Boston Celtics

Atlantic Notes: Biyombo, Nets, Jones, Ledo

A relationship that goes back a while and a shared cultural heritage with GM Masai Ujiri paved the way for Bismack Biyombo to accept an offer from the Raptors after Ujiri called him three minutes into the free agent negotiating period, as Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun details. Both Biyombo and Ujiri are natives of Africa. Ujiri is excited about the center he signed using the room exception, citing Biyombo’s passion for the game, offensive rebounding, shot blocking, defense, physicality and more, Wolstat relays. Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets insiders tell NetsDaily that the team would be OK with paying a small amount of luxury tax, but one source says it’ll be a long time before Brooklyn becomes a taxpayer again, if it ever does. The guaranteed salaries for the Nets this season total less than the $84.74MM tax threshold, though taxes are based on the roster as of the final day of the regular season.
  • The Nets had long preferred to rid themselves of Deron Williams instead of Joe Johnson, in part because of Johnson’s veteran presence and knack for scoring, as NetsDaily examines in a separate piece, hearing from sources who suggest Williams’ departure will ease Johnson’s mind, since they didn’t get along.
  • It’s not certain that Perry Jones III will be on the Celtics roster come opening night, as the team has 17 fully guaranteed contracts, but Boston intends to give the former 28th overall pick every opportunity to stick, writes Chris Forsberg of“With OKC, there hasn’t been as much of an opportunity for him to play as much as he would like as a youngster on a team trying to compete for a championship,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said earlier this week. “But [he is] very athletic, a different type of player than we have in the frontcourt right now with his athleticism and length.”
  • The Knicks front office was higher on Ricky Ledo than the coaching staff was, sources indicated to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The team waived Ledo on Thursday rather than guarantee a portion of his salary.
  • It’s been nearly three weeks since the Sixers said Joel Embiid would have surgery on his foot within seven to 10 days, and the team’s silence in that time raises no shortage of questions, as Tom Moore of Calkins Media examines.

DeAndre Kane Signs In Germany

Germany’s Ratiopharm Ulm announced the signing of guard DeAndre Kane, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes.   The Hawks had Kane on their Summer League team this year and had plans to discuss a free agent deal with the 26-year-old, but that apparently won’t be taking place.

The Celtics, Kings, and Jazz all had their eyes on Kane back in January while he was playing for the Antwerp Giants in Belgium.  However, due to a contract that ran through the remainder of the NBA season, he wasn’t eligible to come over as an in-season addition.

In his senior season at Iowa State, Kane averaged 17.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.9 assists across 36 games.  After helping to vault the Cyclones to the Sweet Sixteen, Kane hit the workout circuit hard and auditioned for a number of teams, including the Kings and Jazz.

Kane first established himself as an intriguing prospect at Marshall, where he played his first three seasons of collegiate ball.  He also made a transfer of sorts in his first year overseas – Kane signed on with Russia’s Krasny Oktyabr but joined up with Antwerp following his November release.

Kane averaged 14.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 5.4 APG in the EuroChallenge last season.

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, 76ers, Raptors

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has put together an interesting roster and it’s now up to head coach Brad Stevens to figure out who fits where, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe writes.  At this point, Washburn writes that a starting five could be comprised of Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, and David Lee, though that leaves Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, and Isaiah Thomas on the outside, not to mention the likes of Evan Turner, Jonas Jerebko, and Tyler Zeller.  While Stevens attempts to figure out that puzzle, here’s a look at more items out of the Atlantic Division..

