Kings hire Vance Walberg as assistant coach

Kings hire Vance Walberg as assistant coach

The Sacramento Kings today hired Vance Walberg as an assistant coach, according to General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

A veteran of the coaching ranks with more than three decades of experience at the prep, collegiate and professional levels, Walberg joins George Karl’s staff after spending the last two seasons in a similar capacity with the Philadelphia 76ers. Prior to his tenure with the 76ers, he was an assistant for Karl on Denver’s bench.

Walberg is known for his innovative offensive ideas and credited with developing the dribble drive motion offense—implemented by John Calipari at the University of Memphis and later Kentucky. His coaching resume includes three seasons at UMass as an assistant coach (2008-2011) after serving two seasons as the head coach at Pepperdine University (2006-2008).

Prior to joining Karl in Denver for the 2011-12 campaign, Walberg led Fresno City College to a 133-11 (.924) record in his four seasons at the helm, including a perfect 34-0 mark culminating in a California state community college championship in 2005. His extensive head coaching background at the prep level includes stints at Clovis West, Newark Memorial, Los Altos and Mountain View High Schools. In 13 years at Clovis West (Fresno), Walberg guided his teams to a 343-68 record with nine league titles, 10 CIF Central Section Championship appearances, and three trips to the Southern State Championship Game.

An alumnus of Cal State Bakersfield, the College of Belmont and Saint Mary’s College, Walberg and his wife, Rose have four children: Jason, Heather, Jaimie-Rose and Ian.

Guard Bryce Cotton named D-League Performer of Week

Austin Spurs guard Bryce Cotton was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Feb. 16 – Sunday, Feb. 22. The honor is the first of Cotton’s career and he is the second Spurs player to earn the award this season.

Cotton (6-0, 163, Providence) led Austin to a 3-0 record last week, averaging 30.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.3 steals. Cotton recorded an NBA D-League career-high 43 points to go with eight rebounds, nine assists and two steals in a 147-142 road win over Reno on Feb. 19, the night after he scored 32 points against the Bighorns. For the week, Cotton shot 54 percent (28-of-52) from the floor and 56 percent (10-of-18) from three-point territory. The three-victory week helps Austin extend a nine-game win streak that began on Jan. 27.

Selected as a 2015 NBA D-League All-Star, Cotton has appeared in 34 games for the Spurs this season, averaging 22.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 40.4 minutes.

Other top performers considered included Bakersfield’s Mac Koshwal, Delaware’s D.J. Seeley, Idaho’s Jack Cooley, Iowa’s Kalin Lucas, Oklahoma City’s Marquis Teague, Reno’s Sim Bhullar, Rio Grande Valley’s Clint Capela and Santa Cruz’s Elliot Williams.

Here’s the New York Post reporting on a guy at the end of the Nets bench getting to stand up, leave the bench and play some basketball:

Everyone on the Nets has gotten an extended shot at playing time at some point this season.

Everyone, that is, except for Markel Brown.

The rookie guard, taken by the Nets with the 44th pick in last year’s draft out of Oklahoma State, has spent most of the season watching from the sidelines. Before Friday’s game against the Lakers, Brown had played in just 17 of the first 51 games — and had played more than 10 minutes just three times, all in blowout losses.

But after the Nets traded Kevin Garnett for Thaddeus Young at Thursday’s trade deadline and coach Lionel Hollins opted to go to a smaller lineup, Brown played 15 minutes in Friday’s win, finishing with nine points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal in 15 minutes, a performance that could lead to more playing time.

Kevin Garnett, Flip Saunders may team up and try to buy Timberwolves

Here’s the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporting on a fun possibility in Minnesota:

Kevin Garnett, Flip Saunders may team up and try to buy Timberwolves

The contract extension Kevin Garnett, 38, will sign with the Timberwolves this summer will be for two years. During that period, Garnett and Wolves president-coach Flip Saunders are expected to try to form a group to buy the team from Glen Taylor.

Garnett has amassed more than $325 million in salaries during 20 seasons in the NBA. Saunders, who turns 60 on Monday, has made an estimated $40 million during 17 seasons as a NBA coach.

The Wolves, for whom Taylor paid $88 million in 1994, were valued at $625 million last January by Forbes. Taylor, who turns 74 in April, is amenable to taking in more limited partners. But he’s not interested in selling his team until he finds out what the Atlanta Hawks, who are for sale and currently are taking bids, end up going for.

Carmelo Anthony played through injury most of this season

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is out for the season after averaging 24.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 35.7 minutes per game this season. He played in 40 games, starting all 40. Here’s the New York Post reporting what he was dealing with along the way:

Carmelo Anthony played hurt most of this season

Carmelo Anthony played most of the season with a partial tear of the left patellar tendon, The Post has learned.

In new details, the debridement part of Thursday’s surgery was to clean out the calcium deposits that formed within the partial tear, so the tear could be repaired.

If Anthony had suffered a full tear of the patellar tendon — also known as a rupture — he could not have played on it this season. Ex-Knick Antonio McDyess suffered a full tear in 2000, as did the Giants’ Victor Cruz last season.

