Archive for February 12th, 2018

Rockets sign Brandan Wright

Rockets sign Brandan Wright

The Houston Rockets today signed free agent forward/center Brandan Wright for the remainder of the season.

Wright joins the Rockets after appearing in 27 games for Memphis in 2017-18. He will wear #32 for Houston.

Wright (6-10, 235) was originally the eighth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and is in his 10th season. In 427 career games with 62 starts, Wright is averaging 7.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and nearly a block per game, while shooting 60.7% from the floor. He would have the second-highest field goal percentage among active players if he had enough attempts to qualify.

Dating back to 2012-13, Wright is the only player in the league to have averaged at least 7.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.00 blocks while playing fewer than 18.0 minutes per game. Wright is also averaging 1.5 offensive rebounds per game over that span and 3.0 orpg per 36 minutes played.

Wright is a former McDonald’s All-American and was named Second Team All-ACC and ACC Rookie of the Year in his only season at North Carolina.

Sixers sign Marco Belinelli

The Philadelphia 76ers signed guard-forward Marco Belinelli.

Belinelli appeared in 52 games (one start) with Atlanta this season, averaging 11.4 points and 2.0 assists in 23.3 minutes per game, while shooting .372 from three-point range on a career-high 4.8 attempts per contest. His .927 free-throw percentage ranks fourth-best in the NBA. He has scored in double figures 31 times this season and has five 20-point performances.

In his 11th NBA season, Belinelli has played in 696 career games (217 starts) with Atlanta, Charlotte, Sacramento, San Antonio, Chicago, New Orleans, Toronto and Golden State. All told, he holds averages of 9.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 23.2 minutes per game. A career .377 three-point shooter, Belinelli has connected on 945 threes over his 10-plus NBA seasons.

In 2013-14 with San Antonio, the Italy native enjoyed his most successful season from beyond the arc, finishing fifth in the NBA, shooting a .430 clip from long distance. At State Farm All-Star Saturday Night that year, Belinelli won the 2014 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.

That season was capped off with a playoff run that would end with the Spurs defeating Miami in the 2014 NBA Finals. Belinelli appeared in 23 playoff games for San Antonio, posting 5.4 points per game, while shooting .421 from three-point range. In his career, Belinelli has appeared in 48 total playoff games (13 starts) with San Antonio, Chicago and New Orleans.

Originally selected by Golden State with the 18th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, the 6-foot-5 guard-forward played professionally in Italy before entering the NBA.

Belinelli will wear No. 18 for the 76ers. He will be the first native Italian to play for Philadelphia.

On J.R. Smith and the trade deadline

Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal on Cavs shooting guard J.R. Smith, who surely had an interesting experience on the day of the NBA trade deadline, as his squad made a dramatic shakeup that could very well have included him as well:

J.R. Smith said he had never heard his name mentioned so often before the NBA trade deadline.

But it wasn’t just the rumors leading up to Thursday that weighed on the 32-year-old Cavaliers guard. The final hour or two as the clocked ticked down to 3 p.m. may have been the most stressful.

“My name was being thrown around a lot out there, so it was nerve wracking for sure,” Smith said after Sunday’s 121-99 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. “When you see six guys getting traded and there’s still more than an hour to the trade deadline, there’s no telling what can happen.”

But after three trades involving four teams as general manager Koby Altman orchestrated a total roster makeover, Smith survived.

After Smith scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting in Sunday’s rout of the Celtics, friend and teammate LeBron James observed, “J.R. gave us something tonight to let us know that he’s still here.”

Full article

Wishing all the best to Nick Gilbert and the Cavs family. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Nick Gilbert, the 21-year-old son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, is scheduled to undergo major brain surgery at a Detroit-area hospital this week, according to a team spokesman.

Gilbert’s son was born with neurofibromatosis, commonly referred to as NF, a nerve disorder that causes tumors to grow anywhere in the body at any time. One out of 3,000 people on average is born with NF.

Full article

Here’s an update on the Warriors that sports business-minded people would be interested in, from the San Jose Mercury News:

After stockpiling their staff in recent years, the Warriors have lost one of their top executives to another team. Warriors chief marketing offer Chip Bowers plans to take a job with the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball, Bay Area News Group confirmed. Bowers will serve as the Marlins’ president of business operations and report to part-owner and Chief Executive Officer Derek Jeter. Bloomberg first reported the news.

It is not immediately clear when Bowers will make the transition. Bowers was currently in his sixth season with the Warriors, where he has overseen broadcasting, marketing and corporate partnership sales for the organization.

Full article

The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Josh Gray to a second 10-day contract after initially signing him on February 2.

Gray made his NBA debut against Utah on February 2 and has averaged 6.8 points, 3.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 17.5 minutes in four games with the Suns. He has eight steals, including four on Wednesday against San Antonio and three on Saturday against Denver, becoming the first Suns rookie to total at least eight steals through his first four career games since Richard Dumas in 1993.

A 6-1, 180-pound guard, Gray was originally called up him up from the Northern Arizona Suns of the NBA G League. In 31 games with the NAZ Suns this season he averaged 17.9 points, shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from three-point range, 6.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals (t-1st in G League). The NBA G League Player of the Week for games played Jan. 1-7, Gray has four games scoring 30-plus points this season including a career-high 32 points in a win over the Agua Caliente Clippers on Jan. 26.

The 29th GATORADE Call-Up in the NBA this season and sixth in NAZ Suns history, Gray is Northern Arizona’s all-time leader in points (1,228), assists (410), field goals made (474), field goals attempted (1,065), steals (148), games (81) and minutes (2,250). Overall in 81 career NBA G League games, all with Northern Arizona over the past two seasons, Gray has averaged 15.2 points, 5.1 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals. On Nov. 27, 2016, he recorded the only triple-double in NAZ Suns history with 24 points, 13 rebounds, 11 steals and five steals against Sioux Falls.

The 24-year-old went unselected in the 2016 NBA Draft out of Louisiana State University. Gray tried out for the NAZ Suns prior to their inaugural season in 2016-17, earning an invite to training camp where he made the team and went on to have one of the better seasons by a local tryout in G League history.

A native of Lake Charles, La., Gray began his collegiate career at Texas Tech University in 2012-13 before transferring to Odessa College for the 2013-14 season then completing his career with two seasons at LSU from 2014-2016.

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