Arnett Moultrie

Western Notes: Conley, Bogdanovic, Jazz Arena

There is growing concern in the Grizzlies‘ front office that point guard Mike Conley might leave the team in free agency this summer, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. The 28-year-old will be the top point guard on the market after spending nine years in Memphis. Begley says Grizzlies part-owner Justin Timberlake will appear in a video presentation trying to convince Conley to remain with the team. Begley presents the item as possible good news for the Knicks, but it’s equally positive for all the teams planning to pursue Conley, and very negative for Memphis, which is hoping to keep the core of its perennial playoff team together. The Grizzlies still have the advantage of being able to offer Conley a five-year contract worth about $124MM, while other teams are limited to four years in the neighborhood of $92MM.

There’s more news from the Western Conference:

  • The Suns will negotiate with 2014 first-round pick Bogdan Bogdanovic now that his Turkish League season is over, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. This is the last season that Bogdanovic would be required to sign a rookie contract that would give him a salary of about $5.7MM over four years. If he waits until next offseason, Bogdanovic is free to negotiate any amount, starting with his draft year’s rookie salary scale.
  •  A request for $22.7MM in public funding for renovations to Utah’s Vivant Arena was approved today by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City, writes Jasen Lee of The Deseret News. The money, which will be awarded though tax increment financing over the next 25 years, makes up 18% of the total cost of the proposed $125MM project. It will include safety and security improvements, heating and air conditioning upgrades, a new solar panel system and plaza, concession, seating and premium suite improvements.
  • The Mavericks are planning a free agent camp June 22nd with Arnett Moultrie, Bobby Brown, Dominic McGuire and Nick Minnerath among the players invited, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who played two games for the Knicks this season, also received an invitation but has not confirmed that he will attend the camp (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs will hold a free agent camp Wednesday, Kennedy tweets, with Chris Copeland, Adonis Thomas, Victor Rudd, Scott Suggs, J.J. O’Brien and Darius Adams among those expected to attend.
  • The Timberwolves have had workouts for several veteran free agents, including Jimmer Fredette, Phil Pressey, Marquis Teague, Ryan Boatright, Mike James, Ra’shad James, Mark Lyons and Aaron Craft, tweets international journalist David Pick.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Moultrie, Raptors, Sixers

The Knicks aren’t going to land a marquee free agent like Kevin Durant this offseason, but there are plenty of more realistic targets that the team could pursue in July. Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders singles out a few of those potential free agent targets for the Knicks, writing that Brandon Jennings, Eric Gordon, Evan Fournier, Courtney Lee, Ty Lawson, and a handful of others would make sense for the club.

Speaking of attainable free agent targets, the Knicks are taking a look at a few available veterans this week at a mini-camp, with former first-round picks Anthony Bennett, Royce White, and Arnett Moultrie among the participants, per Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Moultrie, a 2012 first-rounder, has hired Travis King of Relativity Sports for representation, according to HoopsHype (Twitter link).

Here’s more from out of the Atlantic:

  • In a conversation with TSN’s Josh Lewenberg (video link), Raptors head coach Dwane Casey talks about his new contract and about Toronto’s offseason, suggesting that the team will target shooting and defensive toughness this summer.
  • The 76ers filled some vacancies on their coaching staff by promoting Kevin Young and John Bryant, a pair of coaches from their D-League affiliate, sources tell Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Meanwhile, Sixers shooting coach Gene Burroughs will become the head coach of the Delaware 87ers, Philadelphia’s D-League team, while former Sixers assistant Will Weaver is a candidate to join the Nets‘ coaching staff.
  • Bryan Colangelo and Brett Brown of the Sixers are currently overseas, visiting 2014 first-round pick Dario Saric and scouting international players, tweets Pompey.

