Former Cardinals

Russ Smith Named To The NBA All Summer League Second Team

Photo | NBA.com

Photo | NBA.com

With just one more game left in the annual NBA Las Vegas Summer League, the NBA released the “All Summer League” teams on Sunday evening. After averaging 16-points, five rebounds and 6.4 assists in five games, former Cardinal Russ Smith was named to the second team. His 6.4 points per game led the entire league.

Samsung NBA Summer League Most Valuable Player:

Glen Rice, Jr. — Washington Wizards

Samsung All-NBA Summer League First Team

Doug McDermott — Chicago Bulls
Donatas Motiejunas — Houston Rockets
Otto Porter — Washington Wizards
Glen Rice, Jr. — Washington Wizards
Tony Snell — Chicago Bulls

Samsung All-NBA Summer League Second Team

Rudy Gobert — Utah Jazz
Tim Hardaway, Jr. — New York Knicks
Jordan McRae — Philadelphia 76ers
Russ Smith — New Orleans Pelicans
T.J. Warren — Phoenix Suns

Russ Smith’s NBA Contract Details Revealed

Jamie Rhodes | USA Today Sports

Jamie Rhodes | USA Today Sports

Just a week after being drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans with the 47th overall pick, Rick Pitino confirmed that Russ Smith had signed a guaranteed contract.

Considering all of Smith’s collegiate accolades it wouldn’t be fair to say that the guaranteed contract was a surprise, however most players that are taken late in the second round don’t get guaranteed deals and at times don’t even make the final roster.

Smith’s father informed the Courier-Journal that his son’s deal was for three years with the third year being a team option. The financial terms of Smith’s contract weren’t available until Friday morning.

TheCrunchZone.com reports that Smith will earn $507,336 during his rookie season. The first of the three year deal is the only one that is guaranteed. If New Orleans doesn’t waive Smith prior to the 2015-16 season, he’ll earn $980,431 in his second year.

If Russ is able to perform well enough during his first two seasons and New Orleans decides to pick up the option in year three, he’ll receive a very large pay day. If Smith is on the Pelican’s roster during the 2017-18 season, he’ll earn $1,251,245.

H/T The Crunch Zone

Gorgui Dieng Averaging A Double-Double In The NBA Summer League

Photo | ESPN.com

Photo | ESPN.com

To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure if former Louisville big man Gorgui Dieng would be participating in the NBA summer league this year. After having a sensational finish to his rookie season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, it’s fair to wonder how much Gorgui would really benefit from the summer league.

As I’m sure you know, Dieng ended up playing with the T-Wolves in Vegas and has more than made the most of it. I think it’s safe to say that this will be his last appearance in the summer league.

Date Opponent Result MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Jul 16 vs PHX W 86-77 35 6-13 0-0 1-2 6 13 19 1 2 0 2 5 13
Jul 15 at CHI L 73-107 25 3-5 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 0 2 1 5 5 6
Jul 13 at WAS L 59-67 29 3-6 0-0 5-6 2 6 8 0 3 1 2 7 11
Jul 12 at DAL L 85-93 29 4-6 0-0 4-6 3 7 10 1 2 2 1 4 12

Through four games with Minnesota, Dieng is averaging a double-double, with 10.5 points, 10 rebounds and one block per game. Against The Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, Dieng finished with 13-points and 19-rebounds, which is the most for any player in this year’s summer league.

After playing very briefly for the first half of his rookie season, Dieng exploded following the league’s All Star break in February. He was named an All NBA Rookie Second Team selection. Gorgui received a healthy increase in minutes following Minnesota starting center Nikola Pekovic’s injury. He was named Western Conference Rooke of the Month in March. Dieng ranked fifth among Western Conference rookies in scoring (8.6 ppg) and second among all rookies in both rebounding (8.3 rpg) and field goal percentage (.613).

Teddy Bridgewater Hits Insane Full Court Shot With A Football

USA Today Sports Images

USA Today Sports Images

Following the Minnesota Vikings organized team activities, it appears that former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has headed home. Bridgewater is currently in Miami and has made a few public appearances with management group that represents him, “The Elam Model.”

When returning to Miami Northwest High School over the weekend, Bridgewater stepped in the gymnasium and threw a Football From Full Court and connected nothing but net.

H/T TheVikingAge.com

Russ Smith’s Stellar Play Continues: He Leads The Summer League In Assists Per Game

Photo | New Orleans Advocate

Photo | New Orleans Advocate

You don’t need me to tell you that the NBA summer league isn’t nearly as competitive as the 82-game regular season with legitimate rosters full of veterans.

With that said, those who’ve doubted Russ Smith’s ability to play at the next level are starting to look more foolish each day.

Smith had his best performance of the summer league on Monday evening, scoring 14-pounds, dishing 10 assists and grabbing five rebounds. He had just three turnovers in 27-minutes of action.

Unfortunately his stellar performance came in a loss as the New Orleans Pelicans fell short to the San Antonio Spurs 88-86.

This was New Orleans’ first loss of the summer league after getting a win over the NBDL Select on Friday and the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Smith had 20 points, 9 rebounds, along with five assists and three steals in his summer league debut on Friday. He played the key role in a 21-2 fourth-quarter run that helped New Orleans erase a 19-point deficit for a comeback win.

Russ took somewhat of a step against the Lakers, shooting 3-of-11 from the floor, finishing with just six points and six turnovers. He did however dish out a game high nine assists.

