Daequan Cook

And-Ones: Superteams, Cook, Williams

With the 2018 NBA Finals now officially wrapped, the offseason has begun. Now, Ken Berger of Bleacher Report writes, players and teams around the league will waste no time scraping away for ways to conquer one of the sport’s greatest rosters. One of those options? Find a way to form an even more powerful superteam.

Berger writes about the rise of the modern superteam era, one that he says traces back over a decade to when the Celtics brought All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen aboard to team up with Paul Pierce and win a title. A feeling of futility matched up against those Hall of Famers, Cavaliers forward LeBron James says, contributed to his decision to in turn team up with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade with the Heat.

More recently, it was what Berger calls a flaw in the salary cap system that allowed the Warriors to add Kevin Durant mere months after setting the all-time record for regular season wins. A boost in broadcasting revenue after the 2011 lockout precipitated a massive spike in the salary cap.

At the time, Berger writes, league commissioner Adam Silver pushed to spread the increase out over several seasons but the player’s union fought to keep the increase in one lump sum. The result? A $24MM salary cap increase that allowed the Warriors to sign a fourth superstar without giving up any major roster pieces.

There’s more from around the league:

  • Former Heat swingman Daequan Cook has signed an extension to return to Ironi Ness Ziona in Israel, international basketball reporter David Pick tweets. Cook last saw NBA action in 2012/13.
  • Though it’s only been seven years since he was drafted with the No. 2 pick, Derrick Williams has seen the NBA landscape around him do an about-face with regard to how it values the hybridization of player positions. Keith Langlois of Detroit’s official team site writes about how the journeyman forward auditioning for the Pistons is hoping that being a “tweener” can help him land another gig in the league.
  • Legendary hoops analyst Hubie Brown suffered a knee injury prior to Game 4 of the NBA Finals and wasn’t able to broadcast over the radio, an ESPN report says. There’s no indication that the 84-year-old’s injury was self-inflicted after letting his emotions get the best of him.

International Notes: Lessort, McRae, Garino, Cook

One of the Sixers‘ second-round picks in 2017, French forward Mathias Lessort, has bought himself out of his deal with Bamberg and is negotiating with Red Star Belgrade, tweets international basketball reporter David Pick. Lessort is expected to play at least one more season – and perhaps more – overseas before heading to Philadelphia.

Here are a few more international items of interest:

  • As we noted earlier today, Spanish team Baskonia was pursuing C.J. Wilcox before he agreed to a two-way contract with Portland. According to Chema de Lucas of Gigantes.com (Twitter link; translation via Sportando), Baskonia is also eyeing Jordan McRae, who played 37 games last season for the Cavaliers.
  • Recently waived by the Magic, Argentinian swingman Patricio Garino is drawing interest from Italian team Pallacanestro Reggiana, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, who passes along a report out of Italy.
  • Former NBA shooting guard Daequan Cook, who appeared in 328 games for the Heat, Thunder, Bulls, and Rockets, has a new deal with Ironi Nes Ziona in Israel, the team has confirmed (via Twitter). The 30-year-old has spent the last several years overseas, having last played in the NBA during the 2012/13 season.
  • All-EuroLeague guard Brad Wanamaker is nearing an agreement with Turkish club Fenerbahce, according to team president Aziz Yildirim, who says his club will land Wanamaker if the former Pitt standout doesn’t sign an NBA deal. Sportando has the details.

Renounced Players: Thursday

We may be no longer in the early stages of free agency, but teams continue to clear cap space by renouncing their Non-Bird, Early Bird or full Bird rights to their own free agents to remove their cap holds from the books. Teams that renounce those rights no longer have the ability to exceed the cap to re-sign those players unless they use an exception like the mid-level or the biannual. Some of those decisions are more notable than others, but for completion’s sake, we’ll track the latest of these cap-clearing moves right here:

  • The Bulls have renounced their rights to Daequan Cook, Vladimir Radmanovic, Nazr Mohammed, Brian Scalabrine and Jimmer Fredette, reports Mark Deeks of Sham Sports (via Twitter).
  • The Mavericks have expunged the cap hold of Petteri Koponen and renounced their rights to Bernard James, reports Deeks (via Twitter).
  • The Lakers have renounced their rights to MarShon Brooks and Andrew Goudelock, according to Deeks (via Twitter).
  • The Lakers have also renounced the rights to John Salley, Karl Malone, Brian Shaw and other players not on the team last season, according to ESPN salary cap guru Larry Coon (via Twitter).
  • As Coon explains, the old CBA allowed Bird rights of players not on a team the previous year to be used in sign-and-trades. With that no longer the case under the current CBA, the rights to players like Salley, Malone and Shaw are no longer useful. The teams must still go through the formality of renouncing the rights, but tend not to do so until they actually need the cap space which, like in this case, could be years later (Twitter links are here).
  • With Salley’s rights renounced, Coon believes the oldest Bird rights still on the books might be Roshown McLeod with the Celtics (Twitter link).