Sixers Rumors: Okafor, Draft, Williams, Moultrie

Sixers coach Brett Brown thinks a two-game suspension imposed on Jahlil Okafor could serve as a “turning point” for the rookie center, according to Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Daily News. Brown said Okafor understands he “messed up” with his off-court conduct that included two altercations in Boston on November 25th. “In a strange way maybe this is a turning point for him, to get hit on such a repetitive basis that maybe it’s just that much more dramatic,” Brown said. “Maybe the point is made more violently and viciously. This is, right now, a situation that we have to talk through and help him. He will come out just fine, I’m confident of that.”

There’s more out of Philadelphia:

  • The 2016 draft will determine if the Sixers can make a quick turnaround, according to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Already holding the worst record in basketball, Philadelphia could receive the Lakers’ first-round pick, which is only top-three protected, along with first-round selections from the Thunder and Heat. Add in the possible debut of Joel Embiid and the chance that Dario Saric, the No. 12 pick in 2014, could be enticed from Europe, and the Sixers could have six additional first-round talents playing for them next season.
  • The Sixers are counting on fans to stay patient with their rebuilding plan, former Philadelphia GM Pat Williams tells Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer. He acknowledges it’s not an easy thing to ask a city not known for its patience to keep believing in a process that has produced a 1-20 start in the third year of rebuilding. “They’ve got to stay the course: draft high, do lots of teaching, wait for these youngsters to mature,” Williams said. “It takes some years to see the vision and stick with it, and it stretches the patience of any good sports fan. You can’t survive without hope. That’s what Sixers fans are searching for here.”
  • Arnett Moultrie, who last played with the Sixers in 2013/14, has signed to play in Lebanon with Al Riyadi, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. After two seasons in Philadelphia, Moultrie was traded to the Knicks in October of 2014, but was waived before the season started.

Arnett Moultrie To Play For Chinese Team

Former Sixers power forward Arnett Moultrie is joining the Jiangsu Nangang Dragons, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Spears indicates that Moultrie has already signed a contract with the club, though the terms of the deal are unclear. The Dragons already have Toney Douglas and Chris Singleton on their team, and the Chinese Basketball Association doesn’t permit its clubs to have more than two healthy American players, though Singleton has missed the last two games.

The Sixers sent Moultrie, the 27th overall pick in the 2012 draft, to the Knicks in October’s Travis Outlaw trade, and New York waived Moultrie the same day. The now 24-year-old Moultrie had played both of his NBA seasons with Philadelphia, averaging 3.6 points and 3.1 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game, but he grew upset when the team was slow to activate him following an injury last season, and the NBA later suspended him for a drug-related violation. The events left doubt during the offseason about his future with the Sixers, so it wasn’t surprising when the trade happened.

Moultrie’s salary of more than $1.136MM for this season was guaranteed under the terms of his rookie scale contract, and the Knicks remain on the hook for it. Still, it’s possible that New York will be able to recoup a small portion of it through set-off rights, depending on how much Moultrie makes on his deal with the Dragons.

Knicks Waive Arnett Moultrie

The Knicks have waived Arnett Moultrie, the team announced at the same time at which they confirmed they’ve traded for him (Twitter link). A decision had been due by Friday on a rookie scale team option worth more than $2MM for the 27th overall pick from 2012, but that salary will be nullified unless a team claims Moultrie off waivers. New York will still be on the hook for Moultrie’s 2014/15 salary, worth slightly more than $1.136MM, if another team doesn’t submit a claim.

The 23-year-old Moultrie had been Philadelphia’s longest tenured player before the Sixers shipped him to the Knicks today. Still, he didn’t appear to have much of a future with the team, particularly in light of his drug-related suspension last season. He saw action in only 12 games in 2013/14 after appearing in 47 as a rookie, averaging 3.6 points in 12.4 minutes per game for his career.

New York is set to save about $4.7MM against its luxury tax bill, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com estimates (on Twitter), as a result of putting Moultrie’s salary on the books as opposed to the $3MM in cash that’s guaranteed to Travis Outlaw, who went to the Sixers in today’s trade. The Knicks began today with about $88.9MM in guaranteed salary, well above the $76.829MM tax line, but the league only calculates the tax based on a team’s roster at the end of the regular season. In any case, letting go of Moultrie leaves the Knicks with 15 players, the regular season max, including 13 fully guaranteed contracts and partial guarantees with Samuel Dalembert and Travis Wear.

