Eric Moreland

Suns Sign Quincy Acy To 10-Day Deal

JANUARY 7: The signing is official, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

JANUARY 5: With 10-day contracts now permissible, the Suns will sign veteran forward Quincy Acy to the first one of the season, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The 28-year-old played 70 games for the Nets last season, but hasn’t been in the league since Brooklyn renounced his rights to generate extra cap space over the summer. Acy spent a year and a half with the Nets after joining the team in January of 2017. He has also played for the Raptors, Kings, Knicks and Mavericks since coming into the league in 2012, but has never spent two full seasons with any team.

Phoenix waived forward/center Eric Moreland on Thursday, giving the team two roster openings. The Suns have until January 17 to get back to the league minimum of 14 players, but they’ve decided not to wait. Moreland cleared waivers today and became a free agent, according to Real GM.

Suns Release Eric Moreland

The Suns have waived veteran forward/center Eric Moreland, the team announced today in a press release. Assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers, Moreland will become an unrestricted free agent on Saturday.

Moreland, 27, signed with Phoenix last month and appeared in just one game for the team, playing five minutes in a blowout loss to Golden State on New Year’s Eve.

Moreland was leaned on as a rotation piece in Detroit last season, averaging 2.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 1.2 APG in 67 contests (12.0 MPG) for the Pistons. However, he was cut by in July before his salary for 2018/19 could become fully guaranteed, and spent training camp with the Raptors. He also participated in the latest round of World Cup qualifiers, helping Team USA clinch a berth in this year’s event.

Before releasing Moreland, Phoenix had been carrying 14 players on standard NBA contracts, which is the league-mandated minimum. Teams are allowed to dip down to 13 players for two weeks at a time, so the Suns will have until January 17 to replace Moreland on their roster.

Because Moreland’s contract was non-guaranteed, the Suns will only be on the hook for a prorated portion of his minimum salary. The big man earned approximately $239K during his time in Phoenix.

Suns Sign Eric Moreland

8:15pm: The Suns have officially announced their new deal with Moreland.

12:26pm: The Suns are in the process of finalizing a contract agreement with free agent big man Eric Moreland, reports Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Suns have been carrying just 13 players on their NBA roster after buying out Tyson Chandler and waiving Isaiah Canaan earlier this season. As I noted last week, the team has until this Wednesday (December 12) to get back to 14 players, the league-mandated minimum.

Assuming Moreland and the Suns finalize their agreement, he’ll be the second player to join the club in recent days — Phoenix signed Jawun Evans to a two-way contract on Friday.

Moreland, who will turn 27 later this month, was leaned on as a rotation piece in Detroit last season after only playing sparingly for the Kings in two seasons earlier in his NBA career. In 2017/18, the forward/center averaged 2.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 1.2 APG in 67 contests (12.0 MPG) for the Pistons, emerging as a solid frontcourt option after Jon Leuer went down with an injury.

Waived by the Pistons in July before his salary for 2018/19 could become fully guaranteed, Moreland caught on with the Raptors for training camp, but didn’t earn a spot on Toronto’s regular season roster. He participated in the latest round of World Cup qualifiers, helping Team USA clinch a berth in next year’s event, but has otherwise been a free agent this fall.

And-Ones: Team USA, Jefferson, Jennings, Bass

With another round of World Cup qualifiers scheduled to begin next week, USA Basketball has officially announced its latest 12-man roster for games against Argentina (November 29) and Uruguay (December 2). The roster is made up primarily of G League players, though NBA free agents Tyler Zeller, Jarnell Stokes, and Eric Moreland are also on the squad. Other former NBA players on the roster include Chasson Randle, DeAndre Liggins, and John Jenkins.

With one more qualifying window scheduled for February after next week’s set of games, Team USA is in prime position to secure a spot in the 2019 World Cup. Team USA currently has a 7-1 record in qualifying contests, which puts the club in a tie with Argentina for first place in Group E. Puerto Rico and Uruguay are tied for third at 5-3. The top three teams in the group will earn spots in the World Cup, and the fourth-place team will have a chance to qualify as well.

Let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • With some help from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, longtime NBA forward Richard Jefferson published a piece on ESPN.com this week, sharing some of his memories from his NBA career and discussing his move into broadcasting.
  • After becoming a free agent this week, veteran guard Brandon Jennings may take the G League route as he tries to work his way back into the NBA, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. However, Smith notes that nothing’s official yet.
  • Smith also checks in a pair of former NBA forward playing in China, reporting (via Twitter) that Brandon Bass is hoping to return to the NBA later in 2018/19, once the Chinese Basketball Association season ends. Jared Sullinger is also putting up huge numbers in China and is in good shape, according to Smith, who tweets that the former Celtic may be ready for another shot in the NBA.
  • Former Trail Blazers guard Tim Quarterman signed this week with Israeli team Ironi Naharyia, per his agency Prostep Sports (Twitter link). Quarterman was waived by the Rockets this past April.

