Utah Jazz Rumors

Utah Jazz trade, free agent, and draft rumors, updated constantly by the NBA experts at HoopsRumors.com.

Jazz Sign Jerrelle Benimon To 10-Day Deal

March 6 at 11:13am CST By Zach Links

In addition to signing Bryce Cotton to another 10-day deal, the Jazz announced the signing of forward Jerrelle Benimon to a 10-day pact.  Utah won’t have to release anyone as he’ll be taking over the roster spot previously occupied by Jack Cooley, according to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (on Twitter).

As the press release notes, Benimon is now the 32nd different player to be called up from the D-League this season.  With the former Idaho Stampede standout in the fold, the Jazz are at the maximum 15-man roster.

The Towson product appeared in 35 games (29 starts) for the Stampede this season, averaging 19.9 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 4.3 APG, and 1.0 SPG in 34.9 minutes per contest while shooting 62.4% from the floor.

Jazz Sign Bryce Cotton To Second 10-Day

March 6 at 10:59am CST By Zach Links

The Jazz announced that they have signed guard Bryce Cotton to a second 10-day contract.  Cotton signed his first 10-day with the Jazz on Feb. 24 and has appeared in one game.

Cotton, who had three points, two boards and one assist in seven minutes against the Nuggets on February 27th, was picked up after he impressed as a member of the D-League’s Austin Spurs.  In Austin, Cotton averaged 22.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.6 APG, and 1.3 SPG in 40.5 minutes per contest.  His scoring average placed him third in the D-League this season.

Cotton reportedly turned down several offers to play in Europe that came his way earlier this season in hopes of landing an NBA deal, and he eventually found that opportunity with Utah.  The 6’1″ guard signed a partially guaranteed deal with the Spurs in July and although he was waived in October, he did walk away with $50K for his time.  Cotton first displayed his skills for Utah when he worked out for the Jazz prior to the 2014 draft.

Jazz To Sign Jerrelle Benimon To 10-Day Deal

March 4 at 11:23am CST By Chuck Myron

The Jazz are set to sign power forward Jerrelle Benimon to a 10-day contract, a source tells Chris Reichert of Road to the Association (Twitter link). Benimon has been playing with Utah’s affiliate in the D-League since shortly after the Nuggets, who’d signed him for training camp this past fall, waived him in advance of opening night.

Benimon had a $35K partial guarantee on his Nuggets contract, more than the $29,843 he’d make on a standard 10-day contract for a rookie. Still, it seems the 23-year-old is poised for his first taste of regular season NBA action after going undrafted of Towson this past June. He’s averaging 19.9 points and 10.6 rebounds in 34.9 minutes per game in 35 D-League appearances this season.

Utah is without an open roster spot for now, but two members of the Jazz are on 10-day contracts. The team’s deals with Jack Cooley and Bryce Cotton expire at the end of Thursday.

Financial Impact Of Deadline Trades: Northwest

March 2 at 10:05am CST By Chuck Myron

Last week’s trade deadline was a dizzying affair, with 39 players and 17 teams involved in a dozen trades, including a trio of three-team transactions. The day had wide-ranging effects on the salary structures of those 17 teams, and we’ll examine the aftermath for each of them in this multipart series.

We’ll conclude the series today with a look at the Northwest Division, the busiest division on deadline day, with all five teams making at least one swap. The salary figures listed below denote this season’s salaries, though we’ll also discuss salary for future seasons.

Denver Nuggets

In: ($5,963,603)

Out: ($19,665,243)

The specter of the Sixers allowing an opposing team to offload a player with an eight-figure salary into their cap space loomed all season long, but it wasn’t until deadline day that it happened. The Nuggets not only reaped salary relief, for this season and next, from trading JaVale McGee to Philadelphia. They were able to create a powerful trade exception worth McGee’s $11.25MM salary that they can use anytime between the end of the regular season and next year’s trade deadline to find a player, or players, more productive than McGee proved during his time in Denver.

