Denzel Valentine

Celtics Waive Denzel Valentine

6:00pm: The move is official, per NBA.com’s transaction log.


4:09pm: The Celtics intend to waive veteran swingman Denzel Valentine, according to Jared Weiss and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

After the news broke that Boston was signing Blake Griffin, the team had to release a player to make room on its 20-man training camp roster. Since Valentine was signed to an Exhibit 10 contract, he’ll be eligible for a bonus worth up to $50K if he spends at least 60 days with the Maine Celtics, Boston’s G League affiliate — assuming, of course, that he doesn’t land with another NBA team in the meantime.

The 14th overall pick in the 2016 draft out of Michigan State, Valentine spent the first five years of his NBA career in Chicago before signing last offseason with the Cavaliers. He played a minor role in 22 games for Cleveland, then was dealt in January to the Knicks, who waived him.

Following a 10-day contract with the Jazz, Valentine played in the G League for the rest of the 2021/22 season. In 12 games with the Maine Celtics last season, he averaged 14.6 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 7.0 APG and 1.1 APG on .440/.352/.786 shooting.

In 256 career NBA games (18.8 MPG), Valentine holds averages of 7.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG and 1.8 APG on .394/.360/.787 shooting.

Celtics Officially Sign Jake Layman, Justin Jackson, Denzel Valentine

The Celtics have officially completed three previously reported deals with veteran free agents, signing forward Jake Layman, swingman Justin Jackson, and guard Denzel Valentine to their training camp roster, according to RealGM’s NBA transaction log.

A report in August indicated that Valentine would be signing an Exhibit 10 contract with Boston. The exact terms of the team’s agreements with Layman and Jackson, which were reported more recently, aren’t known, but those are presumably non-guaranteed camp deals as well.

All three veterans are expected to take part in a preseason competition for one of the Celtics’ back-end roster spots. The club currently has 10 players with guaranteed standard contracts, plus Al Horford with a significant partial guarantee. That leaves three – or possibly four – spots available on the regular season roster for a group of players with non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed salaries.

Besides Layman, Jackson, and Valentine, those camp invitees vying for roster spots includes Noah Vonleh, Luke Kornet, and Bruno Caboclo. Two-way players Mfiondu Kabengele and JD Davison could also be in the mix for promotions to standard contracts. Boston has one more open spot on its 20-man offseason roster, with restricted free agent Brodric Thomas among the top candidates to fill it.

A second-round pick in 2017, Layman has appeared in 243 regular season games across six NBA seasons in Portland and Minnesota. In total, the former Maryland forward – who is a Massachusetts native – has averaged 4.8 PPG and 1.7 RPG on .460/.300/.719 shooting in 12.8 minutes per contest over the course of his NBA career.

Jackson, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2017 draft, signed two 10-day contracts with the Suns last season and one with the Celtics, appearing in seven total games (just one with Boston). In Las Vegas this July, he averaged 15.0 PPG in four appearances (29.0 MPG) for Boston’s Summer League squad.

The 14th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Valentine spent the first five years of his NBA career in Chicago before signing last offseason with the Cavaliers. He played a minor role in 22 games for Cleveland, then was dealt in January to the Knicks, who waived him. Following a 10-day contract with the Jazz, Valentine played in the G League for the rest of the 2021/22 season. Considered a strong three-point shooter, Valentine has made 36.0% of his attempts from beyond the arc in 256 NBA appearances (18.8 MPG).

Celtics To Sign Denzel Valentine To Exhibit 10 Contract

The Celtics have agreed to a deal with free agent swingman Denzel Valentine, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports that Valentine will be signing an Exhibit 10 contract with Boston and will compete in training camp for a spot on the regular season roster.

The 14th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Valentine spent the first five years of his NBA career in Chicago before signing last offseason with the Cavaliers. He played a minor role in 22 games for Cleveland, then was dealt in January to the Knicks, who waived him. Following a 10-day contract with the Jazz, Valentine played in the G League for the rest of the 2021/22 season.

Considered a strong three-point shooter, Valentine has made 36.0% of his attempts from beyond the arc in 256 NBA appearances (18.8 MPG). He has also knocked down 41.2% of his three-pointers in a small G League sample (16 games). Valentine appeared in 12 games (31.9 MPG) last season with the Maine Celtics, Boston’s G League affiliate, filling up the box score with 14.6 PPG, 10.3 RPG, and 7.0 APG.

The Celtics have at least 11 players expected to make their regular season roster, with Luke Kornet viewed as a strong candidate to be the 12th. The team has reportedly reached deals with Valentine, Bruno Caboclo, and Noah Vonleh to compete for the 13th and 14th spots — free agents like Brodric Thomas and Justin Jackson are also expected by local reporters to vie for a spot on Boston’s roster.

