Earlier today, Utah announced that Toure’ Murry had signed with the team on a multi-year deal. With his pact in tow, the Jazz boast a total of at 18 contracts on their books as training camp approaches. Teams can only roster 15 players once the regular season begins, so Utah will need to decide which guys on partially guaranteed deals are worth keeping around. Here’s tonight’s look at the Northwest Division:
- Kevin Love recently made comments indicating that he spoke to LeBron James about teaming up while still a member of the Wolves, but such an admission won’t allow the league to hit Cleveland with a tampering penalty, as salary cap expert Larry Coon explains on SiriusXM NBA Radio (audio link via SoundCloud).
- After being heavily shopped by the Sixers at last season’s trade deadline, Thaddeus Young now feels like he’s “wanted” as a member of the Wolves, as Marc Narducci of the Inquirer details.
- Although Anthony Morrow isn’t exactly a big name, Susan Bible of Basketball Insiders points out that his presence in Oklahoma City should help bolster the Thunder’s weak shooting. Bible says the decision to bring in the former Pelicans swingman could eventually be considered a great move down the road.
Free agent center Kyrylo Fesenko made a positive impression on the Wolves during summer league play, and he’s dropped 20 pounds, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). Fesenko has played for the Jazz and the Pacers, and has career averages of 2.3 PPG and 2.0 RPG over 135 games played.
Here’s more from around the league:
- The package that the Wolves received for Kevin Love is superior to the one that the franchise had gotten for Kevin Garnett, writes Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders. By acquiring Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett from the Cavaliers, Minnesota essentially skipped two years of being in the NBA Draft lottery, opines Koutroupis.
- Bob Donewald Jr. was hired by the Grizzlies to be the head coach of their NBA D-League team, the Iowa Energy, the team announced (Twitter link). Donewald most recently served as the head coach of the Chinese National Team, and he has also worked as an assistant coach for the Cavs and Pelicans.
- With each game that passes for Team USA, so does the horror of Paul George‘s injury, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. In regards to how the team is coming to terms with what happened to George, Anthony Davis said, “That was a gruesome injury (to George), and it kind of affected all of us, even guys who weren’t playing. Basketball players around the world and people around the world got affected by it. But now we know that he’s doing fine and we’ve got to keep moving forward and try to win this gold for him. … I’m hoping that (this experience) makes me take a leap coming into the season next year.”
THURSDAY, 1:05pm: The deal is official, the team announced.
WEDNESDAY, 12:53pm: The Jazz have yet to make an official announcement, but the signing has taken place, according to the RealGM transactions log.
TUESDAY, 5:05pm: Murry’s deal includes a $250K guarantee for this season, and is non-guaranteed for 2015/16, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
2:42pm: The Jazz and Toure’ Murry have finalized a deal, reports Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal (Twitter link). Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported earlier this month that the sides were close to a two-year, $2MM arrangement.
The Knicks elected not to tender Murry a qualifying offer this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent after his first NBA season, though they were among the teams reportedly interested in re-signing him. The Clippers, Heat and Lakers were also apparently in the mix.
Utah appears to be using cap space to sign the Bernie Lee client to a deal for more than the minimum. It’s somewhat surprising that he’d receive that, since Murry averaged just 7.3 minutes per game in 51 appearances last season. He played for the Rockets D-League affiliate in 2012/13 after going undrafted out of Wichita State two years ago.
AUGUST 27TH: Murphy’s deal is official, too, the team announced.
AUGUST 25TH: The team hasn’t announced Murphy’s signing, but it has occured according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). Pincus reports that both players’ deals are partially guaranteed at $65K, and Murphy’s total salary is set at $840K. Bost’s total salary was already reported to be at the minimum for three seasons (none of which are fully guaranteed).
AUGUST 15TH: The Jazz officially announced the signing of Bost, tweets Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune.
AUGUST 14TH: Kevin Murphy and Dee Bost will join the Jazz for training camp, according to Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (on Twitter). Both players spent last season with the Idaho Stampede of the D-League.
