Lakers To Sign Travis Wear

The Lakers have reached an agreement with unrestricted free agent Travis Wear, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (via Twitter). The scribe refers to it as a training camp deal, so it’s likely a minimum salary pact that includes little or no guaranteed money.

Wear, a small forward, was out of the NBA last season after playing 61 games for the Knicks in 2014/15. He instead played overseas for the Spanish club RETAbet.es GBC, appearing in 26 games and averaging 7.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.7 steals in 20.5 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .448/.353/.737.

The 25-year-old has a total of 51 NBA contests under his belt, all with New York, and has career averages of 3.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 13.2 minutes per night. His career NBA slash line is .402/.367/.769.

Sebastian Telfair To Play In Italy

Former NBA lottery pick Sebastian Telfair is headed overseas again, having signed a deal with the Italian team Auxilium Cus Torino, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando reports (on Twitter). The pact will pay Telfair in excess of $300K and includes an NBA out clause that he can exercise in late January, international journalist David Pick reports (Twitter link).

Telfair had also garnered interest from Pallacanestro Cantù and Cedevita Zagreb over the past few weeks, but Torino made the strongest push for him, Cauchi notes. He had worked out for both the Nets and the Spurs this offseason, though no NBA offer was made for his services, Pick also notes (Twitter link).

The point guard last appeared in the NBA during the 2014/15 campaign, playing in 16 games for the Thunder and averaging 8.4 PPG, 2.8 APG, and 1.9 RPG in 20.4 minutes per contest. The 30-year-old then caught on with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of China, appearing in 22 contests and notching averages of 19.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in 28.2 minutes per game. He sat out last season.

Lakers Sign Zach Auguste

AUGUST 29th: The signing is official, the team announced.

AUGUST 21st: The Lakers have reached an agreement with former Notre Dame power forward Zach Auguste, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Auguste played for the Lakers’ summer league team in Las Vegas, averaging 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Terms of the deal were not available.

When Auguste signs, he will be the 16th player on the roster, and Pincus speculates that he could either be ticketed for the D-League or L.A. is planning to open a roster spot by getting rid of Nick Young (Twitter link).

The 6’10”, 240-pound Auguste was a double-double machine with the Irish, averaging 14.0 points and 10.8 rebounds during his senior season. He was rated as the 76th best prospect by DraftExpress and was not selected on draft night.

Bucks Re-Sign Steve Novak

The Bucks have re-signed unrestricted free agent Steve Novak, the team announced (via Twitter). The length and terms of the arrangement were not relayed, but with Milwaukee over the cap, it is likely for the veteran’s minimum. The team does still possess its Room Exception worth $2,898,000, but it would be surprising if it was used in this case. The team now has 15 players on its roster, which is the regular season maximum.

Novak had garnered some interest around the league from other teams, per his agent Mark Bartelstein, but the veteran had been holding off on making a decision because his clear preference was to remain in Milwaukee. “There have been a few teams that we’ve talked to; you always got to keep your doors open,’’ Bartelstein had said earlier this month. “But we’re still talking with the Bucks and, hopefully, we’ll make a deal with them. Steve would love to stay in Milwaukee. It’s a very special place for him.’’

The forward was the No. 32 overall pick in 2006. He has appeared in 459 career regular season games, averaging 4.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per outing. He owns a career shooting line of .438/.431/.877. Novak will provide the team with veteran leadership and some outside shooting off the bench.

Emmanuel Mudiay, Bruno Caboclo Change Agents

3:31pm: Mudiay isn’t the only young player making the move to Wasserman. According to Marc J. Spears of The Vertical (via Twitter), Raptors forward Bruno Caboclo is also being represented by the agency now. Caboclo has two years remaining on his rookie contract, and will be extension-eligible next summer.

2:45pm: Emmanuel Mudiay has a new agent, according to a report from Sportando (via Twitter). A source tells Sportando that Mudiay, who had been repped by Jason Martin of Rival Sports, has now hired Wasserman for representation.

Mudiay, the seventh overall pick in last year’s draft, is coming off a solid rookie season in Denver in which he averaged 12.8 PPG, 5.5 APG, and 3.4 RPG. Mudiay will need to improve his 36.4% shooting percentage from the floor going forward, but he’s still just 20 years old, and is a key part of a Nuggets roster that features several talented young players.

Because Mudiay is currently playing on his four-year rookie deal, his new representatives shouldn’t have to do much work on the contract front anytime soon. Denver will make decisions on Mudiay’s 2017/18 and 2018/19 team options this offseason and next offseason, but the young point guard won’t be eligible for a contract extension until the summer of 2018.

Assuming the Nuggets exercise Mudiay’s 2017/18 team option before this year’s deadline, which should be a lock, he’ll be in line for a $3,381,480 salary a year from now. He’s set to earn $3,241,800 in 2016/17.

