While the NBA’s trade deadline passed over two weeks ago, the D-League’s window for trading players between teams closed today. While deals between D-League teams don’t affect NBA player rights, they can still have an impact on which NBA teams and development staffs get the closest look at prospects at that level. Here are some notes from the D-League, including today’s deadline deals:
- The Timberwolves are looking at owning their own D-League team, a source tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). Wolfson says the Iowa Energy, who currently serve as an affiliate for the Timberwolves, Nuggets, Bulls, Pelicans, and Wizards, are open to a singular partnership with Minnesota.
- Sources tell Gino Pilato of D-League Digest that a multi-team trade sent William Buford to the Canton Charge, Vander Blue to the Idaho Stampede, and Richard Howell‘s returning player rights for next year to the Santa Cruz Warriors, among other D-League draft considerations.
- In the same post, Pilato passes along a trade sending Santa Cruz’s Dominic McGuire to the Tulsa 66ers in exchange for Dominic Sutton‘s returning player rights.
- Pilato reports one final deal between the Charge and the Delaware 87ers. Kyrylo Fesenko was sent to Canton in a trade that also saw the teams swap second round draft picks.
As All-Star Weekend approaches, ideas for improving the All-Star events always resurface. USA Today Sports asked multiple writers to pitch their ideas, which include a one-on-one tournament and a half-court shooting contest. Here are some notes from around the NBA:
- Dorell Wright wanted to join the Thunder this year, but ended up choosing the Trail Blazers because they offered a better contract, he tells Darnell Mayberry of NewsOK. “They couldn’t really do what Portland did for me as far as on the contract end,” Wright says. He decided against playing with former high school teammate Russell Westbrook and took Portland’s offer: “Maybe down in the future, I could probably play with Russ. But I’m pretty happy with the decision I made to come here to Portland.”
- Richard Howell has bought out his D-League contract with the Idaho Stampede, and will be signing on with the Talk ‘N Text team in the Philippines, per Gino Pilato of D-League Digest. Howell spent training camp with the Trail Blazers, but didn’t make the regular season roster and hasn’t played an NBA minute.
- The Cavs D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, has acquired Ben Uzoh for a third round D-League draft pick from the Texas Legends, per Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio. Uzoh hasn’t played in the NBA since short stints with the Cavs and Raptors during the 2011/12 season.
Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com has updated his salary database to account for every NBA team’s opening night roster, and in the process has provided several contract details that had previously been unreported. Let’s round up Deeks’ new info, which has now been incorporated into our list of non-guaranteed salaries and our schedule of guarantee dates….
- Daniel Orton and Brandon Davies were late additions to the Sixers‘ roster, but they received the same kind of deals that many of the team’s other offseason signees did: Non-guaranteed four-year pacts. Hollis Thompson, meanwhile, landed a $35K guarantee for this season on his four-year contract.
- When Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors listed the camp cuts who had been owed guaranteed money, he noted that the guarantees for Vander Blue, Khalif Wyatt, and Richard Howell were still unknown. Deeks fills in those amounts, reporting that the Sixers paid Blue $55K and Wyatt $35K. Howell received $50K from the Trail Blazers.
- Unlike most players on non-guaranteed contracts, A.J. Price won’t have to wait until the new year for his salary to become fully guaranteed. He’ll get his full minimum salary as long as he’s not waived by the Timberwolves on or before December 8th.
- Julyan Stone‘s two-year contract with the Raptors was initially guaranteed for $50K, but that amount was bumped up to $100K when he earned a spot on the regular season roster.
- Dionte Christmas (Suns) and Henry Sims (Cavaliers) both received partial guarantees worth $50K.
- The Hawks‘ agreement with Cartier Martin is just for one year, for a fully non-guaranteed minimum salary.
The Trail Blazers have waived Dee Bost, E.J. Singler, and Richard Howell, according to a tweet from CSNNW.com’s Chris Haynes. All three will join the Idaho Stampede.
