Month: October 2017

Extension Deadline: Hayward, Bledsoe, Vasquez

As the Gordon Hayward negotiations inch forward and tonight’s deadline draws closer, let’s take a look at the latest on Hayward as well as a few other members of the draft class of 2010:

  • As expected, Phoenix and Bledsoe were unable to come to an agreement, making the Suns’ recent acquisition a restricted free agent come next summer, tweets Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
  • We haven’t heard much recently about the possibility of an extension for Avery Bradley and the Celtics, but Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe confirms that the sides were unable to agree on what was to be a four-year deal (via Twitter).
  • While we already know a Hayward extension didn’t happen, Stein tells us the sides were negotiating a four-year deal that was for less than the maximum amount, yet they still couldn’t get it done despite the Jazz CEO’s support. (Twitter links)
  • Shams Charania of RealGM tweets that the Jazz and Hayward never discussed a five-year pact.

Earlier updates:

  • ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the entire Jazz organization is “absorbed” by the extension talks with Hayward, adding that the expectation inside the organization is that it will get done since team CEO Greg Miller is fully behind it. Miller conceded Monday that it would probably be a distraction, and Stein senses that it already is one for Hayward. (Twitter links here)
  • Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report quotes an opposing general manager, who says the “Jazz had better lock up Hayward.” As Bucher notes, the implication is that Hayward would be a highly sought after restricted free agent next summer. (Twitter link)
  • On that topic, Jody Genessy of the Deseret News says that the Jazz could be forced to match a “toxic” contract next summer to retain Hayward, making this a “risky game of chicken.” Genessy assumes the sides must be far apart considering that Hayward is expected to be a team leader. (Twitter links here)
  • Grantland’s Zach Lowe suspects that the five-year extension Paul George signed in September might be “infecting” the Hayward situation, adding that it was inevitable that Hayward’s representation would use that deal as a benchmark since they are similar players. (Twitter links)
  • Meanwhile, Stein also tweets that the situation in Phoenix is similar to the one in Utah, as the Suns and Eric Bledsoe are apparently far apart in talks despite general manager Ryan McDonough being previously hopeful of a deal getting done. We heard earlier tonight that there are “no indications” that the sides will agree to a pact before tonight’s deadline.
  • Despite not inking him to an extension, we heard earlier from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports that the Kings feel strongly about Greivis Vasquez and will likely match any offer sheet he signs next summer. It appears the feeling is mutual, as Spears has since spoken with Vasquez, who told him, “Hopefully everything works out with the Kings and I’m confident it will.” (via Twitter)
  • Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee agrees, tweeting that the Kings “love” Vasquez and would have done the deal had the price been right. Citing Vasquez’s love for Sacramento, Jones adds that he doesn’t foresee the point guard going anywhere next summer.

Odds & Ends: Asik, Howard, Irving, Jack, Sixers

The 11 pm CT deadline for extensions and team options for players still on their rookie contracts should steal most of the headlines tonight, but let’s look at some of the other buzz from around the league:

  • Rockets officials “continue to privately insist” that Omer Asik won’t be available via trade this season if he and Dwight Howard can be productive alongside one another in the Houston frontcourt, reports ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
  • Speaking of Howard, Mark Cuban says the Houston center made “a mistake in judgement” by joining the Rockets over his Mavericks, writes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, who pulls several other interesting quotes from Cuban and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle about how the team is faring with their “Plan B.”
  • Meanwhile, Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram tweets that Cuban believes Howard had already decided on Houston as his destination before he sat down with the Mavericks last summer.
  • While the Cavaliers can’t offer star point guard Kyrie Irving an extension until next summer, the strong relationship between Irving and owner Dan Gilbert should reassure Clevelanders still sore over losing LeBron James, writes Jodie Valade of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • Valade also writes that, while the Andrew Bynum addition received most of the headlines, it is Jarrett Jack who will have the biggest impact among the new faces in Cleveland this season.
  • Sixers advanced scout and former assistant Ron Oliver won’t return for a third season with the team, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (via Twitter).

Jazz, Gordon Hayward Not Close To Deal

10:39pm: According to league sources, the extension talks between Hayward and the Jazz will end without a resolution, reports Wojnarowski. Hayward will become a restricted free agent next July and could command, in Wojnarowski’s estimate, a deal worth four years and more than $50MM.

9:59pm: As we approach an hour before the extension deadline, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweets that the Jazz and Hayward are still engaged in talks.

THURSDAY, 11:36am: Hayward and the Jazz “still have a long way to go” if they’re going to work something out by tonight’s deadline, according to Wojnarowski. However, Wojnarowski expects talks to continue into the final hours, and notes that major movement often occurs as the deadline nears (Twitter links).

