The Houston Rockets have waived guard/forward P.J. Hairston, forward Le’Bryan Nash, and guard Gary Payton II, General Manager Daryl Morey announced today.

Hairston signed with the Rockets on Sept. 30 while Nash signed on Oct. 22. Payton II was eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft and competed for the Rockets in the Samsung NBA Summer League and in this preseason.

Sixers sign Dionte Christmas

Sixers sign Dionte Christmas

The Philadelphia 76ers signed guard Dionte Christmas today.

Christmas appeared in 31 games for the Phoenix Suns during the 2013-14 season, where he posted averages of two points and one rebound in seven minutes per game. He also has seven seasons of experience internationally, most recently with Torku Konyaspor Basket of the Turkish Basketball Super League.

He was originally signed by Philadelphia in September of 2009 after participating in the Orlando Summer League as part of the Sixers’ combined team with the Brooklyn Nets.

Christmas had a stellar career at Temple University, where he averaged 16 points, four rebounds and two assists in four years, while becoming the first player to ever lead the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring for three consecutive seasons.

Trail Blazers exercise contract options on Noah Vonleh and Shabazz Napier

The Portland Trail Blazers have exercised the fourth-year contract options on forward Noah Vonleh and guard Shabazz Napier.

Vonleh, 21, posted averages of 3.6 points (42.1% FG, 74.5% FT), 3.9 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 15.1 minutes in 78 games (56 starts) last season with the Trail Blazers after being acquired from the Charlotte Hornets on June 24, 2015. Vonleh was the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Acquired on July 7 from the Orlando Magic in exchange for cash considerations, Napier, 24, has averaged 4.4 points (36.1% FG, 34.7% 3-PT, 76.2% FT), 1.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 15.2 minutes over two seasons with the Miami Heat and Orlando. Napier was originally selected as the 24th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Pacers sign Ben Bentil

Pacers sign Ben Bentil

The Indiana Pacers have signed 6-9 free agent forward Ben Bentil to a contract.

Bentil, who played collegiately at Providence, was a second-round pick (51st overall) of the Boston Celtics in the 2016 NBA Draft.

The Pacers this season are built around guards Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis and Rodney Stuckey, forwards Paul George and Thaddeus Young, and centers Myles Turner and Al Jefferson. George is the big star of the group.

Pelicans waive Alonzo Gee, keep Lance Stephenson

The New Orleans Pelicans waived forward Alonzo Gee today, and confirmed that Lance Stephenson has made their regular season roster.

Gee, 6-6, 225, has appeared in 73 career games with New Orleans, averaging 4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0.9 steals in 22.4 minutes per game. Gee was originally signed by New Orleans on July 16, 2015.

Undrafted in 2009 out of the University of Alabama, Gee has appeared in 404 career regular season games with Washington, San Antonio, Cleveland, Denver, Portland and New Orleans, holding averages of 6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.9 steals in 22.2 minutes per contest.

New Orleans’ roster now stands at 15.

timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday exercised the third-year options on Tyus Jones and Karl-Anthony Towns, along with the fourth-year options on Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins.

Jones, 20, posted averages of 4.2 points and 2.9 assists in 15.5 minutes per contest in 37 games over his rookie season. The Wolves originally acquired the draft rights to the 6-2 guard from the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 25, 2015.

LaVine, 21, owns career averages of 12.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 159 contests. The 6-5 guard tallied 14.0 ppg, on 45.2% shooting, including a 38.9% mark from three-point distance, a season ago. Minnesota drafted LaVine with the 13th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Towns, 20, averaged 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game last season on his way to being named 2016 KIA NBA Rookie of the Year. The Wolves selected the 7-0 forward/center with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Wiggins, 21, has averaged 18.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 163 career contests over two seasons with Minnesota. The 6-8 forward tallied averages of 20.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists a season ago. Wiggins, who was named the 2015 KIA NBA Rookie of the Year, was acquired by the Wolves via trade on August 23, 2014 after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by Cleveland.

Pacers waive Jeremy Evans and Julyan Stone

Pacers waive Jeremy Evans and Julyan Stone

The Indiana Pacers on Sunday waived 6-9 forward Jeremy Evans and 6-6 guard Julyan Stone.

Evans appeared in two preseason games and did not score.

Stone played in five games, scoring one point while averaging two rebounds per game.

The Pacers’ roster now stands at 15.

Jared Sullinger to undergo foot surgery

Jared Sullinger to undergo foot surgery

The Toronto Raptors announced Sunday forward Jared Sullinger will have a screw inserted into the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. The surgery will be performed Monday afternoon by Dr. Martin O’Malley in New York City.

