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Markel Brown To Play In Russia

After being waived by the Cavaliers last week, Markel Brown has lined up another job. Brown will head overseas, having agreed to a deal with Russian team Khimki Moscow, according to international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link).

Brown, 24, spent the last two seasons in Brooklyn, averaging 5.3 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 1.2 APG in his 109 total contests with the club. He played sparingly during the 2015/16 season until Lionel Hollins was dismissed as the Nets’ head coach — he saw his minutes – and his production – increase down the stretch. In his final 30 games of the season, Brown averaged 9.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, and shot .438/.358/.758, a significant improvement on his career marks.

Despite his solid performance last spring, Brown ultimately wasn’t in the Nets’ plans. After initially tendering him a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent, Brooklyn rescinded that QO near the end of the July moratorium. The OSU alum signed a camp deal with the Cavs, but didn’t receive any guaranteed money from the team and was one of Cleveland’s cuts leading up to the season.

Western Notes: Stephenson, Goodwin, McGee

Lance Stephenson hung on to snag the Pelicans‘ final regular season roster spot, beating out Alonzo Gee, despite the fact that Gee had a fully guaranteed pact. Stephenson says his aim this season is to rebuild his reputation around the league, John Reid of The Times Picayune writes. ”My goal is to prove everybody wrong this year – work hard and show a different side of me,” Stephenson said. “Everybody got this expectation of me, I just want to show them a different side of me. I love the game, I just want to play ball. I can show that what I was doing for the Pacers, I can still do it. I just got to have an opportunity to be put in a position where I can do that.

Stephenson also noted that he’s made a determined effort to get to know his Pelicans teammates and bond with them, something he hasn’t always done in the past, Reid adds. ”Teams that I’ve been on, I really didn’t [talk] to my teammates, I talked to them a little bit but,” Stephenson said. ”But this time, I was really, ‘Hi are you doing to today, what you do yesterday’ and stuff like that. It’s like being a rookie again, everybody got this image of me that’s a straight lie.”

Here’s more from out West:

  • The Suns were trying to trade Archie Goodwin, who was waived on Monday, but when they were unable to find a taker, the team was forced to release him in order to pare its roster down for the regular season, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports.
  • JaVale McGee is overjoyed at landing the 15th and final roster spot on the Warriors to start the regular season, Monte Poole of relays. “I’m just happy, blessed, to have this chance,” McGee told Poole. “I’m starting to figure out what the coaches want from me, and I’m starting to execute it. Everything is going well.
  • The Clippers are still trying to fill their void at small forward, which has been a weak spot on the team for the past few seasons, Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times writes. Luc Mbah a Moute, Wesley Johnson and Alan Anderson are all competing for the starting job, but none of them has heard much from coach Doc Rivers about who will get the bulk of the minutes at the position, Turner adds.

Eastern Notes: Bayless, Kelly, Young

Jerryd Bayless was penciled in as the Sixers‘ opening night starter at point guard, but he’ll be in street clothes for at least the first month of the season while he recovers from a torn ligament in his left wrist, team sources told Jeff Goodman of The team announced last week that Bayless would not have surgery on his wrist, but did not put a timetable on his return to action, Goodman notes. Bayless signed a three-year deal with Philly this summer after averaging 10.4 points and 3.1 assists with Milwaukee in 2015/16.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Hornets forward Frank Kaminsky is out of the walking boot he was required to wear after straining his right foot during Charlotte’s final preseason contest on Friday, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. His status for the team’s regular season opener is still undetermined, Bonnell adds. “He said he felt a lot better,” coach Steve Clifford said of Kaminsky. “He did a ton [of rehabilitation] Sunday and then he was back in here this morning. I guess you’d call him questionable [for the season-opener], but he’s making lots of progress.
  • Celtics executive Danny Ainge confirmed that Ryan Kelly, who was waived by the team on Saturday, will be joining the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s D-League affiliate, Goodman tweets.
  • Ainge also weighed in on James Young, who barely made the Celtics‘ regular season roster this season by edging out R.J. Hunter for the 15th and final spot. The executive told Chris Forsberg of, “I told him [Young] this morning that I think this is the first time he’s earned anything in his life. He earned this by his play, day in and day out, and he just has to keep earning it. He was given a lot as a young kid, with a lot of promise and a lot of potential and … he had to come out and win a spot with some good competition, and he did. So he just needs to keep doing what he’s been doing.
  • Pistons shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is eligible to sign an extension prior to this season’s deadline, but all signs point to him playing out the season and hitting restricted free agency next summer, as Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press explains.
  • Entering his third season in New York, this may be team president Phil Jackson‘s last chance to turn around the team, which is no lock, given the multiple roster and health questions surrounding the Knicks, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes.
  • The Hawks enter the season with just two point guards on the roster, a move the team made because of injuries suffered in the frontcourt, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. “With the injuries, the few nagging things on the front line, at the end of the day you are probably going to be a little short on the bigs or a little short on the point guard,” coach/executive Mike Budenholzer said. “We are going with an extra big, more cover on the bigs.”

