Kevin Durant won’t be a free agent for another two years, but he was on the verge of hitting the open market when it comes to endorsements. Durant secured an offer of between $265MM-$285MM from Under Armour, but Nike exercised its right to match today, as Darren Rovell and Marc Stein of ESPN.com write. The exact parameters of the deal aren’t known, but it’s expected that Durant will earn more from the sneaker contract than he will from the Thunder over the next two years. Here’s tonight’s look around the NBA..
Chris Anstey, the coach of CTI Melbourne United, spoke highly of his team’s newest addition, 76ers rookie Jordan McRae in an email to Marc Narducci of The Inquirer. “We are thrilled to have Jordan join us and play a part in his continued development, in consultation with Sixers coaching staff, to give him the best possible chance of making their roster next year or earlier,” Anstey wrote. The coach also confirmed that the Sixers have the right to call McRae back until January. McRae spoke with Hoops Rumors over the summer prior to the draft about his skill set and NBA goals.
Even though Milwaukee was “a little cold” for his tastes and he was waived by the Clippers just days after they acquired him, Miroslav Raduljica said he still wants to stay in the NBA, writes NBA.com’s John Schuhmann. He didn’t go into detail on who might be interested, however, saying he’s only heard rumors about other teams.
The Clippers‘ trade of Jared Dudley might have been perplexing to some, but it made sense for a couple of financial reasons, as Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders explains. Thanks to the deal, the Clippers saved roughly $3.5MM this season and gives them some breathing room under the hard-cap. And, by waiving Carlos Delfino and Raduljica, the Clippers opened up some roster space. They’re reportedly on the verge of a new deal with veteran Hedo Turkoglu.
On this date in 1990, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, the first African American player in Knicks history, passed away at the age of 67 from a heart attack. As a 27-year-old NBA rookie, Clifton helped lead the Knicks to their first-ever appearance in the NBA finals, losing in Game Seven. During his eight seasons in the NBA, Clifton averaged 10 PPG and 9 RPG per contest. At age 34, he became the oldest player to that point in NBA history to be named an All-Star.
Got a great basketball blog post that you want to see featured on Hoops Rumors? Send it to Zach at HoopsLinks@gmail.com. Here’s this week’s look around the basketball blogosphere…
Chuck examined how rare the lucrative one-year deal has become in the NBA.
The Timberwolves reaped a trade exception worth $6,308,194 from Saturday’s completion of the Kevin Lovetrade, and Chuck Myron explained how trade exceptions work.
Cray Allred asked readers to vote on which trade made during the 2013/14 season would have the biggest impact.
The Sixers’ rebuilding efforts thus far have been met with mixed opinions. In a reader poll, Alex Lee asked you to vote on how well Philadelphia’s strategy was working, to which many of you responded favorably.
Chuck Myron hosted Hoops Rumors’ weekly live chat, and you can view the transcripts here.
The Sixers director of player personnel, Courtney Witte, is leaving to take a scouting position with the Clippers, Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com reports. According to Lynam’s source, Witte had been told by the Sixers that his contract wasn’t going to be renewed, and that the search for Witte’s replacement has been “ongoing for some time.”
In an interview with Michael Rand of the Star Tribune, Thaddeus Young was asked how the rebuilding process differs between the Wolves and the Sixers. Young said, “I think the situation in Philly is much different. It’s the same process, but this team is much more competitive and it’s a better roster. Philly, they were getting rid of everybody and getting worse. But I think [Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie] is doing a great job and has made some big moves.”
Zoran Dragic has re-negotiated his contract with Unicaja Malaga, reports La Opinion de Malaga (Translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Dragic’s contract has a buyout clause that he can exercise next June if he decides to leave for the NBA, Carchia notes. The Pacers are reportedly among the teams eyeing Dragic.
5:07pm: Franklin has been waived, the team confirmed via press release.
3:31pm: The Grizzlies waived Jamaal Franklin today using the stretch provision, Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal reports (Twitter link). Franklin had two years remaining on his contract, with a salary of $816,482 for next season, and $947,276 for 2015/16 which was non-guaranteed. By using the stretch provision, Memphis can now spread his guaranteed salary for this coming season evenly over the next five years, as well as his cap hit.
The second-year guard out of San Diego State was the No. 41 overall pick by Memphis in the 2013 NBA Draft. In his rookie season, Franklin split time between the Grizzlies and the NBA D-League. In 21 NBA games, Franklin averaged 1.9 PPG, 1.1 RPG, and 0.3 APG. His slash line was .410/.455/1.000.
This move leaves the Grizzlies with 15 players on their preseason roster, 14 of whom have guaranteed contracts. The Grizzlies needed to waive Franklin prior to September 1st or they would have been forced to pay him his full salary during the 2014/15 season.
