Sonny Weems

Eastern Notes: Davies, Weems, Rondo

Sixers coach Brett Brown isn’t happy that Brandon Davies was traded to the Nets, Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com reports. Brown will miss Davies because of the player-coach relationship the two had, which helped ease the sting of enduring the Sixers’ escalating loss totals, Lynam adds. “When you start losing people that you are very fond of and have tremendous respect for … there is a human side of it that bothers me because you are trying to grow chemistry, you are trying to grow a culture,” Brown said. “That takes a hit when teammates lose teammates. There is a respect, effort-wise, of how they go about their business. There is a reality to our job that is just business in the NBA, but it doesn’t mean it has to feel right.”

Here’s more from the East:

  • Sonny Weems turned down multiple offers from NBA teams this past offseason, including a fully guaranteed deal from the Hawks, as he tells David Pick, writing for Basketball Insiders. Weems instead remains overseas on a long-term deal with CSKA Moscow that will pay him $10MM over the course of the contract, according to Pick. Money, contract length and timing were some of the stumbling blocks that kept Weems out of the NBA, Pick writes, adding that Weems is widely accepted as the best small forward not in the NBA.
  • Rajon Rondo has been receiving his fair share of criticism for the Celtics‘ struggles this season, and he’s been benched late in games recently, but it is something he has downplayed, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com writes. “I’ve been playing here for nine years, I’m one of the best at what I do, and I’m human,” Rondo said. “I make mistakes. I own up to my mistakes and that’s just part of the game. It’s not weighing on me at all. It’s a team effort. I am the captain, but there are 15 guys on this team and we’re all in this together.”
  • Prior to leaving Washington, current Clippers assistant Sam Cassell played a major role in helping the Wizards land Paul Pierce this past summer, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. “I talked to him [Pierce], told him how well he’ll do with them two guys John Wall and Bradley Beal] and he viewed it and made his decision,” Cassell said. “He took it seriously. He looked at the roster that we had and he realized it was a pretty good roster. He saw where he could fit in and do well at. Why wouldn’t he come and be a part of the Wizards?

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Henry, Wolves, Jazz, Melo

We’ve heard players like Omer Asik and Marcin Gortat mentioned repeatedly as possible trade candidates for the coming season, and both players earn a spot on Sam Smith‘s list of 10 players most likely to be traded at Bulls.com. Smith also includes a few surprises among his 10 names though, including a pair of power forwards on Western Conference playoff teams: Zach Randolph and David Lee. I’d be surprised to see either player go anywhere, but as we saw a year ago with James Harden and the Thunder, contending teams aren’t always averse to moving key players.

Here are a few more Monday items out of the West:

  • Asked if Xavier Henry‘s play this fall is solidifying his spot on the regular season roster, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters, including John Ireland and Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report (Twitter link), “I would think so.”
  • With CSKA Moscow set to play an exhibition game against the Timberwolves tonight, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities notes that a couple players on the Russian squad – Milos Teodosic and Sonny Weems – could interest the T-Wolves, or have been pursued by the team in the past (Twitter links).
  • Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors are both eligible for contract extensions this month, but the Jazz don’t necessarily have to treat them equally, writes Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune. In Kragthorpe’s opinion, Utah should extend Hayward now and wait on Favors.
  • It’s not clear if Fab Melo will earn a roster spot with the Mavericks, but the young center doesn’t sound unhappy to be out of Boston. Melo tells Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the Celtics “didn’t give [him] a chance” last season, “even in practice” (Twitter link).

Odds & Ends: Jazz, Draft, Karl, Ledo, Weems

If the Jazz are going to roll with a third point guard this season, it’ll be either Scott Machado or Lester Hudson, writes Bill Oram of The Salt Lake Tribune.  Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks could conceivably bring the ball up the floor, but it sounds like Utah would prefer to have another cushion at the one-guard position.  “It’s always better to have a third point guard,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “A guy gets hurt, a guy gets sick … If it’s for an extended period of time, having that third point guard gives you a luxury.”  Here’s more from around the Association..

  • Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv spoke with an NBA GM about the 2014 Draft.  The GM feels that even though it’ll be a two-player race between Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle, no one will have the fortitude to pick Randle over Wiggins, even if he outperforms him.
  • George Karl says the 2012/13 was the most fun he’s ever had in coaching, so he’d like to return to the bench, even though the former Nuggets boss acknowledges to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe that he may not get another chance. “If that doesn’t happen, I think I can be OK with it,” Karl said. “I’ve had a great career and I think I’m healthy enough and energized enough to go another four or five years, and hopefully someone else out there will think the same thing.
  • Rick Carlisle is high on second-round pick Ricky Ledo, but the Mavs coach hinted that Ledo will probably spend time on assignment to the D-League this year, as Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram passes along.
  • Sonny Weems, who will play in Russia this season, still has his eye on an NBA deal, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.

