Archive for July 17th, 2017

Grizzlies sign forward Rade Zagorac

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced that the team signed forward Rade Zagorac (RAH-day ZAH-go-rahtz).

Zagorac (6-9, 205), who has played professionally in his native Serbia since 2011, appeared in 26 games (23 starts) for KK Mega Leks in the Liga ABA and averaged 15.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.38 steals in 29.4 minutes last season. He also competed in 12 games (11 starts) in Serbian BCL play and averaged 12.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.83 steals in 29.5 minutes.

Born in Belgrade, Serbia, the 21-year-old was selected by the Boston Celtics in the second round (35th overall) of the 2016 NBA Draft after he was named the 2015-16 Liga ABA MVP with KK Mega Leks. His draft rights were traded by the Celtics on draft night along with the draft rights to Deyonta Davis (31st overall) to Memphis for a 2019 first round draft pick.

Jazz sign Jonas Jerebko

The Utah Jazz have signed forward Jonas Jerebko (pronounced JO-ness Jeh-REB-ko) to a multi-year contract.

Jerebko (6-10, 231, Sweden) appeared in 78 games (six starts) for the Boston Celtics this past season, averaging 3.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 15.8 minutes of action for a team that finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference and advanced to the Conference Finals.

Originally selected in the second round (39th overall selection) of the 2009 NBA Draft by Detroit, the 30-year-old has appeared in 488 career games (94 starts) over seven NBA seasons with Detroit and Boston. He owns career averages of 6.2 points and 4.1 rebounds while hitting 35.2 percent from three-point range in 18.4 minutes. He has shot 40 percent or better from three-point range in three different seasons, including two of his last three.

Jerebko has seen action in a total of 22 postseason games (four starts), all with the Celtics, averaging 5.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 10.7 minutes per game. This past season, he appeared in 12 playoff games during the Celtics’ run for the Eastern Conference Finals, including a 10-point performance on 4-of-4 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from three in Boston’s Game 3 win at Cleveland.

In his rookie season with Detroit, Jerebko earned 2009-10 All-Rookie Second Team honors as well as Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for February and compete in the Rookie Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend.

The son of a former professional European basketball player, Jerebko is a native of Kinna, Sweden, and represented his home country at the 2013 Eurobasket Championships, posting 16.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in five games.

He joins what was already the most international team in the NBA in 2016-17. The seven players on the current Jazz roster born outside the United States hail from Australia (two), France, Brazil, Spain, Switzerland and the Ukraine.

Jerebko is also owner of a professional eSports team, Renegades CS:GO.

He will wear jersey No. 8 for the Jazz.

Paul Pierce retiring from NBA as a Boston Celtic

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed 10-time NBA All-Star and 19-year veteran Paul Pierce to a contract, enabling him to retire as a member of the organization with which he spent his first 15 NBA seasons.

“We’re honored that Paul has chosen to retire as a Celtic. He is among the very best Celtics – a champion on and off the court,” said Celtics governor and managing partner Wyc Grousbeck. “We congratulate Paul on a Hall of Fame career, and look forward to seeing his number raised to the rafters of TD Garden.”

“It’s an honor to have this opportunity to once again call myself a Boston Celtic,” Pierce said. “The organization and city took me in and made me one of their own, and I couldn’t imagine ending my career any other way. I’m a Celtic for life.”

Drafted by the Celtics with the 10th overall pick of the 1998 NBA Draft, Pierce’s 15 seasons in Boston from 1998-99 to 2012-13 trails only John Havlicek (16) for the most ever spent in a Celtics uniform. He produced 21.8 points (44.7% FG, 37.0% 3-PT, 80.6% FT), 6.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.44 steals and 36.6 minutes in 1,102 career games (1,099 starts) in the green and white.

Pierce’s name will forever be a constant throughout the Celtics’ all-time leaderboards. The California native tops the franchise lists in three-point field goals (1,823), free throws (6,434) and steals (1,583), while also placing as the Celtics’ second all-time leading scorer with 24,021 career points.

Earning his iconic nickname “The Truth” during his third NBA season in 2000-01, Pierce also retires in the organization’s top-10 lists in games played (3rd – 1 ,102), minutes played (3rd – 40,360), field goals (3rd – 7,882), field goal attempts (2nd – 17,630), three-point field goal attempts (1st – 4,928), free throw attempts (1st – 7,979), offensive rebounds (8th – 1,008), rebounds (7th – 6,651), assists (5th – 4,305) and blocked shots (4th – 668).

