Anthony Tolliver

Central Notes: Bucks, Williams, Drummond, Pistons

The Bucks have a couple of options beyond making a trade to drop back below the luxury-tax line, as Gery Woelfel of WoelfelPressBox.com points out. Citing sources, Woelfel calculates the current Milwaukee payroll at $120.6MM, which would put it approximately $1.4MM over the tax threshold. The Bucks could shed some payroll by either releasing point guard Gary Payton Jr., who has a non-guaranteed $1.3MM deal, and/or waiving Spencer Hawes $6.5MM contract. By using the stretch provision, the Bucks could reduce Hawes’ 2017/18 cap hit by more than $4MM.

In other items involving the Central Division:

  • Unrestricted free agent forward Derrick Williams could wind up back with the Cavaliers, Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net reports. Williams has drawn little interest in the open market but the Cavs could sign him to a one-year, $2.4MM contract once they decide whether to trade Kyrie Irving, Amico adds. Williams averaged 6.2 PPG and 2.3 RPG on 51% shooting in 17.1 MPG over 25 regular-season games with Cleveland but was used sparingly in the playoffs.
  • Andre Drummond has already noticed a significant difference in his breathing and stamina since undergoing sinus surgery this summer to correct a deviated septum, Rod Beard of the Detroit News reports. Playing at a high altitude in the NBA Africa Game in South Africa, the Pistons center said he was breathing much easier on and off the court, as he told Beard. “Just being able to breathe, I can’t even explain how great it feels to sleep easier and breathe easier when I play,” Drummond said. “I’m not worried about gasping for air when I go hard.” Drummond had been breathing mainly through one nostril during his NBA career prior to the surgery.
  • Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy will have difficult decisions on his power forward rotation, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com notes. Tobias Harris could wind up splitting his time between both forward spots and the rest of the power forward minutes will be soaked up by a combination of Jon Leuer, Anthony Tolliver and second-year man Henry Ellenson. Leuer, who signed a four-year contract last summer, could wind up as the starter despite slumping badly after the All-Star break, Langlois continues. Tolliver signed up for his second stint with the franchise this summer and brings the elements of toughness and 3-point shooting, while Ellenson put his shot-making ability on display in summer-league action, Langlois adds.

Central Division: Rose, Bucks, Tolliver

Don’t expect Derrick Rose to make his decision this weekend, contrary to previous reports suggesting that he would. Per Chris Haynes of ESPN, Rose will have a face-to-face meeting with the Cavaliers before ultimately making a decision next week.

After a decent if unspectacular lone season in New York, Rose has narrowed down a list of possible suitors to the Lakers and Cavs. His involvement with the latter could be impacted by recent revelations that starting point guard Kyrie Irving has requested a trade out of Cleveland.

While the parties are said to be engaged in a deal for the veteran’s minimum, the guard could see his role increase substantially if Irving gets his wish and is promptly moved.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Consider Pacers swingman Lance Stephenson among those “heartbroken” that Paul George and the franchise have parted ways. The pair remain friends, Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports writes.
  • Among those interviewing for positions in Jon Horst‘s front office with the Bucks is Knicks Director of Pro Player Personnel Mark Hughes, Ian Begley of ESPN writes. Hughes has played a large role in New York’s draft decisions over the course of the past decade.
  • The decision to bring Anthony Tolliver back aboard will pay off for the Pistons in veteran leadership, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes. “He’s one of the highest-character guys in the NBA. What he will do in terms of leadership is important to our team, but it’s important that he’s a guy who can go out and play,” head coach Stan Van Gundy said.
  • The Pistons‘ chief goal this offseason was to improve their three-point shooting and Keith Langlois of the team’s official website writes that they’ve added a number of players that can help in that regard.

Pistons Sign Anthony Tolliver To One-Year Deal

JULY 14: The Pistons have issued a press release formally announcing their new deal with Tolliver.

JULY 11: The Pistons have agreed to a one-year, $3.3MM deal with free agent forward Anthony Tolliver, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). Detroit will use its bi-annual exception to complete the signing.Anthony Tolliver vertical

Tolliver, 32, spent the better part of two seasons with the Pistons from 2014 to 2016, but left the team last summer to sign a free agent contract with the Kings. The veteran averaged 7.1 PPG and 3.6 RPG with a .442 FG% in 65 games during his one-year stay in Sacramento, with the Kings opting to waive him rather than fully guaranteeing his 2017/18 salary, which was partially guaranteed for $2MM (of $8MM).

