Brandon Paul

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.”

Spurs Sign Brandon Paul

JULY 14, 12:32pm: The Spurs have formally issued a press release making their deal with Paul official.

JULY 13, 2:24pm: The Spurs have reached an agreement with Brandon Paul to add him to the team, international journalist David Pick reports (Twitter link).  Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com adds that the contract will be guaranteed, though no other details of the deal have trickled out yet.

Paul played abroad last season for Anadolu Efes Istanbul where he shot 41.5% from behind the arc. He played for the Cavaliers’ Summer League team in 2017 and the Sixers’ squad during the summer of 2016.

The combo guard spent four years at the University of Illinois before going undrafted in the 2013 draft. During his senior year in college, he scored 16.6 points per game while shooting 40.1% from the field.

And-Ones: I. Austin, Sims, B. Paul, 2017 Draft

Former Baylor standout Isaiah Austin was recently cleared to play basketball again, after having his NBA hopes initially derailed when he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue. Still, although Austin is free to sign anywhere, executives are generally taking a “relaxed approach” to his planned comeback, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. Austin was viewed as a borderline first-round prospect back in 2014, and some executives around the NBA are approaching his reported medical clearance with caution.

“What reversed the decision?” one NBA general manager said to Howard-Cooper. “How did it come to be that now he can play? We don’t even know how. Yeah, that’s what I’d be curious about. I’m not saying [Austin found a single doctor willing to clear him], but I’ve seen this before. You can find someone to tell you that you can play. Somebody will.”

As Howard-Cooper details, another GM suggested that teams wouldn’t rush to look into Austin’s situation, but added that those teams may be intrigued: “I’ve never heard anybody (in the NBA) talk about any skepticism on that because I don’t think he’s on people’s radar like that. I don’t think there’s a buzz like, ‘Whoa, now he’s been declared healthy. Is he really healthy?’ I don’t think people are looking at it that way. I think people are more ‘OK, that’s interesting.’ I can see maybe someone trying to do a feel-good story, liking a little bump from a PR standpoint. Maybe someone does a short-term contract with him and brings him in.”

As we wait to see Austin can land a basketball contract, perhaps in the D-League or elsewhere, let’s check in on a few other odds and ends…

  • The NBA D-League has accepted a buyout of Henry Sims‘ contract, as well as Quincy Douby‘s deal, reports Adam Johnson of D-League Digest (Twitter links). It’s not yet clear what the next step is for either former NBA player, but they may end up heading overseas.
  • One player heading overseas is swingman Brandon Paul, who was in camp with the Sixers this fall. As Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes, Turkish club Anadolu Efes Istanbul has agreed to a deal with Paul to replace Bryce Cotton on its roster.
  • In a piece for Basketball Insiders, Michael Scotto takes an early look at next year’s potential draft class, exploring whether we might see three Kentucky freshman come of the board as 2017 lottery picks. As Scotto outlines, Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, and Edrice Adebayo could become the Wildcats’ third trio since 2010 to achieve that feat.

Sixers Waive Paul, Webb, Barber, Long, Christmas

3:32pm: The 76ers have confirmed the five cuts listed below, announcing in a press release that they’ve waived Paul, Webb, Barber, Long, and Christmas.

2:35pm: The Sixers entered the day with 19 players, and will waive at least four of those players to get down to the regular-season limit. According to Jake Fischer of Liberty Ballers (Twitter link), Brandon Paul will be one of those cuts. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports (via Twitter) that James Webb III, Cat Barber, and Shawn Long will also be released by the club.

[RELATED: Elton Brand announces retirement]

In addition to the 19 players they had coming into the day, the Sixers also signed Dionte Christmas to a contract. While it hasn’t been officially reported or confirmed yet, Christmas will likely be Philadelphia’s fifth cut.

Webb, Barber, and Long are all candidates to join the Delaware 87ers, Philadelphia’s D-League affiliate, since the 76ers hold their rights. However, Paul has received interest from other NBA teams and there has been no talk of him heading to Delaware, a source tells Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link). Christmas doesn’t exactly fit the bill of a developmental prospect, but it looks like the Sixers may have picked up the 30-year-old today to send him to the D-League — a team can assign up to four preseason cuts to its D-League affiliate, assuming the player agrees.

Paul, Long, Webb, and Barber had partial guarantees worth $155K, $65K, $65K, and $50K respectively. Those figures will continue to count against Philadelphia’s cap. Assuming the Sixers don’t make any more cuts, they’ll head into the season with Robert Covington, Jerami Grant, T.J. McConnell, and Hollis Thompson on non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed salaries.

Additionally, as Fischer notes, Nik Stauskas has made Philadelphia’s roster to start the year. The former eighth overall pick has a fully guaranteed salary worth nearly $3MM, but there was some uncertainty about whether the Sixers would have room for him. For now, at least, it seems they do.

Atlantic Notes: Paul, Zizic, Knicks, Sixers

Shooting guard Brandon Paul, whom the Sixers signed to a partially guaranteed deal in July, led the team with 15 points in their preseason victory over Boston and has a legitimate shot to make the regular season roster, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“He was instant offense,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said of Paul’s performance. “You know, he got a bounce, and he had a mentality to come in and make plays. And didn’t have much second-guesses going on … I thought his energy and his bounce stood out. I think defensively, too.

