Cavaliers re-sign James Jones

Cavaliers re-sign James Jones

The Cavaliers have re-signed guard/forward James Jones.

“We’re very happy to have James back with the Cavaliers,” said Cavs General Manager David Griffin. “He is a Champion in every sense of the word and his leadership and professionalism over the last two years have translated with our team in many different ways that have helped us reach our goals. ‘Champ’ delivers a clear reflection of what success at the highest level should embody and his contributions and commitment to our team are something we need and appreciate greatly.”

Jones doesn’t play much. When he is on the court, he’s mostly there to shoot three-pointers.

Jones (6-8, 218) has spent the past two seasons with Cleveland after originally signing as a free agent with the team on August 5, 2014. Last season, Jones appeared in 48 games for the Cavaliers and averaged 3.7 points in 9.6 minutes, while shooting .394 from the three-point line and .808 from the free throw line. For his career, the 13-year NBA veteran has played in 661 regular season games (91 starts) with averages of 5.4 points and 1.9 rebounds in 16.2 minutes per game with Miami, Portland, Phoenix, Indiana and Cleveland.

Jones also played in 12 games during Cleveland’s championship run in the 2016 Playoffs. He has been a member of three NBA title teams (2012, 2013, 2016), appearing in 140 postseason contests over his career.

Spurs sign David Lee

Spurs sign David Lee

The Spurs today officially signed forward-center David Lee.

Lee, 6-9/245, is a two-time NBA All-Star (2010, 2013) who was named to the All-NBA Third Team in 2013. An NBA Champion with Golden State in 2015, Lee has played 750 career games and holds averages of 14.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 30.4 minutes while shooting .533 (4,339-8,146) from the floor and .774 (1,977-2,553) from the free throw line.

Lee brings good offense and rebounding, but his defensive ability has generally needed improvement.

With the legendary Tim Duncan having retired from basketball, the Spurs big-man rotation boasts impressive starters but a limited bench, so the Lee signing should help. The likely starter at power forward is LaMarcus Aldridge and at center is new addition Pau Gasol. Lee is now their most talented big reserve.

The 11-year veteran finished last season with the Dallas Mavericks, where he averaged 8.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists while shooting .636 (91-143) from the floor in 17.3 minutes over 25 games. Lee started the year with the Boston Celtics and averaged 7.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30 appearances before being waived on Feb. 19.

Originally drafted by New York in the first round (30th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft, the former Florida Gator spent his first five NBA seasons (2005-10) with the Knicks and averaged 13.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 30.1 minutes over 368 games. Lee was traded to Golden State following the 2009-10 season and would go on to average 16.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 33.2 minutes over 327 appearances with the Warriors before being dealt to Boston on July 9, 2015.

Lee is one of just three players in the NBA to total at least 10,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 1,500 assists over the last 10 seasons, along with current Spur Pau Gasol and former San Antonio forward Tim Duncan.

Bucks re-sign Miles Plumlee

Bucks re-sign Miles Plumlee

The Bucks have re-signed restricted free agent center Miles Plumlee, the team has announced.

“Miles is an athletic big man that gives us added depth on the frontline,” said Bucks General Manager John Hammond. “He does a really good job as a finisher around the basket and also as a rim protector on the defensive end. We’re very happy to have him back with the Bucks.”

The 27-year-old Plumlee averaged 5.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game last season. He played in 61 games (14 starts) and shot a career- and team-high 60.1 percent from the field.

The 6-11 center enters his fifth NBA campaign with career averages of 5.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Originally drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the first round (26th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, Plumlee has appeared in 228 career games (121 starts) with the Pacers, Phoenix Suns and Bucks.

Knicks sign J.P. Tokoto

Knicks sign J.P. Tokoto

The Knicks signed guard J.P. Tokoto today.

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume this deal merely brings Tokoto to Knicks training camp, where he’d have a chance to earn a regular season contract.

Tokoto, 6-6, 200-pounds, spent last season playing for the Oklahoma City Blue (D-League) where he averaged 11.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.54 steals in 28.6 minutes in 48 games (25 starts).

He was drafted by the Sixers in the second round (58th overall) of the 2015 NBA Draft after playing three seasons at the University of North Carolina (2012-15). As a senior, Tokoto averaged 8.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.47 steals over 29.1 minutes in 38 games (34 starts).

