Suns’ GM: ‘Frank(Kaminsky) is an exceptional shooter who will help us space the floor’

 The Phoenix Suns and forward/center Frank Kaminsky III have agreed to a multiyear contract, the team announced today. According to reports, it’s a two-year, $10 million deal.

“Frank is an exceptional shooter who will help us space the floor and give our guards more room to operate,” said General Manager James Jones. “His size and strong decision-making skills are also a great fit for the team we are building, so we are excited to welcome Frank to Phoenix.”

Kaminsky, 7-0, 240 pounds, is a four-year NBA veteran with career averages of 9.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 282 games with the Charlotte Hornets. Over the last two seasons, Kaminsky has shot 37.3% from three-point range with 154 total makes, the second-best percentage of any qualified seven-footer over this stretch behind only Karl-Anthony Towns. In 2018-19, he shot a career-best 46.3% from the field and averaged 8.6 points in 16.1 minutes. In 21 games after the All-Star break this past season, Kaminsky averaged 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 45.4% from the field, 36.6% from long range and 79.2% from the stripe.

Selected ninth overall by Charlotte in the 2015 NBA Draft, Kaminsky entered the NBA following an outstanding four-year career at the University of Wisconsin. The unanimous National Player of the Year for 2014-15, he led the Badgers to a school-record 36 wins and national runner-up finish, averaging 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while shooting 54.7% from the field, 41.6% from behind the arc and 78.0% from the line. A First Team All-Big Ten selection in each of his final two seasons, he helped Wisconsin to consecutive Final Four appearances for the first time in program history in 2014 and 2015. The Badgers retired his No. 44 in 2018. A native of Lisle, Illinois, Kaminsky played high school ball at Benet Academy.

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Brand on Simmons: ‘He is one of the NBA’s most dynamic and talented young players’

The Philadelphia 76ers officially announced the extension for Ben Simmons on Tuesday, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a five-year, $170M contract with no option in final year and a 15 percent trade kicker. Simmons’ contract extends through the 2024-25 campaign.

With the move, the 76ers have the following core players under contract until at least 2023:

Joel Embiid: 2023
Tobias Harris: 2024
Al Horford: 2023

This is the core that GM Elton Brand and the 76ers’ organization will go with in their quest for an NBA title, which will be led by Embiid and Simmons.

“Ben Simmons is an important piece of our core, and he is one of the NBA’s most dynamic and talented young players,” 76ers GM Elton Brand said. “It was a priority for our organization that we finalize a contract extension with Ben this summer. He was Rookie of the Year in his first season, an All-Star in his second and we expect him to continue to grow and succeed for seasons to come. Ben positively impacts the game in so many ways, and we look forward to continuing our championship pursuits with him as one of our leaders.”

Last season, Simmons, 22, averaged career highs in points (16.9) and rebounds (8.8) to go along with 7.7 (sixth in the NBA) assists and 1.4 steals per game en route to his first career All-Star Game selection. But he had his struggles in the playoffs, especially against the Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Simmons averaged 11.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, and 4.9 apg in that series. Those struggles are mainly because Simmons does not have a consistent jump shot.

If the 76ers want to take that next step, Simmons has to grow his game, which according to Tobias Harris, Simmons is working on this offseason.

“He’s made big improvements on his game; his jump shot is looking really good,” Harris said last week about Simmons. “He has the confidence to shoot it, and I just kept telling him there, ‘like, even in this workout when you are playing, have the confidence to shoot them and don’t get discouraged if you miss. This is where you build that type of confidence.’ So, it was a good sight to see how hard he has been working. He looks really good for a great year.”

If Simmons never develops a consistent jump shot, he will still have a lot of success in the NBA as evidenced by what we have seen thus far in his career.

However, if he grows his game, and develops a reliable perimeter game, he will be tough to guard, and Philadelphia should be able to take that next step as a team, which could be an NBA title.

Pels’ GM: Redick is among the very best shooters in league history

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed free agent guard JJ Redick. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a two-year, $26.5 million deal.

“JJ Redick is among the very best shooters and professionals in league history,” said Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin. “Coming off perhaps the best season of his remarkable career, his on-the-court resumé speaks for itself. However, it was his desire to dive into the role of mentor and veteran leader that spoke most directly to us and has us most excited about our future together. We are thrilled to be able to welcome JJ and his family to New Orleans and our community.”

