Month: September 2023

Rockets Re-Sign Francisco Garcia

SEPTEMBER 30TH: The team inked Garcia to a new contract Monday, according to Pincus (Twitter link). Presumably, it’s guaranteed for the minimum salary and covers one season, just like the original pact.

SEPTEMBER 11TH: It appears as though Garcia’s contract with the Rockets has become invalid, likely because he failed to take his physical in time, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). The matter is likely clerical in nature and Garcia will probably ink a new version of the contract and take his physical soon, Pincus says in a pair of tweets. The collective bargaining agreement stipulates that a player must report for his physical no later than the third day following the time at which the contract becomes official. That would have been August 27th, three days before the start of the FIBA World Cup in Spain, where Garcia played for the Dominican Republic team. Rockets GM Daryl Morey referred today to signings that had been delayed by the World Cup as the last items on his offseason agenda, as Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston notes on Twitter.

AUGUST 22ND, 11:28am: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

AUGUST 21ST, 6:52pm: The Rockets will re-sign veteran guard Francisco Garcia to a one-year deal, reports Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (via Twitter). Berman confirmed the report with Aaron Goodwin, Garcia’s agent, after Houston GM Daryl Morey welcomed back the Louisville product to his roster on Twitter. The deal is for the veteran’s minimum of $1.32MM, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, which is equivalent to the minimum salary option Garcia turned down from the team in May.

“He liked the opportunity,” Goodwin told Berman. “He felt he could continue to help the team in a number of ways outside of just being a good guard on the team. He thought he’d have an opportunity to play there a little bit more with Chandler Parsons being gone.” (Twitter links here)

We also heard from Goodwin last week, when he told Chris Haynes of that Garcia had not yet re-signed with Houston. Though he turned down his option with the Rockets, there were reports that the sides maintained mutual interest. The Jazz, Pelicans and Nets all reportedly had interest in Garcia, who preferred to play for a title contender.

Garcia averaged 19.7 minutes over the course of 55 games in his second season with the Rockets in 2013/14. He shot a paltry 40.1 percent from the field — he’s a career 43 percent shooter — but his 35.8 percent mark from three was near his career average. While Trevor Ariza figures to be the man primarily responsible for replacing Parsons, Garcia has carved out a nice long-range role over the past two seasons in Houston.

Pacific Rumors: Morrises, Liggins, Gay, Kobe

Marcus Morris says he thinks Markieff Morris should have received a greater share of the four-year, $52MM combined total of the extensions that agent Leon Rose negotiated for the twins, as he told reporters, including Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Markieff said it would be OK if he and his brother ended up on different teams, but he added that there was no reason for them to walk away from what the Suns had to offer.

“It’s a dream come true,” Markieff said. “We feel like we’re home together. When they offer us great money to stay together, why not take it instead of going through free agency? We’re both going to have great seasons. … The game is more fun together. It means more. We’re definitely past that point of not being able to play apart, but another four years definitely won’t hurt anything.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • DeAndre Liggins doesn’t appear on the training camp roster the Clippers released today, so it looks like he won’t be joining the team after all. There were conflicting reports about whether he had a deal to do so.
  • Rudy Gay said he briefly began extension talks with the Kings over the summer, but he put them on hold when he joined Team USA, notes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Still, Gay’s not opposed to having his agents at Octagon Sports resume talks, Jones adds.
  • Kobe Bryant isn’t ruling out the idea of playing beyond his contract, which ends in the summer of 2016, shortly before his 38th birthday, observes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports“Whether I do or not, we’ll have to see that two years from now,” Bryant said. “I don’t know, but I could [play longer]. Physically, I don’t see an end to the tunnel.”
  • Confidence in the continued development of the team’s young players made the Warriors hesitate to trade for Kevin Love, as GM Bob Myers told NBA TV, while Klay Thompson, in his NBA TV appearance, expressed appreciation for Steve Kerr‘s role in forestalling a swap. Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group provides a transcription. “If it is the truth, it’s awesome,” Thompson said of Kerr’s opposition to a move. “I appreciate Steve for that. It just makes me want to play even harder for him if he really did believe that, so it gives me a new sense of confidence, really.”

