Pelicans sign rookie Frank Jackson

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed rookie guard Frank Jackson.

Originally selected by Charlotte with the 31st overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft out of Duke University, Jackson was acquired by New Orleans in exchange for the draft rights to Dwayne Bacon (40th overall) and cash considerations.

Jackson, 6-4, 202, spent one season at Duke where he finished tied for fourth on the Blue Devils in scoring (10.9 ppg) and second in three-point percentage (39.5). In 36 games, Jackson averaged 12.4 points over 16 starts during his freshman season.

Jackson starred at Lone Peak High School (Highland, UT) where he participated in both the Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald’s All-American Game (where he was named Co-MVP) as a senior while being named a Second Team All-American by MaxPreps and Third Team All-American by USA Today.

Grizzlies sign Tyreke Evans

Grizzlies sign Tyreke Evans

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced that the team signed guard Tyreke Evans.

“We are excited for Tyreke Evans to return to the city of Memphis and FedExForum, where he enjoyed so much success as a member of the Memphis Tigers,” Wallace said. “Tyreke has proven his talent throughout his NBA career as both a scorer and playmaker, and we are pleased to add a player of his versatility to the Grizzlies.”

According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, “if Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace had autonomy in 2009 he would have selected Tyreke Evans in the NBA draft. Wallace never gave up on the versatile guard. Evans and the Grizzlies agreed Friday to a one-year, $3.3 million contract, a league source told The Commercial Appeal.”

Evans (6-6, 220) has appeared in 473 games (376 starts) and averaged 16.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.30 steals in 32.2 minutes over his eight-year NBA career with the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans. He owns career shooting percentages of 44.4 percent from the field, 29.5 percent from three-point range and 75.7 percent from the free throw line.

The 27-year-old was named the 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year after averaging 20.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.51 steals in 37.2 minutes for the Kings in his first professional season. He is one of just 11 NBA players to amass at least 7,000 points, 2,000 rebounds, 2,000 assists and 600 steals since he joined the league.

A native of Chester, Pa., Evans was selected with the fourth overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft after his freshman season at the University of Memphis, where he was named the National Freshman of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association and averaged 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.08 steals in 29.0 minutes in 37 games (34 starts) for the Tigers.

Bulls sign Justin Holiday

Bulls sign Justin Holiday

The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Justin Holiday.

According to multiple reports, Holiday’s contract is for two years, $9 million.

Holiday (6-6, 185) spent the 2016-17 season with the New York Knicks and averaged 7.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 20.0 minutes in 82 games (four starts). The 28-year-old posted shooting marks of .433 from the field, .355 from three and .825 from the foul line. Holiday was one of only 17 players in the league last season to appear in all 82 games (Basketball-Reference).

This marks Holiday’s second stint in Chicago. He was acquired by the Bulls from the Atlanta Hawks for Kirk Hinrich on Feb. 18, 2016, as part of a three-team trade with the Utah Jazz. Holiday appeared in 27 games (four starts) for Chicago and averaged 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 18.9 minutes played. Holiday scored a career-best 29 points in a Bulls’ win over Philadelphia on April 13, 2016. On June 22, 2016, Holiday was traded to New York along with Derrick Rose and a 2017 second-round pick in exchange for Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez.

The Chatsworth, Calif., native spent four years at the University of Washington. In his four seasons in the NBA, Holiday is averaging 5.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 15.8 minutes played. He is shooting .408 overall, .342 from distance and .800 on free throws for his career.

Timberwolves sign Taj Gibson

Timberwolves sign Taj Gibson

The Minnesota Timberwolves signed veteran forward Taj Gibson today. News of the agreement was reported earlier in free agency. The signing is now official.

Per multiple reports, the contract is for two years, $28 million.

