Month: November 2018

J.J. Redick Nearly Signed With Pacers

The Sixers brought back J.J. Redick on a one-year, $12.5MM deal this offseason, though they almost lost him to an Eastern Conference rival.

“I almost signed with [the Pacers]. I was an hour away, two hours away. I was very close. I had a 5 p.m. deadline. Basically, it was 12:30, 1 o’clock in the afternoon when Philly changed the offer,” Redick said on his podcast (h/t Dan Feldman of NBC Sports).

Indiana wasn’t able to land Redick. The team then signed another sharpshooter in Tyreke Evans, whose deal runs for one year and $12MM.

Redick scored 17.1 points per game in his first season with the Sixers, knocking down 42.0% of his shots from behind the arc. He saw 30.2 minutes per contest in the regular season, but the Sixers upped his total to 34.2 during their 10 playoff games.

Western Notes: Butler, Lillard, Anthony

The Timberwolves have given off the impression that they won’t trade Jimmy Butler but Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders speculates that a rocky start to the season could make the franchise reconsider its position.

The Western Conference is as competitive as ever and Minnesota is no lock to be a playoff team. Should the Wolves slide in the standings, Butler’s frustration with his teammates could grow and with only one season remaining on his deal, there won’t be much time to mend the relationship.

The front office has tried to get Butler to sign an extension with no success. However, it is worth noting that it’s in the 28-year-old’s best interest to wait and sign a new deal in the offseason rather than inking an extension now since he’s eligible for a larger starting salary this summer.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Trail Blazers have no clear path to improve enough in order to compete with the Warriors for the Western Conference crown and Kyler (in the same piece) wonders whether it will force Portland to consider dealing Damian Lillard. Kyler adds that the point guard is “loyal to a fault,” meaning a lack of success for the franchise won’t result in him demanding a trade.
  • The Rockets‘ loss of Trevor Ariza and addition of Carmelo Anthony has critics yet again doubting the team. Coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t worried about the skeptics, as Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle relays. “It’s our job to prove them wrong,” D’Antoni said. “And we did it for two years now.”
  • Solomon (in the same piece) notes how many around the league doubted the Chris PaulJames Harden pairing, believing that with only one ball, the two players couldn’t possibly flourish. The Rockets ended last season with a record of 44-4 in games in which both players started and Solomon cautions against writing off the Anthony acquisition without seeing him alongside the team’s stars.

Timberwolves Sign C.J. Williams To Two-Way Contract

7:00pm: The Timberwolves have officially signed Williams to a two-way deal, the team announced today in a press release.

11:23am: The Timberwolves are in the process of finalizing a two-way contract with swingman C.J. Williams, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Williams recently became an unrestricted free agent after being waived by the Clippers last Friday.

[RELATED: 2018/19 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

Williams, 28, began his professional career in 2012 after going undrafted out of N.C. State. Having played for international and G League teams for the last several years, the 6’5″ guard caught on with the Clippers in 2017, signing a two-way contract with the club last October. He made his NBA debut in November and appeared in 38 overall games for the Clippers, averaging 5.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, and 1.1 APG in 18.6 minutes per contest.

Williams’ solid showing on his two-way deal earned him a standard NBA multiyear contract near the end of the 2017/18 season, but it was mostly non-guaranteed, making his hold on a roster spot precarious. He became in expendable this summer in L.A., where the Clips have 16 players on guaranteed salaries for 2018/19.

With Williams on the verge of joining the club, Minnesota has now filled both of its two-way contract slots. Former Rhode Island shooting guard Jared Terrell signed a two-way deal with the club earlier this month. Terrell and Williams should provide the Timberwolves with some extra depth on the wing, though they’ll only be eligible to spend up to 45 days with the NBA team during the G League season.

Stein’s Latest: Sixers, Warriors, Rockets, Nets

The Sixers’ much-anticipated offseason fell far short of expectations, Marc Stein of the New York Times opines in his latest newsletter (Sign-up link).

Philadelphia didn’t come close to signing either LeBron James or Paul George in the free agent market and couldn’t swing a deal with the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard, Stein continues. With Leonard landing in Toronto, the Sixers no longer have a clear path to the conference finals. They’re also still looking for a GM and the most consequential moves they made were re-signing J.J. Redick and dealing for Wilson Chandler, Stein adds.

We have more of Stein’s insights:

  • The Warriors were the biggest winners in the offseason. They not only stunned the NBA world by signing DeMarcus Cousins but they also made some underrated moves, such as locking up coach Steve Kerr to a long-term contract and signing serviceable forward Jonas Jerebko.
  • The Rockets’ offseason has been unfairly criticized. Re-signing Clint Capela to a team-friendly contract was a major coup and they should extract more production out of Carmelo Anthony than any other team in the league could.
  • The Nets will be active on the free agent market next summer but they won’t spend money simply because they’ll have a lot of cap space. Kyrie Irving will be a target if he declines his player option and becomes a free agent.

Kings Sign Jamel Artis To Two-Year Deal

Forward Jamel Artis has agreed to a two-year contract with the Kings, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The signing is official, per RealGM’s transactions log.

Artis played 15 games, including one start, with the Magic last season. Artis, 25, posted averages of 5.1 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 1.2 APG in 18.6 MPG.

