Month: July 2017

Rockets To Keep Michael Beasley

The Rockets will hold on to combo forward Michael Beasley, whose contract guarantee date is Monday, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Beasley’s salary for next season will be $1,403,611 if Houston does keep him on the roster.

Beasley became an impact player for the Rockets late in the season after signing with the team March 4th following the end of his season in China. Beasley appeared in 20 games for Houston, averaging 12.8 points and 4.9 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per night.

The 27-year-old Beasley was the second player taken in the 2008 draft, but he admits that he damaged his career with a lack of effort and a series of off-court incidents. Beasley was part of the Rockets’ Las Vegas Summer League roster earlier this month and spent most of the time as a mentor, telling younger players not to make the same mistakes he did.

Other players with salary guarantee dates on Monday are the Heat’s Rodney McGruder [$150,000 of $543,471 salary becomes guaranteed] and Josh Richardson [full $874,636 salary] and the Pacers’ Glenn Robinson III [full $1,050,500 salary].

Southwest Notes: Bogut, Simmons, Hield, Nowitzki

New Mavericks center Andrew Bogut was back on the court today for the first time since hurting his left knee in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, reports ESPN.com. Bogut played nine minutes for the Australian National Team in an Oympic tune-up against China. He wore a brace on his knee as he registered three rebounds and an assist. “I think his first game back from an injury is always difficult,” said Australian assistant coach Luc Longley. “We’re fairly happy with how he moved, how he looked on the court and will build from that.”

There’s more news from the Southwest Division:

  • Jonathon Simmons‘ contract with the Spurs is now fully guaranteed for next season, relays Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The second-year shooting guard will make $847,636 after the guarantee deadline passed Saturday.
  • The Pelicans expect first-round pick Buddy Hield to have ups and downs during his rookie season, writes Ian Thomsen of NBA.com. Hield struggled with his shot in his first summer league experience, connecting on just 33% from the field and 23% from 3-point range. New Orleans is counting on Hield to replace Eric Gordon, who signed with the Rockets in free agency. “With him it’s never going to be about effort,” said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry. “It’s just going to be about the experience of learning, and if that’s all you’ve got to worry about then I think he’s going to be a very good player. It’s going to be a roller coaster season for him. He’s going to have some 30-point games, he’s also going to have some 3-for-15 games. That’s all a part of learning as a rookie. But you tell me a rookie that’s come in this league that hasn’t done that.”
  • After years of being paid below his market value, the MavericksDirk Nowitzki deserves the two-year, $50MM deal he signed this summer, contends Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. Nowitzki said he took less in previous years to help Dallas assemble the best possible team and noted that the Mavericks were able to trade for Tyson Chandler and sign Chandler Parsons because of it.

Hoops Rumors Weekly Mailbag 7/25/16-7/31/16

We have an opportunity for you to hit us up with your questions in this, our weekly mailbag feature. Have a question regarding player movement, the salary cap or the NBA draft? Drop us a line at HoopsRumorsMailbag@Gmail.com. Here are this week’s inquiries:

Jalen Rose said that Russell Westbrook going to the Spurs should become a possibility so that they can form a super team against the Warriors. Could it become a possibility at the trade deadline or in free agency?  — Michael Thompson
There is probably nothing that Westbrook would enjoy more than forming his own super team to battle Kevin Durant and the Warriors. The Spurs certainly have the potential for that with Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge under long-term contracts, but getting Westbrook to San Antonio might be tricky. The Spurs don’t have the young talent or high draft picks that Oklahoma City would be seeking in return. The Celtics, for instance, could easily outbid their best offer. San Antonio’s hope is that Westbrook plays the entire season with the Thunder and becomes a free agent. The Spurs will have a little more than $93MM committed in salary against a projected cap of $102MM next summer. If newly signed Pau Gasol turns down his nearly $16.2MM player option for 2016/17, San Antonio will have just enough to become a serious bidder for Westbrook.

So all this talk about Greg Monroe‘s availability, what do you think will ultimately happen? Do you think the Bucks will make any more moves [besides anything Monroe related]? Could they be asking OKC about availability of Russell Westbrook? I think he would make a great fit, although I know it is HIGHLY unlikely he would want to stay. What is OKC looking in return if they decide to part ways with him?– Jake Bullis
The Bucks could put together a great package of young talent to offer the Thunder, but it’s far too risky without an assurance from Westbrook that he would re-sign. Something could happen on the Monroe front before the season starts. ESPN’s Zach Lowe said this week that the Bucks and Pelicans had been close to a deal involving Monroe around draft time. Monroe hails from New Orleans and reportedly would like to play there. He still has two seasons and $35MM left on his contract, so Milwaukee’s return might be minimal, but the Bucks could benefit just from getting past what looks like a failed experiment.

