2014 NBA Draft Rumors

Cavs Sign Andrew Wiggins

July 24 at 3:01pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Cavaliers have signed No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, the team announced. The move triggers a 30-day period in which Cleveland can’t officially complete a trade involving him. The Timberwolves have demanded Wiggins be a part of any package involving Kevin Love, and while there are conflicting reports, many of them indicate Cleveland is willing to include him.

It’s a virtual certainty that Wiggins will receive a salary of slightly more than $5.5MM this season, as our table of salaries for 2014 first-round picks shows. That amount would help salaries match in a trade should the Cavs decide to pull one off after the 30 days are up. Still, the Cavs could have traded his rights immediately had they held off on signing him, using other players to help balance the salaries.

The 6’8″ swingman entered his freshman season at Kansas last year as far and away the top prospect for the 2014 NBA draft, but an underwhelming performance allowed others, including teammate Joel Embiid, to contend for the top spot. Embiid seemed the odds-on favorite until he broke his foot, and Wiggins prevailed over Jabari Parker of Duke, to whom the Cavs also reportedly gave strong consideration.

Wiggins averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds along with 34.1% three-point shooting in 32.8 minutes per game for Kansas this past season, earning consensus All-American honors. The 19-year-old chose agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports as his representative.

Rockets To Sign Clint Capela

July 23 at 3:35pm CDT By Chuck Myron

JULY 23RD: Capela has signed his contract, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Houston will have to receive the signed contract before it becomes official.

JULY 14TH: The Rockets have been working with No. 25 pick Clint Capela to secure his buyout from Chalon-Sur-Saone of France and a FIBA letter of clearance, and they intend to sign him to a rookie scale contract this summer, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The outcome is the result that Capela’s camp had been pushing for after the Rockets apparently asked him to remain overseas for next season. Feigen’s piece doesn’t refer to the request, which Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com had reported over the weekend, but he does cast the Rockets as having been ambivalent about the notion of Capela playing for the team this season. Now, it appears the team and Capela are in lockstep toward a contract.

“We are planning out roster for next season. We expect him to be a part of it,” Rockets executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said. “We’re in the process of working toward that.”

Capela is likely to receive a salary worth more than $1.189MM for next season, as our table of salaries for 2014 first-rounders shows. The Rockets had been attempting to preserve cap flexibility as they chased LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, and Houston shopped the pick before the draft. There was also reportedly interest from other teams in trading for Capela’s rights once the Rockets made the selection, but Houston never showed mutual interest in such a swap. Now that the team’s marquee free agent targets are headed elsewhere and Chandler Parsons is off to Dallas, there’s room for Capela, a raw talent who averaged 9.8 points and 6.9 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game for his French team this past season.

Thunder, Huestis Cut D-League Deal Before Draft

July 23 at 3:32pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Thunder and representatives for Josh Huestis made an arrangement prior to the draft in which Huestis agreed to sign with Oklahoma City’s D-League affiliate for this season in exchange for the Thunder taking him 29th overall, agent Mitchell Butler tells Grantland’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link). Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman originally reported this weekend that Huestis was likely to sign with the Thunder’s D-League team.

Huestis was projected as a second-round pick at best, coming in 44th in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings, and Chad Ford of ESPN.com had him as only the 90th best draft prospect. Butler told Lowe that he wasn’t sure that his client would be drafted at all and saw the deal with Oklahoma City as the best way to make sure that a team would pick him (Twitter link). Huestis didn’t want to play for a European team and was on board with the D-League idea, Butler added, noting that Huestis wouldn’t have gone for the plan if any other NBA team had asked him to do so, with the exception of the Spurs (Twitter link). Butler also contends that the arrangement doesn’t violate the NBA’s rules against discussing potential compensation with a prospect prior to the draft, as Lowe also tweets.