From the University of Oregon, Singler, the younger brother of Pistons forward Kyle Singler, was a non-roster camp invite, along with Bost, in September. A forward at North Carolina State last season, Howell was also signed to a training camp deal in September.
None of the three were expected to make Portland’s roster when the team extended them contracts last month (Bost’s deal was $25K guaranteed, and Howell’s was believed to be partially guaranteed as well). The moves put the Trail Blazers’ roster at 15, meaning it’s unlikely the club makes any further roster cuts.
The Thunder surprised many when they traded star sixth man James Harden to the Rockets right before the 2012/13 season start. Serge Ibaka was awarded a 4-year, $48MM contract earlier in the summer of 2012 and tells Jeff Caplan at the NBA’s Hang Time Blog that he’s worked on his ball handling and offensive game this season.
After Russell Westbrook went down with a torn meniscus against the Rockets in last year’s opening round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Thunder struggled without their playmaking point guard. Kevin Durant had to carry a heavier offensive burden, and Ibaka’s play suffered without Westbrook to alleviate defensive pressure.
The Thunder will need Ibaka to inherit a more substantial offensive workload to begin this season with Westbrook expected to miss the first couple of months recovering from a second surgery to fix issues stemming from the original surgery on his meniscus.
Here are some notes from around the Western Conference tonight:
- With Westbrook out, there are concerns about how much Durant will have to do for the Thunder to survive Westbrook’s absence in the first part of the season. Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman tweets that head coach Scott Brooks says KD will play between 38-40 minutes this season.
- Mayberry adds, via Twitter, that no player within the last 9 seasons has gone on to win a title after logging more than 3000 minutes in the regular season, but Brooks doesn’t place much stock in that info.
- Dee Bost, Richard Howell and E.J. Singler are likely headed to the Blazers’ D-League affiliate after camp, according to Gino Pilato of D-League Digest. That’s no surprise, since they’re the only three players on Portland’s roster without fully guaranteed deals.
- New Kings coach Michael Malone says rookies Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum are making the most of their minutes during the preseason (Twitter).
- Malone also said, via the Kings‘ official Twitter account, that playing defense as a cohesive 5-man group is the key for this year’s Kings team to be successful.
- The Clippers Blake Griffin will play tonight against the Jazz after suffering a bruised knee in practice on Tuesday, reports ESPN LA. MRI results showed no structural damage and Griffin returned to practice on Friday.
SEPTEMBER 13TH: The Blazers have formally announced the signing of Howell, via a press release.
SEPTEMBER 6TH: The Trail Blazers and rookie free agent Richard Howell have agreed to terms on a deal that will bring the N.C. State product to camp, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.com. Agent Joel Bell tells Charania that his client will sign a partially guaranteed contract with Portland.
Howell went undrafted out of N.C. State this past June, despite ranking as the 53rd-best prospect in the class, according to ESPN.com's Chad Ford. In his senior year with the Wolfpack, the power forward averaged 12.7 PPG and 10.9 RPG, while shooting 57% from the floor. Howell had reached an agreement to join France's BCM Gravelines, but the team announced this week that the two sides had mutually agreed to part ways, freeing up the 22-year-old for an NBA audition.
The Trail Blazers have 15 players on guaranteed contracts, making it a little unusual that the team would offer Howell a partial guarantee, since there may not be a regular-season roster spot available. Perhaps Portland wants to secure Howell's rights for the Idaho Stampede, and couldn't do so without offering a bit of guaranteed money.
In any case, Howell appears set to join Dee Bost and E.J. Singler as training camp invitees for the Blazers.
