Indiana Pacers

And-Ones: Williams, Thomas, Nunnally

Alan Williams, who starred at UC Santa Barbara and made an impact during summer league, was surprised that no NBA team was willing to give him a guaranteed contract, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Instead, Williams signed with the Double Star Eagles in Qingdao, China, grabbing an overseas spot that usually isn’t available once NBA training camps end in October. “It gave me financial stability, which is something a lot of people don’t get in their first year,” Williams said. “It gives me an opportunity to go out there and develop my game more and play for a pretty good team. Culturally, I get to go to a whole different continent and see how they play.” Williams thought he might get more interest from NBA teams after an impressive performance with the Rockets‘ summer league squad. He averaged  20.5 points and 11.8 rebounds in four games and was named to the all-NBA Summer League second team. Williams is hoping for another shot at the NBA once his CBA season ends in February or March.

There’s more news tonight from around the basketball world:

  • Tyrus Thomas, the fourth pick in the 2006 draft, still dreams of returning to the NBA, writes Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Thomas missed the entire 2013/14 season after undergoing an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion for an arachnoid cyst. He signed a 10-day contract with the Grizzlies in January, but only appeared in two games. At 29, he is training for another shot at the league and hopes to be in someone’s camp next month.
  • James Nunnally has signed with Sidigas Avellino of the Italian Serie A, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Nunnally, another UC Santa Barbara product, appeared in a combined 13 games with the Hawks and Sixers during the 2013/14 season. He spent last season with teams in Spain and Israel, and played for the Pacers‘ entry in this year’s summer league.
  • Several teams took risks this summer, and Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders evaluates the best and worst of them, including the Lakers‘ and Knicks‘ draft picks, the Rocketsdeal for Ty Lawson, the Raptors giving big money to DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph and the Kingsgamble on Rajon Rondo.

Pacers, Others To Meet With Briante Weber

The Pacers are set to meet with undrafted point guard Briante Weber today, reports Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. At least 15 NBA teams have expressed interest in the former VCU standout, a source tells Agness. Indiana has been among the most aggressive, and they’re the first team Weber is visiting, Agness adds. The 22-year-old will meet with Pacers officials and medical staff, according to Agness, and while he’s been doing on-court work lately, more than six months after a season-ending right knee injury, it’s unclear if he’ll be working out for the team.

Weber, in spite of the injury, was the 73rd-best draft prospect this year, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, so it’s not surprising to see him attract attention as training camp approaches. The Ronald Shade client was on pace to break the all-time NCAA Division I career steals record before he suffered a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus in his right knee on January 31st, Agness notes. He averaged 3.9 steals per game in 20 appearances last season to go along with 8.9 points, 4.3 assists and 1.7 turnovers in 26.5 minutes per contest. VCU teammate Treveon Graham signed Monday with the Jazz.

Indiana already has 15 players with fully guaranteed salaries, plus Toney Douglas, who has a partial guarantee of $600K, so Weber would face long odds to stick for opening night if he and the Pacers work out a deal for camp. The Pacers are in talks about a possible purchase of what would be a one-to-one D-League affiliate, but for now, the franchise doesn’t have its own D-League team, so Indiana is without the ability to carry on an organizational partnership with any of the players it cuts at the end of the preseason.

2015/16 Salary Cap: Indiana Pacers

The NBA’s salary cap for 2015/16 has been set at $70MM, which is an 11% increase from this past season, and the luxury tax line will be $84.74MM. The last cap projection from the league had been $67.1MM, and the projection for the tax line had been $81.6MM. We at Hoops Rumors are in the process of breaking down the cap commitments for each NBA franchise for the coming season. Next up on the list is the Indiana Pacers, who currently have a roster count totaling 16 players:

  • 2015/16 Salary Cap= $70,000,000
  • 2015/16 Luxury Tax Line= $84,740,000
  • Fully Guaranteed Salary Commitments= $71,540,082
  • Partially Guaranteed Salary Commitments= $600,000
  • Non-Guaranteed Salary Commitments= $347,276
  • Total Salary Cap Commitments= $72,487,358
  • Remaining Cap Room= -$2,487,358
  • Amount Below Luxury Tax Line= $12,252,642