Teams Not Projected To Have 2017 Cap Room

During the first few years of the NBA’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement, many teams had virtually no chance to open up cap room. The salary cap remained in the $58MM range for three straight seasons, making it tricky for teams to get under the cap unless they were in rebuilding mode and shed high-priced players. However, with the cap now up to $94MM+, and projected to blow past $100MM next summer, that’s no longer the case.

This year, 27 of 30 teams used cap room at some point to acquire players, leaving just three teams that never went under the cap. Plenty of those 27 teams have since used up all their space and gone well over the cap, but not many currently project to be over the cap in future seasons.

The NBA’s most recent estimate for the 2017/18 salary cap, released last month, was $102MM. At this point in the league year, cap estimates are usually on the conservative side, so we can probably expect a slightly higher figure next year, but that’s no lock — particularly since the NBA and the players’ union may make changes to the CBA by next July.

Still, even if we assume that the $102MM projection is accurate, there are currently only two teams whose guaranteed salaries for 2017/18 exceed that figure. Here are those teams:

Projected to be over the 2017/18 cap:

  • Portland Trail Blazers: Incredibly, no NBA team has more guaranteed money on its 2017/18 books than the Blazers, whose $123.71MM blows away the competition. That total doesn’t include team options for Noah Vonleh and Shabazz Napier, a qualifying offer for Mason Plumlee, or Festus Ezeli‘s non-guaranteed salary. Throw in those figures, plus a few more non-guaranteed salaries, and Portland’s commitments total $140MM+. Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Allen Crabbe, and Evan Turner combine to make $86.58MM in ’17/18.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: Even without a new contract for J.R. Smith, the Cavs already have more than $113MM in guaranteed salaries on their books for ’17/18. LeBron James‘ $33.29MM salary is the biggest number, but the team has four more eight-digit cap hits, ranging from about $10.34MM for Iman Shumpert to $22.64MM for Kevin Love.

While the Blazers and Cavs are the only two teams whose guaranteed salaries for next year exceed $102MM, there are a few more clubs joining them above that threshold when taking into account non-guaranteed salaries, options, and/or qualifying offers. Here are those teams:

Projected to potentially be over the 2017/18 cap:

  • Washington Wizards: After locking up Bradley Beal and Ian Mahinmi to expensive long-term deals this summer, the Wizards have $94MM+ in guaranteed salaries on their books for 2017/18. The team will have to add another $2MM+ to that total for Kelly Oubre, and then may need to commit more than $12MM in total to qualifying offers for Otto Porter and Trey Burke, potential restricted free agents.
  • Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers have less than $60MM in guaranteed money on their ’17/18 cap, but that figure doesn’t include either Chris Paul or Blake Griffin, who have early termination options on their contracts. If both players stay in L.A. – either on their current deals or new ones – the Clippers will remain well over the cap.
  • Detroit Pistons: This summer, the Pistons maxed out their cap room, then went over the cap to sign Andre Drummond to a max deal. Once the club exercises its 2017/18 option on Stanley Johnson, it will have about $95MM on the cap for next year. Detroit must also account for qualifying offers for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Bullock, along with Aron Baynes‘ $6.5MM player option, taking the team over the projected cap.
  • Toronto Raptors: The Raptors’ current guaranteed and non-guaranteed commitments for 2017/18 total about $104MM, and the team figures to pare down that figure to below $102MM before the season begins. Still, if the club intends to keep Kyle Lowry beyond next season, he’ll likely require a big raise on his current $12MM player option, meaning Toronto’s remaining cap space will be chewed up quickly.

There are some other NBA teams that may not be involved in free agency because they’ll need any cap room they may have to re-sign their own players. Despite only currently having $37.3MM in guarantees on their 2017/18 cap, the Warriors may very well fit into this category, since Stephen Curry will be getting a huge raise, and the team will want to retain Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala as well.

Of course, these outlooks could change between now and next July, depending on in-season trades, draft-day deals, and potential CBA changes. For now though, the teams listed above appear to be the least likely candidates to go below the cap next offseason.

Information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post.

Lance Stephenson To Work Out For Pelicans

Free agent wing Lance Stephenson will work out for the Pelicans, reports Brett Dawson of The Advocate (via Twitter). It’s not yet clear when that workout will take place, or how serious New Orleans’ interest in Stephenson is.

The Pelicans still appear to monitoring the free agent market closely, despite having 15 players with guaranteed salaries on their roster. An earlier report indicated that the team was preparing to meet with Ty Lawson this week before the veteran point guard received – and accepted – a contract offer from the Kings.

Stephenson, who turns 26 next Monday, spent the first four years of his NBA career in Indiana, and enjoyed a breakout year for the Pacers in 2013/14, averaging 13.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 4.6 APG, while shooting .391/.352/.711. However, he has regressed over the last two years, failing to find an ideal role during stints with the Hornets, Clippers, and Grizzlies.

Stephenson’s end-of-season run in Memphis this past year was the best he had looked since his Indiana days, as he earned consistent minutes on an injury-plagued Grizzlies squad and averaged 14.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 2.8 APG. Still, he doesn’t appear to have received much NBA interest this summer, with one report this month suggesting he may end up playing overseas. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, the author of that report, wrote that Stephenson has the talent to play in the NBA, but his personality may be scaring teams away.