Knicks Trade Travis Outlaw To Sixers

3:07pm: It’s the Clippers’ 2018 pick that the Sixers would send to the Knicks if they swap second-round draft choices that year, Philadelphia announced.

3:01pm: The trade is official, the Knicks announced (Twitter link). It’s Outlaw to the Sixers and Moultrie to the Knicks. The Sixers get New York’s 2019 second-round selection and the right to swap 2018 second-rounders with the Knicks, too.

2:33pm: The Knicks and Sixers have an agreement that will send Travis Outlaw to Philadelphia, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The Sixers will also receive a future second-round pick as well as the right to swap another second-rounder with New York, according to Stein (Twitter links). Arnett Moultrie goes to New York in the swap, and the Sixers are likely to release Outlaw after the trade becomes official, Stein adds in another tweet.

The Knicks, who’ve been carrying 16 players, had reportedly been poised to release Outlaw. It’s unclear if the plan is to do the same with Moultrie, though Moultrie’s fully guaranteed salary, a little more than $1.136MM, is less than the $3MM that Outlaw is in line for, so the Knicks wouldn’t be on the hook for quite as much dead money if they went that route. New York appears to want to keep rookie undrafted rookie Travis Wear on his nominally guaranteed deal for the 15th and final regular season roster spot. Samuel Dalembert‘s partially guaranteed contract, which the Knicks will almost assuredly keep, and 13 fully guaranteed deals occupy the other 14 spots.

Philadelphia continues a strategy of using its cap space to acquire second-round picks, just as the Sixers did a few days ago in the Marquis Teague trade, last month’s acquisition of Keith Bogans, and numerous other examples since GM Sam Hinkie took control in 2013. Hinkie’s latest move means the Sixers are cutting ties with Moultrie, their longest-tenured player. The Knicks will have until Friday to decide whether to pick up a 2015/16 team option worth more than $2MM on Moultrie if they don’t cut him loose.

Executives from around the league reacted incredulously to the news of the latest Sixers deal, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com, as the team continues to make deals focused on the future rather than the present. Still, Moultrie seemed to have a tenuous grip on a roster spot, at best, suggesting the only cost to Philadelphia is a degree of salary cap flexibility, of which they still have plenty.

Eastern Notes: Love, Bennett, Moultrie

Kevin Love today indicated his intention to stay with the Cavs beyond this season, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com observes, and Cavs GM David Griffin is confident that Love and LeBron James will stick together for years to come, notes Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). Love and James can become free agents next summer, and Love said today that he hasn’t spoken about an extension with Cleveland, though that only stands to reason, since he can re-sign for more money if he waits until free agency.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • There was confusion earlier this month about whether Anthony Bennett would go to the Sixers as part of the Kevin Love trade, but Sixers GM Sam Hinkie told reporters today that he never had any talks about acquiring the former No. 1 overall pick. Tom Moore of Calkins Media passes along the tidbit via Twitter. Bennett wound up with the Wolves instead.
  • Arnett Moultrie‘s future with the Sixers is cloudy, but Hinkie indicated today that Philadelphia still wants to give him a chance even though the power forward has to prove his worth, as Moore observes (Twitter link). Arnett was working really hard last week,” Hinkie said. “It’s been going fine. It’s a big summer for him. He’s got to show what he can do.” Last week, Chuck Myron cast the chances as remote that Philly will up his 2015/16 rookie scale contract option by the October 31st deadline.
  • The two-year $550K offer that agent Tim Lotsos said Thanasis Antetokounmpo turned down from Cimberio Varese to instead join the Knicks D-League affiliate wasn’t quite so lucrative, as Guido Guida of La Gazzetta dello Sport hears (Twitter link). The gross amount wasn’t quite that much, and the net after taxes was only slightly more than $100K per year, Guida says. A source seconds Guida’s report to David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Sixers Rumors: Ware, Sims, Moultrie

