Tag: Dionte Christmas

2015 All-Star logo

Thursday And-1 links: All-Star logos, Pharrell Williams, Carmelo Anthony as anchor on Knicks

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Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers believe in bullet points more than Wizards fans believe Kevin Durant is theirs in 2016….

• The NBA released the logo for the 2015 All-Star Game in New York and Brooklyn, and it plays off the subway sign transportation theme. You can see it to the right. I like it.

• Pharrell Williams will curate the music for NBA 2K14, and you can follow this link to see the Kevin Durant cover.

• Why Carmelo Anthony’s contract could be an anchor for the Knicks.

Philadelphia has signed point guard Pierre Jackson, it’s a one-year, partially guaranteed deal.

• Warriors point guard Shaun Livingston is sidelined for a month with a sprained big toe.

• The Kings have until Saturday to decide whether or not to keep Quincy Acy.

• Al Harrington says he has recovered from left shoulder surgery and is trying to catch on somewhere.

• My wife would have killed me.

There’s a rumor going around that once the  NBA gets a new, expanded television deal they will add two teams in Seattle and Louisville. I wouldn’t bet the rent on that.

• The Spurs have hired one of the brightest minds in European basketball, Ettore Messina. Because that brain trust wasn’t deep enough already.

• Russell Westbrook has his own line of sunglasses.

• Among the things that need to be factored into a free agent is the tax rates in a various states — you pay a lot higher rate in California or New York to make big bucks than you do in Texas or Florida. Tax rates are not as big a factor as some fans think, but it is a factor. And the NBA doesn’t plan to do anything about it.

• We can’t run the video here for language reasons, but watch Kobe Bryant beat a fan in horse while talking smack.

• Dwyane Wade and a dolphin. Because we can.

• In maybe the best signing of the off-season, the AT&T Center in San Antonio is hiring an air conditioning specialist. Not that they won’t take how Game 1 of the Finals worked out.

• Louis ‘Red’ Klotz — the man behind the Washington Generals of Harlem Globetrotters fame — has passed away.

• Phoenix has waived Dionte Christmas.

• Jeremy Pargo inked a two-year Maccabi Tel Aviv (the reigning EuroLeague champion, which was where David Blatt coached last season).

• Finally, JaVale McGee dunks in his dreams.

Suns announce signing of Dionte Christmas

Dionte Christmas

The Phoenix Suns announced the signing of Dionte Christmas on Friday, a 6’5″ guard who performed well for the team during the Las Vegas Summer league.

“We’re excited to add Dionte to our roster,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough, via the team’s official release. “He was a key contributor for our Las Vegas Summer League team and his scoring ability, leadership and toughness will help us this season.”

The excitement isn’t likely to last beyond training camp for everyone under contract, however, considering the fact that the Suns already had 16 players with guaranteed deals in place before their most recent addition.

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports that Christmas received a multi-year deal with a small guarantee for this season, and notes that Christmas was in camp with the Celtics on a similar deal last year when McDonough was still a member of the Boston front office. Any years beyond this one are undoubtedly at the team’s option.

Christmas averaged 10.1 points in 20.8 minutes per game for the Suns’ Summer League squad in Las Vegas. The team’s roster now stands at 17 players.

Summer League championship game set between Suns and Warriors

Raptors Suns Basketball

LAS VEGAS — The two teams that have played the best and most consistent basketball through the first 10 days of Summer League will, not surprisingly, compete for the inaugural tournament championship played on the final day of the action.

The Suns will face the Warriors in Monday night’s title game, with tip-off set for 6 p.m. local time in Las Vegas.

Phoenix got here by bringing a squad loaded with legitimate NBA players who played significant regular season minutes a season ago, while Golden State has similarly ridden the backs of two players in particular who were already a part of the team’s roster.

The Suns have gotten strong play from twin brothers Markieff and Marcus Morris, who along with P.J. Tucker have played physical, aggressive, and productive basketball that’s helped the team bully its way to more than one of their six summer victories.

