Atlanta Hawks re-sign forward Mike Scott

Atlanta Hawks re-sign forward Mike Scott

The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed forward Mike Scott, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

“Mike has worked hard and continues to adapt, improve and expand his all around game,” Ferry said. “We are very happy to have him with us going forward and we look forward to his continued growth with our group.”

Atlanta’s second-round pick (43rd overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft, Scott played in 80 games (six starts) for the Hawks last season, averaging 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 18.5 minutes (.479 FG%, .780 FT%). He knocked down 62 three-pointers after going 0-1 from downtown in his rookie season. Scott scored in double figures 40 times (five 20-point games including one 30-point night), leading the team in scoring nine times. In his six starts, he put up 14.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 32.5 minutes. He hit double digits in 13 straight games from 1/8-2/5, the longest stretch of his career.

In Atlanta’s 2014 first-round playoff series against Indiana, Scott compiled 9.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 20.9 minutes, including a 17-point second quarter (6-6 FGs, 5-5 3FGs – the second-most three’s in a quarter in NBA playoff history) in Game 5 (4/28/14).

Lakers sign rookie Jordan Clarkson

Lakers sign rookie Jordan Clarkson

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed Jordan Clarkson, the 46th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, whose rights were acquired from the Washington Wizards on draft night, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

In the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Clarkson led the Lakers’ entry in scoring, (15.8 points per game) and rebounding (5.0) while shooting 42.1% (8-19) from beyond-the-arc in five games (all starts). In his debut vs. Toronto, he led the team with 21 points on 7-15 shooting (2-4 from three-point range) with four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

The 6’5’’ guard from Missouri was named Second Team All-SEC by the coaches in his lone season with the Tigers. An early entry candidate after his junior season, Clarkson spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Tulsa, where he was selected First Team All-Conference USA in 2011-12, following his C-USA All-Freshman team honors in 2010-11.

Here’s ESPN Dallas reporting Mavs owner Mark Cuban’s opinion on the Clippers, who with Donald Sterling gone have a new owner:

New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer drew comparisons to Mark Cuban with his high-fiving, chest-bumping, shouting introduction to the franchise’s fan base last week.

The scene came as no surprise to the Dallas Mavericks owner, whose enthusiastic exhibitions had been unique among the NBA’s owners.

“I’ve known Steve for a long time, going back into my twenties, and he’s always been this way,” Cuban said during an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “The Afternoon Show with Cowlishaw and Mosley” last week. “So this isn’t Steve Ballmer getting hyped just for the Clippers. This is just the way he is. He’s going to be great for the league.

“You know, in reality, I already know, knowing him, he’s going to be a lot calmer than I am. He’s great hyping people up in a sales environment, but it’ll be interesting to see him during a game. I hope he’s crazy, but I’m not expecting it.”

Interesting PG options for Team USA

Here’s ESPN.com with an update on Team USA, who play an exhibition game Tuesday:

Kyrie Irving likely starting at PG Tuesday for Team USA

Kyrie Irving will start opposite Goran Dragic at point guard Tuesday night when Team USA plays Slovenia in its final tuneup game leading into the FIBA World Cup.

But Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, in tabbing Irving as his starter against the Dragic-led Slovenians, told ESPN.com that one option under consideration is letting Irving and Derrick Rose trade off as the starter throughout the tournament, which opens Saturday in Bilbao with the Yanks facing Finland.

“We’ll see as thing goes on,” Krzyzewski said after Monday’s two-hour practice. “We might alternate ‘em. Both of them are going to play significant minutes.”

Krzyzewski says he can also envision Irving and Rose playing together once the tournament starts as Rose continues to acclimate himself to full-speed basketball after two major knee injuries limited him to just 10 games over the past two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on a Miami Heat rookie:

Some might be tempted to scoff at Miami Heat rookie Shabazz Napier’s excuse for his poor NBA Summer League performance — the ball. Like many aspects of NCAA and NBA basketball, the actual ball is not the same, a lesson Napier is learning the hard way.

“[M]y biggest thing is getting comfortable with that basketball,” Napier told the Associated Press. “That’s one of my biggest problems and it’s kind of ironic, because it’s a basketball. But it’s different than a college basketball.”

Both NCAA and NBA basketballs measure 29.5 inches, but the materials can vary. In the NBA, regulation balls are composed of leather, while in college, the balls can be made of pebbled rubber. Napier’s problems might be compounded by him never having touched an NBA ball until the combine.

