4:46pm: The moves are official, the team announced (Twitter link).
1:53pm: The Knicks have waived Langston Galloway and Jordan Vandenberg, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork is reporting (Twitter link). Both players are likely headed to New York’s D-League affiliate, notes Begley. These moves reduce the Knicks’ preseason roster count to 16, and the team is considering waiving forward Travis Outlaw as well, tweets Begley, which would get them down to the regular season maximum of 15 players.
Vandenberg’s contract came with a partial guarantee of $27K, and Galloway’s deal was also partially guaranteed for $31K. If Outlaw is in fact waived, the Knicks will still have to pay his fully guaranteed amount of $3MM, unless they reach some type of buyout arrangement with the player.
The 24-year-old Vandenberg played just 10 minutes total in a pair of summer league games, and he only averaged more than 12 minutes a night once during his five seasons at N.C. State, where he received a medical redshirt in his third year despite appearing in seven games. Vandenberg averaged 4.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG and 1.4 BPG in 22.3 minutes per game as a senior this past season.
Galloway averaged 17.7 points and 4.3 rebounds with a 44.3% three-point accuracy in 36.2 minutes per game this past season with St. Joseph’s, then played for New York’s summer league entry. The Knicks coaches praised him for picking up the triangle offense quickly, but the team is especially deep with swingmen, so Galloway was a longshot to make the team.
OCTOBER 25TH, 10:51am: The Knicks may have changed their minds about exercising Larkin’s option, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). New York might be leaning towards keeping as much cap space free as possible for next summer, Wojnarowski notes.
11:00pm: The Knicks have indeed exercised their team option on Larkin, as is indicated by the RealGM transactions log. The team has not made any formal announcement as of yet.
OCTOBER 16TH, 10:03am: The Knicks have decided to exercise their team option to keep point guard Shane Larkin on his rookie scale contract for 2015/16, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Larkin will make $1,675,320 that season, the third of his four-year contract, as our Rookie Scale Team Option Tracker shows. The deadline is October 31st for the team to make the move official.
The Mavs sent Larkin to New York as part of the Tyson Chandler trade this summer. The 18th pick in the 2013 draft didn’t see much playing time as a rookie, averaging 2.8 points and 1.5 assists in 10.2 minutes per game. He’s seen nearly twice as many minutes in preseason games with the Knicks, averaging 20.9, but he’s still put up just 2.5 PPG and 1.5 APG. Phil Jackson and his staff are nonetheless satisfied with what they’ve seen from him the past few weeks, Wojnarowski writes.
Jackson is trying to keep the team’s cap sheet as clean as possible for 2015/16 as he plans a run at marquee free agents. The Knicks only have about $31.4MM in commitments for that season, so adding Larkin’s salary to that wouldn’t make much of a dent against a projected $66.5MM salary cap. Still, that figure doesn’t include a nearly $6.4MM player option that J.R. Smith possesses and more than $1.4MM in non-guaranteed salary for Pablo Prigioni. It also leaves out the team option on Tim Hardaway Jr., worth more than $1.3MM, that the Knicks will almost assuredly pick up. Iman Shumpert is up for a rookie scale extension this month, but it doesn’t appear as though the sides will come to terms.
The Celtics intend to take a good look at Jarell Eddie prior to the beginning of the regular season, Tom Layman of The Boston Herald writes. “He’s a player that we watched in college at Virginia Tech. He’s a player that we watched in his exhibition games with Atlanta and he’s always been a player that has been intriguing to us,” Boston GM Danny Ainge said. “We are going to evaluate him before training camp ends.” The Celtics claimed Eddie off of waivers from the Hawks on Friday.
Here’s more from the east:
- Jordan Vandenberg‘s minimum salary deal with the Knicks includes a partial guarantee for $27K, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). Vandenberg was signed with an eye on sending him to the NBA D-League, as Pincus also notes.
- The Celitcs‘ preseason roster count currently sits at 17, meaning the team still has to waive a minimum of two players prior to the deadline. The staff over at CSNNE.com analyze Boston’s frontcourt situation, including where each player fits in the current rotation.
- With Josh McRoberts and Chris Andersen slowed by injuries, Khem Birch could have the advantage for the Heat‘s 15th and final regular season roster spot, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel opines (Twitter link). Miami’s preseason roster count currently sits at 16 players.
The Knicks are have waived center Didier Ilunga-Mbenga and power forward Orlando Sanchez, the team announced (Twitter link). Peter Botte of the New York Daily News and Newsday’s Al Iannazzone reported the team would make the moves minutes before the announcement (Twitter link). The news is no surprise, even though Sanchez has a partially guaranteed deal. Sanchez’s partial guarantee is only $15K, and that amount will stick on New York’s cap figure for the rest of the season unless another team claims him off waivers. Mbenga’s deal is non-guaranteed.
