Danuel House

NBA Investigating Sixers’ Free Agency Moves For Tampering

The NBA is investigating the Sixers‘ free agency moves for possible tampering and “early contact,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

As Wojnarowski details, James Harden declined his $47.4MM player option and instead took a pay cut by signing a two-year, $68.6MM deal with a second year player option. That gave the Sixers the flexibility to use their full mid-level exception to sign P.J. Tucker and their bi-annual exception to sign Danuel House — two of Harden’s former teammates with the Rockets under president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, who is now with Philadelphia.

Marc Stein first reported that the Sixers were likely to face a tampering investigation, and he was also one of the first reporters to link Tucker to Philadelphia, with rival teams reportedly convinced that Tucker was signing a three-year deal for the mid-level multiple days before free agency officially opened.

Some around the league have wondered whether the Sixers and Harden already have a future deal in place, which is against the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Wojnarowski notes. Such a handshake agreement would involve declining his player option in 2023 and signing a lucrative new contract at that time.

The Sixers are complying with the investigation, Wojnarowski adds. The Knicks are also likely to face a tampering investigation due to an early free agency agreement with guard Jalen Brunson, as Fred Katz of The Athletic wrote last week.

The Heat (Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade last summer) and Bucks (Bogdan Bogdanovic deal that fell through in 2020) both lost their 2022 second-round picks as a result of previous tampering investigations, and the Bulls will lose their 2023 second-rounder for their early sign-and-trade agreement for Lonzo Ball in 2021.

Sixers Notes: House, Petrusev, Winston, Springer

The Sixers recently signed forward Danuel House as a free agent, giving him all of their bi-annual exception worth $8.4MM over two years, including a player option in the second season. With that in mind, Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com explores what House can bring to Philadelphia’s roster.

As Neubeck details, most of House’s offensive value lies in his ability to hit outside shots, which he’s done inconsistently to this point in his career. Since he’s more of a ceiling-raiser rather than a floor-raiser, House tends to shoot much better when he doesn’t have to create for himself, which could portend well for the Sixers, since he’ll be reunited with James Harden.

For example, in 16 games with the rebuilding Rockets last season, House shot just 29.4% from three-point range, but that figure jumped up to 41.5% in 25 games with Utah. Overall, he holds a career mark of 36.6% from deep, which is definitely respectable (for context, the league average was 35.4% in 2021/22 and 36.7% in ’20/21).

The other side of the ball is where House has made most of his impact, Neubeck writes. The Jazz were significantly better defensively when House was on the court and he’s shown to be capable of guarding multiple positions, as well as playing multiple schemes.

Ultimately, Neubeck believes that if House can find consistency, he’ll have a good chance to outperform his contract and help the Sixers.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • Filip Petrusev has a strong desire to transition to the NBA, but there might not be room on the roster in ’22/23, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I think every player wants to come as soon as possible,” Petrusev said. “I wanted to come last year, if you asked me. Yeah, for sure, whenever the time is, I’ll be ready.” Philadelphia selected the Serbian big man with the 50th pick of the 2021 draft and then stashed him overseas last season. He said he plans to keep signing one-year deals in Europe to ensure he’s available every offseason if things don’t work out this summer, per Pompey.
  • Cassius Winston, the 53rd pick of the 2020 draft out of Michigan State, struggled to make an impact during his first couple of seasons in the NBA, both of which were played on two-way contracts with the Wizards. League rules prevent players from staying on two-way deals with the same team for more than two seasons, and the Wizards weren’t interested in converting him to a standard deal, so he’s trying to make the most of his opportunity with Philadelphia’s Summer League squad, as Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer relays (subscriber link). “It happens,” Winston said of the end of his time with the Wizards. “I feel like I had a really good season last year. I feel like they thought so, too. It’s just some things just don’t work out that way. Now I’m back in an opportunity where I get to go out here and just find a good organization, find a good team — somebody who believes in me, somebody who trusts me to throw me out there. That’s what I’m here for.”
  • In another story for PhillyVoice.com, Neubeck shares his Summer League observations thus far. According to Neubeck, 2021 first-rounder Jaden Springer has looked rough around the edges and hasn’t shown he’s capable of masking his weaknesses of dribbling and driving, so he’s going to have to improve his shot to have a chance to get minutes going forward. Springer only appeared in two games for a total of six minutes as a rookie last season, spending most of his time in the G League, where he shot just 24.1% from deep in 20 regular season games with the Delaware Blue Coats, Philadelphia’s affiliate.

Sixers Sign P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, Trevelin Queen

JULY 6: With the moratorium lifted, the Sixers have now made their deals with Tucker and House official as well.

