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  • Nuggets add Weiss, Booth to staff
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    The Denver Nuggets hired veteran NBA coach and player Bob Weiss to join head coach Michael Malone's staff as an assistant coach.

    • Tim Connelly, the Nuggets' president of basketball operations, also announced Wednesday the hiring of Calvin Booth as assistant general manager.

      The 75-year-old Weiss brings 34 years of coaching experience to Denver, including 31 at the NBA level.

      Weiss, who spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Hornets, has been a head coach on four occasions, compiling a 223-299 career record (.427) with the San Antonio Spurs (1986-88), Atlanta Hawks (1990-93), Los Angeles Clippers (1993-94) and Seattle SuperSonics (2005-06).

      Along with the last four seasons in Charlotte, Weiss' tenure as an assistant coach includes stops with the San Diego Clippers (1977-80), Dallas Mavericks (1980-86), Orlando Magic (1989-90) SuperSonics (1994-2005) and Hawks (2012-13).

      In 2008, Weiss became the first former NBA head coach to be a head coach in China, where he spent two seasons leading the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons (2008-10) and one season with the Shandong Lions (2010-11).

      Prior to coaching, Weiss played 12 seasons in the NBA. Drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers as the 22nd overall pick in the 1965 NBA Draft, he averaged 7.6 points, 3.7 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 783 career games for the 76ers, SuperSonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Buffalo Braves and Washington Bullets. Weiss also saw action in 53 playoff games, including winning the 1967 NBA Championship with the 76ers.

      Booth, 41, joins the Nuggets after spending the past four seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves' front office, most recently serving as the director of pro personnel.

      Prior to his promotion last season, Booth was a scout for the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2012-13 season before transitioning to the same position in Minnesota for the start of the 2013-14 season.

      Before beginning his front office career, Booth played for seven different teams over a 10-year career in the NBA. He appeared in 366 games (83 starts), averaging 3.3 points and 2.8 rebounds.

      Booth and Connelly worked together on two separate occasions with the Washington Wizards and also later with the Pelicans.

  • LeBron speaks out, calls Trump 'so-called president'
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James referred to President Donald Trump as the "so-called president of the United States" while calling for unity in the wake of the Charlottesville, Va., tragedy over the weekend.

    • During his annual family reunion charitable event Tuesday night in Sandusky, Ohio, James gave an emotional speech as he held his daughter, Zhuri, in his arms and was flanked by his two sons, LeBron Jr. and Bryce Maximus, while standing on stage before students, parents, Cavs teammate JR Smith and pop musician Jordin Sparks.

      James took advantage of his first public appearance since the NBA Finals to call out Trump's actions.

      "I know there's a lot of tragic things happening in Charlottesville," James said, via ESPN.com, before leaving the stage at Cedar Point amusement park. "I just want to speak on it right now. I have this platform and I'm somebody that has a voice of command, and the only way for us to be able to get better as a society and us to get better as people is love.

      "And that's the only way we're going to be able to conquer something at the end of the day. It's not about the guy that's the so-called president of the United States, or whatever the case. It's not about a teacher that you don't feel like cares about what's going on with you every day. It's not about people that you just don't feel like want to give the best energy and effort to you. It's about us. It's about us looking in the mirror. Kids all the way up to the adults. It's about all of us looking in the mirror and saying, 'What can we do better to help change?' And if we can all do that and give 110 percent ... then that's all you can ask for.

      "So, shoutout to the innocent people in Charlottesville and shoutout to everybody across the world that just want to be great and just want to love. Thank you, and I love you all."

      A "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville led by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members clashed with counter-protesters in the streets and a car plowed into the crowd on Saturday, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring at least 19 others.

      Trump initially said on Saturday that "many sides" were to blame for the violent scene, then on Monday condemned neo-Nazis, white supremacists and KKK members involved as "repugnant" before stating at a press conference Tuesday "there is blame on both sides" for what happened.

      James has been outspoken on his political beliefs in the past, endorsing Hillary Clinton in the November election and introducing her at a rally in Cleveland two days before she lost to Trump.

