Bismack Biyombo

Suns Sign Bismack Biyombo For Rest Of Season

JANUARY 11: Following the expiration of his 10-day deal on Monday night, Biyombo has now officially signed a rest-of-season contract with the Suns, the team announced today (via Twitter). His prorated minimum-salary deal will pay him $1,366,392, while Phoenix takes on a cap hit of $863,368.

JANUARY 6: Bismack Biyombo, who joined the Suns on a 10-day contract last week, will sign with the team for the remainder of the season, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Biyombo made an impact in two games with Phoenix, coming off the bench to average 13.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.0 blocks in 23.5 minutes per night. He helped the Suns pick up a pair of wins while centers Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee were in the health and safety protocols.

An 11-year veteran, the 29-year-old Biyombo had been out of the league after spending the past three seasons with the Hornets. There was a rumor in November that he might play in Spain, but nothing ever materialized.

He is among a large group of players who received NBA opportunities under the hardship provision as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak over the past month. The Suns needed immediate help in the middle with Frank Kaminsky and Dario Saric sidelined as well by long-term injuries.

The seventh overall pick in the 2011 draft, Biyombo spent his first four seasons in Charlotte, then played for the Raptors and Magic before returning to the Hornets in 2018. He has appeared in 704 total NBA games with career averages of 5.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per night.

Pacific Notes: Fox, Haliburton, Hield, Biyombo, Clippers

It hasn’t been a good season so far for Sacramento, the only team to have fired a head coach since opening night. But with so many other Western Conference teams struggling, the 16-23 Kings currently occupy a play-in spot, with a half-game lead over San Antonio for the No. 10 seed.

The Kings are extremely motivated to make the postseason this year and would be interested in making trades that both improve their playoff chances and give them “a runway for sustained success in the future,” says Sam Amick of The Athletic. According to Amick, team owner Vivek Ranadive has given general manager Monte McNair the green light to make any roster moves necessary to meet those goals.

It has frequently been reported that Sacramento’s most likely trade candidates are Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III. Amick confirms that the team’s preference would be to retain – and build around – guards De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. However, Fox and Haliburton aren’t viewed as untouchable, according to Amick, who says no Kings player is considered entirely off the table in trade discussions.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Speaking to Mark Medina of, Kings wing Buddy Hield acknowledged that he thought he would be traded to the Lakers during the offseason. However, it doesn’t sound like Hield is dwelling on what could have been — or worried about the possibility of being on the move before the trade deadline. “If it happened, it happened. If it didn’t, it didn’t,” Hield told Medina. “But it’s basketball, and you have to live with it. It’s the business side of it. At the end of the day, I still have a job. I can go to all 30 teams in the league. As long as I have a job, I’m happy.”
  • The Suns‘ addition of Bismack Biyombo on a 10-day contract has been a major success so far, according to Jeremy Cluff of The Arizona Republic. Biyombo has made a case for a rest-of-season deal by averaging 13.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 2.0 BPG on 11-of-13 shooting off the bench in his first two games with the team.
  • The Clippers‘ depth has been tested recently both on and off the court, writes Mirjam Swanson of the Southern California News Group. Besides missing several players due to injuries and COVID-19, the coaching staff has also been depleted, with assistant Dan Craig recovering from knee surgery and several other coaches testing positive for COVID-19. Fortunately, head coach Tyronn Lue exited the protocols today and is prepared to return to the Clippers’ bench, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter link).

Suns Sign Bismack Biyombo To 10-Day Deal

JANUARY 1: Phoenix has officially signed Biyombo to a 10-day contract, the team announced on social media (Twitter link).

DECEMBER 31: The Suns are planning to sign veteran free agent center Bismack Biyombo for a 10-day contract via a hardship exception, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. It’s possible Biyombo could stick with the club longer than just 10 days, Woj adds.

This will be the 11th NBA season for Biyombo, who’s still just 29 years of age. He spent last season with the Hornets, but was unable to find a team in free agency. In 66 games last season (20.4 MPG), Biyombo averaged 5.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.2 APG and 1.1 BPG.

Biyombo has played 702 career games (307 starts) with Charlotte, Toronto, and Orlando. He’s known as strong rebounder and shot-blocker, however he lacks shooting touch.

The Suns are essentially down to their fifth center at the moment in Jalen Smith, and at 215 pounds he’s pretty thin to be playing lots of minutes down low. JaVale McGee and Deandre Ayton are currently in the health and safety protocols, while Frank Kaminsky and Dario Saric are both sidelined by long-term leg injuries.

The Suns were over matched in the paint in their 123-108 loss to Boston Friday, giving up 13 offensive rebounds and losing the rebounding battle 51-38. Biyombo should provide immediate help in that department.

Spanish Team Interested In Bismack Biyombo

Former Hornets center Bismack Biyombo is attracting interest from Baskonia in Spain, according to a report from Noticias de Alava (hat tip to EuroHoops).