Trade exceptions can also be used to create other trade exceptions, an act of essentially rolling them over from one year to the next. That appears to be what the Nuggets did to allow themselves to create a new, $7.5MM exception equivalent to Arron Afflalo‘s salary, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders estimates (Twitter link) and shows on his Nuggets salary page. They took Thomas Robinson‘s salary into the $4.65MM trade exception they created in January for Timofey Mozgov, reducing its value to $971,640, Pincus tweets. That took care of the largest incoming salary, and Denver took advantage of its last chance to use two other exceptions for the rest of the salary it took on from Portland. Victor Claver‘s salary fit neatly into the $1,659,080 Andre Miller trade exception, as Pincus notes on Twitter. Will Barton is making the minimum salary but couldn’t fit into the minimum-salary exception since he’s on a three-year pact. However, he was a fit for the $1,169,880 Jordan Hamilton exception. That allows the Nuggets to create a trade exception for Gee’s $915,243 salary, as Pincus shows. Thus, Denver used two expiring exceptions to create two new exceptions for Afflalo and Gee that won’t expire until next year’s deadline.

Of course, whether any of the McGee, Afflalo or Gee exceptions still exist at next year’s deadline depends in part on whether the Nuggets remain an over-the-cap team in the offseason, a proposition that seems less likely after Thursday’s trades. The excising of McGee left a $12MM hole in Denver’s 2015/16 commitments, and the team no longer has Afflalo’s $7.5MM player option to contend with. Robinson and Claver, both of whom have since been waived, were on expiring contracts, and the same is true of Barton. The Nuggets have about $48MM in commitments for next season, about $20MM beneath the projected salary cap. That doesn’t count Jameer Nelson‘s nearly $2.855MM player option, the team’s likely lottery pick, and more than $2MM in roster charges, since the team only has seven fully guaranteed contracts, so the Nuggets would have trouble offering the max to anyone but restricted free agents. Still, there are enough tempting 2015 free agents to make it a strong possibility that GM Tim Connelly renounces his exceptions and uses cap space for a significant signing or two.

For now, those exceptions are all that keep the Nuggets from having immediate cap space. Their team salary dipped below the $56.759MM minimum team salary when Philadelphia claimed Robinson off waivers and wiped his salary figure from Denver’s cap. Normally, a team in Denver’s position would cheer such a move, since it saves the Nuggets from paying out the remainder of Robinson’s salary. But the final two months of paychecks due Robinson would have been a cheaper cost than having to pay the difference between their team salary and the minimum salary line to the players on their roster at season’s end, which is the penalty for failing to meet the salary floor. The Nuggets have already paid most of Robinson’s $3,678,360, but those payments no longer count toward their team salary, since Robinson’s full number instead applies to the Sixers, pushing them over that same minimum salary line. Denver could claim another player off waivers just as Philadelphia did, but the Nuggets are operating over the cap because of the value of their exceptions, so they’d either have to renounce them or use one of them to accommodate the waiver claim, neither of which they’re likely to do.

Minnesota Timberwolves

In: ($12,000,000)

Out: ($9,410,869)

The Timberwolves made a pair of trades about a week before the deadline, but the one they made on deadline day was far more about intangibles than salary. They took on salary for this year, to be sure, but the more than $2.5MM gap between the salaries for Kevin Garnett and Thaddeus Young isn’t quite so pronounced, since each only has a few more paychecks to go. The Nets already paid the lion’s share of Garnett’s salary, as the Wolves did with Young’s. Minnesota swallows Garnett’s entire cap figure, but that matters little, since the team was over the cap but nowhere near the luxury tax threshold, and that’s still the case post-trade with a team salary of about $67.5MM.

Minnesota reportedly wants to sign Garnett to a two-year deal this summer, and he’s expected to fulfill that request, so that mitigates the potential savings the team reaped when it unloaded Young and his nearly $9.972MM player option. However, it’s uncertain just what sort of salary Garnett would end up with. It’s quite conceivable that he’d give the Timberwolves a break and allow them to pay him significantly less than Young would have made on his option. It’s just as conceivable that he’d insist on a salary similar to his $12MM pay from this season, and that the Wolves would give it to him.

