Archive for June, 2017

Raptors promote Bobby Webster to general manager

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have promoted Bobby Webster to general manager, Dan Tolzman to assistant general manager / vice president, player personnel and Keith Boyarsky to vice president, basketball strategy & research. Masai Ujiri will continue to oversee basketball operations as president of the club.

“We are excited to promote Bobby, Dan and Keith for their hard work and important contributions to our program,” said Ujiri. “They have been invaluable across many aspects of the franchise, making decisions on our salary management, key input on scouting, analytics, strategy, player personnel and team building that has helped us develop a winning culture throughout our organization.”

Webster joined the Raptors front office in 2013 as vice president, basketball management & strategy, and helped construct a roster that won three consecutive Atlantic Division titles (2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16) and back-to-back 50-win seasons for the first time in franchise history. The Raptors have compiled a 204-124 (.622) regular season record since 2013 – the best in the Eastern Conference the past four years.
Webster was promoted to assistant general manager / vice president, basketball strategy in September 2016. He came to the Raptors after working for the NBA league office in New York for the previous seven seasons in the NBA’s CBA group.

Tolzman has served the past two seasons as director, player personnel / general manager of Raptors 905, the team’s NBA G League affiliate. He will continue to serve as Raptors 905’s general manager in his new role. Raptors 905 has compiled a 62-38 (.620) regular-season record during its first two seasons under Tolzman’s direction. During the 2016-17 campaign, Raptors 905 completed the regular season with a 39-11 (.780) record (second-most wins in G League history) and a 6-1 record in the post-season en route to winning the team’s first NBA G League Championship.

Tolzman joined the Raptors as director of scouting in 2013 and organized the team’s scouting efforts for the NBA draft and free agency preparation. He was a member of Ujiri’s staff in Denver, serving as scouting coordinator from 2011-13 and also worked in the media relations department from 2004-09.

Boyarsky joined the Raptors as an analytics consultant during the 2009-10 season and served as director of analytics since 2013-14. He advises management in player evaluation and roster construction, while providing the coaching staff with data-driven scouting and analysis. Boyarsky adapts new technologies and data sources to lead the Raptors’ efforts in innovating new competitive advantages.

Knicks and Phil Jackson part ways

Knicks and Phil Jackson part ways

MSG Executive Chairman Jim Dolan and Phil Jackson announced today that, after discussing the future of the New York Knicks, they have mutually agreed to part company. Mr. Jackson is leaving his post as President of Basketball Operations, effective immediately.

“After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” said Mr. Dolan. “Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.

“While we are currently evaluating how best to move forward regarding the leadership of the organization, I will not be involved in the operation of the team,” continued Mr. Dolan. “Steve Mills, the team’s general manager, will run the day-to-day business of the organization over the short term. Tim Leiweke, who brings tremendous expertise and experience in sports franchise management from both Toronto and Los Angeles and is our partner in the Oak View Group, will advise and work with Steve on an interim basis to help develop a go-forward plan.”

“The New York Knicks will always hold a special place in my heart,” Mr. Jackson said. “This team and this town launched my NBA career. I will forever be indebted to them. I am grateful to Mr. Dolan for giving me the opportunity to return here.

“I had hoped, of course, to bring another NBA championship to the Garden. As someone who treasures winning, I am deeply disappointed that we weren’t able to do that. New York fans deserve nothing less. I wish them and the Knicks organization all the best – today and always.”

Clippers trade Chris Paul to Rockets

Clippers trade Chris Paul to Rockets

The L.A. Clippers announced today the team has acquired guard Patrick Beverley, forward Sam Dekker, center Montrez Harrell, guard Darrun Hilliard, guard DeAndre Liggins, guard Lou Williams, forward Kyle Wiltjer and a 2018 First Round Pick from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Chris Paul.

“Since winning back-to-back championships, the pursuit of a third title has remained the ultimate goal for our franchise,” said Rockets owner Leslie Alexander. “We feel that combining two of the league’s greatest players in James Harden and Chris Paul, operating in Coach D’Antoni’s system, gives us a championship caliber team that will compete at the highest level for years to come.

