Free Grizzlies scrimmage on October 1

Free Grizzlies scrimmage on October 1

On October 1, 2016 from 6-8 p.m., the Grizzlies will host a “Blue White Scrimmage” in place of the annual Open Practice at FedExForum. This full-team scrimmage will be Grizz Nation’s first-look at newcomers Chandler Parsons, 2016 draftees Wade Baldwin IV and Deyonta Davis, plus fan favorites Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen.

Led by new Head Coach David Fizdale, the Blue White Scrimmage will also include entertainment teams like the Grizz Girls, Claw Crew and more, plus fan giveaways.

The scrimmage is free to the public and parking is available in the Toyota Parking Garage. Fans in attendance will receive a voucher for two complimentary tickets to a Grizzlies 2016-17 preseason matchup.

In addition, the Grizzlies Foundation will make a donation on behalf of Scrimmage attendees to the Police Athletic League in support of their community based youth programming.

The Hornets today signed guards Andrew Andrews and Rasheed Sulaimon. The Hornets roster now stands at 18 players.

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume these are non-guaranteed contracts that merely bring these two players to training camp, which opens in a few weeks.

As a senior at the University of Washington last season, the 6-2 Andrews averaged career highs of 20.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 33.8 minutes per game. During his final collegiate campaign, he ranked first in the Pac-12 in scoring per contest and fourth in assists per game, earning 2015-16 All-Pac-12 First Team honors. The Portland, Ore., native appeared in 128 career games during his four-year career, owning averages of 14.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 30.7 minutes per game. He left Washington as the school’s all-time leader in free throws made (578) and ranked third all-time in points (1,812).

The 6-4 Sulaimon finished his collegiate career at Maryland in 2015-16, appearing in 36 games with averages of 11.3 points on .425 shooting from three-point range, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 32.9 minutes per game, garnering a 2015-16 All-Big Ten honorable mention. Prior to his senior season, the Houston native spent three years at Duke (2012-15), playing in 90 total games with averages of 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 25.6 minutes per contest. He was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team following the 2012-13 season.

Andrews will wear No. 1 and Sulaimon will wear No. 6 for Charlotte.

Sixers sign Elton Brand

Sixers sign Elton Brand

The 76ers have brought back veteran power forward Elton Brand.

Brand averaged 7.2 points per game for the Mavericks in 2012-13, 5.7 ppg for the Hawks in 2013-14, 2.7 ppg still with the Hawks in 2014-15, and 4.1 ppg last season in 17 games for the Sixers.

He’s being brought back mostly to mentor all the talented young big-men on the Sixers roster, though he was signed as a player. Perhaps a coaching job is in his future.

Over 17 NBA seasons, Brand has appeared in 1,058 career games with 868 starts, posting averages of 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game. He has played 34,910 career minutes, which ranks him 67th all-time. Brand was also the recipient of the 2005-06 Joe Dumars Trophy, presented each season to the player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.

Brand signed with the Sixers on January 4, 2016 after originally spending four seasons in Philadelphia from 2008-2012, when he posted averages of 13 points and seven rebounds per game. Brand averaged 16 points and eight rebounds for the Sixers in the 2011 NBA Playoffs and averaged 11 points across 18 total playoff games during his first stint in Philadelphia.

A two-time NBA All-Star, Brand was the first overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls and was named Rookie of the Year.

Allen Iverson will soon be a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, and just like it took a team effort to contain him on the court, several people will share the responsibility discussing his accomplishments right before he officially joins the Hall. Here’s CSN Philly reporting:

Inducting Allen Iverson into Hall of Fame will be team effort

Former Sixers coach Larry Brown, former Georgetown coach John Thompson and Sixers legend Julius Erving will all present A.I. before he’s inducted this Friday night in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Brown (class of 2002) took over the Sixers in 1997, Iverson’s second year in the NBA, and stayed with the team until 2003. During that time, Brown was widely known as one of the few people who could get through to Iverson, a well-known explosive personality during those years. The two teamed up to lead the Sixers to their most successful stretch in recent memory. That stretch included a trip to the 2001 NBA Finals and the 2001 league MVP for Iverson. Brown is known as a mentor to Iverson and the two are still close to this day.

