Archive for October 11th, 2017

Cavaliers sign guard Isaac Hamilton

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Isaac Hamilton, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Hamilton (6-4, 194) played collegiately at UCLA for three years where he averaged 13.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists over 104 games (all starts). He went undrafted at this year’s NBA Draft and appeared in three games for the Indiana Pacers in the 2017 Orlando Pro Summer League, averaging 5.3 points in 14.2 minutes per game.

The Oklahoma City Thunder has waived guards Bryce Alford and Markel Brown and forward Rashawn Thomas, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Alford, Brown and Thomas, originally signed on Sept. 25, did not appear in a game this preseason.

Cavaliers waive Edy Tavares

The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived center Edy Tavares, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Tavares (7-3, 265) appeared in two preseason games for the Cavs, averaging 2.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 4.9 minutes. He originally signed with the Cavaliers on April 12, 2017 and played in one regular season game in 2016-17.

Raptors sign Davion Berry

The Toronto Raptors have signed guard Davion Berry.

Berry, 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, has appeared in 56 career NBA G League games with the Maine Red Claws (2014-16) and Raptors 905 (2015-16), averaging 9.4 points, 2.9 assists and 24.0 minutes. He has also played professionally in Germany (2016-17), Greece (2016-17), South Korea (2015-16) and Italy (2014-15).

Berry played two collegiate seasons at Cal State Monterey Bay (2009-11) before transferring to Weber State (2012-14). He averaged 17.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 32.6 minutes in 68 career games with the Wildcats and twice earned Big Sky All-Conference First Team honours.

Knicks sign Trey Burke

The New York Knicks have signed guard Trey Burke.

Burke, 6-1, 190-pounds, has averaged 10.6 points and 3.6 assists over 24.8 minutes in 267 career games with Utah and Washington from 2013 through 2017. The Columbus, OH-native was originally drafted by Minnesota out of the University of Michigan with the ninth overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft and named to the 2013-14 NBA All-Rookie First Team as a member of the Jazz.

Last season, Burke appeared in 57 games for the Wizards to average 5.0 points and 1.8 assists over 12.3 minutes.

The Sacramento Kings have signed guards Reggie Hearn and David Stockton.

Hearn has spent the last three seasons with Sacramento’s G-League affiliate Reno Bighorns, where he accrued averages of 13.5 points (.453 FG%, .442 3pt%, .714 FT%) to accompany 5.3 rebounds per game during the 2016-17 campaign. Most recently, the Northwestern product appeared in three contests for the Kings Summer League team before winning a gold medal at the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup as a member of the U.S. National Team.

Stockton returned last season for his third stint with the Bighorns after a year overseas playing with Cedevita Zagreb (Croatian League) and the New Zealand Breakers (NBL), posting 16.4 points (.422 FG%, .388 3pt%, .787 FT%), 4.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.52 steals per contest in Reno. He holds the Bighorn’s single-game franchise record in assists, notching 22 against the Texas Legends as a rookie in 2014.

The Kings training camp roster now stands at 20.

Kings waive guard Marcus Williams

The Sacramento Kings have requested waivers on guard Marcus Williams.

Williams appeared in two contests for Sacramento during the preseason, averaging 6.0 points (5-9 FG, 2-2 FT) and 3.0 assists in 15.7 minutes per game, including nine points (4-5 FG, 1-1 3pt) and one assist in 13 minutes off the bench at San Antonio (10/6).

Denver Nuggets President and Governor Josh Kroenke has announced that in conjunction with the season-long celebration of 50 years of Mile High Basketball, the Nuggets will be retiring legendary player Lafayette “Fat” Lever’s #12 jersey on Saturday, December 2, 2017 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.

“With what Fat Lever has meant to this team, this city and our community for the past 30-plus years, it makes perfect sense to honor him by retiring his jersey during this special season,” Kroenke stated. “He is not only one of the best Nuggets in franchise history, but a great ambassador of Denver basketball as well. It is going to be an honor to have his jersey hanging in our arena.”

Lever was a member of the Nuggets from 1984 through 1990. In 474 games spanning six seasons with Denver, he averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.46 steals per game. The Nuggets reached the postseason in all six of Lever’s years while playing under Head Coach Doug Moe and his up-tempo system, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 1985.

Lever earned an All-Star spot in both the 1988 and 1990 seasons and was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 1986-87 and the All-Defensive Second Team in 1987-88. He is scattered throughout the Nuggets’ all-time leaderboards, ranking 1st in steals (1,167), 2nd in assists (3,566), 7th in points (8,081), 7th in made field goals (3,304), 7th in minutes played (16,867) and 8th in rebounds (3,621).

The Pine Bluff, Arkansas native also earned the reputation as a prolific triple-double threat during his time in Denver. He registered 46 triple-doubles as a Nugget (including three in the playoffs), far and away the most in franchise history. He is currently one of only seven NBA players since 1983-84 to have registered a triple-double with steals and is the only Nugget in team history to ever do so. Lever led the NBA in triple-doubles (16) in 1986-87, tied for the most in the league (12) in 1987-88 and came in 3rd (10) in 1988-89. Over that three-year span, Lever ranked 2nd in the NBA in total triple-doubles with 38, trailing only Magic Johnson (43) and ahead of Michael Jordan (18).

Lever will become the sixth Nugget player to have his jersey retired and seventh member of the organization overall. He will join Byron Beck’s #40, David Thompson’s #33, Dan Issel’s #44, Alex English’s #2 and Dikembe Mutombo’s #55. Iconic head coach Doug Moe and his 432 career wins with the Nuggets are also memorialized with a banner in Pepsi Center’s rafters.

