And-Ones: 2022 Cap Room, Stephenson, G League, More

Only four NBA teams currently project to have significant cap room in the 2022 offseason, writes Danny Leroux of The Athletic. Not only is that number lower than usual, but none of those four teams appear likely to have enough space for a maximum-salary player worth 30% of the cap, Leroux adds.

The Pistons currently project to have the most space, with Blake Griffin‘s dead money coming off their books. According to Leroux, the Magic, Spurs, and Grizzlies join them as the other clubs likely to have at least $15MM in room. Teams like the Wizards and Bulls could have room too, but that would be a worst-case scenario for those clubs, since it would mean losing Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine, respectively, in free agency.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran NBA swingman Lance Stephenson spoke to Jack Green of Betway about his decision to play in the G League and the role he expects to have with the Grand Rapids Gold, the Nuggets‘ new affiliate. Stephenson, who worked out for several NBA teams during the offseason, hopes to show in the NBAGL that he still has plenty left in the tank. “My body feels amazing,” he said. “I don’t feel like an older guy, I still feel like a young guy. So I think I’ve got a couple more years left.”
  • The original plan for the Mexico City Capitanes was to join the NBA G League for the 2020/21 season. However, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed their debut back by a year, and the team has now been uprooted from its home in Mexico due to pandemic-related travel concerns. Eric Gomez of ESPN takes an in-depth at the new G League franchise and the adjustments it has had to make over the last couple years.
  • Former CAA agent Michael Tellem has joined Excel Sports, the agency announced (via Twitter). Danilo Gallinari, Jakob Poeltl, and Daniel Theis are among the most notable NBA clients for Tellem, whose father is Pistons vice chairman and former agent Arn Tellem.
  • It’s not just NBA scouts and executives who have been impressed so far by the new Overtime Elite league — the program’s level of professionalism and credibility has also made an impact on its players, writes Kyle Tucker of The Athletic. “It’s even more than I thought it would be,” said 2022 draft-eligible forward Kok Yat. “If I didn’t come here, no NBA scouts would know who I am. You want to be seen, so this feels like a huge step.”
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