Louis Amundson signing with Cleveland

Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal blog reporting on the Cavaliers:

Louis Amundson signing with Cleveland

Lou Amundson signed a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Cavaliers, a league source confirmed. Although the Cavs’ rebuilt roster is filling up fast, the veteran journeyman stands a decent chance at making the final cut.

Amundson, 31, has already played for eight teams in eight years, averaging 3.6 points and 3.5 rebounds. But he is a gritty defender and could bring a certain toughness to the post. He’s listed at 6-foot-9 and 225 pounds, but the Cavs believe he can block shots and use his athleticism to defend at the center position despite being undersized.

Amundson’s offensive limitations have forced him to bounce around the league, yet the Cavs certainly don’t need any more scorers.

Ramon Sessions headed to Sacramento

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings:

Ramon Sessions headed to Sacramento

The Kings have reached an agreement with veteran guard Ramon Sessions on a two-year deal worth $4.2 million, using the biannual exception because the team is over the salary cap.

Sacramento had been looking for a veteran to add to its young backcourt.

Sessions, 28, will be entering his eighth season after being a second-round pick out of Nevada by Milwaukee.

Timberwolves interested in Eric Bledsoe

Talented guard Eric Bledsoe is still unsigned, which comes as a surprise. But then you factor in his reported quest for a maximum-level NBA contract, and his availability becomes more understandable. Here’s ESPN.com with the latest:

Timberwolves interested in Eric Bledsoe

With just days before the start of training camp, the Minnesota Timberwolves are making a final push to acquire restricted free-agent guard Eric Bledsoe in a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns, sources told ESPN.com.

The Wolves are offering Bledsoe the four-year, $63 million maximum level contract that he has been seeking, sources said, but because of cap restrictions, the only way he can join the team as currently constructed is through a sign-and-trade deal. Bledsoe and the Suns have been in a stalemate all summer after the team offered him a four-year, $48 million deal in July.

This is a renewal of talks that have stretched over the past several months. The teams had discussions involving a Kevin Love trade that would involve Bledsoe but never made serious traction on a deal.

Here’s ESPN New York reporting on the Knicks:

Knicks

Knicks owner James Dolan has insisted he won’t be involved with the day-to-day operations of the Knicks.

He reiterated that stance Tuesday in an interview with WFAN.

“I was much more involved than I wanted to be in the last couple of years. Now I got somebody who I think is the smartest mind in basketball. It’s great. Let him go,” Dolan said on WFAN Tuesday, reiterating comments he made last week to the New York Times.

Dolan has a history of getting involved in basketball decisions. One notable example came in 2011, when the owner orchestrated a trade to acquire Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets. The move was made against the wishes of GM Donnie Walsh.

Glenn Robinson III on board with Wolves

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on Timberwolves rookie Glenn Robinson III:

Glenn Robinson III on board with Wolves

Robinson finally signed a partly guaranteed contract this week, and has been at Target Center with a group of players taking part in informal workouts. Wolves General Manager Milt Newton said Thursday that team officials felt it was important to let Robinson “know he’s in our plans,” before adding that “it’s a situation where he’s going to have to earn it.”

Robinson plays the No. 3, or wing, position that is the deepest spot on the Wolves’ roster. Veterans Corey Brewer, Chase Budinger, Shabazz Muhammad and Robbie Hummel are returning wings, and Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, is a natural wing.

“I wouldn’t say it’s daunting,” Robinson said. “I’d definitely say, it is a lot of wings.”

Robinson said he thinks he has something in his favor in his quest to make the 15-man roster when training camp starts Sept. 29.

“I think it’s the little intangibles,” he said. “I’m a smart basketball player, I believe my IQ is pretty high … Even though I’m a rookie, it’s going to be playing like a veteran, trying to help guys out.”

Nets void contract of Hamady Ndiaye

nets

Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King announced today that the team has voided the contract of Hamady Ndiaye due to Ndiaye failing the required physical.

Ndiaye was signed by the Nets on September 17th.

The roster now stands at 16 players.

The Utah Jazz today announced that Andrae Patterson and Travis Walton have been named assistant coaches on Idaho Stampede Head Coach Dean Cooper’s staff. In addition, the Jazz announced that Brady Howe will serve as the head athletic trainer and strength-and-conditioning coach and Hans Steinbrenner as the director of basketball operations for the Stampede, the team’s NBA Development League affiliate.

“Both Andrae and Travis are talented young coaches with strong pedigrees and winning backgrounds,” said Stampede coach Dean Cooper. “I look forward to working closely with our staff and the Jazz to build a team that is both growth-oriented and competitive.”