The 25-year-old played for the Sixers’ Summer League team this offseason, where he averaged 10.7 points and 1.7 steals in 19.6 minutes per game. Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • After writing about Guerschon Yabusele earlier this week, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe shifts his focus to the Celtics‘ other draft-and-stash prospect from the first round of the 2016 draft. As Himmelsbach writes, 23rd overall pick Ante Zizic was initially frustrated with Boston’s decision, since he wanted to join the team immediately, but he has adjusted to continuing his career in Croatia, and texts with director of player personnel Austin Ainge nearly every day. “Just to make sure that he knows that he’s in our plans and is a big part of our future,” Ainge said, “and that we’re monitoring his development.”
  • The Knicks may be without two of their high-profile additions from the summer for the immediate future, Marc Berman of The New York Post notes. Point guard Derrick Rose heads to Los Angeles to join the $21.5MM civil trial for an alleged sexual assault – which began with jury selection Tuesday – and has indicated he’s unsure when he’ll return to the team, acknowledging that he likely will miss practices on Thursday and Friday, per Berman. Meanwhile, center Joakim Noah is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury that he suffered on Saturday during the team’s final practice of training camp, Berman adds.
  • Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo is taking an “organic” approach to building Philadelphia’s roster, according to Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Daily News, who suggests the team will let its frontcourt rotation develop based on which players are healthy and which players produce.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Paul, Lowry

The Knicks are hoping that the roster changes they made this offseason will alleviate some of the pressure off of Carmelo Anthony and don’t want the forward feeling like he needs to “do everything” in order to be successful, Ian Begley of ESPN.com relays. “A lot of times he has a penchant to take the ball himself up the court and slow the play down, the development down, by pushing the ball up the court himself or taking the inbound pass,” team president Phil Jackson told the media. “Those are some of the small things that we asked to look at and maybe we could change. With the outstanding guard corps that we have — Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings, guys who can really push the ball at a certain level — I think he’s going to be much more comfortable allowing them to do what they’re best at.

We’re hoping that the level of talent that is on the team will lead to him not thinking, ‘I have to do everything,’” coach Jeff Hornacek added. “He’s a great passer. He’s made great passes in some of these games that we’ve seen. I think when he has that trust in his teammates, he’s going to make those passes, and we’re going to get easy buckets.”

Here’s more from out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who can opt out of his current deal after the 2016/17 campaign is complete, told members of the media that he won’t be discussing free agency until the season is over, Eric Koreen relays (via Twitter). Lowry will assuredly command more on the open market than the $12MM he is owed for 2017/18.
  • Despite the Sixers bringing 20 players into training camp, Brandon Paul has a legitimate shot to make the opening night roster, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders opines. The scribe notes that Paul’s contract has more guaranteed money included than the deals of Robert Covington, Hollis Thompson, Jerami Grant, T.J. McConnell, Shawn Long and James Webb. Discussing why he chose to sign with Philly, Paul told Kennedy, “I just felt like, all around, it was the best decision for me to come in and compete. They obviously have a young roster and I kind of bring in a little bit of maturity to that roster. Obviously, I’m relatively young as well. But around those guys, I’m kind of the older one and I’m a little more seasoned because I played overseas and in the D-League. I think I can bring a little bit of toughness and maturity to the roster.
  • Neither the Raptors nor DeMar DeRozan wanted the player to end up anywhere other than Toronto, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca, who details the free agent process the two parties went through in reaching a five-year agreement this summer.

Contract Details: Gee, Frazier, M. Miller, Canaan

When the Pelicans re-signed Alonzo Gee, it appeared that they gave him a minimum-salary deal, which would have been worth $1,315,448. However, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter), Gee’s one-year deal is actually worth $1.4MM. It’s a curious move for New Orleans, one with no obvious explanation — a minimum-salary pact for Gee would have only cost the Pelicans a cap hit of about $980K, so the $85K pay bump for the veteran forward actually costs the team over $400K.

Gee had previously declined a player option for the 2016/17 season with the Pelicans. If he had exercised that option, he would have earned $1,379,400 for the upcoming year, so perhaps New Orleans agreed to give him a slight raise to allow him to save face on that decision.

Here are several more contract details on recently-signed contracts, via Pincus:

  • The Pelicans used a portion of their room exception to complete Tim Frazier‘s two-year, $4.09MM deal, tweets Pincus. The signing leaves New Orleans with $808K still available on that room exception. Pincus also notes that the Pelicans renounced Frazier’s qualifying offer before re-signing him, technically making him an unrestricted free agent, rather than an RFA.
  • When Terrence Jones agreed to sign with the Pelicans, it was expected to be a minimum-salary deal unless the club could create more cap room to give him some extra money. That didn’t end up happening, so Jones got the minimum, says Pincus (via Twitter).
  • Initially reported to be worth $5MM over two years, Mike Miller‘s two-year pact with the Nuggets is actually for $7MM, according to Pincus (via Twitter). However, the second year is fully non-guaranteed.
  • Brandon Paul received a two-year, minimum-salary contract from the Sixers that includes a $155K guarantee in year one, per Pincus (Twitter links). Philadelphia holds a team option on year two, which will be non-guaranteed even if the team picks up that option.
  • Pincus provides details on a couple more minimum-salary contracts with partial guarantees, reporting (via Twitter) that D.J. Stephens got $35K from the Grizzlies, while Isaiah Canaan will have a $200K guarantee from the Bulls for 2017/18 — Canaan’s 2016/17 salary is fully guaranteed.

