Shaun Livingston returns for Warriors

Shaun Livingston returns for Warriors

The 2014-15 NBA regular season began Tuesday with three games, and on Wednesday featured 12 matchups, including the Warriors vs Kings. Golden State came away with a win on the court, but another in that they were able to utilize the services of guard Shaun Livingston, who wasn’t expected to be healthy enough to set foot on the court just yet. Here’s the Bay Area News Group reporting:

Shaun Livingston returns for Warriors

Warriors point guard Shaun Livingston surprisingly didn’t miss the start of the season Wednesday after his recovery from toe surgery cost him weeks of training camp and the entire preseason.

Shortly before the season opener that the Warriors went on to win 95-77, coach Steve Kerr approached Livingston about the possibility of playing since they were short-handed with David Lee and Brandon Rush sidelined.

“I was ready,” Livingston said, noting he’s been ready for a week now.

While winning their season opener tonight, Boston Celtics exercised contract options on Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller

Celtics exercise contract options on Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller

The Boston Celtics have exercised their third-year option on forward Kelly Olynyk, and their fourth-year options on forward Jared Sullinger and center/forward Tyler Zeller.

The Celtics started their regular season in style this evening at home, beating the Brooklyn Nets 121-105. Point guard Rajon Rondo, who has some serious heal-from-injury skills, had 13 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists in the win.

Olynyk appeared in seven games for the Celtics this preseason and averaged 8.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 blocks in 25.2 minutes per game. He is averaging 8.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game through 70 career contests. Olynyk was originally selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the 13th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft before the Celtics acquired him in exchange for the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira and two future second round picks on June 27, 2013.

Sullinger appeared in eight preseason matchups for the team and averaged 14.9 points, including shooting 15-30 (.500) from beyond the arc, 10.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 21.9 minutes per game over that span. Sullinger was selected 21st overall by the Celtics in the 2012 NBA Draft and is averaging 10.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 24.6 minutes per game over his 119 game career.

Zeller appeared in eight preseason games for the Celtics and averaged 7.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game off the bench. He is averaging 6.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 0.7 blocks in 21.0 minutes per game on his career. Zeller was originally selected 17th overall by Dallas in the 2012 NBA Draft. Boston acquired him from Cleveland as part of a three-team trade on July 10, 2014.

Julius Randle Injury Update: Out For Season After Surgery

Julius Randle injury update: out for season after surgery

The Los Angeles Lakers 2014-15 regular season already didn’t look on paper like many wins should be expected, but the situation is now even bleaker after a tragic injury in the team’s season-opener last night.

Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle will likely miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season. He suffered a fractured tibia of his right leg in Tuesday night’s game in Staples Center against the Houston Rockets, and today underwent surgery to fix the fracture. The recovery time suggests we won’t see Randle on an NBA court again this season.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Donald Wiss at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The Lakers expect that Randle, the team’s prized rookie, will make a full recovery.

Mavericks waive Gal Mekel

Mavericks Waive Gal Mekel To Make Room For Jose Juan Barea

Mavericks waive Gal Mekel

The Dallas Mavericks have requested waivers on guard Gal Mekel, in a move that is likely only taking place because the team expects to bring back guard Jose Juan Barea. It’s been widely reported that the Mavs like Mekel a lot. But Barea is a proven veteran who adds bench depth, and the team is looking to win as immediately as possible.

Mekel (6-3, 202) was in his second year with the Mavericks after signing as a free agent on July 11, 2013. Last season, he averaged 2.4 points, 2.0 assists and 9.4 minutes in 31 games (1 start) for Dallas.

Despite not playing much for the Mavs, Mekel will likely land a job with another NBA team in the near future. He isn’t considered a starter, but certainly belongs on someone’s bench.

Originally from Petah Tikva, Israel, Mekel spent the entire preseason with the Mavericks, and averaged 7.6 points, 3.9 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 19.4 minutes in 8 preseason games (2 starts).

Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard exchange words

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard exchange words in regular season opener

The 2014-15 NBA regular season began Tuesday night, featuring three games, the last of which was a Rockets win over the Lakers that unfortunately included LAL rookie Julius Randle breaking his leg. But there was also some fun in the form of former teammates Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard exchanging some less-than-pleasant words.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle with more:

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard exchange words

The Lakers’ season opener was supposed to be about the return of Kobe Bryant. After missing all but six games last year, the All-Star was to be back on the court to save the Lakers from another postseasonless season.

Part of that comeback would include running into Rockets center Dwight Howard, who Bryant has a rocky history with.

While both players have said since before the start of the 2013-14 season that their drama was in the past, it became the present on Tuesday night at the Staples Center, when the two shared some words in the fourth quarter.

After Howard elbowed Bryant in the face after a rebound, the two started talking. Video shows Howard saying, “I know you, dog,” and Bryant saying, “Try me” and calling Howard “soft” as he approached the Lakers bench.

Julius Randle leg injury: fractured tibia

Julius Randle leg injury: fractured tibia suffered on NBA opening night

Julius Randle leg injury: fractured tibia

The Los Angeles Lakers season has begun in dramatically bad fashion, with the brightest young talent on the roster suffering what has been diagnosed as a major injury. This on opening night for the 2014-15 NBA regular season.

Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle left Tuesday’s game against the Houston Rockets in the fourth quarter with an injury to his right leg. The initial diagnosis by team doctors at the arena is a fractured tibia.

Randle will undergo further evaluation tomorrow, and an update on his status will be given at that time.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News blog, “Randle was taken off the court in a stretcher before being taken to a nearby hospital. The Lakers will have more information likely by Wednesday, including when Randle will presumably have surgery. But given that it appears Randle broke his leg, the Lakers sounded well aware of the devastating implications. Lakers coach Byron Scott also reported players told him they heard a “pop” when Randle fell to the floor.”

The Rockets won 108-90, but the results of the game, which took place in Los Angeles’ Staples Center, takes a back seat to news of this injury.

Knicks exercise contract option on Tim Hardaway Jr

The New York Knicks made an easy decision today and exercised their third-year contract option on guard Tim Hardaway Jr.

On a roster lacking in young talent other than Hardaway, guard Iman Shumpert and rookie forward Cleanthony Early, this move was expected.

Hardaway, 6-6, 205-pounds, averaged 10.2 points over 23.2 minutes in 81 games (one start) last season for the Knicks and was named to the 2013-14 NBA All-Rookie first team. He was originally selected by New York with the 24th overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Lakers face Rockets on NBA opening night

Lakers face Rockets on NBA opening night

The 2014-15 NBA regular season begins tonight! Basketball is back.

There are two 8pm ET games: Pelicans/Magic and Spurs/Mavericks. And at 10:30pm ET the Lakers face the Rockets. Nobody expects much of the Lakers this season, but as long as Kobe Bryant is healthy and can lace up his sneakers they are going to be of interest. And they did add Carlos Boozer, and rookie Julius Randle. So there’s that.

Here’s the Orange County Register with more on the Lakers/Rockets:

Maybe the 2012-13 feud between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard feels like ancient history.

But the two former teammates will hit a different kind of milestone Tuesday on the opening night of the NBA’s regular season: It will mark the first time the two have played against each other since Howard spurned the Lakers to sign with the Rockets.

It’s true. While Howard played four games against the Lakers last season, Bryant missed each contest because of injuries.

Howard and Bryant openly bickered in their one season together and after Howard signed with the Rockets, Bryant delivered the ultimate insult imaginable in this tech age.

He unfollowed Howard on Twitter.

Bucks waive Michael Eric

As teams around league trim rosters to 15 players, Milwaukee Bucks waive Michael Eric

Bucks waive Michael Eric

The Milwaukee Bucks have requested waivers on Michael Eric, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Eric, 26, was signed to Milwaukee’s training camp roster on Sept. 27. He appeared in four games this preseason for the Bucks and averaged 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per game.

