Suns sign Paris Bass to second 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns have signed free agent forward Paris Bass to a second 10-day contract, the team announced Wednesday.

Bass first signed a 10-day contract with the Suns on Dec. 31 and appeared in two games. In his NBA debut on January 2 at Charlotte, he recorded four points, two rebounds and a steal in five minutes off the bench, and he tallied two points and two rebounds in two minutes on January 6 vs. the LA Clippers.

Prior to signing his first 10-day contract with the Suns, the 6-8 Bass was named to the NBA G League All-Showcase Team in December after appearing in 14 games for the South Bay Lakers this season, averaging 17.9 points on 49.0% shooting, 8.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals. This is Bass’ second season in the NBA G League, as he also played with the Erie BayHawks in his first professional season in 2016-17.

The 26-year-old played internationally in Puerto Rico and Austria between his time in the NBA G League. A native of Birmingham, Michigan, Bass played collegiately at Detroit Mercy. He earned First Team All-Horizon League honors as a sophomore in 2015-16, averaging 18.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals, and was named the Horizon League Freshman of the Year in 2015.

Cavs’ Altman on extension: ‘I will forever be grateful for this continued opportunity’

The Cleveland Cavaliers and GM Koby Altman have agreed on a new long-term contract extension, the team announced Wednesday.

Altman, 39, will also take on the title of President of Basketball Operations effective immediately.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the extension runs through the 2027-2028 season.

Last month, the Cavaliers signed head coach J.B. Bickerstaff to a multi-year extension that will reportedly run through the 2026-2027 season, and now they’ve locked up Altman.

Cleveland (23-18) is off to a great start, and with lottery picks Darius Garland (No. 5 in 2019) and Evan Mobley (No. 3 in 2021), Altman has built a solid young core. In addition, Altman, who was named Cavs general manager in 2017, acquired 23-year-old center Jarrett Allen, who is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and field goal percentage, and signed him to a five-year contract extension this past offseason. Altman also traded for NBA veteransRicky Rubio and 24-year-old Lauri Markkanen.

Altman has the Cavs going in the right direction post-LeBron James, and it appears this team has the potential to do big things going forward.

“I will forever be grateful for this continued opportunity. With Dan setting the example and providing us with amazing resources, we are building something truly special here in Northeast Ohio,” said Altman via a press release from the team. “We remain committed to our player development program, and our players have shown incredible growth and improvement this season. Our evolving culture is driven by our players, coaches, and staff, who all play a significant role in defining what it truly means to be a Cavalier, and we are very excited for our future.”

Before being named GM, Altman had been a part of the Cavaliers’ basketball staff for five years, including being promoted to assistant general manager in September 2016. As a member of Cleveland’s front office, Altman has been an integral part of a team that reached four straight NBA Finals (2015-2018) and won an NBA Championship in 2016. 

76ers sign Charlie Brown Jr. to two-way contract

The Philadelphia 76ers signed Charlie Brown Jr. to a two-way contract, the team announced Tuesday.

After signing a 10-day contract with the 76ers on January 3, the 24-year-old Brown appeared in two games for Philadelphia and showed off his athleticism and defense, swiping a pair of steals in each of his appearances against San Antonio and Houston.

Before joining the 76ers, Brown played for Dallas on a 10-day contract, playing 15 total minutes across three games. Brown also saw action in 11 NBA G League games this season with the 76ers’ affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats.   

For his career, Brown has seen action in 24 NBA games with Philadelphia, Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Atlanta after going undrafted in 2019.   

A Philadelphia native, Brown played his college basketball at Saint Joseph’s.

In a related move, Philadelphia has waived Aaron Henry. 

 

Cavs’ Bickerstaff on win over Kings: ‘It’s a win, so we’ll take it, but it wasn’t our best’

The Cavaliers had a terrible taste in their mouth after losing to the Warriors Sunday night, but fortunately for them, they had a chance to change that taste when they played the Kings Monday night as both teams were playing the second half of a back-to-back.

Cleveland got off to a good start and led 62-49 at halftime. However, the Kings would rally in the second half to take a four-point lead in the fourth with over six minutes to go, but the Cavs would eventually build a 10-point fourth-quarter lead and would hold on to defeat the Kings 109-108 at Golden 1 Center.

The Cavs(23-18), who swept the season series from the Kings, are 2-1 on their current six-game road trip, while the Kings(16-27) have lost five straight.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Jarrett Allen is a man of his word. Allen took full responsibility for the Cavs getting outrebounded against Golden State. He knew he had to be better, and against the Kings, he was better. Allen had a double-double with 18 points, 17 rebounds to go along with two blocks. He secured the double-double in the first half with 12 points and 12 rebounds, including a career-high tying nine rebounds in the first quarter.

