Guerschon Yabusele

Contract Details: Celtics, Matthews, T. Harris, Lyles, More

The Celtics stretched Guerschon Yabusele‘s $3MM+ cap hit for 2019/20 when they waived him last week in order to create a little extra room under the cap, tweets Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights. While that decision may seem curious, it helped allow Boston to complete a couple less glamorous signings.

For one, the Celtics’ new two-year deal with French center Vincent Poirier isn’t worth the minimum, but rather has a value of $4.65MM over two years, per Siegel (Twitter link). Poirier’s deal starts at around $2.27MM, which wouldn’t have been possible without cap space, since the team has already committed its full room exception to Enes Kanter.

Meanwhile, second-round pick Carsen Edwards also benefited from the Celtics’ leftover cap room. According to Siegel (Twitter link), the former Purdue standout will earn $1,228,026 in his rookie season, rather than the rookie minimum of $898,310. By using their cap room, the C’s were also able to lock up Edwards to a four-year contract.

Here are some details on a few more contracts that were recently made official:

  • Wesley Matthews‘ new minimum-salary contract with the Bucks includes a second-year player option, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Tobias Harris has a trade bonus in his five-year contract with the Sixers, according to Siegel (Twitter link). That bonus will be worth either $5MM or 5% of the remaining money left on his contract (whichever is lesser). The bonus can’t exceed Harris’ maximum salary.
  • Trey Lyles‘ two-year, $11MM contract with the Spurs has a partial guarantee of just $1MM for the second year, tweets Siegel.
  • No. 42 overall pick Admiral Schofield got a three-year contract from the Wizards with the first two years guaranteed and a $300K guarantee on year three, tweets Siegel. According to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link), Schofield’s deal starts at $1MM in his rookie season.
  • The three-year, minimum-salary contract for Raptors second-round pick Dewan Hernandez has a $500K partial guarantee on year one, and is non-guaranteed for years two and three, tweets Siegel.

Celtics Waive Guerschon Yabusele

4:02pm: The Celtics have officially waived Yabusele, the team announced this afternoon (via Twitter).

11:08am: The Celtics will release former first-round pick Guerschon Yabusele, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).

Yabusele has a $3,117,240 cap hit for the 2019/20 season, per Basketball Insiders, so a team with enough cap room or a trade exception big enough to absorb that number could claim him. Otherwise, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent and the Celtics will be on the hook for that dead money. Boston wouldn’t owe him his $4,781,846 salary for 2020/21, since that’s a team option that has not yet been exercised.

Yabusele, the 16th overall pick in the 2016 draft, remained overseas for a year before joining the Celtics in 2017. The 6’8″ power forward didn’t make much of an impact for the club in his two seasons in Boston, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.4 RPG in just 6.6 minutes per contest (74 games).

As Keith Smith of RealGM notes (via Twitter), waiving Yabusele will create some extra roster flexibility for the Celtics, who had been projected to have 15 players on guaranteed contracts. The club now has an open regular-season roster spot available for a 15th man.

Celtics Notes: Davis, Hayward, Draft, Adams

The Celtics should be regarded as favorites to trade for Pelicans star Anthony Davis, an NBA insider tells Fletcher Mackel of WDSU in New Orleans (Twitter link). According to the source, Jayson Tatum tops the Pelicans’ wish list, and new head of basketball operations David Griffin likes Marcus Smart as well. Robert WilliamsSemi Ojeleye and Guerschon Yabusele could help fill out the deal, along with at least this year’s first-round pick, which falls at No. 14.

Earlier this week, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (appearing on The Sedano Show podcast) suggested the Lakers could still be in the running for Davis if they are willing to offer the same package they did at the trade deadline. McMenamin says several people he talked to in the Pelicans’ organization would love to have Brandon Ingram and wanted to take the Lakers’ proposal at the time. GM Dell Demps, who turned down the offer, has since been fired.

The Celtics’ prospects for Davis will depend on whether Griffin believes Ingram has a brighter future than Tatum and if he might be more intrigued by R.J. Barrett, which would bring the Knicks into play with their No. 3 pick, writes John Karalis of MassLive.

There’s more news out of Boston:

  • President of basketball operations Danny Ainge is confident that Gordon Hayward will return to an All-Star level next season, relays Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. Hayward was inconsistent this year as he worked his way back from a devastating ankle injury, but Ainge believes another offseason to recover will help. “I’m really excited for Gordon’s upcoming season,” Ainge said. “He’s working hard right now in the gym. He’s here every day with five or six coaches and bodies out there working extremely hard. He’s put a lot of time in. I’m anticipating great things from Gordon this next year.”
  • In a separate story, Forsberg looks at a few point guards the Celtics could target in the draft if they don’t expect to re-sign free agents Kyrie Irving or Terry Rozier. Forsberg states that Boston could try to trade up for North Carolina’s Coby White or stay at No. 14 and target Virginia’s Ty Jerome, Purdue’s Carsen Edwards, Mississippi’s Terence Davis, Tennessee’s Jordan Bone or Brewster Academy’s Jalen Lecque. The Celtics also own picks No. 20 and 22 in the first round.
  • Connecticut guard Jalen Adams worked out for the Celtics yesterday, tweets Chris Grenham of NESN.

