Month: May 2024

Pistons, Clippers Complete Minor Trade

The Pistons and Clippers have officially finalized a minor transaction, according to announcements from both teams (Twitter links). Detroit traded the draft rights to 2021 second-round pick Balsa Koprivica to Los Angeles in exchange for cash considerations.

The 57th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Koprivica has spent the last two seasons overseas with Partizan Belgrade in Serbia after playing his college ball at Florida State. The big man averaged 9.1 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 24 games (19.5 MPG) during his sophomore season with the Seminoles in 2020/21.

According to Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link), the Clippers sent $2.1MM to Detroit for Koprivica’s rights, which isn’t an insignificant sum.

Tony East of (Twitter link) theorizes that the Clippers decided to pay for the rights to a draft-and-stash player before the new league year began on July 1 because teams over the second tax apron won’t be permitted to trade cash in the new CBA, but will be able to trade players’ draft rights. In other words, they were turning an asset they won’t be able to use into one they can.

My understanding, however, is that the restrictions on trading cash won’t go into effect until after the 2023/24 regular season ends. So perhaps the Clippers just believe in the 23-year-old’s NBA potential.

Free Agent Rumors: Lopez, Banton, T. Davis, Strus

Multiple NBA clubs are awaiting word on the future of unrestricted free agent center Brook Lopez, who has spent his past five seasons with the Bucks, per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Fischer reports that “increasing word” on Friday suggests the Rockets may bid in excess of the two-year, $40MM deal that has been floated as a possibility.

Lopez, 35, has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Milwaukee. The seven-footer has been named to two All-Defensive Teams and won his first championship during his Bucks tenure, while totally transforming his game, from being a fringe All-Star post scorer while with the Nets to the gritty 3-and-D role player he is now.

In 78 regular season games for the 58-24 Bucks last season, the former Stanford big man posted averages of 15.9 PPG on .531/.374/.784 shooting splits, in addition to 6.7 RPG, 2.5 BPG and 1.3 APG. He was the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Here are further free agent rumors:

  • Free agent point guard Dalano Banton met with the Celtics on Friday, according to Rafael Barlowe of NBA Big Board (via Twitter). The 6’9″ vet out of Nebraska had spent both of his NBA seasons to date with the Raptors. In 31 contests, last year, he averaged 4.6 PPG, 1.5 RPG and 1.2 APG.
  • The Celtics, Suns, Bucks, Mavericks and Raptors are among the teams with some level of interest in free agent former Kings shooting guard Terence Davis, according to Mark Jones of ESPN and Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter links).
  • According to Fischer (Twitter link), the Spurs have emerged as a possible third team in a rumored sign-and-trade deal that would send Heat free agent shooting guard Max Strus to the Cavaliers. Sources tell Fischer that Cleveland has been looking to offload the contract of swingman Cedi Osman, whom Miami presumably has no interest in taking on. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald reports (via Twitter) that the Heat are aiming to create a trade exception and a future second-round draft selection in any sign-and-trade involving Strus.

Salary Cap, Tax Line Set For 2023/24 NBA Season

The NBA has officially set the salary cap for its 2023/24 season. As forecasted earlier this week, the cap increased by a full 10% on last season’s $123,655,000 figure.

Here are the details, largely courtesy of a league press release:

  • Salary cap: $136,021,000
  • Luxury tax line: $165,294,000
  • First tax apron: $172,346,000
  • Second tax apron: $182,794,000
  • Minimum salary floor: $122,418,000
  • Non-taxpayer mid-level exception: $12,405,000
  • Taxpayer mid-level exception: $5,000,000
  • Room exception: $7,723,000
  • Bi-annual exception: $4,516,000
  • Maximum salaries:
    • 6 years or fewer: $34,005,250
    • 7-9 years: $40,806,300
    • 10+ years: $47,607,350
  • Early Bird exception: $12,015,150
  • Estimated average salary: $11,958,000
  • Trade cash limit: $7,005,000

The first tax apron for the 2023/24 league year will be the hard cap for any team that acquires a player via sign-and-trade, signs a player using more than the taxpayer portion of the mid-level exception, signs a player using a bi-annual exception, or acquires more than 110% of the outgoing salary in a trade.

The second tax apron is the hard cap for a team that uses the taxpayer mid-level exception.

The salary floor is the minimum amount a team must pay its players in 2023/24. A team that doesn’t spend up to that amount by the start of the regular season will pay the shortfall to the NBA and will only be eligible for 50% of its full share of the luxury tax distribution at season’s end.

The Early Bird amount – which was confirmed to Hoops Rumors by Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype – is the maximum amount a team can offer a player it intends to re-sign using his Early Bird rights. Pelicans forward Herbert Jones has already agreed to an Early Bird deal.

Players earning below the estimated average salary this season who are eligible for a veteran extension can receive a starting salary of up to 140% of the estimated average salary on a new deal. So the maximum starting salary for a player earning below the league average who signs an extension that begins in 2024/25 will be $16,741,200.

The trade cash limit is the maximum amount of money a team can send or receive during the 2023/24 league year. The sent and received categories are separate, so if a team sends out $6,999,000 in one trade and receives $6,999,000 in another, they aren’t back at square one — they’ve reached both limits.

We have separate stories breaking the full year-by-year figures for this year’s maximum salaries, minimum salaries, and mid-level and bi-annual exceptions.

Raptors, Gary Trent Jr. Nearing Multiyear Extension

After exercising his 2023/24 player option worth $18,785,000, Gary Trent Jr. is closing in on a “lucrative multiyear extension” with the Raptors, league sources tell Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report (Twitter link).

Trent will be extension-eligible on July 7, so a new deal would technically have to wait about a week before becoming official.

The 24-year-old had long been expected to opt out of his option in order to hit the open market and sign a longer-term deal worth perhaps $18-20MM annually. It seems as though that will be coming to fruition, but instead of with a new club, the young shooting guard will be staying with Toronto.

As Blake Murphy of notes (via Twitter), Trent’s extension technically could be worth up to $116.4MM with a starting salary of $25.98MM in ’24/25 due to a change in how veteran extensions work in the new CBA. Murphy doesn’t think Trent will receive that robust total, but it gives more wiggle room for negotiating a larger sum.

Trent is coming off a solid two-and-a-half year stint in Toronto in which he averaged 17.7 points per game on .420/.374/.843 shooting while chipping in 1.6 SPG. He was acquired via trade from Portland in March 2021 for Norman Powell.

The Raptors have been active in free agency, re-signing Jakob Poeltl to a four-year deal but losing longtime veteran Fred VanVleet, who received a three-year, maximum-salary contract from the Rockets. Toronto quickly pivoted to replace VanVleet by signing Dennis Schröder.

Oshae Brissett Signs Two-Year Deal With Celtics

JULY 6: The Celtics have officially signed Brissett, the team announced in a press release.

JUNE 30: Oshae Brissett is signing a two-year deal with the Celtics, agent Mike George tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). The second year is a player option, Woj adds.

Based on Boston’s financial situation, Brissett will be inking a minimum-salary contract, as Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe confirms.

A 6’7″ combo forward, Brissett went undrafted in 2019 after two college seasons at Syracuse. He originally signed an Exhibit 10 deal with his hometown Raptors, which was converted into a two-way deal for his rookie season.

Brissett was waived by Toronto in December 2020, later catching on with the Pacers in April 2021 on a couple of 10-day contracts. He played so well for Indiana to close ’20/21 (he averaged 10.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.0 BPG and 0.9 SPG on .483/.423/.769 shooting in 24 games) that he earned a multiyear contract for the veteran’s minimum.

His numbers declined in ’21/22, but were still solid enough for his contract. However, his role was further reduced in ’22/23, with Brissett averaging 6.1 PPG and 3.4 RPG while shooting 31% from three-point range in 65 games (16.7 MPG).

The Celtics likely won’t be expecting much from Brissett beyond providing depth, but he’s still young and clearly they liked him enough to give him a two-year contract. He’ll be looking for a bounce-back season with Boston in order to increase his value going forward.

Julian Champagnie Signs Four-Year Deal With Spurs

JULY 6: Champagnie’s deal with the Spurs is official, the team announced in a press release.

JUNE 30: Spurs forward Julian Champagnie is re-signing with San Antonio, but instead of receiving another two-way contract, he’ll receive $12MM over four years on a standard deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links). The final year is a team option, Woj adds.

Champagnie went undrafted last year after three college seasons at St. John’s, catching on with the Sixers on a two-way deal. He only made three NBA appearances with Philadelphia, spending most of his rookie year in the G League with the team’s affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats.

The 22-year-old averaged 21.9 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.2 BPG and 1.1 SPG on .465/.347/.839 shooting in 14 games (35.1 MPG) during the fall Showcase Cup, then put up 14.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.8 APG and 0.9 BPG on .419/.352/.875 shooting in 18 regular season games with the Blue Coats.

The 76ers released Champagnie in February and his two-way deal was claimed on waivers by the Spurs. He spent eight games with their affiliate in Austin, but impressed the NBA club in 15 games down the stretch of the 2022/23 season.

He averaged 11.0 PPG and 4.0 RPG on .461/.407/.824 shooting in 20.9 MPG over that span for San Antonio, which he parlayed into a multiyear standard contract.

Champagnie is the twin brother of Celtics forward Justin Champagnie.

Lakers Sign Cam Reddish To Two-Year Contract

JULY 6: The Lakers have officially signed Reddish, the team confirmed in a press release.

JUNE 30: The Lakers are signing free agent forward Cam Reddish to a two-year contract, per Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul informs Dave McMenamin of ESPN that the second year of the agreement will be a player option. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reveals (via Twitter) that the contract will be a minimum deal.

The athletic 6’8″ small forward is already pretty well-traveled as he embarks on just his fifth NBA season in 2023/24. The Hawks selected him with the tenth overall pick in the 2018 draft out of Duke. He has since suited up, briefly, for the Knicks and Trail Blazers.

Splitting his 2022/23 season between New York and Portland, he averaged 9.7 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.4 APG and 1.0 APG in 40 contests.

Los Angeles has enjoyed a very proactive first few hours of free agency. Beyond taking this flyer on Reddish, the Lakers have also already re-signed restricted free agent power forward Rui Hachimura and added point guard Gabe Vincent and combo forward Taurean Prince.

L.A. will now determine the fates of restricted free agent shooting guard Austin Reaves, plus unrestricted free agent guards D’Angelo Russell, Dennis Schroder, and Lonnie Walker IV, all of whom helped the club return to its first Western Conference Finals since 2020.

Kevin Love Signs Two-Year Deal With Heat

JULY 6: The Heat have made it official, issuing a press release to announce their new deal with Love.

JUNE 30: Veteran power forward Kevin Love is returning to the Heat on a two-year contract, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. The second year will include a player option (Twitter links).

The Heat are using their Non-Bird rights to re-sign Love, which will result in a $3.7MM cap hit for next season, the Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang tweets. Miami could have gone as high as $3.84MM to retain Love, so they’ll get a little cap relief if the $3.7MM figure is correct.

In either case, it’ll be a bargain for a five-time All-Star and 34-year-old rotation player. After reaching a buyout with the Cavaliers, Love appeared in 21 regular-season games with the Heat, including 17 starts. He averaged 7.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists, though the 37% career 3-point shooter struggled from long range (29.7%).

Love played 20 postseason games with Miami, including 18 starts, and produced an average of 6.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 17 minutes. His 3-point shooting perked up to his usual level (37.5%).

While it remains to be seen how the rest of the Heat’s roster moves shake out, Love will likely be a starter or key second-unit player once again for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

Lakers Sign Rui Hachimura To Three-Year Deal

JULY 6: The Lakers have officially re-signed Hachimura, the team confirmed today in a press release.

JUNE 30: The Lakers have reached an agreement with Rui Hachimura, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Sources tell Charania that the restricted free agent forward will sign a three-year, $51MM contract to remain in Los Angeles.

According to Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link), Hachimura’s deal will be fully guaranteed.

The ninth pick of the 2019 draft, Hachimura spent his first three-plus NBA seasons with the Wizards, averaging 13.0 PPG and 5.1 RPG on .479/.356/.776 shooting in 177 games over that span (118 starts, 27.8 MPG). In 30 games with the Wizards in 2022/23, he averaged 13.0 PPG and 4.3 RPG on .488/.337/.759 shooting in 24.3 MPG off the bench.

Hachimura was traded to the Lakers in January in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks. His regular-season numbers actually declined with L.A., with the Japanese forward posting 9.6 PPG and 4.7 RPG on .485/.296/.721 shooting in 33 games (nine starts, 22.4 MPG).

However, he had a scorching hot playoff run, posting a .557/.487/.882 shooting line across 16 postseason appearances. He also chipped in 12.2 PPG and 3.6 in 24.3 MPG during the Lakers’ journey to the Western Conference Finals.

Hachimura was eligible for a rookie scale extension before last season started and reportedly received an offer in the range of $12-14MM per year, but passed on that opportunity in search of a bigger deal in free agency. It turned out to be a wise financial decision, as he’ll be making $17MM annually on his new contract.

In case you missed it, the Lakers have also reached free agent agreements with guard Gabe Vincent and forward Taurean Prince.

Josh Richardson Signs Two-Year Contract With Heat

JULY 2: Richardson’s deal with the Heat is now official, according to a press release from the team.

JUNE 30: Veteran free agent swingman Josh Richardson is reportedly inking a two-year, minimum-salary contract to return to the Heat, report Shams Charania of The Athletic and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter links).

Jackson notes that the deal includes a player option for 2024/25. Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra reached out to Richardson at the start of the free agent period to recruit Richardson, per Jackson. Jackson tweets that a rival club offered the 6’5″ shooting guard/small forward more money, but he was swayed by the conversation with one of the league’s best coaches.

Mike Scotto of HoopsHype reports that the Timberwolves and Celtics also were hoping to sign Richardson. Scotto reveals that team president Pat Riley was also involved in the recruitment call to reacquire Richardson.

Miami, which as of now is already in luxury tax terrain in terms of its current contracts, has done well in adding a quality 3-and-D rotation wing on a team-friendly deal. The annual cap hits on a minimum deal for Richardson will be $2,891,467 in 2023/24 and $3,051,153 in 2024/25.

Miami first drafted Richardson out of Tennessee with the No. 40 pick in 2015, and flipped him to the Sixers as part of the deal that brought All-NBA wing Jimmy Butler to South Beach.

Across 65 games split between the Spurs and Pelicans in 2023/24, Richardson averaged 10.1 PPG on .431/.365/.852 shooting splits, along with 2.7 RPG, 2.7 APG and 1.1 SPG.