Gibson, 32, reunites with Wolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau after spending five seasons with him in Chicago from 2010-15. Under Thibodeau’s tutelage, the 6-9 forward averaged 9.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 24.2 minutes per game over 352 contests (49 starts). He enjoyed a career year in 2013-14 when he posted averages of 13.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 82 contests, finishing second in the Kia Sixth Man Award voting.

Gibson adds seven years of playoff experience to the Wolves roster, including reaching the Eastern Conference Finals with Thibodeau and the Bulls in 2010-11. Over 61 career playoff games, including 12 starts, he has averaged 8.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 21.6 minutes per contest. Gibson’s best postseason came in 2013-14 when he averaged 18.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in five games.

Over his career, Gibson owns averages of 9.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 25.1 minutes per game in eight seasons between Chicago and Oklahoma City. He was named to the 2009-10 NBA All-Rookie First Team after being selected by the Bulls with the 26th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Timberwolves sign Jeff Teague

Timberwolves sign Jeff Teague

Point guard Ricky Rubio is gone, but new leadership is on board in Minnesota.

The Timberwolves signed guard Jeff Teague today. Per multiple reports, the deal is for three years, $57 million.

Teague, 29, played in all 82 regular season games for Indiana this past season, averaging 15.3 points and a career-best 7.8 assists per contest while shooting 44.2% from the floor, including a 35.7% mark from beyond the arc. Teague enjoyed perhaps his best season in 2014-15 with Atlanta when he averaged 15.9 points on 46.0% shooting, 7.0 assists and 1.7 steals in 30.5 minutes per game en route to being named an Eastern Conference All-Star for the first time in his career.

The 6-2 guard owns career averages of 12.6 points and 5.5 assists in 600 games (465 starts) over eight seasons with the Hawks and Pacers. Teague is a career 35.5% shooter from beyond the arc, including connecting on a career-high 40.0% mark in 2015-16. He has appeared in 393 of a possible 410 contests over the last five years and played in at least 79 contests in four of the last five seasons. Last season Teague became the first Pacers player to play in all 82 regular season games since 2007-08.

Originally selected with the 19th overall pick by the Hawks in the 2009 NBA Draft, Teague has lead his teams to the NBA Playoffs in each of his eight NBA seasons, averaging 13.5 points and 4.8 assists in 66 postseason contests. The Indianapolis, Indiana, native averaged 17.0 points and 6.3 assists in four postseason games with the Pacers just a season ago.

Orlando Magic waive C.J. Watson

Orlando Magic waive C.J. Watson

The Orlando Magic have waived guard C.J. Watson, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today.

Watson (6’2”, 175, 4/17/84) appeared in 62 games (nine starts) last season with Orlando, averaging 4.5 ppg., 1.8 apg. and 1.4 rpg. in 16.3 minpg. He was signed as a free agent by the Magic on July 9, 2015 and played in 95 games (11 starts) during the last two seasons (2015-17) with Orlando, averaging 4.5 ppg., 2.1 apg. and 1.6 rpg. in 17.6 minpg.

Wizards sign forward Mike Scott

Wizards sign forward Mike Scott

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed free agent forward Mike Scott.

“Mike’s toughness and ability to stretch the floor make him a good addition to our frontcourt reserves,” Grunfeld said. “His skillset fits in well with our offensive system and his tenacity fits in well with our overall team dynamic.”

Scott played four-and-a-half seasons with the Atlanta Hawks after being drafted by the team with the 43rd pick (second round) of the 2012 NBA Draft. During a three-year stretch (2013-14 to 2015-16, 223 games), Scott averaged 7.8 points and 3.0 rebounds while shooting .346 from three-point range as a key contributor off the Hawks’ bench. He averaged a career-high 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 80 games for the Hawks during the 2013-14 season and shot a career-high .392 from three-point range over 75 games during the 2015-16 season.

The 6-8, 237-pound forward has appeared in 281 total games, averaging 7.1 points and 3.0 rebounds, over his NBA career. He has also appeared in 32 career playoff games, averaging 6.5 points and 3.2 rebounds.