  • All signs continue to point to No. 58 overall pick J.P. Tokoto remaining unsigned this season, according to Jake Fischer of SI Now (Twitter link). Tokoto let the Sixers know he was open to playing in the D-League or overseas before Philadelphia drafted him, as Fischer previously reported. Fischer added at that point that Tokoto would have a chance to impress the team during summer league and claim a roster spot anyway, but with summer league in the books, the chances of that happening are apparently slim.
  • Former Nets exec Bobby Marks (Twitter links) wouldn’t be surprised if Richaun Holmes‘ contract with the Sixers is similar to what Jerami Grant received last year.  Grant inked a four-year deal with Philly in which the first two years were guaranteed and the last two were non-guaranteed.  Marks gives the Sixers credit for controlling the process for second-round picks and he says that the player is somewhat at the mercy of the team in these situations.
  • The Raptors announced that they have hired Jerry Stackhouse, Rex Kalamian, and Andy Greer as assistant coaches.  The hiring of the trio completes head coach Dwane Casey‘s staff.  Stackhouse, who played 18 years in the league, is coaching for the first time in the NBA.
  • Earlier today we rounded up more news out of the Atlantic.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Northwest Notes: Durant, Thunder, Blazers

The Blazers acquired Mike Miller from the Cavs earlier this week but he’s probably not sticking around for long.  The veteran is a “strong candidate” to negotiate a buyout with Portland, Marc Stein of hears, and the Grizzlies, Thunder, and Mavs already appear to be interested.  While we wait for more on that, here’s more from the Northwest Division..

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Ndour, Boozer, Celtics, Prokhorov

The Knicks tried to make Maurice Ndour the latest to back out of a deal with the Mavericks this summer, but Ndour wouldn’t break his commitment to Dallas, a source told Marc Berman of the New York Post. The undrafted power forward stuck to a three-year pact that will give him a fully guaranteed salary worth more than the rookie minimum, according to Berman. The Knicks had only been offering a $200K partial guarantee until the Mavs swooped in, and New York’s attempt to win over Ndour after he gave his word to Dallas came up short, Berman writes. Still, if Ndour becomes a free agent again soon, he’d love to return to the Knicks, for whom he played in summer league, the Post scribe says. Already, DeAndre Jordan and Richard Jefferson have turned their backs on the Mavs, but Jefferson did so with owner Mark Cuban’s blessing. In any case, there’s more out of New York amid the last from the Atlantic Division:

  • New York’s interest in Carlos Boozer is “tepid,” Berman writes in the same piece, and that jibes with his report from two weeks ago that the team held internal conversations about the free agent power forward but hadn’t made a move on him. In any case, Knicks team president Phil Jackson would still like to sign a big man, Berman adds.
  • The offseason has been a success for the Celtics because they acquired depth that vastly improved the team while still maintaining the copious draft assets that they can use in future trades, opines Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. That’s doubly so because the C’s acquired players with motivation to play to their fullest, Washburn adds. We asked you to weigh in Boston’s offseason so far right here.
  • Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov struck an upbeat tone in brief comments Tuesday, but conspicuous by his absence from Prokhorov’s remarks was Deron Williams, the marquee free agent signing of the Prokhorov era whom the Nets let go in a buyout deal this month, notes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post“First of all, we had a really good offseason – better than a lot of people expected,” Prokhorov said. “Without a lot of noise, we got a lot done. Brook [Lopez] and Thaddeus [Young] are staying with us, which gives us continuity in our frontcourt. Joe Johnson stays as a core player. We also have high expectations for Bojan Bogdanovic, who showed us real flashes of brilliance in his first year on the Nets.”

Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 7/28/15

The Hornets could have had four first-round picks if they’d just been willing to give up the ninth selection to the Celtics, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe detailed earlier today. Boston also offered four first-rounders to the Heat for pick No. 10, as Dan Le Batard of the Miami Herald and ESPN reported last month. Both Charlotte and Miami said no and kept their top 10 picks.

The Heat and the Hornets had no guarantee from the Celtics that any of the four picks would be as high in the order as the ones they already held. Still, the ninth and 10th selections aren’t generally places where superstars come from. Justise Winslow looks like a steal at No. 10 for Miami, but Frank Kaminsky, whom Charlotte took at No. 9, has a limited ceiling. Neither is certain to pan out.