Sonny Weems Signs With CSKA Moscow

A pair of players from last year's CSKA Moscow squad have made the jump to the NBA this summer, as Alexey Shved and Andrei Kirilenko both signed deals with the Timberwolves. Sonny Weems, however, is heading in the other direction. CSKA Moscow has officially signed Weems to a three-year deal, the team announced in a press release (hat tip to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).

Weems, who spent three seasons in the NBA from 2008-11 with the Nuggets and Raptors, also played overseas in 2011/12, signing with Lithiuana's Zalgiris B.C. during the lockout. After averaging 7.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per contest over the course of 140 NBA games, Weems averaged 15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game with Zalgiris in Euroleague action.

The Knicks were said to have interest in Weems before signing Ronnie Brewer, and the Celtics also had some interest before adding Jason Terry and Courtney Lee. Weems was still seeking an NBA contract two weeks ago, but considering the amount of interested teams that decided to go in another directions, I speculated during last week's live chat that the 26-year-old could end up back overseas.

Agent Says Knicks Eyeing Shooting Guards

Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com reports the Knicks have interest in unrestricted free agents Sonny Weems and Maurice Evans, according to Roger Montgomery, the agent for both players. The Knicks are seeking depth at shooting guard with Iman Shumpert out until January and J.R. Smith the only rotation-caliber two-guard on the roster, but have only the veteran's minimum at their disposal, as Zwerling points out.

The Knicks could also be a candidate for Randy Foye if the Clippers consent to a sign-and-trade, writes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, also identifying the Suns, Bucks and Bulls as Foye suitors (Twitter link). Foye spent most of last season in the starting lineup for the Clippers, averaging 11.0 points, 2.2 assists and 2.1 rebounds with a 13.5 PER.

The 26-year-old Weems spent last season playing overseas after averaging 9.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists for the Raptors in 2010/11. Toronto withdrew its qualifying offer to Weems last week, making him an unrestricted free agent. Evans, who'll be 34 when the season starts, spent last season with the Wizards, putting up 4.9 PPG, 1.0 RPG and 0.4 APG in just 14.3 minutes a night.

Evans seems the more likely bet to settle for the minimum salary, as Zwerling notes. A twist to the story is that Montgomery is also the agent for Jeremy Lin, whose offer sheet the Knicks declined to match this week.

Free Agent Rumors: Timberwolves, Rush, Mills

A couple more notable names came off the free agent market this morning, when Kris Humphries landed a two-year deal from the Nets and Grant Hill agreed to sign with the Clippers. While a number of solid rotation players are still available, the market is rapidly thinning for teams in search of starters. As clubs continue to jockey to sign the remaining available players, we'll track many of today's free agent rumors right here:

Earlier updates:

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Sonny Weems Becomes Unrestricted Free Agent

3:11pm: Kennedy clarifies (via Twitter) that the Raptors have withdrawn their qualifying offer, but not necessarily renounced their rights to Weems. I'd expect that to be the next step, but either way, Weems is an unrestricted free agent.

2:49pm: The Raptors have withdrawn their qualifying offer and renounced the rights to Sonny Weems, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter). The move makes Weems, who was initially a restricted free agent, unrestricted and free to sign with any team.

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Grizzlies Shopping With Mini Mid-Level Exception

At the start of this year's free agent period, the Grizzlies were pursuing relatively big-name free agents such as Ray Allen, willing to offer the full mid-level exception. At the time, I expressed some skepticism that Memphis could offer the full $5MM mid-level if the team hoped to re-sign Darrell Arthur and Marreese Speights.

Sure enough, since agreeing to terms with both Arthur and Speights, the Grizzlies have turned their focus to the $3MM taxpayer MLE, says Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. According to Tillery, Memphis is eyeing players like Jodie Meeks, Willie Green, and Jordan Farmar.

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Odds & Ends: Hinrich, Bulls, Meeks, Mayo, Tolliver

Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago reported earlier that the Bucks presented Kirk Hinrich with an offer of about $4 MM per year, while the Bulls have made an offer somewhere between the veteran's minimum and around $2 MM per year. The proposed length of either deal is still unknown. Although the Bulls have been relatively quiet at this point during the offseason, Sam thinks that Chicago could eventually become financially viable for free agent point guards such as Ramon Sessions, Raymond Felton, Jerryd Bayless, and Delonte West, who could be available if they are not acquired during the first wave of free agent signings. Derek Fisher and Jonny Flynn were also mentioned as potential additions.                                                                                                 
We are currently less than four days away from the end of the NBA's moratorium period, and here is the rest of what we've heard around the league this evening…
  • Ersan Ilyasova plans to meet with Bucks owner Herb Kohl on Tuesday, which is seen as an important opportunity in the team's effort to retain the 6'10'' forward (Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times reports). Earlier this week, we reported that Milwaukee offered a deal worth around $40MM over five years.

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Free Agent Rumors: Redd, Camby, Stiemsma

Brandon Roy, Jason Kidd, and Jamal Crawford were among the players to reach agreements with new clubs yesterday, while Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lin agreed to lucrative offer sheets that their current teams are expected to match. What will Friday bring? Here are the latest rumors on a number of free agents still on the market:

Earlier updates:

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