NBA News and Notes

Re: NBA News and Notes

Nets backup point guard Marcus Williams to have surgery on right foot
September 29, 2007

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -New Jersey Nets backup point guard Marcus Williams broke a bone in his right foot and will have surgery on Monday.

Nets president Rod Thorn did not know how the second-year pro from Connecticut broke his fifth metatarsal. Williams is expected to be sidelined about six weeks, which will cause him to miss training camp.

Williams played in 79 games as a rookie, averaging 6.8 points and 3.3 assists.

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Re: NBA News and Notes

Cavaliers sign guard Devin Brown in first offseason roster move
September 29, 2007

CLEVELAND (AP) -The Cleveland Cavaliers signed free agent guard Devin Brown to a contract Saturday in their first offseason roster move.

Brown averaged 11.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists - all career-highs - for the New Orleans Hornets last season. The 6-foot-5 Brown can play both guard positions as well as small forward.

Terms of the deal were not available.

``Devin is a versatile basketball player,'' Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry said. ``His toughness and ability to play multiple positions on both ends of the court will complement our group well.''

Ferry knows Brown from when they were both with the San Antonio Spurs.

Brown will give the defending Eastern Conference champions depth and insurance in case they can't re-sign restricted free agent Sasha Pavlovic. The club and Pavlovic's representatives haven't been able to finalize a deal for the 23-year-old, who was a key contributor last season when the Cavs made it to the NBA finals for the first time.

The Cavaliers are also in talks forward Anderson Varejao, another restricted free agent. The team opens training camp next week.

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Cavs acquire Simmons from Hornets
September 29th, 2007

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired forward Cedric Simmons from the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday in exchange for guard David Wesley.

Simmons, selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2006 draft, averaged 2.9 points and 2.5 rebounds in 43 games for the Hornets last season.

"Cedric is a young, talented player," said Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry. "We look forward to participating in his continued development here in Cleveland."

Wesley appeared in just 35 games last year for Cleveland, his first with the team. The 36-year-old averaged career-lows of 2.1 points and 1.1 assists.

Earlier on Saturday, the Cavs signed former Hornets guard Devin Brown

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Point guard Armstrong picks Nets
Star-Ledger Staff

Jason Kidd has a new backup today, and, age notwithstanding, it might be the best one he has ever had.

Darrell Armstrong, one of the NBA's quintessential perseverance stories and a 6-foot point guard who can still scoot at 39, decided last night he'll play his final season with the Nets, his agent confirmed.

"Darrell's very excited about it," said Glen Schwartzman, whose client also considered a return to Dallas. "He was very intrigued with the idea of going back to the Mavs, and they wanted him, but we just think that with Marcus (Williams) down for a little bit, it's a chance for Darrell to come in and play."

Armstrong, who will sign a partially guaranteed, $1.2 million contract later this week, cleared waivers yesterday at 6 p.m. after being cut by Indiana Monday. He received a call from Nets coach Lawrence Frank around that time and needed only two hours to make up his mind.

Still, there was a dilemma: Dallas probably had a coaching job awaiting Armstrong as soon as he decided to retire, but the Mavs already have two point guards in Devin Harris and Jason Terry.

"And the Nets have a chance to get out of the East," Schwartzman said, "so Darrell can play with a winner again."

Armstrong is the classic late bloomer, but he is a pro's pro who has made up for lost time. He didn't play college ball until his senior year, mostly because he was a standout kicker for the football team at Fayetteville State (N.C.) -- so good that an African-American newspaper, the venerable Philadelphia Tribune, named him as the kicker on its all-time black college football team in 2003.

After graduating in 1991, he bounced around three minor leagues -- the Global Basketball Association, the United States Basketball League and the CBA -- and played overseas Cyprus and Spain, before catching on with the Orlando Magic at the age of 26 in 1994-95.

Armstrong was a little-used bench player for most of his first four seasons during the Shaquille O'Neal-Penny Hardaway Era, but everything changed for him as that team started to break apart. Indeed, he hit the league like a tornado during the lockout season of 1998-99, when he swept the Sixth Man and Most Improved awards while playing for Chuck Daly. Overnight, he had become one of the league's most acclaimed ball-pressure defenders and floor leaders.

It was often said that he led the league in floor burns. As recently as two seasons ago, in Dallas, then-coach Don Nelson called Armstrong "one of my toughest guys. He'll fly into a pile and come up with the ball better than anyone we've got."

He also left an impression on every coach and teammate he has had -- so profound that Nelson's replacement, Avery Johnson, allowed him to run team film sessions (without the coaches present) three times during the Mavs' 2005-06 run to the Finals.

"I've always been a sparkplug; I've always been an energy guy," Armstrong said last season. "I get a chance to sit on the bench and watch the game. Then once I get out there, I know what we need, I know what I'm supposed to do."

So it's hardly surprising that he can still play one more year, before becoming a coach.

The Pacers regarded him as an untitled coach, but he still contributed. Late last January, with Jamaal Tinsley injured and Sarunas Jasikevicius sent packing, Rick Carlisle gave Armstrong two starts against Chicago and Miami. He responded with a near triple-double against the Bulls and led a fourth-quarter comeback victory against the Heat. In those two victories, the Pacers were a plus-26 when Armstrong was on the floor and a minus-17 when he wasn't.

Boston coach Doc Rivers, who had an acrimonious parting with Armstrong in the summer of 2003 after coaching him in Orlando for four seasons, could not help but notice.

"The biggest mistake I have made as a coach was when we decided in Orlando that Tracy (McGrady) was going to be the leader. That meant we had to move Darrell," Rivers confided to the Boston Globe last Jan. 28. "I knew on the first day of training camp that we had made a huge mistake, because Tracy wasn't ready and Darrell's presence was missed. It was a horrible decision. You needed his energy, his drive. He makes people practice. He plays with a will, a drive, and he really believes that his will and effort can change a game."

