Brandon Paul

Timberwolves Work Out Paul, Rush, Johnson-Odom

Brandon Paul, Brandon Rush and Darius Johnson-Odom are among the free agent veteran guards the Timberwolves brought in for a workout on Monday, Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets. Monta Ellis is also on the list of players Minnesota is looking at, according to Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Paul, a 27-year-old shooting guard, made his NBA debut last season and appeared in 64 total games for the Spurs, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.1 RPG in 9.0 minutes per contest. He was waived on July 31.

Rush, a 33-year-old shooting guard, played with the Timberwolves in 2016/17, appearing in 47 games, including 33 starts. Rush signed a 10-day contract with the Blazers last season but did not appear in a game and the team declined to give him a second 10-day deal.

Johnson-Odom hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2013/14 season. Johnson-Odom, 28, played in Italy last season.

Ellis, 32, was out of the league last season after the Pacers waived him in July 2017.

With the addition of forward Luol Deng, the Timberwolves have 13 players with guaranteed deals and James Nunnally‘s partially guaranteed pact and are holding open auditions for last spot or two if they don’t retain Nunnally. They brought in wing players Nick YoungArron Afflalo, and Corey Brewer last week.

They also reportedly would have interest in Joakim Noah should the center hit the open market. Like Deng, Noah previously played under coach Tom Thibodeau when he was coaching in Chicago.

Cavs Work Out Tyler Ulis, Alan Williams, Others

SEPTEMBER 6: The Cavaliers worked out a few more free agents today, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, who tweets that Kobi Simmons, Brandon Paul, and Rodney Purvis all earned a look from Cleveland as well. Simmons, Paul, and Purvis played for the Grizzlies, Spurs, and Magic, respectively, in 2017/18.

SEPTEMBER 5: A group of veteran free agents worked out for the Cavaliers today, sources tell Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype (Twitter link). According to Kennedy, Tyler Ulis, Alan Williams, JaKarr Sampson, and Marcus Georges-Hunt were among the players to participate in the audition.

It’s not clear if the Cavaliers are seeking depth at a particular position and looking to fill out their 15-man regular season roster, or if they’re simply familiarizing themselves with the various options remaining on the free agent market.

Cleveland only has 12 players on guaranteed contracts, but has a reported agreement in place with David Nwaba and seems likely to eventually re-sign Rodney Hood too, so there may not be more than a single open spot available on the regular season roster.

All four players named by Kennedy appeared in NBA games last season. Ulis played 71 games (43 starts) for the Suns before being waived in June; Sampson appeared in 22 contests for the Kings on a two-way contract; Williams returned from a knee injury to play five games at the end of the season for the Suns before being cut in July; and Georges-Hunt saw limited minutes off the bench in 42 games for the Timberwolves.

International Notes: Alexander, Paul, Costello

Former Trail Blazers forward and Kansas standout Cliff Alexander will continue his playing career in Germany. Alexander has signed a two-year contract to join German team Brose Bamberg, the club announced today in a press release.

While Alexander only appeared in a total of eight regular season NBA games for Portland, he has spent time with a handful of teams. The ex-Jayhawk was in camp with the Magic in 2016 and the Pelicans in 2017, and signed a 10-day contract with the Nets near the end of the 2016/17 season.

Here are a few more notes on one-time NBA players who are playing – or may play – in international leagues this season:

  • Having been waived by the Spurs on Tuesday, shooting guard Brandon Paul appears to already be drawing interest from teams in Europe. Orazio Cauchi of Sportando relays a report from El Mundo Deportivo suggesting that Barcelona and Baskonia of the Spanish League may have their eye on Paul.
  • Matt Costello, another former Spurs player who spent last season on a two-way contract with the club, is weighing offers from Italy’s Avellino and Turkey’s Galatasaray, a source tells Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Costello intends to take some time to make his decision, per Cauchi.
  • Former second-round pick Tibor Pleiss, who appeared in 12 NBA games for the Jazz back in 2015/16, will continue to play in Europe. The big man signed with Turkish club Anadolu Efes on a one-year deal featuring a second-year option, according to an announcement from the team (Twitter link).

Spurs Waive Brandon Paul

The Spurs have officially waived shooting guard Brandon Paul, the team announced today in a press release. Paul will become an unrestricted free agent on Thursday, assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers.

Paul, 27, made his NBA debut last season and appeared in 64 total games for the Spurs, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.1 RPG in just 9.0 minutes per contest.

Paul’s $1,378,242 salary would have become guaranteed if he had remained under contract through Wednesday, so the Spurs had to make a decision on him this week. Due to that August 1 trigger date, a team placing a waiver claim on Paul would have to be willing to guarantee his 2018/19 salary. Either way, San Antonio won’t be on the hook for that money.