Sixers Sign Brandon Paul

JULY 25: The Sixers have issued a press release formally announcing the signing of Paul.

JULY 18: The Sixers and Brandon Paul have reached an agreement on a partially guaranteed deal, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The 6’4″ shooting guard played for Philadelphia’s Summer League team this offseason, where he averaged 10.7 points and 1.7 steals in 19.6 minutes per game.

The 25-year-old didn’t shoot the ball well during four years at the University of Illinois, making slightly less than 32.5% of his shots from behind the arc. However, he played for Liga ACB last season and made improvements in that area, making 35.3% of his attempts.

The Sixers had 19 players on the roster entering the day, as the team’s depth chart at Roster Resource indicates. Paul will face stiff competition for roster spot and once the season begins, it’s more likely he will be suiting up for the 87ers, Philadelphia’s D-League affiliate.

Free Agent Notes: Timberwolves, Wizards, Randolph

The Timberwolves offered veteran small forward Luol Deng a three-year contract at $12MM per season, according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP Radio (Twitter link). Head coach and president of basketball operations Tim Thobideau refused to fully guarantee the third year, Wolfson adds. In the end, the Timberwolves didn’t come close to signing Deng, as the former Heat starter agreed to a four-year, $72MM contract with the Lakers.
In other news regarding free agency:
  • The Wizards have interest in re-signing shooting guard Alan Anderson and will meet with him this weekend, league sources told J. Michael of CSNmidlatlantic.com (Twitter links). The meeting is expected to take place in Las Vegas, Michael adds. Anderson, who made $4MM last season, appeared in just 13 games with the Wizards after undergoing a second surgery on his left ankle. The previous season, he played in 74 games with the Nets and averaged 7.4 points in 23.6 minutes.
  • Shooting guard Brandon Paul is drawing major interest around the league after some strong performances for the Hornets’ summer-league team, Sportando tweets. He’s averaging 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds through four games in the Orlando Summer League. The 6’4” Paul went undrafted in 2013 out of the University of Illinois and has been playing for a Spanish league team, FIATC Joventut.
  • Forward Anthony Randolph will remain in Europe and sign a one-year deal with Spain’s Real Madrid, a source told Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Randolph received interest from the Mavericks this summer, Spears adds. The contract will be the $1.5MM-$2MM range, international journalist David Pick tweets. The 6’11” Randolph hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2013/14 season, when he appeared in 43 games with the Nuggets.
  • Power forward Willie Reed has drawn interest from the Warriors, Spurs, Heat, Thunder, Timberwolves and Pacers, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets. Reed, an unrestricted free agent, averaged 4.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 10.9 minutes over 39 games with the Nets last season.
  • Free agent center Robert Sacre, who played the last four seasons with the Lakers, has drawn interest from the Timberwolves and Rockets, Wolfson reports in a separate tweet.

Odds & Ends: Heat, Jazz, Bulls, NBPA, Collins

The potential expiring contracts for the Heat's Big Three will be a major topic of conversation throughout the 2013/14 season, but LeBron James and Dwyane Wade both downplayed the subject at Media Day in Miami today.

"You have concern when you feel people want to go elsewhere," Wade said, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (via Twitter). "I don't think nobody is looking to go elsewhere."

Here's more from around the NBA:

  • Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey confirmed that the team is still in talks with Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward about possible rookie-scale extensions, tweets Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune.
  • In talking to reporters, including Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, about why he decided to sign with the Bulls, Mike Dunleavy Jr. pointed to the team's "high character."
  • Dahntay Jones is ready to compete in training camp for a spot on the Bulls' regular-season roster, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune details.
  • Former Illinois guard Brandon Paul, who went undrafted in June, explains to Gino Pilato of Ridiculous Upside why he's heading overseas rather than to NBA training camp. According to Paul, he received and passed on camp invites from the Wolves, Nets, Blazers, and Heat.
  • After previously having tackled ten of the best contracts of the offseason, Mark Deeks of HoopsWorld shifts his focus and identifies ten of the worst contracts, including the Bobcats' signing of Al Jefferson, and the Pistons' deal with Josh Smith.
  • The NBA Players Association is aiming to have a new executive director in place by the 2014 All-Star break, sources tell Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
  • ESPN.com's Marc Stein tweets that Jason Collins continues to work out "a ton" as he attempts to stay in shape in the hopes that an NBA team will show interest in signing him once the season gets underway.
  • Evaluating the Kings' signing of DeMarcus Cousins to a max extension, Daniel Leroux of RealGM.com gives the team a grade of D+ and the player a grade of A.

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