With the NBA regular season around the corner, nearly all of the 60 players selected in the 2013 draft appears to have jobs lined up for the coming year. Of course, not all those jobs will be for NBA teams, as many draftees were stashed overseas and others could wind up in the D-League. But at the moment, there are no notable names still in search of a contract.
As I outlined after this year’s draft, there isn’t a whole lot of uncertainty for most first-round picks. The NBA’s rookie scale dictates that first-year players receive a set amount depending on where in the first round they were selected. Salaries can be for as little as 80% or as much as 120% of that amount, and the latter has become a league-wide standard, with teams typically paying rookies the highest amount possible.
That’s not always the case though. 26 of this year’s 30 first-rounders signed rookie deals with their respective teams for the full 120%, but that still leaves four exceptions. Here are the situations for those four players:
- Lucas Nogueira, Hawks (16th overall): Nogueira is still just 21 years old and fairly raw, so the Hawks opted to let him continue developing overseas rather than paying a buyout to bring him stateside immediately. As we heard in August, the young big man will play for Spain’s Asefa Estudiantes Madrid in 2013/14.
- Dennis Schröder, Hawks (17th overall): Schröder will only be receiving 100% of the rookie scale amount for the 17th overall pick ($1,348,200) in his first season, though that will increase to 120% for the rest of his rookie deal. Atlanta reportedly paid $550K to buy Schröder out of his contract overseas, so perhaps that was the motivation for reducing the point guard’s first-year salary.
- Andre Roberson, Thunder (26th overall): Like Schröder, Roberson will receive the standard 120% of his rookie scale amount after this season, but he’ll just earn 80% in year one, good for a $740,560 salary. Roberson wasn’t projected as a first-round pick by draft experts, so being given the opportunity to secure a guaranteed deal may have made him more inclined to take a discount. The Thunder are also dangerously close to tax territory, making those small savings important for the club.
- Livio Jean-Charles, Spurs (28th overall): It was always clear that the Spurs intended to draft-and-stash Jean-Charles, which is exactly what they’ll do in 2013/14 — he’ll continue playing for ASVEL Villeurbanne in France, as our international tracker shows. A pre-draft report suggested that San Antonio planned to develop Jean-Charles overseas for at least one year after drafting him, so we’ll have to wait and see when the club decides to bring him to the NBA.
ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.
Negotiations between the Magic and 51st overall pick Romero Osby seemed to move at a snail’s pace, and it wasn’t until three months after draft night, just as training camp was starting, that the team finally announced it had a deal. Happy Walters of Relativity Sports didn’t make his client wait without reason. The Magic wound up using part of their mid-level exception to give Osby a three-year deal that includes a first-year salary of $682,180, according to HoopsWorld’s Eric Pincus, making him more highly paid this season than all but one other player taken in the second round this June. The contract reverts to the minimum salary in seasons two and three, and it’s non-guaranteed, but it does call for a $100K partial guarantee on this season to kick in if he makes the opening-night roster.
Osby’s deal will give him less than Andre Roberson, this year’s lowest-paid player among those signing the rookie scale contracts afforded first-round picks. It’s still an accomplishment for Walters and company, since Osby is one of only 14 rookies who weren’t drafted in the first round to sign for more than the minimum this year. The four highest earners among them aren’t second-round picks. They’re players from overseas who signed with their teams as free agents, led by Vitor Faverani, who secured $2MM from the Celtics.
Allen Crabbe, the first player drafted in the second round this year, checks in fifth on that list. He’s followed by Dwight Buycks, an American-born player who went undrafted in 2011, plied his trade in the D-League and international circuits, and wound up with a guaranteed $700K from the Raptors.
Draft position doesn’t dictate how much a second-round pick will earn as a rookie, as Osby demonstrates. Ricky Ledo, the 43rd overall pick, is set to earn more this year than five players taken ahead of him. And, as you can see in our complete list of this year’s highest paid rookies not taken in the first-round, the draft order is jumbled throughout.
