Facundo Campazzo

Wolves, Mavs, Spurs Among Likely Campazzo Suitors

While veteran point guard Facundo Campazzo remains with Real Madrid for the time being, the expectation is that he’ll sign an NBA contract after the 2020 free agent period begins, according to Jose Luis Martinez of Marca.com (Spanish link), who identifies Campazzo’s most likely landing spot as Minnesota.

As Martinez explains, the presence of fellow Argentine and former Real Madrid point guard Pablo Prigioni on the Timberwolves‘ coaching staff helps make Minnesota an appealing destination for Campazzo, as does the fact that the club has little point guard depth on its roster behind D’Angelo Russell.

However, the Wolves aren’t the only team with an eye on Campazzo. The Mavericks and Spurs are also potential suitors, according to Martinez, who notes that San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich is a fan of the 29-year-old. The two Southwest rivals have previously been cited as having interest in Campazzo.

A two-time EuroLeague champion and three-time Spanish League champ, Campazzo has a decorated international résumé that also includes four Argentine League championships, a EuroCup Defensive Player of the Year award, and a silver medal in the 2019 World Cup.

In 28 EuroLeague games in 2019/20, Campazzo averaged 9.9 PPG and 7.1 APG (second behind Nick Calathes‘ 9.1). His three-point percentage slipped to 31.0% but he’s typically a reliable outside shooter, knocking down 37.5% of his tries from beyond the arc over the previous two EuroLeague seasons.

While Campazzo is still under contract with Real Madrid, his deal includes an NBA out and he sounds prepared to pay the money necessary to exercise that out.

And-Ones: Sotto, Lue, Campazzo, Bubble

Kai Sotto, a 7’2″ center from the Philippines, is one of the prospects who will be part of the new G League Ignite select team, forgoing college for the NBAGL’s new professional path. Sotto spoke to Ajayi Browne of NetsDaily about his decision and the adjustments he’ll have to make after growing up in the Philippines.

“My challenge here in the States is how they play,” Sotto told Browne. “Being an international player from Asia they don’t really give you the respect right away, you have to earn it. They really have great players here. Every time I play I just have to earn everybody’s respect and play my hardest.

“For an 18-year-old player coming straight out of high school and playing in the G league is a really big thing for me, for a player like me. I know I’m gonna be playing against great players, stronger players, and faster players so I’m just trying to get ready to be better. That’s gonna be the best way for me to improve to play against players like them, to be around an amazing coaching staff and amazing teammates. I just can’t wait.”

Like the 2020/21 NBA season, next year’s G League season remains up in the air. But whenever it happens, Sotto will be part of an Ignite squad that also features guards Jalen Green and Daishen Nix, as well as forwards Jonathan Kuminga and Isaiah Todd.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • While he has appreciated having Tyronn Lue on his staff this season, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers is rooting for Lue to get a head coaching job, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post details. “It’s a joke that he’s not a head coach, but it’s to my advantage that he’s not,” Rivers said, adding that he has no problem with Lue taking interviews during the playoffs. “… He’s been absolutely (great). He’s just a wonderful guy to be around. His IQ, his feel, he’s made this year really enjoyable for me.”
  • Argentinian point guard Facundo Campazzo is still hoping to make the leap to the NBA for the 2020/21 season, but with next season’s schedule up in the air, he’s sticking with Real Madrid for the time being, per Ricardo Gonzalez of AS.com (Spanish link; hat tip to Sportando). The plan is for the salary he earns in the interim with the EuroLeague club to be put toward his NBA buyout, Gonzalez explains.
  • As of this Saturday (September 5), the eight teams still playing in the Walt Disney World bubble will have the opportunity to add one staff member and swap one out for another, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

New York Notes: Nets, Campazzo, Knicks’ Draft Options

Prior to Wednesday’s player boycott, Nets owners Clara Wu Tsai and Joe Tsai announced on Tuesday that they’re pledging $50MM to support social justice causes and economic mobility initiatives over the next 10 years. These initiatives are a part of a five-point plan, which will focus on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities in Brooklyn.

The Nets owners will also be working with the New York Liberty (WNBA) and Barclays Center to accomplish this plan of action.