Biyombo was a part-time starter for Charlotte last season, averaging 5.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 66 games. He was a free agent over the summer and wasn’t able to reach a deal with a new team after the Hornets renounced his rights in August.

The 29-year-old was the seventh player selected in the 2011 draft and spent his first four NBA seasons in Charlotte. He played a year with the Raptors and two with the Magic before the Hornets brought him back in a 2018 trade. He appeared in 702 total games over the past 10 years with career averages of 5.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per night.

Baskonia is looking to shake up its roster after four straight losses, the EuroHoops report notes. Biyombo played in the Spanish League before coming to the NBA.

CJ McCollum Elected New NBPA President

CJ McCollum is the new president of the National Basketball Players Association, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The Trail Blazers guard replaces Chris Paul, who served two consecutive terms totaling eight years.

McCollum, 29, has served as a vice president on the union’s executive committee for the past three years and has been a strong voice in NBPA decisions as well as negotiations with the NBA, Woj adds.

Grant Williams was elected as vice president, the league announced (via Twitter). Other members of the executive committee will be Andre Iguodala (first vice president), Harrison Barnes (secretary-treasurer) and vice presidents Bismack Biyombo, Malcolm Brogdon, Jaylen Brown, Kyrie Irving and Garrett Temple (Twitter link).

“Since entering the league, I have wanted to be involved in the and contribute to the important decisions that impact our lives as players both on and off the court,” Williams tweeted. “I am honored to be selected by my peers for this position and excited to join the NBPA Executive Committee.”

One of the union’s first priorities under McCollum will be to find a replacement for Michele Roberts, who has served as executive director since 2014. She has announced her intentions to step down and is expected to leave her post sometime around the end of the year.

McCollum will also have to take the lead in negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Wojnarowski points out. The current CBA runs through the end of the 2023/24 season, but either the league or the players could decide to opt out after the 2022/23 season ends.

And-Ones: Smith, Biyombo, Spurs, Hall, Almansa, Trade Market

The Pistons officially renounced their rights to Wayne Ellington, who has signed with the Lakers, and Dennis Smith Jr., according to the RealGM transactions log. The Hornets renounced four players, including Bismack Biyombo, while the Spurs renounced their rights to a whopping 13 players. San Antonio’s list includes Donatas Motiejunas and David Lee, who haven’t appeared in an NBA game for years. Renouncing those rights allows teams to maximize their cap room in free agency.

We have more from the basketball world:

  • Donta Hall has signed with France’s Betclic Elite side AS Monaco, Sportando relays. Hall, who turns 24 on Saturday, played 13 games with the Magic this past season on two 10-day contracts and an end-of-the-season deal via the hardship exception. The power forward also played a total of nine games for the Pistons and Nets in 2019/20.
  • Overtime Elite has added another top European prospect. Izan Almansa has signed with the league, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. The 6’9” Almansa, a 16-year old Spanish power forward, is the second player OTE has signed from Real Madrid’s youth program and seventh international prospect.
  • While free agency is winding down, the trade market could continue to percolate in the coming weeks, John Hollinger of The Athletic writes. Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard top the list of stars who could be on the move, while the Raptors and Magic are teams to watch, with the latter possibly taking on an onerous contract in order to acquire future assets.
  • The ESPN duo of Tim Bontemps and Bobby Marks also take a look at unresolved storylines this month involving free agency, the trade market and potential extensions.

Southeast Notes: Biyombo, Heat, Dragic, Lowry, Ross

Hornets center Bismack Biyombo provided much-needed leadership and guidance to his younger teammates this season, Sam Perley of writes.

Charlotte has a young core of LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, and P.J. Washington among others. Biyombo, who held per-game averages of 5.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in 20.4 minutes in his 10th NBA season, relished the role of veteran leader for the team.

“The most special part was that this was a team where nobody had an ego,” Biyombo said. “We trusted each other, supported each other. We didn’t want to hear the outside noise. When you’re around a team that doesn’t have egos, it’s easy to lead and be a voice of the team.

“People are able to listen and you can listen to other people give their opinion and be willing to understand where the other person is coming from. I think overall, we trusted and relied on each other. I think that was the most special part about this season.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Some Heat players could still have a short offseason despite being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, as Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel explores. While it won’t be nearly as brief as last offseason, it’ll be shorter than usual — the league plans to return to a normal format next season, meaning training camps will start the final week of September. Should Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo participate in the Olympics, it would reduce their time off even further.
  • In his “Ask Ira” mailbag, Winderman examines whether replacing Goran Dragic with Kyle Lowry would be enough of an upgrade for the team. Miami holds a $19.44MM team option on Dragic for next season, while Lowry is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
  • Magic veteran Terrence Ross found new ways to score this season, elevating his game to another level, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel writes. Ross averaged a career-high 15.6 points per game, shooting 41% from the field and 34% from three-point range in 46 contests.