So, it’s unclear whether the trade will end up a net gain or loss of salary flexibility for the Wolves, who have about $51MM committed for 2015/16, not counting Chase Budinger‘s $5MM player option and what will almost certainly be a high lottery pick. The team probably wouldn’t have had a chance to open enough cap space to be a major player on the free agent market even if it hadn’t traded Young and he’d opted out, so the deal to bring in Garnett makes financial sense. Young could have left Minnesota without the cap flexibility to adequately replace him if he’d opted out, but Garnett seems more willing to commit to the team that Young had been. There’s a decent chance the real financial after-effects of the deal won’t be felt until 2016, when Garnett’s would-be two-year deal stands to take up space just when rival teams are clearing the decks for when the league’s TV deal drives the salary cap up to a projected $90MM.

Oklahoma City Thunder

In: ($13,230,621)

Out: ($13,536,598)

A divorce between the Thunder and Reggie Jackson seemed inevitable. The same was probably true of Enes Kanter and the Jazz, so Oklahoma City swapped one discontented soon-to-be free agent for another. The Thunder nonetheless paid a price. They took on $6.75MM in guaranteed salary for 2015/16 to Steve Novak and D.J. Augustin for next season and gave up only $947,276, Grant Jerrett‘s salary for next season. Oklahoma City emerges with more than $78.3MM already committed for next season against a projected $81MM tax line, and that doesn’t include a new deal for Kanter.

The Thunder’s willingness to use trade exceptions to bring on any significant additional salary from here forward is questionable, but it nonetheless appears the team was able to create a new trade exception equivalent to Reggie Jackson‘s $2,204,369 salary. One of its existing trade exceptions facilitates this, though Oklahoma City narrowly missed out on an opportunity to reap a new Jackson exception without using one it already had on the books. The outgoing salaries of Kendrick Perkins and Jerrett come to $10,470,824, meaning that the Thunder, a taxpaying team, could absorb 125% plus $100K of that amount in incoming salary. That comes to $13,188,530, agonizingly close to the $13,230,621 worth of incoming salary involved in the deal.

Still, the use of either the $1.25MM Hasheem Thabeet exception or the $915,243 Lance Thomas exception to absorb Kyle Singler‘s salary would fit the bill. No reports have indicated which one the Thunder used, but the assumption here is that they would use the Thabeet exception, since it expires much sooner and there’s only a negligible difference between its value and the that of the Thomas exception. In either case, hiding Singler’s salary in an existing trade exception lowers the rest of Oklahoma City’s incoming salary within the 125% plus $100K range of Perkins’ and Jerrett’s salaries, so Jackson’s salary can go out by itself. Thus, the Thunder could create that Jackson trade exception if they so desired.

The Thunder’s other trade was quite simple, with Ish Smith the only currently rostered player involved. Offloading him allows the Thunder to create a small trade exception for his $861,405 prorated minimum salary. More significantly, the deal allows Oklahoma City to save close to $1.225MM in taxes on Smith in addition to his salary, and it gives the Thunder a net savings instead of a net cost from their deadline-day activity, at least in terms of this season. Of course, the true cost lies ahead.

Portland Trail Blazers

In: ($8,665,243)

Out: ($5,963,603)

Your eyes don’t deceive you, and that’s not a typo. Arron Afflalo‘s incoming salary for the Blazers is different from the outgoing salary listed for him in the Nuggets ledger above. That’s because the $250K in bonus money that he gets if his team makes the playoffs went from an unlikely incentive to a likely one, as Pincus pointed out. Likely incentives are a part of a player’s cap figure while unlikely ones are not, and so from Portland’s perspective, he’s a slightly more expensive player, while the Nuggets were able to create a trade exception only for the cap figure he represented to them.

This bit of accounting costs the Blazers a chance to create a trade exception, assuming the deal would have been constructed the same way in a world where Afflalo doesn’t have a playoff bonus. Portland is over the cap but under the tax, so it can absorb as much as 150% plus $100K of what it gives up. Afflalo’s Denver salary would fit within 150% plus $100K of the salaries of Thomas Robinson and Victor Claver, but his bonus-inclusive Portland salary would not. So, Portland had to add Will Barton‘s salary to the equation rather than send it out by itself. If Barton hadn’t been needed for matching purposes, the Blazers could have slipped Gee’s salary into the minimum-salary exception and created a $915,243 trade exception equivalent to Barton’s salary. Of course, it seems just as logical to suspect that neither Barton nor Gee would be involved in the trade if Afflalo didn’t have a bonus, since the deal would work without them in that case, so it’s quite possible Portland wouldn’t have ended up with a trade exception either way.

