As our Chuck Myron noted this morning, the Sixers have been a hub of activity over the past few days. From their involvement in the Kevin Loveblockbuster, to the Hasheem Thabeetdeal, to their agreement with injured rookie center Joel Embiid, the positioning that GM Sam Hinkie and company accomplished has put them in a unique spot from a salary cap flexibility standpoint. Philly seems to have their hands in everything and, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders pointed out earlier tonight, we shouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon.
Whether they’re dumping veterans, hoarding future draft picks or using their current ones on players unlikely to help them now, it’s obvious the Sixers have no intention of competing in the immediate future. Hinkie has the luxury of building his team with ownership’s ultimate confidence, or at least he’s operated as such. However, as careful as he’s been about tipping his hand since arriving in Philly, Hinkie did concede earlier today that trading Thaddeus Young was difficult, perhaps implying that he’s not as narrowly focused on asset collection as it may seem.
The Sixers’ methods are, if nothing else, polarizing in NBA circles. Basketball purists may look down upon what they perceive as tanking while more progressive-minded fans may see a forward-thinking GM taking advantage of a league loophole. So what do you think? A month ago, Hoops Rumors readers thought the Sixers rebuild would pay off before that of the Jazz or Magic, implying that there’s a contingent of fans out there that believe in what Hinkie and the Sixers are doing. What about the rest of you? As always, feel free to weigh in via the comments section.
Here is the latest on a handful of recent trades from cap guru Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times and Basketball Insiders:
Pincus reports that the Wolves received a $6.3MM trade exception in the Kevin Lovedeal, which is the difference between the salaries of Love and Thaddeus Young ($6,308,194 to be exact). It was originally thought to be worth $4,644,503 — the difference between Love’s salary and the combined salaries of Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett — but Pincus indicates that, for Minnesota’s purposes, Love was traded for Young while Wiggins and Bennett were traded for Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved (Twitterlinks).
The Thunder have sent $100K along with Hasheem Thabeet to the Sixers in exchange for a top-55 protected second round draft pick, according to Pincus, who confirms that the deal will award Oklahoma City a $1.25MM trade exception. With Thabeet likely to be cut and Philly nearly certain not to finish as a top-five team next season, the Thunder essentially paid $100K for a $1.25MM trade exception that they’ll hold until August 26th, 2015 (Twitterlinkshere).
Pincus reminds us that the Thunder also pulled off a similar maneuver when they dealtThabo Sefolosha to the Hawks last month. In that deal, Oklahoma City sent $550K to Atlanta which netted them a trade exception worth $4.15MM. (Twitterlinks).
The Sixers are a likely candidate to take on salary this season via their cap room with cash and draft picks as compensation, Pincus believes. Each team is permitted to send out and receive up to $3.3MM in cash per season, so Philly can still receive up to $3.2MM (Twitterlinkshere).
The 2017 first-round pick headed from the Clippers to the Bucks in the Jared Dudleydeal is lottery protected through 2019, at which time it will become two second-round picks, one for 2020 and the other for 2021, Pincus reports. Of course, as Pincus points out, the Clippers are likely to be a playoff team for the foreseeable future so the pick should be with Milwaukee come 2017 (Twitterlinks).
While both deals were officially announced by at least one of the participating teams, Pincus tweets that Dudley still has to pass a physical to go to the Bucks while Thabeet is not required to do so to head to the Sixers.
Here is what else is happening around the league on Wednesday evening:
Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer doesn’t foresee the Hornets burning their 15th and final guarantee on center depth behind Al Jefferson and Bismack Biyombo. Bonnell believes Charlotte would prefer to, when needed, plug Cody Zeller in at center rather than limit their roster flexibility (Twitterlinkshere).
Bonnell also quashes any talk of the Hornets using that final guarantee on Chris Douglas-Roberts, who impressed at times in 49 games in Charlotte in 2013/14 (Twitter link). With Lance Stephenson and P.J. Hairston now in the fold, the Hornets are not looking for another wing, Bonnell implies. CDR was linked to the Clippers as recently as yesterday.
