Boris Diaw

And-Ones: Early Entrants, Ball, Pierce, Diaw

After releasing a 233-player list of early entrants for the 2019 NBA draft on Tuesday, the league followed up today by adding a few more names to that list. According to an announcement from the league, “timely letters” were received from three more prospects who declared for the draft. Those players are as follows:

Leading up to the early entry deadline, there were reports that Cham, Lamb, and Sneed all intended to enter the draft, so it was a little surprising not to see them on the NBA’s official list this week. They’re on there now though, and the additions of those three names mean that this year’s early entrant total is up to 236 players, matching a record set in 2018.

As we noted on Tuesday, there were still several players who reportedly intended to declare for the draft as early entrants and aren’t on the NBA’s list, so they either had second thoughts or missed the deadline. The next deadline will arrive on May 29, when NCAA prospects will have to either withdraw from this year’s draft pool or officially forfeit their remaining college eligibility.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Alan Foster, a former associate of Lonzo Ball and the Ball family, is under FBI investigation, according to a report from Tania Ganguli and Richard Winton of The Los Angeles Times. The Bureau is looking into whether Foster defrauded the Ball family out of millions of dollars, according to Ganguli and Winton, who say the investigation has been going on for more than two months. Foster was already facing a lawsuit accusing him of embezzling over $2MM from Big Baller Brand for his personal use.
  • Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce has taken the place of Pacers head coach Nate McMillan as an assistant on Team USA’s coaching staff for 2019/20, according to a press release. McMillan withdrew due to scheduling conflicts, opening the door for Pierce to claim a spot on Gregg Popovich’s staff for the 2019 World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.
  • Longtime NBA forward Boris Diaw is reportedly poised to take over as the president of French team Levallois Metropolitans. The news was reported by Le Parisien, and relayed by Sportando and Eurohoops. Assuming it becomes official, Diaw will become the second notable NBA player to assume the role of team president for a French club, joining former teammate Tony Parker, who runs ASVEL Villeurbanne.

And-Ones: Jefferson, Diaw, Magic, Blazers, Rockets

As expected, after announcing his retirement as a player over the weekend, Richard Jefferson has quickly secured a new job. The longtime NBA forward has officially joined the YES Network and will work as a Nets game and studio analyst this season, according to a press release.

Speaking of post-retirement jobs, Boris Diaw – who called it a career last month – has joined France’s national team as the program’s deputy general manager, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • A pair of longtime NBA owners – Richard DeVos of the Magic and Paul Allen of the Trail Blazers – have passed way in the last month and a half. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders explores what that means for the future of those two franchises.
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN.com passes along some interesting data on the NBA’s opening-night rosters, tweeting that the Nuggets, Knicks, and Trail Blazers have the youngest rosters, while the Rockets, Heat, and Mavericks are on the other end of the spectrum. Meanwhile, the NBA announces that the opening-night rosters feature a total of 108 international players from 42 different countries and territories.
  • The Rockets have agreed to a partnership with a new jersey sponsor, announcing today that the ROKiT Phones logo will appear in the top-left corner of their uniforms during the 2018/19 season. Twenty-seven NBA teams now have ad patches on their jerseys — Indiana, Oklahoma City, and Washington are the lone holdouts.

Boris Diaw Announces Retirement

Boris Diaw, who played 14 seasons in the NBA, has officially retired from basketball, according to a tweet from Sportando. The versatile big man played for five teams, but is best known for his time in San Antonio, where he won a championship in 2014.

A French native, the 36-year-old spent last season with Paris-Levallois. He built a strong international reputation in France before coming to the NBA, winning the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship in 2000. He was named captain of the French national team in 2006 and led his nation to the gold medal at the 2013 EuroBasket tournament.

Diaw was drafted by the Hawks with the 21st pick in 2003. He spent two years in Atlanta before being traded to the Suns, and later played for the Bobcats and Spurs before finishing his NBA career with the Jazz in 2017. Several playoff teams reportedly had interest in signing him late last season, but nothing ever materialized.