Blazers GM Neil Olshey probably isn’t losing sleep over that would-be element, and there probably isn’t too much for him to fear regarding Afflalo’s player option. The Nuggets reportedly expected that Afflalo would command $9-10MM annually in his next deal, figures that would no doubt entice the shooting guard to turn down that $7.75MM option for next season. Even if he opts in, the Blazers would still have only about $30.8MM committed for 2015/16, giving them flexibility to pivot should they lose any of the three members of their starting five who are due for free agency this summer.

Utah Jazz

In: ($10,470,824)

Out ($9,140,621)

Salary seemed to factor little into the Jazz’s thinking in their deal, which among other assets gave the team a protected 2017 first-rounder and the rights to 7’2″ draft-and-stash center Tibor Pleiss, whom Utah appeared close to signing shortly after the trade. Those Pleiss talks hit a snag, but the Jazz are clearly focused on the future, and it seems likely the sides will discuss a contract again, and perhaps this summer, when the Jazz only have about $47MM earmarked for 2015/16. The Jazz arrived at that figure having offloaded Steve Novak‘s $3.75MM guaranteed 2015/16 salary in exchange for Grant Jerrett‘s $947,276 guarantee for next season, a net savings of nearly $2.803MM.

Kendrick Perkins, whom the Jazz have already waived in a buyout deal, and Kanter both had expiring contracts, but the continued presence of Kanter would have complicated Utah’s flexibility even if he was destined to play elsewhere, since, unless Utah renounced his rights and gave up leverage to make a sign-and-trade, Kanter’s cap hold would have been stuck on the books. Perkins’ cap hold, like his contract itself, is already gone, and while the Jazz could have made the same happen with Kanter, GM Dennis Lindsey and company surely would have held out to try to find some way of recouping at least a modicum of value for the former No. 3 overall pick.

The Jazz instead found an palatable return for Kanter at the deadline, and they saved money for next season while doing so. Plus, it didn’t cost the team much in salary for this season, if anything at all, depending on how much Perkins gave up in his buyout.

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

Northwest Notes: Garnett, Neal, Nuggets, Burks

March 1 at 10:49am CST By Arthur Hill

Kevin Garnett has a future with the Timberwolves as a player if he wants it, but probably not as an owner, writes Sid Hartman of The Star Tribune. Owner Glen Taylor stressed that the team is not for sale, although there is speculation that he and other owners are waiting to see what price the Hawks fetch before going forward with sale plans. The Wolves were valued at $625MM in a recent list by Forbes Magazine. Taylor said he hopes Garnett’s playing career doesn’t end this season. “I feel like if he feels healthy and strong and wants to, I would like to have him come back next year and play with this team,” the owner said. “I just think he would be a great asset.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The arrival of March 1 means no playoffs for Gary Neal, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders has rejected all buyout attempts by Neal’s representatives, Wolfson reports. Players must be waived by today in order to sign with another team and be eligible for this year’s playoffs. Neal was traded from the Hornets to the Wolves last month in exchange for Mo Williams and Troy Daniels.
  • Keeping the Nuggets focused through the remainder of a lost season is the biggest challenge facing coach Brian Shaw, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Shaw was searching for answers after Friday’s 22-point loss to the Jazz“I’m frustrated in myself because I feel that I need to figure out a way to do a better job at trying to get that out of us, get that hustle and those kinds of plays and to play with more of a sense of urgency, play with more tenacity,” he said.
  • Alec Burks can’t play or practice with the Jazz, but that hasn’t prevented him from staying part of the team, reports Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. Burks, sidelined with a shoulder injury, accompanied the Jazz on a recent trip to Denver and is helping the team prepare for games. “It’s really good that he’s here, that he’s with us,”  coach Quin Snyder said. “He wants to be with us. He’s in the film sessions.”

Jazz, Tibor Pleiss Discuss Deal

February 27 at 8:24am CST By Chuck Myron

FRIDAY, 8:24am: It appears there will be no deal between the Jazz and Pleiss this season, according to Pick (on Twitter).

1:21pm: The talks have encountered a hurdle, Pick hears (Twitter link). Barcelona has offered to trade Pleiss to Brose Baskets Bamberg, Carchia reports, but Pleiss and Barcelona are haggling over money, which would make such a trade difficult, according to Carchia. Utah is reportedly set to sign Bryce Cotton to a 10-day contract, though with two open roster spots, that wouldn’t necessarily signal the team is ready to move on from Pleiss, particularly since he and Cotton play different positions.

MONDAY, 11:46am: The Jazz and draft-and-stash prospect Tibor Pleiss are working on a deal that would bring the 7’2″ center to Utah, a source tells David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). The 25-year-old is on a contract with Barcelona of Spain that runs until 2016, as Mark Porcaro’s log of draft rights held players shows, but Barcelona isn’t satisfied with his play and is willing to let him go, as Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia reports (Twitter links). Pleiss isn’t pleased with his role in Spain, Carchia adds, and a source told Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune last week that there was a decent chance he’d leave Barcelona.

Pleiss has remained overseas since he became the 31st overall pick in 2010. His playing time this season with Barcelona is down sharply from last year, when he was with Laboral Kuxta, another Spanish team. He’s putting up 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game this season as opposed to his 12.4 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 21.8 MPG in 2013/14.

Utah acquired his rights from the Thunder last week in the three-team trade that sent Enes Kanter to Oklahoma City. It’s unclear if Barcelona would demand a buyout to spring Pleiss from his contract, but the Jazz have nearly $2.826MM in cap room and two open roster spots, allowing for plenty of flexibility.

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Clark, Garnett

February 24 at 8:13pm CST By Eddie Scarito

The Sixers waiver claim of Thomas Robinson will drop the Nuggets to approximately $2.6MM beneath the NBA’s salary floor, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). This means that Denver would have to pay its players the difference between their team salary and the league’s minimum amount if the team doesn’t raise its payroll above the salary floor prior to the end of the season.

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz have assigned Ian Clark to the Idaho Stampede, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced. This will be Clark’s first trek of the season to Idaho.
  • At the press conference welcoming Kevin Garnett back to the Wolves, Garnett discussed what led him to waive his no trade clause so that he could return to Minnesota, David Aldridge of NBA.com tweets. Garnett said, “I figured if LeBron James can go home, [expletive], why can’t I?
  • Garnett relayed that he had no desire to become a coach when his playing career was over, Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun tweets. “Heeeeell no. A coach is what I won’t be … you can’t pay me enough to coach,” Garnett said.
  • The veteran big man says that he is in it for the long haul with the Wolves, Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press relays (Twitter link). Garnett says he wants to become part of Minnesota’s ownership and help the team claim an NBA title.
  • Garnett declined to commit to playing beyond this season, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders notes (Twitter link). KG said that he would listen to what his body tells him and seek his family’s input before deciding his future, Kyler adds.
  • The BlazersSteve Blake said that he plans to exercise his player option for 2015/16 worth $2,170,465, and that he is hoping to play another “year or two” after that, Jabari Young of CSNNW.com writes. “I’ve thought about it for sure,” said Blake of retirement. “I know I’m in the back stretch, that’s why it’s so important for us to be so good. I want a championship really bad and I’m hoping we can get to that level. I only have a few years left to try and get it.”

Jazz Sign Jack Cooley To 10-Day Pact

February 24 at 11:09am CST By Chuck Myron

TUESDAY, 11:09am: The deal is official, the team announced.

MONDAY, 4:52pm: The Jazz are signing Jack Cooley to a 10-day contract, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Cooley’s been playing for Utah’s D-League affiliate, and Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune last week identified the big man as a candidate for a 10-day deal. He’s elicited NBA interest on multiple occasions this season, as Gino Pilato of D-League Digest reported. The 23-year-old joins Bryce Cotton, who’s also reportedly set to ink a 10-day contract with the Jazz, and the apparent deal with Cooley is further confirmation that the team’s talks with draft-and-stash prospect Tibor Pleiss have run aground.

