Jazz Waive Dahntay Jones, Jack Cooley

October 22 at 10:37pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

10:37pm: Both players have indeed been waived, the team has officially announced.

4:41pm: The Jazz have waived Dahntay Jones and Jack Cooley, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). The team has yet to make an official announcement, but these moves would reduce Utah’s preseason roster count to 15 players, which is the regular season maximum. Jones was in camp on a non-guaranteed minimum salary deal, but Cooley’s arrangement came with a partial guarantee for $65K, so he won’t walk away empty-handed. Cooley is likely headed to the NBA D-League, notes Pincus.

The 6’9″ Cooley went undrafted following his senior year at Notre Dame in 2013, but performed well in summer league action that year. Still, he didn’t catch on with an NBA team for camp or the regular season. Instead, the big man headed overseas, averaging 12.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in 22.9 minutes per game in Turkey.

Jones spent last season out of the NBA, which was the first time he went without a deal in the league since he went 20th overall in the 2003 draft. Jones’ numbers in 589 career games are 5.6 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 0.9 APG. His career slash line is .441/.334/.751. Jones doesn’t seem like a candidate for the D-League, but he probably hopes to catch on with another team prior to the regular season. He could also try sign with a team on a 10-day contract later in the season.

And-Ones: Hawks, Motum, Crawford

October 22 at 10:28pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Outgoing Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson has the power to force as much as 60% of the team to be sold, even though he and his partners have only 50.1% of the team, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The NBA appears to be pressuring all of the other owners to sell so that the entire franchise can change hands, Vivlamore adds. All of the team’s owners still have yet to meet to discuss how much of the franchise they’re going to sell, and so far, their only action as a group has involved preparation for vetting prospective buyers, though vetting itself has yet to begin, as Vivlamore explains.

Here’s more from around the league:

      • When Jordan Crawford signed with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association for $1.4MM it wasn’t because he didn’t receive any NBA offers. The Kings had tried to sign Crawford this summer, but he wasn’t comfortable with a backup role in Sacramento, David Pick of Eurobasket reports (Twitter links). Crawford also relayed that he felt “overlooked” by the league, and that’s what led him to China, Pick notes.
      • Brock Motum‘s one year, minimum salary deal with the Jazz is non-guaranteed, as is reflected on the Basketball Insiders salary page for Utah.
      • Many of the teams that joined the Sixers in a voting bloc that scuttled immediate lottery reform are nonetheless miffed about Philadelphia’s stripped-down roster, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes. Teams voted down lottery changes in part because they feel too much is in flux, and that includes the unknown of just how or whether the league will phase in the substantial increase in the salary cap that the league’s enhanced TV revenues will bring about, Lowe adds. Some influential agents oppose the idea of any phase-in, preferring that the cap simply leap in the summer of 2016 based on the idea that teams might be uncertain of how to handle the changed landscape and hand out contracts they’ll later regret, according to Lowe.
      • The surging salary cap projections have some small-market teams worried about how they’ll manage in a league where $100MM payrolls are the norm, in spite of the TV money that would make that sort of spending more palatable, as Lowe writes in the same piece. Small-market teams also fear that they’ll become slightly profitable and lose the benefit of tens of millions in income through the league’s revenue sharing program, the Grantland columnist explains. The Lakers handed out $50MM, the Knicks $27MM and the Bulls $17MM in revenue sharing last season, Lowe reports.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Sixers, Lottery Reform