      James also referenced Trump on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, hours before his foundation's event:

      "Hate has always existed in America. Yes we know that but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again! Statues has nothing to do with us now!"

  • Raptors sign F Wiltjer
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    The Toronto Raptors signed forward Kyle Wiltjer, the team announced Tuesday.

    • Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but TSN reported the contract was for one year.

      The 6-foot-10, 240-pound Wiltjer appeared in 14 games with the Houston Rockets last season, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a total of 44 minutes.

      Wiltjer was productive for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League, averaging 20.5 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting 37.9 percent from 3-point range in 22 games.

      At Gonzaga, Wiltjer was a first-team All-West Coast Conference selection in his final two seasons while averaging a team-leading 20.4 points as a senior. He began his college career at Kentucky.

  • NBA schedule includes old faces returning to former homes
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, August 14, 2017

    The NBA offseason featured plenty of movement. However, two notable stars who changed addresses will have to wait until the new year to face their former teams at the place they used to call home.

    • The NBA released its regular-season schedule on Monday, with Jimmy Butler and Gordon Hayward returning to Chicago and Utah, respectively, in 2018.

      Butler joins Taj Gibson and coach Tom Thibodeau in a reunion of sorts when the Minnesota Timberwolves face the Bulls on Feb. 9. Chicago traded Butler and the 16th overall pick of the 2017 draft to Minnesota for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the seventh overall selection.

      Hayward, who signed with the Boston Celtics as a free agent, will return to Utah for a game against the Jazz on March 28.

      Paul George will make a familiar trek to Indiana to face the Pacers on Dec. 13. George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder after making it clear that he would not re-sign with Indiana when he becomes a free agent next summer.

      Chris Paul, who was a longtime member of the Clippers, will join his new team in the Houston Rockets when they make a return to Los Angeles on Jan. 15.

      The league announced its marquee television matchups for opening week and Christmas Day last week.

      The defending champion Golden State Warriors will begin their title defense and hold their championship ring ceremony at home against the Rockets on Oct. 17.

      Last season's runners-up, the Cleveland Cavaliers, will start the season on the same day at home against the Celtics in a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals.

      Here are a few other notable matchups:

      Three-time All-Star center DeMarcus will join the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 26 in a road game against the Sacramento Kings, his former team.

      The Rockets will play Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 1.

      Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid will get a firsthand look at second overall pick Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 15. Embiid and Ball's outspoken father, LaVar, have exchanged social media jabs during the summer. Markelle Fultz, the top overall pick, is also involved in the game.

      The Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets play in Mexico City on Dec. 9 and the 76ers and Celtics tip off in London on Jan. 11.

      The Cavaliers and Warriors will play their second regular-season matchup on Jan. 15 in Cleveland. The first one is the highlight of the Christmas Day slate.

      Cleveland superstar LeBron James will travel to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on March 11. Speculation abounds on whether "The King" will call L.A. his home (for basketball purposes) in the not-too-distant future.

  • Lakers sign G Weber
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, August 14, 2017

    The Los Angeles Lakers signed guard Briante Weber on Monday, the team announced.

    • Although terms of the contract were not announced, multiple media outlets reported last week that it would be a one-year deal.

      Weber, 24, appeared in 20 games last season with the Charlotte Hornets and Golden State Warriors, averaging a combined 3.1 points and 1.1 assists.

      The 6-foot-2, 165-pound Weber appeared in 27 games with the Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Warriors and Hornets in his two NBA seasons, averaging 3.4 points and 1.6 assists.

      An NBA D-League All-Star selection in 2017, Weber was a three-time Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year at Virginia Commonwealth.

  • Durant apologizes for comments about India
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Forward Kevin Durant of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors issued an apology for comments he claims were "taken out of context" regarding the development of basketball in India.

    • In a Q&A with Durant that appeared in The Athletic earlier this week, he was quoted as saying that the country is "20 years behind in terms of knowledge and experience."