The addition of Tolliver could be the last major move of the offseason for the Pistons, who have now used both their mid-level exception and their bi-annual exception. The club used most of its MLE on Langston Galloway and sent Marcus Morris to Boston in a deal for Avery Bradley, creating a lack of depth in the frontcourt, particularly in the wake of Aron Baynes‘ departure.

Detroit addressed its need for bigs by using the rest of its MLE on Eric Moreland and now by using its BAE to add Tolliver. The duo will join Andre Drummond, Jon Leuer, Boban Marjanovic, and Henry Ellenson in the Pistons’ frontcourt.

Meanwhile, the bi-annual exception, which is worth $3.29MM this year, can only be used once every two years, so it won’t be available to the Pistons in 2018/19.

Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press first reported the Pistons’ interest in Tolliver.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Central Rumors: Pistons, Cavs, Bulls, Mirotic

The Pistons are considering free agents like Jonas Jerebko and Anthony Tolliver for one of their open roster spots, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter links). Ellis adds that the team has also engaged with a handful of other players as it weighs how to fill that spot.

Having traded away Marcus Morris and lost Aron Baynes in free agency, the Pistons could use some frontcourt depth, but their ability to add another free agent is somewhat limited. Having already used their full mid-level exception, Detroit could make an offer with its $3.29MM bi-annual exception, but otherwise could only offer the minimum.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert met with assistant GM Koby Altman for dinner on Monday night to discuss the future of the club’s front office, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). After losing David Griffin, the Cavs pursued Chauncey Billups to fill their head front office position, but haven’t been linked to any candidates since Billups turned them down. It’s possible Altman – who has essentially been the acting GM this offseason – will be offered the permanent job at some point, though that’s my speculation.
  • The Bulls remain optimistic about getting a deal done with restricted free agent Nikola Mirotic, per GM Gar Forman (link via Sam Smith of Bulls.com). “We want Niko back and we think Niko wants to be in Chicago,” Forman said. “Usually when you have those two things, at the end of the day there’s usually a way to get something done.”
  • Forman also discussed the Bulls‘ rebuilding process, expressing no regrets at moving Jimmy Butler last month, per Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com.
  • The Bulls continue to operate as an over-the-cap team, having signed Justin Holiday to a deal using part of their mid-level exception ($4.6MM of $8.4MM), tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Chicago could create between $25-30MM in cap room by renouncing Mirotic’s cap hold and various exceptions – including the trade exception from the Butler deal – but there has been no reason to do that so far, since the club hasn’t made any big-money acquisitions.

Kings Waive Anthony Tolliver

Sacramento has waived Anthony Tolliver, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). Tolliver’s $8MM contract was only guaranteed for $2MM unless he remained on the roster past today, The Vertical’s Bobby Marks tweets. The Kings will save $6MM from the move.

Marks adds that the team could choose to stretch the $2MM cap hit over the next three seasons. In that scenario, the Kings would have approximately $667K on each season’s cap sheet.

Tolliver, who turned 32 today, signed a two-year, $16MM deal with the Kings last offseason. He played in 65 games, scoring 7.1 points per contest during his lone season in Sacramento.

Pacific Notes: Iguodala, Kerr, Joerger, Rob Pelinka

Andre Iguodala has been assessed a $10K fine for making “inappropriate comments” during a postgame interview, the league announced on its official website (link). Iguodala’s comments came after a 103-102 loss to Minnesota on Friday, when the 33-year-old was venting about not participating in a match-up with the Spurs. Steve Kerr had Iguodala’s back, claiming the 13-year vet likes to mess with the media.

“You guys just got Andre’d,” Kerr said to a group of reporters, including Chris Haynes of ESPN. Andre is one of those guys who likes to stir the pot and has a lot of cryptic messaging at times. [He] jokes around. I didn’t take anything from it. It’s just Andre being Andre.”

Iguodala spoke with the press Monday, expressing regret for the impact of his comments.

“I feel like it’s the wrong time because it puts my team in that situation and coaching staff in that situation,” he told Ethan Strauss of ESPN. “I have a great relationship with Steve Kerr, and he knows that. Steve spoke to you guys about it, you know what I mean. Steve in his words, someone still may not believe him, but he and I are in a great place. We don’t even have to speak about it because he knew that in no way shape or form that I’m talking about him.”