The small forward from Stanford is in line for a fraction of the more than $1.1MM that he would have received this season if he were signing an NBA rookie scale contract for the standard 120% of the rookie scale amount, as our table of likely first-round salaries shows. D-League salaries top out around $25K. It’s not clear whether the Thunder have promised to sign Huestis next summer as part of the deal or if it’ll be up to him to prove his worth in the D-League this year. Huestis expressed confidence in his abilities when he spoke with Zach Links of Hoops Rumors prior to the draft.

The Thunder also moved to cut costs last year with their first-round pick, doling out only 80% of the scale amount to 2013 26th overall pick Andre Roberson. A change in D-League rules for this year allows NBA draft picks to sign directly with the affiliate of the team that holds their NBA rights, helping pave the way for Oklahoma City’s Huestis plan. The Thunder had to work trades last year to acquire the first pick in the 2013 D-League draft to grab the D-League rights to No. 40 overall pick Grant Jerrett, moves they won’t have to undertake this time around.

Bulls Sign Cameron Bairstow

July 21 at 11:37am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Bulls have signed Cameron Bairstow, whom they selected with the 49th overall pick in last month’s draft, the team announced via press release. The terms of his contract are unclear, but a report last week indicated that the team had made a three-year offer to the former New Mexico big man.

“We like Cameron’s combination as a player with his size, energy and physicality,” Bulls GM Gar Forman said in the team’s statement. “He is a hard worker who will only get better with time.”

The 6’10″ Bairstow saw a vastly enhanced role with New Mexico in his senior year this past season, averaging 20.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in 32.9 minutes per game. It was the first time he’d posted a double-digit scoring average in his four years with the Lobos, who fed him nearly twice as many shot attempts during his senior season as they did when he was a junior.

It’ll almost certainly be a minimum-salary contract, since the Bulls have very nearly exhausted their cap room.

Vasilije Micic To Play In Germany?

July 21 at 8:39am CDT By Chuck Myron

JULY 21ST: Micic told Aco Lazarević of MVP.rs that the deal isn’t quite done yet, though he confirms he’s in the process of finalizing it (translations via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia and Orazio Cauchi of Sportando, on Twitter).

JULY 15TH: Sixers second-round draft pick Vasilije Micic has an agreement to play for Bayern Munich in Germany, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). The Serbian point guard was the 52nd selection in this year’s draft.

Remaining overseas was the likely outcome for the 20-year-old, who’s played the past few seasons with KK Mega Vizura in his native Serbia. Philadelphia will have no shortage of rookies for the coming season, even without No. 10 overall pick Dario Saric, who’ll also stay in Europe.

Alessandro Gentile Re-Signs Overseas

July 19 at 8:18am CDT By Cray Allred

Alessandro Gentile has re-signed with his Italian team for three years, Olimpia Milano’s team website announced (transcription via Luca Consolati of Sportando). Gentile’s rights are owned by the Rockets, who acquired the No. 53 pick in this year’s draft to snatch him. The salary, and potential NBA buyout clause, for his deal have not been reported at this time.

There have been no rumblings on Houston’s immediate plans for the small forward, but presumably a draft-and-stash was always their course of action. At the time of the draft, the 21-year-old scoring wing was ranked as the 68th best prospect by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express and the 57th best by Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider-only).

At the time of the draft, the Rockets were still preparing to chase premier free agents that they would later fail to sign. First-round pick Clint Capela was at odds with the team for insisting he stay overseas for a year, but since has come close to signing in Houston, and Houston also plans to sign their 42nd pick, Nick Johnson.