      In a statement on Twitter, Durant said: "Sorry that my comments about India were taken out of context, I'm grateful for the time I've got to spend there and I'm really pissed about how my comments came off, that's my fault, should've worded that better. I spoke about the difference between my imagination and reality there in Delhi and about where the game is compared to the rest of the world. No offense from this side, I'm coming back out there for more camps and cool (stuff). Sorry ....."

      Durant, the Most Valuable Player in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, also said in the Q&A that he was surprised to see so many underprivileged people in India eager to learn about basketball.

      In addition, he talked about seeing cows in the streets, monkeys on the loose and hundreds of people on the side of the roads.

      Durant returned on Thursday from his visit to India, where he promoted the building of community basketball courts, and said he hopes to return in the future.

  • NBA notebook: Knicks, Rockets revive trade talks
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, August 11, 2017

    Carmelo Anthony could still join the Houston Rockets after all.

    • After initial talks between the New York Knicks and Rockets about an Anthony trade stalled, the teams have re-engaged in discussions to send the 10-time All-Star to the Magnolia City, according to an ESPN report on Friday.

      Anthony will only waive his no-trade clause to be dealt to the Rockets, refusing to include more teams on his list of potential destinations, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

      Houston is reportedly trying to find a third team to make the deal possible, and finding a way to include forward Ryan Anderson, who has three years left on his $60 million deal, is viewed as an obstacle.

      --LeBron James might be considering whether to bring his talents to Los Angeles next season, and there's a chance Kyrie Irving could be going with him. In a manner of speaking.

      Irving, who asked the Cleveland Cavaliers for a trade in July after he grew sour of playing alongside James, has his sights set on the Los Angeles Clippers as a team he would like to play for if traded.

      "(Irving) loves L.A. and he's been working out there a lot this summer," veteran NBA reporter Peter Vecsey of Patreon.com said.

      James, who owns a home in Los Angeles, is rumored to be considering teaming up with Los Angeles-area native Paul George on the Lakers next summer.

      --The Los Angeles Lakers signed forward V.J. Beachem.

      Terms of the deal were not released by the team, but ESPN reports Beachem's contract is partially guaranteed.

      Beachem, a former Notre Dame standout, was not selected in the 2017 NBA Draft. He averaged 14.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 36 games for the Fighting Irish last season.

      He played four games with the Minnesota Timberwolves during the NBA's summer league in Las Vegas.

  • Irving reportedly highly interested in joining Clippers
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, August 11, 2017

    LeBron James might be considering whether to bring his talents to Los Angeles next season, and there's a chance Kyrie Irving could be going with him.

    • In a manner of speaking.

      Irving, who asked the Cleveland Cavaliers for a trade in July after he grew sour of playing alongside James, has his sights set on the Los Angeles Clippers as a team he would like to play for if traded.

      "(Irving) loves L.A. and he's been working out there a lot this summer," veteran NBA reporter Peter Vecsey of Patreon.com said.

      James, who owns a home in Los Angeles, is rumored to be considering teaming up with Los Angeles-area native Paul George on the Lakers next summer.

      The Clippers may be looking to rebuild after trading All-Star guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets earlier this offseason, but they did retain the services of All-Star forward Blake Griffin.

      Building around the 25-year-old Irving would be a great start, but Vecsey does not believe the Clippers have the assets to pull off a trade.

      "Do they have the assets they get him? I don't see how," Vecsey said. "But they also have (consultant) Jerry West and he's been able to figure out before ... the Lakers didn't have the assets to get Shaq (Shaquille O'Neal) and he wheeled and dealed and figured out and they got him ... he was able to get Kobe (Bryant) for (Vlade) Divac in the draft."

      Irving's reported list of preferred destinations also includes the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves.

  • Lakers sign F Beachem
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, August 11, 2017

    The Los Angeles Lakers signed forward V.J. Beachem on Friday.

    • Terms of the deal were not released by the team, but ESPN reports Beachem's contract is partially guaranteed.

      Beachem, a former Notre Dame standout, was not selected in the 2017 NBA Draft. He averaged 14.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 36 games for the Fighting Irish last season.

      He played four games with the Minnesota Timberwolves during the NBA's summer league in Las Vegas.

