Trail Blazers To Sign Carmelo Anthony

The Portland Trail Blazers intend to sign Carmelo Anthony to a non-guaranteed deal, Adrian Wojnaowski of ESPN reports. Anthony has been out of the league since he was traded by the Houston Rockets last season.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks adds that Anthony’s deal will become guaranteed if he remains on the roster through January 7. He’ll join the squad for their upcoming road trip, Wojnarowski adds.

Portland’s interest in Anthony has been well documented but the forward didn’t appear eager to sign on with the squad when presented with opportunities to do so over the years. Now, as the short-handed Blazers struggle to fill vacancies created by players like Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic, Anthony represents a potentially solid replacement.

Anthony will be in the mix for reps at the four with Mario Hezonja and Anthony Tolliver.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that Blazers guard Damian Lillard was notified of the move last night and has always been supportive of bringing Anthony to town.

Given that the Blazers already had a roster spot open, they don’t need to make any moves to facilitate the signing. They are, however, a team already deep into the luxury tax that will now be in line to pay considerably more with an additional player on board, especially if Anthony ends up sticking around for the duration of the 2019-20 campaign.

While Anthony held his own in ten contests with the Rockets in 2018-19, two of them starts, the team opted to cancel the experiment and traded the former All-Star to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls promptly released the 35-year-old and he’s been on the outside of the league looking in since.

While Anthony didn’t latch on with a team throughout the offseason, it wasn’t because of a lack of interest. At various times through the summer Nets players were advocating for their squad to sign the veteran and the Knicks alluded to the notion that they’d have reached out to Anthony if their initial, more ambitious free agency plans had come to fruition.

To his credit, Anthony has remained committed to returning to the league and apparently kept himself in good enough condition through mid-November to convince a team to give him another shot. Last week he re-iterated his interest in playing again.

Having bounced around several franchises since he was dealt by the New York Knicks back in 2017, all eyes will be on Anthony as he looks to help jumpstart a Blazers squad that’s limped to a 4-8 start this season.

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Iman Shumpert Inks Deal With Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets have signed Iman Shumpert to a minimum contract, the team has announced in a press release. The 29-year-old will help fill the vacancy created by Caris LeVert’s thumb injury.

The Nets, who already have 15 players on their roster, don’t need to waive a player to accommodate the veteran. Brooklyn was permitted to move Wilson Chandler to the suspended list after the fifth game of his suspension.

Brooklyn can have a 16th player until Chandler’s suspension expires in mid-December.

Shumpert joins the Nets after a campaign split between the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings in 2018-19. He served a valuable role as a locker room leader for the young Kings and eventually joined the Western Conference contender Rockets at the trade deadline.

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Wolves go big with the signing of Amir Williams

Worcester Wolves have signed American Centre Amir Williams to fill the vacant import spot in their roster.

At 6’11”, Amir brings size and strength in and around the paint as well as a defensive and offensive skillset that will compliment and strengthen the franchises roster.

Amir represented Ohio State University in the NCAA and from graduating signed for G League franchise Rio Grande Valley Vipers and represented the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA Summer League.

More recently he has played in New Zealand NBL with IMS Payroll Hawks and in Europe with Atomeromu SE in the Hungarian NBIA and BC Boncourt Red Team in the Swiss LNA where he averaged 14.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over 30 games and 31.1 minutes a game.

“Amir is a calibre player with great basketball heritage, I am excited to see the impact that he will have on our team and in the BBL,” said Head Coach Matt Newby.

“There are some great match ups in the League for him and we can’t wait to see him on the floor in a Worcester Wolves jersey.

“His interior presence will bring a stronger integrity to defence and provide us with different looks offensively.”

Amir added, “At this moment in my career it’s the right time and place to be. Worcester have aspirations that meet my own and I am excited to be coming to the BBL and playing in front of the Wolfpack.”

Tew joins the Lions

London Lions have added French big man, Alioune Tew, to the roster.

The Lions have been shorthanded since the departure of Trent Weaver so the 6’9” Tew slots straight in and will make his debut tomorrow against the Worcester Wolves.

Tew played his junior basketball in France before attending Junior College and College in the United States, The longest stint being at Niagara University in NCAA Division One. Most recently he completed the 2018-19 season in NM1 in France with AS Kayserberg averaging 6 points and 6 rebounds.

“We needed an athlete under the basket who could protect the rim and be aggressive on the offensive end,” said Lion’s CEO and Head Coach, Vince Macaulay.

“Alioune has the tools to do that as well as the ability to run the floor.”

The Lions are in BBL Cup action tomorrow, Friday, when they host the Worcester Wolves at the University of East London with a 5pm tip, doors open 4.30pm.

Tickets are available online at www.thelondonlions.com/discount-tickets-uel-games/.

Richards re-signs with Scorchers

Surrey Scorchers are delighted to welcome back former NBA second round draft pick Ryan Richards on a short-term contract.

The 28 year old returns for his second spell with Creon Raftopoulos’ side for the tail end of our cup campaign and as we approach the beginning of league action.

Standing at 6’11″, Richards has been called upon to provide temporary cover at the Center position while Sol Rolls-Tyson continues his recovery from injury.

Scorchers are currently at the halfway point of the 2019 BBL Cup campaign with a record of 1-4.

The team have been without Rolls-Tyson for the previous two games, and have been lacking in size in his absence.

Richards most recently played in Estonia for BC Kalev in Tallinn, Estonia, but the GB international has a wealth of experience playing across the globe.

He was famously drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the 49th pick back in 2010.

Now he returns to familiar ground having spent a short spell with the team last season, which included helping us win our annual New Year’s Day game against the London City Royals.

Head Coach Creon Raftopoulos said: “I’m excited to have a player of his ability returning to the team. He’s somebody who knows our offence which makes it a little bit easier for us to make the decision to give him a short-term contract.

“We didn’t want to have a situation like last year where we had players here short-term and as soon as they settled in they had to leave.”

“In Ryan’s case we needed cover for Sol Rolls-Tyson. The right person wasn’t out there, and we didn’t just want to sign somebody for the sake of signing somebody.

“So when Ryan approached me and said he was available on the short-term I felt it would be the perfect route for us to go down to finish off our cup run and get ready for the BBL League campaign.”

Raptors Ink Shamorie Ponds To Two-Way Deal

The Toronto Raptors have announced in a press release that they’ve signed Shamorie Ponds to a two-way contract. The St. John’s product had caught on with the Houston Rockets after going undrafted but was cut last week.

Ponds, once considered a potential first-round target for the 2019 NBA Draft, will fill Toronto’s last available two-way contract slot, the other having been filled by Oshae Brissett earlier this week.

Ponds played summer league action and part of preseason with the Rockets and will split time between Toronto’s big league club and their G League affiliate in nearby Mississauga.

In three season’s at St. John’s, the guard averaged 19.5 points per game.

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Ivan Rabb, Knicks Agree to Two-Way Deal

The New York Knicks have agreed to a deal with 22-year-old big man Ivan Rabb, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Rabb was among the final cuts for the final roster spot on the Memphis Grizzlies last week.

Rabb showed potential over the course of two campaigns with the Grizzlies and will join the Knicks with a pre-established relationship with head coach David Fizdale.

Rabb will split time between New York’s big league club and their G League affiliate in Westchester, giving him ample opportunity to showcase the raw skills that made him such an interesting prospect in the Grizzlies organization.

In games where he saw at least 20 minutes of action last season, Rabb averaged 11.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game for Memphis. Additionally, he averaged 20.5 points and 8.8 rebounds in the six G League games he played with the Hustle.

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