McRae, Tokoto Headed To Sixers Camp

Jordan McRae and J.P. Tokoto will join the Sixers for training camp, a source told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. McRae was selected in the second round in 2014 while Tokoto was chosen with the No. 58 overall pick this June. McRae spent part of last season in Australia and played for the Sixers’ summer league team in Salt Lake City. Tokoto has been negotiating a camp deal since he has no desire to play overseas or in the D-League.

McRae was selected with the 58th overall pick in 2014 by the Spurs and was dealt to the Sixers on draft night. He began last season in Australia, then was acquired in March by the Delaware 87ers, Philadelphia’s D-League affiliate. The 6’6” shooting guard averaged 18.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists with the 87ers in 13 games.

Tokoto let the Sixers know he was open to becoming a draft-and-stash pick before Philadelphia selected him, as Jake Fischer of SI Now reported shortly after the draft. The former North Carolina guard wasn’t particularly impressive in summer league action, missing all 10 of his three-point attempts and averaging just 5.7 points in 23.1 minutes per game across seven appearances. Still, he never averaged double-figure points in college, relying instead on elite defense, as Chad Ford’s ESPN Insider profile suggests. Ford ranked him the 52nd-best prospect in the draft, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress had him even higher, at No. 46.

Eastern Rumors: James, Wells, Pistons

LeBron James will attend the USA Basketball minicamp meeting next week but will not attend the workouts, the team’s executive director Jerry Colangelo told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. Colangelo is uncertain of whether James wants to pursue another Olympic gold medal, Joe Vardon of Northeast Ohio Media Group reports. “One thing I need to find out: is he desirous, is he committed,” Colangelo told Vardon. “I don’t know that right now, and I need to find out at some point. An indicator will come next week when we see who shows up.” Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are expected to attend, though neither Cavs star will participate in the workouts or a scheduled scrimmage because they are still on the mend from their playoff injuries, Colangelo added to Vardon.
In other news around the Eastern Conference:
  • Dez Wells has been extended a training camp invite by the Wizards but he’s likely to turn it down, J. Michael of CSNWashington.com reports. The rookie guard from the University of Maryland was on Washington’s summer league roster but dislocated his right thumb prior to the Las Vegas summer league and did not play. Wells has five other training camp offers and feels his prospects with the Wizards are dim because they already have 15 players with guaranteed contracts, the story adds.
  • Adonis Thomas is guaranteed $60K of his $845,059 contract with the Pistons, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The 6’7” shooting guard will be battling second-round pick Darrun Hilliard, among others, for a roster spot in training camp.

Northwest Notes: Christon, Brown, Nuggets

Semaj Christon, the 55th pick in the 2014 draft, has signed with Italy’s Vuelle Pesaro, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). Christon leaves the Thunder’s system after having spent this past season playing for Oklahoma City’s D-League team, but the Thunder retain his NBA rights as a draft-and-stash prospect. Check out our freshly updated list of draft rights held players here, compiled by Mark Porcaro.

In other news around the Northwest Division:

  • Lorenzo Brown‘s minimum salary is partially guaranteed for $75K, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Brown was in line to receive $200K if he had remained on the Timberwolves roster through Saturday, as Hoops Rumors reported, before he and the Wolves changed the guarantee structure as part of a deal that would keep him on the roster for training camp, as Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities heard.
  • Joffrey Lauvergne‘s deal with the Nuggets is for two years, not three, according to Pincus, who corrects an earlier report. It involves identical $1,709,719 cap figures each year, and is fully guaranteed this season with a partial guarantee of $854,860 for year two, Pincus shows.
  • The Timberwolves will keep shooting coach Mike Penberthy around, president of basketball operations Flip Saunders told of Dan Barreiro KFAN Radio (hat tip to Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press and Andrew Renschen), a move that will likely please Ricky Rubio, Krawczynski observes (Twitter links). Rubio, the team’s most highly paid player, had developed a bond with Penberthy, who hadn’t been certain to return, the AP scribe notes.
  • The first two years of Tibor Pleiss‘ contract with the Jazz are fully guaranteed, with a $500,000 guarantee for the third season, Pincus reports in a separate tweet. Pleiss signed a three-year, $9MM contract on July 14th.

Nets Expected To Waive Earl Clark

The Nets will waive forward Earl Clark this week so that he can pursue a deal elsewhere, league sources told RealGM’s Shams Charania (Twitter link). Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com confirms the impending transaction and notes that the Nets will be down to 16 players under contract for the upcoming season (Twitter links).

Clark epitomizes the journeyman label, having played for six teams since entering the league in 2009/10. The 6’10” Clark appeared in 10 games with the Nets last season, averaging 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.3 minutes. 

Back in June, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reported that the 27-year-old wanted to stay with Brooklyn but his non-guaranteed salary made him expendable (Twitter links). Clark was scheduled to earn $1,185,784.