“Joe and I are proud to present our statement of core principles and action plan as a continuation of our efforts to address racial injustice and economic inequality in our society,” said Clara Wu Tsai. “We plan to focus first on our organizations and our community in Brooklyn. We believe Barclays Center, the Nets, and the Liberty can be symbols of how we move forward together as a country. It is our hope to lead by example through supporting our athletes, employees, and our community in anti-racist and anti-discrimination work and providing the resources needed to accelerate change.”

Here’s more from the Big Apple:

  • In his latest mailbag, Marc Berman of The New York Post reports that the Knicks have scouted 29-year-old Argentinian point guard Facundo Campazzo and like his game. Berman notes that the former Real Madrid guard is ready to test the NBA’s waters this fall as a free agent. The Timberwolves, who have former Knick Pablo Prigioni on their coaching staff, are also among the teams interested in Campazzo.
  • Last week, the Knicks secured the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, which is tentatively scheduled for October 16. One prospect who has support within the organization at No. 8 is Auburn’s Isaac Okoro, per Marc Berman of The New York Post. This season, the 6’6″ small forward averaged 12.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 2.0 APG while shooting 51.4% from the field.
  • If the Knicks don’t take Okoro with the eighth overall selection in October’s draft, they could opt for Florida State’s Devin Vassell, who has some fans at Madison Square Garden, per Ian Begley of SNY. The 6’7″ guard left Tallahassee, Fla. after his sophomore season, where he posted 12.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game. He also shot 49% from the field and 41.5% from three-point range on 3.5 attempts per game.

Facundo Campazzo Increasingly Likely To Seek NBA Deal

The possibility that Argentine guard Facundo Campazzo will make the move to the NBA this offseason has “never looked more likely,” league sources tell Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Campazzo remains under contract with Real Madrid, but the Spanish club has known for a few months that the 29-year-old intends to seek an NBA deal, Stein reports. According to Stein (Twitter link), Campazzo’s deal with Real Madrid includes a substantial buyout, but an NBA team can pay up to $725K of that buyout, and the veteran point guard plans to forego $1.2 million Euros between now and October to help facilitate the move.

A two-time EuroLeague champion and three-time Spanish League champ, Campazzo has a decorated international résumé that also includes four Argentine League championships, a EuroCup Defensive Player of the Year award, and a silver medal in the 2019 World Cup.

In 28 EuroLeague games in 2019/20, Campazzo averaged 9.9 PPG and 7.1 APG (second behind Nick Calathes‘ 9.1). His three-point percentage slipped to 31.0% but he’s typically a reliable outside shooter, knocking down 37.5% of his tries from beyond the arc over the previous two EuroLeague seasons.

An April report indicated that the Spurs and Mavericks are among the NBA teams that have interest in Campazzo, though his agent later suggested that they’re hardly the only ones.

“In the past two years, during the season, NBA scouts have spoken to me a thousand times,” agent Claduio Villanueva said at the time. “… If the NBA does not keep an eye on one of the best, it would be crazy. But there is nothing concrete, there is nothing spoken.”

And-Ones: Campazzo, Holland, Doyle, Combine

Argentinian guard Facundo Campazzo could explore NBA options this year, according to former NBA and EuroLeague player Andres Nocioni (hat tip to Sportando’s Dario Skerletic). Though the point guard is under contract with Real Madrid until 2024, Nocioni believes it could be time for the 29-year-old Campazzo to play in the U.S.

I think that Real Madrid will have to listen to offers from NBA teams this summer … He is not going to push it, but circumstances are going to make him consider the possibility,” Nocioni said.

Campazzo was averaging 9.9 PPG, 7.1 APG and 1.4 SPG before play was suspended.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA player John Holland has re-signed with Hapoel Jerusalem in Israel’s Basketball Premier League, according to Sportando’s Alessandro Maggi. Holland, who averaged 13 PPG this season, played 24 games for the Cavaliers during the 2018/19 season.
  • Milton Doyle has agreed to a deal with Hapoel Eilat for the resumption of the Israeli Winner League season, according to Sportando’s Nicola Lupo. Doyle played 10 games with the Nets on a two-way deal during the 2017/18 season. The 26-year-old guard played for the G League’s Windy City Bulls this season.
  • The NBA is moving forward with plans for the postponed draft combine, Tim Bontemps of ESPN reports. The league has circulated a memo, asking teams to vote for up to 70 players to invite to the combine. Numerous executives believe a virtual combine – where coaches, scouts and executives would watch players work out from afar – would be the most likely way the event could be held this year, Bontemps adds.

