Wizards waive Glen Rice Jr.

The Washington Wizards waived guard Glen Rice Jr. today, the team announced.

Rice appeared in 16 career games with Washington in parts of two seasons, averaging 2.7 points and 1.5 rebounds in 9.5 minutes per game.

The Wizards’ roster now stands at 14.

The New York Knicks signed guard Langston Galloway of the NBA Development League’s Westchester Knicks, to a 10-day contract today, President Phil Jackson announced. This marks Westchester’s first-ever Call-Up. Galloway, who was named as one of the franchise’s Affiliate Players after attending training camp with New York, is the league’s 14th overall NBA Development League Call-Up this season.

Galloway, 6-2, 200-pounds, averaged 16.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.68 steals over 36.8 minutes in 19 games (all starts) for Westchester this season. The Baton Rouge, LA-native, was originally signed by New York on Sep. 9 and waived on Oct. 25, following four seasons at Saint Joseph’s University.

The New York Knicks have waived forwards Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas and center Alex Kirk, President Phil Jackson announced. All three players were acquired as part of a three-team trade on January 5, 2015.

After a season of struggle that has led to a lot of losing, the Knicks appear to be in full rebuild mode, parting ways with Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith. The question is if Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani or even Carmelo Anthony will remain on the roster. It’s likely that the team will keep Melo, while attempting to say goodbye to almost anybody else who makes more than a minimum salary.

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed guard Elliot Williams of the NBA Development League’s Santa Cruz Warriors to a 10-day contract. Williams becomes the NBA’s 13th overall NBA D-League Call-Up of the 2014-15 season and the 11th different player to be called up. Per team policy, financial terms were not released. Following the move, the Jazz roster now stands at 15 players.

The 25-year-old Williams (6-5, 190, Memphis) appeared in 16 games (all starts) for Santa Cruz this season, averaging 21.3 points (ninth in the D-League), 4.7 rebounds, 7.7 assists (sixth in the D-League) and 1.3 steals in 37.2 minutes per contest. He recorded five double-doubles and scored in double figures in all 16 games. Williams scored 20-plus points in 10 games and 30-or-more points twice. Williams attended 2014 training camp with the Philadelphia 76ers, averaging 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals in five games (three starts), before being waived on Oct. 27.

Williams spent the 2013-14 season with the 76ers. He appeared in 67 games (two starts), averaging 6.0 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He recorded 10-plus points on 17 occasions.

Originally selected in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, Williams has played in 91 games (two starts) with Portland and Philadelphia, averaging 5.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game.

A native of Memphis, Tenn. and former McDonald’s All-American, Williams played one season at Duke (2008-09) before transferring to the University of Memphis (2009-10). He averaged 17.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.3 minutes his sophomore season at Memphis. Williams was named the 2010 Conference USA Newcomer of the Year and earned 2010 Conference USA First Team honors before becoming an early entry into the NBA Draft.

Williams becomes the 14th D-League Call-Up in Jazz history, and the third this season.

He will wear uniform #25 for the Jazz.

Jazz waive Patrick Christopher

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has waived guard/forward Patrick Christopher.  Following the move, the Jazz roster now stands at 14 players.

Christopher (6-5, 219, California) was called up by Utah from the NBA Development League’s Iowa Energy on Dec. 10 and appeared in four games (one start) for the Jazz, averaging 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 7.3 minutes.

Heat waive guard Andre Dawkins

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have waived guard Andre Dawkins.

Dawkins appeared in four games with the HEAT this season totaling three points, two rebounds and one assist in 22 minutes of action while shooting 1-of-6 from the field, all from downtown. He was originally signed as a free agent by Miami on September 23, 2014.

The Dallas Mavericks handled the Nets in Brooklyn Monday. And in that victory, their living legend kept rising on a historical level. Here’s the Dallas Morning News reporting on forward Dirk Nowitzki, who continues to move up the all-time NBA scoring list:

Another NBA scoring milestone for Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki labored offensively all night – until he decided it was time to ice the game. It was absolutely fitting that Nowitzki passed Moses Malone for seventh place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with a 3-pointer in the final minute of overtime. Think about that. Of the nearly 4,000 players who have ever slipped on an NBA jersey, only six have scored more points than Nowitzki. The list is a bunch of one-name wonders: Kareem, Mailman, Kobe, Michael, Wilt and Shaq. And then Dirk. Simply remarkable.

