Portland Trail Blazers Rumors

Contract Details: Clarkson, Young, Powell

August 26 at 9:32pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Eric Pincus has once more updated his Basketball Insiders salary pages, and included in his changes are a few tidbits of previously unreported news on players who’ve signed this summer. We’ll pass along those items here:

  • The two-year deal that Jerrelle Benimon signed with the Nuggets is for the minimum salary and is partially guaranteed for $35K this season, while his 2015/16 salary is non-guaranteed, Pincus reports (Twitter link).
  • The Blazers gave Diante Garrett a $30K guarantee in the first year of his two-year minimum salary deal, but the second year is non-guaranteed, Pincus notes on Twitter.
  • Patric Young‘s two-year deal with the Pelicans is a minimum-salary arrangement that’s partially guaranteed for $55K this season, but it’s otherwise non-guaranteed, Pincus notes (Twitter link). Darius Miller‘s deal with the team is partially guaranteed for $400K this year but otherwise non-guaranteed, Pincus adds.
  • Both Will Cherry‘s and Jordan Hamilton‘s salaries are guaranteed for $25K for the 2014/15 season, Pincus tweets, adding that Hamilton’s pact is for the minimum. The Raptors signed Cherry to a two-year minimum salary deal, and Hamilton to a one-year arrangement. Cherry’s salary for 2015/16 is non-guaranteed, Pincus adds.
  • Dwight Powell‘s deal with the Cavaliers is fully guaranteed for the first season, with the second year non-guaranteed, Pincus reports (Twitter link). The contract covers just those two seasons, as Pincus notes.
  • The Spurs‘ two-year deal with JaMychal Green is for the minimum salary and has a $60K guarantee for this coming season, Pincus reports (Twitter link). It’s non-guaranteed for 2015/16, according to Pincus.
  • Sim Bhullar‘s deal is for one year and comes with a guarantee of $35K, while Eric Moreland‘s three-year contract is guaranteed for $200K this coming season and is otherwise non-guaranteed, Pincus notes (Twitter link). Both players are with the Kings, and, according to Pincus, make the minimum.
  • The two-year, minimum-salary deal that Jordan Clarkson signed with the Lakers is fully guaranteed for this coming season, but the 2015/16 season is non-guaranteed, Pincus reports (Twitter link).

Western Rumors: Cooley, Anderson, Wolves

August 25 at 8:00pm CDT By Cray Allred

John Canzano of The Oregonian thinks that Team USA’s decision to cut Damian Lillard from its final roster will fuel the Blazers point guard in reaching another level on the court. Here’s more from around the West:

  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets that Jack Cooley‘s contract with the Jazz is partially guaranteed at $65K, the same amount that fellow training camp invites Kevin Murphy and Dee Bost received in guaranteed salary.
  • Ryan Anderson expects to begin playing again at the open of Pelicans training camp, he tells Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com. “I have a few more weeks, so training camp I’ll be ready to go all out,” said Anderson. “I just can’t wait to play contact basketball again. I can’t wait for that day. Until then I want to build up strength, get stronger and really work on my conditioning, and get back to normal.” Anderson missed most of last year after suffering a serious neck injury.
  • Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post compares the Kevin Love trade to the Carmelo Anthony blockbuster between the Nuggets and Knicks. While the Wolves likely received better talent from the Cavs than Denver did from New York in 2011, Dempsey thinks Minnesota will face a tougher road to becoming competitive in the next few years.

