The Kings are refusing to listen to trade offers for DeMarcus Cousins, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Sacramento is aware of the Celtics’ interest in the All-Star center and has received an offer from the Cavaliers. However, it looks as if the Kings are determined to keep Cousins, who has two seasons remaining on his contract. Since the season ended, Cousins has embarked on a hot yoga program and has dropped about 25 pounds.
- Two of the veteran free agents signed by the Kings will have small partial guarantees on the second year of their two-year contracts. Anthony Tolliver makes $8MM in each of his two seasons, while Arron Afflalo gets $12.5MM annually, but Tolliver only has $2MM guaranteed for his second year, while Afflalo has just a $1.5MM guarantee in year two.
The Kings are expecting Garrett Temple to be a major contributor this season, which is something the shooting guard is excited to embrace, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. “[The Kings] were adamant that they envision me being an integral part of the team and that was obviously great to hear, especially with my background. Being valued as a guy who can produce and will be relied on every night is something that I’ve been waiting for a long time,” Temple tells Kennedy. “Coach [Dave] Joerger believes in my abilities and that I can produce, so I’ll be on the court a good amount this year.”
Here’s more from Sacramento:
- DeMarcus Cousins remains critical of the Kings‘ draft this year, as Sean Cunningham of Sacramento’s ABC10 tweets. “I can’t control [who the team drafted]. I control what I can control. I don’t really understand it, but I do my job,” the big man said.
- Cousins didn’t not attempt to influence the Kings‘ decision making this offseason, including whether or not they should bring back Rajon Rondo, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee tweets. “I do my job and I let them do theirs,” he said.
- Cousins has been working with Malachi Richardson out in Vegas and he’s very high on the No. 22 overall pick, Cunningham passes along (Twitter link).
- Cousins is impressed with how Skal Labissiere played during Summer League and he loves the addition of Matt Barnes, as Cunningham passes along via Twitter. The Kings brought Barnes in on a two year, $12MM deal.
JULY 15: The Mavericks have officially signed Curry, the team confirmed today in a press release.
JULY 4: The Mavericks are nearing a two-year, $6MM agreement with free agent guard Seth Curry, league sources informed Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). The 6’2” combo guard played in 44 games with the Kings last season, including nine starts, and averaged 6.8 points in 15.7 minutes. He shot 45% on his 3-point tries.
Stephen Curry‘s brother appeared in just four NBA games with three different teams prior to his breakthrough season with Sacramento. The 6’2” shooting guard had his qualifying offer of approximately $1.2MM rescinded by the Kings on Sunday. He made $947,276 during 2015/16.
The Kings considered Curry expendable after they agreed to terms with free agent guard Garrett Temple. Curry hit the free agent market after declining his player option of $1MM for next season. That decision has apparently paid off with Dallas offering a bigger salary and an additional year.
Dallas already had a busy Monday, with the Warriors declining to match its four-year, $94MM offer sheet for restricted small forward Harrison Barnes. Golden State also agreed to trade starting center Andrew Bogut to the Mavericks.
While Curry can play the point, it’s more likely he’ll back up Wesley Matthews at shooting guard.
The Kings have secured the three players they selected in the first round of this year’s draft, locking them up to rookie-scale contracts. The team announced today in a press release that Georgios Papagiannis (No. 13), Malachi Richardson (No. 22), and Skal Labissiere (No. 28) have all signed their deals.
[RELATED: 2016 Draft Pick Signings]
Sacramento acquired the rights to all three of their first-round picks via trades. Richardson was acquired in exchange from the Hornets in a deal for Marco Belinelli, while the team landed the Papagiannis and Labissiere picks in a swap with Phoenix that resulted in the Suns drafting Marquese Chriss.
The Papagiannis pick at No. 13 was viewed as one of the biggest surprises on draft night, since virtually no mock drafts had him coming off the board so early. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com had the Greek center ranked as the 50th-best prospect in this year’s draft class. However, the Richardson and Labissiere selections received more positive feedback from draft experts.
As our breakdown of salaries for 2016’s first-rounders shows, Papagiannis will be in line for a probable first-year salary of about $2.202MM, with a four-year total exceeding $10MM on his rookie contract, assuming he signs for the maximum allowable 120% of the rookie scale. Richardson ($1.44MM first year, $7.095MM overall) and Labissiere ($1.189MM first year, $6.066MM overall) will receive more modest deals.
