Month: November 2020

Pelicans Signing Steven Adams To Extension

As part of the trade that will send center Steven Adams from Oklahoma City to New Orleans, the Pelicans are signing Adams to a two-year contract extension worth $35MM, sources tell Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links). The deal, which will run through 2022/23, will be fully guaranteed, per the ESPN duo.

Teams are permitted to extend players as part of trades, though those deals are limited to three total years, including the ones remaining on the player’s current contract. Since Adams is on an expiring deal, the Pelicans are able to tack on two new years. Worth $17.5MM annually, the extension will represent a dip from Adams’ current $27.5MM salary.

More to come…

Atlantic Notes: Harden, Oladipo, Grant, VanVleet

The Nets have shifted their focus away from a potential James Harden blockbuster and are simply looking to make marginal upgrades to the roster, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Brooklyn might pursue the Hornets’ Nicolas Batum once he clears waivers to give itself another defensive wing. The Nets tried and failed to secure Serge Ibaka‘s services with the $5.7MM taxpayer mid-level exception and also struck out on wing Kent Bazemore, Lewis adds.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks president Leon Rose isn’t eager to pursue a trade for Pacers guard Victor Oladipo even though GM Scott Perry wants to explore that possibility, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. The front office did make a strong push for free agent forward Jerami Grant, who wound up with the Pistons in a sign-and-trade with Denver. Rose could still make another trade for a rotation player or take on another team’s unwanted contract with an asset attached in order to reach the salary cap floor, Berman adds.
  • Re-signing Fred VanVleet to a four-year, $85MM contract could be considered overpaying but the Raptors have a reputation for rewarding players for a job well done, Eric Koreen of The Athletic opines. While the Raptors may have essentially been bidding against themselves at that price, their reputation of taking care of their own helps in acquiring other players. The contract is also structured so that they can pursue a top-flight free agent next summer.
  • That contract could ultimately prove to be a good value if VanVleet improves in a few areas, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic. He needs to get better with his pull-up shooting and finishing at the rim when he takes over lead guard responsibilities, which will happen when Kyle Lowry leaves or shifts to more of an off-guard role. He also needs to get better in pick-and-rolls, Murphy adds.

Southwest Notes: Adams, Cousins, Wood, Haliburton, Covington

The Thunder are trading center Steven Adams to the Pelicans and it isn’t the first time New Orleans tried to make that happen, ESPN’s Royce Young tweets. The Pelicans pursued an Adams trade last offseason when the Thunder shook up their roster by trading Paul George and Russell Westbrook but the teams couldn’t work out an agreement at that time.

We have more news from the Southwest Division:

  • A workout on Monday convinced the Rockets to sign DeMarcus Cousins, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. Cousins’ workout squelched any concerns about Cousins’ health, Haynes adds. Cousins agreed to a non-guaranteed one-year deal.
  • The acquisition of Christian Wood should have a major impact on the retooled Rockets, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. Wood, who’s headed to Houston on a sign-and-trade, should provide elite production in pick-and-rolls with two star play-makers setting him up. Wood’s perimeter shooting will facilitate the Rockets’ small lineups by provide spacing for Westbrook with his ability to attack closeouts off the dribble and finish, Feigen adds.
  • The Mavericks tried to trade up in the draft to land guard Tyrese Haliburton, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe (hat tip to RealGM). Dallas attempted to trade multiple picks to lottery teams in the 7-11 range to make that move. Haliburton was ultimately selected at No. 12 by the Kings. The Mavs also tried to work out a deal with the Rockets for small forward Robert Covington, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, but Houston instead chose to deal him to the Trail Blazers.

Jordan Bone Agrees To Two-Way Deal With Magic

Second-year point guard Jordan Bone has agreed to a two-way contract with the Magic, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Bone played on a similar contract with the Pistons after being drafted in the second round in 2019 but spent much of the season in the G League. He appeared in 10 games with Detroit but only averaged 5.3 MPG in those outings.

The Pistons, under new GM Troy Weaver, decided not to extend a qualifying offer to Bone. That made the former Tennessee star an unrestricted free agent.

Orlando is also reportedly using its other two-way slot on another point guard, Karim Mane.

Wolves Notes: Rubio, Edwards, Davis, Beasley

In a conversation with Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, Ricky Rubio discussed his first stint with the Timberwolves, his impending second stint with the franchise, and the experience of being traded twice in the span of days. Rubio said he found out about his involvement in the SunsChris Paul trade last week when Shams Charania broke the news on Twitter.

“It’s not the way you want to know, especially my agent was talking with the team and they said my name was off the table when all the rumors and all the stuff happened,” Rubio said. “You feel like everything that they have said to you all year and buying into a new project and a young team and they need you, blah, blah, blah. It seems like nothing’s true.”

As Krawczynski writes, Rubio wasn’t upset about the move itself, since he understands why the Suns would want Paul. Still, he was stung by the way he found out. Now, after initially making his NBA debut for the Timberwolves as a 21-year-old, the point guard is looking forward to returning to the team as a veteran who can help guide a young squad.

“It started to really make more sense for me to really connect the puzzle and get to Minnesota and help a young team with a lot of talent and already have done really good things,” he told Krawczynsi. “I feel like I can fit in the puzzle.”

Here’s more on the Wolevs:

  • In an in-depth story on how the Timberwolves decided to use the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft on Anthony Edwards, Krawczynski cites sources who say that the team never really got close to trading that pick. The Wolves were unwilling to accept what they considered subpar value to move down and risk missing out on the Georgia guard, per Krawczynski. “He stood head and shoulders above any player in this draft and we were excited to be at No. 1 to be able to select him,” president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said of Edwards.
  • Michael Rand of The Star Tribune makes a case for why he believes veteran center Ed Davis could be the Timberwolves’ most important new player for the 2020/21 season.
  • Three days after agreeing to a new $60MM deal with the Timberwolves, Malik Beasley made a court appearance today. Beasley, who faces a pair of felony charges related to a September incident, was told to have no contact with the alleged victims and a potential witness, tweets Krawczynski. His next court appearance will be on December 17.

Free Agent Rumors: Batum, Thomas, Mudiay, Ferrell, Briscoe

The Hornets plan to waive Nicolas Batum and use the stretch provision on his $27.1MM contract for the upcoming season in order to sign Gordon Hayward, unless they can figure out a sign-and-trade deal that would save them from stretching Batum.

Assuming he’s released, Batum shouldn’t have trouble finding a new home. His agent, Jeremy Medjana, told Basket Session that the Warriors, Jazz, Clippers, Bucks and Raptors are interested in signing him once he clears waivers (hat tip to Frank Urbina of HoopsHype). Batum, who has played for Charlotte the past five seasons, only appeared in 22 games last season.

Here are more free agency notes and rumors:

  • Former MVP candidate Isaiah Thomas said his latest hip procedure was a success and he’s eager to prove it, the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reports. Thomas says he feels like his former self in workouts. “I was blowing by people,” he said. “I haven’t blown by anybody since I had a Celtics uniform on.” Thomas was waived after the Wizards traded him to the Clippers in February and remains unsigned.
  • Reserve point guards Emmanuel Mudiay and Yogi Ferrell are generating some interest on the free agent market, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. Both players could likely sign for the veteran’s minimum.
  • Point guard Isaiah Briscoe hopes to return to the NBA, according to Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw (Twitter link). Briscoe went undrafted out of Kentucky in 2017, but made it onto the Magic’s roster for the 2018/19 season. He spent the 2019/20 season in Poland playing for King Szczecin. In 39 games with Orlando, Briscoe averaged 3.5 PPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.9 RPG, across 14.3 MPG.

Alex Kirschenbaum contributed to this post.

Suns Waive Elie Okobo

The Suns have waived backup guard Elie Okobo, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic (Twitter link).

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.

Okobo became expendable as a result of Cameron Payne‘s strong play during the summer restart and the Suns’ offseason backcourt overhaul. Chris Paul, E’Twaun Moore, and Langston Galloway are joining Devin Booker and Payne.

Okobo’s $1.66MM salary for the 2020/21 season would have become guaranteed if he remained under contract through this Thursday. By waiving him, the Suns won’t be on the hook for any of that money. Okobo, meanwhile, will become an unrestricted free agent if he goes unclaimed.

Suns, Langston Galloway Agree To Deal

5:26pm: It’s a minimum-salary deal for Galloway, reports John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (via Twitter).

3:32pm: The Suns have reached a contract agreement with free agent guard Langston Galloway, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link) reported earlier this afternoon that Phoenix had interest in signing Galloway.

Galloway flew somewhat under the radar in 2019/20 as part of a Pistons team that was never in the playoff hunt. However, he enjoyed arguably the best individual season of his career, with 10.3 PPG on .435/.399/.859 shooting in 66 games (25.8 MPG).

In Phoenix, Galloway will provide extra depth in a talented backcourt that already features Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and E’Twaun Moore. He and Moore figure to give the Suns some scoring punch off the bench.

While the terms of Galloway’s agreement aren’t yet known, the Suns committed their entire mid-level exception to Jae Crowder, so it won’t be a major payday for Galloway, whose previous contract was worth $21MM over three years.

Hornets To Sign Xavier Sneed

The Hornets have reached a contract agreement with undrafted rookie forward Xavier Sneed, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets.

Charlotte has reportedly filled its two-way slots, so Sneed’s deal is likely an Exhibit 10 deal. An Exhibit 10 contract provides players with an invitation to training camp and a guarantee of up to $50K if they are waived and later assigned to the team’s affiliate in the G League.

Sneed was a four-year player and three-year starter at Kansas State. As a senior, he averaged 14.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.7 APG and 1.8 SPG in 32.6 MPG. Sneed was an early entrant for the 2019 draft but withdrew his name in time to return for his senior campaign at KSU.



Bucks, Cavaliers Complete Minor Trade

The Cavaliers and Bucks have officially completed a minor trade, the Cavs announced today in a press release.

The Cavaliers acquired the Bucks’ 2025 second-round pick in the deal in exchange for the rights to former second-round pick Ilkan Karaman. Additionally, the protections on the Bucks’ 2022 first-round pick – sent to Cleveland in a deal two years ago – have been removed.

Although it’s technically a separate transaction, this deal is related to the Bucks’ Jrue Holiday megadeal. Milwaukee is sending the Pelicans two future first-round picks in that swap. That wouldn’t have been possible as long as the conditions on the traded 2022 pick (which was protected through 2024) remained in place.

Teams aren’t permitted to leave themselves without first-round picks in back-to-back future drafts or trade picks more than seven years in advance. By removing the protections on the 2022 pick to Cleveland, the Bucks freed up their first-rounders to be dealt starting in 2024 — they’ll send the 2025 and 2027 selections to New Orleans.

As a sweetener for accommodating the Bucks, the Cavaliers will pick up that 2025 second-rounder in exchange for the NBA rights of a player drafted in 2012 who will almost certainly never play in the NBA.