October 22 at 9:17pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

One of the big question marks in New York for the upcoming season is how well the Knicks will adapt to the triangle offense. Former head coach and current broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy doesn’t believe the offensive scheme by itself will be enough to turn around the franchise,  Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “The triangle itself is just an offense based on freedom of the ball to go to different places, everybody feeling involved,’’ Van Gundy said. “It’s a good thing. It won’t be the triangle itself that will be the reason they win or lose. It’s going to come down to Carmelo Anthony playing exceptionally well. Iman Shumpert and J.R. bouncing back with a big year. J.R. Smith playing well. It’s not going to be because of a system. I think anybody confusing a system with a reason for success is making a huge mistake. Systems don’t win games. Players do.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Paul Pierce was stunned by how quickly things changed with the Nets this offseason,  Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News writes. “It just happened so fast,” Pierce said. “I had a chance to talk to Jason [Kidd] and he has his reasons, the way things went down. But like I said, the business — you’ve got to understand the business aspect of it. He moved on. The Nets moved on and people went their different directions. You see that a lot in this business.” Still, Pierce harbors no-ill will towards the franchise, Abramson notes.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown said nothing was etched in stone for Philadelphia’s roster, and that the team would consider signing players waived from other teams, Tom Moore of Calkins Media notes (Twitter link). The Sixers still have 20 players on their preseason roster, but only nine of those players have fully guaranteed deals, and four others possess partially guaranteed pacts.
  • Speaking about his thoughts on the lottery reform vote not passing, Brown said that he wasn’t sure which way the vote would turn out, tweets Moore. “Different times I thought it’d go one way. Other times I thought it’d go the other way,” Brown said. The Sixers had a vested interest in the outcome of the vote since their rebuilding plans are tied to striking it big in the next draft.

Adam Silver On Hard Cap, Lottery, CBA

October 22 at 8:13pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Earlier today the NBA’s Board of Governors voted against changes to the draft lottery, with only 17 teams voting to change the current system, which was six short of the required 23 votes needed to pass the reforms. NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the vote and other issues during a press conference this afternoon, the highlights of which were relayed by Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

  • Silver indicated that one third of the league’s franchises are losing money, notes Berger. This is significant because this is happening despite the owners getting the players to accept a 12 percent reduction in their share of the league’s revenues during the last labor negotiations. It could also be the league setting up their bargaining stance for 2017’s pending negotiations.
  • Berger asked Silver if all 30 teams aren’t making a profit on July 1, 2017, the date that the current CBA can be opted out of, is that reason enough for another lockout? Silver responded by saying, “No. No, because the caveat has always been, if well managed. And I would also say, if you don’t have a hard-cap system, for example, one of the teams that isn’t profitable are the Brooklyn Nets. That’s an election they’re free to make under our compensation system. They’ve elected to be unprofitable. My preference would be to have a harder cap, where teams couldn’t elect to spend so much more than other teams.”
  • When asked if achieving a hard cap in the next CBA will be a take-it-or-leave-it issue, Silver said, “No, not at all. There’s gradations of hardness in terms of the cap as well. I wish our current cap system was harder. It’s what we proposed last time around, but we compromised.”
  • Silver called the perception that teams are tanking, “corrosive perception,” notes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel (Twitter links). Silver also added that if lottery reform eventually is adopted, it will come with teams being, “appropriately on notice.” That statement seems to indicate that if any changes were adopted they wouldn’t necessarily take effect for the 2015 draft lottery.
  • Silver also briefly addressed the possibility that either the players or the owners would opt out of the current CBA in 2017, saying, “It’s premature for even me to be concerned,” Winderman tweets. It would appear that the league should be at least a little concerned, as the new NBPA head Michele Roberts has already hinted that the players would choose to opt out in light of the new $24 billion TV deal that will begin in 2016.

Thunder Pick Up 2015/16 Options On Four

October 22 at 7:31pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Thunder have picked up the third-year team options for Steven Adams and Andre Roberson, as well as the fourth-year options for Perry Jones III and Jeremy Lamb, the team has announced. These moves are not unexpected as all of the players figure to be a big part of Oklahoma City’s rotation going forward.

Lamb has the largest contract of the group, and is scheduled to make $3,034,356, while Adams will make $2,279,040, Jones will earn $2,038,206, and Roberson will rake in $1,210,800. These moves will increase Oklahoma City’s cap commitment for the 2015/16 campaign to approximately $63.6MM. That figure doesn’t include Reggie Jackson, who can become a restricted free agent next summer and is expected to receive significant interest from other teams.

During his rookie season with Oklahoma City after being selected 12th overall in the 2013 NBA draft, Adams appeared in 81 games and averaged 3.3 PPG and 4.1 RPG while logging 14.8 minutes per night. His slash line was .503/.000/.581. Roberson was originally drafted by the Wolves with the No. 26 pick in the 2013 draft, and was subsequently traded to the Thunder. He appeared in 40 contests last season, including 16 starts, and he averaged 1.9 PPG and 2.4 RPG. Roberson figures to see increased playing time to start the season with Kevin Durant expected to miss a minimum of six-to-eight weeks after breaking his foot.

