anderson varejao injury

Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao suffered a left ankle/foot injury during the third quarter of last night’s game at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Additional examination and MRI today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health have revealed a torn left achilles tendon.

While it is anticipated that Varejao will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season, a timetable for his return to basketball activity will be developed after he has surgery in the near future to repair the achilles and his rehabilitation process is established.

Here’s the Washington Post with analysis of the Detroit Pistons decision to waive Josh Smith, which might help chemistry but hurts financially for a long time:

Josh Smith move a questionable decision for Pistons

With the considerable problems he inherited by taking over a franchise with years of disillusionment and a roster of mismatched talents, Stan Van Gundy is not responsible for most of the hot mess in Detroit. But Van Gundy cannot escape the blame for mishandling the situation with Josh Smith to the point that the versatile but frustrating forward was stunningly waived with more than $27 million remaining on his contract over the next seasons.

The move, which one rival executive described as “reckless,” rids the Pistons of Smith’s errant jumpers – he was on pace to finish last in true shooting percentage among qualified players for the second year in a row – but keeps him on franchise’s books for $5.4 million per season through 2020 under the league’s stretch provision. The Pistons have attempted to justify annually shelling out the equivalent of the full midlevel exception for nothing by championing the $8.1 million in salary cap room that Smith’s removal will provide and how a steadily increasing salary cap will minimize that salary slot when the league’s new television begins in 2016-17.

Rockets will sign Josh Smith

Houston Rockets will sign Josh Smith

Rockets will sign Josh Smith

Forward Josh Smith, recently waived by the badly-struggling Detroit Pistons, is going to clear waivers and reportedly sign a contract with the Houston Rockets.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, “Josh Smith has committed to signing with the Houston Rockets, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. He clears waivers at 5 PM today.”

The Rockets, with a 20-7 record through Tuesday’s games, are having an excellent season, and are much-improved on the defensive end this season. They’ve kept winning even while center Dwight Howard was out.

Several reports say Smith will start for the Rockets. While that may be the case, considering the Rockets already have nice chemistry, we think Smith is best used in limited fashion, at least initially, so the team can see exactly how he fits in. Giving him a huge role right away seems questionable. But still, if managed properly, this is a good move for both Smith and Houston.

tony mitchell

The Phoenix Suns have traded forward Anthony Tolliver to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for forward Tony Mitchell.

Mitchell, who was drafted 37th overall by the Pistons in the 2013 NBA Draft out of the University of North Texas, has averaged 8.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in six games with the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League this season. The 6-9, 235-pound forward appeared in 21 games with Detroit last season, averaging 1.0 points and 1.2 rebounds.

anthony tolliver

Tolliver, 29, has played in 24 games for the Suns this season averaging 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds while shooting 38.7% from three-point range. The six-year NBA veteran owns career averages of 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 331 games (53 starts) with San Antonio (2008-09), Portland (2009), Golden State (2010), Minnesota (2010-12), Atlanta (2012-13), Charlotte (2013-14) and Phoenix (2014). The Springfield, MO product has scored in double-figures 79 times during his career, including 10 games with 20-plus points and two games with 30-plus points. He’s also recorded 20 career games with double-digit rebounds and tallied 16 career double-doubles. A former All-Missouri Valley Conference first team member from Creighton, where he played collegiately, Tolliver has accumulated 10 games of NBA playoff experience with Atlanta (six games in 2012-13) and Charlotte (four games in 2013-14) where he averaged 3.0 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. He’s recorded NBA career highs of 34 points (4/7/10 at Minnesota), 21 rebounds (3/27/10 vs. Dallas) and four blocks (3/27/11 vs. Boston).

The Suns’ roster now stands at 15 players

Sixers sign Malcolm Thomas, waive Ronny Turiaf

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced they have signed free agent power forward Malcolm Thomas. And in a related move, the team waived forward Ronny Turiaf, who is injured and expected to miss the rest of the season.

Thomas was originally signed by the Sixers on October 27, 2014. He appeared in five regular season games and averaged four points and five rebounds in 14 minutes per game.

Last season, Thomas averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in 12 combined games for Los Angeles and Austin and was named an NBA Development League All-Star. In 2011-12, Thomas earned All-NBA D-League First Team and All-Defensive First Team honors.

Nets, Kings trade talks cool down

Here’s ESPN.com reporting an update on trade talks between the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings, which focused on Deron Williams but also talented athletic young big-man Mason Plumlee:

Nets, Kings trade talks for D-Will cool down

Talks between the Sacramento Kings and Brooklyn Nets about a trade involving Nets star Deron Williams have cooled, according to league sources.