“On behalf of the Rockets organization and our fans I’d also like to thank Sam, Montrezl, Kyle, and Lou for helping make this past season a special one. I’d also like to personally express my deepest gratitude to Pat Beverley, who, for the past five seasons, always left everything he had out on the court.”

Paul (6-0, 175) has racked up a multitude of honors across his 12 NBA seasons split between the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets and the Clippers. A nine-time All-Star, Paul has also been named All-NBA First Team four times, Second Team three times and Third Team once. In addition, Paul has been named NBA All-Defensive First Team seven times and Second Team twice and helped Team USA capture a gold medal in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

For his career, Paul has started all 834 of his games played, while averaging 18.7 points, 9.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.29 steals while shooting 47.3% from the floor, 37.0% from 3-point range, and 86.6% from the line with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.08. He is the only player in NBA history with career averages of at least 19.0 points, 9.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.00 steals. There are only three other players in NBA history with career averages of at least 19.0 points, 9.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds (Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and John Wall).

Paul has averaged a point/assist double-double in six of his 12 seasons, including three of the past four. That is already the fourth-highest total in NBA history, trailing only John Stockton (12), Magic Johnson (9), and Steve Nash (7). Four of Nash’s seven seasons averaging a double-double came while playing for current Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix. Nash was also named NBA MVP twice during his four seasons with D’Antoni.

Among players who were active last season, Paul has the most career assists (8,251) and steals (1,912) and ranks 10th in NBA history in assists and 15th in steals. He joins Jason Kidd, Gary Payton and Stockton as the only players with at least 8,000 assists and 1,900 steals.

Paul has hit at least 120 3-pointers in each of the past three seasons after not having more than 92 in a season prior for his career. He also shot 39.3% from behind-the-arc over the past three seasons after shooting 35.7% his first nine seasons. Paul averaged a career-high 2.0 3FGM on a career-best 41.1% shooting in 2016-17.

Earlier today the Rockets completed five separate trades with Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Portland:

· Houston acquired forward Ryan Kelly from Atlanta in exchange for cash considerations.
· Houston acquired guard DeAndre Liggins from Dallas in exchange for cash considerations.
· Houston acquired guard Darrun Hilliard from Detroit in exchange for cash considerations.
· Houston acquired forward Shawn Long from Philadelphia in exchange for a future second round pick and cash considerations
· Houston acquired guard Tim Quarterman from Portland in exchange for cash considerations.

Beverley, 28, was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2017, the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2014 and recently received the 2017 NBA Hustle Award. Last season with Houston, Beverly averaged career-highs in rebounds (5.9), assists (4.2) and steals (1.48). Over five seasons with the Rockets, he appeared in 291 games, holding career averages of 9.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.26 steals in 28.5 minutes. Initially selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 42nd pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of the University of Arkansas, Beverley spent three-plus seasons playing internationally in Greece and Russia, before joining Houston in December 2012. Beverley averaged 13.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his two collegiate seasons with the Razorbacks.

Dekker, 23, appeared in 80 games over his first two NBA seasons with the Rockets, averaging 6.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists, while shooting 47.3% from the field. The University of Wisconsin stand-out spent three collegiate seasons with the Badgers, holding averages of 12.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 27.9 minutes and led Wisconsin to back-to-back Final Four appearances in his sophomore and junior seasons. Dekker was a two-time Second-Team All-Big Ten selection (2014 & 2015), and his 1,363 points rank 17th all-time in Wisconsin school history.

Harrell, 23, holds career averages of 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds, while shooting 65.1% from the field in 97 appearances over two seasons with the Rockets. The 32nd pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Harrell was a member of Louisville’s 2013 NCAA Championship team, earned First Team All-AAC honors in 2014 and received the Karl Malone Award as the nation’s top power forward as a senior in 2015.

