Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed guard Javaris Crittenton and forward Darius Miles. The deals are almost surely only for training camp.
Crittenton has played in 113 career NBA games for the Lakers, Grizzlies and Wizards, averaging 5.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 16.4 minutes. The two-year veteran was initially selected by the Lakers with the 19th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.
Miles has played in 446 career NBA games for the Clippers, Cavaliers, Trail Blazers and Grizzlies, averaging 10.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He was selected by the Clippers with the third overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft and earned First Team All-Rookie honors following the 2000-01 season.
"Look at how much better Washington is, look at the Knicks - how much better they are. Look at the Nets, how much better. The East has gotten a whole lot better because of draft picks, free-agency," Brown said, with training camp opening Tuesday morning at UNC Wilmington.
"I'm excited about some of the young people we got, but I think the challenge is much greater than last year, based of who we had and who we lost and what's gone on in our league."
One thing about Larry, he'll tell it like it is. He's not satisfied with the roster and he's being vocal about it. If the current trade doesn't go through you can bet another will be forthcoming.
Larry Brown loves lump-of-clay guys n someone with high, but unrealized potential he can develop. Sounds like he's found one already:
"Dominic McGuire is going to surprise a lot of people. I know nobody knows about him, he hasn't played, but he's going to be a big part of our team," Brown said of the 6-9 forward.
Bonnell's observations from Wed. night's scrimmage:
Count to 10, Bobcats-style
Ten things worth noting from the Charlotte Bobcats' Wednesday-night scrimmage at training camp:
1. Guest of honor had to be former North Carolina coach Dean Smith, Larry Brown's mentor. Smith has gone through a rough time, health-wise, of late, But at least from afar (the media monitors night sessions from upstairs and there aren't post-practice interviews), he looked well in a Tar Heel blue warmup jacket.
When Smith attended Bobcats training camp two seasons ago, he told Brown he wasn't sure that Bobcats team could win the ACC. Only four players remain from that team and one of those -- Matt Carroll -- left and came back.
2. Brown says Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw are setting the pace at practice. It showed in the scrimmage, when Jackson hit the floor trying to keep the ball in-bounds with such force he slid about 15 feet.
3. Power forward Tyrus Thomas sat out his second straight practice with a sprained right ankle. Looked like Thomas tried to play at night, based on his taped ankles.
4. Javaris Crittenton made a really nice transition play, stealing a Diaw pass, dribbling off in the opposite direction, then beating the last defender with a backward bounce pass to Derrick Brown, setting up a dunk.
5. I've noticed, at least in practice, that Shaun Livingston moves gingerly when the ball is loose and bodies are flying. Can't blame him for that -- after that horrific knee injury, the last thing he needs is to fall awkwardly -- but it is noticeable.
6. Darius Miles might not be real fast anymore, but he has absurdly long strides. I saw him go from above the foul line to the rim in about three steps. 7. Gana Diop twice dropped touch passes that should have led directly to dunks. I thought I was watching Dwayne Jarrett.
8. Brown was more feisty Wednesday than Tuesday. At one point he screamed out, "That's how to get a basket! Don't dribble! Pass to the open man!''
9. Brown prefers drives to jump shots, but that doesn't mean he likes good shooters turning down open looks. "Shoot the ball, Matt,'' Brown screamed at Carroll. "You've been shooting your whole life!''
10. Only one (inevitably longer) practice Thursday, a late-morning session.
Some of you might remember the story I did heading into the playoffs, extensively quoting an advance scout from another NBA team on the Bobcats' various strengths and weaknesses.
That scout said the thing he liked best about the Bobcats was that their two best players -- Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson -- were also their hardest workers and toughest competitors. The scout thought that was important, because it set a tone for the rest of the team.
I agree with all that. And more importantly, it manifests itself at this training camp.
I'll repeat something I've written before: Since so many of you find me relentlessly negative (I just think I'm realistic), when I say something positive, you should consider it valid. And I'm telling you the energy I see at
Wallace, Jackson and Boris Diaw are setting the standard here for how hard to play. I know many of you are down on Diaw, but you should have seen the teeth-rattling screen he set on Gerald Henderson at Friday's scrimmage. Jackson slid a good 10 feet the other night, trying to keep a ball in-bounds.
Trust me, when the guys with the most job security are playing like an undrafted rookie in search of a job, that sets a tone.
I'm not blind to their flaws. They're shaky at point guard and center, the two toughest positions to fill. And Larry Brown appropriately pointed out so many teams in the East have improved their talent, some of them dramatically.
But I like this team's chemistry and momentum. I'm not saying they'll advance beyond the first round, but I don't see them regressing, either.