Hornets re-sign Theo Maledon to two-way contract

The Charlotte Hornets have re-signed guard Theo Maledon to a two-way contract.

Maledon appeared in 44 games for the Hornets during the 2022-23 season and averaged 6.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and a career-high-tying 3.5 assists per game. He also set personal bests in field goal percentage (.402) and free-throw percentage (.851), and he dished a career-high 14 assists vs. Toronto (April 2).

Prior to the Hornets, Maledon played two seasons for the Oklahoma City Thunder, accruing averages of 8.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game across 116 contests (56 starts). He was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round (34th overall) of the 2020 NBA Draft following five professional seasons in France.

After signing Maledon, the Hornets roster stands at 19.

Houston Astros and Houston Rockets are acquiring AT&T SportsNet Southwest from Warner Bros. Discovery

The Houston Astros and Houston Rockets are acquiring AT&T SportsNet Southwest from Warner Bros. Discovery, effective September 30, 2023.

The network will re-launch as Space City Home Network (SCHN) on October 3, 2023.

The change will be a seamless transition for fans as they will be able to continue to access Rockets and Astros games on the same channels they currently utilize.

The network will be owned by the Rockets and Astros going forward and will operate as a joint venture of the two organizations. The teams are committed to delivering great game content and programming, while maintaining and enhancing the award-winning quality that has made the network the premium destination for Rockets and Astros fans to watch live broadcasts, behind-the-scenes content, and much more.

“We are excited to partner with the Rockets, and launch the new home for Astros and Rockets coverage with Space City Home Network,” said Giles Kibbe, Astros Senior Vice President, General Counsel. “Together with the Rockets we’ve worked hard to ensure that Space City Home Network will bring you the same Astros and Rockets sports coverage from the faces and voices you know and love. We look forward to this new chapter and remain committed to delivering great broadcasts for the best fans in baseball.”

“We’ve had a strong relationship with the talent and staff at AT&T SportsNet in broadcasting Rockets games over the years and are excited to have that live on as Space City Home Network,” said Rockets President of Business Operations Gretchen Sheirr. “We’ve worked alongside the Astros and network personnel to ensure this will be a smooth changeover for our fans and look forward to the positive impact this collaboration and local ownership will have on our broadcast.”

“We appreciate the collaboration from the Astros and Rockets as we reach an agreement that is in the best interest of all parties, including the fans we all serve,” said Patrick Crumb, President, Regional Sports Networks, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports. “I’d especially like to thank all of our Houston-based colleagues who will continue to passionately showcase both teams through this new venture. We wish the Astros and Rockets much success as they assume ownership of the network.”

Hawks sign Jarkel Joiner and Keaton Wallace

The Atlanta Hawks have signed guards Jarkel Joiner and Keaton Wallace.

Joiner appeared in four games with the Hawks during the NBA 2K24 Summer League 2023 in Las Vegas, registering 4.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 12.0 minutes.

Throughout his six-year collegiate career, Joiner suited up for NC State (2022-23), Ole Miss (2019-22, redshirt in 2019-20) and Cal State Bakersfield (2017-19). He appeared in 148 contests (136 starts), owning averages of 13.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steal in 31.7 minutes of action (.417 FG%, .330 3FG%, .828 FT%).

During the 2022-23 season, the 6-1 guard saw action in 34 games (all starts) as a member of the Wolfpack, tallying career highs in points per game (17.0), rebounds per game (4.8), assists per game (3.6), steals per game (1.3) and minutes per game (35.9). His 17.0 points per game ranked fourth in the ACC, while his 35.9 minutes per game ranked third. Joiner was named to the ACC All-Second Team, leading NC State to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2018.

Wallace appeared in 49 total games (48 starts) with the Ontario Clippers during the 2022-23 NBA G League season (regular season and Showcase Cup), notching 13.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.7 steals in 32.6 minutes per game (.463 FG%, .382 3FG%, .745 FT%). He put in 30-or-more points three times during the 2022-23 campaign, including a career-best 39 points on 16-22 shooting from the floor and a 7-8 mark from deep in a win over the Motor City Cruise on Jan. 15, 2023.