Video: Top Sixers plays from 2013-14 season

The Philadelphia 76ers finished last season with a 19-63 record. They were (and still are) rebuilding. And they were miserable. Nevertheless, over an 82-game season, highlights do exist. Enjoy this video:

Video: Best Suns plays of 2013-14 season

The Phoenix Suns finished the 2013-14 season with a 48-34 record, just barely missing the playoffs in an incredibly competitive Western conference, but still winning many more games than expected. Enjoy these video highlights of some of their best plays from a still-successful season:

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on Miami Heat free agent forward Michael Beasley:

Mike Beasley remains available in free agency

“I’ve grown,” he said. “Just like you can look back and say I did a lot of things I’m not proud of. Take it in stride, grow up and move on with life. So, I’ve grown. I’m more mature about situations.

“I’m definitely not as social as I used to be. That’s just because of trust issues. Just trust issues. I’m not going to get into all that. But I definitely don’t have as many friends as I used to have. That’s definitely by choice.”

He stressed that he lived alone, “me and the mosquitoes that bite me.”

Now he stands alone, again, for a second consecutive summer. He remains a scorer and a shooter, the league now left to decide whether he still is an NBA player.

A year ago, coach Erik Spoelstra said the mandate was basic for Beasley, “Embrace our culture. Embrace the routine. Embrace the work.”

Of course, what matters most is to be embraced in response.

Three weeks ago, Heat President Pat Riley said Beasley was “still a consideration.”

Instead, No. 8 belongs to another, the Heat seemingly having moved on. Again.

Timberwolves hope to establish an identity

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on the Timberwolves:

Timberwolves hope to establish an identity

Seven years after they traded away a star with the same first name, the Timberwolves did so again on Saturday, finally sending away discontented Kevin Love to Cleveland in a three-way trade before he could leave.

A pre-emptive strike before Love could walk away free next summer, the deal is intended to change the identity of a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since that other Kevin — the one named Garnett — played at Target Center long ago.

It brings the first player selected in each of the past two NBA drafts — this summer’s No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins and 2013’s Anthony Bennett — as well as Philadelphia veteran power forward Thaddeus Young and a $6-plus million trade exception the Wolves can use within the next year to add a player without salary-cap limitations.

In return, the Wolves sent Love to Cleveland, where he will play beside superstar LeBron James and pal Kyrie Irving on a team that now becomes an instant title contender, if it already wasn’t before. The Wolves also shipped to Philadelphia veteran forward Luc Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved and Miami’s 2015 first-round pick received from the Cavaliers.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Heat. Note that while loyalty probably was a factor, we have to assume that nice money was a factor. Anyway, here’s the Sun Sentinel:

Chris Andersen discusses why he stuck with Heat

Just as LeBron James cited going home as a reason for his free-agency return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chris Andersen said Saturday among the reasons he re-signed with the Miami Heat was because South Florida felt like home.

“It was definitely the loyalty from the fans and from the team,” said the Texas native who signed a two-year, $10.3 million contract with the Heat last month. “That had a big part of it. And it’s matter of me ending my career in a place that I’d be happy at and am familiar with.”

Andersen’s popularity was evident during his Saturday promotional appearance at the grand opening of the new Dick’s Sporting Goods location in Coral Springs, as he was mobbed by fans during an afternoon autograph session, with fans, including a few Birdman lookalikes, arriving before daybreak. The store’s supply of bracelets needed for his autograph was exhausted well before his arrival.

Video: Kevin Love Timberwolves highlights

Kevin Love’s entire six-year NBA career has been with the Minnesota Timberwolves. But that ended Saturday when he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a deal that had been anticipated for weeks. Enjoy these video highlights of some of K-Love’s best plays during his time with the Wolves:

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed forward Dwight Powell, the 45th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Powell played four years at Stanford, appearing in 136 games (105 starts) with averages of 10.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in 26.2 minutes per game. The 6-11, 240-pound forward from Ontario, Canada is a two-time First Team All-Pac 12 selection. He averaged 14.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals during his senior season and was the Pac 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Powell also played for Canada in the World University Games in the summer of 2013.

During the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer in Las Vegas, Powell appeared in three games (one start) for the Cavaliers and averaged 5.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in 11.3 minutes per game. He was originally acquired along with center Brendan Haywood in a trade with the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for guard Scotty Hopson and cash considerations on July 12, 2014.

Friday night in Madison Square Garden, the USA beat Puerto Rico 112-86 in an exhibition. Enjoy these video highlights of some of the game’s top plays:

Hawks re-sign Shelvin Mack

Hawks re-sign Shelvin Mack

The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed guard Shelvin Mack, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

“Shelvin has proven himself to be an excellent fit in our program,” Ferry said. “On the court, he plays well within our system and possesses a toughness and level of unselfishness that we truly value,” Ferry said. “At 24, he is still a young player with the type of work ethic that can allow him to continue to keep getting better.”

