– Magic’ GM Rob Hennigan said that he’s in no rush to trade F Dwight Howard, and may keep him on the roster until training camp in October. The Magic are reportedly concerned about Lakers’ F Andrew Bynum’s knees–that, paired with Bynum’s ability to leave at season’s end as a UFA–has them second-guessing their interest in him. The Orlando Sentinel writes that “the Rockets now might be the front-runners to acquire Howard … even if Howard gives them no assurance that he will remain with the franchise beyond next season.” Howard’s days in Orlando are numbered any way you look at it–it’s just a matter of Hennigan maximizing his return. The Nets could become players again after January 15, when F Brook Lopez is tradeable again.
– Suns’ president Lon Babby spoke about losing G Steve Nash to the Lakers this offseason:
“It was excruciating. My job in coming here two years ago was to get us to this point and find a way to get us through it. Whether it was this year, next year or the following year, at some point Steve Nash wasn’t going to be here and I kind of felt like that was one of my responsibilities to usher us to through that phase as gracefully and with as much dignity as we could. I think we’ve done that; I hope we’ve done that.”
“At the end of the day, what I would say is it just became obvious that you can’t really dive into a transition if the thing you’re trying to transition from is still here. So much of this franchise has been centred around Steve’s personality, his play, his contributions to the community that those are painful conclusions to reach. Both sides, it became clearer and clearer that there was no way for us to move forward and at the same time accommodate him.”
“Frankly, we didn’t even contemplate that opportunity would be there for him. When we first heard of it, we probably had the same reaction everyone else in this room, really in this community had, which was a visceral reaction: There’s no way, that’s crazy.”
“You can’t ignore that kind of request from someone who is the quality of person and had the quality of contribution he’s made to our franchise. But in the first instance, we had to assure ourselves that it was a good basketball decision and if we weren’t doing what was right for our franchise from a basketball perspective, then we simply just couldn’t accommodate what he was asking and he’d have to make another choice. At the end of the day, we felt comfortable with the assets that we received.”
– The Pacers are expected to offer Nets’ RFA G Gerald Green a 3-year/$10M contract, which Brooklyn is not expected to match. Of course, Indy passed over Green to take F Danny Granger in the draft. Green would be a decent scoring option off the bench.
– The Pacers are pursuing Bobcats’ G D.J. Augustin, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
– The NBA will play pre-season games in Montreal and Winnipeg this October. The Raptors will face the Knicks October 19 at Montreal’s Bell Centre, while the Pistons take on the Timberwolves October 24 at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre.
– The Raptors signed 1st-round draft pick G Terrence Ross to a 2-year contract with two team option years. The six-foot-seven, 197-pound Ross was selected by Toronto with the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft. He averaged 16.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in his second and final season with the Huskies.
– The Wolves have reportedly signed Russian G Alexey Shved. The 23-year-old averaged 10.6 points, 3.0 assists and shot 49 per cent from 3-point range in 21 Euro League games last season.
– The Kings have signed F Jason Thompson. He averaged 9.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists playing mostly off the bench last season.
– The Trail Blazers and F J.J. Hickson have agreed to a 1-year contact. He appeared in 19 games with Portland, averaging 15.1 points and 8.3 rebounds.
– The Trail Blazers have signed F Victor Claver. Claver was the 22nd overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft by the Blazers. He averaged 8.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists last season.
– The Knicks have signed G James White. He was selected by Portland in the second round, 31st overall, of the 2006 draft. White spent the last three seasons playing in Russia and Italy. He averaged 17.4 poings, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists for Italian club Pesaro last season.
– A person familiar with the negotiations tells the AP that the Saints and unsigned franchise QB Drew Brees are “more than $10M apart” in guaranteed money on a long-term contract. The proposed deal is expected to be in the ballpark of 5-years/$100M. The sides are reportedly close in maximum money, but there’s a “significant” gap in Brees’ guaranteed value. The report also indicates that Brees will not report to training camp on time without a long-term contract in place–he believes he played out a contract year last season as an “act of faith,” and that the team would satisfy his long-term demands. The sides have until Monday to reach an agreement.
– According to ESPN 1500 Twin Cities, Vikings’ WR Percy Harvin “has no intention” of playing for the team in 2013 without a new contract. Harvin rescinded his trade demand and is willing to play the 2012 season for just $915K, but wants an extension after the season. Per beat reporter Tom Pelissero, the Vikes have concerns about a long-term commitment as a result of Harvin’s sometimes manipulative behavior, inconsistent practice availability, history of off-field issues and asking price.