Contract Details: Inglis, Heat, Jazz, Hamilton

August 24 at 10:54am CDT By Chuck Myron

The pace of signings is slow this time of year, but teams continue to add to their rosters. Eric Pincus reveals some previously unreported details about a handful of these signings within his latest updates to the salary pages at Basketball Insiders, so we’ll pass along the news here:

  • The Bucks are giving 31st overall pick Damien Inglis guaranteed salaries of $820K this season and $855K for 2015/16, both amounts that are more than the minimum, as Pincus notes (Twitter link). It’s a three-year deal in all that features a non-guaranteed season at the minimum salary in the contract’s final year. Milwaukee used part of its cap space to accommodate the signing.
  • Tyler Johnson‘s minimum salary with the Heat this season is guaranteed for $75K, while his minimum salary for next season is without a guarantee, according to Pincus. Reggie Williams is receiving a non-guaranteed minimum salary in his pact with the Heat this year, as Pincus also reveals.
  • The Jazz gave Dee Bost a $65K guarantee this season, while the other two years of his three-year contract for the minimum salary are non-guaranteed, Pincus reports. Pincus also notes that the team gave Jack Cooley a three-year deal for the minimum, though it remains unclear whether any of Cooley’s pay is guaranteed. Utah used cap space rather than the minimum-salary exception on Bost and Cooley, since the minimum-salary exception only allows for two-year deals.
  • The Raptors have the means to shell out more than the minimum salary, but they didn’t give Jordan Hamilton any more than that, as Pincus documents. Hamilton’s deal is reportedly partially guaranteed, but just how much he’s guaranteed remains unknown.
  • Darius Morris is on a one-year deal with the Blazers, Pincus shows.

Darius Morris To Join Blazers For Camp

August 22 at 1:13pm CDT By Chuck Myron

FRIDAY, 1:13pm: The team has yet to make an official announcement, but Morris has signed his contract, according to the RealGM transactions log.

THURSDAY, 2:29pm: The Blazers and point guard Darius Morris have reached agreement on a non-guaranteed deal that will bring the three-year veteran to training camp, reports Joe Freeman of The Oregonian (Twitter link). He’ll join Diante Garrett and James Southerland, who inked non-guaranteed contracts with Portland earlier this month. Morris is surely receiving a deal for the minimum salary, since the Blazers are limited to paying no more than that.

Morris reportedly turned down an offer from a Serbian team earlier this summer, and that seemed to suggest that NBA teams were interested. Still, there hasn’t been much chatter surrounding the 23-year-old, who had stints with the Sixers, Clippers and Grizzlies last season but didn’t sign another NBA contract after his 10-day deal with Memphis expired in February. He’s nonetheless been one of the top ball distributors remaining on the market, as I noted earlier today, and he also made his way onto our list of the top available free agent scorers.

Morris, like Garrett and Southerland, faces long odds of making the opening-night roster in Portland, since the Blazers have 15 players with guaranteed deals. The Blazers dropped their one-to-one D-League affiliation with the Idaho Stampede this offseason, so even if Portland cuts Morris after camp but elects to retain his D-League rights, the Blazers wouldn’t be able to exert much influence over his continued development.

Western Notes: Aldridge, Asik, Lakers

August 14 at 2:10pm CDT By Zach Links

Earlier today, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders looked at the best free agents in the 2015 class.  Among the top names potentially in the group is Blazers big man LaMarcus Aldridge.  Two seasons ago it seemed like a foregone conclusion that LaMarcus would be leaving Portland. Today it seems unlikely that he won’t be back on a new long term deal in July.  Here’s more out of the West…

  • One might think that Omer Asik has some hard feelings towards the Rockets, but he says that’s not the case at all, writes Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle.  Asik, now with the Pelicans, was quite vocal about wanting a trade when Houston acquired big man Dwight Howard, relegating him to the bench.  “I just really want to thank all the fans and all the support I had in Houston,” he said. “I want to thank everyone in the organization and especially my teammates. I really enjoyed my time in Houston.
  • Eddie Johnson of USA Today Sports (video link) says the Lakers need to stop trying to cover up their holes with band-aids and instead make substantive changes.
  • Lakers coach Byron Scott told Mike Trudell of Lakers.com (on Twitter) that he expects to have his coaching staff filled out by the end of the week.

Diante Garrett To Join Blazers For Camp

August 12 at 8:12am CDT By Chuck Myron

TUESDAY, 8:12am: The RealGM transactions log indicates the signing is official, although the team has yet to make an official announcement.