Patterson arrives to Boise with domestic and international playing and coaching experience, most recently spending two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Texas at Arlington after two years as the school’s director of basketball operations/video coordinator and one as a student assistant. Prior to joining UT Arlington, Patterson enjoyed a successful professional playing career that began when he was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 46th overall pick of the 1998 NBA Draft, where he played from 1998-2001. Following his NBA career, he played nine seasons internationally for clubs in the top European leagues, including both CB Estudiantes (2001-05) and Bàsquet Manresa (2005-06) of the premier Spanish ACB League, as well as KK Zadar (Croatia-A1) and Panellinios BC (Greece-A1) in 2006, Ironi Ashkelon (Israel) in 2007, before finishing his playing career with Egaleo AO (Greece-A1) from 2007-09. As a collegian, the native of Abilene, Texas, played for Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight for four seasons at Indiana University (1994-98), where he was an All-American and four-time All-Big Ten selection and led the Hoosiers to four NCAA Tournament appearances while earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Walton brings NBA Development League experience, having played from 2011-12 for the Dakota Wizards, Fort Wayne Mad Ants as well as the Canton Charge, under then Charge head coach and current Jazz assistant Alex Jensen. Walton also played professionally for ratiopharm Ulm (Germany-1) from 2010-11 and Lugano Tigers (Switzerland) from 2009-10 following a four-year standout career playing for head coach Tom Izzo at Michigan State (2005-09). One of three three-year captains in Michigan State history, Walton finished his collegiate career as the Spartans all-time leader in games played (143), and ranking fourth in school history for steals (167) and sixth in assists (555). Selected as the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year his senior year, Walton led the Spartans to the NCAA Tournament all four seasons, including being selected to the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team en route to the Final Four and appearance in the 2009 National Championship Game. Walton served as a student assistant coach at Michigan State for the 2009-10 season while completing his bachelor’s degree in family child ecology, and has run his own basketball skill development and motivational speaking company, Team Walton, since 2012.

Howe previously served as head athletic trainer, strength coach and equipment manager for the Utah Flash (now the Delaware 87ers) of the NBA D-League from 2009-11, as well as the assistant athletic trainer/strength coach and clubhouse manager for the Ogden Raptors (Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate) of the Pioneer Baseball League from 2011-13. He has also worked as the head athletic trainer for basketball, head strength-and-conditioning coach for basketball and softball and an adjunct professor at Weber State University since 2011. Howe earned a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine and clinical athletic training from Weber State, and a master’s degree in sport performance and strength-and-conditioning from Southern Utah University.

A native of Boise, Idaho, Steinbrenner earned a bachelor’s degree in statistics at the University of Utah while serving for four seasons as student manager for the Utes’ men’s basketball program under former Stampede and Milwaukee Bucks head coach and ex-Jazz player Larry Krystkowiak.

The Jazz and Stampede have a single affiliation partnership that begins with the 2014-15 NBA D-League season. The partnership, also referred to as a “hybrid affiliation,” is the ninth of its kind in the NBA D-League and enables the Jazz to manage all aspects of the Stampede’s basketball operations, while the existing local ownership group headed by Bill Ilett maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.

Sacramento Kings sign Ryan Hollins

Sacramento Kings sign Ryan Hollins

The Sacramento Kings today signed free agent Ryan Hollins, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

A 7-foot center, Hollins was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats in the second round (50th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft. He has accrued career averages of 3.8 points (.576 FG%, .657 FT%) and 2.2 rebounds in 12.0 minutes per game through 435 career contests in eight seasons with six teams – Charlotte (2006-07 – 2008-09), Dallas (2008-09), Minnesota (2009-10), Cleveland (2010-11 – 2011-12), Boston (2011-12) and L.A. Clippers (2012-13 – 2013-14).

In 61 contests as a reserve for the Clippers last season, the former UCLA Bruin posted 2.3 points (.736 FG%, .625 FT%), 1.5 rebounds and 7.9 minutes per game.

timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed center Kyrylo Fesenko and guard Brady Heslip.

Fesenko, 27, appeared in five games (three starts) for the Wolves entry in 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game. The 7-1 center’s best game came in Minnesota’s win over the Phoenix Suns, a 17-point, 8-rebound performance in 26 minutes. Fesenko, originally drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round (38th overall pick) of the 2007 NBA Draft, has averaged 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game over his five-year NBA career.

Heslip, 24, appeared in five games (two starts) for the Wolves entry in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. The 6-2 guard averaged 6.2 points per game in Vegas, including connecting on 61.1% of his shots and 70.0% from three-point range (7-for-10). As a senior with Baylor this past season, Heslip connected on 118 three-pointers (T-2nd in Big 12 history) at a 46.5% clip, the ninth-best single-season three-point percentage in Big 12 history. He finished his four-year career at Baylor first in school history in three-point percentage (.437) and second in made three-pointers (301).

