Chris Copeland

Chris Copeland leaving Knicks, headed to Pacers in two year deal


Chris Copeland played his way out of New York.

The Knicks 29-year-old rookie who had worked so hard to get to the NBA brought size, shooting and energy when he got on the court and averaged 8.7 points a game and shot 42.1 percent from three in the regular season. Against the Pacers in the second round of the playoffs he was one Knick who seemed to be able to help them score against Indy’s defense, but it was like the Knicks coaching staff didn’t know what they had and limited his minutes until the final couple games.

Well, the Pacers noticed. They have reached an agreement on a two-year, $6.1 million deal to bring Copeland on board, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

While Copeland is a restricted free agent, as a team above the tax apron (more than $76 million in salary) the Knicks couldn’t match any offer over $3 million a year, it is not allowed under the new CBA rules. The Knicks had expected a team would do this but they filled their shooting forward spot with Andrea Bargnani (at a much higher price).

There had been interest here  because Copeland is a great fit off the bench for Indiana — he brings size (6’9”) but he can stretch the floor and still play some defense.

Indiana had a fantastic starting five last season but there was a steep drop off when you went to their bench. So far this summer they have upgraded at the point with C.J. Watson and now added Copeland. Oh, and they get Danny Granger back from injury.

The Pacers are going to be better next season. And they already took the Heat to seven games.

Dwyane Wade serious as mentor, teaching Justise Winslow post moves

Third day of Miami Heat camp 10/1/2015
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Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.

Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.

Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.

“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.

“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”

This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.

It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.

NBA All-Star, champion Bill Bridges dies at age 76

ATLANTA - 1968:  Bill Bridges#10 of the Atlanta Hawks poses for a portrait circa 1968 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1968 NBAE (Photo by NBA Photo Library/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.

Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.

A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.