Archive for October, 2018

Will Barton out after surgery

Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton has undergone surgery to repair core and hip muscle injuries. The procedure was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia, PA.

Barton’s status will be re-evaluated in six weeks.

The Nuggets are off to a 3-0 start this NBA season. they came extremely close to making the playoffs last year and look excellent early on. It’s a shame they’ll be without Barton for a while.

Lakers assign Isaac Bonga to G League

The Los Angeles Lakers have assigned guard Isaac Bonga to the South Bay Lakers, the team’s G League affiliate.

Bonga appeared in five preseason games for the Lakers, averaging 3.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 10.7 minutes. The rookie guard was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 39th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and acquired by the Lakers on July 6, 2018.

The South Bay Lakers opened their 2018-19 training camp today and will host the Northern Arizona Suns for their lone preseason game on Saturday, October 27 at 12:00pm PT from the UCLA Health Training Center.

Many of you forgot about Iman Shumpert. Like, sure, you remember that he exists as a person and that he plays basketball. But how recent are your memories of him on the court? And did you know what team he’s on right now? Some of you did. Most did not.

Well. He’s on the Kings. And scored a team-high 26 points last night, in a win against the Thunder who did have Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Steven Adams playing, so yes they actually really were the Thunder. Shumpert shot 9-of-13, including 4-of-7 threes, for 26 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Nice line.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting:

Shumpert scored a team-high 26 points in leading the Kings to a 131-120 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder to spoil the home opener at Chesapeake Energy Arena and the first game this season for All-Star guard Russell Westbrook.

At 6-foot-5, one of Shumpert’s roles was to defend the Thunder’s Paul George, a five-time All-Star who stands four inches taller, but instead showed out on offense early. He made his first three 3-point shots and in nine first-quarter minutes led all scorers with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

Shumpert’s scoring “gave us some confidence,” coach Dave Joerger said. “Also, to be able to stay in front of Paul George is a tough task. … It was a big key for the game.”

De’Aaron Fox said Shumpert has been excited to play. The second-year guard was happy to have a veteran who brings it on both sides of the floor.

“He’s been around the block, he’s won a championship,” Fox said. “He knows what he’s doing when he’s out there. He’s one of our vocal leaders.”

Fox finished with 22 points and 10 assists while playing a season-high 42 minutes.

Bulls sign Shaquille Harrison, waive Omer Asik

The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Shaquille Harrison. And in a preceding move, the Bulls waived center Omer Asik.

Harrison (6-4, 190) was waived by the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 15, 2018. He played in four games (three starts) for the Suns during the 2018 preseason and averaged 7.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.25 steals and 1.25 blocks in 22.4 minutes per game. Harrison first signed with Phoenix on Feb. 21, 2018, and averaged 6.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.13 steals in 23 games last season, his first in the NBA.

In college, Harrison was a four-year letter-winner at the University of Tulsa from 2012-16. He is the only Tulsa player to start every game his team played during his career, averaging 11.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.83 steals over 133 games. Harrison left school ranked second all-time with 461 career assists, third all-time with 244 career steals, and second with his 133 starts. He was the only Tulsa player to ever compile at least 1,300 points, 400 assists and 200 steals, and the only player with 50 or more steals in all four seasons.

Asik came to the Bulls in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 1, 2018. He also played for Chicago in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 NBA seasons. He has career averages of 2.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 152 games for the Bulls. Asik has not played during the 2018-19 season due to illness.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram has been suspended four games without pay, Lakers guard Rajon Rondo has been suspended three games without pay, and Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul has been suspended two games without pay, for their roles in an on-court altercation with 4:13 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ 124-115 win over the Lakers on Oct. 20 at Staples Center. The suspensions were announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Ingram has been suspended for aggressively returning to and escalating the altercation and throwing a punch in the direction of Paul, confronting a game official in a hostile manner, and instigating the overall incident by shoving Rockets guard James Harden. Rondo has been suspended for instigating a physical altercation with, and spitting and throwing multiple punches at, Paul. Paul has been suspended for poking at and making contact with the face of Rondo, and throwing multiple punches at him.

Paul will begin serving his suspension tonight when the Rockets face the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Ingram and Rondo will begin serving their suspensions on Mon., Oct 22, when the Lakers host the San Antonio Spurs.

To view the incident, click on this link.

The Sacramento Kings have signed forward Troy Williams to a two-way contract.

