Zoran Dragic signs in Russia

Here’s Euroleague.net reporting news on a player NBA fans will be familiar with:

Reigning Eurocup champion Khimki Moscow Region continued to bolster its roster ahead of its return to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, signing a two-year deal with swingman Zoran Dragic, club announced on Thursday. Dragic (1.96 meters, 26 years old) has spent last season in the NBA, playing first part of the season with Phoenix before getting traded to Miami, but has appeared in a total of 16 games. He previously spent two seasons with Unicaja Malaga, and has played 44 Euroleague games during that time.

Video: LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers highlights

Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has taken his talents to San Antonio, but feel free to enjoy some of these memories of his time on the Portland Trail Blazers:

Yes, the New York Knicks struggled in dramatic fashion last season, finishing with a 17-65 record. But over the course of an 82-game season, highlights happen. Enjoy the video:

Will Kobe Bryant be on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team? Probably not. But that it’s even a distinct possibility is a fascinating discussion topic. So, don’t expect it, but at the same time, here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Will Kobe Bryant be on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team?

Could the lasting image to cap Kobe Bryant’s basketball career be of him donning a gold medal at the end of the 2016 Rio Olympics?

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo revealed Thursday at the conclusion of Team USA’s minicamp that he’s had a conversation with the Los Angeles Lakers guard about that very scenario and has not ruled out Bryant for the 12-man roster next summer.

“I was quoted on Kobe,” Colangelo said after USA Basketball’s intrasquad scrimmage at the Thomas & Mack Center. “In response to a question about him, I said it would be a great story if he did [play in Rio].

“And so, he also mentioned to me in a private conversation that if he had his druthers, he would love to ride off into the sunset playing one more time and winning the gold medal. And that would be the end. But he was very quick to say, ‘But, I don’t want a spot. I need to earn the spot. I need to be capable of playing at that level to be considered.’ And I said, ‘You got that. That’s always there for you, Kobe.’”

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, who stepped up in Thursday’s Team USA exhibition game in Las Vegas. The squad isn’t involved in international competition this summer and is just focused on narrowing the roster down for the 2016 Olympics.

DeMarcus Cousins steps up in USA Basketball scrimmage

In a USA Basketball scrimmage that featured a couple of Kings, a number of players with little or no chance to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, and six “ringers” who filled in for their more high-profiled peers who sat out the voluntary event because of injury, fatigue or cautionary measures, DeMarcus Cousins produced the most prodigious stat line of the night.

Sacramento’s sixth-year center celebrated his 25th birthday Thursday with 24 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and three assists, including a nifty shovel pass to Blake Griffin for a jam.

Cousins also missed all six of his three-point attempts – yes, he hoisted six shots from beyond the arc – but who was counting? His White squad also defeated the Blue team 134-128, but again, who was counting?

Rudy Gay, playing for the Blues, scored nine points and collected three rebounds, but, well … no one was counting.

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting just how great it is to be Michael Jordan when it comes to business deals:

Michael Jordan reportedly made huge money off cologne deal

Jordan simply gave his permission to the fragrance company XEL to sell Michael Jordan cologne. A close adviser testified Thursday that Jordan did nothing else — but the company still paid him $10.6 million between 2002 and 2012.

Estee Portnoy, a long-time marketing manager for Jordan, also testified Thursday that a Japanese TV station hoping to produce a documentary about Jordan once offered him $100,000 to use footage of his days with the Chicago Bulls.

The footage belonged to the NBA, Portnoy said.

Draymond Green says he needs another ring

Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on Warriors forward Draymond Green, who has declared that one championship ring isn’t enough and he needs another:

Draymond Green says he needs another ring

The Celtics won eight straight from 1959-66, the Lakers won in ‘87 and ‘88, the Pistons took home the crown in ‘89 and ‘90, the Bulls three-peated ‘91-’93, the Rockets were champions in ‘94 and ‘95, the Bulls three-peated again ‘96-’98 and the Lakers won three titles in a row from 2000-02.

There is a long history of repeat champions in the NBA, and Draymond wants more jewelry.

“I need to find a second ring,” he said. “That is enough motivation for me personally. I have plenty of things I want to do. I want to be great. I don’t just want to win a championship and sign this nice little contract and I’m done.

“I want to do some special things and if you want to be special, it doesn’t stop after you win one championship or sign a deal. It just starts. It’s just starting for me.”

Dallas Mavericks sign JaVale McGee

Dallas Mavericks sign JaVale McGee

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent center JaVale McGee.

McGee (7-0, 270) is a seven-year veteran with career averages of 8.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 19.9 minutes per game in 382 games (158 starts) with Washington, Denver and Philadelphia. He has shot 54 percent from the field for his career.

Famous for making mistakes on the court, McGee has talent, especially on defense. It’s tough for a winning team to count on him as their primary center, but he’s still a good addition provided there isn’t too much pressure on him.

McGee appeared in 23 games for Denver and Philadelphia in 2014-15, averaging 4.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 11.1 minutes per contest.

A native of Flint, Mich., McGee spent two seasons at the University of Nevada. As a sophomore, he averaged 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. McGee declared for the NBA Draft following his sophomore season and was the 18th overall selection by the Washington Wizards in 2008.

McGee’s father, George Montgomery, was a second-round draft pick of the Portland Trail Blazers in 1985 and his mother, Pamela McGee, played in the WNBA for the Los Angeles Sparks and Sacramento Monarchs.

Lakers sign Jonathan Holmes

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward Jonathan Holmes to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

In five games for the Celtics’ entry in the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Holmes averaged 12.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.0 steals in 21.8 minutes per game, while shooting 55.6% from the field. The 6’9’’ Holmes also appeared in three games for Boston in the 2015 Utah Jazz Summer League, and in his eight games (seven starts) between the two competitions, shot a perfect 15-15 from the free throw line, and 13-28 (46.4%) from beyond-the-arc.