“P.J. Tucker is one of the most respected and relentless competitors in our game and is the type of competitor our fans will love and embrace,” Morey said in a press release announcing the signing of Tucker. “We’re excited to add his leadership, toughness, defensive versatility and championship pedigree to our roster. P.J. wants to deliver an NBA title to Philadelphia and his work ethic and mentality make him an impactful addition to our team and city.”


JULY 1: Queen’s deal is now official, the Sixers announced in a press release. Minimum-salary contracts can be officially completed during the July moratorium.


JUNE 30: It’s fair to say Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has a type. Philadelphia has reportedly agreed to terms with three players who used to play for Morey’s former team in Houston.

Free agent forward P.J. Tucker is finalizing a three-year, $33.2MM fully guaranteed deal with the 76ers, agent Andre Buck tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). That long-rumored agreement will use the team’s full non-taxpayer mid-level exception.

The Sixers have also agreed to sign free agent forward Danuel House, tweets Charania. House is getting a two-year, $8.5MM deal, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

House’s deal, which will be completed using the bi-annual exception, has a second-year player option, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

Finally, Philadelphia has reached a deal with G League MVP Trevelin Queen, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The guard will sign a two-year, minimum-salary contract with a partial guarantee ($300K) in year one, tweets Derek Bodner of The Athletic.

As a result of using their full MLE and BAE, the Sixers will be hard-capped for the coming season.

The 76ers were able to use those exceptions in full due to James Harden opting out of his contract and planning to accept a lower first-year salary on a new deal with the team. If Harden’s $47MM+ option had been on Philadelphia’s books, the club would’ve been hard-pressed to remain under a hard cap.

The Sixers have been mentioned as Tucker’s most likely landing spot for much of the last week. Star center Joel Embiid singled out Tucker in his comments to the media after the team lost to Miami in the playoffs, stating that Philadelphia needed a tough, versatile player like that in its frontcourt. Needless to say, Embiid will be happy that the Sixers went out and got the 37-year-old.

House, 29, helped shore up the Jazz’s perimeter defense and hit 41.5% of his three-pointers in a 25-game stint with the club this past season. He’ll give the Sixers another three-and-D rotation player.

Otto Porter, Gary Harris, T.J. Warren Among Lakers’ Potential FA Targets

The Lakers‘ options on the free agent market this week will likely be limited, since the team will only be able to offer the $6.5MM taxpayer mid-level exception or a minimum-salary contract to potential targets. However, as Jovan Buha of The Athletic writes, the team will still aim high, hoping to sell players on the opportunity to start and the ability to increase their stock with a strong year in Los Angeles, like Malik Monk did in 2021/22.

According to Buha, youth, length, athleticism, and shooting are among the traits the Lakers will be prioritizing. Two-way wings who could come in and potentially start alongside Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook will be a priority, sources tell The Athletic.

Here are some details on the types of players the Lakers will be eyeing in free agency:

Western Free Agent Rumors: Monk, Warriors, Walker, Dragic, House

The Lakers are hoping to re-sign Malik Monk with their taxpayer mid-level exception, but that may not be enough to keep the 24-year-old guard, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

Monk indicated this week that he might accept less money to stay in L.A., but sources tell Fischer that he plans to explore his value on the open market. The Lakers are limited to an offer of around $6.4MM under the MLE.

Monk developed into a valuable scoring threat in his first year with the team, averaging 13.8 points in 76 games while shooting 47.3% from the field and 39.1% on three-pointers.

There’s more free agent news from the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors are likely to keep center Kevon Looney, Fischer states in the same piece, with other teams expecting him to get a multi-year contract that averages about $10MM per season. Golden State would like to re-sign Gary Payton II, but he could be tempted to leave for a full mid-level offer. Otto Porter may not return, as sources tell Fischer that he might get several offers at the taxpayer MLE.
  • The Spurs aren’t expected to keep Lonnie Walker, Fischer adds. San Antonio must decide by today whether to extend a $6.3MM qualifying offer to the 23-year-old guard.
  • Jalen Brunson‘s expected exit from Dallas increases the likelihood that veteran guard Goran Dragic will emerge as a target for the Mavericks, Marc Stein writes in his latest column for Substack.
  • The Kings may have interest in signing forward Danuel House, tweets Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