Cap Exceptions Available:

  • Room Exception= $2,814,000

Cash Available to Send Out In Trades= $3,400,000

Cash Available to Receive Via Trade= $3,400,000

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

And-Ones: Turner, Vandeweghe, Horford

Hawks big man Al Horford is entering the final season of his current deal and will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. But Horford’s eye is on the coming season, and he won’t discuss his future until next summer, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution relays.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The NBA officially announced today that Kiki Vandeweghe has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations for the league, a move that had seemed likely for months. He moves up from vice president of basketball ops and replaces the retiring Rod Thorn. Vandeweghe’s new position puts him in charge of player discipline, among other duties. “Kiki is one of the sharpest basketball minds in the NBA,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “In addition to his storied UCLA and NBA playing career plus his extensive experience as a general manager, coach, and TV analyst, he has most recently helped drive innovations in analytics that are reshaping the league in areas such as scheduling, game statistics, and player health.”
  • Myles Turner has transformed from an injured high school junior who was an afterthought to college recruiters into a candidate to start at center for the Pacers this season, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders details. This year’s No. 11 overall pick performed well at summer league, leading to some thought of him as a Rookie of the Year contender, but coach Frank Vogel has reminded the big man not to get carried away, as Turner tells Kennedy.
  • The Rockets have officially hired Matt Brase as the coach of Rio Grande Valley Vipers, their D-League affiliate, the team announced (via Twitter). Brase replaces former coach Nevada Smith, who spent two seasons with the Vipers and compiled an overall record of 60-46, including a mark of 27-23 last season.

Nets Rumors: Sloan, Prokhorov, Reed

Brooklyn’s signing of Donald Sloan could turn out to be a small gamble that pays off big, according to NetsDaily.com. Sloan has bounced around the league during his six-year career, but he showed promise in limited playing time with the Pacers last season, starting a career-high 21 games. His toughness on the court, combined with his ball-handling abilities, could earn him a spot in the Nets’ backcourt. Sloan signed a one-year minimum deal with Brooklyn last week and will make just $50,000 if he is waived before the season starts. The website notes that the addition of Sloan provides another obstacle for rookie Ryan Boatright to make the team.

There’s more news out of Brooklyn:

  • The extension given to Bruce Ratner and Forest City Enterprises to resolve their debt to Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov could be a signal that a deal is coming soon, NetsDaily speculates in the same story. Payment of the $31.3MM debt has been delayed for a month, marking the second time the deadline has been extended. The website notes the “general belief” is that Prokhorov would like to buy out Ratner’s stake in the Nets and Barclays Center. “The team is obviously on the auction block, and my guess is they are extending this agreement because there might be a deal close at hand,” said stock analyst Paul E. Adornato of BMO Capital Markets Inc. “What this tells me is that there could be a larger deal for the sale of the team and the sale of the arena.” It is uncertain whether Prokhorov will keep the team for long if he obtains full control.
  • Willie Reed was able to parlay an impressive summer league game into a contract with the Nets, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Playing for Miami’s entry in the Orlando Summer League, Reed posted 17 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes against Brooklyn, impressing the organization that cut him in training camp last season. “I obviously knew some of the guys who were there [for Brooklyn], the young core, and I was upset that I was the only person who was waived last year,” Reed said. “But I understand that this is a business. … I just tried to get better throughout the D-League season, and I was able to become the No. 1 D-League prospect and become really consistent. … It all worked out; I had a great game against them and a great summer league.”

Central Notes: Allen, Morris, Thompson

Lavoy Allen received incentive clauses on his three-year deal with the Pacers instead of the $1.5MM signing bonus that was originally reported, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). It appears that those incentives call for Allen to get an extra $500K each year if he keeps his weight down, Pincus also tweets. Allen is considered likely to make weight, so the cap hits of $4.05MM this season and $4MM each of the next two years remain the same, unless he fails to hit the target at preseason weigh-ins.