Phoenix Suns exercise contract options on Archie Goodwin, Alex Len, Miles Plumlee

Suns exercise contract options on Archie Goodwin, Alex Len, Miles Plumlee

The Phoenix Suns have exercised their 2015-16 options on guard Archie Goodwin, center Alex Len and center Miles Plumlee.

According to the Arizona Republic, the contract values for the 2015-16 season are: Alex Len ($3.81M), Miles Plumlee ($2.11M) and Archie Goodwin ($1.16M).

As a rookie with the Suns last season, Goodwin averaged 3.7 points and 10.2 minutes in 52 games. The 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft, Goodwin scored a career-high 29 points on 11-of-13 shooting in the Suns’ 2013-14 season finale at Sacramento.

Len was selected by the Suns with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and, among NBA rookies to play at least 300 minutes, ranked fifth in rebounds per 48 minutes and sixth in blocks per 48 minutes last season. The native of Ukraine averaged 2.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 8.6 minutes in 42 appearances, including three starts.

Plumlee enjoyed a breakthrough season in his first with the Suns and second in the NBA in 2013-14, averaging team-highs of 7.8 rebounds and 1.13 blocks in addition to 8.1 points in 80 games (79 starts). Acquired by the Suns in a trade from Indiana prior to last season, Plumlee had a team-high 23 double-digit rebounding games and tied for the team-lead with 11 double-doubles.

Rosters for 2014-15 NBA regular season

We’re here! The 2014-15 NBA regular season begins Tuesday night.

Today, all 30 NBA teams trimmed their rosters to 15 or fewer players.

Here they are, official NBA opening night rosters for every team in the league.

Chicago Bulls exercise contract option on Tony Snell

Bulls exercise contract option on Tony Snell

The Chicago Bulls have exercised their third-year contract option for the 2015-16 season for guard Tony Snell.

This move means Snell will be under contract with Chicago for the 2015-16 season.

Snell (6-7, 200), appeared in 77 games (12 starts) during his rookie campaign and posted averages of 4.5 ppg and 1.6 rpg in 16.0 mpg. He also shot .384 from the floor, .320 from behind the arc and .756 from the line. This past summer at the 2014 NBA Summer League, Snell was named to the Samsung All-NBA Summer League First Team. In five summer league games, he posted averages of 20.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 2.8 apg in 30.2 mpg. He also shot .466 from the floor, .500 from three-point range and .833 from the free-throw line. Snell was selected by the Bulls in the first round (20th overall) in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Utah Jazz add Jordan Hamilton and Joe Ingles off waivers

Utah Jazz add Jordan Hamilton and Joe Ingles off waivers

The Utah Jazz have claimed fourth-year forward/guard Jordan Hamilton and rookie forward Joe Ingles off waivers.

The move gives the Jazz extra depth off the bench.

The 24-year-old Hamilton (6-7, 220, Texas) was waived by the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 25 after appearing in six preseason games with the Raptors, averaging 9.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 18.3 minutes. He was signed by the Raptors on Aug. 18.

Hamilton has appeared in 126 career NBA games (15 starts) over three seasons with Denver and Houston, averaging 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 13.3 minutes while shooting .358 (114-318) from three-point range. He started the 2013-14 season with Denver before being traded to Houston on February 20 in exchange for Aaron Brooks. For the season, he appeared in 60 games (12 starts) and averaged 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 17.0 minutes, scoring in double figures 20 times. He was originally drafted by Dallas in the first round (26th overall selection) of the 2011 NBA Draft.

A Los Angeles native, Hamilton played two seasons at the University of Texas (2009-11) and led the Longhorns in scoring (18.6) and ranked second in rebounding (7.7) and minutes played (32.2) during his sophomore campaign. He was selected to the All-Big 12 First Team.