The 6-3 guard signed a two-way contract with the LA Clippers on Feb. 21, 2023. He did not appear in any games with the Clippers and was waived on March 1. Wallace saw action in three games with the Clippers during the NBA 2K24 Summer League 2023 in Las Vegas, recording 7.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steal in 16.1 minutes (.400 FG%, .300 3FG%, 1.000 FT%).

Wallace has appeared in 93 total games (79 starts) across two NBA G League seasons, owning averages of 14.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 31.2 minutes (.460 FG%, .382 3FG%, .773 FT%).

The Dallas, Texas, native appeared in 125 games (110 starts) contests throughout a four-year collegiate career at the University of Texas at San Antonio, registering 16.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 32.6 minutes of play (.401 FG%, .351 3FG%, .806 FT%). Wallace earned Second Team All-CUSA in three consecutive seasons (2018-21) and was named to the CUSA All-Freshman Team during the 2017-18 campaign.

Pelicans announce staff promotions and additions

The New Orleans Pelicans today announced promotions and additions within the team’s coaching staff and basketball operations department.

The Pelicans have added Associate Head Coach James Borrego and Assistant Coach Aaron Miles to Head Coach Willie Green’s staff. Additionally, the team has hired Dominic Samangy as Basketball Analytics Coordinator and Ed Flynn as Head Video Coordinator. Joining Flynn in the video room are Assistant Video Coordinators Garrius Adams and Jake McGee, and Video/Player Development Assistant Keith Omoerah.

In the front office, New Orleans has named Adam Barnes as General Manager of Basketball Operations for the Birmingham Squadron, the Pelicans’ G League affiliate, and Alex Kaufman has been promoted to Manager of Player Evaluation and Basketball Operations.

Additionally, the Pelicans have hired Amy Atmore as Director of Rehabilitation. Aaron Nelson has assumed the role of Special Advisor to the Medical and Performance Team.

Orlando Magic sign D.J. Wilson

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent forward D.J. Wilson.

Wilson (6’10” tall, 230 pounds, born 2/19/96) played in five games (four starts) last season with Oklahoma City of the NBA G League, averaging 19.4 ppg., 8.6 rpg., 4.0 apg. and 1.40 blkpg. in 35.8 minpg.

Originally selected in the first round (17th overall) of the 2017 NBA Draft by Milwaukee, Wilson has played in 146 career NBA regular season games (six starts) with Milwaukee, Houston and Toronto, averaging 4.4 ppg. and 3.1 rpg. in 12.3 minpg. He has also appeared in 44 career NBA G League games (38 starts) with Wisconsin and Oklahoma City, averaging 17.9 ppg., 8.4 rpg., 3.0 apg. and 1.11 blkpg. in 30.1 minpg.

Wilson played in 69 career games (36 starts) during three seasons (2014-17) at the University of Michigan, averaging 7.1 ppg., 3.3 rpg. and 1.01 blkpg. in 19.4 minpg., while shooting .525 (192-366) from the field. He helped the Wolverines win the 2017 Big Ten Tournament championship and advance to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

Wilson will wear #23 with the Orlando Magic.

Orlando’s roster now stands at 21 players. Training camp begins on Tuesday, October 3.

Medical updates on two Pelicans players

The New Orleans Pelicans announced the following medical updates on guard Jose Alvarado and forward Larry Nance Jr.

Jose Alvarado sustained a right ankle sprain during an offseason workout and is expected to return to basketball activities in approximately 2-3 weeks.

Larry Nance Jr. received a biologic injection to stimulate the healing process in his left ankle. He is expected to make a full recovery before the start of the regular season and is anticipated to return to basketball activities in approximately 2-3 weeks.

Damian Lillard traded to Bucks in three-team NBA deal

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired center Deandre Ayton and forward Toumani Camara from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for guard Keon Johnson, forward Nassir Little and center Jusuf Nurkic, the team announced today. Additionally, Portland acquired Jrue Holiday, a 2029 first round pick and the right to swap first round picks in 2028 and 2030 from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for guard Damian Lillard. Milwaukee also sends guard Grayson Allen to Phoenix.

“On behalf of the entire Portland Trail Blazers Organization, I want to express my gratitude to Damian for 11 storied years with this franchise and for his loyalty to the Portland community,” said General Manager Joe Cronin. “From becoming the all-time leading points scorer in franchise history to his dedicated commitment to youth across Oregon and the entire Pacific Northwest, Damian is and will remain a titan and a true trailblazer to this city.”

