Cory Joseph

And-Ones: Paul, Sylla, Tampering, Canada

In an interesting piece regarding Chris Paul‘s role as the head of the NBA Players Union, Tom Ziller of SB Nation opines that Paul’s reported insistence and hand in incorporating the Over-38 Rule into the 2017 CBA has now ironically landed him with one the most untradeable contracts in the NBA.

Paul, who is admittedly now under contract to make more money because of the rule change, is also stuck on the Thunder, a non-contending team, with no real way out until later this year when the latest crop of free agents become trade eligible.

Ultimately, Ziller opines that the tradeoff (non-contending team vs. an extra $45MM) was worth it for Paul, but wonders whether Paul, as union president, sacrificed the good of many (mid-level earners) for the benefit of few.

We have more odds and ends to report from around the basketball world:

  • Amar Sylla, the No. 23 prospect for the 2020 NBA Draft, has signed a three-year contract containing NBA out clauses with Belgian league champions BC Oostende, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer writes that many executives believe the penalty for tampering needs to be harsher, including the removal of first-round picks or even as severe as being barred from trading any picks for some amount of years in addition to the loss of picks. “Basketball operations needs to get hit the hardest, not an owner’s wallets,” said another executive.
  • Canada Basketball has announced the 29 players invited to attend the Senior Men’s National Team training camp ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. The list includes R.J. Barrett, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Cory Joseph, Jamal Murray, and Tristan Thompson.

Kings Sign Cory Joseph

JULY 6: The signing of Joseph is official, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link).

JULY 1: The Kings have reached an agreement to sign Cory Joseph, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). According to Haynes, the free agent point guard will receive a three-year, $37MM commitment from Sacramento. Sam Amick of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that the third year is partially guaranteed.

The agreement caps a busy day for the Kings, who filled a series of holes on their roster, adding quality depth via the free agent market. In addition to striking a deal with Joseph, the Kings agreed to re-sign Harrison Barnes and will add outside free agents Trevor Ariza and Dewayne Dedmon.

Joseph, who is entering his age-28 season, backed up Darren Collison at the point last season for Indiana, averaging 6.5 PPG, 3.9 APG, and 3.4 RPG in 82 games (25.2 MPG). He struggled a little with his shot, as his .412 FG% was the lowest mark he had posted since his rookie season.

In Sacramento, Joseph figures to back up – and perhaps play alongside – promising young point guard De’Aaron Fox.

The Kings will have to renounce restricted free agent Willie Cauley-Stein in order to accommodate all of today’s contract agreements. Amick confirms that the team has rescinded his qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks indicated after the earlier moves that Sacramento would have about $13MM in space remaining if Cauley-Stein’s cap hold was removed from the books, so Joseph’s deal will use just about all of that space. The Kings still have the room exception available.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Rumors: Dudley, Beverley, McGee, Green

The new-look Nets may be close to bringing back one of their locker room leaders, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. Jared Dudley is interested in signing up for another season in Brooklyn, a source tells Scotto.

Dudley, who will turn 34 next month, also contributed on the court in his first season with the Nets, averaging 4.9 PPG in 59 games and shooting 35% from 3-point range. Dudley is also drawing interest from the Pistons and met with Detroit officials today, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link).

There’s more free agent news to pass along:

  • The Mavericks’ planned discussion with Patrick Beverley didn’t happen tonight, relays Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link), who speculates that it was because of the team’s involvement in a three-way trade with the Heat and Sixers. Townsend adds that the Mavs’ chances of landing Beverley seem less likely than they were earlier.
  • Dallas is optimistic about reaching a deal with restricted free agent Maxi Kleber, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. He cites “productive discussions” between the Mavericks and the power forward/center.
  • JaVale McGee has a meeting set with the Pistons tomorrow, relays Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The free agent center talked to the Rockets today.
  • Danny Green spoke on his Instagram account about meeting with the Mavericks, Lakers and Clippers and Raptors, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. “Being patient, man,” he said of the process. “Being patient.”
  • The Wizards would still like to re-sign Tomas Satoransky, but are looking into other options at point guard, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link). Hughes states that they are interested in Quinn Cook and notes that Shams Charania of The Athletic has reported an inquiry about Cory Joseph.

