Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 9/1/15

During the offseason it’s OK for teams to carry as many as 20 players, but franchises must pare down their rosters down to a maximum of 15 by opening night. The Pistons find themselves in a bit of a difficult situation, with the team currently possessing 17 players with fully guaranteed pacts, as Hoops Rumors’ Chuck Myron examined last week.

This brings me to the topic of the day: Looking at the Pistons’ roster below, which two players with fully guaranteed deals should the team waive or trade prior to the start of the regular season?

The players who own fully guaranteed deals are listed below alphabetically, and I’ve also included the 2015/16 salary for each player, courtesy of the Basketball Insiders salary pages, for your convenience.

  1. Joel Anthony (C) — 6’9″/32 years old/$2,500,000
  2. Aron Baynes (F/C) — 6’10″/28 years old/$6,500,000
  3. Steve Blake (G) — 6’3″/35 years old/$2,170,465
  4. Reggie Bullock (G) — 6’7″/24 years old/$1,252,440
  5. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (G) — 6’5″/22 years old/$2,891,760
  6. Spencer Dinwiddie (G) — 6’6″/22 years old/$845,059
  7. Andre Drummond (C) — 6’11″/21 years old/$3,272,091
  8. Danny Granger (F) — 6’9″/32 years old/$2,170,465
  9. Darrun Hilliard (F) — 6’6″/22 years old/$600,000
  10. Ersan Ilyasova (F) — 6’10″/28 years old/$7,900,000
  11. Reggie Jackson (G) — 6’3″/25 years old/$13,913,044
  12. Brandon Jennings (G) — 6’1″/25 years old/$8,344,497
  13. Stanley Johnson (F) — 6’7″/19 years old/$2,841,960
  14. Cartier Martin (F) — 6’7″/30 years old/$1,270,964
  15. Jodie Meeks (G) — 6’4″/27 years old/$6,270,000
  16. Marcus Morris (F) — 6’9″/25 years old/$5,000,000
  17. Anthony Tolliver (F) — 6’8″/30 years old/$3,000,000

Keep in mind that Detroit has no choice in the matter, and will have to part ways with a minimum of two of the players listed above prior to the regular season tipping off. Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on which two players need to go, and more importantly, why? We look forward to what you have to say.

Note: Since these Shootarounds are meant to be guided by you the reader, we certainly welcome your input on the topics we present. If there is something you’d like to see pop up here for a discussion, shoot us a message at hoopsrumorsmailbag@gmail.com.

Western Notes: Allen, Hayes, Majok

Despite having already proven his versatility to the team, Tony Allen knows that he’ll have to fight for minutes this season on a deep Grizzlies squad, Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal (subscription required) writes. For his part, Allen indicated that he’d willingly accept any role the team asked him to play, Tillery adds. “I don’t get into that. It is what it is. It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish,” Allen said. “I just want to come in, go to work and when I leave [the coaches] will be like, ‘He put his all out there on the line.’ Starting doesn’t mean anything to me. I’ve already shown that.” The 33-year-old appeared in 63 games for Memphis in 2014/15, including 41 starts, and averaged 8.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 26.2 minutes per contest.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Chuck Hayes‘ one year, minimum salary deal with the Clippers is non-guaranteed, former NBA executive Bobby Marks confirms (via Twitter). Dan Woike of the Orange County Register first reported that no guaranteed salary would be a part of the agreement. That means his salary wouldn’t have bearing on any would-be hard cap unless he makes the opening night roster, as Marks points out (Twitter link).
  • Lakers draft-and-stash power forward Ater Majok has signed with the Polish club Trefl Sopot, the team announced (translation courtesy of Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Majok was selected by Los Angeles with the No. 58 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
  • Timberwolves combo forward Anthony Bennett hopes to use his strong play for Team Canada this Summer as a springboard to a strong NBA season, Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca writes. Former NBA player and current GM of the Canadian senior men’s team, Steve Nash, is a firm believer in Bennett’s potential, Lewenberg notes, with Nash saying of the young forward, “For me, just to be around him and to see how seriously he’s taking it and how hard he’s worked and how hard he’s trying to pick up the details, like I said, those are the ingredients that are going to make him a great NBA player and a guy that plays in the league for a long time. So I’m [incredibly] proud of Anthony and the work he’s put in this summer.” Minnesota would reportedly be willing to deal Bennett for the right price, though the team isn’t actively shopping the 2013 No. 1 overall pick.

