Daniel Theis

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Atlantic Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Atlantic Division:

Fred VanVleet, Raptors, 25, SG (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $18MM deal in 2018
VanVleet was a key reserve in the Raptors’ run to the championship. With Danny Green‘s departure, he’s now a backcourt starter alongside Kyle Lowry. Green was mainly a floor spacer, while VanVleet has provided the added element of playmaking to help make up for the enormous loss of Kawhi Leonard. He’s averaging a team-high 7.2 assists through the first five games while getting the line more often and delivering his usual excellent shooting from deep. An unrestricted free agent next summer, VanVleet will attract plenty of attention in a weak FA market.

James Ennis, Sixers, 29, SF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $4MM deal in 2019
Ennis has bounced around the league, wearing six different uniforms since his rookie year in 2014/15. He saw action in 18 regular-season and 11 postseason games with Philadelphia after being acquired from the Rockets in a trade deadline swap. Thus far this season, Ennis has retained a rotation spot and helped around the boards (5.8 RPG in 14.0 MPG). Ennis has a $2.13MM player option after the season — if can remain a contributor on a contender, perhaps he’ll feel comfortable opting out and testing the market for additional security.

Marcus Morris, Knicks, 30, SF (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $15MM deal in 2019
Morris caused a lot of consternation in the Spurs’ organization by reneging on a two-year verbal agreement and then signing a one-year deal with New York, giving him more money this season and the freedom to explore the market again next year. In his first five games with the Knicks, Morris is the one doing the squawking. He’s already picked up a league-high three technicals. He’s also off to a slow shooting start (35%). It’s hard to see Morris enhancing his value with New York but his expiring contract could be attractive to a contender looking for a frontcourt player.

Daniel Theis, Celtics, 27, PF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $10MM deal in 2019
Theis’ $5MM salary for next season isn’t guaranteed until July 3rd and there will a number of factors playing into the Celtics’ decision next summer, especially whether Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter opt in. What Theis can control is being productive when he gets opportunities and making it a tougher decision for the front office. Theis needs to have more nights like he did Wednesday, when coach Brad Stevens used him for 28 minutes and he produced 11 points and nine rebounds. The 6’8” Theis will see quite a bit of time at the ‘five’ spot in downsized lineups.

Wilson Chandler, Nets, 32, SF (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2.56MM deal in 2019
Chandler quietly latched on with the Nets on a veteran’s minimum contract while they inked deals with high-profile free agents Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan. Chandler’s chances of carving out a role in coach Kenny Atkinson‘s rotation was squashed by a 25-game league suspension for a failed PED test. It’s uncertain what Brooklyn plans are for Chandler once he becomes eligible on December 15. However, the suspension won’t make it any easier for his agent to find his client work next summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Celtics Notes: Theis, Strus, Langford, Williams

Daniel Theis is making a strong case to start at center for the Celtics, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston reports.

Theis, who has only started five of the 129 regular season games he’s played with Boston over the past two seasons, has more experience in Brad Stevens’ system than any other big man on the roster. That could give him an edge over Enes Kanter and Robert Williams. He’s also adept at making defensive switches.

“If you watch closely, that’s a tied-together group on that end of the court,” Stevens said of playing Theis with the other starters. Theis is making $5MM this season but his $5MM salary for 2020/21 is not guaranteed.

We have more on the Celtics:

  • Max Strus is a serious candidate to get the 15th and final spot on the opening night roster, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald tweets.  The shooting guard just had his two-way contract converted to a standard two-year deal with a partial guarantee. The guarantee is worth $415K, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. However, he could still be waived, Murphy adds. The 23-year-old Strus went undrafted after playing his college ball at DePaul.
  • Stevens offers high praise for his first-year players, including Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Tacko Fall, and Carsen Edwards, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe tweets“That’s as good of a group of rookie workers that I’ve ever been around …those guys grind,” he said.
  • The team has picked up the 2020/21 options on Jayson Tatum and Williams. Get all the details here.

Atlantic Notes: Stevens, Feaster, Donaldson, Ainge

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens will have a new-look roster to work with this season, writes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, and while replacing All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving with fellow All-Star Kemba Walker will be the easy part, replacing defensive stalwarts Al Horford and Aron Baynes should prove a bit more challenging.

Another question is who starts — Gordon Hayward or Jaylen Brown? Do both of them start, with Marcus Smart back on the bench? According to Stevens, it really doesn’t matter, as long as the lineups mesh together.

“We’re obviously going to have to figure out lineups that work best together,” Stevens said. “Everybody is going to make a big deal over who starts, but we all know who the five guys are that are going to play the very most on our team, and everybody can probably write that down right now, and then it’s a matter of who fits best. They’re not all in the same position, but we’ve got to figure out who’s going to play the big spot and with which groups.”