SATURDAY, 3:13pm: The Jazz and Gordon Hayward have been in talks about a package that would reportedly exceed the $47.7MM base salary of Derrick Favorsextension, but the two sides aren’t close to an agreement, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick. Thursday represents the deadline for teams and players eligible to receive rookie-scale extensions to sign a deal, and while Amick cautions that the situation could quickly change, it appears as though Hayward is headed for restricted free agency next summer (Twitter link).

There’s “nothing resembling even the baseline for an agreement,” writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski points out that the Celtics and Suns, two teams set to have plenty of cap space next summer, employ coaches with whom Hayward has a history — Brad Stevens in Boston and Jeff Hornacek in Phoenix.

Hayward is drawing praise from around the league, and Doc Rivers“man-crush” on the former Butler standout suggests he’ll have plenty of teams after him if he hits free agency. Still, Hayward started only 27 of his 72 games last season, averaging 14.1 points and shooting 41.5% on three-point attempts. Favors has seen even less time on the floor during his first three seasons, but that didn’t stop the Jazz from committing to him for the long term.

Only about 25% of voters in a Hoops Rumors poll this week agreed that Hayward should receive more money than Favors in an extension. Still, the holdup in Hayward’s case appears to be on his side. He’s likely to see plenty of action this season, and his steady improvement so far suggests a heavy volume of shots and minutes could result in a serious jump in production. He and agent Mark Bartelstein may be anxious to see just how high his value can get.

Hawks Pick Up Option On Jenkins, Not Cunningham

The Hawks have announced via press release that they’ve exercised the 2014/15 option on second-year guard John Jenkins, who will make $1.31MM next season. Meanwhile, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the team will not pick up their third-year option on Jared Cunningham.

Atlanta selected the sharp shooting Jenkins out of Vanderbilt with the 23rd pick in the 2012 draft. He averaged 6.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game as a rookie, starting twice in 61 games. He also spent a brief amount of time in the D-League in December. The Hawks acquired Cunningham, taken the pick after Jenkins, in a draft day deal with Dallas. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Draft & D-League: Top Five, Smart, 66ers, Czyz

With David Stern putting all his weight behind the positive evolution of the D-League, it’s only natural for that avenue of player development to be contrasted with the more traditional one. Let’s take a look at Thursday night’s news and notes from the draft and the D-League here:

  • The kickoff of the NBA season isn’t complete without our first wave of NBA mock drafts. Chad Ford provides ESPN insiders a look at what the first round might look like in June 2014. In what some pundits are dubbing the best draft since 2003, Ford predicts a top five of Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, Joel Embiid and Dante Exum.
  • Speaking of Oklahoma State’s Smart, the sophomore point guard is still unsure that he made the right decision to return to school last April, writes ESPN’s Myron Medcalf. Considering the shocking results of last June’s draft, it probably isn’t far fetched to say that Smart would have been the best player on the board when the Cavs went on the clock.
  • The Tulsa 66ers, the Thunder‘s D-League affiliate, have acquired the number one pick in tomorrow night’s D-League draft along with Ben Uzoh in a three team deal with the Iowa Energy and Springfield Armor, writes Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside. Along with other picks tomorrow night, Diante Garrett and Lorenzo Brown were also involved in the deal.
  • Polish forward Olek Czyz has signed a deal to join the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, Sportando reports on Twitter. The Bucks, who use Fort Wayne as their D-League affiliate, cut Czyz on Saturday after he spent training camp with the team, indicating that they protected his D-League rights. Czyz played at Duke and Nevada before going undrafted in 2012. He played last season for Virtus Roma of the Italian League.

Bobcats Pick Up 2014/15 Options On Three

8:51 pm: The Bobcats have officially announced in a press release that they have exercised their 2014/15 options on Biyombo, Walker and Kidd-Gilchrist.

3:15 pm: The Bobcats have exercised their 2014/15 options on Bismack Biyombo, Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). Biyombo and Walker are now locked up on fully guaranteed deals through 2015, while the team will hold one more option on Kidd-Gilchrist in ’15/16.

Kidd-Gilchrist’s option is for his third year, as opposed to Biyombo’s and Walker’s fourth-year options, but the Kentucky product will be in line for the largest ’14/15 salary due to his draft position. Kidd-Gilchrist will earn a little over $5MM next season, while Biyombo will make about $3.87MM and Walker will earn about $3.27MM. Biyombo and Walker will be extension-eligible next summer.

As our rookie contract option tracker shows, with tonight’s deadline looming, only a couple more teams still need to make decisions on whether to exercise or decline 2014/15 rookie contract options.

