Month: February 2024

Latest On Raja Bell, Jazz, Lakers

THURSDAY, 2:01pm: The Jazz and Bell will continue discussing a buyout right up until tomorrow night's deadline, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter). Stein adds that the Lakers aren't necessarily the most likely destination for Bell if a buyout occurs, since the team isn't eager to add to its significant tax bill (Twitter link).

TUESDAY, 1:15pm: Utah's senior VP Kevin O'Connor appeared on team-owned radio station 1280 The Zone to address the Bell situation, as Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune details. O'Connor said that the Jazz are willing to buy out Bell's contract, but want the veteran forward to give up a portion of his guarantee, particularly if he intends to sign with the Lakers, to make it worth Utah's while.

"I think it's been from the start. We'll be willing to look at a buyout," O'Connor said. "We're not just going to let him walk away. We're paying him the money. He's going to get money. He can't get all the money from us and then go make more with the Lakers. Oh, thank you. I'd get fired for that. I'd fire me for that."

MONDAY, 6:15pm: Veteran Raja Bell, who is nearing a buyout agreement with the Jazz, has been telling players and friends around the league that he'll join the Lakers, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.  Bell won't sign off on a buyout arrangement with Utah until he has his next job lined up.

Bell is in the final year of his deal in which he is earning $3.48MM and the two sides have been going back and forth on a buyout all season.  The Lakers are among the teams with interest in the 36-year-old and an available roster spot to add him to the mix.

Bell has to be cut loose prior to Friday's buyout deadline if he hopes to appear in the postseason for another team this season.  Free agents who haven't been on an NBA roster at any point this season could still sign after that date and be playoff-eligible, but anyone currently on a roster must be released by March 1st to retain postseason eligibility.

Omri Casspi, Cavs Engaged In Buyout Talks

The Cavaliers have engaged in talks about a possible buyout with Omri Casspi, reports ESPN.com's Marc Stein (Twitter link). According to Stein, a deal that would see Casspi part ways with the Cavs is possible before tomorrow's buyout deadline.

We passed along a report from Israeli website Walla Sport earlier this week that suggested Casspi was seeking a buyout from the Cavs, and Bob Finnan of the News-Herald has indicated that the forward is no longer in the team's plans. As is the case with Raja Bell and other buyout candidates, however, Casspi is unlikely to agree to give up any money owed to him by the Cavs unless he knows he has another job lined up. According to Stein (via Twitter), the Rockets are a legit suitor for Casspi, though Houston just filled its 15th roster spot by signing Tim Ohlbrecht, so the club would have to release someone on a guaranteed contract to make room.

Since entering the NBA with the Kings in 2009/10, Casspi has seen his minutes, PPG, and PER decrease in each of his four seasons. The 24-year-old, who is earning $2.28MM this season, is set to hit free agency this summer. If the Cavs hang on to him, they'll have the option to make him a one-year qualifying offer, ensuring that he's a restricted free agent, but the club is more likely to simply let him walk.

Players hoping to change teams before season's end and be eligible for the playoffs have until tomorrow night to negotiate buyouts with their current teams. Any players waived after March 1st won't be postseason-eligible if they sign with another club.

Celtics Sign D.J. White

THURSDAY, 11:31am: The Celtics have officially signed White to a 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release.

WEDNESDAY, 2:12pm: D.J. White has finally received his letter of clearance from China, opening the door for him to sign with an NBA team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Now that he's been cleared, White will sign with the Celtics in the next 24 hours, tweets Wojnarowski.

White, 26, signed a contract to play in China this season, and averaged 21.6 PPG and 9.7 RPG in 32 games for the Shanghai Sharks before his team was eliminated from postseason contention. The 6'8" forward has played four NBA seasons with the Thunder and Bobcats, and was actually fairly productive for Charlotte last season, averaging 6.8 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 18.9 MPG over 58 contests.

Head coach Doc Rivers confirmed this past weekend that the Celtics were expecting to sign White once he became eligible, while GM Danny Ainge indicated on Monday night that the deal would be a 10-day contract.

Ainge also pointed out that 10-day deals are often timed to maximize a player's time with the team, so I wonder if the Celtics will wait until Friday to finalize White's deal — that would mean his 10 days would include five games rather than four. Boston may prefer to get him signed before then, however, in order to get him some extra practice time with the club.

Terrence Williams is also currently on a 10-day contract with the C's. His deal is set to expire after Friday's game.