In his two seasons in the NBA, Jones has appeared in 100 games and averaged 3.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in 10.4 minutes per game. He was originally drafted 28th overall back in 2012 by the Thunder. Lamb has also been with the team for two seasons after being selected by the Rockets back in 2012. He was included in the James Harden trade, but hasn’t quite developed into the scoring threat off the bench that Oklahoma City envisioned. Lamb’s career numbers are 7.3 PPG, 2.0 RPG, and 1.2 APG.

Celtics Likely To Waive Will Bynum?

October 22 at 6:48pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

WEDNESDAY, 6:48pm: Mark Bartelstein, Bynum’s agent, told A Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com that a decision regarding Bynum will be made by this weekend. “They like Will as a player,” Bartelstein said. “They value him as a player. They just don’t have a roster spot. If they could do something to create an opportunity (to keep him), they would look at that. But right now, they don’t have a roster spot open. So we’ll see what happens in the next couple days.” Bynum is still more likely to be waived than dealt, Blakely notes.

TUESDAY, 11:36am: The Celtics are seeking a trade partner who would take Bynum, but finding one would be a long shot, tweets Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. It’s more likely the point guard hits waivers than winds up in a trade, Murphy adds.

SATURDAY, 2:55pm: Mark Bartelstein, Bynum’s agent, says he and Ainge have been in ongoing talks regarding Bynum’s future, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). Bartelstein also said that both sides plan to “take a deep breath” before finalizing a decision, Stein adds.

2:08pm: Bynum won’t play in Boston’s final two preseason games, and the Celtics are exploring other possible moves before they would waive Bynum, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald reports (Twitter links). This could include trading another player in order to keep Bynum, Bulpett adds.

12:45pm: The Celtics are expected to waive newly acquired guard Will Bynum, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe reports. GM Danny Ainge is scheduled to meet with the player today, Washburn notes, and the likely outcome is that Boston places Bynum on waivers. Boston still has 20 players on their preseason roster, with 16 fully guaranteed deals, including Bynum’s $2.9MM pact. Bynum is expected to garner interest on the free agent market once he clears waivers, Washburn adds.

The 6’0″, 31-year-old out of Georgia Tech has been in the league for seven seasons, and has averaged 8.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG, and 3.3 APG thus far in his career. Bynum has played in a total of 353 games, including 29 starts, and has logged an average of 18.5 minutes-per-contest.

Bynum wasn’t a good fit for the Celtics’ rebuilding roster, and with the team focusing on developing first-rounder Marcus Smart to take over for Rajon Rondo, Bynum didn’t figure to see major minutes once Rondo returns to action from his hand injury.

Celtics To Pick Up 2015/16 Options For Three

October 22 at 6:00pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Celtics will exercise their team options to keep Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk on their rookie scale contracts through 2015/16, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com reports (Twitter link). These moves have been widely expected, as Blakely suggests. Zeller’s $2,616,975 salary for that season is the most expensive of the group. Sullinger is set to make $2,269,260, and Olynyk will collect $2,165,160, as our Rookie Scale Team Option Tracker shows.

Picking up these options increases Boston’s guaranteed salary commitments to approximately $33.5MM for the 2015/16 campaign, with Jeff Green also holding a player option for $9.2MM, which he is likely to exercise. Also not factored into that cap figure is Rajon Rondo, who becomes a free agent next summer, and it’s unclear as to whether the Celtics will attempt to re-sign him or deal him prior to the trade deadline. Rondo currently makes approximately $12.9MM, and will most likely seek an increase on that amount in his next contract.

Zeller was selected with the 17th overall pick by Dallas back in 2012 before being dealt to the Cavaliers. During his two years in Cleveland, Zeller averaged 6.9 PPG and 4.9 RPG while logging 21 minutes per night. He was acquired by Boston on July 10th of this year in a three-way deal involving the Celtics, Cavs, and Nets.

The 7’0″ Olynyk was chosen with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2013 draft, also by Dallas, but his draft rights were traded that night to the Celtics for Lucas Nogueira and two second-rounders. During his rookie campaign last season, Olynyk appeared in 70 contests, including nine starts, averaging 8.7 PPG and 5.2 RPG. After a strong training camp Olynyk is expected to be a major offensive contributor on a rebuilding Celtics squad.