- Vitor Faverani, Celtics: $2MM (signed as a free agent)
- Luigi Datome, Pistons, $1.75MM (signed as a free agent)
- Miroslav Raduljica, Bucks, $1.5MM (signed as a free agent)
- Pero Antic, Hawks: $1.2MM (signed as a free agent)
- Allen Crabbe, Trail Blazers: $825K (31st overall pick)
- Dwight Buycks, Raptors: $700K (signed as a free agent)
- Romero Osby, Magic: $682,180 (51st overall pick)
- Isaiah Canaan, Rockets: $570,515 (34th overall pick)
- Ricky Ledo, Mavericks $544K (43rd overall pick)
- Jamaal Franklin, Grizzlies: $535K (41st overall pick)
- Ray McCallum, Kings: $524,616 (36th overall pick)
- Carrick Felix, Cavaliers: $510K (33rd overall pick)
- Tony Mitchell, Pistons: $500K (37th overall pick)
- Nate Wolters, Bucks: $500K (38th overall pick)
HoopsWorld and ShamSports were used in the creation of this post.
There hasn't been a third round in the NBA draft in 25 years, but that doesn't mean there are only two rounds' worth of useful players ready to enter the NBA every year. The league has a long history with successful players who didn't hear their names called on draft night, and perhaps the most notable example these days is Jeremy Lin. There's also Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem, both of whom played key roles for the Heat's championship team last summer, and Jose Calderon, who signed a four-year, $29MM contract with the Mavericks this summer. Most undrafted guys who make it to the NBA don't have quite so profound an effect, but each year it seems at least a few of them make their presence felt.
There are 26 players currently on NBA camp rosters who were eligible for the 2013 draft but went unpicked. Robert Covington of the Rockets is the only one with a fully guaranteed contract for this season. None of them came directly from overseas, and all of them played NCAA basketball last season.
There are plenty of players on camp rosters who were draft eligible in previous years and are still looking for their first NBA action, but they're not included here. This list simply shows the players who might have been picked in the third round, if it still existed. They're listed by their NBA teams, with their college teams in parentheses.
- 76ers: Vander Blue (Marquette), Rodney Williams (Minnesota), Khalif Wyatt (Temple)
- Bobcats: Troy Daniels, (VCU) Abdul Gaddy (Washington), James Southerland (Syracuse)
- Bucks: Trey McKinney Jones (Miami, Fla.)
- Bulls: None
- Cavaliers: Matthew Dellavedova (St. Mary's), Kenny Kadji (Miami, Fla.)
- Celtics: Chris Babb (Iowa State), Damen Bell-Holter (Oral Roberts)
- Clippers: Brandon Davies (BYU)
- Grizzlies: None
- Hawks: Adonis Thomas (Memphis)
- Heat: Larry Drew II (UCLA)
- Jazz: Ian Clark (Belmont)
- Kings: Trent Lockett (Marquette)
- Knicks: C.J. Leslie (N.C. State)
- Lakers: Elias Harris (Gonzaga)
- Magic: None
- Mavericks: None
- Nets: None
- Nuggets: Reginald Buckner (Mississippi)
- Pacers: None
- Pelicans: None
- Pistons: None
- Raptors: None
- Rockets: Robert Covington (Tennessee State)
- Spurs: Myck Kabongo (Texas)
- Suns: None
- Thunder: Rodney McGruder (Kansas State)
- Timberwolves: None
- Trail Blazers: Richard Howell (N.C. State), E.J. Singler (Oregon)
- Warriors: Seth Curry (Duke), DeWayne Dedmon (USC)
- Wizards: None
RealGM.com was used in the creation of this post.
Today is the deadline for teams to make an offer of at least the minimum salary to this year's second-round picks. Those players would become free agents if their clubs fail to extend the required tender, but in most cases, the deadline is a formality. Twelve of the 30 second-rounders this year have already signed with their NBA clubs, while 11 have agreements with overseas clubs. That leaves seven unresolved cases, as we examine below.
Teams can perpetually retain the NBA rights to second-rounders playing overseas, and it's common practice for them to do so, particularly with players who hail from outside North America to begin with. Clubs can evaluate their second-rounders in summer league, but if they bring them to training camp, they lose the rights to those players if they cut them.
That can make the tender deadline a little tricky, as Grantland's Zach Lowe examined last month. Second-round picks who sign with NBA teams usually wind up with some amount of guaranteed money, and sometimes get a salary greater than the minimum, so teams can try to push them to sign overseas by making only the one-year required tender. But a second-rounder who is determined to play in the NBA immediately can force a team's hand by accepting the tender, thus daring the club to cut him and forfeit his rights.
Further complicating matters is the growing trend of long-term deals for second-round picks, tying them to their teams at cheap salaries for three and four seasons at a time. If the player pans out, he can become one of the league's most underpaid players, a la Chandler Parsons.
Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors touched on some of the second-rounders without a deal when he wrote about unsigned draft picks last month, but in light of today's deadline, here's an in-depth look at what we know about each of the seven 2013 second-round draft picks without a deal:
- Grant Jerrett, Thunder (40th overall) — We haven't heard anything about the former Arizona power forward since Oklahoma City acquired his rights from the Blazers at draft time. The Thunder are among the league's most secretive organizations, so perhaps the club and player are quietly negotiating a deal. Eight of the nine second-round picks taken ahead of Jerrett have NBA contracts, though the Thunder hold the rights to the only one who doesn't: Alex Abrines, who'll remain overseas. Jerrett averaged 10.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game for the Thunder's summer league team.
- Marko Todorovic, Rockets (45th overall): The Rockets acquired Todorovic via trade from the Blazers, too, and he's also stayed out of the news since then. He's under contract with FC Barcelona after signing a three-year deal last summer, so perhaps the pact either doesn't include an NBA out, or the NBA out is set at a prohibitive price. He didn't play in summer league.
- Raul Neto, Jazz (47th overall): It appeared shortly after the draft as though Neto wouldn't join the Jazz this season, and he said in July that he'd probably spend the year playing in Spain. GM Dennis Lindsey spoke highly of Neto last month, but it remains undecided where he'll be for the 2013/14 campaign. Neto put up 3.7 PPG and 3.0 APG in 16.2 MPG during summer league.
- Ryan Kelly, Lakers (48th overall): The Lakers were reportedly expected to sign Kelly, However, he missed summer league while recovering from multiple foot procedures, and the team doubts he'll be ready when camp starts, as Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com wrote this week.
- Romero Osby, Magic (51st overall): The Magic have made their required tender, and there's mutual interest in reaching an agreement that would bring him to camp this fall. He notched 11.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 21.1 MPG in summer league.
- Lorenzo Brown, Timberwolves (52nd overall): Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities has twice reported that Brown will likely go to camp and compete for the team's final regular season roster spot. He produced 8.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 19.1 MPG in summer league action.
- Janis Timma, Grizzlies (60th overall): There's been no news on Timma since the Grizzlies made him the final pick of the draft. Luke wrote last month that the Grizzlies didn't have much room on their roster for him, but since then, they've traded Tony Wroten and waived Fab Melo, trimming the roster to 15, with only 13 guaranteed deals. The Latvian small forward wasn't too impressive in summer league, scoring just 2.5 PPG on 20.8% shooting in 13.9 MPG.
The Cavaliers announced that they have signed No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett. With Sergey Karasev (No. 19) and Carrick Felix (No. 33) also in the fold, Cleveland has now signed all three 2013 Draft selections.
The Cavs surprised everyone with their selection of Bennett on draft night. While most reports had Cleveland zeroing in on Kentucky's Nerlens Noel or Georgetown's Otto Porter, they instead went with Bennett, an undersized forward out of UNLV. Scouts were enthralled with Bennett's athletcism leading up to the draft, but his shoulder issues prevented him from working out, which caused concern for some talent evaluators.
In his freshman year at UNLV, Bennett averaged 16.1 PPG and 8.1 RPG. The youngster has solid range for a power forward but will have to improve defensively.
The Lakers aren't expected to be contending for an NBA title this season after losing Dwight Howard to the Rockets in free agency. Many Lakers fans blame coach Mike D'Antoni for playing an important role in driving him out of town. Plus, the phantasm of former coach Phil Jackson still hovers above the Staples Center court where he's won five rings during his former time on the bench.
As D'Antoni told the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan, it probably will continue to be that way through the foreseeable future.
"I think anybody that comes in here the next 10, 15 years, it's going to be that way," D'Antoni remarked. "I don't think there is any doubt that he was so good and so large and he's still sitting out there. Had that bothered me, I shouldn't have taken the job because you know it's going to be there. I wasn't stupid enough to think that, 'Oh, they won't remember him.' Sure they will. It doesn't really affect what we do day-to-day and how we approach the game."
After getting swept in the the first round of the playoffs by the Spurs this past season, the 62-year-old D'Antoni still has two guaranteed years left on his contract with the Lakers. With Kobe Bryant's torn Achilles tendon and the aging Steve Nash and Pau Gasol representing the backbone of this year's Lakers team, things might not get much better as D'Antoni prepares for the 2013/14 season.
Here's what else is happening around the Association on a quiet Saturday evening, including an update on Jackson's coaching future.
