Andrew Bynum represented one of the more interesting free agent cases of the offseason, and his new contract reflects that: Bynum could earn as little as $6MM with the Cavaliers if he’s released on or before January 7th, or as much as $24MM+ if he plays out the two years of his deal. It doesn’t look like the former All-Star will be in Cleveland’s lineup when the regular season gets underway, but he’s making progress, according to head coach Mike Brown, who confirmed today that Bynum has gone through “most of practice.”
Sam Amico of the FOX Sports Ohio has the latest details on the ex-Laker, along with plenty of other tidbits from around the league, so let’s check out the highlights from his piece….
- Shannon Brown and Kendall Marshall are drawing interest around the league, with clubs expecting them to be waived by the Wizards tomorrow. Marshall could hear from the 76ers, a league source tells Amico.
- Other recently released players who are receiving some level of interest include Royce White, Josh Childress, Damion James, Vander Blue, Royal Ivey, Jermaine Taylor, and Seth Curry.
- At least seven teams have inquired on free agent guard Richard Hamilton, a GM tells Amico. The former Bull appears likely to wait until midway through the season to sign with a team, perhaps anticipating that a guaranteed deal or a non-minimum contract will be more attainable at that point.
- “Scuttlebutt around the league” suggests that there’s a good chance the Sixers move the expiring contracts of Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes by the trade deadline.
The Nuggets have waived small forward Damion James, the team announced on its website. The move takes the club’s roster down to 15 players, the regular season maximum.
He had the only non-guaranteed contract remaining on the team, and though he played Jordan Hamilton to a draw, according to Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post, Hamilton’s fully guaranteed $1.169MM salary gave him a decided advantage. The move to cut James had been expected, as Dempsey tweeted earlier today.
Quincy Miller, whose deal is guaranteed for $150K, remains on the team, and assuming he makes it to opening night, his contract will become fully guaranteed. Most deals that aren’t fully guaranteed don’t become so until January 10th, but Miller is among several players who have earlier dates written into their contracts.
The base salary for Derrick Favors‘ new four-year extension with the Jazz is a little lower than the $49MM+ that was originally reported, according to HoopsWorld’s Eric Pincus (Twitter link). It’s a $48MM deal, with likely incentives that would take it up to $48.733MM, and unlikely incentives that could lift the value to $53.133MM, according to Pincus. There’s that and plenty more coming out of the Northwest Division today, where we’ve also heard the Nuggets may be shopping Kenneth Faried, the Jazz are still interested in signing Jamaal Tinsley, and the Wolves will exercise their 2014/15 option on Ricky Rubio. Here’s the latest:
- The Wolves will pick up their 2014/15 option on Derrick Williams, just as they will with Rubio, and Williams expressed relief today in comments to reporters, including Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune. “It helps, (having) the security.” Williams said. ”You’re guaranteed at least one more year in the NBA. As long as you have that, I think everything is good.”
- Damion James is the last player without any sort of guarantee on his contract who still remains on the Nuggets roster, and it doesn’t look like he’ll entice the Nuggets into cutting one of their guaranteed deals, as Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post examines. His best shot to make the team would have been if Quincy Miller struggled in camp, but Miller has impressed new coach Brian Shaw. James has played Jordan Hamilton to a draw this month, but Hamilton’s $1,169,880 guaranteed salary gives him the edge.
- Hamilton will likely make it to opening night, but the decision on whether to pick up his $2,109,294 team option for 2014/15 is not as clear, given the Nuggets‘ depth at small forward, Dempsey observes in the same piece.
- Favors and Enes Kanter have only started one game together in the NBA, but that total figures to grow much larger, especially now that the Jazz have locked up Favors’ for the long term. Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune looks at how Favors and Kanter will fit together, noting that coach Tyrone Corbin sees them as interchangeable parts at center and power forward.
A few more random notes from around the league.
Free agent swingman Damion James will be in camp with the Nuggets this fall, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com, who reports (via Twitter) that Denver has signed James to a fully non-guaranteed contract.
James was traded from the Hawks to the Nets on draft night in 2010 after being selected with the 24th overall pick. Since then, he has bounced back and forth between the two teams — after spending the first two seasons of his NBA career in New Jersey, he was in camp with the Hawks last year. Atlanta cut him before opening night, but James signed with the Nets later in the season and appeared in a pair of games for the club.
For Denver, the 25-year-old will compete for a roster spot in camp, though it figures to be an uphill battle. The Nuggets are already carrying 14 guaranteed contracts, and also have Quincy Miller on a partially guaranteed deal. Miller didn't make much of an impression in his rookie year, but I'd be a little surprised if the Nuggets cut ties with him already, particularly since the team is already on the hook for $150K of his salary.
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are both considered decent bets to hit free agency next summer, if only to re-sign new long-term deals with their current teams. However, as Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld notes, both players would have the chance to hit the market in the summer of 2015 as well, if they opted in for 2014/15. With Dwyane Wade's long-term health uncertain, and the Knicks' books looking fairly empty beyond '15, it may benefit both LeBron and Carmelo to hold off on their free agent decisions for an additional year, rather than locking themselves into new long-term contracts next summer. Here's more from around the NBA on a Monday:
- Josh Childress turned down a "lucrative offer" from Greek powerhouse Olympiacos earlier this offseason in hopes of securing a deal with an NBA team instead, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.com. According to Charania, Childress is receiving interest from three teams on a potential minimum-salary contract.
