Alex Caruso

Lakers, Alex Caruso Agree To Two-Way Deal

The Lakers are signing Summer League standout Alex Caruso to a deal, sources tell Sportando (Twitter link). Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com adds further details, reporting that Caruso will get a two-way, two-year contract from Los Angeles.

Caruso, a 6’4″ guard, went undrafted out of Texas A&M in 2016. He caught in with the Thunder for training camp, but was cut and ultimately landed with the club’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue. In 50 games for the Blue, Caruso averaged 11.9 PPG, 5.2 APG, and 2.2 SPG, with a .459/.401/.749 shooting line.

Caruso’s G League performance last season earned him a shot with the Lakers in Summer League play this summer, and he has looked good in limited minutes in Vegas, averaging 6.5 PPG, 3.3 APG, and 1.3 SPG in four games for L.A.

By securing him to a two-way contract, the Lakers will gain Caruso’s G League rights, so he’s on track to play primarily for the South Bay Lakers in 2017/18. For more details on how his two-way contract will work, be sure to check out our FAQ on the subject.

NBA D-League Affiliate Players For 2016/17

Throughout the offseason, and in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, NBA teams are permitted to carry 20 players, but that total must be cut down to 15 in advance of opening night. However, up to four players waived by teams before the season can be designated as affiliate players and assigned to their D-League squads.

The players have some say in the decision — if they’d prefer to sign with a team overseas, or if they get an opportunity with another NBA club, they’re free to turn down their team’s request to have them play in the D-League. Most NBA and international teams have fairly set rosters by late October though, so having the opportunity to continue playing in the same system is appealing to many of those preseason cuts. Especially since they’ll maintain NBA free agency while they play in the D-League.

There are a few other rules related to D-League affiliate players. A player whose returning rights are held by a D-League team can’t be an affiliate player for another club, which is why undrafted free agents from the current year are commonly signed and assigned. Additionally, an affiliate player must have signed with his team during the current league year, which explains why we often see players signed and quickly waived in the days leading up to the regular season. And, of course, not every NBA team has a D-League affiliate, so clubs like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Clippers have no place to send affiliate players.

With all that in mind, here are the NBA D-League affiliate players to start the 2016/17 season:

Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)

Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)

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Thunder Sign Reggie Williams, Waive Alex Caruso

The Thunder shuffled guards on their roster today, announcing via press release that Reggie Williams has been signed and Alex Caruso was waived. The details of Williams’ deal were not relayed, though it is almost assuredly a minimum salary arrangement that may include a small partial guarantee. Caruso’s minimum salary pact included a partial guarantee of $50K, which will remain on OKC’s salary cap unless he is claimed off waivers by another club.

Williams spent the 2015/16 campaign overseas with the Russian club Avtodor Saratov. He appeared in 16 contests and averaged 13.6 points on 58.8% shooting overall. The guard has appeared in 200 career NBA games (32 starts) with the Thunder, Spurs, Hornets and Warriors. He owns career averages of 7.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 18.3 minutes

Caruso, who went undrafted in June, played his college ball at Texas A&M, averaging 8.1 PPG, 5.0 APG, 3.6 RPG, and 2.1 SPG in his senior year, while shooting 36.8% from three-point range. The 22-year-old was also named to the SEC’s All-Defensive Team. He did not log a single minute of action during preseason play for the Thunder.

Contract Details: Brand, Rockets, Thunder, Pacers

With training camps underway, teams have now officially finalized the contract agreements with various camp invitees that had been reported over the past several weeks, meaning we have plenty of contract details to round up. As usual, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders has been busy reporting those details, updating his salary pages for teams around the NBA.

Because we have so many updates to pass along from Pincus, we’ll divide them up by players who received some guaranteed money from their teams, and those who didn’t. All of the links below point to the Basketball Insiders team salary pages, so be sure to click through for additional information.

Here are the latest salary updates from across the league, via Pincus:

Players receiving guaranteed money:

These players aren’t necessarily assured of regular-season roster spots. In fact, many of them likely received guarantees as an incentive to accept a D-League assignment. Still, for some players, larger guarantees should increase their odds of making 15-man rosters.

