Cavs’ Altman: ‘I are thrilled to remain in this community for years to come’

Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman has signed a long-term contract extension, the team announced on Friday.

“Koby has been a culture-driver and an innovator who has built a fresh, new foundation and environment for our front office and team that inspires everyone involved,” said Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert. “He is a passionate leader who is executing a very dynamic, strategic plan for the future of the team and our vision for growth and success. Koby’s collaborative approach has also extended beyond the team and had a consistent, positive impact across our entire organization. I look forward to seeing his hard work and creativity continue to make us better and help guide the team towards reaching our goals for years to come.”

The 37-year-old Altman was named the 11th general manager in Cavaliers history on July 24, 2017. In his first year as general manager in 2017-18, the Cavaliers captured the Central Division crown with a 50-32 (.610) record and went on to win their fourth straight Eastern Conference Championship.

In his two NBA drafts at the helm of the Cavs front office, Altman has selected Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Dylan Windler and Kevin Porter Jr. He is also responsible for signing five-time NBA All-Star Kevin Love, Northeast Ohio native Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi Osman to new multi-year contract extensions. In his time as general manager, Altman has executed trades acquiring current Cavaliers Jordan Clarkson, Matthew Dellavedova, John Henson, Brandon Knight, Nance Jr. and Ante Zizic. He has also acquired four first round picks via trades since being named GM.

 “I’m truly humbled and excited to sign a long-term extension with the Cavaliers and I look forward to continuing the overall development and growth we are experiencing with this team,” said Altman. “We have a first-class organization, led by our Chairman Dan Gilbert, an extraordinary fanbase and a great team behind the team, who provide incredible resources and opportunities for us to be successful. I’m also thankful to our players, coaches and support staff, who have shown continued trust and displayed their commitment to our process of establishing a sustainable and winning culture here in Cleveland. Northeast Ohio is a special place, and my family and I are thrilled to remain in this community for years to come.”

 

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Hawks’ Trae Young named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young was named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Oct. 22-27, it was announced today.

The 6’2” guard became the first player in NBA history to compile at least 38 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in each of his team’s first two games of the season.

Young tallied 38 points (11-21 FGs, 6-10 3FGs, 10-12 FTs), nine assists, seven rebounds and one steal across 37 minutes in Atlanta’s 117-100 victory at Detroit on Oct. 24. He scored 26 points in the first 24 minutes of action, setting a new career-high for points in any half.

In Atlanta’s home opener on Oct. 26 vs. Orlando, Young led all players in scoring and assists, posting 39 points (16-25 FGs, 5-10 3FGs, 2-4 FTs) and nine helpers, while adding seven rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes. The Hawks defeated the Magic 103-99, improving to 2-0 for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

Young’s 77 total points through the first two games set a new Hawks franchise record, breaking the old mark of 75 set by Dominique Wilkins in the 1986-87 season. Young is the first NBA player to open a season with at least 38 points in the first two games since Anthony Davis in 2016-17.

Through two games, Young leads the NBA with 38.5 points per game, adding 9.0 assists, 7.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals on .587 FG% and .550 3FG%.

Young, a unanimous First Team All-Rookie selection in 2018-19, previously won Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played March 18-24, 2019. The University of Oklahoma product became the first Hawks player to receive the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award four times, winning the honor in October/November, January, February and March/April last season.

Suns GM Jones: ‘Monty Williams and I are disappointed in the actions by Deandre Ayton’

On Thursday, the NBA announced that Phoenix Suns C Deandre Ayton was suspended 25 games for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. The former number overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft tested positive for a diuretic, which have been known to hide PED usage.

Phoenix Suns General Manager James Jones released the following statement on Ayton’s suspension:

“On behalf of the Phoenix Suns organization, Monty Williams and I are disappointed in the actions by Deandre Ayton that led to his testing positive for a banned diuretic and subsequent suspension by the NBA. This does not uphold the standards and principles we have set for the team.”

“Deandre has expressed his deepest remorse. While he is suspended we remain committed to his growth and development on and off the court. His actions are not taken lightly, and we are committed to ensuring that Deandre understands the profound impact it has had on the team, organization, and Suns community.”

Earlier tonight, Deandre Ayton released the following statement:

“I want to apologize to my family, the entire Suns organization, my teammates, partners, our fans and the Phoenix community. This was an unintentional mistake and unfortunately I put something in my body that I was completely unaware of. I do understand the unfortunate impact that this has on so many others, and for that I am deeply sorry. I’m extremely disappointed that I’ve let my team down. I will continue to work with the Players’ Union (NBPA) to go through the arbitration process and am hopeful for a positive resolution.”