There wasn’t a franchise changing deal on the scale of Kevin Love being shipped to the Cavaliers this week. The biggest trade of the past seven days involved the Clippers sending Jared Dudley and a lottery-protected 2017 first-round pick to the Bucks for Carlos Delfino, Miroslav Raduljica and returning the Clippers’ 2015 second-round pick, which Milwaukee acquired in a previous deal. Both Delfino and Raduljica were thenwaived by Los Angeles in a move to free up space against the team’s hard cap.
Here’s our recap of the rest of the week that was…
There was a report earlier from ESPNBoston.com’s Jackie MacMullan, in which she noted that Rajon Rondo had informed the Celtics that he wanted out of Boston. This conflicted with previous reports that Rondo was content in Boston and that the Celtics were looking to hold onto their point guard at least up until next season’s trading deadline. But if the report from MacMullan is correct, then Celtics GM Danny Ainge may be forced to deal his still-recovering star player, or at the very least, much sooner than he would prefer to.
Rondo is set to make roughly $12.9MM next season, which will be difficult for teams to salary match and provide Boston with players they will agree to take on. Ainge will prioritize cap flexibility, draft picks, and younger players in any deal for Rondo. This means that any team pitching an offer will need to have expiring contracts, first-rounders, and younger players that fit in with the franchise’s new culture, in order to have a shot at nabbing Rondo.
If Rondo is traded, then where might he be headed? The Kings appeared to be the frontrunners to match up as a trade partner with Boston. Sacramento has previously expressed interest in acquiring the 28 year-old guard, who has career averages of 11.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 8.4 APG, and 1.9 SPG. The Kings have a number of intriguing pieces to offer in some combination of Ben McLemore, Jason Thompson, Nik Stauskas, and draft picks. But the main hold-up would be that Rondo has already said that he would not re-sign with Sacramento when he hits free agency. The Kings were willing to trade for Kevin Love after he made a similar decree, so it’s possible they would make the same concession in dealing for Rondo.
The Rockets would be another possibility, MacMullan noted, though after dealing Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, and losing Chandler Parsons to the Mavs in free agency, Houston has less flexibility or pieces that could have brought in a third team to provide Ainge with the draft picks that he desires to stockpile. There aren’t many players that Houston would be willing to deal that Boston would want, so Houston seems like a long shot here.
Another team that has previously expressed their desire to acquire Rondo is the Knicks. They had attempted to trade for him last season, but had the same issues then that they do today–no tradeable first-rounders in the immediate future, and a lack of younger talent to deal. The Knicks could potentially offer up some combination of Amar’e Stoudemire‘s expiring contract, Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr., Jose Calderon, and Shane Larkin, and try to involve another team to get Boston a first round pick. This package isn’t as enticing for Boston as some others they could receive, though if the Knicks could somehow acquire a 2015 first rounder from another team, that, Hardaway Jr, and another player or two isn’t too bad a fallback haul for Ainge.
In the video, MacMullan also mentioned the Lakers as a possibility for Rondo. Los Angeles could offer some combination of draft picks, Julius Randle, and one or both of Jeremy Lin‘s and Steve Nash‘s expiring deals, plus the Lakers probably could be talked into taking on Gerald Wallace‘s $20MM+ that he’s owed over the next two seasons as well. This wouldn’t be a bad return for Boston, especially if they could rid their books of Wallace’s deal in the process. One major hitch would be convincing Rondo to re-sign with the Lakers, which MacMullan said he wouldn’t be willing to do.
One team that I’ll throw into the mix here is the Pistons. They already have Josh Smith on board, who is close friends with Rondo and there was talk in the past that they would be interested in being teammates one day. This might give Detroit an edge in re-signing Rondo, plus it could also keep Smith happy in the short-term. For Detroit, it would give them a star presence at the point, and if Rondo was healthy it would probably guarantee the Pistons a playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference.
Detroit also has a very intriguing piece that might get the deal done in Greg Monroe. Monroe hasn’t signed his qualifying offer yet, which would severely limit his trade possibilities, and this means that a sign-and-trade deal is still very much on the table. Monroe has demonstrated that he has no intention of re-signing with the Pistons after next season, which means Detroit risks letting him leave for nothing in return. Monroe is exactly the type of high-ceiling younger player that Ainge would be interested in, plus the Pistons have a few other pieces they could mix-and-match along with draft picks to get this deal done. As for whether or not Ainge sees Monroe worthy of a long-term, big money commitment, that is uncertain.
There’s no guarantee that Rondo gets dealt prior to the season beginning. The trade market would have been more robust prior to the NBA Draft, when more teams could have gotten involved. But if Rondo has issued an ultimatum to the Celtics, then they may have no other alternative but to find the best offer they can. Vote below for where you think Rondo will begin the season, and then feel free to expand on your choice in the comments section.