Daequan Cook Signs To Play In Germany

Six-year NBA veteran Daequan Cook has signed a deal with Walter Tigers Tübingen of Germany, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). It’s not clear whether the contract includes an escape clause in case an NBA team comes calling. The 26-year-old has appeared in at least part of every NBA season since he was drafted 21st overall in 2007, but that streak is in jeopardy.

Cook didn’t draw significant NBA interest in the summer and wasn’t on a preseason roster. The client of BDA Sports Management latched on with Budivelnyk Kyiv of Ukraine in November, but the club let him go in December after he averaged 6.9 points per game and shot just 28.6% from three-point range in a total of eight appearances. That’s the same percentage of three-pointers the one-time long-range marksman hit in the NBA last season, which he split between the Rockets and the Bulls. His long-range shooting was once his calling card, as he drained 42.2% of his three-point attempts in 2010/11 with the Thunder, two seasons after winning the three-point contest during All-Star Weekend.

The 6’5″ swingman started 22 games for the 2011/12 Thunder, a team that went to the NBA Finals, so it’s been a precipitous decline. Still, if he can rediscover his outside shot while in Germany, it seems he has a decent shot of returning to the NBA, if not this season, then next.

Odds & Ends: NBPA, Cook, Bogans

A quick look around the Association..

  • With a key hearing approaching in Billy Hunter‘s lawsuit against the National Basketball Players Association, the union has hired one of the defendants in the civil case: Derek Fisher‘s former business manager, Jamie Wior, three people familiar with the situation told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.  Wior and Fisher, the former union president, are co-defendants in a lawsuit that Hunter filed against the NBPA for wrongful termination.  The L.A.-based publicist and business manager played a behind-the-scenes role in the 2011 lockout.
  • Former Heat, Bulls, and Thunder guard Daequan Cook has been waived by Ukraine’s Budivelnyk Kyiv, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.  The former NBA sharpshooter has played eight games with the Ukrainian team (4.8 PPG), four in Euroleague (9.0 PPG) and four in Superleague.  He’s already back in the United States, according to Carchia.
  • The Celtics announced earlier this evening that guard Keith Bogans has been excused from the team indefinitely for personal reasons but the press release notes that the veteran remains under contract with the club.  The veteran has been vocal with his frustration over not seeing playing time in Boston.

International Rumors: Cook, Landry, Johnson

It’s been an active day on the international market, and for Chinese teams in particular. China has been a hub for players fresh off NBA rosters of late, and there’s news linking the country’s Chinese Basketball Association to three more NBA veterans, while a fourth appears to be headed elsewhere. Here’s the latest:

  • Six-year NBA veteran Daequan Cook has agreed to play for Budivelnyk Kyiv, a Ukrainian club, as Basket.com.ua reports (translation via Sportando). BDA Sports Management handles Cook’s representation, as our Agency Database shows.
  • Lakers training camp casualty Marcus Landry is a primary target for the Shanghai Sharks of China, who are seeking a replacement for the injured Von Wafer, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The 28-year-old Landry is the younger brother of Kings power forward Carl Landry.
  • Former Timberwolves center Chris Johnson has signed a one-year contract with the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions in China, as Shams Charania of RealGM.com confirms. Sportando contributor David Pick first reported the deal was in the works (via Twitter). Johnson had a guaranteed minimum-salary contract with the Timberwolves, who nonetheless cut him at the end of camp. Depending on how much money the Eric Fleisher client’s new contract is worth, it could trigger set-off rights that would allow Minnesota to pay slightly less than the $916K they owe him. Multiple teams from overseas appear to have been interested in the 6’11” center from LSU, as Charania writes that he was “scouring offers” on the international market.
  • D.J. White has officially signed with China’s Sichuan Blue Whales, Sportando reports (on Twitter). Stein reported earlier this week that the Blue Whales and the Jeff Wechsler client had agreed to the deal. The Bulls cut White at the end of the preseason.

Players Still Ineligible To Be Traded

Today is January 15th, which means that a number of players who had been ineligible to be traded until this point are now free to be moved by their respective teams. As Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors outlined last month, Eric Gordon, Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, Ersan Ilyasova, and Jeff Green are among the players who weren't eligible to be dealt until today.

However, in addition to rules that keeps players from being traded until December 15th or January 15th, the CBA also includes a stipulation that a team must have a player on its roster for three months before being able to trade him. That means guys who have signed contracts since October 15th are still ineligible to be dealt.