The 2015 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Williams, 30, averaged a career-high 17.5 points in only 24.6 minutes per game last season with Houston and Los Angeles. In 12 NBA seasons with Philadelphia, Toronto, Los Angeles and Houston, he holds career averages of 12.8 points, 2.9 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 782 career games with 90 starts.

Originally the 45th overall pick by Philadelphia in the 2005 NBA Draft out of South Gwinnett High School near Atlanta, Williams was a 2005 McDonald’s All-American and was named the 2005 Naismith Prep Player of the Year.

Hilliard, 24, holds career averages of 3.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 77 appearances over two seasons with the Detroit Pistons. The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania native was selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by Detroit.

Liggins, 29, holds career averages of 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 119 appearances over four seasons with Orlando, Oklahoma City, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas.

Wiltjer, 24, averaged 0.9 points and 0.7 rebounds in 14 games last season as a rookie in Houston.

The Los Angeles Lakers have exercised their team option for the 2017-18 season on David Nwaba, it was announced today by General Manager Rob Pelinka.

Nwaba played in 20 games (two starts) for the Lakers, averaging 6.0 points (.580 FG%) and 3.1 rebounds in 19.9 minutes. The Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo product signed the first of two 10-day contracts on February 28, after tallying 14.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks in 39 games (30 starts) with the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Nwaba signed the second of his two 10-day contracts on March 11, before signing with the Lakers for the remainder of the season on March 21.

Sixers trade Shawn Long to Rockets

The Philadelphia 76ers have acquired a 2018 second-round pick and cash considerations from Houston, President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today. In exchange, Houston received the player contract of forward Shawn Long from Philadelphia.

Long appeared in 18 games with the Sixers after signing a 10-day contract on March 6 and a multi-year deal on March 16. He posted averages of eight points and five rebounds in 13 minutes per game over the course of his 18 NBA appearances.

Long signed with Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent on July 8, 2016. After being waived on Oct. 24, he joined the Sixers’ G League affiliate in Delaware. Long appeared in 39 games (36 starts) with the 87ers, averaging 20 points, 11 rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes per game. He was named a G League All-Star.

Pistons trade Darrun Hilliard to Rockets

The Detroit Pistons have traded guard/forward Darrun Hilliard to the Houston Rockets in exchange for cash considerations, as announced today by General Manager Jeff Bower.

Hilliard appeared in a career-high 39 games (one start) last season with averages of 3.3 points, 0.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 9.8 minutes. Drafted by the Pistons with the 38th overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft, Hilliard owns career NBA averages of 3.6 points, 1.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 10.1 minutes in 77 games (three starts).

Blazers trade Tim Quarterman to Rockets

The Portland Trail Blazers have traded guard Tim Quarterman to the Houston Rockets in exchange for cash considerations, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

“We thank Tim for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best for the future,” said Olshey.

Quarterman, 22, appeared in 16 games for the Trail Blazers during his rookie 2016-17 season with the team, posting averages of 1.9 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 5.0 minutes.

Portland originally signed Quarterman as an undrafted free agent out of LSU on July 25, 2016.

The Clippers are about to take a big step downward, while the Rockets are on the rise. Here’s ESPN.com on the news:

Rockets will reportedly trade for Chris Paul

The Houston Rockets have reached an agreement on a trade for LA Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul, sources told ESPN.

The Rockets will send Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams and a top-three protected 2018 first-round pick to the Clippers in exchange for Paul…

The Clippers were determined get something for Paul rather than lose him for nothing, sources told ESPN, so Paul instead agreed to opt in for the final year of his contract (worth $24.2 million) to facilitate the trade.

The Rockets, needing to make another move to make the financials work before they can officially acquire Paul, are telling teams that they’ve assembled the needed pieces and the trade is headed to the league office for approval, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Hawks trade Ryan Kelly to Rockets

Hawks trade Ryan Kelly to Rockets

The Atlanta Hawks have traded forward Ryan Kelly to the Houston Rockets in exchange for cash considerations, it was announced today by General Manager and Head of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk.

