- While Joseph will be the second Canadian, along with retired Jamaal Magloire, to play for the Raptors during the regular season, that wasn’t the reason why they were so enamored with him, Doug Smith of the Toronto Sun writes. Joseph, who agreed on a four-year, $30MM contract to leave the Spurs, has impressed the Raptors’ brass for years with his toughness and defensive prowess, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise the club targeted him, Smith adds.
- Luke Ridnour said that he expects the Raptors to waive him before his $2.75MM salary becomes guaranteed Friday and confirmed that he’s still contemplating retirement as he spoke with TNT’s David Aldridge, who writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. The 34-year-old point guard also dished to Aldridge about what it was like to have his contract traded four times in one week.
- The Sixers fleeced the Kings in the unofficial but agreed upon trade that sent Nik Stauskas, Jason Thompson and Carl Landry to Philadelphia, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines. Stauskas fills a backcourt need and the team can eventually decline a team option on his contract if the second-year shooting guard doesn’t pan out, Pompey continues. Landry and Thompson can become role models and mentors for their young frontcourt lottery picks — Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, Pompey adds. With that trade, the Sixers will likely have less roster movement than the past two seasons when 48 players saw action, Pompey concludes.
Free agent Kevin Seraphin is getting interest from the Wizards, Lakers and Suns, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweets. Spears adds that the Spurs would also be interested in the forward’s services if they fail to land David West. Seraphin signed the qualifying offer from Washington last offseason, which allowed him to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- C.J. Watson will make $5MM in each of the next three seasons after reaching an agreement to sign with the Magic, but in the final season of the deal, only $1MM of his salary is guaranteed, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports. Watson is expected to lead the bench unit and be the primary backup to Elfrid Payton.
- The Wizards had shown interest in Watson before he agreed to his deal with Orlando, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post tweets.
- The Knicks are getting a bargain in their agreement with Kyle O’Quinn, opines Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com. O’Quinn’s new contract is worth $16MM over the next four years. The statistician projected that the 25-year-old would get a contract of $27MM over three years.
- The Heat reportedly turned down the Celtics’ proposal of four first-round picks and two second-rounders for the rights to Justise Winslow and Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel ponders whether the team made the right call by keeping the Duke product on its roster. The Celtics have a bounty of future first-rounders, as our Draft Pick Tracker page indicates. The exact draft picks that Boston was offering has not been disclosed, but with the Heat owing three of their future first round picks to the the Sixers and Suns, the team could have certainly used the extra assets. Given the situation, Winderman argues the rejection of the offer further proves how valuable Miami views Winslow.
DeMarre Carroll said the Raptors “blew me away” when the team came to meet him to make the pitch that ultimately yielded their four-year, $60MM deal, and he canceled meetings with the Pistons, Suns and Knicks, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. The Pistons were willing to give the forward $14MM a year, but Toronto countered with its offer to outbid them, a source said to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
Here’s the latest out of the Atlantic Division:
- The Knicks were one of the teams in pursuit of Jae Crowder before he re-signed with the Celtics, league sources told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
- The Sixers planned to select Nik Stauskas with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but were beaten to the punch by the Kings, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Philly ended up selecting Elfrid Payton before dealing him to the Magic for the draft rights to Dario Saric, Pompey adds. The Sixers are poised to acquire the shooting guard from Sacramento.
- Philly GM Sam Hinkie‘s waiting game may end up working to the Sixers‘ advantage, Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. With the NBA salary cap set to increase over the coming seasons, there will be far more teams with cap space than without, and Philadelphia’s stockpiling of draft picks and young assets could give the franchise an advantage, Sielski notes.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
FRIDAY, 11:35am: Executives around the league are talking about the notion that the Kings might back out of the deal now that they’ve missed on Ellis and Matthews, though none of those execs truly expect Sacramento to pull out, reports Jake Fischer of SI Now (Twitter link).