Bost, 25 in October, signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Blazers last fall before being waived in October. The guard went undrafted out of Mississippi State in 2012 and spent the following season overseas with Budućnost Podgorica in Montenegro, averaging 8.3 PPG, 1.8 APG, and 1.3 turnovers in 21.5 minutes per contest. In 50 games for Idaho last season, Bost averaged 15.2 PPG and 6.1 RPG in 40.5 minutes per night.
Murphy auditioned for the 76ers in March in hopes of securing a 10-day deal and also worked out for the Nets earlier this offseason.
The NBA is creating more room around the basket stanchions and reducing the number of photographers along the baseline, as Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press reports. The league planned the changes before Paul George was hurt, league president of basketball operations Rod Thorn tells Mahoney, and that’ll prevent another injury of the sort that befell George, but that’s of little comfort to the Pacers at this point.
Here’s the latest from around the league:
- Isaiah Thomas tells Jeff Caplan of NBA.com that he never requested trade from the Kings, who wound up participating in the sign-and-trade that sent him to the Suns. “I was always professional about every situation,” Thomas said. “I always came in with my hard hat on willing to do whatever is best for the team. When they signed Darren Collison, I knew I was going in a different direction.”
- Larry Drew said that he was blindsided by the events which led to him being fired and replaced by Jason Kidd as coach of the Bucks, writes Howie Kussoy of The New York Post. Drew also said, “From their [the owners'] standpoint, there’s no set time for these type of things. It caught me in a position when I least expected it. But I know how these things work. I don’t have any hard feelings, any grudges against anybody. [Owner] Marc [Lasry] called me and I just wished him luck. I’ve got to keep moving forward.”
- Andrew Wiggins just wanted to play for a team that wanted him, and called the completion of the deal that sent him to the Wolves a big relief, writes Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press.
- Former NBA player Dominic McGuire has signed with Hapoel Eilat of the Israeli League, reports David Pick of Eurobasket (Twitter link). McGuire’s last NBA action came during the 2012/13 season with the Pacers, Pelicans, and Jazz. In six NBA seasons, he has averaged 2.7 PPG and 3.4 RPG.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
TUESDAY, 3:00pm: The deal is official, the team announced.
MONDAY, 8:34pm: The Jazz have agreed to terms with free agent Brock Motum in what is most likely a training camp arrangement, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The Sydney Morning Herald originally reported that Utah had extended a training camp invitation to Motum. Pincus suspects the deal will be non-guaranteed, which would line up with the latest moves out of Utah, as three players have been signed for training camp auditions at partially guaranteed salaries in Kevin Murphy, Dee Bost, and Jack Cooley.
The 6’10″ Australian-born forward, who played alongside fellow Aussie Dante Exum for the Jazz in summer league, will face the daunting task of making Utah’s final roster. Motum becomes the 17th player on a team with 13 guaranteed contracts on the books for 2014/15. The Jazz have a blend of youth and veteran talent at the power forward position, with Derrick Favors, Trevor Booker, Jeremy Evans, and Steve Novak on the team. GM Dennis Lindsey indicated that Utah would keep one or two roster spots open below the 15-man minimum for training camp competition, which bodes well for Motum’s chances.
Motum went undrafted in 2013 after finishing his senior year as a Washington State Cougar, and didn’t get any NBA traction beyond draft workouts and a summer league stint with the Sixers. The forward spent last year playing professionally in Italy. In his final college season, he averaged 18.7 PPG and 6.3 RPG.
No one is ever going to mistake the Twin Cities for Los Angeles or Miami, but Wolves executive/coach Flip Saunders believes geography is overrated when it comes to attracting free agents, as Michael Rand of the Star Tribune notes.
“Our NBA has become, instead of destination city, it’s become destination players,” Saunders said. “Around our league it seems players gravitate toward other players to play with. We feel with some of the players that we have that we’re going to have the ability to get players to gravitate towards our organization because of that.”
It remains to be seen whether Andrew Wiggins and fellow No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett will develop into the sorts of players that others will want to team with, but whether one or both of them does could tell the tale of the Kevin Love trade for the Wolves, Rand argues. There’s more on the Wolves amid the latest from the Western Conference:
- Minnesota’s 2015/16 team option on Bennett’s contract is a “lock” to be exercised, as Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities writes (Twitter links), though the Wolves have yet to make their final decision, one that’s due at the end of October.
- Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey says he plans to keep one or two roster spots open for competition among the players the team invites to camp, as Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune observes. That suggests the team won’t add to its total of 13 players on fully guaranteed deals and is a positive development for Dee Bost, Jack Cooley and Kevin Murphy, the trio of players with whom the team has pacts that aren’t fully guaranteed. Still, a source tells Falk that Bost, who reportedly has a partial guarantee of $65K, still faces long odds to stick with the team.
- The Lakers aren’t about to trade franchise icon Kobe Bryant, but even if they wanted to, one NBA GM tells Chris Ballard of SI.com that they’d meet a dead end, deeming Bryant’s trade value as “zero,” based on his bloated two-year, $48.5MM extension.
The pace of signings is slow this time of year, but teams continue to add to their rosters. Eric Pincus reveals some previously unreported details about a handful of these signings within his latest updates to the salary pages at Basketball Insiders, so we’ll pass along the news here:
- The Bucks are giving 31st overall pick Damien Inglis guaranteed salaries of $820K this season and $855K for 2015/16, both amounts that are more than the minimum, as Pincus notes (Twitter link). It’s a three-year deal in all that features a non-guaranteed season at the minimum salary in the contract’s final year. Milwaukee used part of its cap space to accommodate the signing.
- Tyler Johnson‘s minimum salary with the Heat this season is guaranteed for $75K, while his minimum salary for next season is without a guarantee, according to Pincus. Reggie Williams is receiving a non-guaranteed minimum salary in his pact with the Heat this year, as Pincus also reveals.
- The Jazz gave Dee Bost a $65K guarantee this season, while the other two years of his three-year contract for the minimum salary are non-guaranteed, Pincus reports. Pincus also notes that the team gave Jack Cooley a three-year deal for the minimum, though it remains unclear whether any of Cooley’s pay is guaranteed. Utah used cap space rather than the minimum-salary exception on Bost and Cooley, since the minimum-salary exception only allows for two-year deals.
- The Raptors have the means to shell out more than the minimum salary, but they didn’t give Jordan Hamilton any more than that, as Pincus documents. Hamilton’s deal is reportedly partially guaranteed, but just how much he’s guaranteed remains unknown.
- Darius Morris is on a one-year deal with the Blazers, Pincus shows.
The Jazz have signed Jack Cooley, according to a team release. While terms of the deal weren’t announced, Jody Genessy of Deseret News reports that Cooley is a camp addition, adding that it’s very likely the deal is non-guaranteed (on Twitter).
The Jazz only have 12 players on guaranteed contracts for the 2014/15 season, so Cooley will have a better shot than many at this time of year of making an NBA team. Last year, Cooley chose to play in Turkey rather than accept one of several camp invitations. Cooley reportedly had mini-camp workouts with the Spurs, Nets, Cavaliers, and Jazz this summer.
The 6’9″ power forward went undrafted following his senior year at Notre Dame in 2013, but immediately performed well in summer league action. During his time overseas, the big man averaged 12.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in 22.9 minutes per game.
6:27pm: Stokes can become a restricted free agent at the end of the deal, reports Tillery in a separate article, since the third year of the deal is a team option.
5:49pm: Jarnell Stokes has signed his rookie contract with the Grizzlies, reports Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal (Twitter links). The team has confirmed the deal via a press release. The agreement is for three years, and approximately $2.5MM, notes Tillery. Stokes had reportedly been waiting to finalize his contract to give Memphis more flexibility in pursing free agents this summer.
The 6’9″ power forward was selected by the Jazz with the No. 35 pick in this year’s NBA Draft, then was traded to the Grizzlies for a 2016 second-rounder that same night. Stokes was seen as a possible late first round selection leading up to the draft, and the Grizzlies may have gotten a steal by picking him up for a future second round pick. The 2016 pick that Memphis is sending to Utah is the more favorable of the second-round picks that the Raptors and Celtics sent to the Grizzlies in previous trades.
Stokes averaged 15.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game for the Volunteers this past season. His career numbers were 13.0 PPG, 9.6 RPG, and 1.1 BPG. His career slash line was .530/.000/.628. Stokes had talked with Zach Links of Hoops Rumors for our Prospect Profile Series prior to the draft about his career goals and skills.