League, NBPA Nearing Agreement To Extend CBA By Seven Years

The NBA and NPBA are working on a seven-year extension to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, with a mutual opt-out in six years, league sources informed Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The seven-year deal could result in NBA labor peace through the 2023/24 season, unless the opt-outs are exercised in 2022, Wojnarowski adds. The new pact would begin starting next season. The league and the union have a mutual opt-out date for the current arrangement on December 15th, but this new CBA agreement should be finalized over the next few weeks, Wojnarowski notes.

One aspect the new CBA will alter is the amount of the mid-level exception, increasing the salary from its current value of $5.6MM for a season to approximately $8MM, Marc Stein of relays (via Twitter). Wojnarowski, in a previous piece, relayed a number of the other aspects of the new CBA that are being worked on, which include:

  • The NBA and union have tentatively agreed to change the 36-and-over rule that now prohibits players from signing a five-year maximum contract if their 36th birthday occurs within the life of the deal, Wojnarowski relayed. Under the new CBA, the age will be bumped to 38-and-over, which would have significant financial implications for superstars in the twilight of their careers.
  • The league’s Basketball Related Income (BRI) split will remain unchanged in a new agreement, league sources told the scribe. The players receive a share in the range of 49 to 51% of the current BRI.
  • The NBA will raise rookie-scale, veteran minimum and free-agent exception deals in the new agreement, per Wojnarowski’s sources. Rises in those salaries could come in the 50% range over current numbers, according to the article.
  • The NBA will keep its “one-and-done” rule with college basketball, retreating on its original desire to make college players wait two years after high school graduation to become eligible for the NBA draft, writes Wojnarowski.
  • Two-way contracts between the NBA and NBA D-League will offer teams the chance to add 16th and 17th roster spots, and pay players differently based upon their assignments in either the league’s minor league or as part of the parent team, league sources told the Vertical scribe.

Offseason In Review: Miami Heat

Over the next several weeks, Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2016 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2016/17 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Miami Heat.

Free agent signings:

Camp invitees:


  • Acquired Luke Babbitt from the Pelicans in exchange for the Pelicans’ own 2018 second-round pick (previously traded to Miami) and cash.

Draft picks:

  • None

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Check out our salary cap snapshot for the Miami Heat right here.

Jan 25, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson (8) passes around Chicago Bulls guard Aaron Brooks (0) during the second quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY SportsWhen LeBron James returned home to Cleveland two summers ago, the Heat moved on to Plan B, which was to rebuild a title contender around Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Now it’s time for Plan C.

Wade, the cornerstone of the franchise for the past 13 years, signed with the Bulls in July after a contract dispute. Bosh faces an uncertain future after failing his training camp physical because of a lingering problem with blood clots. The Heat underwent a massive roster overhaul during the summer and now seem like fringe playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference.

Free agency got off to a great start for Miami, as center Hassan Whiteside opted in the early-morning hours of July 1st to remain with the Heat. Miami didn’t have Bird rights on Whiteside, who met with Dallas and had a session scheduled with Portland before making his decision. After being out of the NBA for two seasons, Whiteside signed with Miami in November of 2014 and quickly developed into a defensive force. He led the league in blocked shots by a wide margin last season with 3.68 per game, along with 14.2 points and 11.8 rebounds.

