First, welcome to Fast Break. As you already know, the NBA is never short of drama, intrigue, and wicked performances, all worthy of making the night’s ticker. Like you, I feverishly watch the ticker, sometimes many, many times, before finally turning the channel. And when I find a few stories I like, then I’ll look into them – it’s just my routine. So what I aim to do for you in Fast Break, is give you an idea of some storylines that I looked up based on basketball tickers that I found particularly interesting. If you find any of these tickers worthy of your time, why not do a little digging – believe me, they’re worth it! So, on with show – NBA Fast Break news of the day:
The Boston Celtics have hired Butler head coach Brad Stevens to be their new head coach.
“Our family is thrilled for the opportunity given to us by the leadership of the Boston Celtics, but it is emotional to leave a place that we have called home for the past 13 years,” Stevens said in a statement on the Butler University Web site.
Stevens hire is a big surprise, as many believed the Celtics would be looking for an experienced NBA head coach. In hiring Stevens directly out of the NCAA ranks, this is another sign that Boston is going for a full on rebuild and is looking for a coach who can work with young and inexperienced players. Stevens is just 36-years-old, and is actually younger than Kevin Garnett, who the Celtics recently traded to Brooklyn.
Multiple reports indicate that the New York Knicks will re-sign J.R. Smith, the NBA’s Sixth man of the Year. Smith, 27, was the second leading scorer on the Knicks last season averaging 18.2 points per game. He shot 42.2 percent from the floor including 35.6 percent from three. Smith is known as a high volume shooter, who can put in points, but can sometimes be inefficient due to a tendency to shoot even with bad looks. Still Smith is a key to the Knicks offence and he will be re-signed to a 4 year $24.7 million deal according to the reports. The Knicks also re-signed Pablo Prigioni to a three year deal.
Also reported in the twitterverse is that Sacramento Kings swingman and former NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans has agreed to sign a 4 year $44 million offer sheet with the New Orleans Pelicans. Evans averaged 15.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game last season with the Kings. When the deal is signed the Kings would have had 7 days to match or lose Evans. However further reports now indicate that the Kings, and Pelicans are working on a trade for Evans involving Pelicans point guard Greivis Vasquez and backup center Robin Lopez.
Edit: The deal is now apparently done. The New Orleans Pelicans get there man, picking up Evans in the sign and trade. The Kings pick up Greivis Vasquez, and 2 second round picks from the Portland Trailblazers, while the Blazers get Robin Lopez and Terrel Harris.
Lastly it has been reported that Al Jefferson has agreed to a 3 year, $41 million deal with the Charlotte Bobcats. The 28 year old big man scored 17.8 points per game, and averaged 9.2 rebounds per game for the Utah Jazz last season. In Jefferson, the Bobcats make a big move to upgrade their frontcourt, and their team, showing that they are beginning to get serious about making a run at the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bobcats frontcourt had been amongst the worst in the NBA the last two years.
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