Over the course of his NBA career, Diaw averaged 8.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 3.5 APG in 1,064 contests (27.0 MPG). According to Basketball-Reference, the 2006 NBA Most Improved Player earned more than $80MM during his 14 seasons in the NBA.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

And-Ones: Players/Officials, Diaw, Modern Approach

Several current NBA players and referees will meet privately Saturday during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles to discuss player-referee relations, according to a release posted on the Players’ Association’s website. Tensions between players and officials have been a hot topic this year and the aim of the meeting is to improve communication and transparency. Among the topics that will be discussed is on-court communication and demeanor; perception in media, optics, and reality of issues between players and officials; respect for game rules and their consistent enforcement; tactics for de-escalation of tension from each side; and equality of treatment for all players and officials.

In other news around the league and overseas:

  • Veteran big man Boris Diaw is expected to remain with his French team until the end of its season, Sportando relays via Le Parisien. Diaw has drawn interest from NBA teams and has an opt-out clause he could exercise by March 1 but he’ll stay with Paris-Levallois. He played 73 games for the Jazz last season.
  • Changes to the All-Star format and the league embracing pro sports betting are ways that the NBA is trying to remain relevant, Howard Bryant of ESPN argues. Oversaturation will eventually override nostalgia, tradition and enormous television rights fees, which has propped up major sports over the years, Bryant continues. That’s why the leagues are desperately trying to reinvent themselves, Bryant adds.

Bogut, Diaw Drawing Interest From Playoff Teams

With the trade deadline gone, now is the time when teams scour the market for veteran help to aid a playoff run. Two players who are currently receiving interest from contending teams are Andrew Bogut and Boris Diaw.

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (via Twitter), Diaw, who is currently with the French team Paris-Levallois, has “touched base” with several playoff teams. The 35-year-old is a 14-year NBA veteran with 119 games of postseason experience, including the 2013/14 championship Spurs team. MacMahon notes that teams like Diaw’s locker room presence and unselfish role play.

Diaw last appeared in the NBA with the Jazz last season, averaging 4.6 PPG in 73 games.

As for Bogut, he has yet to latch on with a team since the Lakers released him in early January. Bogut’s agent, David Bauman, tells Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (via Twitter) that the Australian big man is considering four playoff-bound teams and that,”the good news is Andrew will be in the playoffs.” Bogut is expected to sign next week, Bauman tells Woelfel.

Bogut played sparingly for the Lakers, appearing in just 24 games while averaging 1.5 PPG. However, the 33-year-old brings his own postseason pedigree as he was part of the Warriors‘ 2014/15 championship team. The 13-year veteran has been consistently regarded as a steady veteran presence and defensive asset.

And-Ones: Diaw, Silver, Contract Years, Doncic

Having signed to play for a team in France, Boris Diaw explains in a YouTube video (French, with English subtitles) why he made the decision to join Levallois Metropolitans for the 2017/18 season after 14 years in the NBA.

“This decision wasn’t about the money,” Diaw said. “It was about joining a club that could benefit from my presence, where I could help guide and teach the younger players. It was about bringing them my experience, my advice. It was also about staying fit. It provided me with an opportunity to play at a high level and stay physically fit while waiting for a potential offer from an NBA team that might need me during the season.”

As we wait to see if Diaw makes his way back to the NBA at some point in 2017/18, let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • While commissioner Adam Silver hoped NBA owners could reach on gentlemen’s agreement on policing the rest of healthy players, team owners – led by Robert Sarver of the Suns – encouraged Silver to institute concrete rules and potential punishments in order to curb the issue, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Wojnarowski’s piece examines Silver’s role in addressing the DNP-Rest problem, and looks at the commissioner’s push for lottery reform.
  • In a piece for HoopsHype, Bryan Kalbrosky identifies a number of players who may end up exceeding expectations in contract years. Of course, many of the players on Kalbrosky’s list – including Gary Harris, Rodney Hood, and Jusuf Nurkic – are eligible for extensions until opening night, so 2017/18 may not end up being a contract year for some of them.
  • Sasa Doncic, the father of young Real Madrid star Luka Doncic, called his son a unique talent who “plays in a magical way,” but acknowledged that he’d like to see him improve his shot a little (link via AS.com; translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Doncic is expected to be one of the first players to come off the board in the 2018 draft.

