- The Pacers thought they needed to unload George Hill to switch to an up-tempo style, and the Jazz were happy to take him, writes Nate Taylor of The USA Today Network. Hill has brought stability to the point guard position in Utah, while providing the Jazz with an upgrade in ballhandling and defense. “I knew he was a good defensive player, a team player, an unselfish guy,” said teammate Rudy Gobert. “I thought that was great for our team. A guy that’s tough and unselfish and can shoot the ball and create. He can do a lot of things. I knew he was a very good player.”
- Paul George, who has missed six of the last seven Pacers contests with an ankle injury, says he has to reestablish himself as the team’s leader once he is able to return to game action, Nate Taylor of USA Today relays. “I think just sitting out and watching, I’ve got to get back to being the guy for us,” George said. “I’ve got to have the trust of the team, I’ve got to have the trust of the organization. This has been my group, this has been my team. I’ve got to get back to that. That’s what I’m looking forward to, being our leader.” The swingman intends to play in Indiana’s contest against the Clippers on Sunday, Taylor notes.
- Pacers star Paul George plans to return to action on Sunday after missing six of the last seven games with an ankle injury, according to Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star. George feels like his team, which is one game under .500, needs his leadership on the court. “I think just sitting out and watching, I’ve got to get back to being the guy for us,” he told Taylor. “I’ve got to have the trust of the team, I’ve got to have the trust of the organization. This has been my group, this has been my team. I’ve got to get back to that.”
Here are Monday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:
- The Nets have assigned forward Anthony Bennett to their Long Island affiliate, the team announced in a press release. He has played 10 games for Brooklyn, averaging 5.3 points and 2.6 rebounds per night.
- The Warriors have recalled rookie center Damian Jones from the D-League, the team announced today in a press release. It’s not clear if Jones is ready to make his NBA debut quite yet, or if he’s just being called up to practice with Golden State for now.
- A day after he was on the receiving end of an emphatic dunk by Wayne Selden, forward Rakeem Christmas has been recalled by the Pacers, according to a team release. Christmas contributed 18 points and seven boards to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants’ win on Sunday.
- The Magic have assigned rookie center Stephen Zimmerman to the Erie BayHawks, the team announced today (via Twitter). A second-round pick in June, Zimmerman has only appeared in two regular season games so far for Orlando.
- Chris McCullough continues to be shuttled back and forth between the Brooklyn Nets and the Long Island Nets. The team announced today in a press release that he has been sent back to the D-League, where he has appeared in four games so far for Long Island, averaging 17.5 PPG and 6.5 RPG.
- Injuries have given Glenn Robinson III a chance to play and he’s taking advantage of it, writes Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star. The third-year forward has turned in two impressive games as he fills in for Paul George and C.J. Miles. “I didn’t want him to worry about trying to replace Paul’s points,” said Pacers coach Nate McMillan. “You can’t do that. I wanted him to relax and offensively not put any pressure on himself. I did want to see him pick up his pace on the defensive end of the floor and that’s where I really wanted him to focus and work hard.”
After a quiet Thanksgiving, NBA teams are once again assigning players to their D-League affiliates, or recalling them to their 15-man squads. Here are Friday’s D-League assignments and recalls:
- The Pistons have recalled rookies Henry Ellenson and Michael Gbinije from the D-League, the team announced today in a press release. The duo combined for 21 points and 24 rebounds for the Grand Rapids Drive on Wednesday night.
- The Pacers have sent Rakeem Christmas back to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team announced today (via Twitter). Christmas, who ran into foul trouble during his last D-League contest, figures to suit up for the Mad Ants tonight against the Long Island Nets.
- Rookie guard Wade Baldwin has been recalled from the Iowa Energy by the Grizzlies, the team announced today in a press release. The 17th overall pick has appeared in nine games for the Grizzlies, but got an opportunity to play more minutes and a bigger role in the D-League, averaging 18.5 PPG in his two games with Iowa.
- The Hornets have assigned Aaron Harrison to the D-League, according to a press release issued by the team. Charlotte’s affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, will play back-to-back games against Erie on Friday and Saturday, giving Harrison a chance to earn some playing time.
- Both Stein and Lowe are frequently asked whether Paul George might become available, and Stein points out that if teams are asking reporters about it, they’re probably asking the Pacers as well. George is extension-eligible and Indiana has expressed interest in locking him up to a max deal, but nothing has happened so far, so teams may sense an opening. However, Lowe hears that most people expect Pacers president Larry Bird to “take it to the end” with George, and to avoid trading him at all costs.
The Pacers made several offseason additions and they are still figuring out how all the pieces fit together, Mark Montieth of NBA.com writes. “We try to get out of each other’s way instead of cutting and moving,” said Jeff Teague, whom the team traded for in the offseason. “Once our first option isn’t there we just try to get out of each other’s way and let people play. We were just talking in here, we’ve got to figure out some way to keep us all moving and playing together instead of trying to get out of each other’s way.”
Here are Monday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:
- The Celtics assigned guard Demetrius Jackson to the Maine Red Claws, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. The 22-year-old has made just three appearances for Boston this season and is averaging 3.3 points and 1.0 rebound in 5.0 minutes per outing.
- The Sixers announced that they have assigned swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to the Delaware 87ers, their D-League affiliate.
- Forward Danuel House was recalled by the Wizards from Delaware, where he was sent via the league’s flexible assignment rule, the team announced.
- The Rockets have recalled rookies Chinanu Onuaku and Kyle Wiltjer from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the team announced today (via Twitter). As Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle tweets, the duo likely won’t see any game action for Houston, but the Rockets’ D-League affiliate doesn’t play until Saturday, so it made sense to have them rejoin the NBA club.
- Rakeem Christmas has been recalled from the D-League, the Pacers announced today in a press release. Myles Turner and Kevin Seraphin are battling injuries, so Christmas could see some minutes for Indiana tonight against Golden State.
- The Jazz have assigned rookie forward Joel Bolomboy to the D-League, according to a team release. Bolomboy will suit up for the Salt Lake City Stars tonight in their game against the Oklahoma City Blue.
- Damian Jones has been assigned to Santa Cruz by the Warriors, according to Anthony Slater of The Bay Area News Group, who writes that the rookie center will continue his injury rehab in the D-League as he works toward his NBA debut.
- The Kings have sent first-round rookie Georgios Papagiannis back to the Reno Bighorns, tweets James Ham of CSNBayArea.com. Papagiannis has averaged 10.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 2.3 BPG in three D-League contests so far this year.
- Pacers forward Paul George will sit out tonight’s contest against Suns due to persistent soreness in his left ankle, Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star reports (Twitter links). George, who was unable to participate in the team’s practice today, is set to undergo an MRI on Saturday, Taylor adds. The 26-year-old is averaging 21.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 34.7 minutes per outing this season.