JaVale McGee hopes to stay with Sixers

JaVale McGee hopes to stay with Sixers

New Philadelphia 76ers center JaVale McGee has averaged 8.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game over his NBA career, though he’s received little playing time this season and hasn’t contributed much. But that was on the Denver Nuggets. There’s room for him to step up at least a little on the very-rebuilding Sixers, if given a shot. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

JaVale McGee hopes to stay with Sixers

Center JaVale McGee wants to remain with the 76ers for the rest of the season and beyond.

The Sixers, at least for the time being, are committed to giving him every opportunity to do just that.

“We are coming into this whole thing with an open mind,” coach Brett Brown said Sunday after the team’s morning shootaround at the Amway Center. “He is around a bunch of genuine people, coaches that care. That will give him every chance to keep moving and to be as good as he can be.

“And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But it’s not going to be on us.”

Hawks end Bucks` home winning streak

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting on Sunday NBA action:

Milwaukee’s seven-game home winning streak came to an end Sunday afternoon at the hands of the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks.

The Bucks dug out of a deep hole to tie the game in the third quarter but could not survive a fourth-quarter surge by the Hawks and dropped a 97-86 decision at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Kyle Korver found his shooting touch and Paul Millsap finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks (44-12) avoided a three-game skid.

All five Hawks starters were in double figures, including Al Horford with 15 points, Korver with 12 and DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague with 10 each.

Sixers sign Ish Smith, waive Malcolm Thomas

Sixers sign Ish Smith, waive Malcolm Thomas

Sixers sign Ish Smith, waive Malcolm Thomas

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that the team has signed guard Ishmael “Ish” Smith.

Smith has appeared in 221 career NBA games and owns career averages of three points, two assists and over one rebound per game. He was selected by the Delaware 87ers during the team’s expansion draft in August, 2013.

Smith finished at Wake Forest as the first player in school history to record 1,000 points, 500 assists and 400 rebounds in a career.

In a related move, the Sixers have waived forward Malcolm Thomas.

Nuggets waive Victor Claver and Thomas Robinson

Nuggets waive Victor Claver and Thomas Robinson

The Denver Nuggets have waived forwards Victor Claver and Thomas Robinson, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Both Claver and Robinson were acquired along with Will Barton and a lottery-protected 2016 first round draft pick from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee on February 19, 2015.

Anthony Davis out 1-2 weeks with right shoulder sprain

Anthony Davis out 1-2 weeks with shoulder sprain

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that forward Anthony Davis has been diagnosed with a right shoulder sprain. An MRI conducted by the team’s medical staff this morning confirmed the right shoulder sprain. The injury occurred at the 3:38 mark of the first quarter in last night’s game against the Miami HEAT. He is expected to miss 1-2 weeks.

Additionally, Ryan Anderson underwent an MRI this morning and has been diagnosed with an MCL sprain in his right knee. The injury took place at the 9:41 mark during the second quarter of last night’s game against the Miami HEAT. He is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.

Shawn Marion bothered by hip injury since early January

Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal blog reporting on Shawn Marion of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who has  been playing hurt for most of 2015:

Shawn Marion bothered by hip injury since early January

Shawn Marion said Saturday he has been fighting a left hip injury for the last couple months, which helps explain his sporadic playing time recently.

As the Cavs prepare to face the New York Knicks this afternoon at Madison Square Garden (1 p.m., Fox Sports Ohio), they may have to do it yet again without Marion, who has fallen from starter to completely out of David Blatt’s rotation in recent weeks. Part of it is because of the hip.

“My hip is bothering me right now. I’ve been trying to fight through it as much as I can, but it’s causing me a lot of discomfort,” he said. “ I just want to get back to 100 percent healthy.”

Jared Sullinger out for season with foot injury

jared sullinger

The Boston Celtics announced today that, following further medical evaluation at the New England Baptist Hospital, it was determined that forward Jared Sullinger has sustained a left metatarsal (foot) stress fracture and will be out for the remainder of the 2014-15 regular season.

In 51 games played this season, Sullinger averaged 14.4 points and 8.1 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per outing.

According to ESPN Boston, “the loss of Sullinger leaves Boston thin up front. The Celtics were hoping to get second-year big man Kelly Olynyk back shortly after the All-Star break, but he remains sidelined by a right ankle injury that has caused him to miss 12 straight games. The Celtics will get some help up front after recently acquired Jonas Jerebko joined the team Saturday.”

Shabazz Muhammad out for season with finger injury

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that forward/guard Shabazz Muhammad will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in his middle finger (left hand). The surgery will be performed Monday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The injury occurred during practice on Wednesday, February 18. Muhammad played 12:43 last night vs. Phoenix, scoring seven points.

In 38 games this season, 13 starts, Muhammad posted averages of 13.5 points, on 48.9 percent shooting, and 4.1 rebounds per game. Muhammad participated in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend in New York, totaling 10 points and five rebounds for the U.S. Team.

