Jeff Withey

Jazz Waive Bryce Cotton, Treveon Graham

The Jazz have waived Bryce Cotton and Treveon Graham, the team announced (Twitter link). The moves reduce Utah to 15 players, the regular season limit, ostensibly a sign that Jeff Withey, Chris Johnson and Elijah Millsap will stick around for opening night despite the lack of full guarantees on their respective contracts. Graham has a $75K partial guarantee on his salary, though it’s more surprising to see Utah release Cotton and his non-guaranteed deal, since the move leaves the Jazz with only two healthy point guards.

Cotton totaled 13 points but just one assist against three turnovers in more than 34 minutes of action combined over two preseason games. The 23-year-old was a holdover from last season, when he joined the Jazz on a pair of 10-day contracts and eventually a deal for the rest of the season that included non-guaranteed salaries for 2015/16 and 2016/17. Graham, a 21-year-old swingman, signed a three-year deal with the Jazz in August after going undrafted out of VCU in June. He scored one point in more than 18 minutes of preseason action. The length of their respective deals makes it unlikely a team claims them off waivers, since many teams can’t claim any deal that runs longer than two.

The Jazz have 12 fully guaranteed contracts, as our roster count shows, plus Withey on a $200K partial guarantee. Johnson and Millsap don’t have any guaranteed salary. Utah isn’t obligated to carry more than 13 players for opening night, though most teams keep 15. Still, Johnson and Millsap will be in tenuous position until the leaguewide guarantee date in January. That’s especially so if the Jazz decide they want more depth at the point. Shooting guard Alec Burks seems likely to see time handling the ball in the meantime.

Northwest Notes: Chalmers, Jazz, Montero, Withey

Trading for Mario Chalmers makes sense for the Jazz, Kincade Upstill of the Deseret News opines. The Heat would prefer to offload salary, as they are about $5.66MM above the $84.74MM luxury tax threshold. Miami hasn’t ruled out trading Chalmers, who will make $4.3MM this season in the final season of his contract. The Jazz are nearly $7MM under the salary cap, so the team could acquire the point guard without sending any salary back. Upstill speculates that a second round pick from Utah would get a deal done due to Miami’s financial situation and its lack of future draft picks.

Dante Exum’s injury creates an opening in the team’s rotation. Trey Burke will slide into the staring lineup and Raul Neto, whose rights were acquired from Atlanta on draft night, will presumably be given the opportunity to run the second unit. The Jazz also have Bryce Cotton under contract, but his deal is non-guaranteed and he’s no lock to make the opening night roster. The team could also use Alec Burks as a de facto second unit point guard. That’s an intriguing option. It would also likely involve inserting Joe Ingles, whose a nifty passer who doesn’t need the ball in his hands, into the starting lineup next to Gordon Hayward and Burke, who can both be ball-dominant at times.

The options currently at the Utah’s disposal are all unproven. The team expects to compete for a playoff spot this season and if the cost of acquiring Chamlers, who has demonstrated he can contribute in the postseason, is as low as Upstill insinuates, then the Jazz might be smart to call Pat Riley and attempt to reach a deal.

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Luis Montero’s deal with the Blazers only contains $100K in guaranteed salary this season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Montero signed a three-year contract worth $2.4MM in early July. Portland currently has 17 contracts on the books, as our 2015/16 Roster Count page shows. Of those 17 deals, only 12 contain fully guaranteed salary and two, including Montero’s deal, contain partially guaranteed salary, so the 22-year-old has a decent shot at making the opening night roster.
  • Jeff Withey’s deal with the Jazz, which is a minimum arrangement over two seasons, contains $200K in guaranteed salary, Pincus adds in a seperate tweet. The pact includes a team option on year two. Utah has 20 contracts on the books, with 15 of them, including Withey’s deal, containing at least some guaranteed salary.

Western Notes: Waiters, Ezeli, Withey

The Thunder are open to the idea of a rookie scale extension for Dion Waiters, but only if the shooting guard is willing to give them a discount, sources tell Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. That casts doubt on whether the former No. 4 overall pick would sign before the deadline this fall, particularly coming off a career-low scoring average this past season.

Here’s more out of the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors would sign Festus Ezeli to a rookie scale extension if the price is right, Kyler also relays. GM Bob Myers recently indicated to Monte Poole of that the team would consider the idea of doing a deal with the backup center that would keep him out of restricted free agency next summer.
  • The two-year pact that Jeff Withey inked with the Jazz includes a partial guarantee of $200K, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link).
  • Mavericks swingman Wesley Matthews told scribe Bobby Karalla (on Twitter) that he will be ready to play come opening night. The shooting guard tore his left Achilles tendon on March 5th, and missed the last 22 games of the 2014/15 season. Matthews inked a four-year max deal with Dallas this offseason.
  • The most likely scenario for the Jazz heading into training camp will be for the team to stand pat and continue to carry just four point guards on its roster, Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune tweets. Utah, in the wake of the season-ending injury Dante Exum suffered, plans on going with Trey Burke as the starter, and will utilize Raul Neto and Bryce Cotton as the reserves. The Jazz are said to be interested in acquiring Wizards guard Garrett Temple, but Washington reportedly isn’t in any rush to part with the 29-year-old.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Jazz Sign Jeff Withey

4:16pm: The deal is official, the Jazz announced.

