Month: February 2024

2014 Draft-And-Stash Signees

The players selected in last month’s draft aren’t the only draftees signing with NBA teams. Six “draft-and-stash” prospects agreed to deals with the teams that held their NBA rights this month, finally coming to the NBA after having spent at least a year outside the league. They wound up with widely varying financial terms, as we examine here:

Updated 8-11-14

Nikola Mirotic, Bulls — The prize import from overseas signed a deal precisely equivalent to the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception over three years, even though the Bulls used cap space to sign him. It had been three years since the Rockets drafted Mirotic 23rd overall, so the Bulls, who acquired his rights via trade at the 2011 draft, weren’t limited to giving him rookie scale salaries. That helped Chicago immensely, since Mirotic had to commit more than $3MM when he bought his way out of his contract with Spain’s Real Madrid. Mirotic still had enough leverage to command a trade kicker and, reportedly, assurances from the Bulls that he wouldn’t be traded. He’ll make a total of more than $16.6MM over the life of the contract.

Bojan Bogdanovic, Nets — Bogdanovic came to Brooklyn for a three-year contract at the full value of the taxpayer’s mid-level exception, a less lucrative version of the mid-level than the Bulls gave Mirotic. Bogdanovic also received a trade kicker, just as Mirotic did. Bogdanovic was a product of the 2011 draft, again just like Mirotic, but he was a second-round pick, so the rookie scale wouldn’t have applied no matter when he signed. He’s not to be confused with Bogdan Bogdanovic, whom the Suns drafted 27th overall last month. That Bogdanovic figures to be on this list a few years down the road, since he just signed a multiyear contract to play in Turkey.

Kostas Papanikolaou, Rockets — The Papanikolaou deal is like the Bogdanovic signing in that both were former second-round picks who received mid-level money, but Papanikolaou’s first-year salary, worth nearly $4.6MM, is significantly higher. That’s because Houston used the majority of its $5.305MM non-taxpayer’s mid-level on the forward, who has a two-year pact for about $9.4MM.

Lucas Nogueira, Raptors — Nogueira was the 16th pick of the 2013 draft, and Toronto acquired his rights via trade last month. The rookie scale still applies to him, unlike Mirotic, so he’ll likely make a salary of nearly $1.763MM for this coming season, part of which will go toward his buyout. That’s the standard 120% of the rookie scale amount for the 16th pick in this year’s draft, rather than last year’s, but the scale applies to the year in which the player signs, not the year in which he’s drafted. The deal is worth $8,473,305 over four seasons.

James Ennis, Heat — Heat president Pat Riley has raved about last year’s 40th overall pick, whom Miami acquired from the Hawks shortly after they drafted him. The Heat used part of their cap space to come to terms with Ennis, even though he won’t see any more than the minimum salary in any of the three years for which he signed. Riley’s praise indicates that Ennis is likely to stick around for a while, but the team has the option to waive him by the end of opening night and pay him only his $200K partial guarantee if it so chooses.

Erick Green, Nuggets — Denver used a portion of its mid-level exception to sign Green, whom the Nuggets acquired in a trade shortly after the Jazz picked him 46th overall in the 2013 draft. The part of the mid-level the team gave him is equivalent to just the minimum salary, so he’s receiving significantly less than Mirotic and Bogdanovic. The three-year pact is worth about $2.3MM. It’s only guaranteed for $50K, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports.

Pierre Jackson, Sixers — There’s a decent chance that Jackson, last year’s 42nd overall pick, would be higher on this list had he not ruptured his achilles tendon shortly before signing with Philadelphia. The Sixers reacquired his rights from the Pelicans last month after drafting him 42nd overall in 2013, and while he and the Pelicans couldn’t agree to terms last year, he sprung for 29.1 points per game in the D-League. He wound up with a one-year, minimum-salary deal that’s guaranteed for $400K, as Deeks noted when he reported the signing.

Bucks Sign Jerryd Bayless

JULY 31ST: The deal is official, the Bucks announced (on Twitter).

JULY 17TH: The Bucks and Jerryd Bayless have reached a deal, as the Phoenix native tells Mark McClune of Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO-TV (Twitter link; hat tip to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported Tuesday that the sides were nearing an agreement, and they had been discussing a two-year arrangement between $6-7MM with no option clauses, according to Gardner.