A native of Chesapeake, VA, Scott was named to the All-ACC First Team as a senior at the University of Virginia after averaging 18.0 points and 8.3 rebounds. He finished third in Cavaliers history in rebounds and double-doubles and 16th overall in points.

Raptors sign Malcolm Miller and Alfonzo McKinnie

The Toronto Raptors have signed guard-forward Malcolm Miller to a two-way contract and forward Alfonzo McKinnie to a multi-year contract.

Miller, 6-foot-7, 210 pounds, averaged 7.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 18.7 minutes in 29 games last season for Alba Berlin of the German Bundesliga. In 2015-16, he averaged 12.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 31.9 minutes in 47 games for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA G League and was second on the team with 84 made three-pointers.

A native of Laytonsville, Maryland, Miller played four seasons at Holy Cross and was named Second-Team All-Patriot League during his senior year.

McKinnie, 6-foot-8, 215 pounds, averaged 14.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 30.5 minutes in 50 games last season for the Windy City Bulls of the NBA G League. He reached double-figure scoring 41 times, including a season-high 29 points March 4 versus Sioux Falls. The Chicago, Illinois native was named to the 2017 NBA G League All-Star Game in New Orleans and scored 16 points in 22 minutes of action.

McKinnie won a silver medal for USA Basketball at the 2016 FIBA 3×3 World Championship in Guangzhou, China. He split the 2015-16 season between the East Side Pirates (Luxembourg) and Heromsillo (Mexico), where he averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 26.0 minutes in 24 games.

McKinnie played two collegiate seasons with Wisconsin-Green Bay (2013-15) and two seasons at Eastern Illinois (2010-12).

Raptors sign rookie OG Anunoby

Raptors sign rookie OG Anunoby

The Toronto Raptors announced Sunday they have signed forward OG Anunoby (O G Ann-uh-no-bee) to a rookie scale contract. Anunoby is under contract through the 2018-19 season, with two team option years to follow.

The Raptors selected Anunoby with the 23rd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Anunoby, 6-foot-8, 232 pounds, played two seasons at Indiana (2015-17), averaging 6.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 17.4 minutes. He totaled 48 steals and 47 blocks in 50 career games (10 starts).

Anunoby averaged 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 25.1 minutes this past season. He recorded at least one block or one steal in all 16 of his games played. Anunoby set career highs of 21 points November 27 versus Mississippi Valley State and seven steals January 15 versus Rutgers. He sustained a season-ending injury to his right knee January 18 at Penn State.

Markelle Fultz injury update

Markelle Fultz injury update

Sixers guard Markelle Fultz was evaluated following an injury to his left ankle, which was suffered in the third quarter of a Summer League game against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, July 8 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Fultz underwent X-rays, which were negative, and the injury was determined to be a lateral ankle sprain. He will miss the remainder of Summer League and is expected to return to normal basketball activities in 1-2 weeks.

bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed rookie Sterling Brown to a contract.

Additionally, the Bucks signed undrafted rookie Jalen Moore to a Two-Way contract.

Brown, the 46th overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft, was acquired by the Bucks on July 6 from Philadelphia for cash considerations. A 6-foot-6 guard from SMU, Brown played four seasons with the Mustangs, appearing in a program-record 136 games with 106 starts. As a senior in 2016-17, he was named to the All-AAC Second Team after averaging 13.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game while shooting a conference-high 44.9 percent from 3-point range. In his four seasons at SMU, Brown set the school record for career wins (109) and is second all-time with a 45.1 3-point shooting percentage for his career. Brown is a native of Maywood, Ill., and is the brother of Shannon Brown, who spent nine seasons in the NBA from 2006-2015.

Moore was named to the All-Mountain West Second Team after averaging 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 31 games (all starts) for Utah State as a senior. A 6-8 forward, he is one of only three players in program annals to lead the Aggies in scoring and rebounds for three seasons. Moore started in 91 of 92 games over his last three seasons. Over his four years at Utah State, he shot 47.4 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from 3-point range.

