Hornets unveil Classic edition uniforms

The Charlotte Hornets have unveiled their Classic edition uniforms for the 2017-18 season, bringing back the design worn by the original Charlotte Hornets from their inception in 1988 through 1997. Like the previously released white Association and teal Icon editions, the uniform features the logo of Nike’s Jordan Brand. The Hornets – the only team in U.S. professional sports to have the iconic Jumpman logo on its uniforms – will feature five different uniforms in their 2017-18 uniform collection.

“Since we brought the Hornets name back in 2014, our fans have practically been begging for us to wear a version of the original Hornets uniform,” said Hornets President & COO Fred Whitfield. “We could not be more excited to give them what they want and to see the historic pinstriped, teal Charlotte uniform back on an NBA court.”

Based on the uniform worn during the Hornets’ first decade, the teal jersey includes the familiar crossover v-neck and mutli-colored pinstripes in royal blue, light blue, purple and green. The shorts feature the classic Hornets logo on the waist and the identical royal blue, teal and white trim as the original. The Hornets will wear the Classic edition uniforms for three home games during the 2017-18 season: November 15 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, December 23 against the Milwaukee Bucks and January 13 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It’s always interesting to track players who received very limited minutes on good/great teams and see how they do in an expanded role on a team with more of a need for their services. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on former Warriors Ian Clark:

Ian Clark hoping to do big things for Pelicans

Ian Clark is no longer on the Warriors.

It took him awhile to find a new home, but on Aug. 1, Clark agreed to terms on a one-year minimum deal (just below $1.6 million) with New Orleans.

“Being able to show what I can do in the minutes I get, I want to be able to expand on that this year,” Clark told the Pelicans’ team website. “I want to show that I can do that in extended minutes and be consistent at it, and help my team win, whether that’s on the defensive or offensive end.

“I want to show that it wasn’t just because of that team.”

Pistons set to play in new arena

Here’s the Detroit News reporting that fans can now buy single-game tickets for the upcoming Pistons season. The team’s home arena is now in downtown Detroit.

The opening of Little Caesars Arena is ushering in a new era.

As Pistons fans are itching to get their first glimpses of the new downtown digs, they’ll get their chance when individual-game tickets go on sale Saturday morning at 10.

Tickets start at $14 for select games in the upper bowl and initial indications are that there will be a few hundred tickets in that price range.

The Pistons open the season October 18 against the Charlotte Hornets and the premiere will feature a giveaway with a commemorative LED bracelet to create crowd-sourced pictures through the lights they emit.

Jazz sign Nate Wolters to two-way contract

The Utah Jazz have signed guard Nate Wolters to a two-way contract.

Wolters (6-4, 190, South Dakota State) played for Crvena Zvezda in Serbia during the 2016-17 season, where he helped lead his team to the Serbian National Championship. He appeared in 65 games, averaging 8.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 17.1 minutes.

Originally selected in the second round (38th overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft by Washington, Wolters was then traded to Philadelphia and soon after acquired by Milwaukee. The guard has appeared in 79 career NBA games (31 starts) over two seasons with the Bucks and New Orleans. He owns career averages of 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 19.7 minutes. Wolters also played 12 games (eight starts) with the (now) NBA G League’s Grand Rapids Drive in 2014-15, where he averaged 15.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.2 assists in 31.5 minutes. He has additional international experience playing in Turkey with Besiktas where he averaged 11.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 21 league games (18 starts).

A native of St. Cloud, Minn., Wolters played four collegiate seasons at South Dakota State (2009-2013) appearing in 128 games (110 starts) and averaging 18.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.5 steals in 33 minutes of action.

It’s Wine vs. Gold when the Cleveland Cavaliers take the court for their annual intra-squad scrimmage, a fun-filled family event to give fans a first live look at the 2016-17 NBA Eastern Conference Champions as they prepare for the upcoming 2017-18 season. The 2017 Wine & Gold Scrimmage will take place on Monday, October 2nd at 6:00 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena. FREE tickets will be available beginning Tuesday, September 19th at NOON at any of Discount Drug Mart’s northeast Ohio locations or online at Cavs.com.

