Jeff Withey

Pelicans To Re-Sign Alexis Ajinca

The Pelicans will re-sign Alexis Ajinca to a four-year, $20.2MM deal, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (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 Sportando.com 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 ESPN.com 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 ESPNDallas.com 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 ESPN929.com. 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 ShamSports.com 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.

Pelicans, Kings, Blazers Agree To Three-Way Deal

7:15pm: The Kings press release on the deal has Sacramento acquiring Vasquez from the Pelicans in exchange for Evans. The Kings also say they wind up with a 2016 second-round pick and future second-round considerations, presumably from the Blazers. 

6:43pm: The Blazers announced their part, with Lopez and Harris coming from the Pelicans in exchange for Jeff Withey, future second-round draft considerations, and cash.

JULY 10TH, 6:12pm: The Pelicans have confirmed their end of the trade, via press release. They acquire Evans and Withey, send Lopez and Harris to the Blazers, and ship Vasquez to the Kings.

JULY 4TH6:04pm: Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Portland will send Jeff Withey to the Pelicans and a future second round pick to the Kings as part of the three-team deal (Twitter links). 

4:44pm: ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports (via Twitter) that Terrel Harris, who is on a non-guaranteed contract, will also be sent to the Blazers in the deal. Meanwhile, Portland will pay Lopez's 15% trade kicker, which will be worth about $1.57MM in total, spread equally across the next two seasons. Stein adds that Sacramento will be receiving two second-round picks from the Blazers, rather than one.

4:39pm: The Pelicans will receive cash and future draft picks from the Blazers in the deal, tweets John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Sam Amick of USA Today adds (via Twitter) that the Kings will also receive a future second-rounder from Portland.

3:55pm: The Pelicans, Kings, and Trail Blazers have verbally agreed to a three-way deal that will make Tyreke Evans a Pelican, reports ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter). The deal will send Evans to the Pelicans, Robin Lopez to the Trail Blazers, and Greivis Vasquez to the Kings, with the Blazers sending out picks and cash, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).

Evans had been preparing to sign a four-year, $44MM offer sheet with New Orleans, so rather than lose him for nothing, the Kings decided to negotiate a sign-and-trade deal. The Pelicans had been motivated to move Lopez in order to make room under the cap for their offer to Evans, so involving the two players in the same deal made sense. Meanwhile, with New Orleans putting together a backcourt that will feature Evans, Jrue Holiday, and Eric Gordon, Vasquez was the odd man out, making him expendable as well.

Sacramento agreed to complete the three-way deal with the Blazers and Pelicans after Jose Calderon passed on an opportunity to sign with the team. According to Wojnarowski, the Kings wanted to sign Calderon and flip Vasquez to another team, but the Spaniard decided he didn't want to be part of a full-blown rebuild in Sacramento. Calderon will continue to negotiate with other teams, including the Pistons, tweets Wojnarowski.

As for the Pelicans, they get their man in Evans and figure to use him off the bench in a Manu Ginobili-type role, behind a starting backcourt of Holiday and Gordon. It's not clear where the cash and picks coming from the Blazers are headed, but I would guess the Pelicans will acquire something from Portland, since New Orleans is sending out multiple players in the move.

For Sacramento, the deal gives the team the opportunity to regain some value for Evans, and Vasquez's modest $2.15MM salary will allow the club to retain plenty of cap space to pursue other players. The Kings previously withdrew a four-year offer for Andre Iguodala, but should still have the flexibility to pursue Iguodala again, if they so choose. Sacramento may also get in on those draft and cash considerations from Portland, though we'll have to wait for further word.

Meanwhile, the Blazers continue to make use of their summer cap space by making trades rather than signing free agents, as Lopez will be absorbed using the team's room under the cap. Portland also agreed to acquire Thomas Robinson from the Rockets without including any outgoing salary. At the moment, only $500K of Lopez's 2013/14 salary is guaranteed, but the next two years of his contract will become guaranteed this weekend, since he won't be waived by tomorrow. He'll earn $5.12MM next season and $5.34MM in '14/15.

The three teams will be able to finalize the transaction when the July moratorium lifts next Wednesday.

Draft Updates: Wednesday Afternoon

We rounded up the morning updates on the draft earlier today, and passed along a few of the day's more notable draft-related rumors in their own separate posts. Now, a few more afternoon updates, with just over 24 hours to go until the 2013 draft:

  • If the Thunder are able to trade up and acquire a top-five pick, their primary target figures to be Alex Len, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. According to Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (via Twitter), Oklahoma City is likely dangling its two first-round picks (Nos. 12 and 29), along with Kendrick Perkins and perhaps its second-rounder (No. 32).
  • The Hawks are working out Jeff Withey, Kelly Olynyk, and Grant Jerrett in Atlanta today, tweets Wojnarowski.
  • Sean Deveney of the Sporting News writes in his latest rumor roundup that it's appearing more and more likely that the Cavaliers will keep the first overall pick.
  • Some sources believe that the Thunder won't let Deshaun Thomas get past them at No. 32 tomorrow night, according to Amico. However, many executives believe Thomas could go as high as No. 19 or as low as the mid-second-round.
  • Archie Goodwin's stock appears to be slipping as tomorrow night approaches, says Amico, adding that there's an outside chance he may not even get drafted.
  • The Clippers are said to be high on Allen Crabbe and it's possible he'll still be on the board at No. 25 for L.A., says Amico.

