The Bulls have waived Tornike Shengelia, the team announced via press release. The team hasn’t announced a corresponding move, making Shengelia’s dismissal a bit curious even though he hasn’t been a part of Chicago’s rotation since coming over from the Nets in a January trade. Shengelia is on an expiring contract that pays him the one-year veteran’s minimum salary of $788,872, but unless a team claims him off waivers, that money will remain on Chicago’s books. It seems less likely that Shengelia, on an expiring deal, would warrant a waiver claim like former Bull Erik Murphy did, as Murphy’s contract includes a non-guaranteed 2014/15.
Shengelia saw a total of just 17 minutes for the Bulls, who acquired him in a cost-cutting move for Marquis Teague, who makes $1,074,720 this season. The difference was not insignificant to Chicago, which has struggled to create room beneath the luxury tax threshold in case Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah trigger bonuses that force the team into the tax for the second year in a row. That would set the team up for the league’s steep repeat offender tax rates if the team made it three straight taxpaying seasons in 2014/15.
The 22-year-old saw slightly more playing time while with the Nets, who acquired him shortly after the Sixers drafted him 54th overall in 2012. He averaged 1.5 points in 8.1 minutes per game in 17 appearances for Brooklyn this season, and 1.6 PPG in 4.9 MPG in 19 contests for the Nets as a rookie.
The Nets have officially announced a pair of trades, acquiring Marquis Teague from the Bulls in a one-for-one swap for Tornike Shengelia, and sending Tyshawn Taylor and cash to the Pelicans in exchange for the draft rights to Edin Bavcic, a 29-year-old big man playing in Greece.
The moves won’t greatly impact any of the teams’ rotations, as none of the active players involved in the trade have averaged as much as 13 minutes per game this season, and each of them has seen multiple D-League assignments. Teague was a first-round pick in 2012, but he struggled to find minutes for Chicago. Shengelia doesn’t figure to be a critical piece for the Bulls, but he is a big body who can potentially provide frontcourt depth off the bench. Shams Charania of RealGM.com tweets the Bulls intend to give him a shot at some minutes. Bavcic was originally a second-round draft choice of the Raptors in 2006, but he’s never played in the NBA, so it appears he’s merely a throw-in.
Sending off Taylor will provide a bit of much-needed financial relief for Brooklyn, which is currently set to face about $80MM in luxury tax penalties in July. Shengelia and Taylor will both earn $788,872 this season, while Teague will make $1,074,720. The move will save the Nets from paying some extra tax dollars this season, but Teague’s contract runs through 2014/15, one year longer than the pacts Shengelia and Taylor are signed to.
Since the Pelicans had an open roster spot and Taylor is on a minimum-salary contract, they can absorb him without giving up a player. Brooklyn creates a vacancy on its roster with the moves, as the Nets had been carrying the maximum 15 players all season.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports was the first to report the trades, which were agreed upon Saturday (Twitter links). Originally, it appeared the Pelicans would send the Nets a heavily protected second-rounder, but it looks like the teams agreed on including Bavcic in the deal instead.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
Here are a few points pertaining to the NBA’s D-League:
- The Jazz are expected to recall rookies Rudy Gobert and Ian Clark from the D-League this weekend, tweets Jody Genessy of Deseret News. The duo spent time playing for the Bakersfield Jam but should rejoin the Jazz sometime today or tomorrow.
- Tornike Shengelia has been recalled by the Nets, the team announced. Shengelia, who had been playing with the Springfield Armor, has played sparingly throughout his career after being selected late in the 2012 draft by the 76ers. So far for this season, Shengelia has averaged 8.4 MPG in 15 contests for Brooklyn.
- Benjamin Hoffman of the New York Times takes a look at how a couple of former D-League players, Jon Leuer and Ed Davis, have been able to be productive for the Grizzlies. With Marc Gasol sidelined, the two big men have gained valuable experience by playing more minutes than they would have otherwise.