Bayless spent the bulk of last season with the Celtics after an early-January trade brought him from Memphis, and he quickly identified Boston as a place he wanted to stay for the long term. The client of Excel Sports Management reiterated that stance on multiple occasions during what appears to have been a brief tenure with the Celtics, and coach Brad Stevens appeared to lobby the front office for his return. The Celtics had Early Bird rights on the combo guard that would have given them the means to make an offer equal to or greater than what he seems to have netted from the Bucks, but ultimately it looks like the sides couldn’t reach a deal.

Milwaukee appears to be technically operating over the cap, though the team has eyed using its flexibility to open up space and make an offer to Eric Bledsoe, among other targets. A competitive offer for Bledsoe would likely require the team to trade some of its guaranteed salary, and there have been conflicting reports about Milwaukee’s willingness to trade Ersan Ilyasova. A two-year deal for Bayless with a starting salary that’s roughly half of the $6-7MM figure that Gardner floated for the total value of the deal could be a fit for part of the $5.305MM mid-level, should the Bucks stay above the cap. Otherwise, Milwaukee would likely have to use cap room.

Heat Notes: LeBron, ‘Melo, 2016, Allen

Heat team president Pat Riley went after free agents this year with the idea that LeBron James would return to the team, and he sold potential signees on that notion, as he told reporters, including Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Still, Riley said James didn’t answer frequent emails and texts that he sent in an effort to recruit him back to Miami, Jackson notes. That suggests that the only communication between the two took place when James met with Riley a few days before he made his decision to sign with the Cavs, as Jackson details. We rounded up several key passages from Riley’s address on Wednesday, and we’ll pass along other noteworthy tidbits here among the latest Heat-related news:

  • Riley called Leon Rose, the agent for Carmelo Anthony, after LeBron left, but, “We were a little bit late to that party,” Riley said, as Jackson writes in the same piece. Anthony had already finished meeting with other teams, and he made his decision to re-sign with the Knicks the day after LeBron made his choice.
  • The team will be focused on making a splash in free agency in 2016, Riley said, adding that it would have been the plan even if LeBron had remained, according to Jackson.
  • Riley said the Heat will keep Justin Hamilton through Friday, when his non-guaranteed contract becomes partially guaranteed for more than $400K, as Jackson notes.
  • Miami hasn’t given up hope of re-signing free agent Ray Allentweets Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post. Riley said he’s remained in contact with Allen’s agent, Jim Tanner, Jackson writes.
  • Riley confirmed that Miami has spoken with Michael Beasley‘s people about re-signing with the team, Lieser tweets. “He’s still a consideration, absolutely,” Riley said. Beasley reportedly auditioned for the Lakers on Wednesday.
  • The team is also still thinking about re-signing Greg Oden, Riley added, as Jackson notes. Jackson reported last week that the Heat were non-committal about bringing back Beasley and Oden.
  • Guard Tyler Johnson impressed during a summer league stint with the Heat and is drawing interest from multiple NBA teams, a source tells Hoops Rumors.

Sixers Fighting Changes To Draft Lottery

THURSDAY, 8:44am: A Sixers source tells Jason Wolf of the Wilmington News Journal that Philadelphia isn’t particularly opposed to the notion of evening the odds for the top pick, but the source nonetheless indicates that the Sixers aren’t high on the idea. An Eastern Conference executive who spoke with Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes that the Sixers’ lack of effort to field a competitive roster is negatively affecting the integrity of the league. A vote to approve the league’s proposal could take place as early as October, Pompey writes.

WEDNESDAY, 9:14am: The Sixers are resisting proposed changes to the draft lottery system, but their lengthy rebuilding process and willingness to build non-competitive rosters has curbed revenues and angered other teams, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The league has put forth a proposal to even out the odds for the top pick by as soon as next year, giving the team with the worst record in the NBA significantly longer odds of winning the lottery.

The league’s proposal would grant the top four teams in the lottery the same 11% odds of winning the No. 1 overall pick, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe explained a few weeks ago. All of those teams would have better odds under the current system. The Sixers finished with the second-worst record in the league last year, and there’s seemingly a strong chance they’re even worse this coming season, especially if they deal away Thaddeus Young, who’s been in multiple trade rumors of late, for little or no immediate return. Philadelphia is hoping to delay any change in the lottery until at least 2016, Windhorst writes.

GM Sam Hinkie‘s team will also be without Joel Embiid, who has a broken foot, and Dario Saric, who’s playing overseas, to start next season, meaning the Sixers will be without both of the players they netted with their pair of lottery picks from last month. The Sixers took a similar long-range approach last summer when they drafted injured center Nerlens Noel, who missed his entire first season.