Because Valentine has been in the NBA for five seasons, he’s ineligible to have his Exhibit 10 contract converted into a two-way deal, but he could earn a bonus worth up to $50K if he’s waived and reports back to Maine for at least 60 days.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Workouts, Jokic, Wolves, Roddy

The Jazz hosted another free agent mini-camp this week, bringing in 20 players on Monday and Tuesday for a closer look, as our JD Shaw relays (Twitter links). While not all of the invitees have NBA experience, there are a handful of noteworthy names in the group, including former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker. Big man Reggie Perry, swingman Denzel Valentine, forward Bruno Caboclo, and guards Langston Galloway, Sindarius Thornwell, and Grant Riller were among the other players to audition for Utah.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • The Jazz are working out six more draft-eligible prospects on Wednesday, according to Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune, who tweets that Collin Gillespie (Villanova), Tommy Kuhse (Saint Mary’s), Josh Minott (Memphis), Darryl Morsell (Marquette), Henri Drell (G League), and Jermaine Samuels (Villanova) will be in town.
  • Nuggets star and two-time MVP Nikola Jokic has committed to playing for the Serbian national team this offseason, the Serbian Basketball Federation announced on Wednesday (hat tip to Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops). Jokic likely won’t participate in the qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup that will take place in a couple weeks, but he’s expected to be available later in the summer for the 2022 EuroBasket tournament.
  • Colorado State forward David Roddy, who went to high school in Minnesota, is working out for his hometown Timberwolves on Wednesday, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Roddy, the No. 30 prospect on ESPN’s big board, could be an option for the Wolves in the first round at No. 19 or in the second round if he slips — Minnesota holds the 40th, 48th, and 50th overall picks.

Denzel Valentine, Allen Crabbe Sign G League Contracts

A pair of veteran wings have signed NBA G League contracts, according to reports. Jay King of The Athletic (Twitter link) says Denzel Valentine is headed to the NBAGL, while Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link) says Allen Crabbe is doing the same.

Valentine will join the Maine Celtics, Boston’s G League affiliate, sources tell King. The 14th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Valentine has appeared in 256 total regular season games for the Bulls, Cavaliers, and Jazz.

The former Michigan State swingman had a promising 2017/18 season (10.2 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.2 APG, .386 3PT%) with the Bulls, but missed the entire ’18/19 campaign due to an ankle injury and has provided inconsistent production since then. After starting this season in Cleveland, Valentine was traded to the Knicks in the three-team Rajon Rondo deal and was subsequently waived. He spent 10 days with the Jazz on a hardship contract this month — that deal expired earlier this week.

Crabbe has been out of the NBA since the 2019/20 season, having been waived by Minnesota in February 2020. The 29-year-old has a solid résumé though, with 381 regular season appearances (24.0 MPG) for the Trail Blazers, Nets, Hawks, and Timberwolves. He averaged 9.1 PPG and 2.8 RPG with a .387 3PT% during his seven NBA seasons.

It’s unclear at this point which G League team Crabbe will join as he seeks an NBA comeback.

Jazz Sign Denzel Valentine To 10-Day Contract

JANUARY 10, 1:02pm: The Jazz have officially signed Valentine to a 10-day contract, according to NBA.com’s transactions log.

Utah pivoted away from Ennis because he was a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and the Jazz wanted to make sure their newly-added player could be cleared in advance of Monday’s game vs. Detroit, Charania tweets.


JANUARY 9, 7:12pm: Utah no longer plans to sign James Ennis to a 10-day contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Instead, the team will sign forward Denzel Valentine in his place, Wojnarowski tweets.

Valentine holds five years of NBA experience and most recently played in Cleveland. He has appeared in 254 games in his career, averaging 7.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. In his 22 games with the Cavaliers this season, he averaged 2.9 PPG in 9.3 MPG, shooting 37.1% from the floor.


JANUARY 9, 5:52pm: The Jazz plan to sign veteran forward James Ennis to a 10-day contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Ennis most recently played on 10-day contracts with the Nets and Clippers.

Utah lost forwards Rudy Gay and Elijah Hughes to the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Sunday, opening space to add Ennis to the rotation. The team is also missing Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles due to the protocols.

For his career, Ennis has averaged 6.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 20.4 minutes per game across 392 appearances, making stops with nine different NBA teams. In 41 games with the Magic last season, the 31-year-old averaged 8.4 PPG and 4.0 RPG, shooting 43.3% from three-point range.

Utah owns the third-best record in the Western Conference at 28-12. The team is also 17-3 at home and has upcoming games against Detroit on Monday and Cleveland on Wednesday.

Knicks Waive Denzel Valentine

4:56pm: The Knicks have officially waived Valentine, the team tweets.


4:20pm: The Knicks are placing Denzel Valentine on waivers, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Valentine was just acquired from Cleveland in a three-team deal but New York obviously had no plans to retain the five-year veteran guard.

The dead-money cap hit for waiving Valentine is $880,509. However, New York received $1.1MM from the Lakers in the trade, offsetting the move. Wayne Selden was also waived on Monday, so New York will now have an open spot on the 15-man roster.

Valentine appeared in 22 games off the bench for Cleveland, averaging 2.9 PPG in 9.3 MPG. Valentine, who played four seasons for Chicago, will now try to hook onto another team in free agency.