The Portland Trail Blazers have been one of the league’s best teams these first few months, and there’s no reason for their status to diminish anytime soon. Especially with young star guard Damian Lillard showing no fear, especially when it matters most. Here’s the Oregonian with more:

The Blazers’ All-Star point guard added another memorable and clutch performance to his late-game resume, willing the Blazers to a 98-94 victory over the Lakers Monday night before a sellout crowd of 19,827.

Lillard finished with 39 points, six rebounds and five assists and, as he is prone to do, saved his best for when it mattered most. After that All-Star pow-wow with Aldridge, Lillard exploded for 16 of the Blazers’ final 22 points, nailing back-to-back three-pointers before to start the run, before finishing with timely drives and game-sealing free throws. When it was all said and done, he made 5 of 8 shots, including 3 of 5 three-pointers, in the fourth quarter, enhancing his reputation as one of the NBA’s best late-game players.

“He saved out butts again,” center Chris Kaman said.

It wasn’t just the sheer volume of the fourth-quarter scoring that made Monday night’s performance so clutch. It was also the magnitude of some of the shots.

When needed, Andre Miller can get buckets

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on veteran Wizards guard Andre Miller (4.4 ppg in 12.8 minutes per game this season), a pass-first player with limited leaping ability who still manages to score when necessary:

andre miller

Miller understands his skill set. He rarely shoots jumpers — he made his first three-pointer on his fifth attempt of the season Friday — and utilizes a remarkable post-up game to overwhelm point guards who are usually not accustomed to defending in the post. He did it against Westbrook on Friday and against New Orleans’s Austin Rivers on Monday when the Wizards needed it the most.

“I think it’s just the rhythm of the game, how it goes, how it pans out,” Miller said. “It depends on how the defense is playing and what the team needs at the time and I kind of just play from there.”

Warriors enjoying an amazing season

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle raving about the 27-5 Golden State Warriors, who have played better basketball than anybody so far this season and finally deserve to be taken seriously in championship-contender discussions:

These are the new Warriors. The ones who demand your attention and all the superlatives you can lavish upon them. The team that doesn’t miss a beat — even when it loses arguably its key player, Andrew Bogut.

“They’re the best team in basketball,” Oklahoma City head coach Scott Brooks said, while refusing to excuse his team for an off night. “They’re a great team. They outplayed us.”

Though their play and the record shows that’s true, it’s still hard to get used to hearing such words spoken about the Golden State Warriors.

This is becoming more than merely a special start. This is now, more than two months into the season, becoming mind-blowing. The Warriors are looking like a championship contender.

Nets waive Brandon Davies

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

Davies was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers on December 11, 2014. In seven appearances for the Nets, Davies posted averages of 2.3 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 6.3 minutes per game.

At 5-32, Knicks have worst record in NBA

The New York Knicks are rebuilding, and have suffered lots of injuries all season, and were short-handed yesterday as a trade was being finalized. Still, the team wasn’t expected to lose quite like this. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

At 5-32, Knicks have worst record in NBA

The Knicks finally hit bottom.

Derek Fisher’s Knicks made ignominious history Monday and finally fell to the basement of the NBA, even below the 76ers.

In the wake of Phil Jackson gutting the roster, the Knicks dressed nine players and fell 105-83 to the Grizzlies at FedEx Forum to drop to 5-32.

The Knicks’ loss and Sixers’ victory over Cleveland put the Knicks below Philadelphia with the worst winning percentage in the league (.135), while tying a franchise record with their 12th consecutive loss. The 1984-85 team starring Ken “Animal’’ Bannister also lost 12 games in a row.

jeff teague

Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant on Monday were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 29, through Sunday, Jan. 4.

Teague led the Hawks to a 3-0 week, behind a conference-leading 23.7 ppg, and his 8.3 apg and 2.67 spg were both good for second in the conference. Teague shot .500 or better from the field in all three games, and handed out at least six assists in each contest. On Dec. 30, during a 109-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Teague scored 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, and added 11 assists, five rebounds and three steals. At 25-8 (.758), the Hawks stand alone atop the Eastern Conference.

kevin durant

Durant helped the Thunder to a 2-0 week, which included wins over the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards, behind a league-leading 39.0 ppg. He added 9.0 rpg and 4.5 apg, and ranked eighth in the West in three-point field goal percentage with a mark of .556 (10-of-18). On Dec. 31, Durant scored 44 points on 13-of-23 shooting from the field and a perfect 12-of-12 effort from the foul line, as the Thunder topped the Suns 137-134 in overtime.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Dallas’ Monta Ellis, Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe.

