Archive for February, 2018

Lakers waive Corey Brewer

Lakers waive Corey Brewer

The Lakers have waived Corey Brewer.

“It was a pleasure to have Corey on our team,” said Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka. “Corey’s professionalism and competitive mindset will leave a positive mark on the Lakers for a long time. We appreciate his time with the team and wish him the best of luck for the remainder of his career.”

Brewer appeared in 54 games (two starts) for the Lakers this season, averaging 3.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.9 minutes.

The Lakers roster stands at 15, including two two-way players.

Struggling Pistons currently 9th in East

The Pistons (28-32) have lost three straight games and through Monday’s action are in 9th place in the Eastern conference. That’s lottery territory. Sure, Blake Griffin is fairly new to the squad, but you think he and Andre Drummond want to sit there and look at the standings together and accept this? Well, they may have to. Here’s the Detroit News with the latest:

The buzzards are flying overhead, attracted by the Pistons’ carrion. In the midst of a horrendous skid of six losses in the last seven games, the Pistons are struggling and sinking, matching their low-tide mark for the season at four games under .500.

Seemingly, the blood is in the water and the Pistons have been looking for anything to grasp onto to avoid drowning in the remaining 22 games of the regular season. What’s more, of the final stretch of games, 13 are on the road, including nine of the next 12.

The tail end of that string is a 12-day, six-game western trip…

Coach Stan Van Gundy said Monday that Reggie Jackson could return ahead of the big road trip, a potential life preserver to help them stay afloat. He said Jackson is projected to return to practice ahead of the western trip, which could be the boost they need. Before Jackson’s injury, the Pistons were 19-14; they’re 9-18 since. There’s something to be said for that.

Full article

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting on Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, who has played limited minutes in his return from injury but has played excellent basketball when out on the floor:

Ball has been on a strict minutes restriction each of his first two games after missing 15 with a left knee sprain. He was capped at 20 minutes on Friday against Dallas; 25 in Atlanta.

On his own, Ball has been startlingly impressive: 11 points per game, seven rebounds, 5.5 assists, two steals. He has attempted 12 3-pointers and made seven of them.

The Lakers have, for the most part, been fine. They have won three straight games out of the All-Star break and, after trouncing the lowly Hawks, have with 22 games left with as many wins as they did a year ago.

With Ball back and balling, the adjustment now comes for everyone else – as the missed connection with Caldwell-Pope showed.

“I think guys are going to have to get used to playing with him again,” Coach Luke Walton said.

Full article

The Spurs are a Western conference 4th best 36-25 this season, a solid record considering they’ve played almost all of it without star small forward Kawhi Leonard. He has played just nine games this season. Leading the Spurs has been LaMarcus Aldridge (22.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg). After Aldridge, it’s mostly been a team effort, as nine other players on the team average somewhere between seven and 11 points per game. As for the latest on Leonard, here’s the San Antonio Express-News reporting:

The injured Spurs star was back in San Antonio, and back in the team’s practice facility Tuesday, less than a week after coach Gregg Popovich said he would be “surprised” if Leonard played again this season.

The 26-year-old did not participate in the team portion of the Tuesday’s workout session, nor is it immediately clear when he might be able to…

Concerned with the slow progress of his recovery, Leonard spent the past three weeks in New York, rehabbing and consulting with additional doctors. He has also been in contact with teammates, letting them know he didn’t consider himself done for the season…

Before Leonard can return to game action, he will need to progress through a protocol that includes 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 action. There is cautious optimism Leonard might be able to play again in March, with a soft target date somewhere on the three-game road trip that begins March 8 at Golden State.

Full article

Longtime Charlotte Hornets broadcaster Stephanie Ready is branching into the cutting edge of new technology.

Ready will do color analysis for TNT for a handful of games the rest of the season on a virtual-reality platform. Ready’s first game was a Golden State Warriors-Los Angeles Clippers matchup. She is scheduled for six more games the rest of this season.

Viewers need virtual reality headsets to view this experience. It creates an in-arena view, where a fan isn’t restricted to one camera angle on the game. Ready received permission from Fox Sports South, which holds Hornets TV rights, to do these games. TNT and the NBA are doing this in partnership with Intel.

Charlotte Observer

Every once in a while we hear of billboards put up in the city of a team promoting that a certain player stay with the team, or maybe join the team. But in this case, there are Sixers fans putting up billboards in Cleveland urging a player, LeBron James, to leave Cleveland and sign with Philly. How does LeBron feel about it? Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

LeBron James still hasn’t seen the three billboards that went up in Ohio this week, aimed at recruiting him to come to the Philadelphia 76ers as a free agent this summer, but he heard about them and says the gesture was flattering.