THURSDAY, 8:54am: A future second-round pick is also going to Sacramento, Wojnarowski writes in his full story. The Sixers receive Sacramento’s 2018 first-round pick and the right to swap first-rounders with the Kings in 2016 and 2017, a league source tells USA Today’s Derek Bodner (Twitter link). The overseas assets that the Kings receive are the rights to Arturas Gudaitis and Luka Mitrovic, the 47th and 60th picks, respectively, in last week’s draft, ESPN’s Pablo Torre tweets. Gudaitis just signed a two-year deal with an option for a third year with Lietuvos Rytas of Lithuania, the team announced (translation via Orazio Cauchi of Sportando). The Sixers are interested in keeping Landry, Thompson and Stauskas rather than waiving any of them, a source said to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News (on Twitter).
10:56pm: The Sixers will receive a protected first round pick from the Kings, and swap rights with Sacramento in the first round of two other drafts, Zach Lowe of Grantland tweets.
WEDNESDAY, 10:17pm: The Sixers and Kings have agreed to a deal that would send Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, and Nik Stauskas to Philadelphia, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter links). Philadelphia is expected to send Sacramento the rights to overseas players in return, notes Wojnarowski (on Twitter), though it is unclear which players will be involved.
The deal is a salary dump for Sacramento, tweets Wojnarowski, with the Kings clearing room for pursuing free agents. Thompson is set to earn $6,431,250 in 2015/16, Landry $6.5MM, and Stauskas $2,869,440. Sacramento is clearing the decks for a pursuit of point guard Rajon Rondo, swingman Wesley Matthews, and possibly Monta Ellis, the Yahoo! scribe adds (via Twitter).
Stauskas, 21, is the prize here for the Sixers, who were willing to absorb the contracts of Thompson and Landry to acquire him, Wojnarowski tweets. The young shooting guard failed to impress in Sacramento after being selected with the No. 8 overall pick back in the 2014 NBA Draft. In 73 appearances during his rookie campaign, Stauskas averaged 4.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 0.9 assists, with a slash line of .365/.322/.859. He should have every opportunity to develop on a young Sixers team badly in need of shooters.
Thompson still has two years remaining on his deal, though his salary of $6,825,000 for the 2016/17 campaign is partially guaranteed for just $2.65MM. In 81 contests last season, the 28-year-old averaged 6.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 24.6 minutes per game. Landry, 31, also has two years remaining on his contract, though both seasons are fully guaranteed. He logged 70 appearances last season for the Kings, posting 7.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 0.4 APG in 15.0 minutes per night.
The Kings blundered when they agreed to a cap-clearing trade with the Sixers before they had a commitment from someone on which they could use that cap flexibility, SB Nation’s Tom Ziller opines. Besides, the Kings aren’t exactly inspiring confidence with primary targets such as Monta Ellis, who’s since agreed to sign with the Pacers, Rajon Rondo and Wesley Matthews, Ziller adds. It’s the latest in a string of puzzling decisions in Sacramento, as SportsBusiness Daily rounds up.
Here’s more from around the league:
- Though he didn’t rule out a return to the Clippers, free agent guard Austin Rivers says that he intends to explore his options before making a decision, Marc Stein of ESPN.com relays (Twitter link).
- Draymond Green‘s representatives used Tristan Thompson‘s proposed deal with the Cavaliers as a baseline for their negotiations with the Warriors, Sam Amick of USA Today notes (on Twitter). Thompson is reportedly close to landing a deal in the $80MM-$82MM range, Amick adds.
- The Warriors promoted Larry Harris to director of player personnel and hired Lachlan Penfold as head of physical performance/sports medicine, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com tweets.
- Free agent forward David West is most likely to end up with either the Wizards or the Spurs, Stein tweets.
- The Nuggets and unrestricted free agent Darrell Arthur have been engaged in productive talks about a new contract, but no deal appears to be imminent, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes. Arthur has drawn interest from several teams across the league, including the Pistons and Wizards, Dempsey notes.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
10:46am: The Bulls are open to a player option, Johnson reports (Twitter link).