Here’s more out of the Central Division:

  • One of the reasons that the Pistons acquired Marcus Morris was to prevent 2015 first round draftee Stanley Johnson from being pressured to start and produce for the team immediately, David Mayo of MLive.com opines. Mayo also notes that Morris’ $5MM salary this season, and the $4.625MM he will earn for the 2016/17 campaign, will make him a bargain as a reserve player once Johnson assumes a starting role.
  • The Cavaliers need to be careful that whatever the outcome of their contract negotiations with restricted free agent Tristan Thompson, they don’t alienate LeBron James, who is on record as being a big supporter of the forward, Tom Ziller of SBNation writes. Though Ziller doesn’t necessarily believe that James would leave Cleveland again, he doesn’t think it wise for the franchise to roll the dice and risk losing the superstar next summer. Also complicating matters is the fact that Thompson’s agent, Rich Paul, also represents LeBron.
  • Earlier this evening we broke down the 2015/16 salary cap figures for the Pistons, and previously had done the same for the Bulls and Cavaliers, which can be viewed here and here.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Central Notes: Thompson, Love, Bulls, Douglas

LeBron James believes the Cavs front office has “done a great job” this summer, but the next step, he added, is to re-sign Tristan Thompson, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com chronicles. James and Thompson share Rich Paul as an agent.

“Our No. 1 objective right now is to sign Tristan,” James said Thursday at Cedar Point amusement park. “He’s a huge part of our team. Short term and long term he makes our team more dangerous.”

Keeping him for this season doesn’t appear to be the issue. Paul raised the specter of Thompson signing his one-year, approximately $6.778MM qualifying offer earlier this week, but the agent said that if that happened, Thompson wouldn’t re-sign with the Cavs in unrestricted free agency next season. The Cavs are offering less than the near-max that Thompson seeks, Windhorst notes. See more from Cleveland amid the latest from the Central Division:

  • James also expressed confidence that Kevin Love, who re-signed on a five-year deal earlier this summer, will function better this season than last, as Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. Love arranged a meeting with James earlier this summer. “He wanted to talk about the season, what could happen with the team going forward,” James said. “I was absolutely open to it. I was one of the people that wanted him there when we made the trade last summer. The fact that he committed to us let me know the type of guy we have. I think he’s going to be great for us. I think he’ll be an All-Star this year and a much more vocal part of the team this season.” 
  • Jimmy Butler knows much hinges on the Bulls‘ coaching change and their ability to take advantage of opportunities, as Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com relays (Twitter links). “We got the same team. Is it enough? We’ll find out. It wasn’t enough last year. Only thing we changed was coach,” Butler said. “We got the same exact team. We had a chance. We were right there. If we’re healthy…we’ll be right in the same position.”
  • Toney Douglas understands he faces a challenge to make the opening night roster for the Pacers, a team that already has 15 fully guaranteed salaries to go along with his partially guaranteed deal, writes Manny Randhawa of the Indianapolis Star. President of basketball operations Larry Bird used the phrase “having him in camp” twice in the press release to announce the signing of Douglas, but the point guard isn’t discouraged. “We really haven’t gotten into detail about me being here, but I know I’m here for a reason,” Douglas said this week to reporters, including Randhawa. His contract covers one season, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

Central Notes: Thompson, D-League, Butler

Despite Rich Paul’s proclamation that his client, Tristan Thompson, would not re-sign with the Cavaliers next summer if he were to sign his qualifying offer, worth nearly $6.778MM, Cleveland should not offer the forward a maximum salary deal, opines Bill Livingston of The Plain Dealer. Livingston points to the exorbitant luxury tax hit that would go along with such a lucrative contract for Thompson, and notes that prior to the 2014/15 campaign the forward had been considered a disappointment by many. The Plain Dealer scribe also adds that despite the threat by Paul that Thompson would depart, the Cavs would still retain the 24-year-old’s Bird rights, meaning that they could outbid other teams for Thompson’s services next offseason.