      Los Angeles went 26-56 last season and finished 14th out of 15 teams in the Western Conference.

  • Houston bound? Knicks, Rockets revive Anthony trade talks
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, August 11, 2017

    Carmelo Anthony could still join the Houston Rockets after all.

    • After initial talks between the New York Knicks and Rockets about an Anthony trade stalled, the teams have re-engaged in discussions to send the 10-time All-Star to the Magnolia City, according to an ESPN report.

      Anthony will only waive his no-trade clause to be dealt to the Rockets, refusing to include more teams on his list of potential destinations, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

      Houston is reportedly trying to find a third team to make the deal possible, and finding a way to include forward Ryan Anderson, who has three years left on his $60 million deal, is viewed as an obstacle.

      The Rockets intend to pair Anthony with fellow All-Stars James Harden and Chris Paul, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Los Angeles Clippers and opted into the final year of his contract for cap purposes.

      New York appears to be ready to build around star forward Kristaps Porzingis and recently re-acquired guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who the team signed to a four-year deal reportedly worth $71 million in July.

      However, ESPN reports the Knicks are willing to begin training camp with Anthony on the roster and that new general manager Scott Perry is seeking a more specific package for Anthony than ousted president Phil Jackson.

      Anthony, 33, averaged 22.4 points on 43.3 percent shooting along with 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 74 games with the Knicks last season, his seventh in New York and 14th in the NBA.

  • NBA notebook: Paul to make Rockets debut against Warriors
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 10, 2017

    The highly anticipated debuts of Chris Paul with the Houston Rockets and Gordon Hayward with the Boston Celtics will highlight the opening night of the NBA season, the league announced Thursday.

    • Paul and the Rockets will visit the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday Oct. 17 as the second part of a doubleheader on TNT.

      In the opener, Hayward and the Celtics will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals.

      The NBA also announced its five Christmas Day matchups with an NBA Finals rematch between the Cavaliers and host Warriors on ABC (3 p.m. ET) representing the marquee contest.

      MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and MVP runner-up James Harden of the Rockets will square off on ABC (8 p.m. ET) on the Thunder's homecourt. The other contest on ABC will feature the Washington Wizards visiting the Celtics at 5:30 p.m. ET.

      --The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will pack their bags and head across the pond to play a regular-season game at the O2 Arena in London on Jan. 11, the NBA announced.

      The contest will be the league's eighth regular-season contest in London.

      --When NBA owners meet in September, they are expected to approve rules designed to discourage teams from benching healthy players for regular-season games, USA Today reported.

      The rules will be in effect at the start of the 2017-18 season, and teams will be penalized for not abiding by them.

      The specifics of the rules and the consequences remain unknown at this point, however. Enforcing any rules regarding the resting of a healthy player may be difficult to do, starting with the problem of determining whether the player is actually healthy.

      Earlier this week, the league office announced scheduling improvements designed to provide more rest for players.

      --Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph was arrested on a felony charge of marijuana possession with intent to sell by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday night.

      The arrest was part of a disturbance that resulted in damage to five Los Angeles Police Department vehicles and one sheriff's vehicle, according to ABC-7 in Los Angeles.

      Officers reportedly encountered a group drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and playing loud music while blocking the street in the Nickerson Gardens area in Los Angeles. The disturbance escalated with Randolph being arrested at 11 p.m. PT and booked 5 1/2 hours later with bail being set for $20,000, according to police reports.

      A two-time All-Star, Randolph signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Kings this summer after ending his eight-year tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies.

      --Oklahoma City Thunder forward Patrick Patterson underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the team announced.

      Patterson, who will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks, is expected to start at power forward for Oklahoma City after agreeing to a three-year, $16.4 million contract in July.

      --The Milwaukee Bucks signed a jersey advertisement patch deal with Harley-Davidson, the team announced.

      The motorcycle manufacturer's iconic orange, white and black logo will appear on the Bucks' white, green and black jerseys. Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee.