In two NBA seasons, Williams has accrued averages of 6.2 points (.449 FG%, .290 3pt%, .661 FT%), 2.6 rebounds, .8 assists and 16.9 minutes per game in 51 played games with three teams; Memphis (2016-17), Houston (2016-18), and New York (2017-18).

An undrafted product out of the University of Indiana, Williams has appeared in 52 games and 32 starts in two seasons in the NBA G League and has averaged 16.7 points (.462 FG%, .332 3pt%, .742 FT%), 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 25.0 minutes per game for Iowa (2016-17) and Rio Grande Valley (2016-18). In 19 games during the 2017-18 season with Rio Grande, Williams accrued career-highs in points (19.8), field goal percentage (.462), three-point percentage (.333), rebounds (6.1), assists (2.2), steals (1.9), and minutes (29.0).

Kings scoring big, but so are opponents

In Kings Game 1 this season the team lost 123-117 to the Jazz. Willie Cauley-Stein led the team with 23 points, De’Aaron Fox scored 21, Buddy Hield 19 and Nemanja Bjelica 18. In Kings Game 2 this season, the squad lost 149-129 to the Pelicans. Cauley-Stein scored 20, Marvin Bagley had 19 off the bench, Fox scored 18, and Frank Mason off the bench had 18 as well. Here’s the Sacramento Bee with more:

The Kings’ plan to play at a high pace is showing on the scoreboard in the early going.

Sacramento is averaging 123 points and has shot better than 50 percent in both regular-season games. However, their opponents are also scoring at a high level while shooting with accuracy…

Kings guard De’Aaron Fox said the team’s offense isn’t an issue and the high number of points being scored against them is a result of faster play, which has also led to a lot of fouls. Sacramento was whistled 26 times Friday, just one more than New Orleans.

“With pushing the pace, that means both teams are going to get more possessions,” Fox said. “Right now, we are getting a lot of fouls and putting the team on the free-throw line a lot. That’s definitely affecting our defense.”

The speed of the game also suits what the Pelicans want to do, coach Alvin Gentry said.

“I think we’ve got to lock in a little more defensively, but I want us to play at that pace,” he said. “More so than anything, I think we did a good job of finding the hot hand. When (Nikola Mirotic) got going, we ran a lot of good stuff with him.”

Whenever Boban Marjanovic makes an appearance on the court, it’s a fun event. And it needs to happen more often, because he has a habit of scoring around a point per minute when he gets to string a bunch of minutes together. At least, that’s what it feels like. Normally we’d go check the stats and give an exact number, but in this case just enjoy the magic of the Boban and read what happened yesterday. Here’s the OC Register reporting:

Trust him, Coach Doc Rivers told his Clippers before Friday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, they’ve got stuff worth sticking to.

In a 108-92 victory against the Thunder – who were without superstar guard Russell Westbrook, who continued his recovery from arthroscopic right knee surgery – the Clippers looked secure in their sets until they didn’t … and then they did again when it mattered most.

The coalescing that needed to hurry and happen for the Clippers (1-1) to close out games was found Friday, at least, with a lineup that featured Luc Mbah a Moute, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lou Williams, Boban Marjanovic and Tobias Harris, whose 14 fourth-quarter points led the late charge before 14,816 fans at Staples Center…

After being mostly stymied in three minutes of first-half action, Marjanovic entered the game late in the third quarter to cause some of the havoc Clippers fans have come to love from him.

The 7-foot-3 center plucked five rebounds off the rim and scored 13 points in 15 minutes, picking up for Gallinari, who cheered enthusiastically from the bench alongside fellow starters Bradley and Patrick Beverley.

When you think of big game-winning plays for the Warriors, Jonas Jerebko probably isn’t the first name you had in mind. But life is unpredictable sometimes. Learn to accept this. And, here’s the Deseret News reporting:

As Jonas Jerebko was out shooting warmup shots 90 minutes before Friday night’s Utah-Golden State game, all eyes were glued to another guy, one Steph Curry.

Jerebko was all business as he fired up shots from every angle, but he couldn’t help but grin when a couple of women near mid-court unfurled a big blue-and-yellow Swedish flag.

A few minutes later, while hordes of fans leaned over the rails to try to get autographs from Curry as he exited the court, only a handful asked for Jerebko’s signature.

A couple of hours later, Jerebko was all smiles as he of all players was the one who broke Jazz players hearts with a tip-in off a Kevin Durant miss with 0.3 seconds remaining to give the Warriors a 124-123 victory in the home opener for Utah.