Kelly appeared in 16 games for the Hawks last season. He was originally signed on September 20, 2016 and waived on October 19, 2016. He re-signed on October 31, 2016 and was waived on January 6, 2017. He signed again with the Hawks on February 24, 2017 to a multi-year contract.

Mavericks trade DeAndre Liggins to Rockets

The Dallas Mavericks have traded guard DeAndre Liggins to the Houston Rockets in exchange for cash considerations.

Liggins most recently spent the majority of 2016-17 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In Cleveland, he saw action in 61 games (19 starts) and averaged 2.4 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 12.3 minutes per contest. The Cavaliers requested waivers on Liggins on April 9, 2017 and was awarded to the Mavericks in time to play the final game of the season. In that game, he registered 8 points and 7 rebounds in 25 minutes to help the Mavericks defeat the Memphis Grizzlies.

Liggins (6-6, 209) was originally drafted by the Orlando Magic with the 53rd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He holds career averages of 2.1 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 9.9 minutes in 119 career games (20 starts) with Orlando, Oklahoma City, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas.

The Chicago native played three seasons at the University of Kentucky. As a junior, Liggins averaged 8.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 31.6 minutes as a starter while helping lead the Wildcats to the NCCA Final Four in Houston.

Russell Westbrook wins 2016-17 NBA MVP award

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was named the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2016-17 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, it was announced this evening during the first-ever NBA Awards Show.

Westbrook earned MVP honors after joining Oscar Roberson as the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double. Westbrook registered a league-best 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds (10th in the NBA), 10.4 assists (third in the NBA) and 1.63 steals in 34.6 minutes per game.

During the 2016-17 season, Westbrook established a new NBA record with 42 triple-doubles (Oklahoma City went 33-9 in those games) as he helped lead the Thunder to a spot in the Western Conference Playoffs.

The six-time All-Star and two-time All-Star game MVP recorded triple-doubles in seven consecutive games on two separate occasions this past season (11/25-12/9 and 3/22-4/4), to become the first player in NBA history to accomplish the feat. He was named Western Conference Player of the Month for November and February and earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors four times.

In winning his second scoring title in three seasons, Westbrook paced the NBA in games with at least 20 points (72), 30 points (44), 40 points (18) and 50 points (four).

Last month Westbrook was named to the All-NBA First Team for a second consecutive season after receiving 99 First Team votes (498 total points).

The NBA MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.

Draymond Green wins 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been named the 2016-17 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the league announced yesterday at the inaugural NBA Awards in New York. Green, who finished as the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year in each of the past two seasons, is the first player in Warriors history to earn the award.

Green was named to the All-NBA Third Team this season after averaging 10.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.38 blocks in 32.5 minutes over 76 games, while leading the league with a career-high 2.03 steals. The 6’7” forward became the first player to tally averages of at least 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block over the course of a season since blocks and steals were first recorded in 1973-74, while becoming the first player in Warriors history to total at least 150 steals and 100 blocks in a single campaign. Earlier today, Green was named to the All-Defensive First Team for a third consecutive season, becoming the first player in Warriors history to earn First Team honors three times.

Throughout the 2016-17 campaign, Green made several key defensive stops in the final moments of close games, including steals on the last possession of two-point wins on Nov. 19 at Milwaukee (8.5 seconds remaining) and Dec. 13 at New Orleans (2.3 seconds). Green ranked second in the league in deflections per game (3.9) and fifth in contested shots per game (13.7), helping the Warriors rank second in the league in defensive rating (101.1). On Feb. 10 at Memphis, Green swiped a franchise-record 10 steals and recorded the first triple-double in NBA history without scoring in double figures, adding 11 rebounds and 10 assists to go with his 10 steals.

Golden State went an NBA-best 67-15 (.817) in 2016-17, becoming the first team in NBA history to win at least 67 games in three-straight seasons (67, 73, 67), and set an NBA postseason record for best single-season playoff winning percentage with a 16-1 mark (.941) en route to the team’s second NBA title in three seasons.