-Evan Mobley also had a bounce-back game. He had 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. Mobley, who scored in double figures for the eighth consecutive game, stuffed the stat sheet as he usually does. 

-Darius Garland had a double-double with 12 points and 11 assists. He also added five rebounds. Garland had only three points in the first half but scored nine points in the second half, including seven in the final quarter.

Kevin Love and Cedi Osman gave the Cavs great production off the bench. Love scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half, and Osman added 15 points. Since returning from COVID, Osman has been in double figures in two out of the last three games.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Turnovers:  Cleveland had 17 turnovers, which led to 20 points for Sacramento. The Cavs have had 36 turnovers in the last two games.

The final 2:34 of the game:  After a Lauri Markkanen(15 points) three, Cleveland led 109-99 with 2:34 left in the game. However, the Kings went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 109-108 with 11.0 seconds to go. Fortunately for Cleveland, De’Aaron Fox missed a jump shot at the buzzer after great defense from Rajon Rondo, and the Cavs would hold on.

Bottom Line:

Excellent bounce-back performance for the Cavs after the way things went against the Warriors. This is the type of effort you like to see from a team following a bad performance, especially Allen, who showed that he’s a team leader and an All-Star.

Cleveland was not at its best Monday night, but a win is a win, and now they have surpassed their win total(22) from last season.

“It’s a win, so we’ll take it, but it wasn’t our best,” Cavs head coach Bickerstaff said. “We talk about playing with purpose and discipline for 48 minutes. We didn’t do that tonight.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their six-game road trip in Utah against the Jazz Wednesday night.

Best of the Rest:

The Kings had six players in double figures, led by Tyrese Haliburton’s 21 points. Buddy Hield added 19 points off the bench. 

Cleveland also had six players double figures. In addition, Rondo had five points, four rebounds, six assists, and two steals off the bench.

Watch below as Mobley and Allen react to win over Kings:

Mavs sign Chriss to third 10-day contract, sign Pinson to two-way deal

The Dallas Mavericks were busy on Monday. They signed forward Marquese Chriss to a third 10-day contract under the COVID-related hardship allowance, signed guard/forward Theo Pinson to a two-way contract, and waived guard JaQuori McLaughlin.

Chriss, 24, signed his first 10-day with the Mavericks on December 21 and a second 10-day contract on December 31. He averaged 6.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 11.9 minutes in 10 games with Dallas.

The six-year veteran was selected by Sacramento with the eighth overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft and subsequently traded to Phoenix, where he earned NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors in his first season.

Pinson, 26, signed his first 10-day on December 20 and has averaged 2.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 9.3 minutes in 10 games. The four-year veteran spent the beginning of this season with the Maine Celtics of the NBA G League and played the last two seasons with the New York Knicks.

McLaughlin, 23, signed a two-way contract with Dallas on September 3 after going undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft. The rookie guard saw action in four games this season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cavs’ Allen on loss to Warriors: ‘We didn’t play to who we are; we kinda played timidly’

It was “Klay Day” Sunday night at Chase Center as Warriors star Klay Thompson returned after missing two-plus years due to ACL and Achilles injuries.

In his return, Thompson scored 17 points, including three threes. This was a great day for Thompson, a great day for the Warriors, and a great day for the NBA.

Oh, by the way, Golden State defeated the Cavs 96-82.

Golden State(30-9) snapped their two-game losing streak, while the Cavs(22-18) have lost two of three.

Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Warriors.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

Fourth Quarter Rondo: Rajon Rondo set a season-high in points for the second straight night. He scored 13(5/6 FG, 3/3 3 PT) of his 15 points in the fourth. Golden State led by as many as 21 points in the fourth, and two Rondo threes cut the lead to 10 on two occasions. Rondo did everything in his power to get the Cavs back into the game, but it wasn’t enough.

No Fear Stevens: Lamar Stevens played with no fear Sunday night. The second-year guard scored a career-high 17 points with four rebounds and two steals. Whether it was guarding Thompson or finishing at the rim, Stevens was fearless.

The Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

Turnovers: Cleveland was reckless with the ball Sunday night. They committed 19 turnovers, which led to 25 Warrior points. Evan Mobley was the biggest culprit with five turnovers. You can’t turn the ball over against one of the best teams in basketball and expect to win.

Rebounding: The Warriors outrebounded Cleveland 54-42, including 22 offensive rebounds. In addition, Golden State had 22 second-chance points. Again, you can’t give a team like the Warriors extra possessions and extra opportunities and expect to win.

Third Quarter: After taking a 51-46 lead at the break, Golden State outscored the Cavs 28-14 in the third. The Warriors led 66-55 midway through the third, and they went on a 13-0 run to take their largest lead of 24 points. Cleveland struggled with shotmaking as they shot 40% from the floor, including 1/5 from deep in the quarter. 