The Sixers had the second-worst attendance in the league last season despite their presence in large-market Philadelphia. Smaller-market teams typically stand to benefit from the NBA’s revenue sharing plan that redistributes cash from franchises in urban hubs. The NBA has remediation plans in place to address teams that fall short of expectations based on market size, but it appears as though the Sixers aren’t carrying the weight that many other franchises expect them to.

Wolves, Cavs Ramp Up Kevin Love Talks?

THURSDAY, 8:22am: A source tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that the Cavs and Wolves haven’t spoken for about two weeks. That’s in part because of the 30-day no-trade period for Wiggins, but Berger also hears that Wolves owner Glen Taylor is still reluctant to trade Love.

WEDNESDAY, 9:55pm: The question is no longer “if” Kevin Love will be traded to the Cavs, but “when” the deal will actually go down, as the Wolves are no longer in serious talks about Love with any team other than Cleveland, sources tell Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Reports indicated earlier this week that the Bulls had re-emerged as a serious suitor for the All-Star forward, but Stein and Windhorst now hear that Chicago is feeling pessimistic about their chances of putting together a package strong enough to trump a potential Cavs offer. The Warriors, who have also been making a strong push for Love, remain unwilling to include Klay Thompson in any of their proposals, according to Stein and Windhorst.

League sources expect the Wolves to walk away from the Love saga with no less than Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a future first-round selection, write the ESPN.com scribes. The Wolves have long prioritized the acquisition of Wiggins over any of their options. NBA rules prohibit a player from being traded within 30 days of signing a rookie-scale contract, which Wiggins did last week, so the two clubs will have to wait until at least August 23rd before completing what appears to now be the seemingly inevitable deal. Still, sources insisted that the neither side will acknowledge a deal until the 30-day window passes.

The Wolves are determined to unload J.J. Barea‘s contract as part of a Love trade, reveal Stein and Windhorst, who add that Minnesota is open to adding a third team to a deal in order to absorb the guard’s expiring contract. The Wolves reached an agreement to bring aboard Mo Williams yesterday afternoon, and the team is exploring options that would help in a pursuit to acquire Thaddeus Young from the Sixers.

LeBron James is “looking forward” to playing alongside Love, his Olympic teammate, according to the pair of ESPN reporters. Love is poised to opt out of his deal next summer no matter where he ends up for this season, Stein and Windhorst write, but such a move will only be an effort to secure a more lucrative, long-term arrangement, and not necessarily to leave the Cavs should he be traded there. Although Golden State could shake the situation up by putting Thompson on the table in an offer, the Wolves’ fondness of Wiggins, the first pick in this summer’s draft, will likely be too much to overcome, according to Stein and Windhorst. There have been contradictory reports on whether or not the Cavs would be willing to include the Kansas prospect in a trade, but the latest intel seems to suggest they’re open to doing so if they can bring in Love.

Nemanja Dangubic Signs With Serbian Team

THURSDAY, 8:06am: The deal is official, the team announced (translation via Carchia). It’s a three-year deal with options that will allow him to jump to the NBA after each season.

WEDNESDAY, 10:55pm: Nemanja Dangubic has chosen to sign with Serbian club KK Crvena Zvezda, reports Emilano Carchia of Sportando. The 54th overall pick in this year’s draft was leaning toward remaining overseas, and he’s reportedly made up his mind and is poised to stick around in Europe for at least one more season.

The Spurs acquired Dangubic’s rights from the Sixers after Philly picked him in the second round, and San Antonio will retain the right to sign the guard until he chooses to come stateside. There wouldn’t be much room in the club’s backcourt for Dangubic if he chose to come over this season anyway, so the move is largely unsurprising.

At just 21-years-old, Dangubic will benefit from the additional playing time he’ll find in the Euroleague next season. He’s the latest in a long line of San Antonio’s “draft-and-stash” players.

Wizards Waive Melvin Ely

THURSDAY, 7:42am: There’s been no formal announcement from the team, but the move has indeed taken place, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter) and the RealGM transactions log.

WEDNESDAY, 4:26pm: The Wizards are waiving power forward Melvin Ely, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Ely came to Washington from the Pelicans as part of the three-team sign-and-trade that sent Trevor Ariza to the Rockets. His non-guaranteed minimum salary has been scheduled to become fully guaranteed at the end of Friday, but it appears the Wizards are releasing him before that happens.