MONDAY, 1:30pm: It’ll be a two-year contract, Freeman writes. That means it won’t be an Exhibit 9, and Portland would be on the hook for his salary should he be injured while performing for the team.

1:06pm: The Blazers have reached agreement on a deal that will bring free agent guard Diante Garrett to camp, a source tells Joe Freeman of The Oregonian (Twitter link). It’s a non-guaranteed pact, Freeman hears, so it’ll be a summer contract. It’ll almost certainly be for the minimum salary, since the Blazers can’t give out anything more.

The Raptors waived their non-guaranteed contract with Garrett last month shortly after acquiring him from the Jazz in the Steve Novak trade. He was on the fringes of the rotation for Utah this past season, averaging 3.5 points and shooting 37.5% from three-point range in 14.8 minutes per game. That followed a year in which he spent the entire season on the Suns roster but only appeared in 19 contests.

The 25-year-old Wasserman Media Group client will join James Southerland, who signed last week, in a fight to unseat one of the 15 Trail Blazers known to have guaranteed deals. It works in Garrett’s favor that the two Blazers with the cheapest contracts are fellow guards Will Barton and Allen CrabbePortland would only have to eat less than $1MM if the team were to keep Garrett instead of Barton or Crabbe.

And-Ones: Parsons, Heat, Southerland, Pistons

August 8 at 2:01pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Chandler Parsons was an all-around contributor for the Rockets, averaging 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists this past season, but that sort of production isn’t why the Mavs gave him a near-max offer sheet that Houston declined to match. They’re confident he can be a “far better” player than he was with the Rockets, as owner Mark Cuban said, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. While we wait to see whether Parsons proves worthy of Cuban’s investment, here’s more from around the league:

  • The Heat will likely sign a center for the reserve role that Greg Oden played last season, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Andray Blatche is available, but the Heat have shied away from him in the past because they’ve disliked his maturity level and behavior, according to Jackson, who seconds the notion that the Heat are unlikely to re-sign Oden following Oden’s arrest Thursday.
  • The contract that James Southerland signed Thursday with the Blazers is a one-year, non-guaranteed pact, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM. That means it’s a summer contract, as I speculated. It also fits the stipulations required to make it an Exhibit 9 contract, though it’s not necessarily one.
  • Former NBA players Tim Hardaway Sr. and Malik Allen will serve as assistant coaches for the Pistons next season, the team announced. The Pistons also announced the hiring of former Knicks executive Jeff Nix as assistant general manager. He’ll serve alongside fellow assistant GM Brian Wright underneath president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy and GM Jeff Bower.

Blazers Sign James Southerland

August 8 at 12:33pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Blazers have signed free agent small forward James Southerland, according to the RealGM transactions page. The team has made no formal announcement, but the move took place Thursday, according to RealGM. The 24-year-old was briefly with Charlotte and New Orleans last season after going undrafted out of Syracuse in 2013. Terms of the deal are unclear, but it’s likely a summer contract that’ll give Southerland the chance to make the opening night roster out of training camp.

The Spurs had interest in making Southerland the 58th pick of the draft last year if he’d agree to play overseas, but he declined and wound up signing a non-guaranteed deal with the then-Bobcats. He made the team out of camp, though he appeared in only one regular season game before injuries to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeffery Taylor prompted the club to give Southerland’s roster spot to the more experienced Chris Douglas-Roberts.

The Cavs, Bulls, Thunder and Hawks eyed Southerland once Charlotte cut him loose, but he remained out of the league until the Pelicans inked him in the season’s final week. A spate of injuries worked in Southerland’s favor on that occasion, as he became the 16th player on the New Orleans roster at the mercy of the league, which granted the Pelicans permission to go over the 15-man regular season roster limit so they’d have enough healthy bodies. It might take another unusual set of circumstances for Southerland to remain on Portland’s roster come opening night, since the Blazers already have 15 guaranteed deals, as our roster counts show.

