The Kings have signed free agent guard Cody Demps to a 10-day contract, the club announced today in a press release. Sacramento had an open spot on its 15-man roster, so no corresponding move was necessary to create room.
Demps is a local product who played his college ball at Sacramento State and has spent the past two years with the Kings’ G League affiliate. In 49 games (41 starts) for the Stockton Kings this season, he has averaged 11.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 3.2 APG on .446/.308/.802 shooting.
Sacramento’s roster looks fairly healthy at this point, so it’s not clear whether Demps will see much playing time in the next 10 days. If he impresses the Kings during that stretch, perhaps he’ll earn a rest-of-season contract, though his 10-day stint in Sacramento could end up being more of a reward for the work he has put in for the club’s NBAGL squad.
As a rookie, Demps will earn $47,371 over the course of his 10-day deal.
Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Southeast Division:
Justin Anderson, Hawks, 25, SG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $7MM deal in 2015
The Hawks can make Anderson a restricted free agent if they extend a $3.62MM qualifying offer. Anderson hasn’t given them much incentive to do so since they acquired him in an offseason trade with Philadelphia. Anderson is getting fewer minutes off the bench than ageless wonder Vince Carter, with under six minutes per game in seven March appearances. A recent report indicated that the Hawks would be aggressive in free agency. Renouncing Anderson’s rights would give them more elbow room to pursue top-tier players.
Shelvin Mack, Hornets, 28, PG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2018
It’s rare when NBA players are claimed off waivers. Mack proved to be an exception after the Grizzlies traded him to the Hawks last month, who weren’t interested in retaining his services. The Hornets were looking for some insurance behind backup Tony Parker, but Mack has been mostly a spectator. He’s appeared in just three games since the waiver claim after receiving steady minutes on Memphis’ second unit. Mack will be shopping around for a one-year minimum deal once again this offseason.
Derrick Jones Jr., Heat,, 22, SF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $3.16MM deal in 2018
The Heat have an August 1 deadline to guarantee Jones’ $1.645MM salary for next season. Considering that Jones is a young rotation player, that would seem to be an easy decision. Jones remains a work in progress offensively but advanced metrics indicate he’s making a defensive impact. His Defensive Box Plus/Minus rating, according to Basketball-Reference is a solid 1.4. Jones is shooting 49% from the field, mainly due to the fact that 54% of his attempts have come within three feet of the basket. He’s averaging 21.5 MPG in March, a sign of trust from coach Erik Spoelstra.
Nikola Vucevic, Magic, 28, C (Up) — Signed to a four-year, $53MM deal in 2015
There have been conflicting reports whether Dallas will make a big push for Orlando’s big man this summer. No doubt, there will be a market for Vucevic’s services. He’s averaging career highs of 20.6 PPG and 12.2 RPG in his walk year and coach Steve Clifford adds that Vucevic essentially gives the team “two point guards” when he’s on the floor. Vucevic isn’t considered a defensive stalwart but his Defensive Box rating this season is a career-high 3.7. Vucevic won’t get a max-level offer but he’ll be making a lot more than $12.75MM next season.
Sam Dekker, Wizards, 24, SF (Down)– Signed to a four-year, $7.9MM deal in 2015
Dekker could be a restricted free agent this summer if the Wizards extend a $3.91MM qualifying offer. That’s not going to happen, as Dekker hasn’t been any better in Washington than he was in three other NBA stops. The 18th overall pick in the 2015 draft has made 33 appearances with the Wizards since he was acquired from Cleveland in early December. He’s averaging 5.9 PPG in 15.4 MPG, but shooting just 29.4% from deep and 51.6% from the foul line. Dekker’s expectations should be modest in the open market.
Veteran center Greg Monroe has agreed to a 10-day contract with the Celtics, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.
Monroe provides some depth in the middle with the team’s top two big men, Al Horford and Aron Baynes, nursing injuries. Horford is dealing with left knee soreness, while Baynes is nursing an ankle sprain. Neither will play against Charlotte on Saturday.
Boston has an open roster spot, so it won’t have to clear a space for Monroe. He appeared in 38 games with the Raptors this season, including two starts, and averaged 4.8 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 11.1 MPG. Toronto traded him to the Nets just before the February deadline and Brooklyn immediately waived him. He has been shopping for another opportunity since that point.
Monroe, 28, will be entering his second stint in a Boston uniform. He played 26 regular-season and 11 postseason games with the Celtics last year.
The Celtics could eventually sign former NBA forward Thomas Robinson but they want him to play out the G League season with their Maine affiliate, Keith Smith of RealGM tweets. Robinson was claimed by the G league team last week. They also had an imminent need at center, which made Monroe a logical choice.
Thon Maker has given the Pistons an energetic boost since he was acquired from the Bucks in a three-team swap at the trade deadline, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. The 7-footer fell out of Milwaukee’s rotation but has proven to be a solid backup for Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. The Pistons outscored Phoenix by 20 points when Maker was on the court Thursday, as he scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked three shots in 28 minutes. “He’s been great,” Griffin said. “Just his energy, man. He’s just always everywhere. And if he’s not blocking shots, he’s swinging for the fences. It’s making people think and it’s making people be aware of where he is.” Maker will make a guaranteed $3.57MM next season and is eligible for an extension prior to opening night.
We have more from around the Central Division:
Pacers swingman Tyreke Evans admits it’s been a roller-coaster season for him, Scott Agness of The Athletic reports. Evans has battled injuries, a bout with food poisoning and the tragic death of a nephew during the course of the season. Evans’ playing time has dropped dramatically from last season, when he averaged 19.4 PPG for Memphis in 52 games. He’ll return to the free agent market after signing a one-year, $12.4MM contract from Indiana. “Yeah, it’s tough,” he told Agness. “Everybody knows what type of player I am. (Since) I got drafted, I’m better with the ball in my hands. I’m a team player and just want to win this late in my career.”
Forward Cedi Osman is considered part of the Cavaliers’ future core, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports in his latest mailbag. The team could sign Osman to an extension this summer but there hasn’t been any talk of doing that yet, Fedor continues. However, he’s a front-office favorite and has made positive strides in recent months. He’s shown signs of being more than just a bench rotation player and his 3-point shooting has improved, Fedor adds.
Here are Friday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:
The Sixers assigned big man Jonah Bolden to the Delaware Blue Coats, the team’s PR department tweets. Bolden is averaging 16 PPG and 12 RPG in 33.3 MPG over six appearances with the Blue Coats, who play a back-to-back this weekend.
The Spurs recalled rookie guard and first-round pick Lonnie Walker IV from the Austin Spurs, according to a team press release. In 28 games with Austin, Walker IV is averaging 16.7 PPG in 27.5 MPG.
The Magic assigned guard Melvin Frazier Jr. to Lakeland ahead of the G League’s team back-to-back games this weekend, the team’s PR department tweets. Frazier is averaging 12.1 PPG in 29.8 MPG over 16 games with Lakeland.
The Knicks recalled center Luke Kornet from Westchester, the team’s PR department tweets. Kornet is averaging 18.8 PPG and 8.8 RPG in 32.5 MPG over 11 games with Westchester.
The Jazz assigned first-round pick and guard Grayson Allen to the Salt Lake City Stars, the team’s PR department tweets. Allen is averaging 17.5 PPG in 31.8 MPG while starting 11 games for the Stars.
The Warriors assigned rookie guard and first-round pick Jacob Evans III to Santa Cruz, according to a team press release. In 20 games with Santa Cruz, he’s averaging 11.5 PPG and 2.5 APG in 26.4 MPG.
“I no longer think it’s likely Kemba Walker re-signs with the Charlotte Hornets,” Bonnell wrote. “More importantly, I no longer can give you a strong argument why he should.”
Walker has had another terrific season in Charlotte, averaging a career-high 25.0 PPG to go along with 5.7 APG, 4.3 RPG, and 1.3 SPG. On a team that features no clear second-best player, Kemba earned All-Star honors for a third straight year and has single-handedly kept Charlotte in the playoff race.
Walker has also repeatedly expressed a desire to remain in Charlotte, despite the fact that the team hasn’t won a playoff series since he arrived in 2011. The Hornets have reciprocated that interest — after briefly gauging the trade market for the star point guard prior to the 2018 trade deadline, the team replaced GM Rich Cho with Mitch Kupchak, who has maintained since his hiring that he wants to retain Walker going forward.
Still, with the Hornets’ playoff hopes fading fast and unrestricted free agency right around the corner, Walker definitely can’t be considered a lock to stay, Bonnell writes. While Charlotte could offer him more years and dollars than any rival suitor, doing so would make it that much harder to build a contender around him in the coming years, as Bonnell observes. And Kemba, who turns 29 in May, figures to be seeking an opportunity to contend as he decides where he wants to spend his next few years.
A looming All-NBA decision could have an impact on the summer negotiations between Walker and the Hornets. If he earns an All-NBA spot, the former UConn standout would be eligible for a five-year deal that starts at up to 35% of the cap, rather than 30%. The difference would work out to a projected $31MM+ over those five years. Would the Hornets put that offer on the table if they’re able to? Would it sway Walker’s decision? It’s hard to say at this point, but it’s a factor worth considering.
If Walker seriously considers other teams, there should be no shortage of outside options for him. The Knicks and Mavericks are among the clubs that have been most frequently cited as possible suitors, but there will be many more teams with the ability to open maximum-salary cap room. And there are just as many teams that could use a guard with Walker’s scoring, shooting, and play-making abilities.
What do you think? Will Walker ultimately decide to stick with the Hornets after another disappointing season in Charlotte? Or do you expect the three-time All-Star to move on and sign with a new team this summer?
Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section to share your two cents on Walker’s future.
MARCH 22: The Suns have officially announced that Oubre underwent a procedure on his sprained left thumb, ruling him out for approximately four to six weeks.
MARCH 21: Suns forward Kelly Oubre is set to undergo a minor procedure on his left thumb, which will sideline him for the rest of the 2018/19 season, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). The regular season will end in less than three weeks, and Oubre’s recovery projects to take about four to six weeks, per Wojnarowski.
Oubre will be a restricted free agent this summer and should be fully recovered well before he’s eligible to sign a new deal in July. As Wojnarowski observes, the 23-year-old’s play since arriving in Phoenix has also helped raise his stock as he prepares to enter free agency.
In 40 games for the Suns, Oubre has averaged 16.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 1.4 SPG in 29.5 minutes per contest. Since entering the starting lineup after the All-Star break, he has boosted those numbers to 20.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 2.1 SPG with a .469/.343/.750 shooting line in 12 games.
The Suns will have the right of first refusal on Oubre this offseason, assuming they issue him a qualifying offer, so they’d have the ability to match any offer sheet he signs. While Phoenix’s small forward spot is somewhat overcrowded, Oubre – who was acquired earlier this season in the swap that sent Trevor Ariza to D.C. – looks like a potential keeper.
With Oubre sidelined down the stretch and T.J. Warren still on the shelf too, Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson should get the opportunity to play big minutes in Phoenix’s final 10 games.
Kushner, the founder of venture capital investment firm Thrive Capital, is the brother of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, though he’s a lifelong Democrat who said he voted against Trump, per The Times’ report. Neither Jared nor his father Charles is involved in Joshua’s investment in the Grizzlies, Draper and Stein add.
According to Calkins and Herrington, Arrindell is a senior analyst and principal at Southeastern Asset Management, a local investment management firm which boasts another Grizzlies minority owner – Staley Cates – as its vice-chairman.
It’s not clear how much of the team the Grizzlies’ new minority shareholders will control. Per the Daily Memphian’s report, a stake of 10% or more would trigger a review by the NBA’s Board of Governors, and that didn’t happen. A league source tells Calkins and Harrington that Kushner’s and Arrindell’s new shares are of “comparable though perhaps not equal” value.
Grizzlies controlling owner Robert Pera reached a deal about a year ago to buy out Steve Kaplan and Daniel Straus, who owned approximately 28% of the team at that time. It seems likely that the portion of the franchise sold to Kushner and Arrindell came out of those shares.
Following his junior season, Syracuse swingman Tyus Battle intends to enter the 2019 NBA draft and go pro, a source tells Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. News of Battle’s decision comes shortly after the Orange were eliminated from the NCAA tournament following a Thursday loss to Baylor.
In 32 games for Syracuse in 2018/19, Battle averaged 17.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 2.5 APG with a .431/.321/.763 shooting line. He tested the draft waters a year ago, but ultimately decided to withdraw and return to college for another year.
At the time he pulled out of 2018’s draft, Battle was ranked 40th overall on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com. Over the last year, he has slipped to No. 63 on that list, so he’s not a lock to be drafted. While he’s a candidate to come off the board in the second round, Zagoria has heard from a couple NBA sources that Battle may be a candidate for a two-way contract next season (Twitter link).
The Clippers, Nets, Magic, Lakers, and Knicks were reportedly among the teams that worked out Battle when he went through the pre-draft process in 2018.
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