Amida Brimah

Central Notes: Varejao, Cavaliers, Grant, Brimah

The Cavaliers recently signed veteran center Anderson Varejao to a 10-day contract, honoring the 38-year-old with a celebratory deal for his past stints.

Varejao, who played with Cleveland from 2004-16, was part of numerous playoff runs and appeared in 591 regular-season games with the team. He received a phone call from GM Koby Altman just last week, with Altman delivering some good news.

“He said, ‘Andy, let’s do this. We’re gonna bring you back,’” Varejao recalled, as relayed by Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “It was a moment that I took to myself, like, ‘Wow, it’s really about to happen.’ It feels right.

“Cleveland is home for me. I love the city, I love the fans, I love the organization. I’m happy to be back. It’s not just the end of this season, it’s the 12 years that I’ve been here, that all counts to me. I was always ready to come back to be honest. I’m excited. It feels like I never left.”

There’s more from the Central Division today:

  • In a separate story for Cleveland.com, Chris Fedor explores whether the Cavaliers can follow the Suns’ path in their rebuild. Phoenix holds the NBA’s best record at 47-18 after years of rebuilding, finally reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. The Suns defeated Cleveland 134-118 in overtime on Tuesday.
  • Pistons forward Jerami Grant, who has been sidelined since April 26 with right knee soreness, is returning to the team’s lineup on Saturday, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports. Detroit will take on Philadelphia in a road contest that night.
  • The Pacers‘ two-way contract with Amida Brimah is for two years, running through 2021/22, Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports tweets. Brimah, a 27-year-old center, signed that deal to join the club last month.

Pacers Sign Amida Brimah, Waive Brian Bowen

11:57am: Brimah has officially signed his two-way deal with the Pacers, the team announced in a press release. He won’t have to go through a quarantine period and will be available for the team’s game on Saturday vs. Detroit, tweets Scott Agness of The Athletic.

As first reported by J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (via Twitter) and confirmed by the Pacers, Bowen has been waived to open up a spot for Brimah. The 22-year-old forward, who has spent the last two seasons on a two-way deal with Indiana, logged a total of just 46 minutes in 12 games for the team since the start of 2019/20.


9:37am: Following a series of injuries to their frontcourt players, the Pacers are adding some depth. Free agent center Amida Brimah is signing a two-way contract with Indiana, agent Daniel Hazan tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Brimah, who went undrafted out of UConn in 2017, has never appeared in an NBA regular season game despite signing Exhibit 10 contracts with NBA teams for four consecutive years — two with the Spurs (2017 and 2018) and two with the Pacers (2019 and 2020).

The 27-year-old big man had a brief stint with a Serbian club in 2018 but has otherwise spent his professional career in the G League, most recently averaging 8.0 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and 2.6 RPG in 10 games (23.5 MPG) for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in this season’s NBAGL bubble.

Brimah is known for his rim-protecting abilities — he was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and made the G League All-Defensive team in 2018. And despite never playing an NBA game, he has some championship experience, having won an NCAA title with UConn in ’14 and a G League title with the Austin Spurs in ’18.

The banged-up Pacers are currently missing Myles Turner (toe), Domantas Sabonis (back), and Goga Bitadze (ankle), so there could be a path to immediate minutes for Brimah, depending on when he officially signs and when Sabonis and Bitadze are ready to return.

Indiana will have to waive one of its current two-way players to make room for Brimah. Brian Bowen is probably a likelier release candidate than 2020 second-rounder Cassius Stanley, but we’ll have to see what the Pacers have in mind.

Pacers Waive Brimah, Hammonds, Add Gray, Robinson

The Pacers have waived Amida Brimah and Rayshaun Hammonds and signed Josh Gray and Devin Robinson, according to a team press release.

Brimah and Hammonds were on Exhibit 10 contracts and could resurface on the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Indiana’s G League team, once they clear waivers.

Brimah, 26, was in Indiana’s training camp last season on an Exhibit 10 contract but suffered a torn right ACL that required surgery.

Brimah’s previous NBA experience includes an Exhibit 10 deal with the Spurs in 2018 and a Summer League stint with the Bulls in 2017. He played two G League seasons with the Austin Spurs and spent one season in Belgrade.

