Golden State Warriors

Lakers Interested In Ian Clark

The Lakers have interest in adding Ian Clark to the roster, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports (Twitter link). Turner cautions that no deal is imminent.

Clark spent the last two seasons in Golden State and his role expanded as time passed. The Warriors own Clark’s Early Bird rights, though the team is already in the luxury tax after re-signing most of its core. The franchise brought back Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston while adding Nick Young in free agency. After all the moves, there may not be enough minutes, let alone currency, for Clark to return.

The Lakers are looking for an experienced guard to mentor Lonzo Ball and Clark isn’t the only candidate for the job. Los Angeles is reportedly in on the Derrick Rosesweepstakes and the team plans to pitch the former MVP on its ability to offer more playing time and a larger contract than rival suitors can.

Entering the free agency period, Clark was expected to receive a raise on his 2016/17 salary, which was slightly under $1.02MM. Some NBA executives envisioned the 26-year-old landing a deal worth more than the mid-level exception. Los Angeles wouldn’t be able to make that kind of offer — the team only has the $4.3MM room exception remaining for free agents.

Clark previously played under Lakers coach Luke Walton during the coach’s stint in Golden State. It’ll be interesting to see if the relationship helps to bring the shooting guard to Los Angeles.

Steve Kerr Pleased With Offseason Thus Far

  • The Warriors have had a successful offseason, at least in the eyes of head coach Steve Kerr. Anthony Slater of the Mercury News recently caught up with the bench boss. “Happy for Steph that he got paid,” Kerr said. “Happy for Andre that he was rewarded for what he’s done here and I think he’s got gas left in the tank. KD facilitated a lot of that.

Pacific Notes: Rondo, Clark, Caldwell-Pope, Perry

The Lakers will have to find another option at point guard now that Rajon Rondo has signed with the Pelicans, writes Mark Medina of The Orange County Register. L.A. had talked to Rondo about serving as a mentor to a young roster and especially to rookie Lonzo Ball. Attention may now turn to re-signing 22-year-old Tyler Ennis, who was obtained from Houston in a February trade. Ennis averaged 7.7 points and shot 45% from the field in 22 games with the Lakers.

Other options include Rodney Stuckey and Ian Clark, although L.A. has only the $4.3MM room exception to offer apart from veterans minimum deals. The Lakers currently have 12 players under contract for the upcoming season, along with Alex Caruso signed to a two-way deal.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • After struggling to make a roster in the early part of his NBA career, Clark is in position for a big payday, writes Joe Rexrode of The USA Today Network. The Lakers and Bucks are among the teams that have expressed interest in the free agent shooting guard, whose chance to return to the Warriors likely ended when Golden State signed Nick Young. “I can’t worry about this, I just have to let it fall into place,” Clark said. “At some point you stop worrying about surviving in this league and get determined to make your mark in it.”
  • The one-year, $18MM deal that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope signed with the Lakers includes a 15% trade kicker and a 50% advance, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.com.
  • Marcelo Huertas, who spent parts of the past two seasons with the Lakers, has signed with EuroCup champions Unicaja Malaga in Spain, tweets international basketball writer David Pick.
  • Scott Perry had a strong influence on the Kings during his three months as vice president of basketball operations, according to Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Perry left this week to become GM of the Knicks, with Sacramento receiving a 2019 second-round pick and cash considerations in return. During Perry’s time with the Kings, Voison says he pushed for the free agency additions of veterans Zach Randolph, Vince Carter and George Hill and was a “strong advocate” for drafting De’Aaron Fox with the No. 5 pick. “This is a great opportunity for Scott professionally,” said GM Vlade Divac, “and it gets him back east, closer to his daughter. I was not going to stop him. The only thing I feel bad about is that we had everything in place in our front office. Our front office is strong. Now I have to find someone who can come in and do the things Scott did for us.”
  • The injury that forced Kings center Georgios Papagiannis to leave Friday’s summer league game has been diagnosed as just a bruise, according to a post on the team’s website.

Warriors Sign Chris Boucher To Two-Way Contract

JULY 14: The Warriors have issued a press release formally announcing Boucher’s two-way contract with the club.

JUNE 23: The Warriors have agreed to a deal with former Oregon power forward Chris Boucher and will sign him to a two-way contract, league sources inform Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). The agreement, which Charania tweeted about just minutes after the draft ended, is the NBA’s first reported two-way deal.

