Brian Qvale

Eastern Notes: Wade, Jennings, Qvale

If the Bulls and Cavaliers meet in the Eastern Conference Finals this year, it should be a compelling affair, if evidenced only by the virtual dead heat between the clubs among Hoops Rumors readers who’ve weighed in on which team they think will win the NBA title. Still, the health of Derrick Rose is an X-factor after the point guard missed all but one game of the past three postseasons, and no one knows quite how the Cavs will come together with all of their new pieces, so there’s plenty of mystery surrounding the East this season. Here’s the latest from around the conference:

  • The idea of signing with the Bulls “played on my heart,” as Dwyane Wade told TNT’s David Aldridge, but the longtime Heat guard reiterated that Miami is his home, as Aldridge notes amid his Morning Tip column for The Bulls reportedly put out feelers to Wade this summer, and they also pursued him in 2010.
  • Former Pistons front office chief Joe Dumars took the fall, but Brandon Jennings tells Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press that he and Josh Smith simply didn’t perform to the level they should have after the Pistons committed a combined seven years and $78MM to the duo. “We did get a new contract, both of us, so the blame has to go to both of us, actually,” Jennings said. “I’m going to put myself in there because I’m the point guard. So if anything, I’m going to hold myself accountable first, before anyone else. I definitely didn’t do my job last year. It was one of the most embarrassing seasons ever, especially with the talent that we had, and I feel like we should have [gone] farther than we did. But I put that on myself. That really bothered me all summer. So I have a lot to prove this year.”
  • Hornets camp invitee Brian Qvale has signed with Tofas Bursa of Turkey, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia, who was the first to report the deal, via Twitter). Charlotte waived the center last week.

Hornets Waive Dallas Lauderdale, Brian Qvale

The Hornets have waived big men Dallas Lauderdale and Brian Qvale, the team announced via press release. They were on non-guaranteed contracts, as was Justin Cobbs, whom the team also let go. The moves take Charlotte’s roster down to 15 players, and while they can carry as few as 13 for opening night if they choose, it appears as though Jason Maxiell is set to remain with the team into the regular season on his non-guaranteed deal.

Both Lauderdale and Qvale saw just three minutes of action during the preseason, going scoreless. It was Lauderdale’s second straight year in camp with an NBA team after he spent last fall with the Blazers. He played 39 games for Portland’s D-League affiliate last season, averaging 7.5 points and 8.7 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per contest.

Qvale has spent his professional career overseas since going undrafted out of the University of Montana in 2011. He’s played with teams in Turkey, Belgium and Germany, and while it’s conceivable that he’ll remain stateside to play in the D-League this year, the Hornets are without a one-to-one affiliate.

Eastern Notes: Knicks, Varejao, Hornets, Heat

The Magic supplemented their coterie of young players with veteran signees like Channing Frye, Ben Gordon and Luke Ridnour this summer, but much more significant moves have to happen for the team to become a contender again, as Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel argues. The team has failed to land marquee free agent talent in recent years, and it’ll be a challenge to contend without the benefit of a No. 1 overall pick, Schmitz writes. Only the Bulls and Cavs look like true title contenders in the East this year, but with the season looming, we’ll soon find out if there are any surprises in store. Here’s the latest from around the East:

  • Phil Jackson believes that the Knicks should make the playoffs this year, as he declares in an interview with Steve Serby of the New York Post. Jackson also disputed the notion that the Knicks didn’t offer Steve Kerr as much to coach the team as they gave Derek Fisher. The Zen Master added that during negotiations with Carmelo Anthony on his new contract, ‘Melo repeatedly expressed a desire for the team to alleviate some of his scoring burden.
  • People close to Anderson Varejao advised him to buck for a trade the past few years, but he says he never wanted to leave the Cavs and can’t see himself playing for another team, as he tells Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Varejao can hit free agency next summer.
  • Hornets signees Justin Cobbs, Dallas Lauderdale and Brian Qvale are all on non-guaranteed contracts for the minimum salary that cover one season, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • The Heat named Phil Weber the coach of their D-League affiliate, the team announced. Weber, a longtime NBA assistant coach, had been serving as a consultant for Miami.

Hornets Sign Brian Qvale For Camp

The Hornets have signed former University of Montana center Brian Qvale, the team announced via press release. The release also included formal announcements of the team’s deals with Justin Cobbs and Dallas Lauderdale. David Pick of originally reported the team was set to sign Cobbs, while Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer first had the news on Lauderdale. Terms for all three remain unclear, but while the team has the capacity to give each of them more than the minimum salary, it seems unlikely that’s the case with any of the trio.

The 6’11” Qvale has spent the past three years playing overseas after he went undrafted in 2011. His addition to the Hornets roster is particularly surprising, given that he’s never attended camp with an NBA team before and didn’t take part in summer league action this past July. His career has taken him to Turkey, Belgium and last year to Germany, where he averaged 13.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 26.8 minutes per game for Medi Bayreuth.

Charlotte’s roster swells to 17 with today’s signings. The team has fully guaranteed pacts with 14 players, leaving Qvale, Cobbs and Lauderdale to fight for the 15th spot on the team’s opening-night roster, providing GM Rich Cho decides to carry a full complement of players into the regular season.