The Rockford, IL-native, appeared in five games for the Knicks’ entry in the 2016 Orlando Pro Summer League, averaging 10.2 points and 4.2 rebounds over 27.0 minutes.

Likely Knicks starters in the backcourt next season are Derrick Rose and Courtney Lee. Minutes off the bench will likely go to guards Brandon Jennings and perhaps Sasha Vujacic and/or Justin Holiday.

Knicks sign guard Ron Baker

Knicks sign guard Ron Baker

The Knicks signed guard Ron Baker today.

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume this signing merely brings Baker to Knicks training camp.

The Hays, KS-native, appeared in five games for the Knicks summer league team in this year’s Orlando League, averaging 14.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.80 steals over 29.6 minutes.

Baker, 6-4, 220-pounds, played four seasons at Wichita State University, averaging 13.2 points, on 43.3-percent shooting, with 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.31 steals over 30.6 minutes in 124 games. He was a part of three Missouri Valley Conference championships (2013, 2014, 2015), nine NCAA Tournament wins, two trips to the Sweet 16 (2013, 2015) and a trip to the 2013 Final Four. As a senior (2015-16), he averaged 14.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.51 steals over 31.6 minutes in 35 games. His postseason honors included: John R. Wooden Second Team All-American; USA Today Second Team All-American and 2015 finalist for Jerry West Award.

Delon Wright undergoes shoulder surgery

Delon Wright undergoes shoulder surgery

Raptors guard Delon Wright underwent arthroscopic shoulder stabilization today to fix a labral tear in his right shoulder. The procedure was performed by Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Wright sustained the injury July 16 in the fourth quarter of a Las Vegas Summer League game versus Minnesota. X-rays taken on-site at Thomas & Mack Center were negative for a fracture and his dislocated shoulder was put back in place. Additional testing revealed a torn labrum.

Wright is expected to be sidelined a minimum of four months.

Wright, the 20th overall pick by the Raptors in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft, averaged 3.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 8.5 minutes in 27 appearances last season.

The Bucks have signed 2016 draft picks Thon Maker (10th overall) and Malcolm Brogdon (36th overall).

Maker played two seasons for the Athlete Institute Academy in Mono, Ontario, which plays in the seven-team Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association. Maker was selected League MVP, Finals MVP and First-Team All-Star following the 2015-16 season. He led the Canada Elite AAU team to the title game of the Under Armour 17-and-under league after averaging 16.5 points and 11.8 rebounds during the finals in 2015. The 19-year-old also represented the World Select Team at the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit.

Originally from South Sudan, Maker emigrated to Australia with his family when he was eight years old before moving to the United States as a teen to play high school basketball for Carlisle High School in Martinsville, Va., where he averaged 21.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 4.2 blocks per game and was named Gatorade Virginia Boys Basketball Player of the Year in 2013-14.

In five NBA Summer League games, Maker averaged 14.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game which earned him All-NBA Summer League Second Team honors.

Brogdon played four years of college basketball at Virginia and averaged 18.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game as a senior in 2015-16. He was named the 2016 ACC Player of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first player in conference history to earn both honors in the same season. The 23-year-old was also a unanimous First Team All-American selection in 2016. He was also named to the All-ACC First Team as a junior (2015) and sophomore (2014). Brogdon concluded his Virginia career ranked ninth all-time in school history with 1,809 points scored. The Virginia product is a native of Atlanta, Ga., and played high school basketball at Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross, Ga.).

In five NBA Summer League games, Brogdon averaged 10.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He was one of 25 players chosen – including teammate Jabari Parker - for the 2016 USA Men’s Select Team that trained with the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s National Team during its training camp in Las Vegas, Nev.

Cavaliers waive Dahntay Jones

Cavaliers waive Dahntay Jones

The Cavaliers have waived guard/forward Dahntay Jones, it was announced today by Cavs General Manager David Griffin.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, today marked “two days before his $1.5 million contract for this season would have become guaranteed.”

Jones was signed by the Cavaliers on April 13, 2016, He had a very limited role on the team and was mostly an observer, appearing in one regular season game and 15 postseason games this past season.

Rockets sign Pablo Prigioni

Rockets sign Pablo Prigioni

The Rockets are limited at the point guard position, with Patrick Beverley and little else. Today they added depth to the spot with the signing of free agent guard Pablo Prigioni (pronunciation: pri-gee-OH-nee).