Lionel Hollins returns to the sidelines this season, replacing Jason Kidd as the head coach of the Nets. In an interview with reporters, Hollins addressed a number of subjects, and Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com has some of the highlights.
Hollins still hasn’t spoken with Kevin Garnett, who hasn’t committed to returning for another season yet. In regards to Garnett, Hollins said, “He’s such a heckuva competitor. He’s very focused and intense, and you like that about a player that brings it every night, and you know what you’re going to get from that player. That’s huge. Just his level of competitiveness and his willingness to do whatever it takes to win.”
When asked about Paul Pierce‘s departure via free agency, Hollins said, “Players retire, players get traded, players leave in free agency. You take what you have and you work with them.”
When discussing rookie guard Bojan Bogdonovic, Hollins said, “I think he’s got great size, he’s also got great speed and quickness. He can shoot the ball, but also put the ball on the floor. He can post up. I’m looking for players. Players that have multiple skills and are not just one-dimensional.”
Asked if he would use Brook Lopez similar to how Marc Gasol was utilized in Memphis, Hollins said, “I’m gonna utilize Brook in a way that fits Brook. Like I said, he’s a very talented kid, skilled kid, and he’ll be a very talented piece of what we’re trying to do offensively, but I want him to be a big part of what we’re trying to do defensively as well.”
While a dark cloud hung over the Wolves franchise from the moment Kevin Love made it known he was prepared to move on, Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press reports that the team’s fan base has been energized by the package Minnesota received in the Love trade. The Wolves just set a team record for most season-ticket packages sold in a week, after netting Andrew Wiggins,Anthony Bennett, and Thaddeus Young in the franchise-altering move. Here’s more from Minnesota and the rest of the league:
Wiggins tells Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune that he is happy to have been traded to the Wolves, where he will be thrust into a much bigger role than he would have carved out with the superstar-heavy Cavs.“I wanted to go to a place where I’m pushed to do a lot and become a special piece for the team. It’ll help me reach my potential,” said Wiggins. “I said I wanted to play for a team that wanted me, and now I’m here and I feel nothing but love.”
The Pacers are one of the teams interested in Zoran Dragic, reports Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. The younger brother of Goran Dragic is under contract in Spain. It is unclear if the guard is poised to exercise any sort of escape clause that would allow him to come stateside, although he’s reportedly eager to someday play in the Association.
Joe Ingles is generating interest from multiple NBA teams, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com. Pick says the Australian wing, who spent last season with Maccabi Tel Aviv, will need to perform well at the FIBA World Cup to get a shot.
When you look through last season’s trades, you’ll quickly notice that many of the deals revolved around players on the last years of their contracts, second-round draft picks, and other low-impact assets. A good amount of the players traded last year have already moved on from the team that acquired them, and many of the moving pieces failed to significantly help or hinder the fate of the teams involved for 2013/14.
Still, any given trade’s legacy can drag on for many years and in unexpected ways, as Eddie Scarito’s Hoops Rumors Trade Retrospective series has shown. I’ve gathered some of last year’s trades with loose ends and/or ramifications that have already stretched beyond last season.
Kings and Raptors swap Rudy Gay, Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, and other pieces. While Quincy Acy, Aaron Gray, and John Salmons are no longer a part of either franchise, Gay, Vasquez, and Patterson are all on the same rosters through at least 2014/15. Toronto became a playoff team after this trade, and Gay played some of the best basketball of his career as a King. Each franchise hopes to have cemented part of its future core with this deal.
Cavaliers and Bulls swap Luol Deng, Andrew Bynum, and picks. Deng is now a member of the Heat, and Bynum is an unsigned free agent. The Bulls are still owed Sacramento’s first-round pick, which is top-10 protected through 2017, along with a handful of others from this deal. Chicago also avoided the tax by waiving Bynum’s partially guaranteed contract, and this deal marked the beginning of a strategy to chisel out enough cap flexibility acquire a marquee talent this summer. The team aimed for Carmelo Anthony, but ultimately signed Pau Gasol.
Sixers and Pacers swap Danny Granger, Evan Turner, and more. The Sixers still own the Warriors second-round pick for 2015, and Indiana re-signed Lavoy Allen after receiving him in this trade. The bigger names in Granger and Turner have both landed in Miami and Boston, respectively. The Sixers bought out Granger after the deal, and the remaining hole at shooting guard plays into Philadelphia’s plans to remain less than competitive for the coming season. Granger was no longer a high-impact player for the Pacers at the time of the deal, although the team struggled mightily after his departure and is now without Paul George and Lance Stephenson for 2014/15, offensive talents that made Granger expendable at the time.
A team’s track record of draft success and player development, combined with the deal’s timeliness, all factor into our expectations. Which trade do you expect to look back on as more than a wrinkle in the NBA landscape?