Eric Moreland

Thunder, Eric Moreland Agree To Training Camp Deal

The Thunder have agreed to a training camp deal with center Eric Moreland, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. The 27-year-old will seek to crack the regular season roster of a retooling franchise that will feature plenty of new faces.

Moreland split last season between the Suns and Raptors but never saw consistent playing time. Moreland only played double digit minutes twice in 2018/19, which is considerably less than the previous year when he battled for the primary backup spot to Pistons center Andre Drummond.

Moreland joins a Thunder squad with only 13 guaranteed contracts, meaning it’s possible that he could stay with the team through to the regular season. He’ll presumably be in competition with fellow recent Thunder signee Justin Patton for reps in the team’s frontcourt, with Patton’s multiyear deal and $700K partial guarantee likely giving him a leg up on Moreland.

Raptors Sign Eric Moreland

The Raptors have signed Eric Moreland, according to a team press release.

Toronto will play its final game of the regular season tonight, meaning today was the final day for the team to sign a player. The Raptors entered the day with 14 players under traditional contracts and two players under two-way deals, so the team will not need to make a corresponding move in order to accommodate Moreland’s signing.

Moreland inked a 10-day deal with Toronto earlier this season, playing three games with the club. The franchise opted to not offer him an additional 10-day contract when his deal expired.

Moreland will be eligible to play in the postseason, since he has not been released by an NBA team since March 1. However, he’s unlikely to see any real action in the playoffs unless one of Toronto’s two centers – Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka – goes down with an injury.

Atlantic Notes: Zion, Raptors, Loyd, Moreland, Sixers

The Knicks apparently won’t have to worry about Zion Williamson demanding a trade if they win the lottery. Williamson said on Friday that he would “love to play” for the Knicks if they drafted him, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets. The Duke freshman made the remark during a Final Four press conference while accepting the Oscar Robertson (Player of the Year) Award. He went on to say he’d be happy to go wherever he was drafted.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors made a number of cost-cutting moves during the course of the season that saved an approximate $18MM, as Blake Murphy of The Athletic details. Waiving Lorenzo Brown, dumping the salaries of Malachi Richardson and Greg Monroe, trading three players for Marc Gasol, getting Gasol to waive his trade kicker, and signing players to 10-day contracts to meet roster requirements all contributed to a healthier bottom line.
  • The Raptors still have an open roster spot heading toward the playoffs and will likely sign a player, Murphy writes in the same story. Guard Jordan Loyd’s two-way contract could be converted to a standard contract and center Eric Moreland, who recently played on a 10-day contract, is another candidate. Veteran center Marcin Gortat could also be in play.
  • The 76ers believe their powerhouse starting lineup will be the difference in the playoffs, even though they haven’t played much together, Michael Lee of The Athletic reports. They’ve gone 8-2 in games that Tobias Harris, J.J. Redick, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler have all been available to play. “Although that starting group hasn’t played that much basketball together, especially relative to the other teams, the excitement is to take the talent we have and quickly try to maximize that,” coach Brett Brown said.

Raptors Re-Sign Jodie Meeks

MARCH 26: The Raptors have officially signed Meeks, the team confirmed today in a press release.

MARCH 25: After letting Eric Moreland‘s 10-day contract expire over the weekend, the Raptors plan on filling one of their open roster spots by bringing back Jodie Meeks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Toronto will sign Meeks to a rest-of-season contract.

Meeks, 31, appeared in 77 games in 2017/18 for the Wizards but saw his season come to an early end when he was suspended 25 games for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy. Meeks was traded to Milwaukee in the offseason, where he served the rest of his suspension at the start of 2018/19 before being waived.

Since then, Meeks has signed just one NBA contract, inking a 10-day deal with Toronto after the All-Star break. Although he only got into a couple games with the Raptors, the veteran sharpshooter provided a spark off the bench, scoring 15 points and knocking down three 3-pointers in just 24 total minutes. The former Kentucky standout is a career 37.2% shooter from beyond the arc.

While Meeks is unlikely to play much of a role for Toronto in the postseason, he figures to see some action in the club’s final regular season games. Still, it’s not clear when the Raptors will officially sign Meeks, since they’re over the tax line and aren’t under pressure to add a 14th man right away.