In 73 games for the Hawks last season (11 starts), Mack averaged 7.5 points, 3.7 assists (second on the team) and 2.2 rebounds in 20.4 minutes while ranking seventh in the NBA in assist/turnover ratio (3.04). He scored in double-figures 22 times (one 20-plus effort) and had one double-double, leading the team in assists 14 times and in scoring once. Mack averaged season career-highs in points, rebounds and assists, while reaching career-bests in FT% (.865) and games played. In his starting assignments, he compiled 10.5 points, 4.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 30.4 minutes.

In three NBA seasons with Washington, Philadelphia and the Hawks, Mack has played in 168 games (with 14 starts), averaging 5.5 points, 2.8 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 16.0 minutes. He’s also appeared in 11 postseason games with the Hawks, putting in 6.1 points, 2.9 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 12.7 minutes.

2014 Atlanta Hawks preseason schedule

The Atlanta Hawks today announced the seven-game 2014 preseason schedule, which includes contests at Philips Arena against the New Orleans Pelicans, Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets.

The Hawks play host to the Pelicans on Monday, Oct. 6 (7:30 p.m.), the Pistons on Saturday, Oct. 18 (7:30 p.m.) and the Hornets on Monday, Oct. 20 (7:30 p.m.).

Atlanta will take to the road for four games during exhibition play – Saturday, Oct. 11 at Memphis (8 p.m.), Tuesday, Oct. 14 at Miami (7:30 p.m.), Thursday, Oct. 16 at Chicago (8 p.m.) and Wednesday, Oct. 22 at San Antonio (8:30 p.m.).

The games against the Heat, Bulls and Spurs will be broadcast live on the Hawks flagship radio station, SportsRadio 92.9 The Game, with the Voice of the Hawks Steve Holman announcing the action.

2014 HAWKS PRESEASON SCHEDULE (all times ET)

DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME (ET)

Monday, Oct. 6 NEW ORLEANS Atlanta, GA (Philips Arena) 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 11 at Memphis Memphis, TN (FedEx Forum) 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 14 at Miami Miami, FL (American Airlines Arena)

Thursday, Oct. 16 at Chicago Chicago, IL (United Center)

Saturday, Oct. 18 DETROIT Atlanta, GA (Philips Arena) 7:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 20 CHARLOTTE Atlanta, GA (Philips Arena) 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 22 at San Antonio San Antonio, TX (AT&T Center)

Utah Jazz announce staff additions

utah jazz

The Utah Jazz today announced that the team has hired Patrick Beilein and Lamar Skeeter as player development/video analysts, and named Taylor Snarr as coordinator of analytics.

For the past two seasons, Beilein served as the head coach at West Virginia Wesleyan, a Division II school location in Buckhannon, W.V. He took the team to a 20-12 record during the 2013-14 season, an eight-win improvement over his inaugural campaign. Prior to his first head coaching job, Beilein served as the Director of Basketball Operations at Bradley University for one season (2011-12) and as an assistant coach at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire during the 2010-11 campaign. From 2008-10, he served as a graduate assistant at the University of Michigan under his father, John Beilein.

Beilein also played for his father at West Virginia University, helping to lead the Mountaineers to appearances in the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight. He finished his four-year career with 1,001 points and ranks second in school history in career three-point field goals with 241, just the third player to surpass 200 in a career.

Skeeter spent the past season with the Atlanta Hawks, serving as the basketball operations intern in the summer of 2013 before transitioning to the player development/video intern for the 2013-14 campaign. Prior to his stint in Atlanta, he spent one season (2012-13) as the basketball operations intern for the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League then former head coach and current Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen. Skeeter also spent one season as a graduate assistant at Walsh University, his alma mater, in North Canton, Ohio.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Skeeter graduated from Walsh with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business management. He also competed for the school’s Division III basketball team from 2007-11.

Snarr spent the 2013-14 campaign as the basketball analytics intern for the Jazz, working directly with SportVU’s player tracking system. A graduate of BYU-Hawaii, Snarr has over five years of professional experience with data and research analysis. Most recently, Snarr worked with the Utah Department of Corrections as a research consultant from 2011 through June 2014.

Rockets re-sign Francisco Garcia

Rockets re-sign Francisco Garcia

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced that the team has re-signed unrestricted free agent guard/forward Francisco Garcia.