Sacramento had recently initiated talks with the Nets, proposing a deal for Williams and second-year forward Mason Plumlee, who was actually the Kings’ main target, sources said.

With Plumlee struggling and clashing a bit with new Nets coach Lionel Hollins over the first month of the season, the Kings were hoping he might be available. To compel the Nets into moving Plumlee, they considered taking on Williams, whose contract and history of injuries has scared off many clubs.

Josh McRoberts out for season after knee surgery

Josh McRoberts out for season after knee surgery

The Miami HEAT announced today that forward Josh McRoberts underwent successful surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The 45-minute procedure was performed by Dr. Harlan Selesnick at Doctors Hospital in Miami on Monday. He will miss the remainder of the season.

McRoberts appeared in 17 games (four starts) this season for the HEAT and averaged 4.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 17.4 minutes while shooting 52.8 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from three-point range.

Entourage movie trailer

Entourage movie trailer has arrived!

Technically, this is the Entourage movie “official teaser trailer,” for those keeping score at home. Movie comes out in the summer of 2015. We loved this show. Can’t wait for the movie! Enjoy:

al horford

Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford and Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 15, through Sunday, Dec. 21.

Horford led the Hawks to a 3-0 record, which included a home win over the Chicago Bulls and road wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets. He led the Hawks in scoring at 18.3 ppg and stuffed the stat sheet with 6.7 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.67 bpg and 1.0 spg. Horford’s .605 field goal percentage ranked eighth in the conference. On Dec. 15, he posted 21 points on 10-of-19 shooting, and added 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals as the Hawks topped the Bulls 93-86. Winners of 9-of-10 and with a 19-7 (.731) overall mark, the Hawks are tied for the Eastern Conference’s second best record.

lamarcus aldridge

Aldridge helped the Trail Blazers to a 4-0 mark on the week, which included two wins over the San Antonio Spurs and wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans. Aldridge, who posted point-rebound double-doubles in all four games, ranked sixth in the West in scoring (26.3 ppg), second in rebounding (14.3 rpg), and eighth in steals (2.25 spg). On Dec. 19, Aldridge collected 32 points, 16 rebounds, five steals and two blocks during a 129-119 triple-overtime win over the Spurs in San Antonio. At 22-6 (.786), Portland owns the second best record in the West.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Kelly Olynyk, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Dallas’ Monta Ellis, Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Portland’s Damian Lillard, and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry.

Samuel Dalembert fined by NBA for elbowing Jonas Valanciunas

New York Knicks center Samuel Dalembert has been fined $15,000 for elbowing Jonas Valanciunas of the Toronto Raptors in the face during the Raptors’ 118-108 victory over the Knicks on Sunday, Dec. 21, at Air Canada Centre, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

Dalembert’s actions, which resulted in a Flagrant Foul 2 and his subsequent ejection, occurred with 10:59 remaining in the third quarter of the game.

Dalembert this season is averaging just 3.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 17.1 minutes per game for New York, who have the second worst winning percentage in the NBA through Sunday’s games.

The Atlanta Hawks have recalled forward/center Adreian Payne from the Austin Spurs of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Payne has appeared in 11 D-League games this season (six with Fort Wayne and five with Austin), averaging 13.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 29.1 minutes. In last night’s win over Rio Grande Valley, he totaled 18 points and nine rebounds in 31 minutes (7-12 FGs).

Pistons waive Josh Smith

In a shocker, Detroit Pistons waive Josh Smith

Pistons waive Josh Smith

The Detroit Pistons announced today the club has requested waivers on forward Josh Smith.

According to ESPN.com, Smith “still had two years and $26 million remaining on his contract after this season.” And according to Yahoo Sports, “the Pistons will use the stretch provision on the remaining $26 million, league sources told Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. The provision allows the Pistons to stretch the money owed to Smith over a longer period of time for salary cap relief.”

The 5-23 Pistons are having a miserable season, and while Smith is a flawed player, he is still considered to have value in the right situation. This was an unexpected move for Detroit to make, but it is understandable that they would want to part ways, especially taking Smith’s contract into account.

Smith this season is averaging 13.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.3 spg, 1.7 bpg, shooting 39% FG, 24% just threes, and a very bad 47% from the free throw line.