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced that rookie forward Damien Inglis underwent successful surgery today on his right ankle. The surgery was performed at the Carolinas Medical Center – Mercy in Charlotte, N.C., by Dr. Robert Anderson.

Inglis is expected to miss the remainder of the season while he recovers and progresses through his rehabilitation process. A timeline for his return to basketball activity will be established at a later date.

Jabari Parker undergoes surgery to repair ACL injury

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced that rookie forward Jabari Parker underwent successful surgery Monday to repair his left ACL injury. The surgery was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York by Dr. David Altchek with Bucks orthopaedic physician Dr. Michael Gordon assisting. Parker is expected to miss the remainder of the season while he recovers and progresses through his rehabilitation process. A timeline for his return to basketball activity will be established at a later date. Parker suffered the injury in the third quarter of Milwaukee’s win at Phoenix on Dec. 15.

The second overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, Parker averaged 12.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.24 steals in 29.5 minutes per game in 25 contests. He was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October/November. Parker began his career by posting double-doubles in two of his first three games (11 points and 10 rebounds on Oct. 31 vs. Philadelphia, and 13 points and 11 rebounds on Nov. 1 at Washington). In doing so, he became just the 14th player in the last 30 seasons to record multiple double-doubles within his first three career games, and the only teenager to accomplish the feat.

The Duke alum scored in double figures 12 times during the month, including a career-best 23 points at Brooklyn on Nov. 19 that stands as the highest-scoring game by a Bucks teenager in franchise history. Parker wrapped up the month with a 19-point effort vs. Houston on Nov. 29 that included a 13-for-14 shooting performance from the free throw line, making him one of just five teenagers in NBA history to hit 13+ free throws in a single game (Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and LeBron James are the others).

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guards Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith from the New York Knicks and a protected 2015 first round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder. In exchange, the Cavs will send guard Dion Waiters to the Thunder, and Lou Amundson, Alex Kirk and its own 2019 second round pick to the Knicks. New York will also receive forward Lance Thomas from Oklahoma City.

In addition, Knicks center Samuel Dalembert has been waived.

“As our journey moves through this season, we will search for the type of players that fit the style we hope to exhibit for our fans. Our desire is to improve our ability to compete,” Knicks President Phil Jackson said. “In addition, these transactions improve our flexibility to the current roster and the salary cap for future seasons.”

“We wish Dion the best as he continues his career with the Thunder and thank him for his effort and work here with the Cavaliers. Dion is a talented player with potential ahead of him. Trades like this are always difficult to make because there are relationships and bonds built and that was the case with Dion,” said Cavaliers general manager David Griffin. “At the same time, we’re very excited to welcome Iman and J.R. to Cleveland. With their size and versatility, we think both Iman and J.R. can help our team on both ends of the court and we look forward to them joining us.”

Currently in his fourth NBA season, Shumpert has appeared in 202 games (162 starts) with the Knicks, averaging 7.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 26.2 minutes per game. The 6-5 guard has ranked among the NBA’s Top 20 in steals-to-turnover ratio in two of his three pro seasons (15th with 0.91 in 2011-12; fifth with 1.16 in 2013-14). He holds a .348 career three-point percentage and was an All-Rookie First Team selection in 2012. This season, Shumpert is averaging 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 26.0 minutes over 24 contests (all starts).

Smith, an 11-year veteran, has played in 716 career games (173 starts) with averages of 13.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 26.1 minutes for New Orleans, Denver and New York. The 6-6 guard is also a career .370 shooter from the three-point line and .736 from the charity stripe. He has made at least 100 three-pointers in seven of the last eight seasons and was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year following the 2012-13 season. This season, Smith is averaging 10.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 25.8 minutes through 24 games (six starts) with New York.

The pick from Oklahoma City is protected 1-18 in 2015 and 1-15 in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Should the pick not convey during this period, the Thunder would send the Cavaliers its second round draft picks in 2018 and 2019.

“Dion Waiters is a player that we’ve tracked and liked since his time at Syracuse, in the NBA, and with USA Basketball. Dion provides another proven scorer that positively impacts our roster and adds depth and flexibility,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “We have a lot of respect for his toughness and competitiveness, and believe that he is a physical playmaker who will enhance the versatility of our team. We are excited to welcome Dion to Oklahoma City and the Thunder organization.”

Waiters was originally drafted by the Cavaliers with the fourth overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft. In 164 games (75 starts) in three seasons with the Cavs, Waiters averaged 14.3 points on .420 shooting from the field, including .328 from beyond the arc, 2.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steal in 28.1 minutes per game. He was named to the All-Rookie First Team in 2013. Through 33 games (three starts) this season, the 6-4 guard is averaging 10.5 points, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 23.8 minutes per game.

