Facundo Campazzo

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Campazzo, Hartenstein, McCollum

Following a 2-0 start, the Timberwolves have lost four straight games and are struggling to stay competitive without star center Karl-Anthony Towns available. As Chris Hine of The Star Tribune details, head coach Ryan Saunders attempted to jump-start the club on Sunday by shaking up his starting lineup, inserting Juan Hernangomez and Ed Davis in place of Ricky Rubio and Naz Reid.

According to Hine, the plan was to help Russell establish some pick-and-roll chemistry with Davis, his former teammate in Brooklyn, and to reduce Reid’s minutes against Nikola Jokic in the hopes of avoiding foul trouble.

Jarrett Culver, playing the three instead of the four in the new-look lineup, had his best game of the young season, and Davis led the team in rebounding, but the Timberwolves still lost by 15 points and Hernangomez’s early struggles continued. Still, Saunders said after the game that he saw some positive signs from the fifth-year power forward.

“I did think he had some good defensive possessions. I thought that helped us,” Saunders said of Hernangomez. “His size and length helped us a little bit even though we got beat on the glass, I thought he was able to get his hands on a few. He had some good looks, missed a couple that he’ll usually make around the basket. So for that reason, I see progress with Juancho as well.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Former Real Madrid star Facundo Campazzo had looked relatively invisible in his first five NBA games, but he showed on Sunday why the Nuggets brought him over from Spain this offseason, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. “I thought this was the best version of Facundo Campazzo that you could imagine,” head coach Michael Malone said of the 29-year-old point guard, who had 15 points and three steals in Denver’s win over Minnesota.
  • Before he signed with the Nuggets as a free agent in November, Isaiah Hartenstein drew interest from the Trail Blazers, Cavaliers, Pelicans, and Wizards, league sources tell Singer in a separate Denver Post story.
  • Typically a slow starter, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has been excellent so far in 2020/21, having averaged 28.0 PPG with a .431 3PT% in six games. Jason Quick of The Athletic takes a look at what has fueled the hot start for McCollum, who said he’s motivated by wanting to secure a postseason berth without having to take part in the play-in tournament again.

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Campazzo, Thunder, Hollis-Jefferson

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor cautiously expects his team to reach the playoffs this season, as relayed by Chris Hine of The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Minnesota sports a young core of Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, Malik Beasley and others, and enters the season with higher expectations than it had last year.

“I think I expect playoffs,” Taylor said. “We’re in a really tough division, but I think we really have a good team. By that I mean, what we have done is we aren’t relying on four or five players. I just think the way that we have put this team together that the first unit or second unit should go in and be very competitive with the groups that they need to compete against.”

Taylor understands how difficult it will be to achieve that goal, especially in the Western Conference, but he hopes the acquisitions of point guard Ricky Rubio and No. 1 draft pick Edwards help propel the team to success this season.

There’s more from the Northwest Division tonight:

  • Mike Singer of the Denver Post examines why Facundo Campazzo decided to leave Spain for the NBA, signing a deal to join the Nuggets in free agency last month. “Truth be told, Facu was not really a hidden gem,” said Rafal Juc, the team’s international scout. “He was arguably a top-five European player for half a decade or so. So basically, he’s been on our radar for a while.” Campazzo, an entertaining 5’11” guard, is known for giving maximum effort on both ends of the floor. He’s expected to provide depth off the bench for a team focused on making a deep playoff run this season.
  • The Thunder‘s 2020/21 starting lineup remains fluid right now, coach Mark Daigneault said, as relayed by Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link). Oklahoma City has a revamped roster this season, with players such as Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams and Dennis Schroder no longer with the franchise. Daigneault is also in his first season and is the second-youngest head coach in the league. He said the team’s starting group would likely include George Hill, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, Darius Bazley and Al Horford, but that nothing was set in stone.
  • By waiving Rondae Hollis-Jefferson on Saturday, the Timberwolves lost a much-needed defensive spark from their rotation, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. Hollis-Jefferson is known for being a versatile defender, though he’s limited offensively. As Krawczynski notes, Minnesota will enter the season with 14 players on standard contracts, leaving roster flexibility to aid in any potential trade. The team could upgrade its power forward position and acquire a proven veteran alongside Karl-Anthony Towns if it chooses, with P.J. Tucker among the targets to watch if he and the Rockets don’t agree to a contract extension.

Northwest Notes: Conley, Bogdanovic, Horford, Blazers, Morris

Jazz point guard Mike Conley cleared all COVID-19 protocols and practiced in full on Tuesday, Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. Utah has one unnamed player who has yet to be cleared. Conley had close contact with a family member who tested positive, which forced him to the sidelines. He had to produce seven consecutive negative tests before he could exit quarantine.