“Our team has not performed the way we had expected throughout the first third of the season and adjustments need to be made in terms of our focus and direction,” said Stan Van Gundy, Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations for the Detroit Pistons. “We are shifting priorities to aggressively develop our younger players while also expanding the roles of other players in the current rotation to improve performance and build for our future. As we expand certain roles, others will be reduced. In fairness to Josh, being a highly versatile 10-year veteran in this league, we feel it’s best to give him his freedom to move forward. We have full respect for Josh as a player and a person.”

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward has averaged 13.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists while shooting 39.1% from the field, 24.3% from three point range and 46.8% from the free throw line. In 105 games with the Pistons, the Georgia native averaged 15.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

Smith was acquired by the Pistons as a free agent on July 10, 2013. Drafted with the 17th overall selection in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, the former Oak Hill Academy product has averaged 15.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.0 blocks and 34.2 minutes in 781 career games (758 starts).

Danilo Gallinari suffers knee injury

Here’s the Denver Post reporting some unfortunate injury-related news on Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari:

Danilo Gallinari suffers knee injury

Following his best game of the season, Gallinari was diagnosed with a meniscus tear in his right knee. He is expected to undergo surgery in the next couple of days, and there is a tentative three-week timetable for his return.

It is another blow to Gallinari, who has been trying to battle back from missing 19 months of action because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The latest injury is not connected to his other two ACL surgeries, which were performed on his left knee.

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the post-Rajon Rondo Celtics:

With Rondo gone, Marcus Smart gets first start for Celtics

Boston Celtics rookie Marcus Smart drew his first career start in Sunday’s game against the Miami Heat.

Three days after the Celtics traded All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks, Smart shuffled into the starting role. Evan Turner, who started Friday’s game, will come off the bench, where coach Brad Stevens thinks he can better utilize Turner’s versatility.

Smart has appeared in only 11 games this season while battling ankle and Achilles injuries.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel blog reporting on a Dwyane Wade injury that seems minor, but will still likely frighten some Miami Heat fans:

Dwyane Wade misses game due to knee contusion

They are the three words in the same sentence that make Miami Heat fans cringe: Wade. Knee. Sidelined.

Sunday, for the first time this season, that was the case, with Dwyane Wade sidelined against the Boston Celtics at AmericanAirlines Arena due to a knee injury sustained during Wednesday’s loss to the Utah Jazz and exacerbated in Friday’s loss to the Washington Wizards.

The Heat listed Wade as being out with a “right knee contusion.” It is the first game Wade has missed this season due to a knee issue, after missing seven previous games due to a hamstring injury.

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on key Wizards big dude Nene, who continues to play while recovering from injury:

Nene coming off Wizards bench as healing process continues

On Friday night, Nene posted his best performance since coming back from a five-game absence because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot earlier this month. He posted 20 crucial points on 8-for-10 shooting in 26 minutes off the bench, as the Wizards came back to beat the Miami Heat on the road.

The showing indicated the Brazilian big man is getting closer to reclaiming his spot in the starting lineup. But though he believes he belongs in the starting five, pain remains in the foot and Nene isn’t in a rush to increase his workload

“Until I see improvement, I’m going to stay on the bench because the season is long,” Nene said. “I don’t want to do crazy stuff.”

Photo: All-Star NYC 2015 is coming

Photo of the Brooklyn Nets home court, serving a reminder that 2015 NBA All-Star weekend is coming to NYC. The joint hosts are the Nets and New York Knicks:

Knicks now 5-24 after loss to Suns

The New York Knicks have the second worst record in the NBA, and after Saturday’s home defeat at the hands of the Phoenix Suns, they have the most losses of any team in the league. The season remains a challenge. Which was expected. Phil Jackson isn’t likely to make his mark until the 2015 offseason. Here’s New York Newsday reporting on the latest setback:

Carmelo Anthony’s balky left knee felt good enough for him to face the Suns. But by the end of the game, he and the rest of the Knicks had the same feeling of pain, frustration and doubt.

The Knicks led at the start of the fourth quarter Saturday afternoon at the Garden but lost another winnable game in a fashion similar to so many other losses this season.

Poor execution on both ends with the game on the line led to the Knicks’ 99-90 loss to the Suns. It was their 14th defeat in the last 15 games, and they were booed as the clock wound down on their seventh straight home defeat.

The Knicks are 5-24 — and more fragile than you might think.

“It’s the same thing that’s happening game in and game out,” Anthony said. “I don’t know if we believe in ourselves at that moment that we can win the basketball game or have a chance to win the basketball game. I think it’s more mental than it is physical out there.”