Thus, the question for today: Would you rather your team have one pick in the back half of the lottery, or four picks later in the first-round? Kawhi Leonard, a former No. 15 pick, and Jimmy Butler, once the last pick of the first round, signed deals this month that will give them maximum salaries this coming season, proving that top-flight talent can come from any point in the round. Still, the outlook for lottery picks is generally better than it is for anyone else, and teams picking higher in the order have the power of choice. But sometimes, the best choice involves a trade.

Tell us what you would do if you had a late lottery pick and received an offer for four first-rounders. To comment, simply enter your name and email address, write what you want to say, and submit it; there’s no need to become a registered user. Just make sure you comply with our commenting policy.

Southeast Notes: Magic, Napier, Hornets, Williams

The Magic have amassed just 68 wins in the 246 games that they’ve played since Dwight Howard last suited up for Orlando, but the player and personnel additions made by the team this offseason are providing a sense of hope throughout the organization, as Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders details. Even with a weak Eastern Conference, it’ll be tough the Magic to sneak into the playoffs next season, but a look at all the young talent on the club gives fans plenty to be excited about. Orlando is currently rostering 10 players under 25 years old, including the newly acquired Shabazz Napierwhose recent trade we detail further in tonight’s look at the Southeast Division:

  • The 2016 second-round pick going from the Magic to the Heat in the Napier trade is Orlando’s own, and it’s top-55 protected, as RealGM shows. In the likely event that the pick doesn’t convey to the Heat this year, the Magic don’t owe Miami anything.
  • The Heat sent their own unprotected 2020 second-round pick to the Celtics in the Zoran Dragic trade, and the 2019 top-55 protected second-rounder going to Miami in the deal is Boston’s own, according to RealGM. The Celtics skip out on their debt if that pick falls within the protected range.
  • Elliot Williams is no certainty to make the Hornets’ regular season team after signing a deal to join the team for training camp, but he feels a little more comfortable about his chances of sticking with the organization because GM Rich Cho and assistant GM Chad Buchanan were both with the Blazers when Williams played there, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer notes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Celtics Notes: Lee, Crowder, Johnson

After finalizing five transactions on Monday, the Celtics now have 17 guaranteed contracts on the books, Chris Forsberg of notes in his latest piece. There were rumblings that the team intended to release Zoran Dragic, whom they acquired on Monday, but a source told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel that the team wouldn’t rule out attempting to trade Dragic for another asset.

Here’s more out of Boston:

  • Both David Lee and Golden State knew it was time to move on and Warriors executives worked with Lee to find a suitable fit, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe writes. “I think that the way David handles himself as a pro, and the way we’ve tried to do business with the Warriors, hopefully people give you the benefit of the doubt and want to help you find a win-win situation,” said Lee’s agent, Mark Bartelstein. “And so they tried to do the right thing, and I think that’s what happened here.”
  • Although Lee and the Celtics agree that a short-term partnership could be mutually beneficial, it has the potential to blossom into something more, Himmelsbach writes in the same piece. “I’m excited for it now,” Lee said. “I don’t know why I wouldn’t be after this season. I have no future plans other than just competing this year and figuring that out. Once again, I had some options and places to go a couple of weeks ago. I was overwhelmed and thrilled when [the Celtics] called and said, ‘We really want to have you here.’ And I was hyped to do it.”
  • Jae Crowder did his homework before re-signing with the Celtics, Jimmy Toscano of writes. “I wanted to know everything,” Crowder said. “What’s the direction? You ask everybody. You ask questions, so that’s what I did . . . I don’t like losing. I had to ask. I had to ask our direction moving forward. And [Ainge] responded well, as you can see. I’m pleased with the guys that we brought in and the guys we picked up. And the moves we’re still trying to make.”
  • Amir Johnson hopes to become a fan favorite in Boston,  Toscano writes in a separate piece. “I’m a team player, I’m a hustler . . . I play hard every game. So I know the fans will definitely love me. I know they’re great fans. I know back in the Detroit days, I’ve seen how rowdy they can get. So I know Boston loves their team for sure,” Johnson said.