Injury Notes: Randle, Bucks, Pistons, Jazz, Simmons

Knicks forward Julius Randle, still dealing with a quad injury, has been ruled out for Saturday’s game against Cleveland, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic, who tweets that the team is considering Randle day-to-day. For the time being, there are no plans to shut down Randle for the rest of the season, Katz adds. He missed three games with the same injury last week.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • The Bucks will be without several key players on Friday vs. the Clippers on the second night of a back-to-back set. According to the team (via Twitter), Giannis Antetokounmpo (right knee soreness), Jrue Holiday (left ankle sprain), Khris Middleton (left wrist soreness), and Brook Lopez (return to competition reconditioning) are among the players who will be inactive.
  • Cory Joseph (left lumbar spine strain), Marvin Bagley III (left hip strain), and Kelly Olynyk (rest) won’t play for the Pistons on Friday against Oklahoma City, tweets James Edwards III of The Athletic. The two teams are neck-and-neck in the lottery standings, so neither front office will be particularly motivated to win the game.
  • The Jazz got some reinforcements on Thursday when Bojan Bogdanovic returned from a nine-game absence and Danuel House played after missing eight consecutive games, writes Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Both forwards had positive plus-minus ratings in a win over the Lakers that snapped Utah’s five-game losing streak.
  • Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (video link) provided another minor update on Ben Simmons, reporting that the Nets guard has resumed “light” on-court workouts and still hopes to return in time for the playoffs. Charania’s colleague at The Athletic, Joe Vardon, reported earlier today that Simmons is unlikely to be ready for the start of the playoffs.

Injury Notes: Lakers, Jazz, Bulls, Heat

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Anthony Davis is progressing each day as he inches closer to a return to action, as Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet tweets.

Anthony has had a good week … He’s had a productive week,” Vogel said.

Davis continues to do spot shooting, which began on Monday. Davis originally suffered a right foot strain on February 16, so he’s a little more than four weeks into his four-to-six week recovery timetable.

Lakers reserves Carmelo Anthony and Wayne Ellington were both unable to play on Friday at Toronto due to non-COVID illnesses, Trudell relays (via Twitter).

Talen Horton-Tucker missed the game as well, per Blake Murphy of Sportsnet (Twitter link). Horton-Tucker has been battling a Grade 2 ankle sprain.

Here are more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • The Jazz are dealing with a plethora of maladies at the moment. Six players were listed as out for Friday’s game against the Clippers, the team announced (Twitter link): Donovan Mitchell (right calf contusion), Bojan Bogdanovic (left calf strain), Danuel House (left knee bone bruise), Hassan Whiteside (non-COVID illness), Trent Forrest (right wrist sprain), and Udoka Azubuike (right ankle sprain).
  • Bulls coach Billy Donovan says Lonzo Ball has been experiencing discomfort in his rehab, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “He has not responded,” Donovan said. “There’s no setbacks. It’s still the same thing. He has not been able to do anything full speed. And anytime we get him close to that, there’s discomfort. So I think they’re going to probably at least look at, you know, ‘Do you back off and let him rest for a little bit and see if that helps?’” Johnson notes that Friday marked seven weeks since Ball underwent surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his left knee, and given his lack of progress, it seems highly unlikely he’ll return in the six-to-eight week recovery timetable Chicago originally provided. Donovan said there’s been no talk of Ball missing the remainder of the season, but the team is still determining the next steps in his recovery process.
  • On a more positive note, Donovan said Patrick Williams has been a full participant in G League practices with the Windy City Bulls, with no setbacks. He also said there was a “very real” possibility that Williams could return to action versus Toronto on Monday or Milwaukee on Tuesday, Johnson tweets. Williams has been targeting a return next week; he’s been out since October due to wrist surgery.
  • Jimmy Butler (sprained right ankle) and Victor Oladipo (back spasms) both missed the Heat‘s 120-108 win over the Thunder on Friday, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes. It’s the third time Butler has sprained his right ankle this season, Chiang notes, which is definitely a concerning trend. However, the injury isn’t considered serious. On the bright side, Caleb Martin (hyperextended left knee) and P.J. Tucker (left knee irritation) were both able to play after being listed as questionable. Martin had missed the past three games for the 47-24 Heat, who hold the No. 1 seed in the East.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Northwest Division

For the rest of the regular season and postseason, Hoops Rumors is taking a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this offseason. We consider whether their stock is rising or falling due to their performance and other factors. Today, we’re focusing on a handful of Northwest players.


Jusuf Nurkic, C, Trail Blazers

2021/22: $12MM
2022/23: UFA
Stock: Up ⬆️

A lengthy injury absence preceding a player’s free agency typically doesn’t help that player’s stock, but Nurkic’s value is on the rise despite the case of plantar fasciitis that will sideline him for at least four weeks and could end his season.

