Archive for July, 2017

Hawks add Nicolas Brussino off waivers

Hawks add Nicolas Brussino off waivers

The Hawks have claimed guard/forward Nicolas Brussino off waivers, it was announced today by General Manager and Head of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk. He was waived by the Dallas Mavericks on July 20.

Brussino, 6’8, appeared in 54 games as a rookie last season with the Mavericks, averaging 2.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in 9.6 minutes. He also spent time with the Texas Legends of the NBA G League, averaging 16.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.2 steals in 35.8 minutes (.628 FG%, .520 3FG%, .842 FT%) in five contests.

Prior to Dallas, the 24-year-old played professionally in his native Argentina with Penarol (2015-16) and Regatas Corrientes (2012-15). He has also been a member of the Argentinian National Team since 2012, including participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Jazz sign Ekpe Udoh

Jazz sign Ekpe Udoh

The Utah Jazz announced yesterday (Friday) that the team has signed forward/center Ekpe Udoh (pronounced EPP-ay You-Doe) to a multi-year contract.

Standing 6-10 with a 7-foot-4½-inch wingspan, Udoh (6-10, 245, Baylor) enters his first season with the Jazz, after a successful stint with Fenerbahce Ulker (Turkey) from 2015-17. During the 2016-17 season, he appeared in 61 games (47 starts) in the Euroleague and Turkish Basketball Super League, averaging 11.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.9 blocks in 29.4 minutes per game. Udoh led Fenerbahce to their first ever Euroleague title and was named Final Four MVP. He averaged 14.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.5 blocks in wins against Real Madrid and Olympiacos Piraeus in the semifinals and finals, respectively. He finished the season leading the Euroleague during league play in rebounds per game (7.8) and blocks per game (2.1) while setting a single-season Euroleague record with 68 blocks.

The 30-year-old was also named a 2017 All-Euroleague First Team member and Turkish Super League All-Star as well as a runner-up for the Best Defender Trophy.

Originally selected in the first round (sixth overall selection) of the 2010 NBA Draft by Golden State, Udoh has appeared in 270 career games (52 starts) over five seasons in the NBA with Golden State, Milwaukee and the LA Clippers. He owns career averages of 4.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 16.9 minutes.

Udoh played two collegiate seasons at Michigan (2006-08) where he was named to the All-Big Ten Defensive Team as a sophomore before transferring to Baylor. During his lone season with the Bears, he set a Big 12 and Baylor record with 133 blocks leading to All-Big 12 and All-American recognition by conference coaches and media after averaging 13.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 3.7 blocks in 35.1 minutes over 36 games.

A fan favorite known throughout his basketball travels for establishing book clubs and holding movie nights with fans, Udoh was born and raised in Edmond, Okla., where he attended Santa Fe High School. Of Nigerian descent, his full given name is Ekpedeme, which translates to “Lion.”

He will wear No. 33 for the Jazz.

Nets sign Yakuba Ouattara

Nets sign Yakuba Ouattara

The Brooklyn Nets yesterday (Friday) signed Yakuba Ouattara to a two-way contract.

Ouattara (6’3”, 185) spent the 2016-17 season playing for AS Monaco Basket of the French LNB Pro A league. In 32 total games, he averaged 11.8 points on 51.4 percent (147-of-286) shooting from the floor, including a 40.0 percent (40-of-100) clip from beyond the arc, while pulling down 3.3 rebounds in 23.9 minutes per contest.

A native of Tepa, Ghana, Ouattara has been a member of the French national team because of the unavailability of a Ghanaian national team. The 25-year-old began playing professionally in 2012 and spent two seasons playing for Elan Chalon (2012-14) in the French LNB Pro A league before joining AS Monaco Basket for the past two seasons (2015-17).

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted sign two players to two-way contracts in addition to the 15-man regular season roster. A two-way player for the Nets will provide services primarily to the team’s NBA G League affiliate – the Long Island Nets – but can spend up to 45 days with Brooklyn, not including any time prior to the start of Long Island’s training camp and at the conclusion of their season.

Grizzlies sign second rounder Dillon Brooks

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace announced yesterday (Friday) that the Grizzlies signed 2017 second round draft pick Dillon Brooks.