Pistons To Sign Eric Griffin

The Pistons have agreed to a deal with unrestricted free agent small forward Eric Griffin, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (Twitter link). The length and terms of the deal are unknown, but Charania does add that the pact is non-guaranteed, which means that it is likely a minimum salary training camp arrangement, though that is merely my speculation.

The 25-year-old will certainly have his work cut out for him in order to remain on the roster for the beginning of the regular season. Detroit currently has 18 players on its roster, which isn’t uncommon this time of the year. What is unusual is that 17 of those players possess fully guaranteed pacts, and if Griffin were to make the final cut, then the Pistons would need to eat a total of three fully guaranteed salaries in order to clear a slot for him. It is possible that Detroit inked Griffin with an eye on sending him to its D-League affiliate for the 2015/16 campaign, though that is merely my speculation.

Griffin went undrafted out of Campbell University back in 2012. He was a camp invitee for the Mavericks last season, and the forward later inked a deal to play in Puerto Rico for Leones de Ponce. He played summer league ball for both the Clippers and the Cavaliers this offseason.

Poll: 2003 NBA Draft Take Two (Pick No. 9)

Drafting players is far from an exact science, and many a GM has been second-guessed for his draft night decisions. I’m willing to bet that every team executive has at least one pick that he would like a mulligan for. While life, and the NBA, doesn’t allow for such opportunities, we at Hoops Rumors decided it would be fun to give our readers a second take at picking players, complete with the benefit of hindsight.

We are in the process of taking you on a journey back to June of 2003, and revisiting a draft that saw the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh available to potentially change the fortunes of a few struggling franchises. Wade was the first of that group to win an NBA championship, though James and Bosh would later join him in Miami and go on to win multiple titles together years later, while Melo is still seeking his first trip to the NBA Finals. Detroit, which owned the No. 2 overall pick that season, chose to go with Darko Milicic, who didn’t work out so well for the Pistons. Not all picks pan out, but that one is especially painful given the talent that the Pistons passed over to select the big man, who owns career averages of 6.0 points and 4.2 rebounds, and has been out of the NBA since making a single appearance for the Celtics back in 2012/13.

We continue our revisionist history with the Knicks, who used the No. 9 overall pick to select Michael Sweetney, whose tenure in the Big Apple lasted two unremarkable seasons. Readers, you are now on the clock! Cast your vote for New York’s pick and check back Wednesday night for the results, as well as to cast your vote for who the Wizards will select with the No. 10 overall pick. But don’t limit yourself to a simple button click. Take to the comments section below and share your thoughts on the No. 9 overall pick and why you voted the way that you did.

Previous Picks

  1. Cavaliers: LeBron James
  2. Pistons: Dwyane Wade
  3. Nuggets: Carmelo Anthony
  4. Raptors: Chris Bosh
  5. Heat: David West
  6. Clippers: Kyle Korver
  7. Bulls: Mo Williams
  8. Bucks: Chris Kaman

If you’re a Trade Rumors app user, click here.

Eastern Notes: Cherry, Pistons, Wittman

Unrestricted free agent Will Cherry has officially signed with the German club Alba Berlin, the team announced (translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). International journalist David Pick first reported the team’s interest and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports was the first to relay that a signing was imminent. Cherry played in Lithuania last season after he was waived by the Cavaliers. The point guard saw action in eight games while with Cleveland and averaged 1.9 points, 1.0 assist and 0.8 steals in 8.6 minutes per contest.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Stan Van Gundy wanted to hire a shooting coach for his first season with the Pistons, but he didn’t get around to it until this summer, when he brought on Dave Hopla, who’s wasted no time getting to work, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Hopla is working with extension candidate Andre Drummond and others and using analytics to enhance their strokes, as Langlois chronicles.
  • Justise Winslow, who was selected No. 10 overall by the Heat in this year’s draft, blew away team executives during the predraft interview process, Zach Lowe of Grantland relays. The swingman was projected by a number of mock drafts to be a potential top five selection, but he surprisingly fell to Miami with the final pick in the top 10 this past June.
  • The Wizards will have to make a tough decision regarding whether or not coach Randy Wittman is the right man to continue leading the franchise on the court, J. Michael of CSNMid-Atlantic writes. Wittman, who owns a 137-158 record overall with Washington, is entering the second season of his three-year pact, and his contract is only partially guaranteed for the 2016/17 campaign, Michael notes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