Prior to his injury, the veteran center was playing his best basketball of the season during a four-game winning streak (21.5 PPG, 14.0 RPG, and 4.3 APG). As a result, it’s safe to assume shutting him down was more about keeping the Blazers’ tanking efforts on track than it was about any long-term health concerns. After all, Portland has had essentially a neutral net rating (-0.1) during Nurkic’s minutes this season, compared to a -11.7 mark when he’s not on the court.

Nurkic looks like a good bet to get a new contract worth at least the $12MM per year he’s currently making — and likely more than that.

Derrick Favors, C, Thunder

2021/22: $9.72MM
2022/23: $10.18MM player option
Stock: Down ⬇️

Favors’ per-minute production hasn’t declined significantly during the last two seasons, but his 15.3 minutes per game in 2020/21 and his 16.7 MPG this season are the two lowest marks of his career. Injuries and DNP-CDs have also limited him to just 39 games so far in ’21/22.

At age 30, Favors should still have plenty left in the tank, and he could reverse the trend of his declining playing time if he ends up in the right situation next season. But he won’t get a contract offer on the open market that exceeds the value of his player option ($10.18MM). I’d expect him to opt in and then try to work with the Thunder on a trade or buyout.

Danuel House, F, Jazz

2021/22: Minimum salary
2022/23: UFA
Stock: Up ⬆️

Once a key three-and-D rotation player in Houston, House saw his numbers dip in 2020/21 and slide even further to start this season, leading to his release. It took him a little time to find a permanent new home following a 10-day deal with the Knicks, but he has hit his stride again in Utah, averaging 6.7 PPG with an impressive .453 3PT% in 18 games (18.8 MPG).

House isn’t the type of player who is a threat to go off for 30 points on a given night (his career high is 23), but his ability to knock down three-pointers and defend multiple positions could be very important for a Utah team hoping to make a deep playoff run. A strong postseason showing would further boost House’s stock entering the summer.

Josh Okogie, G/F, Timberwolves

2021/22: $4.09MM
2022/23: RFA
Stock: Down ⬇️

Okogie has received praise from head coach Chris Finch for his leadership and his attitude, but the former first-round pick is no longer part of the Timberwolves’ regular rotation, having logged just 48 minutes across seven games since the start of February. He has some value on defense, but doesn’t provide enough on offense to warrant consistent minutes.

While Minnesota can technically make Okogie a restricted free agent this offseason, doing so would require a $5.86MM qualifying offer — I expect the team to pass on that QO, letting Okogie become an unrestricted FA.

Jeff Green, F, Nuggets

2021/22: $4.5MM
2022/23: $4.5MM player option
Stock: Up ⬆️

After years of settling for minimum-salary contracts, Green earned a two-year, $9MM commitment from the Nuggets last summer. The veteran forward will turn 36 years old later this year, so he initially seemed like a safe bet to pick up his $4.5MM option for 2022/23. But that’s no longer a given, based on the way he has performed this season.

Stepping into a larger role than anticipated due to Michael Porter Jr.‘s extended absence (and, to a lesser extent, Vlatko Cancar‘s season-ending foot injury), Green has averaged nearly 25 minutes per game in 63 appearances (51 starts) for Denver, scoring 10.5 PPG on 51.4% shooting.

While he has struggled from beyond the three-point line (30.1%), Green has been a crucial contributor this season for a Nuggets team trying to survive without two of its top scorers (Porter and Jamal Murray). It might be enough to justify an offseason opt-out — if he finishes the season strong, Green could potentially land one more multiyear deal.

Northwest Notes: Murray, Porter Jr., House, McLaughlin, Wolves

The Nuggets scrapped their plan to send Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. to the team’s G League affiliate in Grand Rapids on Friday, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes. Murray is rehabbing from a torn ACL, while Porter is recovering from lumbar spine surgery.

The pair was set to travel to Grand Rapids, but logistical concerns and the team only being able to practice once nixed the idea — it’s about a two-and-a-half hour flight from Denver to Grand Rapids. It remains possible that Murray and Porter could practice or scrimmage with the Gold down the road, Singer notes.

Denver currently ranks sixth in the West with a 37-26 record. Porter is eyeing a return sometime this month, as we previously relayed, while the Nuggets still hope Murray can return before the playoffs.