Redick, 6-4, 200, comes off a 2018-19 campaign where the 13-year veteran averaged a career-best 18.1 points per game for the Philadelphia 76ers while shooting .440 from the field, including .397 from three-point range, to go with 2.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Selected 11th overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2006 NBA Draft out of Duke University, Redick has appeared in 836 career regular season games with Orlando, Milwaukee, the L.A. Clippers and Philadelphia, posting averages on 12.9 points on .448 shooting, including .413 from three-point range, as well as 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per contest. Additionally, Redick has appeared in 110 career postseason games, averaging 10.9 points while shooting .371 from three-point range with Orlando, Milwaukee, the Clippers and Philadelphia.

In conjunction with the move, the Pelicans announced that the team has waived forward/center Christian Wood. Originally claimed off waivers by New Orleans on March 20, 2019, Wood appeared in eight games for the Pelicans last season, averaging 16.9 points and 7.9 rebounds.

76ers’ Ennis on GM 7 against Raps: We would be champions if we win that game(VIDEO)

Basketball is a game inches. A couple bounces here, and a bounces couple there can change everything. Just ask the Philadelphia 76ers. With the game tied at 90, Kawhi Leonard made one of the most improbable shots to send the Raptors past the 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The ball bounced up, down, and into the basket. An inch to the left or an inch to the right could have changed the course history, so says Sixers F James Ennis.

“Lucky shot,” Ennis told Paul Gant on Friday after the introductory press conference to announce his signing with the 76ers. “He’s a good player, though. Kawhi’s one of the best players in the league, but it hit the rim like four times. I felt like if we would have won that game, we would have won the whole thing…

“If we would have won that game, we would have beat Milwaukee, and we would have won a championship because I think we matched up well against Milwaukee. We gave Toronto a run for their money.”

Ennis recently said that the Sixers would “walk to the Finals” now that Kawhi Leonard is out of the Eastern Conference. On Friday, he still sounded very confident in his team.

The East is up for grabs,” he said. “The West is a lot tougher, but I think we have a team that is elite still. We have a good coaching staff here, good coach, good players. I think we are determined to go farther than we did last year, and I know we will.”

The way Milwaukee flamed out against the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals, losing the final four games of the series after being up 2-0, Ennis might have a point. Also, after how the Warriors broke down physically(Durant, Thompson injuries), all the top teams in the East should be kicking themselves right now, and with the West getting even stronger, the top teams in the East might be kicking themselves for a long time!

Listen to complete interview with Ennis below as he discusses why he came back to Philly, how much money he left on the table, the playoffs, and more:

 

 

 

Tobias Harris on Simmons’ jump shot: ‘He has the confidence to shoot it'(VIDEO)

Philadelphia 76ers G Ben Simmons can do a lot of things on the basketball court. He is an adept passer and has great vision; he can get to the lane and finish around the basket, and he is a solid defender. However, the one thing that is missing from his game is shooting.

In two NBA seasons, Simmons has not hit one three-point shot in his career(0-17), and he rarely takes jump shots. Last season, Simmons was 2-21 from shots between 15-19 feet, and he was 18-71 from 10-14 feet. Most of Simmons’ points have come on drives, putbacks, or in the post.  While he was an All-Star last season, he did have issues against the Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but maybe that will change next season.

According to Tobias Harris, who inked a five-year, $180 million deal to return to the 76ers, Simmons’ jump shot has looked good this summer.

“I was out in L.A, and I had linked up with Ben to workout,” Harris said today at his introductory press conference. “We played a lot of one-on-one. He’s in the gym religiously every day, grinding and getting better. He’s in great shape. Everybody was trying to figure out why I was guarding him at the three-point line. It was really because he hit two of them. When I dared him to shoot two of them, he hit two in a row, so that’s why I was there.

“He’s made big improvements on his game; his jump shot is looking really good. He has the confidence to shoot it, and I just kept telling him there, ‘like, even in this workout when you are playing, have the confidence to shoot them and don’t get discouraged If you miss. This is where you build that type of confidence.’ So, it was a good sight to see how hard he has been working. He looks really good for a great year.”