Whiteside’s new maximum-salary deal paved the way for Wade’s decision to leave Miami. Wade was angry that the Heat weren’t willing to give him a max offer as well, considering that he accepted less than his market value for years to give the franchise enough cap room to bring in James and Bosh. As negotiations with Miami deteriorated in early July, Wade accepted a two-year, $47MM offer from Chicago. His departure not only created a hole in the lineup at shooting guard, it left the psychological scar of losing the most accomplished player in franchise history.

That feeling was compounded last month when Bosh, the only remaining member of the Big Three, was unable to pass a physical administered before the start of training camp. Bosh, who has seen his past two seasons cut short by blood clots, had worked throughout the offseason to prepare for camp and had proposed taking a new medication that would be out of his system by game time. However, the Heat’s reluctance to accept that plan combined with his lack of medical clearance probably means that Bosh has played his last game for the franchise.

The other defining event of Miami’s offseason was a four-year, $50MM offer sheet the Nets extended to backup guard Tyler Johnson. The contract was backloaded to make it difficult for the Heat to match, with annual salaries of $5.628MM, $5,881,260, $18,858,765 and $19,631,975. Miami decided to match anyway and made a slew of moves beforehand. In one day, the Heat added free agents Wayne Ellington, James Johnson and Willie Reed, swung a trade with the Pelicans for Luke Babbitt, re-signed veteran big man Udonis Haslem and then matched Johnson. It’s up to the third-year guard to prove he can earn that big-money deal after playing just 36 games at the NBA level last season and averaging 8.7 points and 2.2 assists per night.

But the Heat weren’t done adding free agents. They also signed Knicks forward Derrick Williams for one season at $4.598MM and Thunder shooting guard Dion Waiters for two years at $5.926MM with a player option on the second season. In addition, Miami re-signed veteran point guard Beno Udrih, who accepted a controversial buyout last season that helped the Heat escape luxury tax penalties. Udrih was waived Saturday, but still received a guaranteed veteran’s minimum deal of $1.5MM, which was a nice reward for giving up $90K in the buyout. He has since been claimed off waivers by Detroit, which absolves the team of any cap hit.

After a summer of turnover, the Heat may not be done with roster moves. They were rumored to be discussing a deal with the Kings that would send Goran Dragic to Sacramento in exchange for Rudy Gay and Darren Collison. Gay has made it known that he plans to opt out of his contract next summer and end his relationship with the Kings, but he might be interested in a long-term future in South Florida.

Draft night was quiet in Miami as the Heat didn’t have a pick in either round. Their first-rounder was shipped to Philadelphia, which used it to take Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot at No. 24, and their second-rounder went to Boston, which selected Ben Bentil at No. 51.

After a seven-game loss to Toronto in the conference semifinals, the Heat entered the offseason hoping they could re-sign Whiteside to combine with Wade, Bosh and Dragic as the core of one of the East’s best teams. But keeping their star center was about the only predictable thing that happened since last season ended. The roster overhaul saw veteran free agents Luol Deng, Joe Johnson, Amar’e Stoudemire and Gerald Green all leave town, forcing the Heat to start rebuilding around their young talent.

Now that the Big Three era is over in Miami, fans can expect change to continue. None of the five outside free agents the Heat brought in has a commitment beyond this season. That gives the team lots of flexibility for deals during the year and a chance to chase elite free agents next summer if Bosh’s salary is cleared off the books. Regardless of this year’s win-loss record, fans shouldn’t get too comfortable with the current Heat roster. Chances are strong that it will look much different by next October.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ronny Turiaf Announces Retirement

Longtime NBA big man Ronny Turiaf has announced that he is retiring, posting a YouTube video to confirm his decision. Turiaf narrates the video in French, discussing his career journey and explaining why he’s deciding to call it a career.

“My objective was always to play for 10 years in the NBA and to play 100 times for Team France,” Turiaf says in the video, as he literally walks toward the sunset. “I can honestly say that I achieved all of my goals. So now, I begin my new life.”

Back in June, Turiaf indicated in an interview with (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando) that he’d have some interest in returning to the court, following a hip injury that had sidelined him since 2014. The 33-year-old suggested he’d leave the door open to the possibility of signing with an NBA team or a major European club, but it seems he either decided against a comeback, or didn’t receive the sort of interest he had hoped for.

