Timberwolves waive Cole Aldrich

Timberwolves waive Cole Aldrich

The Minnesota Timberwolves waived little-used center Cole Aldrich today.

Aldrich played in 21 games for the Timberwolves in the 2017-18 season, and averaged 0.6 points and 0.7 rebounds in 2.3 minutes per outing.

In 2016-17, Aldrich appeared in 62 games for the Wolves, averaging 1.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in 8.6 minutes per outing.

He joined the team as a free agent on July 13, 2016.

Mavs reportedly plan to re-sign Dirk Nowitzki

It seems like a given that the legendary Dirk Nowitzki will spend his entire NBA career as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. With his playing days and effectiveness dramatically winding down, he could retire any season now. It therefore it makes sense that the Mavs sign him to one-year deals. As for this current offseason, here’s the Forth Worth Star Telegram with the latest:

The Dallas Mavericks will decline Dirk Nowitzki’s $5 million option for next season, but intend to re-sign the longtime face of the franchise, according to multiple reports.

It’s more of a paperwork move that was a mutual decision to clear cap space in the Mavs’ pursuit of free agent center DeAndre Jordan. The Mavs and Nowitzki are expected to reach an agreement in July.

Nowitzki, 40, has not said whether next season will be his last. He’s on a year-to-year basis, but is not interested in a farewell tour.

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Pistons add Sidney Lowe, Sean Sweeney and DJ Bakker to coaching staff

The Detroit Pistons yesterday hired Sidney Lowe and Sean Sweeney as assistant coaches.

Additionally, DJ Bakker has been added to the basketball operations staff as a player development coach.

Lowe returns to the Detroit Pistons for the third time during his basketball coaching and playing career. He spent the 2005-06 season as lead assistant to head coach Flip Saunders and played six games for the Pistons as a point guard on the 1984-85 squad. The Washington, DC, native and former NBA point guard has spent eight years as a head coach and 12 years as an assistant coach in the NBA and NCAA, most recently serving as an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards the last two seasons. Lowe began his coaching career in 1992, when he became an assistant coach under then-head coach Jimmy Rodgers, eventually being promoted to head coach midway through the 1992-93 season and remaining in the position through the 1993-94 season. In addition, Lowe served three seasons (2011-14) as an assistant with the Utah Jazz after previously serving as head coach at his alma mater, North Carolina State (2006-11). In his first season at NC State, he became the third coach in school history to win 20 games and defeat the three other ACC North Carolina institutions (North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest).

As a player, Lowe was originally selected by the Chicago Bulls with the first pick of the second round (25th overall) in the 1983 NBA Draft and spent time with Indiana, Detroit and Atlanta. He also spent time in the Continental Basketball Association, leading the Albany Patroons and Tampa Bay Thrillers to CBA titles. Lowe played college basketball under the late Jim Valvano at North Carolina State, earning Final Four All-Tournament honors while helping lead the Wolfpack to the 1983 NCAA Championship.

Sweeney enters his first season with the Pistons after spending the last four seasons as an assistant coach with Jason Kidd’s Milwaukee Bucks squads from 2014-18. The St. Paul native entered the NBA assistant coaching ranks with Kidd as part of this 2013-14 Brooklyn Nets team after serving two season as the Nets’ assistant video coordinator. Before joining the Nets, Sweeney served as video coordinator for the University of Northern Iowa, and previously held the position of director of basketball operations for the University of Evansville. Sweeney played one season at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay before transferring to the University of St. Thomas where he was a three-year starter and earned all-conference honors as a senior in 2005-06.

Bakker served as a member of Dwane Casey’s basketball staff in Toronto the last two seasons as assistant video coordinator and will join the Pistons as a player development coach.

Hawks waive Isaiah Taylor

The Atlanta Hawks requested waivers on guard Isaiah Taylor today.

Taylor appeared in 67 games last season for the Hawks, starting nine, and averaged 6.6 points, 3.1 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 17.4 minutes (.418 FG%, .702 FT%). He was signed by Atlanta on October 17, 2017.

The Hawks are in rebuild mode, and are currently led by Dennis Schroder. Almost everybody else on the roster is a supporting cast-level player. The team has to hope that rookies Trae Young and Kevin Huerter bring some serious game. But even if they do, the Hawks probably have years of rebuilding ahead of them.

Magic promote Charles Freeman to President of Business Operations

The Orlando Magic have promoted Charles Freeman to President of Business Operations.

Freeman is entering his 23rd season with the team.

Freeman, who in mid 2015 received promotion to Chief Operating Officer, is responsible for oversight and management of tickets sales, premium sales, client services, ticket operations, corporate partnerships, marketing, arena operations, retail, philanthropy and social responsibility.

“Charlie has provided tremendous leadership in growing our business and is incredibly deserving of this promotion,” said Magic Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins. “On a daily basis, he lives our core values of community, innovation, legendary service and teamwork.”

