Contract Details: Lakers, Galloway, DSJ, McCollum, More

When the Lakers signed Matt Ryan and Dwayne Bacon to non-guaranteed training camp contracts earlier this month, both players received Exhibit 9 clauses in their new deals, but not Exhibit 10s, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Exhibit 9 contracts are non-guaranteed camp deals that don’t count against the cap during the preseason and offer teams some protection in the event of an injury. Exhibit 10s are similar, but also allow teams to convert the player to a two-way deal (if he’s eligible) or to give him a bonus worth up to $50K if he’s waived and then spends at least 60 days with the team’s G League affiliate.

As a general rule, a player who signs a training camp contract without an Exhibit 10 clause is usually just competing for a spot on his team’s 15-man regular season roster and won’t end up playing for the club’s G League affiliate if he doesn’t make the cut.

Langston Galloway (Pacers), Dennis Smith Jr. (Hornets), LiAngelo Ball (Hornets), Cody Zeller (Jazz), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (Suns), and Wes Iwundu (Trail Blazers) are among the other recently signed free agents who signed Exhibit 9 – not Exhibit 10 – contracts.

Here are a few more contract details from around the NBA:

Kaiser Gates Signs With Nets

Free agent forward Kaiser Gates has signed with the Nets, according to the team (Twitter link via JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors). The 6’7″ Gates last played for Brooklyn’s Summer League club in Las Vegas.

After going undrafted out of Xavier in 2018, Gates latched on with the G League affiliates of the Bulls and Celtics from 2018-20. He subsequently signed a training camp deal with Brooklyn, but was waived before the start of the 2020/21 regular season and reported to the Nets’ NBAGL team, the Long Island Nets.

Across 12 contests for the Long Island Nets, Gates averaged 9.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.3 SPG, and 1.1 APG. He posted shooting splits of .409/.356/1.000, though that free-throw percentage came on just six total attempts.

The 25-year-old subsequently spent the 2021/22 season with Israeli club Hapoel Jerusalem.

Brooklyn has 12 players inked to guaranteed deals and three on non-guaranteed standard contracts. Both of the team’s two-way slots are occupied. Gates appears likely to join point guards Chris Chiozza and power forward RaiQuan Gray on Exhibit 10 contracts, replacing Marcus Zegarowski on the 20-man roster.

Northwest Notes: Grant, Blazers, Jokic, Murray, Vanderbilt

New Trail Blazers starting power forward Jerami Grant is working on his chemistry with center Jusuf Nurkic and the rest of his new Portland compatriots, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. Fentress writes that the team’s 2022 training camp tipped off on Tuesday in Santa Barbara.

“His length is incredible,” Nurkic raved of the 6’8″ forward. “Layups. Dunks. It’s so effortless.”

“I’m still learning the way he passes,” Grant said of the 6’11” center. “I’m figuring out when to cut, where to cut and kind of reading him.”

As Fentress notes, the Blazers could look to play Grant some minutes at small forward and even as a small-ball center. Other teammates, like Nurkic, are also impressed with Grant’s two-way play and athleticism.

“Looking at Jerami, and the size, the athleticism and versatility sticks out,” star point guard Damian Lillard said of watching Grant from afar. “But then being able to see his skill set up close, he has been impressive.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • With four of the team’s starting positions set, three Trail Blazers players will compete in training camp for the remaining opening: the starting small forward gig. In a separate piece, Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian examines the pros and cons of swingman Josh Hart, Nassir Little and Justise Winslow. “I think as a competitor we all want to start, we all want raises,” Winslow said of the process. “But at the same time, you understand that you’re part of a bigger team.”
  • Nuggets MVP center Nikola Jokic and guard Jamal Murray are hoping to pick up right where the dynamic duo left off before Murray’s ACL tear in April 2021, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post“It was fun,” Jokic said of a recent training camp practice together. “Like I said, it feels really natural, it feels easy. I think we’re gonna be back really soon.” Head coach Michael Malone registered his excitement for the return of the pairing this season. “It looks good, but I know it’s going to look better once Jamal gets back into game shape where he completely has no concerns about his knee.”
  • The Jazz view new big man Jarred Vanderbilt as power forward, and intend to only play him as a center in spot minutes, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic. Jones cites that thinking as one of the incentives behind the club’s trade for former Pistons center Kelly Olynyk.

