Archive for July 8th, 2018

Knicks sign rookie Mitchell Robinson

The Knicks have signed rookie center Mitchell Robinson to a multi-year contract.

Per the New York Post, “according to a source, the deal is for three years at $4.8 million, but the third year is not fully guaranteed. The package also includes a fourth-year team option. The deal averages roughly $1.6 million per year, which is how much it would count against the salary cap for the key free agency of summer 2019.”

Robinson, 20, was selected in the second round with the 36th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The 7-0, 225-pound center was named to the 2017 McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand All-American teams. Robinson averaged 25.7 points, 12.6 rebounds and 7.1 blocks as a senior at Chalmette High School in Louisiana.

Robinson is currently participating with the team’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Thunder re-sign Jerami Grant

The Thunder yesterday re-signed forward Jerami Grant to a multi-year contract.

According to the Norman Transcript, “Grant had reportedly agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal earlier in the week and the Thunder have not disputed that reporting.”

Grant appeared in 81 games (one start) for Oklahoma City during the 2017-18 season and averaged 8.4 points on a career-high 53.5 percent (244-456) shooting, 3.9 rebounds and 0.95 blocks in 20.3 minutes per game.

“We are thrilled to have Jerami continue his development and career with the Thunder,” said Presti. “Jerami’s versatility and overall speed are an important aspect to our effort to evolve and build on our style of play going forward. We believe Jerami’s best basketball is in front of him.”

Grant scored his 1,000th point in a Thunder uniform this past season on March 18 at Toronto, making him the fourth player in Oklahoma City history with 1,000 points and 100 blocks in his first 150 games.

Originally selected 39th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Maryland native holds career averages of 7.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 21.9 minutes per contest.

Pistons waive Dwight Buycks

The Pistons yesterday requested waivers on guard Dwight Buycks.

Buycks, 6-3, 190, was originally signed as a two-way player by the Pistons on September 7, 2017 and later had his deal converted to a full NBA contract on January 12, 2018. In a career-high 29 games, he averaged 7.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 14.7 minutes per game.

Pistons sign rookie Bruce Brown Jr

The Pistons yesterday signed rookie guard Bruce Brown Jr.

Brown, 6-5, 202, was selected 42nd overall in the 2018 NBA Draft after averaging 11.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists last season for the University of Miami (Fla.). A 2017-18 Preseason All-ACC Second Team selection, Brown was also a 2017-18 Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 and was on the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year watch List.

A native of Boston, MA, Brown averaged 11.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 52 career games for the Hurricanes. As a freshman, he scored a career-high 30 points against eventual national champion North Carolina. He also recorded two of the three triple-doubles in Miami program history.

The Timberwolves yesterday signed rookie forward Keita Bates-Diop, who the team selected with the 48th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft on June 21.

Bates-Diop was named the 2017-18 Big Ten Player of the Year after averaging 19.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over his redshirt junior season at Ohio State. A 2017-18 consensus Second Team All-American, Bates-Diop raised his scoring average 10.1 points per game from his redshirt sophomore (9.7 ppg) to his redshirt junior year (19.8 ppg). This season, Bates-Diop paced the Big 10 in scoring, finished second in rebounds (8.7 per contest) and fifth in blocked shots (1.6 blocks per game). He shot 47.2 percent from the floor, including a 35.9 percent mark (66-for-184) from deep.

The Bloomington, Ill. native was a top-five finalist for the 2017-18 Julius Erving Award, honoring the top small forward in the nation. He was also a finalist for the Wooden Award and a semifinalist for the Naismith Player of the Year.

Warriors sign DeMarcus Cousins

The Warriors yesterday signed free agent center DeMarcus Cousins to what has been reported as a one-year deal for around $5.3 million.

Cousins is still healing from injury and will likely miss the first few months of the 2018-19 season. This signing is huge for the Warriors, even if he’s only able to contribute in limited fashion. At worst, he should be able to do big things off the bench for the Warriors, especially during the playoffs. At best, he’ll play like his former self and make the Warriors even more unstoppable.