With Paul no longer under contract, the Spurs have 14 players on guaranteed salaries, leaving one spot open for the regular season roster. That may bode well for second-round pick Chimezie Metu, one of the few 2018 draft picks who remains unsigned. San Antonio could fill out its 15-man squad by inking Metu to his first NBA contract.

Upcoming NBA Salary Guarantee Dates To Watch

Over the last month or so, we’ve seen a number of players traded or waived before their salary guarantees for the 2018/19 season kicked in. Players who sign contracts that feature non-guaranteed salaries in future years often have June or July trigger dates, forcing teams to make decisions fairly early in the offseason — that way, if the player is waived, he’ll still have the opportunity to catch on with a new club well before the new season begins.

We’ve been tracking those decisions using our list of guarantee dates for the summer of 2018. While most of those deadlines are now in the rear-view mirror, a few teams will have decisions to make within the next week.

Here’s a quick rundown of the decision dates to watch this week:

Brandon Jennings (Bucks): $2,222,803 salary becomes guaranteed after August 1.

Jennings’ salary was initially set to become guaranteed if he remained under contract through July 1, and there were reports at the start of the month suggesting he believed that would happen. Instead, the Bucks pushed back his guarantee date until the start of August, giving the team time to assess whether it needed the veteran guard on the roster once it was done making other offseason moves.

The Bucks recently agreed to add Pat Connaughton to their backcourt and haven’t been able to trade Matthew Dellavedova this summer, which may not bode well for Jennings’ roster spot. Even if Milwaukee decides to cut him though, Jennings could return on a new minimum-salary contract at some point — his current deal calls for a $2.22MM cap hit, but the Bucks could give him the same salary on a new one-year contract with a $1.51MM cap charge.

Brandon Paul (Spurs): $1,378,242 salary becomes guaranteed after August 1.

The Spurs tend not to throw in the towel early on developmental projects, preferring to give them time to ease their way into larger roles. Paul only averaged 9.0 minutes per contest last season, but he appeared in 64 games, signaling that San Antonio had enough confidence in him to continue giving him NBA minutes rather than hiding away in the G League. That’s a positive sign for Paul as decision day approaches.

Abdel Nader (Thunder): $1,378,242 salary becomes guaranteed after August 1. Already partially guaranteed for $450,000.

The Thunder went out of their way to acquire Nader from the Celtics in a trade last week even though the young wing already has a partial guarantee of $450K. Oklahoma City’s luxury-tax issues are well documented and the club wouldn’t have traded for him if it didn’t intend to keep him, so Nader looks like a virtual lock to have his full salary guaranteed.

Okaro White (Cavaliers): $1,544,951 salary becomes partially guaranteed for $772,476 after August 5.

White, who missed a good chunk of the 2017/18 season with a broken foot, talked earlier this month about how he’s still working to mentally get over that injury. He was physically healthy enough to play for the Cavaliers‘ Summer League team, but his performance in Las Vegas was a mixed bag. He showed off his energy and rebounding ability with 7.4 RPG in 23.9 minutes per contest, but struggled to put the ball in the basket, averaging just 6.0 PPG on 33.3% shooting.

The Cavs have roster spots to spare and could stick with White, but if they’re still unsure about his place on the roster, they’ll likely waive him by next Sunday to avoid guaranteeing half his salary for 2018/19.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/3/18

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

10:10pm: The Warriors have assigned rookie Jordan Bell to their affiliate in Santa Cruz, the team announced in an email. Bell returned to the Golden State lineup this week after missing 14 games with inflammation in his left ankle.

2:22pm:

  • One day after assignment, the Spurs have recalled guards Brandon Paul and Derrick White from their G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, the team announced today in a press release. Paul has averaged 2.5 points and 1.2 rebounds per game in 53 games with San Antonio so far this season, while White is averaging 2.5 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in 16 contests.
  • The Jazz have assigned rookie Tony Bradley back to the Salt Lake City Stars, per an official press release from the team. Bradley has appeared in 23 games for the Stars this season, averaging 15.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.2 blocks in 29.6 minutes per game.
  • The Timberwolves have reassigned rookie big man Justin Patton to the Iowa Wolves, the team announced today. Patton has appeared in 28 games for Iowa this season, averaging 12.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 21.1 minutes per game.
  • The Suns have recalled Davon Reed from the Northern Arizona Suns, tweets Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic. Reed, 22, has averaged 8.0 minutes, 1.3 points and 0.9 rebounds per game in seven contests for Phoenix so far this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/2/18