“You can say it’s a distraction — it’s not. Not a distraction,” James said Tuesday. “It is actually very flattering that I’m sitting here at 33 and in my 15th year and teams or guys — I don’t want to say teams because that becomes tampering. But people in their respective city want me to play for them. That’s cool I think. That’s dope.”

The signs are located along I-480 in Cleveland, about 7 miles from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quicken Loans Arena.

The first sign features “#23″ in maroon with a crown, on a court with four blue numbers — numbers that just happen to match the Sixers jerseys of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Robert Covington.

The Atlanta Hawks, after reaching an agreement on a buyout, today requested waivers on forward Ersan Ilyasova.

According to Yahoo Sports, “Ilyasova and the Hawks had been discussing a buyout over the past several days, and Atlanta was eager to allow Ilyasova to join a playoff team and contend down the stretch of the season. Ilyasova considered several opportunities with playoff teams, including Philadelphia, Golden State, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Toronto.”

In 46 games this season (40 starts), Ilyasova has averaged 10.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 25.6 minutes (.459 FG%, .359 3FG%, .800 FT%).

In 655 career contests (405 starts), he’s put up 11.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 24.5 minutes (.443 FG%, .366 3FG%, .772 FT%).

Ilyasova re-signed with the Hawks on July 21, 2017 after originally being acquired by Atlanta from the Philadelphia 76ers on February 22, 2017.

Pelicans sign Emeka Okafor for remainder of season

The New Orleans Pelicans today signed forward/center Emeka Okafor for the remainder of the season.

Okafor, 6-10, 252, who was originally signed to the first of two 10-day contracts by New Orleans on Feb. 3, has appeared in six games, including four starts, for the Pelicans, averaging 3.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 16.2 minutes per contest.

New Orleans’ roster stands at 16, including one two-way player (Charles Cooke).

The Dallas Mavericks today signed guard/forward Scotty Hopson to a 10-day contract.

Hopson (6-7, 200) went undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft and began his professional career overseas with Kolossos Rodou in Greece. He also played for Hapoel Eilat in Israel and Anadolu Efes in Turkey before signing his first NBA contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 31, 2014. Hopson saw action in his only two games with the Cavaliers.

Most recently, Hopson spent the 2017-18 season with Galatasaray in the Turkish league. In 13 games, he averaged 11.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 21.8 minutes.

The Hopkinsville, Ky., native was a three-year player at Tennessee and, as a junior, was named All-SEC First Team averaging 17.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assist. He played 103 games (98 starts) as a Volunteer and had career collegiate averages of 12.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.3 rebounds and 26.8 minutes per contest. As a senior at University Heights Academy, Hopson was named a McDonald’s All-American and rated the No. 5 recruit in the country by Rivals.com.

Hopson will wear number 32 for the Mavericks.

Nets to honor legacy of Drazen Petrovic

On Monday the Nets will celebrate the legacy of the late Drazen Petrovic. It’s been 25 years since the Hall of Famer’s tragic death, and a quarter of a century later he still hasn’t been forgotten — or replaced.

From the giveaway Petrovic figurines to the video tribute to his mother, Biserka, being welcomed from Croatia, the night will be about Petrovic, whose red, white and blue No. 3 was retired by the Nets after his death in 1993.

“This guy,” ex-teammate Kenny Anderson told The Post, “was special.”

Voted the best European player ever by players at the 2013 FIBA European Basketball Championship, Petrovic led legions of European youngsters to take up the game behind him, and led a rising young Nets team to the playoffs in both of his full seasons in New Jersey — until an offseason automobile accident cut his life short at just 28.

NY Post

Durant, Warriors beat Thunder 112-80

Here’s the SF Chronicle reporting the results of a matchup we’ll always pay attention to, Kevin Durant and the Warriors against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. The latest:

Warriors forward Kevin Durant wants his fans and critics to believe that there is nothing special about his games against his former team. More than a year and a half after he last called Oklahoma City home, the nine-time All-Star is trying to silence chatter about his past.

Anyone who saw him revel in the Warriors’ 112-80 rout of the Thunder Saturday night at Oracle Arena, however, knows that the Thunder aren’t just another opponent to him. In helping exorcize the memory of Golden State’s two lopsided losses to Oklahoma City this season, Durant feasted on emotion, pouring in a game-high 28 points.