Boris Diaw Set To Play In France

SEPTEMBER 17, 8:14am: Diaw’s signing is official, the French club announced in a tweet.

SEPTEMBER 14, 1:47pm: Veteran NBA forward Boris Diaw will head back to France to start the 2017/18 season, according to David Cozette of SFR Sport (Twitter link), who reports that Diaw has agreed to sign with Levallois Metropolitans. The deal will feature an NBA out clause, per Sportando (Twitter link).

Diaw, 35, has spent the last 14 seasons in the NBA, beginning his career with the Hawks before moving on to the Suns, Bobcats, Spurs, and Jazz. Diaw started 33 games and appeared in 73 overall regular season contests for Utah last season, but saw his production dip — his PPG (4.6), FG% (.446), and 3PT% (.247) marks were all among the worst of his career. He had a $7.5MM salary for 2017/18 that would have become guaranteed if the Jazz had not waived him in July.

While Diaw has played in the NBA for nearly a decade and a half, he’s no stranger to French competition either. Before being drafted 21st overall in 2003, Diaw spent multiple seasons with Pau-Orthez in France, and he returned to his home country during the 2011 lockout to play for JSA Bordeaux. The veteran forward has also represented France in several international tournaments.

Levallois Metropolitans, Diaw’s new team, was formerly known as Paris-Levallois Basket. The club was led last season by former Florida State standout Jason Rich and Knicks draft-and-stash big man Louis Labeyrie, but both players have found new homes for the 2017/18 campaign, so the team figures to lean heavily on Diaw.

Boris Diaw Uncertain About NBA Future

Having been waived by the Jazz earlier this summer, forward Boris Diaw remains an unrestricted free agent and his future as a player remains up in the air. Diaw recently told Le Figaro that he’s not 100% sure that he’ll find an NBA home for the 2017/18 season, suggesting that a return to Europe is a possibility (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando).

According to Diaw, he has been in touch with a few NBA teams, but nothing concrete came out of those conversations. The French forward added that there are several factors he has to take into account as he considers his next move, and he’s not yet closing any doors.

Diaw, 35, has spent the last 14 seasons in the NBA, beginning his career with the Hawks before moving on to the Suns, Bobcats, Spurs, and Jazz. Diaw started 33 games and appeared in 73 overall regular season contests for Utah last season, but saw his production dip — his PPG (4.6), FG% (.446), and 3PT% (.247) marks were all among the worst of his career. He had a $7.5MM salary for 2017/18 that would have become guaranteed if the Jazz had not waived him last month.

While Diaw has played in the NBA for the last 14 years, he also has some international experience, so playing in Europe wouldn’t be new to him. Before being drafted 21st overall in 2003, Diaw spent multiple seasons with Pau-Orthez in France, and he returned to his home country during the 2011 lockout to play for JSA Bordeaux. The veteran forward has also represented France in several international competitions.

The Raptors reportedly inquired on Diaw last month just before he was waived by the Jazz, but no NBA teams have been linked to him within the last few weeks.

Five Notable Forwards Still Available In Free Agency

While most of the biggest names still available on the free agent market are restricted free agents, there are several noteworthy unrestricted players who are free to sign outright with any NBA team. Over the last several days, we’ve identified a number of those players, examining five notable guards, wings, and big men who remain unsigned.

Today, we’ll close out our look at those notable remaining free agents by focusing on a handful of forwards who could appeal to NBA clubs. Some of these players could be considered wings or bigs, but we’ve split them off into their own category — these are frontcourt players who probably shouldn’t be relied on as the man in the middle of any lineup that’s not unusually small.