NBA rules permit teams 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 Bucks will provide services primarily for the team’s NBA G League affiliate – the Wisconsin Herd – but can spend up to 45 days with Milwaukee, not including any time prior to the start of the Herd’s training camp and at the conclusion of his season.

Brown and Moore are currently competing with the Bucks entry in the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Sixers sign JJ Redick and Amir Johnson

sixers sign jj redick

Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today that the team has signed guard JJ Redick and forward Amir Johnson.

A 6-foot-4 guard, Redick finished 2016-17 with the Los Angeles Clippers averaging 15 points and two assists in 28 minutes per game while shooting 43 percent from three-point range and 89 percent from the free-throw line over 78 appearances (all starts).

“We are really excited to add one of the game’s truly elite shooters in JJ Redick, who should fit perfectly with our pace-and-space offense. JJ works as hard as anyone in the league to get open looks, but his job will be made easier with the playmaking and facilitating mindset of players like Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric and Ben Simmons,” Sixers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo said.

Entering his 11th season, the 33-year-old holds the league’s 14th-highest all-time three-point percentage at 42 percent. He has finished in the top five in three-point percentage the last three seasons, including first in 2015-16, shooting a career-best 48 percent clip from beyond the arc. The Duke product was drafted with the 11th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic after he was named 2006 Associated Press Collegiate Player of the Year.

All told, he’s played in 690 career games (319 starts) with the Clippers, Milwaukee and Orlando and holds averages of 12 points, two rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes per game. He’s shot 45 percent from the field, 42 percent from three-point range and 89 percent from the free-throw line (10th all-time).

Sixers sign Amir Johnson

A 6-foot-9 forward, Johnson has appeared in 745 career games (461 starts) with Boston, Toronto and Detroit. He holds career averages of eight points, six rebounds and one assist in 22 minutes per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 67 percent from the free-throw line. His 57.4 percent field-goal percentage ranks seventh-best in NBA history and fourth among active players. This past season with Boston, Johnson posted seven points, five rebounds and a career-high two assists per contest.

“Amir Johnson is an ideal veteran addition for our young basketball team. Amir is that iron horse type of producer who impacts a team in so many positive ways on the court, but his value will also be felt in the locker room and in our community,” Colangelo said.

A 12-year NBA veteran, Johnson averaged 10 points per game in back-to-back seasons from 2012-14 with Toronto. He was originally selected in the second round (56th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft by Detroit out of Westchester High School in Los Angeles, California. He was a 2005 McDonald’s All-American.

Redick will wear No. 17 with Philadelphia, while Johnson will don No. 5. The duo will be introduced at a press conference today at 6 p.m. PT in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center in the Strip View Pavilion Room. More information relating to the press conference will be disseminated later this afternoon.

Sixers sign rookie Markelle Fultz

Sixers sign rookie Markelle Fultz

Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today that the team has signed guard Markelle Fultz to his rookie contract. This was a mere formality, as first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they wish to begin their NBA career right away.

“Markelle Fultz possesses elite basketball skills, instincts and talent which prompted us to move up to No. 1 and add him to our talented young core of players. At only 19 years of age, the sky is the limit for Markelle and we could not be happier to have him join our Sixers family,” Sixers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo said.

A 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard, Fultz played one collegiate season at Washington prior to being chosen first overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by Philadelphia. He averaged team-highs of 23 points (sixth in NCAA) and six assists to go along with six rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes per game. He was just the second NCAA freshman to average 23 points, five rebounds and five assists per game since 1992-93.

Fultz was a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, which has been presented annually to the outstanding collegiate basketball Player of the Year since 1976. He was selected First Team All-Pac-12 and was named an Associated Press Third Team All-American.

