Brodric Thomas

Lonnie Walker, Anfernee Simons Get QOs; Kevin Knox Doesn’t

The Spurs have issued a qualifying offer to guard Lonnie Walker, making him a restricted free agent, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). The qualifying offer will be worth $6,311,564.

Unlike some of this summer’s top restricted free agents, Walker wasn’t a lock to receive that qualifying offer, given the up-and-down season the 23-year-old had in 2021/22. He averaged a career-high 12.1 PPG and 2.2 APG, but saw his shooting percentages dip to 40.7% from the floor and 31.4% on threes, well below his career rates. Furthermore, a report earlier today stated that Walker was unlikely to remain in San Antonio.

By issuing the qualifying offer, the Spurs are at least opening up a path for Walker to return, either by accepting the one-year QO or by negotiating a new deal with the team. However, McDonald says there’s an expectation that Walker will “fully” test the market.

Spurs swingman Joe Wieskamp also received a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent, tweets McDonald. Because Wieskamp was promoted from his two-way deal to a standard contract last season, his qualifying offer will be worth approximately $1.8MM ($200K more than his minimum salary).

Here are a few more qualifying offer updates from around the NBA:

  • The Trail Blazers have formally issued a qualifying offer to guard Anfernee Simons, making him a restricted free agent, the team announced in a press release. Simons’ QO is worth $5,758,552, but the 23-year-old is expected to negotiate a far more lucrative long-term deal. Multiple reports have suggested a four-year contract worth in the neighborhood of $80MM is possible.
  • Hawks forward Kevin Knox isn’t getting a qualifying offer and will become an unrestricted free agent, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Knox didn’t get regular minutes last season and his qualifying offer would have been worth $7,228,448, so it comes as no surprise that Atlanta is passing.
  • The Warriors aren’t giving qualifying offers to either Juan Toscano-Anderson ($2,126,991) or Chris Chiozza ($1,968,175), according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Both players will be unrestricted free agents and are unlikely to remain in Golden State, Slater adds.
  • The Celtics have tendered a two-way qualifying offer to guard Brodric Thomas, making him a restricted free agent, a source tells our JD Shaw (Twitter link). Boston hasn’t reached a deal to fill either of its two-way slots for next season yet, so Thomas could end up taking one of them.
  • Two-way players Jay Scrubb (Clippers) and Trevelin Queen (Rockets) won’t receive qualifying offers and will become unrestricted free agents, according to reports from Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links). Queen, the 2021/22 NBA G League MVP, is expected to receive interest on the open market, per Haynes.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Reddish, Raptors’ Draft, Celtics’ Summer Roster, Boucher, Young

The Knicks have checked in with the Pistons regarding the No. 5 pick in the draft, Ian Begley of SNY.tv reports. Cam Reddish‘s name has come up in those conversations but it would take a significant package for Detroit to trade down the lottery. New York owns the No. 11 pick. The Knicks have also reportedly explored trading with the Kings for the No. 4 pick with their eyes on point guard Jaden Ivey.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

COVID-19 Updates: Celtics, Lakers, Raptors

Celtics reserve point guard Dennis Schröder has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and will not play in today’s Christmas game against the Bucks, the team has announced (Twitter link). He joins eight other Celtics in the protocols.

In a more positive twist, Juancho Hernangómez, Jabari Parker, and Brodric Thomas have exited the league’s COVID-19 protocols and are available for today’s game, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic (via Twitter). Guards Marcus Smart, who has been dealing with a hip injury, and Romeo Langford, who has missed time due to an Achilles injury, are also available. Boston center Al Horford is out of the league’s coronavirus protocols but is still working on his conditioning and has been ruled out for the contest.