6:50pm: The signing is official, the team announced.
6:33pm: Black’s deal with the Rockets is for two years and is partially guaranteed, according to Shams Charania of RealGM (via Twitter).
6:02pm: The Rockets have come to an agreement with Tarik Black, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). After going undrafted in June out of Kansas, Black played 13 games with Houston this summer between Las Vegas and Orlando. He was particularly impressive over five games in Orlando, averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds on 60 percent shooting in 20 minutes per contest.
Black, a 6’9″ forward, is probably a long shot to make a Rockets team that has 14 guaranteed contracts on the books, not to mention a handful of non-guaranteed ones. However, as Feigen notes, Black might be a good bet to end up on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s D-League affiliate. The 22-year-old Black was a heralded recruit coming out of high school, playing three years at Memphis before graduating early and transferring to Kansas for his senior season to play alongside Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid. Black averaged 5.5 points on 69.2 percent shooting in his lone season in Lawrence.
5:15pm: The signing is official, the team announced.
3:10pm: The Heat and Shannon Brown have come to terms, according to the Priority Sports agency that represents the free agent shooting guard (Twitter link; hat tip to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today). Sam Amick of USA Today hears it’s a one-year, $1.3MM deal (Twitter link), so that appears to be rounded down from the $1,310,286 minimum salary for a veteran of eight years, as Brown is. That stands to reason, since Miami is limited to handing out only the minimum.
A report from about a week ago indicated that finding a shooting guard was a priority for the Heat, though Brown wasn’t among the players linked to the team. The rumor mill surrounding the 28-year-old has been quiet since the Knicks waived him rather than guaranteeing his contract last month. It remains to be seen whether the Heat are including any sort of guarantee in their pact with the Mark Bartelstein client.
Brown, a former 25th overall pick, spent the first half of last season out of the league after the Wizards let him go following the Marcin Gortat trade that brought him from Phoenix, where he’d put up back-to-back career highs in minutes per game. The Spurs brought him in on a pair of 10-day contracts in February, and the Knicks later did the same before signing him to a deal that covered the rest of the season with a non-guaranteed 2014/15 salary tacked on.
The Heat had been carrying just 14 deals with any guaranteed money, as our roster counts show, so Brown appears to have a strong chance to remain with the team come opening night.
The Wolves haven’t made the playoffs in 10 years, leaving owner Glen Taylor to blame as the constant amid a changing cast of star players, coaches and executives, argues Tom Ziller of SB Nation. Taylor’s latestsalvos, aimed at Kevin Love, reflect poorly upon him, too, Ziller believes. Here’s more from around the league:
The Heat and James Jones had mutual interest in a new deal this summer and they spoke about the possibility before he chose to sign with the Cavs instead, as he tells Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Jones called his departure from Miami “the toughest professional decision I’ve had to make,” and while he previously cited a desire for more playing time as the reason why he left, he says to Winderman that he doesn’t harbor any resentment toward coach Erik Spoelstra.
Donald Sterling failed to petition the California Supreme Court by Monday’s deadline for review of a lower court’s decision to reject Sterling’s earlier petitions to halt or unwind the sale of the Clippers, according to Michael McCann of SI.com. That means Sterling has essentially run out of legal avenues to fight the sale, as McCann explains.
It was difficult to trade Thaddeus Young, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie admitted, citing the forward’s professionalism and positive attitude, as Michael Kaskey-Blomain of Philly.com chronicles. “Those things matter,” Hinkie said. “That’s why these decisions, while necessary, are still challenging.”
AUGUST 27TH: Murphy’s deal is official, too, the team announced.
AUGUST 25TH: The team hasn’t announced Murphy’s signing, but it has occured according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). Pincus reports that both players’ deals are partially guaranteed at $65K, and Murphy’s total salary is set at $840K. Bost’s total salary was already reported to be at the minimum for three seasons (none of which are fully guaranteed).
AUGUST 15TH: The Jazz officially announced the signing of Bost, tweets Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune.
AUGUST 14TH: Kevin Murphy and Dee Bost will join the Jazz for training camp, according to Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (on Twitter). Both players spent last season with the Idaho Stampede of the D-League.
