Month: May 2024

Hawks Sign Ray Spalding

JULY 31: The Hawks have officially signed Spalding, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who confirms that it’s an Exhibit 10 deal (Twitter link).

JULY 25: The Hawks will bring in free agent forward Ray Spalding, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (Twitter link). It will be a partially guaranteed arrangement.

Additional details on the pact are not yet known, but it’s likely an Exhibit 10 deal. Atlanta currently has 14 players under contract.

Spalding was selected late in the second round of the 2018 draft by the Mavericks and split his time last season between Dallas and Phoenix, having been waived by the Mavs in January.

The power forward appeared in 29 contests in the G League with the Texas Legends last year, posting averages of 15.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He finished the season with the Suns, but had his team option for 2019/20 turned down by Phoenix, which made him an unrestricted free agent.

Nuggets Release Thomas Welsh

The Nuggets have opened up a second two-way contract slot, having waived center Thomas Welsh, according to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Welsh, 23, was the 58th overall pick in the 2018 draft. After signing a two-way deal with Denver, the seven-footer played in limited minutes in 11 games for the club. He saw more extensive action in the G League for the Capital City Go-Go and Iowa Wolves, averaging 10.3 PPG and 8.1 RPG in 20 contests (23.0 MPG).

Because the Nuggets are one of just two NBA teams without a G League affiliate of their own, their ability to develop two-way players is limited. Denver has had to assign Welsh and other young players to rival teams’ affiliates, and those clubs have other players they’re more motivated to develop.

Besides having both two-way slots open, the Nuggets have 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, though 2019 second-round pick Bol Bol remains unsigned and a mid-July report indicated that the team plans to sign 2017 second-rounder Vlatko Cancar.

Rockets Waive Deyonta Davis, Chris Chiozza

The Rockets have waived a pair of players who had non-guaranteed salaries for the 2019/20 season, parting ways with big man Deyonta Davis and guard Chris Chiozza, per Alykhan Bijani and Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The 31st overall pick in the 2016 draft, Davis spent much of the 2018/19 season with the Warriors’ G League team before earning a late-season call-up from the Hawks. Davis averaged 4.0 PPG and 4.0 RPG in nine games (13.1 MPG) with Atlanta down the stretch, signing a contract with the club that included a non-guaranteed minimum salary for 2019/20. However, he was waived by Atlanta last month.

The Rockets claimed Davis on waivers, perhaps viewing him as a potential offseason trade chip. But his $1,645,357 salary would have become partially guaranteed for $250K if he remained under contract through July 31, according to Basketball Insiders. Houston won’t be on the hook for that money.

As for Chiozza, the former Florida point guard signed a 10-day contract with the Rockets in February, then inked a three-year deal with the club in March. The final two years of that contract were non-guaranteed, so Houston also won’t owe him any money now that he has been released.

With two extra roster spots now open, the Rockets may be eyeing former first-round pick Terrence Jones for a potential camp deal. Clutch Fans first reported (via Twitter) that Houston was considering bringing back Jones, while Iko suggested in a mailbag this week that the power forward would “soon” join the team.

The 27-year-old has appeared in 180 regular season games for the Rockets since being selected 18th overall by the organization in the 2012 draft.

Hornets Sign Cody Martin, Caleb Martin

10:28am: The Hornets have made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed both Martin brothers.

9:33am: The Hornets will become the latest NBA team to carry a pair of brothers on the same roster. In this case, it’ll be the Martin twins – Cody Martin and Caleb Martin – who sign with Charlotte, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Cody, who was the 36th overall pick in the 2019 draft, will sign a three-year contract with the Hornets, according to Charania. That deal figures to come out of the team’s mid-level exception, since Charlotte would otherwise be limited to two years. As for Caleb, he’ll get a partially guaranteed deal, Charania adds. If that guarantee doesn’t exceed $50K, he could emerge as a candidate to fill the club’s open two-way slot.

The Martins, who are each 6’7″ forwards, spent their college careers playing together as well, first at North Carolina State and later at Nevada. In 2018/19, Cody averaged 12.1 PPG, 4.9 APG, and 4.5 RPG with a .505/.358/.763 shooting line, while Caleb recorded 19.2 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 2.8 APG on .409/.338/.732 shooting.

After the Hornets selected Cody early in the second round last month, Caleb joined the team’s Summer League roster, though he was unable to play due to a knee injury. Charlotte wanted to keep an eye on Caleb during the summer, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link), who says he heard in Las Vegas that it was a given that Caleb would be in camp with the Hornets this fall, assuming he was healthy.

The Martins will become the second pair of twins to play on the same roster this fall, joining Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez of the Bucks. Milwaukee also employs another set of brothers – Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo – while the Pacers will have both Aaron Holiday and Justin Holiday under contract.

Timofey Mozgov Rejoins Russian Club Khimki

Veteran NBA center Timofey Mozgov is returning to his home country and rejoining his old Russian team after being released by the Magic earlier this month. Khimki made an announcement today officially confirming that the club has a one-year deal in place with Mozgov for the upcoming season.

