Darius Bazley

Thunder Sign First-Round Pick Darius Bazley

The Thunder have signed Darius Bazley to his rookie-scale contract, according to the NBA.com transaction log. Assuming he makes 120% of the rookie scale, Bazley will take home approximately $2.3MM during the 2019/20 campaign, as our Rookie-Scale Salary post shows.

Contracts for first-round picks are four-year deals that are fully guaranteed for two seasons, followed by team options on the third and fourth year of the pact. Bazley’s full breakdown will look like this:

2019/20: $2,284,800

2020/21: $2,399,160

2021/22: $2,513,040 (Team Option)

2022/23: $4,264,629 (Team Option)

Bazley didn’t attend a university like a typical prospect. Bazley had a scholarship offer from Syracuse and he had a chance to join the G League. Instead, he spent the year on a $1MM internship with New Balance.

The Thunder will bring in the No. 23 overall pick after acquiring his rights on a draft-night trade with the Grizzlies. Oklahoma City traded away Paul George over the weekend and rumblings about a Russell Westbrook deal have surfaced. Depending on what moves GM Sam Presti opts to make during the remainder of the offseason, Bazley could be in line to see minutes immediately as a rookie.

Northwest Notes: Rosas, Reed, Bazley, Nuggets

Recently hired president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas is set to bring his worldly view and Latino roots to his new job with the Timberwolves, Chris Hine details in a story for the Star Tribune.

Minnesota hired Rosas, who previously spent 17 years in various basketball positions with the Rockets, as the team’s new president after a tumultuous regular season which saw the club trade its star player, fire its head coach and finish with just a 36-46 record.

“It’s definitely the road less traveled, and the odds are stacked against you,” Rosas said of being hired. “Being an immigrant in this country … it’s almost a responsibility, if somebody is willing to give you those opportunities, as an immigrant, a person coming into this country, you want to make the country proud.”

Rosas and his family migrated to America from Columbia when he was just three years old, according to Hine. His family settled in Houston, where Rosas discovered his love for the game of basketball and committed to starting a career. He’ll now be tasked with turning around a franchise in great turmoil last season, one that has a young star in Karl-Anthony Towns with several talented pieces around him.

“A lot of people have helped me get to this point, and because of that I have a responsibility to help others,” Rosas said. “We have such a special fraternity in the NBA, people that have been supportive of me. I need to help build a strong base, not only for Latinos but other individuals who want to be involved in the NBA.”

  • Free agent Willie Reed has committed to summer league with the Jazz, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype reports (Twitter link). Reed, a three-year NBA veteran, held per-game averages of 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 21 games with Utah’s G League affiliate this past season.
  • Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman details Darius Bazley‘s uncommon path to the NBA. Bazley was selected by the Jazz with the No. 23 overall pick in the draft, who then traded him to Memphis. The Grizzlies later traded him to the Thunder.
  • The Nuggets aren’t scared of the ongoing arms race in the Western Conference, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes. Denver has an intriguing young group headlined by star center Nikola Jokic going into the summer. “I think we focus on internal growth, focus on ourselves,” president Tim Connelly said of his team’s offseason focus. “I love our group, I love our core, love our coaching staff, so we’re pretty excited about whoever we’re competing against next season.”

Grizzlies Trade For No. 21 Pick Brandon Clarke

JULY 6: The trade is official, the Thunder announced today in a press release. Clarke and Bazley will now get the opportunity to join the Grizzlies and Thunder, respectively, in Las Vegas Summer League.

JUNE 21: The 2024 pick going to the Thunder in the trade is Memphis’ own pick, Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian clarifies (via Twitter). This deal won’t be officially completed until the new league year begins, since the No. 23 pick is tied up in the Mike Conley trade that’s not yet official.

JUNE 20: The Thunder and Grizzlies have reached an agreement to swap first-round picks, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Memphis is sending a 2024 second-round pick to Oklahoma City in order to move up from No. 23 to No. 21. The Grizzlies have used that 21st overall pick to select Gonzaga forward Brandon Clarke.

The Thunder had reportedly been exploring the trade market in deals that might have reduced their team salary for 2019/20, using the No. 21 pick as a sweetener. This trade won’t help the club shed salary, though the cap hold for the No. 23 selection will be slightly smaller than that of the No. 21 pick. Oklahoma City used that pick to select Darius Bazley.

The Grizzlies, meanwhile, added a player in Clarke who was viewed as a potential lottery pick heading into the night. He averaged 16.9 PPG and 8.6 RPG with a .687 FG% in his first season with the Zags in 2018/19 before he declared for the draft. In Memphis, he’ll team up Ja Morant, whom the Grizzlies drafted with the No. 2 overall pick earlier in the evening.