Fultz was a member of the 2016 Team USA Under-18 team that won the FIBA Americas World Championships last July. He was named MVP of the FIBA Americas Championships after averaging 14 points, five assists and three steals per game on 55 percent shooting from the floor.

Fultz is from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. He graduated from DeMatha Catholic High School where he was a 2016 McDonald’s All-American. In his senior season, he led DeMatha to the Maryland Private School League Championship, while setting the school’s single-season record for assists with 278.

Rockets sign rookie Cameron Oliver

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed rookie free agent Cameron Oliver.

Oliver (6-8, 239) was an early entry candidate for the 2017 NBA Draft following his sophomore season at Nevada, during which he averaged 16.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. In addition to being named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, Oliver was voted All-Conference First Team by media and was a Second Team selection by coaches. He was awarded Mountain West Freshman of the Years honors by media in 2015-16.

In only two seasons with the Wolf Pack, Oliver recorded the third-most blocks in school history. At 6’8”, he ranked 13th in the nation in blocks per game as both a freshman and a sophomore.

This past season, Oliver hit 66 3-pointers on 38.4% shooting, up from 20 3FGM on 32.8% shooting as a freshman. He also more than doubled his assist total from his freshman season in nearly the identical number of minutes played.

Oliver is currently playing for the Rockets in the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Warriors sign rookie Jordan Bell

The Golden State Warriors have signed rookie forward Jordan Bell to a contract. The Warriors acquired the draft rights to Bell, the 38th overall selection in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft, from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for cash considerations on June 22.

Bell, 22, posted career highs of 10.9 points and 8.8 rebounds to go with 2.3 blocks (second in the Pac-12) as a junior in 2016-17, earning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors. Bell (6’9”, 224) compiled career averages of 7.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 steals, 2.3 blocks and 24.9 minutes in 104 games over three seasons at Oregon, garnering Second Team All-Pac-12 accolades last season. Oregon’s career leader in blocked shots (235) and field goal percentage (.610), Bell helped the Ducks advance to the 2017 Final Four with an 11-point, 13-rebound, eight-block performance in a win over Kansas in the Elite Eight. In a Final Four matchup with North Carolina, he scored 13 points to go with a career-high 16 rebounds against the eventual champion Tar Heels.

A native of Long Beach, Calif., Bell is currently with the Warriors Summer League team in Las Vegas.

Rockets sign James Harden to contract extension

Houston Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander announced today that the team has signed guard James Harden to a four-year contract extension which will run through the 2022-23 season.

According to the Houston Chronicle, “As expected for weeks, the Rockets signed Harden, 27, the full designated player veteran extension, an agreement that tacks four seasons on to the two remaining from his extension last summer in a contract worth roughly $228 million over six seasons.”

“It’s my pleasure to announce we’ve reached agreement with James Harden on a long term contract extension. Since he arrived in Houston, James has exhibited the incredible work ethic, desire to win, and passion to be the best that has made him one of the most unique and talented superstars in the history of the game,” said Alexander. “Additionally, the commitment he has shown to our organization, the City of Houston, and Rockets fans all over the world makes him a perfect leader in our pursuit of another championship. I’m very happy for James, his mother Monja, and their family on this exciting day.”

“Houston is home for me,” said Harden. “Mr. Alexander has shown he is fully committed to winning and my teammates and I are going to keep putting in the work to get better and compete for the title.”

More from the Chronicle: “Depending on future salary-cap figures, Harden, a 6-5 guard, could be paid close to $47 million in the final season of his contract, 2022-23. The $42.5 million per season he will earn when the extension kicks in will surpass the five-year, $201 million extension Golden State’s Stephen Curry signed last week.”

The Rockets have made the playoffs in all five of Harden’s seasons with the team, while posting a winning percentage of .612. He has been named First Team All NBA in three of the past four seasons and finished second in voting for the Most Valuable Player award in both 2014-15 and 2016-17.