“I would also like to thank Jusuf Nurkic for his devotion to Portland these last seven seasons,” said Cronin. “A consummate professional on and off the court, Nurk has been a key leader for this team, and we appreciate his dedication and passion for this franchise, the city, and the fans.”

“Thank you to Keon Johnson and Nassir Little for their contributions to the Trail Blazers and Portland as well,” added Cronin. “We wish Dame, Nurk, Keon and Nas much success going forward.”

During the 2022-23 season, Ayton averaged 18.0 points (58.9% FG, 29.2% 3-PT, 76.0% FT), 10.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.8 blocks in 30.4 minutes per game in 67 games (all starts). Originally selected with the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft, Ayton holds career averages of 16.7 points (59.7% FG, 26.3% 3-PT, 25.5% FT), 10.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.0 blocks in 30.6 minutes per game in 303 games (296 starts) in his five seasons with Phoenix.

Holiday averaged 19.3 points (47.9% FG, 38.4% 3-PT, 85.9% FT), 5.1 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.4 blocks in 32.6 minutes per game in 67 games (65 starts) during the 2022-23 season with Milwaukee. The 14-year veteran guard holds career averages of 16.4 points (46.2% FG, 36.6% 3-PT, 78.3% FT), 4.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, 33.1 minutes per game in 906 games (825) starts.

Camara (too-MAH-nee cah-MAH-rah) was drafted as the No. 52 overall pick in this year’s 2023 NBA Draft. The rookie forward played 125 games (106 starts) in four seasons at Dayton (2021-23) and Georgia (2019-21) and accrued averages of 11.0 points (51.3% FG, 30.7% 3-PF, 63.1%FT), 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks in 27.3 minutes per game.

Lillard was drafted by the Trail Blazers out of Weber State with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He appeared in 769 games (all starts) over 11 seasons in Portland, accruing career averages of 25.2 points (43.9% FG, 37.2% 3-PT, 89.5% FT), 4.2 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.0 steals in 36.3 minutes per game. Among all-time franchise leaders, he ranks first in points (19,376), points per game (25.2), three-pointers (2,387), free throws (4,427) and free throw percentage (89.5%), second in field goals (6,281) and assists (5,151), third in games played (769) and minutes per game (36.3), fourth in assists per game (6.7), and sixth in triple-doubles (3 – tied) and steals (732). During his time with Portland, Lillard was a seven-time NBA All-Star, an All-NBA First Team (2018), Second Team (2021, 2020, 2019, 2016) and Third Team (2023, 2014) selection, a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, the 2021 NBA Teammate of the Year, the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year, and an NBA All-Rookie First Team selection (2013). The Trail Blazers made the playoffs in eight of Lillard’s seasons in Portland, advancing to the Western Conference Finals in 2019 and the Western Conference Semifinals in 2016 and 2014. Lillard also won a Gold Medal with the United States Men’s National Team at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Nurkic spent the past seven seasons in Portland, where he averaged 14.4 points (51.3% FG, 29.8% 3-PT, 69.3% FT), 9.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks in 27.0 minutes per game. He was originally drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the No. 16 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and traded to Denver on Draft night. In 463 games (382 starts) with Portland and Denver, he holds career averages of 12.3 points (50.2% FG, 29.2% 3-PT, 67.1% FT), 8.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 blocks in 24.2 minutes per game. The Bosnia native ranks fourth in rebounds per game (9.8) and 10th in total rebounds (2,280) in Trail Blazers franchise history.

The Trail Blazers originally acquired Johnson from the LA Clippers on February 4, 2022. Over two seasons with Portland and the LA Clippers, Johnson has accrued career averages of 5.9 points (36.2% FG, 34.3% 3-PT, 73.9% FT), 1.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.60 steals and 14.4 minutes per game in 77 games (12 starts). He appeared in 40 games with Portland last season, averaging 4.7 points (37.6% FG, 34.6% 3-PT, 65.9% FT), 1.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 10 minutes per game.