Utah’s Rudy Gobert and San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard were also named as finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year Award. The NBA Awards are chosen by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Giannis Antetokounmpo wins 2016-17 NBA Most Improved Player award

Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player, the league announced tonight at the inaugural NBA Awards show. Antetokounmpo is the first player in Bucks history to be named Most Improved Player.

“I’m honored and humbled to be named the NBA’s Most Improved Player and grateful to so many people for helping me reach this point in my young career,” said Antetokounmpo. “Thank you to my family whose love and support means the world to me. Thank you to my teammates, coaches and staff with the Bucks who push me to succeed every day. Thank you to our fans who never stop cheering for us. Thank you.”

A full thank you video from Antetokounmpo can be found here: http://on.nba.com/2rVfVTb

In his fourth season, Antetokounmpo set career highs in scoring (22.9 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg), assists (5.4 apg), blocks (1.9 bpg) and steals (1.6 spg), as well as field goal percentage (.521). He became just the fifth player in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks for a season, and was the first player in NBA history to rank in the top-20 for total points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Despite playing nearly the same number of minutes per game in 2016-17 (35.6) as he did in 2015-16 (35.3), Antetokounmpo increased his scoring average from 16.9 points per game, to 22.9 points per game this season.

Antetokounmpo earned his first All-Star appearance when he was selected as a starter for the Eastern Conference in the 66th NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans in February. He was the Bucks’ first All-Star since Michael Redd in 2004 and the first All-Star starter since Sidney Moncrief in 1986. Antetokounmpo scored an Eastern Conference-high 30 points on 14-for-17 shooting.

“Giannis wants to be the best and this is a terrific achievement for him and for our organization,” said Bucks head coach Jason Kidd. “No one puts in more work than Giannis and we’re thrilled for him to receive this honor.”

During the 2016-17 season, Antetokounmpo recorded three triple-doubles to give him eight for his career, which tied him with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in team history. He was also one of just five players in the NBA this season to average over 20 points per game while shooting 50 percent or better. In May, Antetokounmpo was named Second Team All-NBA, the highest All-NBA Team selection for the Bucks since Moncrief in 1986.

Mike D`Antoni wins 2016-17 NBA Coach of the Year award

During yesterday’s inaugural NBA Awards Show, Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni was named NBA Coach of the Year for the 2016-17 season as selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He is the third coach in franchise history to win the award, joining Tom Nissalke (1976-77) and Don Chaney (1990-91).

This marks D’Antoni’s second Coach of the Year award, having won in 2004-05 after leading Phoenix to a franchise-high tying 62 wins. He is the eighth coach in NBA history with multiple Coach of the Year honors and joins Gregg Popovich as the only ones who are active.

In his first season as head coach of the Rockets, D’Antoni guided the team to a 55-27 mark after Houston went 41-41 in 2015-16. The 55 wins tied for the fourth-most in franchise history. The Rockets clinched a playoff spot on March 14, 2017 after not securing one until the regular season finale in 2015-16. D’Antoni was named Western Conference Coach of the Month in December after Houston went 15-2, tying for the most wins in a single month in franchise history.

D’Antoni engineered an offense which set the NBA record for the most 3-pointers made in a single season with 1,181. Houston finished second in the league in scoring with 115.3 points per game, tying for the second-highest scoring average in franchise history. The Rockets scored at least 130 points 12 times in 2016-17, marking the highest single season total by any team dating back to 1992-93.

During his time in Phoenix, the Suns posted the NBA’s three-highest single season totals for 3-pointers made from 2004-05 through 2006-07. Prior to 2004-05, only three teams had more than 700 3FGM in a single season. Since D’Antoni’s final season with Phoenix in 2007-08, 73 teams have hit at least 700 3-pointers in a single season, including 25 of the 30 teams in 2016-17.

Jared Dudley out 3-4 months after surgery

Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley underwent a left toe ligament and bone procedure last Friday. The surgery was performed by Dr. David Porter at Methodist Sports Medicine in Indianapolis. Dudley is expected to return to full basketball activity in approximately 3-4 months.