Texas Notes: Wood, Crowder, Collins, Green

The Mavericks‘ plan to start JaVale McGee at center and utilize his fellow five Christian Wood off the bench may test the limits of the team culture second-year head coach Jason Kidd has been cultivating in Dallas, writes Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. So far though, Wood appears willing to play whatever role is asked of him.

“I’m not really worried about who starts the game, more so who’s finishing the game,” Wood said on Monday, addressing a potential reserve role in Dallas. “If people were asking, ‘How would he feel coming off the bench?’ I’m not worried. It’s something that most likely will happen in talks with extensions and talks with free agency, but during the season, it’s not going to get me off my pivot.” 

Wood enjoyed a typically productive 2021/22 season on a lottery-bound Rockets team. He averaged 17.9 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 BPG and 0.8 SPG in 68 games. He also connected on 39% of a high-volume 4.9 three-point attempts.

Meanwhile, during Kidd’s first season as head coach, the Mavericks secured a 52-30 record and returned to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2011, when Kidd was the team’s starting point guard.

Ahead of the 2022 draft, Houston flipped Wood to the Mavericks. In return, the Rockets received several veteran role players, but the highlight of the deal was Dallas’ No. 26 first-round draft pick, which Houston then traded to the Timberwolves in exchange for the No. 29 pick and two future second-rounders.

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • Though Suns power forward Jae Crowder appears to be headed for a divorce with Phoenix, the Mavericks are not interested in trading for the veteran stretch four, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Phoenix. Crowder served as the starting power forward for consecutive Finals teams from 2020-21, first with the Heat and then for Phoenix. In 67 contests last season, the 6’6″ vet averaged 9.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.9 APG and 1.4 SPG, while connecting on 34.8% of his 5.4 triples a night and 78.9% of his 1.3 looks at the charity stripe.
  • Spurs power forward Zach Collins, kicking off a new NBA season healthy at last, is excited to show what he can do this season in San Antonio, per Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). “I don’t think you guys have seen the best of me yet,” Collins said. “Definitely the best I’ve felt physically in my career.” The 6’11” big man missed most of the 2021/22 season while recovering from an ankle injury. In 28 games, he averaged 7.8 PPG and 5.5 RPG on .490/.341/.800 shooting splits.
  • Second-year Rockets shooting guard Jalen Green, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft out of the G League Ignite, is a workaholic, according to his trainer Mike HillKelly Iko of The Athletic spoke with Hill about how Green approached the second half of his rookie season and his preparations for 2022/23. Among other areas, the duo worked on improving Green’s strength, ball handling, and pick-and-roll abilities.

Thunder, Rockets Agree To Eight-Player Trade

9:15pm: The Rockets intend to waive Jerome, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Feigen adds that Favors and Maledon are considered the most likely among Houston’s new additions to claim spots on the 15-man regular season roster.


8:13pm: The Thunder have agreed to send center Derrick Favors, shooting guard Ty Jerome, forward Maurice Harkless, point guard Theo Maledon and the Hawks’ 2025 second-round draft pick (top-40 protected) to the Rockets in exchange for athletic swingman David Nwaba, wing Sterling Brown, point guard Trey Burke and power forward Marquese Chriss, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

As Wojnarowski observes, Oklahoma City will create two trade exceptions in the deal. In pure salary terms, the exchange will help the Thunder get $10MM under the league’s punitive luxury tax cap threshold. Wojnarowski notes that Favors in particular is tradable among the returning players arriving in Houston, as a solid backup big man on an expiring $10.2MM salary.