- The Zen Master told Mark Jones of the Williston Herald that he doesn't plan on coaching because "I am still recovering from multiple surgeries."
- In 2005, strength trainer Alan Stein walked up to a 15-year-old Kevin Durant and told him, "Look, man, you have all the tools to be one of the best players in the world, but the only way you can do that is to get stronger," Stein recalled to the Oklahoman's Anthony Slater. “I can help you. Give me a shot.”
- Four-year former Florida Gator Kenny Boynton went undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, but he did catch on with the Lakers' Summer League squad before failing to land a contract. Sportando's Emiliano Charchia reports, via Twitter, that Boynton's deal with Barack Netanya of Israel's BSL is now official.
- On that European note, via a re-tweet from Ridiculous Upside's Keith Schlosser, SecretRival.blogspot.com has compiled a list of former NBA players, picks and recent NCAA players who are in the top 10 European leagues.
Suns second round pick Alex Oriakhi has signed with France's CSP Limoges, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Phoenix drafted the center with the 57th overall pick in the 2013 Draft.
Oriakhi began his collegiate career at UConn where he served as the starting center for the Huskies' 2010/11 championship team. Then, after a year in which he saw a diminished role with the addition of Andre Drummond and the Huskies were banned from postseason play for 2013, he transferred to Missouri. The big man averaged 11.2 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in his final year on campus.
The Mavericks announced via press release that they have signed 18th overall pick Shane Larkin. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Mavs acquired the draft rights to the Miami point guard from the Hawks in exchange for Jared Cunningham, the draft rights to No. 44 overall pick Mike Muscala and the draft rights to No. 16 pick Lucas "Bebe" Nogueira. Noguiera, meanwhile, came to the Mavs with two 2014 second rounders from the C's in exchange for the draft rights to No. 13 pick Kelly Olynyk.
Larkin led the Hurricanes to the ACC regular season and postseason championships last season en route to being named the ACC Player of the Year, ACC Tournament MVP, Lute Olsen National Player of the Year, and Second Team All-American by Associated Press. The sophomore averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 36 games.
Larkin did not participate with the Mavericks at the Las Vegas Summer League after sustaining an injury to his right ankle in practice. Larkin underwent ankle surgery on July 16th, putting him in line for a comeback right around the start of the regular season.
FRIDAY, 12:07pm: The Grizzlies have officially signed Franklin, the team announced today in a press release.
THURSDAY, 4:12pm: The Grizzlies have reached agreement with Jamaal Franklin on a three-year deal, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (on Twitter). The third year of the deal will be a team option.
Memphis drafted the former San Diego State swingman with the 41st overall pick last month. The 22-year-old also drew interest from the Bulls, Knicks, Clippers, and Hawks and was thought by some to be a late-first round talent. In his final collegiate season, Franklin averaged 17 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and 3.3 APG.
JULY 10TH, 2:08pm: The trade between the Pelicans and Sixers is now official, according to Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com (via Twitter). However, Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News says (via Twitter) that it won't be finalized until at least tomorrow, since Holiday is on his honeymoon and is unavailable to complete the paperwork.
JUNE 28TH, 6:17pm: Sixers GM Sam Hinkie has confirmed that the 2014 first-rounder headed from New Orleans to Philadelphia is top-five protected, reports Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link).
1:07am: The deal won't become official until July 10th, tweets Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press. That makes sense, since the Pelicans won't have room to absorb Holiday's salary until their cap room becomes available in July.
JUNE 27TH, 7:52pm: Ford now tweets that the pick headed to Philadelphia is top-five protected for 2014, and ESPN.com's Marc Stein backs up the report (via Twitter).
7:33pm: ESPN.com's Chad Ford tweets that the 2014 first-rounder headed to Philadelphia is top-three protected, while TNT's David Aldridge tweets it's lottery-protected. Given Wojnarowski's assertion that the protection is "light," Ford's report makes more sense, but we'll have to wait for confirmation.
7:26pm: The Pelicans will also receive this year's 42nd overall pick from the Sixers in the deal, tweets Wojnarowski.
7:22pm: After unexpectedly snagging Nerlens Noel sixth overall, the Pelicans will send him to the 76ers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (all Twitter links). The Pelicans will receive Jrue Holiday and will also send a 2014 first-round pick in 2014 to Philadelphia, Wojnarowski reports, adding that the pick is expected to have "light protection" (Twitter link). Chris Broussard of ESPN.com first tweeted that Noel would be on the move.