Drexler, Mutombo, Olajuwon, Tomjanovich, and Yao Ming to judge 2013 Slam Dunk Contest

22 Comments

Clyde Drexler, Dikembe Mutombo, Hakeem Olajuwon, Rudy Tomjanovich, and Yao Ming will serve as judges in the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, the NBA announced today. The Houston connection runs deep, as all five legends will score all of the dunks in the event’s first round.

In case you needed credentials for each of these guys, we’ve got you covered.

From the official release:

“Drexler played 15 seasons for the Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers, was a 10-time NBA All-Star, a two-time NBA Champion with the Rockets, enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2004, and was a member of the 1992 USA Basketball Dream Team.

“Mutombo, who played the final five seasons of his 18-year career with the Rockets, was a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, an eight-time NBA All-Star, and currently serves as an NBA Global Ambassador.

“Olajuwon is a two-time NBA Champion with the Rockets (1994 and 1995), a 12-time NBA All-Star, was named the 1993-94 NBA Most Valuable Player, and was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

“Tomjanovich played for the Rockets for 11 seasons while being named an NBA All-Star five times and coached the team for 12 seasons, including their back-to-back NBA Championships.

“Yao was the number one overall pick for the Rockets in the 2002 NBA Draft and an eight-time NBA All-Star. ”

Besides Drexler, none of these guys are exactly known as the type of high-flyers that would typically excel in a dunk contest. But having Rockets legends represent the city of Houston isn’t such a bad idea — as long as they get it right.

As a reminder, fans will determine the dunk contest champion, and can do so by voting via text, Twitter, or online at the NBA.com website.

Report: Arron Afflalo signs one year deal with Orlando Magic

Getty
Leave a comment

Take one more NBA veteran off the free agent board.

According to report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Arron Afflalo has signed a one-year deal with the Orlando Magic. Afflalo’s deal with the Magic is $2.1 million according to Wojnarowski, which is the veteran’s minimum for a player with his experience.

Afflalo, 31, previously played for the Magic from 2012 to 2014 before being traded to the Denver Nuggets.

Via Twitter:

Afflalo played for the Sacramento Kings last season averaging 8.4 points, 2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game.

Report: Suns’ Brandon Knight tears ACL in left knee, could miss season

AP
4 Comments

Phoenix Suns point guard Brandon Knight could be out for the 2017–18 NBA season with a torn ACL in his left knee.

That’s according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi, who released the news on Tuesday afternoon.

Knight, 25, has roughly three years and $45 million left on the contract he signed in 2015.

Via Twitter:

Knight has been speculated as a potential trade chip for some time, but with him out it is unclear whether Phoenix will want to make a move with the players currently on their roster.

Knight averaged 11 points, 2.4 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game for the Suns last season in 54 contests.

Adam Silver: ‘I feel bad for what’s-ever is going on in Cleveland’

5 Comments

Kyrie Irving‘s trade request has injected excitement into an NBA offseason that was slipping into a slow period, give or take a Carmelo Anthony trade.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver on The Rich Eisen Show:

I love the interest. I’m not ecstatic about the drama.

I feel bad for what’s-ever is going on in Cleveland, and I have no first-hand information. But I assume where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Brian Windhorst has sort of been cataloguing LeBron’s career for a long time, and he usually has very accurate insights from that team.

It’s upsetting to hear that, when you see superstar players who have co-existed, who had so much success together – obviously three Finals in a row, one championship – to hear that, for whatever reason, there’s a sense that they can’t continue to co-exist. Yeah, that’s drama, but it’s not necessarily the kind of drama that the league wants.

Silver knows he probably can’t break up the Warriors, so he wanted teams to step up and compete with Golden State. The Cavaliers had been the league’s best hope the last few years, and LeBron James ensures they remain a title contender. But this disarray hurts their chances.

If you’re wearing a tin-foil hat, remember what happened last time Silver felt bad for Cleveland

Trail Blazers trade Allen Crabbe to Nets for Andrew Nicholson

AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer
10 Comments

The Nets signed Allen Crabbe to a four-year offer sheet worth nearly $75 million last summer. The Trail Blazers matched, preventing Brooklyn from acquiring him for a year.

Now, a little more than a year later, the Nets are finally getting him.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Crabbe is still owed $56,332,500 – a sizable amount for a one-dimensional 3-point shooter. The Trail Blazers obviously regret matching his deal considering they’re already dumping him for another bad contract and didn’t win a single playoff game in the interim.

But Portland is undoing that mistake in a big way.

The Trail Blazers are in line to save $54,330,160 this season with this trade – $37,842,090 in luxury tax and $16,488,070 in player salary. They’ll still have to pay Andrew Nicholson $2,844,430 each of the next seven years – no small thing – but they’re at least reducing their burden for each of the next three years, when major luxury-tax issues still loom. They can deal with 2024 later.

Competing for the playoffs, Portland will miss Crabbe off the bench. But there are reasons he was expandable.

He doesn’t create enough offense for himself or others, and his defense is passable at best (and not versatile). Crabbe’s 3-point percentage (44%) is impressive, but it’s in part due to his high selectivity. He launches 3s at a middling rate for a guard, and 77% of his long-distance attempts were classified as open or wide open by NBA.com.

Simply, Crabbe must do more to get open and/or hoist more shots that reduce his efficiency but boost’s his team’s. He could also lock in a little more defensively.

Still, Crabbe is a helpful player already. He’s also just 25, so he can improve. The Nets obviously like him.

And he apparently likes Brooklyn, waiving his $5,674,875 trade bonus to facilitate a deal. As controversy swirls over Kyrie Irving requesting a trade from one of the NBA’s best teams, it’s interesting Crabbe would leave money on the table to go from a playoff team to a cellar-dweller. The Nets offer a bigger city, probably more playing time and definitely a front office that values him. So, it’s a reasonable choice, but also one that raises eyebrows.