Enes Kanter figures to get most minutes at center starting out, but young big Robert Williams could push for more playing time as the season progresses. The Celtics will also rely on Daniel Theis and Vincent Poirier for frontcourt depth.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • According to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, the Celtics have hired Allison Feaster as director of player development. Feaster is a former WNBA player and Harvard graduate who also worked in the G League.
  • Raptors data analyst Brittni Donaldson has been promoted to an assistant coach on the staff of head coach Nick Nurse, per a tweet from Stadium (Twitter link).
  • In a piece for NBC Sports Boston, Blakely writes that Danny Ainge is concerned with Stevens happiness this season, saying “My biggest concern through all of this was, I want my coach to be happy who he’s coaching and that’s the hardest job. I’ve been at this business a long time. It’s…you gotta have fun. You really have to have joy. That doesn’t mean every minute is going to be happy. Everybody is going to face adversity and challenges and trials through the course of a season. But, it still has to be fun.”

Germany, Italy, Others Finalize World Cup Rosters

We’re just two days away from FIBA’s 2019 World Cup officially tipping off, and more national teams have officially set their 12-man rosters for the event, including a pair of countries whose squads will feature multiple NBA players.

Team Germany made its final cut this week, dropping Wizards youngster Isaac Bonga from its roster. Even without Bonga on the team, there are plenty of familiar faces for NBA fans — Dennis Schroder (Thunder), Daniel Theis (Celtics), and Maxi Kleber (Mavericks) will represent Germany in this year’s tournament.

The Italian national team, meanwhile, will be led by Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari and Spurs sharpshooter Marco Belinelli. Former NBA forward Gigi Datome and 2014 second-round pick Alessandro Gentile are also part of Italy’s squad.

Here are more details on teams that have established their 12-man World Cup rosters:

World Cup Updates: Shamet, Powell, Germany, Senegal

The series of withdrawals from Team USA’s World Cup training camp rosters continued on Friday, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that Clippers guard Landry Shamet has opted against participating. Shamet had been penciled in as a member of USA Basketball’s Select Team.

He was appreciative of the opportunity and hopes to be part of USAB again in future,” agent George Langberg said of Shamet, who will focus on preparing for what he hopes will be a long Clippers season that ends with a deep playoff run.

Of course, Team USA isn’t the only club dealing with NBA players removing their names from consideration. After finding out earlier this week that R.J. Barrett wouldn’t participate in this year’s World Cup, Team Canada will now also be without Mavericks big man Dwight Powell, league sources tell Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). Having signed a contract extension with Dallas this offseason, Powell will use the time to focus on the upcoming season, says Stein.

Here’s more on the 2019 World Cup:

  • After the 2014 World Cup, FIBA altered the qualification process and schedule for the event going forward, and Team USA – with a roster full of NBA players – has been hit hard by those changes, as USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo tells Ben Golliver of The Washington Post. “Playing in back-to-back years, with full NBA seasons before and after, in a real hurdle to overcome,” Colangelo said. “FIBA is not concerned about us. They’re concerned about what’s best for basketball internationally. FIBA got exactly what they wanted. They’re getting a lot of games, a lot of attendance. There’s more interest in a lot of countries. Personally, I didn’t like the change. I knew it would have a negative effect on us.”
  • Team Germany formally announced a preliminary 16-man World Cup roster that features several NBA players, including Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber, Thunder guard Dennis Schroder, Celtics center Daniel Theis, and new Wizards Moritz Wagner and Isaac Bonga.
  • Team Senegal’s preliminary 24-man squad will have to be cut in half in advance of the 2019 World Cup, but it also includes some intriguing names. According to the official release, Timberwolves big man Gorgui Dieng and Celtics rookie Tacko Fall are among the players representing Senegal.

Contract Details: Portis, Theis, G. Hill, Harrison

As we previously relayed, most of the new Knicks that signed multiyear contracts with the team this month received modest partial guarantees in the final year of their respective deals. Taj Gibson, Elfrid Payton, Wayne Ellington, and Reggie Bullock each have $1MM partial guarantees for 2020/21, while Julius Randle has a $4MM partial guarantee in 2021/22.

The only newly-signed member of the Knicks whose deal includes a team option – rather than a non-guaranteed final year – is Bobby Portis, per Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Portis will earn a guaranteed $15MM salary in 2019/20 with a $15.75MM team option for 2020/21.

Meanwhile, Marcus Morris is the only Knicks free agent addition who didn’t get a multiyear contract at all, as Pincus notes. Morris will earn a flat $15MM salary on his one-year deal.

Here are a few more contract details from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Daniel Theis‘ new two-year, $10MM deal with the Celtics is only guaranteed for the first year, according to Pincus. Theis’ $5MM non-guaranteed salary for 2020/21 would become guaranteed if he remains under contract through July 3, 2020.
  • Pincus also provides the specific details on the partial guarantee in year three of George Hill‘s new contract with the Bucks. After earning a total of $18.72MM in his first two seasons, the veteran guard has a $1.28MM partial guarantee in 2021/22 that increases his overall guarantee to exactly $20MM. If he remains under contract through July 1, 2021, Hill’s third year would be worth $10.05MM.
  • Having re-signed with the Bulls on a new one-year, minimum-salary contract, Shaquille Harrison received a partial guarantee worth $175K, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Harrison will also get a de facto no-trade clause as a result of signing a one-year deal with his previous team.