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The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward Johnathan Williams to a two-way contract. And in a related move, the team has waived forward Travis Wear.

Williams (6-9, 230) played in all six preseason games for the Lakers, averaging 6.8 points (.516 FG%) and 4.3 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game.

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to have up to two players under two-way contracts on their roster at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. The Lakers roster remains at 16, including two two-way players.

The Indiana Pacers have signed Davon Reed to a two-way contract.

Also, the team has waived C.J. Wilcox.

Reed, a 6-5, 208-pound guard, played 21 games for the Phoenix Suns during the 2017-18 season. In those 21 games he averaged 3.0 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. Reed also spent time with the Suns G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, during the 2017-18 season. In his 12 games in the G League, he averaged 10.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

Reed played collegiately at the University of Miami and was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the second round (32nd overall pick) of the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Denver Nuggets and Head Coach Michael Malone have agreed to a contract extension, Vice Chairman of KSE Josh Kroenke and President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Malone led the Nuggets to a 46-36 record in 2017-18, their best overall record since 2013. Since Malone took over prior to the 2015-16 season, the Nuggets have improved on their win total by a total of 16 wins (+3 after first season, +7 after second and +6 after third), making Denver one of three teams in the NBA to increase their win total in each of the last three seasons (Minnesota and Boston).

With Malone at the helm, the Nuggets have become one of the top offensive teams in the NBA. Denver finished the 2017-18 season with the sixth best offensive rating, including being ranked first overall from February 1st through the end of the season. It also marked the second straight season with a top-six rated offense after finishing 20th in 2015-16. The team also set a new franchise record for made three-pointers in a season (940) during the 2017-18 campaign. They ranked sixth in the NBA in made three-pointers per game and seventh in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage. The Nuggets have also finished top-five in assists per game in each of the last two seasons.

Through 247 games as Denver’s head coach, Malone has compiled a record of 120-127 (.486), ranking him fifth in franchise history in wins among head coaches. He holds a career regular season record of 159-194 (.450) over five seasons with Denver and Sacramento.

Pelicans add Tim Frazier, waive Troy Williams

The New Orleans Pelicans have claimed guard Tim Frazier off waivers. And in a subsequent move, the team has waived forward Troy Williams.

Frazier, 6-1, 170, appeared in four preseason games for Milwaukee, averaging 4.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists before subsequently being waived on October 15.

This will be Frazier’s second stint in New Orleans, after originally joining the club on March 16, 2016. In 81 career games with New Orleans, Frazier has averaged 8.3 points, 5.6 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals. Undrafted out of Penn State in 2014, Frazier has appeared in 186 career regular season games with Philadelphia, Portland, New Orleans and Washington, holding averages of 5.2 points, 4.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds.

Williams, 6-7, 218, appeared in four preseason contests for New Orleans, averaging 8.5 points and 1.0 rebounds.

New Orleans’s roster now stands at 16 players.

The Phoenix Suns today signed guard Jamal Crawford. The team has also waived guard Davon Reed.

The Suns are young, rebuilding team that is focused on the future. In a limited role off the bench, Crawford can help the team’s second unit. He’s also a positive influence, has a good head on his shoulders, and other signed as a player definitely should be able to help coach young teammates progress in the right direction. He just needs to be more cautious about his shot selection, now more than ever.

Crawford, an 18-year NBA veteran, is the only three-time winner of the Sixth Man of the Year Award (2009-10, 2013-14, 2015-16) and also won the NBA’s Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award in 2017-18. Crawford ranks fifth in NBA history with 2,153 career three-pointers, 30th with 1,262 games played and 57th with 18,906 career points; his 10,766 career points in a reserve role are second-most in the NBA over the past 35 years behind only Dell Curry. Crawford is the NBA’s all-time leader with 53 career four-point plays.

For his career, the 38-year-old has averaged 15.0 points, 3.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 34.9 percent from three-point range in 18 seasons with seven teams: Chicago (2000-2004), New York (2004-2008), Golden State (2008-09), Atlanta (2009-2011), Portland (2011-12), the LA Clippers (2012-2017) and Minnesota (2017-18). A career 86.2 percent shooter from the free throw line (37th-best in NBA history), Crawford led the league by shooting 92.7 percent from the stripe with the Trail Blazers in 2011-12. He owns three career games scoring 50-plus points, including a career-high 52 points with the Knicks against Miami on Jan. 26, 2007, and is one of four players in NBA history to score at least 50 points with three different teams along with Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Bernard King and Moses Malone.