With the 2013 draft in the books, there are still plenty of intriguing prospects that were not among the 60 players who heard their names called on Thursday night. Many of those guys will be snapped up quickly for Summer League rosters, while others could sign outright with an NBA team.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported a handful of signings late last night, and it's my understanding that these are actual free-agent contracts rather than just Summer League invites, though that's not entirely clear. Either way, the agreements will provide these undrafted free agents a chance to audition for a possible NBA roster spot. Here's a recap:
- Kennedy has corrected his earlier report (linked below), tweeting that Harris is simply playing for the Nuggets in Summer League action, and not signing with the team yet. I imagine that may be the case for Howell and some of the other players listed below as well, though it seems as if Covington, at least, will ink an actual contract with the Rockets. We'll likely have to wait until July for official word.
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reports (via Twitter) that undrafted free agents Richard Howell and C.J. Harris will sign with the Nuggets. Again, players don't necessarily have to be under contract with a team to play for a Summer League squad, so Kennedy's wording suggests that Howell and Harris will ink deals to earn a pair of Denver's 20 summer roster spots, though that's not 100% certain.
- Former N.C. State forward C.J. Leslie has reached an agreement on a deal with the Knicks, reports Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Leslie had been ranked the 40th-best prospect available by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com and 41st by ESPN.com's Chad Ford.
- Phil Pressey, a 5'11" point guard out of Missouri, has reached an agreement on a deal with the Celtics, tweets Wojnarowski. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe reported last night that Boston figured to "immediately go after" Pressey once he went undrafted.
- Former VCU guard Troy Daniels has agreed to a free agent deal with the Bobcats, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Daniels averaged 12.3 PPG and shot 40.3% on three-pointers in his final season with the Rams.
- Rodney Williams, Ford's 80th overall prospect in this year's class, has agreed to a deal with the 76ers, tweets Wojnarowski. The 21-year-old forward is coming off four years at the University of Minnesota.
- Robert Covington will sign a two-year, partially-guaranteed contract with the Rockets, reports Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com (via Twitter). According to Givony's sources, the guarantee for the former Tennessee State forward will be "substantial" — likely around $150K.
We're now just three weeks away from the 2013 draft, so teams are busy bringing in prospects to meet with them and work them out, while we do our best to keep tabs on as many of those workouts as we can. Here's the latest:
- Tom Housenick of The Morning Call reported that C.J. McCollum will visit Portland at some point for a workout before June 20th.
- Chris Haynes of CSNNW tweets that Trevor Mbakwe will visit the Trail Blazers tomorrow.
- The Kings released a list of players who have worked out for them via their team website, noting that guards Will Cherry, Travis Releford, Brandon Triche, forward Chris Evans, and centers Rudy Gobert and Aziz N'Diaye took part in workouts this past Monday. Former Michigan star Trey Burke is scheduled to come in tomorrow.
- The Wizards plan to bring in C.J. Aiken, Junior Cadougan, Ella Ellis, Lamont Jones, A.J. Matthews, and Mike Muscala in for Friday workouts, as per the team's official website.
- Jody Genessy of the Deseret News tweets that Steven Adams, Jack Cooley, Richard Howell, Kenny Kadji, Dennis Schroeder, and Peyton Siva are all scheduled for a pre-draft workout with the Jazz on Friday.
- Mason Plumlee, Shabazz Muhammad, Kelly Olynyk, Norvel Pelle, and Scott Wood worked out for the Sixers today, tweets Tyler R. Tynes of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Plumlee will also work out for the Trail Blazers on June 19th and for the Pistons on June 21st, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com and Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link).
- Michael Lee of the Washington Post reports that Otto Porter will work out for the Wizards on June 14th.
- The Timberwolves expect to bring in C.J. McCollum for a workout, says Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (via Twitter).
- Working out for the Suns today, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter): McCollum, Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, Mouhammadou Jaiteh, Shane Larkin, Zeke Marshall, and Korie Lucious.
- Gorgui Dieng's agent confirms that his client will work out for both the Nets and Knicks, as Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com details.
