Bruno Caboclo

And-Ones: Nets Security, Zipser, Mannion, Mozgov, TBT

A Nets security official who made contact with Bucks forward P.J. Tucker during a Game 3 skirmish has been barred by the NBA from working any more games in Milwaukee for the rest of the series, according to Joe Vardon, Eric Nehm and Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. The official, Antjuan Lambert, also won’t be allowed at courtside during the games in Brooklyn.

Lambert is employed by the team, but he has also been working for Kevin Durant since the star forward signed with Brooklyn in 2019. When Durant had an altercation with Tucker in the third quarter of Game 3, Lambert intervened and bumped into Tucker.

“In the heat of the moment you know people are coming to de-escalate things and try to get things under control and not bump and escalate and have things become a problem than what we’re trying to address or de-escalate,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. “And, in the 24-48 hours since, if it’s a Nets security guy and he’s bumping our player and things like that, that doesn’t seem like that’s the protocol and what we’d expect from any type of security.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Bulls forward Paul Zipser had to undergo emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage this week, writes Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Zipser is now playing for FC Bayern in Germany.
  • Warriors guard Nico Mannion will be part of the Italian team for the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament in Belgrade, notes Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. Duke prospect Paolo Banchero, who received an Italian passport several months ago, hasn’t made a final decision on whether he’ll join Mannion.
  • Former NBA center Timofey Mozgov is expected to represent Russia in its upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament, Borghesan adds in a separate piece. Injuries limited Mozgov to six games this season for his Khimki team, but he recently returned to action.
  • Veteran NBA big man Amir Johnson will participate in The Basketball Tournament this summer, tweets J.D. Shaw of Hoops Rumors. Also playing will be Bruno Caboclo, who appeared in six games for the Rockets this season (Twitter link).

Bruno Caboclo Signs With French Team

Forward Bruno Caboclo, who played six games with the Rockets this season, has signed with France’s Limoges CSP, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets.

Caboclo has appeared in 105 NBA games since he was drafted in the first round by the Raptors in 2014. He’s also played for Sacramento and Memphis.

Caboclo was waived in mid-January in order to clear a roster spot after the James Harden multi-team blockbuster. He also played eight games for Houston at the end of last season after being acquired from the Grizzlies at the trade deadline.

Caboclo signed a two-year contract with the Rockets in November that included a team option, but the first year wasn’t fully guaranteed.

Rockets Waiving Bruno Caboclo

Needing an open roster spot to complete the James Harden trade, the Rockets elected to waive Bruno Caboclo, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Houston had just 14 players on standard contracts before completing the deal, but is taking back Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum and Rodions Kurucs while only sending out Harden.

Caboclo, 25, saw limited action for the Rockets, appearing in six games and averaging 6.0 minutes per night. He also played eight games for Houston at the end of last season after being acquired from the Grizzlies at the trade deadline.

The Rockets will take a $361K cap hit on Caboclo – whose 2020/21 minimum salary wasn’t fully guaranteed – and are now $5.7MM under the luxury tax, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.

Southwest Notes: Bledsoe, Spurs, Caboclo, Richardson

Though new Pelicans starting point guard Eric Bledsoe faces a tall task in replacing fan favorite guard Jrue Holiday, he still will prove a dependable starter for a New Orleans team with a good chance to at least qualify for a play-in game, as William Guillory of the Athletic details.

“The same role (Holiday) had here, I’m kind of in. But at the same time, I’ve still got to play my game,” Bledsoe said. “(My role is) defense, helping guys get better … trying to be a leader and going out there to help them win games.”

Guillory expects Bledsoe, a two-time All-Defensive Team selection who relies on a killer first step to score, to help lead a supercharged backcourt alongside Lonzo Ball. That tandem scored a combined 34 points on a 10-of-21 shooting from the floor tonight in a 113-99 defeat of the Raptors.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Ahead of the Spurs‘ 2020/21 season, John Hollinger of the Athletic previewed the club’s outlook. Hollinger notes that 30-something veterans LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Patty Mills and Rudy Gay could control the ball for extended stretches of possessions, though the advanced age and short-term contracts of most of those players are increasingly at odds with the timeline for the team’s younger prospects.
  • Rockets big man Bruno Caboclo agreed to push back the deadline for his 2020/21 salary to become fully guaranteed to February 27, 2021 (the league-wide deadline), according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter). It had previously been scheduled to become guaranteed today.
  • Now on his third team in three seasons, new Mavericks swingman Josh Richardson will be expected to guard the opposing team’s toughest perimeter players, according to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. Richardson has the length and speed to convincingly defend several positions.

