Archive for September 25th, 2017

Suns forward/center Alan Williams out six months

Phoenix Suns forward/center Alan Williams today underwent a meniscus repair of his right knee. The procedure was performed by Head Team Physician Dr. Tom Carter in Phoenix. Williams is expected to return to full basketball activity in approximately six months.

The Suns’ 2016-17 Majerle Hustle Award winner, Williams averaged 11.4 points and 9.1 rebounds with 12 double-doubles in 24 games after the All-Star break last season. He led the Suns with 15 double-doubles overall and ranked third in the NBA with 15 double-doubles off the bench. Playing in his second NBA season, the 24-year-old averaged career-bests of 7.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in 47 total games. A Phoenix native, Williams initially joined the Suns in March 2016 and re-signed to a multiyear contract with the team on July 26, 2017.

Suns re-sign Alex Len

Suns re-sign Alex Len

Center Alex Len is once again a member of the Phoenix Suns.

According to the Arizona Republic, the team signed Len to a one-year, $4.2 million qualifying offer.

Len, a 7-1, 250-pound center, has played his first four professional seasons with the Suns, increasing his per-36-minute averages in points and rebounds in each season of his career. In 2016-17, Len played 77 games (34 starts), averaging 8.0 points on 49.7 percent shooting, 6.6 rebounds and a team-high 1.27 blocks, which ranked 17th on the NBA leaderboard. In his 34 starts, Len averaged 9.3 points on 51.9 percent shooting, 7.8 rebounds and 1.47 blocks in 23.0 minutes.

Originally selected by the Suns with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Len holds career averages of 6.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.06 blocks and 19.8 minutes in 266 games (127 starts). Through four seasons, the 24-year-old already ranks 12th in Suns franchise history with 283 blocked shots. Len averaged career-highs of 9.0 points and 7.6 rebounds 78 appearances in 2015-16, as he is one of only four seven-footers to appear in at least 77 games in each of the past two seasons, along with Karl-Anthony Towns, Robin Lopez and Steven Adams.

A native of Antratsit, Ukraine, Len played two seasons at the University of Maryland before declaring as an early entry candidate for the 2013 NBA Draft.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 20

Cavaliers hire Nic Barlage as President of Business Operations

Nic Barlage has been named President of Business Operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers organization. Barlage comes to the Cavaliers from the Phoenix Suns organization where he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer. Prior to that, Barlage was part of the Cavaliers organization for five seasons where he was most recently Vice President of Sales and Service before departing for Phoenix in 2014. The announcement was made by Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski.

Under Komoroski’s leadership, Barlage will oversee all business areas of the Cavaliers organization. In addition to Barlage’s appointment, announcements related to the following current senior leadership team members with the Cavs organization were also made: Tad Carper has been named Executive Vice President / Communications, Mozelle Jackson is now Executive Vice President and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Tracy Marek has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, and Brad Sims has been named Executive Vice President / Chief Revenue Officer and Franchise Operations. In addition, Mike Conley was recently named Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

During Barlage’s previous time with the Cavaliers he oversaw all ticketing and suite revenue at Quicken Loans Arena and helped to rebuild the Cavaliers’ sales and service teams over the span of five seasons. Prior to his tenure in Cleveland, Barlage spent one season with the Suns and two seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats specializing in suite and premium seating.

Barlage graduated from Saint John’s University (Minn.).

Training camp is opening. The Toronto Raptors will train Tuesday, September 26 through Friday, September 29 at Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA) on the University of Victoria campus. This marks the fourth consecutive year the Raptors will hold training camp in British Columbia and fifth time in team history.

Raptors sign Andy Rautins to training camp roster

The Raptors also announced they have signed guard Andy Rautins.

Rautins, 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, averaged 11.9 points, 4.7 assists and 32.6 minutes in 30 games with Gaziantep (Turkey-BSL) last season. He was picked 38th overall by the New York Knicks in the 2010 NBA Draft. Rautins played collegiately at Syracuse (2005-10), where he averaged 8.8 points in 127 career games.

The Raptors’ roster now stands at 20 players.

Pelicans re-sign Dante Cunningham

Pelicans re-sign Dante Cunningham

The New Orleans Pelicans have re-signed forward Dante Cunningham.

