Archive for October, 2015

Celtics exercise contract options on Marcus Smart, James Young, Kelly Olynyk

The Boston Celtics have exercised their third-year options on guard Marcus Smart and guard/forward James Young, and their fourth-year option on forward Kelly Olynyk.

All of these moves were expected.

Smart, who is in his second NBA season, appeared in five contests for the Celtics this preseason and averaged 8.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.0 steal in 24.2 minutes per game. The 6’4” guard played in 67 games during his rookie year and averaged 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 27.0 minutes per game. Smart was named to the 2014-15 NBA All-Rookie Second Team, named the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for February 2015, and was selected with the sixth overall pick by the Celtics in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Young, who is also in his second NBA season, appeared in seven preseason matchups for the team this year and averaged 4.4 points, including connecting on 35.0 percent of his shots from beyond the arc, and pulled down 1.4 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game over that span. Young was selected with the 17th overall pick by the Celtics in the 2014 NBA Draft and is averaging 3.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per game through 31 career contests.

Olynyk, who is in his third NBA season, appeared in six preseason games for the team this year and averaged 7.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 17.7 minutes per game. The 7’0” forward is averaging 9.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 21.1 minutes per game over his 134 game career. 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.

Bulls exercise contract options on Tony Snell and Doug McDermott

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has exercised its fourth-year option for guard Tony Snell and its third-year option for forward Doug McDermott.

By exercising their options, both players will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2016-17 season.

Both of these moves were expected. Snell started 22 games for the Bulls last season, and has started all three so far this season. McDermott is still proving himself as an NBA player but clearly has the Bulls’ interest.

Pacers great Mel Daniels has died

The Indiana Pacers today are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former center Mel Daniels, a stalwart on the team’s three American Basketball Association championship teams and a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Daniels died Friday in Sheridan, Ind. He was 71. He is survived by his wife, CeCe and family.

“I join our extended Pacers family in offering my sincerest condolences to CeCe and Mel’s family,” said Pacers Sports & Entertainment owner Herb Simon. “We will miss him greatly, but when we look at that Hall of Fame banner in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, we will be forever reminded of what he meant to this franchise.”

Daniels was twice named the ABA’s MVP (1969 and 1971). He played six seasons with the Pacers, averaging 19.4 points and 16.0 rebounds per game.

A four-time All-ABA selection, Daniels was named to the First Team in 1969, 1970 and 1971, and was a Second Team pick in 1973. He also was named the ABA All-Star Game MVP in 1971 and was the ABA’s first Rookie of the Year in 1968 while playing with Minnesota. He is the Pacers’ all-time leading rebounder in the ABA (7,643) and he holds the Pacers’ ABA record for rebounds in a single season (1,475 in 1970-71).

He is a graduate of the University of New Mexico.

Following the end of his playing career, he joined the basketball staff of the Pacers.

His jersey number was retired on November 2, 1985. In September 2012, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Pelicans sign Toney Douglas

Pelicans sign Toney Douglas

The New Orleans Pelicans, who yesterday said goodbye to Nate Robinson, signed point guard Toney Douglas today.

Douglas, 6-2, 185, appeared in 12 games for New Orleans during the 2014-15 season, averaging 4.3 points and 2.0 assists in 14.8 minutes per game. Douglas spent the 2015 preseason with the Indiana Pacers, appearing in five games and averaging 6.6 points, 1.6 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals.

Drafted 29th overall out of Florida State in 2009 by the Los Angeles Lakers, Douglas has appeared in 309 career NBA games with New York, Houston, Sacramento, Golden State, Miami and New Orleans, averaging 7.6 points and 2.2 assists in 18.9 minutes per game.

New Orleans’ roster now stands at 15.

Jodie Meeks out 12-16 weeks after foot surgery

The Detroit Pistons announced today that guard Jodie Meeks underwent a surgical procedure last evening to repair a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

Meeks is expected to miss the next 12-16 weeks and will be re-evaluated throughout the rehabilitation process.

Pelicans waive Nate Robinson

Pelicans waive Nate Robinson

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has waived guard Nate Robinson.

Robinson, 5-9, 180, appeared in two games for New Orleans, averaging 2.0 assists and 0.5 steals. Originally signed by the Pelicans on Oct. 16, Robinson appeared in four preseason games, averaging 8.8 points and 2.5 assists.

New Orleans’ roster now stands at 14.