Pacific Rumors: Bledsoe, Jimmer, Kobe, Frye

It’s been an unusually busy day for news out west, so we’re following up this morning’s round of Pacific rumors with a few afternoon updates. Here’s the latest:

  • There are “no indications” that the Suns and Eric Bledsoe will reach an agreement on a contract extension before tonight’s deadline, tweets Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. The two sides have until 11:00 pm CT to work something out.
  • On the heels of reporting that the Kings won’t exercise Jimmer Fredette‘s 2014/15 option, Sam Amick of USA Today passes along a little more Jimmer news. According to Amick, about six teams have expressed some trade interest in Fredette. The Jazz aren’t one of those six, however.
  • The highest-paid player in the NBA will receive most of his salary tomorrow, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, who says Kobe Bryant will be paid more than $24MM by the Lakers on November 1st.
  • Mark Deeks of ShamSports, writing for SBNation.com, suggests that extending Andrew Bogut for three years and $36MM+ represents an unnecessary risk for the Warriors. As Deeks notes, Golden State still could have extended Bogut in the spring, prior to free agency, which would have given the team another full season to evaluate the big man.
  • In a separate piece for The Score, Deeks discusses the Suns/Wizards trade, writing that it’s the sort of deal that doesn’t necessarily have a winner or loser, since both teams got what they wanted. Deeks also points out that the Suns will have an “extremely logical” trade candidate in Channing Frye if he starts the season healthy and productive.
  • The Kings won’t sign Greivis Vasquez or Patrick Patterson to a contract extension today.

Kings Won’t Extend Vasquez, Patterson

Two Kings extension candidates won’t be receiving new deals today, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson will instead hit the free agent market next summer.

We heard this morning that extensions were still in play for both Vasquez and Patterson in advance of tonight’s deadline. Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld suggested that the framework of a Vasquez deal was in place if the team chose to pursue it, but it looks like Sacramento has prioritized future cap flexibility.

With no extensions in place, Vasquez and Patterson will be eligible for restricted free agency in 2014. If the Kings decline to tender a qualifying offer to either player, he could become unrestricted, but assuming those QOs are made, Sacramento will still have the opportunity to match any rival offers for the duo. According to Spears (Twitter links), despite not signing him to an extension today, the Kings still “feel strongly” about Vasquez, and will likely match any offer sheet he signs next July.

76ers Exercise Options On Moultrie, Wroten

The Sixers have guaranteed a pair of salaries for the 2014/15 season, having exercised their options on Arnett Moultrie and Tony Wroten, according to RealGM.com’s transactions log. Neither 2012 draftee had a particularly strong rookie campaign, but their salaries will only add about $2.35MM in guaranteed money to Philadelphia’s ’14/15 books.

Moultrie, 22, played well (16.7 PER) when he saw the court in his rookie season, but only averaged 11.5 MPG in 47 contests. He’ll earn $1.14MM in his third year. Wroten, meanwhile, was traded to the Sixers by the Grizzlies in August, essentially for nothing but the cap savings. He should get a chance to earn a larger role in Philadelphia this season, before getting a salary bump to about $1.21MM in 2014/15.

The Sixers now have five players on guaranteed contracts for ’14/15, plus Jason Richardson, who has a $6.6MM player option that will certainly be exercised if he’s not bought out.

Grizzlies Sign Quincy Pondexter To Extension

3:48pm: The Grizzlies have officially announced in a press release that they’ve signed Pondexter to a contract extension.

10:33am: The Grizzlies’ deal with Pondexter will be worth $14MM over four years, reports Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com (via Twitter).

8:03am: Ed Davis was viewed as the likeliest extension candidate on the Grizzlies leading up to today’s deadline, but his teammate Quincy Pondexter may be the only Memphis player who gets a new deal today, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Tillery reports (via Twitter) that Pondexter and the Grizzlies are expected to finalize a four-year contract in advance of today’s deadline, while an extension is unlikely for Davis, who is far apart with the team in negotiations.

When ESPN.com’s Marc Stein examined extension possibilities 10 days ago, he indicated that a deal for Pondexter hadn’t been completely ruled out by the Grizzlies, though it didn’t seem probable. According to Tillery (via Twitter), the extension came together within the last few days, after the two sides exchanged proposals. The financial terms of the contract remain unclear, but it’s safe to assume that Pondexter’s deal will be much more modest than those signed recently by Paul George, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors, and Larry Sanders.

Pondexter, 25, was limited to 59 games last season due to a sprained MCL, but had his best run during the playoffs, when he averaged 8.9 PPG and shot 45.3% on three-pointers. The 6’6″ shooter has played the last two seasons in Memphis after being acquired from New Orleans in a trade for Greivis Vasquez.

With today’s extension deadline looming, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see one or two players besides Pondexter secure new deals. Gordon Hayward of the Jazz and Eric Bledsoe of the Suns are among the candidates.

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