Month: April 2021

Lakers Notes: Schroder, Davis, Dudley, Cap Room

Dennis Schröder expects to start with the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Schroder, who was acquired from the Thunder, said that was addressed by his representatives before the trade was completed. “I think my agent talked to the organization (about starting) before they was trading me,” he said “So, that’s that.” Schroder served a sixth-man role with Oklahoma City. His main competition for a starting job would presumably be Alex Caruso, though LeBron James is the de facto point guard and led the league in assists last season.

We have more on the Lakers:

  • Anthony Davis, who remains an unrestricted free agent, will meet with the team on Tuesday, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Davis, who will joined by agent Rich Paul, is widely expected to sign a max deal of undetermined length during training camp.
  • Davis might wait to see if Giannis Antetokounmpo signs an extension with Milwaukee before he decides how to structure his contract, Brian Windhorst of ESPN suggests (video link). The Lakers could have a significant amount of cap flexibility if Davis signs a two-year contract with a player option, which would help them pursue the two-time MVP.  However, Antekounmpo doesn’t have to make a decision until December 21 and it’s doubtful Davis will want to wait that long.
  • Jared Dudley has agreed to re-sign for one more season and he has the power to block a trade under the one-year Bird rule, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report tweets.
  • Dudley’s veteran minimum deal will leave the Lakers $2.9MM below the hard cap, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (Twitter link). That would allow the club to add a player in mid-January or in early April after buyouts are executed around the league.

Hornets Sign Riller, Darling To Two-Way Deals

The Hornets have signed guard Grant Riller, a late second-round pick, to a two-way contract, according to a team press release.

Riller had a stellar college career at the College of Charleston. The 56th overall pick of the draft averaged 18.7 PPG and 2.8 APG in 132 career contests.

As previously reported, undrafted guard Nate Darling is the team’s other two-way player and his signing is also official. At Delaware last season, Darling averaged 21.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 2.8 APG in 32 starts.

In a separate release, the Hornets also announced the signing of big man Nick Richards, the 42nd pick of the draft. As a junior at Kentucky last season, he was named to the All-SEC First Team and the SEC All-Defensive Team after averaging 14.0 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 2.1 BPG in 29.7 MPG over 31 games.

Richards received a three-year contract, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.

Rockets To Sign KJ Martin To Four-Year Deal

The Rockets are signing rookie KJ Martin, the son of former NBA player Kenyon Martin, to a multi-year contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

It’s a four-year contract with the first year fully guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Twitter link). The Rockets will use a portion of their mid-level exception to sign Martin.

Martin was the 52nd pick of the draft. Houston acquired the draft rights to the 6’7” forward from the Kings. He prepared for the draft at IMG Academy.

Timberwolves Sign Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

DECEMBER 3: The Timberwolves have officially signed Hollis-Jefferson, the team announced today in a press release.


NOVEMBER 30: The Timberwolves have reached an agreement with free agent forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets.

It’s a non-guaranteed, training-camp deal for one season, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets.

He played for the Raptors last season, appearing in 60 games. He averaged 7.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG and 1.8 APG in 18.7 MPG. He also saw action in five playoff games but averaged just 7.8 MPG in those appearances.

Hollis-Jefferson, 25, played his first four seasons with the Nets. He could add defensive versatility to Minnesota if he makes the roster.

Pelicans Notes: Ball, Bledsoe, Adams, Holiday, Ingram, Williamson

The Pelicans won’t be choosing between Lonzo Ball and recently-acquired Eric Bledsoe as their starting point guard, according to executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin. New Orleans’ top executive envisions that they’ll form the starting backcourt, Andrew Lopez of ESPN tweets. The Pelicans had a similar setup last season, when Ball and Jrue Holiday shared ballhandling duties. The Pelicans acquired Bledsoe from the Bucks and center Steven Adams from the Thunder, along with draft picks, in a four-team deal that sent Holiday to Milwaukee.

New head coach Stan Van Gundy said that Griffin has prioritized toughness and competitiveness at a very high level, and Bledsoe and Adams fit that mold, Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Times Picayune tweets.

Griffin and Van Gundy dropped some interesting tidbits during their Monday press conference:

  • Griffin had pursued Adams for a very long time, according to Kushner (Twitter link). Griffin was impressed with Adams since meeting him prior to the 2013 draft. Adams, who was selected with the No. 12 pick that year, received a two-year, $35MM extension as part of the four-team deal.
  • The front office wanted to do right by Holiday by trading him to a title contender, Lopez notes (Twitter link). Griffin said Holiday’s career timeline to compete for a championship differed somewhat from the Pelicans’ timeline.
  • Brandon Ingram‘s five-year contract doesn’t include a player option, Lopez adds in another tweet, but there is a trade bonus. Ingram officially signed the $158.25MM contract on Monday.
  • Zion Williamson will not have any restrictions heading into training camp, according to Van Gundy. The coach anticipates the early days of camp will look different because they haven’t played as much pickup due to COVID-19 restrictions and a short offseason (Twitter link).
  • The team’s disappointing showing in the Orlando restart convinced Griffin the team needed more “elite competitors” and didn’t have “enough of a work ethic identity,” Kushner relays (Twitter link).

Pistons Sign Three First-Round Picks

The Pistons have signed first-round picks Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey, according to a team press release.

Hayes, a point guard from France, was the highest of those picks, going with the No. 7 selection. Assuming he received 120% of the rookie scale for his slot, Hayes will make $5,307,120 in his first season and can make $24,131,515 over the next four years if team options are exercised in the third and fourth seasons.

Stewart and Bey were acquired in draft night agreements. Stewart, a center, was chosen with the No. 16 pick. He’ll make $3,121,080 in his first year and can make $15,098,193 over the next four seasons.

Bey, a forward, was taken with the 19th selection. He’ll bring in $2,689,920 as a rookie and can make $13,030,303 over the next four seasons.

Guard Saben Lee, a second-round pick, was also inked. He will reportedly play on a two-way contract.

Hornets’ LaMelo Ball Signs Rookie Contract

LaMelo Ball, selected with the No. 3 pick of the draft, has signed his rookie contract with the Hornets, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Assuming Ball receives the usual 120% above rookie scale, as virtually all first-rounders receive, he’ll make $7,839,960 in his first year. Ball is due to make $35,596,275 over the next four seasons.

Ball joins a backcourt that includes last season’s starters, Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier. Ball played 12 games professionally in Australia last season.

Jared Dudley Signs One-Year Contract With Lakers

DECEMBER 1: The Lakers’ signing of Dudley is now official, per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).


NOVEMBER 30: Veteran forward Jared Dudley will sign a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract with the defending champion Lakers, Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN tweet.

Dudley’s interest in rejoining the Lakers was reported earlier this month. The veteran’s minimum this season is $2,564,753.

Dudley, 35, has bounced around the league but won a ring this summer in Orlando. He appeared in 45 regular-season games with the Lakers, averaging 1.5 PPG and 1.2 RPG in 8.1 MPG. He also saw action in nine postseason games but did not score.

He’s also played for the Suns, Hornets, Clippers, Bucks, Wizards and Nets during a journeyman career that has spanned 892 games.

He’s well-respected in the locker room and adds another veteran option for coach Frank Vogel.

Longtime NBA Center Andrew Bogut Retires

Longtime NBA center Andrew Bogut has announced his retirement, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Bogut, who just turned 36 this weekend, had played the last two seasons in Australia with the Sydney Kings, along with a brief return to the Warriors in between NBL seasons.

A 14-year NBA veteran, Bogut holds career averaged of 9.6 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 1.5 BPG in 706 career regular season contests for the Bucks, Warriors, Mavericks, Cavaliers, and Lakers.

Bogut had continued to thrive in Australia over the last couple years. He was the NBL’s MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, and earned All-NBL Second Team honors last season. He put his career on hold this spring during the early months of the pandemic.

He appeared in 11 regular season games (plus 19 playoff contests) for Golden State in 2018/19. He won a championship with the Warriors in 2015.

Bogut was the No. 1 pick of the 2005 draft and began his career in Milwaukee.

Nets To Sign Elie Okobo

After being waived by the Suns a week ago, Elie Okobo has lined up a new deal, according to Alex Schiffer and Shams Charania of The Athletic, who report (via Twitter) that the free agent point guard is signing with the Nets.

While details of Okobo’s deal haven’t been reported, I’d expect a minimum-salary contract and I’d be surprised if it includes much – if any – guaranteed money.

The 31st overall pick in the 2018 draft, Okobo spent two years in Phoenix, appearing in a total of 108 games. He averaged 4.8 PPG and 2.2 APG in 15.5 minutes per contest during those two seasons, but became expendable this offseason. The Suns released him before his 2020/21 salary became guaranteed last Thursday.

The Nets currently have 17 players under contract, but that doesn’t count Okobo, Jordan Bowden – who reportedly agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal, or Chris Chiozza, who is still a restricted free agent. Brooklyn may continue making minor tweaks to the back of its roster, but the team’s offseason looks just about done.