  • Paul makes Rockets' debut against Warriors in opener
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 10, 2017

    The highly anticipated debuts of Chris Paul with the Houston Rockets and Gordon Hayward with the Boston Celtics will highlight the opening night of the NBA season, the league announced Thursday.

    • Paul and the Rockets will visit the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday Oct. 17 as the second part of a doubleheader on TNT. Paul, a nine-time All-Star point guard, spent the past six seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, while the Warriors will be receiving NBA championship rings for the second time in the past three seasons.

      In the opener, Hayward and the Celtics will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals. Hayward joined Boston as a free agent during the summer after seven seasons with the Utah Jazz, including making his first All-Star appearance last season.

      Cleveland once again will have LeBron James on the floor but the status of guard Kyrie Irving remains unclear after he asked to be traded.

      The NBA also announced its five Christmas Day matchups with an NBA Finals rematch between the Cavaliers and host Warriors on ABC (3 p.m. ET) representing the marquee contest. The two teams have met in each of the past three finals.

      MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and MVP runner-up James Harden of the Rockets will square off on ABC (8 p.m. ET) on the Thunder's homecourt. The other contest on ABC will feature the Washington Wizards visiting the Celtics at 5:30 p.m. ET.

      The Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks begin Christmas Day with a noon ET tip at Madison Square Garden on ESPN. The contest is Philadelphia's first Christmas Day affair since 2001.

      Squaring off on Christmas Night (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT) will be the Minnesota Timberwolves and host Los Angeles Lakers.

      The remainder of the NBA schedule will be announced next week. The Oct. 17 opening, pushed up to give players more rest, is the earliest start since the 1980-81 campaign began on Oct. 10, 1980.

  • NBA preparing to approve "rest rule"
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 10, 2017

    Fans get upset when a healthy superstar sits out a game for a day of rest, and the NBA apparently plans to do something about it this season.

    • In September, the NBA owners are expected to approve rules designed to discourage teams from benching healthy players for regular-season games, USA Today reported Thursday.

      The rules will be in effect at the start of the 2017-18 season, and teams will be penalized for not abiding by them.

      The specifics of the rules and the consequences remain unknown at this point, however. Enforcing any rules regarding the resting of a healthy player may be difficult to do, starting with the problem of determining whether the player is actually healthy.

      Earlier this week, the league office announced scheduling improvements designed to provide more rest for players. Teams will no longer play four games in five nights, and the number of back-to-back games has been reduced.

      The new approach caused the NBA to decide to open the season on Oct. 17. That represents the earliest start since the 1980-81 campaign began on Oct. 10, 1980.

      Commissioner Adam Silver suggested changes might be in store during at April news conference.

      "There is an expectation among partners that teams are going to act in appropriate ways, (and) find, as I said, that right balance between resting on one hand and obligations to fans and partners on the other," Silver said in April, according to USA Today.

      "There is a recognition from teams that on one hand a certain amount of resting is just inevitable and appropriate to keep the players healthy, but that they shouldn't be resting multiple starters on the same night.

      "And, incidentally, wherever possible, they should rest at home. Because there, while I feel for the home fans, just as much as the away fans, the away fans may only get a chance to see that team once. And of course, the home team home fans can see that team many times."

  • Harley-Davidson riding with Bucks' jerseys
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 10, 2017

    The Milwaukee Bucks signed a jersey advertisement patch deal with Harley-Davidson, the team announced Thursday.

    • The motorcycle manufacturer's iconic orange, white and black logo will appear on the Bucks' white, green and black jerseys. Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee.

      "It's a perfect fit for Harley-Davidson and the Bucks, two international brands with deep Milwaukee roots, to join together through this partnership," said Matt Pazaras, the Bucks' senior vice president of business development and strategy.

      "Harley evokes as much passion among its riders as the Bucks do for our fans. And with that passion, along with its iconic logo and what it represents, Harley is the coolest brand for our players to sport during games."

      Don't expect to see Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo sign an endorsement deal with Harley-Davidson and get a free bike. Riding a motorcycle is prohibited in NBA contracts.

  • Thunder F Patterson undergoes knee surgery
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 10, 2017

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Patrick Patterson underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Thursday, the team announced.