Dudley averaged 6.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 64 appearances in 2016-17, his 10th NBA season, sixth with the Suns and first in his second tenure with the team. Dudley ranks third in franchise history by shooting 41.2 percent from three-point range and seventh with 514 three-point makes.

Bob Myers wins 2016-17 NBA Executive of the Year award

Golden State Warriors President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Bob Myers has been named the 2016-17 NBA Executive of the Year, earning his second such honor in three seasons, the league announced yesterday at the inaugural NBA Awards in New York.

Myers, who previously won the award in 2014-15, is the first Warriors executive to earn the honor on multiple occasions, marking the third such honor in Warriors history (Dick Vertlieb, 1974-75). Myers is the 11th executive in NBA history to earn the honor multiple times and joins R.C. Buford (2013-14 & 2015-16), Bryan Colangelo (2004-05 & 2006-07), Geoff Petrie (1998-99 & 2000-01) and Stan Kasten (1985-86 & 1986-87) as the only executives to win the award twice in a span of three seasons.

Myers assembled a roster that won an NBA-best 67 games (67-15, .817) in 2016-17 and set an NBA single-season playoff record for win percentage with a 16-1 mark (.941) en route to the Warriors’ second title in three seasons. Golden State became the first team in NBA history to win at least 67 games in three-straight seasons (67, 73, 67), making its third-straight appearance in the NBA Finals.

Throughout Myers’ tenure, the Warriors have retained many of their top talents, signing starters Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to contract extensions. Following the 2015-16 season, Myers bolstered Golden State’s roster through free agency by signing two members of the Warriors’ 2016-17 starting lineup in Kevin Durant and Zaza Pachulia, as well as key reserves JaVale McGee and David West. Durant, the 2013-14 NBA Most Valuable Player, went on to earn 2017 NBA Finals MVP honors in Golden State’s 4-1 series win over Cleveland.

Myers, who originally joined the Warriors on April 14, 2011, as assistant general manager/vice president of basketball operations and was named general manager on April 24, 2012, also acquired 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala in a three-team trade in 2013 and signed key contributors Shaun Livingston (2014) and Ian Clark (2015) to free agent contracts in recent years.

The Warriors have qualified for the postseason in each of Myers’ five full seasons at the helm, making five consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since qualifying for the postseason in each of the first six years of the league’s existence (1947-52). Golden State has compiled a regular-season record of 305-105 (.744) during Myers’ five-year tenure.

Kemba Walker wins 2016-17 NBA Sportsmanship Award

The NBA announced yesterday that Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker is the recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the 2016-17 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner. The 27-year-old becomes the first Charlotte player to earn the accolade since the award’s inception following the 1995-96 season.

The annual award is designed to honor a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court and consistently displays the principles of sportsmanship, fair play and integrity. The trophy is named for former Detroit Pistons guard and Hall of Famer Joe Dumars, the award’s first recipient in 1995-96.

“I’m honored to be recognized by the NBA and my peers with an award that acknowledges that basketball is more than just a game,” said Walker. “This award celebrates my family, teammates, coaches and players throughout the league who helped teach me, and continue to exemplify, respect, sportsmanship and integrity on and off the court.”

Walker (Southeast) was one of six divisional finalists, joining the Toronto Raptors’ DeMarre Carroll (Atlantic), the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (Central), the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins (Northwest), the Golden State Warriors’ Shaun Livingston (Pacific) and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (Southwest).

A panel of five former players selected the six divisional finalists from a pool of team nominees.
A vote was cast from each player from all 30 NBA teams, with eleven points being awarded for a first place vote, nine for second, seven for third, five for fourth, three for fifth and one for sixth.

Malcolm Brogdon wins NBA Rookie of the Year award

Malcolm Brogdon was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, the league announced tonight at its inaugural NBA Awards show. Brogdon joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969-70) as the only players in team history to win Rookie of the Year. He is the first player not drafted in the first round to win Rookie of the Year since 1966.