2015/16 Salary Cap: Orlando Magic

The NBA’s salary cap for 2015/16 has been set at $70MM, which is an 11% increase from this past season, and the luxury tax line will be $84.74MM. The last cap projection from the league had been $67.1MM, and the projection for the tax line had been $81.6MM. We at Hoops Rumors are in the process of breaking down the cap commitments for each NBA franchise for the coming season. Next up on the list is the Orlando Magic, who currently have a roster count totaling 17 players:

  • 2015/16 Salary Cap= $70,000,000
  • 2015/16 Luxury Tax Line= $84,740,000
  • Fully Guaranteed Salary Commitments= $67,264,943
  • Partially Guaranteed Salary Commitments= $150,000
  • Non-Guaranteed Salary Commitments= $1,220,152
  • Total Salary Cap Commitments= $68,635,095*
  • Remaining Cap Room= $1,364,905
  • Amount Below Luxury Tax Line= $16,104,905

*Note: This figure doesn’t include the salaries for Keith Appling and Jordan Sibert, whose salaries have not been reported yet.

Cap Exceptions Available:

  • Room Exception= $2,814,000

Cash Available to Send Out In Trades= $3,400,000

Cash Available to Receive Via Trade= $2,221,300

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

Spain Leads World With Eight NBA Exports

When it comes to overseas breeding grounds for NBA players, there’s Spain and there’s everywhere else. At least that’s the way it would appear from the evidence of this summer, when more than twice as many players jumped to the NBA from professional leagues in Spain than from pro ball in any other country. Top-five draft picks Kristaps Porzingis and Mario Hezonja headline a pack of eight NBA newcomers who last played professional basketball with a Spanish team. Their ranks swelled just this week, when Marcelo Huertas and the Lakers struck a deal. Turkey is next on the list, sending three players to the NBA.

We’ve listed each offseason NBA addition who played his last professional game with an overseas team below, categorized by country. That means players who saw time overseas last season but jumped to the NBA or the D-League before season’s end aren’t represented. We’ve also omitted players who sat out last season.

Brazil

China

Estonia

France

Germany

Greece

Israel

Italy

Lithuania

Philippines

Russia

Serbia

Spain

Turkey

Which new NBA player from overseas will have the greatest impact this season? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

How Teams Fared In Re-Signing Own Free Agents

No one entered the summer with fewer free agents on their roster than the Bucks, who had just one. And they weren’t about to let Khris Middleton get away, re-signing him to a new five-year, $70MM deal. The Thunder were in a similar position, with only two free agents, both of whom they wanted to retain. Oklahoma City did just that, re-signing Kyle Singler and matching the max offer sheet the Blazers tendered to Enes Kanter. They and Milwaukee thus became the only NBA teams to retain each of their own free agents this offseason, though it helped that Middleton, Singler and Kanter were restricted, meaning their incumbent teams could match.

The Lakers, Trail Blazers, Sixers and Raptors represent the antithesis of that. Few could blame the Lakers and Sixers for overhauling rosters that finished near the bottom of the league, but the Trail Blazers surely would have preferred to retain at least one of their eight free agents. When LaMarcus Aldridge signed with the Spurs instead, the Blazers sought to position their roster around Damian Lillard, and they allowed much of Aldridge’s old supporting cast to sign elsewhere. The Raptors didn’t have a free agent nearly as sought-after as Aldridge, with new Laker and reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams the most prominent departure. Toronto replaced him with a four-year, $58MM deal for DeMarre Carroll, among other free agent moves.