First round draft pick Archie Goodwin has provided a spark for the Suns from a scoring and athleticism standpoint, while guys like Dionte Christmas on the perimeter and Arinze Onuaku inside have been the most impressive of the guys looking to earn roster spots or training camp invites.

On the Warriors side, Kent Bazemore has played exceptionally well offensively, and by posting averages of 18.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.7 steals per game, he may be in line for recognition as the tournament’s MVP.

Draymond Green has been the other standout for Golden State, and has averaged 12.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game. Green’s play is not a surprise, considering that he played significant rotation minutes for the Warriors in his first NBA season last year, averaging 13.4 minutes per game in 79 appearances.

Summer League isn’t known for its high level of play, and in fact, it’s essentially the opposite. But we should see a good one in the final contest between two teams that have the most NBA experience and have played the most consistent brand of basketball over the past 10 days here in Las Vegas.

Celtics sign Leandro Barbosa to backup Rajon Rondo

Leandro Barbosa, Indiana Pacers

Well, I guess they are bringing in a veteran after all.

The Boston Celtics have agreed to a one-year deal with point guard Leandro Barbosa, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network.

The Celtics decided on Tuesday to let Dionte Christmas go and there were reports they might start to look for a veteran backup for Rajon Rondo. Barbosa was the best name on the market. Barbosa is speedy point guard who most remember as Steve Nash’s backup in Phoenix for years but his game has slipped following that early promise. He started last season in Toronto but came to Indiana at the trade deadline. He averaged 8.9 points per game for the Pacers but had almost as many turnovers as assists. He shot just 39.9 percent overall (but did knock down threes consistently). In the playoffs his play dropped off as did his minutes, particularly against the Heat in the second round. He was not effective.

Barbosa is not really good anymore, there’s a reason he was still on the market. He’s a below-average backup point guard. But in limited minutes with good talent around him and a strong locker room, he could serve the Celtics’ purposes. He’d probably play as well or better than Christmas, and better than any other point guards on the market (Derek Fisher, Jonny Flynn, and it gets worse from there). That said, they can’t expect much from him. This needs to be a small role. For a lot of teams I’d question this signing, but for Boston this could work out.

Celtics considering adding veteran to roster. Maybe at point.

Los Angeles Lakers v New York Knicks
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When Dionte Christmas was sent packing from Celtics camp — with a nice $200,000 buyout — we were left with a question about who was going to get backup point guard minutes behind Rajon Rondo?

Maybe nobody. Jason Terry can do some ball handling with the second unit (although he works better off the ball), and when he’s back Avery Bradley can play some in that role. The Celtics used to use Eddie House as a backup point, they don’t have to get a traditional one. That said, for balance they probably still want one more traditional point guard on the bench.

Might the Celtics try to get a veteran there?

Before the Celtics game Tuesday night Doc Rivers suggested the Celtics might go after a veteran player, according to ESPNBoston.com.

Rivers said the team still plans to keep 15 players and is open to someone from the outside if a cheap veteran can help this team at any position, not just a backup ball-handler. “Maybe the Heat will cut LeBron [James] or whoever,” he said. “We’re always looking. Every team is always looking. If nothing comes, does that bother us? No. It’d be great to get another guy at any position. Obviously, at [point guard] it would help, but we can’t also forget that Avery [Bradley] is coming back too. We don’t want to overdo the point guard thing.”

The real problem here is there is not a quality point guard really hanging around out there ready to be picked up. Leandro Barbosa is probably the best free agent still out there and he may want more than the veteran minimum (and we should debate whether he is worth that). Derek Fisher is out there but he’s not really very good, especially defensively. (Plus, he’s a Lakers legend, that just seems weird.) How about Mike Bibby? Jonny Flynn? Exactly.

Maybe the Celtics make a trade, or maybe they just ride it out for a while and see if they need to make a move. But if they do, it won’t be for a rookie.