In three summer league games thus far, Smith is averaging 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. He currently leads the league in assists per game. So much for this guy not being able to play in the NBA.

2014 Assist Leaders
Player Team APG
Russ Smith NOP 7.7
Langston Hall MIA 7.0
Lorenzo Brown LAC 6.0
Maalik Wayns WAS 5.5
Ray McCallum SAC 5.3

The Pistons Have Decided Not To Pick Up The Second Year Of Peyton Siva’s Contract

Kevin Liles | USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Liles | USA TODAY Sports

Despite having a strong finish to the 2013-14 regular season and putting together a few of solid performances in the NBA Summer League, the Detroit Pistons have decided to waive former Louisville star Peyton Siva.

After being drafted in the second round by Detroit last year, Siva signed a two year deal with the team with the second year being a team option. The Seattle native spent time in the NBDL during his rookie season, but finished the year on the official roster and played his best basketball down the stretch.

Unfortunately for Siva, a coaching change likely played the biggest role in the decision to waive him. Maurice Cheeks was the head coach and Joe Dumars was the president of basketball operations for Detroit when Siva was drafted, but both have since been let go by the team. Stan Van Gundy was hired in May and apparently he decided to go in a different director.

Detroit had until July 20th to make a decision on whether or not to guarantee his contract for the upcoming season. The writing appeared to be on the wall for Siva after the Pistons were able to sign D.J. Augustin to a two-year, $6 million deal on Sunday. Between Augustin, starting point guard Brandon Jennings, and 2014 second round selection Spencer Dinwiddie, Detroit clearly felt that they had the position well-handled.

Siva played well for Detroit in last week’s Orlando NBA Summer League, averaging 10 points and five assists, but unfortunately he went down with a hamstring injury that kept him out towards the end of the week.

I imagine he’ll get plenty of interest from other teams who are looking to add depth at the point guard position. Siva may not get a guaranteed contract, but I’d be surprised if he’s not invited to someone’s training camp and given a chance to make a roster.

Luke Hancock Making The Most Of His Opportunity With The Rockets

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

Pete Cautilli | The Cardinal Connect

Russ Smith and Peyton Siva aren’t the only former Cardinals who are making the most of their NBA Summer League Appearances.

On Sunday afternoon, Luke Hancock put together a very solid performance for the Houston Rockets in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League.

In just 13-minutes, Hancock scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from behind the three point line.

The Rockets fell to the Heat 92-81, but Hancock’s three three pointers down the stretch helped Houston claw back into the game, but unfortunately they ran out of gas.

This is Hancock’s second summer league appearance of the week. He competed with the Orlando Magic in the NBA’s Orlando Summer League from July 5-11.

Unfortunately he played in just one of the Magic’s five games. Hancock played four minutes in a game on July, 7 and didn’t score a point.

It appears that he’ll have a better opportunity to showcase his skills with the Rockets and fortunately he’s already off to a good start.

Hancock was one of just two players who made more than two three pointers in yesterday’s game.

He’ll be back in action Sunday night at 8 PM EST.

Russ Smith Scores 20 & Dishes Game Winning Assist In Summer League Debut

Russ Summer

Former Louisville super star Russ Smith made his professional debut with the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday evening in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League.

After somewhat of a sluggish start, Smith did exactly what you would expect of him. The former Card provided instant offense and was able to lead his team to a come from behind victory, including a game winning assist.

Smith was just 1-for-7 with four turnovers at halftime as the Pelicans trailed the NBDL Select. He finished with 20 points, 9 rebounds, along with five assists and three steals. He played the key role in a 21-2 fourth-quarter run that helped New Orleans erase a 19-point deficit and beat an NBA D-League team by a score of 83-81.

Only three other players scored more than Smith in the first day of the Vegas Summer League

“When I beat my man at the college free-throw line, I usually get into a layup, but when I beat my man at the free-throw line here, I’m in the midrange, and I was kind of thrown off,” Smith told the NBATV sideline reporter following the game.

“I just started watching some of the other players and where they were taking off. I’m humble enough to learn from my opponents.”

The Pelicans will be back in action on Sunday as they take on the Los Angeles Lakers at 4:30 PM.

Stephan Van Treese Will Play Professionally In Japan

Mark Humphrey - Associated Press

Mark Humphrey – Associated Press

Former Louisville fan favorite Stephan Van Treese didn’t hear his name called in June’s NBA Draft and isn’t participating in any of the NBA’s summer leagues. However, that as of Thursday evening, the beloved SVT is a professional basketball player.

Two Points Basketball, the agency that represents Van Treese Tweeted out this photo of the former Cardinal signing his first professional contract with a team located in Niigata, Japan.

Niigata is the capital and the most populous city of Niigata Prefecture, Japan. It lies on the northwest coast of Honshu, the largest island of Japan, in the Chūbu region and faces the Sea of Japan and Sado Island. Judging from pictures, it is absolutely beautiful.

Van Treese was part of back-to-back Final Four’s and a national championship, along with three consecutive conference tournament championships. Best of luck, SVT!

Video: Russ Smith Previews The NBA Summer League

Photo | New Orleans Pelicans

Photo | New Orleans Pelicans

Russ Smith arrived in New Orleans earlier this week to meet with the media and discuss being a member of the Pelicans. Smith expressed his excitement about joining the team and how he could make an impact.

During Rick Pitino’s press conference earlier today, he broke the news that Smith has signed a guaranteed contract with New Orleans. The financial terms haven’t been released just yet, but it’s believed to be a three year deal with two years guaranteed and a player option on the third.