Daniel Theis Re-Signs With Celtics

JULY 17: The Celtics have officially re-signed Theis, the club confirmed today in a press release.

JULY 2: The Celtics have reached an agreement to keep forward/center Daniel Theis, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The two-year, $10MM deal was confirmed by Theis’ agents, Michael Tellem and Aaron Mintz of CAA.

Boston will use its Early Bird rights to re-sign Theis, allowing the team to exceed the cap, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). The deal won’t be finalized until after the Celtics exhaust their cap space by adding Kemba Walker.

Theis has been a reliable backup since coming to Boston in 2017. He appeared in 66 games this season, starting twice, and averaged 5.7 points and 3.4 rebounds in about 14 minutes per night.

Theis may complete the Celtics’ efforts to fortify the center position after losing Al Horford in free agency and trading Aron Baynes. They reached an agreement with Enes Kanter on Sunday and French center Vincent Poirier earlier today.

Boston has no plans to pursue free agent DeMarcus Cousins, believing the “potential drama” outweighs any benefits, according to Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link).

Theis Gets QO From Celtics; Rozier’s Expected To Be Withdrawn

5:32pm: Now that the Celtics are on track to sign Walker, the team is expected to withdraw Rozier’s QO and renounce his cap hold, making him an unrestricted free agent, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

2:56pm: The Celtics have extended a qualifying offer to Terry Rozier, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link) adds that Boston has also extended a qualifying offer to Daniel Theis.

Rozier’s qualifying offer comes in at roughly $4.29MM and his cap hold will be approximately $9.15MM. Theis’ qualifying offer and cap hold are each approximately $1.82MM. Both players are restricted free agents at the moment.

The team will not need to renounce Theis in order to have max cap room for a player with Kemba Walker‘s experience. Boston will need to renounce Rozier’s rights or make another move if it is going to add Walker or another player in his max tier.

The Celtics will not tender qualifying offers to PJ Dozier, Jonathan Gibson, or R.J. Hunter, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Boston also won’t tender a qualifying offer to Brad Wanamaker, making him an unrestricted free agent, tweets Wojnarowski.

Knicks Have Interest In Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris

While Kyrie Irving has been linked to New York for months, he’s not the only Celtics free agent that the Knicks will have their eye on this offseason. League sources tell A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston that the Knicks will also have interest in Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris.

Rozier, who is finishing his rookie contract with Boston, will be eligible for restricted free agent, meaning the Celtics will have the option to match any offer sheet he signs, assuming they issue him a qualifying offer to retain his rights. Morris will be an unrestricted free agent.

While Rozier and Morris may be among the names on the Knicks’ wish list, the team figures to use its cap room to target top-tier free agents like Irving and Kevin Durant before turning to its Plan B or C. According to Blakely, New York has also expressed some interest in Daniel Theis, but he’d be even further down the club’s list, and isn’t considered a likely target.

Rozier’s free agency should be one of the more interesting cases this summer, particularly among non-stars. He spoke at the end of the Celtics’ season about wanting a “fresh start” and a more prominent role, whether that happens in Boston or elsewhere. And during an appearance today on ESPN’s Get Up (video link via Chris Grenham of NESN), he expressed little interest in returning to Boston if the C’s plan to run it back in 2019/20 with the same roster.

“I might have to go,” Rozier told Stephen A. Smith when asked about that scenario. “I put up with a lot this year. I said what I said after the season. I think we all know that I’m not trying to step into that again.”

During the same interview, Rozier also didn’t exactly offer an enthusiastic endorsement for his experience of playing alongside – and behind – Irving in Boston.

“He’s a great guy, great leader,” Rozier said of Irving (video link via The Undefeated). “You know, you just have to adjust to his style. Whatever Kyrie wants done, he’s gonna show it, that’s what he wants done. You have to adjust to his style of play and how he goes about every game and every day.”

Aron Baynes To Be Sidelined “A Few Weeks”

Celtics center Aron Baynes is “shutting it down for a few weeks” because of pain in his left foot, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. The team says the injury is to the cuboid bone, adds Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link).

Baynes said the pain started about two weeks ago and “wasn’t getting any better,” relays A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link). He has tried to play through it, logging 21 minutes Friday against the Knicks, but it has become too severe.

The timing means Baynes will almost certainly be out through the All-Star break. Baynes’ absence will mean more minutes for Daniel Theis, Guerschon Yabusele and rookie Robert Williams, although Williams will miss today’s game with back soreness.

Baynes has seen reduced playing time in his second season with the Celtics, averaging, 5.7 PPG and 4.3 RPG in about 15 minutes per night. He has a $5.45MM player option for next season.