Clippers Sign Joe Ingles

SEPTEMBER 30TH: The deal is official, the team announced, listing Ingles on the preseason roster.

SEPTEMBER 25TH, 10:47pm: The signing has taken place, according to the RealGM transactions log.

2:32pm: Dan Woike of the Orange County Register hears the deal is non-guaranteed, contradicting the earlier report (Twitter link). Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times also has it as a non-guaranteed deal, and he confirms it’s for the minimum (on Twitter).

12:16pm: Ingles’ representatives at Priority Sports confirmed the deal, via Twitter.

11:35am: The deal is guaranteed, Pick tweets.

SEPTEMBER 16TH, 8:45pm: The Clippers and Australian swingman Joe Ingles have agreed to a one-year deal, reports Marc Stein of It’s almost certainly for the minimum, since that’s all the Clippers can hand out. It’s unclear whether the pact is guaranteed, as Stein wrote earlier this month that Ingles would likely land a guaranteed deal with an NBA team, while Ingles told Boty Nagy of The Courier Mail, a Queensland-based newspaper in Australia, that he wouldn’t be receiving any guaranteed money.

Stein referred to Ingles a couple of weeks ago as a “virtual lock” to sign in the NBA, with seven or eight teams in pursuit as he put on a strong showing in the FIBA World Cup. The Grizzlies and Sixers were among those clubs, though Stein said Ingles was unlikely to end up in Philadelphia, even given his ties to former Australian national team coach and current Sixers bench boss Brett Brown. The guaranteed salaries on the books for Memphis put them only about $1.2MM shy of the luxury tax line, and Stein cites that as reason why the Grizzlies didn’t make as hard a push for Ingles this season as they did last year, when he rejected a two-year offer from the team. Still, the minimum salary that Ingles is in line to receive from the Clippers wouldn’t have put the Grizzlies into the tax, and Marc Gasol, who can become a free agent next summer, supported the idea of bringing his former Spanish-league teammate to Memphis. The Hawks, Jazz, Pacers and Bucks are the other NBA clubs to have been linked to Ingles over the past two offseasons.

The 6’8″ Ingles, who turns 27 next month, spent last season playing for new Cavs coach David Blatt with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, averaging 6.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 21.2 minutes per game as a part-time starter. His numbers were better in the World Cup, as he put up 11.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 3.4 APG in nearly 31.0 MPG. Ingles had a tough time generating interest on the European professional circuit before his World Cup performance, according to David Pick of, yet he turned down private workout invitations from NBA teams during summer league in July, Pick tweets.

The Clippers have been carrying 14 fully guaranteed pacts plus a deal with DeAndre Liggins that’s presumably no more than partially guaranteed. The team has kept fewer than 15 players on the opening-night roster in recent years, but perhaps new owner Steve Ballmer is willing to change that.

Clippers Sign Jared Cunningham

SEPTEMBER 30TH: The deal is official, the team announced, listing Cunningham on the preseason roster.

SEPTEMBER 22ND: Cunningham’s deal is in fact non-guaranteed, as Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times reveals in his updated Basketball Insiders salary page for the Clippers.

SEPTEMBER 20TH: The Clippers have signed Jared Cunningham, according to the RealGM transactions log. No official announcement from the team has been made yet, and details of the contract are not yet known. It is most likely a non-guaranteed training camp deal for the 22-year-old shooting guard out of Oregon State. This signing ups the Clippers’ preseason roster count to 18, with 15 of those deals being fully guaranteed.