Hammonds is a rookie forward out of Georgia. He averaged 12.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in 32 games for the Bulldogs last season.

Gray was waived by the Thunder early this month after they acquired the guard in a multi-team trade. The 27-year-old Gray played in five games for the Suns during the 2017/18 season. He had a two-game cameo with the Pelicans during 2019/20. Across 15.6 MPG with those clubs, Gray has averaged a cumulative 4.9 PPG, 2.0 APG, 1.7 RPG and 1.14 SPG.

Robinson, 25, played for the Raptors’ G League team, Raptors 905, last season. The 6’8” forward averaged 17.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

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 stay with the team’s affiliate in the G League for at least 60 days.

Pacers Sign Guards Cassius Stanley, Naz Mitrou-Long

The Pacers have finalized agreements with two guards, signing rookie Cassius Stanley to a two-way contract and Naz Mitrou-Long to an Exhibit 10 deal, according to a press release on the team’s official site.
Indiana selected Stanley with the No. 54 pick in the 2020 draft out of Duke. The 6’6″ guard started all of his 29 games during his lone season with Duke in 2019/20, averaging 12.6 PPG and 4.9 RPG, while converting on 36% of his 3.0 long-range attempts a night. After two seasons with the Jazz, Mitrou-Long appeared in five games for the Pacers last season, averaging 9.4 MPG.
The announcement also confirmed several other previously-reported signings. Forward JaKarr Sampson will return for his second season with Indiana on a fully-guaranteed veteran’s minimum deal. Wing Kelan Martin, formerly with the Timberwolves, will join the Pacers on a two-year deal, though the speculation is that it will not be fully-guaranteed.
Forward Brian Bowen II, who suited up for six games with the Pacers last season, will occupy the club’s second two-way player contract slot alongside Stanley.
Mitrou-Long joins center Amida Brimah and forward Rayshaun Hammonds as the Pacers with Exhibit 10 contracts. All three will join the team for training camp, with an opportunity to make the club’s opening night roster. These are one-year, minimum salary deals that can carry an optional player bonus ranging from $5K to $50K.

Pacers To Sign Amida Brimah

Former Connecticut center Amida Brimah will sign with the Pacers, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Brimah, 26, was in Indiana’s training camp last season on an Exhibit 10 contract and was expected to join the team’s G League affiliate, but he suffered a torn right ACL that required surgery.

Brimah’s previous NBA experience includes an Exhibit 10 deal with the Spurs in 2018 and a Summer League stint with the Bulls in 2017. He played two G League seasons with the Austin Spurs and spent one season in Belgrade.

 

And-Ones: Duval, G League Draft, NBA Rosters, Williamson

Trevon Duval has signed a G League contract and is eligible for this Saturday’s draft, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days tweets. Duval was a two-way player for the Rockets last season and became a free agent when the team didn’t give him a qualifying offer this summer. He was claimed by Houston in March after the Bucks waived him. The former Duke guard made three cameo appearances with Milwaukee.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Journeyman center Hasheem Thabeet, former Lakers guard Vander Blue, and forward Trey Mourning, son of Alonzo Mourning, are some of the more interesting names on the list of players eligible for the G League draft, according to a league press release. The Northern Arizona Suns have the first pick.
  • There are 108 international players from 38 countries and territories on current NBA rosters, according to a league press release. The most-represented countries among the 108 international players on opening-night rosters are Canada (16 players), Australia (nine players), France (eight players), Croatia (seven players) and Serbia (six players). The Mavericks lead the league with seven international players.
  • Zion Williamson‘s knee injury created disappointment for the NBA’s TV partners, as Joe Vardon of The Athletic explains. TNT and ESPN wanted nationally-televised games featuring the Pelicans during the opening week of the season to showcase Williamson. They were stuck showing the Pelicans without the top pick in the draft on the court because it was too late to make a change. Vardon goes in-depth on how the national TV schedule is designed and notes that the Lakers play 21 of their 30 nationally -televised games after New Year’s Day because the networks wanted to feature LeBron James and Anthony Davis during the team’s playoff push.
  • Amida Brimah, the former UConn center who was in training camp with the Pacers, has suffered a torn right ACL, Scott Agness of The Athletic tweets. He was slated to join Indiana’s G League team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.  Brimah will undergo surgery next week, Agness adds.