There is a limit of six (6) tickets per transaction and seating will be general admission. Fans 17 years of age and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

In keeping with the popular tradition of past Wine & Gold scrimmages, immediately following the game, Cavs players will give the scrimmage-worn practice jerseys off their backs to lucky fans randomly chosen from those in attendance. The Wine & Gold Scrimmage will also be the first opportunity for fans to see the Cavs newly designed court that reflects the team’s updated modernized brand. The new shield logo, displayed on center court, represents the “tool of the defender” and the Cavaliers commitment to “Defend The Land.”

Throughout the night, fans will get a sample of the Cavs award-winning game presentation, including popular lights-out player introductions, Humongotron flames, performances from the Cavalier Girls dance team, Scream Team hip-hop troupe, and the always-entertaining antics from mascots Moondog and Sir C.C, and more!

Doors to the arena will open at 5:00 p.m., one hour prior to tipoff so fans can enjoy concourse activities and special offers while taking in the fun of being back in The Q for Cavs basketball.

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has named David Morway and Justin Zanik as assistant general managers.

In addition, the organization has promoted Steven Schwartz to director of basketball operations.

Morway, who spent the 2016-17 campaign as a basketball operations consultant with the Jazz, previously served as the assistant general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks. Prior to his time in Milwaukee, Morway spent 14 years with the Indiana Pacers, his last four, as the organization’s general manager. Preceding his time in the NBA he was the assistant to the president of the San Diego Padres for three years before founding Professional Excellence Sports, Inc. a sports management firm. A graduate of the University of Arizona, he also holds a Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego.

Zanik returns to the Jazz after spending the 2016-17 season as the assistant general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks. Previously he was the assistant general manager of the Jazz from 2013-16, facilitating contract negotiations and managing the team’s salary cap as well as its international scouting efforts. He came to the Jazz from ASM Sports, serving as the agency’s vice president from 2004-2013. At ASM Sports he oversaw all aspects of career management for the group’s basketball clients. A certified agent for the NBAPA since 2003, Zanik graduated with a degree in economics from Northwestern University.

Schwartz, who enters his third year with the Jazz, previously worked as a basketball operations assistant to Head Coach Quin Snyder. In addition, he also assisted General Manager Dennis Lindsey with the league’s collective bargaining agreement and salary cap, responsibilities he will now continue in an expanded role. The native of Fort Worth, Texas received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Texas along with his Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law.

Nets sign Tyler Zeller

The Brooklyn Nets have signed free agent center Tyler Zeller to a multi-year contract.

Zeller has appeared in 340 career games (131 starts) in five NBA seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2012-14) and Boston Celtics (2014-17), recording averages of 7.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game. The Washington, Ind., native averaged a career-high 10.2 points to go along with 5.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 21.1 minutes per game during the 2014-15 season with Boston. This past season, Zeller saw action in 51 games (five starts), registering averages of 3.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per contest.

The 27-year-old Zeller was originally selected with the 17th overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks before being traded to Cleveland on draft night. He then earned NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors with averages of 7.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 26.4 minutes per game in his inaugural campaign with the Cavaliers. Prior to beginning his NBA career, Zeller spent four years (2008-12) at the University of North Carolina, where was a member of the 2009 national champion Tar Heels. He also garnered ACC Player of the Year and second-team All-America honors by the Associated Press as a senior.

The Detroit Pistons have signed guard Dwight Buycks to a two-way contract.

Buycks, 6-3, 190, averaged 25-plus points in each of the last two seasons with the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association. In 20 career NBA games with the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers, Buycks has averaged 4.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

A native of Milwaukee, WI, Buycks played collegiately at Marquette University his junior and senior seasons and averaged 7.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 68 games.

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to have two Two-Way players on their roster at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. Two-Way players for the Pistons will provide services primarily for the Grand Rapids Drive, the team’s G League affiliate, but can spend up to 45 days with the Pistons, not including any time prior to the start of the Drive’s training camp and at the conclusion of their season.