 

Clippers announce opening night roster

The L.A. Clippers announced today their finalized roster for the 2019-20 season. The Clippers will begin the new season tomorrow at home against the Los Angeles Lakers at 7:30 p.m. PST on TNT. The Clippers play their first road game on Thursday, Oct. 24, in San Francisco as they battle the Warriors in the first regular-season game at the CHASE Center, also at 7:30 p.m. PST on TNT.

NO.

PLAYER

POS

BIRTHDATE

PRIOR TO NBA/HOME COUNTRY

YRS

21

Patrick Beverley

G

7/12/1988

Arkansas / USA

7

7

Amir Coffey (2W)

G

6/17/1997

Minnesota / USA

R

13

Paul George

F

5/2/1990

Fresno State / USA

9

4

JaMychal Green

F

6/21/1990

Alabama / USA

5

8

Maurice Harkless

F

5/11/1993

St.Johns / USA

7

5

Montrezl Harrell

F/C

1/26/1994

Louisville / USA

4

25

Mfiondu Kabengele

F

8/14/1997

Florida State / Canada

R

2

Kawhi Leonard

F

6/29/1991

San Diego State / USA

8

14

Terance Mann

G

10/15/1996

Florida State/ USA

R

19

Rodney McGruder

G

7/29/1991

Kansas State/ USA

3

15

Johnathan Motley (2W)

F

5/4/1995

Baylor / USA

2

54

Patrick Patterson

F

3/14/1989

Kentucky/ USA

9

1

Jerome Robinson

G

2/22/1997

Boston College / USA

1

20

Landry Shamet

G

3/13/1997

Wichita State/ USA

1

10

Derrick Walton Jr.

G

4/3/1995

Michigan/USA

R

23

Lou Williams

G

10/27/1986

South Gwinnett HS (GA) / USA

14

40

Ivica Zubac

C

3/18/1997

Mega Leks (Serbia)/ Croatia

3

Murray, Spurs agree to contract extension

The San Antonio Spurs and Dejounte Murray have agreed on a contract extension, the team announced today.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, it’s four-year, $64 million contract.

Murray became the youngest player in NBA history to make an All-Defensive Team in his last season, being named to the 2018 All-Defensive Second Team. That year he was the only player in the NBA under 6-6 to record at least 400 rebounds, 90 steals and 30 blocks. Murray also set a Spurs record for most total rebounds in a single season by a point guard with 459 rebounds, passing the franchise’s previous high of 378 by Johnny Moore in 1984-85.

 Starting 48 of his 81 appearances in 2017-18, Murray averaged 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.20 steals in 21.5 minutes for the Silver and Black. He is one of four players in Spurs history to record a double-double in the Playoffs as a rookie and has appeared in a total of 119 career games for San Antonio.

Murray is set to play his third season with the Spurs after missing all of last year due to injury. The University of Washington product was originally selected by San Antonio in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft (29th overall).

Hawks pick up contract options on Young, Huerter, Collins

The Atlanta Hawks have exercised the fourth-year (2020-21) option on the contract of John Collins, along with the third-year (2020-21) options on the contracts of Kevin Huerter and Trae Young, it was announced today.

Entering his third season in Atlanta, Collins averaged team-highs of 19.5 points and 9.8 rebounds along with 2.0 assists in 30.0 minutes (.560 FG%, .348 3FG%, .763 FT%) in 61 games (59 starts) during the 2018-19 season. He ranked 15th in the NBA in rpg, 16th in FG% and 33rd in ppg. He was the first sophomore in NBA history to average at least 19.5 points and 9.8 rebounds in 30 minutes or fewer per game. During All-Star Weekend, he participated in the MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars and AT&T Slam Dunk. Collins was named NBA All-Rookie Second Team after the 2017-18 campaign.

Huerter was named NBA All-Rookie Second Team last season after averaging 9.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 27.3 minutes (.419 FG%, .385 3FG%, .732 FT%) in 75 contests (59 starts). Among qualifying NBA rookies, he ranked third in 3FG% (36th in the NBA), sixth in apg, seventh in spg and mpg. His 136 three-pointers were the second-most in Hawks history and the sixth-most in NBA history by a rookie age 20 or younger.