The contract is a training-camp deal, as Sacramento already has 16 players with guaranteed contracts on the roster. Both Wojnarowski and James Ham of NBC Bay Area Sports (Twitter link) note that Artis will be competing for a spot on the 15-man roster during camp.

The Kings do have a two-way contract slot available.

The 6’7” Artis went undrafted in 2017 after playing college ball at Pittsburgh. He was released by the Knicks during training camp, then signed a two-way deal with Orlando.

The Magic declined to give him a qualifying offer this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent. Artis hooked on with the Cavs’ summer league squad and averaged 11.8 PPG, 6.6 RPG and 1.8 APG in 31.4 MPG while playing five games in Las Vegas.

Pistons Sign Center Johnny Hamilton

Center Johnny Hamilton has signed a partially-guaranteed, one-year contract with the Pistons, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype tweets.

It’s a training camp deal and he’ll likely be an affiliate player who will spend next season with their G League club, the Grand Rapids Drive, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets. Hamilton showed strong scoring instincts on the Pistons’ summer league team in Las Vegas, Langlois adds.

Hamilton, 24, played one season with the University of Texas-Arlington after transferring from Virginia Tech. The 7-footer posted averages of 11.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG and 2.3 BPG at UTA. He was eligible for this year’s draft but wasn’t selected.

He appeared in three summer league games and averaged 4.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 1.7 BPG in 12.7 MPG.

Bucks Sign Brandon McCoy To Camp Contract

The Bucks announced a series of signings today in a press release, adding Jaylen Morris on a two-way deal and inking a pair of players to training camp contracts. While we already knew that the signings of Morris and Travis Trice were official, the club’s confirmation that undrafted rookie Brandon McCoy has also formally signed a camp deal is new.

McCoy, who was the No. 73 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com prior to the 2018 draft, declared as an early entrant after his freshman year at UNLV. However, the 7’1″ forward/center went undrafted after averaging a double-double (16.9 PPG, 10.3 RPG) to go along with 1.8 BPG in his lone college season. He played sparingly for Milwaukee in two Summer League games earlier this month.

Having officially added McCoy, Trice, and Morris to their offseason roster, the Bucks are now carrying 19 players, one away from the 20-man limit. The team will have to decide by Wednesday whether or not to guarantee Brandon Jennings‘ $2.22MM salary for 2018/19. If Milwaukee moves on from Jennings, it would open up a second spot on the roster.

McCoy’s agreement with the Bucks was first reported back in June. At that time, Missouri’s Jordan Barnett was said to have received a training camp invite from the club as well. It’s not clear whether Barnett accepted it, or if it’s still on the table.

Kings Sign Wenyen Gabriel To Two-Way Deal

JULY 31: The Kings have officially signed Gabriel to a two-way contract, the club confirmed today in a press release.

JULY 28: According to James Ham of NBC Sports California, the Kings are signing undrafted rookie Wenyen Gabriel to a two-way contract. David Aldridge of TNT first reported that the Kentucky product and Sacramento were close to a deal.

Gabriel, 21, averaged 6.8 PPG and 5.4 RPG as a sophomore last season at Kentucky, but showed the ability to protect the rim (1.1 BPG) and hit outside shots (.396 3PT%).

Gabriel, who figures to spend most of his time with the Kings’ G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, also performed relatively well during the NBA Summer League, appearing in all five games for the Kings in Las Vegas and averaging a similar stat line of 6.8 PPG and 5.6 RPG during 16.4 minutes per game.

The Kings don’t currently have any two-way players on their roster for the 2018/19 season, so another spot remains open after the Gabriel signing.

Spurs Waive Brandon Paul

The Spurs have officially waived shooting guard Brandon Paul, the team announced today in a press release. Paul will become an unrestricted free agent on Thursday, assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers.

Paul, 27, made his NBA debut last season and appeared in 64 total games for the Spurs, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.1 RPG in just 9.0 minutes per contest.

Paul’s $1,378,242 salary would have become guaranteed if he had remained under contract through Wednesday, so the Spurs had to make a decision on him this week. Due to that August 1 trigger date, a team placing a waiver claim on Paul would have to be willing to guarantee his 2018/19 salary. Either way, San Antonio won’t be on the hook for that money.

With Paul no longer under contract, the Spurs have 14 players on guaranteed salaries, leaving one spot open for the regular season roster. That may bode well for second-round pick Chimezie Metu, one of the few 2018 draft picks who remains unsigned. San Antonio could fill out its 15-man squad by inking Metu to his first NBA contract.

Mavericks Sign Terry Larrier

The Mavericks have signed undrafted rookie forward Terry Larrier to their offseason roster, the team announced today in a press release. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but a minimum-salary deal with little to no guaranteed money seems likely.

Larrier, who began his college career at VCU, transferred to UConn and averaged 13.8 PPG and 3.9 RPG in two seasons for the Huskies. The 6’8″ forward struggled from inside the arc in his junior year, but improved his 3PT% to .378.

After going undrafted as an early entrant last month, Larrier played for the Grizzlies in the Utah Summer League at the start of July, then joined the Mavericks’ Summer League squad in Las Vegas. He didn’t play major minutes for either team, but Dallas saw enough to give him a spot on its 20-man offseason roster.

Larrier may ultimately end up with the Texas Legends, Dallas’ G League affiliate.