Southeast Notes: Hornets’ Centers, Ball, Oladipo, Clifford

James Borrego isn’t satisfied with his options at center and he hasn’t been since he took over as Hornets coach three years ago, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo, P.J. Washington and Vernon Carey have all seen time in middle this season, but none of them has been outstanding. Washington will probably be the starter for the rest of the season, Bonnell adds, but he’s a natural power forward at 6-7 and likely isn’t the long-term answer.

“Every night I’m just trying to figure it out with that group. It’s been like that for three years,” Borrego said after watching his team get outrebounded 54-33 in a loss to the Celtics this week. “It may be another three years that we continue to look like that, actually. … Just trying to piece it together.”

General manager Mitch Kupchak was interested in James Wiseman in last year’s draft, but the Warriors grabbed him with the second pick. Charlotte may not be in the lottery this year, but the club will have about $30MM in cap room when free agency begins. Bonnell suggests targeting Kings center Richaun Holmes or trying to trade for Pacers center Myles Turner.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • With LaMelo Ball returning tonight from a fractured wrist, Nekias Duncan of Basketball News examines how the Hornets‘ dynamic rookie impacts the game through play-making, scoring and defense.
  • Heat guard Victor Oladipo may be getting closer to playing, even though he didn’t accompany the team on its weekend road trip, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Oladipo hasn’t played since hurting his knee in an April 8 game, and the team hasn’t provided much information about a possible return. However, coach Erik Spoelstra said Oladipo is “making progress,” according to a tweet from the team. Tyler Herro, who continues to have issues with his injured foot, missed the road trip as well, notes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (via Twitter).
  • Magic head coach Steve Clifford continues to be sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19, but acting coach Tyrone Corbin said Clifford “feels great,” tweets Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel. Corbin said Clifford is still not showing any symptoms of the virus and his oxygen numbers remain good.

Southeast Notes: Young, Magic, Wizards, Biyombo

Unlike some other probable All-Stars who have expressed reluctance about playing in a potential March 7 All-Star Game in Atlanta, Hawks point guard Trae Young has said he would relish the opportunity to participate if he earns a second straight All-Star berth, according to Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I understand both sides,” said Young, who is averaging 26.7 PPG, 9.2 APG, and 4.0 RPG for the 11-12 Hawks. “Obviously, it’s in Atlanta, I’d love to be a part of it, if there is a game.”

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Magic assistant general manager Matt Lloyd spoke with Josh Robbins of The Athletic about how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Orlando’s scouting process. “We’ve gotten to the point with technology where we have so much to study,” Lloyd acknowledged. “Every game is on film… But there is still an advantage of being able to see how prospects look in person. There’s always going to be that one element of being in an arena or in a gym and being able to size players up to get some sort of sense of their real physicality, their size, their length and how fast they are.”
  • The Wizards have been performing better when $41.4MM point guard Russell Westbrook sits, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. In a somewhat alarming trend, Washington is 4-3 without Westbrook and 2-12 with him this season. Washington is 7.7 points per 100 possessions worse when Westbrook plays for the club this year.
  • Hornets center Bismack Biyombo is relishing his role as a mentor with a scrappy Charlotte team, according to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports. Biyombo has become a key advisor to rookie guard LaMelo Ball, the No. 3 pick in the 2020 draft. “I was telling LaMelo when I first got to the league I was his age because I came from overseas as well,” Biyombo said. “The transition, how far you grow from playing overseas versus when you see kids who come out of college, it’s totally two different mindsets.”

Hornets Notes: Biyombo, Batum, Hayward, Offense

The Hornets used some of their available cap space to re-sign reserve center Bismack Biyombo to a one-year contract worth $3.5MM, and also gave first-year salaries of $1.5MM to center Vernon Carey Jr. and $1MM to forward Nick Richards, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Marks goes on to note that the Hornets, who still have about $4MM in available cap space, will also be able to use their $4.8M room exception to add an additional player if they so choose.

There’s more out of Charlotte:

  • After forward Nicolas Batum signed a veteran’s minimum deal with the Clippers when the Hornets waived him, Charlotte stands to save $559,528 spread out over the three-year duration of his stretched contract, per ESPN’ s Bobby Marks (via Twitter).
  • The robust $120MM, four-year contract of new Hornets forward Gordon Hayward has a 15% trade kicker baked into it, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. This would make the end of his deal, already thought to be exorbitant for a player with his injury history and age, even more expensive if he’s moved.
  • Following a breakout scoring season with the Hornets in 2019/20, guard Devonte’ Graham is in favor of a more balanced offensive attack incorporating new additions Hayward and LaMelo Ball, even though that means Graham’s looks could decrease, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports.