair his wrist Wednesday at Cleveland Clinic. His return to play is currently projected to be 12 to 14 weeks.
In the 2014-15 NBA season, guard Reggie Jackson played 50 games for the OKC Thunder and did pretty well, but in the 27 games he played after becoming a Detroit Piston he averaged 17.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game. Big numbers. And now with a big contract, expectations are very high. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:
Expectations, as you might imagine, are high right now for Reggie Jackson.
The point guard landed in Detroit midway through last season, excelled in a starting role and was rewarded soon after with a guaranteed five-year, $80 million contract.
That means all eyes will be on Jackson as training camp kicks off today for the Pistons, a franchise that has missed the postseason the last six seasons.
“Always,” the 25-year-old said Monday during Pistons media day at The Palace. “I’ve got to live up to trying to win a championship. Money is money. I worked just as hard when people said I didn’t have as much, and I’m going to work just as hard after.”
Jackson said he approaches the start of every NBA this season the same way, with one goal in mind: winning a championship. At one point during his time with reporters, he made reference to a photo of Isiah Thomas hanging on the wall in the media room and cited the former Pistons point guard’s two NBA titles.
The game has changed in Los Angeles these days. Perhaps it’s temporary. But in recent seasons, including this upcoming one, the Clippers are the big contender while the Lakers are in transition and far closer to the bottom of the Western conference than the top. For Laker fans, it’s an adjustment. Here’s the Orange County Register with more:
The rules of being a Lakers fan used to be so easy. You would watch as wins accumulated, cheer for superstars and, if the season didn’t result in an NBA championship, find comfort in the knowledge they would be in the hunt next year.
But supporting the Lakers has become a more nuanced affair the past three years, as Kobe Bryant’s career has slowly, but certainly, neared its end. For example, it was fair to wonder last season whether it was better for the Lakers to win, or enhance their lottery hopes by losing.
The last superstar has scarcely been on the court. So maybe you’ve had to learn what else is on TV on Sunday nights, a window previously reserved only for the 16-time champions.
The biggest change now is that supporting the Lakers requires patience, a virtue that will become even tougher this week when Bryant takes the floor for his 20th, and perhaps final, Lakers training camp.