Pacers Cut Walt Lemon, Amida Brimah, C.J. Wilcox

The Pacers have removed three players from their roster, announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived Walt Lemon Jr., Amida Brimah, and C.J. Wilcox.

All three players were in Indiana on non-guaranteed contracts, so the team won’t have to take on any dead money as a result of today’s cuts.

Lemon and Brimah are on track to join the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, since the Pacers’ G League affiliate has acquired both players’ returning rights. Wilcox is expected to join them, per Scott Agness of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Pacers now have 17 players under contract, including 15 on guaranteed salaries and two on two-way deals. The roster is essentially regular-season-ready, but it’s possible the team will continue to make moves this week as it secures affiliate players for the Mad Ants.

Pacers Finalize Deal With Amida Brimah

After reaching an agreement in July to sign him to a one-year contract, the Pacers finalized their deal with free agent center Amida Brimah today, tweets Scott Agness of The Athletic. With the signing, which Indiana confirmed in a press release, the team now has a full 20-man offseason roster.

Brimah, 25, went undrafted out of UConn in 2017 and appeared in 95 games for the G League’s Austin Spurs over the last two seasons. In 47 games in 2018/19, Brimah averaged 8.8 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 2.9 BPG in 23.3 minutes per contest for San Antonio’s NBAGL affiliate. He earned G League All-Defensive honors for a second consecutive season.

More recently, Brimah appeared in six Summer League games for the Nets in Las Vegas in July, showing off his rim-protecting abilities by averaging 2.2 BPG in just 12.5 minutes per contest.

Because the Pacers already have 15 players with guaranteed salaries under contract, Brimah is unlikely to make the team’s regular season roster. Indiana’s own G League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, recently acquired the big man’s NBAGL rights from Austin, per Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days (Twitter link). That’s a signal that Brimah will likely end up as an affiliate player for the Pacers and figures to start the 2019/20 regular season in Fort Wayne.

Central Notes: Arena, Forcier, Wood, Brimah

According to The Associated Press, city officials in Indianapolis are signing off on a deal nearing $300MM in public subsidies in order to fund the renovation of the Pacers’ downtown arena, Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Council members reportedly voted in favor of the deal unanimously, with the Pacers promising to stay at Bankers Life for 25 more years in consideration of the public money. The project includes building a year-round outdoor plaza next to the arena and interior updates.

The funding/renovation plan includes $270MM from the state and local income and sales taxes generated by several nearby hotels, with the city of Indianapolis committing $25MM to the project and the Pacers contributing $65MM.

There’s more news out of the Central Division this evening:

  • Marc Stein of The New York Times is reporting that the Bucks are adding veteran assistant coach Chad Forcier to Mike Budenholzer‘s coaching staff. Forcier worked with Budenholzer in San Antonio under Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich.
  • Big man Christian Wood, recently claimed by the Pistons after being waived by New Orleans, has become the front-runner to take the 15th roster spot in Detroit, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
  • Per Scott Agness of The Athletic (Twitter link), the Pacers’ reported one-year deal with center Amida Brimah has a partial guarantee. Agness refers to Brimah as a “potential two-way guy,” which suggests that his guarantee doesn’t exceed $50K.

Pacers To Sign Amida Brimah

The Pacers have reached an agreement to sign free agent center Amida Brimah, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).

Agent Daniel Hazan tells Haynes that Brimah will sign a one-year deal with Indiana. It’s not clear if it will be an Exhibit 10 contract, but that seems probable, since I doubt Brimah will get a significant guarantee.

Brimah, 25, went undrafted out of UConn in 2017 and has signed a pair of contracts with the Spurs since then. Those training-camp deals were designated to secure the big man’s G League rights, and as a result, he has appeared in 95 games for the Austin Spurs over the last two seasons.

In 47 games last year, Brimah averaged 8.8 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 2.9 BPG in 23.3 minutes per contest for San Antonio’s NBAGL affiliate. He also earned G League All-Defensive honors for a second consecutive season.

More recently, Brimah appeared in six Summer League games for the Nets in Las Vegas earlier this month, showing off his rim-protecting abilities by averaging 2.2 BPG in just 12.5 minutes per game.