Do you think there will be an NBA lockout next year and will it shorten the 2017/18 season? — Greg Dizon
Either side can opt out of the current deal in December, so this question will be hanging over the league until it is resolved. A Washington Post story earlier this month brought a huge dose of pessimism to the situation. Revenues are increasing sharply, but both the owners and players want to increase their share. Many teams would like to institute a franchise tag similar to the NFL’s to keep teams like the Thunder from losing their best players. Also, the union would like to see limits on maximum salaries eliminated. Expect the Collective Bargaining Agreement to be reopened and a lot of tense moments before the standoff ends.

Hoops Links: Gay, Lakers, Knicks

Every Sunday, we link to some of the very best work from around the basketball blogosphere. Do you have a link to a great basketball blog post – either your own or someone else’s – that you want to see featured on Hoops Rumors? Then you should send it to us at HoopsLinks@gmail.com. Here’s this week’s rundown …

Please send submissions for Hoops Links to Zach at HoopsLinks@gmail.com.

Eastern Notes: Bulls, Cavs, Stephenson

Despite signing Rajon Rondo, who is 30, and Dwyane Wade, who will turn 35 in January, the Bulls did actually get younger this summer, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune details. Chicago will enter training camp with 10 players 25 or younger, compared with five last season, as Johnson points out. Wade’s presence should particularly help the maturation of Jimmy Butler, Johnson writes. Both Wade and Rondo have said the Bulls are Butler’s to lead.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Pacers do not appear close to re-signing unrestricted free agent Lance Stephenson, per Mark Montieth of NBA.com, who echoes earlier reports. The Pacers were looking for a point guard to fill their final roster spot and Aaron Brooks fit their needs better than another wing player like Stephenson, Montieth writes in a mailbag response.
  • Kay Felder impressed during the summer league and his emergence makes him one of the more intriguing rookies to watch this season, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes. With Matthew Dellavedova no longer on the Cavs, Felder, who is a 5’9″ point guard, has a decent shot at a backup role, Washburn adds. Felder’s size, however, does put him at a disadvantage, but, as Washburn points out, the Cavs thought highly enough of him to pay $2.4MM for his rights.

Heat Notes: Richardson, Wade, Waiters

Josh Richardson‘s minimum salary deal doesn’t become guaranteed until August 1st, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel reports. It’s the maturity of the 2015 second round draft pick of the Heat which allowed him to play without thinking about the situation, the scribe relays. Richardson’s minimum-scale 2017/18 salary doesn’t become guaranteed until June 30th, Winderman adds.

Here’s more out of Miami:

  • Rodney McGruder‘s guarantee will jump from $100,000 for the upcoming season to $150,000 on Aug. 1st, Winderman relays in the same post.
  • If the Heat had offered more money up front or money for a third season then Dwyane Wade would have never bolted for the Bulls, Winderman contends in a mailbag response. It’s not like Wade had a falling out with one of the Heat’s veterans, so the star leaving for his hometown was very much a money issue, Winderman adds.
  • The Heat recently added Heat Dion Waiters and the team is looking at him as a potential starter at shooting guard, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details. Last season, however, Waiters’ stats indicate that he was far better as a backup, as Jackson points out.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Olynyk, Sloan, Nets

The Raptors have focused on keeping as much of their own talent as possible in free agency, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Over the years, Toronto has been a place that star players have left, with the list including Marcus Camby, Damon Stoudamire, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh. This summer, the Raptors didn’t have the cap room to keep backup center Bismack Biyombo, but they held onto DeMar DeRozan as part of a core that is largely tied up with long-term contracts. “The improvement of our team is going to come from inside,” said GM Masai Ujiri.Kyle [Lowry], DeMar, and Jonas [Valanciunas] and Patrick [Patterson] and Terrence [Ross]. They will probably take it to another level.” The Raptors’ major addition in free agency was former Boston power forward Jared Sullinger.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics will probably wait until next offseason to make a long-term decision on Kelly Olynyk, Washburn writes in the same piece. Olynyk can sign an extension up to the October 30th deadline, but Boston wants to see the 25-year-old big man for one more season before making a commitment. Olynyk has missed 43 games in his first three seasons, and Washburn writes that the Celtics want him to display more “toughness and consistency.”
  • Donald Sloan, who played 61 games for the Nets last season, has reached an agreement to play in China with the Guangdong Tigers, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. His teammates will include former NBA All-Star Carlos Boozer and one-time lottery pick Yi Jianlian. The 28-year-old Sloan averaged 7.0 points and 4.4 assists with Brooklyn in 2015/16.
  • The $100K guarantees the Nets gave to Yogi Ferrell and Egidijus Mockevicius are the largest the organization has ever handed out to an undrafted college player, according to NetsDaily. Brooklyn signed both players to partially guaranteed training camp contracts this week, along with Beau Beech, who got $45K in guaranteed money. Brooklyn now has 18 players under contract, and the website projects veteran big man Henry Sims and summer league standout Marcus Georges-Hunt as possibilities if GM Sean Marks decides to go with the league maximum of 20.