More from around the Pacific…

  • The Kings will be sticking with their veterans despite a losing record, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes. Coach Dave Joerger isn’t going to “throw away” the team’s remaining games in 2016/17, Jones writes, and will play veterans (Garrett Temple, Arron Afflalo, Anthony Tolliver) alongside young players. “I’m very happy with coach,” Afflalo said. “Throughout all of this, he’s remained very positive and encouraged us to win games. He’s playing to win, he’s doing the best that he can with our roster. I commend him for that. So, from a veteran perspective, you’ve always got to keep hope alive and to to go out there and take it one game at a time.”
  • New Lakers GM Rob Pelinka plans to conduct individual meetings with his players, Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times writes. “For Earvin [Magic Johnson], Luke and I, we see our fundamental purpose, not just one that’s all about leadership in terms of the front office, but that’s also one about service,” Pelinka said. “When I say that, we want to make sure that we establish a platform of excellence for the players in that locker room. That’s the heartbeat of the team. I think the message to the guys is we want to serve your needs to help you be great.”

Western Notes: Kings, Tolliver, Kanter, Trade Deadline

The Kings are in position to be players at the trade deadline, but first they must decide which direction they want to pursue, writes James Ham of CSNBayArea. Sacramento entered tonight just a game and a half out of a playoff spot, but a 24-32 record suggests a lot of improvement is still needed. The Kings can’t offer a draft pick before 2021, but they have several expiring contracts to deal, including Ty Lawson, Darren Collison and Omri Casspi. Kosta Koufos has been the subject of trade rumors, and Olympics star Bogdan Bogdanovic, currently playing in Turkey, could be a valuable trade chip.

There’s more tonight from the Western Conference:

  • Veteran forward Anthony Tolliver is hoping his stay in Sacramento won’t get cut short, relays Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. A rash of injuries has created more playing time for the 31-year-old, and he has responded by shooting a career-best 45% from the field and 40% from 3-point range. Tolliver signed a two-year, $16MM deal over the summer, but only $2MM of his $8MM salary for next season is guaranteed before June 1st. That might make him attractive on the trade market for a team looking to cut salary, or the Kings could decide to save money by not bringing him back next season.
  • Thunder backup center Enes Kanter had the cast removed from his fractured right forearm, according to Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Kanter had surgery January 27th and is scheduled to be re-evaluated February 24th. His recovery time was originally projected at four to eight weeks. Kanter says he knows when he should be able to play again, but doesn’t want to release it publicly, fearing it might put pressure on him or the organization to hit the target date.
  • Bobby Marks of The Vertical examines trade possibilities for the Clippers, Grizzlies and Thunder as next week’s deadline approaches. All three teams have dealt with major injuries this season.

Pacific Notes: Buss, Lakers, Karl, Tolliver

Lakers president and part owner Jeanie Buss will face a major decision after the season ends, writes Bill Oram of The Orange County Register. Buss could signal a change of direction for the franchise by firing her brother Jim, who serves as executive vice president, and GM Mitch Kupchak. It has been nearly three years since Jim Buss promised to resign if the Lakers weren’t “contending for a championship” in three or four seasons. Coming off three of the worst seasons in franchise history, L.A. sparked some hope with a 10-10 start, but has lost 12 of its last 13 games. “We’re like every other team that we will play a season and we will assess that season when it’s over,” Jeanie Buss said. “No reason to speculate on any possible changes. It’s a waste of time to speculate.”

There’s more news from the Pacific Division:

  • Nearly all of the Lakers‘ offseason signees are now eligible to be included in trades, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Power forward Thomas Robinson passed his deadline December 23rd, a day after Metta World PeaceMarcelo Huertas, Luol Deng, Timofey Mozgov and Jordan Clarkson all became eligible on December 15th. The one exception is backup center Tarik Black, who cannot be traded until January 15th. League rules stipulate a later deadline for him because he received at least a 20% salary increase while re-signing with Bird rights.
  • Critical comments about the time he spent coaching the Kings were removed from George Karl’s new book, according to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears and Marc Stein. A proof copy of “Furious George” obtained by the network included negative passages about DeMarcus Cousins, GM Vlade Divac and owner Vivek Ranadive. Karl said he had “not authorized” those parts of the book to be included. Sources told ESPN that Karl agreed to refrain from critical statements about the organization in the settlement he reached when he left the team after last season.
  • Anthony Tolliver is earning more playing time with the Kings, relays James Ham of CSNBayArea. The well-traveled forward signed with Sacramento in July for $16MM over two seasons. He has been in and out of the rotation during the first two months of the season, but has found a larger role in the past week. “Professional — he can sit five games in a row and his name is called and he’s going to come out and play like it’s his last game,” Cousins said. “True professional. He’s always ready to play.”

