The Bulls have placed Dexter Pittman and D.J. White on waivers, the team announced via press release. Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com reported the news shortly before the transactions took place (Twitter link). The moves pare the team’s roster down to 13, the minimum number of players a team can carry in the regular season. Both were on non-guaranteed deals.
Mike James remains the only Bulls player without any guarantee on his contract, so it looks like the 38-year-old guard has made the opening night roster. Second-round pick Erik Murphy, who has a $250K guarantee, also remains with Chicago.
The Bulls are over the luxury tax line, so getting down to 13 players is likely a cost-cutting move for the franchise, which paid the tax for the first time last season.
Mike Dunleavy was one of the first free agents to come off the board this July, inking a two-year deal with the Bulls worth the taxpayer’s mid-level exception. And as he tells K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, he isn’t regretting his decision.
“Everything I was hoping for, whether it be playing for [Tom Thibodeau] or playing with Derrick [Rose], has been better than I expected,” Dunleavy said. “And I had heard great things.”
Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:
- Within that same Tribune piece, Johnson suggests that Mike James is the probable frontrunner to be the Bulls‘ 13th man, while Dexter Pittman is also a candidate.
- The Bulls are prepared to move on from Marquis Teague, who probably could be had for cheap, according to Mark Deeks at The Score. Deeks says that Teague’s increased playing time in the team’s most recent preseason game was meant to be a showcase for potential suitors.
- Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld examines the Celtics and Rajon Rondo in his latest column, wondering if keeping Rondo through the 2013/14 season could slow down Boston’s rebuilding plan.
- Hollis Thompson is a long shot to make the Sixers on his non-guaranteed deal, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who examines the former Georgetown Hoya’s quest to beat the odds.
- Meanwhile, after tweeting yesterday that Vander Blue and Khalif Wyatt may be battling for a single Sixers roster spot, Tom Moore of Calkins Media goes into more depth on the competition, with quotes on both players from head coach Brett Brown.
- Not only is Larry Drew in his first year on the Bucks‘ bench, but he’ll have to “bring a whole new team together,” as he tells Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The team has yet to finalize its 15-man roster, but when it does, 11 of Milwaukee’s 15 players figure to be new additions.
- Julyan Stone is making a strong case to be the Raptors‘ 15th man, says Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.
We’ve heard for months about some potential discord between Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and the team’s front office, but Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports went into more detail over the weekend, as our Chuck Myron outlined on Sunday. On the heels of Wojnarowski’s report, vice president of basketball operations John Paxson took exception with the idea that the relationship between Thibodeau and GM Gar Forman was heading toward a boiling point.
“We’re so far past that,” Paxson told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “To continue to try and keep it going, I don’t know what the agenda is…. If you’re really going to say something like that, then go on the record, be a man, put your name out there. Don’t hide behind that stuff. But from our perspective, from our seat, we’re doing great. The relationship is healthy.”
Here’s the rest of the latest out of Chicago:
- While he acknowledged that the Bulls brass hasn’t always been on the same page when it comes to certain decisions, Paxson continued to downplay the idea that there’s any lingering disharmony: “No matter what you do in this business, when you’re making decisions, whether it’s based on personnel or anything like that, you’re going to have ideas, different opinions, and that’s what we do. We sit in a room and talk these things through. The thing is, right now we’re all on the same page, and there are no hidden agendas from Gar, myself and Tom.”
- Within the same piece, Cowley cites a source who says there was some friction when Thibodeau assistant Ron Adams was let go. However, both Thibodeau and Forman “were over it in like a day,” according to the source.
- Before he accepted a camp invite from the Bulls, Dexter Pittman received offers from the Hawks and Spurs, he tells Shams Charania of RealGM.com. Pittman also spoke to Charania about his new offseason workout regime, and how he feels it’ll help his chances of earning a roster spot in Chicago.
- Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com takes a look at veteran guard Mike James‘ quest to land a roster spot with the Bulls.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter) points out that the Lakers, Bulls, and 76ers are the three teams that still need to sign players in order to reach the league minimum of 13 players by opening night, although it's worth noting that L.A. is still yet to sign second round pick Ryan Kelly and Philadelphia is in the same boat with Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams. Also, as we pointed out a few days ago, Dexter Pittman accepted a training camp invite with Chicago and could fill that 13th roster spot if they end up offering him a guaranteed contract.
Here are more of tonight's news and notes from around the league:
- Jeff Haubner of ESPN.com offers a two part preview of the upcoming FIBA Americas tournament.
- Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel notes that the Bucks/Suns deal keeps Milwaukee about $1.9MM under the salary cap and saves Phoenix around $5.6MM in cap space. Gardner also has more comments from Caron Butler regarding his happiness with the trade.
- Former 76ers star Charles Barkley isn't happy with the way his former team handled their assistant coaching situation, saying that those who were released upon the Brett Brown hiring had worked for the team the entire summer and therefore didn't have the opportunity to look for another job (Michael Kaskey-Blomain of The Philadelphia Inquirer).
- Keith Schlosser of RidiculousUpside.com takes a look at Kyle Hunt, who while eligible for the D-League draft in the fall is also looking to earn an NBA training camp invite.
- Tim Cowlishaw of SportsDayDFW suggests Mavericks fans should be happy with 45 wins and a 7th seed in the Western Conference next season.
- Ben Couch of BrooklynNets.com provides a brief breakdown of the Nets' depth at the center position, profiling Brook Lopez, Andray Blatche, and Mason Plumlee.
- Former Knick and now a member of the Canadian men's national basketball team, Andy Rautins tells Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun about how prepared he and his teammates feel heading into the FIBA Americas tournament.
- NBA.com posted an article from Atlanta-based freelance writer Jon Cooper about Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer. Though he stressed the importance of forming good relationships with each player up to the 15th man, Budenholzer specifically mentioned Al Horford and Jeff Teague as two players that he's very much looking forward to working with.
- Suns.com passes along an article from the archives which delves into the mind of the late former Suns coach Cotton Fitzsimmons.
After being released by the Grizzlies in April, Dexter Pittman will join a new NBA team in hopes of earning a roster spot for the coming season. Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports that Pittman has turned down an offer from an Italian club in favor of a training-camp invite from the Bulls.
Pittman, 25, has spent most of his three-year NBA career with the Heat, winning a title with the team in 2011/12. However, he was sent to Memphis in a deadline deal back in February, and was cut by the Grizzlies just before the club's playoff run started. In 48 career NBA contests since 2010, Pittman has averaged 2.4 PPG and 1.8 RPG, while those averages increase to 13.6 PPG and 8.4 RPG in 37 D-League games over the same period.
With Pittman's addition not yet official, the Bulls only have 12 players under contract, so there definitely should be room for the former second-round pick on the regular-season roster if he earns a spot. Still, I'd imagine Pittman's deal will be fully non-guaranteed, affording the club some flexibility.
The Grizzlies announced that they have waived center Dexter Pittman. The big man totaled two points and five rebounds in 20 minutes in seven appearances with the Grizzlies. Pittman was cut loose to make room for the signing of Willie Reed.
Memphis acquired the 25-year-old along with a 2013 second round draft pick from the Heat in exchange for the draft rights to Ricky Sanchez on Feb. 21. The three-year veteran holds career averages of 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds on .454 shooting in 7.2 minutes in 48 games with Miami and Memphis.
A complete recap of trades that were completed before Thursday's trade deadline:
- The Houston Rockets traded Marcus Morris to the Phoenix Suns and Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, and Toney Douglas to the Sacramento Kings for Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt, and a future second-round pick.
- The Miami Heat traded Dexter Pittman and a future second-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for the rights to Ricky Sanchez and cash considerations.
- The Washington Wizards traded Jordan Crawford to the Boston Celtics for Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder traded Eric Maynor to the Portland Trail Blazers for a trade exception and the rights to Georgios Printezis. The Blazers waived Ronnie Price to clear a roster spot for Maynor.
- The Thunder also acquired Ronnie Brewer from the New York Knicks for a future second-round pick.
- The Atlanta Hawks traded Anthony Morrow to the Dallas Mavericks for Dahntay Jones.
- The Suns traded Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors for Hamed Haddadi and a future second-round pick.
- The Orlando Magic traded J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon, and Ishmael Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks for Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris, and Doron Lamb.
- In a separate deal, the Magic traded Josh McRoberts to the Charlotte Bobcats for Hakim Warrick.
- The Golden State Warriors traded Jeremy Tyler to the Hawks for a second-round pick. They also traded Charles Jenkins to the Philadelphia 76ers for an additional second-round pick.
2:54pm: The Heat have confirmed in a press release that they've sent Pittman to Memphis. The Grizzlies also received cash considerations from the Heat, according to the release.
12:48pm: The Grizzlies and Heat have agreed to a deal that will send Dexter Pittman and a second-round pick to Memphis, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reports that the Heat will acquire the rights to Ricky Sanchez, who is currently playing in Argentina, in the trade (Twitter link). Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal first reported that the two sides were in serious talks about a swap.
For the Grizzlies, Pittman represents another piece of frontcourt depth off the bench. Memphis had been carrying just 12 players, and would have been required to add a 13th man in the very near future had the team not acquired a player via trade today. The team had intended to make use of one of its seven trade exceptions, but likely won't need to do so, since the third-year big man is making the minimum salary of $854,389.
From Miami's perspective, the trade allows the club to open a roster spot for a potential free agent addition later in the season. According to Windhorst (via Twitter), the Heat have kept in touch with Kenyon Martin, but will likely wait until March to explore all their options.
Moving Pittman also reduces the Heat's tax bill slightly, and the cost to do so wasn't exactly exorbitant — Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (via Twitter) that the second-rounder is Miami's 2013 pick, which is currently projected to be 59th overall, as our projected draft order indicates.
I would assume that Sanchez, who was drafted by the Trail Blazers in 2005, will never see the floor for the Heat. The Grizzlies simply had to include a piece in the deal so that they weren't acquiring Pittman and a pick for nothing. Miami will also obtain a trade exception worth $854,389 (Pittman's salary) in the move.
The Grizzlies are in serious talks with the Heat to acquire big man Dexter Pittman, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal (Twitter link). The proposed deal would see the Grizzlies land Pittman and a second-round pick using one of their seven trade exceptions.
Because Pittman is only making a minimum salary ($854,389) this season, the Grizzlies could use one of their smaller exceptions to absorb his contract, rather than using a chunk of their $7.49MM TPE from the Rudy Gay trade. From Miami's perspective, the team could clear a roster spot and save some money on its luxury-tax bill.
With the deadline less than five hours away and trade rumors picking up steam, here are a few miscellaneous rumblings from around the league:
- The Trail Blazers' chances of landing a first-round pick in exchange for J.J. Hickson don't look good at the moment, a source tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).
- In an effort to move below the tax threshold, the Warriors are still attempting to move bench players, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
- Within the same tweet, Wojnarowski says the Pacers are shopping D.J. Augustin and his expiring contract.
- Wojnarowski's rumor-heavy tweet also includes word that the Heat are offering Dexter Pittman in deals.
- The Bulls are "pushing hard" to unload Richard Hamilton, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.
- The Thunder have been seeking a first-rounder for Eric Maynor, but haven't found any takers yet, says Sam Amick of USA Today (via Twitter).