Sacramento Kings sign Omri Casspi

Sacramento Kings sign Omri Casspi

The Sacramento Kings today signed free agent forward Omri Casspi, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

The first Israeli-born player to be selected by an NBA team and compete in the league, Casspi was originally tabbed by the Kings in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft. He has accrued averages of 7.7 points (.421 FG%, .352 3pt%, .667 FT%), 3.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 20.7 minutes per game in 327 career contests with three teams – Sacramento (2009-10 – 2010-11), Cleveland (2011-12 – 2012-13) and Houston (2013-14).

In 71 games with the Rockets last season, Casspi posted 6.9 points (.422 FG%, .347 3pt%, .680 FT%), 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle blog reporting on new Rockets guard Jason Terry:

New Rocket Jason Terry a long-time fan of Houston arena

If Jason Terry did not already know, Daryl Morey made sure to fill him in about his reputation with Rockets fans.

The Rockets general manager might not have used the term “Rockets killer,” but in one of his first conversations with Terry after reaching agreement on the trade that officially brought Terry to Houston on Wednesday, Morey told him that many Rockets fans have considered him one of their most bitter rivals.

Being regarded as a particularly vexing nemesis could have been considered a complement, but Terry said some of the same emotions that inspired his play against the Rockets will also allow him to return to that level now that he’ll play for the Rockets.

“It was always special playing in the Houston Rockets’ arena,” Terry said. “There’s about six or seven arenas around the league that when you step foot in that arena, you feel like, ‘Man, I want to have a big game.” So every time I faced Houston … I always wanted to … perform at high level. Now that I’m joining the Rockets, hopefully I can provide that same energy, that same excitement that they faced for years.”

Dwyane Wade says NBA dress code helped fashion sense

David Stern might be responsible for the fashionable basketball players in the NBA - well, at least for Dwyane Wade.

The Miami Heat star says while he always was a fan of fine dressing, it wasn’t until the former commissioner of the league instituted a dress code that he started taking more interest in what he would wear off the court.

“It was like, `OK, now we got to really dress up and we can’t just throw on a sweat suit,”‘ he said. “Then it became a competition amongst guys and now you really got into it more and you started to really understand the clothes you put on your body, the materials you’re starting to wear, so then you become even more of a fan of it.”

Now Wade is considered among the more fashion-forward stars in a league where players dress to impress. Wade admits there’s some competition among the league - and sometimes they take it over the top in what they wear in postgame press conference.

– Associated Press

Chicago Bulls sign E`Twaun Moore

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed guard E’Twaun Moore (EE-twan).

Moore (6-4, 191), comes to the Bulls after spending the last two seasons with the Orlando Magic. Drafted out of Purdue University in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft (55th overall) by the Boston Celtics, Moore spent one season with the Celtics (2011-12).

Last season with the Magic, Moore appeared in 79 games (three starts) and averaged 6.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg and 1.4 apg in 19.1 mpg. He shot .428 from the field, .354 from downtown and .765 from the line.

A native of East Chicago, Ind., Moore has played in 192 regular season games (24 starts) and posted averages of 6.2 ppg, 1.8 apg, 1.8 rpg, 18.3 mpg, .407 field goal shooting, .350 three-point shooting and .791 from the line.

Man arrested in Paul George burglary

Here’s ESPN.com reporting that the person who allegedly did Paul George wrong has been caught:

Police have arrested a man in connection with the April burglary at the Indianapolis home of Indiana Pacers star Paul George.

Indianapolis police say 43-year-old Michael Lewis of Whitestown was arrested Wednesday on burglary and theft charges for the April 28 break-in during which George’s platinum All-Star ring, valued at $15,000, was taken.

Police say detectives believe the burglary was a random act and that Lewis didn’t specifically target George’s home, which is on the city’s northeast side.

Rockets maintain relationships in China

Here’s the Houston Chronicle Blog reporting on the Rockets:

Rockets CEO Tad Brown, former player Clyde Drexler and point guard Pat Beverley just returned from a trip to China where they met with some of the Rockets’ business partners and interacted with the fan base.

“It’s always great to go to China,” Brown said. “We are the most popular NBA team in China by a longshot and its great to reconnect with the fan base every year and see the passion they have for the Rockets.”

It was a quick trip — the three left Friday and returned Tuesday morning. In the short amount of time, they were able to make time for a handful of events and appearances to go along with the business meetings.