Cunningham, 6-8, 230, originally signed with New Orleans on December 4, 2014. In 212 regular season games with New Orleans, Cunningham has averaged 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game. Last season, Cunningham appeared in 66 games (35 starts) for the Pelicans, averaging 6.6 points while shooting .392 from three-point range, and 4.2 rebounds in 25.0 minutes per contest.

Originally drafted 33rd overall by Portland in the 2009 NBA Draft out of Villanova, Cunningham has appeared in 578 career regular season games with Portland, Charlotte, Memphis, Minnesota and New Orleans, with career averages of 6.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 21.4 minutes.

The Houston Rockets have re-signed guard Bobby Brown and signed free agent guard/forward Chris Johnson in advance of training camp, which will take place from Tuesday, Sept. 26 through Monday, Oct. 2.

Brown joined the Rockets prior to the start of last season after spending the previous six years playing overseas. Over his final 14 games played in 2016-17, Brown shot 50.0% from the floor. He shot 40.0% from 3-point range during the regular season and 45.5% in the playoffs.

Johnson is a four-year veteran, most recently appearing in 70 games for Utah in 2015-16. He spent last season playing for the Rockets G League affiliate, Rio Grande Valley, averaging 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds. Johnson was also the Rockets second-leading scorer at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2017 with 14.0 ppg on 50.0% shooting.

The Rockets five-game preseason opens on Tuesday, Oct. 3 against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. and concludes at home against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, Oct. 13. For the second straight year, the Rockets will host the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association at Toyota Center on Thursday, Oct. 5.

The Chicago Bulls announced today the signing of free agents Jarell Eddie and Jaylen Johnson to round out their 2017-18 training camp roster.

Eddie (6-7, 218) saw action in five games for the Phoenix Suns last season, along with 45 appearances in the NBA G League for the Austin Spurs and Windy City Bulls. Eddie totaled 4.8 ppg and 1.4 rpg in 12.4 mpg for the Suns during a 10-day contract. In his G League action, he averaged 14.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 1.5 apg in 28.3 mpg total, including 17.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 2.0 apg in 20 games for the Windy City Bulls. The Tampa, Florida, native played in 26 games for the Washington Wizards in 2015-16, scoring 2.4 ppg in 5.7 mpg.

Johnson (6-9, 230) played three seasons at Louisville (2014-17). He saw action in 88 games (48 starts) in his three-year tenure with the Cardinals, improving his averages in every statistical category after each season. In his final season in 2016-17, Johnson started 26 games and played 20.5 mpg, posting 8.0 ppg and 5.8 rpg while shooting .589 from the floor.

Spurs add Amida Brimah to training camp

The San Antonio Spurs 2017-18 training camp roster stands at 19 players, and includes the addition of Amida Brimah.

Brimah (6-10/230) played four seasons at the University of Connecticut, averaging 7.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.64 blocks in 24.7 minutes over 33 games last year in his senior season. A native of Ghana, Brimah is UConn’s all-time leader in career field goal percentage (.637, 347-545) and ranks third in school history in career blocks (367) and blocks per game (2.76), helping the Huskies to the 2013-14 NCAA Championship.

The Detroit Pistons have signed guard Beno Udrih, forward Derek Willis and center Landry Nnoko to training camp contracts.

Udrih, 6-4, 205, averaged 5.8 points, 1.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 39 games with the Pistons last season. The 13-year NBA veteran has averaged 8.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 21.9 minutes in 831 career NBA games (272 starts) with San Antonio, Sacramento, Milwaukee, Orlando, Memphis, New York, Miami and Detroit.

Willis, 6-9, 211, played four seasons at the University of Kentucky and averaged 5.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 103 career games. Last season, he averaged 7.0 points and career-high 5.4 rebounds in a career-high 38 games as a senior.

Nnoko, 6-10, 255, played professionally overseas last season with VL Peasaro of the Italian League and averaged 6.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in 30 games (24 starts). Nnoko played four years at Clemson University (2012-2016) and averaged 5.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 128 collegiate games.

The Oklahoma City Thunder signed guards Bryce Alford, Markel Brown, Isaiah Canaan and forward Rashawn Thomas.

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume the signings are only for training camp.

