NBA News and Notes

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Pistons add depth with swingman Hayes

The Pistons added another swingman to the roster, signing restricted free-agent guard/forward Jarvis Hayes on Thursday.

Hayes averaged 8.9 points and 3.4 rebounds over four seasons in a mostly reserve role for the Wizards. He has been hampered by injuries but was healthy last season.

Hayes, 26, played in 81 games last season, averaging 7.2 points and 41 percent shooting.

A team normally has seven days to match an offer to a restricted free agent, but the Wizards declined to make an offer.

Hayes, who is 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, gives the Pistons another potential scorer.

"Jarvis has proven himself as a solid NBA player over the last four seasons," Pistons president Joe Dumars said in a statement.

"We like the flexibility and depth he will bring to our team at the small forward position."

The knock on Hayes, who likely will sub for Tayshaun Prince or Richard Hamilton, is defense.

The Pistons have stocked up on guards and small forwards.

Those on the roster include: Chauncey Billups, Hamilton, Prince, Rodney Stuckey, Arron Afflalo, Sammy Mejia, Ronald Dupree, Lindsey Hunter, Hayes and Flip Murray.

The status of forwards Chris Webber and Dale Davis, both free agents, remains unresolved.

Nazr Mohammed and Rasheed Wallace are the only experienced centers. Antonio McDyess is another frontcourt reserve. He re-signed during the offseason.

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Spurs sign Ime Udoka
August 16th, 2007

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - The San Antonio Spurs signed swingman Ime Udoka on Thursday. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

After playing in just 12 combined games over his first two years in the NBA with the Lakers and Knicks, Udoka started in all 75 games in which he appeared in for the Portland Trail Blazers last season. The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder averaged 8.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

A long shot to make Portland's roster prior to the 2006-07 season, Udoka got an invitation to the Trail Blazers' training camp after Aaron Miles failed a physical. Even after losing his father at the start of the preseason schedule, Udoka managed to not only make Portland's roster, but start the entire season.

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Griffin dies in SUV collision with train
Associated Press

Former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Eddie Griffin died last week when his sport utility vehicle collided with a freight train in a fiery crash, the Harris County medical examiner's office said Tuesday.

Investigators used dental records to identify Griffin, 25, who began his tumultuous pro career with the Houston Rockets in 2001. He was waived by the Timberwolves in March.

The five-year veteran, who was the No. 7 pick in the 2001 NBA draft, had battled alcohol problems since coming out of Seton Hall. Griffin was suspended by the league for five games in January for violating the anti-drug program.

Houston police said in a report that the driver of the SUV ignored a railroad warning and went through a barrier before striking the moving train about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

The driver's body was badly burned and there was no identification.

Griffin had a series of suspensions, court dates and missed practices during his first two years in the NBA with Houston and New Jersey. He spent time in the Betty Ford Center for alcohol treatment in 2003-04.

Griffin, who played forward and center, signed with the Timberwolves as a free agent before the 2004 season. He showed enough promise as a shot-blocker and rebounder to be signed to an extension, but was waived in March after playing in just 13 games last season with the Wolves.

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Payton not expected to return to Heat
August 23, 2007

MIAMI (AP) -Veteran guard Gary Payton is not expected to return to the Miami Heat next season.

Heat coach Pat Riley said Thursday that while the 17-year veteran Payton is unlikely to return, the team has interest in signing free agent forward P.J. Brown and are hoping to re-sign forward James Posey.

Payton averaged 6.6 points in two seasons with Miami, and helped the Heat win the 2006 NBA title. Payton said several times last year that he's considering retirement, but the nine-time All-Star hasn't decided, yet.

Brown averaged 6.1 points last season for the Chicago Bulls. Brown, who'll turn 38 in October, played for Riley and the Heat from 1996 through 2000, helping Miami to the playoffs in all four seasons.

``I'd love to hang his jersey from the rafters here,'' said Riley, who has talked to Brown personally about a return. ``I really would because he is one of my all-time favorite players, I think one of the all-time favorite players in the history of the Heat. I think he could really help us.''