Atlantic Notes: Jackson, Celtics, Boatright

Knicks team president Phil Jackson tacitly questioned the wisdom of spending max-level money on Marc Gasol in an interview that took place in February with longtime confidant Charley Rosen, who transcribes it as part of a series on Still, it seemed more of a remark about spending max money in general, and indeed, the Knicks wound up spreading their cap space around on multiple second-tier free agents. Jackson admits that he pursued Goran Dragic at the trade deadline in February, when the Knicks were one of the preferred teams on the point guard’s wish list of destinations, with the Zen Master adding that he might have spent too much time on the pursuit of Dragic, as Rosen’s piece also shows. Jackson also expressed interest in Arron Afflalo, whom the Knicks eventually signed this summer, and Enes Kanter, whom they reportedly spoke with this month. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:
  • The Celtics are unlikely to use their $2.814MM room exception, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). That’s not surprising, since the C’s already have 17 fully guaranteed contracts, including Zoran Dragic, whom the team is expected to either waive or trade.
  • Ryan Boatright‘s minimum salary deal with the Nets is already partially guaranteed for $75K this season, according to NetsDaily (Twitter link). A previous report indicated that guarantee wouldn’t kick in until August 1st. Boatright will lock in $200K if he sticks on the roster for the regular season, NetsDaily adds. However, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders shows Boatright only with a $75K guarantee until November 15th, when that guarantee would increase to $125K.
  • The Knicks are letting go of interim D-League head coach Craig Hodges, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post. Hodges had reportedly been expected to remain as a D-League assistant.

Hornets Rumors: Batum, Zeller, Cho, Clifford

The Celtics offered the Hornets a package that included four first-round picks to entice Charlotte to give up the No. 9 pick last month, sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe. Boston was willing to give up its own pick at No. 16, the No. 15 pick that they would tentatively have acquired from the Hawks, an unprotected future first-round pick from the Nets (presumably the 2018 pick Brooklyn owes Boston) and a future first-rounder from either the Grizzlies or the Timberwolves (presumably the ones those teams already owe Boston), as Lowe details. Some front office members in Charlotte liked the idea, but owner Michael Jordan preferred to roll with Frank Kaminsky, whom the Hornets took at No. 9, several sources said to Lowe. The Grantland scribe delves into the implications of that choice, and he touches on more, too, as we highlight amid the latest from the Queen City:

  • Nicolas Batum‘s camp has been talking about how much he’d like to play with the Raptors, given the international appeal of Toronto, several league sources tell Lowe. The native of France, whom the Hornets traded for last month, is set to become a free agent after this coming season.
  • The Hornets have been willing to talk about Cody Zeller when they discuss trades with other teams, sources tell Lowe. That jibes with a report from shortly before the draft that Charlotte was aggressively shopping the big man.
  • GM Rich Cho and coach Steve Clifford have had a chilly relationship since last year’s departure of president of basketball operations Rod Higgins, sources familiar with the situation tell Lowe, yet Cho, Clifford and Hornets vice chairman Curtis Polk all downplay the notion. “I would say it’s a good relationship now,” Cho says. “I value his input. We’re not always going to agree, but I wouldn’t expect to.”
  • Polk, Jordan, Cho, assistant GM Chad Buchanan and director of player personnel Larry Jordan, Michael’s brother, are the primary decision-makers for the team, according to Lowe.
  • Charlotte shopped Noah Vonleh and the No. 9 pick in a package to try to move up in the draft before abandoning that pursuit and trading Vonleh in the Batum deal, as Lowe details.
  • The Hornets had interest in Rodney Hood going into last year’s draft, Lowe hears. Hood wound up going at No. 23 to Utah, and Charlotte had an opportunity to move down into a spot where it might have nabbed him instead of Vonleh, as Lowe explains.
  • Hornets brass likes Elliot Williams, whom the Hornets have reportedly agreed to sign to a camp deal, but they see him as an insurance policy and don’t view him as a replacement for backup point guard Brian Roberts, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter links).

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