Free Agent Rumors: Randle, Gibson, Bullock, Bulls

The Kings will be among the teams in pursuit of Pelicans forward Julius Randle, tweets Jordan Schultz of ESPN. He cites the Nets, Knicks and Bulls as other expected suitors.

Randle, 24, had a career-best season after signing a one-year deal with New Orleans last summer. He averaged 21.4 points and 8.7 rebounds in 73 games while shooting 52% from the field. He also improved as a long-distance shooter, hitting 34% of his shots from 3-point range.

Here are more rumors as we move to within 24 hours of the start of free agency:

  • The Timberwolves will have plenty of competition for Taj Gibson, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who lists the Clippers, Nets, Bucks, Bulls, Warriors, Raptors, Trail Blazers, Hornets and Lakers as having interest in the veteran forward (Twitter link). Gibson has averaged 11.5 PPG and 6.9 RPG during his two years in Minnesota.
  • There’s mutual interest between the Knicks and shooting specialist Reggie Bullock, according to Ian Begley of SNY.TV. Bullock averaged 11.3 points per game while splitting last season between the Pistons and Lakers.
  • The Bulls are looking for a point guard, but want to limit the contract to two years, reports K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. That may take them out of the running for Malcolm Brogdon or Patrick Beverley, Johnson notes, but he cites other options such as Cory Joseph, Tyus Jones and George Hill who might be willing to accept a shorter contract. The Bulls are counting on first-round pick Coby White to take over the position within two years and want the free agent’s contract to expire in the summer of 2021 at the same time as Otto Porter‘s and Cristiano Felicio‘s.

Charania’s Latest: CP3, Klay, Harris, RHJ, Randle, More

League sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic that Chris Paul never demanded a trade from the Rockets, but suggested at season’s end that he’d understand if the club decided to go in a different direction. According to Charania, Houston told Paul it remained committed to him, and he has reciprocated that commitment.

While Paul and James Harden haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, Charania hears that the two Rockets guards have been communicating since the season ended and had a positive conversation on Father’s Day.

Even if the Rockets wanted to move Paul, there would likely be no market for him, as the Rockets discovered when they quietly gauged his value in recent weeks, Charania writes.

Charania’s latest round-up at The Athletic includes several other noteworthy tidbits on 2019’s upcoming free agent period, so let’s pass along some highlights…

  • The Warriors and Klay Thompson will meet in Los Angeles at the start of free agency, per Charania. While Charania – like ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski – has heard that Thompson could speak to the Clippers if talks with Golden State break down, the Warriors and Thompson’s camp expect a quick agreement if the team puts a five-year, maximum-salary offer on the table.
  • After Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer named the Clippers as a possible suitor for Tobias Harris, Charania says the same thing, noting that the two sides still have a good relationship. Charania also adds the Pelicans – who now have significant cap room – to the list of teams expected to express interest in Harris.
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who didn’t receive a qualifying offer from Brooklyn, is expected to draw interest from the Suns, Timberwolves, and Rockets as an unrestricted free agent, reports Charania.
  • The Bulls, Knicks, and Nets are viewed as potential suitors for Julius Randle, sources tell Charania.
  • Teams in need of some help at the point guard spot – including the Suns, Bulls, Wizards, and Kings – have shown interest in Cory Joseph, says Charania.
  • If the Knicks miss out on their top free agent targets, they’ll plan on trying to sign “high-level rotation players” to one- or two-year deals, according to Charania, who suggests that Celtics RFA-to-be Terry Rozier may be one target.

Sixers Notes: Horford, Brogdon, Butler

It’s not a given that the Sixers bring back their five starters this offseason.

Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris will each have rival teams looking to offer them a max deal. J.J. Redick will likely see heavy interest on the market as well, with Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer hearing that shooting guard will yield offers in the range of $12MM annually.

“They have tough decisions to make and so do we,” GM Elton Brand said.

Bringing back those three players will put the Sixers over the salary cap and out of contention for a number of free agents. Should the team decide to make major changes, there’s a wide range of talent on the market.

“We definitely need hard-nose players, shooting,” Brand said. “We want to add shooting. If you watch the playoffs, these are playoff-tested players … I don’t want to say names … but [the Sixers want] veteran-tested players, playoff-tested players that can take us over the edge with our talent.”