Here are more COVID-19 protocol updates from around the NBA:

  • Lakers guards Avery Bradley and Malik Monk have left the league’s COVID-19 protocols and will be able to suit up today for Los Angeles against the Nets, per Bill Oram of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Raptors players Khem Birch, Isaac Bonga, and Justin Champagnie have entered the league’s COVID-19 protocols, though Dalano Banton has apparently exited, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN (Twitter link). A total of 10 Toronto players are now in the protocols. Toronto’s previously-scheduled game on Wednesday, against the Bulls, was canceled as a result of the Raptors not having enough players available. The team’s next game is scheduled for tomorrow against the Cavaliers. Lewenberg adds (via Twitter) that Raptors rookie shooting guard David Johnson (calf) and veteran point guard Goran Dragic (personal) also continue to be unavailable.
  • Keep track of all the NBA players within the league’s health and safety protocols on our tracker here.

COVID-19 Updates: Hawks, Blazers, Celtics, Bucks, Nets

Wesley Iwundu, who just signed a 10-day contract with the Hawks on Thursday, has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Iwundu played 23 minutes in the Hawks’ 98-96 victory over the Sixers Thursday night, scoring two points and grabbing five rebounds. ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets that the Hawks will need to sign another replacement player to replace Iwundu — himself a replacement player.

Hawks big man Onyeka Okongwu, who made his season debut last week, has entered the protocols as well, Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. In three games this season (22.3 MPG), Okongwu is averaging 10.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 2.0 BPG. The Hawks now have nine players in the protocols.

Here are a few more COVID-related updates:

  • Backup point guard Dennis Smith Jr. and two-way rookie Trendon Watford have entered the protocols for the Trail Blazers and the rest of the team will now be re-tested, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). DSJ and Watford are the only players currently in the protocols for the Blazers.
  • The Celtics have four new players entering the protocols: C.J. Miles, Justin Jackson, Aaron Nesmith, and Bruno Fernando, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic. However, Al Horford, Juan Hernangomez, Jabari Parker, and Brodric Thomas, who’ve all been in the protocols, are listed as questionable for Saturday’s game against Milwaukee, so they could be exiting the protocols soon. Until those four are cleared, the Celtics will have 12 players in the COVID-19 protocols — the largest outbreak in the NBA.
  • In addition to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis has exited the protocols for the Bucks, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets. Like Horford and the other Celtics, Donte DiVincenzo, who’s also been in the protocols, is listed as questionable to make his season debut Saturday.
  • Meanwhile, Bruce Brown and James Johnson have exited the protocols for the Nets, but seven others, including star Kevin Durant, remain in the protocols for their game Saturday against the Lakers, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).
  • Warriors rookie Moses Moody has entered the protocols, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Golden State now has four players in the protocols.

Celtics Notes: COVID-19, B. Thomas, J. Jackson, I. Thomas

The Celtics continue to be impacted by a COVID-19 outbreak, with Brodric Thomas the latest player to enter health and safety protocols, tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Thomas is the sixth player in the past 48 hours to be placed in the protocols, giving Boston eight inactive players for tonight’s game against the Knicks. Others sidelined are Dennis Schröder, who has a non-COVID illness, and Romeo Langford, who is dealing with a neck issue.

Boston can replenish its roster with hardship exceptions, but because Thomas has a two-way contract he can only be replaced by a player with three years or fewer of NBA service, notes Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). That’s also true for fellow two-way player Sam Hauser, who is among the six players in the protocols.

There’s more from Boston:

  • With Justin Jackson joining the Celtics via the hardship exception, Chris Forsberg of NBC  Boston looks at how the 26-year-old forward can help the team. Jackson will likely see time at power forward with Al Horford, Grant Williams, Juan Hernangomez and Jabari Parker all in the protocols. Jackson has been with four teams since being selected with the 15th pick in the 2017 draft, but he has been shooting well in the G League this season and may provide some minutes as a stretch four until a few players return.
  • Marcus Smart wishes the Celtics had signed former backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Thomas, a long-time fan favorite in Boston, scored 19 points Friday night in his first game since signing a 10-day deal with the Lakers. “It’s amazing. I’m just proud that he gets another chance,” Smart said. “He’s been doing everything he can to show the world that he’s still IT. I think he was written off a little early, but that dude is a quiet warrior, and I’m just happy that somebody gave him a chance.”
  • New coach Ime Udoka has been relying heavily on film sessions to motivate players and point out their errors, according to Souichi Terada of MassLive. The latest instance was Friday’s game against the Warriors when Udoka showed clips at halftime of the Celtics getting beat to loose balls.