For the Pistons to be decent, or even good, they need serious production from guard Reggie Jackson. Here’s the Detroit Free Press with the latest on that front:

Reggie Jackson seeking bounce-back season for Pistons

The technical term for Jackson’s condition is tendinosis, which basically is chronic tendinitis.

He recently completed a 16-week protocol featuring leg strengthening exercises. His basketball activity had been regulated to light shooting and some jumping off one leg.

Although he should be ready, Van Gundy said last week Jackson would not practice twice on the days the Pistons have two sessions.

The tendinitis has bothered Jackson since at least when the Oklahoma City Thunder picked him in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft.

Charles Oakley vs MSG continues

Here’s the NY Post with the latest on the long, drawn-out saga between Charles Oakley and Knicks owner James Dolan/Madison Square Garden:

Charles Oakley vs MSG continues

Charles Oakley’s battle with his former employer and current nemesis is not over yet.

Oakley is preparing to file a civil law suit stemming from the February incident in which he was forcibly removed from Madison Square Garden after an altercation with security, according to an ESPN report.

Oakley’s fight with Madison Square Garden and Knicks owner James Dolan, in particular, has been a long, drawn-out ordeal with both sides behaving badly at times.

Grizzlies sign Vince Hunter

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced that the team has signed forward Vince Hunter.

Hunter (6-8, 208) appeared in 26 games (16 starts) for Avtodor Saratov of Russia’s VTB United League during the 2016-17 season and averaged 14.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.35 steals and 1.31 blocks in 26.0 minutes per game. Hunter competed in four games during the 2016 NBA Preseason with the Grizzlies and recorded 8.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 19.4 minutes per game and has played for the Grizzlies Summer League team in Las Vegas each of the last two years. Undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, the University of Texas-El Paso product has also played professionally in Greece (Panathinaikos), Romania (BCM U Pitesti) and the NBA G League (Reno Bighorns).

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed guard Darrun Hilliard to a two-way contract.

Hilliard, 6-6/220, has played the last two seasons with the Detroit Pistons, averaging 3.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 9.9 minutes in 77 career appearances. Hilliard also appeared in seven games with Detroit’s G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, averaging 24.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 33.6 minutes.

Originally selected by Detroit in the second round of the 2015 NBA Draft (38th overall), the third-year guard was traded to the Houston Rockets on June 28, 2017. He was then sent to the Los Angeles Clippers the same day before being waived on June 29. Hilliard spent four seasons at Villanova, averaging 11.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 26.8 minutes in 132 games, earning First Team All-BIG EAST honors in his senior season.

Two-way contracts were added to the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and will go into effect for the 2017-18 season. Each team will now be able to have the standard 15 players on their roster, as well as up to two additional players on two-way contracts. Two-way players will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League, which includes San Antonio’s exclusively owned and operated affiliate, the Austin Spurs.

Trail Blazers sign Archie Goodwin

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Archie Goodwin to a training camp contract, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

In four NBA seasons with Phoenix, New Orleans and Brooklyn, Goodwin (6-5, 205) holds averages of 6.3 points (42.9% FG, 23.6% 3-PT, 70.0% FT), 2.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 14.5 minutes in 165 career games (15 starts).

He will wear No. 2 for the Trail Blazers.

Bucks waive Jalen Moore

The Milwaukee Bucks have requested waivers on Jalen Moore. Undrafted out of Utah State, Moore was originally signed to a Two-Way contract on July 8.

Moore appeared in five NBA Summer League games for the Bucks and averaged 4.0 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.

Sixers still may use Ben Simmons as PG

The Sixers have all sorts of talent in their backcourt. The distribution of roles and responsibilities will be fascinating to watch. Here’s CSN Philly with more:

Ben Simmons made it clear this summer he wants to be the Sixers’ point guard. Less than a month from training camp, Brett Brown still is on board with that plan.

