As we outlined earlier today, players on non-guaranteed contracts who aren’t released by 4:00pm central time will have their full 2013/14 salaries guaranteed. We’ll be keeping tabs in this post on players who have been informed they’ll remain on their respective teams’ rosters, with new updates added to the top of the list throughout the afternoon:
- Barring an unexpected development, the Pacers will guarantee Rasual Butler‘s contract today, tweets Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star.
- The Timberwolves don’t intend to make any roster moves today, which means the contracts for A.J. Price and Robbie Hummel should become guaranteed, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
- As anticipated, the Lakers plan to keep Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry, and Kendall Marshall, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (via Twitter).
- Ronnie Brewer‘s contract will be guaranteed for the remainder of the season by the Rockets, says Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
- The Bobcats will retain Jeff Adrien beyond today, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
- Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports (via Twitter) that Chris Douglas-Roberts‘ contract will become guaranteed, as the Bobcats won’t cut him today.
- Kent Bazemore is also safe, with the Warriors informing him he’ll remain on the roster, tweets Haynes.
- The Spurs have informed Malcolm Thomas that he won’t be waived, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Here’s the latest from the NBA’s Eastern Conference:
- Carmelo Anthony is a free agent at the end of the season, but Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reports the Knicks are quite confident they’ll re-sign the All-Star forward. Said one executive: “They’re one confident bunch… To listen to them, they expect to have Carmelo re-signed and have another star with him in another year. They’re so sure about it you’d think they already know what will happen.“
- The Heat’s LeBron James is another potential free agent, but Kennedy reports in the same post that James isn’t giving next summer much thought: “I’m so zoned in on what my task is here this year that it’s hard to think about anything else.” James can exercise the early termination clause in his contract and become a free agent at the end of the year, but he certainly sounds content in Miami: “What is there not to like about Miami?” James said. “It is a home. My family is very happy; I’m very comfortable.”
- Hawks GM Danny Ferry has been pleased with Kyle Korver‘s production this year, revealed Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer. Korver re-signed with Atlanta this offseason. In her piece, Boyer passes along a few fond words that Ferry had about Korver: “I respect him. As we build our culture, our environment here in Atlanta, having Kyle back as a part of that was exciting.”
hasn’t always had a reputation as an asset in the locker room, but Frank Vogel
insists that hasn’t been the case during the veteran’s time with the Pacers
, as Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star
observes. Butler didn’t make the team out of camp solely because Danny Granger
had been slow to recover from injury, Vogel adds.
- The Pistons announced today via press release that they have assigned rookies Tony Mitchell and Peyton Siva to the D-League. The duo will get to see minutes playing for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
The Pacers had been expected to carry just 13 players on their roster to begin the regular season, but the team has changed plans and decided to keep Rasual Butler and his non-guaranteed contract, according to Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). Part of the motivation may be tied to Danny Granger, who’ll miss at least the first two games with injury, Buckner tweets, so if Granger comes back quickly, Butler’s reprieve might be brief.
Butler, 34, signed a one-year camp deal for the minimum salary with the Pacers in early September after the 10-year veteran played for Indiana’s summer league team as he sought to revive his NBA career. He spent last season, his first out of the Association since his rookie campaign in 2002/03, with the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League. He last played NBA ball with the Raptors, who waived him in March 2012. His last significant role was with the 2009/10 Clippers, for whom he averaged 11.9 points in 33.0 minutes per game.
The Pacers are a couple million dollars below the tax line, so they likely had financial considerations chief in mind when they thought about going with the league minimum of 13 players. Butler probably won’t see meaningful minutes, and unless he proves himself valuable while Granger is recovering, he remains expendable. His contract won’t become fully guaranteed until January 10th.
After not catching on with an NBA team last year, Rasual Butler has reached an agreement to join the Pacers, agent Joel Bell tells Shams Charania of RealGM.com. Indiana will sign Butler to a non-guaranteed contract, which figures to essentially amount to a camp invite.