Cousins, 27, averaged 25.2 points and career highs of 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists to go with 1.65 steals, 1.58 blocks and 36.2 minutes in 48 games (all starts) with New Orleans before suffering a left Achilles rupture on January 26 vs. Houston. Cousins, who earned his fourth-straight All-Star appearance in 2017-18, was one of just three players to average at least 25 points and 10 rebounds per game, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis, and was the only player in the league to also average at least five assists per contest.

An eight-year NBA veteran, Cousins owns career averages of 21.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.43 steals and 1.22 blocks in 32.3 minutes over 535 games (513 starts) with the Pelicans (2017-18) and Sacramento Kings (2010-17). Originally selected by the Kings with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the 6’11” center spent his first six-plus seasons with the franchise and ranks near the top on several of the team’s Sacramento-era (since 1985-86) statistical leaderboards, including first in rebounds (5,056), second in points (9,894), second in blocks (558), third in steals (661), fourth in minutes played (14,997) and fifth in games played (470). Cousins was named to the All-Rookie First Team in 2010-11 and to the All-NBA Second Team in both 2014-15 and 2015-16.

A native of Mobile, Ala., Cousins has helped the USA Men’s Basketball Team to gold medals at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and at the 2016 Olympic Games alongside Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Thompson. In his lone collegiate season at the University of Kentucky in 2009-10, Cousins led the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight and garnered Associated Press First Team and John R. Wooden All-American honors.

Trail Blazers re-sign Jusuf Nurkic

The Trail Blazers yesterday re-signed center Jusuf Nurkic.

According to ESPN.com, the deal is a a four-year, $48 million contract.

Nurkic averaged 14.3 points (50.5% FG, 63.0% FT), 9.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.41 blocks and 26.4 minutes in 79 games (all starts) for the Trail Blazers last season.

“As a 23-year old starting center, Jusuf is an integral part of the core of this roster,” said Olshey. “He has been an impactful addition since joining our team and we are excited about the prospect of this long-term commitment leading to continued individual and team success.”

According to ESPN.com, “Nurkic, 23, turned down a more lucrative four-year deal several months ago, but the marketplace has tightened and he chose to take this deal on Friday, sources said. The deal includes a partial guarantee in the fourth year.”

Nurkic averaged career bests in points and rebounds last season while leading the Trail Blazers with 27 double-doubles. He finished tied for ninth in the NBA in blocks per game and tied for 13th in the league in rebounds per game.

The Trail Blazers acquired Nurkic from Denver on February 13, 2017 along with a 2017 first round draft pick in exchange for Mason Plumlee, a 2018 second round draft pick and cash considerations. After joining Portland, Nurkic averaged 15.2 points (50.8% FG, 66.0% FT), 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.90 blocks and 29.2 minutes in 20 games (19 starts) to finish the 2016-17 season.

Originally selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 16th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft, Nurkic was traded to Denver in a draft night deal.

In four seasons with Denver and Portland, Nurkic holds career averages of 10.4 points (48.5% FG, 61.2% FT), 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 21.6 minutes in 238 games (157 starts).

Thunder re-sign Paul George

The Thunder on Friday re-signed forward Paul George to a multi-year contract.

“Paul’s commitment to Oklahoma City is a moment that Thunder fans will long remember and greatly value in our franchise’s history,” said Thunder Chairman Clayton I. Bennett. “We deeply appreciate his dedication, genuine sincerity and drive to contribute to the Thunder and our community. We are so happy he and his family will remain a part of the Thunder organization and I couldn’t be more excited about the future of Thunder basketball.”

The five-time NBA All-Star averaged 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.04 steals (second in NBA) during the 2017-18 season. George also averaged 4.0 deflections per game and recovered 2.7 loose balls per game, which ranked tied for third and fourth in the league, respectively. George holds a 101.59 career defensive rating which ranks fourth among all active players.

“Paul George exemplifies the traits on and off the floor that the Thunder values to the highest degree, and we are thrilled that he will continue on with our organization,” said Presti. “Paul, his family and his representation were open and collaborative throughout the season and into his free agency. It is this approach that allowed for a great partnership to be built through all reaches of the organization and community. We look forward to building our future and creating our path forward with Paul.”