The procedure is a preventative measure to alleviate symptomatic stress reactions. Sullinger’s status will be updated as appropriate.

The Raptors signed Sullinger as a free agent July 14. The four-year veteran has averaged 11.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 24.9 minutes in 258 regular season games.

The Raptors open the 2016-17 season Wednesday when they play host to the Detroit Pistons at Air Canada Centre at 7:30 p.m. (TSN/TSN 1050 Toronto).

Warriors exercise contract option on Kevon Looney

The Warriors have exercised the third-year contract option on forward Kevon Looney, which is for the 2017-18 NBA season.

Looney, 20, appeared in five games for Golden State last season, averaging 1.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in 4.2 minutes per contest. He also appeared in 12 games with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, averaging 9.8 points and 7.4 rebounds in 19.3 minutes. Originally selected by Golden State with the 30th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the 6’9” forward appeared in six games this preseason, averaging 3.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per contest.

Under the terms of the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement, the first two years of a first round draft pick’s contract are guaranteed, while the third and fourth year of the contract are the team’s option. Teams have until October 31st to exercise these options.

Raptors exercise contract options on Bruno Caboclo, Lucas Nogueira and Delon Wright

The Raptors have exercised the fourth-year team options on the Rookie Scale Contracts of forward Bruno Caboclo and center Lucas Nogueira and the third-year team option on the Rookie Scale Contract of guard Delon Wright.

The contracts for Caboclo, Nogueira and Wright are now guaranteed through the 2017-18 season.

In accordance with the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Raptors had until October 31 to exercise their option on all three players. Per team policy, financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Caboclo, 6-foot-9, 218 pounds, was selected by the Raptors with the 20th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The native of Osasco, Brazil split last season between Toronto and Raptors 905 in the NBA D-League. He made six appearances with Toronto. Caboclo averaged 14.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 34.3 minutes in 37 games (35 starts) with Raptors 905. He scored 20-or-more points eight times, including a season-high 31 points Mar. 28 at Grand Rapids.

Nogueira, 7-foot, 241 pounds was acquired from Atlanta on June 30, 2014. He saw action with the Raptors and Raptors 905 during the 2015-16 season. He averaged 2.2 points, 1.6 rebounds and 7.8 minutes in 29 outings with Toronto and 9.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 25.1 minutes in 11 contests with Raptors 905.

The native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was taken 16th overall by Boston in the 2013 Draft. He played three seasons in Spain before joining the Raptors.

Wright, 6-foot-5, 183 pounds was selected by Toronto with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He averaged 3.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 8.5 minutes in 27 games last season. Wright scored a season-high 19 points Apr. 8 vs. Indiana. He also appeared in 15 games with Raptors 905, averaging 17.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 35.7 minutes.

Sixers waive Elton Brand, who is retiring

Sixers waive Elton Brand, who is retiring

Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand previously announced his intention to retire following the team’s final preseason game at Miami on Friday evening. Accordingly, as a matter of procedure, the Sixers have requested waivers on Brand.

Over 17 NBA seasons, Brand appeared in 1,058 career games with 868 starts for Chicago, the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia, Dallas and Atlanta. The 6’ 8” Brand posted career averages of 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game. His 1,828 blocks rank him 20th all-time in NBA history. He 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.

Pelicans waive Quinn Cook and Quincy Ford

The New Orleans Pelicans have waived guard Quinn Cook and guard/forward Quincy Ford.

Cook, 6-0, 174, appeared in three preseason games for New Orleans, averaging 8.3 points and 2.7 assists in 9.6 minutes per game. After a four-year career at Duke University, Cook spent the 2015-16 season with the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League. The Washington, D.C. native was originally signed by the Pelicans on Sept. 24.

Ford, 6-8, 225, was originally signed by New Orleans on Oct. 17. After a four-year collegiate career at Northeastern University, the Florida native appeared in eight games for the Utah Jazz’s summer league team, averaging 5.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists.

New Orleans’ roster now stands at 16.

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have waived Kyle Collinsworth, Jaleel Cousins, Keith Hornsby, Jonathan Gibson and CJ Williams.

Collinsworth (6-6, 210) was signed on July 21, 2016. He appeared in five games for the Mavericks during the exhibition season and averaged 1.2 points and 1.4 assists in 11.0 minutes per game.

Cousins (6-11, 255) was recently signed on October 17, 2016 and failed to appear in a preseason game for Dallas.

Hornsby (6-4, 210) appeared in five games for the Mavericks and averaged 3.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 9.7 minutes per game after signing with Dallas on July 27, 2016.

Gibson (6-2, 185) was signed on July 15, 2016 and played in all seven preseason games for the Mavericks. He averaged 7.1 points 3.0 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game.