Heat sign DeAndre Liggins

The Miami Heat have signed DeAndre Liggins.

Liggins, who was originally signed by the HEAT to two 10-day contracts in 2014, spent two seasons with Miami’s NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, helping them capture the 2016 Championship after appearing in 34 games (33 starts) and averaging 13.0 points, 7.0 assists, 6.3 rebounds, 2.06 steals and 38.4 minutes while shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from three-point range and 71.1 percent from the foul line. The two-time NBA G League Defensive Player of the Year started all seven postseason games during the Skyforce’s championship run and averaged 10.9 points, 7.7 assists, 7.0 rebounds, 2.00 steals and 37.8 minutes while shooting 41.5 percent from the field.

Liggins split last season between the Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers appearing in 62 games (19 starts) and averaged 2.5 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.5 minutes of action. He has appeared in 119 career NBA games (20 starts) averaging 2.1 points, 1.5 rebounds and 9.9 minutes while shooting 41.4 percent from the field.

The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to a contract extension with center Joel Embiid, 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today. The new contract extends Embiid through the 2022-23 campaign.

“Since drafting Joel third overall in 2014, he has solidified himself as a pillar in this franchise and to this city,” said Josh Harris, 76ers Managing General Partner. “We have all enjoyed watching the hard work he puts into his game and the commitment he has for our organization. We are excited to further build our foundation around his unique talent and leadership skills, and we look forward to the continued growth of Joel and our team.”

“We’re fortunate to be able to build around a player who possesses such unique, transcendent talent as Joel,” David Blitzer, 76ers Co-Managing General Partner, said. “His rare blend of offensive and defensive prowess, paired with his infectious personality, makes him one of the NBA’s fastest rising global stars. The future of this team is bright and we look forward to having Joel on the floor as a 76er for many years to come.”

“Joel Embiid is a transformative young talent that you rarely come across in our game,” said Colangelo. “Joel is only scratching the surface, but he has all the potential and promise to go down as one of the all-time greats to wear a Sixers jersey. Ownership’s willingness to extend this contract reflects our collective belief in Joel Embiid and a reinforced commitment to building a championship-level basketball program.”

Embiid appeared in 31 games (all starts) in 2016-17, averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.5 blocks in 25 minutes per game. He shot .466 from the field, .367 from three-point range (ranked fourth among all NBA centers, min. 70 attempts) and .783 from the free-throw line. He led all rookies in points, rebounds and blocks per game and his averages in those categories were the highest of any NBA rookie since 2011, when the Clippers’ Blake Griffin earned Rookie of the Year honors.

“I’m so thrilled to be in this position,” said Embiid. “I want to thank ownership, management, the coaches and most of all the fans, for supporting me throughout this whole process. I love this city and I’m so, so, so, so excited to be spending my next five years here and hopefully the rest of my career, God willing. Trust ‘The Process.’”

The Cameroon native scored 20-or-more points 19 times in his rookie season, which led all first-year players. Embiid posted at least 20 points in 10-straight games from December 23 through January 18, as he became the first rookie to score 20-plus in at least 10 consecutive contests since Griffin did so in 14 straight in 2011. The Philadelphia big man is the only player in the shot clock era to average at least 20 points per game while playing less than 26 minutes per contest (min. 30 games played). He scored in double-figures in his first 15 career games and in 30 of his 31 games overall. He was one of six NBA rookies to score at least 10 points in a minimum of 30 games in 2016-17.

The 7-0 center was originally selected by Philadelphia with the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft after one season at the University of Kansas. As a freshman, he was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and Second Team All-Big 12.

Rajon Rondo injury update

New Orleans Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo underwent successful surgery this morning to repair a core muscle injury, the team announced today. The injury occurred during New Orleans’ preseason game at Oklahoma City on October 6.

The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia. Rondo is expected to be out approximately 4-6 weeks.

The Lakers on Tuesday lost to the Jazz 105-99 in a preseason game. Rudy Gobert absolutely dominated Brook Lopez and finished with 29 points on 10-12 FG, with 13 rebounds, two blocks and a steal. But as for the Lakers, their preseason has mostly been without rookie guard Lonzo Ball. All eyes are on him, so it’s disappointing that we’ve seen little of him this exhibition season. Here’s ESPN.com with more:

The Lakers played without starting point guard Lonzo Ball, who missed his third game of the preseason with a sprained left ankle. Ball suffered the injury on Oct. 2 against the Denver Nuggets. He did not practice on Monday or participate in shootaround on Tuesday morning.

At Staples Center on Tuesday night, Ball went through some on-court ball handling and shooting drills with Lakers assistant Miles Simon. Ball had already been ruled out for the game, but the Lakers planned to see how his ankle felt after going through the workout to determine how to proceed.

“Let’s get him to practice, see how it feels tomorrow after doing whatever he did [Tuesday] and we will keep taking it day to day,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said.

Everything LeBron James or the Cleveland Cavaliers do these days is news. As for lineup changes, it’s surely the head coach’s decision, right? Of course it is. But LeBron James is probably in the conversation about those sort of things, even though he isn’t the coach. Or something like that. Jumble those sentence around until they satisfy you. Anyway, here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Kevin Love said he learned he would be moving from starting power forward to starting center in the Cavaliers’ lineup during a casual conversation with LeBron James, before head coach Tyronn Lue formally introduced the change to him and the team…

“But a funny thing happened the third day of practice,” Love explained. “I had asked about a certain play on the defensive end and whether it was the different coverages on the 4 or 5 man, and ‘Bron kind of stopped me and goes, ‘You know you’re gonna be starting at the 5, right?’

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