The team is still weak at the PG spot, especially with many of the NBA’s elite point guards residing in the Western conference. Though, shooting guard James Harden creates a lot of the team’s offense.

The 6-3, 185-pound Prigioni has appeared in 270 games with 51 starts across four NBA seasons while posting an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.98. Dating back to 2012-13, he is one of 10 players with at least 270 games played to have more steals than turnovers, joining teammates Trevor Ariza and Corey Brewer. Prigioni spent the second half of the 2014-15 season with the Rockets and helped the team advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1996-97.

A native of Argentina, Prigioni has been playing professionally since he was 18 years old.

He will wear #9 for the Rockets.

Spurs sign Patricio Garino

The Spurs have signed forward Patricio Garino.

Until we hear otherwise, we’ll assume this is a non-guaranteed contract that just brings Garino to training camp.

Garino, 6-6/210, spent the past four seasons at George Washington University. In his final season, he helped guide the Colonials to the 2016 NIT Championship and was named to the All-Tournament Team. He earned Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team and the All-Conference Second Team honors after averaging 14.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.37 steals in 32.0 minutes, while shooting .510 (203-398) from the field and .430 (58-135) from three-point range.

Garino was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team in each of his final three seasons. For his collegiate career he averaged 12.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.71 steals in 30.1 minutes while shooting .508 (567-1,1167) from the field and .364 (102-280) from long range. He ranks third in school history on George Washington’s career steals list (219) and is 11th all-time in scoring (1,536 points).

A native of Mar del Plata, Argentina, Garino is a member of the Argentinian National Team and is a currently preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympics. He represented Argentina at the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship where the team won the silver medal.

Garino played on the Orlando Magic’s 2016 NBA Summer League team, where he averaged 12.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.00 steals in 30.7 minutes over three games.

Cavaliers re-sign Richard Jefferson

That whole Richard Jefferson retirement thing didn’t work out

Cavaliers re-sign Richard Jefferson

Richard Jefferson’s alleged retirement was short-lived. He’s back for more run with the champs. The Cavaliers re-signed veteran Jefferson today.

“RJ’s versatility on the court and leadership off it were core parts of our identity and success last year,” said Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin. “In many respects, his impact was greater as the stakes got higher. His NBA Finals performance is a testament to his dedicated, steady approach and his presence in our locker room throughout the year and postseason cannot be overstated. We’re very thankful he decided to continue his career and we know that his teammates appreciate what he brings to this team at a very deep level.”

Jefferson (6-7, 233) appeared in 74 games (five starts) during the 2015-16 regular season, averaging 5.5 points on .458 shooting from the field and 1.7 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game. Over his 15-year career, he has played in 1,082 games (796 starts) with New Jersey (currently Brooklyn), Milwaukee, San Antonio, Golden State, Utah, Dallas and Cleveland, averaging 13.3 points on .464 shooting from the field, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 30.1 minutes per game.

It’s always interesting finding out which NYC neighborhood Knicks or Nets players choose to live in. Why, you ask? The Nets’ practice facility is now in Brooklyn, same as their arena. So at this point it’s pretty obvious that Brooklyn is convenient for Nets players. But the Knicks play in midtown Manhattan while practicing at a facility up in Westchester. Big separation there. If a Knicks player wants a house and some space, Westchester is usually the place. But if he wants to walk outside and have NYC action and Madison Square Garden right outside their door (or fairly close), Manhattan is the spot.

As for Kristaps Porzingis, here’s the New York Post reporting:

Kristaps Porzingis finds apartment rental in midtown Manhattan

The 7-foot-3-inch player has leased a corner penthouse that was asking $8,000 a month at Sky, the mammoth rental tower at 605 W. 42nd St.

He also nabbed another two high-floor units for his two brothers, Martins and Janis, because “they are close and like to be near each other,” a source said…

Porzingis’ units have city skyline and river views, floor-to-ceiling windows, chef’s kitchen and spa-like bathrooms.

Salt Lake City Stars name head coach

The Salt Lake City Stars, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Utah Jazz, announced today that Dean Cooper will return as head coach for the team’s inaugural 2016-17 season in Salt Lake City.

Cooper enters his third season as the head coach for the Jazz’s D-League affiliate. Before joining the organization in 2014, Cooper spent two seasons as an assistant coach for the Houston Rockets on Kevin McHale’s staff. He began his NBA career with the Rockets in 1999 as a video coordinator, eventually becoming an assistant coach to Rudy Tomjanovich. When Jeff Van Gundy succeeded Tomjanovich, Cooper transitioned to the front office as a personnel scout for one season before eventually becoming the Director of Scouting (2004-07) and Vice President of Player Personnel (2007-08).