Rockets Notes: Clemons, Wall, Cousins, Wood, Harden, JVG

A few of Chris ClemonsRockets teammates know exactly what the second-year guard is going through, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Like Clemons, who tore his Achilles tendon on Tuesday, DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, and David Nwaba have all had to attempt to make their way back to full health after suffering a torn Achilles.

“I spoke with him last night after the game,” Cousins said. “My only message was just take your time. One thing I noticed with professional athletes and injuries, we love our craft, we love the game itself. Once you have tough off, you’re always itching to get back and play that game.

“… We’re so used to playing through pain. Sometimes, we feel like we’re in a good place when it’s not necessarily the case. My only message is take his time, get everything right, he has a lot of basketball left to play in his career.”

The only silver lining of the injury for Clemons is that he’ll now be assured of his $1.52MM salary for 2020/21 — it was previously non-guaranteed. The Rockets, who are up against a hard cap, figure to keep Clemons on their roster since they don’t currently have the flexibility to replace him with a free agent if they cut him.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN details (via Twitter), Houston could attempt to make room for another player by trading Clemons (along with a second-round pick) to another club. If the Rockets are uninterested in such a move, they’ll likely have to waive either Gerald Green or Bruno Caboclo before the regular season begins in order to stay below the hard cap.

Here’s more from out of Houston:

  • John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins will sit out the Rockets’ preseason finale on Thursday vs. San Antonio, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. The club is handling both players carefully, since they’re coming off major injuries. Meanwhile, Christian Wood – who missed Houston’s first three preseason contests with a sore left elbow – is considered questionable to play.
  • It’s a bit of a worrisome sign that James Harden said during his media session on Wednesday that he hasn’t had a conversation at all with new Rockets GM Rafael Stone, writes Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Even if Harden remains dead-set on being traded, a deal of that magnitude will require some communication between the superstar guard and the Rockets’ head of basketball operations, Iko says.
  • Sources tell Marc Berman of The New York Post that Jeff Van Gundy probably could have had the Rockets’ head coaching job this offseason, but “was indifferent toward it.” Van Gundy was said to be owner Tilman Fertitta‘s top choice, though it seemed as if the team’s front office and players preferred other candidates. Either way, Van Gundy sounds happy with his current job, telling Berman that he’s  “real fortunate to be able to work at ESPN/ABC.”

Contract Details: Rockets, Tatum, Ibaka, Craig, Patterson

Sterling Brown‘s new deal with the Rockets is a one-year, minimum-salary contract that is fully guaranteed, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). That makes it one of the simpler, more straightforward deals Houston has finalized this week.

Newly-signed forwards Bruno Caboclo and Jae’Sean Tate, on the other hand, got multiyear contracts, but they both only have $50K guarantees for now, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Caboclo will have his 2020/21 salary fully guaranteed if he’s on the opening night roster, while Tate will get a $500K partial guarantee if he survives to the regular season opener, Marks writes.

While Caboclo has a two-year, minimum-salary deal, Tate’s three-year contract required the Rockets to dip into their mid-level exception and is worth more than the minimum in year one. As Smith details (via Twitter), Tate’s first-year salary will be $1,445,697 – typically the minimum for a player with one year of NBA experience – instead of the standard rookie minimum of $898,310.

Here are a few more new contract details:

  • Celtics forward Jayson Tatum got a 15% trade kicker on his new five-year, maximum-salary extension with Boston, while big man Serge Ibaka received a 15% trade kicker on his two-year contract with the Clippers, according to Keith Smith (Twitter links).
  • Torrey Craig‘s one-year deal with the Bucks is a guaranteed contract worth the veteran’s minimum, tweets Smith. That doesn’t come as a surprise, as Milwaukee had no exception money left besides the minimum for Craig.
  • Rather than re-signing him to a minimum-salary contract, the Clippers re-signed Patrick Patterson using his Non-Bird rights, giving him 20% more than the minimum, according to Bobby Marks (Twitter link). That means a one-year, $3.08MM contract for the veteran forward.

Rockets Officially Announce Four Signings

The Rockets have issued a press release officially confirming that they’ve completed four recently-reported free agent contracts. Those deals are for the following players:

Caboclo, Tate, and Brown will all be part of Houston’s 15-man roster in 2020/21, while Jones will occupy one of the team’s two-way slots, alongside Kenny Wooten. Brown reportedly received a one-year contract, with Caboclo getting one year plus a second-year team option. Tate reportedly signed a three-year deal worth a little above the minimum.

