Archive for July 5th, 2017

Ricky Rubio trade to Jazz became official today

The Utah Jazz announced today that following the successful outcome of his physical, the team’s acquisition of point guard Ricky Rubio from Minnesota is complete and Rubio is now officially a member of the Utah Jazz.

“We are thrilled to add a player of Ricky’s character and ability to the Jazz program,” said Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey. “He is an elite passing point guard with great defensive skills who we are confident will be a valuable addition to the team.

Rubio (6-4, 190, Spain) was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves on June 30, pending the physical, in exchange for a protected future first-round pick from Oklahoma City.

“Ricky possesses a great feel for the game,” said Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. “His defense and ability to share the ball coupled with his floor leadership should make him an instant fit into what we are building.”

He appeared in 75 games (all starts) for the Timberwolves this past season, averaging career highs of 11.1 points and 9.1 assists while adding 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 32.9 minutes of action. The point guard finished the season ranked fourth in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.5), fifth in assists per game, ninth in steals and 11th in free throw percentage (.891), and also graded second in pure point rating (PPR) at 10.7 (trailing only Chris Paul). Rubio also registered 25 point/assist double-doubles, including 14 of them in 24 games post All-Star Break, when he increased his averages to 16.0 points, 10.5 assists with 1.5 steals while shooting .353 from three-point range.

Originally selected in the first round (fifth overall selection) of the 2009 NBA Draft by Minnesota, the 26-year-old Spaniard appeared in 353 career games (333 starts) over six seasons with the Timberwolves, and owns career averages of 10.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 8.5 assists in 31.8 minutes. He leaves the Wolves as the franchise’s all-time leader in both assists (8.5) and steals per game (2.1) as well as point/assist double-doubles (83), while ranking behind only Kevin Garnett in total assists (2991) and steals (747).

Over his first six NBA seasons, Rubio has ranked in the top five in the league in assists per game three times (five times in top 10), and in the top 10 in steals four times. He earned 2011-12 All-Rookie First Team honors while finishing second to Kyrie Irving in Rookie of the Year balloting.

Prior to joining the NBA, Rubio played six seasons (2005-11) professionally in the Spanish ACB League for Joventus (2005-09) and FC Barcelona (2009-11) after making his debut at the age of 14, the youngest player ever to compete in the ACB to that point.

A native of El Masnou, Spain, Rubio has represented his home country at both the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where at age 17 he became the youngest player ever to participate in a men’s gold medal game. He began his international career in 2005 on Spain’s U16 team, and in 2006 was named MVP the 2006 FIBA Europe U16 championships after leading Spain to the gold medal.

Rubio joins what was the most international team in the NBA in 2016-17, featuring seven players born outside of the United States representing five other countries. In addition to the U.S., players on the current Jazz roster now hail from Australia (two), France (two), Brazil, Spain and the Ukraine.

Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder Statement on Gordon Hayward

Quin Snyder Statement on Gordon Hayward

“Since my arrival to Utah, Gordon gave his best every day we were together. I can’t say enough about his professionalism day in and day out. He is a unique competitor and I am thankful for the opportunity to have coached him over the last three seasons. Speaking on behalf of my staff, we are very proud of his growth and development as a player into an NBA All-Star, and are also appreciative of his contributions. Gordon’s progression epitomizes the partnership that we believe is the cornerstone of our player development emphasis and philosophy.

I believe this was a difficult decision for Gordon and Robyn and their young family, and one they reached earnestly. While their extended Jazz family is disappointed to see them leave, we wish them happiness and success in their future and understand that they chose a path they felt was the right one for them.

Certainly we will miss Gordon and his many contributions to our team, but I always tell our players that ‘adversity is opportunity in disguise.’ This is one of those moments and we need to live those words. We have a roster of young, talented and resilient players. I am confident that together we will accept this challenge while continuing to strive toward our goal of individual and collective improvement.

To further lament Gordon’s departure does not honor the commitment we have to our current players. Therefore, I would like to personally wish Gordon well as he and his family move on with his career. As we move forward, we’ll continue to focus our attention on the place it is most needed and wanted, our players and the entirety of the Jazz organization.”

Bulls sign rookie Lauri Markkanen

The Chicago Bulls have signed forward Lauri Markkanen to his rookie contract.

Markkanen (7-0, 230) was selected seventh overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2017 NBA Draft, and was acquired by Chicago along with Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine in exchange for Jimmy Butler and this year’s No. 16 pick (Justin Patton).

Markkanen played one season at Arizona and averaged 15.2 points and 7.2 rebounds. He posted shooting marks of .492 from the field, .423 from three and .835 from the foul line. The Finland native was named Third-Team All-American by the Associated Press, Sporting News and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and All-Pac-12 last season. His 576 points were the most by a freshman in school history. Over the last 25 years, Markkanen and Kevin Durant are the only players to record 69 3-pointers and 266 rebounds in their freshman year. Markkanen was a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award and the Karl Malone Award.

Mavericks sign rookie Dennis Smith Jr

The Dallas Mavericks have signed first-round pick Dennis Smith Jr. to his rookie contract.

Smith (6-3, 195) was selected by Dallas with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft after spending one season at North Carolina State. In his lone season at NC State, Smith averaged 18.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists while shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 35.9 percent from 3-point range and 71.5 percent from the foul line.

The guard was named Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and All-ACC Second Team after leading the league in assists (13th nationally) and finishing sixth in the conference in scoring. Smith also registered an NC State freshman-record with 62 steals (1.94 spg).

The Fayetteville, N.C., native played at Trinity Christian School where he was averaged 22.2 points per game on his way to being named North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year.

Smith is set to compete for the Mavericks’ summer league squad at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2017 in Las Vegas.

The Kings came to agreements with some talent yesterday. George Hill is a starter-worthy guard. Power forward Zach Randolph is in his golden years but can make a bench better. Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting:

Kings adding George Hill, Zach Randolph

The Kings knew their team was too young. Though committed to a youth movement, they were reluctant to rely mostly on inexperienced players, hoping they quickly learn from the mistakes they’ll make.

And the Kings have made it clear they want to change their losing culture, too.

The Kings made two deals Tuesday that show they won’t be content simply letting their inexperienced players stumble through the season, reaching agreements with point guard George Hill and power forward Zach Randolph, league sources confirmed.

Hill agreed to a three-year deal worth $57 million, with a partial guarantee for the third year. Randolph agreed to a two-year deal worth $24 million.

Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers

The Clippers backcourt is weaker now with Chris Paul gone, but their frontcourt will receive a boost thanks to the upcoming re-signing of Blake Griffin and newly reported addition of small forward Danilo Gallinari. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers

The LA Clippers have acquired Denver Nuggets free-agent forward Danilo Gallinari on a three-year, $65 million contract as part of a three-team sign-and-trade deal, league sources told ESPN.

Los Angeles, Denver and Atlanta reached agreement Tuesday night on a deal that will have the Clippers send Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, a 2018 first-round pick previously acquired from Houston and cash to the Hawks, league sources said.

Atlanta will send a 2019 second-round pick it previously acquired from Washington to Denver to complete the trade, league sources said.

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