Ishmael Smith

Roster moves: Suns sign Jermaine O’Neal, Magic keep Ish Smith


There has been a handful of small roster moves in the last 48 hours the kind of things you want to know if it’s you’re team. Not difference making moves, but moves.

We thought we should bring them to you in bullet form.

• The Phoenix Suns have signed a deal with Jermaine O’Neal for the next season. This is a one-year, $1.4 million deal where he will back up Marcin Gortat. O’Neal had the Kobe/German/Orthokine knee procedure done this summer, and you combine that with the Suns’ miracle-working training staff and he should be able to give the Suns some quality minutes this year.

• To clear a roster spot, the Suns waived Brad Miller. He will retire from the game. And he will be missed, he had a solid NBA career.

• The Magic have re-signed guard Ishmael Smith – but everyone calls him Ish. This is a one-year deal where he will play sparingly behind Jameer Nelson. If you see a lot of him, it means the Magic’s season is going worse than already predicted. And it isn’t predicted to be good. Smith played 26 games last season split between Golden State and Orlando and average 9 minutes and 2.8 points per game.

• The Pistons have formally signed rookie forward Khris Middleton.

• The Suns also have waived guard Jerome Dyson.

• Former Raptor Alexis Ajinca has re-signed with SIG Strasbourg in France.

Reports: Warriors close to signing Nate Robinson


Because they needed another guard off the bench… wait, no they didn’t, but the Golden State Warriors may be adding one anyway.

The Warriors are close to signing Nate Robinson, according to Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times. He said the signing may happen Wednesday and Robinson could be in uniform by the weekend. This will be a one-year, $1 million deal, reports Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated.

We’ll see how much run Robinson gets. Obviously, Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis are your starting guards for Golden State and soak up most of the minutes. After that you have Dorell Wright as a swingman taking up a lot of minutes, then rookie Klay Thompson (who needs to get some burn so he improves and you see what you’ve really got). Then it’s Ishmael Smith and… now Nate. He’ll play the point but he’s a scoring point first, second and often third.

Robinson will bring Golden State energy off the bench and some nights a lot of points as well. But he is inconsistent, inefficient and not a great defender — there is a reason he barely got off the pine for the Thunder last season. (To be fair, he got some playoff minutes with Boston the season before.) In Golden State it’s an interesting fit, but if they want energy and someone the crowd will love, they found it.

Aaron Brooks says he is out four to six weeks

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Aaron Brooks sprained his ankle Saturday night against the San Antonio Spurs and had to sit out Sunday when the Rockets picked up their first win of the season against the Timberwolves.

He’s going to be out a while longer.

Brooks himself told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (via twitter) he will be out four to six weeks.

Rick Adelman tried to be more optimistic, saying it would be at least two weeks before Brooks is back, according to the Rockets official reporter.

This would normally mean the Kyle Lowry show, which would not be a huge drop off. But Lowry’s back is choosing now to spasm — he missed both games this weekend and could be out longer.

That means rookie Ishmael Smith is your starting point guard for right now in Houston, he got 41 minutes against the Timberwolves, scoring 7 points on 3 of 11 shooting, and had six assists. But, he was a +24. And he got a win.

But for a team that is using its offense to make up for a struggling defense such as the Rockets, being without Brooks is a blow.