We have more from around the Northwest Division:

  • Jazz swingman Bojan Bogdanovic says he’ll be ready to play at the start of the season, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets. Bogdanovic, who underwent wrist surgery in May and missed the restart, has been practicing in full this week.
  • Al Horford and rookie Theo Maledon will join the Thunder once they complete coronavirus protocols, Brandon Rahbar of the Daily Thunder tweets. Horford and Maledon were officially acquired from the Sixers on Monday. “Theo, for a young player, he has a lot of experience and has a certain maturity about him,” new head coach Mark Daigneault said. “Al, we’re very fortunate that he’s here and to have a player of his caliber.”
  • Among the three members of the Trail Blazers organization to test positive for the virus was one player, coach Terry Stotts told Jason Quick of The Athletic (Twitter link). Zach Collins (ankle) and Jusuf Nurkic, who just arrived Sunday, also missed the first practice on Tuesday.
  • The Nuggets are confident backup point guard Monte Morris and EuroLeague import Facundo Campazzo will be able to play together in the second unit, Kendra Andrews of The Athletic writes. Rookie draft pick RJ Hampton will need more seasoning before he’s ready for big minutes, Andrews said. Denver and Morris, one of the team’s top reserves the past two seasons, agreed on a three-year, $27MM extension on Monday.

Nuggets Notes: Campazzo, Lineup, Green, Arena, Roster

Having officially signed a two-year contract with the Nuggets, longtime EuroLeague star Facundo Campazzo is excited about finally making it to the NBA, as he wrote for HoopsHype. Campazzo said that he also received interest from the Knicks and Timberwolves before signing with Denver.

“Aside from being super happy about becoming an NBA player, I’m also ecstatic about doing it so with the Nuggets,” he wrote. “There was mild interest from New York and Minnesota made a hard run at my services with my friend Pablo Prigioni recruiting me all the time, but it was impossible to say no to Denver.”

As Campazzo explained, the Nuggets’ ability to contend was a major factor in his decision. He also got feedback from fellow Argentines Manu Ginobili, Andres Nocioni, and Luis Scola about the Nuggets organization and the city of Denver, which helped win him over.

“It goes without saying that signing with the Nuggets is a dream come true, but it’s by no means mission accomplished for me,” Campazzo wrote. “I’m coming here to stay and have a relevant NBA career.”

Here’s more on the Nuggets:

  • Discussing his projected starting five today, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said that no one besides Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic are locked in yet, tweets Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Malone did single out Michael Porter Jr. though, telling reporters that the young forward has a chance to be an “All-League talent” (Twitter link via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN).
  • JaMychal Green said today that he’s not concerned about whether or not he starts, as long as he gets consistent minutes (Twitter link via Singer). The veteran forward also said he nearly signed with Denver a year ago as a free agent (Twitter link via Singer).
  • The Nuggets have formally announced that they won’t be hosting fans at Ball Arena in Denver to start the 2020/21 season due to coronavirus-related regulations and concerns.
  • The Nuggets plan on going through training camp with just 17 players under contract and won’t bring in camp invitees to fill out the final three spots, a source tell Singer (Twitter link). After signing RJ Hampton today, the Nuggets have 15 players officially locked up, with Paul Millsap and Zeke Nnaji still to be finalized.

Facundo Campazzo Signs Two-Year Deal With Nuggets

NOVEMBER 30: Campazzo has officially signed a multi-year deal, according to team press release.


NOVEMBER 21: The Nuggets will sign Campazzo using their bi-annual exception, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post, who reports that the deal will have an overall value of $6MM.


NOVEMBER 20: The Nuggets have reached a two-year agreement with Argentinian guard Facundo Campazzo, HoopsHype tweets.

The contract is fully guaranteed, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.

The Real Madrid point man has been one of Europe’s top guards for several seasons. Campazzo, 29, has played overseas since 2008 and has been with Real Madrid since 2014.

Several NBA teams were reportedly interested in him, including the Spurs, Timberwolves and Mavericks. He could emerge as the top backup behind Jamal Murray in Denver.

A two-time EuroLeague champion and three-time Spanish League champion, Campazzo has also been part of four Argentine League championships. He’s also won a EuroCup Defensive Player of the Year award.

In 28 EuroLeague games last season, Campazzo averaged 9.9 PPG and 7.1 APG. His 3-point percentage slipped to 31.0% but he’s typically a reliable outside shooter, knocking down 37.5% of his long-range shots the previous two EuroLeague seasons.

Nuggets Are Favorites To Land Facundo Campazzo

The Nuggets are “clear frontrunners” to add Argentinian point guard Facundo Campazzo, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Campazzo currently plays for Real Madrid, but has been indicating for months that he plans to come to the NBA. His current deal includes an NBA escape clause, according to Alessandro Maggi of Sportando.

Campazzo, 29, has played overseas since 2008 and has been with Real Madrid since 2014. He is also a member of Argentina’s national team and played in the Olympics in 2012 and 2016.

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.”