George became one of five players in the past 30 years to average 20+ points on better than 40 percent three-point shooting to go along with 2+ steals this past season (Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Hersey Hawkins and Stephen Curry). George also made a career-best 244 three-point field goals, second-most in the league this past season.

Originally selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Palmdale, Calif. native was named to the 2017-18 All-NBA Third Team, which represented the fourth career All-NBA selection for George.

During the 2016 U.S. Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, George won a gold medal playing for the US National Team where he appeared in all eight games (two starts) and averaged 11.3 points (fourth on the team), 4.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.50 steals as the United States went a perfect 8-0 during Olympic competition.

Rockets sign Michael Carter-Williams

Michael Carter-Williams’ NBA career got off to a great start, but now he’s at a turning point and really needs to prove himself for the future. He’ll get a shot at this next season, but as a backup to aging star point guard Chris Paul, in Houston.

The Rockets yesterday signed Carter-Williams. According to ESPN.com, the deal is merely “a one-year, $1.75 million minimum contract.”

Carter-Williams (6-6, 190) was originally the 11th overall pick by Philadelphia in the 2013 NBA Draft. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2013-14, becoming the first double-digit draft pick to do so since Mark Jackson in 1987-88.

In 287 career games with 191 starts, Carter-Williams has averaged 11.5 points, 4.9 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.40 steals. Since entering the league in 2013-14, he is one of 10 players with at least 90 games played, including James Harden and Chris Paul, to have averaged at least 11.0 ppg, 4.0 apg, 4.0 rpg, and 1.40 spg.

The 26-year-old spent last season with Charlotte, appearing in 52 games with two starts. He played at least 18 minutes 13 times, averaging 8.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, and 1.46 spg in those games.

The Cavs yesterday signed forward Billy Preston to a Two-Way Contract.

Preston (6-10, 240) appeared in three games (two starts) with BC Igokea of the Adriatic League in Europe during the 2017-18 season. He averaged 7.0 points and 4.0 reboun`ds in 15.8 minutes per game. Preston was also a 2017 McDonald’s High School All-American after his senior year at Oak Hill Academy (VA).

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to have two Two-Way contract players on their roster at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. A Two-Way player for the Cavs will provide services to the team’s G League affiliate – the Canton Charge – but can spend up to 45 days with Cleveland.

The Thunder yesterday signed guard Deonte Burton to a Two-Way Contract.

Burton (6-5, 250) spent the 2017-18 season with Wonju Dongbu Promy of South Korea’s KBL, where he appeared in 63 games (all starts) and averaged 23.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.65 steals and 1.03 blocks in 31.1 minutes per contest while shooting 47.1 percent (549-1166) from the field.

The Milwaukee native spent two years at Marquette before transferring to Iowa State where he was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year for the 2015-16 campaign and was selected to the All-Big 12 Second Team the following season. In his two years as a Cyclone, Burton appeared in 61 games (42 starts) and averaged 12.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.38 steals and 1.06 blocks in 25.0 minutes per game.

Per NBA rules, each team is allowed two players on Two-Way Contracts in addition to the standard 15 players on the roster. Players on Two-Way Contracts spend most of the season in the NBA G League, but can be called up to their NBA team for a maximum of 45 days.

The Detroit Pistons yesterday signed free agent guard Jose Calderon and free agent forward Glenn Robinson III.

Calderon, a 13-year NBA veteran, returns for his second stint as a Piston. The 6-3, 200-pound guard played in 28 games for the Pistons during the 2012-13 season after he was acquired from the Toronto Raptors in a three-team trade which saw the Pistons send Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye to Memphis and the Grizzlies trade Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi to the Toronto Raptors. Calderon averaged 11.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists for the Pistons.

A native of Spain, Calderon spent last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers where he appeared in 57 games and averaged 4.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists and helped the Cavaliers reach the NBA Finals. In 846 career NBA games, he has averaged 9.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists with Toronto, Detroit, Dallas, New York, L.A. Lakers, Atlanta and Cleveland. He’s also appeared in 37 career playoff games averaging 7.0 points, 1.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

A two-time Olympic silver medalist with Spain’s national team, Calderon won medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China and at the 2012 Games in London, England.