Brooks (6-6, 220), selected 45th overall pick by the Houston Rockets and traded to the Grizzlies for a future second round draft pick, appeared in 35 games (27 starts) and averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.09 steals in 25.3 minutes last season as a junior at the University of Oregon. The 21-year-old, who led the Ducks to their first Final Four since 1939, was named the 2017 Pac-12 Player of the Year and earned All-Pac 12 First Team and All-America First Team honors from USA Today. In addition, Brooks also was one of five finalists for the Julius Erving Award, given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation’s top collegiate small forward.

The Mississauga, Canada native appeared in 109 games (98 starts) over his three-year career at Oregon and averaged 14.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 28.9 minutes.

Thunder sign Dakari Johnson

The Oklahoma City Thunder has signed center Dakari Johnson, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

During the 2016-17 G League season, Johnson played in 49 games (all starts), leading the Oklahoma City Blue to its first Southwest Division title, as he averaged a team-leading 18.5 points per game (13th in the league) and 7.9 rebounds in 29.0 minutes. He set career highs in points, assists (2.3), blocks (1.27) and field goal percentage (.557) in the regular season.

“Dakari is the latest Thunder player to have benefitted from his commitment to his development plan with the Blue,” said Presti. “As a result, he showed tremendous growth on both ends of the floor over the past two seasons and is ready to embark on his NBA career more prepared. Dakari adds to the core of young talent on our roster that we feel is an important tenet to our ability to sustain our success as we enter into a decade of Thunder basketball.”

The center was named Performer of the Week twice and was named the Player of the Month for November this past season. Johnson became the first player in franchise history to be named to the All-NBA G League First Team and was selected to the G League All Star Game.

Johnson’s assists ranked first among all centers in the G League last season and he contributed a career-high 13 double-doubles while scoring in double figures 45 times.

Originally selected No. 48 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, the University of Kentucky standout spent two full seasons with the Blue, appearing in 99 games (96 starts), and tallying 15.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.21 blocks in 28.3 minutes.

Hawks re-sign Ersan Ilyasova

Hawks re-sign Ersan Ilyasova

The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed forward Ersan Ilyasova, it was announced today by General Manager and Head of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk.

According to multiple reports, it’s a one-year, $6 million contract.

“Ersan is a versatile and skilled big man who impacts the game on both ends of the floor,” Schlenk said. “He was a good fit in Coach Bud’s system, and we’re glad we were able to retain him.”

In 26 games (12 starts) with Atlanta last season, the veteran forward averaged 10.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 24.3 minutes. He also appeared in 53 games with Philadelphia and three contests with Oklahoma City last season, playing in 82 games for the first time in his career. The 6’10 forward led the NBA in charges taken, drawing 36 offensive fouls.

He was acquired by the Hawks from the 76ers on February 22, 2017, in exchange for Tiago Splitter, a 2017 second-round pick and the right to swap another 2017 second-round pick.

Through nine NBA seasons, Ilyasova is averaging 11.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 24.4 minutes (.442 FG%, .366 3FG%, .770 FT%).

The Denver Nuggets have signed rookie Monte Morris to a two-way contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Morris, 6-3, 175, was drafted by Denver with the 51st pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. He averaged 9.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, a team-high 4.3 assists and 1.33 steals in six games (four starts) for Denver’s 2017 Las Vegas Summer League squad.

Morris played four seasons at Iowa State University, averaging 12.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.61 steals in 140 career games (121 starts). He was named All-Big 12 First Team as a senior in 2017 with averages of 16.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The Grand Rapids, Michigan native was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team as both a junior and sophomore.

Hawks sign Dewayne Dedmon

The Atlanta Hawks have signed center Dewayne Dedmon, it was announced today by General Manager and Head of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk.

Last season in 76 games (37 starts) with the San Antonio Spurs, Dedmon averaged career-highs of 5.1 points and 6.5 rebounds in 17.5 minutes (.622 FG%, .699 FT%). He grabbed 10-or-more rebounds 13 times, leading the Spurs in rebounds and blocks 21 times.

“Dewayne is an improving and athletic big man who can protect the rim and run the floor,” Schlenk said. “He played a valuable role for a very good team last season, and we’re pleased to bring him to Atlanta.”

