Mavericks officially sign Israeli Gal Mekel: NBA moves
2nd Israeli-born player to sign with NBA team
The Dallas Mavericks have signed free agent guard Gal Mekel from Israel.
Dallas announced the deal Thursday, making Mekel the second Israeli-born player to sign with an NBA team.
The Mavericks didn't announce contract details, but agent Sam Porter said last week that the 6-foot-3 Mekel had agreed to a three-year deal with $2.3 million guaranteed.
Mekel played two seasons at Wichita State (2006-08) before leaving school early to play professionally in Europe. He won his second Israeli League MVP award last season, when he averaged 13.3 points and 5.4 assists for his championship team.
Forward Omri Casspi, who played the last two seasons in Cleveland after two in Sacramento, was the first Israeli-born player in the NBA. He is signing as a free agent with Houston.
Spurs announce re-signing of Ginobili and deal with Belinelli
Manu Ginobili has signed his contract with the Spurs and will be joined in San Antonio next season by Marco Belinelli.
Ginobili posted a picture of himself with his paperwork on Twitter on Thursday, writing that: "Now it's official. I've just signed my fourth contract with the Spurs for two more years."
The 36-year-old from Argentina has won three titles with the Spurs and helped them reach the NBA Finals this season despite battling injuries.
General manager RC Buford calls Ginobili "an integral part of the Spurs family and the San Antonio community for the past decade" and says in a statement the Spurs are "thrilled that he'll spend his entire career as a San Antonio Spur."
Belinelli averaged 9.6 points in 73 games last season for Chicago.
Mavericks add Jose Calderon
The Dallas Mavericks have signed free-agent point guard Jose Calderon.
The deal was announced on Thursday. Agent Mark Bartelstein said last week the contract was worth $29 million over four seasons.
The 6-foot-3 Spaniard led the NBA in 3-point shooting at 46 per cent last season. He had spent his entire eight-year career with Toronto before going to Detroit in a three-team deal that included Memphis' Rudy Gay.
The 31-year-old Calderon played professionally in Spain for six seasons before coming to the NBA. He has career averages of 10.1 points and 7.2 assists and is a 40 per cent shooter from 3-point range.
Nets agree to deal with Kirilenko
A person with knowledge of the deal says the Brooklyn Nets have agreed to a contract with forward Andrei Kirilenko.
The person, speaking Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced, says Kirilenko has accepted the taxpayer's mid-level exception worth about $3.2 million. The contract includes a player option for the second year.
The Russian forward opted out of his $10.2 million deal for next season with the Minnesota Timberwolves and found a home with the Nets — owned by fellow Russian and former CSKA Moscow owner Mikhail Prokhorov.
The versatile forward is another strong addition for a Nets team that has loaded up this off-season, highlighted by the pending acquisitions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston.
Bulls bring back Mohammed
The Chicago Bulls say they have re-signed centre Nazr Mohammed.
A 16-year veteran, he announced last week that he was staying put. The team confirmed it on Thursday.
Mohammed played in 63 games last season, averaging 2.6 points and 3.1 rebounds.
Nets re-sign Blatche, sign Livingston
The Brooklyn Nets have re-signed Andray Blatche and signed guard Shaun Livingston.
Blatche averaged 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 19 minutes per game last season, his first with the Nets. The forward-center was the only Nets player to appear in all 82 games and will back up All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez.
General manager Billy King says Thursday in a statement that the 6-foot-11 Blatche, who agreed to a multiyear deal, was a "vital member" of the team last season. Livingston averaged 6.3 points for Cleveland and Washington last season. The No. 4 pick in the 2004 draft who returned to the NBA after a massive knee injury early in his career has played for seven teams in eight seasons.
Blazers formally sign guard Earl Watson
The Portland Trail Blazers have formally signed free agent guard Earl Watson.
The 12-year NBA veteran played the past three seasons with the Utah Jazz. He played in 48 games last season, averaging 17.3 minutes and two points, 1.8 rebounds and four assists.
Watson has also played in Seattle, Memphis, Denver and Oklahoma City.
Terms of his contract with the Blazers were not released.
Nuggets add toughness by signing J.J. Hickson
The Denver Nuggets bolstered their frontcourt Thursday by signing free agent forward J.J. Hickson to a three-year deal.
The 24-year-old bruiser is coming off his best season last year in Portland when he averaged 12.7 points and a career-high 10.4 rebounds. He joined Dwight Howard as the only players to average 12 points, 10 boards and shoot at least 55 per cent from the field.
General manager Tim Connelly called Hickson "one of the most improved players in the league last year," and said he gives Denver a low-post option in the halfcourt "and he's a relentless rebounder who will help us get out and run."
Hickson has averaged 9.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in five NBA seasons with stops in Cleveland, Sacramento and Portland.
Hawks sign Schroder
The Atlanta Hawks, facing a decision with restricted free agent Jeff Teague, have signed point guard Dennis Schroder, a first-round draft pick from Germany.
The Hawks confirmed Thursday that Teague has signed a four-year, $32 million offer sheet with Milwaukee, where he would be reunited with former Atlanta coach Larry Drew. The Hawks have three days to match the offer.
General manager Danny Ferry says the team "will make the best decision moving forward for our organization."
Teague, a four-year veteran and two-year starter, set career highs with his averages of 14.6 points and 7.2 assists last season.
The 19-year-old Schroder has played professionally in Germany since 2009-10. The Hawks say Schroder asked his name be changed from the English spelling Schroeder, as it was announced at the draft.