The 6’9″ Favors, 31, was a longtime key backup big man with several solid playoff-bound clubs. Last year with the Thunder, he appeared in just 39 games, averaging 5.3 PPG on 51.6% shooting, plus 4.7 RPG, across 16.7 MPG.

Jerome and Maledon are both young players on modest contracts with remaining potential upside. Harkless, like Favors, is a veteran on an expiring deal.

On the Rockets’ side of the transaction, Houston is acquiring a protected second-round draft pick and only have to take back an additional $1MM in salary, as Woj details.

According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic (via Twitter) if that Hawks’ 2025 second-rounder lands in the top 40 and is protected, Houston will instead receive the second-best of the Thunder’s, Mavericks’, and Sixers’ 2026 second-round picks.

Given that No. 2 draft pick Chet Holmgren has been ruled out for the year with a Lisfranc injury in his right foot, and with the best player in this new trade being sent away from the team, it appears the Thunder are prioritizing a year of youthful development, as they look to the 2023 draft lottery to build out their impressive young roster.

Oklahoma City added four rookies in the 2022 draft, including two additional lottery picks beyond Holmgren. The Thunder have been in full-on rebuild mode since the end of the 2019/20 season, winning a total of 46 games over the last two years.

Houston has also been in the asset-collection and draft lottery-targeting phase of its journey since 2020. The team went 37-127 from 2020-22. This year, the Rockets drafted intriguing rookie power forward Jabari Smith with the third pick out of Auburn. They also made two other selections in the first round.

It appears unlikely that every player in this deal will be with their new clubs when the regular season opens. Bobby Marks of ESPN (via Twitter) notes that both teams will still have 18 guaranteed contracts on their books following this deal. Per league rules, they’ll each need to get down to 15 players by October 17.

Nets Notes: Simmons, Nash, Minutes, Irving

Nets head coach Steve Nash appreciates returning star Ben Simmons for what he can contribute and says he doesn’t mind if the 6’10” forward never develops a jumper, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.

“Very unique. That’s what makes Ben great. That’s why I don’t care if he ever shoots a jump shot for the Brooklyn Nets,” Nash said. “He’s welcome to, but that is not what makes him special and not what we need. He’s a great complement to our team, and he’s an incredible basketball player because of his versatility.”

Nash is especially excited to see how Simmons meshes with Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving this season, as Friedell relays.

“I think they’ll have a certain element of cohesion out of the gates,” Nash said. “Because they’re all really good basketball players, but hopefully it’s something that evolves. And they can continue to find ways to make each other better. I think that’s the beauty, that they actually fit really well together, but it may take time.”

There’s more out of Brooklyn:

  • Friedell tweets that neither Simmons nor Nash anticipate limiting the 26-year-old’s minutes to begin the 2022/23 NBA season, despite the fact that he’s coming off back surgery in the spring. Friedell notes that Nash has been happy with Simmons’ output in practice.
  • Irving has high expectations for the ceiling of his talented new teammate, Friedell writes in another ESPN story. “That level of talent, and IQ and motivation and drive — anything’s possible,” Irving said of Simmons. “He has that ‘it’ inside of him so now we just have to slowly develop him where he knows that he can just go out there and be himself. We want him to be his highest potential of himself As a player, be able to accomplish things out on the floor that he wasn’t able to do the last few years. And just have some fun being at peace around him.” Irving himself missed most of the 2021/22 season due to his reticence to get vaccinated against COVID-19 amid vaccine mandate policies for New York City employees. With those policies now relaxed, Irving and Simmons should both see plenty of run in Brooklyn.

Celtics Notes: Udoka, Stoudamire, Larranaga, Mazzulla

Suspended Celtics coach Ime Udoka‘s head coaching days in the NBA at large may be numbered, according to one connected source. During an interview with “DJ Vlad” Lyubovny on Lyubovny’s YouTube channel VladTV (YouTube link), player-turned-podcaster Matt Barnes voiced his skepticism regarding a long-term coaching future for Udoka, who led his team to a 51-31 season in 2021/22 and an NBA Finals appearance.