The 76ers have reportedly offered Simmons a five-year, $170 million extension, so they believe that he will develop his jump shot. Simmons is a very good player, and if he can make a 15-footer consistently, he will be tough to guard for years to come.

Mavericks sign Kristaps Porzingis to multi-year extension

 The Dallas Mavericks and forward/center Kristaps Porzingis have agreed to extension, the team announced today.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, it’s a five-year, $158 million maximum contract, which gives him a player option in the final season in 2023.

Porzingis, 23, was originally acquired by the Mavericks on January 31, 2019 along with guards Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke, in exchange for guard Dennis Smith Jr., center DeAndre Jordan, guard/forward Wesley Matthews and two future first-round draft picks.

He holds career averages of 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 31.0 minutes per game in 186 games (185 starts). He averaged a career-high 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and a career-high 2.4 blocks in 48 games (all starts) for the Knicks during the 2017-18 season en route to being named a 2018 NBA All-Star. Porzingis suffered a torn left ACL against Milwaukee on Feb. 6, 2018, ending his 2017-18 campaign and he has not seen game action since the injury.

The former fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft appeared in 72 games (all starts) for the Knicks as a rookie in 2015-16, averaging 14.3 points, a career-high 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 28.4 minutes on his way to being named to the 2016 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

A native of Liepaja, Latvia, Porzingis began his professional career with Spain’s Cajasol Seville. He was a two-time recipient of the ACB All-Young Players Team (2014, 2015) and was also named a EuroCup Rising Star in 2015.

Tournament schedule for Las Vegas Summer League

The Boston Celtics earned the top seed in the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 tournament, following the first seven days of action in Las Vegas.  the Detroit Pistons (2), Minnesota Timberwolves (3), New Orleans Pelicans (4), Miami Heat (5), Dallas Mavericks (6), Brooklyn Nets (7) and Memphis Grizzlies (8) round out the eight tournament teams.  This marks the first year of the eight-team tournament format.T

The single-elimination tournament tips off on Saturday, July 13, at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas.  The tournament will culminate in a championship game on Monday, July 16 at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN2.

Saturday’s tournament slate features four quarterfinal games.  The top-seeded Celtics tip off the day when they take on the Grizzlies at 1:30 p.m. PT at the Thomas & Mack Center, followed by the Pelicans and Heat (3:30 p.m. PT), Detroit and Brooklyn (5:30 p.m. PT) and Minnesota and Dallas (7:30 p.m. PT).

The 24 teams who did not qualify for the tournament will each play a consolation game, tipping off Friday, July 12, at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion and conclude Saturday, July 13 at Cox Pavilion.

Each of the 32 teams played four games apiece since the event tipped off on July 5, with the results of those games determining the tournament seeding.  Seeding for the tournament was determined by win-loss records, with ties being broken using quarter-points followed by point differential.

ESPN and NBA TV will present the remaining 19 games from Las Vegas with ESPN and ESPN2 exclusively televising the tournament rounds on Saturday, July 13; Sunday, July 14; and Monday, July 15.  Additionally, all remaining games will be available live on the ESPN App.

MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 Schedule & Results

Friday, July 5

Cox Pavilion

12 p.m. – Detroit 96, Croatia 80

2 p.m. – Minnesota 85, Cleveland 75

4 p.m. – Dallas 96, Brooklyn 92

6 p.m. – Charlotte 93, Golden State 85

8 p.m. – Orlando 75, San Antonio 59 (Final)

 

Thomas & Mack

12:30 p.m. – Philadelphia 107, Milwaukee 106

2:30 p.m. – Miami 103, China 62

4:30 p.m. – Chicago 96, Los Angeles Lakers 76

6:30 p.m. – New Orleans 80, New York 74 (Final)

8:30 p.m. – Denver vs. Phoenix – Cancelled

 

Saturday, July 6

Cox Pavilion

12 p.m. – Utah 78, Oklahoma City 66

2 p.m. – Milwaukee 89, Atlanta 83

4 p.m. – Memphis 101, Indiana 75

6 p.m. – Dallas 113, Houston 81

8 p.m. – Sacramento 94, China 77

 

Thomas & Mack

12:30 p.m. – Detroit 93, Portland 73

2:30 p.m. – Boston 96, Philadelphia 82

4:30 p.m. – LA Clippers 93, Los Angeles Lakers 87

7 p.m. – Washington 84, New Orleans 79

9 p.m. – Golden State 80, Toronto 71

 