Southwest Rumors: Matthews, Bonner, Rockets

The Mavericks have tempered their expectations of Wesley Matthews for the upcoming season because they don’t want to jeopardize his future, according to Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said that the club won’t take any shortcuts as Matthews recovers from a torn Achilles tendon, Sneed continues. “I think the most important thing is that he makes a full recovery, because we’re signing him to a four-year deal,” Carlisle said. “The first year is more about making sure that he’s right and getting him out there on the right terms, and from there we want him to make a full recovery and continue to get better.” Matthews said in the same story that the Mavs will get their money’s worth, even though they have been criticized for giving him a $70MM deal. “It’s just going to make me hungrier to prove that I’m worth the money,” he said. “I’m not concerned with that. I just know that I can play this game, and I know that I can play it at a high level.”

In other news around the Southwest Division:

  • Maurice Ndour will see $1 more the minimum on his three-year contract with the Mavericks, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). It’s fully guaranteed for this season, but the guarantees beyond that are still unknown, Pincus indicates. Brandon Ashley, Jarrid Famous and Jamil Wilson are also receiving the minimum from the Mavs this year, Pincus shows on the same page.
  • Matt Bonner received a $795,000 guarantee from the Spurs on his $1.5MM deal, Pincus reports in a separate tweet. Bonner gets the full amount if he’s still on the roster on January 10th.
  • Rockets executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas has been named International Player Personnel Scout for USA Basketball, the team announced Monday. Entering his fourth season with the Rockets in that capacity, Rosas was previously the Mavericks’ GM.

Eastern Rumors: Pistons, Wilbekin, Pacers

Ersan Ilyasova would have been a top target for the Pistons if he had been a free agent this summer, coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy told Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Ilyasova was acquired in a trade with the Bucks, who re-signed restricted free agent Khris Middleton, another Detroit target, according to Langlois. “If he’d been a free agent, he’d have been the guy at the top of our list at power forward,” Van Gundy said of Ilyasova. The Pistons also would not have pursued a free agent small forward if Marcus Morris had been made available sooner. He was acquired in a salary dump by the Suns in early July after Detroit came up empty in its aim to sign either DeMarre Carroll or Danny Green“There’s no question we would have opted to take him rather than go into free agency had that been there [before July 1],” Van Gundy said to Langlois. “It wasn’t at the time, so we did try to make a play for a couple of guys. But when it didn’t work out and that presented itself, we were fortunate.”

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • Scottie Wilbekin received a $200K guarantee from the Sixers for the upcoming season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The remainder of the four-year, $3.5MM contract that the ex-University of Florida point guard signed is not guaranteed, Pincus adds. Wilbekin will make $525,093 in the first year if he’s still on the roster January 10th. He played in Australia and Greece last season after going undrafted.
  • Monta Ellis has the potential to ultimately become one of the Pacers’ greatest free agent signings, argues Mark Montieth of Pacers.com, who nonetheless ranks David West, who bolted for the Spurs this summer, as the most significant free agent addition in team history. Montieth addressed that and other topics in a mailbag format.
  • Drew Gooden‘s $3.547MM salary for the 2016/17 season becomes guaranteed on July 15th, according to Pincus (Twitter link). The Wizards forward, who has a guaranteed $3.3MM contract for the upcoming season, has a no-trade restriction on his deal which lifts on January 15th.

Nuggets Renegotiate, Extend Danilo Gallinari’s Deal

AUGUST 3rd, 6:05pm: The Nuggets have confirmed the signing (Twitter link).

JULY 31ST, 3:00pm: Gallinari posted a photo to Instagram that appears to show him signing the renegotiation-and-extension paperwork. The Nuggets have yet to make a formal announcement.

2:06pm: The sides are finalizing an agreement that would add two years to Gallinari’s contract in a renegotiation and extension deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. He’ll see about $2.5MM more the $11.559MM that he was set to see on his contract this season, bringing his salary to about $14MM, with $15.5MM coming in 2016/17 and $16.1MM in 2017/18, Wojnarowski adds. That final year will be a player option, and the deal will include a full trade kicker, Wojnarowski also reports. That presumably means a 15% trade kicker, the maximum size for such a bonus.

JULY 21ST, 1:02pm: The Nuggets are expected to sign Danilo Gallinari to an extension this week, league sources tell Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. The forward confirmed to Italian media this week that he was in extension talks with the team, shortly after Dempsey reported that the Nuggets intended to begin such discussions.

Denver will use some of the cap flexibility it cleared in Monday’s Ty Lawson trade, according to Dempsey, a hint that Gallinari will receive an extension and renegotiation, which would up his salary of more than $11.559MM for this coming season, in the same sort of deal that Denver did with Wilson Chandler this month. Such a maneuver would allow Gallinari to make more in 2016/17 than the 7.5% of his 2015/16 salary he’d be limited to if he signed a conventional veteran extension, but renegotiations are rare, and Chandler’s deal was the first of its kind since the latest collective bargaining agreement went into place in 2011.

In any case, the Arn Tellem client would only be able to sign for three additional years, whereas he could ink a new contract with the Nuggets next summer that would give him five more years in Denver. The total amount of a conventional extension couldn’t exceed $39,879,326 over a three-year period, but a new contract that the sides could sign next summer would be allowed to be worth as much as the max.