Butler last appeared in the NBA for the Raptors in 2011/12, averaging a career-low 3.2 PPG and 4.8 PER in 34 contests. The 34-year-old participated in workouts last fall and this past spring, but didn't seem to draw much interest from NBA teams until now.
The Pacers have 13 players on guaranteed contracts, and, as our list of non-guaranteed deals shows, have also invited Ron Howard to training camp. Indiana will almost certainly add at least a couple more players to the team's camp roster, but as long as those guys are on non-guaranteed contracts as well, it seems Butler will be given the opportunity to earn a regular-season roster spot.
After an 11-year NBA career, Cuttino Mobley announced his retirement in December 2008 when he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition. Although Mobley hasn't appeared in an NBA game in nearly five years, he'll be attempting to make a comeback this year, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.
Kennedy reports that ASM Sports, an agency that represents Kevin Garnett, Serge Ibaka, and Jeff Teague, among others, is holding a workout on May 31st for their draft prospects and veteran free agents. Mobley is one of a handful of veteran ASM clients expected to participate in drills and five-on-five scrimmages that day. According to Kennedy, Josh Howard, Rasual Butler, and Christian Eyenga are among the other free agents who will be in attendance.
It will be an uphill battle for Mobley, who will turn 38 before the 2013/14 season begins. I'd be surprised if he lands a spot on an NBA roster, but he did demonstrate exceptional scoring ability during his 11-year career. In 747 total contests for the Rockets, Clippers, Magic, and Kings, Mobley averaged 16.0 PPG to go along with shooting percentages of .433/.378/.835.
Three more former NBA players are headed to the D-League as they attempt to work their way back into the NBA, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein. Stein reports (via Twitter) that Hilton Armstrong will join the Santa Cruz Warriors, Rasual Butler will join the Tulsa 66ers, and Josh Boone will join the Iowa Energy.
Armstrong, 28, was drafted 12th overall in 2006 and played in parts of five NBA seasons for the Hornets, Kings, Rockets, Wizards, and Hawks. The big man averaged 3.1 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 277 career contests, last playing in the NBA during the 2010/11 season. He'll join a Santa Cruz team that's fully owned and operated by Golden State.
Butler, who began his NBA career with the Heat in 2002/03, has averaged double-digit points three times and played in 638 NBA games, but was waived by the Raptors last season after appearing in 34 games for Toronto. The 33-year-old is headed for a 66ers squad that's owned and operated by the Thunder.
Boone, the Nets' 23rd overall pick in 2006, played four seasons with New Jersey, but hasn't played in an NBA game since his rookie scale contract expired in 2010. The former UConn big man averaged 5.2 PPG and 4.9 RPG in his career, and will join an Iowa Energy team that's shared as an affiliate by four NBA teams.
All three veterans will remain NBA free agents, free to sign with any team if they impress in the D-League.
A few Monday afternoon odds and ends from around the NBA:
A few Tuesday afternoon odds and ends from around the NBA:
- After reporting yesterday that Dwight Howard still wants to be traded out of Orlando, Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com outlines why the Nets and Knicks may be the most logical trade partners for the Magic.
- If Howard is dealt this summer, it's probably bad news for the Mavericks, writes Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com. The Mavs could have the cap space for Howard next summer, but don't have the trade chips to get him right now.
- In an Insider piece for ESPN.com, David Thorpe examines some potential landing spots for Jeremy Lin, concluding that the Raptors, Nets, and Suns might be the best fits besides the Knicks.
- Rasual Butler has heard from several teams and plans to be ready to sign in July, according to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld. The Raptors released Butler in March, in time for him to catch on with another team for the postseason, but the 33-year-old didn't sign another contract before season's end.
- In an interview with Gazzetta.it, Marco Belinelli said he expects to receive offers from the Hornets and other NBA teams, and wants to determine where he'll sign before trying to join the Italian national team for the Olympics. Hat tip to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando for the translation.