The Raptors, Hawks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Spurs, and Hornets are among the teams that could potentially use a little more frontcourt depth, though those aren’t the only clubs who may be suitors for the players listed below.

Here are five notable free agent forwards to keep an eye on:

  • Dante Cunningham — An eight-year veteran, Cunningham has been a solid rotation player for most of his career, but recently added a new wrinkle to his game. After making just two three-pointers in his first six seasons, Cunningham has made 126 over the last two years, shooting an impressive 39.2% from long range in 2016/17. The apparent lack of interest in the 30-year-old so far suggests teams may be a little skeptical of his newfound range, but if he can keep it up, he’d make for an intriguing stretch four. The Knicks were linked to Cunningham in May and the Jazz were said to have interest last month, though it’s not clear if either team is still in on him.
  • Michael Beasley — While he never lived up to his pre-draft billing, Beasley – a former second overall pick – continued to provide value as a scorer off the bench in Milwaukee last season. In 56 games for the Bucks, the veteran forward averaged 9.4 PPG with a career-best .532 FG% and .419 3PT%. The lack of recent updates on our player page on Beasley suggests that he hasn’t been the subject of any substantial rumors this summer, which is a little surprising. I can think of several teams that could use a player like him in their second unit.
  • Luke Babbitt — Babbitt started 55 games for the Heat last season, but only averaged 15.7 minutes per contest, so his role was limited. Still, few players around the NBA have been more reliable three-point shooters in recent years. Babbitt has made an impressive 43.8% of his long-distance attempts since the start of the 2014/15 season. Miami was reportedly monitoring the former first-round pick earlier in the free agent period, but with Kelly Olynyk now in the mix for the Heat, a reunion may not be cards — Babbitt is said to be weighing other options.
  • Boris Diaw — A longtime contributor in San Antonio, Diaw joined the Jazz last season and saw his production dip — his PPG (4.6), FG% (.446), and 3PT% (.247) marks were all among the worst of his career. Diaw is 35, so we shouldn’t necessarily count on him to bounce back strong in 2017/18, but if he still has something left in the tank, he’s worth a minimum salary investment. Diaw’s ability to distribute the ball is somewhat rare for a forward, and he can fit into a wide range of lineups. The Raptors may be one possibility for him.
  • Mike Dunleavy Jr. — Like Babbitt, Dunleavy could provide immediate help for a team in need of some outside shooting, but like Diaw, his age is a concern; he’ll turn 37 in September. Nonetheless, Dunleavy continued to make threes at a consistent rate in 2016/17, converting 39.6% of his outside attempts despite averaging a career-low 15.9 minutes per game. The Timberwolves were identified as a possible suitor for Dunleavy earlier in the offseason, and even though that report is over a month old, Minnesota still makes sense as a landing spot. Tom Thibodeau‘s club could use another shooter or two, and Thibodeau coached Dunleavy in Chicago.

Note: Restricted free agents aren’t noted here, since they’re not free to sign with any team, but Nikola Mirotic and JaMychal Green are among the noteworthy RFA forwards still on the market.

Jazz Waive Boris Diaw

The Jazz were expected to wait until the weekend to waive Boris Diaw, but the team decided not to wait and has placed him on waivers today, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports (Twitter link).

Diaw had one year left on his contract with a salary of $7.5MM for the 2017/18 season. That figure was set to become guaranteed at the end of the week and Utah was exploring trade scenarios involving the big man.

The 14-year veteran came to the Jazz in a trade last offseason and although he made 33 starts, he didn’t produce up to his normal standards. He scored 4.6 points per game, which was his lowest mark since his rookie season.

The Jazz are looking to make the playoffs for the second consecutive year and they’ve been busy adding veterans since Gordon Hayward departed. Earlier this week, the team inked  Thabo Sefolosha (two years, $10.5MM), Jonas Jerebko (two years, $8.2MM), and Ekpe Udoh (two years, $6.5MM). Utah will presumably use the cap space created from waiving Diaw as well as the team’s mid-level exception to fit in those deals.