Williams (6-5, 225) was signed on September 19, 2016. He played in five games for the Mavericks and averaged 3.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 10.1 minutes per game.

The Mavericks roster now stands at 15

Cavaliers waive John Holland

The Cleveland Cavaliers waived guard John Holland today.

Holland appeared in three preseason games for the Cavs, averaging 10.7 points and 1.3 steals in 18.8 minutes.

The Cavaliers roster now stands at 16.

NBA teams must trim their rosters to 15 or fewer players before the start of the regular season.

The Charlotte Hornets have waived forward Perry Ellis, guard Rasheed Sulaimon and center Mike Tobey.
Ellis (6-8, 225, Kansas) signed with the Hornets on Sept. 23 after going undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft. Ellis appeared in one preseason game and totaled four minutes of playing time.

Sulaimon (6-4, 190, Maryland) signed with the Hornets on Sept. 7 and played in four preseason contests. He averaged 1.5 points and 1.3 assists in 8.6 minutes per game.

Tobey (7-0, 260, Virginia) originally signed with the Hornets on July 25, 2016 after going undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft. The former Virginia Cavalier appeared in two games for the Hornets in the preseason and averaged 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game. Tobey appeared in five games for the Hornets in the 2016 Orlando Pro Summer League averaging 10.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 20.8 minutes per game.

The team’s roster stands at 15

Grizzlies waive JaKarr Sampson, Wayne Selden Jr and D.J. Stephens

The Memphis Grizzlies have waived forward JaKarr Sampson, guard/forward Wayne Selden Jr. and guard/forward D.J. Stephens.

Sampson (6-9, 214), signed by Memphis on Oct. 21, did not appear in a preseason game with the Grizzlies. He competed in one preseason contest for the Denver Nuggets, totaling 10 points and three rebounds in 20 minutes, before he was waived on Oct. 15.

Selden (6-5, 230), who joined Memphis on Aug. 8, competed in five preseason games (one start) for the Grizzlies and averaged 8.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 18.6 minutes.

Stephens (6-5, 188), signed by Memphis on Aug. 8, appeared in five preseason contests (one start) for the Grizzlies and averaged 9.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.40 steals in 23.5 minutes.

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 17 players.

The Miami HEAT have waived Vashil Fernandez, Luis Montero, Beno Udrih, Brianté Weber and Okaro White.

Fernandez, who was signed as a free on October 17, appeared in two preseason games with the HEAT totaling three points, one rebound and a steal in 14:38 minutes of action.

Montero, who was signed as a free agent on October 18, appeared in two preseason games with Miami, totaling nine points, three rebounds, three steals, one assist and one block in 18:48 minutes of action.

Udrih, who re-signed with the HEAT as a free agent on August 17, appeared in four preseason games (one start), and averaged 3.3 points and 2.0 assists in 13.6 minutes per game. He also played in 36 games (five starts) for the HEAT last season.

Weber, a free agent who signed with the HEAT on April 10, played in all eight of the HEAT’s preseason games (one start), and averaged 3.1 points, 2.9 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.3 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game.

White, who played on the HEAT’s summer league team this year and was signed as a free agent on July 15, appeared in six preseason games with Miami and averaged 5.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 9.5 minutes while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the foul line.

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 15.

The Milwaukee Bucks have requested waivers on Orlando Johnson, J.J. O’Brien and Jaleel Roberts, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Johnson averaged 4.0 points and 3.6 rebounds in five preseason games, while O’Brien tallied five points in five appearances and Roberts played in five games and scored two points and three rebounds.

The Bucks roster stands at 15 players.

The Detroit Pistons have waived Mamadou N’Diaye, Trey Freeman and Lorenzo Brown.

Detroit this season is built around guards Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, forwards Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris and Stanley Johnson, and center Andre Drummond. Jackson is injured, so Ish Smith has an increased role, for now.

In preseason, the Pistons were led by Harris (15.3 ppg), Drummond (14.4 ppg, 14.6 rpg) and Caldwell-Pope (11.8 ppg, though on 35% shooting). Preseason stats shouldn’t be taken seriously, however. Fun to glance at, but the regular season is what counts.

Utah Jazz waive Chris Johnson

NBA news: Utah Jazz waive Chris Johnson

The Utah Jazz have waived forward Chris Johnson. Following the move, Utah’s roster now stands at 15 players.

Johnson (6-6, 206, Dayton) appeared in all six preseason games for the Jazz, averaging 5.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 11.2 minutes. He appeared in 82 games (two starts) for Utah over the past two seasons, averaging 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per contest.

The 6-6 forward originally signed a 10-day contract with the Jazz during the 2014-15 season before signing a multi-year deal on March 26, 2015.

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