Being both the coach and president of basketball operations for the Wolves put Flip Saunders in a unique situation regarding Ricky Rubio‘s extension, writes Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press. “Dealing with the GM, it’s always tough,” Rubio said. “But if you only see him in the office, that’s good. But then you have to see him in the practice, it’s a little tougher. But I think Flip handled the thing very well. He was not different, but when we’re out on the court, we were only talking about basketball. We didn’t talk about business in the practice facility. That helped me to feel comfortable.”
Here’s more from around the league:
- The Kings‘ D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, who selected Brady Heslip with their first round pick, were deemed the biggest winner of the D-League draft by Keith Schlosser of SB Nation. Schlosser also notes that Marquis Teague will learn more discipline running the floor by playing for the Thunder-affiliated Oklahoma City Blue.
- Will Cherry‘s two year, minimum salary deal with the Cavaliers is partially guaranteed, notes Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. The exact amount of the guarantee is not yet known.
- Though he signed a three-year, $15MM deal with the Kings this offseason, Darren Collison‘s original goal was to return to the Clippers, and the player said that being a starter wasn’t a priority in his decision, Jovan Buha of Fox Sports reports (Twitter links). Collison also said that Sacramento was the first team that contacted him, but that he felt that the club’s priorities were finding a big man and help on the wing, Buha notes.
- Collison did admit that there was some miscommunication between him and team president Doc Rivers regarding his level of interest in re-signing with the Clippers, Buha tweets. For his part, Rivers said, “I wanted to keep him [Collison]. I thought he would have been perfect for here forever. But I know math a little bit,” tweets Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times.
- Willie Reed, who was recently waived by the Nets, has signed a guaranteed contract for the remainder of the season with Hapoel Eilat of the Israeli league, David Pick of Basketball Insiders reports. The 6’10” Reed averaged 4.0 rebounds in 16.6 minutes in two preseason games for Brooklyn.
Chris Crouse contributed to this post.
The NBA D-League Draft was held today and the event was kicked off with Robert Covington being selected first overall by the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons D-League affiliate. Covington’s selection was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The 23-year-old forward was arguably the most talented player in the D-League draft, though he isn’t expected to spend the full season in Grand Rapids, notes Chris Reichert of SB Nation, since he is on the radar of numerous NBA teams.
Covington spent much of last season with Houston’s D-League affiliate despite being on the team’s NBA roster the entire year. He earned himself a trip to the D-League’s All-Star game by averaging 23.2 PPG and 9.2 RPG in 34.1 minutes per game in 42 D-League appearances. He spent the preseason on Houston’s roster, though he was away from the team for weeks mulling offers to play in Europe before being waived. Covington came close to inking a deal with the Sixers, but decided to take the D-League route to begin the season.
Elliot Williams, a former 2010 first round pick of the Blazers, was selected by the Warriors affiliate with the second overall pick. The 6’5″ guard was a rotation player for the Sixers last year, averaging 6.0 PPG in 17.3 MPG, but was waived by Philadelphia when the team needed to pare its preseason roster count down to 15 players.
Other players selected in the opening round who had prior NBA regular season experience were Marquis Teague, Ben Hansbrough, Erik Murphy, Carrick Felix and Damien Wilkins.
One other player to keep an eye on is Milos Milisavljevic, a 21-year-old Serbian point guard who was selected by the Texas Legends, who serve as the affiliate of the Mavericks. Milisavljevic will be NBA draft-eligible in 2015, and is on the radar of NBA scouts, though he isn’t currently projected to be taken in either round by DraftExpress.
Here is the full list of first round selections:
- Grand Rapids Drive (via Delaware) — Robert Covington
- Santa Cruz Warriors (via Erie) — Elliot Williams
- Austin Spurs — Erik Murphy
- Santa Cruz Warriors (via Maine) — Carrick Felix
- Grand Rapids Drive — Ben Hansbrough
- Texas Legends — Milos Milisavljevic
- Idaho Stampede — Tre’ Bussey
- Bakersfield Jam — Robert Vaden
- Oklahoma City Blue — Marquis Teague
- Reno Bighorns (via Westchester) — Joonas Caven
- Reno Bighorns — Brady Heslip
- Canton Charge — Michael Dunigan
- Santa Cruz Warriors — Melvin Johnson III
- Rio Grande Valley Vipers — Chane Behanan
- Sioux Falls Skyforce — Fuquan Edwin
- Iowa Energy — Damien Wilkins
- Los Angeles D-Fenders — Eloy Vargas
- Rio Grande Valley Vipers (via Fort Wayne) — Justin Jackson
8:31pm: The release of Teague and Williams is now official, the team announced.