This past season, Harden set career-highs in scoring (29.1 ppg, 2nd in NBA), rebounding (8.1 rpg), and assists (11.2 apg, 1st in NBA) while helping Houston to the league’s third-best record at 55-27. He joined Oscar Robertson (3 times) as the only players to have averaged at least 29.0 points, 11.0 assists and 8.0 rebounds in a single season.

Harden totaled 2,356 points, 907 assists, and 659 rebounds in 2016-17. He became the first player in NBA history to record at least 2,000 points, 900 assists, and 600 rebounds in a single season.

In addition to his 29.1 points per game, Harden also accounted for 27.1 points per game by way of assists. That combined average of 56.2 ppg ranked as the second-highest single season total in NBA history, trailing only Nate Archibald’s 56.8 in 1972-73.

Since joining the Rockets prior to the 2012-13 season, Harden ranks first in the league in scoring (10,823 points; 890 more than any other player), fourth in assists (2,985), fourth in steals (671), third in 3-pointers made (1,062), as well as first in both free throws made (3,431) and attempted (3,999).

The Sacramento Kings have signed 2017 first round draft selections De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles to contracts, according to General Manager Vlade Divac.

Tabbed with the fifth overall pick, Fox was just one of four freshman in the nation to average at least 16.7 points (.479 FG%, .246 3pt%, .736 FT%), 4.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest. A Bob Cousy Award finalist, he paced the SEC in assist average and earned Third Team All-American honors by CBS Sports, USA Today and ESPN, as well as AP Honorable Mention accolades. The 6-3, 170-pound guard posted 22.0 points (.618 FG%, 3-5 3pt, .700 FT%), 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists en route to MVP honors during the Wildcats 2017 SEC Championship run, including a Kentucky freshman tournament-record 28 points versus Alabama in the semifinals. He later encored the performance in the Sweet 16 with 39 points (13-20 FG) against UCLA, the most ever by a freshman in a tournament game.

A junior out of North Carolina, Jackson was taken 15th overall after averaging 18.3 points, a career-high 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists as a consensus First Team All-American and ACC Player of the Year while helping lead UNC to the 2017 NCAA Championship. His 239 points scored in the tournament were the second-most in school history. In North Carolina’s six NCAA Tournament wins, Jackson paced the Tar Heels in scoring (19.5 ppg), field goals (41), three-pointers (15), assists (22) and steals (9). He also set a new single-season UNC mark with 105 three pointers made. He joins Rick Fox as the only Heels with 1,600 career points, 150 three-pointers, 400 rebounds and 300 assists.

An early entry candidate selected 20th overall, Giles accrued averages of 3.9 points (.577 FG%, 12-24 FT), 3.8 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 11.5 minutes, ranking fourth among ACC players with at least 150 minutes on the season in rebounds per 40 minutes (13.3). The 6-10 forward recorded a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double effort against Georgia Tech and a season-high 12 points versus Boston College before playing an integral role in the ACC Tournament semifinals, posting six points, seven rebounds and four blocks in just 15 minutes in a win over eventual national champion North Carolina. As a prep talent out of Oak Hill and Wesleyan Christian Academies, Giles was honored as a First Team All-USA selection by USA Today, a Third Team Naismith Trophy All-American and Fourth Team Max Preps All American as a junior in 2015 after averaging 23.9 points and 12.5 rebounds to lead Wesleyan Christian to a NCISAA 3A runner-up finish.

Knicks sign Tim Hardaway Jr

New York Knicks General Manager Steve Mills announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Tim Hardaway Jr.

The Knicks paid full price for the signing. Per multiple reports, the contract is worth $71 million over four years.

Hardaway, 6-5, 205-pounds, returns to the Knicks after two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. During the 2016-17 season, the former 2013 first-round draft choice of New York recorded career-highs in scoring (14.5 ppg), assists (2.3 apg), rebounds (2.8 rpg), minutes played (27.3), field goal percentage (.455), three-point makes (149) and attempts (417) and free throw makes (164) and attempts (214). Overall, the four-year NBA professional has appeared in 281 games - with 62 starts - to average 11.0 points and 23.4 minutes.