Are the Sacramento Kings open to taking on veteran point guard Deron Williams’ hefty contract? Maybe. Though, just because a team discusses the mere possibility of trading for a player, it doesn’t mean they’d really do it. Or that they even want to. Also, Darren Collison stats this season: 15.6 ppg 3.6 rpg 6.1 apg. Deron Williams stats this season: 15.6 ppg 3.1 rpg 6.8 apg. Almost identical, yet worlds apart salary-wise. Here’s Yahoo Sports reporting a Kings-Nets rumor:

Kings, Nets discussing a Deron Williams trade

The Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings are discussing a deal centered on former All-Star guard Deron Williams, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Nets have been shopping their high-priced star players, and the Kings have been probing the market for an impact point guard.

No deal is imminent, but the talks are ongoing, sources told Yahoo Sports.

The talks have centered on sending the Nets point guard Darren Collison and forwards Derrick Williams and Jason Thompson as part of a multi-player package for Williams, league sources said.

Sacramento has significant interest with Williams, but a hurdle to a possible deal is the Kings’ desire to have center Mason Plumlee included into the package, league sources said. Brooklyn has considered Plumlee a significant part of its future core.

Three-team trade sends Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved to Rockets

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has acquired forward Corey Brewer from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Alexey Shved from the Philadelphia 76ers as a part of a three-team trade.

In the deal, the Rockets will send Troy Daniels to the Minnesota Timberwolves along with the Sacramento Kings 2015 2nd Round Pick (protected for picks 50-60), Houston’s 2016 2nd Round Pick (protected for picks 31-45) and cash considerations. Houston will send its 2nd Round Pick and the rights to Serhiy Lishchuk to Philadelphia. Minnesota will send Corey Brewer to Houston and Ronny Turiaf to Philadelphia. Philadelphia will convey Alexey Shved to Houston.

In order to facilitate the transaction, the Houston Rockets have waived Francisco Garcia and the roster now stands at 15.

The draft picks acquired by the Wolves in the trade are as follows: Houston’s protected second round pick in 2016 and Sacramento’s protected second round pick in 2015 (originally acquired by Houston on Sept. 17, 2014).

Brewer (6-9, 185, Florida) has averaged 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals in 24 appearances (16 starts) with the Minnesota Timberwolves this season. The eighth year veteran’s numbers mark career-highs for rebounds, assists and steals per game. After being drafted seventh overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Brewer has appeared in 491 career games (265 starts) with Minnesota, Dallas and Denver holding career averages of 10.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Brewer also adds 19 games of playoff experience to the Rockets roster, including winning an NBA championship in 2011. In his time at the University of Florida, Brewer won two NCAA championships and was named the 2007 NCAA tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Shved (6-6, 187, Russia) has averaged 9.9 points, 2.7 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game in 17 appearances with the Philadelphia 76ers this season. The third year pro went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft and originally signed as free agent with the Minnesota Timberwolves on July 23, 2012. In 157 career appearances (including 16 starts) with the Timberwolves and 76ers, Shved holds career averages of 6.9 points, 2.5 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game.

Troy Daniels, 23, owns career averages of 4.0 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 22 games, one start, in parts of two seasons with the Rockets. In five games in 2013-14, the 6-4 guard averaged 8.4 points on 48.4% shooting, including 48.0% (12-of-25) from beyond the arc. In four postseason contests, Daniels posted averages of 7.8 points on 52.9% shooting, including 53.3% (8-of-15) from deep. Daniels hit the go-ahead 3-point shot with 11.9 seconds left in overtime to propel the Rockets to a 121-116 win over the Blazers on April 25, 2014. Two nights later he scored a new playoff career-high 17 points (5-of-7 FG, 4-of-5 3FG, 3-3 FT) in Game 4 at Portland.

Originally undrafted out of Virginia Commonwealth University, Daniels spent much of the 2013-14 season in the NBA Development League with the Rio Grande Valley where he averaged 21.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 48 games (37 starts). He led the D-League in three pointers made with 240 — a league single-season record — and ranked eighth in the D-League in scoring average with 21.5 ppg. Daniels was signed by the Rockets on February 21, 2014. 

Garcia (6-7, 195, Louisville) has 3.2 points and 1.2 rebounds per game in 14 appearances with the Houston Rockets during the 2014-15 season. The tenth year player and product of the Dominican Republic was re-signed by the Rockets this past offseason on September 29, 2014.

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