    • Patterson, who will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks, is expected to start at power forward for Oklahoma City after agreeing to a three-year, $16.4 million contract in July.

      The 28-year-old is the second significant offseason addition for Oklahoma City, which picked up Paul George in a trade with the Indiana Pacers. That deal saw another forward, Domantas Sabonis, exit the Thunder for the Pacers.

      Patterson averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 65 games (eight starts) for the Toronto Raptors last season. He produced 3.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 10 playoff games.

      A first-round pick by the Rockets in 2010 out of Kentucky, Patterson spent 2 1/2 seasons in Houston. He played parts of two seasons with the Sacramento Kings before joining the Raptors in the 2013-14 season.

      Patterson has appeared in 477 career games, making 73 starts. He has averages of 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds.

  • Randolph arrested on charge of marijuana possession with intent to sell
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 10, 2017

    Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph was arrested on a felony charge of marijuana possession with intent to sell by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday night.

    • The arrest was part of a disturbance that resulted in damage to five Los Angeles Police Department vehicles and one sheriff's vehicle, according to ABC-7 in Los Angeles.

      Officers reportedly encountered a group drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and playing loud music while blocking the street in the Nickerson Gardens area in Los Angeles. The disturbance escalated with Randolph being arrested at 11 p.m. PT and booked 5 1/2 hours later with bail being set for $20,000, according to police reports.

      A two-time All-Star, Randolph signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Kings this summer after ending his eight-year tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies.

      Randolph averaged 14.1 points and 8.2 points for Memphis last season.

      The 36-year-old Randolph ranks first in Grizzlies' franchise history in rebounds (5,612) and is second behind Mike Conley in points (9,261). He excelled in a reserve role last season, averaging 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds.

      With Sacramento, Randolph reunites with Dave Joerger, his former coach with the Grizzlies.

  • 76ers, Celtics to play in NBA London Game
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, August 10, 2017

    The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will pack their bags and head across the pond to play a regular-season game at the O2 Arena in London on Jan. 11, the NBA announced on Thursday.

    • The contest will be the league's eighth regular-season contest in London, and it will mark the second appearance for Philadelphia and Boston after playing preseason games in London and Manchester, respectively.

      "This will be our 16th game (overall) in London where our events have become an annual opportunity for basketball fans across Europe to come together and share their passion for the NBA," commissioner Adam Silver said.

      The NBA London Game will feature the Atlantic Division rivals who found themselves as trade partners prior to this year's draft. The 76ers traded up to select Markelle Fultz with the top overall choice while the Celtics tabbed Jayson Tatum with the third pick.

      Philadelphia's Joel Embiid is looking to lift his team to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

      "I look forward to coming back to London with the Sixers after visiting for the first time this summer," Embiid said in a statement. "We are a young, hungry team, and we will be sure to give the fans an exciting game against Boston in January."

      The Denver Nuggets posted a 140-112 victory over the Indiana Pacers in last season's game in London.

  • NBA notebook: Nets to play Thunder, Heat in Mexico City
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 9, 2017

    Fans in Mexico will receive a first-hand look at reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook next season when the Oklahoma City Thunder play the Brooklyn Nets in the nation's capital.

    • The NBA Mexico City games feature the Nets playing a regular-season contest against Westbrook, four-time All-Star Paul George and the Thunder on Dec. 7. Brooklyn will then face the Miami Heat two days later.

      "They will also mark the 25th anniversary of our first game in Mexico City, a milestone in our relationship with our Mexican fans and a further indication of our desire to strengthen our ties to Mexico and Latin America," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

      In January, the NBA held two games in Mexico with the Phoenix Suns playing against the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs.

      -- Guard Ty Lawson and center Donatas Motiejunas have decided to leave the NBA and play in China this coming season, multiple media outlets reported .

      Lawson, who spent this past season with the Sacramento Kings, and Motiejunas, who played for the New Orleans Pelicans, have agreed to sign with the same team, the Shandong Golden Stars. The details of Lawson's contract were not immediately available, but Sportando reported that Motiejunas has agreed to a $3 million deal.