Bost, 25 in October, signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Blazers last fall before being waived in October. The guard went undrafted out of Mississippi State in 2012 and spent the following season overseas with Budućnost Podgorica in Montenegro, averaging 8.3 PPG, 1.8 APG, and 1.3 turnovers in 21.5 minutes per contest. In 50 games for Idaho last season, Bost averaged 15.2 PPG and 6.1 RPG in 40.5 minutes per night.
Murphy auditioned for the 76ers in March in hopes of securing a 10-day deal and also worked out for the Nets earlier this offseason.
Michael Beasley auditioned for the Lakers once more today, reports Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The former No. 2 overall pick also reportedly worked out for the Lakers a few weeks ago, and the team apparently liked what it saw, so it seems as though Beasley continues to intrigue GM Mitch Kupchak and his staff.
Kennedy reported last month that several teams had expressed interest, though the Heat appear to be lukewarm on the idea of bringing him back to Miami, where he played last season and during the first two seasons of his tumultuous NBA career. The Suns made the unusual step of citing concerns about his character in their official release when they waived him as part of a buyout deal a year ago, but Beasley hasn’t seemed to stir any trouble since then. His talent is less of a question mark, and he was productive when he saw the floor last season, as he appears on the lists of the top scorers, rebounders and three-point shooters remaining on the market that I’ve compiled in the past two weeks.
The Lakers can only hand out the minimum salary, though that’s all Beasley made in Miami last season, when he stuck with the team for all of 2013/14 despite having signed a contract without any guaranteed salary. L.A. is carrying just 13 deals known to be guaranteed, so there’d be room to give Beasley a decent chance to make the opening-night roster.
Free agent point guard Julyan Stone will be auditioning with the Spurs soon, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The 25-year-old Stone has been on the market since the Raptors cut him loose last month.
The Sixers, Bucks and Kings were discussing potential deals with Stone last month, as was Toronto, which envisioned bringing him back, as Charania reported then. The RealGM scribe reiterates today that Stone has engaged in talks with teams other than the Spurs, but it’s unclear if any of the clubs from last month are still in the mix. Stone has played sparingly over his three NBA seasons, never averaging more than the 8.1 minutes per game he saw as a rookie, but he appeared to be a favorite of Raptors GM Masai Ujiri, who brought Stone with him when he left the Nuggets for Toronto.
The Spurs have been active in their preparations for camp of late. This week the team signedJosh Davis, a power forward from San Diego State, and a report from last week indicated that Hakim Warrick was one of multiple free agents set to work out for the team. Summer leaguer Denzel Bowles is also apparently set to audition for San Antonio.
The flurry of signings and roster moves in the first few weeks of free agency left several details unresolved, particularly when it came to the option years or non-guaranteed seasons included in each new contract signed this summer. Now that the dust has settled and the terms of most contracts have been reported, we have a clearer idea of what the free agent picture will look like in future offseasons.
We’ve combed over the reports and updated our register of the players who can hit the market next summer. Our list of 2015/16 free agents encompasses players with one last season to go on their contracts, players eligible for restricted free agency, and players with non-guaranteed salary and option clauses for the 2015/16 season. Names like Rajon Rondo, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol highlight the list, and LeBron James is once more just months away from becoming a free agent if he chooses, since he has a player option.
Many players with option years or non-guaranteed deals almost certainly won’t hit the free agent market next summer. For instance, Jamal Crawford‘s contract for 2015/16 isn’t fully guaranteed, so you’ll find his name on our list, but barring a catastrophic turn of events, the Clippers will certainly be guaranteeing his deal eventually. We’ll continue to update our list as those sorts of decisions become official, and the list can be found anytime on the right sidebar under “Hoops Rumors Features.”
Additionally, a handful of players with non-guaranteed salary for 2015/16 also have non- or partially guaranteed contracts for 2014/15. Those players won’t find a spot on our ’15/’16 list until their statuses for the coming season are officially determined, so they can be found on the list of 2014/15 free agents in the meantime.