“It’s not about what he did, it’s about who he did it with,” Barnes said. “If everything comes out, he’ll be lucky to coach in the NBA again to be honest with you.”

There’s more out of Boston:

  • Celtics assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who is close friends with Udoka, wants to help Boston continue its trajectory as a perennial contender, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Stoudamire enjoyed a 13-year playing career during which he was named the 1996 Rookie of the Year. “Nothing has changed in the room in what the expectations and the goals are,” Stoudamire said. “We’ve got to be prepared from that standpoint, mentally more than anything, because I think physically things will be there. We’ll get to that point.”
  • Although Clippers assistant coach Jay Larranaga has opted to remain in Los Angeles, the Celtics are talking to additional assistant coach prospects to bolster the bench behind interim head coach Joe Mazzulla, reports Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link).
  • Mazzulla is retaining the structure and pacing of Udoka’s practices during training camp, but players have noticed differences in approach as the new interim coach strives to establish himself, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “There’s similarities, but there’s some differences as well,” star wing Jaylen Brown said. “But at the end of the day, this group has been together for a while, so we hold each other accountable for what we need to do and the energy level practice gotta be at every single day.”

Suns Notes: Ayton, Williams, Crowder, Johnson, Landale

It’s up to head coach Monty Williams to ease the apparent tension between Deandre Ayton and the Suns, argues Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. In addition to being involved in trade rumors for Kevin Durant, Ayton was forced to find a maximimum-salary deal from a rival team — he signed an offer sheet with the Pacers, which the Suns quickly matched.

Ayton said he hadn’t spoken to Williams since Phoenix’s Game 7 blowout loss to Dallas in the second round of last season’s playoffs, when he had a disagreement with Williams after being pulled early. Williams downplayed the severity of not speaking to Ayton over the offseason, but it was an awkward way to spend Media Day, Bourguet writes.

That’s not to say everything is on Williams, since the speculation and business side of things were out of his control, but there’s still no excuse for him to not speak to his young starting center who clearly hasn’t gotten over the incident, according to Bourguet, who calls Williams’ lack of one-on-one communication with Ayton “cruelly intentional at worst and a miscalculation that needs to be promptly amended at best.”

There’s still time for Williams to resolve the situation with Ayton before it impacts the season, says Bourguet.

Here’s more on the Suns:

  • Williams would prefer the Suns to move Jae Crowder before their regular season tips off on October 19, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “We’ve done a decent job of acclimating guys into the program and that’s a credit to the coaches, but also the players that help guys along once we get new people in here,” Williams said. “I’m not so much worried about the timeline. Ideally, you’d like to get someone in here before opening night, but I like the group we have.”
  • Cameron Johnson will be Phoenix’s new starting power forward, Williams confirmed to reporters (Twitter link via Rankin). The coach spoke glowingly about Johnson’s game, but mentioned he needs to “draw the line in the sand” when it comes to defense. For his part, Johnson says he needs to “rebound a lot better than I have my first couple years” and defend at a higher level (Twitter links courtesy of Bourguet).
  • Chris Paul says Jock Landale is making a strong impression in training camp both on and off the court, Bourguet tweets. “Jock’s been a great, not only basketball player, but a good guy to be around,” Paul said. Joe Ingles put Paul in contact with Landale over the summer. The Australian big man’s contract is only guaranteed for $46K in 2022/23.

Knicks Notes: Reddish, Toppin, Barrett, SG, Barrett

Knicks wing Cam Reddish says he didn’t request a trade this offseason, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter links), who points out that Marc Berman of The New York Post didn’t actually report that Reddish requested a trade, only that the 23-year-old preferred a change of scenery and a chance for a “bigger opportunity.”

That might seem like semantics, but there’s definitely a distinction between formally requesting a trade and what a player’s preference might be. Reddish only appeared in 15 games for the Knicks after they traded for him last season, averaging just 14.3 minutes per contest. When asked if the Knicks have made it clear what he needs to do to receive regular playing time, Reddish admits he isn’t sure.