- The Lakers have officially hired a pair of assistant coaches, Kurt Rambis and Johnny Davis, the team announced today in a press release.
- Jack Cooley continues to weigh his options, and it sounds like he has plenty of them. Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld tweets that the former Notre Dame big man has received training camp invites from more than 10 NBA teams, and has also fielded offers from clubs overseas.
- Grantland's Zach Lowe tweets that people around the NBA have been talking for months as if it's a foregone conclusion that former MSG president Steve Mills will eventually be named the new executive director of the players' union.
- Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside speaks to Damion James about the D-League All-Star's quest for an NBA roster spot.
- In this week's edition of his Morning Tip column at NBA.com, TNT's David Aldridge looks at Team USA, Ian Clark, and the possibility of HGH testing.
RealGM's Shams Charania notes that while Damion James has yet to speak about a training camp invite or regular season roster spot with the Heat, the 6'7 swingman may have boosted his stock after his solid play in Las Vegas over the last few weeks. James – who underwent foot surgery twice over the span of his first two season in the league – told RealGM: "Everybody knows I belong in the league…I’m completely, 100 percent healthy. It’s been a great experience for me. I really look up to the Miami Heat and I really appreciate them for letting me come and be a part of their organization. I just want to show them that I can play, show them that I can belong here.
Here's more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
- Carrick Felix made a strong enough impression on Mike Brown that the Cavaliers coach thinks he has a good chance to make the regular season roster, writes Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer. As for other players who could have possibly earned invites to training camp, Brown mentioned Matthew Dellavedova, Cory Higgins, Jermaine Taylor, and Justin Harper.
- Wizards rookie Otto Porter did a brief interview with Hoopsworld about his experiences in summer league and what he needs to work on in preparation for training camp (video link).
- DeMar DeRozan gave his thoughts and impressions on some of his young Raptors teammates, having a full training camp to work alongside Rudy Gay, Masai Ujiri, and team's playoff chances (video link).
- Cody Zeller expounded on what he learned about the NBA game against summer competition and building chemistry with some of his teammates (video link).
- Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweets that Vitor Faverani's three-year deal with the Celtics is worth $6MM, which was the projected deal a few days ago.
- Frank Isola of the New York Daily News questions the leadership of Knicks owner James Dolan and is skeptical about how the team will fare next season.
- Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer discusses how the NBA's new CBA has benefitted the Bobcats.
Earlier today, Bucks guard Monta Ellis informed the Bucks that he'll be exercising his early termination option this offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. The guard, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, has the Lakers on his wish list, but that seems pretty far fetched given their cap situation. Well, we can add another fiscal longshot to the bunch as Ellis likes the Grizzlies too, according to Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times (on Twitter). Ellis probably isn't a fit for the stats-driven Memphis front office either, as his 16.3 PER was good for 27th last season amongst point guards. Here's more from around the Association..
- Mohammadou Jaiteh received first round guarantees before withdrawing from the draft earlier today, agent Herman Manakyan told Shams Charania of RealGM.
- Time is on the Clippers' side in their trade talks with the Celtics, a source tells Sean Deveney of the Sporting News (on Twitter). "[The] Clippers can be patient and [the] C's will be in position to get something rather than nothing," the source says.
- The Bucks announced that they will host a mini-camp for free agents this week. Damion James, Dominique Jones, and Salim Stoudamire will be among those with NBA experience in attendance.
- J. Michael of CSNWashington.com (on Twitter) isn't convinced that the Wizards have to target size after seeing the Heat and Spurs do well with small lineups.
- The Suns withdrew from contract talks to make Roy Rogers an assistant coach on Jeff Hornacek’s new staff, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
Just as we crossed into the final month before the trade deadline, the first deal of the new year went down today, and the action will no doubt pick up going forward. Here are a few more notes from a busy evening.
- J.J. Redick, an unrestricted free agent at season's end, wants a raise on his $6.19MM salary, but the Magic want him to take a hometown discount, reports USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt. If the team doesn't believe it can re-sign him when the trade deadline rolls around, Zillgitt won't be surprised to see the Magic trade Redick, since they don't want to lose him without any return.
- The Wizards are looking to make moves, and Jordan Crawford is drawing the most interest of any of the players they'd make available, HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler reveals, noting rookie Bradley Beal isn't among the players they're dangling, Kyler adds.
- Damion James is heading back to the D-League's Bakersfield Jam, as the Nets have opted not to renew his 10-day contract, which expires tonight, tweets NetsDaily.com.
- Jae Crowder's contract with the Mavs is fully guaranteed through next season, but he doesn't want that to be the end of his tenure in Dallas, where he wants to play his entire career, as Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reveals.
- Elliot Williams, who tore his left Achilles tendon in September, isn't ruling out the possibility he could return at some point this season, as he tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. The league, believing he was done for the year, has already granted the Blazers a disabled player exception, but the team will get to keep it even if he makes it back.
- Ben Baroff of SheridanHoops.com believes there will be more deals similar to today's Cavs-Grizzlies trade in the years to come, as luxury tax penalties become more severe.
- Amid another round of Dwight Howard rumors, Nets brass has assured Brook Lopez he won't be traded, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
The Brooklyn Nets have signed forward Damion James to a 10-day contract, the team announced in a press release. James had previously been playing for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA D-League.
James, drafted 24th overall by the Atlanta Hawks in 2010 and acquired by the Nets in a draft-day trade, has played parts of two seasons with the team, averaging 4.5 PPG and 7.7 RPG.