Kings sign rookie guard Isaiah Cousins

The Kings have signed rookie guard Isaiah Cousins.

Drafted in the second round (59th overall) in the 2016 Draft by Sacramento out of Oklahoma, the 6-5 guard averaged 9.7 points (.408 FG%, .407 3pt%, .711 FT%), 3.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 27.7 minutes per game over 137 career contests in four seasons with the Sooners (2012-13 – 2015-16).

Stat-wise, Cousins was at his best as a senior, averaging career-bests in points (12.6 ppg), assists (4.5 apg), steals (1.4 spg) and minutes (33.3 mpg) while grabbing 4.5 rebounds a game, shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from three-point range.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers still isn’t positive that Paul Pierce will play next season. More should be known later this month, as training camps approach. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Doc Rivers unsure if Paul Pierce will keep playing

“If I don’t think they can play, then I tell them that. But I think Paul can play,” Rivers said. “I don’t know how much he’ll play, but he can play. I’ve always thought it’s easy for someone else to tell you to retire; I think that’s something that the player has to come to by himself.”

Rivers reaffirmed that, should Pierce choose to retire, he’ll encourage him to sign a one-day contract with the Boston Celtics in order to retire as a member of the Celtics organization.

The Raptors on Friday signed President Masai Ujiri to a multi-year contract extension and promoted Jeff Weltman to general manager and Bobby Webster to assistant general manager/vice-president basketball strategy. Ujiri will continue to oversee basketball operations as president of the club.

“I am grateful to the Board and Mr. Tanenbaum for the opportunity to continue our progress to build the Raptors into one of the top franchises in the NBA,” said Ujiri. “I’m also excited that Jeff and Bobby are being rewarded for their hard work and valuable contributions to our program.

“My family thanks the NBA, Raptors players and coaches, staff, Raptors fans, the city of Toronto and Canada for this opportunity. Toronto is home for us.”

In their three seasons with the Raptors, Ujiri, Weltman and Webster have helped to build a team that has won three consecutive Atlantic Division titles, advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, posted three straight seasons with franchise-high victories, including 56 wins this past season, and compiled a 153-93 (.622) mark – the best record in the Eastern Conference in that span.

“The gratitude and respect we hold for Masai and our Raptors senior management team are reflected in our Board’s action to extend Masai’s contract,” said Larry Tanenbaum, Chairman of the Board. “We are excited to build on our team’s success and to give Masai our full support in delivering to our fans and to our country the Toronto Raptors’ first NBA championship.”

Ujiri was named president and general manager May 31, 2013. In addition to his role with the Raptors, Ujiri has been tireless in his efforts to promote and develop the game of basketball throughout Africa. He is the founder of the Giants of Africa Foundation, which launched the Top 50 and Big Man camps in his homeland. He has also served as the director of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program since 2002.

Sixers waive Carl Landry and Tibor Pleiss, sign Anthony Barber

The 76ers on Wednesday waived forward Carl Landry and center Tibor Pleiss, and signed guard Anthony ‘Cat’ Barber.

Barber played three seasons at North Carolina State University prior to declaring for the 2016 NBA Draft. This past season, he was named First Team All-ACC and led the conference with averages of 24 points and 39 minutes played per game. Over the course of his three seasons with the Wolfpack, the 2013 McDonald’s All-American appeared in 104 games and posted averages of 15 points, four assists and three rebounds in 31 minutes per game.

This past season, Landry appeared in 36 games (12 starts) and averaged 10 points and four rebounds in 16 minutes per game. A veteran of nine NBA seasons, Landry has played for five NBA teams since being selected by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 31st overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. In 513 games (93 starts), Landry holds career averages of 11 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes per game.