Freeman started with the Magic in 1996 as a market research analyst for corporate sponsorship and broadcast sales. He was responsible for all research and strategic planning for the department.

This past year, Orlando posted its highest attendance average (17,915 per game) in the last seven years, while ranking No. 1 in in the NBA in group ticket sales and No. 3 in single-game ticket sales. The Magic also was named the 2018 NBA’s Retailer of the Year.

Additionally, the Magic renewed major ‘Champion of the Community’ corporate partners Walt Disney World, Florida Hospital and Harris, while adding RP Funding to the family. Under Freeman’s watch, the Magic became the first NBA team to launch VenueNext technology, a fully mobile platform to enhance the fan experience at the Amway Center.

Pistons hire Malik Rose as assistant GM

The Detroit Pistons announced today that Malik Rose has been named assistant general manager.

“We are pleased to welcome Malik Rose to the Detroit Pistons organization,” said Ed Stefanski, Special Advisor to owner Tom Gores. “Malik has been around successful teams throughout his NBA playing career and now, as a young executive, he brings great basketball knowledge from both a playing and administrative perspective. His engaging and collaborative spirit fits perfectly with the basketball operations staff we are looking to construct.”

Rose has spent the last three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks as their manager of basketball operations. He also served as general manager for the club’s NBA G-League affiliate – the Erie BayHawks.

The 13-year NBA veteran appeared in 813 regular season games with the Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder where he averaged 6.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game. The Philadelphia native was drafted by Charlotte in the second round (44th overall) of the 1996 NBA Draft. He signed as a free agent with San Antonio in 1997 and was traded to New York in 2005. Rose finished his career with Oklahoma City in 2009. He appeared in 82 playoff games, recording averages of 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game and won NBA Championships with the Spurs in 1999 and 2003.

After retiring from the NBA, Rose worked as a television analyst for the Philadelphia 76ers, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Austin Toros of the NBA G-League, NBA TV and NBA Radio from 2010-2015.

Rose played collegiately at Drexel University from 1992-96 where he earned degrees in computer information systems and education with a mathematics certification. He also owns a Master’s degree in sports management.

Hornets do not give qualifying offers to Treveon Graham or Marcus Paige

The Charlotte Hornets have declined to give Treveon Graham and Marcus Paige qualifying offers, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Both players will become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Graham, a 6-5 guard/forward from Virginia Commonwealth, appeared in 90 games for the Hornets during the last two seasons (2016-17 and 2017-18), averaging 3.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game. He was originally signed by Charlotte as a free agent on July 26, 2016.

Paige signed a two-way contract with Charlotte on Aug. 2, 2017. In 2017-18, the 6-1 guard from North Carolina appeared in five games with the Hornets, averaging 2.4 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 5.6 minutes per contest. He also appeared in 46 games (39 starts) for the Hornets G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, averaging 15.2 points, 4.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 32.6 minutes per game.

LeBron James decision to opt-out or not coming today

LeBron James can stick with his current Cavs contract. Or out out, and re-sign with the Cavs for more money. Or opt out, and sign elsewhere. Or opt out, and then line up a sign-and-trade with the Cavs to get sent elsewhere. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the situation:

LeBron James has a huge decision to make before free agency begins Sunday.

He has until 11:59 p.m. Friday to opt in or out of his $35.6 million player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers for next season. James would become an unrestricted free agent by opting out.

James would be eligible to sign a five-year, $205 million free-agent deal with Cleveland this summer if he opts out… If James signs with another team, his max salary would be $152 million over four years.

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Lakers waive Tyler Ennis

The Los Angeles Lakers have requested waivers on guard Tyler Ennis, it was announced last night.

Acquired via trade on February 23, 2017, Ennis averaged 5.2 points, 2.1 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 76 games (13 starts) for the Lakers.

The Lakers may do massive things in free agency in the next week or two. We’re all waiting to see if they land Kawhi Leonard in free agency, what LeBron James, Paul George and other top players decide, etc.

Should the Hornets trade Kemba Walker?

The Hornets are going nowhere fast. They get big production from Kemba Walker, but Dwight Howard is on his way out, and the rest of the squad is mostly supporting cast material. (A healthy Nic Batum can be excellent. But anyway:) Should the Hornets trade Walker? Here’s the Charlotte Observer with some opinion:

Next season will be the last on Kemba’s contract. He will make $12 million, which is to the NBA what $8 an hour is to the rest of North Carolina. He is a blue-light special bargain. He never will be again.

If the Hornets don’t trade him, they could lose him after next season. He can walk, and his employer gets nothing.

If the Hornets retain Kemba, he presumably will insist on a five-year contract. No other team can sign him to more than four. And he will want huge money, Nic Batum money, and he has earned it. The Hornets signed Batum to a five-year $120 million contract.

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