Pierce’s knack for postseason success further cements his legendary status in a Celtics uniform. Boston qualified for the playoffs in 10 of Pierce’s 15 seasons with the team, ranking him seventh on the franchise’s all-time playoff leaderboard with 136 postseason games played. The crafty forward averaged 20.9 points (41.9% FG, 33.9% 3-PT, 83.4% FT), 6.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.32 steals in 39.8 minutes in his Celtics playoff career. Pierce – who owns the fifth most playoff points in franchise history at 2,843 – averaged north of 20.0 points in six separate postseason runs, including a playoff career-high 27.1 points over 10 games in just his second career playoff appearance in 2002-03.

One of Pierce’s greatest postseason accomplishments coincides with the Celtics’ most recent NBA title in 2008. Making his first career NBA Finals appearance, Pierce followed up a 22-point performance against the Los Angeles Lakers in a Game 1 victory with 28 more points on 9-of-16 shooting (4-4 3-PT) and eight assists in Boston’s Game 2 triumph. His 38 points in Game 5 of those Finals represented his second-highest scoring total in 26 postseason games that year. Pierce produced 21.8 points (43.2% FG, 39.3% 3-PT, 83.0% FT), 4.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.08 steals and 38.8 minutes in that six-game series, helping the Celtics raise their NBA-record 17th championship banner and their first since 1986. Named the Most Valuable Player of that 2008 clash, Pierce became the third Celtic ever to earn MVP honors in his first NBA Finals Appearance (Jo Jo White – 1974, Cedric Maxwell – 1981).

Spanning over his 19-year NBA career, Pierce averaged 19.7 points (44.5% FG, 36.8% 3-PT, 80.6% FT), 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.31 steals and 34.2 minutes in 1,343 games (1,285 starts) with Boston, Brooklyn, Washington and the LA Clippers. He ended the 2016-17 season as the only active NBA player with at least 25,000 career points, 7,000 rebounds and 4,500 assists.

Houston Rockets team is for sale

Announcement from the Rockets

Houston Rockets team is for sale

Today, Houston Rockets Chief Executive Officer Tad Brown announced owner Leslie Alexander’s intentions to sell the franchise. Alexander has placed Brown in charge of coordinating the sales process in conjunction with the NBA league office.

“It’s been my great joy and honor to own the Houston Rockets for the past 24 years,” said Alexander. “I’ve had the incredible opportunity to witness true greatness through the players and coaches who have won championships for the city, been named to All-Star and All-NBA teams, enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and done so much for our franchise and our fans. And the Houston community has been home to me; I will continue to support the charities I have made commitments to throughout the years. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the fans, partners, city officials and employees who care so deeply for this team. I’ve made this decision after much deliberation with my family and friends, and do so knowing the franchise is in great shape with the players, coaches and management team in place. CEO Tad Brown will oversee the sales process with the league office, supported by my management team.”

Alexander assumed ownership of the Rockets on July 30, 1993 and the team went onto win back-to-back championships in 1993-94 and 1994-95. Over his 24 seasons as owner, the Rockets posted the fifth-highest winning percentage (.569) in the NBA. The Rockets also registered the second-most winning seasons of any team in the league over that span.

In 1995, Alexander established the Clutch City Foundation with the goal of providing help, hope and inspiration to those who might otherwise be forgotten. The Clutch City Foundation funds and operates comprehensive programs benefiting thousands of children each year, as well as serving as the umbrella organization for all Rockets community initiatives.

Throughout his years as owner, Alexander and the Clutch City Foundation contributed more than $35 million to hundreds of charities throughout Houston. Most recently in March of 2017, Alexander pledged $4 million to a group of 20 local charitable organizations. In April of 2016, he donated $500,000 to Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Greater Houston Storm Relief Fund after the city was ravaged by severe rain resulting in flooding.

Rockets sign Tarik Black

Rockets sign Tarik Black

Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent forward/center Tarik Black.

Black (6-9, 250) was eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft following his senior season at Kansas. He signed as a rookie free agent with Houston prior to the start of the 2014-15 season and appeared in 25 games with 12 starts as a Rocket before joining the Los Angeles Lakers, where he spent the past two and a half seasons.

For his career, Black has appeared in 169 games with 55 starts, while shooting 54.2% from the floor. This past season, he saw action in 67 games with 16 starts for the Lakers, while averaging 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per game. He was one of three players to have averaged at least 5.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg in fewer than 17.0 mpg. Black also shot 75.2% from the line in 2016-17, up from 51.5% his first two seasons.

Over the past three seasons, Black is the only player to have averaged at least 2.0 offensive rebounds in fewer than 17.0 minutes per game with at least 50 games played. Of players with at least 60 games played in 2016-17, he ranked tied for fourth in offensive rebounds per 36 minutes played.

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