9:17am: The Happy Walters client is strongly leaning toward Chicago’s five-year offer instead of a shorter deal, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
12:48am: Butler wants a player option in any deal that he signs, and while he may shop himself to other teams if the Bulls don’t grant that request, Chicago would still match any offer, according to K.C. Johnson the Chicago Tribune (Twitter links).
WEDNESDAY, 12:12am: The swingman is thinking about doing a five-year max deal that includes a player option on the last season with the Bulls, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM.
TUESDAY, 11:09am: Butler put off meetings with the Lakers, Celtics, Sixers and Mavs when the Bulls made their max qualifying offer and is now deciding how many years to sign for on a deal with Chicago, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
MONDAY, 3:43pm: The Bulls have given Jimmy Butler a maximum qualifying offer, meaning other teams can’t sign him to an offer sheet that runs fewer than three years, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). Those three years can’t include an option. Opposing teams would otherwise be limited to offer sheets of at least two years had Chicago merely extended a standard qualifying offer. The Bulls have also made the standard QO, worth nearly $4.434MM, that Butler can accept if he is intent on reaching unrestricted free agency as quickly as possible, though that would entail great financial sacrifice this season.
The max qualifying offer, by rule, is a fully guaranteed five years with a starting salary at the max and 7.5% raises. It can’t include any option years. The Bulls and Butler are free to negotiate different terms, but it nonetheless raises the stakes, with Butler reportedly wanting to sign a short-term deal with the Lakers.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune reported back in January that the Bulls planned a max offer for Butler, so today’s news is no surprise. Still, paying an estimated max salary of around $19MM to Butler next season will likely send the Bulls, who already have about $63MM in guaranteed salary for 2015/16, into tax territory, with the tax line projected to come in at $81.6MM.
Celtics executive Danny Ainge has been criticized for taking Louisville point guard Terry Rozier with the No. 16 overall pick, but Ainge didn’t want to run the risk of another team selecting the player, Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald writes. “We liked Terry from the very beginning,” Ainge said. “I was getting a little nervous that he was moving up too high in the draft. If another week had gone by he would have been rated much higher. He was 20 in the last two or three weeks of the process. There was a time we thought maybe we could get him at 28, but it was clear on draft day that wouldn’t happen.”
Trading down to select Rozier wasn’t an option, according to Ainge, Murphy notes. “We knew he wouldn’t be there 12 picks later,” Ainge said. “Our intel was that we should not [trade down], and that he would go very close to where we drafted him. He was going to be picked. We really liked him and wanted him. We got the guy we wanted. He’s a guy we have known about, and we thought he was very underrated based on the media and how they perceived him. Terry improved rapidly because of the quality of player he is the last few weeks of the draft process. He was getting attention around the league, which worried us because we thought we had a diamond in the rough. Nobody was valuing him all that much.”
Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:
- Nets restricted free agent Mirza Teletovic is receiving significant interest from European teams, Tim Bontemps of The New York Post relays (Twitter links). The 29-year-old forward’s first preference is to remain in the NBA, Bontemps adds.
- Sixers coach Brett Brown came away excited about No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor‘s potential after a conversation with Okafor’s coach at Duke, Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Daily News writes.”I had a fantastic conversation with Coach K and when we hung up, I knew Jahlil had great potential and is a terrific, young prospect, but I hadn’t realized what type of person we had, as well,” Brown said. “The more I learn about Jahlil, the more you respect his upbringing value and love of the game. I was in the office at 6:30 the other morning, and he’s in the gym working with a trainer. You then go upstairs and get ready for a day’s work and you feel great. I’m really excited to coach him, and the program is going to realize very quickly how special he is.“
- While the Sixers will do what they can to improve their roster, the franchise isn’t expected to be major players in the free agent market this summer, Cooney writes in a separate piece.
Here are the latest qualifying offer decisions to come in..
- The Spurs extended QOs to Kawhi Leonard and Cory Joseph, making them restricted free agents, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.
- Knicks forwards Travis Wear and Alexey Shved and Spurs big man Aron Baynes did not receive qualifying offers, according to Pincus (on Twitter).