Robinson III, 6-6, 222, played the last three seasons with the Indiana Pacers. In four NBA seasons, the Gary, IN native has averaged 4.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 172 career games with Minnesota, Philadelphia and Indiana.

Drafted 40th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Timberwolves, the 2017 NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner, played collegiately at the University of Michigan for two seasons. He averaged 12.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 76 career games and helped the Wolverines reach two NCAA Tournaments, including the 2013 NCAA National Title Game and 2014 NCAA Elite Eight.

Celtics re-sign Aron Baynes

The Celtics appreciate Aron Baynes’ hustle. Maybe even his hairstyle. And yesterday, the Celtics re-signed the center to a reported two-year, $11 million contract.

Baynes, 31, started in 67 of his 81 games played during his first season with the Celtics in 2017-18, averaging 6.0 points (47.1% FG, 75.6% FT) and 5.4 rebounds in 18.3 minutes. He anchored the Celtics league-leading defense, which allowed just 97.6 points per 100 possessions with him on the court (3rd best among players who played in half of their team’s games).

“Aron was a big part of our success this past year and we’re thrilled to have him back,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “He’s a great teammate and an anchor to our defense. The energy and passion that he brings to the table are contagious.”

The Australian native capped off last season with a career-high 26-point (12-23 FG), 14-rebound performance against Brooklyn on April 11, making him the first Celtics center to produce 25+ points and 14+ rebounds in a single game since Kevin Garnett (12/3/08).

Baynes played in all 19 of Boston’s postseason games in 2018 (12 starts), averaging 6.0 points (50.6 FG, 72.2% FT) and 6.2 rebounds in 20.5 minutes. He also shot a team-best 11-for-23 from beyond the arc (47.8% 3-PT) throughout the NBA Playoffs.

A six-year NBA veteran, Baynes has averaged 5.4 points (50.2% FG, 80.2% FT), 4.4 rebounds and 15.0 minutes in 376 career games (91 starts) with San Antonio, Detroit and Boston.

Jazz waive Jonas Jerebko

The Utah Jazz yesterday waived forward Jonas Jerebko.

During one season with Utah, the eight-year veteran from Sweden appeared in 74 games (19 starts) and averaged 5.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 15.3 minutes per contest.

Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the team has acquired center Bismack Biyombo and two second-round draft picks from the Orlando Magic.

In a three-team trade with the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls, Charlotte received center Bismack Biyombo and two future second-round picks in the 2019 and 2020 NBA Drafts while sending Timofey Mozgov to the Magic and Julyan Stone to the Bulls.

Additionally, Orlando received guard Jerian Grant from Chicago in the deal.

Biyombo played in all 82 regular-season games with Orlando last season (25 starts), averaging 5.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and a team-high 1.2 blocks in 18.2 minutes per contest. With 95 blocked shots in 2017-18, he ranked 19th in the NBA. Biyombo scored in double figures 14 times, including a career-high 21 points at Washington on Jan. 12. He also recorded seven double-doubles last season.

The seventh-year center began his NBA career in Charlotte after being selected by Sacramento in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft and sent to Charlotte in a draft night trade. Biyombo has appeared in 529 career NBA regular-s‎eason games (210 starts) with Charlotte, Toronto and Orlando, averaging 5.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 20.9 minutes per game, while shooting .513 (992-1933) from the floor. He has also played in 23 career NBA playoff contests (11 starts), averaging 5.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 24.1 minutes per game.

Biyombo, who played for Charlotte from 2011-14, remains fifth in Hornets history in career blocks (443) and blocks per game (1.6), and ranks seventh in career offensive rebounds (571).

Mozgov was acquired by the Hornets in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets on July 6, 2018. Mozgov holds career averages of 6.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game over the course of eight NBA seasons with the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets.

Stone (6-6, 200) has played in the NBA for four seasons with career averages of 1.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. He went undrafted in 2011, but signed with the Denver Nuggets as a free agent and made his NBA debut on Jan. 11, 2012. Stone has also seen time with the Toronto Raptors (2013-14), and most recently with the Hornets, where he played in 23 games in the 2017-18 season. He also has G League experience with the Idaho Stampede, Iowa Energy and Greensboro Swarm.

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