Courtney Fortson

And-Ones: Big Men, Colangelo, Fortson

The emphasis on guard play and the 3-point shot hasn’t depressed salaries for big men, Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders notes. High-profile players like Al Horford, Hassan Whiteside and Dwight Howard were paid over $20MM annually in this year’s free agent market but less heralded centers also cashed in, Greene continues. Timofey Mozgov (Lakers) and Ian Mahinmi (Wizards) were both signed to four-year, $64MM deals, even though Mozgov had a diminished role with the Cavs last season, while the Wizards already had an established center in Marcin Gortat. Bismack Biyombo received an even bigger contract from the Magic after playing a limited role with the Raptors much of last season, while the Bucks will pay Miles Plumlee an average of $13MM annually over the next four seasons even through he’s never averaged more than 25 minutes during his career.

In news around the league:

  • USA Basketball executive director Jerry Colangelo will not discourage Team USA players from speaking out on social or racial issues, The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears reports. NBA and WNBA players have increasingly taken public stands on hot-button topics, while the league pulled the All-Star Game from Charlotte this week over a controversial North Carolina law. “No, we’re not telling them what to say,” Colangelo told Spears. “We are saying we’re supportive. We’re in fact encouraging and they have to make their own choice. We’re not telling them what to say and what not to say.”
  • Courtney Fortson has signed with the Chinese team Zheijiang Guangsha, international journalist David Pick tweets. Fortson played last season with Banvit in Turkey. The point guard appeared in a combined 10 games with the Clippers and Rockets during the 2011/12 season.
  • The Warriors’ new trio of Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant played two minutes together during Team USA’s exhibition win over Argentina but more often in pairs, Brian Windhorst of writes. Team USA had a lot of success with a smaller lineup featuring Green at center and Durant at small forward, according to Windhorst. “Honestly, if you want me to be quite frank with you, I didn’t even notice me, Klay and KD were out there together,” Green told Windhorst.

Odds & Ends: Pierce, Jackson, Fortson

The NBA has announced that Warriors head coach Mark Jackson has been fined $25K by for influencing officials with recent postgame comments, reports Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post.  

Here are a few more notes from around the league.

Grizzlies Eyeing Dooling, Flynn, Others

MONDAY, 7:46am: Dooling is still the "big favorite" to earn a spot with the Grizzlies, but the team's search for a guard may continue for a couple more days before a signing occurs, tweets Marc Stein of

FRIDAY, 10:56am: In addition to Dooling and Flynn, the Grizzlies are also considering Scott Machado, Courtney Fortson, and Sundiata Gaines, according to Chris Vernon of 92.9 FM ESPN in Memphis (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 10:14pm: Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe received a similar text from Dooling, who says he'll know for sure about a deal with Memphis by Sunday (Twitter link).

10:05pm: Dooling texted TNT's David Aldridge to say that he's been in contact with the Grizzlies, but hasn't signed with the team (Twitter link).

7:20pm: The Grizzlies haven't committed to signing Dooling, a source tells Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal. Memphis is also considering Jonny Flynn as the team looks to add a veteran point guard rather than rely on rookie backup Tony Wroten, according to Tillery (Twitter links).

6:31pm: Former New York Post columnist Peter Vecsey reports that the Grizzlies have signed Keyon Dooling for the rest of the season (Twitter link). If the move becomes official, it would mark an end to Dooling's retirement, which he announced in September while with the Celtics. Presumably, he'd have to leave his job as a player development coordinator for the C's, which he assumed after he retired.

Dooling suffered a nervous breakdown over the summer that stemmed from sexual abuse he endured in childhood, as he detailed last year to Jessica Camerato of and TNT's David Aldridge. Shortly after his retirement, he was linked to the Heat, but denied interest in a return to the league. The 32-year-old guard told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe he was open to coming back in January and said he informed Celtics coach Doc Rivers he was upping his workout regimen, but announced a few days later that he would not return to the NBA this year.

Boston and Dooling agreed to a $400K buyout of his guaranteed minimum-salary contract, so he's represented a small cap hit for the C's all year despite not having been on the team's roster. Dooling couldn't return to the Celtics unless they waived someone else, but the Grizzlies have two open roster spots, so they could accomodate Dooling if they choose.

Celtics Links: Rajon Rondo Reaction

In light of news that Rajon Rondo has a torn ACL, it looks like most readers think the Celtics would be smart to move Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.  It is a question that basketball writers around the league will be tackling for weeks leading up to the trading deadline.  Let's round up all of the media fallout from the Rondo injury here:

  • A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England considers adding Delonte West the most likely scenario for the Celtics, adding that a league source told him earlier this season that the Celtics would only consider bringing back West if one of their guards went down with a long-term injury.  Blakely also mentions Andre Barrett, the current D-League assists leader, as a possibility. 
  • The Celtics' television broadcast team takes a shot at answering the question of how the Celtics can replace Rondo, via CSN New England.
  • Blowing up the Celtics' roster is way better in theory than it is in reality, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  He says that there simply aren't teams out there with young talent and draft picks that are willing to give them up for Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett.  With this in mind, Wojnarowski opines that it would be a mistake for the C's to do anything drastic.

Earlier updates:

  • Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside wonders whether the Celtics will look to the D-League to fill the void created by Rondo's injury.  Schlosser specifically mentions Delonte West, Courtney Fortson, Chris Wright, Donald Sloan, Sean Singletary and Scott Machado as potential solutions.
  • Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram also tweets that West and the Celtics seem like a match.
  • Danny Ainge and the Celtics have some big decisions to make in the near future as a result of Rondo's injury, writes Matt Moore of CBS Sports.  Moore says the Celts were already contemplating blowing up their roster this season, and the Rondo news certainly makes it more likely.
  • Ken Berger of CBS Sports says that Pierce's contract – with only $4MM guaranteed next year – is "as tradeable as it gets."  Berger adds that rival executives expect the Grizzlies to have interest in Pierce.  He also speculates that a team like the Nets could be interested in Garnett.  Should they decide to become buyers rather than sellers, Berger says Jose Calderon or Kyle Lowry are two possible targets for Boston.
  • Jessica Camerato of CSN New England writes that the Celtics locker room was stunned to hear the news about their floor general after their double overtime win against the Heat.  Camerato's colleague, A. Sherrod Blakely, provides more reactions from the Celtics as well as from Miami's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
  • Blakely adds, via Twitter, that he doesn't expect a trade soon.  Instead, Blakely thinks that the Celtics will add a point guard via a 10-day contract, if they choose to do anything.

Clippers Waive Chris Johnson, Courtney Fortson

The Clippers have waived Courtney Fortson and Chris Johnson, leaving their roster at 18 players as the team heads to China, according to a tweet from Clippers reporter Madelyn Burke.

Fortson was signed by Los Angeles after being released by the Rockets earlier this summer, while Johnson was an undrafted rookie out of the University of Dayton.

Clippers To Sign Courtney Fortson

The Clippers will sign point guard Courtney Fortson after he clears waivers from the Rockets, who cut him loose earlier today, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. Kennedy indicates that it's just a training camp invitation, which would likely mean a non-guaranteed deal for the minimum salary.

It will be Fortson's third stint with the Clippers in less than 12 months. The team brought him to last year's training camp, but waived him on the eve of the regular season, picking him back up three weeks later. The Clippers waived him again after 11 days, and he signed a ten-day contract with the Rockets in March, followed by a deal that kept him with Houston for the rest of the season.

Fortson played in only 10 total NBA games last season, and saw most of his action in the D-League. He put up 17.2 points and 6.2 assists in 34.2 minutes per game in 31 contests with the Los Angeles D-Fenders and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The 5'11" University of Arkansas product averaged 3.5 PPG and 1.0 APG with a 9.9 PER in limited action for the Clippers and Rockets.  

The move will bring the Clippers roster to 16 players, but with 15 of them on fully guaranteed contracts, Fortson is a long shot to make the team. To keep him, the Clippers would have to trade someone else or waive a player with a guaranteed deal and absorb the cost.

Rockets Waive Fortson, Sign McCamey, Fogg

5:34pm: The Rockets have made the series of transactions official in a press release.

1:24pm: Before training camp opens next week, the Rockets will waive Courtney Fortson and his non-guaranteed contract, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). That will reduce the team's roster to 18 players, at which point Houston will fill its last two roster spots by signing Demetri McCamey and Kyle Fogg, says Feigen.

We heard back in June that the Rockets had decided to bring back Fortson for this season, but the 24-year-old's contract ensured that Houston actually had to make two decisions on whether or not to retain him. As Mark Deeks of ShamSports explains, Fortson's deal included a team option for 2012/13, but despite that option being exercised, Fortson's contract was still non-guaranteed, meaning the Rockets won't take a cap hit by releasing him.

McCamey, 23, went undrafted out of Illinois in 2011, despite being ranked as the 53rd-best prospect of the class by's Chad Ford. The 6'3" point guard played in Turkey last season before joining the Bulls' summer league squad this July. Another 6'3" guard, Fogg went undrafted out of Arizona this June. The 22-year-old averaged 13.5 PPG in his senior year with the Wildcats, and played for the Rockets' summer league team in July.

Assuming the deals for McCamey and Fogg are fully non-guaranteed, the Rockets now have 18 contracts on their books that are at least partially guaranteed. Shaun Livingston, Greg Smith, and Scott Machado will all require small buyouts if they don't make the team's final roster and aren't traded.

Rockets To Retain Courtney Fortson

The Rockets have been active on the trade market in recent days and figure to make more moves before the week is out, but they're not quite jettisoning all their players. Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston tweets that the Rockets have decided to bring back Courtney Fortson for next season, according to agent Charles Briscoe. Fortson is on a non-guaranteed minimum-salary contract for 2012/13.

Read more

Minor Moves: Courtney Fortson

We'll track today's international and D-League-related transactions right here:

Rockets Sign Courtney Fortson For Rest Of Season

A day after his 10-day contract expired, the Rockets have decided to keep Courtney Fortson for the rest of the season, with a non-guaranteed contract next year, also. According to the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen, this means Fortson can go through the Rockets' offseason program and summer league, and, hopefully, be a part of their training camp. 

Fortson was waived by the Clippers after signing a 10-day contract with the team on January 27th. Since signing with Houston on March 18th, Fortson has appeared in five games, posting averages of 2.8 PPG and 0.8 APG.  

The Rockets have been in search of backcourt stability since losing Kyle Lowry to a mysterious bacterial infection a few weeks ago. Days after acquiring Derek Fisher at the trade deadline, Houston agreed to a buyout with the former Laker point guard, and yesterday they signed 13-year veteran Earl Boykins to a 10-day contract.