We ranked all 30 teams by the percentage of their own free agents they signed. The players who stayed are listed by the name of each franchise:

  1. Thunder 1.000 (2 for 2) — Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler
  2. Bucks 1.000 (1 for 1) — Khris Middleton
  3. Rockets .800 (4 for 5) — Patrick Beverley, Corey Brewer, K.J. McDaniels, Jason Terry
  4. Bulls .750 (3 for 4) —  Aaron Brooks, Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy
  5. Nuggets .750 (3 for 4) — Darrell Arthur, Will Barton, Jameer Nelson
  6. Cavaliers .667 (6 for 9) — Matthew Dellavedova, LeBron James, James Jones, Kevin Love, Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith
  7. Heat .667 (2 for 3) — Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade
  8. Warriors .600 (3 for 5) — Leandro Barbosa, Draymond Green, Marreese Speights
  9. Spurs .556 (5 for 9) — Matt Bonner, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard
  10. Celtics .500 (2 for 4) — Jae Crowder, Jonas Jerebko
  11. Jazz .500 (1 for 2) — Joe Ingles
  12. Pelicans .500 (4 for 8) — Alexis Ajinca, Omer Asik, Luke Babbitt, Dante Cunningham
  13. Nets .400 (2 for 5) — Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young
  14. Pistons .400 (2 for 5) — Joel Anthony, Reggie Jackson
  15. Pacers .375 (3 for 8) — Lavoy Allen, Rodney Stuckey, Shayne Whittington
  16. Clippers .333 (2 for 6) — DeAndre Jordan, Austin Rivers
  17. Grizzlies .333 (1 for 3) — Marc Gasol
  18. Magic .333 (1 for 3) — Tobias Harris
  19. Knicks .222 (2 for 9) — Lou Amundson, Lance Thomas
  20. Hawks .200 (1 for 5) — Paul Millsap
  21. Kings .200 (1 for 5) — Omri Casspi
  22. Suns .200 (1 for 5) — Brandon Knight
  23. Mavericks .200 (2 for 10) — J.J. Barea, Charlie Villanueva
  24. Timberwolves .200 (1 for 5) — Kevin Garnett
  25. Wizards .200 (1 for 5) — Drew Gooden
  26. Hornets .000 (0 for 5)
  27. Raptors (0 for 6)
  28. Sixers (0 for 6)
  29. Trail Blazers (0 for 7)
  30. Lakers .000 (0 for 8)

Which team made the best moves with its own free agents, re-signing the right guys and letting the rest go? Leave a comment to tell us.

Celtics Notes: Stevens, Olynyk, Zeller

A strong majority among ESPN’s Summer Forecast panel believes this season’s Celtics have no greater reason for optimism than the presence of Brad Stevens, notes Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. That doesn’t suggest much confidence in the team’s offseason acquisitions of David Lee, Amir Johnson and others, but it’s nonetheless more affirmation of the team’s decision to sign Stevens, untested beyond his experience with college mid-major Butler, to a six-year, $22MM deal in 2013. See more from Boston here:

  • A. Sherrod Blakely of CSSNE.com tabs four Celtics he believes to be the most likely candidates to go before opening night, and while Kelly Olynyk seems a curious inclusion, he’s available via trade for the right price, just like all of his teammates, Blakely hears. Still, the C’s aren’t aggressively shopping him, Blakely cautions.
  • The Celtics plan to use training camp to help themselves evaluate how to sort out the regular season roster, and no trades are imminent, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. That would suggest the C’s will continue to carry 16 fully guaranteed contracts when camps start at the end of the month.
  • Estimates from ESPN’s Summer Forecast panel voters suggest $10.6MM salaries in an extension for Tyler Zeller would be the going rate, as Forsberg writes in a separate piece. The panel predicts that it’s just as likely that Zeller signs an extension as it is that none of the three Celtics eligible for a rookie scale extension wind up with one.

The Beat: Chris Haynes On The Cavs

chrishaynes

Chris Haynes

Nobody knows NBA teams better than beat writers, save for those who draw paychecks with an NBA owner’s signature on them. The reporters who are with the teams they cover every day gain an intimate knowledge of the players, coaches and executives they write about and develop sources who help them break news and stay on top of rumors.

We at Hoops Rumors will be chatting with beat writers from around the league and sharing their responses to give you a better perspective on how and why teams make some of their most significant moves. Last time, we spoke with Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic about the Suns. Click here to see all of the previous editions of this series.