In 224 career games (78 starts) with Golden State, Philadelphia, Orlando and San Antonio, the 7’0 center has put in 4.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 14.6 minutes (.571 FG%, .668 FT%). He’s also seen action in 12 postseason contests (three starts), all with the Spurs.

Dedmon has also spent time with the Santa Cruz Warriors and the Erie BayHawks of the NBA G League.

The Lancaster, CA native played two seasons at University of Southern California after transferring from Antelope Valley College. He will wear jersey No. 14.

Nets sign Yakuba Ouattara to two-way contract

The Brooklyn Nets have signed Yakuba Ouattara to a two-way contract.

Ouattara (6’3”, 185) spent the 2016-17 season playing for AS Monaco Basket of the French LNB Pro A league. In 32 total games, he averaged 11.8 points on 51.4 percent (147-of-286) shooting from the floor, including a 40.0 percent (40-of-100) clip from beyond the arc, while pulling down 3.3 rebounds in 23.9 minutes per contest.

A native of Tepa, Ghana, Ouattara has been a member of the French national team because of the unavailability of a Ghanaian national team. The 25-year-old began playing professionally in 2012 and spent two seasons playing for Elan Chalon (2012-14) in the French LNB Pro A league before joining AS Monaco Basket for the past two seasons (2015-17).

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted sign two players to two-way contracts in addition to the 15-man regular season roster. A two-way player for the Nets will provide services primarily to the team’s NBA G League affiliate – the Long Island Nets – but can spend up to 45 days with Brooklyn, not including any time prior to the start of Long Island’s training camp and at the conclusion of their season.

Pelicans sign Rajon Rondo

Pelicans sign Rajon Rondo

The New Orleans Pelicans today announced that the team has signed free agent guard Rajon Rondo.

“We are excited to welcome Rajon to the New Orleans Pelicans,” said Pelicans Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Dell Demps. “Throughout his NBA career, Rajon has showed that he’s a great competitor, leader and teammate with significant playoff experience.”

A four-time NBA All-Star and member of the 2008 NBA Champion Boston Celtics, Rondo has appeared in the postseason seven times, including two NBA Finals appearances, with playoff career averages of 14.4 points, 9.1 assists and 6.0 rebounds in 37.9 minutes throughout 96 playoff contests (all starts),

Rondo (6-1, 186 lbs) appeared in 69 games for the Chicago Bulls in the 2016-17 season, averaging 7.8 points, 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 26.7 minutes per contest.

Originally drafted by Phoenix with the 21st overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft, Rondo has played in 714 career NBA contests with Boston, Dallas, Sacramento and Chicago, holding averages of 10.7 points, 8.5 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals.

jazz

The Jazz have signed center/forward Eric Griffin to a two-way contract.

Griffin (6-8, 205, Campbell) competed with the Jazz during both the 2017 Utah Jazz Summer League in Salt Lake City and NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. In three games in Salt Lake City, Griffin averaged 8.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 17.8 minutes per game while shooting .588 percent from the field. He displayed steady improvement once the team arrived to Las Vegas, averaging 10.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 3.0 blocks in 25.5 minutes over four games (one start), including two double-doubles.

Prior to summer league, the Orlando, Fla., native most recently competed for Hapoel Galil Gilboa in the Israeli Basketball Premier League, where he averaged 14.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 31.7 minutes per game this past season.

Additionally, Griffin has international experience playing in the United Arab Emirates, where he helped lead Al-Nasr Dubai SC to the 2015-16 Cup Final, as well as Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Italy. Stateside, he spent the 2014-15 season with the (now) NBA G League’s Texas Legends, where he was selected as an All-Star and chosen to the All-League Third Team and All-League Defensive Second Team after posting 19.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 49 games (48 starts). Griffin has also attended NBA training camps with Miami (2013), Dallas (2014) and Detroit (2015)

Griffin finished his collegiate career at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., where in just two seasons (2010-12) he finished as the school’s career field goal percentage leader (.559) and ranked third on the Camels’ all-time blocks list with 134 rejections. As a senior he averaged 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.4 blocks in 30.3 minutes and was selected All-Big South First Team. He also competed at Hiwassee College in Madisonville, Tenn., and Garden City Community College in Kansas before arriving at Campbell.