[RELATED: New Orleans Pelicans’ depth chart at RosterResource.com]

The Pelicans currently have Langston Galloway, Buddy Hield, E’Twaun Moore, and Tyreke Evans on tap to earn minutes at the two, while Solomon Hill, Alonzo Gee, and Quincy Pondexter are expected to be in the mix at the three. Of course, many of those players are capable of playing other positions or may not see a ton of playing time, so there still could be room on the wing for Stephenson.

Pacers Sign Julyan Stone, Alex Poythress

The Pacers have announced a pair of signings, revealing today in press release that they’ve added veteran guard Julyan Stone to their roster. The club also confirmed and formalized the previously-reported signing of undrafted free agent Alex Poythress.

Stone, 27, entered the NBA in 2012, and ultimately appeared in 47 total games over the course of three seasons for the Nuggets and Raptors. He didn’t see much action in those games, averaging just 1.3 PPG and 1.1 APG in 7.0 minutes per contest. Stone was in camp with the Thunder last fall, but was cut and signed with Gaziantep in Turkey — he averaged 4.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.8 APG in 25 games for the Turkish club.

As for Poythress, he missed the bulk of the 2014/15 campaign due to a torn left ACL. Returning to Kentucky as a senior, the forward made 31 appearances and averaged 10.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.6 steals in 23.6 minutes per contest. Poythress’ shooting line for the Wildcats was .601/.304/.706.

[RELATED: Indiana Pacers’ depth chart at RosterResource.com]

The Pacers already have 15 guaranteed contracts on their roster, so Stone and Poythress aren’t great bets to survive preseason cuts unless Indiana has injury problems heading into the season. Poythress could end up playing for the Pacers’ D-League affiliate in Fort Wayne, while Stone would be a candidate to head back overseas.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Hoops Rumors 2016 Free Agent Tracker

It has been nearly two months since the NBA’s 2016 free agent period got underway, and while a few notable names – such as Ty Lawson – are still coming off the board, the majority of deals these days are for lower-profile camp invitees.

With training camps fast approaching, Hoops Rumors is here to help you keep track of which players have landed with which teams this offseason. To this end, we present our Free Agent Tracker, a feature we’ve had each year since our inception in 2012. Using our tracker, you can quickly look up deals, sorting by team, position, free agent type, and a handful of other variables.

A few notes on the tracker:

  • Some of the information you’ll find in the tracker will reflect reported contract agreements, rather than finalized deals. As signings become official, we’ll continue to update and modify the data as needed. A few rumored back-of-the-roster signings that have not yet been confirmed aren’t included in our tracker, for now.
  • When the years and dollars for a contract haven’t yet been confirmed, our data will be based on what’s been reported to date, so in some cases those amounts will be approximations rather than official figures. Salaries aren’t necessarily fully guaranteed either.
  • A restricted free agent who signs an offer sheet will be listed under the team that extended the offer sheet, but note that those signings won’t be official unless the player’s original team declines to match within the three-day period to do so. If the original team matches, we’ll update the tracker to show that the player is back with that team.

Our 2016 Free Agent Tracker can be found anytime on the right sidebar under “Hoops Rumors Features,” and it’s also under the “Tools” menu atop the site. It will be updated throughout the offseason, so be sure to check back for the latest info. If you have any corrections, please let us know right here.

Ty Lawson Had Planned To Meet With Pelicans

After visiting the Kings on the weekend, free agent point guard Ty Lawson had planned to meet with Pelicans officials early this week, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. However, Lawson ultimately cancelled that meeting when Sacramento made a contract offer, which he accepted.

Within his initial report on Lawson’s deal with the Kings, Wojnarowski noted that the Pelicans had “serious interest” in the 28-year-old. Lawson has significant upside, but is coming off the worst season of his career and has dealt with off-field problems in recent years, as he was arrested multiple times on DUI charges and spent time in rehab.

The Pelicans are currently poised to enter the season with Jrue Holiday as their starting point guard and Tim Frazier backing him up. Other backcourt players, such as Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway, could occasionally handle the ball, but aren’t really point guards. As such, Lawson probably would have had to battle Frazier for the No. 2 spot on the point guard depth chart if he had landed in New Orleans.

[RELATED: New Orleans Pelicans’ depth chart at RosterResource.com]

The path to playing time might be a little simpler for Lawson in Sacramento, where Rajon Rondo is no longer manning the point. Darren Collison looks like the Kings’ starter, with Garrett Temple backing him up. However, Collison is facing domestic violence charges and Temple – while capable of playing the point – isn’t really a pure point guard.

Terms of Lawson’s new deal with the Kings aren’t yet known, but it will be interesting to see if Sacramento offered him more money than New Orleans would have been able to, in order to convince him to cancel that meeting. The Pelicans used most of their $2.9MM room exception on Frazier, and would have had to offer Lawson a minimum-salary deal, while the Kings still have their full room exception available.

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