International Notes: Micic, Campazzo, EuroLeague, Italy

Vasilije Micic, whose draft rights are owned by the Sixers, believes he can become an impact player in the NBA, relays Dario Skerletic of Sportando. In an interview with 15min.lt., the Serbian point guard, who currently plays for Anadolu Efes in Turkey, said he improved this season, even though it has been placed on hold because of coronavirus concerns.

“This year I feel I climbed one or two steps higher, because this season was even more successful for me,” Micic said. “My team played even better and I was an important part of that. I don’t want to just play in the NBA. I don’t want to be proud of just an NBA record. I want to be part of an NBA team, get the chance to play. Playing in the NBA alone won’t make me happy if I can’t be significant there.

“I like to play a lot. I like to control the game. This is my style of play. I could play fewer minutes, play a smaller role, but I think that during my career in Europe I have already gained the status of a player, which shows that I could play a role longer than 20 minutes, which might be waiting for me in the NBA.”

Philadelphia selected the 26-year-old with the 52nd pick in the 2014 draft. Several NBA teams have been monitoring his situation in the event of a possible trade.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • Recent reports indicated the Spurs and Mavericks have interest in Real Madrid guard Facundo Campazzo, but his agent, Claudio Villanueva, says they aren’t the only ones, Skerletic writes in a separate piece. “In the past two years, during the season, NBA scouts have spoken to me a thousand times,” Villanueva said. “… If the NBA does not keep an eye on one of the best, it would be crazy. But there is nothing concrete, there is nothing spoken.”
  • There’s “constrained optimism” that the EuroLeague will have an announcement on the resumption of its season before the end of the month, according to Aris Barkas of Eurohoops.net. Leagues in Germany and Israel both announced plans this week to return to action.
  • The encouraging news also extends to Italy, which was once the hardest-hit spot for COVID-19, adds Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Individual workouts resumed today for AX Armani Exchange Milano, although there are no plans in place to resume formal team activities.

Southwest Notes: Gordon, Spurs, Mavs, Campazzo, Pelicans

Rockets guard Eric Gordon signed a four-year, $75MM+ extension with the team last August, ensuring that he’ll be on a guaranteed deal through at least 2022/23. However, playing in the final year of his old contract, Gordon has undergone the worst season of his 12-year career, averaging 14.5 PPG with a career-worst .370 FG%. He has also made just 31.9% of his three-point attempts after knocking down 36.4% in his first three years as a Rocket.

As he tells Kelly Iko of The Athletic, Gordon believes his struggles can be attributed in large part to the right knee injury that required surgery in the fall. In addition to sidelining him for 30 of the Rockets’ 64 games, that injury nagged at Gordon before he decided to go under the knife and after he returned. However, he’s confident that it will no longer be an issue if the NBA is able to resume its season, given all the time he has had to rest it.

“I’m good now,” the Rockets’ guard said. “There’s really nothing for me to worry about at this point. Whenever we get this thing back going, I don’t have to worry about rehab or anything. So once we get this thing back started, that’d be stuff that I don’t have to worry about at all.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Spurs ownership is selling a minority stake in the team, sources tell Scott Sosnick of Sportico. It’s not known whether the Holt family – the Spurs’ controlling owner – or another investor is selling the stake, or how large it will be. Forbes valued the franchise at $1.8 billion in February.
  • The Spurs and Mavericks are among the NBA teams with interest in Real Madrid guard Facundo Campazzo, according to a report from Croatian outlet Crosarka (hat tip to Jeff Garcia of Spurs Zone). Campazzo, who is averaging 9.9 PPG and 7.1 APG in 28 EuroLeague games this season, spoke back in 2016 about wanting to play in the NBA, but said about a year ago that he’s no longer “obsessed” with that idea.
  • Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said today that the team won’t reopen its practice facility before May 15, per ESPN’s Andrew Lopez (Twitter link). Louisiana formally extended its stay-at-home order through at least May 15 today.

Southwest Notes: Nene, Rockets, Mavs, Pelicans

While much of the praise this year for Daryl Morey‘s work in the 2016 offseason has focused on the Rockets‘ additions of Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, the team’s decision to sign Nene to a modest one-year contract has also paid off in a huge way.