G League Notes: Moreland, Select Contracts, Harrison, Draft

Several NBA teams secured returning rights for players who were in camp with them but failed to make the 15-man roster. Raptors 905 acquired center Eric Moreland from the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s affiliate, for forward Kyle Wiltjer, according to a G League release. The Raptors waived Moreland a week ago. Raptors 905 pulled off a similar deal with the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ affiliate, to acquire guard Kyle Collinsworth, who was waived at the same time as Moreland. Texas acquired the returning player rights to forwards C.J. Leslie and Kennedy Meeks, according to a G League release. The Delaware Blue Coats, the 76ers’ affiliate, gained the returning player rights of forward Cory Jefferson in a three-team swap with the Agua Caliente Clippers and the Legends, according to another G League post. The Sixers waived Jefferson on October 13th.

We have more from the G League:

  • The league is putting together a “working group” that will determine which players are eligible for select contracts, G League president Malcolm Turner said in a Q&A session posting on the league’s website. “That group will be charged with identifying appropriate, eligible, elite talent, not only in terms of on-court performance and potential, but also in terms overall readiness for the G League. In addition to identification, that working group will really help us monitor the rollout and execution of this professional path … that working group will be charged with developing its own framework and lens for eligible players.” Beginning next year, the G League will offer “select contracts” worth $125K to top prospects who are at least 18 years old but aren’t yet eligible for the NBA draft.
  • Numerous NBA and G league executives, coaches, agents and players feel the select contract concept is intriguing, but there is widespread skepticism how much appeal the program will have to top-level prospects and how it will be implemented. Sam Vecenie of The Athletic takes a deep dive into the topic in a lengthy analysis piece.
  • The Arizona Suns traded away the returning player rights of Shaquille Harrison to the Memphis Hustle in a deal involving four players and a draft pick, according to another G League release. Harrison was the odd man out in the Suns’ point guard competition, as he was waived early this week. It was still somewhat surprising they traded away his rights. The Grizzlies gave themselves a little extra depth at the G League level as protection against another Mike Conley injury.
  • NBA veterans such as Willie Reed, Hakim Warrick, DeJuan Blair, and Arnett Moultrie could be among the higher selections in the annual G League draft, which takes place on Saturday, Adam Johnson of 2Ways10Days.com reports. The Salt Lake City Stars own the top pick.

Raptors Waive Four, Convert Boucher To Two-Way Deal

The Raptors appear to have set their roster for the regular season, announcing today in a pair of press releases that they’ve waived four players from their roster and converted Chris Boucher‘s Exhibit 10 deal into a two-way contract. The club now has 16 players under contract, including a pair on two-way deals.

According to the club, forward Deng Adel, center Eric Moreland, and guards Kyle Collinsworth and Kay Felder were all released today. Boucher presumably beat out Moreland for Toronto’s second two-way contract slot, since the team wanted to keep an extra big man. Guard Jordan Loyd currently holds the other two-way deal for the Raptors.

Boucher, a Montreal native, spent last season with Golden State on a two-way contract. He appeared in just one game for the NBA squad, but posted 11.8 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 2.2 BPG in 20 games for Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League.

If they don’t make any other roster moves before Monday’s deadline, the Raptors will enter the season with an open spot on their 15-man roster. That comes as no surprise, since carrying a 15th player to start the year would increase Toronto’s projected tax bill and reduce the club’s flexibility.

Adel, Moreland, Collinsworth, and Felder will all clear waivers and become free agents on Sunday, assuming they go unclaimed.

Raptors Sign Eric Moreland To Exhibit 10 Deal

SEPTEMBER 21: The Raptors have officially signed Moreland, the team announced today in a press release.

SEPTEMBER 18: The Raptors, who have one spot still available on their 20-man offseason roster, are set to fill that opening with a former Piston. According to Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link), Toronto has agreed to terms with free agent big man Eric Moreland on a partially guaranteed one-year deal.

It’s an Exhibit 10 contract for Moreland, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. Exhibit 10 deals can be converted into two-way contracts, so Moreland could be a candidate for Toronto’s second two-way slot.

Moreland, 26, was leaned on as a rotation piece in Detroit last season after only playing sparingly for the Kings in two seasons earlier in his NBA career. In 2017/18, the forward/center averaged 2.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 1.2 APG in 67 contests (12.0 MPG) for the Pistons, emerging as a solid frontcourt option after Jon Leuer went down with an injury.