The 6-5, 185-pound guard joins the Suns after playing last season with Minnesota where he helped the Timberwolves reach the NBA Playoffs for the first time in 14 years. Crawford was Minnesota’s leading scorer off the bench, averaging 10.3 points in 80 appearances during the regular season and 11.8 points in five postseason games.

Crawford has appeared in the postseason eight times for his career, including each of the last six seasons, averaging 14.3 points, 2.2 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 74 playoff games. He has been a member of four teams that have reached the Conference Semifinals.

Originally selected with the No. 8 overall pick of the 2000 NBA Draft by Cleveland, Crawford joined the NBA following one season at the University of Michigan. Born in Seattle, he attended Rainier Beach High School and remains active in giving back to the community in his hometown and beyond.

Reed was selected by the Suns with the 32nd overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft and averaged 3.0 points and 1.9 rebounds in 21 games as a rookie last season.

The team’s roster currently stands at 16 players.

Eyes around the league will be on the Raptors as the new season begins, partially because they’re a good team but primarily to see how Kawhi Leonard looks wearing his new uniform. And how he plays in that uniform. Mostly how he plays. Here’s the Toronto Star discussing the talk of the town up North:

If one was to lock a group of mad basketball scientists in a room and tell them to design the kind of player they’d want for the current NBA era, it’s not hard to figure what they would eventually come up with.

They’d want someone “long” to use one of the euphemisms of the day, lanky with arms that hang down around the knees, a 6-foot-7 frame that’s at the same time muscular and lithe.

They’d want someone capable of defending multiple positions and playing them on offence, a wing who could check some bigs, a big who could score against slower players and physically dominate smaller ones. Someone who can shoot three-pointers and attack the basket because multi-faceted is the way the game is going.

They’d want someone who can be considered low maintenance, someone “coachable” who can be plugged into a system and thrive.

It wouldn’t take long for those great minds to come up with what they want and they’d emerge unscathed and with a player in mind.

A player like Kawhi Leonard.

Full article

Brooklyn Nets forward DeMarre Carroll underwent right ankle arthroscopy today. The procedure was performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

An estimate on his return date isn’t available yet.

Carroll appeared in 73 games (all starts) for the Nets during the 2017-18 season, averaging 13.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 29.9 minutes per contest. Entering his 10th season, Carroll has appeared in 487 career games (331 starts) with Memphis, Houston, Utah, Denver, Atlanta, Toronto and Brooklyn, averaging 8.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 24.0 minutes per game.

Hawks exercise options on John Collins, Taurean Prince and DeAndre` Bembry

The Atlanta Hawks yesterday (Monday) exercised the third-year (2019-20) option on the contact of John Collins, and the fourth-year (2019-20) options on the contracts of Taurean Prince and DeAndre’ Bembry.

Bembry, the 21st overall pick by the Hawks in the 2016 NBA Draft, has averaged 3.7 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 12.9 minutes, appearing in 64 games (four starts) in his first two seasons (.442 FG%). Last season, in 26 games (three starts), he put up 5.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 17.5 minutes (.414 FG%, .367 3FG%).

Prince, acquired by the Hawks from the Utah Jazz in a three-team trade on July 7, 2016, was originally the 12th overall pick by Utah in the 2016 NBA Draft. In his first two seasons, he’s appeared in 141 games (92 starts), averaging 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 24.4 minutes (.420 FG%, .374 3FG%, .825 FT%). In starting all 82 games last season, he compiled 14.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.0 minutes (.426 FG%, .385 3FG%, .844 FT% - 30th in the NBA). He was selected for the 2018 Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars game during All-Star Weekend.

The 19th overall pick by the Hawks in the 2017 NBA Draft, Collins was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team last season as he averaged 10.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 blocks in 24.1 minutes (.576 FG%, .340 3FG%, .715 FT%) in 74 games (26 starts). He ranked seventh in the NBA in FG%, 10th in Eff. FG% (.591), t25th in bpg and 33rd in rpg, leading all rookies in offensive rebounds (176). He was also selected for the 2018 Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars game during All-Star Weekend.