Pleiss, acquired from Utah on August 26, was originally selected with the 31st overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Brooklyn Nets and acquired by the Jazz as part of a three-team trade in February, 2015. In 12 career games with Utah, he posted averages of two points and one rebound in seven minutes per game.

Noah Vonleh out 3-4 weeks after surgery

Noah Vonleh out 3-4 weeks after surgery

Trail Blazers forward Noah Vonleh underwent a procedure today to remove a bone fragment from his right thigh musculature.

Dr. Evan Ellis performed the procedure at Rebound in Vancouver, Washington.

The expected recovery time is 3-4 weeks.

Vonheh played 15.1 minutes per game in the 2015-16 season for the Blazers, averaging 3.6 points and 3.9 rebounds. That is backup-level court time, though he started in 56 of 78 games played.

The Raptors will play a pair of 2016 NBA preseason games in Vancouver and Calgary.

Their opponents will be the Warriors and Nuggets.

Even though it’s just preseason, that Warriors game will be Kevin Durant’s debut on the squad and is therefore worth watching.

And as for Canada in general, any games outside of Toronto should certainly be attended by fans who don’t get to see NBA players with their own eyes on a regular basis.

Here’s more info: http://www.insidehoops.com/canada-nba-preseason-games-083016.shtml

Here’s the Detroit Free Press with an unfortunate update on a former MSU player:

For the third time since May, former Michigan State University basketball player Keith Appling has been arrested and once again a gun is involved, police say.

Appling, 24, was arrested at about 9 p.m. Sunday on Detroit’s east side after first driving away from a traffic stop and then stopping his car following a short pursuit, Detroit police said in a news release this morning.

Expect an up-tempo Heat offense next season

Expect an up-tempo Heat offense this season

How will the Heat be different this upcoming season, their first in many years without star shooting guard Dwyane Wade? According to their head coach, they plan to speed things up. With Chris Bosh’s return still uncertain due to health reasons, the squad is built around Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow and Hassan Whiteside. Here’s the Palm Beach Post blog reporting:

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s latest video clip on the team’s website is a message to Heat fans to expect more of what you saw the second half of last season when the Heat, behind point guard Goran Dragic, scrapped its lumbering style for an up-tempo offense.

“The style of offense when you’re pushing the tempo and you’re attacking and you’re looking for opportunities in the open court, that’s a fun style of basketball,” Spoelstra said. “Our guys enjoy playing that style, they’re committed to the conditioning level and the work ethic. … they’re willing to do it because they want to have fun they want to express athleticism and I think that’s what Heat fans can expect from this team next year.”

Pacers sign Julyan Stone and Alex Poythress

Pacers sign Julyan Stone and Alex Poythress

The Pacers signed Julyan Stone and Alex Poythress today.

Stone is a 6-6 guard that is a three-year veteran of the NBA, spending time with both the Denver Nuggets and the Toronto Raptors. He has NBA career averages of 1.3 points and 1.1 assists per game. He also played in the D-League, where he averaged 4.7 points and 4.3 assists per game. He played collegiately at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

Alex Poythress is a 6-8 forward from the University of Kentucky. Heplayed four seasons for the Wildcats and in his senior year he averaged 10.2 points and 6.0 rebounds. He also played for the Orlando Magic this past summer in Summer League.

New Sacramento Kings arena costs rise

New Sacramento Kings arena costs

The Kings will soon have a new home in Sacramento to call their own. Here’s the Sacramento Bee with the latest:

Barely a month before opening, the Sacramento Kings continue to pour money into their new downtown arena, bringing the latest estimate of Golden 1 Center’s construction costs to $556.6 million.

The estimate has risen by $21.7 million in just a month, according to a construction consultant’s report submitted to Sacramento city officials late last week. The $556.6 million price represents a more than $79 million increase since the Kings broke ground in October 2014 on what was envisioned as a $477 million project. When the arena was first proposed to city officials, in 2013, Kings officials said it would cost $447 million –bringing the total increase in price to around $109 million.