A second-round pick out of Gonzaga in the 2005 draft, Turiaf spent three years with the Lakers before moving on to the Warriors, Knicks, Wizards, Heat, Clippers, and Timberwolves. Over the course of his 10-year NBA career, Turiaf appeared in 473 total regular season games, averaging 4.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 1.3 BPG. He also played in 47 postseason contests, winning a title with the Heat in 2012.

Pistons Claim Udrih Off Waivers, Waive McCallum

5:50pm: Detroit has confirmed the moves via press release.

4:37pm: The Pistons have waived Ray McCallum to clear a roster spot for Udrih, Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press reports (on Twitter).

4:17pm: The Pistons, who are in need of backcourt depth, have taken to the waiver wire to help fill that need, with the team claiming Beno Udrih off waivers from the Heat, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports (on Twitter). Detroit is now responsible for the veteran’s cap hit of $980,431 as a result of the claim, which gets Miami off the hook for that amount. With Udrih earning the veteran’s minimum this season, Detroit did not need to use an exception to add him to the team. Udrih’s actual salary for 2016/17 is approximately $1.5MM.

Udrih played 36 games with Miami last season before agreeing to a buyout in February to help the team avoid the luxury tax, which certainly gained him some fans within the organization. In those 36 games for the Heat last season, Udrih averaged 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 16.3 minutes per outing. He shot .434/.333/.882 from the field.

With starter Reggie Jackson likely sidelined until mid-November due to injury, Udrih will see minutes off the bench for Detroit.

Suns Exercise 2017/18 Options On Booker, Warren

The Suns have officially exercised their 2017/18 options for guard Devin Booker and forward T.J. Warren, the team announced. Booker will earn $2,319,36 in what will be the third year of his rookie scale contract, while Warren will make $3,152,931 in what will be the fourth year of his current deal.

Booker was an NBA All-Rookie First Team selection in 2015/16 after making 76 appearances, including 51 starts, averaging 13.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 27.7 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .423/.343/.840. The 19-year-old ranked fifth in the NBA in scoring this preseason, averaging 19.6 points in five appearances, including a 34-point performance at Portland on October 7th.

Warren, 23, made 47 appearances for Phoenix a season ago, averaging 11.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.9 assists on 22.8 minutes. His slash line on the campaign was .501/.400/.703. The third-year player started all six of the Suns’ preseason games, averaging 12.5 points on 46.6 percent shooting and 4.2 rebounds.

Kings Waive Jordan Farmar, Isaiah Cousins

The Kings have officially waived guards Jordan Farmar and Isaiah Cousins, the team announced via press release. Sacramento will be on the hook for $100K for Cousins, who had a partially guaranteed deal, unless he is claimed off waivers by another team.

The team also released its opening night roster, which includes 15 players. No mention was made of Lamar Patterson, who was reportedly re-signed by Sacramento on Friday. It’s unclear if the signing never occurred, the player was already waived or the deal is still pending.

Farmar, who will turn 30 in November, has played more than 500 regular-season games over the course of his nine-year NBA career, though he appeared in just 12 games last season. In those contests, Farmar averaged 9.2 PPG, 3.1 APG and 1.3 SPG. However, his production dipped in the playoffs, as he shot just 32.3% from the floor during the club’s first-round loss to San Antonio.

Cousins (no relation to DeMarcus) is a 6’6″ shooting guard out of Oklahoma who became the second-last player selected in this year’s draft. In his final year with the Sooners, Cousins averaged 12.6 PPG, 4.5 APG, 4.5 RPG, and 1.4 SPG in 37 contests. The senior also shot 41.1% on three-point attempts and made nearly two of them per game — his shooting percentage was better on three-pointers than on two-pointers for a second consecutive season.

Cavs Waive Dahntay Jones

The Cavs have officially waived forward Dahntay Jones, the team announced. The veteran’s deal included no guaranteed salary, so Cleveland won’t be on the hook for any funds as a result of the move.

Jones, 35, has career averages of 5.4 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 623regular season contests. His slash line is .439/.331/.751.

This reduces the team’s roster count to 15 players, which is the regular season maximum. It also means that DeAndre Liggins has made the team.

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