Mozgov, 33, spent eight seasons in the NBA from 2010-18, appearing in 454 total regular season games for the Knicks, Nuggets, Cavaliers, Lakers, and Nets. During that time, he averaged 6.8 PPG and 4.9 RPG in 18.0 minutes per contest, winning a title with Cleveland in 2016.

Having been traded from Brooklyn to Charlotte to Orlando during the 2018 offseason, Mozgov was technically a member of the Magic during the 2018/19 season, but he didn’t appear in a single game for the club due to a right knee injury.

Orlando waived Mozgov in early July despite the fact that he still has one year and $16.7MM left on his contract — stretching his cap hit for ’19/20 allowed the team to remain under the luxury tax line.

For Mozgov, it will be his third stint with Khimki. He also played for the EuroLeague squad from 2006-10, then again in 2011 during the NBA lockout. The big man is the second player to move from an NBA team to Khimki so far this offseason — Dairis Bertans also lined up a deal with the club after being released by the Pelicans.

Western Notes: Rockets, Wolves, Kawhi

Eric Gordon could end up in the backup wing spot for the Rockets when the season begins, as Kelly Iko of The Athletic writes. Houston has depth at the guard position but lacks it in the three/four spots.

Houston still has interest in Andre Iguodala, though Memphis appears to be holding out for a first-round pick, which could be a deal-breaker. J.R. Smith is a possibility. He had his best season under coach Mike D’Antoni when the pair was in New York, though Iko cautions that he hasn’t heard any new developments when it comes to bringing the 3-point marksman to Houston.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Iko doesn’t see Kevin Love as a realistic target for the Rockets, as he explains in the same piece. Love’s salary, which comes in at just under $29MM for the upcoming year, makes a trade difficult for the two parties.
  • Britt Robson of The Athletic examines how the Timberwolves’ current roster fits in with the team’s blueprint for the future. The team failed to pair Karl-Anthony Towns with another All-Star but smartly opted against overspending on middling talent. Minnesota’s 2019 free agent spending spree wasn’t a wild one, as the club brought in five players who combined will make approximately $11MM this upcoming season.
  • Kawhi Leonard attempted to get the Spurs to trade for Paul George while he was in San Antonio, as he tells ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (h/t Justin Russo on Twitter). Leonard was originally drafted with the No. 15 overall pick by Indiana, the team George previously played for. The Pacers traded Leonard’s rights on draft night, but George wishes Indiana had kept him, as Ohm Youngmisuk of relays. “It seems like this was destiny that we were supposed to play together,” George said of his new Clippers teammate.

Zion Williamson: “My Intentions Are To Stay With The Pelicans My Whole Career”

Zion Williamson hasn’t yet made his NBA debut in New Orleans but he has already expressed his interested to remain with the franchise long-term.

“Growing up, I loved what Kobe [Bryant] did and Dirk [Nowitzki] did… My intentions are to stay with the Pelicans my whole career,” Williamson told Macklin Stern of Complex. “But if something happens, I wouldn’t leave because I hate the place. It’s just the business.”

The Pelicans are beginning a new era after trading away superstar Anthony Davis this offseason. Davis demanded a trade last February with over a year left on his deal and the team held onto him until this summer when the new front office – led by David Griffin – traded him to the Lakers.

Williamson is the star of the future in New Orleans. Like many top players, he may take recruiting free agents into his own hands one day. RJ Barrett, who played with Williamson at Duke and was drafted by the Knicks at the No. 3 overall pick, could be a player Williamson targets.

“Yeah, [Barrett and I] talked about it in college a lot. We kinda talked about it as we were both going to get our careers started and see how it goes. I mean, if we can possibly link up in the future, that would be great. But we both understand that if things are going well in our prospective cities, we’ll just kind of leave it there,” Williamson said.

The Pelicans brought on two other 2019 first-round picks (Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker) during an offseason of change that also includes the acquisitions of a trio of former top-three overall picks (Derrick Favors, No. 3, 2010; Brandon Ingram, No. 2, 2016; Lonzo Ball, No. 2, 2017). Williamson believes the Pelicans currently have the talent to reach great heights.

“Me being confident in my teammates, I would say I think the ceiling is [a] championship,” the latest No. 1 overall pick said. “But I have to be realistic about this. I have high expectations for us, but you gotta see how we’re gonna work. I think we are going to work, but it does take time to adjust to each player—knowing what they like to do, finding out their tendencies. So I think the quicker we find out those things, I think we have a very high ceiling.”

Southeast Notes: Gordon, Wizards, Miller

Aaron Gordon jumped on Sirius XM NBA Radio to talk about the Magic‘s NBA offseason and he portrayed optimism about Markelle Fultz‘s future with the club.

“[Fultz] is a sleeper. If he wakes up and if he’s awake and woken up, he’s a monster,” Gordon said.

Fultz, whose return to the court has yet to be determined, will have a chance to win the team’s starting point guard spot. Incumbent starter D.J. Augustin, who has one season left on his deal, and Michael Carter-Williams, who re-signed with Orlando on a one-year deal, will be the former No. 1 overall pick’s top competition for the role.

Orlando didn’t make major additions in the backcourt this offseason. The team re-signed a few members of its core (Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross) and brought in Al-Farouq Aminu with its mid-level exception. Gordon is excited about the addition of Aminu, as well as the continuity the team will experience next season.

“We got Al-Farouq, which is dope,” Gordon said. “[He’s] another 3-and-D guy. Tenacious, hard noise, long-defender and that’s the most beautiful thing. Nothing has changed from this year to last year.”

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington examines whether the Wizards can make a quick turnaround. Hughes argues that if Washington is going to contend sooner than later, the team needs its young talent to show improvement. That would increase each players’ trade value and give the Wizards an avenue to place an immediate difference maker next to Bradley Beal.
  • The Hawks have promoted Tori Miller to assistant GM of the College Park Skyhawks, according to the G League affiliate’s website. Miller spent the last two seasons as the Skyhawks’ Manager of Basketball Operations. She broke into the NBA as an intern with the Suns from 2014-16.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel envisions Pat Riley remaining with the Heat for the foreseeable future, as the scribe details in his latest mailbag. Winderman adds that Miami’s team president remains determined to get the team back to contention and the franchise’s young players are suited to help them achieve that goal.

Blazers Sign CJ McCollum To Three-Year Extension

7:00pm: The Blazers and McCollum have made it official, with the team issuing a press release to announce the extension.

“CJ McCollum is a franchise cornerstone and a critical part of our future,” Neil Olshey said in a statement. “This extension represents a strong level of commitment between CJ, the Trail Blazers and the city of Portland.”

1:01pm: The Trail Blazers and guard CJ McCollum have reached an agreement on a contract extension that will add three years to his current deal, agent Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

According to Wojnarowski, the two sides have agreed to a three-year, $100MM extension that will keep McCollum under contract for the next five seasons in total — he has two years left on his current deal. Assuming the extension doesn’t feature any options, it will put the 27-year-old on track to reach unrestricted free agency in 2024.

The 10th overall pick in the 2013 draft, McCollum has emerged as one of the league’s best backcourt scorers in recent years, averaging at least 20.8 PPG in each of the last four seasons. In 2018/19, he recorded 21.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 3.0 APG with a shooting line of .459/.375/.828 in 70 games (33.9 MPG).

Because McCollum signed his current contract with Portland on July 27, 2016, he became eligible for an extension on Saturday, three years after that deal was completed. The two sides didn’t waste much time in working something out, though the new contract won’t go into effect until the 2021/22 season.

While three years was the most that McCollum and the Blazers could have tacked onto to his current deal, it’s not technically a maximum-salary extension. The standout shooting guard could have earned up to approximately $114MM on that three-year extension, so he’ll accept slightly less than that in exchange for long-term security.

McCollum’s extension will make him the fifth player to sign a contract extension this offseason, as well as the third player to ink a veteran extension. Most notably, he’s the second member of the Blazers’ backcourt to agree to a lucrative long-term extension this summer — the team locked up Damian Lillard to a four-year, super-max extension earlier this month.

Lillard’s extension begins in ’21/22, the same year as McCollum’s. It runs one year longer, but Portland is now assured of having its two star guards under contract for least the next five seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucks Notes: Buford, Bender, 2020 Playoff Odds

The Wisconsin Herd, the Bucks‘ G League affiliate, has hired Chase Buford as their new head coach, per the team’s website.

“Chase has had wide-ranging basketball experiences over the past seven years, both in the G League and the NBA, and we believe he’s one of the bright young coaches in the game,” said Herd GM Dave Dean. “We are excited by his approach, fresh ideas and collaborative spirit. It’s a pleasure to welcome Chase to Wisconsin and to the Bucks family.”

Buford, who is the son of long-time Spurs executive R.C Buford, most recently was an assistant coach for the Delaware Blue Coats (the Sixers’ G League affiliate). The 30-year-old coach began his professional career back in 2012 as a regional scout with the Hawks.

Here’s more from Wisconsin:

  • The Bucks have officially added Chad Forcier as an assistant coach, the team relays on its website. Forcier spent last season as an assistant coach with the Grizzlies.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter) has some details on Dragan Bender‘s two-year minimum salary contract with the Bucks. Bender will make $300K guaranteed in the first year, though that figure will rise to $600K if he remains on the roster through Milwaukee’s first game of the season. The second year of Bender’s deal is non-guaranteed.
  • No NBA team is a stronger favorite to make the 2020 postseason that the Bucks, according to Caesars Entertainment, as David Purdum of passes along. Milwaukee is listed at -5,000 to make the postseason — that means you’d need to wager $5,000 on a Bucks playoff berth to win $100. Philadelphia is the next strongest favorite at -4,000.