Archive for October 12th, 2017

The San Antonio Spurs today have waived Amida Brimah and London Perrantes.

Brimah was signed on Sept. 25 and averaged 3.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 5.7 minutes over three games this preseason with the Spurs. Perrantes, signed on Aug. 23, averaged 1.0 points in 4.8 minutes in three preseason games with the Silver and Black.

San Antonio’s roster now stands at 17 players.

The Brooklyn Nets have exercised the team’s 2018-19 contract options on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert.

Hollis-Jefferson, selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by Portland and acquired by the Nets via trade on draft night, has appeared in 107 career games (67 starts) in two seasons, registering averages of 7.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 22.2 minutes per game. During the 2016-17 season, the 22-year-old saw action in a team-high 78 contests (50 starts) and averaged 8.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals in 22.6 minutes per contest.

Russell spent the first two seasons of his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers before being acquired by the Nets via trade on June 22, 2017. He was selected with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and averaged 13.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.2 steals in 28.2 minutes per game in 80 games (48 starts) in his inaugural season en route to All-Rookie Second Team honors. In the 2016-17 season, the 21-year-old appeared in 63 games (60 starts) and increased his production across the board, averaging 15.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 28.7 minutes per game.

LeVert saw action in 57 games (26 starts) in his rookie season, recording averages of 8.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 21.7 minutes per game. The 23-year-old was originally selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers before being acquired in a trade by Brooklyn on July 7, 2016.

The Brooklyn Nets have signed guard Tahjere McCall and forward Kamari Murphy.

McCall (6’5”, 195) finished his collegiate career at Tennessee State (2015-17) after spending two years at Niagara University (2012-14). While at Tennessee State, McCall earned All-Ohio Valley Conference First Team honors twice and was the conference’s defensive player of the year in both seasons. The Philadelphia native saw action in 117 career collegiate games (93 starts), recording averages of 10.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.9 steals in 26.0 minutes per game.

Murphy (6’9”, 218) played the last two seasons (2015-17) at the University of Miami after beginning his collegiate career at Oklahoma State University (2012-14). He started all 33 games with the Hurricanes during his senior campaign, averaging 7.1 points and 7.3 rebounds in 29.4 minutes per game. The Brooklyn native appeared in 131 games (97 starts) over the course of his four-year collegiate career, averaging 5.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 24.6 minutes per contest.

Both McCall and Murphy were members of the Nets’ 2017 Las Vegas Summer League team.

Lakers sign Travis Wear

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward Travis Wear, General Manager Rob Pelinka announced today.

Wear most recently was a member of the Lakers’ entry in the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League, where he contributed 7.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists as Los Angeles won their first summer league championship. The 6-foot-10 forward played in 42 games (13 starts) for the South Bay Lakers last season, tallying 12.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.

The Lakers training camp roster stands at 19.

Utah Jazz waive Torian Graham

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has waived guard Torian Graham.

Graham (6-5,195, Arizona State) appeared in 33 games (23 starts), averaging 18.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists for the Sun Devils during the 2016-17 season. He ranked first in the Pac-12 in three-point field goals made per contest (3.3), second in scoring average, seventh in minutes per game (34.8) and his 108 threes on the year were tied for the 14th most in NCAA Division I.

The Durham, N.C. native competed with the Dallas Mavericks entry at the 2017 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, seeing action in three contests.

Following the move, the roster now stands at 19 players.

The Miami Heat have signed forward Tony Mitchell and waived guard Larry Drew II.

Mitchell has appeared in 78 NBA G League games (52 starts) and averaged 21.2 points, 5.9 points, 2.8 assists, 1.28 steals and 32.7 minutes while shooting 42.5 percent from the field. He earned G League Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 while being named to the All-G League First Team and All-G League Rookie Team. The 2013 All-Star also captured back-to-back Slam Dunk titles in 2013 and 2014. Mitchell has spent the last three seasons overseas playing for a variety of teams, most recently he split last season between three teams, appearing in 35 games (13 starts) averaging 13.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 21.6 minutes while shooting 42 percent from the field.

Mitchell has appeared in three career NBA games, all with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2013-14 season, totaling six points, one rebound, one assist and a steal while shooting 60 percent (3-of-5) from the field.

Drew II, who was signed by the HEAT on September 5, appeared in one preseason game totaling one rebound, one assist and a steal in 5:00 minutes of action on October 5 at Brooklyn.

Can Ricky Rubio develop an outside shot?

The headline above has been one of the big questions about guard Ricky Rubio. It remains unanswered. For more on the topic, here’s the Deseret News:

When Ricky Rubio missed his first 13 shots in a Jazz uniform in three preseason games last week, it likely made a lot of folks question why the Jazz acquired the veteran point guard in the offseason. At the very least, it made fans squirm in their seats watching shot after shot clang off the rim.

When Rubio finally sank his first basket, a 3-pointer from out front in his 10th quarter of action in Utah, the Jazz faithful let out a cheer, with some of the cheers undoubtedly of the “yeah, he finally made a shot!” variety.

Rubio ended up making one of his next three, finishing 2 for 9 on the night to get to 2 for 17 on the season.

Maybe it was just the Vivint Arena baskets. Because three nights later in Phoenix, Rubio came out on fire, knocking down his first four shots en route to an 8-for-10 night as he led the team with 20 points in a win over the Suns.

Then on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers, Rubio started off strong again, making 4 of his first 8 shots before ending up at 6 for 18 on the night, missing his last five shots.