- Earlier today, we passed along that the Hawks had officially signed James Nunnally to a 10-day contract. Nunnally caught Atlanta’s attention after a strong showing in this year’s D-League Showcase where he earned a spot as a member of the All-Showcase Second Team.
Regardless of whether or not Carmelo Anthony plans to re-sign with the Knicks, the team should trade him, opines Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. Beck argues that even if Carmelo stays, building a contender around him would be tricky, and that the Knicks would be better off starting the retooling process now. Multiple league executives agree with that assessment, with one suggesting that an ideal trade partner for New York would be “a team that so wants a star and so wants it now and will do anything to get it, and that thinks Carmelo is still a star.”
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
The Raptors‘ decision to trade Rudy Gay earlier this month may have looked on the surface like a signal that the team was giving up its shot at the playoffs. Instead, the new-look Raps have reeled off their best stretch of the year, handing the Thunder their first home loss of the season last night. Toronto may not be done making moves, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein says that the latest indications suggest DeMar DeRozan isn’t being “overtly shopped.”
Here’s more from around the East:
- According to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld, league sources characterize the Magic as “value shoppers” in the trade market. The team wouldn’t be opposed to moving players like Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis, but doesn’t appear to be actively engaged in finding deals. As we heard earlier today, the Magic also continue to turn away inquiries on Arron Afflalo.
- The Nets have recalled Tornike Shengelia and Tyshawn Taylor from the D-League, the team announced today in a press release. The duo appeared in a pair of games for the Springfield Armor this weekend, with Shengelia’s 23 points on Sunday helping to lead the Armor to a victory over the Maine Red Claws.
- Since the Nets may not have their own first-round pick for the next five years, it doesn’t make sense to bottom out, meaning the team will need to find a way to field a competitive roster, writes Tom Ziller of SBNation.com.
- Responding to an inquiry on whether the Heat should explore trading for Kyle Lowry as an upgrade on Mario Chalmers, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel suggests Chalmers represents an ideal fit for the team, since he understands his role and doesn’t push for more minutes or shots.
Today marks the end of the first month of the D-League season, and so far 13 NBA teams have sent players on assignment, as our tracker shows. Four of those 13 made moves involving seven players today, as we detail:
- Ian Clark and Rudy Gobert are back from their D-League assignments, the Jazz announced. Utah sent both to the Bakersfield Jam a week ago, and Gobert had the more impressive performance, averaging 14.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 4.3 blocks over three games.
- The Spurs have sent Nando De Colo and Malcolm Thomas to the D-League, according to the team. De Colo is making his third trek to the Austin Toros this season, while Thomas, whom the Spurs signed less than three weeks ago, heads to Austin for the second time.
- Tyshawn Taylor and Tornike Shengelia are back on D-League assignment, the Nets announced. Both second-year players are familiar with the Springfield Armor, having spent time there last season and during training camp this year.
- The Warriors recalled Nemanja Nedovic from the D-League today, as we noted earlier.
A 3-7 record is not what the Cavaliers had in mind for a season in which they’re facing owner Dan Gilbert’s mandate to make the playoffs, and the frustration is boiling up to the surface. Cavs players had a heated exchange during a players-only meeting Wednesday, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, and Dion Waiters was one of those involved, as Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio tweets. It remains to be seen whether the discord will result in a roster move, but Cleveland will probably be a team to watch when the trade deadline approaches. Here’s more on a few teams the Cavs are trying to overcome in the East:
- The Nets have recalled Tornike Shengelia from the D-League, the team announced. Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Paul Pierce are all out for tonight’s game with the Clippers, so Brooklyn is likely making the move to shore up its depth.
- The Bobcats are hiring Matt Carroll for an apparent non-playing gig, tweets Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. The Pennsylvania native had an informal coaching role with the Sixers in training camp, and now he’ll join the team with which he spent most of his 10 seasons as a player.
- Bonnell also checks in with one of Carroll’s former Bobcats teammates in Gerald Wallace, who’s no longer the player he once was, even though his contract with the Celtics pays him as though he were. Wallace played a key mentorship role for Gerald Henderson, who re-signed with the ‘Cats this summer on a three-year, $18MM deal.