The 2017-18 season will mark the first year NBA teams can utilize two-way contracts. Teams will be permitted to carry two such players on their roster in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. Utah’s two-way players will spend time with the team’s exclusively owned and operated NBA G League team, the Salt Lake City Stars, as well as the Jazz, but no more than 45 days in the NBA, not including any time prior to the start of the Stars’ training camp and at the conclusion of the season. Griffin becomes the first Jazz player to sign a two-way contract.

Heat re-sign Udonis Haslem

Heat re-sign Udonis Haslem

The Miami Heat have re-signed forward Udonis Haslem.

“It is a great, great, day to have Udonis Haslem sign a contract for his 15th season with the Miami HEAT,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He isn’t just Mr. 305, he is a true patriarch of the team. Today we are proud to announce that he is back to lead the HEAT again.”

Haslem, a three-time NBA Champion, has played his entire 14-year NBA career with the HEAT and currently holds the fourth-longest streak by any active player with only one team in the league. He has appeared in 830 career regular season games (498 starts) averaging 7.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 25.7 minutes while shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 75.6 percent from the foul line. Last season he came off the bench in all 16 regular season games in which he saw action and averaged 1.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 8.1 minutes. The Miami native is the franchise all-time leader in offensive, defensive and total rebounds and also ranks among the HEAT’s all-time leaders in games played (2nd), starts (2nd), minutes (2nd), double-doubles (3rd), field goals made (5th), field goals attempted (6th), points (7th), field goal percentage (7th), free throws made (8th), free throws attempted (8th), double-figure scoring efforts (8th), blocks (9th), steals (10th), assists (16th) and free throw percentage (18th). Additionally, he is the only undrafted player in NBA history to lead a franchise in total rebounds.

Haslem has also seen action in 147 postseason games (84 starts) as a member of the HEAT and has averaged 5.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 21.7 minutes while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 71.3 percent from the foul line. In addition to being the HEAT’s all-time leader in offensive rebounds in postseason play he also ranks among Miami’s all-time postseason leaders in games played (2nd), total rebounds (2nd), games started (3rd), minutes (3rd), defensive rebounds (3rd), double-doubles (4th), field goals made (5th), field goals attempted (5th), free throws made (5th), steals (5th), dunks (5th), points (6th), free throws attempted (6th), double-figure scoring efforts (tied-6th), blocked shots (7th) and assists (10th).

Haslem has served as captain of the HEAT each of the past 10 seasons, the longest tenure in franchise history, and enters the 2017-18 season just 25 games short from tying the all-time franchise record for games played.

Nets sign Jarrett Allen

Nets sign Jarrett Allen

The Brooklyn Nets have signed Jarrett Allen, the 22nd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, to a multi-year contract.

Allen (6’11”, 234) spent one season (2016-17) at the University of Texas, appearing in 33 games and recording averages of 13.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 32.1 minutes per contest. He led his team in rebounding, blocked shots and minutes played while ranking second in scoring. Allen shot 56.6 percent (179-of-316) overall from the field, reaching double figures in scoring 25 times and in rebounding on 14 occasions.

The Round Rock, Texas, native recorded 12 double-doubles on the year (tied for third-most by a freshman in UT history), including eight in Big 12 Conference play. He ranked fourth on the school’s all-time chart in total rebounds (278) and rebounding average (8.4) by a freshman. Following the season, Allen was named to the All-Big 12 Third Team and to the league’s all-newcomer list.

Celtics sign Daniel Theis

The Boston Celtics have signed rookie center Daniel Theis.

Theis (6-9, 243 lbs) has played professionally in Germany since 2010-11, most recently with Brose Bamberg which he joined at the start of the 2014-15 season. The Saltzgitter, Germany native played in 74 games across the Basketball Bundesliga League (BBL), Euroleague and German Cup in 2016-17. He averaged 9.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.24 blocks and 18.9 minutes in 41 BBL games, and was also named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Theis, who was eligible for the 2013 NBA Draft but went undrafted, also appeared in 30 games for Brose Bamberg during the 2016-17 Euroleague campaign where he averaged 9.6 points (41.0% 3-pt) and 4.6 rebounds in 19.7 minutes.

A three-time Beko BBL All-Star, Theis is the first German-born player to have signed a contract with the Celtics. Theis has appeared in 12 games for for the German National Team.