Two-way contracts are a new concept, introduced in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement – they’ll allow NBA teams to keep two extra players under club control, though they won’t necessarily be on the active roster. Those players will essentially be on G League contracts, but they’ll be paid more than the average G League player, and rival NBA teams won’t be able to sign them away from their current club. We go into more details on two-way contracts in our glossary entry on the subject.

As for Boucher, he’ll benefit from the new CBA rule by getting a chance to join the reigning NBA champions. The 6’10” forward averaged 11.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 2.5 BPG in his senior year with the Ducks, making 35.0% of his three-point attempts.

Two-way contracts can’t officially be signed until the 2017/18 league year begins in July, but when Boucher’s deal is finalized, it will pay him a base salary of $75K. For any day he’s on Golden State’s NBA roster, the Montreal native receive a prorated portion of the minimum salary, but I expect he’ll spend most of his time next season with the Santa Cruz Warriors.

Warriors Re-Sign Shaun Livingston

JULY 14: The Warriors have formally re-signed Livington, according to the NBA’s official transactions log.Shaun Livingston vertical

JUNE 30: The Warriors have come to terms on a three-year, $24MM contract with veteran guard Shaun Livingston, Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press writes. The third year of Livingston’s new deal is only partially guaranteed, tweets Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. The salaries are $8MM for each of the first two years, with a $2MM guarantee for 2019/20.

Last season, the 31-year-old averaged 5.1 points and 1.8 assists per game for the Warriors, establishing himself as a heady, reliable option off the bench for the star-studded squad.

The reported $24MM agreement falls short of what ESPN’s Chris Haynes had offered up as a possible price point for Livingston earlier this week. On Tuesday we wrote that Haynes had projected Livingston could earn in the $10MM-$12MM range annually.

Livingston’s family helped convince him to stay with the Warriors and take less money that he could have gotten on the open market, relays Marcus Thompson of The San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link).

The agreement with Livingston virtually ensures that Golden State will exceed the tax apron, according to cap expert Nate Duncan (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pacers Offered Paul George To Warriors For Klay Thompson

Before the Pacers dealt Paul George to the Thunder, the team was interested in shipping George to the Warriors, offering him in a deal for Klay Thompson, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com shares on his podcast. George, who appeared on The Woj Pod, told the scribe that he was aware of the team’s offer.

“I would’ve looked forward to it, of just being in a good situation and a chance to compete for a championship. But it didn’t happen. It’s still fun to team up with a special talent and have a chance to compete against that team,” George said.

The four-time All-Star added that had a deal materialized, it would have been similar to the 2011 Chris Paul-to-the-Lakers deal that was ultimately shot down by the league.

Indiana ended up sending George to the Thunder to play alongside Russell Westbrook. The franchise received Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis in the deal.

Warriors, Omri Casspi Agree To Deal

6:44pm: It’ll be a one-year, minimum salary contract for Casspi, tweets Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Casspi’s minimum will be worth about $2.1MM, though it’ll only count against the Warriors’ cap for approximately $1.47MM.

Minimum salary deals can be finalized during the July moratorium, so Golden State doesn’t have to wait until Thursday to make the signing official.

6:23pm: The Warriors have lined up a deal to add another shooter to their roster, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that free agent forward Omri Casspi has agreed to sign a one-year deal with the team. Sam Amick of USA Today first reported (via Twitter) that Golden State was in talks with Casspi.

[RELATED: 2017 NBA Free Agent Tracker]

Casspi, 29, opened the 2016/17 season with the Kings, but quickly saw his role in Sacramento’s rotation reduced by new head coach Dave Joerger. Casspi was included in the trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans, and while the Pelicans were excited to get him as part of that deal, his stint with the team was short-lived, as he suffered a broken thumb in his first game as a Pelican. Casspi was subsequently waived by New Orleans and later finished the season with the Timberwolves after getting healthy.

Although the 2016/17 season didn’t really give him a chance to show off his talents, Casspi enjoyed the best season of his career in 2015/16 with the Kings, averaging 11.8 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 69 games (21 starts), making a career-high 40.9% of his three-pointers. If he can regain that form, he should have a very nice year with a Warriors team that will get him plenty of open looks.

Financial terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Warriors could only offer a minimum salary contract unless they’re willing to dip into their $5.2MM taxpayer mid-level exception for Casspi. A minimum deal seems likely.

Warriors Re-Sign Andre Iguodala

July 12, 4:07pm: The signing is official, according to NBA.com.