Cunningham has appeared in a total of 21 games over two seasons in the league, and his most recent action came with the Kings last season when he parlayed a 10-day contract into a deal that covered the remainder of the 2013/14 season. His career numbers are 2.0 PPG, 0.4 RPG, and 0.4 APG. His career slash line is .343/.300/.833.

Los Angeles already has J.J. Redick, C.J. Wilcox, and Jamal Crawford on the roster at the shooting guard position, which makes it a real longshot for Cunningham to remain on the roster for opening night.

Nuggets Sign Jerrelle Benimon

SEPTEMBER 30TH: The signing is official, the Nuggets announce as they release their training camp roster.

AUGUST 19TH: The team has yet to announce the transaction, but Benimon has indeed signed a contract with Denver, according to the RealGM transactions log. The power forward is one of three players with partially guaranteed contracts on the Nuggets, as our roster counts show.

AUGUST 14TH: Undrafted rookie Jerrelle Benimon has agreed on a partially guaranteed two-year deal with the Nuggets, league sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter).  Benimon worked out for the Nuggets in mid-June and even though he went undrafted, he clearly made a strong impression with them.

The former Towson standout helped engineer the greatest single-season turnaround in Division-I history.  The Tigers went from a 1–31 record in 2011/12 to an 18–13 mark in the following year.  In that year, the 6’8″ forward averaged 17.1 PPG and 11.2 RPG off of 53% shooting from the floor.  For an encore, Benimon put up 18.7 PPG and 11.2 RPG in his senior season.

Nuggets Sign Marcus Williams

SEPTEMBER 30TH: The signing is official, the Nuggets announce as they release their training camp roster.

SEPTEMBER 23RD: The deal has been signed according to the RealGM transaction log, although no announcement from the team has been made yet.

SEPTEMBER 22ND, 10:52am: The contract will cover one season, Charania notes via Twitter.

10:30am: The Nuggets and former University of Arizona forward Marcus Williams have agreed to a deal, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). Williams is not to be confused with the former University of Connecticut point guard by the same name. It’s likely a minimum-salary deal for camp, though the Nuggets have most of their $5.305MM mid-level exception to give him more. It’s not clear whether the deal includes any guaranteed salary.

Williams played 11 NBA regular season games in two seasons with the Clippers and Spurs after San Antonio made him the 33rd overall pick in 2007, but he’s been out of the league since the Spurs waived him in the 2009 preseason. He’s spent time with San Antonio’s D-League affiliate since then, and he’s also been a mainstay for China’s Shanxi Zhongyu. He’s averaged 30.7 points over the last three seasons with the Chinese club, a mark that’s put him near the top of the scoring leaders in the Chinese Basketball Association, a circuit dotted with NBA veterans.

Denver appears to offer Williams, who’ll turn 28 in November, a decent chance to make it to opening night, since the Nuggets had been carrying only 13 fully guaranteed deals. Jerrelle Benimon, Erick Green and Quincy Miller all have partially guaranteed minimum salaries.

Contract Details: Papanikolaou, Suns, Sixers

Teams have made several roster moves in the past few days as they’ve prepared for camp, leaving a few loose ends to resolve contractually. Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders provides a few answers to the questions left unresolved, so we’ll pass along his revelations here:

  • The Rockets essentially reversed the salaries in each year of Kostas Papanikolaou‘s deal after the league forced the team to sign him to a new contract. He’ll make slighly more than $4.591MM this year and nearly $4.798MM next season, Pincus reports (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether the contract has guarantee dates, like the original pact, but it does include a signing bonus of almost $207K, according to Pincus (Twitter links).
  • The extensions that Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris signed with the Suns include salaries that go down in year two before rising again in years three and four, Pincus reveals (Twitter links). An earlier report had indicated that they were all escalating salaries.
  • Zoran Dragic will only make $1.5MM this year and the same amount in 2015/16, so his Suns contract is slightly less lucrative than thought, as Pincus details (Twitter link). Those figures include a signing bonus of about $413K.
  • The Sixers used some of their cap space to give Jerami Grant, this year’s No. 39 overall pick, a four-year contract that’s fully guaranteed for the first two seasons and non-guaranteed thereafter, according to Pincus (Twitter link). The final season also features a team option, Pincus adds. The salary of nearly $885K in the first year is more than the rookie minimum, but it’s otherwise a minimum-salary arrangement.
  • Christian Watford‘s new deal with the Celtics covers one year at the minimum salary and is non-guaranteed, Pincus shows (Twitter link). That makes him eligible to have signed an Exhibit 9 Contract that would keep the C’s from paying him if he were to suffer an injury in preseason, though it’s not clear whether it is indeed one of those sorts of pacts.