Full article

Joel Embiid dominates in preseason debut

When actually on the court playing basketball, Joel Embiid does awesome things. Here’s NBC Sports Philly reporting:

Joel Embiid didn’t miss a beat.

After being sidelined since Jan. 27 with a torn meniscus, Embiid made his long-awaited preseason debut on Wednesday. He picked up right where he left off from his standout rookie year.

“It felt great,” Embiid said after the Sixers’ 133-114 win over the Nets. “I’m glad I’m back.”

Embiid had 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a block in just under 15 minutes. He shot 4 for 9 from the field and an overwhelming 14 for 18 from the free throw line (see highlights). The center also attempted (and missed) a pair of threes. Even with a monster stat line, Embiid noted he thought his defense should have been stronger.

Full article

Isaiah Thomas not happy with Danny Ainge

Some players really don’t want to be traded. They like where they’re at. Such was the case with former Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who on the one hand is surely now very content to be alongside LeBron James and the powerful Cleveland Cavaliers, but loved being a Celtic. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

Danny Ainge said yesterday that he loves Isaiah Thomas, even if the Celtics president of basketball operations tamped down his feelings long enough to include the beloved player in the August trade for Kyrie Irving.

And the now-Cleveland Cavaliers guard clearly isn’t in a forgiving mood, as evidenced by his interview with Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins. Thomas said that though his eventual return to Boston with the Cavaliers will be “all love,” that affection won’t be extended to the man who traded him as part of a league-shaking package for Irving.

“I might not ever talk to Danny again. That might not happen,” Thomas told Jenkins. “I’ll talk to everybody else. But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don’t do that, bro. That’s not right. I’m not saying eff you. But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, ‘We made a mistake.’ That’s what they’ll say, too.”

Full article

The Brooklyn Nets have requested waivers on guards Milton Doyle and Jeremy Senglin and forward Akil Mitchell.

Doyle and Senglin originally signed as free agents with the Nets on Aug. 4, while Mitchell inked a free agent deal with Brooklyn on Sept. 24.

Brooklyn’s roster now stands at 17 players.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed center Yannis Morin and forward Chris Wright, Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today.

Morin (6-10, 210) played five games (one start) with the Thunder in the 2017 Orlando Pro Summer League and averaged 2.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per game. He spent the 2016-17 season with Le Havre in France, where he appeared in 37 games (28 starts) and averaged 6.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.84 blocks and 1.00 steal in 24.5 minutes per game.

The center played five total seasons in France, spending three seasons with Cholet Basket and one season each with Denain ASC Voltaire and Le Havre.

Wright (6-8, 226) was a member of the Oklahoma City Blue during the 2016-17 season. He appeared in 20 games (four starts) and averaged 9.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.35 steals in 21.9 minutes per game.

The Ohio native previously appeared in 32 NBA games with the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors and averaged 3.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per contest.

Suns waive Anthony Bennett and Peter Jok

Suns waive Anthony Bennett and Peter Jok

The Phoenix Suns have waived forward Anthony Bennett and guard/forward Peter Jok.

Bennett and Jok originally signed with the Suns on Sept. 22. Neither player appeared in any of the team’s first three preseason games.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 18 players.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed forward Andrew Wiggins to a multi-year contract extension.

According to the St Paul Pioneer Press, “Wiggins believes he’s worth the five-year extension worth nearly $150 million he signed with the Timberwolves on Wednesday, which comes into play following this season and theoretically keeps him in Minnesota through the 2022-23 campaign. He thinks his play has warranted that type of deal. The people who matter most tend to agree.”

Wiggins, 22, registered a career-high 23.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 37.2 minutes in 82 games last season, making a career-best 103 three-pointers on a career-high 35.6% shooting percentage from beyond the arc. Wiggins averaged 26.0 points over the final 30 games in 2016-17, including 28.3 ppg in eight April starts. The 6-8 forward registered five 40+ point games a season ago, including a career-best 47-point performance on November 13 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I’m pleased that we’ve reached an agreement with Andrew on a contract extension,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. “Andrew is one of the best young players in the NBA and he has the talent and work ethic to get even better and be a foundation for our franchise for many years.”

“I’m very excited to continue my career with the Timberwolves,” said Wiggins. “I love it here. The fans and organization have supported me from my first day here in Minnesota. I want to thank Glen Taylor, Tom Thibodeau, the entire coaching staff and my teammates for believing in me. We’ve had some good times over the last three seasons, but the best is yet to come. I look forward to doing right by them and bringing this team to the postseason.”

For his career, Wiggins has played in 245 of a possible 246 games, averaging 20.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 36.2 minutes per game. Only three players (LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony) scored more points before their 22nd birthday and Wiggins’ 4,995 career point total ranks sixth on the Wolves’ all-time scoring list. Wiggins won the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the NBA’s Rookie of the Year following the 2014-15 season in which he averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists, becoming the first Wolves player to win Rookie of the Year honors.

“We’re very excited that Andrew has decided to commit his future to the Timberwolves,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. “We feel strongly that he is just scratching the surface of the player he will become. Andrew is among the elite young talents in our league and the sky is the limit for him. We look forward to watching his development in the coming years.”

More from the Pioneer Press: “Wiggins attributed the delay in the deal to the fact he was navigating the final stages of the contract without an agent after he parted ways with his agent, Bill Duffy, in August. Flying solo at the end of the process, Wiggins said he just wanted to take the time to make sure he did things correctly.”

Wiggins was selected first overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers and traded to the Wolves on Aug. 23, 2014.

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