Draft Workout Updates: Friday

With just six days left until the 2013 draft, NBA teams continue to bring in prospects to work them out and gather as much information as they can. Here are the latest updates on workouts taking place today, over the weekend, and early next week:

  • Allen Crabbe will work out Tuesday with the Bucks and Wednesday for the Nets, reports Scott Howard Cooper of NBA.com. Crabbe, widely projected as a late first-rounder at best, made it a priority to visit the Bucks, who have the No. 15 pick (Twitter links).
  • Mason Plumlee wasn't on the list the Pistons released of players with whom the team has met, but he was scheduled to work out for Detroit on Friday, according to MLive's David Mayo.
  • We heard about Vander Blue's workout with the Bucks today (below), and Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel notes that Blue has also auditioned for the Mavs, Spurs, Hawks, Sixers, Pistons and Magic, with another workout on tap for Monday with the Grizzlies.

Earlier updates:

  • Anthony Bennett will visit the Bobcats on Saturday, though his injured rotator cuff will prevent him from working out, tweets Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
  • Pelicans GM Dell Demps traveled Friday to get a close look at Victor Oladipo, sources confirmed to John Reid of The Times Picayune.
  • Keith Langlois of Pistons.com passed along a list of players who met with the Pistons this past week: Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, C.J. McCollum, Cody Zeller, Derrick Nix, Dexter Strickland, Augusto Cesar Lima, Jared Berggren, Kenny Boynton and Karron Johnson (All Twitter links).
  • The Kings updated the workout schedule on their website, which shows Shabazz MuhammadDoug Anderson, A.J. Davis, John Dickson, Mfon Udofia and Kwame Vaughn coming in Saturday. McCollum will be in for a workout on Monday, Cowbell Kingdom's James Ham tweets.
  • Today's workout for the Timberwolves is expected to be the last one for the team, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, adding that Mason Plumlee, Kelly Olynyk, Colton Iverson, and Christian Watford were in attendance.
  • Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution passes along a couple tweets from Gorgui Dieng, surmising that the big man appears to be in Atlanta for a workout with the Hawks.
  • The Suns' workout today is headlined by Glen Rice Jr., according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, who has the full list of participants in a pair of tweets.
  • Vander Blue, Grant Jerrett, Brock Motum, Dejan Musli, Nemanja Nedovic, and Andrew Smith are working out for the Bucks today, according to the team's PR Twitter feed.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr. and Erick Green will be among the prospects working out for the Nets on Monday, the team announced in a press release.
  • Hardaway Jr. was also among the prospects who worked out for the Clippers today, along with Tony Snell, Ricky Ledo, and Reggie Bullock (link via Eric Patten of Clippers.com).
  • The Pacers announced today that they'll work out a a handful of prospects tomorrow: Matt Dellavedova, Angel Sharpless, Jamaal Franklin, Zeke Marshall, and Jeff Withey.

Draft Notes: Jazz, Noel, Cavs, Suns, Blazers

We unveiled the first edition of Hoops Rumors' 2013 mock draft earlier today, as our own Alex Lee ran through picks one through 30. We'll have our second and final mock up next week, just in time for Thursday night's draft, and given the lack of consensus on this year's class, it wouldn't be a surprise to see major changes to our board over the next several days. Here are the latest draft-related notes and rumors:

  • The Clippers worked out E.J. Singler, Carrick Felix, Alex Oriakhi, and Jackie Carmichael at their Playa Vista training center this morning (Clippers.com).
  • Among those who will participate in a pre-draft workout with the Wizards tomorrow include Keith Clanton, D.J. Cooper, Joffrey Lauvergne, Korie Lucious, Nicolo Melli, and Maurice Sutton, according to the team's official website
  • The Timberwolves will host Mason Plumlee, Kelly Olynyk, Christian Watford, and Colton Iverson tomorrow, as per the team's official PR Twitter account

Earlier updates:

  • Today's NBA AM piece from Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld is heavy on draft content, including an interview with Nerlens Noel and updates on Alex Len, the Jazz, and possible draft-and-stash candidates.
  • Sources within the Cavaliers organization seem somewhat "cool" on Noel, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. Still, Lloyd says the Cavs continue to prioritize long-term results rather than a short-term desire to make the playoffs, so Noel's inability to make an immediate impact likely wouldn't be a significant factor in the club's decision at No. 1.
  • ESPN.com's Chad Ford (Insider-only link) has unveiled his annual tiered rankings of the draft class, and none of this year's prospects qualified for either the first or second tier.
  • While most of the focus among Suns fans figures to be on the team's fifth overall pick, Phoenix also has the 30th and 57th selections. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has the names of the candidates for those picks who worked out for the team today, including Jeff Withey and Deshaun Thomas (Twitter link).
  • Steven Adams, Rudy Gobert, and Ricky Ledo are among the prospects working out for the Trail Blazers today, and Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com believes one of them could end up being the No. 10 pick (Twitter links).