Here are the players who can't be traded quite yet, along with the dates they'll become trade-eligible:

Leandro Barbosa (Celtics): January 18th
Daniel Orton (Thunder): January 31st
Shaun Livingston (Cavaliers): February 15th

Because the trade deadline arrives on February 21st, players signed after November 21st won't become trade-eligible until after the season. Here are the guys who fit that description:

Jeff Adrien (Bobcats)
James Anderson (Rockets)
Patrick Beverley (Rockets)
Daequan Cook (Bulls)
Kevin Jones (Cavaliers)
Mickael Pietrus (Raptors)
Garrett Temple (Wizards)

In addition to recent signees, players who were claimed off amnesty waivers last July are also ineligible to be traded until July 2013. Some amnesty victims, like Andray Blatche, cleared waivers without being claimed and signed new contracts, so they're trade-eligible now, but the following players can't be moved this season:

Elton Brand (Mavericks)
Brendan Haywood (Bobcats)
Luis Scola (Suns)

Finally, players on 10-day contracts, such as Dominic McGuire, Maalik Wayns, and Josh Harrellson, also won't be trade-eligible at any point this season, even if they eventually receive rest-of-season contracts.

Central Notes: Pacers, Thompson, Cook

While the Pacers didn't necessarily want to cut Sam Young, a recent ankle injury that required several weeks of recovery coupled with the need for more help at the wing position had forced Indiana's hand, says Mike Wells of IndyStar.com. Wells also writes that the team will likely sign someone to a 10-day contract and thinks about Dominic McGuire as a possible fit. Lastly, he believes that guard Ben Hansbrough will remain on the team for the rest of the season. Here are a few more tidbits we've heard from the Central Division tonight: 

Central Rumors: Cavs, Jackson, Drummond, Cook

Bob Finnan of The News-Herald blames Cavs GM Chris Grant and coach Byron Scott for the team's struggles this season, and calls on the team to take a more aggressive approach and pull the trigger on a deal for a "good, young piece" at the trade deadline if someone like that is available. The Cavs should carry that aggression into free agency, Finnan believes, and use their cap space for better assets than they've pursued recently. Finnan has more on the team, which we'll round up along with other notes from their Central Division rivals.

  • We've heard before that the Cavs and Wolves have had brief discussion about an Anderson Varejao trade, and Finnan confirms those talks, speculating that Minnesota would probably want to include Derrick Williams, a potential deal-breaker. Finnan believes the Cavs may have interest in taking back Nikola Pekovic instead.
  • There's been little talk of Scott's job security this season, but if the losing continues, Finnan doesn't foresee that immunity lasting into 2013/14.
  • Former Bucks swingman Stephen Jackson said he spoke with GM John Hammond about a contract extension during his time in Milwaukee, but never took a confrontational tone, as Jackson told Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times. Jackson expressed respect for Hammond and said he can envision working for him someday, though I'd guess he's referring to a front-office role rather than a return to the Bucks as a player. Jackson said Hammond was the only person from the Bucks organization he still spoke to, and balked at the suggestion that he'd reached out to coach Scott Skiles, with whom he feuded last season.
  • Andre Drummond has improved as the season has gone on, but he's content with the Pistons' plan to bring him along slowly, MLive's David Mayo observes.
  • Mayo and fellow MLive scribe Brendan Savage debate who got the better of Detroit's offseason trade with the Bobcats that swapped Ben Gordon for Corey Maggette.
  • Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com writes that Daequan Cook understands that he must earn playing time with the Bulls after signing in Chicago this morning.

Bulls Sign Daequan Cook

SUNDAY, 10:22am: The Bulls officially announced their signing of Cook, via press release. The move brings the team's roster to 14 players.

FRIDAY, 5:15pm: Cook has cleared waivers and will sign with the Bulls, according to his agent, Mike Conley Sr., Stein reports (Twitter link). Given Chicago's salary constraints, the deal will have to be for the minimum.

4:12pm: Cook has indeed cleared waivers, making him an unrestricted free agent, tweets Stein.

4:03pm: Daequan Cook was waived by the Rockets two days ago, which means he's set to clear waivers today. While it's possible that a team submitted a waiver claim for him, it's more likely that no club is willing to take on his guaranteed $3MM+ 2012/13 salary. Assuming Cook clears waivers, the Bulls are "firmly in the lead" to sign him, reports ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter).

The Bulls' roster moves this season have been limited by the club's proximity to the hard cap, which doesn't allow for much flexibility. Still, Chicago has the room necessary to take on a minimum-salary player for the rest of the year. 10-day contracts can also be signed starting on Monday, though it's not clear if Cook would be open to a 10-day deal or whether he's seeking a full-season guarantee.

Cook, 25, headed to Houston in October's James Harden blockbuster, and averaged career-lows in minutes (10.3) and points (3.4) per game in his 16 appearances for the Rockets. He was still effective from three-point range, however, with his 36.7% mark this season right in line with his career average (36.5%).