It was in stark contrast to the night of Russell Westbrook, who paired with sidekick Paul George to shoot a combined 5-for-29 from the field. Oklahoma City, for all its star power, ultimately had no answer for another one of the Warriors’ signature third-quarter blitzes.

Full article

Jimmy Butler suffers knee injury

According to the Minnesota Timberwolves, an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) taken this afternoon on Wolves forward Jimmy Butler’s right knee revealed a meniscal injury. The evaluation and MRI was conducted by Team Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Diane Dahm at Mayo Clinic. Further updates as to Butler’s progress will be issued when more information becomes available.

The injury occurred during last night’s 120-102 loss to the Houston Rockets.

In 56 games this season, Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “the team has not yet announced what this prognosis means, in terms of whether Butler will require surgery or if his season is over. Still, it is a more optimistic prognosis than a torn anterior cruciate ligament would have been. What remains clear is that Butler, at the very least, will be out for an extended period. And that means the Wolves will have to survive – indeed thrive – without him in order to stay a factor in the NBA’s Western Conference playoff race.”

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed Naz Mitrou-Long to a second 10-day contract.

Mitrou-Long (6-4, 218, Iowa State) has appeared in 34 games (29 starts) for the Jazz’s exclusively owned and operated G League team, the Salt Lake City Stars, this season averaging 17.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 34.7 minutes per contest. He originally signed his first 10-day on Feb. 11 and before that, a two-way contract with the Jazz on Dec. 23, appearing in one game with Utah, tallying three points against Denver on Dec. 26, before being waived on Jan. 13. Additionally, Mitrou-Long spent training camp with the team this year, playing in two preseason games, averaging 4.0 points and 1.0 assists in 7.0 minutes per contest.

A four-year collegian at Iowa State, he averaged 15.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season with the Cyclones, earning 2017 All-Big 12 Second Team honors. The guard also shot 47 percent from the field and led the conference with 2.8 three-point field goals per game, also connecting on a team-high 98 three-point attempts, which was the third highest in a single-season in school history.

Over his four years at Iowa State, Mitrou-Long appeared in 131 games (83 starts) averaging 9.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists, helping to lead the Cyclones to three Big 12 Championships. He would finish his collegiate career with 260 three-point field goals, the second most in school history, in addition to becoming just one of 11 players ever for Iowa State to tally 1,200 points, 300 rebounds and 200 assists over his career.

Born in Ontario, Canada, Mitrou-Long played high school basketball at Findlay College Prep in Henderson, Nev.

Ricky Rubio returning to action for Jazz

The Jazz are red-hot and about to get point guard Ricky Rubio back in action. Here’s the Deseret News with the latest:

As the Utah Jazz look to continue their hot streak after the All-Star break, a familiar face will return to the lineup.

After missing the last three games with left hip soreness, point guard Ricky Rubio will return to action tonight at 7 p.m. against the Portland Trail Blazers in Vivint Arena.

Utah (30-28) is looking to extend its win streak to 12 in a row.

“Being out for a couple weeks, I couldn’t do much, so it’s going to be hard for that, but I’ve been doing a pretty good job to stay in shape,” Rubio said. “When you have a good momentum like that, it’s hard to know when to go out there and be aggressive, but I think I just have to be me.”

The Washington Wizards today signed guard Ramon Sessions to a 10-day contract.

“We’re very familiar with Ramon,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “He’s a veteran who can play both guard positions and will add depth to our backcourt.”

Sessions returns to the Wizards after playing one-and-a-half seasons in Washington (2015 and 2015-16), appearing in 110 games (eight starts) while averaging 9.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds. He was originally acquired from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Andre Miller at the 2015 trade deadline.

In his 11th season, Sessions (6-3, 190-pounds) has averaged 10.4 points, 4.1 assists, and 2.7 rebounds for the Bucks, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Lakers, Bobcats/Hornets, Kings, Wizards and, most recently, the Knicks, where he played 13 games (three starts) earlier this season. The Myrtle Beach, SC, native was originally selected by Milwaukee in the second round (56th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft.

On the Hornets front office job opening

The Hornets need a new GM. Perks include a roster that definitely still needs to make changes in the coming seasons for the team to become seriously competitive, and the chance to hang with team owner Michael Jordan once in a while. Here’s theCharlotte Observer with the latest:

While former Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is prominent in chatter about the Charlotte Hornets’ front office opening, he won’t be the only candidate.