Rockets promote Monte McNair to assistant general manager

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that Monte McNair has been promoted to assistant general manager. McNair originally joined the Rockets as an analyst in 2007 and became Director of Basketball Operations in 2013 before transitioning to Vice President of Basketball Operations in 2015.

“Monte has been absolutely critical to the success of the Rockets over his long tenure,” said Morey. “His unique combination of analytical skills and ability to work with our coaching staff was a key driver in our record breaking season last year.”

In addition to managing the analytic efforts of the Rockets basketball operations department, McNair is involved with all avenues of player evaluation, including trade, free agency, and the draft. Over the past four seasons, McNair has worked closely with the coaching staff to provide on-court strategy and analysis along with opponent preparation.

A native of Oak Park, Calif. outside of Los Angeles, McNair played football at Princeton University, where he majored in computer science. Prior to joining the Rockets, McNair worked as a researcher at STATS LLC.

Wizards restructure their coaching and training staff

The Washington Wizards announced their re-structured coaching and training staff for the 2018-19 season today.

Joining Scott Brooks and Tony Brown on the front of the bench will be Robert Pack and Ryan Richman, while Kristi Toliver will join David Adkins, Mike Terpstra and Maz Trakh on the back of the bench as an assistant coach/player development. Additionally, Alex McLean and Landon Tatum have both been promoted to assistant coach/player development.

“We’re excited to begin the season with a revamped, versatile staff of coaches and trainers,” said Wizards Head Coach Scott Brooks. “We have a good mix of returning veteran NBA coaches, valuable new additions and promotions from within the organization that will help our players improve.”

Pack joins the Wizards after spending last season as a scout with the Portland Trail Blazers. Prior to that, he spent the previous two seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17) as an assistant coach with the New Orleans Pelicans, his second stint with the organization. Pack spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Brooks’ staff from 2013-15. He began his coaching career in New Orleans, serving as an assistant coach during the 2009-10 season before spending three seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers in a similar role.

Richman, who served as the Wizards’ 2018 Summer League head coach, is entering his fifth season with the team. Following two seasons in the video room, Richman transitioned into a player development coordinator/assistant coach role for the 2016-17 season under then-new Head Coach Scott Brooks. He began his coaching career with the University of Maryland basketball program prior to joining the Wizards’ staff in 2014.

Toliver comes to the Wizards’ bench after helping to lead the Washington Mystics to the 2018 WNBA Finals. She also assisted the Wizards’ coaching staff during 2018 NBA Summer League and training camp. The 10-year pro, two-time All-Star (2013 and 2018) and WNBA champion (2016 with Los Angeles) has averaged 12.3 points and 3.4 assists over her WNBA career and posted 13.9 points and 4.4 assists for the Mystics last season. She was originally drafted third overall by Chicago in the 2009 draft out of Maryland, where she led the Terrapins to the 2006 national championship.

McLean spent last season with the Wizards’ player development staff, assisting with on-court work for Wizards players and travelling/training with players on G-League assignment. Tatum is in his third season with the Wizards, spending time as both an assistant video coordinator and as part of the team’s player development staff.

In addition to the changes to the coaching staff, the Wizards announced that they have added Blair O’Donovan as director of physical preparation and have promoted Jeff Bangs to athletic trainer, joining Steve Smith, Jesse Phillips and Navin Hettiarachchi on the team’s training staff, headed by Dr. Wiemi Douoguih of MedStar Health.

O’Donovan has trained elite athletes in the DC metro area and around the world, including time spent with both the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Capitals. Bangs enters his third season with the Wizards after spending the previous two years working with the training staff and has also worked with the training staffs of the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Heat.

Lakers exercise contract options on Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram

In what was likely an extremely easy decision for the team, the Los Angeles Lakers have exercised their team options for the 2019-20 season on guards Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, and forwards Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram.

Ball earned Second Team All-Rookie honors in 2017-18, appearing in 52 games (50 starts) and averaging 10.2 points, 7.2 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 34.2 minutes.

In 63 games (23 starts) last season, Hart notched eight double-doubles and averaged 7.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 23.2 minutes, closing out the season with four-straight 20-point games.

Ingram played in 59 games (all starts), scoring a team-high-tying 16.1 points (.470 FG%) per game, adding 5.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 33.5 minutes.

A First Team All-Rookie selection last season, Kuzma appeared in 77 games (37 starts) and finished fifth all-time among Lakers rookies in scoring (1,242 points), tallying a team-high-tying 16.1 points per game, along with 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 31.2 minutes.

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