      Lawson, 29, averaged 9.9 points and 4.8 assists while playing 69 games, including 24 starts, for the Kings in 2016-17. His best season came in 2013-14, when he averaged 17.6 points and 8.8 assists for the Denver Nuggets.

      Motiejunas, 26, averaged 4.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 34 games, all off the bench, for the Pelicans last season.

      -- The Atlanta Hawks signed forward Luke Babbitt, the team announced.

      The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported he signed a one-year deal.

      Babbitt played in 68 games, including 55 starts, for the Miami Heat last season. He averaged 4.8 points and 2.1 rebounds in 15.7 minutes, while making 41.4 percent of his 3-point attempts.

      "Luke is a proven veteran and adds another experienced player to our locker room," Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said. "He is one of the premier long-range shooting big men in the league, has played a variety of roles over his career and will contribute to our team."

  • G Lawson, C Motiejunas to play in China
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 9, 2017

    Guard Ty Lawson and center Donatas Motiejunas have decided to leave the NBA and play in China this coming season, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday.

    • Lawson, who spent this past season with the Sacramento Kings, and Motiejunas, who played for the New Orleans Pelicans, have agreed to sign with the same team, the Shandong Golden Stars.

      The details of Lawson's contract were not immediately available, but Sportando reported that Motiejunas has agreed to a $3 million deal.

      Lawson, 29, averaged 9.9 points and 4.8 assists while playing 69 games, including 24 starts, for the Kings in 2016-17. His best season came in 2013-14, when he averaged 17.6 points and 8.8 assists for the Denver Nuggets.

      Motiejunas, 26, averaged 4.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 34 games, all off the bench, for the Pelicans last season.

      The regular season in China ends in February with the playoffs concluding in March, so Lawson and Motiejunas could latch on to an NBA team that needs help at the end of the season.

  • Hawks sign F Babbitt
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 9, 2017

    The Atlanta Hawks signed forward Luke Babbitt, the team announced Wednesday.

    • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported he signed a one-year deal.

      Babbitt played in 68 games, including 55 starts, for the Miami Heat last season. He averaged 4.8 points and 2.1 rebounds in 15.7 minutes, while making 41.4 percent of his 3-point attempts.

      "Luke is a proven veteran and adds another experienced player to our locker room," Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said. "He is one of the premier long-range shooting big men in the league, has played a variety of roles over his career and will contribute to our team."

      In seven NBA seasons, the 6-foot-9 forward has appeared in 331 games, including 93 starts, with Portland, New Orleans and Miami, averaging 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 14.0 minutes.

  • Nets to play Thunder, Heat in Mexico City
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, August 9, 2017

    Fans in Mexico will receive a first-hand look at reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook next season when the Oklahoma City Thunder play the Brooklyn Nets in the nation's capital.

    • The NBA Mexico City games feature the Nets playing a regular-season contest against Westbrook, four-time All-Star Paul George and the Thunder on Dec. 7. Brooklyn will then face the Miami Heat two days later.

      "They will also mark the 25th anniversary of our first game in Mexico City, a milestone in our relationship with our Mexican fans and a further indication of our desire to strengthen our ties to Mexico and Latin America," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

      In January, the NBA held two games in Mexico with the Phoenix Suns playing against the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs.

      Nets general manager Sean Marks was thrilled that his team is being able to represent the NBA in this capacity.

      "The Brooklyn Nets are honored to be the host team for the 2017 NBA Mexico City games and help the league celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first NBA game in Mexico," Marks said. "We are excited to take part in fostering the NBA's global outreach and to connect with the Nets current and growing fan base in Mexico. Our players and staff are looking forward to exploring Mexico City and its culture, while providing fans with the experience of two regular-season Brooklyn Nets games."

      Thunder general manager Sam Presti offered a similar sentiment.

      "We're excited to be asked to participate in the NBA Mexico City games 2017 as the NBA expands its global reach," Presti said. "As we enter only our 10th season of Thunder Basketball in Oklahoma City, we feel incredibly fortunate that our team and fan base will get to experience our first regular-season game abroad."