4:21pm: The Sixers are waiving Marquis Teague and Elliot Williams, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Wojnarowski indicates the moves have already taken place, though the team has made no formal announcement. The Sixers faced a 4:00pm Central deadline to cut ties with at least three players to meet the league’s 15-man regular season roster limit, so it’s likely Teague and Williams are already on waivers. The same is probably true of Travis Outlaw, whom the team was reportedly likely to release just as it traded for him.
Teague had just arrived in Philadelphia via last week’s trade with the Nets. His salary of about $1.12MM is fully guaranteed for this season. He had a team option for about $2.023MM for 2015/16, but that option goes away once he clears waivers. It’s been a quick descent for the 29th pick from 2012, whom the Bulls sent to the Nets via trade last season. He’s averaged 2.3 points in 9.6 minutes per game for his career.
Williams was about to start season two of a four-year non-guaranteed contract, one that he’d signed after missing a year with a torn left Achilles tendon. The 22nd overall pick from 2010 was a rotation player for the Sixers last year, averaging 6.0 PPG in 17.3 MPG, but Philadelphia elected against bringing him back this year, even though the team’s roster is worse than last year’s.
The moves will leave the Sixers with just nine fully guaranteed contracts, plus a small partial guarantee to JaKarr Sampson. The team’s other five players are on non-guaranteed deals, leaving Philadelphia with plenty of flexibility and likely setting up more transactions.
3:24pm: The Sixers have followed with a formal announcement of their own. The press release notes that Philly will receive the more favorable of Milwaukee’s and Sacramento’s second-round picks in 2019.
2:47pm: The Sixers have acquired Marquis Teague and a protected 2019 second-round pick from the Nets in exchange for Casper Ware, as Brooklyn announced via press release. The pick headed Philadelphia’s way originally comes from Milwaukee as compensation for the Bucks hiring of coach Jason Kidd. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported the clubs were in trade talks about Teague, and Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News wrote that the clubs were close to finalizing a deal.
Teague is entering the third year of his rookie scale contract, set to pay him more than $1.12MM this season, which is fully guaranteed. A decision is due by a week from today on his fourth-year team option worth in excess of $2.023MM, but a report during the offseason indicated that Brooklyn was unlikely to pick that up. It’s unclear if Philadelphia is similarly willing to pass on the option, though the Sixers have tens of millions more in terms of cap flexibility than the Nets do to keep the point guard on the books.
Ware, another point guard, has a much less decorated pedigree than the other player in the trade. He’s on a non-guaranteed contract for the minimum salary, and he seems a long shot, at best, to remain with Brooklyn until opening night. The now 24-year-old was playing in Italy last season before he signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Sixers, who followed up with a low-risk multiyear deal.
The Nets are likely to waive Ware, a source confirms to Andy Vasquez of The Record, who adds that the team is likely to keep the 15 remaining players on its roster for opening night. That’s a boon for Jorge Gutierrez and Cory Jefferson, who have partially guaranteed contracts, and Jerome Jordan, whom coach Lionel Hollins has advocated keeping in spite of the center’s non-guaranteed deal.
Teague heads to a Sixers team with an unsettled roster featuring 20 players just three days in advance of Monday’s deadline for teams to cut down to no more than 15 guys. He becomes just the 10th fully guaranteed contract on Philly’s books. It’s the second trade within the calendar year of 2014 for Teague, whom the Bulls shipped to Brooklyn in January.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
FRIDAY, 8:23am: The teams are close to finalizing the trade, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. A future second-round pick would accompany Teague to Philadelphia, Bondy adds, though he doesn’t specify whether another second-round pick would go back to the Nets.
THURSDAY, 6:53pm: Teague landing in Philadelphia is “most likely” to happen, tweets Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com.
5:14pm: No cash will be changing hands, a source tells Robert Windrem of Nets Daily, who adds that the Sixers will likely send a future second-round pick Brooklyn’s way (Twitter links).