And-Ones: Silver, Wafer, Restricted Free Agents

NBA commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t believe the one-and-one contracts that LeBron James and Kevin Durant have signed are good for the league, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The arrangements give the players one guaranteed season with the chance to opt out and sign a bigger deal the following year. Durant did it to gain the benefits of being a 10-year veteran when he hits free agency again next summer. James is also maximizing his earnings, while giving the Cavaliers incentive to put the best possible team around him each season.

“One of the unintended consequences I feel on behalf of the players is the fact that they end up putting themselves in this position where they’re taking enormous financial risk,” Silver said. “The system is designed for guys to enter into long term contracts, so, and you can only get so much insurance. So one of the unintended consequences is they take risk beyond what we would like to see them take.” After a month that saw several stars change teams, the commissioner said he would like to work with the union to modify the system to give franchises a better opportunity to keep their own players.

There’s more NBA-related news this morning:

  • Von Wafer, who last played in the NBA in 2012, is campaigning for another shot on social media, relays Kurt Helin of NBCSports.com. Wafer, who just turned 31, had short stints with the Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Blazers, Rockets, Celtics and Magic, but never lasted more than one season in any location. In a series of tweets, Wafer says he has a different mentality now and warns younger players not to follow his example.
  • Restricted free agency typically sours the relationship between players and their teams, writes Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders. Because teams are reluctant to tie up cap space for three days while waiting to see if offer sheets are matched, restricted free agents are typically at the end of the line when it comes to getting paid. Also, they often build up resentment toward their original franchise if their offer sheets are matched. As examples, Lang cites Jeff Teague, Nicolas Batum, Paul Millsap, Eric Gordon, Roy Hibbert, Marcin Gortat and DeAndre Jordan.

Bucks To Sign Thon Maker, Malcolm Brogdon

The Bucks plan to sign first-round pick Thon Maker and second-rounder Malcolm Brogdon today, tweets The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

Maker, the 10th pick in last month’s draft, will receive a four-year rookie contract, according to Charania. He reportedly impressed Bucks officials during the Las Vegas Summer League with his speed, effort and defensive prowess.

The Sudanese native was a surprise selection at the 10th spot, considering his lack of experience against top-notch competition. Maker, 19, spent last season at Orangeville District Secondary School in Ontario, Canada. He also played for two high schools in Louisiana and one in Virginia. His draft eligibility had been in dispute, but the NBA ruled that he graduated from high school in June of 2015.

Brogdon, a 6’5″ shooting guard out of Virginia, will receive a three-year deal. He was the highest second-round pick still left unsigned. Brogden averaged 18.2 points and shot better than 39% from 3-point range in his senior season with the Cavaliers.

 

Western Rumors: Thunder, McCollum, Suns, Barnes

The Thunder still need to address their perimeter shooting, according to Eric Horne of The Oklahoman. Free agent Dorell Wright could be an option at small forward, Horne speculates, but the club is taking a cautious approach with its payroll. Not only are the Thunder hoping that Russell Westbrook signs an extension but they also have to plan on commitments to Steven Adams, Andre Roberson and Victor Oladipo, who are also eligible for extensions and can become restricted free agents next summer, Horne adds.

In other doings concerning the Western Conference:

  • C.J. McCollum‘s contract extension with the Blazers falls shy of the maximum, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. McCollum agreed to an extension that kicks in for the 2017/18 season and is worth $106MM over those four years.
  • Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle helped convince the Suns to claim John Jenkins off waivers in February, Jenkins told Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. When Dallas needed to create roster space after the trade deadline, Jenkins became the odd man out. He wound up appearing in 22 games with the Suns, averaging 5.0 points in 13.0 minutes, and remains on their roster for next season. “I was waiting for the waiver period to pass to see if my contract would be cleared and if I’d become a free agent,” Jenkins told Kennedy of his time on waivers. “Then, I was told by my agent that Coach Carlisle called the Phoenix Suns on my behalf and spoke highly of me. He looked out for me big time and I really appreciate that.”
  • Harrison Barnes finds himself in an awkward spot with Team USA, playing alongside ex-Warriors teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and his replacement Kevin Durant, Steve Aschburner of NBA.com reports. Barnes signed a four-year, $95MM offer sheet to join the Mavericks after Durant committed to Golden State. “It’s weird. It’s like the last chapter we’ll play together in our basketball careers. But we’re embracing it,” Thompson told Aschburner. “HB’s a great guy. … He’s only scratched the surface of what he can do. I’m happy for him, and me and Draymond are happy for one more go-round because he really is a great teammate.”
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