Pelicans waive Shawne Williams

New Orleans Pelicans waive Shawne Williams

Pelicans waive Shawne Williams

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has waived forward Shawne Williams, who was acquired Feb. 19 from the Miami HEAT along with Norris Cole and Justin Hamilton as part of a three-team trade.

Williams, 6-9, 230, has appeared in 44 games (22 starts) this season for Miami, averaging 6.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 21.0 minutes per game. Originally the 17th overall selection out of Memphis in the 2006 NBA Draft by Indiana, Williams has appeared in 295 career NBA games, averaging 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game.

New Orleans’ roster now stands at 14.

Bucks waive Larry Sanders

The Milwaukee Bucks have requested waivers on center Larry Sanders, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

“We believe this decision is in the best interest of our team,” said Hammond. “We wish Larry well and remain excited about the future of the Bucks organization.”

This season, Sanders appeared in 27 games for Milwaukee (26 starts) and averaged 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 21.7 minutes per game. His best statistical season came in 2012-13 when he averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 2.8 blocks over 71 games (55 starts).

Mavs did not want to rush Amare Stoudemire into action

Health has been an issue with Amar’e Stoudemire. His new team, the Dallas Mavericks, are fully aware of this, and saw no reason to rush him out onto the court. But he should made his debut soon, possibly as early as tomorrow. Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting:

Mavs did not want to rush Amare Stoudemire into action

Rick Carlisle wanted to clear up some things in regard to Amar’e Stoudemire and the reason he has yet to play in a game for the Dallas Mavericks.

“He’s not unhealthy,’’ the Mavericks coach said Friday. “We’re making sure that he’s ready to play for the Mavericks is what we’re doing.’’

The Mavs signed Stoudemire to a free-agent contract on Wednesday for the rest of the season at the prorated salary of $485,670.

He sat out Thursday’s game against Oklahoma City and Friday’s game against Houston. The 6-foot-10 center/forward appears likely to play his first game with the Mavs on Sunday against Charlotte.

Chris Bosh out for season with blood clots in lung

Chris Bosh out for season with blood clots in lung

The Miami HEAT announced today that Chris Bosh will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 Season, while being treated for blood clots on his lung.

Bosh, who is receiving care under the guidance of Miami HEAT team physicians at a Baptist Health System Hospital, is currently resting comfortably. Chris is OK and his prognosis is good.

According to the Associated Press, “Bosh is the second NBA player whose final game this season was the All-Star Game. New York’s Carmelo Anthony was shut down for knee surgery earlier in the week, a move that was long expected. Bosh’s situation was anything but. It was nothing short of a shock to the Heat, who entered Saturday with a 23-30 record and holding onto the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.”

Utah Jazz waive Kendrick Perkins

Utah Jazz waive Kendrick Perkins

Utah Jazz waive Kendrick Perkins

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has waived center Kendrick Perkins, who was acquired by Utah from Oklahoma City on Thursday, Feb. 19, along with rookie forward Grant Jerrett, the rights to German center Tibor Pleiss and a future first-round pick from Oklahoma City, as well as a 2017 second-round pick from the Detroit Pistons. Following the move, the Jazz roster now stands at 13 players.

Perkins (6-10, 270, Clifton J. Ozen High School (TX)) is a 12-year-veteran who holds career averages of 5.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 22.6 minutes in 727 games (560 starts) with the Thunder and Boston Celtics.

Heat sign Henry Walker to 10-day contract

Miami Heat sign Henry Walker to 10-day contract

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Henry Walker to a 10-day contract.

Walker has appeared in 17 games (eight starts) for the HEAT’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, this season averaging 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.00 steals and 27.8 minutes while shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from three-point range. He has recorded five 20-point games this season, including a 24-point, six-rebound, four-assist, three-steal game in a, 105-80, win against the Westchester Knicks on January 31.

Walker was originally drafted in the second round (47th overall) by the Washington Wizards in the 2008 NBA Draft. The four-year NBA veteran has appeared in 157 career NBA games (22 starts) and averaged 5.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in 15.2 minutes of action while shooting 47.1 percent from the field.

Walker will wear number 5.

Jazz look good in win over Blazers

Utah Jazz look good in win over Blazers

Here’s the Deseret News reporting on the Utah Jazz, who enjoyed a great win Friday over what appeared would be a superior opponent:

The Jazz got back to their post-All-Star week business Friday at EnergySolutions Arena, looking just short of invincible. They were missing a talented Turkish center that wished his way onto the Oklahoma City roster, and a long-range shooter who had just recently been enlisted.

That left the team a bit thinner in the ranks, but it handled the drama well, beating Portland 92-76.

Rudy Gobert was in the starting lineup, a spot he earned fair and square. Gordon Hayward continued trending upward and Derrick Favors was looking like “31 Flavors Favors,” offering a bit of everything. Meanwhile, Trey Burke was hot off the bench, contributing 19 points.

Is this a better Jazz team than the one that lost six of its last nine games before the break?

Sure seemed like it.

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