Young was a unanimous NBA All-Rookie First Team selection last season as he averaged 19.1 points, 8.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 30.9 minutes (.418 FG%, .324 3FG%, .829 FT%) in 81 contests (all starts). Among qualifying NBA rookies, he was first in apg (fourth in the NBA), second in ppg (34th in the NBA) and FT%, third in mpg, sixth in spg and 10th in rpg. The four-time Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month was also NBA Eastern Conference NBA Player of the Week for March 18-24, the only rookie in either conference to win the award last season. Young also led the Eastern Conference in total assists (653, second in the NBA), becoming the first rookie to lead a conference in assists since 1995-96.

Twitter reacts to Ben Simmons hitting a three

It was a special night in Philadelphia on Tuesday as the 76ers hosted China’s Guangzhou Long-Lions. On this night in Philly, something that has never been seen before happened! Ben Simmons hit his first three-point shot in the NBA. While it’s only preseason and took three years for this to happen, the fans at the Wells Fargo Center celebrated like it was 1999.

Here is how Twitter reacted to Simmons’ big shot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embiid: ‘My goal is Defensive Player of the Year and MVP'(VIDEO)

76ers C Joel Embiid has proven that he is one of the best big men in the NBA. Last season, Embiid had career highs in points(27.5) and rebounds(13.5) per game, and games played(64). However, near the end of last season and in the playoffs, Embiid struggled with knee tendonitis, which impacted his performance. 

To become a better player, Embiid felt he had to lose weight. According to the fifth-year player, he has lost 20 pounds. The 25-year-old Embiid believes the weight loss will help him as he tries to achieve four goals this season: winning a championship, getting the number one seed, winning Defensive Player of the Year, and becoming an MVP.

“Going into this year, one of the things we gotta focus on is we really want that number one seed, and that’s going to take 60 and over in wins,” Embiid said at 76ers’ media day. “And I know that team success also helps me when it comes to my goal is Defensive Player of the Year and MVP…

“My whole mindset is focused on winning. I gotta win at least 60 games. I know it’s going to put me in a better situation when it comes to other things, so that’s what I’m focused on, and obviously, you gotta championship. We got a championship-caliber team. We have a chance to win it, so it’s all about building that team chemistry and making sure everybody stays on the same page. I think we are going to be fine.”

Obviously, Embiid has to play more than 64 games to win MVP, and he expects to do that.

“It’s definitely going to be over that,” Embiid said.

Philly has the talent to be in the mix for an NBA title, and Embiid has the ability to be an MVP and DPOY. Therefore, if the 76ers have one of the better records in basketball and Embiid stays healthy, maybe all Embiid’s goals will be fulfilled. 

Listen below:

76ers’ Ben Simmons: ‘I think I am an elite player’

Entering his third season in the NBA, 76ers point guard Ben Simmons is looking to take that next step. Last season, Simmons became an All-Star for the first time and helped lead the 76ers to the Eastern Conference semifinals, and after re-signing Tobias Harris, and bringing in Al Horford and Josh Richardson, to go along with what they have with Simmons and Joel Embiid, Philadelphia is expected to do big things this season, and for that to happen, Simmons has to be at his very best.

“I think I’m locked in,” Simmons said at 76ers’ media day on Monday. “I don’t know what’s changed, a switch, or whatever it was, but I feel locked in; I feel ready. This summer has been huge for me. I’ve been working.

Recently, Simmons stated that he has fallen back in love with the game. On Monday, he explained how that happened.

“I think I was just too worried about what people were saying, and what was going on around, too many outside noises, and I was able to really block them out this summer, and just not really focus on what people were saying,” Simmons said. “At the end of the day, I don’t really care anymore, unless, it’s coming from somebody in my circle or somebody trying to help me get better.”

This summer, Simmons signed a five-year extension with the 76ers, so he will be in Philadelphia for the next few seasons, and if he continues to grow as a player, Simmons will be an elite player, which he believes he is at this point of his career.

“I think I am an elite player. I think I am elite at what I do, and what I did last season,” he said. “I’m happy to be here for another five years. I really don’t want to be anywhere else, obviously, so I’m excited about what we have going on. I’m excited about the new guys coming in. I think we have a real special opportunity to do something major here.”

Over the summer, a video surfaced of Simmons knocking down jump shots during workouts. At this point, Simmons is confident in the work that he’s put in. 

“I think I’m just confident in the work I’ve been putting in,” he said. “That’s the best way to say it. I’m more confident in what I’ve been doing and the reps I’ve been putting in.”

Regarding Simmons as an elite player, I think he has to develop a consistent jump shot to make that happen, and if he does, he will be elite. Fortunately for him, he is only 23, so he has a lot of time to improve and become an elite player for years to come.