Thunder recall Grant Jerrett from D-League

The Oklahoma City Thunder has recalled forward Grant Jerrett from the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Jerrett has not appeared in a game for Oklahoma City this season while recovering from offseason surgery on his left ankle.

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have assigned rookies Dwight Powell and James Young to the Maine Red Claws.

Powell, a 6’11” forward out of Stanford, appeared in six contests for the Celtics during the preseason and averaged 1.7 points and 1.2 rebounds in 9.0 minutes per game over that span.

Young, a 6’6” guard/forward out of Kentucky, appeared in two games for the team during the preseason and averaged 7.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.0 steal in 22.7 minutes per game. He made his NBA debut against the Houston Rockets on November 1 and has averaged 4.5 points in 4.7 minutes over his two appearances this season.

Sixers sign Robert Covington, waive Chris Johnson

The Philadelphia 76ers signed free agent forward Robert Covington today. The first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Development League Draft by the Grand Rapids Drive, Covington is the fifth D-League to NBA “Call-Up” of the 2014-15 D-League season.

In a related move, the Sixers waived Chris Johnson.

As a rookie last season, Covington saw action in seven games for the Houston Rockets while spending most of his time with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League. In 42 games (41 starts) for the Vipers, Covington averaged 23 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.4 blocks in 34 minutes per game while also averaging 3.2 3-pointers made on 37.0% shooting.

In addition to being named the 2014 NBA D-League Rookie of the Year, Covington also earned D-League First Team honors and won the MVP award at the D-League All-Star game after scoring a record 33 points in helping his team to victory.

Covington was eligible for the 2013 NBA Draft following a standout four-year career at Tennessee State. He earned Second Team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors as a senior and a sophomore and First Team distinction as a junior.

The Golden State Warriors have recalled guard Justin Holiday and center Ognjen Kuzmic from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced today. The duo helped lead Santa Cruz to a 122-95 season-opening victory over the Los Angeles D-Fenders last night in Santa Cruz.

Holiday scored a team-high 26 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal in 36 minutes. Kuzmic finished with six points, a team-high 14 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal in 29 minutes.

Thunder assign Grant Jerrett to D-League

Thunder assign Grant Jerrett to D-League

The Oklahoma City Thunder have assigned forward Grant Jerrett to the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League, Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced.

During the 2013-14 season with the Thunder’s D-League affiliate, Jerrett appeared in 27 games (25 starts) and averaged 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per contest. He is yet to appear in a game as a member of the Thunder.

The Thunder secured the rights to Jerrett on draft night after he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 40th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Video: Jabari Parker NBA career begins

The Milwaukee Bucks have a perfectly respectable 4-5 record in the 2014-15 NBA season. Rookie forward Jabari Parker isn’t a star just yet, averaging 10.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game, with 41.8% shooting, but he’s doing better than just about any other rookie so far. Enjoy these video highlights with a look at the his pro career, which began just 2.5 weeks ago.

Dwyane Wade sidelined with hamstring strain

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel with an update on veteran Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade:

Dwyane Wade sidelined with hamstring strain

After pushing through three sets of back-to-back games this season, Dwyane Wade said Friday that it is time to stop pushing and instead take time to deal with a strained left hamstring sustained early in Wednesday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Wade not only decided to skip Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena, but indicated he would be careful not to rush back too soon. He missed nine games late last season with a similar strained left hamstring.

“For me, obviously I want to play as many games as possible,” he said Friday. “As I said before, you can’t control certain things. I’ve had worse. I’ll be back out there soon enough. Just when I come back, I want to be able to play the way I was playing the way before, and not hampered like I was the other night.”

The Golden State Warriors have assigned Justin Holiday and Ognjen Kuzmic to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced today.

Both players will be in uniform for tonight’s season-opening home game against the Los Angeles D-Fenders at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz.

Cavaliers assign Alex Kirk to D-League

The Cleveland Cavaliers have assigned center Alex Kirk to the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League team, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today.

Kirk has appeared in two games for the Cavs this season. He will be available for Saturday’s Charge opening game against the Delaware 87ers at the Canton Memorial Civic Center at 7:00 p.m.

The Phoenix Suns today assigned Tyler Ennis and T.J. Warren to the Bakersfield Jam, the team’s NBA Development League affiliate.

The assignments are the seventh and eighth of the 2014-15 season and the first for both Ennis and Warren.