Dirk will see Suns honor Steve Nash

Here’s the Dallas Morning News reporting that Dirk Nowitzki will be in attendance when the Phoenix Suns honor Steve Nash for his accomplishments:

Dirk will see Suns honor Steve Nash

Nowitzki and a handful of other Mavericks’ personnel will use the day off Friday in Los Angeles to return to Phoenix, where they will watch Steve Nash be inducted into the Suns’ ring of honor.

“I’m not missing it,” Nowitzki said Wednesday. “We’re coming back Friday. It’s huge for him. He had a tremendous career and since we’re off in LA for three or four days, we’re coming back here for it. It’s a tremendous honor for him.

“What he did here and in his career was amazing.”

New Pistons help out on Day 1

It’s a long season, and nobody should jump to any wild conclusions at the start for the season. Certainly not after just one day of games.

But it was certainly a good start for the Pistons, who won on the road against the Hawks last night. And some key new Detroit squad members played a big role in the victory.

More here: New Pistons players step up in NBA opening night win.

Never call Chris Paul a bad teammate

Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on what you better not say to Clippers point guard Chris Paul:

Never call Chris Paul a bad teammate

Call him a wizard with the basketball. Call him a once-in-a-generation point guard. Call him competitive.

Call him out on not getting past the second round of the playoffs. Call him abrasive. Call him stubborn. Call him too demanding.

Clippers guard Chris Paul would probably be just fine with it.

But bad teammate?

“There are a lot of things you can say about me or what-not, but that’s not one,” Paul said. “I’m competitive and I want to win – you can say a whole lot of stuff about me – I’m not a saint by any means.

“But that’s the one thing you cannot say.”

SVG sounds off

You don’t want Stan Van Gundy mad at you.

Why? Not sure, exactly. Let’s not worry about that right now. Just stay focused on the topic: A mad SVG.

Is he very mad? Not particular. Just a little.

Here’s why: Stan Van Gundy no fan of back-to-back NBA games


Hawks exercise pair of options

The Atlanta Hawks exercised the fourth-year (2016-17) options on the contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dennis Schroder, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Grizzlies exercise option on Jordan Adams

The Memphis Grizzlies today exercised the third-year contract option on guard Jordan Adams. Adams is now signed through the 2016-17 season.

Adams hasn’t really solidified himself in the NBA just yet. And while it was likely that the Grizzlies were going to make this move, it wasn’t an absolute lock.

Selected by Memphis with the 22nd overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft after his sophomore season at UCLA, Adams (6-5, 209) posted 3.1 points and 0.9 rebounds in 8.3 minutes in 30 games (zero starts) during his rookie campaign last season. The 21-year-old also recorded 18.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 31.9 minutes in 11 appearances (three starts) over five assignments with the Grizzlies’ NBA Development League affiliate, the Iowa Energy.

Adams notably averaged 16.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.25 steals in 32.4 minutes in four games (all starts) in helping the Grizzlies register an undefeated record and capture the championship at the 2015 Orlando Pro Summer League this past July.

In two collegiate seasons at UCLA (2012-14), the Atlanta native tallied 16.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and a school-record 2.43 steals in 30.2 minutes in 69 games (63 starts), leading the Bruins to consecutive NCAA Tournaments and the 2014 NCAA Sweet 16. He left Westwood with the seventh-most career steals in school history (168) and established the program’s single-season steals record in his second and final season (95 in 2013-14).

Yes, the 76ers are still an NBA team. Here’s CSN Philly reporting on one of their key young prospects:

Brett Brown knows he will start the season shorthanded when the Sixers tip off 2015-16 in Boston on Wednesday night, but he could get a bit of help at game time.

That’s because guard Nik Stauskas participated in a full practice on Tuesday at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine for the first time since the first week of training camp.

According to Brown, Stauskas is a game-time decision for Wednesday’s game.

“I have 10 players for the next three games,” Brown said after practice. “Stauskas is still up in the air — he’s a game-time decision.”

Stauskas is recovering from a stress reaction in his right tibia, an injury brought on from playing for the Canadian national team in the FIBA Tournament of the Americas during the summer. Alongside teammates Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Olynyk, Stauskas was second on the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game.


The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team will wear a commemorative patch on their jersey during the 2015-16 season in honor of recently passed President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Flip Saunders.

The patch will be worn for the first time on Monday, November 2, as the Timberwolves open the home portion of the 2015-16 season against the Portland Trail Blazers at Target Center. The team will wear the patch for all home and road games for the balance of the season beginning on November 2.

The NBA Development League and Hornets Sports & Entertainment today announced that the Charlotte Hornets have acquired the right to own and operate an NBA D-League team. The team will be located in Greensboro, N.C., and will play its 24 home games at the Pavilion at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, which will be renovated into a basketball fieldhouse, beginning with the 2016-17 season. With the purchase, the Hornets become the record 11th NBA team to fully own and operate its NBA D-League affiliate, while the NBA D-League expands to a record 20 teams.

“Today is a historic day for the NBA D-League, the Hornets and the city of Greensboro,” said Malcolm Turner, NBA D-League President. “Having a 20th NBA D-League team, and the 11th that is owned by an NBA team, is an important and noteworthy achievement. We are thrilled to welcome Hornets Sports & Entertainment into the growing family of NBA D-League owners and are excited to continue to work with the city of Greensboro to bring NBA D-League basketball to fans across the state of North Carolina. I’m already looking forward to tipping off the team’s first season in November of next year.”

“This is an important step for our franchise,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment Chairman Michael Jordan. “Having our own team will allow us to use the NBA D-League in a more efficient and worthwhile way. By operating our own club, it will be a seamless transition for our players, coaches and front office when we assign a player because the NBA D-League team will follow the same principles and run the same sets as the Hornets. Placing the team in Greensboro also allows us to expand the Hornets’ brand to another city in our region that has a great basketball tradition.”

Four members of the current Hornets roster have played in the NBA’s official minor league - Troy Daniels, P.J. Hairston, Jeremy Lamb and Jeremy Lin. The Hornets assigned two players to develop their games in the NBA D-League last season, and they have signed 12 players from the League since the 2004-05 campaign, including 2004-05 NBA D-League MVP Matt Carroll. Additionally, Charlotte assistant coaches Pat Delany and Steve Hetzel joined the Hornets following stints as NBA D-League head coaches in Sioux Falls and Canton, respectively.

The Hornets, who began the process to acquire an NBA D-League team earlier this year, join the Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge), Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors), Indiana Pacers (Fort Wayne Mad Ants), Los Angeles Lakers (L.A. D-Fenders), New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks), Oklahoma City Thunder (Oklahoma City Blue), Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers), San Antonio Spurs (Austin Spurs), Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905) and Utah Jazz (Idaho Stampede) as NBA teams to fully own and operate their NBA D-League affiliate.

Located 90 miles northeast of Charlotte, the Greensboro Coliseum Complex is a multi-building facility that includes the 22,000-seat Greensboro Coliseum; the 167,000-square-foot Special Events Center, which includes a 5,000-seat mini-arena; the 30,000-square-foot Pavilion; the 7,600-seat White Oak Amphitheatre; a 12,000-square-foot banquet facility; the 300-seat Odeon Theatre; the Greensboro Aquatic Center; and the ACC Hall of Champions. The Greensboro Coliseum Complex hosts more than 1,100 events annually and has welcomed more than 60 million guests since its grand opening.

Obama expected at Bulls-Cavs game

It’s the opening night of the 2015-16 NBA regular season! Here’s reporting that a pretty famous fan will likely attend Bulls-Cavs tonight:

President Barack Obama, perhaps the most famous Chicago Bulls fan in the world, is expected to be in attendance for the Chicago’s season-opening game Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“He loves the game of basketball,” LeBron James said prior to the Cavs’ shootaround Tuesday morning. “We all know that. It’s an honor for me to be a part of a venue and a spectacle that the president would like to come and watch. It’s an honor for sure.”

James, who teamed up with Michelle Obama last week in Akron, Ohio, as a part of a higher-education initiative, said the First Lady did not tip him off about her husband’s plans.


The Milwaukee Bucks have exercised the third-year contract options on Tyler Ennis and Jabari Parker, and the fourth-year contract options on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Michael Carter-Williams, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

All of these moves were expected. While the jury is still out on Ennis, the other three players are considered key building blocks and the foundation of the franchise.

Antetokounmpo, 20, appeared in 81 games (71 starts) last year during his sophomore campaign and averaged 12.7 points with 6.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 blocks in 31.4 minutes per contest. He posted double-figure scoring in 60 games in 2014-15, including seven 20-plus scoring outings. In his two NBA seasons, the 6-11 forward has played in 158 games (94 starts), averaging 9.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 28.1 minutes per game. In 2014-15, Antetokounmpo became the youngest Buck in franchise history to amass 1,000 points with Milwaukee.