  • Knicks sign well-traveled Beasley
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    Forward Michael Beasley is headed for a sixth NBA team, as he agreed to sign with the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

    • The club announced the signing but not the contract terms. Multiple media outlets reported that Beasley received a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum, $2.12 million.

      Beasley's role with the Knicks is uncertain because of the possibility of a trade that could see Carmelo Anthony leave the team.

      Beasley, 28, spent last season with the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 56 games (six starts).

      He previously played for the Miami Heat (2008-09 to 2009-10, 2013-14 to 2014-15), the Minnesota Timberwolves (2010-11 to 2011-12), the Phoenix Suns (2012-13) and the Houston Rockets (2015-16).

      In 509 career games (206 starts), Beasley averages 12.6 points and 4.7 rebounds.

      The 6-foot-10, 235-pounder was a first-round pick, second overall, of the Heat out of Kansas State in 2008.

  • Grizzlies G McLemore out 3-4 month with broken foot
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    Memphis Grizzlies guard Ben McLemore will be sidelined close to three months after breaking a bone in his right foot, the team announced Tuesday.

    • The Grizzlies said McLemore suffered a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metatarsal during a pickup game in Los Angeles when he landed on the foot of another player.

      McLemore underwent surgery to repair the bone.

      The 24-year-old is entering his initial season with the Grizzlies after playing his first four seasons with the Sacramento Kings. He signed a two-year, $10.7 million deal with Memphis.

      McLemore averaged 8.1 points last season in 61 games (26 starts) for the Kings. He has a career scoring average of 9.4 in 293 NBA games.

  • Ex-Cavs GM Griffin believes Irving will be traded
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    Count former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin among those who believe Cleveland All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving will wind up being traded.

    • Irving, 25, is reportedly seeking to be more of a focal point and no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James, leading to his trade request in mid-July.

      "I think Kyrie's going to end up getting traded," Griffin said Monday on ESPN television.

      Griffin, who parted ways with the Cavaliers in June after being unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension, said Irving handled the situation the right way and with courage.

      "He went to (Cavaliers owner) Dan Gilbert privately, told him that he thought he would be happier somewhere else," Griffin told ESPN. "The absolute worst thing this guy could have done was pretend to be all-in and sink the ship from within. Most guys don't have the courage to do what he did."

      Irving averaged a career-high 25.2 points, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals for the Cavaliers last season, his sixth in the NBA. The former Duke standout was the Cavs' No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

  • Timberwolves owner wants to meet with Wiggins before extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    Andrew Wiggins will get his money, but there are a few string attached.

    • Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is ready to pony up and give Wiggins a max deal to stay with Minnesota long term, so long as he is willing to have a one-on-one meeting with his boss and commit to becoming a better player.

      Taylor's offer to Wiggins would be in the range of five years and $148 million, ESPN reports.

      "To me, by making this offer, I'm speculating that his contribution to the team will be more in the future. We've got to be better. He can't be paid just for what he's doing today. He's got to be better," Taylor told the Associated Press about Wiggins.

      "So when you're talking about negotiations on his part, I'm already extending to him that I'm willing to meet the max. But there are some things that I need out of him, and that is the commitment to be a better player than you are today."

      Wiggins, 22, was the No. 1 overall draft pick of the Cavaliers in 2014, but never played a game for Cleveland and was traded to Minnesota along with former Cavs top pick Anthony Bennett for All-Star forward Kevin Love.

      Last season, Wiggins averaged a career-high 23.6 points on 45.2 percent shooting with four rebounds, 2.3 assists and a steal. The forward has career averages of 20.4 points, 4.1 boards and 2.1 assists in three seasons.

      Minnesota is well-positioned to make a playoff run after the addition of All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler in an offseason trade with the Chicago Bulls to pair with Wiggins and young star center Karl-Anthony Towns.

      The Timberwolves also added veterans Jamal Crawford and Taj Gibson in free agency in hopes of improving on their 31-51 record last season.