Al Horford, Malcolm Brogdon, and Danny Green are players the team could have interest in Pompey adds.

Here’s more on Philadelphia and the team’s pending free agents:

  • Don’t be surprised if the Clippers make a play to sign Harris, Pompey notes. The combo forward, who came to the Sixers via a midseason trade with the club, will be taking meetings on June 30 and July 1.
  • The Sixers may have to offer a five-year deal in order to keep Jimmy Butler, Pompey writes. Butler and his camp are meeting this week to go over free agent objectives.
  • Marcus Morris, Ed Davis, Ish Smith, Cory Joseph, and Patrick Beverley are among the free agents whom the Sixers could pursue, Pompey adds in the same piece. The team has confidence in its ability to lure one or two impactful free agents should it lose one of its max free agents.
  • Derek Bodner of the Athletic details how the Sixers are devaluing second-round picks. The team will have three more second-rounders next year after wheeling and dealing picks last week, as I recently detailed.
  • Furkan Korkmaz may join Turkish team Fenerbahce next season, according to Sportando. The former No. 26 overall pick is all but certain not to be back in Philadelphia next year.

Central Notes: Garland, Bulls, GRIII, Cavs

The Bulls‘ reported interest in Darius Garland may be a smokescreen, one source tells Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. That source believes Chicago is more focused on forwards like De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, or Sekou Doumbouya.

Garland is expected to be selected with the No. 4 overall pick in tonight’s draft, so the Bulls would need to put together a package that entices the Pelicans in order to land him, assuming their interest is real. Even if Chicago managed to add Garland, the team would look to bring in a veteran point guard, a source tells Cowley.

Patrick Beverley could be an addition this offseason, as there are reports of mutual interest between him and the Bulls. Chicago wants to add depth, so the club could sign multiple players in free agency. Cowley names Ish Smith and Cory Joseph as potential targets in addition to Beverley.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons will likely decline Glenn Robinson III‘s team option for the 2019/20 season, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free press tweets. A source also told James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link) that the option is unlikely to be picked up. The Michigan product would have earned slightly below $4.3MM next season if the option was exercised.
  • Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is out of the hospital and will undergo “intensive” rehab, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com relays on Twitter. Gilbert suffered a stroke late last month.
  • The Cavaliers have hired Jazz assistant Antonio Lang as an assistant coach on John Beilein‘s new staff, per the team’s website. Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link) first reported that Cleveland was prying Lang from Utah.

Central Notes: Gilbert, Turner, McMillan, M. Williams

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert won’t be involved with the team’s draft preparations as he continues to recover from a stroke, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Gilbert is still in a Detroit-area hospital, and Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner issued a statement today suggesting that the recovery might be lengthy.

“Dan’s recovery is a process that will take time — but we are all confident that he will meet this challenge head on as he always does,” Farner wrote.

Sources tell Fedor that Gilbert has already approved an aggressive spending plan if GM Koby Altman believes it’s necessary to improve the team. That includes taking back a sizable contract to get rid of J.R. Smith, who was exiled from the team after playing just 11 games this season. Cleveland owns picks No. 5 and 26 in the draft and will reportedly try to buy into the second round.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Competing for a spot on Team USA for the FIBA World Cup tournament will give Pacers center Myles Turner another shot to gain recognition after being left off the All-Defensive team, notes Scott Agness of The Athletic. Turner led the league in total blocked shots with 199 and blocks per game at 2.7, but didn’t receive first- or second-team honors. Two of Turner’s teammates, Lithuanian center Domantas Sabonis and Canadian guard Cory Joseph, will be in China for the tournament.
  • Pacers coach Nate McMillan was slated to be an assistant to Gregg Popovich on Team USA, but he withdrew after Indiana was scheduled for a trip to India in early October, Agness adds in the same piece. The World Cup title game is September 15, and McMillan wants to focus on his NBA responsibilities. “My first priority is the Pacers,” he said. “I committed to USA Basketball before I got the schedule next season for us.”
  • Former Heat guard Matt Williams was invited to a free agent mini-camp with the Pistons, tweets Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Williams appeared in three games as a two-way player for Miami during the 2017/18 season before playing this year in Finland and Greece. Forward Marc Loving, formerly of Ohio State, also received an invitation (Twitter link). He played in the G League this season.

