Juan Howards, Arenas and Yi News – September 18, 09

Trail Blazers Sign Juwan Howard

Nets could open season without Yi

Tom Knott: Arenas back to being himselfTrail Blazers Sign Juwan Howard


Veteran forward Juwan Howard signed a one-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, the team announced Thursday.

Howard a 15-year veteran, averaged 4.1 points in 42 games with Denver and Charlotte last season.

Terms were not disclosed.

”Juwan Howard will add a wealth of experience and veteran savvy to our young, talented roster,” Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said in a statement. ”We look forward to Juwan’s contributions on the court and in the locker room.”

The 6-foot-9 power forward was the 14th player added to the Blazers roster in advance of fall camp. The Blazers have looked this offseason at a number of big forwards, including Stromile Swift and Greg Ostertag, before going with Howard.


Nets could open season without Yi

Marc J. Spears,

Yi Jianlian could be wearing a different uniform when his New Jersey Nets play their season-opening game, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

Yi has committed to playing basketball for his native Guandong in the National Games of the People’s Republic of China from Oct. 16-28. The Nets, however, have three preseason games and also their Oct. 28 season opener at Minnesota scheduled during China’s National Games. Travel, practices and recovery time could cause Yi to miss even more time with the Nets.

For now, the Nets are backing Yi’s decision to participate and are working to determine an acceptable timetable for his absence. Yi’s agent, Dan Fegan, could not be reached for comment.

“We’re looking at it very closely,” Nets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe told Yahoo! Sports. “We’re trying to make a good decision, make sure we abide by the rules and make sure we are always accommodating in supporting our players and their home countries.”


Tom Knott: Arenas back to being himself

Tom Knott

Judging from his selective trip down memory lane with Mike Jones of The Washington Times, Gilbert Arenas has returned to his old, mercurial, otherworldly self.

As it turns out, he holds the organization accountable for his protracted stay on the shelf.

He says he needed to be protected from himself, if not bound in the parachute he was training with two summers ago, and ordered to stop overdoing it.

But he says no one in the organization had the inclination to do so, perhaps because of a need to sell tickets, and so he became a victim.

That could be one version of the truth. It could be equally true that Arenas was going into the opt-out year of his contract and the organization was looking to keep him happy.

If the intent of the organization was to rush Arenas back and sell tickets, it has not worked out well.


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