Deividas Sirvydis

Pistons’ Sirvydis To Remain Overseas For 2019/20

Pistons second-round pick Deividas Sirvydis is set to continue his playing career in Europe for at least one more season, he confirmed to LKL.lt this week (hat tip to Sportando).

The Pistons paid a high price to acquire Sirvydis, the 37th overall pick in the 2019 draft. Detroit sent this year’s No. 45 pick (Isaiah Roby) and two more future second-round selections to Dallas in exchange for Sirvydis’ draft rights.

However, a report last month indicated that the Lithuanian swingman would likely remain overseas for 2019/20 unless he forced Detroit’s hand with an outstanding Summer League performance. Sirvydis ended up logging just 34 total minutes in five games with the Pistons in Las Vegas, and his 1.8 points per game probably didn’t qualify as “outstanding.”

In his conversation with LKL.lt, the 19-year-old said he’ll be returning to Lithuanian club Rytas Vilnius for the ’19/20 campaign.

Barring a last-minute change of direction for Sirvydis and the Pistons, the move may open the door for a player on a non-guaranteed contract to make the club’s regular season roster. Currently, Detroit has 14 players on guaranteed salaries and a pair of players on two-way deals. Christian Wood is among the non-guaranteed players who figures to vie for the Pistons’ 15th roster spot.

Eastern Notes: Lawson, Bulls, Collison, Sirvydis, Magic

The Celtics announced three additions to their coaching staff today, including the official hiring of Kara Lawson as their first-ever female assistant. A 13-year WNBA veteran and Olympic gold medal winner, she spent the past two seasons as the primary television analyst for the Wizards and covered games for ESPN Radio.

“This was a good fit,” Lawson said to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “I wanted to go somewhere where I’d be challenged, I wanted to go somewhere where I’d be allowed to coach, and I wanted to go to an organization that was going to be playing in big games to be able to get a sense of that last frontier of coaching, which is being able to do it in pressure situations in the regular season and the playoffs.”

Also added to coach Brad Stevens’ staff were Brandon Bailey, who served as coach of the Celtics’ G League affiliate in Maine the past two seasons, and Joe Mazzulla, a former assistant with the Red Claws.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • It got lost in the shuffle of this week’s free agency frenzy, but according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), there was a belief in league circles that the Bulls were the frontrunners to sign Darren Collison before the free agent point guard unexpectedly announced his retirement.
  • The Bulls have added two new assistants to head coach Jim Boylen’s staff, according to a press release from the team. Chris Fleming announced in May that he was leaving the Nets to come to Chicago, and Roy Rogers, who recently parted ways with the Rockets, officially joined the team Wednesday. In addition, Karen Stack has been elevated to assistant coach, Paul Miller was named assistant to the head coach and former intern Chris Kent is the new video coordinator.
  • Deividas Sirvydis, who was selected by the Pistons with the 37th pick in the draft, will likely spend the upcoming season in Europe, tweets international basketball writer Donatas Urbonas. Rytas Vilnius GM Rolandas Jarutis expects to have the 6’8″ shooting guard back next season unless he has an outstanding performance with Detroit’s Summer League team. Sirvydis, 19, was MVP of the EuroLeague Basketball Next Generation Tournament in 2018.
  • The Magic have probably given up on Fran Vazquez ever coming to the NBA, but there was news this week on their 2005 draft pick, whose draft rights they still retain, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. The 36-year-old re-signed with his Zaragoza team in Spain, so his cap hold will be removed from Orlando’s books for another season.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Pistons Trade For No. 37 Pick Deividas Sirvydis

JUNE 26, 8:51pm: Per Keith Langlois of Pistons.com, the deal is official.

JUNE 20, 10:59pm: The Mavericks are receiving the 2020 and 2021 second-rounders that the Pistons acquired earlier in the evening from Cleveland, tweets Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. The 2020 pick is Utah’s and the 2021 selection is Portland’s.

JUNE 20, 10:34pm: The Pistons and Mavericks have agreed to a trade that will send the rights of No. 37 pick Deividas Sirvydis to Detroit, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

According to Marc Stein of The New York Times (via Twitter), Dallas is receiving the No. 45 pick from Detroit tonight, along with two future second-round picks. The Pistons just acquired four second-rounders for the No. 30 pick, so it wouldn’t be surprised if those two of those selections are being re-routed to the Mavs.

Sirvydis, a wing player, is expected to be a draft-and-stash pick for the Pistons, reports Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (via Twitter).

Sirvydis, who declared the draft as an international early entrant, played in the Lithuanian league this season. He projects as a dangerous perimeter threat, as ESPN’s Jonathan Givony tweets.

Pistons Sign Jordan Bone To Two-Way Contract

JULY 8: Having completed their deal to acquire Bone over the weekend, the Pistons officially signed him to his two-way contract today, according to a team press release.

JUNE 21: After using the No. 57 pick to draft him on Thursday night, the Pistons will sign Tennessee guard Jordan Bone to a two-way contract, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Detroit actually doesn’t hold Bone’s rights yet, since the 57th pick is tied up in a series of transactions that won’t be made official until the new league year begins, but the team reached a deal to acquire his rights in a trade agreement with the Sixers.