July 1, 10:56pm: Andre Iguodala has decided to return to the Warriors on a three-year, $48MM deal, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. Iguodala himself confirmed the agreement (on Twitter) around the same time Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported that a deal was in place (Twitter link). The contract is fully guaranteed with no options on either side, per Charania (Twitter link).Andre Iguodala vertical

Iguodala committed to Golden State after meeting with GM Bob Myers and coach Steve Kerr tonight in Los Angeles, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Iguodala also received multi-year offers from the Rockets, Spurs and Kings, putting pressure on the Warriors to increase their own offer, which was believed to originally be in the range of $12-14MM per year, with a partial guarantee in year three (Twitter link via Sam Amick of USA Today).

[RELATED: 2017 NBA Free Agent Tracker]

With new deals in place for Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, along with a super-max extension for Stephen Curry and a huge contract coming for Kevin Durant, Myers has ensured that the core of the Warriors’ championship team will remain together. However, it certainly won’t be cheap.

Once the Warriors come to terms with Durant on a new deal that will give him a 20% raise using his Non-Bird rights, they will have an estimated $130MM in guaranteed money on their books, as Bobby Marks of ESPN details. Even if Golden State fills out the rest of its roster with minimum salary players, team salary would exceed $137MM, putting the club way over the $119MM luxury tax line and creating a tax bill in the neighborhood of $40MM.

By exceeding the tax apron, the Warriors will lose their full mid-level exception and the bi-annual exception, but will have access to the taxpayer MLE worth $5.192MM. Of course, given how many commitments the Dubs already have on their books, any player(s) signed using that exception would be exponentially more expensive due to tax penalties.

The Warriors’ future cap situation will also get a lot more interesting due to Iguodala’s new deal, which includes a guaranteed third year. That means Iggy’s contract will run through the 2019/20 season, which is the same year Klay Thompson‘s new deal will begin. If Golden State intends to retain Thompson, the team’s bill on salaries and taxes that year will be massive.

While Warriors ownership will have to worry about those future tax penalties, fans in the Bay Area can rest assured that all the key pieces of last year’s championship team, including veteran big man David West, will be back.

Outside of former MVPs Curry and Durant, Iguodala was viewed as the Warriors’ most crucial free agent. The 33-year-old finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting this year, and while his scoring numbers were very modest, he played a huge role for Golden State as a three-and-D wing. Iguodala ranked 11th on our list of this year’s top 50 free agents.

With Iguodala off the board, it will be interesting to see where teams like the Rockets turn. Houston was reportedly having serious talks with the Cavs about Iman Shumpert, so he may be the Rockets’ Plan B.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Western FA Rumors: Lakers, Canaan, Wolves, Kings

After committing all of their remaining cap room, the Lakers continue to debate how to address their point guard spot, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The team has explored possible free agent targets who could be veteran mentors for Lonzo Ball, but with just the $4.3MM room exception remaining, L.A. may no longer have the flexibility to sign some of those players.

Per Shelburne (Twitter link), the Lakers still have Rajon Rondo on their radar, but are debating signing a younger player such as Ian Clark, Tyler Ennis, or Isaiah Canaan for that backup point guard job. It’s not clear whether Rondo and/or Clark would be willing to sign a one-year deal worth the room exception — their respective markets were believed to be more robust, but it’s possible that has changed as free agency nears the two-week mark.

Here are a few more free agency notes from around the Western Conference:

  • Speaking of Isaiah Canaan, his camp has “touched base” with the Timberwolves, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who tweets that Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson are believed to have put in a good word for their former Chicago teammate.
  • The Kings reportedly made a maximum salary offer to Otto Porter earlier in free agency, but J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com hears from multiple sources that there was confusion about whether Sacramento put such an offer sheet on the table. “We just talked,” Kings GM Vlade Divac said of Porter. This may just be an issue of semantics — perhaps the Kings expressed a willingness to go up to the max, but didn’t draw up a formal offer sheet. Porter eventually got his max offer sheet from Brooklyn anyway.
  • The Warriors made quick work of 2017 free agency, retaining virtually all their key players and adding a couple interesting new pieces. However, they’ll face a tricky situation next summer when Patrick McCaw becomes eligible for restricted free agency. Anthony Slater of The Bay Area News Group examines the challenge of McCaw’s looming free agency and speaks to the 21-year-old guard about it.

Contract Details For Curry, Durant

  • The new super-max contract signed by Stephen Curry (Warriors) includes a 15% trade kicker and has no options (Twitter link). Kevin Durant‘s two-year deal with the Warriors also features a 15% trade kicker, though he’s even less likely than Curry to be dealt (Twitter link).
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