“I am both humbled and honored to win this award,” said Brogdon. “As the oldest rookie to win this award in decades, I know it is the culmination of many special people who believed in me, starting with my mother, and continuing with my owners, my teammates, Coach Kidd and the entire Bucks’ staff. My five years at Virginia truly prepared me for the NBA and for life after the NBA. Thanks to Coach Bennett for a great education in basketball and for making me better. Thanks to the great fans of Milwaukee. Their work ethic truly inspires me every night.”

A second round pick (36th overall) from Virginia, Brogdon played in 75 games (28 starts) during a stellar rookie season that saw him lead all rookies in assists (4.2) and steals (1.1) per game, while ranking second in 3-point field goal percentage (.404) and free-throw percentage (.865). He also ranked third in field goal percentage (.457) and fourth in points per game (10.2) among rookies, and became one of just five rookies in NBA history to shoot over 40 percent from beyond the arc while averaging at least four assists per game. Brogdon recorded the first rookie triple-double in team history when he scored 15 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds at Chicago on Dec. 31.

Brogdon started all six playoff games for the Bucks in 2017, and ranked first among rookies in the playoffs with 3.5 assists per game, and was second in points (9.0) and rebounds (4.3) per game.

“Malcolm worked tirelessly to improve his game and became a valuable contributor,” said Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd, who won co-Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill in 1995. “In fact, he was so reliable it was easy to forget that he was a rookie. Malcolm has a boundless future and we want to congratulate him on winning this well-earned award.”

Earlier today, Brogdon was unanimously selected to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team, joining Joel Embiid (Philadelphia), Willy Hernangomez (New York), Buddy Hield (Sacramento) and Dario Saric (Philadelphia). Brogdon is the 13th Buck to be named to an All-Rookie Team, and is the team’s first All-Rookie First Team selection since Brandon Jennings in 2009-10.

Eric Gordon wins NBA Sixth Man of the Year award

During tonight’s inaugural NBA Awards on TNT, Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year as selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He is the first player in franchise history to receive the award.

In his first season with the Rockets, Gordon came off the bench in 60 of his 75 games played after starting 398 of 417 career games entering 2016-17. He finished second on the team in scoring with 16.2 points per game and had the third-highest scoring average (16.3 ppg) of any reserve with at least seven appearances this season.

Gordon ranked fourth in the NBA with 246 3-pointers made this season after not having more than 141 in a season prior. He set the NBA single season record for the most 3FGM by a reserve with 206, breaking the previous mark of 179 by Mirza Teletovic in 2015-16. Gordon also became the first player in Rockets history to win the 3-point contest during NBA All-Star Weekend.

Over a 21-game span from Nov. 27 through Jan. 5, Gordon averaged 4.6 3-pointers made on 47.1% shooting. He hit at least three 3FGM in each of the first 13 games of that stretch, tying for the third-longest streak in NBA history.

The Rockets were 35-7 in games in which Gordon scored at least 15 points, including 17-2 when he scored 20 or more. He averaged 17.6 ppg on 43.6% shooting (41.3% 3FGs) in wins compared to 13.4 ppg on 34.3% shooting (28.4% 3FGs) in losses.

Timberwolves waive Jordan Hill

Timberwolves waive Jordan Hill

The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived forward/center Jordan Hill.

Hill appeared in seven games for the Wolves, averaging 1.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 6.7 minutes per game. He was signed by Minnesota as a free agent on July 20, 2016.

According to the St Paul Pioneer Press, “Hill’s contract was non-guaranteed, so the move saves the Wolves just more than $4 million as they attempt to free up as much salary cap space as possible heading into free agency, which starts Saturday.”

Hill recently turned 29 years old. He should still have some years left as an NBA backup.

The Wolves attracted big headlines lately due to their trade for Jimmy Butler from the Bulls. They were expected to be a team to watch last season but didn’t reach expectations. But the addition of Butler is serious business. They’ll be a squad to watch.

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