Mbenga was making his first foray back into the NBA since the 2010/11 season, save for a brief preseason stint with the Mavs in 2012. The 33-year-old reunited with Knicks team president Phil Jackson, who coached him on back-to-back Lakers championship teams in 2009 and 2010. The seven-year NBA veteran scored two points in less than five minutes of action in his lone preseason appearance this month. Sanchez saw just a single minute in his only preseason game. The 26-year-old went undrafted out of St. John’s this summer before competing for the Dominican Republican in FIBA World Cup action. Sanchez will sign to play for the Knicks D-League affiliate, agent B.J. Bass tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv (Twitter link).
The Knicks still have 18 players on their roster, though they probably won’t have much trouble deciding whom to cut to winnow down to 15 players in time for Monday’s opening-night roster deadline. They have 14 guaranteed contracts plus a partial guarantee for Samuel Dalembert, who’s expected to play a significant role. Langston Galloway and Travis Wear are long shots to make the club in spite of their nominal partial guarantees, as is new signee Jordan Vandenberg.
The Knicks have signed center Jordan Vandenberg, the team announced (on Twitter). New York is limited to the minimum salary for the Australian native who went undrafted out of North Carolina State this June, though it’s unclear if he’ll receive any guaranteed salary. The 7’1″ Vandenberg becomes the 20th player on the Knicks roster.
New York is familiar with the 24-year-old from his stint with the team’s summer league squad. He played just 10 minutes total in a pair of summer league games, and he only averaged more than 12 minutes a night once during his five seasons at N.C. State, where he received a medical redshirt in his third year despite appearing in seven contests. Vandenberg averaged 4.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 22.3 minutes per game as a senior this past season.
The Knicks likely have their opening night roster set with 14 fully guaranteed contracts plus a partial guarantee with Samuel Dalembert, so it seems they’re making this move with the D-League in mind, although that’s just my speculation. New York can keep the D-League rights to as many as four of the players it cuts during the preseason, but veterans like D.J. Mbenga, who’s with the Knicks on a non-guaranteed deal, rarely wind up in the D-League, which is usually the domain of younger players like Vandenberg.
Outgoing Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson has the power to force as much as 60% of the team to be sold, even though he and his partners have only 50.1% of the team, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The NBA appears to be pressuring all of the other owners to sell so that the entire franchise can change hands, Vivlamore adds. All of the team’s owners still have yet to meet to discuss how much of the franchise they’re going to sell, and so far, their only action as a group has involved preparation for vetting prospective buyers, though vetting itself has yet to begin, as Vivlamore explains.
Here’s more from around the league:
- When Jordan Crawford signed with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association for $1.4MM it wasn’t because he didn’t receive any NBA offers. The Kings had tried to sign Crawford this summer, but he wasn’t comfortable with a backup role in Sacramento, David Pick of Eurobasket reports (Twitter links). Crawford also relayed that he felt “overlooked” by the league, and that’s what led him to China, Pick notes.
- Brock Motum‘s one year, minimum salary deal with the Jazz is non-guaranteed, as is reflected on the Basketball Insiders salary page for Utah.
- Many of the teams that joined the Sixers in a voting bloc that scuttled immediate lottery reform are nonetheless miffed about Philadelphia’s stripped-down roster, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes. Teams voted down lottery changes in part because they feel too much is in flux, and that includes the unknown of just how or whether the league will phase in the substantial increase in the salary cap that the league’s enhanced TV revenues will bring about, Lowe adds. Some influential agents oppose the idea of any phase-in, preferring that the cap simply leap in the summer of 2016 based on the idea that teams might be uncertain of how to handle the changed landscape and hand out contracts they’ll later regret, according to Lowe.
- The surging salary cap projections have some small-market teams worried about how they’ll manage in a league where $100MM payrolls are the norm, in spite of the TV money that would make that sort of spending more palatable, as Lowe writes in the same piece. Small-market teams also fear that they’ll become slightly profitable and lose the benefit of tens of millions in income through the league’s revenue sharing program, the Grantland columnist explains. The Lakers handed out $50MM, the Knicks $27MM and the Bulls $17MM in revenue sharing last season, Lowe reports.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
One of the big question marks in New York for the upcoming season is how well the Knicks will adapt to the triangle offense. Former head coach and current broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy doesn’t believe the offensive scheme by itself will be enough to turn around the franchise, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “The triangle itself is just an offense based on freedom of the ball to go to different places, everybody feeling involved,’’ Van Gundy said. “It’s a good thing. It won’t be the triangle itself that will be the reason they win or lose. It’s going to come down to Carmelo Anthony playing exceptionally well. Iman Shumpert and J.R. bouncing back with a big year. J.R. Smith playing well. It’s not going to be because of a system. I think anybody confusing a system with a reason for success is making a huge mistake. Systems don’t win games. Players do.”
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Paul Pierce was stunned by how quickly things changed with the Nets this offseason, Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News writes. “It just happened so fast,” Pierce said. “I had a chance to talk to Jason [Kidd] and he has his reasons, the way things went down. But like I said, the business — you’ve got to understand the business aspect of it. He moved on. The Nets moved on and people went their different directions. You see that a lot in this business.” Still, Pierce harbors no-ill will towards the franchise, Abramson notes.
