Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince has been fined $25,000 for forcefully pulling down Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside during play and Heat forward James Johnson has been fined $25,000 for escalating the situation in retaliation by throwing a forearm into the chest of Prince, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Prince was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected while Johnson was assessed a Technical Foul and ejected, occurred with 5:53 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Hawks’ 116-93 loss to the Heat on Feb. 1 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed center Mike Tobey to a 10-day contract. Tobey joins the Hornets from the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, becoming the Swarm’s first-ever D-League to NBA “call-up.” The Hornets roster now stands at 14 players.

The 7-0 Tobey has appeared in 29 games (19 starts) for Greensboro in his first D-League season, averaging 11.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 26.0 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures 18 times and grabbed double-figure rebounds on 15 occasions, including each of the last five games. Tobey has posted 12 double-doubles, tied for fifth-most in the D-League, and also ranks 10th in the D-League in rebounds and 14th in blocks.

The Monroe, NY, native played for the Hornets in the 2016 Orlando Pro Summer League and signed with the team on July 25, 2016. In two preseason games with the Hornets, Tobey posted averages of 6.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 block in 18.8 minutes.

A four-year player at the University of Virginia (2012-16), Tobey’s 138 games played rank first in school history. He owns collegiate career averages of 6.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per contest, and was named the ACC Sixth Man of the Year following the 2014-15 season.

Hornets sign Ray McCallum to 10-day contract

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed guard Ray McCallum to a 10-day contract. McCallum joins the Hornets from the NBA Development League’s Grand Rapids Drive.

The 6-3 McCallum has appeared in 30 games (all starts) for the Drive this season, averaging 18.2 points, 7.5 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 37.9 minutes per game. He currently ranks third in the D-League in both assists and minutes, and fourth in steals. The 25-year-old has recorded two triple-doubles on the year, tallying 23 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists against the Maine Red Claws on Dec. 23 and posting 18 points, 13 assists and 12 boards against the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Jan. 7.

Originally selected with the 36th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, McCallum has appeared in 154 career NBA games (46 starts) over three seasons with the Kings, Spurs and Grizzlies, averaging 6.0 points, 2.4 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per contest. His last NBA action came during the 2015-16 season with Memphis, where he appeared in 10 contests (three starts) with averages of 6.9 points, 2.7 boards and 1.4 assists in 21.9 minutes. He was a member of the Detroit Pistons preseason roster prior to the 2016-17 season, but was waived on Oct. 24.

A native of Beverly Hills, Michigan, McCallum was a three-year collegiate player at Detroit Mercy (2010-13) and had career averages of 15.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.7 steals. He earned Horizon League Player of the Year honors for the 2012-13 season.

Warriors waive Anderson Varejao

Warriors waive Anderson Varejao

The Golden State Warriors have waived center Anderson Varejao, the team announced today.

Varejao, 34, appeared in 14 games (one start) with the Warriors this season, posting averages of 1.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 6.6 minutes per contest. The Santa Teresa, Brazil, native was originally acquired by the Warriors on Feb. 22, 2016, and re-signed on July 17, 2016, appearing in 36 games (one start) with Golden State over two seasons after spending the first 11-plus seasons of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Warriors roster now stands at 14 players.

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced today that the team has acquired forward/center Spencer Hawes and center Roy Hibbert from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for center Miles Plumlee. In a related transaction, the Bucks have requested waivers on forward Steve Novak.

“Spencer and Roy are two proven NBA centers who give us additional depth and versatility in the front court,” said Hammond. “The trade also gives us future cap flexibility as we continue to shape our roster. Miles and Steve are true professionals both on and off the court, and we wish them all the best.”

Hawes, 28, has appeared in 35 games (one start) for the Hornets this season with averages of 7.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Hawes also spent the 2014-15 season with Charlotte and has split time with the Clippers, Cavaliers, 76ers and Kings during his 10-year NBA career. The No. 10 overall pick by Sacramento in the 2007 NBA Draft, Hawes has career averages of 8.8 points, 5.8 boards and 1.9 assists in 665 games (368 starts).

Hibbert, 30, has posted averages of 5.2 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 54.2 percent from the field in 42 games (13 starts) with Charlotte in 2016-17. Originally drafted by Toronto with the 17th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, and traded to Indiana on draft night, Hibbert played his first seven NBA seasons with the Pacers and then spent the 2015-16 season with the Lakers before joining the Hornets. Hibbert owns career averages of 10.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 assists in 656 games (586 starts) over nine seasons. He is a two-time NBA All-Star (2012, 2014) and was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team following the 2013-14 season.