- The Grizzlies announced in a press release that James Southerland, Will Clyburn, B.J. Young, Dewayne Dedmon, Colton Iverson, and Sherwood Brown will work out for the club tomorrow.
- The Knicks will work out the following prospects tomorrow, per the team's Twitter feed: Ricky Ledo, Tahj Tate, Adonis Thomas, Christian Watford, Tony Mitchell, and Grant Jerrett.
- Jeff Withey worked out for the Bulls yesterday, according to Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com (via Twitter).
Andy Katz of ESPN noted earlier that Nerlens Noel will visit with the Magic this Sunday, and is yet to schedule a meeting with the Cavaliers. The potential number one pick is up six pounds (from 206 to 212) since the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp two weeks ago, and isn't expected to visit any other teams beyond Orlando and Cleveland unless a team trades up to the first or second draft slots or there is a strong sense that a deal gets done (All Twitter links). We'll keep you posted on anything draft related tonight below:
- The Wizards are slated to bring in Archie Goodwin, Peyton Siva, Mike Muscala, James Southerland, Will Clyburn, Adonis Thomas, Khalif Wyatt, and Romero Osby for workouts starting on Monday. Otto Porter, Victor Oladipo, and Ben McLemore may be among the next wave of prospects to work out for the team during the following week.
- SNYtv’s Josh Newman passes along that Iona standout Lamont Jones is set to work out for the Nets on June 20. Jones is the second confirmed prospect set to work out for Brooklyn, who will also take a look at San Diego State product Jamaal Franklin at a date yet to be determined (Twitter links).
- Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports that the Trail Blazers brought in six draft hopefuls in for predraft workouts today, among them being a projected first-rounder in Tony Mitchell. Joining the North Texas big man were second round prospects Richard Howell, Dexter Strickland, Adonis Thomas, BJ Young, and James Ennis. Freeman profiled each of today's visitors in a separate piece.
- Hoopworld's Alex Kennedy presents his list of 10 possible steals in this year's draft.
- Although the Pistons GM Joe Dumars acknowledged that the team's preference would be to draft a viable wing player, he wouldn't rule out the possibility of drafting the best available big man by the time Detroit is on the clock with the eighth pick (Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press).
- According to this article from NBA.com, the Timberwolves hosted Tim Hardaway Jr., Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Ricky Ledo, Allen Crabbe, Mouphtaou Yarou, and Gregory Echenique for workouts today.
Kings fans received some great news yesterday, when the NBA's Board of Governors rejected a bid to relocate the franchise to Seattle. Even with the sale to Chris Hansen's Seattle group seemingly dead, the Kings aren't quite safe in Sacramento yet. The Maloofs still have the right to hang on to the team, though they're currently attempting to negotiate a sale to the Sacramento investment group led by Vivek Ranadive. Here's the latest on the Kings, on and off the court:
- George Maloof believes a deal will be reached with Ranadive's group, as he tells David Bienick of KCRA in Sacramento (Twitter link). However, he's not sure it will happen in the 24-48 hour window David Stern is hoping for (Twitter link). Maloof also added that Hansen remains interested in buying a minority share of the Kings, so that's part of the current talks as well (Twitter link).
- With Kings ownership still up in the air, front office and roster decisions remain on hold as well, writes Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. Head coach Keith Smart and GM Geoff Petrie are approaching this week's draft combine as if they'll continue in their current roles.
- The team interviewed six draft prospects on Wednesday, according to Jones: Reggie Bullock , Alex Len, Tim Hardaway Jr., Richard Howell, Tony Snell, and Deshaun Thomas.
- Expect Ranadive to "eviscerate" the Kings' business and basketball operations should he assume control of the team, says Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee. Voisin also hears that Ranadive's reps shot down a previous report that the Sacramento group was interested in Monta Ellis.
- Dale Kasler, Tony Lillis, and Ryan Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee, who have done a terrific job of chronicling the entire saga, recap an eventful Wednesday and look ahead to the next step for the Kings.