Bulls Notes: Mirotic, Gasol

July 18 at 10:03pm CDT By Cray Allred

With the addition of Pau Gasol and the return of Derrick Rose this year, the Bulls will hope to ascend from the middle of the playoff pack toward the number one seed, where they finished during Rose’s last two full, healthy seasons. Here’s the latest from Chicago:

  • Nikola Mirotic‘s contract with the Bulls is for three years, $16.6MM plus incentives, tweets Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The initial report had the contract exceeding $17MM, so the incentives could be for $500,000 or more, although that’s just my speculation.
  • We already knew the Bulls had received an offer of a top-10 pick for the rights to Mirotic before the 2014 draft, but Chicago GM Gar Forman told ESPN 1000′s “Waddle and Silvy Show” that the team received two such offers for the forward (transcription via Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com).
  • Gasol told reporters including Friedell and Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com that Joakim Noah and Rose helped pitch Chicago to him, and that he turned down more lucrative offers to sign with his new team. “I turned down bigger offers, and I prioritized being on a championship-caliber team and being in a position where I can hopefully put that team over the top with my game,” said Gasol, noting that “how humble [Noah and Rose] are, being able to not have big egos, makes things a lot easier. Their passion and hunger, as well; they’re hungry to win. I want to be a part of a hungry team that will do whatever it takes.”

Heat Sign Shabazz Napier

July 18 at 7:40pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Heat have signed rookie Shabazz Napier, Miami announced in a team release.

“Shabazz is a proven winner and one of the most mature college players that I have ever met,” said president Pat Riley. “Not only did he help lead UConn to two NCAA Championships, but he also knows exactly what he needs to do to make an impact at the NBA level. I believe the experience he had during the Summer League is going to payoff in leaps and bounds when training camp begins.”

Miami traded for Napier on draft night, moving up two spots to select the point guard. At the time, the deal was rumored to be influenced by LeBron James, who believed the UConn senior was the best point guard in the draft. The Heat had reportedly considered moving on from one or both of Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole earlier this offseason, but Chalmers has re-signed and Cole’s contract is less in danger of being dealt for cap space since the team has executed their Plan B following James’ decision to return to Cleveland. It appears Napier will have to work to earn backcourt minutes for a team still angling to contend in the Eastern Conference.

Terms of the deal were unannounced, but it’s likely that Napier received 120% of the $1,032,200 rookie scale slot for the 24th pick. As Charlie Adams noted in the Hoops Rumors Prospect Profile for the Huskie guard, Napier will need to use his scoring abilities and quickness to offset some of the defensive limitations he will likely experience as a result of his 6’1″ size.

Pelicans Sign Russ Smith

July 15 at 12:29pm CDT By Chuck Myron

JULY 15TH: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

JULY 9TH: The Pelicans have agreed to sign former Louisville point guard Russ Smith, the 47th overall pick in this year’s draft, to a guaranteed contract, as Louisville coach Rick Pitino told reporters, including Jeff Greer of The Courier-Journal (Twitter link). The length of the contract and the amount of guaranteed money aren’t immediately clear. The Pelicans acquired the rights to Smith in a draft-night trade that sent the rights to last year’s second-rounder Pierre Jackson to Philadelphia.

Smith was a consensus All-American this past season as a senior for the Cardinals, averaging 18.2 points and 4.6 assists in 29.3 minutes per game. He also shot 38.7% from behind the three-point line. That percentage along with his assists average were significant increases from 2012/13, when he helped lead Louisville to the national championship.

The 6’1″ 23-year-old appears to be the first 2014 second-round pick who’s agreed to a deal, as our list of 2014 Draft Pick signings shows.

Lakers Sign Julius Randle

July 13 at 3:47pm CDT By Zach Links

3:47pm: The signing is official, the team announced.

3:09pm: The Lakers have signed top pick Julius Randle, according to Bill Oram of the Orange Country Register (on Twitter). He’ll likely receive more than $2.997MM this season, as our chart of salaries for 2014 first-round picks shows.

The Lakers got a bit of good news earlier this month when they learned that Randle won’t require surgery on his right foot.  The big man, who was once in consideration for the No. 1 pick,  could prove to be a tremendous value for the Lakers, who selected him at No. 7.

In his one year at Kentucky, Randle averaged 15.0 PPG and 10.4 RPG with 0.8 blocks per contest in 30.8 minutes a game.