The NBA is expanding the All-Star ballot to include all players, and pushing back the start of voting so fans can better consider their choices.

Voting for the Feb. 15 game in New York will open Dec. 11. It traditionally began this week, when teams aren’t even 10 games into their seasons.

The ballot on NBA.com will for the first time feature every player in the league. It formerly included only 60 players per conference who had been selected by a media panel.

– Associated Press

Quick reaction from InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner: Both of these moves make sense. The league might as well include all players on the ballot. There’s no negative. But having a set number of players on the ballot, as has been the case, always meant that at least a few players who deserved to be listed weren’t included. And pushing back the start date also makes sense. Voting used to begin extremely early in the season. Yes, All-Star balloting will always be a popularity contest. There will always be many fans voting for players they like, instead of going strictly with players who actually deserve the vote. Still, pushing back the start date at least ensures that the world of basketball observers will have a better sense as to who deserves consideration, and it should only make the voting better.

Utah Jazz assign Toure` Murry to D-League

Utah Jazz assign Toure’ Murry to D-League affiliate Idaho Stampede

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has assigned guard Toure’ Murry to the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede, the Jazz’s exclusive D-League affiliate. Murry is expected to be in uniform for the Stampede’s season opener on Friday, Nov. 14 against the Erie BayHawks.

Murry (6-5, 195, Wichita State) played one game for the Erie BayHawks last season while on D-League assignment from the New York Knicks, recording 10 points, four rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes of action. He spent the 2012-13 season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the NBA D-League, averaging 8.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 46 games (30 starts) en route to the 2013 D-League Championship.

The 6-5 guard signed with Utah as a free agent on Aug. 28. He has not yet appeared in a game this season for the Jazz.

Murry is the ninth different player in Jazz history to be assigned to the D-League, and the first under the new Jazz-Stampede single affiliation. Other players on the current Jazz roster with D-League experience include Ian Clark, Rudy Gobert, Jeremy Evans and Steve Novak.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement today in response to statements made by NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts to ESPN.com:

“We couldn’t disagree more with these statements. The NBA’s success is based on the collective efforts and investments of all of the team owners, the thousands of employees at our teams and arenas, and our extraordinarily talented players. No single group could accomplish this on its own. Nor is there anything unusual or “un-American” in a unionized industry to have a collective system for paying employees – in fact, that’s the norm.

“The Salary Cap system, which splits revenues between team owners and players and has been agreed upon by the NBA and the Players Association since 1982, has served as a foundation for the growth of the league and has enabled NBA players to become the highest paid professional athletes in the world. We will address all of these topics and others with the Players Association at the appropriate time.”

Wizards now 6-2 after beating Pistons

Wizards now 6-2 after beating Pistons

The Wizards are 6-2 after defeating the Pistons 107-103 on Wednesday night at Verizon Center. Washington is in first place in the Southeast Division and tied with Chicago for the second best record in the Eastern Conference.

John Wall led the charge last night, scoring a team-high 27 points with 11 assists, three steals and one block. He has now tallied five double-doubles in eight games this season. Wall tallied a career-high 29 double-doubles in 2013-14.

Washington scored a season-high 57 points in the first half, including a season-high 33 points in the second quarter. Five Wizards scored in double figures including a season-high 18 points from reserve swingman Rasual Butler. Butler was 7-of-8 from the field and 2-for-2 from behind the arc. Kris Humphries added 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Marcin Gortat notched his third double-double of the season with 14 points and a season-high 13 rebounds, including five offensive rebounds.

The New York Knicks are adjusting to some offseason roster changes, a new coach, a new system (especially on offense), and then there’s the issue of simply needing better players — something that will be seriously addressed in free agency in the summer of 2015. So, they’re off to a rough start to the 2014-15 season, which began a little over two weeks ago. It’s not a surprise. They’ll probably get better in the coming weeks. As for now, here’s the latest, from New York Newsday:

Carmelo Anthony was on the right wing, asking for the ball with the final seconds winding down. But J.R. Smith didn’t want to force the ball to him and instead hoisted a long three-pointer.

Smith’s shot was long and wide left, hitting the other side of the backboard, and the Knicks’ losing streak continued. It’s up to six after a 97-95 loss to the Magic Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

“I thought this was a game we could have went out there and got, kind of get that monkey off our back,” Anthony said. “So this is a tough one to swallow. We have to bounce back from this.”