Hoops Rumors Features

Hoops Rumors passes along the latest news and rumors on NBA player movement 365 days a year, but those aren't the only updates you'll see on the site. On our right sidebar, you'll find a number of additional features and featured posts. Here's a rundown of a few of them:

  • In addition to our list of 2012/13 free agents, we also have free agent lists for both next summer, and the summer of 2014, which will continue to be modified as needed.
  • Our Free Agent Tracker, which features data sortable by team, position, contract years, and contract amount, currently includes last summer's signings and will be used to track the upcoming summer's deals as well.
  • Throughout the season, we've been keeping tabs on roster counts for each NBA team, the year's D-League assignments and recalls, and all the in-season trades consummated this year.
  • Our tentative 2013 draft order tracks this season's "reverse standings," allowing for an early look at what next June's draft order might look like.
  • Using our 10-day contract tracker, you can find any 10-day contract signed since 2007, sorting by player, team, year, and other variables.
  • On Mondays at 4:00pm CT, I answer readers' questions in a live chat. You can check out transcripts of our past live discussions here.
  • Our list of outstanding traded player exceptions is updated whenever a trade exception is created, is used, or expires.
  • We're also tracking teams' amnesty provisions — using our complete list, you can check to see which clubs have used the amnesty clause and which will carry it into next summer.
  • The Hoops Rumors glossary helps explain some of the more complex concepts in the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • Zach Links rounds up the best of the blogosphere every Sunday in his weekly Hoops Links feature.
  • If you're looking to catch up on a few days worth of content, our Week in Review posts round up the week's news and rumors, while our Hoops Rumors Originals posts recap the site's original content for the week. Both round-ups are published every Sunday.
  • Be sure to check out the Featured Posts section on the right sidebar for more original pieces from the Hoops Rumors writing team. Recently, we explained how this year's deadline deals worked under CBA rules, listed the teams projected to be taxpayers this season, and examined last year's key post-trade-deadline transactions.

Isaiah Thomas’ 2013/14 Contract Now Guaranteed

When the Kings signed Isaiah Thomas after selecting him with the 60th and final pick in the 2011 draft, the team inked the point guard to a unique three-year contract. Per Mark Deeks of Sham Sports, the second and third years of the deal were fully unguaranteed, but could become guaranteed if Thomas met certain criteria.

Thomas' 2012/13 contract became guaranteed when, in his rookie season, he appeared in at least 50 games, averaging 15+ minutes in the 50 contests in which he played the most. Thomas needed to meet those same criteria this season in order to guaranteed his 2013/14 salary, and did so earlier this month. Thomas has now appeared in 56 games in '12/13, averaging 25.5 minutes per contest.

The 24-year-old isn't exactly set for a big payday next season, as he's in line to earn the minimum $884,293. But that's one more guaranteed contract to add to the Kings' books as the team approaches an uncertain offseason, with the franchise expected to change hands. Sacramento now has nine players on guaranteed deals for 2013/14, with Aaron Brooks potentially becoming the tenth if he exercises his $3.4MM player option.

Corey Maggette Not Seeking Buyout

Even after the Pistons traded away Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye, Corey Maggette has been unable to crack the team's rotation, having not appeared in a game for Detroit since December 15th. Despite his non-existent role with the Pistons though, Maggette tells Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News that he's not interested in pursuing a buyout.

"No, not at all," Maggette said when asked. "I don't even know how it works."

Players hoping to change teams before season's end and be eligible for the playoffs have until tomorrow night to negotiate buyouts with their current teams. Any players waived after March 1st won't be postseason-eligible if they sign with another club. A veteran on a lottery-bound team in the final year of his contract is generally considered a candidate for a buyout, but according to Maggette, he's still making the most of his role in Detroit.

"I like management here and I'm still able to help the young guys, that's been my MO with this season," Maggette said. "I haven't played, it's part of what happens sometimes. You know me, I've been positive about that. I haven't thought about getting a buyout."

Maggette, who was acquired by the Pistons last summer primarily for his $10.92MM expiring contract, will be eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. His stock isn't exactly at an all-time high — he has averaged career-lows almost across the board in limited action this season, including in PPG (5.3), PER (8.0), and FG% (.355).

Western Notes: Spurs, Marion, Mayo, Collison

Stephen Curry absolutely went off at the Garden on Wednesday night, dropping 54 points via 11 treys on the Knicks in the game of the night.  Despite Curry's efforts, the Warriors still came up short, losing by four.  Here are some other notes from around the Western Conference:

  • Gregg Popovich says that the Spurs, as always, will do their due diligence in scouring the post-March 1st buyout market, but with their roster already 15 deep, he doesn't expect anything to come of it, tweets Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.
  • Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News answered a few questions about the Mavericks roster in a chat on Tuesday.  Sefko doesn't see the Mavs dealing Shawn Marion next season just to free up cap space, opining that Marion is still a starting caliber player that warrants something worthwhile in return.  
  • Sefko also considers re-signing O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison critical to the team's chances of luring whatever big name free agents they'll set their sights on, largely due to their youth.  Keeping both players, who have had nice seasons in Dallas, will be difficult without overpaying, Sefko says.
  • Pau Gasol, likely still a month from returning, has been cleared to work out on an elliptical machine, tweets Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.  Gasol tore his plantar fascia three weeks ago and the Lakers are sticking to their original timetable of six-to-eight weeks for his return. 