Posey has spent the last two seasons with Miami.

``We're still talking and I don't know what is going to happen,'' Riley said.

The Heat's decision on Payton was long-expected, since Miami already has three point guards - Jason Williams, Chris Quinn and newly acquired former Los Angeles Lakers starter Smush Parker - on the roster.

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Miller rules out return to NBA
August 24th, 2007

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Former Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller has reportedly ruled out a return to the NBA.

Miller told the Indianapolis Star he has decided to not make a comeback with the Boston Celtics or anybody else after spending two weeks pushing his body to see how it might react to the punishment of a long NBA season. The Celtics were pursuing Miller heavily over the past few weeks.

"That's it," Miller told the newspaper by telephone from his home in Malibu, California. "Physically, I know I could have done it. But mentally, when you do something like this, you've either got to be all in or all out. And I've decided I'm all out."

The sharp-shooting Miller retired after the 2005 NBA playoffs. He averaged 18.2 points per game in 18 brilliant seasons with the Pacers and is the NBA's all-time leader in three-pointers.

Miller currently works on the NBA's TNT broadcasts and in film production.

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Magic sign C Adonal Foyle
August 24, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -The Orlando Magic signed free agent center Adonal Foyle on Friday, bringing in a shot blocker to join star Dwight Howard in the front court.

The 6-foot-10 Foyle was available after he and the Golden State Warriors agreed on a buyout earlier this month.

``Adonal (Foyle) is a solid shot blocker and post defender,'' Magic general manager Otis Smith said. ``His presence helps fortify our frontcourt, while bringing us veteran leadership.''

Foyle signed a six-year deal worth nearly $42 million in July 2004 and had spent his entire career with Golden State. But he rarely played last season in coach Don Nelson's guard-oriented lineups.

The 10-year veteran has appeared in 641 regular season games, averaging 4.4 points and five rebounds per game. He has a career average of 1.78 blocks per game and was the Warriors' all-time leader in rejections with 1,140.

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Miami Heat sign former player Johnson
August 24, 2007


MIAMI (AP) -Former Florida State forward Alexander Johnson signed with the Miami Heat on Friday after playing last season with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Johnson appeared in 59 games last season as a rookie with the Grizzlies, averaging 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds.

Johnson was drafted in the second round in 2006 by Indiana and was later traded to Portland, then Memphis. Johnson, who played three seasons for the Seminoles, will compete for a backup power forward spot behind Udonis Haslem.

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Celtics come to terms with former Heat forward James Posey
August 26, 2007

BOSTON (AP) -James Posey and the Celtics have agreed to terms of a deal that will bring the former Miami Heat forward to Boston.

``He was a free agent,'' team spokesman Jeff Twiss said Sunday. ``He was available to be signed and he decided to sign with us.''

Twiss did not disclose details of the agreement with the 30-year-old, who also played for the Memphis Grizzlies.

The 6-foot-8 Posey has a reputation as a strong defender. He alternated with Antoine Walker as the sixth man when the Heat won the NBA title in 2006.

Posey has averaged 8.2 points and 5.6 rebounds since entering the NBA with Memphis out of Xavier in 2003.

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Clippers sign Patterson
August 29th, 2007

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers bolstered their frontcourt by signing veteran forward Ruben Patterson on Wednesday.

Patterson established new career-highs by averaging 14.7 points, 2.9 assists and 31.4 minutes in 81 games for Milwaukee last season. He also tied his career-high with 5.4 rebounds per contest and established a career-best by making 55 percent of his shots from the field.

"We are thrilled to add Ruben to our team," Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations Elgin Baylor said. "Ruben plays hard every single night. He is an aggressive defensive player and has a real enthusiasm for the game. He gives 100 percent every game."

This will be Pattersons sixth NBA team. He started his career with the Lakers in 1998 before joining Seattle for the following two seasons. Then came a 4 1/2-season stint in Portland before he came to Denver in 2005-06.

"I am really excited by our signing of Ruben Patterson," Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy said. "He is a great competitor. I have always admired the intensity he brings from game to game. His versatility will help improve our team."