In his junior year at Tennessee, Bone emerged as a go-to scorer and play-maker for the team, averaging 13.5 PPG, 5.8 APG, and 3.2 RPG with a shooting line of .465/.355/.835. He also provided one of the viral-video highlights of draft night, as his draft party was preparing for him not to be selected when he unexpectedly came off the board at No. 57.

In recent years, it has become more common for players drafted in the 50s to sign two-way deals with their new teams, so Bone likely won’t be the only draftee who goes that route. A year ago, four players drafted in the 54-60 range inked two-way contracts.

Elsewhere on the Pistons front, it remains unclear whether No. 37 pick Deividas Sirvydis will be stashed overseas next season. Rolandas Jarutis, the GM of Sirvydis’ Lithuanian team BC Rytas, would prefer to get the buyout right away, so the decision may simply be up to the Pistons, tweets international reporter Donatas Urbonas. It’s also possible Detroit will try to stash Sirvydis in the G League, tweets Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press.

The Pistons have also agreed to a deal with USC forward Bennie Boatwright, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. It’s not clear whether that deal is just for Summer League or if it features a training camp invite as well.

Boatwright, who played four seasons with the Trojans, had his best year as a senior, averaging 18.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 2.5 APG with a shooting line of .474/.429/.702.

Draft Updates: Matthews, Bol, Porter, Withdrawals

Former Michigan guard Charles Matthews suffered some bad luck with the 2019 NBA draft right around the corner, as agent Adam Pensack tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com that his client has a torn ACL. The injury occurred during a workout with the Celtics, Givony adds.

Matthews, who had been ranked as the No. 60 prospect on ESPN’s big board and was receiving second-round interest, will head to his hometown of Chicago to undergo surgery to repair the ACL. He hasn’t given up hope of being selected in next week’s draft.

“Injuries are tough, but Charles is an extremely hard worker and will be back stronger than ever,” Pensack told Givony. “He had a series of outstanding workouts lately and has helped himself. Charles will continue that momentum when he returns to action. As of now, we have interest in the second round as Charles is OK signing a two-way contract like Edmond Sumner did with the Indiana Pacers in 2017.”

Let’s round up a few more draft-related items…

  • Bol Bol, who is recovering from a foot fracture, will hold an invite-only workout for select teams on Wednesday, according to Jeremy Woo and Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link). Bol is one of the biggest wild cards in the draft for health-related reasons, so Wednesday’s session could have a major impact on where he’s selected.
  • Kevin Porter Jr., a probable first-round pick, has worked out for the Nets, Spurs, and Hornets, and has sessions lined up with the Magic and Hawks, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Porter’s previously-reported upcoming workouts with the Heat and Wizards will take place on June 13 and June 17, respectively (Twitter links via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald and Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington).
  • With Monday’s withdrawal deadline looming, several international early entrants are pulling their names out of the 2019 draft pool. According to reports from Givony and Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas (all four Twitter links), the following players are withdrawing: Nikita Mikhailovskii (Russia), Arturs Zagars (Latvia), Henri Drell (France), Tadas Sedekerskis (Lithuania), Gytis Masiulis (Lithuania), and Arnas Velicka (Lithuania).
  • Lithuanian early entrants Deividas Sirvydis and Matas Jogela intend to remain in the draft pool, sources tell Urbonas (Twitter link). According to Givony (all Twitter links), Sekou Doumbouya (France), Goga Bitadze (Georgia), Luka Samanic (Croatia), Adam Mokoka (France), and Marcos Louzada Silva (Brazil) will also stay in the draft.

Draft Updates: Dort, Sirvydis, Reid, Shittu, More

Arizona State freshman guard Luguentz Dort reportedly intends to formally declare for the 2019 NBA draft next week, according to Nancy Audent of French-language TVA Sports.

Audent’s report doesn’t confirm whether Dort intends to remain in the draft or if he’ll just test the waters, but he’s a potential top-30 pick — currently, he ranks 27th overall on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com. According to Chris Karpman of 247Sports.com, multiple people familiar with Dort’s thinking have previously said he’ll likely go pro if the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee says he’s a probable first-round pick.

In his first – and possibly only – season with the Sun Devils, Dort averaged 16.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, and 1.5 SPG.

Here are more of today’s early entrant decisions:

  • Lithuanian wing Deividas Sirvydis tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com that he has submitted his paperwork to enter the draft. Sirvydis, No. 48 prospect in ESPN’s top 100, currently plays in the Lithuanian league and EuroCup for Lietuvos Rytas.
  • LSU freshman center Naz Reid has elected to enter the 2019 NBA draft and pursue a professional career, he announced today in an Instagram post. I will be entering the NBA Draft with an agent in hopes of finally fulfilling a dream I believe is my destiny,” wrote Reid, the No. 50 prospect on ESPN’s big board.
  • Vanderbilt freshman Simisola Shittu will hire an agent and test the draft waters with the intent of keeping his name in the 2019 pool, he tells Givony. The 6’10” forward is the No. 81 prospect on ESPN’s big board.
  • Sophomore guard Charlie Brown, the leading scorer for Saint Joseph’s this season and the No. 96 prospect on ESPN’s top 100, is entering his name in the 2019 NBA draft, as Mike Jensen of Philly.com relays. Although Brown doesn’t yet have to make a final decision, it sounds like he’ll likely keep his name in the draft, having said in a statement that he’s “ready to move on to the professional ranks.”
  • The following prospects who fall outside of ESPN’s top 100 are also declaring for the draft:

And-Ones: Trade Deadline, Cap Space, 2019 Draft

For a second consecutive season, the NBA’s trade deadline will fall earlier in the calendar year than it has in the past. The February 7 deadline arrives well before the All-Star break, whereas as recently as 2017, the All-Star Game took place several days before the deadline.

As Danny Leroux of The Athletic writes, the earlier deadline could have some unintended consequences. For one, the buyer/seller ratio is one-sided — so many teams are still within striking distance of the top eight in their respective conferences that there may only be a handful of full-fledged sellers, while most of the rest of the league’s teams will be buyers.

Leroux points to the Magic as one example of a team that could be impacted significantly by the early deadline. Despite an underwhelming 19-27 record, Orlando is still just three games out of the No. 8 seed in the East. With a couple extra weeks to evaluate their playoff odds, perhaps the Magic would be more inclined to sell off pieces like Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross, and Jonathon Simmons. If the team is still in the postseason hunt by February 7 though, those players may stay put.

If trade activity is somewhat tepid at this season’s deadline, the NBA should consider re-evaluating its calendar for future seasons, Leroux writes.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Which teams will have cap room during the summer of 2019? In an Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, Bobby Marks previews the market, identifying the clubs that figure to have the most flexibility – like the Mavericks, Pacers, Hawks, and Kings – along with a few teams that could be “wild cards” (the Pelicans, Jazz, and Bucks).
  • Elsewhere in ESPN’s Insider-only section, Jonathan Givony recently published a two-part feature examining several of the top international draft prospects, including Georgian big man Goga Bitadze and Lithuanian forward Deividas Sirvydis, among others. Bitadze and Sirvydis rank 31st and 33rd on Givony’s most recent big board for 2019.
  • In the wake of the NBA’s annual trip to London last week, Mark Woods of ESPN.com explores the effect that a homegrown British basketball star might impact the perception of the NBA in the United Kingdom. As Woods outlines, British basketball is still waiting for its first high-profile star, while other European countries like Germany (Dirk Nowitzki), France (Tony Parker), and Spain (the Gasol brothers) have had major NBA success stories over the last couple decades.

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, D. Green, Raptors, Brand

The Celtics have had more ups and downs this season than their primary Eastern Conference competitors, but president of basketball operations Danny Ainge reiterated over the weekend that he’s not feeling any pressure to shake up his roster by making trades in the next three weeks, as Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe relays.

“It just depends,” Ainge said on Saturday. “I don’t feel a need to have to do something. I like every guy on our team. I like our roster. There will be [trade] conversations, obviously. Every year it happens with every team. But we’ll only do something that makes sense.”

A more pressing issue in Boston may be making sure that all the Celtics’ current players are on the same page, after a series of incidents that included a Jaylen Brown/Marcus Morris on-court confrontation, Kyrie Irving expressing frustration with an end-of-game play call and with his young teammates, and Brown publicly firing back at Irving. However, making his weekly appearance on Toucher & Rich today, Ainge said he doesn’t view any of those incidents as worrisome.

“To me, these aren’t stories,” Ainge said, per Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston. “They’re not a big deal. I mean, yes, Kyrie could have done better. Yes, Jaylen could have done better. But these are people. These are kids. These are guys playing with emotion in a glass house. They’re real people with real emotions; they’re not perfect and I don’t ever expect them to be.

“We live in a real sensitive society now,” Ainge added. “And all these things that we’re talking about: ‘Oh, you mean a veteran player called out the young guys? Oh wait, a young guy stood up for himself?’ I mean, where is the drama? I don’t understand it. Quit being sensitive. That’s the story. That’s my story.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Danny Green‘s free agency decision won’t alter the direction of the Raptors in the same way that Kawhi Leonard‘s will, but Green has been a crucial piece in Toronto this season and is also on an expiring contract. As James Herbert of CBSSports.com writes, Green is enjoying his time with the Raptors and wouldn’t mind staying with the club beyond this season — alongside Leonard. “I hope he sticks around as long as I’m here,” Green said of Kawhi. “And I hope to stick around.”
  • Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri is doing some in-person scouting in Lithuania, according to Donatas Urbonas, who tweets that Ujiri watched top prospect Deividas Sirvydis this week (hat tip to Sportando). ESPN’s Jonathan Givony had the Lithuanian forward ranked at No. 31 in his most recent mock draft.
  • In an in-depth profile on new Sixers general manager Elton Brand, Michael Lee of The Athletic looks at Brand’s path from No. 1 pick to an NBA front office, and his first big swing after landing the job — the acquisition of Jimmy Butler.