Selected 25th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Trail Blazers, Little has appeared in 192 games (34 starts) in Portland and holds career averages of 6.0 points (45.1% FG, 33.5% 3-PT, 72.5% FT), 3.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.4 blocks in 17.1 minutes per game. Last season, the former North Carolina standout averaged 6.6 points (44.2% FG, 36.7% 3-PT, 71.7% FT), 2.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists and 18 minutes per game in 54 games (four starts) with Portland.

Heat make roster moves

The Miami Heat have waived Jamaree Bouyea and Caleb Daniels and signed Jon Elmore and Cheick Diallo.

Following those roster moves, the HEAT waived Elmore and signed RJ Hampton to a Two-Way Contract.

Diallo, who was originally drafted in the second round (33rd overall) by the Clippers in the 2016 NBA Draft, split last season overseas between Kyoto Hannaryz of the Japanese Basketball League and Cangrejeros de Santurce of the Puerto Rican BSN, appearing in 63 games (62 starts) averaging 16.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 29.1 minutes while shooting 63.5 percent from the field. He previously appeared in 183 career NBA games (three starts) between New Orleans, Phoenix and Detroit, averaging 5.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 10.3 minutes of action while shooting 59.6 percent from the field and 77.4 percent from the foul line. He has also appeared in 58 career G League games (37 starts) averaging 14.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.74 blocks and 24.9 minutes while shooting 57.8 percent from the field and 78 percent from the foul line.

Hampton, who was originally drafted in the first round (24th overall) by the Bucks in the 2020 NBA Draft, has appeared in 162 career NBA games (18 starts) between Denver, Orlando and Detroit, averaging 7.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 18.8 minutes while shooting 41 percent from the field. He appeared in eight regular season G League games with the Lakeland Magic last season and averaged 22.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 27.3 minutes while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 85.3 percent from the foul line.

Bouyea appeared in four games with the HEAT last season, averaging 3.8 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.00 steals and 16.3 minutes.

Daniels appeared in four NBA2K24 Summer League games with the HEAT in Las Vegas and averaged 4.8 points and 1.0 rebounds.

Wizards restructure their coaching staff for 2023-24 NBA season

The Washington Wizards recently announced their restructured coaching staff for the 2023-24 season under Head Coach Wes Unseld Jr.

“With the additions we’ve made during the offseason and the personnel that we have returning, I’m very confident that we have assembled a top-notch staff that will prioritize and facilitate internal growth and development for all of our players,” said Unseld Jr. “We are all looking forward to working as a group as we begin training camp next week.”

The Wizards added Brian Keefe and David Vanterpool as assistant coaches and Sammy Gelfand as assistant coach/analytics during the offseason, all of whom come to Washington with over 10 years of experience in the NBA. Keefe, Vanterpool and Gelfand will join returning staff Joseph Blair, Mike Miller, Zach Guthrie and James Posey.

Washington’s increased focus on player development will be led by Landon Tatum, who spent last season as associate head coach of the Capital City Go-Go. He will be joined by player development assistants Ryan Lumpkin, Joe Ajike and Pete Fusilero. Daniel Villarreal will serve as Washington’s head video coordinator along with assistant video coordinator Addison Lee.

In other recent staff additions, Cody Toppert was named head coach of the Capital City Go-Go, the Wizards’ NBA G League affiliate.

Boston Celtics sign forward Lamar Stevens

The Boston Celtics have signed forward Lamar Stevens.

Stevens (6-6, 230) has appeared in 165 career games (38 starts) with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2020-23 and owns averages of 5.3 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 46.7 percent from the field. During the 2022-23 season, Stevens played in 62 games (25 starts) and averaged 5.3 points along with a career-high 3.3 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per game.

Stevens recorded his second career double-double with a season-high 18 points on 8-for-15 (.533) made field goals and a career-high tying 11 rebounds, along with two assists in 38 minutes on December 14 at Dallas. It marked the third time in his career he scored at least 18 points, and the second time grabbing 10-plus rebounds.

The Philadelphia native played three seasons at Penn State, and led the team to a 2018 NIT Championship title in his sophomore season. He was named NIT Most Outstanding Player after scoring 96 points over five postseason contests (19.2 ppg). He stands fifth on Penn State’s all-time scoring list with 1,660 points, and joined select company as one of only six Nittany Lions with 1,500 career points and more than 600 rebounds.