Celtics sign Guerschon Yabusele

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed 2016 first round draft pick Guerschon Yabusele.

Yabusele, selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, spent last season with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association and with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA G League. The native of Dreux, France started the season with Shanghai and appeared in 43 games where he averaged 20.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.35 steals and 1.05 blocks in 30.3 minutes per game. He also shot 52.7 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from three. After he appeared in 43 games for Shanghai he moved to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA G League on March 29 and appeared in a total of seven games for the Red Claws including their playoff run. During the five games of the 2017 G League Playoffs he averaged 12.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and shot 49.0 percent from the floor in 27.3 minutes per game.

Mavericks waive Nicolas Brussino

The Dallas Mavericks have waived guard-forward Nicolas Brussino.

Brussino (6-8, 195) averaged 2.8 points, 1.7 rebounds and 9.7 minutes in 54 games (two starts) with Dallas as a rookie in 2016-17.

A native of Canada de Gomez, Argentina, Brussino signed with Dallas as a free agent on July 15, 2016.

The Celtics have signed rookie guard Kadeem Allen to a two-way contract.

Selected in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2017 NBA Draft, Allen averaged 9.8 points (45.3% FG, 42.7% 3-PT, 74.1% FT), 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals in 30.0 minutes over 34 games (33 starts) as a redshirt senior at the University of Arizona. The Wildcats guard spent his first two collegiate seasons at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, KA

The Second Team All-Pacific 12 Conference selection led the Wildcats with 53 steals, paving his way to a spot on the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team. Allen, 24, demonstrated his offensive abilities throughout the season as well, scoring a collegiate career-high 18 points in back-to-back games against Colorado (Jan. 7) and Arizona State (Jan. 12).

Since being drafted last month, Allen participated on the Celtics summer league team in both the Utah Jazz Summer League and the MGM Resorts Summer League in Las Vegas.

The Denver Nuggets have signed rookie Torrey Craig to a two-way contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Craig, 6-6, 215, appeared in six games (two starts) for the Nuggets’ 2017 Las Vegas Summer League entry, averaging 11.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 22.2 minutes per game.

The Rock Hill, South Carolina native went undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft and has spent the past three seasons starring in the Australian National Basketball League. He played for the Brisbane Bullets during the 2016-17 season where he was named both the Australian NBL Defensive Player of the Year and the Most Improved Player while earning All-NBL Second Team honors. He played collegiately at the University of South Carolina-Upstate for four years, earning NABC All-District First Team honors three times and also being named the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year as a sophomore.

Grizzlies sign Mario Chalmers

Grizzlies sign Mario Chalmers

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced that the team signed guard Mario Chalmers.

Chalmers (6-2, 190) has appeared in 580 games (390 starts) and averaged 9.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.50 steals in 27.3 minutes over his eight-year NBA career with the Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies. The 31-year-old was the starting point guard for back-to-back NBA Championship teams in Miami, where he played for current Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale who was then an assistant coach for the Heat.

The Anchorage, Alaska native last played during the 2015-16 season, appearing in 55 games (seven starts) and averaging 10.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.45 steals in 22.8 minutes for the Grizzlies before sustaining a ruptured right Achilles tendon on March 7, 2016.

Chalmers was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round (34th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft following his junior season at the University of Kansas where he led the Jayhawks to the 2008 NCAA Championship and was named the 2008 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player. He is one of 44 players who have won both an NCAA Championship and an NBA title.

Rockets sign Luc Mbah a Moute

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent forward Luc Mbah a Moute (BAH-ah-MOO-tay).

Mbah a Moute (6-8, 230) was originally the 37th overall pick by Milwaukee in the 2008 NBA Draft. In nine seasons, he has appeared in 621 games with 438 starts, including a career-high 76 for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2016-17.

This past season, Mbah a Moute shot 50.5% from the floor, including a career-best 39.1% from 3-point range. He would have ranked tied for fourth in the NBA in steal-to-turnover ratio (1.76) had he qualified, and has more steals (236) than turnovers (219) over the past four seasons.

Mbah a Moute has received votes for NBA All-Defensive team in each of the past two seasons. In 2016-17, he was fourth in defensive rating (102.0) among forwards who played at least 70 games while averaging 20+ minutes played.

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