Pacific Notes: Clippers, Bogut, Deng, Tolliver

Four positions are set for the Clippers, but the starting small forward could vary from game to game, writes Dan Woike of The Orange County RegisterLuc Mbah a Moute, Wesley Johnson, newcomer Alan Anderson and even shooting guard Austin Rivers may get starts at the position, although coach Doc Rivers would like to see someone step up and claim it. “You always want separation. That’s always nice,” Rivers said. “I don’t know who it will be. I’m hoping it will be someone, but I can’t predict the future. It’d be nice, but if not, it’ll be matchup-based.” It’s a familiar problem for the Clippers, who used Lance Stephenson, Paul Pierce and Johnson at the position last season before giving the role to Mbah a Moute.

There’s more tonight out of the Pacific Division:

  • Even as they were making history with 73 wins, the Warriors were dealing with Kevin Durant rumors all season, Andrew Bogut tells Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. Bogut believes the Warriors knew well before summer that they were likely to sign Durant, and he says he isn’t surprised that he was traded away.Andre Iguodala and I knew it was one of us that was going to go, and it was me,” Bogut said. “That’s part of the business. I have no gripes about it. You get a Hall of Famer — he’s going to be a Hall of Famer — in K.D. If I’m the GM, I do the same deal. That’s just the reality of the business.”
  • New coach Luke Walton helped lure Luol Deng to the Lakers, according to Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. Deng liked the impressive history of the franchise and the idea of living in Los Angeles, and of course the four-year, $72MM offer was a huge factor. But he says the transition to Walton, who took over the team after serving as Steve Kerr‘s lead assistant in Golden State, helped seal the decision. “He’s new to coaching, but he has a positive mindset,” Deng said. “The way he coaches, he really respects players and demands respect back.”
  • At age 31, newly signed Anthony Tolliver wants to show the Kings he can be more than just a mentor, relays Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento gave the small forward a two-year, $16MM deal over the summer to leave Detroit, but he will have to compete for playing time with Omri Casspi and Matt Barnes. Tolliver doesn’t mind taking on a mentor’s role, but he want to be thought of as a player first. “Maybe in a few years, with a few more miles on my body, maybe I’ll be in that position to be a locker room guy,” Tolliver said. “But right now I feel I can still compete and help teams win games. That’s why I came here to get that chance. Looks good so far.”

Western Notes: Blazers, Tolliver, Westbrook

The Trail Blazers have had a busy offseason as the franchise hopes to keep the momentum going from its surprising 2015/16 season. GM Neil Olshey, speaking at a press conference to formally announce C.J. McCollum‘s extension, noted that keeping the roster intact was his first priority heading into the summer, Sean Meagher of The Oregonian relays.

Player retention was big this summer,” Olshey said. “We did what we could in terms of free agency, bringing in skill sets more than players – skill sets from the outside. But at the end of the day when you’re the youngest team in the playoffs last year, you made the second round, we had a much better second half of the year than we did the first half, we felt like we were tracking up … it was imperative we keep this group together because we think it has tremendous upside and potential and it’s going to continue to grow.”

Here’s more from out West:

  • Anthony Tolliver, who inked a two-year deal with the Kings this offseason, hopes he can help mentor DeMarcus Cousins as well as produce on the court this season, Dan Lovi of NBA.com relays. “He has all the talent in the world,” Tolliver said of Cousins. “He’s phenomenal, especially on the offensive end, but I really feel like he can improve. Hopefully I help him become better.
  • The Clippers made the most out of their limited cap space this offseason, adding a number of players via below-market contracts who should bolster their bench in 2016/17, Bobby Marks of The Vertical writes in his review of Los Angeles’ summer. The scribe also opines that it is vital for the team to develop 2016 draftees Brice Johnson and Diamond Stone, given the team’s lack of cap flexibility.
  • While Russell Westbrook‘s renegotiation and extension with the Thunder appeared sudden to many, it was a move that had been in the works for a couple of weeks, writes Royce Young of ESPN.com. According to the scribe, OKC knew it had a commitment from Westbrook when it rescinded its qualifying offer to Dion Waiters. A move that was needed to free up the necessary cap space to complete the arrangement.
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