Knicks beat Nets in Brooklyn

Both the Knicks and Nets are struggling this season, but it’s still fun to pay attention when NYC’s two teams play each other. Here’s the New York Post reporting on Wednesday’s result:

Knicks beat Nets in Brooklyn

Even Nets coach Kenny Atkinson had to admit the Knicks are Broadway, while his team is off-Broadway. They may have found a few promising young actors, but they wilted under the spotlight Wednesday against the Knicks.

The Nets folded in the fourth quarter of a 95-90 loss, a seventh straight defeat that saw the sellout crowd of 17,732 at Barclays Center largely taken over by blue-and-orange.

“I’d say we’re off-Broadway right now, and we’re trying to get on,” Atkinson said. “We know it’s a long road and a difficult road, but we’re trying to get in that conversation, in the New York conversation.”

If there were any conversation about this one, it wouldn’t be pleasant. For the second straight game, the Nets guarded well, but for the umpteenth time, they lost a game by getting hammered on the backboards and making untimely turnovers.

Vander Blue named D-League Performer of Week

Vander Blue of the Los Angeles D-Fenders today was named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Jan. 23, through Sunday, Jan. 29.

Blue (6-4, Marquette) led Los Angeles to a 2-0 week, averaging 32.5 points (second in the league) on 45.0 percent shooting to go with 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals. On Jan. 26, with the D-Fenders trailing 119-112 with 2:25 to play, Blue connected on back-to-back three-pointers and added two free throws to secure a 125-120 victory over the Sioux Falls Skyforce. He finished the game with 37 points and seven rebounds. On Jan. 29, Blue tallied 28 points, nine rebounds and three steals in a 132-104 win over the Austin Spurs.

Blue, who has scored at least 30 points seven times this season, is averaging 25.5 points (third in the league), 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals. This is the second Performer of the Week award for Blue this season.

Other top performers considered included Canton’s Chris Evans and Eric Moreland, Delaware’s Shawn Long, Erie’s Kalin Lucas, Iowa’s Jarell Martin, Maine’s Jalen Jones and Ryan Kelly, Northern Arizona’s Elijah Millsap, Oklahoma City’s Daniel Hamilton, Rio Grande Valley’s Darius Morris, Santa Cruz’s Phil Pressey and Scott Wood and Texas’ C.J. Williams.

This is the sort of stat that many fans won’t care about, but it’s still impressive and says a lot about what kind of competitor Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas is. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:

Isaiah Thomas great on second night of back-to-back games

Of all the ridiculous offensive numbers that Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas has put up this season, there may be none more impressive than this: Thomas is averaging a league-best 34.2 points per game on the second night of back-to-backs.

In a league that’s trying desperately to cut down on the number of back-to-backs and game-heavy stretches, Thomas is the anti-DNP Rest movement. The 5-foot-9 guard saves some of his best basketball for when he’s had the least rest. What’s more, Thomas is averaging more than three points better than his nearest competitor (Russell Westbrook, 30.9) for scoring on the second nights of back-to-backs.

The only player in the last 20 years to average more points per game on the second nights of back-to-backs is one of Thomas’ idols, Allen Iverson, who averaged 34.9 points during the 2004-05 season.

The Dallas Mavericks today released guard Pierre Jackson from his 10-day contract, and signed rookie guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell to a 10-day contract.

Jackson (5-11, 176) appeared in nine games (one start) for Dallas this season, averaging 3.9 points, 1.0 rebound and 2.1 assists in 9.3 minutes per game. He made his first career start in the Mavericks’ game at Oklahoma City on Thursday (Jan. 26), and recorded nine points, two rebounds and four assists in 13 minutes before leaving the game in the first half with a left hamstring strain.

Jackson was originally signed by Dallas on Dec. 27, before being waived by the team on Jan. 6 after appearing in four games. He then signed his first 10-day contract with Dallas on Jan. 15 and his second 10-day with the club on Jan. 25.

Before his first and second stints with Dallas this season, Jackson appeared in 13 games (all starts) for the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends. In those 13 contests, he averaged a league-high 29.6 points to go along with 4.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.8 steals in 37.4 minutes per game.

Enes Kanter injured, out after arm surgery

Enes Kanter injured, out after arm surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter underwent successful surgery today to repair a fractured right ulna (in his right forearm), it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Kanter sustained the injury during last night’s 109-98 victory over Dallas. During a timeout, he expressed his frustration by hitting a chair. The result? A fractured forearm. 

This season, the sixth-year center has recorded 12 double-doubles and is averaging 14.4 points on .563 percent shooting from the floor, 6.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 21.6 minutes in 47 games.

Kanter has come off the bench every game this season for OKC, but he’s still one of their most important players. He’s third on the team in both points and rebounds per game. 