Carter-Williams, 24, appeared in 66 games (63 starts) split between Philadelphia and Milwaukee last season, averaging 14.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists (11th in the NBA) and 1.7 steals (15th in the NBA) in 32.6 minutes per game. Over two seasons, the 2013-14 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year has played a total of 136 games (133 starts), averaging 15.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.8 steals. With these averages, Carter-Williams joins a list of Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Grant Hill, Steve Francis and LeBron James as the only players to average at least 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists through their first two NBA seasons.

Ennis, 21, split time between Phoenix and Milwaukee last year during his rookie season and averaged 3.7 points, 2.2 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 12.5 minutes over 33 contests. He made his debut in the Bucks starting lineup on March 14 at Memphis, logging career highs in assists (11), rebounds (4) and minutes played (36). With his 11 assists, Ennis became the third Bucks player in franchise history under 21 years old to record 10-plus assists in a game, joining Brandon Jennings and T.J. Ford.

Parker, 20, competed in 25 games (all starts) as a rookie for the Bucks in 2014-15 before missing the remainder of the season due to a left ACL tear. In his 25 games played, Parker averaged 12.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals per contest. The Duke product was named NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for October and November of 2014 after he helped lead the Bucks to a 10-8 mark by averaging 11.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Parker recorded consecutive double-doubles in his first week of NBA action last season (11 pts/10 rebs on 10/31 vs. PHI and 13 pts/11 rebs on 11/1 at WAS), making him the first teenager in 30 years to record multiple double-doubles in his first three career games.

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.


The Phoenix Suns have exercised their 2016-17 contract options on guard Archie Goodwin, center Alex Len and forward T.J. Warren.

These moves were expected, and aren’t a surprise.

Goodwin, who has spent each of his first two NBA seasons with the Suns, averaged career-highs of 5.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 13.0 minutes in 41 games in 2014-15. The 29th overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Goodwin averaged 14.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in the two games in which he started last season. At NBA Summer League 2015 in Las Vegas, Goodwin ranked second on the team with an average of 15.9 points as he helped the Suns reach the 2015 Summer League Championship Game. During the preseason, Goodwin averaged 5.7 points, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 15.8 minutes.

Len led the Suns with 1.6 blocks per game during the preseason, also averaging 10.2 points and 6.0 rebounds. In 2014-15, he produced a breakthrough second season as he emerged as one of the league’s best shot blockers, ranking seventh in the NBA among qualified players with 2.5 blocks per 36 minutes. The fifth overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Len averaged career-bests of 6.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 22.0 minutes in 69 games. In 44 starts last season, Len posted 6.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 24.2 minutes as the Suns posted a 23-21 record in those games. Len’s 1.9 blocks per game after entering the regular starting lineup on Dec. 15 ranked eighth in the NBA from that date forward.

Warren led the Suns in scoring with an average of 13.7 points during the preseason, in addition to averaging 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.8 steals. One of the NBA’s most efficient rookie scorers in 2014-15, he ranked seventh among rookies who played at least 600 total minutes with an average of 14.4 points per 36 minutes, the highest by a Suns rookie playing at least 600 minutes since Amar’e Stoudemire in 2002-03. Overall, the 14th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft averaged 6.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 15.4 minutes in 40 games. Warren excelled at NBA Summer League 2015 in Las Vegas, being named to the All-NBA Summer League First Team after averaging a team-high 18.7 points on 54.0 percent shooting in seven games.

Pelicans sign Ish Smith

Pelicans sign Ish Smith

The New Orleans Pelicans signed guard Ish Smith today.

Smith, 6-0, 175, spent the 2015 preseason with Washington, appearing in five games while averaging 2.2 points and 4.0 assists in 11.5 minutes per game. Undrafted out of Wake Forest in 2010, Smith has appeared in 246 career regular season games with Houston, Memphis, Golden State, Orlando, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia, holding career averages of 3.6 points, 2.3 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per game.

New Orleans’ roster now stands at 15, the regular season maximum.

Spurs exercise contract option on Kyle Anderson

The San Antonio Spurs have exercised their third-year option on forward Kyle Anderson for the 2016-17 season. This was an expected move and will surprise no one.

Originally selected by the Spurs in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft (30th overall), Anderson averaged 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 11.2 minutes over 32 games last season. The former UCLA Bruin also appeared in 26 games with the Austin Spurs, San Antonio’s NBA D-League affiliate, where he averaged 21.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 40.1 minutes.

Anderson was named MVP of the 2015 NBA Summer League after averaging 21.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 27.3 minutes over seven games, helping the Spurs win the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League Championship.

Basketball blog