  • Thomas Walkup (Bulls): One year, minimum salary. $69.5K guaranteed.
  • Keith Benson (Heat): Two years, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Henry Sims (Jazz): One year, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Alex Poythress (Pacers): One year, minimum salary. $35,381 guaranteed.
  • Kevin Seraphin (Pacers): Two years, $3.681MM. First year ($1.8MM) guaranteed.
  • Julyan Stone (Pacers): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Gary Payton II (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. First year ($543,471) guaranteed.
  • Isaiah Taylor (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Kyle Wiltjer (Rockets): Two years, minimum salary. $275K guaranteed.
  • Cat Barber (Sixers): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Elton Brand (Sixers): One year, minimum salary. $1MM guaranteed.
  • Derrick Jones (Suns): Three years, minimum salary. $42.5K guaranteed.
  • Alex Caruso (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $50K guaranteed.
  • Kaleb Tarczewski (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $75K guaranteed.
  • Chris Wright (Thunder): One year, minimum salary. $100K guaranteed.

Players receiving no guaranteed money:

The following players all signed one-year, minimum salary contracts with no guaranteed money. Many of these deals are “summer contracts,” which won’t count against a team’s cap unless the player earns a spot on the 15-man roster.

Thunder Sign Three Players, Finalize Camp Roster

The Thunder have officially finalized their roster for training camp, bringing their roster count to the maximum allowable 20 players. The team announced today in a press release that it has signed guard Alex Caruso, center Kaleb Tarczewski, and forward Chris Wright. Tarczewski’s and Wright’s camp invites had been previously reported.

[RELATED: Oklahoma City Thunder roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com]

Caruso, who went undrafted in June, played his college ball at Texas A&M, averaging 8.1 PPG, 5.0 APG, 3.6 RPG, and 2.1 SPG in his senior year, while shooting 36.8% from three-point range. The 22-year-old was also named to the SEC’s All-Defensive Team.

Tarczewski, meanwhile, also wasn’t selected in this year’s draft, following a senior year at Arizona in which he averaged 9.4 PPG and 9.3 RPG. Like Caruso, the seven-foot center is a strong defender, having been named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.

Wright, who turns 28 next Friday, previously appeared in a total of 32 NBA games for the Warriors and Bucks, but has spent most of his time during the past few years overseas. Most recently, Wright appeared in 34 Israeli League games last season for Maccabi Rishon Le-Zion, averaging 12.2 PPG and 5.1 RPG while shooting 61.5% from the floor and playing solid defense.

The Thunder are currently carrying 15 players on fully guaranteed contracts, with Joffrey Lauvergne on a partially-guaranteed pact and Semaj Christon on a non-guaranteed deal. Caruso, Tarczewski, and Wright likely won’t get more than small guarantees, if they get any guaranteed money at all, which means they’re long shots to make the team’s 15-man roster. An assignment to the D-League’s Oklahoma City Blue is possible for all three players.

Workouts Update: Suns, Hornets, Kings, Grizzlies

Two prominent power forward prospects had individual workouts with the Suns this weekend, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Croatian star Dragan Bender and Washington freshman Marquese Chriss both were in Phoenix for unannounced sessions that may influence the Suns’ thinking with the No. 4 pick. Coro adds that Bender worked out for Minnesota, which holds the fifth selection, on Thursday and will visit Boston, which has the No. 3 choice, early this week.

In addition, Phoenix held a workout Saturday for three players who may be options with the 13th pick: Michigan State power forward Deyonta Davis and shooting guard Denzel Valentine, along with small forward Timothe Luwawu of France. Also at the session were Louisville center Chinanu Onuaku and Arizona State center Eric Jabobsen.