He will be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks at which time a further update will be provided.

Suns sign Ronnie Price to 10-day contract

Suns sign Ronnie Price to 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Ronnie Price to a 10-day contract.

An 11-year NBA veteran, Price most recently played last season with the Suns when he averaged a career-best 5.3 points while appearing in a career-high 62 games. This is Price’s third tenure with the Suns as in addition to 2015-16, he averaged 3.6 points and 1.9 assists in 36 games with Phoenix in 2011-12. For his career, the 6-2, 190-pound point guard has averaged 3.8 points and 1.8 assists in 530 games with Sacramento, Utah, Phoenix, Portland, Orlando and the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the NBA’s 2016-17 GM Survey, the 33-year-old floor general tied with Suns forward Jared Dudley as each received the second-most votes in response to the question, “Which active player will make the best head coach someday?”

Undrafted out of college in 2005, the Friendswood, Texas native was a four-year performer at Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University) and the first player to enter the NBA directly from that school.

Price will wear uniform number 14. The Suns’ roster now stands at 15

Heat sign Okaro White to second 10-day contract

The Miami Heat re-signed Okaro White to a second 10-day contract today.

White, who was signed to a 10-day contract on January 17, appeared in four games with the HEAT and averaged 3.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.00 blocks and 16.4 minutes while shooting 50 percent (5-of-10) from the field, 40 percent (2-of-5) from three-point range and a perfect 3-of-3 from the foul line.

Earlier this season, White appeared in 23 games (all starts) for the HEAT’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and averaged 18.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.09 steals and 33.0 minutes while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 86 percent from the foul line. He helped the Skyforce to a division best 16-5 record while ranking second on the team in points (424), rebounds (201), field goals made (144), three-point field goals made (38) and free throws made (98).

White, who was originally signed by the HEAT on July 15, 2016, previously appeared in six preseason games with Miami and averaged 5.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 9.5 minutes. Additionally, he appeared in five games with Miami’s Summer League team in Las Vegas this past summer and averaged 8.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.00 steals.

Enes Kanter punches chair, breaks arm

The OKC Thunder (now 28-19, 6th best record in Western conference) bring center Enes Kanter (zero starts in 47 games this season) off the bench, but he’s still one of the team’s key players. Kanter’s 14.4 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game both rank 3rd on the squad. But a quick showing of frustration will reportedly keep Kanter out of action for the near future. Here’s the Oklahoman:

Enes Kanter punches chair, breaks arm

The Thunder survived January. The same cannot be said of Enes Kanter.

A night of frustration ended in victory for the Thunder, who rode Russell Westbrook’s late flurry to a 109-98 victory over a makeshift Dallas team. But Kanter’s night ended earlier, in the second quarter, when the valuable sixth man suffered a fractured arm when he slammed it on the back of a chair in frustration.

That means the Thunder almost surely goes into February – and remaining January road games at Cleveland and San Antonio – without the scorer and rebounder who makes the Thunder bench bearable at times.

Kemba Walker makes NBA All-Star team

The Charlotte Hornets have themselves an All-Star. The reserves were announced earlier today. Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting:

Kemba Walker makes NBA All-Star team

Point guard Kemba Walker was named an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve Thursday, the first time the Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats have had an NBA All-Star since 2010.

Walker was selected as one of seven reserves, in a vote of Eastern Conference head coaches. He is having his best of five NBA seasons, averaging 23 points, 45.9 percent shooting from the field and 41.4 percent from 3-point range.

The Hornets last had an All-Star when forward Gerald Wallace was selected as a reserve for the 2010 game in Arlington, Tex.

For the first time in a long time, Carmelo Anthony did not make the All-Star team. Here’s the NY Daily News reporting:

Carmelo Anthony does not make 2017 NBA All-Star team

It’s probably not a very strong indicator, but Thursday night provided a hint of Carmelo Anthony’s trade value: the NBA coaches do not view him as an All-Star.

The 32-year-old was left off the reserves that were announced Thursday night, marking the first time since 2009 that he won’t be part of the game. It’s also just the second time in 10 years that Anthony isn’t an All-Star.

Anthony finished eighth among Eastern Conference frontcourt players — five below the cut for starting — in the voting that was divided up among fans, players and media. And after the coaches picked the reserves, it was John Wall, Kyle Lowry, Paul George, Kevin Love, Paul Millsap, Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker who made the cut.

Jazz schedule NBA Math Hoops Live event

The Utah Jazz will teach math to local students through basketball during an NBA Math Hoops Live event on Monday, Jan. 30 at the Zions Bank Basketball Center beginning at 4 p.m.