Trading away Blake Griffin would mean a sharp change of direction for the Clippers, writes Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. Rumors of a possible Griffin deal surfaced Thursday when Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reported that the Celtics have targeted him and that there’s a feeling around the league that Boston is ready to make a major move. Deveney cited a possible three-team trade that would send Griffin to the Celtics and Rudy Gay from the Kings to the Clippers, but Woike sees a team built around Gay, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan as less likely than the current roster to be a contender in the West. Griffin has two seasons and about $41.5MM left on his contract.
There’s more news out of Los Angeles:
- The Clippers made a much-needed move to clear some cap space Thursday when they traded C.J. Wilcox to Orlando, according to Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com. Wilcox played just 268 minutes in his two seasons with Los Angeles and was owed more than $1.2MM next season with a $2,183,328 team option for 2017/18. In return, the Clippers received a second-round draft pick in 2020 and Devyn Marble, whose contract is non-guaranteed until today at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Waiving Marble would open up money to sign Raymond Felton, who agreed to terms with L.A. on Thursday.
- The Clippers are right against the luxury tax line with 13 players on guaranteed contracts, tweets Bobby Marks of The Vertical.
- Clippers guard J.J. Redick responded to Commissioner Adam Silver’s warning about “super teams” being bad for the league, writes Kurt Helin of NBCSports.com. In a series of tweets, Redick notes that five teams have won titles since LeBron James joined the Heat in 2010, that the Celtics formed their dominant team through trades and that free agents have earned the right to decide where they want to play. Redick, who has been with the Clippers since 2013, is entering the final season of his contract.
A Wednesday report from Howard Beck of Bleacher Report suggested that rival general managers around the NBA viewed the Celtics as the biggest threat to acquire Russell Westbrook. Those GMs also believed that Thunder GM Sam Presti would be inclined to move Westbrook sooner rather than later if Presti feels that the star point guard is likely to leave in free agency next summer.
As I pointed out when I passed along that report, however, there has been no indication yet that the Thunder are actively exploring a Westbrook deal. Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes today that Westbrook’s representatives haven’t received word of any trade talks, and they’d almost certainly be involved in that process — after all, any team acquiring the Thunder star would want to talk to his reps about whether he’d be willing to sign up for a long-term stay with that new team.
As Deveney notes, that doesn’t necessarily rule out an eventual Westbrook trade to Boston, but it probably means that the Celtics haven’t gotten serious about targeting him to this point.
Here’s more from Deveney on the Celtics:
- The consensus among front-office executives at the Summer League in Las Vegas is that the Celtics will attempt to make a major deal soon, says Deveney.
- Boston’s top trade target at this point appears to be Blake Griffin. According to Deveney, a three-way scenario has emerged that would involve the Celtics giving up picks in a deal to acquire Griffin, with the Kings getting involved and sending Rudy Gay to the Clippers. However, opposing front-office execs say the C’s are reluctant to give up their 2018 Nets first-round pick or their swap rights to Brooklyn’s 2017 pick.
- If the Clippers do move Griffin in a deal with the Celtics or another team, they’d want to land draft picks and a “frontline star” to keep them in contention, per Deveney. I’m not sure Gay would qualify as that sort of “star,” but perhaps Doc Rivers feels differently.
- According to Deveney, several front-office members around the NBA continue to bring up Kevin Love as a Celtics target, even though none of those execs believe that the Cavaliers will be inclined to move Love.
- Deveney adds (via Twitter) that the Celtics continue to look for shooting help, and have reached out to veteran free agent Chase Budinger.
- Meanwhile, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald hears from sources that, while the Celtics have expressed interest in Westbrook and Griffin in the past, there have been no recent trade discussions involving either player. However, he acknowledges that Boston remains “very much open” to a major deal, and says situations remain fluid.
JULY 15th, 1:33pm: The move is official, the team announced.
JULY 14th, 4:31pm: The Kings have claimed Lamar Patterson off waivers from the Hawks, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports (Twitter link). As a result, Sacramento will assume responsibility for the $874,636 he is due for 2016/17. Atlanta waived Patterson on Tuesday.
It’s a low-risk move for the Kings, as Patterson’s salary isn’t guaranteed. The team can get a look at the 24-year-old shooting guard during the preseason and not be responsible for any cash if he doesn’t pan out.
Patterson made 35 appearances for the Hawks this past season, averaging 2.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 11.3 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .350/.245/.727.