Facundo Campazzo

Free Agent Rumors: Brunson, Tucker, LaVine, Sexton, Campazzo

Marc Stein isn’t certain whether the Mavericks or the Knicks will end up signing Jalen Brunson this offseason, but he hints in his latest Substack article that it would be a surprise if the point guard ends up anywhere else.

After being identified earlier this year as possible suitors for Brunson, the Pistons and Pacers are no longer being mentioned as potential destinations, Stein writes. Both teams used lottery picks to draft guards last Thursday, with Detroit selecting Jaden Ivey and Indiana nabbing Bennedict Mathurin.

Elsewhere on the free agency front, Stein provides an update on P.J. Tucker after reporting last week that the Sixers are considered the biggest threat to sign the forward away from the Heat. According to Stein, numerous rival teams are saying “with even more conviction now than they did last week” that they believe Tucker will end up in Philadelphia on a three-year, $30MM deal.

After adding De’Anthony Melton, the Sixers project to be a taxpayer and would likely have to shed a little salary in order to give Tucker $30MM over three years. Using the full mid-level exception or acquiring him via sign-and-trade are the only ways Philadelphia could realistically offer a $10MM annual salary — either approach would hard-cap team salary at the tax apron.

Here are more free agency rumors from across the NBA:

  • K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes that all signs still point toward the Bulls being prepared to offer Zach LaVine a five-year, maximum-salary contract when free agency opens this week, with LaVine likely to accept.
  • The Wizards have some interest in Collin Sexton but are probably in the market for a more traditional point guard in free agency, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reports in a subscriber-exclusive story. Fedor believes the Cavaliers remain in the driver’s seat to re-sign Sexton, especially given that some of his potential suitors – including Detroit – drafted guards last Thursday.
  • After indicating an openness to returning overseas, Nuggets free agent guard Facundo Campazzo clarified that his goal is to remain in the NBA. He tweeted out a statement in Spanish that translates to English as follows: My priority one, two, and three is to continue in the NBA. For now, I don’t have in mind to return to Europe. It is obvious that at some point it will happen, but not now. I have it very clear: I want to try again, in whatever franchise it is, but to try again.
  • In an Insider-only story for ESPN.com, Bobby Marks takes an in-depth look at which teams project to have cap room, which will be taxpayers, and which fall somewhere in between.

Nuggets Notes: Braun, Free Agency, Booth, Campazzo

The Nuggets opted to draft champion Kansas shooting guard Christian Braun with the No. 21 selection due to his cumulative abilities, writes Mike Singer of the Denver Post.

“I comment to myself, ‘Man, that was a nice play, but what is he?’” Denver general manager Calvin Booth said of assessing Braun’s fit at the next level. The 6’7″ swingman, who played both forward spots with the Jayhawks, projects as a helpful contributor on both sides of the ball.

In an interesting wrinkle, Singer notes that Booth was concerned Braun might be selected by former Denver front office executives Arturas Karnisovas, selecting for the Bulls at No. 18, or Tim Connelly, who was slated to pick at No. 19 for the Timberwolves before trading down.

“CB playing with (Nikola) Jokic, what a good cutter CB is,” Braun’s college head coach Bill Self said. “You stop and think about, I don’t know if CB could play with a better big man than that dude because he’s such a good cutter and mover without the ball, and (Jokic is) such a great passer.”

During his final collegiate season, Braun was a key member of the team’s 2022 title-winning squad, being named to the NCAA All-Region Team and the All-Big 12 Second Team. Across 40 games, including 39 starts, he averaged 14.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.0 SPG and 0.8 BPG in 34.4 MPG. He posted solid shooting marks of .495/.386/.733.

There’s more out of Denver:

  • Booth indicated following the 2022 draft that while Denver is excited about its three draft picks (Braun, Peyton Watson and Ismael Kamagate), the team has more work to do this offseason. The Nuggets intend to sign quality defenders in free agency to bolster the roster on that end of the floor, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link).
  • When it comes to making additions to the club in free agency this week, Booth has been given the green light by Nuggets ownership to use the club’s taxpayer mid-level exception, per Mike Singer of the Denver Post (Twitter link). That exception currently projects to be worth $6.4MM this summer.
  • Nuggets second-year reserve point guard Facundo Campazzo has indicated that he is open to moving on from the NBA as he enters free agency this summer, according to an interview with Pablo Brunetto of TN Sports (h/t to Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops). That said, the 5’10” vet seems likely to take stock of his stateside options first. Personally, it would be naive to be obsessed with staying in the NBA,” Campazzo said. “Maybe I don’t get any offers. (Former team) Real Madrid has always been like a second home for me, but I must wait. That is my only choice right now.” During the 2021/22 season, the 31-year-old averaged 5.1 PPG on 36.1% field goal shooting, plus 3.4 APG, 1.8 RPG and 1.0 SPG in 65 contests.