Cavs, Lakers, Knicks Officially Complete Rajon Rondo Trade

The Cavaliers, Lakers, and Knicks have officially completed the trade sending Rajon Rondo to Cleveland, the teams announced today in a series of press releases. The deal, which was first reported las Thursday and was expanded today to include New York, breaks down as follows:

  • Cavaliers acquire Rondo (from Lakers).
  • Knicks acquire Denzel Valentine (from Cavaliers), the draft rights to Wang Zhelin (from Lakers), the draft rights to Brad Newley (from Lakers), and $1.1MM in cash (from Lakers).
  • Lakers acquire the draft rights to Louis Labeyrie (from Knicks).

It’s a straightforward swap from Cleveland’s perspective — the Cavaliers simply acquired Rondo in exchange for Valentine. Both players are on minimum-salary contracts, but Rondo’s deal is guaranteed (Valentine’s isn’t) and he fills a greater need for a Cavs team that just lost veteran point guard Ricky Rubio for the season due to a torn ACL.

The Knicks waived Wayne Selden in order to make room on the 15-man room roster for Valentine. Both players are on non-guaranteed contracts, so if New York also cuts Valentine, the amount of money the team ended up paying to Selden and Valentine would work out to just over $800K, which is less than the $1.1MM in cash acquired from L.A.

The Knicks could also hang onto Valentine if they so choose, but that’s reportedly considered unlikely. Waiving him would open up the club’s 15th roster spot.

The Lakers, meanwhile, essentially decided to move on from Rondo and pay the Knicks a little money in order to reduce their end-of-season luxury tax bill and open up a roster spot. The exact amount of money Los Angeles saves will depend on how quickly that roster opening is filled, but the savings will exceed the $1.1MM the club sent to the Knicks. Stanley Johnson, who has played well on a 10-day contract, is a good candidate to become the team’s new 15th man.

The Lakers and Cavaliers will both create small traded player exceptions in the deal. L.A.’s will be worth about $1.67MM, while Cleveland’s will be worth approximately $858K.

This is the NBA’s first trade since October 6.

Knicks Waive Wayne Selden

The Knicks have placed veteran shooting guard Wayne Selden on waivers, league sources tell Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The team needed to open up a roster spot in order to complete its acquisition of Denzel Valentine and Selden was the most expendable player on the roster, since his minimum-salary contract isn’t fully guaranteed.

Selden, 27, has appeared in a total of 127 NBA games since making his debut in 2017, but only three of those appearances came this season. He had five points on 1-of-4 shooting in 19 total minutes for the Knicks in 2021/22.

Selden would’ve earned a $1,729,217 salary if he had remained under contract for the entire season. Because he’s being released now, he’ll instead make a prorated minimum of $785,104, which is also the amount that will apply to New York’s team salary. If Selden is claimed on waivers, he’d be back on track to earn his full salary and he’d be removed entirely from the Knicks’ cap, but that’s probably a long shot.

With a newly-opened roster spot, the Knicks are free to officially finalize their three-team trade with the Cavaliers and Lakers to acquire Valentine. Like Selden, Valentine doesn’t have a fully guaranteed salary, so the club will need to decide this week whether or not to keep him around beyond Friday’s salary guarantee deadline. New York is unlikely to hang onto Valentine for the season, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

Cavs’ Rondo Acquisition Now Three-Team Trade Involving Knicks

10:29am: Along with Valentine, the Knicks are acquiring $1.1MM in cash in the deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links), who says New York will give up the draft rights to Louis Labeyrie and will acquire the draft rights to two other players, though none of them are expected to ever play in the NBA.

While we still need some gaps filled in here, I suspect it’s the Lakers – not the Cavs – sending the cash to New York and acquiring Labeyrie’s rights.

New York will decide soon on whether to waive Valentine or have him remain on the roster, Woj adds. As noted below, the Knicks will have to cut a player – likely Selden – in order to complete the deal.


10:20am: The trade sending Rajon Rondo from the Lakers to the Cavaliers, which hasn’t yet been officially finalized, is being expanded to include a third team, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania, the Cavs will send Denzel Valentine to the Knicks rather than to the Lakers.

With Rondo going from Los Angeles to Cleveland and Valentine headed from Cleveland to New York, the Knicks will presumably need to send something to the Lakers to complete the deal.

The Lakers may also send a small extra asset to New York to incentivize the Knicks to take on Valentine, whom L.A. reportedly intended to waive. If the Lakers don’t have to acquire a player in the three-team swap, their tax savings will be greater than if they’d cut Valentine and been on the hook for his partially guaranteed cap hit.

Meanwhile, if the Knicks aren’t sending a player out in the deal, they’ll have to waive someone in order to acquire Valentine, whether or not they plan to keep him. Wayne Selden, whose salary isn’t fully guaranteed, is New York’s most likely candidate to be cut.

With a number of details still unclear, we’ll await more info for further clarity. But it sounds like the trade could be officially completed as soon as today.