Draft-Night Notes: Bazley, Thunder, Bulls, Suns

Some teams holding mid-first-round picks have expressed interest in forward Darius Bazley and he could go earlier than projected, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today tweets. A McDonald’s All-American, Bazley didn’t go to college and instead spent the year preparing for the draft.

We have more draft nuggets:

  • The Thunder are engaged in trade talk with teams to move back in first round from the No. 21 pick, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.
  • The Bulls didn’t shop shooting guard Zach LaVine when they explored ways to move up in the lottery, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Chicago wound up holding onto the No. 7 pick and selecting North Carolina point guard Coby White. LaVine has three years and $58.5MM remaining on his contract.
  • The Suns’ selection of North Carolina power forward Cameron Johnson at No. 11 after trading down from the No. 6 pick earlier in the day was the surprise of the lottery. According to SInow’s Jake Fischer, it was an even bigger surprise due to injury concerns. Several teams red-flagged Johnson out of the first round due to his history of ailments on both hips (Twitter link).
  • The Sixers are trying to move up from the No. 24 pick, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. They’re hoping to snag either UNC small forward Nassir Little or USC shooting guard Kevin Porter Jr. and could wind up with one of them even if they don’t make a deal, Pompey adds.

Draft Rumors: Trades, Knicks, Celtics, Warriors

There’s an “ongoing flurry” of trade talks involving draft picks in the 20-23 range, league sources tell Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link). According to Fischer, teams like the Warriors, Nets, Kings, Mavericks, and Spurs have expressed interest in moving up into that range of the draft.

The Celtics hold the 20th and 22nd overall picks, and are unlikely to use all three of their first-rounders (they also have No. 14), so it makes sense that they’d be listening to inquiries. The Thunder are picking at No. 21 and have reportedly explored moving their pick in an effort to reduce team salary. The Grizzlies are acquiring No. 23 overall in the Mike Conley trade and are said to be listening to offers for the selection, which is their second of the first round.

Here are a few more draft-related notes and rumors:

  • The Knicks are interested in buying another second-round pick, league sources tell Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link). New York, which currently holds the No. 55 overall pick to go along with No. 3, hasn’t sent out any cash in trades so far this season, so the team has flexibility to make a move.
  • League sources tell Fischer and Jeremy Woo of SI.com (Twitter links) that the Celtics brought in six players for last-minute workouts on Wednesday: Darius Bazley, Jalen Lecque, Tremont Waters, Jordan Bone, Chris Clemons, and Jared Harper. It was the second workout with Boston for all six prospects.
  • People around the NBA are wondering how early the Warriors would be willing to draft Serbian power forward Alen Smailagic, tweets Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com. Smailagic played in the G League for Santa Cruz in 2018/19 but wasn’t draft-eligible until this year. He was shut down early in the pre-draft process and was “hidden” in Serbia from the rest of the NBA, according to Givony, who wonders if Golden State would use its newly-acquired No. 41 pick on Smailagic.
  • There are about 35 players whom various sources feel confident will be first-round picks, tweets Sam Vecenie of The Athletic. In other words, it’s tough to determine exactly which players will come off the board in the back half of the first round tonight.

Draft Notes: White, Garland, Hawks, Bazley

The Knicks held a last-minute workout with North Carolina guard Coby White this morning, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It’s the second significant workout in less than 24 hours for New York, which brought in Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland yesterday.

White was impressive in the private session, according to Ian Begley of SNY.TV (Twitter link), and the Knicks are prepared to trade down if they get the right offer. They have also worked out Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver and met with Duke’s Cam Reddish, but are still expected to select Duke’s R.J. Barrett if they remain at No. 3.

There’s more draft news as tonight’s event draws closer:

  • Some members of the Knicks organization believe Garland is a better prospect than Barrett, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. The Pelicans have discussed teaming Barrett with his Duke pal, Zion Williamson, and may be willing to surrender an asset in addition to the fourth pick to trade up to No. 3. After yesterday’s workout, Garland met with Knicks president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and coach David Fizdale.
  • If the Knicks draft a point guard, they may look to trade Dennis Smith Jr. along with Frank Ntilikina, tweets Steve Popper of Newsday.
  • The Hawks might not be done moving second-round picks after sending No. 44 to the Heat yesterday and No. 41 to the Warriors this morning. Chris Vivlamore of the Journal-Constitution tweets that Atlanta’s selection at No. 35 is also available.
  • Darius Bazley appears to have a first-round promise from somebody, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic.
  • Scouts tell Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that Auburn’s Chuma Okeke, Oregon’s Bol Bol, Virginia’s Ty Jerome and Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford are being underrated in pre-draft reports.
  • Teams with late first-rounders are focusing on Villanova’s Eric Paschall, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, who expects him to be taken between 19th and 30th.