There’s more workout news as draft day draws closer:

  • The Hornets, who have the 22nd pick, will welcome six players for a workout today, the team tweeted. The session will feature Virginia shooting guard Malcolm Brogdon, High Point combo forward John Brown, South Carolina small forward Michael Carrera, North Carolina power forward Joel James, UNLV shooting guard Patrick McCaw and Virginia center Mike Tobey.
  • The Kings are also planning to bring in six players today for a workout, the organization announced. Participants will be Arkansas-Little Rock point guard Josh Hagins, Arizona point guard Gabe York, Kansas small forward Brannen Greene, Oakland shooting guard Max Hooper, UC Santa Barbara combo guard Mike Bryson and Utah small forward Jordan Loveridge. The Kings hold pick No. 8.
  • The Grizzlies have a workout scheduled this afternoon with Texas A&M combo guard Alex Caruso, Oregon small forward Elgin Cook, Kansas center Cheick Diallo, Memphis power forward Shaq Goodwin, Baylor small forward Taurean Prince and LSU combo guard Tim Quarterman. Memphis has the 17th pick.
  • The Raptors, who own picks No. 9 and 27, will hold a workout today for Syracuse shooting guard Malachi Richardson, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
  • The Bulls held a workout Friday, tweets Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops. Attending were Maryland center Diamond Stone, UNLV center Stephen Zimmerman, Toledo power forward/center Nathan Boothe and Northern Iowa point guard Wes Washpun. The Bulls have the 14th pick.

Eastern Notes: Smart, Teague, Draft

Hawks point guard Jeff Teague relayed today that he played the entire 2015/16 campaign with a torn patellar tendon in his knee and that he “could barely jump or stop,” Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com writes. Teague won’t require surgery this offseason and is expected to be ready to go when training camp commences, Mazzeo adds. “He is kind of, for lack of a better word, managing his knee,” coach/executive Mike Budenholzer said. “I don’t know if it is knees and ankles. I would say it is hard to know what he shares and what he doesn’t. I think he was relatively healthy and he was good so many nights and he is such a good player. I do think he was managing it a little bit like a lot of NBA guys do.”

Teague, 27, appeared in 79 games in 2015/16, averaging 15.7 points and 5.9 assists and shooting 43.9% from the field and 40% from 3-point range. He has one year remaining on his current deal and is a potential trade candidate this offseason. Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Celtics held two group workouts today, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com tweets. The first group was comprised of Alex Caruso (Texas A&M), Juan Hernangomez (Spain), Damian Jones (Vanderbilt), Thon Maker (Australia), Georgios Papagiannis (Greece) and Rasheed Sulaimon (Maryland), Forsberg notes. The second group included Robert Carter (Maryland), Stefan Jankovic (Hawaii), Shawn Long (Louisiana-Lafayette), Mamadou Ndiaye (UC Irvine), Nik Slavica (Croatia) and Troy Williams (Indiana).
  • The Heat have granted the Grizzlies permission to interview assistant coach Keith Smart for a position on the staff of former Miami assistant David Fizdale, who was recently named Memphis’ head coach, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel relays. Memphis was denied permission to interview Heat assistant coach Dan Craig, who is expected to take an elevated position on Erik Spoelstra‘s staff next season, Winderman adds.
  • The Hornets have workouts scheduled for Friday with Cat Barber (NC State), Nathan Boothe (Toledo), Jake Layman (Maryland), Isaiah Miles (St. Joe’s), Tyler Ulis (Kentucky) and Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV), Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders relays (on Twitter).

Draft Updates: Dunn, Suns, Celtics, Pelicans

Last month, we heard that former Providence point guard Kris Dunn may refuse to release his medical records to the Celtics and Suns, since he prefers not to land with a team with a young point guard or two already in place. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM is hearing similar rumblings, tweeting that Dunn isn’t interested in working out for Phoenix or sharing his medical records with the Suns — Gambardo hears that the point guard would like to land with the Timberwolves.

Let’s check out a few more draft-related updates…

  • While the Celtics may not be Dunn’s preferred destination, ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider link) has the Providence product going to Boston at No. 3 in his latest mock draft, writing that he thinks the C’s will choose one of Dunn, Jamal Murray, or Marquese Chriss. Dragan Bender, who has also been viewed as a candidate for that No. 3 pick, goes sixth overall in Ford’s latest mock, with the ESPN.com scribe writing that the Pelicans are believed to be “pretty big fans” of the 18-year-old big man.
  • Also within his mock draft, Ford writes that Kings GM Vlade Divac and owner Vivek Ranadive love Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, and suggests that the Raptors have been “secretly hoping” Chriss falls to them at No. 9, which appears increasingly unlikely.
  • Former Seton Hall point guard Isaiah Whitehead has workouts with the Nuggets and Pistons lined up for June 10th and 15th, respectively, and will work out for the Bulls and Nets after that, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • After working out for Philadelphia on Thursday, Daniel Hamilton (UConn) will work out for the Rockets, Warriors, and Bucks, while Alex Caruso (Texas A&M) will work out for the Knicks, Wizards, and Celtics, per Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter links).

Draft Notes: Ellenson, Yusta, Stone, Whitehead

Here’s the latest news and notes from around the league regarding the upcoming 2016 NBA Draft:

  • The Sixers are holding pre-draft workouts tomorrow for Isaia Cordinier (France), Alex Caruso (Texas A&M), Daniel Hamilton (Connecticut), Brandon Austin (Northwest Florida State), Rosco Allen (Stanford) and Alex Poythress (Kentucky), the team announced via press release.
  • Former BYU point guard Kyle Collinsworth worked out for the Nets today, Jarom Jordan of BYU SportsNation tweets.
  • The Hornets have workouts scheduled on Thursday for Montay Brandon (Florida State), Retin Obasohan (Alabama), Goodluck Okonoboh (UNLV), Tim Quarterman (LSU), Adam Smith (Georgia Tech) and Diamond Stone (Maryland), the team announced.
  • The Pacers will bring in Robert Carter (Maryland), Julian Jacobs (USC), Marcus Paige (North Carolina), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Dyshawn Pierre (Dayton), and Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall) on Thursday for pre-draft workouts, the team announced.
  • Former Boise State small forward James Webb III worked out for the Wolves today, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.
  • Spanish small forward Santiago Yusta has withdrawn from the 2016 NBA Draft, Encestando.com relays (translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).
  • Former Marquette big man Henry Ellenson worked out for the Wolves on Tuesday and has workouts scheduled with the Lakers, Raptors and Suns next, Wolfson tweets.

Western Rumors: DeRozan, Workouts, Nuggets

The Lakers are not that interested in Raptors free agent shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding told SiriusXM’s Noah Coslov in a radio interview. That comes as a surprise, as the Lakers were expected to make a strong push for DeRozan when he hit the open market. DeRozan indicated during his postseason press conference that he had every intention of staying with the Raptors.
In other news around the Western Conference:
  • The Jazz will work out six draft prospects on Tuesday, according to the team’s Twitter feed. That group includes forwards Zach Auguste (Notre Dame), Shavon Shields (Nebraska), Abdel Nader (Iowa State) and Anthony Gill (Virginia) and guards Andrew Andrews and Alex Caruso. Auguste is the only player considered a Top 100 prospects by both ESPN Insider Chad Ford (No. 86) and DraftExpress’ Jonathan Givony (No. 80).
  • The Suns had two sets of workouts on Monday, with some big names coming in for evaluations, according to their official Twitter feed (Twitter links). The first set of workouts included guards Tyler Ulis (Kentucky), Gabe York (Arizona), Anthony Barber (North Carolina State) and Isaia Cordinier and forwards Robert Carter (Maryland) and Alex Poythress (Kentucky). The second group included forwards Perry Ellis (Kansas), Troy Williams (Indiana) and Thon Maker, center Damian Jones (Vanderbilt) and guards Michael Gbinije (Syracuse) and Tyrone Wallace (California). Ulis (No. 18 on Ford’s list, No. 19 on Givony’s list) and Jones (No. 23, No. 22) are the highest-ranked players among those groups.
  • The Nuggets will have difficulty freeing up enough salary-cap space to sign a star player this summer and will thus likely have to pursue a trade to make a significant upgrade, as Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post details in an examination of the team’s financial situation. It’s unrealistic for the team to max out a player in free agency, address other needs and sign draft picks, Dempsey adds.
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