Once the Rockets officially sign DeMarcus Cousins and Kenyon Martin Jr., as is expected, they’ll have one open spot remaining on their projected 15-man squad for the regular season.

The team previously made a formal announcement to confirm the acquisition of its top free agency addition, Christian Wood.

Bruno Caboclo Plans To Re-Sign With Rockets

Free agent forward Bruno Caboclo says he has a contract offer on the table from the Rockets that he intends to sign, as Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston relays (video link). According to Caboclo, it’s a two-year, minimum-salary deal with a team option on the second season.

Caboclo, 25, was acquired by the Rockets in a trade-deadline deal in February. He didn’t play a whole lot for Houston down the stretch, appearing in just eight regular season games and two postseason contests, but a report earlier this week said the team was interested in bringing him back.

The 20th overall pick in 2014, Caboclo has changed teams several times since being drafted, averaging 4.3 PPG and 2.6 RPG over a total of 99 games (12.7 MPG) for Toronto, Sacramento, Memphis, and Houston.

He projects to be the 14th man on Houston’s roster.

Rockets Notes: Harden, Westbrook, Diop, Caboclo, Green

The Rockets are likely to start training camp and the regular season with James Harden and Russell Westbrook on the roster, Adrian Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s SportsCenter (video link). Houston has not engaged on trade talks involving Harden. The team has tried to find a taker for Westbrook but his contract, which has three years and $132.5MM remaining, makes it very difficult. “That’s not an easy trade to make,” Wojnarowski said.

We have more on the Rockets:

  • DeSagana Diop has joined Stephen Silas’ coaching staff, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. Diop, who appeared in over 600 games as an NBA player, had been a Jazz assistant coach the last four years.
  • The Rockets’ front office would like to re-sign free agent big man Bruno Caboclo, according to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko. Caboclo, 24, was dealt from Memphis to Houston at the trade deadline in February, but didn’t see much action after joining the Rockets. He appeared in just eight regular-season games and made two postseason cameos.
  • Gerald Green remains hopeful the Rockets will re-sign him, Mark Berman of KRIV tweets. “Everybody knows how much I feel about this city and what this city feels for me,” Green said. The veteran swingman missed the entire 2019/20 season due to a broken foot and has been training privately in Houston.
  • ICYMI, Sterling Brown agreed to a one-year deal with the Rockets on Sunday.

Rockets Notes: Fertitta, House, Carmelo, Westbrook

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta doesn’t have a reputation as a free spender, but he promises money won’t stand in the way of bringing a championship to Houston, writes Jerome Solomon of The Houston Chronicle. The Rockets made moves at the trade deadline the past two years to escape the luxury tax, including a four-team deal this season that unloaded Clint Capela and brought in Robert Covington. However, Fertitta insists the tax isn’t the team’s top consideration.

“We don’t make basketball decisions of two or three million dollars based on the luxury tax,” Fertitta said. “Our whole budget this year was to be in the luxury tax.”

General manager Daryl Morey says Fertitta hasn’t ordered him to stay under the tax threshold, and the team will almost certainly exceed it next season with Russell Westbrook and James Harden each earning more than $41MM. With two former MVPs in the backcourt, Fertitta vows to spend whatever it takes to win a title.

“We want to be champions,” he said. “You win a championship, it’s probably worth $30-50 million dollars the following year to you from sponsorships, and people wanting to buy tickets and everything else. So you want to spend the money to win a championship.”

There more Rockets news to pass along:

  • Danuel House is taking advantage of his opportunity in Orlando and once again looks like the perfect small forward for the Rockets’ system, observes Rahat Huq of Forbes. Eric Gordon was supposed to move into the starting lineup after the hiatus, but a sprained ankle has prevented him from playing. Huq notes that an improvement on defense has made House more viable as a starter.
  • Carmelo Anthony‘s success in Portland has raised questions about whether the Rockets gave up on him too quickly last season, but it was an arrangement that was never going to work, contends Brian T. Smith of The Houston Chronicle. Smith argues that Anthony wasn’t willing to adapt his game and was an awkward fit with Harden, Chris Paul and coach Mike D’Antoni.
  • Westbrook and Gordon are both improving physically, but they have been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Kings, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Bruno Caboclo, who is suffering from an ankle injury, won’t play either.
  • In case you missed it, Harden has been named as a finalist for MVP honors.