Celtics Sign Brodric Thomas To Two-Way Deal

11:29am: The Celtics have officially signed Thomas to a two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release.


8:02am: The Celtics are filling one of the open spots on their 17-man roster by signing guard Brodric Thomas to a two-way contract, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Thomas, 24, began his rookie season in 2020/21 with the Rockets after going undrafted out of Truman. He had his Exhibit 10 contract with Houston converted to a two-way pact at the end of the preseason, then appeared in four games with the Rockets before being waived in February. Thomas caught on with Cleveland on a new two-way deal less than two weeks later and finished the season with the Cavaliers.

In 32 total games for his two teams, Thomas averaged 3.9 PPG and 1.7 RPG on .361/.271/.674 shooting in 12.5 minutes per contest. He put up better numbers in the G League, with 18.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 3.5 APG on .447/.413/.571 shooting in 14 games (33.6 MPG) for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Canton Charge.

Thomas re-signed with the Cavs on another two-way deal this offseason, but was released last week.

Once Thomas officially joins the team, the Celtics will have 16 players under contract — Thomas and Sam Hauser on two-way pacts, plus 14 players on standard deals. It doesn’t appear the team will fill its final roster spot to start the regular season.

Cavaliers Waive Mfiondu Kabengele, Brodric Thomas

The Cavaliers have trimmed their roster by waiving center Mfiondu Kabengele and guard Brodric Thomas, the team announced in a press release.

Kabengele signed a pair of 10-day deals with Cleveland in April before inking a contract for the remainder of the season. He appeared in 16 games, averaging 4.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per night. He also played 23 games for the Clippers last season.

Thomas signed a two-way contract with the Cavs in late February and appeared in 32 games, putting up 4.1 PPG and 1.8 RPG. After exploring free agency, he accepted his qualifying offer last month, which was the equivalent of another two-way deal with a $50K guarantee. Thomas played four games for the Rockets last season before coming to Cleveland and spent time in the G League as well.

The moves bring the Cavaliers down to 18 players on the roster, with 11 guaranteed contracts. The team now has a pair of open two-way slots.

Cavs’ Brodric Thomas Accepts Two-Way Qualifying Offer

Cavaliers shooting guard Brodric Thomas has accepted his qualifying offer and will return to Cleveland, a league source tells our JD Shaw (Twitter link). Because he spent last season on a two-way contract, Thomas’ qualifying offer was the equivalent of another two-way deal with a $50K partial guarantee.

Thomas, 24, began his rookie season with the Rockets after going undrafted out of Truman in 2020. He had his Exhibit 10 contract with Houston converted to a two-way pact at the end of the preseason, then appeared in four games with the Rockets before being waived in February. Thomas caught on with Cleveland on a new two-way deal less than two weeks later and finished the season with the Cavs.

In 32 total games for his two teams, Thomas averaged 3.9 PPG and 1.7 RPG on .361/.271/.674 shooting in 12.5 minutes per contest. He put up better numbers in the G League, with 18.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 3.5 APG on .447/.413/.571 shooting in 14 games (33.6 MPG) for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Canton Charge.

By extending Thomas a qualifying offer this summer, the Cavs made him a restricted free agent and essentially earmarked one of their two-way slots for him — at least for now. With Tacko Fall, Tre Scott, RJ Nembhard, and Mitch Ballock expected to be in training camp on Exhibit 10 contracts, the Cavs’ other two-way slot figures to be up for grabs, and if multiple camp invitees make a strong impression, it’s possible Thomas could face competition for his spot as well.

Thomas had been one of two restricted free agents left on the market. Clippers two-way RFA Amir Coffey is now the only one.

Checking In On Remaining Restricted Free Agents

When Lauri Markkanen finally came off the board over the weekend, it left just two standard restricted free agents who are still unsigned, as our FA list shows. Both of those players are Timberwolves free agents: Jordan McLaughlin and Jarred Vanderbilt.

