Archive for July 19th, 2017

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.

Utah Jazz sign Royce O`Neale

The Utah Jazz have signed forward Royce O’Neale.

O’Neale (6-6, 226, Baylor) played for Gran Canaria in Spain during the 2016-17 season, averaging 8.3 points on 44.9 percent shooting, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 20.6 minutes in 52 games (32 starts). He was the second-highest rated defender among all small forwards in the ACB, and also ranked second in rebound percentage (16.3) and fifth in assist percentage (17.1).

Additionally, O’Neale participated in the 2016 Utah Jazz Mini-Camp held at Zions Bank Basketball Center.

The 24-year-old played his first professional season in Germany for MHP Risen Ludwigburg in 2015-16, where he averaged 8.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 46 games (28 starts).

A four-year college player, O’Neale spent two years at the University of Denver (2011-13) before finishing his collegiate career at Baylor (2013-15). He averaged 10.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals as a senior for the Bears. Over his two seasons at Baylor, O’Neale shot 48.3 percent, including 44.8 percent from beyond arc. As a senior in 2014-15, he shot over 50 percent from three in 16 games and was also selected to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Born in Killeen, Texas, the 6-6 forward played his high school basketball at Harker Heights High School in Harker Heights, Texas, where he set several school scoring and rebounding records.

He will wear jersey #23 for the Jazz.

Celtics sign Aron Baynes

Celtics sign Aron Baynes

The Celtics have signed free agent center Aron Baynes.

“We are thrilled to have Aron aboard,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “He’s a great teammate, a hard worker and provides us some needed strength and toughness on the interior.”

A five-year NBA veteran with San Antonio and Detroit, Baynes (6-10, 260 lbs) has averaged 5.2 points (51.4% FG, 81.1% FT), 4.1 rebounds and 14.1 minutes in 295 career games (24 starts). He’s averaged at least 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 offensive boards in each of the last three seasons.

In 75 games (two starts) with the Pistons in 2016-17, Baynes, 30, averaged 4.9 points (51.3% FG, 84.0% FT) and 4.4 rebounds in 15.5 minutes. He scored a season-high 20 points (8-13 FG) against Oklahoma City on Nov. 14, and hauled in a career-high 17 rebounds to go along with 13 points against Phoenix on March 19. The Washington State University product recorded two double-doubles last season.

Baynes has made four postseason appearances in his five-year NBA career, and was a member of the Spurs team that won an NBA Championship in 2013-14. He played in 14 playoff games that year, including a 10-point performance in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against Portland.

Clippers re-sign Blake Griffin

Clippers re-sign Blake Griffin

The L.A. Clippers announced have re-signed free agent forward Blake Griffin.

“I just want to say how excited I am to be back. Obviously, this has been my home since I have been drafted.” Griffin said. “In the end, I realized this was a no-brainer for me. This was the best place for me, and this is the place where I want to start and finish my career.”

Griffin, 28, averaged 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 61 games (all starts) last season for L.A. The five-time All-Star has played his entire career with the Clippers since being drafted first overall in the 2010 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma. In 471 career games (all starts), he holds averages of 21.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

On April 1, 2017, Griffin reached 10,000 career points, becoming the first player in team history to tally 10,000+ points exclusively in a Clippers uniform.

Griffin was the 2010-11 NBA Rookie of the Year and has been an All-NBA performer four times throughout his career.

Suns hire James Jones as VP of Basketball Operations

The Phoenix Suns announced today they have agreed to a multiyear contract extension with General Manager Ryan McDonough and added former Suns forward and 14-year NBA veteran James Jones as Vice President of Basketball Operations. Jones will report to McDonough and work alongside him to oversee all basketball-related matters for the Suns, including the draft, free agency and trades.

“I would like to thank [Managing Partner] Robert [Sarver] and his partners for extending my agreement with this great franchise,” said McDonough. “We have laid the foundation for what we hope will become the next championship caliber Suns team. There is still a lot of work to be done to reach our ultimate goal of bringing a championship to Phoenix so we are thrilled to add James Jones to our staff.”

“James has a wealth of experiences that will greatly benefit our organization. He is a three-time NBA Champion and has been one of the top executives with the National Basketball Players Association over the past few years. We welcome ‘Champ’ and his family to our Phoenix Suns family.”