Patterson has career averages of 10.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

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Nuggets send Evans to Philadelphia for Hunter, Jones; Sixers also sign free agent Booth
September 10, 2007

DENVER (AP) -The Denver Nuggets sent forward Reggie Evans and the draft rights to forward Ricky Sanchez to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday in exchange for swingman Steven Hunter and forward Bobby Jones.

The Sixers weren't finished, agreeing to terms with free agent Calvin Booth. The 6-foot-11 center played in 44 games with Washington last season, averaging 1.6 points and 1.8 rebounds.

The trade is the second between the teams since December, when Allen Iverson joined the Nuggets in a blockbuster deal.

``Steven is an athletic, 7-foot big man ... that can block shots,'' said Mark Warkentien, Denver's vice president of basketball operations. ``We think his presence will provide us with a more balanced roster. Bobby is an intriguing young player, who really played well at the end of the season.

``This move greatly helps us add depth at our center position while reducing our inventory of power forwards. Reggie played a valuable role for us during his time in Denver and we appreciate his professionalism.''

Evans averaged 5.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in 92 games for the Nuggets after his acquisition from Seattle on Feb. 23. He led the league in rebounds per 48 minutes last season at 19.7.

``He is an accomplished rebounder that we feel will make an immediate impact and will exemplify our commitment to hard work, rebounding and defense,'' 76ers general manager Billy King said. ``At 6-11, Ricky Sanchez is a young prospect that has potential and we will continue to monitor his development as he plays overseas.''

Hunter set career highs with averages of 6.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 70 games for the 76ers last season. He has appeared in 360 regular season games in six seasons with Orlando, Phoenix and Philadelphia.

The Sixers had a deal to send Hunter to the New Orleans Hornets in 2006, but the trade was rescinded because of unspecified concerns over his physical condition.

Jones played in 44 games for the 76ers last season, averaging 2.5 points and 1.3 rebounds.

Sanchez's rights were acquired by the Nuggets along with the draft rights to Linas Kleiza in exchange for the draft rights to Jarrett Jack in a draft-day deal in 2005.

Booth has career average of 3.5 points and 2.9 rebounds in eight seasons.

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New Jersey Nets sign Malik Allen
September 10, 2007

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Malik Allen is returning to New Jersey.

The New Jersey Nets announced Monday they signed the free agent forward, who played for Shawnee High School in Medford. The Nets will be the fourth NBA team for the 29-year-old Allen, who played 60 games last season for Chicago, averaging 4.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10.6 minutes.

``We are pleased to add Malik to our roster,'' Nets president Rod Thorn said. ``He is a proven NBA veteran who can potentially add depth to our frontcourt.''

Allen, who played for Villanova, began his career with the Miami Heat. After more than three seasons, he was traded to Charlotte during the 2004-05 season, and spent the past two seasons with the Bulls.

He's averaged 6.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in his career.

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Pacers F Williams arrested on marijuana possession charge
September 11, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Indiana Pacers forward Shawne Williams was arrested Tuesday on charges of marijuana possession and driving without a license after an officer pulled over a sport utility vehicle for making an illegal lane change.

Williams, the Pacers' first-round draft pick last year from Memphis, was being held at the Marion County Jail on initial charges of possession of marijuana, driving without a license, driving with an expired license plate and failure to signal a lane change, police said.

Telephone messages seeking comment were left Tuesday for a Pacers spokesman and Williams' agent, Bill McCandless.

Williams was driving the SUV, which was carrying two other men, for changing lanes without signaling about 12:45 a.m., said Sgt. Matthew Mount, a city police spokesman.

When Williams rolled down the driver's side window, the officer detected a strong odor of marijuana, Mount said. Another officer later found a smoldering cigar-sized marijuana cigarette in the vehicle's ash tray, he said.

Both Williams and the front seat passenger, Roosevelt Rollins, of Memphis, Tenn., were arrested on marijuana possession charges.

``The guy in the front passenger seat, Mr. Rollins, said the marijuana was his and Mr. Williams denied knowledge of the marijuana even being in his car even though you could obviously smell the odor of burnt marijuana,'' Mount said.