Nuggets’ Facundo Campazzo Suspended For Game 1

Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo will be ineligible to suit up for Game 1 of the team’s series against Golden State this Saturday, having been suspended for one game by the NBA, the league announced today in a press release (Twitter link).

Campazzo was hit with a one-game suspension for “forcefully shoving” Lakers guard Wayne Ellington in Sunday’s regular season finale, according to the NBA. Ellington received a $20K fine for escalating the incident by making a “threatening comment” on Twitter after the game.

A video of the incident can be viewed right here.

Campazzo is the second Nugget to receive a one-game suspension this season for shoving a player who had his back turned. Fortunately, Ellington wasn’t injured like Heat forward Markieff Morris was when he was hit from behind by Nikola Jokic in November.

Campazzo was a significant part of Denver’s rotation earlier in the season, but hasn’t played regular minutes in recent weeks, so his absence shouldn’t have a huge impact on the Nuggets, who will be relying more on guards like Monte Morris and Bones Hyland.

The one-game ban will cost Campazzo $20,517, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Fischer’s Latest: Nuggets, Fox, Poeltl, Brunson, Buyouts

Nuggets forward JaMychal Green and guard Facundo Campazzo are considered available in trade talks, reports Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Mike Singer of The Denver Post also recently identified Green and Campazzo as two players the Nuggets would probably be willing to move as they seek a defensive-oriented small forward.

The Nuggets’ ability to trade Green could be complicated by his ability to veto any trade that involves him. A source tells Singer that the veteran forward wouldn’t accept a move to a non-contending team.

Here are a few more trade rumors, courtesy of Fischer:

  • The Knicks and Pelicans have held exploratory conversations for Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, says Fischer, whose report was published before New Orleans reached an agreement to acquire CJ McCollum — it’s probably safe to assume the Pels are no longer a candidate to pursue Fox.
  • The Hornets are among the teams interested in Spurs center Jakob Poeltl, per Fischer. Toronto and Chicago have previously been reported as potential suitors for Poeltl.
  • The Pistons remain very interested in Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson, but may have to wait until free agency if they want to make a play for him, according to Fischer, who says Dallas is still committed to retaining Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith through the deadline.
  • Nets big man Paul Millsap, Kings center Tristan Thompson, Rockets guard D.J. Augustin, and guard Tomas Satoransky (who is reportedly being traded to the Trail Blazers) are considered potential buyout candidates, writes Fischer.

Nuggets Notes: Cousins, Jokic, Campazzo, Barton

It has been six days since word broke that the Nuggets intended to sign DeMarcus Cousins to a 10-day contract. Denver has yet to officially move forward with that deal, but according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link), the club still has “significant interest” in adding the veteran center. Head coach Michael Malone discussed the possibility during a radio appearance today without making a commitment one way or the other.

“If (Cousins) becomes a member of this Nugget team at some point, obviously you’d be adding a terrific player,” Malone said (Twitter link via Harrison Wind of DVNR Sports). “I think his short stint in Milwaukee is proof of that. He went to the defending world champions and played lights out.”

For the moment, the Nuggets may not have a clear path to adding Cousins. They don’t have any players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, so they’re ineligible to sign a player to a 10-day contract using a COVID-related hardship exception. They also don’t have an opening on their 15-man roster.

Denver does qualify for an injury-related hardship exception, since Jamal Murray, Michael Porter, PJ Dozier, and Vlatko Cancar are all sidelined with long-term injuries. But James Ennis is already under contract on a 10-day hardship deal, so the Nuggets likely aren’t eligible to add another player until Ennis’ pact expires next Wednesday night.

As we keep an eye on the Nuggets’ roster situation and monitor their plans for Cousins, here are a few more notes out of Denver:

  • Michael Malone believes Nikola Jokic doesn’t get the credit deserves for his ongoing MVP-caliber play, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN details. “I think he is one of the more disrespected reigning MVPs that I can think of in terms of the attention,” Malone said this week, adding that Jokic’s lack of highlight-reel plays may undersell his impact. “… I mean, Nikola Jokic is not sexy. He’s just not. There is nothing about Nikola … his wife might disagree. But if you are a true student of the game, a coach, someone that loves the game being played the right way, then you appreciate him at the level that he should be appreciated at.”
  • Addressing what he called “nonsensical rumors,” Octagon Basketball Europe CEO David Carro Funes, who represents Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo, said (via Twitter) that his client fully intends to remain in the NBA going forward. Campazzo, who played in Argentina from 2008-14 and Spain from 2014-20, will be a free agent at season’s end. He spoke last month about his commitment to continue playing in the NBA beyond his current contract.
  • Will Barton sustained a scary-looking injury on Thursday when he lost his footing on a drive and banged his head against Jusuf Nurkic‘s knee. Barton remained on the floor for several minutes, but eventually walked to the locker room under his own power and later returned to the bench. He should be OK going forward, writes Kyle Fredrickson of The Denver Post.