With many playoff contenders plagued by health issues, including injuries to a handful of superstars, some teams may be thinking about adding an extra body for the postseason. There are plenty of young players available in the D-League, but for a club in need of one extra piece, a veteran with playoff experience may be the preferred candidate.
Listed below are a few free agents with extensive playoff experience who would still be eligible for the postseason if they signed with an NBA team today. Many of these players have been out of the league this season and are hardly sure bets to pick up where they left off, but for clubs with depth issues, they could be worth at least a look.
- Rasual Butler: The Raptors waived Butler last month in advance of the buyout deadline to allow him to catch on with a playoff team. Although the Bulls were thought to have some interest, Butler still hasn't landed another NBA job. The veteran forward has played in 30 postseason contests, including a handful with Chicago last season.
- Michael Finley: Having been out of the NBA since 2010, the 39-year-old Finley is probably a long shot to contribute much to a playoff team. But he was still working out for NBA squads this season, and has 129 career postseason games on his resumé. Finley appeared in the playoffs in 10 straight seasons from 2001 to 2010, averaging 11.8 PPG.
- Eddie House: The sharpshooter has appeared in 66 postseason games, with a good chunk of them coming for the 2008 champion Boston Celtics. House shot 42.6% from downtown in 35 playoff games in 2008 and 2009 for Boston. Last season, House was on the Heat's playoff roster, though his role and impact were reduced in Miami.
- Allen Iverson: Iverson racked up over 3,200 minutes played in 71 career playoff games, which included a run to the Finals with the 2000/01 76ers. Iverson has averaged a staggering 29.7 PPG in the postseason, including 24.5 PPG in his most recent playoff appearance, in 2008 with the Nuggets. We know AI still wants to play in the NBA, but it's probably too late in the season for any team to risk the sideshow that could accompany signing the former MVP.
- James Posey: After being amnestied by the Pacers prior to the season, Posey has yet to catch on anywhere, which is a little surprising. While his production had fallen off over the last two seasons, the forward still provides veteran leadership, having played in 65 postseason games in his career. Like House, Posey played a crucial role in the 2008 playoffs for the Celtics, averaging 22.0 minutes in 26 games for the eventual NBA champions.
- Joe Smith: The 36-year-old has appeared in 62 career playoff games, including brief action in five games for the Lakers last year. Still, Smith hasn't been a useful part-time contributor since the 2008/09 season, so it's questionable whether he has much left to offer a contender.
- Jarron Collins, Devean George, Morris Peterson, and Etan Thomas are among the other veteran free agents with multiple seasons of playoff experience.
Much of the NBA spent the evening with concerns about Celtics swingman Mickael Pietrus, who suffered a head injury during tonight's game with the 76ers and left the arena in an ambulance. It originally appeared Pietrus would spend the night in a hospital, as ESPN's Chris Forsberg and others reported, but apparently his injury, a concussion, will allow him to return home for the night, Forsberg tweets. Here's more from around the Association:
- Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel reports that Rasual Butler, who is drawing attention from the Bulls, would have gotten a look from the Heat at the beginning of the season had they not signed Shane Battier (Twitter link).
- Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley is out of the running to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, but separate groups that include Magic Johnson and Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke remain in the hunt with a decision looming as soon as next week, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
- Raptors backup point guard Jerryd Bayless shined while starter Jose Calderon missed games with injury earlier this month, and Alex Raskin of HoopsWorld argues the team should bring back the restricted free agent this summer and give him a larger role.
- Despite a loss to the Raptors tonight, the Knicks have been playing markedly better since Mike Woodson took over as coach, but that doesn't mean the team had quit on former coach Mike D'Antoni, Tyson Chandler says, according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone.
- Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida tweets that the Pistons have offered retiring Ben Wallace a job for when he hangs up his sneakers, but Wallace is undecided on whether he'll take it.