Today, we gain insight on the Cavaliers from Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. You can follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisBHaynes, and click here to check out his stories on Cleveland.com.

Hoops Rumors: Just about everyone around the league seems to be wondering how Tristan Thompson‘s free agency ultimately gets resolved. What do you think Thompson’s ideal outcome is, and what do you think is the ideal outcome for the Cavs?

Chris Haynes: I’m not really sure what the outcome will be, but all I know is Rich Paul is asking for five years and $94MM and the Cavaliers are $14MM short of that figure. That’s Randy Moss-type separation. There’s limited to zero communication because of that tremendous gap. If Tristan takes the qualifying offer, according to Paul, his client is gone after the 2015/16 season. And if he takes a hike, the Cavaliers won’t have the resources to replace him. The Cavaliers believe they’ve presented a more-than-generous offer for a player who figures to be a backup for them. I suspect a long-term deal is reached closer to camp. Paul has shown he’s more than willing to play the waiting game.

Hoops Rumors: How much longer do you think LeBron James will carry on merely with year-to-year commitments to the Cavs before he finally signs another long-term deal?

Chris Haynes: LeBron is the only player capable of continuing the year-to-year deals due to his durability and lucrative off-the-court ventures. Flexibility is extremely important to him. The structure of his deal ensures the Cavaliers continue to place quality players around him to compete for championships year after year. He could go the long-term route next summer, but he’ll likely shoot for the summer of 2017 when the cap rises to well over $100MM. Again, no other player can go down this path.

Hoops Rumors: Do you think it’s more likely that the Cavs wait until next summer to use the $10,522,500 Brendan Haywood trade exception, when they might not be facing such a steep tax bill? Or do you think the Cavs feel a need to add as much talent as possible for this season and use the exception before the trade deadline in February?

Chris Haynes: It all depends on how they start the season. If they come out sputtering, regardless of tax implications, that exception will be shopped like crazy. There’s too much at stake. They can’t afford to be too patient with this roster. See answer to question No. 2 for one of the reasons. Ideally, the Cavaliers would love to just cruise through the regular season successfully and use that exception for the offseason. That Haywood chip is truly valuable, but it’s being viewed as merely an excellent insurance policy should things go south.

Hoops Rumors: You reported that Kyrie Irving will likely miss the start of the season, and that the distinct possibility exists that he’ll be out until January. Do you think the Cavs will make a move to bring in another point guard, or are they comfortable with the options they have?

Chris Haynes: I believe they’re just fine with who they have at the moment. The addition of Mo Williams was huge and Matthew Dellavedova is right back in his backup role. And now roster hopefuls in Jared Cunningham and undrafted rookie Quinn Cook have a shot to make the opening day roster as the team’s third point guard. To my knowledge the Cavaliers will work with what they have, believing they have enough to withstand Irving’s early absence.

Hoops Rumors: David Blatt had quite an introduction to the NBA last season. What do you think was the most significant lesson he learned over the course of the year?

Chris Haynes: Managing minutes. He admitted that he never had to focus on minute distribution too much overseas because those teams only played twice a week and three at the most. He improved in that area late in the season, but by then, it took its toll on the players. With a season under his belt, a revamped roster and an understanding of the regular season grind, I expect Blatt to be more cautious with his minute tally on his big guns.

Hoops Rumors: The same question probably applies to David Griffin, too, since he’s coming off his first full season as an NBA GM. What do you think was the most important lesson he gathered from that experience?

Chris Haynes: Probably patience. Not to say he had trouble with it, but when you start off a season struggling and LeBron James is on the roster, panic can set in and cause you to pursue changes prematurely. It seemed like everything went wrong the first couple of months and it was well-documented by several media outlets. His patience was tested as teams called to discuss numerous trade proposals, sensing the Cavaliers were in a vulnerable state. He listened, but ultimately stood pat until pulling off the blockbuster trades that acquired J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov in January. Griff learned on the fly of what it’s like to be the general manager of a LeBron James-team. It has its rewards, but it’s far from easy. It takes patience and he proved he has that.

Get the hottest NBA news and rumors before anyone else! Follow us on Twitter to stay updated: