Utah To Host 2023 NBA All-Star Game

Salt Lake City has been chosen as the site for the NBA’s All-Star Game in 2023, the league announced in a press release. The contest will mark the 30th anniversary of the last All-Star Game in Utah in 1993.

Commissioner Adam Silver made a formal announcement today at a press conference at Vivint Smart Home Arena (video link from Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribue), joined by Larry H. Miller Group of Companies owner and chairman Gail Miller, along with team officials and local dignitaries.

“Along with a rich basketball tradition, Salt Lake City has proven to be a world-class destination for large-scale events and sports competitions,” Silver said.  “I want to thank the Miller family and the Utah Jazz organization for their commitment to hosting our All-Star festivities and to developing a program that will leave a lasting impact on the community.”

The game is scheduled for February 19, 2023, and will cap off the traditional three days of basketball activities. NBA Cares and Diversity & Inclusion events will also be held during the weekend.

“The return of the NBA All-Star Game to Salt Lake City is a tremendous honor and an opportunity for us to welcome back the NBA family for one of basketball’s biggest events,” Miller added. “The memory of John Stockton and Karl Malone sharing MVP honors 30 years ago remains strong.  We are excited to create new memories for this generation of NBA fans in a place that loves to celebrate basketball.”

Rockets Signed, Waived Ronshad Shabazz

4:24pm: Agent Cam Brennick of RBA Sports confirms to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link) that Shabazz will enter the G League draft, since the Rockets won’t hold his affiliate rights.

While Houston can’t designate Shabazz as an affiliate player, it’s probably safe to assume the Rio Grande Valley Vipers will target him in the NBAGL draft.

3:30pm: The Rockets were one of many NBA teams that signed and immediately waived a player before the regular season, doing so with undrafted rookie guard Ronshad Shabazz, according to RealGM’s transactions log.

In his senior season in 2018/19, Shabazz averaged 18.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 2.3 APG with a shooting line of .496/.376/.815 in 32 games (32.2 MPG).

These sign-and-waive transactions are always G League-related. They’re designed to either make a player eligible to be designated as a G League “affiliate player” or to ensure that a returning-rights G League player receives an Exhibit 10 bonus.

However, the Rockets’ deal with Shabazz was a little different than every other sign-and-waive maneuver completed this fall. Rather than signing the former Appalachian State standout to an Exhibit 10 contract, Houston inked him a two-way contract before releasing him. The moves occurred on Monday, before the club officially converted Chris Clemons‘ contract to a two-way deal.

On the surface, it looks as if the Rockets were trying to secure Shabazz’s G League rights without adding any dead money to their cap. If Shabazz had signed an Exhibit 10 contract on Monday and been cut right away, he wouldn’t have cleared waivers until the second day of the regular season, meaning the tax-conscious Rockets would have been on the hook for about $10K in dead money ($18K for tax purposes) — two days’ worth of his salary.

According to Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & Days, however, NBA teams don’t retain affiliate rights for waived two-way players. That would seem to make Shabazz ineligible to be designated as an affiliate player.

General manager Daryl Morey and the Rockets are pretty savvy with their roster moves, so it’s possible they’ve found a loophole here, or perhaps there’s another motivation for the signing. The official list of 2019 affiliate players should be released next week when G League training camps open, so we’ll see at that point whether or not Shabazz shows up on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers’ roster.

Hawks Claim Tyrone Wallace Off Waivers

The Hawks submitted a successful waiver claim for former Timberwolves point guard Tyrone Wallace, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Wallace was Minnesota’s final cut on Monday as the Wolves trimmed their roster to the league limit.

Atlanta will inherit his $1.6MM non-guaranteed contract, which comes with a daily cap hit of $8,973, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). The Hawks are now up to 15 players and will have $3.7MM in remaining cap room as long as Wallace stays on their roster. His contract will become fully guaranteed on January 7, which is the league-wide guarantee date.

Wallace, 25, spent the past two seasons with the Clippers, averaging a 5.5 PPG in 92 combined games. He had a promising rookie season, but fell out of the rotation last year and saw his playing time cut to 10.1 minutes per night. The Wolves claimed him in July after he was waived by L.A.

Nets Sign Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot To Two-Way Deal

The Nets have officially signed former first-round pick Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release. Brooklyn had an open two-way slot alongside Henry Ellenson, so a corresponding move wasn’t necessary.

The 24th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Luwawu-Cabarrot spent his first two seasons in Philadelphia before being traded to the Thunder in the Dennis Schroder three-team trade in July 2018. After suiting up for Oklahoma City for the first half of 2018/19, the 24-year-old forward was traded again to Chicago in February. He became a free agent this summer and signed with the Cavs, but was waived in advance of the regular season over the weekend.

In 171 total games for three NBA teams, TLC has averaged 5.7 PPG and 1.9 RPG with a .387/.320/.820 shooting line. He’ll now get a chance to continue developing for the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G League affiliate. His two-way deal will also make him eligible to spend up to 45 days with the NBA squad.

After Toronto, New York, and Brooklyn signed players to two-way deals today, the Suns are now the only team in the NBA with an open two-way slot on their roster.

Spurs Guarantee LaMarcus Aldridge’s 2020/21 Salary

The Spurs have fully guaranteed LaMarcus Aldridge‘s $24MM salary for the 2020/21 season, agent Jeff Schwartz tells Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Aldridge’s salary for next season had previously only been partially guaranteed for $7MM, per Basketball Insiders’ contract data. That essentially meant he was on an expiring contract in 2019/20, but that will no longer be the case, as San Antonio has now given him some additional security. Aldridge remains on track to reach unrestricted free agency in 2021, when his current contract is up.

Aldridge, 34, is entering his 14th NBA season, but hasn’t shown real signs of slowing down yet. In 2018/19, he averaged 21.3 PPG and 9.2 RPG with a .519 FG% in 81 games for San Antonio. All those numbers were above his career rates, as he earned his seventh All-Star nod.

Having extended Dejounte Murray earlier this week and now locked in another $17MM in guaranteed money for Aldridge, the Spurs are increasingly likely to have much cap flexibility during the 2020 offseason, though that will hinge in part on what happens with DeMar DeRozan. The team has discussed an extension with DeRozan, but the two sides are reportedly not close.

Hoops Rumors’ 2019 NBA Free Agent Tracker

The NBA’s 2019 offseason is now in the books, with the regular season getting underway on Tuesday night. In case you didn’t keep up with this summer’s signings, Hoops Rumors is here to help you keep track of which players are on which teams this fall.

To this end, we present our Free Agent Tracker, a feature we’ve had each year since our inception in 2012. Using our tracker, you can quickly look up deals, sorting by team, position, free agent type, and a handful of other variables.

Now that the regular season is underway, our tracker will no longer be updated with the latest signings, since it’s meant to provide a snapshot of the offseason.

Our 2019 Free Agent Tracker can be found anytime on the right sidebar of our desktop site under “Hoops Rumors Features,” and it’s also under the “Tools” menu atop the site. On our mobile site, it can be found in our menu under “Free Agent Lists.” If you have any corrections, please let us know right here.

The tracker includes every team’s non-guaranteed contract agreements for the offseason, so a number of the players listed have since been waived. When viewing the tracker, you can eliminate non-guaranteed deals by using the filter option to turn off “summer contracts,” though a small handful of players who signed summer contracts did eventually made regular season rosters.

Our list of current free agents identifies the players who have yet to reach contract agreements.

Note: If you’re viewing the tracker on our mobile site, be sure to turn your phone sideways to see more details.

Raptors Sign Shamorie Ponds To Two-Way Deal

OCTOBER 23: The Raptors have officially signed Ponds to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release.

OCTOBER 21: The Raptors are signing rookie guard Shamorie Ponds to a two-way contract, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets.

Ponds was waived by the Rockets over the weekend.

Ponds, a 6’1″ guard out of St. John’s, averaged 19.7 PPG, 5.1 APG, 4.1 RPG and 2.6 SPG in 33 games during his junior year in 2018/19 but went undrafted. He appeared in three preseason games with Houston, averaging 2.3 PPG in 6.7 MPG.

Toronto filled its other two-way spot earlier in the day by inking forward Oshae Brissett to a similar contract. Ponds and Brissett will be eligible to spend up to 45 days in the NBA on their two-way contracts, but will likely play primarily for the Raptors 905.

Knicks Sign Ivan Rabb To Two-Way Deal

1:53pm: The Knicks have officially signed Rabb to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release.

10:15am: The Knicks, one of a small handful of teams with a two-way contract slot available, will fill that opening by signing Ivan Rabb, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Sources tell Charania that New York is finalizing a two-way contract with the former Grizzlies forward, who will reunite with his former head coach David Fizdale.

Rabb, 22, was the 35th overall pick in the 2017 draft and spent his first two professional seasons in Memphis, but didn’t really develop into a reliable, consistent rotation player. In 2018/19, he averaged 5.8 PPG and 4.2 RPG in 49 games (14.7 MPG). The former Cal standout was released by the Grizzlies in advance of this season’s roster cutdown deadline, and cleared waivers on Monday.

While Rabb’s new two-way deal will make him eligible to spend up to 45 days with the Knicks, the team infamously stocked up on power forwards during the summer, so there may not be minutes available in a rotation that already includes Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, and Marcus Morris. Rabb figures to see far more action with the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate.

Once the signing is official, the Knicks will have a full 17-man roster, with two-way players Rabb and Kadeem Allen joining the 15 players on guaranteed standard contracts.

New York Notes: Wilkes, DSJ, Durant, Dinwiddie

The Knicks initially expected to fill their second two-way contract slot with undrafted rookie Kris Wilkes, but health problems will prevent the former UCLA wing from joining the team at this point, as head coach David Fizdale confirmed today.

He got ill,” Fizdale said of Wilkes. “He came down with a serious illness. I don’t know what it was but it was pretty severe.”

The Knicks waited until the start of the regular season to sign a second two-way player alongside Kadeem Allen, presumably taking as much time as possible to see if Wilkes might re-emerge as an option. Instead, the team is signing former Grizzlies forward Ivan Rabb to fill that open two-way slot.

Here’s more on New York’s two teams:

  • Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has signed with Roc Nation for representation, he announced this week (on Twitter). Smith, who will become eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2020 offseason, will be repped by veteran agent Raymond Brothers, tweets Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal.
  • Appearing on Serge Ibaka‘s YouTube show, Kevin Durant explained why he chose the Nets over Knicks when he decided to make the move to New York as a free agent. “I just liked the organization as far as the direction they were going in — a bunch of young guys that played in the playoffs before,” Durant said, per Marc Berman of The New York Post. “The Knicks players, they‘re good young players but they still need more experience to match where I was in my career. It was nothing major against the Knicks. I just think Brooklyn is further along in the process of being a contender.”
  • Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie left Monday’s meeting with the NBA feeling good about where things stand with what he’s calling his Professional Athlete Investment Token (PAInT), per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “They had four or five comments previously, we got them down to one,” Dinwiddie said. “I think we’re going to get it done. It’s just pending a little more feedback.”

Kings Notes: Hield, Giles, Gabriel, Outlook

No player who signed a rookie scale extension this week has more potential variance from year to year than Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield. While his new deal has a base value of $86MM over four seasons, Hield can reportedly earn an extra $5MM in annual incentives, increasing the total value of the extension to $106MM.

However, maxing out on all those incentives won’t be easy, as Jason Jones and Sam Amick of The Athletic detail. For instance, $2.75MM in annual bonuses are tied to the following achievements:

  • Being named an All-Star ($500K)
  • Kings make the playoffs ($500K)
  • Kings make it to Western Semifinals ($250K)
  • Kings make it to Western Finals ($500K)
  • Kings make it to NBA Finals ($1MM)

Another $2MM in annual incentives are more reachable, but are hardly locks. According to Jones and Amick, Hield could earn up to $2MM if he appears in at least 70 games and achieves the following benchmarks:

  • Makes at least 85.0% of his free throws ($500K)
  • Averages fewer than two turnovers per game ($500K)
  • Leads the NBA in made three-pointers ($500K)
  • Has a defensive rating below 110.5 ($500K)

Hield wasn’t an All-Star in 2018/19 and the Kings didn’t make the playoffs. However, he appeared in all 82 games and made 88.6% of his free throw attempts, averaged 1.8 turnovers per game, and had a defensive rating of 110.0. So if he were to repeat those numbers, he’d earn $1.5MM in bonus money.

It’s not clear if there’s another $250K in available annual bonuses not outlined by Jones and Amick, or if Hield’s deal features $19MM in total incentives rather than $20MM.

Here are a couple more notes on the Kings:

  • Big man Harry Giles won’t be ready to start the regular season, head coach Luke Walton confirmed earlier this week (link via Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee). Giles, who is dealing with left knee soreness, isn’t yet participating in the contact portion of Kings’ practices.
  • Wenyen Gabriel‘s new contract with the Kings is a non-guaranteed one-year deal worth the minimum, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. Gabriel, who was moved to the 15-man roster on Monday, would be a restricted free agent at season’s end if he finishes the contract.
  • James Patrick of The Sacramento Bee explores the best- and worst-case scenarios for the Kings in 2019/20.