Suns Eyeing Cory Joseph, Patrick Beverley, Others

Cory Joseph, Patrick Beverley, Darren Collison, and T.J. McConnell are among the free agent point guard targets worth keeping an eye on for the Suns this offseason, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7.

While Phoenix has long been on the lookout for a starting point guard, the team doesn’t project to have the cap room necessary to make a run at top free agents like Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, or D’Angelo Russell. Barring cost-cutting moves to create room, the mid-level exception figures to be the best weapon at the Suns’ disposal in free agency, so the veterans identified by Gambadoro as potential targets make sense. The MLE is projected to be worth about $9.25MM in 2019/20.

Gambadoro also writes that the Suns aren’t shopping the No. 6 overall pick for a veteran point guard, seemingly contradicting a Monday report from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. However, Givony’s story indicated that the Suns had made it known that they’d be open to moving the pick for the right player, which isn’t quite the same as having actively shopped it. The apparent discrepancy between the two reports may simply be a matter of semantics.

In any case, it’s clear that filling their hole at point guard will be one of the Suns’ top priorities this offseason, whether that happens in the draft, in free agency, or via the trade market. If Phoenix plans on using its mid-level exception – or opening up cap space – to pursue a veteran point guard, it would allow the team to use the No. 6 pick on the best player available, regardless of position.

On the other hand, if the Suns draft a point guard at No. 6 or trade that pick (or other assets) for a veteran guard, the club could address another position in free agency. Julius Randle is one non-point-guard free agent who has been recently linked to Phoenix.

O’Connor’s Latest: Gasol, Conley, OKC, Prince, More

As we relayed earlier today, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer hears that the Hornets‘ offer for Grizzlies center Marc Gasol is Bismack Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and a protected first-round pick. That would be an underwhelming return for Gasol, but there hasn’t been much league-wide interest in the 34-year-old, O’Connor writes.

The Kings and Pistons were among the teams potentially in the mix for Gasol, according to O’Connor, but Memphis didn’t have any interest in Detroit center Andre Drummond and Sacramento was unwilling to part with promising young wing Bogdan Bogdanovic, whom the Grizzlies wanted.

The Raptors reportedly explored a potential Gasol deal, initially attempting to come up with an individual trade for one Grizzlies veteran before turning it into a package for both Gasol and Mike Conley, O’Connor writes. However, those talks didn’t advance and league sources tell The Ringer that it’s unlikely Toronto ends up with Gasol or Conley.

Elsewhere on the Conley front, the Jazz continue to make a strong push, with an offer that includes Ricky Rubio, Derrick Favors, and a first-round pick, per O’Connor. The sense around the NBA is that the Grizzlies won’t settle for a modest return for Conley, which is something we heard in relation to the Pistons’ offer earlier today.

O’Connor’s latest piece for The Ringer features several more trade-related tidbits, so we’ll round them up here…

  • The Thunder are believed to be among the teams with interest in Cavaliers guard Alec Burks, league sources tell O’Connor. However, Burks wouldn’t fit into OKC’s $10.88MM trade exception. The Thunder, along with the Sixers and Trail Blazers, have expressed interest in Hawks wing Taurean Prince, O’Connor adds.
  • Following up on his report from last week about the Rockets and Grizzlies discussing a Brandon Knight trade, O’Connor suggests that Marquese Chriss and a first-round pick would also go to Memphis in that proposed deal. Houston would be targeting JaMychal Green and Garrett Temple in the swap, though it remains in the discussion stage for now.
  • The Kings have made calls about veteran forwards Harrison Barnes (Mavericks) and Otto Porter (Wizards) but have found no traction on a Porter deal, writes O’Connor.
  • While DeAndre Jordan looks like an obvious trade candidate, it wouldn’t be a major surprise if the Knicks keep him around as a potential recruiter for Kevin Durant, according to O’Connor, who notes that Durant and Jordan are good friends. Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News wrote about this subject on Tuesday.
  • League sources don’t expect the Celtics to do anything at the deadline with Terry Rozier, since he could serve as potential Kyrie Irving insurance or a sign-and-trade sweetener for Anthony Davis in the offseason, says O’Connor.
  • According to O’Connor, the Pacers remain open to moving one of their two veteran point guards, Cory Joseph or Darren Collison. Both players are on expiring contracts.