4:29pm: The Sixers are in discussions to acquire Marquis Teague from the Nets, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting. The Nets wouldn’t receive anything of significance in return for the third-year guard out of Kentucky, notes Wojnarowski. Teague is set to make $1,120,920 this coming season, and his deal includes a team option for 2015/16 that would pay Teague $2,023,261.
Teague was the No. 29 overall pick in the 2012 draft, and spent parts of two seasons with the Bulls before being dealt to the Nets last season for Tornike Shengelia. Teague’s career numbers over 88 career appearances are 2.3 PPG, 1.0 RPG, and 1.4 APG. His career slash line is .349/.220/.686.
The 6’2″ point guard has seen limited action in the preseason and doesn’t figure to see much playing time behind Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack in Brooklyn’s rotation. If the Nets only take back a draft pick in return this deal would get their preseason roster count down to 15. The Sixers still have a number of decisions to make with their roster currently sitting at 20. If they didn’t send a player Brooklyn’s way in the trade, then someone would need to be waived prior to the trade being finalized.
Both New York NBA teams will be playing for new head coaches and an altered roster this season. Here’s a rundown for the Knicks and Nets:
- Carmelo Anthony was angry following the Knicks disappointing 37-win season, as he tells Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. His displeasure with missing the playoffs led him to begin working out after a short two-week break, and he’s continued the ambitious training regimen ever since, spending time with teammates of late to get a head start on new coach Derek Fisher‘s triangle offense. “I haven’t been broadcasting it, man,” said Anthony. “But I’ve been at the facility for the last couple of weeks with the young guys, with the coaches, trying to figure out that triangle offense…When people say spots, I’m going to be all over the floor in the triangle. It makes it hard to guard, it keeps all eyes off of you. I’m looking forward to it, I’ve been saying it all summer. I can’t wait.”
- Anthony voiced his support of the extended All-Star break that will take effect this season. “I love it, I’m a big fan of that. I wish it was two weeks,” said Anthony, who isn’t worried about the increased back-to-backs in the schedule necessary to accommodate a longer break. “We play too many games as it is. So another back-to-back is not gonna hurt.”
- Reed Wallach of Nets Daily takes a look at Jerome Jordan‘s game, noting the Nets‘ camp hopeful has some traits that Brooklyn could use this season.
- In the same piece, Wallach passes on a report of new coach Lionel Hollins‘ interest in Marquis Teague. Hollins’ support could curb any rumblings that the backup point guard’s guaranteed contract could be waived, while boding well for the prospects of Teague’s 2015/16 team option being picked up by the October 31st deadline, which didn’t appear likely before Hollins was hired.
With the reported agreement to sign Pau Gasol and the potential stateside arrival of their 2011 draft pick Nikola Mirotic, the Bulls will likely amnesty Carlos Boozer, writes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Chicago has until the July 16th amnesty deadline to decide on Boozer’s fate. Johnson also notes that the team is still in talks to re-sign veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich.
More from the east:
- Paul Pierce‘s agreement to sign with the Wizards won’t affect Kevin Garnett‘s decision on whether or not to return for his 20th season, and the Nets are expecting Garnett to play for them next year, tweets Tim Bontemps of The New York Post.
- With the Nets trying to cut back on payroll, it would be surprising to see the franchise release Marquis Teague, tweets Bontemps. Teague’s salary of $1,120,920 for next season is fully guaranteed, and the Nets have a team option of $2,023,261 for the 2015/16 season.
- Avery Bradley‘s four-year, $32MM deal with the Celtics is expected to be finalized shortly, reports Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (Twitter link).
One GM tells Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops that Lance Stephenson is probably in line for a three year deal worth $8-10MM annually, adding that the “immaturity” he showed in the playoffs hurt his value to a degree. On talent alone, Stephenson would be worth between $10-12MM a year, the GM believes, according to Scotto. Still, another GM thinks the shooting guard is headed for annual salaries of $4-6MM, while two agents say he’s likely to receive deal along the lines of three years and $18MM, Scotto reports. Scotto also reiterates a February report that cast the Bulls and Hornets among likely suitors for Stephenson. Here’s more from the:
- Nets GM Billy King won’t rule out trading for a late first-round pick, but Brooklyn’s more likely to end up with a second-rounder, observes Marc Berman of the New York Post (Twitter link). King indicated earlier that the team is thinking about acquiring a selection.