- Sixers coach Brett Brown said nothing was etched in stone for Philadelphia’s roster, and that the team would consider signing players waived from other teams, Tom Moore of Calkins Media notes (Twitter link). The Sixers still have 20 players on their preseason roster, but only nine of those players have fully guaranteed deals, and four others possess partially guaranteed pacts.
- Speaking about his thoughts on the lottery reform vote not passing, Brown said that he wasn’t sure which way the vote would turn out, tweets Moore. “Different times I thought it’d go one way. Other times I thought it’d go the other way,” Brown said. The Sixers had a vested interest in the outcome of the vote since their rebuilding plans are tied to striking it big in the next draft.
Paul Pierce figures coach Jason Kidd‘s departure from the Nets helped dampen the team’s enthusiasm to re-sign the forward to a new deal this summer, as Pierce tells reporters, including Andy Vasquez of The Record. Pierce cites Kidd as one of the primary reasons he encouraged the Celtics to trade him to Brooklyn in 2013, as Vasquez notes. There’s more on key figures who changed places as well as one who’s committed to stay where he is among the news from around the Eastern Conference:
- Nikola Vucevic is careful to point out that he hasn’t put pen to paper on an extension with the Magic, but he nonetheless made it clear that he’s ecstatic about the agreement that agent Rade Filipovich and the team have reached, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel details.
- Representatives for Lance Stephenson urged the Pacers to offload other players to find room for the shooting guard under the tax line this summer, with the names of Luis Scola and Donald Sloan arising in the talks, but Indiana held firm against doing so, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. The Alberto Ebanks client has said he cried when he told the Pacers he was signing with the Hornets instead, but Stephenson tells Charania that he hasn’t spoken to Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird since he made up his mind to join Charlotte.
- Charania also hears from a source who confirms that Jason Maxiell is the leading contender for a regular season roster spot among the Hornets camp invitees, as the RealGM scribe writes in the same piece. Coach Steve Clifford seems in favor of keeping Maxiell, writes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
- Christian Watford will play for the Celtics‘ D-League affiliate assuming he clears NBA waivers, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). That means the C’s are following through on their plan to keep Watford’s D-League rights, though Pick hears that the power forward turned down many offers from European teams to instead go to the D-League.
- Phil Jackson shared his scouting report on every Knicks player with Charley Rosen, writing for ESPN.com. The coach-turned-executive admits camp invitees Langston Galloway and Travis Wear are destined for the D-League.
Here is a look at what is going on in the Eastern Conference on Tuesday night:
- After locking up Nikola Vucevic earlier tonight, the Magic will continue to work on reaching an agreement with forward Tobias Harris, who is also entering his fourth season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). While the Magic are reportedly eager to extend Harris, Wojnarowski cautions that the sides are not close on the terms.
- Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders checks in on last week’s Pistons/Celtics trade that sent Will Bynum to Boston and Joel Anthony to Detroit. According to Pincus, the Celtics utilized the $4.25MM trade exception they received in July’s Kris Humphries deal to take on Bynum’s $2.9MM salary, reducing the exception to approximately $1.3MM. They received a new trade exception of $3.8MM for Anthony. Because these exceptions expire a year after the trade in which they’re acquired, Boston essentially downgraded their trade exception by about $450K in return for three months of additional time with which to use it (Pincus Twitter links here).
- Any hope that Derek Fisher and the triangle offense could salvage last summer’s trade for Andrea Bargnani has been temporarily derailed by a preseason hamstring injury, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. There was talk that Phil Jackson and the Knicks were trying to move Bargnani this offseason, but his bloated $11.5MM salary for this season made that impossible.
Kevin Garnett, who’s gearing up for his 20th NBA season, is entering the final year of a deal that will pay him $12MM, and Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders lists the Nets big man as one of ten players he thinks will be retiring sooner rather than later. Taylor thinks that Garnett’s age and expiring contract more than likely mean this is last season The Big Ticket will play in the league. Here’s more from the Atlantic..
- Knicks second-rounder Thanasis Antetokounmpo turned down lucrative offers from overseas in order to display his skills stateside with New York’s D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. His younger brother, Giannis Antetokounmpo, originally thought heading to Europe might have been the more sensible decision, as Marc Berman of the New York Post details. “I was the first one to tell him: ‘Maybe it’s better for you to go overseas and get some money,’” Giannis said. “He said no. His dream is to play in the NBA, stay here. I’m happy with that.’’
- Sixers coach Brett Brown mentioned the possibility of the D-League when asked about Ronald Roberts Jr., tweets Tom Moore of Calkins Media. Roberts is with Philly on a partially guaranteed pact, so Brown’s comments might indicate the team is interested in waiving the injured 23-year-old before the season begins to preserve his D-League rights.
- At 32 years old, it’s safe to say Gerald Wallace is past his prime, but he’s interested in playing whatever role the Celtics need him to, observes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. “Whatever the team needs me to do,” Wallace said. “Whatever coach (Brad Stevens) needs me to do. We’ve already talked about it. I’m in a position where I’m comfortable with it.” Boston was rumored to have been shopping Wallace last season around the trade deadline, but he’s reportedly happy to be hanging around in green.