- Pacers forwards Chris Copeland and Shayne Whittington, Sixers center Henry Sims, Nuggets center Ian Clark, Celtics center Gigi Datome, Wolves big man Arinze Onuaku, Mavs center Bernard James, Lakers guard Vander Blue, and Kings forward Derrick Williams did not receive qualifying offers, Pincus tweets.
- The Grizzlies have made Nick Calathes a restricted free agent by extending him a QO, according to Pincus (on Twitter).
- The Warriors have made Ognjen Kuzmic a restricted free agent, Pincus tweets.
- The Sixers declined to offer guard Glenn Robinson III a qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. However, Philly has shown an inclination to revisit a longer-term deal for Robinson this summer, according to those same sources. In 35 games as a rookie, Robinson averaged 2.1 PPG.
- The Hornets will not make a qualifying offer to guard Jeffery Taylor, according to a source that spoke with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (on Twitter). Taylor will now become an unrestricted free agent.
- Pero Antic, who was rumored to be going overseas, was given a qualifying offer by the Hawks, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). If the Hawks need to maximize their cap space, Pincus adds (link), they can revoke the qualifying offer to Antic and renounce him.
- As expected, the Magic have extended qualifying offers to both Tobias Harris and Kyle O’Quinn, according to John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com (on Twitter).
- The Rockets made Patrick Beverley and K.J. McDaniels restricted free agents by extending QOs to them, Pincus tweets.
The Celtics made a qualifying offer to Jae Crowder worth $1.2MM, making the forward a restricted free agent, which means the Celtics can match any offer he receives from another team, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com reports. Crowder has expressed an interest to return to the Celtics, but also plans to test the market.
Here’s more from around the basketball world:
- Marc Gasol has no interest in joining the Lakers because of the shaky final few years his brother spent with the team, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, who cites sources familiar with the situation.
- Knicks president Phil Jackson is interested in re-signing Jason Smith as a backup center and combo guard Alexey Shved, who played well late in the season, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports.
- The Jazz are expected to make a significant attempt to bring draft-and-stash center Tibor Pleiss, who is from Germany, to the team next season, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune tweets. Pleiss traveled to Utah to discuss the possibility of joining the team this upcoming season, Jody Genessy of The Deseret News writes, adding that the Jazz are in need of a solid backup at center for Rudy Gobert.
- Luka Mitrovic, a forward from Serbia who the Sixers took with the final pick of the draft, will stay overseas next season, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando tweets.
The Knicks will definitely get a meeting with free agent forward David West, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Their prospects of signing West will depend on their success with other free agent targets — a list expected to include LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe and DeMarre Carroll — but Stein says he’s a “serious” name that they’re pursuing (Twitter link). It was reported this week that West is determined to sign with New York. West, 35, opted out of his contract with the Pacers last week.
There’s more from the Big Apple as free agency approaches:
- The Knicks would love to add Aldridge or Marc Gasol, but Frank Isola of The Daily News argues that Greg Monroe is a more realistic target. Aldridge is probably headed to the Spurs, Lakers or Mavericks, Isola writes, while Gasol is likely to stay in Memphis. Isola notes that Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy acknowledged that Monroe will probably leave Detroit, and The Daily News reported in April that the Knicks are front-runners for his services. Monroe will meet with the team this week.
- West and Robin Lopez could give New York the short-term fix it needs in free agency, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. He said the two veterans could probably be obtained for about the same amount it would cost to get Monroe, who is expected to command an annual salary starting at $15MM. Portland’s Wesley Matthews is another likely target following the draft-day trade of Tim Hardaway Jr. to Atlanta. However, Berman points out that Matthews is seeking an annual salary near $13MM, even in the wake of a season-ending Achilles tendon rupture, while San Antonio’s Danny Green could be available for less.
- The Knicks have big plans for Guillermo Hernangomez, Berman writes in a separate story. New York sees the No. 35 pick, who was acquired from the Sixers for two future second-round selections, as a potential rotation player in 2016/17. Hernangomez will spend the upcoming season in the Spanish League, as his buyout is too large to consider, Berman writes.