Still, Southerland appeared in just four NBA games last season. He spent the majority of his time with the D-League affiliate of the Lakers, averaging 14.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game across 42 contests for the L.A. D-Fenders.

Western Notes: Cousins, Gasol, Nurkic, Blazers

August 4 at 2:45pm CDT By Chuck Myron

DeMarcus Cousins feels like he’s behind in his career because of Sacramento’s inability over the years to find a team that fits around him, but he’s nonetheless ecstatic about what the Kings have done this offseason, as he tells Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee.

“I love what we’re doing. Love what we’re doing. [GM] Pete [D’Alessandro], he’s real aggressive, going after stuff, trying for players we probably have no chance at getting. One of these times we’re going to get lucky, and in the past we wouldn’t do that. Do you know how good that feels? Since [owner] Vivek [Ranadive], Pete, [coach] Michael [Malone], Mullie [team adviser Chris Mullin], [director of pro personnel] Mitch [Richmond] and those guys walked through the [expletive] door, things have been on the rise. I am totally behind it. Michael is like me; he sees everything in black-and-white. I love the fact Pete keeps trying stuff. I am totally behind all this. Rudy [Gay], the [Darren] Collison move, thinking Omri [Casspi] can stretch the floor. And the rookie, that kid [Nik] Stauskas can really play. He makes the game easy and has an impact even when he’s not scoring. I am so happy to be a part of this, of what we’re doing.”

Here’s more from around the West:

  • Marc Gasol can hit free agency next summer, but Grizzlies owner Robert Pera said Friday that the team is determined to keep him around for the rest of his career, observes Zach McMillin of The Commercial Appeal. Pera added that convincing Gasol that he can win a title in Memphis will be key, notes fellow Commercial Appeal scribe Michael Cohen.
  • No. 16 overall pick Jusuf Nurkic didn’t receive the standard 120% of the rookie scale when he signed with the Nuggets last month, and it’s believed that he’s the most highly drafted player ever to take such a discount, reports Mark Deeks of ShamSports. That’s especially surprising given that Nurkic has to pick up a portion of his buyout from Croatian team KK Cedevita. He’ll receive 108% of the scale amount this year and 107% in the second season, while the pair of team option years on his rookie scale contract are at the usual 120%, according to Deeks.
  • The Blazers don’t mind Damian Lillard‘s participation in Team USA activities this summer as much as they would take issue with players who compete for other nations, as The Oregonian’s Mike Tokito explains. That’s because Team USA doesn’t expect heavy minutes and practice time out of its players the way some countries do.

Northwest Notes: Durant, Westbrook, Williams

July 30 at 10:30am CDT By Chuck Myron

Kevin Love has been the hottest name in rumors of late, but Tuesday, another Northwest Division star began to generate some buzz. Kevin Durant spoke openly of the possibility that he’ll sign with his hometown Wizards when he becomes a free agent in 2016. He also chalked up his decision not to negotiate an opt-out clause into his current five-year deal to a mixture of naivete and his love for Oklahoma City, as The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry notes. Durant said it would “definitely be tough” to leave if the Thunder were to win a pair of championships in the two years remaining before he can hit free agency, as USA Today’s Sam Amick observes. With the onus on GM Sam Presti to put his team over the top, there’s more on the Thunder and their stars amid the latest from the Northwest:

  • The general assumption is that Russell Westbrook will look to leave the Thunder when he becomes a free agent in 2017, but that’s no certainty, as Durant impressed upon reporters Tuesday, including Amick, who shares the tidbit in the same piece.
  • John Wall is already expressing support for the idea of Durant joining the Wizards in two years, calling him “like an older brother” and saying, “It’d be great to have him back home,” as Amick notes.
  • Had the Trail Blazers wanted to re-sign Mo Williams this summer, “in all retrospect, they could have,” Williams said in a pair of tweets. The guard has instead agreed to a deal with the Timberwolves.