The timing of Denver’s apparent movement with Gallinari is somewhat surprising, since it came on the heels of a report that the Celtics and Nuggets engaged in trade talks involving the veteran shooter. Denver was also apparently shopping Gallinari before the draft, when Memphis seemingly gave chase.

What do you think a fair extension for Gallinari would look like? Leave a comment to let us know.

Northwest Notes: Alexander, Gallinari, Thunder

Cliff Alexander‘s camp deal with the Trail Blazers covers three years and has a $100K partial guarantee, according to former Nets executive Bobby Marks, writing for HoopsHype. Alexander was one of 441 players who took part in at least one of the three summer leagues without having signed a guaranteed contract, and that $100K means he wound up with a lot more than many summer leaguers, who left only with the $127 per diems they received while taking part in the Orlando, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City leagues, as Marks details. There’s more on Alexander amid the latest from around the Northwest Division:

  • Alexander told SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell that it “blindsided” him when he went undrafted in June, but agent Reggie Brown of Priority Sports said to O’Donnell that going undrafted was a better fate than having become a draft-and-stash pick (hat tip to TNT’s David Aldridge). “We knew the draft-and-stash would not be of benefit to him,” Brown said. “Cliff was not mature enough at 19 years old to go overseas for the first time. He didn’t have an older brother to help guide him like Emmanuel Mudiay did. I thought that would have been disastrous for his career so I made the decision not to do it. I could have took a lot of pressure off myself and in the media it looks great to have one of those teams take him, but I had to look him in the eye and tell him that we can’t do this. This is not best for your career. I felt he had the heart big enough to climb out of this.”
  • Danilo Gallinari will see precisely $14MM this season, $15.05MM next season and $16.1MM in 2017/18 as part of his renegotiation-and-extension with the Nuggets, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders shows (Twitter link).
  • The Thunder made a cost-cutting move in July, trading Perry Jones III to the Celtics, but the Oklahoma City organization isn’t anxious to move any more contracts and feels an urgency to win, sources close to the Thunder tell Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, who writes in an NBA AM piece.

Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 8/3/15

The Warriors and Sixers hooked up on a late Friday afternoon trade last week, with each team flipping a newly acquired player. Golden State sent Gerald Wallace, who had arrived in the David Lee trade, to Philadelphia for Jason Thompson, one of the three players the Sixers received in their deal with the Kings in early July. The Warriors also sent cash — $1MM worth, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link) — and gave the Sixers the right to swap the less favorable of the 2016 first-rounders the Heat and Thunder owe them for Golden State’s 2016 first-round pick. The move gave the Warriors a trade exception of more than $3MM, and perhaps most importantly, it allowed the team to save some $8MM in luxury tax payments.

The trade looks like a positive for the Warriors, but with the margin for error so razor thin in the Western Conference, every move carries risk. For the Sixers, the trade allows for the collection of another draft asset, but unless the Thunder or Heat finish with a better regular season record than the defending champs, who are coming off a 67-win season, Philadelphia won’t see any benefit from the pick swap. The Sixers may well have simply rented out $3MM worth of cap space for a cash payment of $1MM. So, how would you grade the trade for both teams?

The Warriors and Sixers are in opposite places in the NBA hierarchy, so it would be difficult to grade them on the same rubric. Still, you’re free to give any grade you wish. To leave your comment, just enter your name and email address, write what you want to say, and submit it; there’s no need to become a registered user. Just make sure you comply with our commenting policy.

Eastern Notes: J.R. Smith, Carmelo, Hawks

Eastern Conference teams have lured more veterans than Western Conference teams so far in free agency and trades this offseason, as I examined late last month, but the East didn’t really make a dent in terms of star power. The chasm between the conferences seemingly remains wide, and with the Western Conference elite further strengthening, it seems the easiest path to the Finals will again run through the East, though the defending conference champion Cavs might dispute that. Check out a Cleveland-related item amid the latest from the Eastern Conference:

  • J.R. Smith said he wants to “be somewhere I can make a difference” as he discussed his free agency with reporters in Guam, where he held a camp with close friend and recent Heat signee Gerald Green, notes Grant Wieman of the Pacific Daily News (hat tip to Chris Fedor of the Northeast Ohio Media Group). Smith said two weeks ago that he’d like to re-sign with the Cavaliers“I would love to be a starter, but it depends on the situation and what team I’m on,” Smith said. “Cleveland is in a situation where they don’t really need me to start. I can come off the bench and bring the energy and stuff like that.”
  • Knicks broadcaster and team employee Walt “Clyde” Frazier wonders in an interview with Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com whether Carmelo Anthony will ask for a trade if the team doesn’t make noticeable progress this year. It wouldn’t be surprising if Anthony did just that, given lingering questions about whether team president Phil Jackson, coach Derek Fisher and the triangle can succeed and the challenge of attracting marquee free agents to a losing team, as Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal speculates (All Twitter links).
  • The deals that Lamar Patterson and Terran Petteway signed with the Hawks are both two-year, minimum-salary arrangments with $75K partial guarantees for this season, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).

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