Archive for December 7th, 2017

Kawhi Leonard may be set to return

The Spurs have had an excellent season considering they’ve been without star small forward Kawhi Leonard. Good news: Leonard may finally be ready to return. Here’s the San Antonio Express News reporting:

Kawhi Leonard may be set to return

The wait for Kawhi Leonard’s return may finally be coming to an end. League sources tell the Express-News Leonard could make his season debut for the Spurs on Saturday against the Phoenix Suns barring any setbacks.

According to sources, Leonard participate in a final workout session Thursday. The team will re-evaluate Leonard on Friday. If all goes well, and Leonard feels OK, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year will travel with the team to Phoenix after Friday’s game against Boston to play in the second game of a back-to-back.

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The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Mike James to a standard NBA contract. James had previously been under a two-way contract with the team.

The Suns have also waived forward Derrick Jones Jr. The team’s roster now stands at 16 players.

James ranks eighth among NBA rookies with 10.5 points per game and fifth with 4.0 assists per game as he has appeared in all 26 of the Suns’ contests this season (10 starts). James scored a career-high 26 points to go with seven assists at Minnesota on November 26. He also scored 20-plus with 24 points and four steals in a win at Brooklyn on October 31. James currently joins Suns Ring of Honor members Kevin Johnson and Alvan Adams as the only rookies in franchise history to average at least 10 points and four assists.

A 27-year-old in his first NBA season, James initially signed with the Suns on July 3, 2017. An athletic guard at 6-1, 190 pounds, he averaged 13.1 points, 3.0 assists and 0.9 steals in 25 Euroleague games with Panathinaikos in 2016-17, helping the team to the Euroleague playoffs where they lost to eventual champion Fenerbahce. He also posted 12.0 points, 2.8 assists and 0.9 steals in 24 Greek A1 League games as the team won both the Greek Basketball League and the Greek Cup. After going undrafted out of Lamar University in 2012, James had a productive pro career with clubs in Croatia, Israel, Italy, Spain and Greece, prior to joining the Suns.

A member of the Suns’ entry at NBA Summer League 2017 in Las Vegas, James also played for the Suns at NBA Summer League in 2015, helping the team to a runner-up finish.

Jones Jr. appeared in 38 games with the Suns over the past two seasons, averaging 4.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 15.2 minutes.

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Former NBA All-Star Chris Bosh hasn’t played in a while, but he isn’t ready to officially call it a retirement. Here’s the Palm beach Post reporting:

Although Chris Bosh has not played in an NBA game since Feb. 9, 2016 because of blood clotting issues, he’s not ready to close the door on his NBA playing career just yet.

“That’s still there in front of me,” Bosh said on The Full 48 podcast hosted by Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. “The window is still open. Once I close the doors, it’s closed. I don’t open it back up. That’s kind of me as a human being. That’s just one of the things about me. … But yeah, for me, I don’t close anything until I’m officially done. So until that day, I will definitely let everybody know when that day comes, if it comes soon.

“I still, of course, work out and everything. I’m still doing work on the court. That’s very important to me. I’m still keeping my options open for the future. I know a lot of people don’t know that, but don’t write me off just yet.”

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Sixers trade Jahlil Okafor to Nets

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired center Jahlil Okafor, guard Nik Stauskas and a 2019 second round draft pick from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for forward/center Trevor Booker.

In a subsequent move, the Nets have requested waivers on guard Sean Kilpatrick.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Booker, 30, in his eighth year in the NBA, is a veteran power forward with an attractive expiring contract. The two-year deal he signed with Brooklyn in 2016 for just over $18 million is up at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.”

“We are excited about the prospects of both Jahlil and Nik, as well as adding another future asset which will aid us in our continued roster development,” said Nets General Manager Sean Marks. “This trade provides us with a good opportunity to bring in two young players who were high picks in recent drafts and give them a chance to succeed in our system. We would also like to thank Trevor, Sean and their families for all of their contributions to our team and the Brooklyn community.”

“Trevor Booker has been a solid and competitive two-way contributor at every NBA stop. Trevor’s abilities should complement our style of play and his experience should add to our bench depth with playoff contention in mind,” said 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo. “Jahlil and Nik are both quality young men with talent that should keep them productive in this league a long time. We hope they find more opportunity in Brooklyn this season and thank them for their contributions over the past few years.”

Booker, a 6-foot-10 forward, is in the midst of his eighth NBA season. He has appeared in 482 games (160 starts) with Brooklyn, Utah and Washington and holds career averages of 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in 21.0 minutes per game. His average of 10.1 points per game in 2017-18 represents a career-best.

Since signing with Brooklyn in the 2016 offseason, Booker has played in 89 games (48 starts) and produced 10.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 24.1 minutes per contest. Before joining the Nets, he’d held career averages of 6.5 points and 5.2 rebounds through his first six NBA seasons.

Booker was originally selected by Washington with the 23rd pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, following four standout seasons at Clemson. As a senior, he was named All-ACC First Team.

Okafor joins the Nets after spending the first two-plus seasons of his NBA career with the 76ers. In 105 career games (81 starts), the 21-year-old has averaged 14.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.1 blocks in 26.2 minutes per game. Originally selected with the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Okafor saw action in 53 games (48 starts) in his rookie season, registering averages of 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 blocks in 30.0 minutes per game en route to All-Rookie First Team honors. Prior to beginning his NBA career, Okafor spent one year at Duke, helping lead the Blue Devils to the 2015 NCAA Championship. In his lone collegiate season, Okafor recorded averages of 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.4 blocks in 30.1 minutes per game in 38 contests, earning him Associated Press First Team All-America and ACC Player of the Year honors. He became the first freshman to capture the ACC Player of the Year award in the conference’s history.

Stauskas has appeared in 232 career games (63 starts) with Sacramento (2014-15) and Philadelphia (2015-17), recording averages of 7.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 22.3 minutes per game. The 24-year-old was originally selected with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Kings out of the University of Michigan. Stauskas spent two years at Michigan, earning Big 10 Player of the Year and Associated Press Second Team-All America honors as a sophomore after averaging 17.5 points on 47.0 percent from the field and 44.2 percent from three-point range, 2.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 35.6 minutes per game. Stauskas also helped to lead the Wolverines to NCAA Tournament title game as a freshman and an Elite Eight appearance in his second and final collegiate season.

Booker, who originally signed as a free agent with Brooklyn on July 8, 2016, appeared in 18 games (six starts) this season with the Nets, averaging 10.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 21.9 minutes per contest. In 482 career games with the Nets, Jazz and Wizards, the eight-year veteran has recorded averages of 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.0 minutes per game.

Kilpatrick originally signed the first of two 10-day contracts on Feb. 28, 2016 before signing a multi-year contract on March 19, 2016. In 109 games (24 starts) with the Nets, Kilpatrick averaged 12.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 22.7 minutes per contest.

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