Restricted free agents never have a ton of leverage, especially this deep into the offseason. Some players who remain on the market for weeks, like Markkanen, can still land player-friendly deals, but if McLaughlin or Vanderbilt have been drawing interest around the NBA as coveted sign-and-trade candidates or potential offer sheet recipients, we probably would’ve heard about it by now.

McLaughlin looked like he might be in position to secure a favorable commitment from the Timberwolves after the team traded Ricky Rubio to Cleveland, but Minnesota’s recent move to acquire Patrick Beverley adds depth to the point guard spot and clouds McLaughlin’s future.

A year ago, McLaughlin ultimately decided to accept his qualifying offer and play on a two-way contract for a second consecutive season. This time around, his QO is the equivalent of a one-year, minimum-salary deal, but only a very small portion of that offer (about $84K) has to be guaranteed, so accepting it isn’t a great option.

The Wolves are likely willing to offer a more significant guarantee in 2021/22, but probably want to tack on at least one or two non-guaranteed, minimum-salary years to any deal for McLaughlin. With two-way player McKinley Wright in the picture as a potential third point guard, Minnesota has the roster flexibility to play hardball in its negotiations with McLaughlin.

Vanderbilt may be in a slightly better negotiating position, since he’s likely a higher priority for the Wolves. He started 30 games last season, earning a regular rotation role and showing the ability to handle minutes at power forward, the team’s most glaring weak spot.

Minnesota has a few options at the four, but Taurean Prince and Jake Layman won’t move the needle much, and Jaden McDaniels remains pretty raw. Vanderbilt would be a useful depth piece at the right price, which – in the Wolves’ view – is probably something not far above the veteran’s minimum.

As we wait to see what happens with McLaughlin and Vanderbilt, it’s also worth noting that there are technically four other restricted free agents still on the market. The following four players were made RFAs after finishing the season on two-way contracts:

For these four players, accepting a qualifying offer would mean getting another two-way contract with a $50K partial guarantee.

Signing that qualifying offer would provide no security, even though the Spurs, Clippers, Rockets, and Cavaliers do all have two-way slots open right now. Given the modest guarantee, a team likely wouldn’t hesitate to replace one of its two-way players in October with a camp invitee who has an impressive preseason. And as McLaughlin’s situation shows, even playing out a second year on a two-way QO wouldn’t necessarily give a player additional leverage in his next foray into restricted free agency.

Nico Mannion, Saben Lee, Others Receive Qualifying Offers

The Warriors have issued a qualifying offer to two-way player Nico Mannion, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. Because Mannion, the 48th overall pick in the 2020 draft, was on a two-way contract during his rookie season, his qualifying offer will be the equivalent of another two-way deal, with a partial guarantee worth $50K. The QO will give Golden State matching rights in the event that another team signs Mannion to an offer sheet next week.

Here are more updates on players on two-way contracts receiving qualifying offers:

  • Saben Lee, a 2020 second-round pick who spent his rookie season on a two-way deal, has received a qualifying offer from the Pistons, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. As expected, Detroit also officially renounced the draft rights to Jaylen Hands, Smith notes.
  • The Bulls issued a qualifying offer to two-way player Devon Dotson, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. Chicago also gave a QO to Lauri Markkanen on Friday.
  • Nuggets guard Markus Howard, another two-way player, received a qualifying offer that makes him a restricted free agent, tweets Smith. Howard appeared in 37 games for Denver last season as an undrafted rookie out of Marquette.
  • The Spurs extended a qualifying offer to forward Keita Bates-Diop to make him an RFA, tweets Smith. Like the other players listed above, Bates-Diop has fewer than four years of NBA experience and is therefore eligible to sign another two-way contract after spending the 2020/21 season on a two-way deal.
  • The Cavaliers gave a qualifying offer to two-way shooting guard Brodric Thomas, tweets Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link). Thomas appeared in a total of 32 games for Houston and Cleveland as a rookie in 2020/21.
  • The Grizzlies announced they’ve issued a qualifying offer to big man Killian Tillie, making him a restricted free agent. Tillie appeared in 18 games for Memphis as a rookie on his two-way deal.

Since all of these players are coming off two-way contracts and have only spent one season with their respective teams, their QOs are one-year, two-way offers with $50K guarantees.