Brown said that Beverley was a hit among the fans.

miami heat

The Miami HEAT announced today several front office hirings, including Keith Smart as Assistant Coach, Chris Quinn as Assistant Coach/Player Development, Brandon Gilliam as Assistant Trainer/Director of Rehabilitation, Wes Brown as Assistant Trainer and Eric Foran as Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach.

Smart will bring over 25 years of professional basketball experience as a player and coach to the HEAT bench serving as Assistant Coach. His duties will include assisting in the areas of game management. He comes to Miami after serving as head coach for three different NBA franchises, including Sacramento, Golden State and Cleveland.

Quinn, who played three and a half seasons with the HEAT for both Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra, will join Spoelstra’s staff as an Assistant Coach/Player Development. The six-year NBA veteran will assist Miami in the areas of player development and will also have responsibilities with the HEAT’s NBA Development League team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Quinn spent last season as Director of Player Development at Northwestern University.

Gilliam has been named Assistant Trainer/Director of Rehabilitation after spending the last eight years owning his own private practice that specialized in concierge physical training for entertainers and athletes. In addition to his duties as assistant trainer, Gilliam will oversee all player rehabilitation programs as he will work with each player individually during the recovery process.

Brown has been named Assistant Trainer after spending the last seven years at the University of Miami as associate athletic trainer. His duties will include managing the day-to-day health of HEAT players during the regular season, postseason and off-season. Brown is a certified Performance Enhancement Specialist, certified Corrective Exercise specialist, certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner and a level 2 Fascial Stretch Therapist.

Foran, who spent the last two seasons with the HEAT as a strength & conditioning intern, has been named Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach. He is a certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and a certified USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach. A University of Florida graduate and son of HEAT Assistant Coach/Strength & Conditioning Bill Foran, Eric was a four-year letter winner and an All-SEC pole vaulter on the track and field team that won two national championships during his tenure.

Additionally, the HEAT also named David Fizdale to Assistant Head Coach, Juwan Howard to Assistant Coach, Dan Craig to Assistant Coach/Director of Player Development and Octavio De La Grana to Player Development Coach/Director of Minor League Operations.

Knicks sign Orlando Sanchez

Knicks

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed forward Orlando Sanchez.

We assume this is a non-guaranteed deal that merely brings Sanchez to training camp for a chance to earn a regular season contract.

Sanchez, 6-9, 230-pounds, averaged 7.4 points, on 51.1-percent shooting, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 rebounds over 22.3 minutes in 32 games (18 starts) for St. John’s University last season. The Nagua, Dominican Republic-native previously played two seasons at Monroe College (NY) and for the Dominican national team.

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on one of the most popular Hawks of all time:

atlanta hawks

Dominique Wilkins will get his statue.

The Basketball Hall of Famer and Hawks legend will have a statue of his likeness erected outside Philips Arena next year.

A group has contracted Hall of Fame sculptor Brian Hanlon to do the art work many believe long over due. Hanlon worked with Wilkins when he created the bust for his 2006 enshrinement. The sculpture will be unveiled on March 6, the day the Hawks host LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

“The first thing that comes to mind is that it immortalizes you,” Wilkins told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tuesday. “There is no better feeling in the world to know that you will be recognized for the rest of your life and even after you are gone it’s still going to be there.”

Brandon Jennings bulked up this summer

Here’s the Detroit News reporting on Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings:

Brandon Jennings aims to raise his game

Brandon Jennings emerged from the informal workouts at The Palace practice facility, looking somewhat similar to the figure who departed to California after last season’s disappointing, playoff-less finish.

Playful swagger? Check.

Rare introspection? Check

Twenty-five extra pounds? Check…wait, that wasn’t here last season

“I’m about 185, 190 on my good days,” said Jennings, noticeably thicker but still wiry.

Training camp doesn’t begin until the first day of October but Jennings and his other 14 teammates have all been at The Palace for a few weeks, per new coach/president Stan Van Gundy’s request.

“Usually guys come in and you don’t see them until media day,” Jennings said. “It’s good, we’ve been together for three weeks strong, preparing for the season.”

Timberwolves sign second round draft pick Glenn Robinson III

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed 2014 second round draft pick Glenn Robinson III. Robinson III, a 6-6 forward from Michigan, was selected 40th overall in this year’s draft.

Robinson III played for the Wolves entry in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 7.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in six games (four starts). His best performance came in the summer league finale, totaling 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting (2-of-6 from three-point range).

Robinson III started all 76 games in his Michigan career, averaging 12.0 points on 52.5% shooting and 4.9 rebounds per game in his two-year career. He was a two-time honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by the media, leading the Wolverines to appearances in the National Title game and Elite Eight in his two season at Michigan. Robinson III is the son of former NBA forward Glenn Robinson Jr., who was the first overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.

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