Ingles (6-8, 216, Australia) was waived by the Los Angeles Clippers on Oct. 25 after playing 37 minutes in five preseason games (one start) and totaling six points, five rebounds and five assists. He was originally signed by the Clippers on Sept. 22.

Ingles, 27, played for the Australian National Team in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and averaged 11.4 points and 3.4 assists. Ingles spent the 2013-14 season with Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League, where he played for current Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt and helped Maccabi to win the Euroleague Championship. Ingles played three seasons for FC Barcelona (2010-13) of the Liga ACB, and played for Australia in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

A native of Australia, Ingles started his professional career with the South Dragons of the National Basketball League (NBL), where he earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2007. He played for the Dragons for three seasons, earning All-NBL Third Team in 2009 as the team captured the NBL Championship. He spent the 2009-10 season with CB Granada in Spain averaging 11.0 points and 4.1 rebounds in 34 games. Ingles has also participated in the NBA Summer League for the Golden State Warriors in 2009 and 2010.

With these additions, Utah’s roster is now 15 players.

Jazz waive Carrick Felix

Utah Jazz waive Jazz waive Carrick Felix, who was not going to receive much playing time

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has waived guard/forward Carrick Felix.

Felix (6-6, 201, Arizona State) was acquired by Utah in a trade with Cleveland on July 22 and was scoreless in 27 minutes during four preseason appearances.

Maintaining bench depth, Trail Blazers exercise options on Meyers Leonard, CJ McCollum

Trail Blazers exercise options on Meyers Leonard, CJ McCollum

The Portland Trail Blazers today exercised team options on the contracts of center Meyers Leonard and guard CJ McCollum, according to General Manager Neil Olshey.

According to the Oregonian, the team “declined doing the same for Thomas Robinson. The moves, which will impact next season’s roster, guarantee that McCollum and Leonard will be with the team through the 2015-16 season and make Robinson a free agent next summer.

The Blazers exercised their fourth-year team option on Leonard, who holds averages of 4.4 points (52.2% FG), 3.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 14.3 minutes in 109 games over two seasons with the Trail Blazers. The team selected Leonard with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft out of Illinois.

And Portland picked up the third-year team option on McCollum. The 10th overall selection in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft out of Lehigh, McCollum averaged 5.3 points (37.5% 3-PT), 1.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 12.5 minutes in 38 games during his rookie 2013-14 season.

Knicks trade Travis Outlaw to 76ers for Arnett Moultrie

Knicks trade Travis Outlaw to 76ers for Arnett Moultrie

The New York Knicks have traded forward Travis Outlaw to the Philadelphia 76ers for forward Arnett Moultrie, according to team president Phil Jackson. In addition, Philadelphia received a 2019 second-round draft selection and the option to exchange 2018 second-round draft selections.

And in the same breath, Moultrie was immediately waived by New York. So, yes, this was basically a move for New York to part ways with Outlaw’s contract.

The Sixers acquired the right to swap the Los Angeles Clippers’ second-round pick (which the Sixers currently own) in 2018 with the Knicks’ own second-round pick in that draft.

Outlaw, 6-9, 220-pounds, was acquired on Aug. 6, 2014 from Sacramento in a multi-team deal and appeared in one preseason game for the Knicks.

76ers sign Malcolm Thomas

The still-very-rebuilding 76ers sign Malcolm Thomas

76ers sign Malcolm Thomas

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced they have signed free agent forward Malcolm Thomas.

Thomas is entering his fourth NBA season, having been named an NBA Development League All-Star last season, while averaging 18.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.33 blocks in 12 combined games for Los Angeles and Austin. In 2011-12, Thomas earned All-NBA D-League First Team and All-Defensive First Team honors.