He spent the 2008-09 season as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves when McHale was the interim coach. Following a one-year stint as a regional scout for the Timberwolves (2009-10), Cooper became Director of Player Development for the Portland Trail Blazers under Nate McMillan.

Prior to the NBA, Cooper coached four years at the collegiate level.

The Salt Lake City Stars, the NBA D-League team owned and operated by the Utah Jazz, will play their inaugural season in Utah in 2016-17. The Utah Jazz relocated the Boise-based Idaho Stampede in April 2016 after purchasing the team in March 2015 following a single affiliation agreement for the 2014 season.

Wizards re-sign Marcus Thornton

Wizards re-sign Marcus Thornton

The Wizards have re-signed guard Marcus Thornton.

“Marcus is a proven veteran who gives us experience and scoring off the bench and will add depth at the two-guard position,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld.

Starting for the Wizards in the backcourt are John Wall at point guard and Bradley Beal at shooting guard.

Thornton averaged 8.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game in 14 contests with the Wizards last season after being signed as a free agent on March 9. He scored 10+ points on five different occasions and led the team in scoring twice. The 6-4 LSU product holds career averages of 12.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting .426 from the field and .359 from three-point range in 450 career games (134 starts) over seven seasons with New Orleans, Sacramento, Brooklyn, Boston, Phoenix, Houston and Washington.

Thornton averaged 14.7 points over his first four NBA seasons, including a career-best 18.7 points per game for the Kings in 2011-12, and has averaged at least 9.7 ppg in six of his seven full NBA seasons. He was drafted 43rd overall by the Heat in 2009 after playing two seasons at LSU and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team after averaging 14.5 points in his first season (09-10).

Mavericks sign Keith Hornsby and Jameel Warney

The Mavericks on Wednesday signed free agent guard Keith Hornsby and free agent forward Jameel Warney.

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume these signings merely bring these players to training camp, where they will then try to earn a regular season contract.

Hornsby (6-4, 210) went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft after a 1,000-point collegiate career at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and Louisiana State University. After graduating from prep power Oak Hill Academy, Hornsby began his collegiate career at UNC-Asheville before transferring to LSU for his junior and senior seasons.

In two years at LSU, the Williamsburg, Va., native played in 53 games (52 starts) and finished with averages of 13.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 33.6 minutes. As a senior, Hornsby averaged 13.1 points, second on the team to 2016 NBA Draft first overall pick Ben Simmons, before his year was cut short by a season-ending abdominal injury that required surgery.

Warney (6-8, 260) played in all six games for the Mavericks at the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. He averaged 6.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 block in 16.5 minutes per contest. He led Dallas in field goal percentage, shooting .593 from the floor while making .875 from the foul line.

The native of New Brunswick, N.J., went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft after four successful seasons at Stony Brook University where he averaged 15.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.0 blocks and 30.7 minutes in 135 career collegiate games. In his senior season with the Seawolves, Warney averaged 19.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 3.0 blocks in 33 games on his way to earning America East Player and Defensive Player of the Year. He finished his career at Stony Brook as the school’s all-time leader in points (2,132), rebounds (1,275), blocks (275) and games (135).

Blazers sign CJ McCollum to contract extension

The Trail Blazers today signed guard CJ McCollum to a contract extension to bring him under contract through the 2020-21 season, president of basketball operations Neil Olshey announced.

It is reportedly a four-year extension, worth $106 million total.

The reigning winner of the Most Improved Player Award, McCollum averaged 20.8 points (44.8% FG, 41.7% 3PT, 82.7% FT), 3.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.21 steals and 34.8 minutes in 80 games (all starts) last season.

“I’m ecstatic to be able to extend my career in Portland and grateful for the trust and the opportunity the organization has provided for me,” said McCollum. “Since I arrived in Oregon I’ve considered it home and look forward to building something special, not only on the court, but in the community as well.”

Portland selected McCollum, 24, with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft out of Lehigh University.

“CJ is a foundational player and an essential member of the core of this team,” said Olshey. “We are excited about his long term commitment to our organization”

In three seasons with the Trail Blazers, McCollum holds averages of 12.7 points (44.3% FG, 40.8% 3PT, 78.4% FT), 2.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.86 steals and 23.5 minutes in 180 career games (83 starts).