– The Sharks have re-signed D Marc-Edouard Vlasic to a 5-year contract extension. The 25-year-old scored four goals and 23 points in 82 games last season.
The six-foot-one, 200-pound native of Montreal, Quebec was originally selected by San Jose in the second round (35th overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft.
– The Panthers have signed F Peter Mueller to a 1-year/$1.7M contract. Mueller was limited to just 32 games over the past two seasons due to concussion problems.
– The Bruins have signed D Garnet Exelby and F Lane MacDermid to a 1-year/2-way, $600K contracts.At the AHL level, Exelby’s is worth $130K and MacDermid’s $70K. Exelby, 30, played 75 games last year with Detroit’s AHL team in Grand Rapids and had seven goals and 14 assists with 177 penalty minutes. MacDermid, 22, played five games with Boston last season and 69 with its AHL team in Providence where he had four goals, 12 assists and 121 penalty minutes.
– The Stars have signed F Brett Ritchie and D Troy Vance to 3-year, entry-level contracts. Ritchie split the 2011-12 season between the Sting and Ice Dogs of the OHL, posting 45 points (24 goals, 21 assists) in 53 games. Vance had four goals and 20 assists in 57 games for the Tigres of the QMJHL last season. He was a fifth-round draft pick by the Stars.
– Manchester City has signed manager Roberto Mancini to a new 5-year contract through the summer of 2017. The Italian manager took over at City in 2009, replacing Mark Hughes. Mancini led City to the Premier League title on the final day of last season with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers
“The opportunity which exists to build on our recent success is enormous. Manchester City is a fantastic football club, from the owner, chairman, board and the executive team, through to the players, staff and fans.”
– Swansea has signed MF Jonathan de Guzman on a season-long loan from Spanish club Villarreal. The 24-year-old is a former Dutch under-21 international and becomes newly appointed Swansea manager Michael Laudrup’s second signing, after Spanish central defender Jose Manuel Flores.
– Red Bull Racing has signed driver Mark Webber to a 1-year contract. Webber, who won Sunday’s British Grand Prix, sits second in the championship standings behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. Webber was in talks with Ferrari.
“I’ve been with Red Bull Racing since 2007 and have achieved nine grand prix wins during that time. I’m high on confidence at the moment and firing on all cylinders.”
“I know the team well and I’m very comfortable here; we have grown together over the years and it feels like absolutely the right thing to stay with Red Bull for another season/ The team is constantly working hard to improve in all areas and we’ve shown that together we can win races. It’s great to be able to make this announcement off the back of the win in Silverstone at the weekend and I’m looking forward to competing on the edge and pushing myself in every race again next season.”
– Suspended NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger said Wednesday that he tested positive for a stimulant and was collecting his medicines and supplements in an attempt to figure out what got him in trouble. A statement issued by Allmendinger’s business manager did not identify the stimulant and said the driver does not know what caused him to fail the random test conducted June 29. He was suspended Saturday and NASCAR has not revealed the substance, either. Tara Ragan, vice-president of Allmendinger’s Walldinger Racing Inc. issued the following statement:
“AJ tested positive for a stimulant. He has no idea why the first test was positive, and he has never knowingly taken any prohibited substance. AJ is collecting his medicines and supplements for testing to determine whether an over-the-counter product caused his positive test.”
Allmendinger is the second Sprint Cup Series driver to be suspended under the NASCAR drug policy implemented in 2009. The 30-year-old Allmendinger has requested his “B” urine sample be tested, and it’s not clear when that will occur. Allmendinger said Tuesday that he would never knowingly take a prohibited substance.
“Obviously I would never do anything to jeopardize my opportunity here at Penske Racing or to my fellow drivers. I am very conscious about my training and health and would never knowingly take a prohibited drug.”
– The Impact have traded F Justin Braun to Real Salt Lake for a conditional pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. Montreal has also received MF Bryan Arguez on a loan from FC Edmonton of the North American Soccer League. Braun registered one assist in 15 games, including five starts, with the Impact in 2012. Arguez has not played an MLS regular season game and has taken part in four games in the MLS Reserve League and one game with the Impact U21.
– The Impact have signed D Dennis Iapichino. The 21-year-old, who joined the Major League Soccer club on a trial in June, will be added to the roster when he receives his international transfer certificate, the Impact announced Wednesday. He spent his developing years with Basel and was loaned to second division squad Biel during the 2009-10 season. He was then loaned to FC Lugano, where he played 25 league matches and two Swiss Cup games.