Parity has been the story of the first two weeks of the NBA season in the Eastern Conference. Outside of the 8-0 Pacers and the 5-3 Heat, every single team in the East has between two and four wins, and none are separated from the rest by more than two games. If the Knicks make good on James Dolan’s promise of a win tonight in Atlanta, there are scenarios in which Indiana and Miami will be the only Eastern teams above .500 tomorrow. While we look forward to a busy slate of games tonight, let’s check in on a few items out of the East….
- According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, the Knicks considered signing Louis Amundson before the veteran big man joined the Pelicans, but ultimately decided to pass.
- The Bulls don’t have a shortage of trade chips, but the safe money says they won’t cash in and make a major trade this season, says Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com.
- In today’s NBA AM piece for HoopsWorld, Steve Kyler explores Glen Davis‘ trade value, and how it was (or wasn’t) affected by a recent off-court incident.
- The No. 38 pick used to select Nate Wolters was involved in a pair of draft-night deals, and while Wolters never thought he was headed to Washington, he briefly thought he’d be a Sixer rather than a Buck, as he tells Shams Charania of RealGM.com.
- The Nets have re-assigned Tornike Shengelia to the Springfield Armor, the club announced today in a press release. It’s already Shengelia’s third D-League assignment of the season.
The Nets and Knicks are both coming off home losses, and even though those losses came to a couple of the best teams in the NBA (the Pacers won in Brooklyn, while the Spurs beat the Knicks), New Yorkers are still getting uneasy about their teams’ slow starts. Here’s the latest on the pair of 2-4 clubs:
- According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, Mike Woodson‘s seat in New York is starting to heat up after the Knicks’ 31-point loss to San Antonio. However, Marc Berman of the New York Post argues that the team’s slow start should be attributed to a combination of the front office, the players, and the medical staff.
- In his Morning Tip column at NBA.com, TNT’s David Aldridge focuses on the Nets, a team still trying to adjust to a new roster and a new coach.
- Jim Cavan of Bleacher Report explores what the Knicks’ future could look like if Carmelo Anthony signs somewhere else in free agency next summer.
- The Nets have recalled Tornike Shengelia and Tyshawn Taylor from the D-League, the team announced this morning in a press release. Shengelia has already been assigned to the Springfield Armor twice, while Taylor was on his first assignment, so it looks like both players will be shuttled back and forth frequently throughout the season.
While the Nets, Rockets, and Kings are busy preparing for their games this evening they also remain busy with their respective D-League affiliates..
- The Nets announced they have recalled forward Tornike Shengelia from the D-League Springfield Armor. Shengelia was assigned to the D-League only two days ago and will join the Nets for their game against the Pacers this evening. Shengelia has not had a chance to play in the NBA this season due to the depth on the Nets’ bench but averaged 1.6 PPG in 4.9 MPG in 19 games for Brooklyn last season. It’s likely Shengelia is in the lineup due to Andrei Kirilenko and Kevin Garnett‘s ailments.
- Scott Rafferty of SB Nation wonders if Tyshawn Taylor, another young Nets player who is struggling for minutes, will crack Brooklyn’s NBA rotation this year. Taylor was also sent down to Brooklyn’s D-League affiliate, the Springfield Armor, this week. Last year Taylor played in 38 games for the Nets, averaging 5.8 MPG and 2.2 PPG.
- The Rockets announced via Twitter they have named Gianluca Pascucci the GM of their D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Pascucci was the Rockets’ Director of Player Personnel last season.
- Ray McCallum, rookie point guard for the Kings, has been inactive the first three games of the Kings’ season but not due to his lack of ability according to coach Michael Malone. Although earning praise from his coach as a “very good defensive player,” Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee suspects it will be hard for McCallum to find minutes that are currently going to Greivis Vasquez and Isaiah Thomas and that the D-League may be a better option. Jones predicts that’s where McCallum will find himself once the Kings’ D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, begin their season Nov. 22nd.