Sunday, July 7

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Brooklyn 74, Croatia 58

3 p.m. – Denver 84, Orlando 79

5 p.m. – Miami 93, Utah 81

7 p.m. – Portland 97, Houston 87

 

Thomas & Mack

12:30 p.m. – San Antonio 106, Charlotte 96

2:30 p.m. – Minnesota 90, Atlanta 66

4:30 p.m. – Cleveland 82, Chicago 75

6:30 p.m. – Phoenix 105, New York 100 (OT)

8:30 p.m. – Memphis 87, LA Clippers 75

 

Monday, July 8

Cox Pavilion

12 p.m. – Oklahoma City 84, Philadelphia 81 (OT)

2 p.m. – Detroit 102. Indiana 84

4 p.m. – San Antonio 93, Toronto 90

6 p.m. – Minnesota 100, Milwaukee 91

8 p.m. – China 84, Charlotte 80

 

Thomas & Mack

12:30 p.m. – Sacramento 105, Dallas 101

2:30 p.m. – Brooklyn 88, Washington 85

4:30 p.m. – Boston 89, Cleveland 72

6:30 p.m. – New Orleans 109, Chicago 72

8:30 p.m. – Golden State 88, Los Angeles Lakers 80

 

Tuesday, July 9

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Miami 96, Orlando 92

3 p.m. – Utah 97, Portland 93

5 p.m. – Boston 95, Denver 82

7 p.m. – Houston 94, Sacramento 92

 

Thomas & Mack

12:30 p.m. – Oklahoma City 84, Croatia 76

2:30 p.m. – Atlanta 87, Indiana 67

4:30 p.m. – Memphis 79, Phoenix 69

6:30 p.m. – Toronto 85, New York 73

8:30 p.m. – LA Clippers 90, Washington 72

 

Wednesday, July 10

Cox Pavilion

12 p.m. – Detroit 96, Philadelphia 81

2 p.m. – Chicago 75, Charlotte 72

4 p.m. – Minnesota 90, Miami 87

6 p.m. – Phoenix 79, San Antonio 78

8 p.m. – Milwaukee 84, China 67

 

Thomas & Mack

12:30 p.m. – Dallas 79, Croatia 71

2:30 p.m. – Brooklyn 93, Orlando 85

4:30 p.m. – New Orleans 99, Cleveland 78

6:30 p.m. – New York 117, Los Angeles Lakers 96

8:30 p.m. – Golden State 73, Denver 69

 

Thursday, July 11

Cox Pavilion

3 p.m. – Toronto 94, Indiana 79

5 p.m. – Oklahoma City 92, Portland 87

7 p.m. – LA Clippers 83, Sacramento 80

 

Thomas & Mack

3:30 p.m. – Washington 76, Atlanta 71

5:30 p.m. – Houston 87, Utah 78

7:30 p.m. – Boston 113, Memphis 87

 

Friday, July 12 – Consolation

Cox Pavilion:

1 p.m. – #27 Philadelphia vs. #14 Toronto (ESPNU)

3 p.m. – #30 Croatia vs. #11 Oklahoma City (ESPNU)

5 p.m. – #28 Cleveland vs. #13 Sacramento (ESPNU)

7 p.m. – #26 Portland vs. #15 Milwaukee (ESPNU)

 

Thomas & Mack:

1:30 p.m. – #31 L.A. Lakers vs. #10 Golden State (NBA TV)

3:30 p.m. – #29 China vs. #12 Phoenix (NBA TV)

5:30 p.m. – #32 Indiana vs. #9 LA Clippers (NBA TV)

7:30 p.m. – #25 Atlanta vs. #16 San Antonio (NBA TV)

 

Saturday, July 13 – Consolation and Quarterfinals

Consolation games:

Cox Pavilion:

1 p.m. – #24 Charlotte vs. #17 Utah (NBA TV)

3 p.m. – #23 New York vs. #18 Washington (NBA TV)

5 p.m. – #22 Orlando vs. #19 Chicago (NBA TV)

7 p.m. – #21 Denver vs. #20 Houston (NBA TV)

 

Quarterfinal tournament games:

Thomas & Mack:

1:30 p.m. – #8 Memphis vs. #1 Boston (ESPN)

3:30 p.m. – #5 Miami vs. #4 New Orleans (ESPN)

5:30 p.m. – #7 Brooklyn vs. #2 Detroit (ESPN)

7:30 p.m. – #6 Dallas vs. #3 Minnesota (ESPN2)

 

Sunday, July 14 – Semifinals

Thomas & Mack: 3 p.m. (ESPN2) and 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

 

Monday, July 15 – Championship

Thomas & Mack: 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Report: Westbrook shipped to Rockets for Chris Paul, picks

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul;  first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, pick swaps in 2021 and 2025.

With the move, Westbrook reunites with his former teammate James Harden. Should be interesting to see how the combination of Harden and Westbrook will be in Houston, but for now, with the trade of Paul George and Westbrook, OKC is rebuilding having acquired eight first-round picks since draft night, and Houston is trying to get an NBA title.

Clips’ Frank: ‘We are grateful and honored that Kawhi Leonard has decided to come home’

Kawhi Leonard is coming home, and fortunately for the Los Angeles Clippers, it will be with them. The Moreno Valley, California-native has officially signed with the Clippers, the team announced today.

According to ESPN, Leonard signed a three-year, $103.1 million deal that includes a player option for the 2021-22 season, the source said. He will make $32.74 million next season, $34.37 million in 2020-21 and $36.01 million in the player-option season.

“This is a historic moment for our organization and our fans,” said Frank. “We are grateful and honored that Kawhi Leonard has decided to come home and join the L.A. Clippers. Kawhi is a peerless two-way player, a relentless worker and a natural fit for the serious, professional culture our group has established. He wins everywhere he goes, and he always has, from King High School to San Diego State to the NBA. Having him on our side is a tremendous privilege and a massive responsibility, one we will take very seriously. His expectation, and ours, is to contend for championships.”

Leonard, 28, averaged 30.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists for the Toronto Raptors last season in 24 playoff games en route to an NBA Championship and Finals MVP honor. During the 2018-19 regular season, the three-time All-Star averaged 26.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

In his career, the two-time defensive Player of the Year (2016, 2015) has averaged 17.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists over 467 games with the Raptors and San Antonio Spurs. Leonard also won an NBA Championship and captured Finals MVP with the Spurs in 2013-14. The 6’7″ forward has been voted All-NBA First Team twice (2017, 2016), All-NBA Second Team once (2019), and All-Defensive First Team three times (2017, 2016, 2015).

Seth Curry signs with the Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks have signed free agent guard Seth Curry, the team announced today.  According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a four-year, $32 million deal.

Curry signs with Dallas after spending the 2018-19 season with the Portland Trail Blazers where he averaged 7.9 points, 1.6 rebounds and 18.9 minutes in 74 games (2 starts). Curry ranked third in the NBA in three-point shooting, finishing the season at .450 from behind-the-arc and competing in the Three-Point Contest at All Star Weekend in Charlotte. He also shot .456 from the field and .846 from the foul line while helping Portland reach the Western Conference Finals.

The signing marks Curry’s second stint with the Mavericks. He signed with Dallas as a free agent on July 15, 2016, and averaged a career-high 12.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 70 games (42 starts) while shooting .481 from the field, .425 from three-point range and .850 from the free throw line. In his second year in Dallas, Curry did not see the floor for the entire 2017-18 season due to a stress injury to his left tibia that eventually required season-ending surgery.

After going undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, Curry was acquired by the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League and scored 36 points in his D-League debut. On Dec. 24, 2013, Curry was signed by the Memphis Grizzlies and made his NBA debut. He was waived by Memphis on Jan. 4, 2014 before returning to Santa Cruz where he went on to average 19.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 38 games (37 starts) and be named D-League All-Star and All-NBA D-League Third Team. The following season, Curry averaged 23.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 43 games (42 starts) with the Erie BayHawks of the D-League. He again garnered D-League All-Star honors as well as being named 2015 All-NBA D-League First Team.

The native of Charlotte, Curry is the son of Dell, a 16-year NBA veteran, and the brother of Golden State’s Stephen Curry. Like his father, his brother and his previous season in Dallas, he will wear number 30 for the Mavericks.