“We’ve gone on record, I’ve said what I’ve said and I don’t backpedal from any of it,” Brown said Thursday at the Sixers training complex while previewing his upcoming Coaches Clinic. “I’m excited to give him the ball and continue to grow him.”

With that vision comes questions that will be played out over the season as the 6-foot-10 Simmons makes his rookie debut after suffering a Jones fracture last training camp.

The Sixers made significant additions to their backcourt this summer, including point guard Markelle Fultz. How will the Sixers utilize these two No. 1 picks? Part of Fultz’s appeal to the Sixers was his ability to play off the ball and complement Simmons in a one-two combination.

NBA preseason starts in just about three weeks, and we cannot wait. But before preseason games are played, training camps are held. Many teams take the opportunity to travel, see someplace new, relocate and bond while on the road. As for the Timberwolves, here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting:

The Timberwolves today announced their training-camp schedule, which starts a week early this year both because the NBA season starts a week earlier this season and because they have that preseason trip to China, too.

The Wolves will hold training camp in San Diego at two local universities for seven days before they play the Lakers in a preseason game in Anaheim on Sept. 30.

They’ll have their traditional media at their Mayo Clinic Square training facility on Sept. 22 and then fly immediately after that to Califonia. Their first camp practice is the next morning, Saturday, Sept. 23.

The Toronto Raptors have hired Luke Winn as the club’s Director, Prospect Strategy. Winn joins the Raptors after working at Sports Illustrated for the past 15 years, most recently as a senior writer covering college basketball.

Winn has reported on college hoops since the 2004-05 season, and has numerous international events. His work at SI included in-depth player features and original analytics research.

For the Raptors, Winn will research and scout draft prospects, and provide input on personnel decisions.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard/forward John Holland to a Two-Way Contract, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Holland (6-5, 205) was the NBA G League Impact Player of the Year last season after appearing in 37 games (all starts) for the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers exclusively-owned G League Team. He averaged 22.9 points (seventh in the league), 4.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals in a league-high 38.9 minutes per game. Holland also shot .481 from the field, .346 from beyond the arc and .881 from the foul line, while helping the Charge reach the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.

Before rejoining the Charge in 2016-17, Holland was in training camp with the Cavaliers where he played in three preseason games and averaged 10.7 points in 18.8 minutes. He received a Gatorade NBA Call-Up from the Boston Celtics before the 2016 NBA Playoffs and made his NBA debut in the first round against the Atlanta Hawks. The Boston University product played professionally in France, Spain and Turkey, and also represented the Puerto Rican national team in 2011.

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

Cameron Payne out after foot surgery

Bulls guard Cameron Payne underwent surgery on his right foot (5th metatarsal) on Wednesday, September 6. Dr. Johnny Lin of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush performed the surgery.

Payne will remain in a splint for the next 7-10 days followed by a boot for 6-8 weeks.

He is expected to make a full return in 3-4 months.

Isaiah Thomas hip injury lingers

Cavs guard Isaiah Thomas is still recovering from his hip injury, and the healing process will delay the start of play for his new team. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Isaiah Thomas hip injury lingers

While introducing their acquisitions from the summer’s blockbuster trade, the Cleveland Cavaliers were reluctant to discuss Isaiah Thomas’ health during a news conference Thursday.

“To be fair to Isaiah, we’re not going to address any specifics on his hip injury,” general manager Koby Altman said. “We’re also not going to put a timetable on it.”

Altman added: “We’re not going to rush it, at all.”

Altman intercepted a question directed to Thomas about his health and tried to steer the proceedings away from the subject, declaring, “This is not going to turn into the Isaiah Thomas hip press conference.”

While Altman was careful not to put any expectations on a return date, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue revealed that Thomas will miss the start of the season. That would mean the All-Star point guard still has at least five to six weeks of rehab ahead of him before he suits up for Cleveland. Altman said Cleveland will lean on free-agent signees Derrick Rose and Jose Calderon while Thomas is out.

Basketball blog