Cooley joined the D-League’s Idaho Stampede, Utah’s affiliate, shortly after the Jazz retained his D-League rights upon cutting him from NBA training camp. He’s averaged 15.5 points and 10.6 rebounds in 29.1 minutes per game in his first season of D-League action after having played in Turkey last season. He went undrafted out of Notre Dame in 2013, but he’s remained on NBA radars, having participated in both the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues the past two years.

Signing both Cotton and Cooley would give the Jazz a full 15-man roster, though the short-term 10-day arrangements would give the team flexibility while it monitors what goes on with Pleiss. The 10-day deals eat slightly into Utah’s nearly $2.826MM in cap room, but not by much. Since both Cotton and Cooley are NBA rookies, standard 10-day contracts for both wouldn’t cost the team as much as $60K combined.

Jazz Sign Bryce Cotton To 10-Day Contract

February 24 at 11:09am CST By Chuck Myron

TUESDAY, 11:08am: The signing is official, the Jazz announced.

MONDAY, 1:19pm: The Jazz are poised to sign point guard Bryce Cotton to a 10-day contract, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Cotton has been playing with San Antonio’s D-League affiliate since the Spurs dropped him from their NBA roster at the end of training camp. The Jazz are reportedly discussing a deal with draft-and-stash prospect Tibor Pleiss as well, but Utah has two open roster spots, so Cotton’s deal won’t necessarily interfere with that.

Cotton reportedly turned down several offers to play in Europe that came his way earlier this season in hopes of landing the NBA deal that he now appears to have. The 22-year-old who went undrafted out of Providence this past June has put up 22.6 points, 4.7 assists and 2.5 turnovers in 40.3 minutes per game for the D-League Austin Spurs. He’s also corralled an impressive 4.8 rebounds considering his 6’1″ height.

The Spurs gave Cotton a $50K partial guarantee on the deal that brought him to San Antonio’s training camp, so he’s already made more in NBA salary than the $29,843 that a standard 10-day contract would give him. The Jazz have familiarity with him, since he worked out for the team prior to the draft, as Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune notes (on Twitter). He’s set to become the fourth player the Jazz have signed to a 10-day deal this season, as our 10-Day Contract Tracker shows.

Northwest Notes: Garnett, Mitchell, Claver, Kanter

February 23 at 11:03pm CST By Arthur Hill

The Rockets’ Jason Terry believes Kevin Garnett will make an immediate impact with the Wolves, reports Jenny Dial Creech of The Houston Chronicle. Garnett, a star with Minnesota for more than a decade, was reacquired Thursday in a trade deadline deal. He may not see much playing time, but he is expected to have a strong influence over the Wolves’ young players. “He will infuse discipline right away,” said Terry, who teamed with Garnett with both the Celtics and Nets. “Guys will come in and they are going to be expected to be professional at all times and I think learning from KG the last two seasons in Brooklyn and in Boston, I learned how to be a better leader myself, even in my 16th year in the league.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Some expect that Timberwolves assistant coach Sam Mitchell will succeed Flip Saunders as Minnesota’s head coach, according to Sam Smith of Bulls.com. Mitchell reportedly interviewed for the head job last summer.
  • After a week that saw him get both traded and waived, Victor Claver got some advice from a former teammate on the Spanish national team, the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol, writes Jabari Young of CSNNW.com. Claver was part of a five-player deal on Thursday that sent him from the Blazers to the Nuggets, but on Sunday he was waived by Denver. “He needed a change from [Portland]” Gasol said. “I don’t think he expected to get waived from Denver, but that’s part of the game.” Gasol’s advice was to stay aggressive and look for an opening where he can fit in. One possibility for Claver is a return to the Euroleague, where he played before coming to Portland.
  • Enes Kanter gives the Thunder the inside scoring presence they’ve needed for years, writes Dave Leonardis of Bleacher Report. Kanter came to Oklahoma City from the Jazz in a three-team deal just before last Thursday’s deadline. Kanter was inserted into the starting lineup and delivered two straight double-doubles in wins over the Hornets and Nuggets.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.