Dwyane Wade`s cousin shot in Chicago

The violence in Chicago is out of control. Or rather, continues to be out of control — because this isn’t new. But once again, a relative of Dwyane Wade is a victim. Here’s CSN Chicago reporting:

On Thursday, Dwyane Wade appeared on an ESPN special for The Undefeated to talk about gun violence. The next day, Wade’s cousin was shot and killed in Chicago.

Nykea Aldridge was pushing a baby stroller in the Chicago neighborhood of Parkway Gardens when she was shot and killed. Aldridge was 32 and a mother of four.

Police said she was not the intended target and one person was taken into custody as a result of the incident.

A lot of people say all the right things about violent crime, but clear, direct, honest solutions on how to reduce it aren’t quite so common. Just our opinion.

Jazz waive Kendall Marshall

Jazz waive Kendall Marshall

That was quick. The Jazz have waived guard Kendall Marshall, whose rights were acquired by trade from Philadelphia on Friday.

Marshall (6-4, 200, North Carolina) is a four-year NBA veteran who has appeared in 160 career games (57 starts) over four seasons with Phoenix, the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

Sixers trade Kendall Marshall to Jazz

The 76ers have acquired center Tibor Pleiss (”TEE-bore Plice”), two 2017 second-round draft picks and cash considerations from the Jazz in exchange for Kendall Marshall.

The Sixers will receive the most and least favorable of the four 2017 second-round picks currently held by Utah (their own, in addition to those of Detroit, Golden State and New York).

Pleiss (7′3″, 256lbs) was originally selected with the 31st overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Brooklyn Nets and acquired by the Jazz as part of a three-team trade in February, 2015. He has appeared in 12 career games with Utah, averaging two points and one rebound in seven minutes per game.

Marshall (6-4, 200, North Carolina) is a four-year NBA veteran who has appeared in 160 career games (57 starts) over four seasons with Phoenix, the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.

Video: Drake hits shot from halfcourt

It’s the offseason and you want basketball stuff to look at, so here’s a video clip of Drake lying down at halfcourt tossing in a shot:

Of course, we have no idea how many times Drake tried that shot before it actually went in. Still, nicely done.

Heat may keep Josh McRoberts

Here’s the Miami Herald blog with a Heat update. Seems Josh McRoberts, who in 42 games last season averaged 3.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per outing, will remain in Miami:

Heat may keep Josh McRoberts

Though he was mentioned in trade rumors previously, the Heat has indicated to Josh McRoberts’ camp that he’s in the team’s plans for this season, his agent said, adding Miami called to go over his offseason training and make sure everyone is on the same page.

McRoberts will make $5.8 million this season and has a $6 million player option for 2017-18.

But the Heat will need to dump someone with a guaranteed deal if it wants to keep point guard Briante Weber. Free agent pickups this summer cannot be dealt until Dec. 15.

Lakers re-sign Tarik Black

Lakers re-sign Tarik Black

The Lakers have re-signed center Tarik Black, the team announced today.

New addition Timofey Mozgov will likely start at center for the Lakers. Black will be a reserve.

“Tarik is a player whose strengths are well-suited for the style of play we envision for our team going forward,” said General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “He plays the game with a mix of athleticism, energy, and physicality that make him a valuable frontcourt contributor in today’s NBA.”

In two seasons with the Lakers, Black has averaged 5.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 16.9 per game while shooting 57.5% from the field over 77 games (27 starts). Awarded to the Lakers on a waiver claim on December 28, 2014, he also appeared in 25 games (12 starts) for the Houston Rockets to begin the 2014-15 season before being waived.

The 24-year-old Black averaged 9.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game on 60.5% shooting after being reinserted into the starting lineup at center in 2014-15, and finished his rookie season ranked second amongst all first year players in offensive rebounds per game and third in total rebounds per game. On April 12, 2015, he grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds, becoming the first Lakers rookie since Leroy Ellis in 1963 to record that many rebounds in a game.

Basketball blog