Here’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Pacers will meet with officials from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants next week to discuss terms of the prospective sale of the D-League franchise to Indiana, Adam Johnson of D-League Digest tweets.
  • Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler acknowledges that the chemistry between he and point guard Derrick Rose needs to improve next season, Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com writes. “I think we can,” Butler said during an appearance on “The Waddle and Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000, when asked about his chemistry with Rose. “I think we will. And I think we better, because the way I look at it, I don’t think either one of us is going anywhere anytime soon.”
  • Toney Douglas said that the presence of Donnie Walsh as a consultant helped him decide to sign with the Pacers, Scott Agness of VigilantSports.com writes. “I love Donnie,” Douglas said. “Donnie has always been a great guy. I loved him when I was in New York. Him being here was really a great situation. I trust him. He’s not going to lie to you; he’s going to keep it real and tell you what you need to do.” Walsh was president of the Knicks when the team swung a deal with the Lakers to acquire the draft rights to Douglas back in 2009.

Central Notes: Williams, Kirk, Douglas

The opportunity to play for an NBA title is what ultimately led to Mo Williams‘ decision to sign with the Cavs, Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. “It feels home,” Williams said of Cleveland during an interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “There’s just that team where you kind of feel like, ‘You know what? I would never want to leave this organization.’ Obviously the business of basketball changes the landscape of a lot of people’s careers and mine was no different, but to have the opportunity to come back and finish my career there and have the opportunity to go out on top, I couldn’t ask for a better situation. There’s no monetary factor involved in any of my decisions. At this point of my career now it’s just playing winning basketball, playing for championships.

The Cavs’ young backcourt will also benefit from the addition of Williams, Fedor adds. “The reasons why the Cavs were confident to bring me back, I’m a strong voice and a team guy,” Williams said. “It’s about bringing everybody together collectively for one goal. That’s kind of my approach and just being around guys every day obviously you’re going to learn personalities. It’s just like any coach. You have to be able to manage those personalities and you have to be able to have everybody on your team like you. I think those things are important. Be able to relate to our guys. I’ve been the star of my team. I’ve been the second guy and the third guy. I’ve been the sixth man and the guy [expletive] off that he’s not playing. I can kind of relate to each guy.

Here’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Alex Kirk, who made five appearances for the Cavaliers during the 2014/15 season, is expected to sign a deal with an Italian team in the near future, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders relays (Twitter link).
  • The Pacers guaranteed $600k of Toney Douglas‘ $1,185,784 salary for the 2015/16 season, and another $275k becomes guaranteed if the guard is on the roster come the season opener, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • Former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says he was not surprised by the team’s decision to fire him, Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com tweets. Thibodeau also relayed that he had no regrets regarding his tenure with Chicago, and said he had no reaction to the disparaging comments made by team owner Jerry Reinsdorf when the Bulls announced his termination, notes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).

Pacers Sign Toney Douglas To Camp Deal

AUGUST 11TH, 10:41am: The deal is official, the team announced. Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird nonetheless seems to make it clear that Douglas isn’t assured of a spot on the opening night roster, which would suggest his contract isn’t fully guaranteed.

“We look forward to having him in camp,” Bird said in the team’s statement. “He’s a veteran player who’s a good pro and he can play two positions. He’s the type of player we’re looking for with our new style of play. We look forward to working with him and having him in camp.”

AUGUST 6TH, 5:01pm: The Pacers intend to sign unrestricted free agent Toney Douglas, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports (via Twitter). The 29-year-old is already in Indiana working out with the team, Zillgitt adds. Indiana currently has a roster count of 15 players, including 14 fully guaranteed pacts.

The guard was waived by the Pelicans at the end of July so that the team could avoid being on the hook for his 2015/16 salary of $1,185,784, which would have become fully guaranteed if Douglas remained on New Orleans’ roster through August 1st.

Douglas appeared in 12 games for New Orleans during the 2014/15 season, averaging 4.3 points and 2.0 assists in 14.8 minutes per game. His career numbers through six NBA seasons are 7.6 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 2.2 APG.

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