Anthony shot 10-for-17 and led the Knicks (2-7) with 27 points after spending nearly 10 minutes on the bench in the second half in foul trouble. But he was on the floor at closing time, which is when he wants the ball and tries to earn his $124-million contract.

Wednesday night in Madison Square Garden, the visiting Orlando Magic edged the Knicks 97-95. MSG always has famous faces in the crowd, and last night model Kate Upton and singer Taylor Swift were in the building:

Shooting must improve, but Lance Stephenson a rebounding machine for Hornets

The NBA season is just over two weeks old, and still new enough for teams to hold off on sounding any sort of emergency alarms if key new players haven’t totally learned to fit in just yet. The Charlotte Hornets are off to a 3-5 start, not quite what they hoped for — but again, it’s very early. New Hornet Lance Stephenson has been shooting bricks, but scoring aside he’s racking up assists, and doing monster things on the glass. Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting:

The way Lance Stephenson has been rebounding the ball this early NBA season, you’d think he’s trying to make up for something.

Oh, wait. He is.

“I’m just trying to get boards,” Stephenson said at morning shootaround in Portland, Ore., Tuesday. “My offensive game is not coming. I’m working on that, learning how to score in this offensive system.”

Stephenson is shooting just 33 percent from the field in the Hornets’ 3-5 start, but you can’t argue with his contribution on the boards. He’s averaging 10.9 rebounds, 10th-best in the NBA.

His 14 rebounds against the Trail Blazers tied a career high. At 6-foot-5 he is the only guard among the top 19 rebounders in the league – all the others are either centers or power forwards.

K.J. McDaniels playing well for Sixers

K.J. McDaniels playing well for Sixers

Yeah, I know. There is little reason to take the Philadelphia 76ers seriously this season. And naturally a few players will emerge only because, well, somebody has to put numbers up. All that aside, this is still the NBA, and talent will rise. So, meet K.J. McDaniels. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer:

K.J. McDaniels playing well for Sixers

A growing portion of 76ers fans are wondering why K.J. McDaniels isn’t in the starting lineup.

Understandably so.

The rookie guard has been the team’s most exciting player. Yes, even more exciting than Tony Wroten, who averages a team-best 21.9 points. McDaniels, a former Clemson standout, is posterizing opponents will alley-oop dunks (ask Orlando Magic’s Moe Harkless) and swatting shots into the third row (ask the poor lady sitting in the stands in Toronto after McDaniels’ volleyball spike of Greivis Vasquez shot nearly gave her a concussion). He’s also the team’s best three-point shooter at 42.1 percent.

“It would mean a lot,” McDaniels said of being in the starting lineup. “But I still have to go in there and do my job, you know coming in here, bring excitement either coming off the bench or starting.”

Wizards notes: November 12, 2014

Wizards notes: November 12, 2014

Washington will face Detroit tonight at Verizon Center. The Wizards and Pistons split the 2013-14 season series 2-2. Washington hasn’t won a season series against Detroit since the 2005-06 season when they swept the Pistons 3-0.

With a win tonight the Wizards would improve to 6-2 which would mark their first 6-2 start since the 1975-76 season.

With a win over the Pistons, the Wizards would improve 3-0 at home for the first time since the 2006-07 season.

John Wall averaged 25.8 points and 8.6 assists in four games against Detroit last season.

Wall is averaging 2.8 steals in his last five games.

Paul Pierce recorded his 4,500 career assist in Saturday’s win over Indiana.

Pierce has averaged 21.1 points per game in 52 career games against Detroit.

Wayne Ellington’s father shot, killed

Wayne Ellington’s father shot, killed in Philadelphia

Wayne Ellington's father shot, killed

The following statement was released today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak regarding the death of guard Wayne Ellington’s father, who was shot and killed Sunday night in Philadelphia:

“Our players are upset for their friend and teammate. Additionally, ownership and all Lakers employees are also saddened by this tragedy. Those of us who work with and have gotten to know Wayne have come to know what a wonderful and caring person he is. Our hearts go out to Wayne and his family, as do our thoughts and prayers.”

Ellington has been granted an indefinite leave of absence and it is unknown at this time when he will rejoin the team.

STATEMENT FROM WAYNE ELLINGTON

“My family and I are devastated by the news of my father’s murder on Sunday night in Philadelphia,” said Ellington. “We appreciate everyone’s support and ask that you respect the privacy of our family during this very difficult time.”

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