I’m still figuring that out. That’s actually a really good question,” Reddish said, per Ethan Sears of The New York Post. “I’m still figuring that out, trying to find my role where I fit in. I’m really willing to do whatever it takes to win. Whatever that role is, whatever it may be, that’s fine with me. We’re winning, we all look good.”

Considering his lack of a clear rotation role, Reddish was then asked if he wanted to stay with the Knicks, but gave a non-answer.

I control what I can control,” he said. “So minutes and all that stuff have nothing to do with me. I just come in and do my job. Work as hard as I can every single day. I’m available, I’m healthy. So whatever happens, happens.”

For his part, head coach Tom Thibodeau was noncommittal about Reddish’s role, as Ian Begley of SNY.tv relays.

The players are going to earn what they get. We have good depth (at wing). I can’t tell you right now who’s in the rotation, who’s not in the rotation,” Thibodeau said on Wednesday when asked if he thinks Reddish will be in the rotation this season. “That’ll be earned. And then if someone’s not in the rotation initially, doesn’t mean that they stay there.”

If he doesn’t receive a rookie scale extension before next month’s deadline, Reddish will be a restricted free agent in 2023 if the Knicks issue a qualifying offer.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Third-year forward Obi Toppin spent the offseason working on his jump shot and defense, Sears writes in another article for The New York Post. Toppin says he feels better about his perimeter defense heading into 2022/23. “Guarding guards like Jalen [Brunson], for instance, in pickup games here or guarding guards like Coby White in L.A. … helped me a lot,” Toppin said. “I feel like even if I can’t get down low, I have to find a way to stay in front of them, still contest their shots and make it hard for them to do things. I feel like I worked on that this summer and I’m a lot better now.”
  • Thibodeau didn’t sound enthusiastic about having Toppin and Julius Randle share the frontcourt at times, Begley notes. The Knicks will “take a look” at the pairing during preseason, according to Thibodeau, who says the duo hasn’t been effective in practices over the past two years. As Begley observes, if Toppin and Randle don’t play much together, an increase in Toppin’s minutes will likely have to come at Randle’s expense — Randle has averaged 36.4 minutes per night over the past two seasons.
  • Zach Braziller of The New York Post (members-only link) explores the pros and cons of who should start at shooting guard between Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes. Braziller ultimately concludes that Grimes is the better fit due to his defense and upside, though he understands why Thibodeau values Fournier’s outside shooting and experience. Thibodeau considers Fournier the frontrunner for the job. Both players sat out today’s practice, per Begley (Twitter links). Grimes is considered day-to-day with left foot soreness, while Fournier has soreness after competing at EuroBasket. Neither issue is considered major.
  • RJ Barrett showcased his ability get into the paint last season, but he needs to improve his finishing to take his game to the next level, Katz writes for The Athletic. Out of 44 qualifying players who took five-plus shots at the rim in ’21/22, Barrett ranked last in field goal percentage, Katz notes. According to DunksAndThrees.com, Barrett shot just 52% at the rim last season, which ranked in the ninth percentile of all players.

Nets Release Marcus Zegarowski

For the second time in less than two weeks, the Nets have waived guard Marcus Zegarowski, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link).

The No. 49 overall pick of the 2021 draft, Zegarowski was a standout performer during three college seasons at Creighton, averaging 14.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.2 APG and 1.1 SPG on .471/.423/.772 shooting in 92 games (32.2 MPG).

Zegarowski signed a G League deal last offseason and spent his first professional season playing for the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G League affiliate. He averaged 11.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 2.4 APG with an underwhelming .351/.331/.650 shooting line in 21 total NBAGL appearances between the regular season and the Showcase Cup.

The Nets gave up Zegarowski’s NBA draft rights by previously signing and waiving him, but he still might be headed back to Long Island after this second set of transactions, since the organization still has his G League rights.