Alford (6-3, 185) spent four years at UCLA, leaving as the school’s No. 5 all-time leading scorer with 1,922 career points. He set UCLA’s career record for most three-pointers made (329), eclipsing a record previously set by Jason Kapono (317 three-pointers from 2000-03). In his career, Alford appeared in 141 total games and averaged 13.6 points and 3.8 assists per game.

Brown (6-3, 190) spent the 2016-17 season in Russia with BC Khimki, playing in 32 games and averaging 5.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.0 assist. The Oklahoma State product spent two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets and appeared in 109 games (35 starts) and averaged 5.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

Canaan (6-0, 201) is a four-year NBA veteran, having spent the 2016-17 season with the Chicago Bulls. In 185 games (60 starts) with the Bulls, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers, he averaged 8.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

Thomas (6-8, 230) concluded his collegiate career with Texas A&M Corpus Christi as the all-time leading scorer (2,034 points). The Oklahoma City native was named the 2015-16 Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Southland.

Hawks sign John Jenkins

The Atlanta Hawks signed John Jenkins today.

Jenkins was originally Atlanta’s first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft and spent his first three NBA seasons with the Hawks. He has also played with Phoenix and Dallas in his five-year NBA career. In 145 career regular season games (eight starts), he’s averaged 5.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 12.8 minutes (.448 FG%, .364 3FG%, .849 FT%).

He starred collegiately at Vanderbilt, where he was a two-time First Team All-Southeastern Conference performer. Jenkins attended Station Camp High School in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

He will wear jersey No. 30.

Knicks waive Chasson Randle

The New York Knicks have waived guard Chasson Randle.

Randle, 6-2, 185-pounds, averaged 5.3 points and 12.5 minutes in 18 games off the bench for the Knicks during the 2016-17 season after signing with the team a second time on Feb. 27 following being waived by Philadelphia.

The Carmelo Anthony era in New York is officially over.

The Knicks acquired center Enes Kanter, forward Doug McDermott and Chicago’s 2018 second-round draft pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Anthony today.

“This is a deal we feel works for both this franchise and Carmelo. We thank him for his seven seasons in a Knicks uniform and all that he accomplished off the court for the City of New York by using his platform to address social issues,” President Steve Mills said. “We will continue to focus on this team looking forward towards the immediate and long-term future. As we have said recently, this is a new beginning for the New York Knicks.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Carmelo to Oklahoma City and the Thunder organization,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “In addition to his skill level, experience, and unique talents, Carmelo is another high character, professional player for our roster.”

Anthony, (6-8, 240) a 10-time All-Star and 14-year NBA veteran joins the Thunder having appeared in 976 career games (all starts) while averaging 24.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.06 steals in 36.2 minutes.

Anthony currently ranks 25th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (24,156 points) and he is one of six players in league history (alongside Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce) to record 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 3-point field goals.

Anthony led the NBA in scoring during the 2012-13 season (28.7 points per game) and during the 2009-10 season, he became the third youngest player in NBA history to reach the 12,000-point plateau (behind LeBron James and Kobe Bryant).

A three-time Olympic gold medalist, Anthony is the United States Olympic Men’s National Team’s all-time leading scorer. After winning Gold in Rio de Janeiro, Anthony was named the 2016 Basketball Co-Male Athlete of the Year.

Originally selected by the Denver Nuggets with the third overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Anthony helped lead Syracuse to a National Championship during his freshman season in which he was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.

Kanter, 6-11, 245-pounds, is a six-year NBA veteran who holds career averages of 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 445 games played for Utah and Oklahoma City. In 72 games for the Thunder last season, the 25-year-old Switzerland native averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds, while recording the second-most point-rebound double-doubles in the NBA off the bench with 18.

McDermott, 6-8, 225-pounds, is a three-year NBA who holds career averages of 8.0 points in 183 games played for Chicago and Oklahoma City. In 66 games for the Bulls and Thunder last season, the 25-year-old Grand Forks, ND native averaged 9.0 points and 22.8 minutes.

“We acquired two 25-year-old players in this deal that we can develop, while sticking with our overall strategy of emphasizing youth and athleticism. With this trade, we have added scoring and aggressiveness to our frontcourt, and bolstered the team’s perimeter shooting,” Knicks General Manager Scott Perry said. “We are glad to have finalized a trade that made sense for all of us.”