Northwest Notes: Campazzo, Hyland, Bol, Dozier, Dort, Gobert

Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo, who played professionally in Argentina and Spain from 2008-20 before arriving in the NBA, will be a free agent at the end of the 2021/22 season. However, Campazzo said this week that he has no intention of returning to Europe or to his home country to continue his career next year — his goal is to remain in the NBA beyond his current deal, despite playing a lesser role than he did internationally.

“My mind is 100 percent set on this, in the NBA,” Campazzo said, per David Fernandez Novo of AS.com (hat tip to RealGM). “This league demands the most out of you both physically and mentally.”

Campazzo, 30, has averaged 21.1 minutes per contest in 88 games for Denver since the start of the 2020/21 campaign and has moved up on the depth chart since Jamal Murray tore his ACL in the spring. So far this season, he’s averaging 5.7 PPG and 2.6 APG on .409/.362/.810 shooting in 23 games (19.0 MPG).

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • The Nuggets had Bones Hyland and Bol Bol available on Wednesday after the two players cleared their quarantine and exited the health and safety protocols, as Mike Singer of The Denver Post tweets.
  • Nuggets swingman PJ Dozier underwent surgery to repair his torn left ACL this week, the team confirmed (via Twitter). Dozier, who has been ruled out indefinitely, is expected to miss the rest of the season.
  • Thunder wing Luguentz Dort met the starter criteria when he made his 23rd start of the season on Wednesday night, based on the NBA’s adjusted rules for 2021/22. Dort has a $1,930,681 team option for ’22/23, but if Oklahoma City picks up that option, he’d be eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2023. Turning down the option would allow the team to re-sign Dort as a restricted free agent in 2022. In that scenario, his qualifying offer would be worth about $4.87MM.
  • Despite losing to the Jazz by 32 points on Wednesday, Timberwolves guards Patrick Beverley and Anthony Edwards didn’t exactly heap praise on their opponents after the game. As Sarah Todd of The Deseret News relays, Beverley suggested that three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert isn’t guarding the best players on the court, while Edwards said that Kristaps Porzingis is a better rim protector than Gobert. “I don’t get why we couldn’t finish on Rudy Gobert,” Edwards said. “He don’t put no fear in my heart.” The Wolves and Jazz will face each other three more times this season, including twice more in December, Todd notes.

And-Ones: Buyouts, Hearn, Beauchamp, Morrison

In a piece for BasketNews.com, Donatas Urbonas explores how Real Madrid is able to secure such lucrative buyout deals for its players, such as Facundo Campazzo, Gabriel Deck, and Usman Garuba, among others.

The Spanish powerhouse made over 10 million Euros in buyouts in the last nine months alone, more than the total budget of Euroleague teams such as Zalgiris, according to Urbonas, who explains that because of its pedigree as a championship team, Real Madrid is able to attract top talent, but also institute their own conditions. There’s also the appeal of living in Madrid and the top-flight amenities the club is able to offer.

Finally, Urbonas writes that the team invests tens of millions in its youth development program, which is renowned for getting the attention of NBA teams, making the exorbitant buyouts a tradeoff of that exposure and unrivaled development system.

We have more from around the world of hoops:

  • Former Piston Reggie Hearn has signed with German team Fraport Skyline, reports Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw (via Twitter). Hearn spent last season with the G League Ignite, averaging 3.9 PPG in just 13 MPG.
  • MarJon Beauchamp, a top-5o recruit in the class of 2020, has signed with the G League Ignite, reports ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. After COVID-19 disrupted his ability to train in San Francisco, Beauchamp enrolled in Yakima Valley junior college, where he averaged 30.7 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 4.8 APG per game while shooting 40% from three. Beauchamp joins a loaded Ignite team that may get even better, with top 2023 recruit Emoni Bates set to make his recruitment decision tomorrow.
  • Former Celtics assistant Scott Morrison has signed on to be the head coach of the NBL’s Perth Wildcats, per an NBL announcement. The deal will span three years. Morrison, who had spent the previous three seasons with the Celtics, reportedly interviewed for Washington’s head coaching job this offseason.