NBA Math Hoops is a fast-paced board game that teaches students fundamental math skills through basketball stats of their favorite Jazz and NBA players. A full-size, live version of the game will be played on the Jazz practice court with help from guards Shelvin Mack and Raul Neto.

The Jazz, with support from Larry H. Miller Charities, introduced this first-year program at the start of the season into 15 schools and non-profits in the Salt Lake Valley. More than 500 youth have been learning basic arithmetic, geometry, percentages and statistical analysis through an engaging curriculum.

The educational event on Monday will feature 40 students from Franklin Elementary and Bryant Middle School, who were selected to attend the event by showing exceptional dedication to the program, split up into two teams with Mack and Neto on each squad.

The court will be set up to mimic the board game, with numbers placed around the floor as shot locations. With two halves of play, students will be given fundamental math problems to complete, which will unlock different locations for the players to shoot from on the court. Once the math problem has been solved correctly, the students will direct their Jazz teammate to the shot location to earn points on the scoreboard.

At the end of the game, the Jazz players will talk to the attendees about the importance of math in their everyday lives, as well as take a group photo.

The Jazz Math Hoops program, in conjunction with the non-profit Learn Fresh, will conclude in early April with a regional tournament for all of the student participants.

Vince Carter turns 40 on Thursday

Vince Carter turns 40 on Thursday

Grizzlies guard/forward Vince Carter is still going strong in his 19th NBA season as he prepares to celebrate his 40th birthday on Thursday, Jan. 26.

The NBA’s oldest active player remains a key contributor for a Memphis team that is pursuing its seventh consecutive playoff berth. Carter is averaging more points (8.2) and minutes (23.8) than he did in either of the previous two seasons. The last player to average eight points or more for a season when he was at least 40 years old at any point was Karl Malone in 2003-04 (13.2 ppg).

Carter is approaching two significant milestones as well. The eight-time All-Star (24,288 career points) needs 81 points to pass Hall of Famer Allen Iverson (24,368) for 23rd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Carter also needs four three-pointers to become the fifth player in NBA history with 2,000 for his career, joining Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Milwaukee’s Jason Terry and the LA Clippers’ Paul Pierce.

It is fitting that Carter is close to cracking an exclusive shooting club alongside Terry and Pierce. Carter, Terry and Pierce are three of the six active players who were drafted in the 1990s, a group that also includes San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Metta World Peace.

– Via NBA News

Jeremy Lin injury update: out another 3-5 weeks

New Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin has spent far more time this season watching basketball than actually playing it.

Nets General Manager Sean Marks released the following statement today:

“During the course of his rehab, Jeremy re-aggravated his strained left hamstring and will be out approximately three to five weeks as he continues to work towards a full recovery. We understand and appreciate Jeremy’s competitive desire to get back on the court with his teammates, however, we are going to be cautious with his rehab in order to ensure that he is at full strength once he returns.”

The Nets are 9-34 this season, which is the worst record in the NBA. Lin has played in just 12 of the team’s 43 games, averaging 13.9 points, 5.8 assists and 1.3 steals per outing.

Spurs sign Joel Anthony to 10-day contract

Spurs sign Joel Anthony to 10-day contract

The San Antonio Spurs have signed forward/center Joel Anthony to a 10-day contract.

It’s tough to predict if the Spurs will keep Anthony beyond the 10-day deal. He’s right on the edge between sticking around in the NBA and falling out of it.

Anthony (6-9, 245), was in training camp with the Spurs earlier this season where he appeared in six preseason games, averaging 4.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 13.9 minutes before being waived on Oct. 22.

A nine-year NBA veteran, Anthony most recently played with the Detroit Pistons during the 2015-16 season. The UNLV product has also played for the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat, where he spent his first six-plus seasons and won back-to-back NBA championships in 2012 and 2013. Anthony has appeared in 471 career games, averaging 2.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.11 blocks in 14.7 minutes.

Anthony will wear No. 30 for the Silver and Black.

Timberwolves putting up wins lately

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on the Timberwolves, who are only 16-28 this season but taking a step in the right direction lately:

Timberwolves putting up wins lately

They’ve won two straight and five of their last seven games overall and for the fourth straight at home. For the second straight game the Wolves won a game decided by four or fewer points. This after going 0-for-10 to start the season in that category.

“We’re trying to establish a home court,’’ Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We want to make it tough for people to come in here. We have to understand, you don’t win because you’re at home, but because of what you put into winning.’’

They did tonight. Denver shot 51.2 percent for the game, but 45.5 percent in the second half, 40.0 percent in the fourth quarter, and just 3-for-12 after taking a nine-point lead with 6:06 left in the game.

The Wolves responded with a 20-8 run.

Basketball blog