Sullinger was drafted by Boston with the 21st overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. The 6’9″ big man out of Ohio State has been held back by injuries in his young career, but appears to be healthy entering his third year in league. His career numbers are 10.5 PPG and 7.3 RPG, and his career slash line is .440/.268/.771.

Grizzlies Waive Earl Clark, Hassan Whiteside

October 22 at 4:15pm CDT By Chuck Myron

4:15pm: Both players have been officially waived, the team announced in a press release.

2:08pm: The Grizzlies have waived Earl Clark and Hassan Whiteside, according to the RealGM transactions log, though the team has yet to make a formal announcement. They possessed two of the team’s four remaining non-guaranteed contracts, and their subtraction leaves Memphis at 16 players, one more than the team can carry on opening night.

Clark was a hot commodity a year ago, when he signed a two-year, $8.5MM deal with the Cavs. However, only the first season was guaranteed, and the forward couldn’t duplicate what had been a career year with the Lakers in 2012/13. The Cavs sent him to the Sixers, who quickly cut him loose, and aside from a pair of 10-day contracts with the Knicks, he spent the second half of last season out of the league. The Spurs auditioned him before he inked with the Grizzlies, but it seems he didn’t make enough of an impression on the Memphis brass to stick into the regular season.

Whiteside was also attempting to return to the NBA, though the former 33rd overall pick’s regular season experience consists of just 19 games over two seasons with the Kings from 2010-12. He was with the Raptors in summer league this year and spent time playing in Lebanon last season.

Patrick Christopher and Kalin Lucas remain as the only players without full guarantees on the Memphis roster, and ostensibly one, if not both, will go by Monday’s deadline for teams to cut down to no more than 15 players. The Grizzlies have only carried 13 players on opening night the last two years.

Hoops Rumors Chat Transcript

October 22 at 4:04pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Click below to read this week’s chat transcript:

Live Blog Hoops Rumors Chat: 10/22/2014
 

Nuggets Waive Miller, Benimon, Williams

October 22 at 1:52pm CDT By Chuck Myron

1:52pm: The Nuggets have waived Miller, according to the RealGM transactions log, though the team has yet to make an official announcement about him.

1:10pm: Denver has officially released Benimon and Williams, though Miller remains with the team for now, according to Dempsey, who indicates that the Nuggets are thinking of keeping him right up until they have to let him go to make Monday’s opening-night roster deadline (Twitter links).

8:28am: The Nuggets are waiving Quincy Miller, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link), and the team will also release Marcus Williams and Jerrelle Benimon, according to Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post. The moves will drop the Nuggets to the 15-player regular season maximum and allow the team to keep Alonzo Gee and his non-guaranteed contract for opening night, Dempsey points out. They also signal that Erick Green will remain with the team into the regular season in spite of only $50K in guaranteed salary. Dempsey indicates that the Nuggets have already placed Miller on waivers, though the team has made no official announcement.

The Nuggets part ways with Miller in spite of his $150K partial guarantee, one that would have escalated to cover his entire minimum salary had he made it to opening night. The team drafted him 38th overall in 2012, but he struggled to recover from tearing his left ACL as a high school senior, when he was the fifth-best prospect in the country, according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index. He averaged 4.9 points and 2.8 rebounds in 15.2 minutes per game last season, the first in which he felt fully healthy since the injury, Dempsey notes, but that wasn’t enough to save his spot on the roster for this year.

The Nuggets also owe a $35K partial guarantee to Benimon, who joined the team after going undrafted in June and appearing in summer league with Denver as well as the Heat. Williams, a forward from the University of Arizona not to be confused with the point guard by the same name, signed a non-guaranteed contract with Denver in an effort to make it back to the NBA for his first regular season action since the 2008/09 season.

Gee’s defense helped fuel the Nuggets decision-making, and he had four steals in Tuesday’s preseason game, as Dempsey points out. He earned a measure of stability after a summer that saw him go from the Cavs to the Pelicans to the Rockets to the Kings in a series of trades before Sacramento waived him, freeing the Nuggets to ink the 27-year-old small forward. Green, the 46th overall pick in 2013, signed with the Nuggets this year after playing last season with Montepaschi Siena of Italy.