2:43pm: The Jazz have agreed to sign former Pelicans center Jeff Withey, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Darren Matsubara client is getting a two-year, partially guaranteed deal that includes a team option on year two, according to Wojnarowski.

The Pelicans withdrew their qualifying offer, worth $1,147,276, to the former 39th overall pick shortly before news broke that they had struck a deal to re-sign Alexis Ajinca. The Jazz have more than $6MM in cap space, but it’s unclear just how much of that the former Kansas standout will see. He played a limited role with New Orleans, averaging 11.8 minutes per game in 2013/14, his rookie year, and just 7.0 MPG this past season.

Withey has what Wojnarowski deems a strong chance to stick around for opening night, since the Jazz have only 13 fully guaranteed contracts. Still, he’ll compete with Chris Johnson, Elijah Millsap, Bryce Cotton, Jack Cooley and Treveon Graham, all of whom are on the Jazz roster with partially or non-guaranteed salary.

Assuming the Jazz start the season with 15 players, which two players without fully guaranteed deals do you think they’ll keep? Leave a comment to tell us. 

Pelicans Re-Sign Alexis Ajinca

JULY 9TH, 9:33am: The deal is official, the team announced.

JULY 1ST, 1:00pm: The Pelicans will re-sign Alexis Ajinca to a four-year, $20.2MM deal, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter links). Sam Amick of USA Today has the deal worth $20.5MM (on Twitter). Ajinca took to Twitter to reveal that he and New Orleans have a deal. It’s quite a raise on the minimum salary that the Bradley Ames client had been making. The Pelicans, who are above the cap, can use Early Bird rights on the center.

New Orleans withdrew its $1,147,276 qualifying offer to Jeff Withey shortly before reports of the agreement, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders notes (on Twitter), making Withey an unrestricted free agent and further pointing to the team’s commitment to Ajinca as its backup center. The Pelicans have a deal on an extension with Anthony Davis, but Omer Asik, the team’s starting center, is a free agent.

Southwest Rumors: Mavs, Gasol, Cole

The Mavericks are looking to fortify their backcourt and are interested in unrestricted free agents Danny Green and Wesley Matthews, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports. Their ability to sign either of those players could hinge on whether they are able to reel in one of their two primary frontcourt targets, DeAndre Jordan or LaMarcus Aldridge, Sefko continues, since they might not be able to afford two high-salaried free agents. The Mavs have a better shot at landing Jordan instead of Aldridge, which would ensure the departure of unrestricted free agent center Tyson Chandler. Another possible target is point guard Mo Williams, who lives in the Dallas area, Sefko adds.

In other news around the Southwest Division:

  • Grizzlies officials are optimistic that they will re-sign Marc Gasol and expect him to make a quick decision in free agency, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The Grizzlies began their recruitment of the unrestricted All-Star center on Monday by posting a video about him on their website, Tillery continues. He opted to become a free agent mainly for financial reasons, Tillery adds.
  • The Pelicans made qualifying offers of $3.037MM to Norris Cole and $1.147MM to Jeff Withey, ensuring they will be restricted free agents, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
  • Rockets draft-and-stash prospect Alessandro Gentile is not coming to the NBA any time soon, according to a story, via a La Gazzetta dello Sport report. Gentile signed a contract extension with Italy’s EA7 Milano that will not expire until June 2018. Even though there are some opt outs in the contract, Gentile plans to stay in Italy for at least three more seasons, the story adds.

Western Notes: Clips, Jazz, Withey, Buycks, Mavs

Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion bid for the Clippers equals more than 12 times the total revenue projections for the team from 2013/14, but no major pro sports team has ever sold for more than five times of its total revenue, according to Bank of America. Ramona Shelburne and Darren Rovell of have the details, which back up the contention of Clippers CEO Dick Parsons that it would be tough to envision another bidder coming in so high.

  • The Jazz received $1.3MM in cash Tuesday as part of their three-for-one trade with the Cavs, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). That’s slightly more than the $1MM that was originally reported.
  • Jeff Withey‘s minimum salary became fully guaranteed for this coming season after the Pelicans declined to waive him before the end of Tuesday, the final day they could do so without owing him any money, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports. Teammate Luke Babbitt also earned a $100K partial guarantee when the Pelicans kept him past Tuesday, which was also the final day his contract had been fully non-guaranteed.
  • Dwight Buycks is drawing the eye of the Clippers and Suns, and multiple teams from overseas are interested in him as well, Sportando’s Enea Trapani reports. The Raptors waived Buycks on Saturday, before his contract would have become fully guaranteed.
  • The Mavs are nearing a deal with Jameer Nelson, but owner Mark Cuban insisted to Tim MacMahon of that the team isn’t trying to unload Raymond Felton. “We like him and think he will have a great year,” Cuban said. 
  • Cuban also made an appearance on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket in Dallas this week, during which he explained that the Mavericks strategically used the ultra-logical approach of the Rockets‘ front office to put together an offer for Chandler Parsons that was unlikely to be matched (link via The Dallas Morning News).

Western Notes: Miller, Kings, Bledsoe, Pelicans

Mike Miller is scheduled to meet with the Nuggets today, reports John Martin of The article also notes that the Grizzlies made an initial offer of two-years and an annual salary between $2.4MM and $2.9MM. The Thunder, Rockets, and Trail Blazers are all reportedly interested in Miller’s services, notes Martin.

More from the west:

  • The Kings are looking to clear up their overstock of power forwards through the trade market, reports Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter links). The team is seeking a defender and a shot blocker to shore up their interior, and also want to free up some of the cap space tied to that position, notes Jones.
  • The Suns and Eric Bledsoe‘s agent Rich Paul are in early stages of contract talks, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Spears also notes that many of Bledsoe’s other suitors are in a holding pattern until Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James make their decisions.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic signed a four-year deal with Fenerbahce that contains an NBA out clause in 2016, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Bogdanovic was the 27th overall pick of the Suns in this year’s NBA Draft.
  • The Pelicans lack of action on the free agent front is disconcerting, writes Jimmy Smith of the Times Picayune. One stopping block is the team’s need to clear enough cap space to complete the trade of Omer Asik, notes Smith.
  • Jeff Withey’s minimum salary for this coming season became partially guaranteed for $100K when he remained on the Pelicans‘ roster through Saturday. It’ll become fully guaranteed if the Pelicans decline to waive him before the end of July 22nd, as our Schedule of Contract Guarantee Dates shows.
  • The Thunder has named Darko Rajakovic as an assistant coach, the team announced via a press release. Rajakovic led Tulsa to a combined 51-49 record over two seasons, including a 27-23 record and NBA D-League Semifinals appearance in 2012/13. Coach Scott Brooks had this to say, “Darko’s diverse basketball background, knowledge of the game and ability to develop players at a high level were clearly apparent during his time in Tulsa, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to add him to our staff. His understanding of the core tenants of what we do, thanks to his time in Tulsa, will maintain a level of consistency that we value and his various head coaching experiences internationally will provide another layer to our coaches.”

Contract Details: Oden, Pargo, Williams, Udrih

Mark Deeks of has updated his invaluable database of NBA salaries with details on many of the players who have signed over the last couple weeks. We hadn't yet heard the specifics on a number of those contracts, so let's round up the new info….

  • Initially reported as a two-year contract with a second-year player option, Greg Oden's deal with the Heat is actually only for one season, according to Deeks.
  • Jannero Pargo's one-year, minimum-salary pact with the Bobcats is only currently guaranteed for $300K. Pargo will be assured of his full salary (about $1.4MM) if he remains on the roster past December 10th.
  • The Trail Blazers signed Mo Williams using their full room exception, and included a 15% trade kicker in his deal.
  • There's also a 15% trade kicker on Beno Udrih's minimum-salary contract with the Knicks.
  • Another Knicks signee, Jeremy Tyler, has a $100K guarantee on his two-year deal.
  • Carrick Felix's four-year deal with the Cavaliers was originally reported as being fully guaranteed for three seasons. However, according to Deeks, the third year is non-guaranteed, and the fourth year is a team option.
  • The first year of Peyton Siva's pact with the Pistons is partially guaranteed for $150K.
  • Jeff Withey has a fully guaranteed rookie year with the Pelicans, while his second-year salary won't become guaranteed until next July.
  • Ryan Gomes' contract with the Thunder is currently non-guaranteed. He'll receive three $25K bonuses if he remains on the roster beyond September 1st, October 1st, and October 30th, but his salary won't become fully guaranteed until January.

Pelicans Sign Jeff Withey

The Pelicans have officially signed rookie big man Jeff Withey to a contract, the team announced today in a press release. Since Withey was a second-round pick, he won't receive a standard rookie-scale deal, so terms of the agreement aren't yet known.

Withey, 23, was selected 39th overall in last month's draft by the Trail Blazers. A couple weeks later, he was shipped to New Orleans in the three-team deal that saw the Pelicans also acquire Tyreke Evans while sending Greivis Vasquez to Sacramento and Robin Lopez to Portland.

Withey spent four seasons at Kansas, developing from a freshman who only played 45 total minutes into a senior who averaged 13.7 PPG and 8.5 RPG in 2012/13. With Lopez having been dealt to the Trail Blazers, Withey may earn some playing time in his rookie year. Withey, Greg Stiemsma, and Jason Smith represent the Pelicans' best options at center, unless the team is willing to have Anthony Davis spend time at the five.

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