Garcia (6-7, 195, Louisville) has averaged 8.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 535 career games (137 starts) with Sacramento and Houston. Last season with the Rockets, Garcia averaged 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 19.7 minutes. Acquired by the Rockets in a trade with the Kings on Feb. 20, 2013, Garcia averaged 6.4 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.78 steals in 18 games (five starts) during his first season with Houston. He was also a big contributor in Houston’s 2013 playoff series with Oklahoma City, averaging 10.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in six games (three starts) against the Thunder. Garcia, who was the longest tenured King when acquired by the Rockets, averaged 5.2 points, 1.7 boards and 1.1 assists in 17.8 minutes per outing over 40 games (15 starts) with Sacramento in 2012-13. Entering his ninth NBA season, Garcia was originally selected by the Kings as an early entry candidate out of Louisville with the 23rd overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.

Hornets sign first-round draft pick P.J. Hairston

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed first-round draft pick P.J. Hairston. The Hornets acquired the rights to Hairston (26th overall pick) and guard Semaj Christon (55th overall pick), along with a 2019 second-round draft pick and cash considerations, from the Miami Heat in exchange for the rights to guard Shabazz Napier (24th overall pick).

The 6-6 Hairston became the first NBA D-League player to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. He was named to the D-League All-Rookie Second Team in 2013-14 as a member of the Texas Legends. Hairston averaged 21.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 32.3 minutes, while shooting .453 from the field (183-404), .358 from beyond the three-point line (73-204) and .870 from the free-throw line (127-146). A participant in the 2014 Boost Mobile NBA D-League Three-Point Contest during NBA All-Star Weekend, Hairston posted eight games of 29 points or more, including a pair of 40-point outings.

Hairston played two seasons at the University of North Carolina, averaging 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 71 career games from 2011-13. As a sophomore in 2012-13, he led the Tar Heels in scoring, averaging 14.6 points, and posted the second-best single-season three-point field goal total in school history (89). Hairston was also selected First Team All-ACC Tournament as a sophomore.

The Oklahoma City Thunder named Mark Daigneault as the head coach of its D-League team, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

The Thunder are moving the Tulsa 66ers to OKC, and it’s possible that the team’s nickname may change.

“Mark has placed a high value on development throughout his career and we feel that he is well aligned with the goals of our organization,” said Presti. “His experience at Florida under Coach Donovan has provided him the platform to apply his intelligence and relationship skills to help strengthen the program. We are excited about Mark joining the organization and continuing his professional growth.”

Daigneault joins the Thunder organization after spending the past four years working under Billy Donovan at the University of Florida where he most recently held the position of Assistant to the Head Coach. Last season, the Gators became the first SEC team to go 18-0 in conference play, and during Daigneault’s four years at Florida, the program posted a 120-30 record (.800) while advancing to the Elite Eight each season.

“Mark has been a valuable member of our staff the past four seasons, and I’m very happy to see him get this opportunity with a great organization,” said University of Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan. “We all wish him the best of luck and know he’ll do a tremendous job.”

Prior to arriving at Florida, the Leominster, Mass. native spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Holy Cross.

“I have had a great deal of respect for the Thunder organization throughout my career, and I’m excited to immerse myself in the culture there, and focus on the continued development of the program,” said Daigneault. “The University of Florida, Coach Donovan, the Florida basketball staff and players that I had the privilege of working with contributed to my personal and professional growth, and for that I am grateful as I embark on this opportunity with the Thunder organization.”

A 2007 graduate of the University of Connecticut, Daigneault served as a student manager with the Huskies under Jim Calhoun from 2003-07.

Daigneault, who holds a master’s degree in Sports Management from the University of Florida, will replace Darko Rajakovic as head coach of the Thunder’s D-League affiliate. Amongst multiple front office members and coaches who have been called up from its D-League affiliate, Rajakovic was the third straight head coach of the Thunder’s D-League affiliate to make the move to an NBA bench, after he accepted an assistant coaching position on Scott Brooks’ staff last month.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on Team USA:

derrick rose

Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose was a last-minute scratch Wednesday night from Team USA’s exhibition game against the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden.

Rose was scheduled to play Wednesday despite sitting out practices Monday and Tuesday to rest his sore knees after making his return to a game for the first time in eight months Saturday night in an exhibition victory over Brazil in Chicago.

One source familiar with Team USA’s plans told ESPN.com that Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski decided to hold Rose out of the Dominican Republic game to make more minutes available for players vying for one of the squad’s last few roster spots as final cuts approach.

Rose participated in shootaround Wednesday morning and, according to one source present, moved “well” throughout the session after sitting out the last two practices.

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