Proposed Lottery Changes Garner Broad Support

Teams are giving widespread support to the league’s proposal to more evenly distribute the chances that lottery teams have of winning the top overall pick, sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe. Owners could vote on the proposal, which would reduce the chance the worst team has at the No. 1 pick from 25% to 11%, as early as this season, Lowe adds. It’s unclear when the change would take effect. Lowe wrote in July that the new rules might be in place in time for the 2015 lottery, but followed a few weeks later to note that many took issue with the idea of such a sudden change.

The proposal, one of several the league has considered, didn’t initially inspire much fervent support, but it appears from Lowe’s latest dispatch that it has picked up steam. A “powerful distaste” for the radical rebuilding effort the Sixers are undertaking is fueling the desire to lessen the incentive that teams have to bottom out, Lowe writes. Philly’s brass is at least cool to the idea of change, if not actively resisting it.

There is concern around the league that making it tougher for the very worst teams to win the lottery will make it more difficult for small-market teams to succeed, according to Lowe, since building through the draft is a cost-effective alternative to marquee free agent pursuits. Still, it’s unclear whether this fear is enough to derail any changes or prompt the league to adopt milder reforms.

Northwest Notes: Jackson, Aldridge, Rubio

Reggie Jackson‘s continued insistence on starting for the Thunder complicates the notion of an extension for the fourth-year guard, as The Oklahoman’s Anthony Slater examines, writing that a deal before the October 31st deadline would be “surprising.” Still, Kevin Durant tells Sam Amick of USA Today that Jackson loves the organization and believes that “it’s going to all work out,” as a report this weekend indicated that the Oklahoma City front office is enamored with Jackson. While we wait to see what happens as the Thunder face an extension deadline with a talented sixth man for the second time in three years, here’s more from around the Northwest Division:

Central Rumors: Thompson, Marion, Turner

The Cavs haven’t spoken with agent Rich Paul about an extension for Tristan Thompson, as Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer hears, but it’s not necessarily a sign that the sides don’t intend to strike a deal before the October 31st deadline to do so, Haynes indicates. Let’s wrap up more from the Cavs and the Central:

  • Shawn Marion explains that the Cavs‘ acquisition of Kevin Love convinced him to spurn more lucrative offers from other clubs and sign with Cleveland, according to Jason Lloyd of the Beacon Journal.
  • Cavs GM David Griffin admits LeBron James was critical in Cleveland’s success in recruiting other big name players this summer, as Lloyd details in the same piece. “You couldn’t have a better recruiter than LeBron James,” Griffin said. “When you cut LeBron loose in a free agency path, you tend to get results you don’t get otherwise. To say he’s been an amazing partner this offseason would be a gross understatement.”
  • The Pacers and Evan Turner never attempted to negotiate a new deal that would have brought the former second overall pick back to Indiana for the 2014/15 season, reports Andrew Perna of RealGM (on Twitter). “We both just decided to go our separate ways, said Turner.
  • Greg Monroe‘s decision to sign his qualifying offer means he will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, but he says that doesn’t necessarily mean that he wants to leave the Pistonstweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit News. Monroe also dismissed the notion that he doesn’t like to play alongside Josh Smith, according to Ellis (Twitter link).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.