Kirk, an undrafted rookie out of New Mexico, originally signed as a free agent by the Cavaliers on August 11 and played in five contests for Cleveland in 2014-15. Amundson, who was part of the 2014 Cavs training camp and preseason roster, appeared in 12 games for the Cavs this season.

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Elijah Millsap of the NBA Development League’s Bakersfield Jam to a 10-day contract.  Millsap becomes the NBA’s 12th overall NBA D-League Call-Up of the 2014-15 season and the 10th different player to be called up.

Following the move, the Jazz roster now stands at 15 players.

The 27-year-old Millsap (6-6, 215, Alabama-Birmingham) appeared in 19 games (16 starts) for the Jam this season, averaging 20.6 points (12th in the D-League), 8.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.1 steals (fifth in the D-League) in 36.6 minutes per contest.  He recorded eight double-doubles, including one triple-double (26 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists vs. Rio Grande Valley on Nov. 18).  He scored in double figures on 18 occasions and recorded 20-plus points in 12 games.

Millsap attended 2014 training camp with the Milwaukee Bucks, appearing in one preseason game before being waived on Oct. 16.  He has also attended NBA training camps with the Los Angeles Lakers (2011) and Oklahoma City Thunder (2010).

Millsap has spent portions of five seasons in the NBA D-League with the Jam (2014-15), D-Fenders (2011-14) and Tulsa 66ers (2010-11), appearing in 155 career D-League games (130 starts) and owning averages of 17.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.7 steals in 32.3 minutes while earning 2012 D-League All-Star and All-NBA D-League Second Team honors, as well as being named 2013 NBA D-League All-Defensive Third Team and 2011 NBA D-League All-Rookie Second Team.  He has also played professionally with Maccabi Ashdod of the Israeli League (2013-14), the Petron Blaze Boosters of the Philippine Basketball Association (2013) and Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (2012-13).

A native of Monroe, La., Millsap played two seasons at Louisiana-Lafayette (2006-08) before transferring to University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) (2008-10). He earned All-Conference USA First Team honors following his junior season at UAB and was named the 2007 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year as a member of the Ragin’ Cajuns.  He was not selected in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Millsap becomes the 13th D-League Call-Up in Jazz history, and the second this season (Patrick Christopher).

He will wear uniform #13 for the Jazz.

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting some relatively good news about a key member of the Magic:

Channing Frye elbow injury is not a fracture

In the midst of a three-game losing streak, the Orlando Magic needed some good news.

That welcome news arrived when X-rays of Channing Frye’s injured right elbow were examined.

The X-rays revealed no fractures, a team official said Sunday. Frye’s availability to practice and play in games will be determined on a day-to-day basis.

Frye, a 31-year-old power forward, sat out the entire second half of the Magic’s 98-90 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night because of the injury, which was labeled as a strain.

Hawks, Jeff Teague enjoying great season

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on the Hawks and point guard Jeff Teague, with stats through Saturday’s games:

Hawks, Jeff Teague enjoying great season

The Hawks boast the best record in the Eastern Conference and Teague directs the well-balanced offensive attack. Teague is the Hawks’ leading scorer through 33 games with an average of 17.3 points. The total is good for just 30th in the NBA. Teague has scored in double figures 22 times this season, including 16 20-point games. He is on pace to increase his scoring average in each of his six seasons.

The Hawks’ offense is all about pace and ball movement as they share the wealth better than nearly every team in the NBA. The Hawks are third in the league in assists at 25.3 per game. Their season totals include 30 games of at least 20 assists and 20 games of at least 25 assists. They have reached the 30-assist mark five times. Teague is the man directing that facet of the offense most of the time as well. He leads the team and his 10th in the league with 7.0 assists per game.

Teague has led the Hawks in scoring 10 times and in assists in 26 of his 30 games. He also adds 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals, 11th in the NBA, to his all-around totals.

Here’s the Salt Lake Tribune reporting Jazz news from Sunday:

Toure’ Murry finally got into the books Saturday night.

A day later, he’s off of the roster.

The Utah Jazz on Sunday waived the second-year combo guard, clearing a roster spot that sources say will be used to bring guard Elijah Millsap up from the D-League.

With injuries to Alec Burks, Rodney Hood and Patrick Christopher, the Jazz have been in search of help at the wing and Murry apparently was not in the team’s plans going forward.

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