Darius Garland: Garland is undoubtedly playing like an All-Star, but he came up short on the big stage. He shot 3/12 from the floor and finished with nine points, two rebounds, and four assists; he also had four turnovers. 

Bottom Line:

The moment seemed too big for the young Cavaliers. That was a playoff atmosphere Sunday night, and the Cavs were not ready for the moment. However, Cleveland will learn from this game.

The goal for this team is to make the playoffs, and they will experience these types of environments come playoff time.

“I’m going to take it one step further; it felt like a Finals game,” Allen said after a reporter asked him if it felt like a playoff atmosphere. “I mean, everything that the Warriors did, they got a big cheer from the crowd, but that is to be expected when you come to the Chase Center. They have great fans here, and they are going to make the game intense. We kinda looked at the moment, and we kinda – J.B.(Bickerstaff) said in the locker room that we shied away from it – and I think that is true. We didn’t play to who we are; we kinda played timidly.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland gets right back at it Monday night as they travel to Sacramento to play the Kings. The Cavs will play five games in seven days

Best of the Rest:

-Steph Curry had a game-high 28 points for the Warriors, including 4/11 from downtown.

-Jarrett Allen added 12 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks; Mobley chipped in with 11 points and six rebounds for Cleveland.

Watch below as Allen talks loss to Warriors:

 

 

 

Cavs sign Goodwin to two-way contract, waive Tacko Fall

The Cleveland Cavaliers converted guard Brandon Goodwin into a two-way contract and waived center Tacko Fall, the team announced Sunday.

Goodwin, 26, was signed to a 10-day contract on December 31 and has appeared in three games for the Cavaliers this season, averaging 7.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists in 22.7 minutes. Goodwin also appeared in seven games (five starts) this season for the Westchester Knicks, the NBA G-League affiliate of the New York Knicks, averaging 15.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.86 steals in 35.1 minutes.

 Last season with the Hawks, Goodwin appeared in 47 games (five starts) and averaged 4.9 points and 2.0 assists in 13.2 minutes. In three previous NBA seasons (2018-2021), Goodwin spent time in Denver and Atlanta.

The 7-6 Fall appeared in 11 games (one start) for the Cavaliers this season. Fall, 26, signed with the team in September and signed a two-way deal with the Cavs in October.

He has also appeared in five games (five starts) for the Cleveland Charge, the Cavs G League affiliate, and averaged 18.6 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks in 27.3 minutes.

Cavs’ Garland: ‘The first couple plays were kinda like, `Dang, that’s Rondo on the floor’

The Cavaliers began their six-game road trip Friday in Portland against the Blazers. Fortunately for Cleveland, Portland was without their two leading scorers in Damian Lillard(Abdomen) and C.J. McCollum(Lung), and they were missing Larry Nance Jr.(Knee).

Cleveland led 57-47 at halftime and would take an 82-78 lead into the fourth. After Nassir Little’s three cut the lead to 90-87 with just over eight minutes left, the Cavs went on a 7-0 run to push the lead to 10 and would defeat Portland 114-101 at Moda Center.

With the win over the Blazers, the Cavs(22-17) swept the season series and won in Portland for first time since 2013. 

Portland(14-24) has lost two straight and six of their last seven.

Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Blazers:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Darius Garland continued his strong play after returning from COVID. He scored eight of his 26 points in the fourth. Garland also added six assists. This was his sixth straight 20-plus point game as he continues to make his case for being an All-Star. 

The third-year guard, who made a game-high tying five threes, had an incredible sequence late in the fourth. With the Cavs leading by eight with just over two minutes to go, he assisted on a dunk from Evan Mobley and made a great hustle play, where he made a steal and got credited with a basket after Jusuf Nurkic was called for a goaltend.

Watch below:

-Evan Mobley had another solid all-around game. He scored 18 points, pulled down eight rebounds, dished out three assists, added two blocks and a steal. 

-Cedi Osman is back after missing six games due to COVID, and he was huge in the fourth. Osman scored 12 of his 14 points in the final period, including four threes off the Cavs’ bench. After Portland cut the t0 101-96 with just over three minutes to go, Osman would hit a big three to push the lead to eight.

The fifth-year forward continues to give Cleveland great production off the bench this season.

-Rajon Rondo made his Cavs’ debut Friday night and recorded a season-high 11 points off the bench. In addition, the 16-year veteran added five rebounds and three assists in 17 minutes of action.

 Rondo got off to a great start and had three points, three rebounds, and three assists in five minutes of action in the first quarter.

-Jarrett Allen had his third straight double-double following his return from COVID. Allen had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and a team-best +16 rating.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Rebounding: Portland outrebounded the Cavs 51-43 and outscored them 21-10 in second-chance points. Cleveland overcame the glass on this night, but you don’t want this to be an issue going forward.