The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to terms with forward Kris Humphries and center Emeka Okafor and signed those players to their training camp roster.

Humphries, a 13-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 800 career games (203 starts) with Utah, Toronto, Dallas, New Jersey/Brooklyn, Boston, Washington, Phoenix and Atlanta. The Minnesota native holds career averages of seven points and five rebounds in 18 minutes per game. He averaged a double-double in consecutive seasons from 2010-12 with the Nets.

Originally selected with the second overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the then-Charlotte Bobcats, following an NCAA Tournament win with UConn, Okafor has played nine NBA seasons. He has competed in 590 career games (584 starts) with Charlotte, New Orleans and Washington and holds career averages of 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks per game.

Training camp will be held from Tuesday, Sept. 26 through Friday, Sept. 29.

The Atlanta Hawks have acquired guard/forward DeAndre Liggins and cash considerations from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for draft considerations, the team announced today.

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.

UPDATE: The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has waived DeAndre Liggins, the team announced today.

Tony Parker is up there in age but he remains a key member of the Spurs, who enter the 2017-18 season in their usual place, as a contender. It was unclear when Parker would return from injury, but good news has emerged. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

With the San Antonio Spurs set to report to the team facilities Monday for media day, point guard Tony Parker received some positive news Friday when doctors cleared him to participate in the club’s upcoming training camp, after he suffered a season-ending torn quadriceps tendon in May during the Western Conference semifinals.

“The thing is, I did an MRI on Friday, and the doctor said they were really happy with the MRI,” Parker told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “It looked very good. So they cleared me. But it’s still going to be like another, I think, two months to get back in shape and getting my leg stronger.” …

“In my mind, hopefully, I can be back by mid-November, end of November,” Parker said. “But overall, it’s great news. Because at first, the doctors thought it would be the end of January. So it’s still like great news.”

Full article

Several key players gone from Jazz

The Jazz are a different team this upcoming season. They lost some key parts during the offseason, the biggest being young star Gordon Hayward. Here’s the Deseret News reporting:

A lot has changed in the last four and a half months since the Utah Jazz were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors, following a 51-win season and a fifth-place finish in the Western Conference.

The Jazz lost their premier player, Gordon Hayward, to the Boston Celtics in a free agency move that gave the Utah franchise nothing in return. They also lost starting point guard George Hill, who chose to sign with Sacramento, again with nothing in return. Also moving on were former first-round draft choice Trey Lyles, who was traded to Denver, part-time starting point guard Shelvin Mack and backup center Jeff Withey, who signed with the Mavericks and veteran Boris Diaw, who was waived.

Jazz picked up seven new players, six of whom who are expected to be on the 13-man active roster, led by former lottery pick Ricky Rubio. The Jazz also have first-round draft picks Donovan Mitchell and Tony Bradley as well as veterans Thabo Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko and Ekpe Udoh. The Jazz also signed swingman Royce O’Neal, but he’ll most likely be fighting for a spot on the 15-man roster.

Full article

 

The Bulls aren’t what they were. Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo are gone. The team won’t be a contender in 2017-18. So why would Dwyane Wade, as his NBA career winds down, want to stick around? And why would the Bulls, clearly now in a rebuilding period, still need him? As has been expected, the two sides will part ways. Here’s the Chicago Tribune reporting:

Three months after trading Jimmy Butler and waiving Rajon Rondo, the Bulls reached agreement on a buyout with Dwyane Wade on Sunday night, the eve of training camp. A source said Wade gave up roughly $8 million to $9 million of the $23.8 million he stood to make after picking up his player option on June 20, two days before the Butler deal.

The move clears the way for Wade to sign with a contender like the Cavaliers, Thunder or Spurs or possibly return to his beloved Heat. More importantly, it allows the Bulls to start fresh with their full rebuild and eliminate a potential distraction since Wade preferred to play for his fourth championship at this stage of his career.

“I just felt it was time for me, turning 36, that I want to be competing for a championship,” Wade told the Tribune in a phone interview. “I said when I got here, it was always a dream for me to play here. And getting that opportunity was special. And I can’t even say it wasn’t what everyone expected because we went to the playoffs. And trying to restore this franchise to respectability was our goal. The organization decided to go in a different direction, which I respect.”

Full article

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