“Bringing back Tim to his original NBA home is an exciting time for him and this franchise,” Mills said. “As a versatile wing whose game continues to improve, he will fit right into the core of players that make up a roster emphasizing youth, athleticism, accountability and unselfishness.”

The 25-year-old Orinda, CA-native was originally selected by New York with the 24th overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft and had appeared in 151 total games for the Knicks over two seasons to average 10.8 points over 23.5 minutes, before being traded to the Hawks in exchange for the draft rights to Jerian Grant on Jun. 25, 2015. Hardaway holds the Knicks’ franchise rookie records for three-pointers made in a season (130) and three-point field goals attempted in a single game (12) and in a season (358), earning 2014 NBA All-Rookie First Team honors. His father, five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, is currently an assistant coach for Detroit.

No need to panic. No need for alarm. There is no reason to go too wild in reaction to a rookie’s first game in Las Vegas at Summer League. Anyway, here’s ESPN.com reporting on the No. 2 pick in the 2017 Draft, Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball:

Lonzo Ball struggles in NBA Summer League debut

The Clippers defeated the Lakers 96-93. Ball scored five points on 2-for-15 shooting, dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds…

The Lonzo Ball era began with a bang as it took less than 30 seconds for the second overall pick to deliver a highlight play with his first assist coming on an alley-oop pass to Brandon Ingram.

Despite the fact that Lonzo struggled with his shot — going just 1-for-11 from 3-point range — LaVar said the Rookie of the Year contest won’t be much of a contest.

“Rookie of the Year man, sewn up,” LaVar said.

Heat re-sign James Johnson

Heat re-sign James Johnson

The Miami HEAT have re-signed forward James Johnson.

“James Johnson epitomizes everything that the Miami HEAT is about,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He came in, made a promise to us and then fulfilled that promise by becoming a world class athlete thus leading to the best season he has had in the NBA. Today, he is being rewarded for the fulfillment of that promise. We will continue to push him to get him to an even higher level. His signing today, for me personally and the coaching staff, is one of our happiest signings. We are happy for James and his family as we look for him to have an even greater year next season.”

Johnson appeared in 76 games (five starts) with the HEAT last season and averaged 12.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.13 blocks, 1.00 steals and 27.4 minutes while shooting 47.9 percent from the field. The eight-year NBA veteran set single-season career highs last season in every major category including points (975), rebounds (376), assists (276), steals (76), blocks (86), field goals made (368), three-point field goals made (87) and free throws made (152). He led the team in plus/minus (+138) and his improvement from 2015-16 to last season in Miami was the largest in the NBA when factoring points, rebounds and assists per game averages, nobody in the league improved in each of those three categories more. Johnson was Miami’s leading scorer off the bench 27 times and topped the HEAT reserves in assists a team-high 43 times, in blocks on 38 occasions, in rebounds a team-high 31 times and in steals 28 times. He posted nine 20-point games as a reserve, tying for the fourth-most during a single-season in HEAT history, as Miami totaled 22 such games off the bench, the most in team history. He tallied 884 points, 341 rebounds and 248 assists as a reserve, and along with Tyler Johnson, they became the only set of teammates in the entire NBA to each record at least 600 points, 250 rebounds and 200 assists off the bench. On the defensive end, Johnson was in isolation situations 53 times last season, giving up just 22 percent (9-of-41) shooting to the player he was guarding, marking the second-lowest percentage in the entire NBA by player with at least that many isolation situations. Additionally, he gave up just 0.49 points per isolation possession (26 total), also the second-lowest in the league with at least 53 isolation situations.

Johnson has appeared in 474 regular season career games (145 starts) and averaged 7.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 19.7 minutes while shooting 47.7 percent from the floor.

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