McCollum increased his scoring average by 14.0 points from the 2014-15 season last year and finished ninth in the NBA with 197 3-pointers, the fourth-most by a Trail Blazer in a single season and the most by a Trail Blazer while shooting at least 40% from the three-point line.

Anderson Varejao will miss Olympics with back injury

Warriors center Anderson Varejao was examined earlier in the week week by Dr. Robert Watkins at the Marina Spine Center in Marina Del Rey, CA, and was diagnosed with a small lower back disc herniation. He is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, but will be forced to miss the 2016 Summer Olympics due to the injury. He is from Brazil, who is this year’s Olympic host country.

Varejao recently experienced back pain while participating with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Watkins, a renowned spine specialist.

Suns coaching staff announced

Suns coaching staff announced

The Suns have announced Head Coach Earl Watson’s coaching staff, naming Jay Triano associate head coach, Tyrone Corbin and Nate Bjorkgren assistant coaches, Marlon Garnett assistant coach/player development coordinator, and Scott Duncan and Jason Fraser player development coaches.

“As a family we are excited with the additions we have made into our program,” said Watson. “Each coach possesses a unique passion to teach, and the chemistry of our staff is as important as the structure of our roster. We are very lucky to have this creative group assembled.”

Triano comes to the Suns following four seasons as an assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers including in Watson’s final season as a player in 2013-14. Formerly the head coach of the Toronto Raptors from 2008-11, Triano was the first Canadian-born head coach in NBA history. Prior to his three seasons as head coach of the Raptors, he was an assistant coach with the team for six seasons from 2002-08.

In addition to his NBA coaching experience, Triano is head coach of the men’s national team for Canada Basketball, named to the position in 2012. For Triano, who led Canada to a silver medal finish at the 2015 Pan American Games, this is his second time as the head coach of the Canadian men’s national team after also holding the position from 1999-2004. In 1999, Triano led Canada to silver at the Tournament of the Americas to qualify for the 2000 Sydney Olympics where the nation placed seventh.

Between his tenures with Canada Basketball, Triano worked with USA Basketball as an assistant coach on the 2010 USA National Team that won gold in the FIBA World Championship over host country Turkey. Triano also served as an assistant coach for USA Select teams that trained against the national teams in 2007 and 2008, and as head coach of the Select Team in 2012. Triano has also served as a coach with Basketball Without Borders in Istanbul (2008), Senegal (2010), Slovenia (2011) and Australia (2011).

Triano, who played collegiately at Simon Fraser University where he was later head coach, played for the Canadian national team for 11 years from 1978-88 and was team captain from 1981-88. A native of Tillsonburg, Ontario, he represented Canada as a player in two Olympic Games (1984 and 1988), serving as captain in each. Following his playing career at Simon Fraser, Triano was selected in the eighth round of the 1981 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Corbin returns to Phoenix where he played in 107 games and averaged 8.1 points over two seasons with the Suns as a player from 1987-89. Combining nearly 30 years of experience as an NBA player and coach, Corbin spent parts of five seasons as a head coach with the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings. Most recently, he served as an assistant coach with the Kings before being promoted to interim head coach for 28 games in the 2014-15 season.

Prior to his time as a coach in Sacramento, Corbin spent four seasons as head coach of the Jazz, finishing with a winning record in two of his three full seasons at the helm. He led the Jazz to the playoffs in 2011-12 just missed the postseason in 2012-13 despite posting a 43-39 record. Joining Utah’s coaching staff in 2004, he spent seven seasons as an assistant before succeeding Jerry Sloan as the team’s head coach in the 2010-11 season. Corbin served as either an assistant or head coach for all of Watson’s three seasons as a player with the Jazz from 2010-13.

A 16-season NBA veteran as a player, Corbin averaged 9.2 points and 4.7 rebounds over 1,065 career games with nine teams. The DePaul product and Columbia, S.C., native was initially selected with the 35th overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs. His best statistical season came in 1990-91 when he averaged a career-high 18.0 points as well as 7.2 rebounds in 82 games with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Corbin originally joined the Suns along with Kevin Johnson and Mark West as part of trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the trade deadline in 1988. After playing parts of two seasons with Phoenix, he was selected by the Timberwolves in the NBA expansion draft.

Bjorkgren remains with the Suns after spending last season as assistant coach/player development coordinator with the team. He has also served as head coach of the Suns’ teams at NBA Summer League in each of the past two years, going 9-4 overall after a runner-up finish in 2015 and a semifinal appearance in 2016. Bjorkgren joined the Suns after four seasons as a head coach in the NBA Development League, leading the Bakersfield Jam, then the Suns’ affiliate, to a 34-16 record and Western Conference Semifinals appearance in 2014-15. Overall, he registered a 126-74 (.630) record as a head coach in the D-League.

A native of Storm Lake, Iowa, Bjorkgren played collegiately at Buena Vista University where he led the Beavers to their first conference title in 21 years in 1997. Bjorkgren’s ties to Arizona predate his time with the Suns as early in his coaching career he served as the head coach of Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek from 2004-07. The recipient of Arizona state high school coach of the year honors in 2005-06 and regional coach of the year honors in 2004-05 and 2005-06, Bjorkgren led the Falcons to the Class 4A state tournament in each of his three seasons with the school.

Garnett joins the Suns after most recently working in video and player development with the San Antonio Spurs. A former NBA player who appeared in 24 games with the Boston Celtics during the 1998-99 season, Garnett continued his professional career with clubs in Turkey, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Iran, Puerto Rico and Slovakia before his playing career came to an end in 2013.

Originally from Los Angeles, Calif., Garnett had a noteworthy collegiate career at Santa Clara where he spent three seasons as a teammate of two-time NBA MVP and Suns Ring of Honor member Steve Nash. Garnett teamed with Nash to help the Broncos to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 1995 and 1996. Following Nash’s departure, Garnett averaged 17.4 points as a senior in 1996-97 to earn West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors and give a Santa Clara player the award for the third straight year after Nash had won it the previous two seasons.

Duncan joins the Suns after spending the past six seasons as associate head coach at the University of Wyoming. With more than 35 total years of experience as a college basketball assistant coach, he has worked with programs that have advanced to postseason play in 22 of the last 29 seasons. In addition to his most recent tenure at Wyoming where he helped the Cowboys to a Mountain West tournament title and NCAA tournament berth in 2014-15, Duncan has worked as an assistant coach at UCLA, Oregon, Clemson, Washington State, Northern Illinois, Fresno State, New Mexico and Cleveland State.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Duncan graduated from the College of Wooster where he lettered two seasons as a basketball player with the Fighting Scots.

Fraser remains a player development coach with Phoenix after joining the organization in this position prior to last season. Before joining the Suns, he spent the 2014-15 season as an assistant coach alongside Watson with the Austin Spurs of the NBA D-League.

A standout player at Villanova from 2002-06, Fraser left the school ranked fifth on the all-time blocked shots list (172) and 22nd on the all-time rebounding list (637). As a junior in 2004-05, he helped the Wildcats to their first Sweet 16 appearance since 1988, then as a senior in 2005-06 contributed to Villanova’s Big East regular season championship and Elite Eight run in the NCAA tournament. After his collegiate career, Fraser played professionally overseas and for the Harlem Globetrotters before returning to Villanova as director of student-athlete development. The native of Amityville, N.Y., was named a McDonald’s All-American in 2002.

The Suns have also retained Chris Darnell as video coordinator and added Jason Tilton and Julian Mills as assistant video coordinators. Darnell, a former player at William & Mary, has spent the past four seasons working in video, player development and basketball operations with the Suns. Tilton joins the Suns after two seasons as director of basketball operations at Long Beach State, and brings experience on the staffs at St. John’s and Cal State Fullerton as well as a video coordinator with the Los Angeles Clippers. A graduate of UCLA, Tilton worked as a team manager with the Bruins during Watson’s playing career at the school. Mills most recently spent the 2015-16 season as a video intern with the Golden State Warriors. A former player at Baker University, he has also gained experience working with the San Antonio Spurs and USA Basketball.

In addition to the team’s coaching staff, the Suns have added Quinton Sawyer as assistant athletic trainer/sports science coordinator. Sawyer joins the Suns following five seasons as athletic trainer for the men’s basketball team at Michigan State. A native of Camden, N.C., and graduate of the University of North Carolina, Sawyer also possesses experience as a college athletic trainer at Campbell, Southeastern Louisiana and with the Tar Heels.