Toronto already has 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, and Lorenzo Brown – who has a sizable partial guarantee – is considered a strong bet to make the team as well. Moreland could vie for the 15th spot, but the in-the-tax Raptors may opt to start the season with just 14 players for financial reasons.

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Nader, Schroder, Millsap

The Timberwolves have hosted a handful of free agents for a workout this week, with Marcus Georges-Hunt, Rashad Vaughn, and John Jenkins among the latest players to earn a look from Minnesota, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link). Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 (Twitter link) also adds Eric Moreland to the list of players auditioned by the Wolves.

Nick Young, Arron Afflalo and Corey Brewer worked out for the Timberwolves too, but according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, a number of agents believe the Wolves simply plan to sign Luol Deng, making them reluctant to send their players for a workout with the team. Minnesota reportedly launched its pursuit of Deng this week.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Following his trade from the Celtics this summer, Thunder forward Abdel Nader is looking forward to his new opportunity with the team, relays Nick Gallo of OKCThunder.com. “It’s great,” Nader said. “I met a lot of the younger guys mostly, and even Russ, PG, Raymond (Felton). Everybody has been great. It’s a great group of guys. High character guys. I’m just really excited to be able to start playing with this team and build chemistry on the court as well as off the court.”
  • Dennis Schroder, who was also traded to the Thunder this summer, discussed his upcoming season, the difficulties he faced growing up in Germany and the advice he received from Dirk Nowitzki in a separate piece written by Nick Gallo. Schroder will provide depth off the bench behind All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook this season.
  • Nuggets forward Paul Millsap is set to start the season injury-free after wrist surgery forced him to miss 44 games last year, as detailed by Chris Dempsey of Nuggets.com. Millsap will be relied upon to anchor Denver’s defense and stretch the club’s offense.

Pistons Sign Zaza Pachulia

JULY 15, 12:37pm: The signing is official, the Pistons announced in an email.

JULY 8, 3:51pm: The Pistons have officially waived Moreland, according to a team press release.

12:09pm: Free agent center Zaza Pachulia has agreed to a one-year deal with the Pistons, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Pachulia will receive a veteran’s minimum salary of $2,393,887 with a $1,512,601 cap hit.

Pachulia will bring championship experience to Detroit as the backup for Andre Drummond. The 34-year-old won rings as a member of the Warriors in each of the past two seasons.

A rugged defender and rebounder, Pachulia appeared in 69 games with Golden State during 2017/18, averaging 5.4 PPG and 4.7 RPG. His role decreased in the playoffs as the Warriors opted for smaller, quicker lineups. Pachulia played in just seven postseason games, averaging 3.7 minutes.

The addition of Pachulia means Detroit no longer has a need for Eric Moreland, who will be waived, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Today was the deadline to make a decision on a $750K guarantee for Moreland’s $1,826,300 salary.

Pistons Notes: Beilein, Stefanski, Casey, Bullock

Interviewing for the Pistons’ head coaching vacancy was enough NBA experience for Michigan’s John Beilein, relays James Hawkins of The Detroit News. Beilein eventually pulled his name from consideration and agreed to a tentative extension with the Wolverines. He came away convinced that the college atmosphere is best for him.

“It was location, location, location,” Beilein explained in an interview on WBBL. “[Wife] Kathleen and I, we love it. … We wouldn’t really have to move. It was appealing to me and the interest was mutual to an extent, but they had some other great options and I had a great option. It didn’t work out, but I wanted to think it through. I don’t anticipate or plan on ever doing that again and I think people understand that. It’s not like I’ve been doing this every year.”

There’s more news out of Detroit:

  • Hiring Dwane Casey as head coach was the first step in what is shaping up to be an active summer, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Ed Stefanski, the new senior advisor to owner Tom Gores, is hoping to find a general manager in the next week or two. Stefanski could assume the lead role in the front office, either as president or GM, and hire someone younger he can mentor to eventually take over, Beard adds.
  • The team is expected to pick up its $2.5MM option on Reggie Bullock by the July 15 deadline, Beard notes in the same story. That will leave decisions on whether to fully guarantee a $1.8MM contract for Eric Moreland and a $1.6MM deal for Dwight Buycks.
  • The press conference to introduce Casey as head coach won’t take place until next week, Beard adds. The delay is believed to be a matter of coordinating schedules with Gores and some of the players. In the meantime, Casey is in Los Angeles to meet with several Pistons who conduct their offseason workouts there, such as Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson and Luke Kennard.
  • Forward James Ennis, who is headed for free agency, has decided to change agents, according to HoopsHype (Twitter link). He will be represented by Scott Nichols of Rize Management.