Undrafted after spending four seasons at the University of Texas (2011-15), Holmes averaged 9.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in 23.1 minutes per game over 127 contests with the Longhorns. The San Antonio native was named All-Big 12 Second Team and team MVP as a junior after averaging 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks on 50.5% shooting, and was an All-Big 12 Honorable mention as a senior with averages of 10.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game, while hitting 1.3 three-pointers per contest.

Video: Great NBA dunks from 2014-15 season

Enjoy this video showcasing many of the best dunks from the 2014-15 NBA season:

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting the latest on a Hawks forward i. A very scary and serious situation:

Mike Scott faces up to 25 years in prison on two felony drug charges stemming from his arrest last month.

An initial court date in the case could take several months to be placed on the calendar as the drugs have been sent to an independent lab for processing, according to the Banks County assistant district attorney. That would mean an initial court appearance would come during the upcoming NBA season.

Scott was arrested, along with his younger brother, on July 30 after a traffic stop along Interstate 85 in Homer. In the vehicle, police found 35.2 grams of marijuana and 10.9 grams of Schedule I drug MDMA, known as Molly. The charge on the MDMA carries a sentence of up to 15 years. The charge on the marijuana carries a sentence of up to 10 years, according to Georgia statutes.

This is not really a movie trailer for Space Jam 2. It’s some funny nonsense, and the best thing we’ve seen today. Press play:

Video: Bobby Portis summer highlights

Enjoy this video showcasing the summer of Chicago Bulls rookie Bobby Portis:

Kevin Durant being careful in return

Here’s ESPN.com with an update on an NBA superstar who you haven’t thought about much lately. But he’ll be back. Just you wait.

Four months after his latest foot surgery, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant says that he “can go 100 percent” but hasn’t played in any 5-on-5 games yet as he takes a measured approach to this latest comeback.

“I’ve got to play against the guys to really see, but I feel like I’m back to myself,” Durant said after the first day of training at this USA Basketball minicamp.

Asked if he could play in a game if needed, Durant laughed and said, “I haven’t played since February, so of course, I’m human, I’d go through some rust. But I think after two trips down I’d be all right.”

No Knicks on 2015 Christmas day

Here’s the New York Post with a Knicks update. No surprise that the league isn’t showcasing the team on Christmas day, as the Post reports:

The Knicks will find out what they’re missing right away when they stage their season opener Oct. 28 in Milwaukee against new Bucks center Greg Monroe, according to an NBA source.

The Knicks’ home opener will be Oct. 29 against the Hawks, welcoming back former first-round pick Tim Hardaway Jr. after his Draft Night trade for the rights to rookie point guard Jerian Grant.

The Knicks were considered the front-runners for Monroe during free agency, but he chose the Bucks max deal because he deemed Jason Kidd’s club more playoff-ready. The Knicks settled for Robin Lopez.

It won’t be a Merry Knicksmas for Phil Jackson either. For the first time since 2008, the Knicks won’t be playing on Christmas, zapped from the annual nationally televised, five-game festival, according to a source.

Pacers sign Toney Douglas

Pacers sign Toney Douglas

The Indiana Pacers announced Tuesday they have signed free agent Toney Douglas to a contract.

“We look forward to having him in camp,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He’s a veteran player who’s a good pro and he can play two positions. He’s the type of player we’re looking for with our new style of play. We look forward to working with him and having him in camp.”

Douglas, a 6-2, 190-pound guard, is entering his seventh season in the NBA. After attending Florida State University, he was drafted by the L.A. Lakers as the 29th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. In his career, he has played for New York, Houston, Miami, Golden State, Sacramento and New Orleans. He has career averages of 7.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

Video: Top Spurs plays of the season

Enjoy these video highlights of the best San Antonio Spurs plays from the 2014-15 NBA season:

Patty Mills added to Australia roster for Oceania Championship

Basketball Australia is excited to announce that NBA Championship-winner Patrick Mills has been added to the Australian Boomers’ team to take on New Zealand in the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championships.

Mills comes into the line-up following a left ACL tear to Dante Exum in last Wednesday’s game against Slovenia, reducing the Boomers to 11 players.

Talking from the United States, Mills said that he was excited by the opportunity to play for automatic qualification for Rio 2016.

“I’m looking forward to joining my Boomers teammates for this very important qualification series against New Zealand,” he said.

– Basketball.net.au

Celtics waive Zoran Dragic

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have waived guard/forward Zoran Dragic.

Dragic, a 6’5” guard/forward, was originally acquired by the Celtics along with a future second round pick and cash considerations from the Miami Heat on July 27, 2015. He appeared in 16 games split between the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat during the 2014-15 season and averaged 1.8 points in 4.7 minutes per game over that span. He posted a season-high 22 points on 9-17 (.529) shooting from the field, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 41 minutes of action against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 15, 2015.

Nets waive Earl Clark

Nets waive Earl Clark

The Brooklyn Nets have requested waivers on forward Earl Clark, General Manager Billy King announced today.

Clark (6’10”, 234) was signed to a 10-day contract by the Nets on March 27, 2015 and he inked a multi-year contract on April 6. In 10 games with Brooklyn, Clark averaged 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.3 minutes per game. He also appeared in two playoff games, registering averages of 3.0 points and 1.0 rebound in 6.5 minutes per game.

Originally selected with the 14th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns, Clark has appeared in 261 games in six seasons with Phoenix, Orlando, Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland, New York and Brooklyn, posting career averages of 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 13.9 minutes per game.

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