The Sixers are locked into finishing with the league’s second worst record, as our Reverse Standings show, somehow managing to lose out on pole position for the top draft pick despite an NBA-record-tying losing streak of 26 games this season. Philadelphia’s eyes have been on next season and beyond for a while, and here’s the latest on the team’s plans for what’s ahead:

  • The team’s latest deal with Casper Ware is a multiyear arrangement that includes non-guaranteed salary after this season, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers have yet to make an official announcement.
  • Henry Sims also has a non-guaranteed deal for next season, but coach Brett Brown is enamored with him and hopes the team hangs on to the midseason trade acquisition, notes Jason Wolf of The News Journal.
  • Arnett Moultrie, back from his five-game drug suspension, has a fully guaranteed salary worth more than $1.136MM coming his way next season, but Brown indicated that it’s not certain whether he has a future with the team, as Wolf writes in the same piece.
  • Brown also spoke about the team’s plans for a new practice facility and trumpeted its value for attracting free agents, as Wolf also points out. However, sources tell Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News that the site the team envisioned for the building is a no-go, leaving the team scrambling to find a new location.

NBA Suspends Arnett Moultrie For Drug Violation

The NBA has suspended Sixers power forward Arnett Moultrie five games for violating the league’s anti-drug policy, the league announced via press release. The 27th overall pick in the 2012 draft will go without pay for the five games, costing him $32,036 of his $1,089,240 salary for this season. He’s been on D-League assignment since March 15th, but he’ll be unable to play for either Philadelphia’s D-League affiliate or the Sixers until the Sixers complete their game against the Raptors on April 9th.

The suspension isn’t for any performance-enhancing drug, since the league program for such a violation mandates a 20-game suspension on the first offense. The NBA’s penalty structure suggests that it’s marijuana-related, though the league hasn’t specified the nature of the violation.

The Sixers have already picked up his 2014/15 option, worth $1,136,160, for 2014/15, but GM Sam Hinkie, armed with significant cap room, has shown little fear of waiving guaranteed contracts. Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News doesn’t envision Moultrie remaining with the team into next season (Twitter link).

Injuries have hampered the former Mississippi State Bulldog, who’s averaged just 3.6 points in 12.4 minutes per game over 59 NBA contests. The Heat originally drafted him, trading him to the Sixers in part for a first-round pick that Miami traded once more to the Celtics earlier this year. Still, the protections on the pick make it more likely that Moultrie will only end up costing the Sixers a pair of second-round picks instead of a first-rounder.

D-League Notes: Larkin, Mekel, Reed, Rice

Here’s a quick look at the latest news and notes out of the NBA D-League on Saturday afternoon:

  • The Mavericks have recalled Shane Larkin from his D-League assignment, the team announced today in a press release. Gal Mekel will be sent down to take Larkin’s place on the Mavs’ D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends. It was a quick stint for Larkin, who appeared in just one D-League game after being sent down yesterday afternoon.
  • The Sixers have assigned Arnett Moultrie to join the Delaware 87ers of the D-League, the team announced this afternoon. This confirms a report we heard last night speculating that Philly would make such a move.
  • Willie Reed is working hard to put up big numbers in the D-League and hoping to catch an NBA club’s attention, writes Scott Rafferty of Ridiculous Upside. Reed was able to sign on with Memphis last April, but he never saw any action and was waived prior to the start of the 2013/14 season.
  • J. Michael of CSNWashington.com examines Glen Rice Jr.‘s latest trip to the D-League and concludes Rice needs to focus on improving his shooting stroke. Through nine games for the Iowa Energy, Rice has averaged 18.9 points per contest, but he’s shooting just 44% from the floor and 30% from beyond the arc. The Wizards opted send Rice on a minor league assignment after the club inked a deal with Drew Gooden.