In a piece for The Undefeated, Marc J. Spears takes a closer look at the impact the veteran center has had in Houston, and shares an interesting tidbit: Nene actually contemplated retirement before deciding to sign with the Rockets last summer. Having battled injuries for much of his career, Nene has managed to stay healthy this season, and Houston’s success has him “loving basketball again,” according to Spears.

Here’s more from around the Southwest division:

  • The Rockets and a handful of other NBA teams are “gathering intel” on Argentinean point guard Facundo Campazzo, according to international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link). Campazzo, whose contract with Real Madrid is ending, doesn’t have an interest in extending that deal, per Pick, and the 26-year-old has been talking since last year about making the leap to the NBA.
  • In a chat with readers for the Dallas Morning News, Mavericks beat writer Eddie Sefko wonders if the team’s newfound youth movement will extend into the offseason, or if the team will use its lottery pick as a chip to acquire a more established NBA player. Sefko also suggests that it wouldn’t be crazy if Dallas kicked the tires on Carmelo Anthony, though that sounds like speculation.
  • Sefko doesn’t expect the Mavericks to face a serious challenge in their effort to lock up Nerlens Noel to a long-term deal. Unless one side “wants to play hardball with the numbers,” a deal should get done relatively quickly once free agency opens, in Sefko’s opinion.
  • Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post and Bobby Marks of The Vertical each examine the upcoming offseason for the Pelicans, which both scribes pointing to Jrue Holiday‘s looming free agency as perhaps the most important storyline of the summer for New Orleans.

And-Ones: Players Association, Campazzo, Fredette, Neal

Several NBA players and coaches (including Steve Kerr, Stan Van Gundy, Kyle Lowry, and Luol Denghave launched criticisms of President Trump’s executive order banning entry to the U.S. of all refugees. Most recently, the NBA Players Association lent their voice to the conversation, releasing the following statement to members of the press:

“Anything that might compromise our players’ freedom as members of the global basketball community is a cause of concern for the NBPA,” relayed USA Today reporter Jeff Zillgitt. “With that in mind, we have been working diligently to gather all available information regarding the recent executive order on immigration and its potential affects on our players. We’ve also been in regular contact with the players who could be impacted, and we will continue to monitor the situation very closely.”

More from around the league:

  • Facu Campazzo, a 25-year-old star of Liga ACB, plans on transitioning to the NBA, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. A skilled point guard, Campazzo had a strong 2016 Olympics alongside Manu Ginobili, Wojnarowski notes. Campazzo initially voiced his interest in making the leap to the NBA in September of last year.
  • Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette is thriving for the Shanghai Sharks, regularly tallying 40+ point performances in the CBA. According to Les Carpenter of The Vertical, Fredette had never been to China prior to signing with the Sharks in August of last year. “Obviously, I’m from the USA and the NBA is the greatest league in the world, and if I have the opportunity to play in the NBA that’s where I would love to play,” Fredette said. “But China is a great opportunity. The fans have been great to me, more than I can imagine, especially in such a short amount of time. It’s a good league over there, and there are some changes coming, good changes for the league, and I think there’s an amazing opportunity to make a great living, to make a lot of money.”
  • Gary Neal, whose 10-day contract with Atlanta expired on Friday, has been acquired by Sacramento’s D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back. The Texas Legends acquired Reno’s 2017 4th round draft pick in exchange for the 32-year-old veteran. Neal, who averaged 20.2 MPG in 40 games with the Wizards last season, has appeared in just two NBA games in 2016/17.

Facundo Campazzo Hopes To Play In NBA

Facundo Campazzo, who turned some heads with his play at last month’s Olympics in Brazil, is interested in making the jump to the NBA at some point, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. The Argentinian guard first told Washburn in August that joining an NBA team would be a “dream.”

“I would love to,” Campazzo said. “I would like to, but I know that it is not easy, not easy to [get there and play] in the best way possible. It is a dream for me.”

Campazzo was one of the highest-scoring players for any country in Rio, averaging 15.8 PPG over the course of six contests. His 33-point outburst against Brazil represented the second-highest single-game point total for any player during the Olympics — only teammate Andres Nocioni, who scored 37 in the same game, was better.

A 5’11” point guard, Campazzo is under contract with Real Madrid for one more year, per Washburn. Last season, the 25-year-old was on loan to CB Murcia and was the team’s leading scorer and distributor in Spanish League play, averaging 12.6 PPG to go along with 5.3 APG. Campazzo went undrafted in 2013, so his NBA rights aren’t currently held by any team.