Month: May 2024

Celtics Push Back Guarantee Dates For Johnson, Jerebko

The Celtics are leaning toward fully guaranteeing the contract of Amir Johnson for the 2016/17 season, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe reports (via Twitter). If Johnson remains on the roster past July 7th his salary of $12MM would become locked in, but if the team parts ways with him prior to that date there would be no financial commitment on its part. The original date for Johnson’s guarantee to kick in was the 3rd, but the two sides agreed to extend the deadline, Jeff Goodman of tweets. The team also reached an identical arrangement with Jonas Jerebko, who is scheduled to earn $5MM next season if he remains on the roster past the 7th, Goodman relays.

Boston is desperately seeking to add a star-caliber player to its roster this summer and cutting ties with Johnson and/or Jerebko could free up valuable cap flexibility for a run at one. As it currently stands, the Celtics are expected to open free agency with approximately $18.8MM in cap space, but could free up enough room to float a max offer to a player like Kevin Durant if the duo were off the books. Pushing back the guarantee dates for both players will allow Boston more flexibility to test the market without stripping down its roster unnecessarily were executive Danny Ainge to strike out in his free agent pursuits.

Johnson made 79 appearances for Boston last season, including 74 starts. He averaged 7.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 blocks in 22.8 minutes per outing. The high-energy big man shot .585/.233/.570 from the field on the campaign. Jerebko, 29, saw action in 78 games, all as a reserve, and averaged 4.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per night. He shot .413/.398/.782 from the field.

Free Agent Notes: Batum, Parsons, Anderson

With Chandler Parsons reportedly seeking a max contract and the Mavs unwilling to pony up that amount, there is virtually “no chance” that the forward will return to Dallas next season, Tim MacMahon of relays. Parsons has added meetings with the Lakers and the Grizzlies to his agenda, the scribe writes. A max contract for Parsons with the Mavs, who own his early Bird rights, would be worth $98.8MM over four years. Other teams can offer him a maximum of $94.8MM over the same span, MacMahon notes.

With NBA free agency set to get underway with a vengeance at midnight, here are the latest news, notes and rumblings from around the league:

  • Unrestricted free agent swingman Nicolas Batum has scheduled face-to-face meetings with the Hornets and Mavericks in Dallas and will talk to the Knicks, Lakers and Wizards via phone, MacMahon tweets.
  • The Knicks are one of the teams scheduled to meet with Evan Turner once free agency kicks off, Ian Begley of relays (Twitter links). The scribe also notes that the Pelicans have strong interest in signing Turner, but Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops tweets that no meeting between the swingman and New Orleans has been set at this time.
  • The Timberwolves are interested in signing Knicks unrestricted free agent forward Lance Thomas for a bench role, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN relays (on Twitter). Minnesota will have some competition for Thomas’ services, with New York reportedly interested in re-signing the player and the Thunder, Nets and Mavericks all expected to make a play for the 28-year-old.
  • The Sixers are interested in bringing back Ish Smith as a reserve for next season, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes.
  • Unrestricted free agent power forward Jon Leuer has received interest from the Knicks, Lakers and Suns, Wolfson tweets. The 27-year-old made 67 appearances for Phoenix this past season and averaged 8.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per outing.
  • The Nets have a glaring hole at power forward after trading Thaddeus Young and may make a run at unrestricted free agent Ryan Anderson, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (via Twitter). The Rockets are trying to schedule a meeting with Anderson for this weekend, adds Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).
  • Point guard Rajon Rondo has a meeting scheduled with the Nets, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
  • The Trail Blazers have a face-to-face meeting scheduled in Los Angeles on Friday with Parsons and Portland guard Damian Lillard is expected to be in attendance, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group relays (via Twitter).
  • The Heat‘s free agent pitches will include the optimism of a return to action next season for big man Chris Bosh and the organizational stability provided by coach Erik Spoelstra, writes Michael Wallace of

Bucks To Extend John Hammond’s Contract

The Bucks and GM John Hammond have agreed to a one-year contract extension, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (Twitter links). The extension will run through the 2017/18 campaign, notes Wojnarowski. The dollar value of the arrangement is not yet known.

Milwaukee hired Justin Zanik as GM-in-waiting earlier this month and this extension will allow Hammond to work alongside the new executive and smooth the transition, Wojnarowski writes. Hammond will remain with the organization as a consultant after he steps down as GM, the scribe adds. The Bucks recently signed coach Jason Kidd to a three-year, $16.5MM extension of his own.

Hammond has been GM of the Bucks since 2008 and the franchise has gone 273-367 under his watch in the regular season and 5-12 in the postseason. During his tenure he won the 2009/10 Executive of the Year award, which was the only season under Hammond that the team has finished the year over .500.