Another established name with interest is Detroit Pistons general manager Jeff Bower.

Bower is No. 2 in the Pistons’ front office, working for Stan Van Gundy, who runs the basketball operation as coach and team president. According to a source familiar with the situation, Bower and Van Gundy are both under contract with the Pistons through the end of this season.

That same source said Bower, 56, would definitely be interested in the Hornets’ opening. Bower worked in Charlotte previously, in the original Hornets’ front office.

The Utah Jazz submitted today a formal bid to the NBA to host the 2022 or 2023 NBA All-Star Game. Civic and community partners in the bid include the State of Utah, Salt Lake City and County, Utah Sports Commission, Utah Office of Tourism and Visit Salt Lake.

With a “Game Elevated” theme emphasizing guest experience, innovation, and arts and education, the Jazz submitted an electronic application to the league as well as shipping a custom-made box with an iPad of the presentation.

“On behalf of the State of Utah, we are committed to the hard work of bringing the NBA All-Star Game to Salt Lake City,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “We know this about the Miller family, Utah Jazz organization, and our state — the NBA All-Star Game will be above the rim and the NBA family will fall in love again with the great people of our state.”

“We are very excited and well prepared to bring back the NBA All-Star Game to Vivint Smart Home Arena,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “We are a vibrant, diverse and culturally rich community that knows how to celebrate the experience of sport. Our 2002 Olympic Winter Games remain the standard against which all other Olympic Winter Games are measured.”

The proposed site for the NBA All-Star Game is Vivint Smart Home Arena, the 18,306-seat home of the Utah Jazz, with ancillary events at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus, and The Complex entertainment venue.

Other bid attributes are the availability of 6,000 hotel rooms in the heart of downtown, the billion dollar expansion of the Salt Lake International Airport and the city’s big event experience with the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and annual Sundance Film Festival.

The 2023 All-Star Weekend would be the 30th anniversary of the 1993 game in Salt Lake City when Karl Malone and John Stockton were the co-MVPs.

“The 1993 NBA All-Star Game was memorable for many reasons. Our new arena was just two years old, and we were so proud to welcome the NBA family into our new home,” said Greg Miller, NBA Board of Governors member. “It is with great excitement and anticipation that we now invite the NBA to return this celebration of our sport back to Salt Lake City for a game elevated.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Marcus Thornton to a 10-day contract, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today.

Thornton will be assigned to the Canton Charge before tomorrow night’s Charge game against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in Canton.

Thornton (6-4, 190) has played in 37 games (32 starts) this season with the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers’ exclusively owned and operated NBA G League team, averaging 18.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists while shooting .408 from three-point range in 36.1 minutes per game. He was recently selected to the USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team that will participate in the upcoming FIBA World Cup Qualifying first round.

Thornton spent the 2016-17 season with Consultinvest VL Pesaro in the Italian LBA, averaging 13.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 28.5 minutes over 30 games (21 starts). He also appeared in 12 contests with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA G League and 28 games with the Sydney Kings of the Australian NBL in 2015-16.

The 6-4 guard played four years collegiately at William & Mary and was originally selected by the Boston Celtics with the 45th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

The Atlanta Hawks today signed guard Antonius Cleveland to a 10-day contract.

Earlier this season, Cleveland was on a two-way contract with Dallas, appearing in 13 games with the Mavericks. In seven NBA G League games this season (six with the Austin Spurs and one with the Texas Legends), he’s averaged 13.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.7 steals in 26.6 minutes (.547 FG%, .500 3FG%, .826 FT%).

Cleveland played four years at Southeast Missouri State (2013-17) and in 33 starts as a senior, put in 16.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals in 32.9 minutes. He finished his high school career at Faith Baptist Christian Academy in Ludowici, GA after beginning at Overton High School in his hometown of Memphis, TN.

He will wear jersey No. 0.

The Indiana Pacers today signed Trey McKinney Jones to a 10-day contract.

The 6-5, 220-pound guard was in the Pacers’ training camp before joining the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ G League affiliate. He played in 26 games for the Mad Ants, averaging 11.4 points per game.

The Pacers are 33-25 so far this season, which is the 5th best record in the Eastern conference. They’re being led in scoring this season by All-Star shooting guard Victor Oladipo at 24.4 ppg. Six Pacers players, including Oladipo, are averaging double-digit scoring.

According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, “McKinney-Jones was a training camp casualty in 2013 with Milwaukee and this past October with the Pacers. The 27 year-old will earn $46K.”

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