When he does sign, Meeks will earn $12,295 per day for the rest of the regular season, with the contract counting against the Raps’ cap at a rate of $8,546 per day. The team will still have one more open roster spot once Meeks is back on board.

Raptors Sign Eric Moreland To 10-Day Contract

MARCH 14: The Raptors have officially signed Moreland to a 10-day deal, per the NBA’s transactions log. It will run through next Saturday, March 23.

MARCH 13: The Raptors will fill one of the open spots on their 15-man roster by signing big man Eric Moreland to a 10-day contract, reports Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link). I’d expect the move to become official on Thursday before Toronto’s game vs. the Lakers.

Moreland, 27, spent a few weeks with the Suns earlier in the season, but appeared in just one game for the club. He was also with the Raptors for training camp and the preseason back in the fall and suited up for Team USA during FIBA World Cup qualifiers. Previously, the former Oregon State standout played a total of 78 games for the Kings and Pistons from 2014-18.

It’s unlikely that Moreland will see much playing time in Toronto, but he’ll provide the team with some depth at center behind Marc Gasol while Serge Ibaka serves a three-game suspension. Chris Boucher figures to be first in line as Gasol’s backup during those three games, and Pascal Siakam could also see time at the five, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Moreland also plays a few minutes during his stint with the Raptors.

[RELATED: Serge Ibaka suspended three games by NBA]

Toronto was one of three teams required to sign a 14th man in the coming days, since the club had only been carrying 13 on its roster. The Raptors had until Saturday to make a move, but Ibaka’s suspension likely pushed them to add a player sooner than expected.

Moreland will earn $88,531 on his 10-day deal, which will count for a little less than that ($85,457) for cap and tax purposes.

And-Ones: A. Davis, Moreland, Weber, Stokes

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported last week that the Pelicans were told by the NBA that they’d be subject to fines of $100K per game if they sit a healthy Anthony Davis for the rest of the season, but league spokesperson Mike Bass suggested today that that’s not quite right, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links).

“The NBA did not tell New Orleans that it would be fined $100K per game if Anthony Davis were held out for the remainder of [the] season,” Bass said in a statement to Stein. “The Pelicans were advised that the team had not identified a proper basis for making that determination at this time and league rules governing competitive integrity therefore require that he be permitted to play.”

It seems clear that the Pelicans will face penalties if they elect to sit Davis and ensure that he’s healthy in advance of summer trade talks, and the league’s approach to the issue has been the subject of plenty of debate among NBA observers.

Several other teams, including the Rockets (Carmelo Anthony), Cavaliers (J.R. Smith), and Grizzlies (Chandler Parsons) have held out healthy players for much of the season, not even requiring those players to be with the team, and they haven’t faced any sort of discipline from the NBA, as Stein tweets. Of course, those players don’t have nearly the same on-court impact that Davis has — the Pelicans can’t make the case that they’re better off without AD, whereas perhaps those teams could have made that case with regard to their exiled players.

On the other hand, Davis and his representatives were fined by the league for making a public trade request, and it’s probably in the Pelicans’ best long-term interests to sit the All-NBA big man to protect their trade asset and to improve their spot in the draft lottery, writes Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated. You could make the case that the Pelicans should be allowed to run their team as they wish, given the unusual circumstances surrounding Davis and the franchise.

As we wait to see how the AD saga plays out, let’s round up some odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • While players who were released at the trade deadline are generating the most speculation at the moment, keep an eye on Eric Moreland, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. According to Scott, Moreland – who was waived by Phoenix last month – is on NBA teams’ radars.
  • It got lost amidst last week’s trade deadline madness, but journeyman guard Briante Weber has landed in the EuroLeague, inking a contract with Greece’s Olympiacos. Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops first reported that Weber was nearing an agreement with Olympiacos, while Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link) confirmed that a deal was in place.
  • Free agent big man Jarnell Stokes, who last played in the NBA in 2016/17 for Denver, has reached an agreement with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. We reported at the end of January that Stokes was drawing interest from Chinese clubs.
  • Longtime NBA guard Carlos Arroyo, who played in 569 total regular season games for seven teams, has joined the BIG3 draft pool for the 2019 season, the league announced today (via Twitter). The BIG3 has slowly been revealing the new additions to its player pool for ’19, as we noted last week.

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.