Ball, Edwards, Haliburton Head All-Rookie Team

LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Jae’Sean Tate and Saddiq Bey comprised this year’s All-Rookie First Team, the NBA announced on Thursday in a press release.

Ball, who was named Rookie of the Year on Thursday, led first-year NBA players in assists (6.1 APG) and steals (1.59 SPG) and ranked second in scoring (15.7 PPG) and rebounding (5.9 RPG) for the Hornets. Edwards, the No. 1 pick in the draft by the Timberwolves, averaged a rookie-high 19.3 PPG.

The Kings’ Haliburton ranked third among rookies in scoring (13.0 PPG) and second in assists (5.3 APG). Bey, the 19th overall pick, made a rookie-high 175 three-pointers for the Pistons. Tate, who went undrafted in 2018 and played in Australia last season, averaged 11.3 PPG and 5.3 PPG for the Rockets.

Ball and Edwards were the only unanimous First Team selections, receiving 99 of 99 potential First Team votes. Haliburton got 98, while Bey had 63 and Tate received 57.

Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley narrowly missed out on the top five, having earned 51 votes for the First Team.

Here are both All-Rookie teams in full, with their voting point totals notes in parentheses. Players received two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.

2020/21 All-Rookie First Team:

2020/21 All-Rookie Second Team:

Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo (42), Magic guard Cole Anthony (40), and Warriors center James Wiseman (24) were among the players who just missed the cut. Nine other players received votes — you can view the full voting results right here.

Nuggets Notes: Jokic, Millsap, Campazzo, Porter Jr., Crowds

A trio of Nuggets players earned financial rewards when the team advanced to the conference semifinals. Likely Most Valuable Player award winner Nikola Jokic pocketed $500K, while Paul Millsap and Facundo Campazzo added $100K apiece to their bank accounts, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. The bonuses do not impact the team’s cap situation since they were considered likely before the season started, Marks adds.

We have more on the Nuggets:

  • Michael Porter Jr.‘s Game 6 performance confirms that he’s star material, Sean Keeler of the Denver Post opines. Porter scored 22 points in the opening quarter, which kept the Nuggets within striking distance. Though he only scored four more points the rest of the way, it was another step in his maturation process, Keeler adds. Porter is eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason.
  • The Nuggets will be allowed bring in crowds at near full capacity for the second round of the playoffs, according to a team press release. Some seating areas will be unavailable due to NBA safety restrictions but the team can fill the arena to 90.7% capacity. All fans age 3 and older will be required to wear a face mask and complete a health assessment prior to entry.
  • Though the Nuggets surprised many people around the league by defeating the Trail Blazers without their starting backcourt, coach Michael Malone said the team has loftier aspirations, Mike Singer of the Denver Post relays. “Our goal coming into the season was not to get out of the first round,” he said. “We have much bigger goals.”

Northwest Notes: Brown, D-Lo, Campazzo, Edwards

With the Thunder now officially eliminated from play-in tournament contention, the rebuilding team appears open to developing some of its less-heralded young prospects. According to head coach Mark Daigneault, 6’6″ second-year shooting guard Charlie Brown Jr. will start and receive significant run while on a 10-day deal with the club, tweets Cameron Jourdan of the Oklahoman.

Brown inked a two-way deal with the Hawks after going undrafted out of St. Joseph’s for the 2019/20 season. So far with the Thunder, he’s averaging 16.0 MPG across three games.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • The minutes restriction has been lifted for Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell, who will continue to come off the bench for Minnesota, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The Timberwolves are 8-7 since Russell returned to the lineup following a February left knee surgery.
  • 30-year-old rookie Nuggets point guard Facundo Campazzo recently explained to Mike Singer of the Denver Post why he was ready to try his hand at the NBA after spending several years as a star overseas. “I just wanted the opportunity,” Campazzo said. “I don’t know if my level can work here or my game can fit here, but I just needed the opportunity to try at least. I don’t want to finish my career and think, ‘OK, I didn’t try at least, you know?’” In 58 games with Denver (including 12 starts), the 5’10” guard is averaging 20.8 MPG, 5.7 PPG, 3.3 APG, 1.8 RPG, and 1.1 SPG.
  • The next step in the long-term evolution of the Timberwolves is for 2020 No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards to become a star, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “We know what [Karl-Anthony Towns] can bring to the table,” guard Ricky Rubio said. “We know what [D’Angelo Russell] can bring to the table. But Ant, he has to bring it every night. That’s the toughest part of the NBA if you want to be one of the best.”