Bottom Line:

Portland was without their two best players, so this was a game Cleveland should have won.

However, that does not take away from what we saw from Garland, who made big plays in the fourth; Osman, who caught fire in the final quarter; and Rondo, who gave this team a professional point guard off the bench.  

“It was fun; the first couple plays were kinda like, `Dang, that’s Rondo on the floor.'” Garland said.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their six-game road trip Sunday night against the Warriors, who are expected to have Klay Thompson back, which should make for a fun night in San Francisco.

Best of the Rest:

Portland had five players in double figures led by Norman Powell’s 19 points. Nurkic added 14 points and 12 rebounds. 

-Lauri Markkanen added 15 points and five assists for the Cavaliers.

Watch Below as Rondo talks debut with Cavs:

Pop on Embiid: ‘He’s playing some of his best basketball for sure’

Philadelphia 76ers C Joel Embiid continued to be his dominant self Friday night against the Spurs. Embiid had his sixth straight game of 30 points and his 13th 30-point game of the season as he tallied 31 points, 12 boards, and seven assists.

Ultimately, the 76ers(22-16) would win their sixth straight after defeating San Antonio(15-23) 119-100 at Wells Fargo Center.

Embiid’s 30-point streak ranks second in the league this season to LeBron James(seven games).

In addition, Embiid joins Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson as the only 76ers to score at least 30 points in six straight games.  

“There’s guys that trust me to make plays,” Embiid said postgame. “Like, I was telling them it’s not about scoring, it’s about making the right plays. These days teams don’t play man an; they play double. Stay aggressive, play double team and get shots off; you know I gotta get my guys open and make their job easier.”

The four-time All-Star is playing at an elite level, and before Friday’s win over San Antonio, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich showed Embiid some love.

“He’s obviously a wonderful player, and he’s playing some of his best basketball for sure,” Popovich said. “Everybody tries to guard him, front him, double team him, try to limit his catches, try not to foul him. All these kinds of things, but the game starts, and he scores 30 a night. 

Embiid is getting it done for the 76ers, and after some COVID issues, which caused this team to struggle, Philadelphia is slowly climbing up the standings, and Embiid is the biggest reason.

Notes:

The 76ers saw three players with stat lines of at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists against San Antonio.  Embiid(31 pointts, 12 rebounds, seven assists), Seth Curry(23 points, seven rebounds, seven assists), and Tobias Harris(23 points, seven rebounds, five assists).

Per Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time since Jan. 18, 1991, where the 76ers had three players post such stat lines in the same game.

Watch below as Popovich talks Embiid:

Cavs’ Rondo believes the team can do big things

Rajon Rondo met the Cleveland media after the Cavs acquired the four-time All-Star Monday from the Lakers in a three-team deal.  

Cleveland acquired Rondo after losing backup point guard Ricky Rubio for the season with a torn ACL.

The 16-year veteran brings a lot of experience to the Cavs, and he believes that knowledge can help Cleveland.

“Obviously, number one, leadership. My experience in the game,” Rondo said Wednesday. “This is Year 16 for me. Coming in and being a voice in the locker room. Being myself, not trying to be anyone else. Trying to come in, give the guys what I have as far as knowledge, and go out there on the court and compete at a high level. 

The 35-year-old Rondo is excited to play with Darius Garland and the three bigs(Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, and Lauri Markkanen), and he hopes to make the game easier for those guys.

“Having DG(Garland) back is big for the organization,” Rondo said. “I’m looking forward to playing alongside of him. Also, the 7-footers. I never played with three on the court at one time, so I’ll be looking forward to throwing some lobs and making the game easy for certain guys.”

The Cavaliers begin a six-game road trip Friday in Portland against the Blazers, and according to the four-time All-Star, this trip will allow him to bond with his teammates. 

“I think this road trip will help a lot,” he said. “I think we’re on like a seven-day road trip, not the best cities in the world, so there will be a lot of time together in the room.”

The two-time NBA champion has experienced a lot of winning, and he believes the Cavs can do big things.

“I’ve always been an underdog my whole entire career, ” Rondo said. “That’s what I kind of pride myself on doing the impossible, doing the unthinkable, and this group has the talent to do it, and I’m looking forward to making some noise.”

In 936 regular-season games, Rondo owns career averages of 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 1.6 steals in 30.1 minutes per contest. However, he’s averaging 12.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 1.7 steals in 34.0 minutes per game in the playoffs, so maybe we’ll see “Playoff Rondo” come playoff time for the Cavs.

Rondo won’t replace everything Rubio brought to the table, but maybe he can do things like efficiently run the offense and be a team leader. 

Watch below as Rondo talks joining the Cavaliers: