James Harden giving $1 million for Harvey relief – ProBasketballTalk

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Rockets point guard James Harden says he will donate $1 million to the city of Houston to aid in Harvey recovery.

Harden made the announcement Saturday with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. They spoke at a news conference at the NRG Center, which has housed evacuees since Harvey swamped the Houston area more than a week ago.

Harden went to high school in California and college in Arizona but said Houston is his home. He posed for photos with fans and said the money would go people who need it.

A number of others with ties to the Rockets and the NBA are donating money. Chris Paul gave $500,000 to J.J. Watt’s find (and he has yet to play a game for Houston), Rockets owner Leslie Alexander donated $10 million, and the NBA and its players’ union are combining to donate $1 million.

Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and Leonardo DiCaprio also have pledged $1 million to charities helping with Harvey relief.

Rodney Stuckey was battling injuries and was unimpressive with the Pacers last season, playing in 39 games and averaging 7.2 points and 2.2 assists per contest, with a well below average 48.3 true shooting percentage. Indiana waived him before their playoff run.

Now the 10-year veteran is hoping for another shot, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Most NBA rosters are set, but there are teams who might want veteran depth at the two guard spot for the minimum. If nothing else, he can show he’s healthy and make a good impression for when the inevitable injuries happen and teams are looking to add a player.

Jeff Van Gundy remains undefeated as the Team USA coach.

He and a group of D-League players who will represent the USA in World Cup qualifying later this year and into next year — because international governing body FIBA decided to put qualifying during the NBA season — are 4-0 and have advanced to the Finals of the Americup tournament taking place in Argentina. The Americans have won their games by an average of 23.5 points per contest.

After the USA handled the Virgin Islands on Saturday 90-62 they are in the tournament Finals Sunday against Argentina or Mexico (the game was still underway as of this writing).

The USA is being led by Damian Hillard, who played in 39 games for the Pistons last season and is averaging 13 points a contest. After that Jameel Warney of the Texas Legends is averaging 10.8 per game, and Xavier Munford of the Greensboro Swarm is at 10.3 per contest but had 20 against the Virgin Islands Saturday. Warney leads the USA with 9 assists per game, while Larry Drew II is averaging 5 assists per contest.

Van Gundy will lead this Team USA squad in games in November and February as part of the World Cup Qualifying. Yes, you would think as the reigning World Cup and Olympic champion the USA wouldn’t have to play its way into the World Cup, but then you’re not thinking like FIBA. The USA should qualify, at which point NBA players coached by Gregg Popovich will suit up.

 

Pau Gasol looking dominant in European play is to be expected.

Goran Dragic having a monster Eurobasket is more of a surprise.

Spain dominated the Czech Republic on Saturday, winning easily 93-56. Gasol had 26 points on 9-of-10 shooting, with eight rebounds as well. He was getting the line and just dominating inside.

It’s to be expected — Gasol is just 25 points away from being the EuroBasket all-time leading scorer. It speaks to his longevity and consistency.

Goran Dragic dominating shouldn’t be a shock, but it’s been impressive.

The Spurs and Heat may like what they see, but what they really want are these two stars to get through the tournament healthy.

The New Orleans Pelicans are desperate for help at the three.

Solomon Hill — who is better as a small-ball four — was set to play the three, but he is now going to miss most or all of the season with a torn hamstring. The Pelicans are so desperate they worked out Josh Smith, Chase Budinger, and Martell Webster. They need a three who can defend.

Iman Shumpert isn’t that, but he’s close enough that there is interest, according to Basketball Insiders.

A source told Basketball Insiders last week that the Pelicans were among the teams interested in Cleveland Cavaliers forward Iman Shumpert. Since acquiring Jae Crowder from the Boston Celtics in the Kyrie Irving trade, many speculated that Shumpert could be expendable.

Shumpert has been shopped around for a while (but did not ask for a trade, despite reports).

The problem is making a deal. Shumpert is owed $10.3 million this season (with a player option for $11 million next season) and the Pelicans are creeping up on the hard cap they created for themselves. They just traded Quincy Pondexter to the Bulls in a move to create some salary cap space, but the Pelicans would need to send out just about as much salary as Shumpert is owed. Omer Asik fits perfectly as a salary, but there is no way the Cavaliers take him (plus Asik has three years left on his contract, so Cleveland would be adding an extra year of salary). If the Pelicans threw in sweeteners they could try to get a third team to take on Asik, but good luck with that.

The Pelicans have to be looking at guys like Matt Barnes and Shabazz Muhammad, although landing them will not be easy either. That just makes more sense than a Shumpert trade.

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