Wolves Waive Greg Smith

4:31pm: The Wolves officially announced that they have waived Smith.

4:24pm: The Timberwolves have waived center Greg Smith, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports (via Twitter). Provided he clears waivers, the big man will become an unrestricted free agent as a result of the team parting ways with him.

The 25-year-old signed a multiyear deal with the team in March after his second 10-day pact with the club expired. Smith earned $137,380 for his work after inking the pact and was set to be paid $1,139,123 in 2016/17. The contract called for no guaranteed money, so Minnesota will not be on the hook for any salary by waiving Smith.

In 18 appearances for the Wolves Smith averaged 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .563/.000/.412.

Wayne Ellington Declines Player Option

Shooting guard Wayne Ellington has elected to decline his player option for next season and will become an unrestricted free agent, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (on Twitter). The scribe also confirms that point guard Shane Larkin has opted out of his deal as well. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders first reported that Larkin was opting out of his pact for 2016/17.

Ellington, 28, was set to earn $1,567,500 for his work in 2016/17, but with the increase in the salary cap for next season, should be able to markedly improve on that figure this offseason. He doesn’t project as a starter going forward, but he could help a squad in a reserve role.

The player made 76 appearances for Brooklyn this past season, including 41 starts. Ellington notched averages of 7.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.3 minutes per outing. His shooting line on the campaign was .389/.358/.857.

Carlos Boozer Eyeing NBA Return

Veteran forward Carlos Boozer is setting his sights on returning to the league next season, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. Boozer last played in an NBA regular season game during the 2014/15 campaign when he made 71 appearances for the Lakers. The 34-year-old has been working out in Miami over the past year and hopes there’s an opportunity to land a bench role on a team where he can mentor younger players, the scribe adds.

The previous season with the Lakers was a tough year,” Boozer told Wojnarowski “Kobe Bryant got hurt, Steve Nash went down and we had a young group still learning to win. I ended up taking the next year off, spent time with my kids and family and right now my body feels great. I feel terrific. I have been working out hard all year, and I miss the game. I want to play again.

Boozer told the Vertical that he’s been working out five to six days a week and believes that his body has benefited from the rest of a year away from the NBA grind. The big man hopes he and his agent, Rob Pelinka, can identify potential contending teams that could use his skill set and experience. “I’ve been in the league for 13 years, and played in All-Star Games and been part of a gold-medal team in the Olympics [in 2008], and I think that I can be a help in a mentoring role,” Boozer continued. “I think I can help some younger guys. I’ve played against Karl Malone and Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan and picked up a lot of things that can be helpful to young guys. I really like the opportunity of having a role on a team where I can give back on the knowledge that I’ve gained through the years.

In 861 career regular season games Boozer has averaged 16.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists to go along with a shooting line of .521/.071/.722.

Nets Waive Jarrett Jack

Apparently unable to find a suitable trade involving Jarrett Jack, the Nets have requested waivers on the veteran point guard, according to a press release from the team. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical had reported earlier in the week that the Nets would cut Jack before his salary for 2016/17 became guaranteed if they weren’t able to trade him.

Jack had been owed a $6.3MM salary for the coming season, but only $500K of that figure was guaranteed. The rest would have become guaranteed if the 32-year-old had remained on Brooklyn’s roster beyond today.

The Nets will save $5.8MM with the move, and will free up a little extra cap space by stretching Jack’s partially-guaranteed salary out over the next three seasons, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link). Jack will now count against the team’s cap for about $167K per year for the next three seasons, rather than $500K in 2016/17.

Of course, if Jack is claimed off waivers by another team, that club will take on the full amount of the contract, wiping that leftover $500K from Brooklyn’s cap. And given what we know about free agent costs this offseason, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see a team put in a claim on Jack and his relatively affordable one-year contract.

As the Nets’ depth chart at shows, Jack had been the only real point guard left on the roster in Brooklyn, with Shane Larkin and Donald Sloan eligible for free agency. Needless to say, the Nets will be in the market for point guard help during the next week, as they head into July armed with more than enough room for a max free agent or two.

Trade Notes: Rubio, McRoberts, Butler, Pistons

The Timberwolves didn’t find the sort of return they hoped for when they shopped Ricky Rubio before and during the draft, but Tom Thibodeau is optimistic that Rubio’s value will increase this offseason, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. As Deveney explains, Minnesota expects certain teams to become much more interested in Rubio once top free agent point guards like Mike Conley and Rajon Rondo come off the board, if those clubs are left without a viable starter at the position.

The Wolves haven’t ruled out the possibility of hanging onto Rubio and letting him and No. 5 overall pick Kris Dunn work together in 2016/17, but league sources tell Deveney that a handful of teams, including the Sixers, Rockets, and Bucks may have interest in the Spanish point guard. The Mavericks could also be a potential trade partner for Minnesota if Dallas doesn’t land Mike Conley, says Deveney.

Let’s check in on a few more trade rumors and notes from around the NBA…

  • The Heat continue to explore moving Josh McRoberts, but they may need to attach a future draft pick in such a deal, tweets Ethan J. Skolnick of The Miami Herald. McRoberts’ $5.782MM salary isn’t exorbitant for a player with his skill-set, but he’s coming off two poor seasons, both of which were shortened by injury issues.
  • During an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump on Wednesday, Jimmy Butler acknowledged that he knew heading into the offseason that the Bulls would likely trade either him or Derrick Rose, as Nick Friedell of details. Butler also isn’t 100% sure he’s safe, even after he made it through the draft without being dealt. “I don’t think anything is for certain,” Butler said. “I really don’t. I love the city of Chicago, Chicago basketball, I think everybody knows that. They drafted me; I’ve been here my entire career. Nothing is for certain.”
  • RealGM’s list of future traded draft picks has the details on the future second-rounder sent to the Pistons by the Magic in the Jodie Meeks trade. The criteria are some of the most convoluted I’ve seen on a traded pick, but the upshot is that Detroit will receive a 2019 second-round selection from either Cleveland, Houston, Portland, or Orlando.

Latest On Mike Conley

Mike Conley will have up to five outside suitors willing to offer him a maximum-salary contract when free agency opens late tonight, according to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal, who identifies the Mavericks, Rockets, Pelicans, Nets, and Lakers as the key challengers for the Grizzlies.

However, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (via Twitter), even though the veteran point guard is scheduled to meet with the Mavs on Friday, the Grizzlies remain in “very good position” in the Conley sweepstakes. Amick reports (via Twitter) that Dallas appears to pose the most significant threat to Memphis for Conley, but even that threat may prove to be “a nominal one.” The Rockets, meanwhile, aren’t expected to get a meeting with Conley at all, a source tells Calvin Watkins of

If the Grizzlies do indeed remain comfortably in the driver’s seat, despite the fact that the Mavericks and other teams are willing to put max offers on the table for Conley, it may be an indication that Memphis is willing to add a fifth year to its offer. Since the Grizzlies hold Conley’s Bird Rights, they’re the only club with the ability to offer a five-year deal, and that fifth year would be worth well over $30MM in the point guard’s age-33 season.

There have also been reports suggesting that Conley wanted assurances from the Grizzlies that they would be aggressive in fortifying the roster around him, in order to remain a contender for the foreseeable future. If he ends up agreeing to re-sign with the team, he likely will have received such assurances.

Assuming Conley and the Grizzlies can work out a deal, the two sides likely won’t finalize anything right away. The team can make better use of its cap room by keeping Conley’s $14MM cap hold on the books, using all its cap space, then going over the cap to lock up Conley.

Free Agent Rumors: Mavs, Batum, Mozgov, Lee

With July less than 10 hours away, free agent rumors around the NBA are heating up. Let’s dive right in and round up the latest…

  • With a Chandler Parsons departure appearing increasingly likely, the Mavericks are expected to meet with Nicolas Batum once free agency begins, according to Tim MacMahon and Marc J. Spears of Dallas’ ideal outcome in free agency would be to land Mike Conley and Hassan Whiteside, which wouldn’t leave cap room for Batum. But the team is doing its homework and is prepared to quickly move on to Plan B if Conley and/or Whiteside decide not to sign with Dallas.
  • The Rockets, Heat, Warriors, and Spurs are among the teams with interest in Timofey Mozgov, joining the Cavaliers and Knicks, tweets Dave McMenamin of Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today Sports adds (via Twitter) that the Lakers also could be in play for Mozgov, depending on how free agency plays out.
  • We can add the Magic to the list of teams that will express interest in Eric Gordon, per Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, who clarifies that Orlando still remains very invested in re-signing Evan Fournier (Twitter links). Earlier today, a report indicated that Houston, Memphis, New York, and New Orleans are eyeing Gordon.
  • There are increasing indications that coveted free agent wing Kent Bazemore won’t begin holding meetings for interested teams until after July 4th, according to’s Marc Stein (via Twitter).
  • The Knicks have some level of interest in pending free agent Courtney Lee, according to Stein and Ian Begley of New York appears to be focusing its efforts on adding a big man – possibly Joakim Noah – and a wing in free agency.
  • According to Mark Medina of, Evan Turner has expressed interest in about six NBA teams, including the Lakers and Celtics. It’s not clear whether Turner’s interest is reciprocated in each of those instances.