Celtics sign Tyler Zeller, Gerald Green, Jaylen Brown, Demetrius Jackson, Ben Bentil

The Celtics on Wednesday re-signed center Tyler Zeller and signed free agent guard/forward Gerald Green and 2016 draft picks forward Jaylen Brown, guard Demetrius Jackson and forward Ben Bentil.

Green, a 6’7” guard/forward, spent last season with the Miami Heat and averaged 8.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game. Originally drafted by the Celtics with the 18th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, Green has appeared in 497 games during his nine year NBA career posting averages of 10.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist while shooting 36.1 percent from the three-point line. During the 2013-14 season with Phoenix, he posted his highest scoring output with 15.8 points per game while shooting 40.0 percent from three and finished fourth in the voting for the league’s Most Improved Player.

Zeller, a 7’0” center, averaged 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per game last season for the Celtics. The 17th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Zeller holds career averages of 7.6 points and 3.1 rebounds in 19.1 minutes per contest. Zeller tied his career-high with 26 points against Milwaukee on April 8, 2016 to go along with a career-high-tying four blocks.

Brown was selected with the third overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He appeared in six games this summer for the Celtics split between the Utah and Samsung Summer Leagues in Las Vegas, averaging 16.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 29.0 minutes per game. He also attempted 10.2 free throws per game. Brown was named to the Samsung All-NBA Summer League Second Team in Las Vegas. The 6’7” forward from the University of California was selected to the five-player USBWA Freshman All-America team, was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and was the lone freshman this season to make the All-Pac 12 First Team.

Jackson, a 6’1” guard from the University of Notre Dame, was selected with the 45th overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft. He appeared in five contests for the Celtics during Las Vegas Summer League where he averaged 4.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 15.8 minutes per game. Jackson also played in three matchups for the Celtics during the Utah Summer League and averaged 7.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.3 steals in 18.0 minutes per game. As a junior at Notre Dame, he was named to the 2016 NCAA East Region All-Tournament Team and to the Second Team All-ACC. Jackson, a two-time Notre Dame Outstanding Playmaker Award winner, tallied 16.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.2 steals, while shooting 46.3 percent from the field in 36.1 minutes per game during the 2015-16 season. For his career, he shot 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Bentil, a 6’9” forward, was selected with the 51st overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft. He played in five matchups for the Celtics during Las Vegas Summer League where he averaged 1.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 7.4 minutes per game. Bentil also appeared in three contests for the team during the Utah Summer League and averaged 8.7 points on .533 shooting from the field and 4.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game. An Honorable Mention AP All-America, he led the Big East in scoring with 21.1 points per game, finished fourth in the league in rebounding (7.7 rpg) and shot 46.2 percent from the field during the 2015-16 season at Providence College. Bentil was also named Big East Most Improved Player and First-Team All-Big East in 2016.

Trail Blazers re-sign Maurice Harkless

Trail Blazers re-sign Maurice Harkless

The Trail Blazers on Wednesday re-signed forward Maurice Harkless.

According to the Oregonian, it is a four-year deal worth “upwards of $42 million.”

“Moe is an impact player with a bright future and a high upside,” said president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. “We look forward to his continued growth and are pleased he chose to make a long term commitment to the Trail Blazers.”

Harkless, 23, averaged 6.4 points (47.4% FG, 27.9% 3-PT, 62.2% FT), 3.6 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.62 steals and 18.7 minutes in 78 games (14 starts) with the Trail Blazers last season.

“I’m excited to be back with the Blazers, ready to continue to grow as a team with this group of incredible guys and coaches, and build on what we accomplished last season,” said Harkless. “Portland has become a city I’ve grown to love and I’m happy to say that I’ll be here for the next four years. I’m grateful to Mr. Allen and the organization for the belief they’ve shown in me and this opportunity they have provided for me.”

In 2015-16, his first season with the Trail Blazers, Harkless scored in double figures 23 times, eight of which came in the final 10 games of the season. He averaged 11.9 points on 50.0% shooting, and hauled in 6.6 rebounds in his 14 starts.

In four NBA seasons with Orlando and Portland, Harkless holds career averages of 6.7 points (45.9% FG, 30.0% 3-PT, 58.9% FT), 3.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.95 steals and 21.7 minutes in 279 games (118 starts).

Originally selected by Orlando with the 15th overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft out of St. John’s, Portland acquired Harkless on July 14, 2015 in exchange for a 2020 second round pick.

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