Notes: Allan Houston and his wife, Tamara, will deliver their third child this morning (the baby's already six days late), so he still hasn't made any decisions about where he'd like to resume his basketball career. "We're going to get to that Friday," agent Bill Strickland said last night.... Williams underwent surgery yesterday to have a screw inserted into the fractured fifth metatarsal of his right foot. He'll be on crutches for two weeks, and then begin rehab. The Nets expect him back on the court in six weeks.

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Re: NBA News and Notes

Clippers sign G Dickau
October 3rd, 2007

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday signed free agent guard Dan Dickau.

Waived by the Knicks on October 1 after coming to New York from Portland in a June 28 trade, Dickau averaged 3.3 points and 1.4 assists in 50 games for the Trail Blazers last season. The five-year NBA veteran has career averages of 6.0 points, 1.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists over 233 career games.

Originally selected with the 28th pick in the first round of the 2002 NBA Draft by Sacramento -- which then traded his rights to Atlanta -- Dickau played in 73 games for the Hawks before getting traded to Portland on February 9, 2004.

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Re: NBA News and Notes

Magic's Battie expected to miss season
October 4th, 2007

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Orlando Magic power forward Tony Battie is expected to miss the entire 2007-2008 NBA season with an injured left shoulder.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Battie will have season-ending rotator-cuff surgery after the team returns from its preseason trip to China.

"All doctors and everybody are going to be over there, so it makes sense to wait," Battie told the newspaper.

Battie suffered the injury in a pick-up game a few weeks before training camp.

The 6-foot-11, 240-pound Battie averaged 6.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season.

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Re: NBA News and Notes

Warriors' Ellis possibly paralyzed
October 6, 2007

Sporting News

Monta Ellis, a guard for the Golden State Warriors, was injured Friday in a training camp accident and could be paralyzed, according to media reports.

Ellis collided with a teammate during workouts at the BYU-Hawaii campus, where the team is holding training camp. A report on SFGate.com said Ellis hit his head on a teammate's hip during the team's evening scrimmage. He was coming off a screen set by Brandan Wright when he appeared to lose his footing, fell on Wright and hit the floor.

He lay face down for more than 20 minutes, according to the SFGate report. The site said tests showed little noticeable responses to tests for movement from the shoulders down.

Ellis was wheeled off the court on a stretcher and take to Castle Hospital in Kailua, Hawaii.

No further details or comment from the team were available.

Ellis was named the NBA's Most Improved Player last season, his second in the NBA. He was bidding to start at point guard but was facing a challenge from draft pick Marco Belinelli. He likely would have been slotted as the first guard off the bench.

A second-round pick in 2005, he was drafted out of Lanier High School in Jackson, Miss.

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Ellis, immobilized at Warriors practice, leaves hospital under his own power
ESPN.com

Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis left a Hawaii hospital of his own accord shortly before midnight, just hours after suffering an injury that had him immobilized and carted off the court during a training camp practice.

A battery of tests, including an MRI and a CT scan, came back normal and the injury is being diagnosed as a neck sprain, according to team officials. Ellis is listed as day-to-day.

Ellis is up "walking and laughing," a Warriors official told the San Francisco Chronicle.

As a precautionary measure, Ellis is not likely to play in either exhibition against the Lakers this week.

According to ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher, the 21-year-old Ellis was trying to split a double team on a pick-and-roll when he went down Friday night. Ellis lay face down, prone for more than 25 minutes.

He was taken to Castle Medical Center in Kailua, which is about 40 minutes from the BYU-Hawaii campus where the Warriors are holding camp.

The team's trainer was able to speak to Ellis, so it appeared he was conscious, but there were no noticeable responses to tests for motion.

Ellis was strapped onto a board to get him on a stretcher to be taken off the court, according to Bucher.

Brandan Wright, who apparently set the pick on the play, said Ellis banged his head on Wright's hip before turning and falling to the ground, reported The Contra Costa Times on its Web site.

In April, Ellis won the Most Improved Player award for his transformation from an unsung Mississippi high schooler to a speedy scoring threat for the improving Warriors.

Ellis edged Sacramento's Kevin Martin by three points in the closest voting in the award's history, earning 47 first-place votes and 352 points from a media panel. Martin, the Kings' high-scoring guard, got 44 first-place votes and 349 points.

Ellis averaged 16.5 points, 4.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds this season with new coach Don Nelson and the revitalized Warriors, who returned to the playoffs after a 12-year absence.

The second-round pick's improvement on his 6.8-point scoring average in his rookie season was the NBA's largest increase this year, and he caught the nation's attention with a dunk-filled 28-point performance in the Rookie Challenge during All-Star weekend.

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Re: NBA News and Notes

Bobcats' Sean May undergoes microfracture knee surgery
ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte Bobcats forward Sean May is facing six to 12 months of rehabilitation after microfracture surgery on his right knee this week.

May had the surgery Tuesday in New York. It involved drilling tiny holes in bones around the knee to try to stimulate cartilage growth.

May will be on crutches for up to two months. The Bobcats are hopeful the procedure will allow May to play again in the 2008-09 season.

The 13th pick in the 2005 draft, May has been limited 58 games in the past two seasons because of knee trouble. He had surgery to remove cartilage during his rookie year and developed a bone bruise last season.

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Re: NBA News and Notes

Wizards' Etan Thomas to undergo heart surgery
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- Washington Wizards center Etan Thomas will undergo heart surgery Thursday.

Thomas, a six-year veteran, missed the start of training camp after a routine physical revealed an abnormality.

After further evaluation, the team announced Wednesday that surgery would be required to repair a torn aortic valve

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