Mount said Williams had no driver's license and instead handed the officer a Tennessee identification card. He said the SUV's license plate had expired in July.

The SUV's back seat passenger was arrested on charges of carrying a gun without a license and theft as the 9 mm handgun had been reported stolen in Collierville, Tenn., according to a police report.

The 6-foot-9 Williams averaged 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in 46 games last season for the Pacers.

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Sixers sign free agent Booth
September 12th, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia 76ers signed free agent center Calvin Booth on Wednesday. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Booth, entering his ninth season, has averaged 3.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.03 blocks per contest in 327 games played with Washington, Dallas, Seattle and Milwaukee.

Booth spent last year with the Wizards, playing in 44 games and averaging just 1.6 points and 1.8 rebounds per contest.

Washington originally selected Booth with the 35th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft.

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Heat sign Bucks' guard Charlie Bell to offer sheet
September 17, 2007

MIAMI (AP) -Restricted free-agent guard Charlie Bell signed a $18.5 million, five-year offer sheet with the Miami Heat on Monday, and now will wait to see if the Milwaukee Bucks choose to match that deal.

The 6-foot-3 Bell has made it clear in recent days that he wants to play for the Heat, who were foiled in a bid earlier this offseason to woo guard Mo Williams away from the Bucks. Bell averaged a career-high 13.5 points in a breakout season last year for Milwaukee, making 64 starts.

``It's been a very long and drawn out process this summer,'' said Bell's agent, Mark Bartelstein. ``And Charlie is at the point where he's kind of broken his emotional ties to the Bucks.''

The Bucks have seven days to match Miami's offer.

``I hope they don't match it,'' Bell said Monday afternoon in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. ``The Bucks said they didn't have this kind of money and didn't want to give me a long-term deal, so I would hope they stick to what they said and let me go... I'm really thankful Miami stepped up.''

Bell signed with Milwaukee two seasons ago after averaging a league-best 27 points for Breogan of the Spanish League. He went undrafted after helping Michigan State win the 2000 national championship, played briefly with Phoenix and Dallas before spending three seasons playing in Italy.

He also had an offer from a Greek team, but South Florida is where he wants to be, Bartelstein said.

``He feels very strongly about it and his mind is made up,'' Bartelstein said.

Williams was Miami's top point-guard pursuit this summer, but could only offer him a deal worth about $31 million. Milwaukee easily topped that to retain Williams, giving him a six-year pact worth $51.5 million.

Bell's status, meanwhile, remained in limbo.

``I had a really bad summer because of how all of this went down with Milwaukee, so I don't want to be there,'' Bell said. ``I don't think I could give my all to the Bucks anymore, so I hope they respect that.''

And with training camp starting in two weeks, Bell hopes his wait is now over.

``The last thing Charlie or I want to do is be disrespectful about this,'' Bartelstein said. ``But he signed the offer sheet with Miami, not with Milwaukee, and there's a reason for that.''

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Heat sign Bucks' guard Charlie Bell to offer sheet

Bucks match Heat offer
September 20, 2007

MILWAUKEE (AP) -Against his wishes, the Milwaukee Bucks moved to keep Charlie Bell on Thursday.

The Bucks confirmed they have matched an offer sheet Bell signed with the Miami Heat for the restricted free-agent guard, a five-year deal worth $18.5 million.

The 6-foot-3 Bell had said he did not want to play for Milwaukee and instead wanted to go to Miami, which failed earlier in the offseason to sign Mo Williams away from the Bucks.

Bell averaged a career-high 13.5 points in a breakout season last year for the Bucks, making 64 starts.

Bell told The Associated Press earlier this week that the Bucks didn't want to give him a long-term deal and didn't have the money available to resign him.

Bell threatened to play in Greece instead of signing what was a reported three-year deal with Milwaukee.

Two seasons ago, he signed with Milwaukee after averaging a league-best 27 points for Breogan of the Spanish league.

He went undrafted after helping Michigan State win the 2000 national championship, played briefly with Phoenix and Dallas before spending three seasons in Italy.