Aron Baynes To Be Sidelined “A Few Weeks”

Celtics center Aron Baynes is “shutting it down for a few weeks” because of pain in his left foot, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. The team says the injury is to the cuboid bone, adds Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link).

Baynes said the pain started about two weeks ago and “wasn’t getting any better,” relays A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link). He has tried to play through it, logging 21 minutes Friday against the Knicks, but it has become too severe.

The timing means Baynes will almost certainly be out through the All-Star break. Baynes’ absence will mean more minutes for Daniel Theis, Guerschon Yabusele and rookie Robert Williams, although Williams will miss today’s game with back soreness.

Baynes has seen reduced playing time in his second season with the Celtics, averaging, 5.7 PPG and 4.3 RPG in about 15 minutes per night. He has a $5.45MM player option for next season.

Celtics Notes: Baynes, Frontcourt, Roster, Bird

Appearing this morning on Toucher and Rich in Boston, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed that Aron Baynes is undergoing surgery today on his broken hand, tweets Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston.

While an exact timeline for Baynes’ return likely won’t be determined until after that procedure is complete, Ainge said that he doesn’t expect the Celtics to seek out roster help while Baynes is sidelined. Boston’s frontcourt is banged up, but Al Horford and Guerschon Yabusele should be ready to return soon, according to Ainge, so reinforcements are on the way.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • After an eight-game win streak, Boston has taken a step back over the last two games, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com details. “This is the NBA season. You just want to have great pockets of games, you have good consistent run, and then now you have a lapse,” Kyrie Irving said. “Now it’s [time to] build it back up, continue to work every single day to be a very great team. It’s a work in progress every day.”
  • Coming into the season, the Celtics were viewed as one of the league’s deepest teams, with multiple All-Stars leading the way. However, the supporting cast around Irving has been somewhat underwhelming this season, writes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. According to Forsberg, last year’s standouts like Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier have “rarely asserted themselves” when the C’s need someone other than Irving to save them this season.
  • Jabari Bird, who was arrested on assault charges in September, appeared in court on Tuesday and is scheduled to do so again on January 30, per Nicole Yang of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). The Celtics appear prepared to continue waiting on a decision from the league before they decide what to do with Bird, though if they really need an extra roster spot, that could change the equation, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports.

Atlantic Notes: Walker, Hernangomez, Butler, Yabusele

While Kemba Walker did not sound enthused about returning to his native New York and play for the Knicks, he did not shut the door on the possibility, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.

“I don’t have any interest in coming back home — right now,” Walker said. The 28-year-old Bronx native is set to hit free agency this summer and will be one of the most sought-after guards on the market.

New York is expected to have cap room to sign at least one top-tier free agent and Walker fits the bill. While he admitted to enjoying his time playing in Madison Square Garden as a visitor, Walker appeared to shut down the possibility over the summer

“I’ve been hearing it for years now, the Knicks,” Walker said. “Every time I come home, it’s ‘When are you coming home to the Knicks?’ MSG is a special place, man. The Knicks are a special team. Of course, I’ve been a Knicks fan growing up, always rooted for the home team. But I really can’t see myself in a Knicks jersey — only because I’ve been in one jersey. I really don’t know.”

Check out more Atlantic Division notes below:

  • Former Knicks center Willy Hernangomez said he requested a trade last season after it became clear he was no longer in the team’s long-term plans, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “Obviously with Phil [Jackson] out, he was the person who bought me here from Spain, who believed in me from the beginning,” Hernangomez said. “Him and Steve Mills. Summer, they made a change. I think that changed the mentality to the future. You see how many players from my first year are on the team now.”
  • Sixers big man Joel Embiid said the acquisition of Jimmy Butler and subsequent change to his role have impacted his play. Speaking to reporters, including Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Butler downplayed Embiid’s comment and expressed his support for Embiid. “I know where his heart is, man,” Butler said. “His heart is pure. He wants to win. I can feel for him. It’s new to him. It’s new to myself. It’s new to everybody.
  • Celtics big man Guerschon Yabusele suffered a “bad sprain” in his right ankle during the team’s on Saturday, A.Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes. Yabusele is expected to “be out for a while,” according to head coach Brad Stevens.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/16/18

Here are Friday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Pistons have assigned third-year forward Henry Ellenson and rookie guards Khyri Thomas and Bruce Brown to the Grand Rapids Drive, Keith Langlois of the team’s website tweets. That will allow the trio to play in two Drive home games this weekend, Langlois notes. The Pistons are in the midst of a rare four-day layoff and there’s no need for any of them to remain with the NBA club during that stretch.
  • The Celtics have recalled center Rob Williams, forward Guerschon Yabusele and guard Brad Wanamaker from the Maine Red Claws, the team’s PR department tweets. All three started in the Red Claws’ loss to Raptors 905 on Thursday, combining for 52 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.
  • The Magic have assigned guards Isaiah Briscoe and Melvin Frazier Jr. to Lakeland, allowing them to get some game action against Greensboro on Friday, the Magic’s PR department tweets. Briscoe, an undrafted point guard, has played five games with Orlando this season. Frazier, a second-round pick in June, has seen action in two NBA games.
  • The Grizzles recalled rookie guard Jevon Carter for the team’s morning shootaround, re-assigned him to the Memphis Hustle for afternoon practice, then recalled him once again in time for the team’s game against the Kings on Friday, the team’s PR department tweets. Carter, an early second-rounder, is still looking to make his NBA debut.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/15/18

Here are Thursday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

Eastern Notes: Boylan, Hornets, Saric, Yabusele

Former Cavaliers assistant coach Jim Boylan has filed an age-discrimination lawsuit against the franchise, which the team has labelled “frivolous” and a “shameless cash grab,” according to an Associated Press report. Boylan, 63, worked five seasons under former coaches David Blatt and Tyronn Lue but did not have his option picked up this summer. Boylan contends GM Koby Altman told him owner Dan Gilbert wanted a younger coach.

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Hornets have used a committee approach at the center spot and that position is likely to remain in flux, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports. Starter Cody Zeller, Willy Hernangomez, Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Nicolas Batum, Frank Kaminsky and Bismack Biyombo have all taken turns in the middle but first-year coach James Borrego isn’t worried. “We’re still searching (but) I like the dilemma I have,” he told Bonnell.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown is allowing forward Dario Saric to work through his shooting slump, Sarah Todd of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Saric has scored in single digits in each of the last three games while shooting 2-for-13 from long range. Brown has no plans to reduce Saric’s workload. “If he came to me and said, ‘I need some time,’ I would listen,” Brown said. “But I don’t feel like I’m force-feeding anything, I do not feel like I’m hurting him. In fact, I feel like I’m helping him.”
  • Guerschon Yabusele’s option was picked up for next season because his game fits the modern NBA, according to coach Brad Stevens, and the Celtics believe the 22-year-old has high upside, the team’s PR department tweets. Boston’s brass decided to retain Yabusele despite a cap hit of $3,117,240, a figure that could grow if Boston pays the luxury tax. The 6’8” Yabusele has played just 18 minutes this season after seeing action in 33 games in his rookie campaign. But with several players hitting the free agent market next summer, the Celtics felt Yabusele was too valuable to give up, Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald notes. “Having Guerschon gives us continuity. He knows our system,” GM Danny Ainge said. “He’s loved by everybody. It’s just not easy to find that type of player.”

Celtics Pick Up Options On Tatum, Brown, Yabusele

The Celtics have picked up their 2019/20 team options on three players, according to an official announcement from the club (Twitter link). Jaylen Brown‘s fourth-year option has been exercised, as have the third-year options for Jayson Tatum and Guerschon Yabusele.

The decisions on Tatum and Brown come as no surprise. Tatum has looked like a rising star since being selected third overall in the 2017 draft, and the decision to lock in his $7,830,000 cap hit for 2019/20 was a no-brainer. Brown hasn’t flashed the same sort of star potential as his fellow No. 3 overall pick, but the starting shooting guard continues to improve on both ends of the court, and guaranteeing his $6,534,829 cap charge for next season was also an easy call for the Celtics.

Boston’s decision on Yabusele is a little more surprising. The former 16th overall pick has played in just 38 games for the Celtics since joining the team last season, and hasn’t made an impact, with 2.2 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 6.7 minutes per contest.

Al Horford, Aron Baynes, Robert Williams, Daniel Theis, and Semi Ojeleye are all in Boston’s frontcourt mix, and the team sometimes plays Tatum or Gordon Hayward at the four, leaving few opportunities for Yabusele. Nonetheless, the Celtics apparently still value him highly enough to lock in his $3,117,240 cap hit for 2019/20. The C’s will end up paying a higher price to retain Yabusele if they’re well over the tax line next season, as is expected.

All of the rookie scale option decisions for 2019/20 can be tracked right here.