New York Notes: Barrett, Durant, Bol, Bazley

Family considerations are part of the reason R.J. Barrett wants to be drafted by the Knicks tomorrow, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. At a press conference today, Barrett explained that his grandfather was a huge Knicks fan, his mother is from Brooklyn and his father played at St. John’s.

It appears Barrett will get his wish, unless someone leapfrogs New York and makes a deal with Memphis for the No. 2 pick. He has turned down requests for a workout with the Grizzlies, saying he prefers to play for the Knicks.

“My agent and I and my parents, we just decided not to (work out for Memphis),’’ Barrett said. “Not really anything wrong with Memphis. New York is just more where I wanted to be.”

Ja Morant ranks slightly higher on the Knicks’ board, but the team will be content to stay put at No. 3 and take Barrett if that’s how the draft works out, a source tells Berman.

There’s more from New York on the eve of the draft:

  • While the Knicks have clarity about their draft situation, free agency looks very different, notes Frank Isola of The Athletic. He cites league sources who believe Kevin Durant is headed to New York, even if Kyrie Irving winds up in Brooklyn. However, Isola is skeptical after hearing months of rumors that they want to play together. He adds that Durant’s Achilles surgery last week was performed by an orthopedic surgeon who formerly worked for the Knicks but is now with the Nets.
  • The Nets attended a private workout for Oregon center Bol Bol last week, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.TV. Brooklyn has the 27th pick and would probably have to move up for Bol, but the foot injury he suffered in college make his draft range unpredictable.
  • Darius Bazley is a name to watch if he’s still on the board for the Nets‘ selection, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The 6’10” forward didn’t play college basketball after committing to Syracuse, but he has been impressive in workouts. Lewis mentions Stanford’s KZ Okpala, Auburn’s Chuma Okeke, USC’s Kevin Porter, Arizona State’s Luguentz Dort and Croatian Luka Samanic as other possibilities at No. 27.

Atlantic Notes: Morris, Kawhi, Knicks, Sixers

Marcus Morris is not ruling out coming back to Boston next year, Yahoo Sports contributor Keith Smith hears (Twitter link). The combo forward enjoyed his time on the Celtics and believes he’ll have a major role on the team if he returns.

While a re-signing remains a possibility, Morris intends to test the free agent market to see what’s available for him. The Philadelphia native made slightly under $5.4MM during the 2018/19 season.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Fred VanVleet said there is “nothing more” that the Raptors can do to re-sign Kawhi Leonard, ESPN relays. “The best way to recruit somebody is to just be yourself over the course of the year, and I would assume that he knows what is here and what makes this place special,” VanVleet said. “If it’s enough then it’s enough. If it’s not then it’s not.”
  • The Knicks are expected to add veteran coach Mike Miller to David Fizdale‘s coaching staff, Ian Begley of SNY.tv reports. Miller most recently served as the head coach of the club’s G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks.
  • Darius Bazley was scheduled to work out for the Sixers today, but Villanova’s Joe Cremo will participate in drills instead, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. The Sixers own the No. 24 overall pick in addition for four second-rounders.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Draft, Anunoby

The Sixers want to select someone in the mold of Landry Shamet with the No. 24 overall pick.

“[Shamet has] always been an overcomer and mature and very very self-aware,” senior director of scouting Vince Rozman said (via Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer). “…I think those are the guys that tend to make it in that range, because they know their role and they know what’s going to be asked of them.”

Pompey suggests that Cameron Johnson fits the profile and speculates that the UNC product may slip in the draft because of his age. Johnson turned 23 in March.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

Eastern Draft Notes: Hawks, Barrett, Knicks, Pistons

With six of the top 44 picks in the 2019 NBA draft, the Hawks have been understandably busy when it comes to bringing in prospects for pre-draft workouts. While Atlanta is unlikely to keep all six of its selections, the club is doing its due diligence on players who might be available at each spot — or as undrafted free agents.

On Sunday, the Hawks worked out Darius Bazley (Princeton HS), Robert Franks (Washington State), Matur Maker (Zlatorog Lasko), William McDowell-White (Baunach), Miye Oni (Yale), and Trayvon Reed (Texas Southern), according to the team.

The Hawks conducted another workout on Monday, bringing in Jordan Bone (Tennessee), Brian Bowen (Sydney), Dewan Hernandez (Miami), Jordan Poole (Michigan), Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech), and Dean Wade (Kansas State) in for a look.

On Tuesday, the Hawks will host yet another workout, with Charlie Brown Jr. (St. Joe’s), Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State), Keldon Johnson (Kentucky), Nassir Little (UNC), KZ Okpala (Stanford), and Kevin Porter Jr. (USC) set to participate.

Here are a few more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the Eastern Conference: