One ex-Raptor and two current Raps have opted in for the 2013/14 season, tweets Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com. According to RealGM's transactions log, Charlie Villanueva, Linas Kleiza, and Aaron Gray all picked up their '13/14 player options on May 13th.
None of the decisions come as any surprise, given the production the three players provided on the court compared to the salaries they're now in line to earn next season. Villanueva had confirmed earlier in the season that he'd exercise his option, worth $8.58MM. In 69 games with the Pistons this season, Villanueva established career-lows in PPG (6.8), FG% (.377), and PER (14.0), among other categories.
The Raptors duo won't be quite as expensive as Villanueva, as Kleiza's option is worth $4.6MM, while Gray's is worth about $2.69MM. Gray appeared in 42 games for Toronto this season, starting 16 of them, and averaged 2.8 PPG and 3.2 RPG. Kleiza played in just 20 contests for the Raps, missing time with a knee injury and then not getting back into the lineup even when he was healthy.
While all three players are now set to become unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2014, free agency could come earlier for Villanueva and Kleiza. The Pistons and Raptors both still have the amensty provision available, and Villanueva and Kleiza represent the top amnesty candidates for their respective clubs.
The Celtics are in the market for a free agent big man, and we heard this morning that the club is considering signing D.J. White to a 10-day contract. White isn't the only player Boston has its eye on, however. According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Jerome Jordan, Tim Ohlbrecht, Shavlik Randolph, and Louis Amundson are among the other players being considered by the Celtics.
Here are a few more post-trade-deadline notes out of the Atlantic Division:
- 76ers GM Tony DiLeo spoke to the media about acquiring Charles Jenkins in what he calls a "no-risk" move, and said that he talked to every NBA team about potential trades before the deadline (video link via NBA.com).
- As Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News tweets, DiLeo also said that re-signing Andrew Bynum remains "Plan A" for the Sixers, but that the team's cap flexibility allows for "Plan B"s as well.
- Knicks GM Glen Grunwald told ESPN Radio that the Knicks had "a number of inquiries" on Iman Shumpert, tweets Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
- While Nets fans may be disappointed that the club couldn't land Josh Smith yesterday, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post thinks hanging on to assets will benefit the team in the long run.
- Although a Lithuanian report suggested that injury woes could put Linas Kleiza's career in jeopardy, the forward told reporters today that's not true, and that he expects to return soon (Twitter link via Holly MacKenzie of Sportsnet).
We've already rounded up a number of Celtics rumors this morning, but there's plenty happening around the rest of the Atlantic Division as well. Let's dive in....
- Celtics president Danny Ainge and Knicks coach Mike Woodson both downplayed the possibility of their respectives teams making a trade this week, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com and Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter links).
- If the Celtics get into a position where they need a roster spot, they may waive Leandro Barbosa, tweets Blakely. Barbosa would still receive his full salary in that case. For now, the C's have some flexibility -- even with Terrence Williams on the roster, the club still has an open roster spot.
- Nets GM Billy King told reporters, including Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Twitter link), that there's a 10% chance the Nets will make a trade this week. I'd probably put the odds higher than that, but I suppose he'd know better than I would.
- The Sixers are exploring a few trade avenues, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see them stand pat at the deadline, says John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I don't see anything for us right now," coach Doug Collins
said. "If something happens for us right now, I think it would be
something that would be very small. [GM] Tony [DiLeo]
is on the phone, but I don't think there is anything major that is going
to turn our season around. What would be major for us would be to get
our guys healthy."
- Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun doesn't expect the Raptors to find a taker for Linas Kleiza, who figures to be an amnesty candidate this July (Twitter link).
- Terrence Williams' 10-day contract with the Celtics could be beneficial for both the player and the team, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
Reaction has been pouring in since the Grizzlies, Raptors and Pistons struck a deal that's headlined by Rudy Gay going to Toronto. Couper Moorhead of Heat.com thinks the trade is a win for the Grizzlies, who pulled off the rare trifecta of shedding salary while improving short-term and long-term (Twitter link). Ken Berger of CBSSports.com sees it as a step back for Memphis, and another reminder of the harsh reality of the new CBA for small and mid-size markets. Here's more of what we're hearing:
- Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo said to expect more deals from the Raptors before the deadline, notes Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun via Twitter.
- Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free-Press, after discussions with those around the Pistons, wouldn't rule out the idea of the team keeping Jose Calderon around (Twitter link). I assume he means the team would try to re-sign him this summer, rather than merely pass up opportunities to flip him to another team before the trade deadline.
- Berger, in the same piece, says it would behoove the Pistons to trade some of the $26.5MM in expiring contracts they have as a result of the deal.
- As Chad Ford of ESPN.com notes via Twitter, the trade nets the Grizzlies an additional three wins according to trade machine metrics that were created by Memphis executive and former ESPN.com scribe John Hollinger.
- Not all of Hollinger's prior work portends the future, as Ford also points out, since Hollinger had new Grizzlies big man Ed Davis, the 13th pick in 2010, rated as the 54th-best prospect that year (Twitter link).
- The Grizzlies and Raptors were calling many other teams in their efforts to faciliate the trade, and the momentum toward the deal picked up steam this afternoon, recounts Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News (Twitter link).
- The Pistons' cap space for this summer increases from $25MM to $33MM as a result of the trade, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com notes via Twitter. Langlois speculates that the majority of that space will be used in trades rather than to sign free agents (Twitter link).
- The Pistons, who tried to acquire Jose Calderon around the time of the 2011 draft, have been high on Calderon for a while, Langlois notes. (Twitter links).
- Grantland's Zach Lowe thinks Andrea Bargnani and Linas Kleiza could be the next Raptors on their way out of Toronto (Twitter link).
- Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, who also believes Bargnani is on his way out, hears that the Grizzlies tried to send Darrell Arthur to the Raptors as part of the deal, but Toronto opted instead for Haddadi, whom they will reportedly waive (All Twitter links).
10:51pm: The report connecting Gasol and the Timberwolves is news to the T-Wolves, tweets Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
8:07am: The Raptors and Timberwolves recently attempted to initiate trade discussions with the Lakers about Pau Gasol, but Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has convinced the club to continue to take a pass on offers until Steve Nash returns, as Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne report for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Linas Kleiza are among those the Raptors are talking about including in a Gasol deal, according to Stein and Shelburne. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, who's told by rival executives that the Raptors are the most likely destination for Gasol, hears that Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is currently unwilling to include Bargnani in a deal. That could change, however, if Colangelo starts to feel pressure to win now.
It's an "open secret" that Wolves GM David Kahn has been after Gasol since last season in attempts to put together a core of Kevin Love and Spaniards Gasol and Ricky Rubio, Stein and Shelburne write. Kahn's trade offers have been built around Derrick Williams and Nikola Pekovic, packages that continually meet with rejection from the Lakers.
Hornets power forward Ryan Anderson, reportedly L.A.'s No. 1 target in a Gasol deal, is a "virtual untouchable" as far as New Orleans is concerned, according to the ESPNLosAngeles.com story. The Hawks, Rockets and Nuggets have no interest in obtaining Gasol, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.
The 32-year-old Gasol is making $19MM this year and is due $19.286MM next season in the final year of his deal. He's averaging 12.6 points per game on 42% shooting, both career lows, and has missed the last two games because of tendinitis in both knees.