New Orleans brought the 36-year-old back into the NBA after a three-year absence from the league with a contract signed with just two days to go in the season. The inclusion of the non-guaranteed 2014/15 salary made it plain that the Pelicans intended to use him as trade fodder, and his contract proved key in the team’s ability to acquire Omer Asik, as I explained earlier.

Washington has been less than $200K shy of the tax line, but dropping Ely will allow the team to open up more than $1.3MM of extra space beneath the threshold, room to add another minimum salary or two. The Wizards are also hard-capped, so even if they go over the tax line, they can’t go more than $4MM into the tax at any point this season.

Byron Mullens To Sign With Chinese Team

Byron Mullens has reached an agreement to sign with the Shanxi Brave Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association, reveals a report from Sina.com (translation via Orazio Cauchi of Sportando). Mullens hit the free agent market in late June after turning down a minimum salary player option that would have kept him with the Sixers for the 2014/15 season.

After a lackluster start to his 2013/14 campaign with the Clippers, Mullens was shipped to Philadelphia and put up respectable numbers, albeit while seeing limited action. Mullens averaged 16.7 minutes per night over the course of 18 games, putting up nightly marks of 6.8 points and 3.3 boards.

The Wasserman Media Group client didn’t seem to draw much attention from NBA teams this offseason, as evidenced by the lack of activity found on his Hoops Rumors rumor page. It remains to be seen if there’s an NBA escape clause in the big man’s contract that could bring him back to the US should a stateside club show interest. The CBA’s regular season ends in February, so Mullens could still be a late season addition to a team if he indeed lacks an NBA-out in his deal. The length of the new pact hasn’t been disclosed.

Pat Riley On Heat Offseason

Heat President Pat Riley spoke to reporters today via a teleconference in regards to Miami’s offseason, losing LeBron James to the Cavaliers, and the franchise’s prospects for the upcoming season and beyond. Ira WInderman of the Sun Sentinel recapped the interview, and here are some of the highlights:

Discussing his re-tooled roster:

I feel very good about where we are right now, at this moment, with the 12 guys under contract. Unlike a lot of the prognosticators . . . I feel with all the conversations I’ve had with these players, that we’re going to be up to the challenge.”

On the departure of James:

You recover. I don’t want to go back in history, but after 45 years of being in the league, I think I’ve been around 15 transcendent players that walked out the door . . . and you move on. We were shocked, but we recovered. It was a tough blow to take, but we’ve recovered very well, and I think we will continue to recover.”

Discussing his plan entering this year’s free agency period:

I went in with the notion that he [LeBron] was coming back. So I was selling it to players. I let him know that prior to free agency, that was the direction I was going. He never said to me, ‘Don’t do that‘.”

Discussing re-signing Dwyane Wade despite his recent injury history:

When it comes to Dwyane, we’re just going to see where we are with him. And we think with what he’s done this summer, there’s the possibility of Dwyane can return to where he was before he ceded a good part of his game to LeBron, and the same thing with Chris.”

On re-signing Chris Bosh:

He’s the most versatile big man in the NBA. And that’s what the market was for him, and Micky [Arison] stepped up to the plate. . . . I’ll be [expletive] if I was going to let him walk out the door.”

On signing Luol Deng late in the free agency rush:

I think the first day that I met with him, I truly believe if we could have signed him, he would have signed. At that time, we were an exception team. We were sort of dealing with the thought we were an exception team. . . . So that discussion had to take a number of meandering roads. But he knew that we wanted him, that we would do whatever we could to get him.”

Todd Mayo Leaving Marquette To Turn Pro

Todd Mayo, the younger brother of NBA player O.J. Mayo, plans to leave Marquette University before his upcoming senior season and pursue professional basketball in the NBA D-League, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. Mayo intends to enter next June’s NBA Draft, Charania writes. Mayo is currently not ranked by either Chad Ford of ESPN.com or Draft Express.

According to Charania, Mayo, 23, has received support from his family and the university in deciding to leave school. Marquette officials are expected to make an official announcement within the next two days, notes Charania. Of his decision, Mayo said, “I’m looking forward to the D-League and just learning and getting better.”

In his junior season, Mayo was Marquette’s third-leading scorer at 11.3 PPG, and shot 46.1 percent from the field. The 6-foot-3 guard played 30 games a season ago and was projected as a starter this coming year.