Williams was Miami's top pursuit at point guard this summer, but could only offer him a deal worth around $31 million. The Bucks re-signed Williams for six years and $51.5 million.

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Warriors waive disgruntled guard
September 20, 2007

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -The Golden State Warriors waived Sarunas Jasikevicius on Thursday, agreeing to a contract buyout with the disgruntled guard.

Jasikevicius joined the Warriors along with Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington in an eight-player trade with Indiana last January, but the Lithuanian point guard never cracked coach Don Nelson's rotation.

He averaged 4.3 points and 2.3 assists for Golden State during the regular season, but played sparingly during the final six weeks. Jasikevicius then played only seven total minutes during the Warriors' run to the second round of the playoffs.

``We think this was in the best interest of both parties,'' said Chris Mullin, the Warriors' top personnel executive. ``As a competitor, Sarunas obviously would like to have an opportunity to play a significant role on a team. This could potentially open up other avenues that will allow him to pursue that opportunity.''

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Warriors sign guard Troy Hudson
September 24, 2007

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -The Golden State Warriors signed Troy Hudson on Monday, adding a veteran free-agent guard to their young roster.

Hudson played 34 games last year in his fifth season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who paid more than $12 million to buy out his contract Aug. 3. He struggled with ankle injuries for nearly three years in Minnesota before getting stuck behind Mike James and Randy Foye on the bench last year.

Golden State waived guard Sarunas Jasikevicius last week. Hudson could become the backup point guard behind Baron Davis, sharing playmaking with Monta Ellis.

``He's had a productive NBA career and, most importantly, will provide us with additional depth in the backcourt,'' said Chris Mullin, the Warriors' top personnel executive. ``He has the ability to run a team, and some of his other strengths - such as 3-point shooting - will fit in well with our style of play.''

The 10-year veteran also has played for Utah, the Los Angeles Clippers and Orlando. Hudson averaged a career-best 14.2 points and 5.7 assists for Minnesota in 2002-03.

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Utah's Brown headed to Turkey
September 24, 2007

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -Second-year player Dee Brown will spend next season in Turkey.

Brown decided over the weekend to accept an offer from Turkish club Galatasaray rather than try to make the Utah Jazz roster in training camp, agent Henry Thomas said Monday.

``At this point, he realizes that this is where it is for him,'' Thomas said.

Brown hopes he can catch another NBA team's attention while in Turkey and return to the league in the fall of 2008.

The Jazz are stocked at point guard and were unlikely to have room for Brown, who played 49 games as a rookie last season. Utah signed guards Ronnie Price and Jason Hart over the summer, giving them two backups to starter Deron Williams.

Brown, who played with Williams at Illinois, was a restricted free agent, but Utah wasn't offering him a guaranteed contract.

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Celtics sign center Batista, swingman Jones to training camp rosterBy ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics have signed center Esteban Batista and swingman Dahntay Jones to round out their training camp roster.

The 6-foot-10 Batista, who is from Uruguay, averaged 1.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game in limited playing time with Atlanta last season. The 24-year-old led last month's FIBA Americas Championship in rebounding with 12.4 per game.

Jones, 26, was drafted by the Celtics with the 20th pick in 2003 and immediately sent to Memphis as part of a deal for Marcus Banks.

The 6-foot-6 Jones played four years for the Grizzlies, averaging 7.5 points and 2 rebounds per game last season.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed. The Celtics have 17 players on their roster, two over the maximum the league allows once the season starts.

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Timberwolves and Mavericks swap guards
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves traded guard Trenton Hassell to the Dallas Mavericks for guard Greg Buckner on Friday night.

Hassell, who spent the last four seasons with the Wolves, averaged 6.7 points per game and three rebounds in 476 games. In 2006-07, he played in 76 games and averaged 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds.

Buckner is an eight-year NBA veteran with career averages of 5.5 points and 2.9 rebounds, including two stints with Dallas along with stops in Philadelphia and Denver. Last season, Buckner averaged four points while grabbing 2.1 rebounds.

The Timberwolves open their 2007-08 training camp Saturday.

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