- The Nets will almost certainly decline their team option for 2015/16 on Marquis Teague‘s rookie scale contract, writes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. The deadline for a decision on the option, worth more than $2MM, is October 31st this year.
- Derek Fisher‘s duties when he was union president made him familiar with Knicks owner James Dolan, and Fisher believes he can be successful within in the Knicks organization if he ends up coaching the team, a source tells Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
- The Bucks have interviewed Dante Exum and will put him through a workout and a physical, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com reports in the latest version of his Insider-only Big Board.
- Geron Johnson, Justin Simmons and Kendall Williams are among the second-round prospects working out for the Bucks today, the team announced (Twitter link). Milwaukee is also auditioning Devyn Marble, confirming Marble’s own Twitter report.
Considering his expiring contract and recent stellar play, Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey could be a hot commodity on the trade market soon, especially for teams looking to add bench scoring or create some cap flexibility this summer, writes Brendan Savage of MLive.com. Despite the likelihood of being included in discussions as we inch closer to the February trade deadline, Stuckey insists that he’s strictly focused on playing basketball:
“Nah, I don’t think about that,..Whatever happens, happens. I’m here to play basketball. I’m a Detroit Piston right now…I have no control over that. My agent will take care of that. It’s up to the organization, what they want to do and what they’re looking at. I don’t think about it at all. I just try to come out every night and compete and try to win.”
Here’s more from around the league this evening:
- Newly acquired Nets guard Marquis Teague said he wasn’t shocked about being dealt from the Bulls and admitted that he didn’t fit well with the style of former coach Tom Thibodeau: “It just wasn’t clicking with Thibs the right way… trying to figure out the system was kind of tough for me. The way they play isn’t really my style, so it’s kind of difficult for me. But I’ve got a new start now, so I’m just looking forward to the future” (Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York).
- As per the team’s official website, the Suns have assigned Archie Goodwin to the Bakersfield Jam.
- The Cavaliers recalled Carrick Felix and Sergey Karasev from the Canton Charge earlier today (Twitter link).
- According to Gino Pilato of DLeagueDigest.com, former University of Miami forward Kenny Kadji has entered the NBDL player pool and will likely receive a claim from a D-League team.
- Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun believes that if the Raptors sign Vince Carter as a free agent this summer, it could help the team’s perception with other free agents who may question why the franchise hasn’t honored its most decorated star.
- ESPN’s Marc Stein forecasts the makeup of the 12-man Team USA roster which will compete in this year’s FIBA World Cup. Of the 28 names listed in the USAB’s national team player pool, Stein believes that 10 of them appear to be realistic locks (barring injury), leaving an interesting race for the final two spots.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
The Nets have officially announced a pair of trades, acquiring Marquis Teague from the Bulls in a one-for-one swap for Tornike Shengelia, and sending Tyshawn Taylor and cash to the Pelicans in exchange for the draft rights to Edin Bavcic, a 29-year-old big man playing in Greece.
The moves won’t greatly impact any of the teams’ rotations, as none of the active players involved in the trade have averaged as much as 13 minutes per game this season, and each of them has seen multiple D-League assignments. Teague was a first-round pick in 2012, but he struggled to find minutes for Chicago. Shengelia doesn’t figure to be a critical piece for the Bulls, but he is a big body who can potentially provide frontcourt depth off the bench. Shams Charania of RealGM.com tweets the Bulls intend to give him a shot at some minutes. Bavcic was originally a second-round draft choice of the Raptors in 2006, but he’s never played in the NBA, so it appears he’s merely a throw-in.
Sending off Taylor will provide a bit of much-needed financial relief for Brooklyn, which is currently set to face about $80MM in luxury tax penalties in July. Shengelia and Taylor will both earn $788,872 this season, while Teague will make $1,074,720. The move will save the Nets from paying some extra tax dollars this season, but Teague’s contract runs through 2014/15, one year longer than the pacts Shengelia and Taylor are signed to.
Since the Pelicans had an open roster spot and Taylor is on a minimum-salary contract, they can absorb him without giving up a player. Brooklyn creates a vacancy on its roster with the moves, as the Nets had been carrying the maximum 15 players all season.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports was the first to report the trades, which were agreed upon Saturday (Twitter links). Originally, it appeared the Pelicans would send the Nets a heavily protected second-rounder, but it looks like the teams agreed on including Bavcic in the deal instead.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.