McDonough, entering his fifth season as the team’s general manager, has overseen the Suns assemble some of the game’s brightest young stars with five first-round picks made in his tenure currently on the roster. Included in this group are Devin Booker, who became just the sixth player to ever score at least 70 points in a game and has totaled the fourth-most points in NBA history before turning 21 years old, Josh Jackson, the fourth overall pick in 2017 named All-NBA Summer League First Team while making his professional debut in Las Vegas this month, and T.J. Warren, one of the league’s most efficient scoring wings. The team’s 2016 draft haul has already shown its promise with the versatile Marquese Chriss earning NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors and floor general Tyler Ulis winning Western Conference Rookie of the Month for April, while Dragan Bender has flashed the all-around skill that made him the fourth overall selection.

In addition to his success on draft night, McDonough has orchestrated the acquisitions of one of basketball’s top point guards in Eric Bledsoe, as well as veteran leaders Tyson Chandler, one of the league’s best rebounders, and Jared Dudley, one of the league’s most consistent three-point shooters. The Suns also possess a collection of upcoming first-round draft picks acquired under McDonough’s watch.

Named runner-up for NBA Executive of the Year in 2014 after overseeing the league’s biggest turnaround in 2013-14, McDonough initially joined the Suns as general manager on May 7, 2013. He came to Phoenix following 10 seasons in several levels of basketball operations with the Boston Celtics, serving as assistant general manager for the final three and helping the team to an NBA title in 2008. Throughout his career with two of the NBA’s most historic franchises, McDonough has utilized a tireless work ethic to hone an expertise in player evaluation.

Jones played two seasons with the Suns and they were two of the most successful in franchise history as he was a member of the 2005-06 team that won 54 games and advanced to the Western Conference Finals, as well as the 2006-07 team that won 61 games and advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals. He contributed to two Pacific Division titles in his two seasons in Phoenix, averaging 7.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 151 regular-season games with the team while shooting 38.2 percent from behind the arc.

Formerly the Secretary-Treasurer for the National Basketball Players Association, Jones comes to the Suns after most recently appearing in 48 regular-season and eight playoff games for the Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016-17. In each of his final seven seasons as a player, Jones reached the NBA Finals to join his teammate for all seven LeBron James and six Boston Celtics Hall of Famers from the 1950s and 1960s as the only players in NBA history to do so in at least seven consecutive seasons. Jones is a three-time NBA Champion, winning rings with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, and with the Cavaliers in 2016.

Overall, Jones averaged 5.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 15.7 minutes while shooting 40.1 percent from three-point range in 709 career regular-season games over 14 seasons with five NBA teams. He never played for a team that finished below .500 and only once missed the playoffs as he appeared in 148 career playoff games, averaging 3.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 13.4 minutes for his postseason career.

In addition to his two seasons with the Suns, Jones played two seasons with the Indiana Pacers (2003-05), one season with the Portland Trail Blazers (2007-08), six seasons with the Heat (2008-14) and three seasons with the Cavaliers (2014-17). A native of Miami, Jones is a member of the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame as he starred collegiately for the Hurricanes before being selected by the Pacers with the 49th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He and his wife, Destiny, have three children.

Timberwolves sign Jamal Crawford

Timberwolves sign Jamal Crawford

The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed guard Jamal Crawford.

Crawford, 37, played in all 82 regular season games for the Los Angeles Clippers this past season, averaging 12.3 points and 2.6 assists per contest while shooting 36.0% from three-point range. Crawford has won the NBA Sixth Man Award three times (2015-16, 2013-14 and 2009-10). One of his best seasons was 2007-08 with the Knicks when he averaged a career-high 20.6 points and 5.0 assists in 80 games.

The 6-5 guard owns career averages of 15.3 points and 3.5 assists in 1182 games (433 starts) over 17 seasons with the Bulls, Knicks, Warriors, Hawks, Trail Blazers and Clippers. Crawford is a career 35.0% shooter from beyond the arc. He has appeared in the postseason seven times, including the last five seasons with the Clippers, posting career playoff averages of 14.5 points and 2.2 assists

Crawford was selected with the eighth overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2000 NBA Draft held at Target Center, after playing one season at the University of Michigan. He ranks fifth all-time in the NBA in three-pointers made with 2049 and 43rd in games played. Among NBA active players, Crawford ranks third in three-pointers made, seventh in games played and 10th in minutes.

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