Atlantic Links: Gay, Bargnani, Curry

Today has already been a pretty busy day in the Atlantic division. With the Knicks and Raptors underway, let's continue to monitor all news coming out of the division here:

  • Toronto head coach Dwane Casey says that Rudy Gay is the exactly the weapon that the Raptors were lacking in crunch time of tight games, writes Sam Amico of Fox Sports. Through 11 games in Toronto, Gay is averaging 20.1 points per game, many of which, Casey says, are coming when it matters most. Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld tweets that Gay has been a "great fit" since coming over in the deal from Memphis.
  • In a separate report, Amico adds that the Raptors will trade Andrea Bargnani in the offseason unless they absolutely cannot find a taker for the two years and $23MM remaining on his deal. Amico hears that the Sixers are very interested, and lists the Mavericks, Rockets, Spurs, Bucks, Jazz, Hawks, Suns and Blazers as other potential destinations.
  • Following Doug Collins' rant last night, sources tell Ric Bucher that should Collins resign or be let go, Sixers assistant Michael Curry will not only take over, but be considered a legitimate candidate to coach the team for the long term. Curry was last a head coach in Detroit, where he was fired in June of 2009 after a one-year 39-43 stint with the Pistons.

Odds & Ends: Draft, Oden, Greene, Kings

The news of the night so far in the NBA is that Pacers' Roy Hibbert and Warriors' David Lee have each been suspended one game without pay for their roles in last night's skirmish (Twitter links from Yahoo's Marc Spears).  In addition, Lance Stephenson, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were each fined $35,000 for "escalating the altercation."  Hibbert already told Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star that he will pay Stephenson's fine for being a good teammate, tweets Wells. 

Lee will serve his suspension tonight, as the Warriors visit in the Knicks in one of 10 games on tonight's schedule.  Mark Jackson, back in Madison Square Garden as head coach of the Warriors, has already expressed his displeasure with the league's decision, tweets Adam Zagoria of NBA.com.  Here are some other odds and ends from around the league:

  • Chad Ford of ESPN released his latest draft blog, available to insiders only and complete with an updated top 30.  Ben McLemore of Kansas tops his big board but as Ford asserts, this year's top 10 promises to be as ever-changing as any in recent memory.
  • Greg Oden will not decide on his next team until July, reports Sam Amico of Fox Sports.  This agrees with last week's report from Marc Spears of Yahoo that Oden won't sign until the offseason, though it sounds like this came directly from Oden's agent, Mike Conley.  Amico writes that Oden came close to signing with the Cavaliers earlier this month, but an agreement couldn't be reached.  Conley believes that once Oden works his way into game shape, he will again have All Star potential.
  • Free agent forward Donte Greene, now healthy after fracturing his ankle in August, will work out for teams at Eastern Michigan University on Sunday, tweets Marc Spears of Yahoo.  Spears reported last week that the Nets, Pacers, Hornets, Spurs, Bulls, Knicks, Magic, Rockets, and Cavaliers have all checked in on Greene, who played the last four seasons in Sacramento.  Citing a league source, Nets Daily has reported the Nets are not currently interested in filling their open roster spot by adding Greene.
  • As was rumored yesterday, it appears that Kings minority owner John Kehriotis does in fact intend to submit a "back-up offer" to the Maloofs to buy the Kings, reports Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee.  Kehriotis apparently has the capital to match the offer from the Seattle group and believes he has the legal right to counter their attempt to buy the team, according to the report. 
  • Meanwhile, the Sacramento city council voted on Tuesday night to approve the request made by city officials to begin negotiations over the financing of a new arena, reports Bizjak.  These negotiations are a crucial element to Sacramento's bid to keep the Kings. 

Rasheed Wallace To Undergo Surgery; Out 8 Weeks

5:49pm: Begley provides another update via Twitter, this time courtesy of Knicks head coach Mike Woodson.  Woodson is hopeful that Wallace will return this season and says he hasn't given any thought to releasing the veteran to open up an additional roster spot. 

12:51pm: A source tells Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link) that the Knicks are likely to keep Wallace on the roster for the rest of the season. That would mean he'd have a chance to play in the postseason, but the Knicks wouldn't be able to open up his roster spot for an additional signing.

11:55am: Rasheed Wallace will undergo surgery on a broken bone in his left foot and will be sidelined for approximately eight weeks, the Knicks announced today in a press release. The timetable for Wallace's recovery means his regular season is over, though a postseason return isn't out of the question, if he remains on the team's roster.

After appearing in 20 games for the Knicks earlier this season, Wallace has been out of action since mid-December with foot issues. Back in January, we heard that members of the Knicks' organization were concerned that Wallace would be out for the season and were pushing for a replacement. However, Wallace and coach Mike Woodson both held out hope that the veteran big man could return.

The Knicks have since added frontcourt depth by signing Kenyon Martin, who is expected to make his debut tonight, but the club could still look into adding another body. Martin is on a 10-day contract, so one roster spot will open up when his deal expires. Wallace or another Knick could also be released in order to make room for a signing.

If Wallace doesn't return for the postseason, it's possible we've seen the last of his NBA career. The 38-year-old had been out of basketball for two seasons before he signed a minimum-salary contract with the Knicks in the fall.