Here are some other notes from the Northwest:

  • Rockets coach Stephen Silas expressed support for Jazz forward Danuel House, who played for Houston from 2018-21, Eric Walden of the Salt Lake City Tribune tweets. House signed three 10-day contracts with Utah before earning a standard deal. “I’m happy for him and proud of him because he’s a contributor for a winning team,” Silas said. “I love him. It wasn’t anything he did wrong (here). I’m happy he landed on his feet.”
  • The Timberwolves‘ coaching staff hesitated to get Jordan McLaughlin into the team’s flow earlier this season, Chris Hine of the Star Tribune writes. McLaughlin has since taken on a bigger role for Minnesota, playing double-digit minutes in his last 16 games. “He kind of fell through the cracks in our player development structure a little bit,” head coach Chris Finch admitted. “So that was on us for the beginning of the season.”
  • Speaking of the Timberwolves, the team’s bench unit has benefited from its off-court chemistry, Hine writes in a separate story for the Star Tribune. Minnesota finished with 74 bench points a 138-101 victory over the Thunder on Saturday, headlined by strong performances from Malik Beasley, Taurean Prince and Naz Reid.

Players Who Have Spent The Most Time This Season On 10-Day Deals

It has been a record-setting season for the 10-day contract, which got more use than ever this winter as teams missing players due to COVID-19 scrambled to add multiple replacements at a time using the league’s newly-updated hardship provision.

By our count, an unprecedented 118 players have signed at least a single 10-day deal this season, and many of those players received more than one. Because hardship deals didn’t count toward the usual limit of two 10-day contracts per season with a single team, a handful of players even inked three or four 10-day pacts with the same team.

While no players were able to match or exceed the NBA’s rookie minimum salary on 10-day deals alone, a handful of players signed so many 10-day contracts that they earned a salary comparable to a two-way player.

[RELATED: Salaries For 10-Day Contracts In 2021/22]

With the help of our 10-day contract tracker, here’s a look at some of the players that have spent the most time this season on 10-day deals:


Chris Silva

  • Total 10-day contracts: 5
  • Days spent on 10-day contracts: 50
  • Teams: Heat (x4), Timberwolves
  • Total earnings on 10-day contracts: $479,650

One of two players who has signed four 10-day contracts with the same team this season, Silva might not be done yet — all four of his 10-day deals with the Heat were completed using the hardship provision, which means he could still sign one or two more standard 10-days with the team before the end of the season. Miami has an open roster spot, so it’s not out of the question.

Even if he doesn’t sign another 10-day contract this season, Silva’s earnings have already exceeded the base salary for a player on a two-way deal ($462,629).

Lance Stephenson

  • Total 10-day contracts: 5
  • Days spent on 10-day contracts: 43
  • Teams: Pacers (x4), Hawks
  • Total earnings on 10-day contracts: $690,095

One of Stephenson’s 10-day hardship deals with the Pacers was terminated after just three days so that he could sign a standard 10-day contract in order to remain on the active roster. As a result, he didn’t spend quite as many days as Silva as a 10-day player this season.

Still, Stephenson is one of just two players to have signed five 10-day contracts this year, and no player has earned more money via 10-day deals than he has this season. Stephenson also parlayed those four short-term commitments from Indiana into a rest-of-season deal.


Stanley Johnson

  • Total 10-day contracts: 4
  • Days spent on 10-day contracts: 40
  • Teams: Lakers (x3), Bulls
  • Total earnings on 10-day contracts: $480,332

Danuel House

  • Total 10-day contracts: 4
  • Days spent on 10-day contracts: 40
  • Teams: Jazz (x3), Knicks
  • Total earnings on 10-day contracts: $445,828

Wenyen Gabriel

  • Total 10-day contracts: 4
  • Days spent on 10-day contracts: 40
  • Teams: Clippers (x2), Nets, Pelicans
  • Total earnings on 10-day contracts: $383,720

There are five NBA players who have signed at least four 10-day contracts so far this season, with Johnson, House, and Gabriel joining Silva and Stephenson.

Johnson and House took very similar paths. Both players signed a single hardship 10-day contract with one team in December (the Bulls for Johnson and the Knicks for House), but didn’t get a chance to make a real impression for that team — Johnson was almost immediately placed in the COVID-19 protocols himself, while House logged just three total minutes for New York. Both players subsequently caught on with new clubs, signing a hardship 10-day contract and then a pair of standard 10-days before finalizing a full-season agreement.

Gabriel, meanwhile, has bounced around the NBA a little more this season, signing a total of four 10-day hardship deals with three separate teams. He didn’t earn a rest-of-season commitment from any of them, but eventually landed with the Lakers on a two-way contract.


Players who have signed three 10-day contracts this season:

* Chriss, Cousins, Diakite, and Jackson each had one of their 10-day contracts terminated early, so they’ve technically spent fewer than 30 days on 10-day deals this season.

^ The third 10-day contracts for Frazier, Thomas, and Wilson are still active.

# Highsmith’s third 10-day contract is still active. Additionally, his second deal was technically an 11-day contract since it ran through the All-Star break and needed to cover a minimum of three games.