Rockets waive Jeff Adrien, Earl Clark, Robert Covington, Akeem Richmond, Ish Smith

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The Houston Rockets have waived Jeff Adrien, Earl Clark, Robert Covington, Akeem Richmond and guard Ish Smith, according to general manager Daryl Morey.

Adrien (6-7, 245, Connecticut), who spent last season with Charlotte and Milwaukee, averaged 6.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in 53 games played in the 2013-14 season. Over his four year NBA career, Adrien has averaged 4.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per game. In seven preseason games with the Rockets, he averaged 4.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per game. Adrien was signed by the Rockets on July 18, 2014.

Clark (6-10, 234, Louisville), a sixth year forward appeared in 54 games during the 2013-14 season with Cleveland (45 games) and New York (nine games) averaging 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in 14.2 minutes. Over the course of his career, Clark has appeared in 251 games, including 54 starts, with the Cavaliers, Knicks, Magic and Suns. He holds career averages of 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 14.1 minutes. Clark was claimed off waivers by the Rockets on October 24, 2014 and did not appear in any preseason games with the Rockets.

Covington (6-9, 215, Tennessee State), a second year forward appeared in seven games for the Rockets last season averaging 2.3 points and 0.7 assists in 4.8 minutes per game. During the 2013-14 season, Covington also appeared in 42 games with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League, averaging 23.2 points and 9.2 rebounds in 34.1 minutes per game. Covington appeared in one preseason game with the Rockets, scoring three points in four minutes played versus Memphis on October 9th. He was originally signed by the Rockets on July 13, 2013.

Richmond (6-0, 180, East Carolina), an undrafted free agent in the 2014 NBA Draft spent the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons at East Carolina after transferring from Rhode Island following his sophomore year. Richmond appeared in 139 contests over the course of his NCAA career (61 starts) averaging 11.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game in 25.3 minutes played. Richmond was signed by the Rockets on October 24, 2014 and did not appear in any preseason games with the Rockets.

Smith (6-0, 174, Wake Forest), who spent last season with Phoenix, averaged 3.7 points and 1.8 rebounds in 70 games played in the 2013-14 season. Over his four year NBA career, Smith has averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 11.5 minutes per game. He was originally undrafted out of Wake Forest in the 2010 NBA Draft. He appeared in seven preseason games with the Rockets, averaging 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 17.5 minutes per game. Smith was signed by the Rockets on July 18, 2014.

The Rockets roster now stands at 15.

Nuggets waive Quincy Miller

Nuggets waive Quincy Miller

Nuggets waive Quincy Miller

With the 2014-15 NBA regular season starting tomorrow, teams around the league are trimming their rosters to 15 or fewer players. And now it’s the Denver Nuggets’ turn.

The Nuggets waived forward Quincy Miller today, according to general manager and executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly.

Miller, who was drafted by Denver with the 38th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, appeared in 59 games for the Nuggets over the past two seasons, averaging 4.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game. He appeared in seven preseason games this year, averaging 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds.

The Nuggets roster now stands at 15 players.

Timberwolves waive J.J. Barea

Timberwolves waive J.J. Barea

Timberwolves waive J.J. Barea

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has finalized its 2014-15 Opening Night roster by waiving guard J.J. Barea. 

“We’d like to thank J.J. for his three years in Minnesota,” said Timberwolves Head Coach Flip Saunders. “J.J. made our decision incredibly difficult with his play this preseason, highlighted by sparking a 13-point fourth quarter comeback against Chicago on Friday. In talking with J.J. and his representatives over the past few days, we came to the conclusion that this was the best outcome for both parties. He was a consummate professional throughout his time in Minnesota, and we thank him for his leadership both on and off the court. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Barea has already proven himself worthy of being on an NBA roster. It seems likely he will find a new home in the league soon.

Barea, 30, averaged 10.1 points and 4.1 assists in 21.7 minutes per game in 194 games (14 starts) with the Timberwolves. For his career, the eight-year veteran owns averages of 8.3 points and 3.4 assists in 509 games.

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