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Timberwolves have recalled rookie big man Justin Patton from the G League, according to a team press release. Patton, who has yet to make his NBA debut, may provide some emergency frontcourt depth for Minnesota on Friday night, with Shabazz Muhammad gone and Taj Gibson injured.
  • Cavaliers center Ante Zizic continues to bounce back and forth between the NBA and G League, with the team announcing in a press release that he has been re-assigned to Canton. The Cavs’ G League affiliate will host the Grand Rapids Drive on Friday night, so Zizic should be in Canton’s starting lineup for that game.
  • The Spurs have sent guards Brandon Paul and Derrick White to the G League, the team announced today in a press release. The backcourt duo figures to suit up for the Austin Spurs on Friday night as San Antonio’s G League affiliate hosts the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
  • The Jazz have recalled Tony Bradley from the Salt Lake City Stars, according to the team’s website. Bradley has had 16 trips to the G League this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/21/18

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

8:30pm:

3:56pm:

  • The Celtics have recalled Guerschon Yabusele and Abdel Nader from the G League, the team announced today (via Twitter). Yabusele and Nader were sent down yesterday for the Maine Red Claw’s tilt against the Westchester Knicks.
  • The Hawks have recalled DeAndre’ BembryTyler Cavanaugh and Isaiah Taylor to their G League affiliate in Erie, the team announced in a press release. Additionally, Josh Magettewho has appeared in nine games with Atlanta, was sent down to Erie.
  • The Thunder have assigned Dakari Johnson to the team’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, the team announced in a press release. Johnson has appeared in one game for the Blue, posting a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. He has played in 21 games for OKC.
  • The Suns have recalled guard Davon Reed to their Northern Arizona affiliate, per Scott Bordow of Arizona Central Sports (via Twitter).

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/20/18

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Spurs have assigned guards Brandon Paul and Derrick White to their G League affiliate, according to a press release. White has played eight games for the Austin Spurs this season, but it’s Paul’s first assignment. The duo figures to suit up for Austin tonight in the club’s game against Grand Rapids.
  • The Lakers have recalled rookie big man Thomas Bryant from the G League, the club announced today (via Twitter). Bryant scored a team-high 23 points on Friday to help lead the South Bay Lakers to a win.
  • Second-year forward Troy Williams has been recalled from the G League by the Rockets, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Williams struggled with his shot for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Friday night, scoring 15 points on 6-of-17 shooting (2-for-9 on threes).
  • The Celtics have sent Guerschon Yabusele and Abdel Nader to the G League, the team announced today (via Twitter). They’ll look to help the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s affiliate, pick up a win tonight against Westchester.
  • The Suns have assigned guard Davon Reed to their Northern Arizona affiliate, the team announced (via Twitter).

Texas Notes: Gay, Paul, Harden, Withey

Rudy Gay was back on the court for the first time since January in Friday’s preseason game against the Kings, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio’s top free agent addition of the summer managed just four points in 18 minutes, but was happy that he felt no effects from the left Achilles tendon tear that ended his time with the Kings. “I’ve practiced pretty hard, just knowing I can get up there still, jump and be athletic,” Gay said. “It takes a lot of pressure off me.”

Gay got the start at small forward Friday and may continue in that role as long as Kawhi Leonard is sidelined with a right quadriceps issue. Gay has been a starter throughout his 11-year NBA career, but is expected to step into a reserve role once the team is at full strength.

There’s more today out of Texas:

  • The Spurs‘ latest rookie project comes to the team with a desire to be a great defender, relays Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Brandon Paul went undrafted out of Illinois in 2013 and has spent most of his career in Europe. The 26-year-old shooting guard signed a two-year deal with the Spurs in July with a one-season guarantee of $815,615. “Anybody can put the ball in the basket,” Paul said. “But in order to stick out, you’ve got to be able to play both ends of the floor.”
  • Rockets star James Harden is engaged in a verbal battle with former coach Kevin McHale through the media. After McHale said on NBA TV this week that Harden is “not a leader,” the MVP runner-up responded today by calling McHale a “clown,” relays Tim MacMahon of ESPN“I did anything and everything he asked me to do,” Harden said. “I’ve tried to lead this team every day since I stepped foot here in Houston. To go on air and just downplay my name, when honestly he’s never taught me anything to be a leader … but I’ve done a great job. The organization, my coaches, you can ask any of those guys how I’ve worked extremely hard every single day to better [myself], obviously as a basketball player, but be a leader as well.”
  • Mavericks center Jeff Withey has worked on his 3-point shooting to try to fit into coach Rick Carlisle’s system, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Withey signed a two-year contract worth nearly $3.4MM this summer, but only $350K of that is guaranteed. “We like his length, shot-blocking ability,” Carlisle said. “[Owner] Mark [Cuban] was really a key guy on this. He’d been studying him for a while. And he’s shown that he can knock in some perimeter shots from time to time.”